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Everything posted by MattR

  1. We used to do 2 a year and one of them had to be on the cheap. Those were fun. Of course, it helps when someone in the troop is a river rat and has friends with rafts. Several people have told me Northern Tier is much more expensive than the local outfitters. Same lakes.
  2. Welcome to the forum, @MichelleIsAScout. If I read you correctly you're saying the church ordered some supplies independent of this scout and asked the scout to install them? Question number 1, is there much complexity in the installation? What does this involve? If this is something really simple then this isn't, in my view, an eagle project. If a scout is just providing labor then that's not leadership. Anyone can put out a flier, send some email, and get a half dozen scouts to show up. It might be a great service project but it doesn't involve leadership. Usually when I see projec
  3. Thanks for sharing. Good news is always welcome.
  4. I was surprised at how accurate it was. I had nearly identical conversations with scouts. I really respected the reality when the SM got a bit grumpy with the new scout because of something that happened with an old scout and he eventually got over it. Whoever made that film had experience with a troop.
  5. GUESS WHAT, EVERYONE? IT"S TIME TO LOCK THIS THREAD AGAIN! It's hard to type while holding down the shift key so please just assume I'm shouting at you. I'm not really shouting but, for the following people: @HashTagScouts, @MikeS72, @desertrat77, @Eagledad, @Mrjeff, @Jameson76, @BAJ ( @SSScout and @TAHAWK get a pass for trying to make light of it), and everyone else that is complaining about parents complaining about how unfair this virus is to our children. I'm fairly sure that there's another thread for that. Go find it and post there. This thread is supposed to be about chapter 11 and all
  6. There are several threads going about how to deal with all of the problems but I wanted to focus on just one thing - money. Or more accurately, why and how to do scouts with little money. Not just belt tightening but cutting the budget by a lot. I have two assumptions. First, scouts for the most part don't really care about eagle or any other skill they might gain from being in the program. Their parents might but that can be more of a negative if the kid doesn't like camping. Scouts like to advance but I don't think it's as important as having fun with their friends. Back in the 60's, at
  7. I always chuckle with the "emphasis" flags. Anyway, no prejudice taken. In fact, it brings up a good point. First, a very quick history of the first and second temples, their destruction and the creation of Rabbinic Judaism. The Holy of Holies was literally the inner sanctum (and the source of that term) of the temple where only the highest of the priests could go and only once a year and only after days of purifying one's mind. The destruction of the second temple, much like the first, was supposed to end Judaism by preventing Jews from doing their thing. And the Holy of Holies was certainly
  8. Talk to the scoutmaster? If I were the scoutmaster I'd ask the scout what he did for each requirement and, giving him the benefit, fill out a blue card saying the scout had completed those reqs if he sounded even close. Then I'd have the scout call another counselor to finish the badge.
  9. I think this is exactly what makes scouting unique and useful. This is where the magic occurs and where the focus should be. The challenge is keeping up the challenge for a range of abilities that change as scouts age. There's a big difference between what a 13 year old and a 16 year old can do. Pushing a program such that a 13 yo can complete eagle leaves nothing for a 16 yo.
  10. Wait. You mean there was no program silo? I guess making one is good news. This means nothing to me. This is just org chart stuff from my perspective. My question is how will my council be kept honest. If national is smaller along with regions and areas, then my council will have even less oversight. I'd like to say this is good but it just isn't. There is currently nothing to keep my council accountable to its customers. I don't see how this change improves anything.
  11. Several messages got me thinking, but here are 2 of them. I hope there's enough flexibility to get more input from the parents as to what they really want for their kids. To me, the current program seems tailored to a narrow slice of society: The BSA is targeting parents that were scouts in their youth, those that want to camp every month, and those that want to advance. But I can see other parents that just don't understand this program. A lot of parents want their kids to be responsible and able to take care of themselves, to solve their own problems and own their own decis
  12. In the phrase "game with a purpose" I like the outdoor fun aspect but I wonder what the purpose will be. That's the key for me.
  13. Good for them. Now, just call it a patrol based summer camp and they might just have a great new program model.
  14. Just one, huh? This is kind of like eating potato chips. Proposal #1: refocus every member (employees and volunteers) of the BSA to the core principles of scouting - having fun in the outdoors as a means to develop responsibility and good character. Support #1: The program is the most critical aspect of scouting but it has been watered down because of a lack of focus. Rather, there seem to be silos in the BSA that are diluting the focus. There is advancement, popcorn, making money selling scout stuff, scouting-as-a-way-to-a-better-career, JTE, leave no trace, STEM and just a really b
  15. That has to change. What I mean is I agree with you that this is an important skill - letting scouts fail - but it would be immensely benefitial to find a way to teach this to adults. Any ideas? No fair saying it can't be done or that there will be problems. Those can be dealt with later.
  16. Please read the following thread as it explains why you're seeing the ads that you see and what little anyone can do about it. This thread is being locked so we can keep this discussion in one place. Thanks for your patience.
  17. I suppose it depends on the scouts involved. If it's a group of 11 year olds, I absolutely agree with you. If it's a group of mature scouts, I can see it happening. It all gets back to trust. I would not open this idea up to anyone, though. I also wouldn't trust just any scouts to go hike on their own. And yet, groups of 10 is starting to be allowed. My county's hospitals are not even close to full (they've restarted elective surgeries), so it sounds plausible to me. Again, it depends on the scouts and whether there's a level of trust and preparedness. Identify issues and if everyone is c
  18. This thread is locked until after I split off the posts related to Governor Cuomo. I will unlock soon. If you want to comment about Governor Cuomo's comments go to If you post it here I will just hide it.
  19. Yes, I agree with you. OTOH, we teach scouts how to shoot guns safely. Traveling: Hike or Camp nearby and have mom or dad drop you off and pick you up. Cooking: Bring your own backpacking stove and gear. Better yet, learn how to do no-cooking meals. Restrooms: Use the National Forest or BLM land. Tents, bring your own, preferably that you've made from a tarp, wood stakes and rope. These campouts do not need to be exotic. To be honest, starting with someone's big back yard would be great. Have each scout clean the bathroom after they use it. Sitting too close: Make a game of it. This co
  20. There are all sorts of problems with this 66% number. First of all, it does not include all those that have the virus, which we only have a vague idea what the number is, and the number of admitted vs having the virus. So that 66% could be closer to 1% of those that have the virus. But more importantly, this has nothing to do with the original topic and this thread is not in issues and topics. So let's get back on topic.
  21. It just seems ironic that scouting, which is primarily about being in the outdoors, which in turn is all about getting away from society, which is just an old fashioned way of saying social distancing, is struggling to figure out what to do. If summer camp doesn't work then go for a hike. I am doing a lot of hiking these days. If I had young children around we'd be camping. The patrol model is ideal. Do things as a patrol. Minimize crossings between patrols. Have faith that scouts have the imagination to make fun from sticks, mud and rope. They don't need a dining hall and a shooting rang
  22. 404 Not Found. Maybe someone changed their mind.
  23. Given the recession we're about to enter depending on community confidence might not work for many councils.
  24. Or maybe your ideas are good, you could keep generating them, gently push them and just accept the few scouts and parents that take you up on your ideas. So, do your best and know that that is a job well done. If only one scout liked what you did then that's one scout you helped. Virus or no, that's a healthier way of looking at this. I'm beginning to think the only way I can continue with scouts, between my frustrations with my council, bankruptcy and the virus, is to find a happy place where I can help and just ignore the rest of it.
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