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Posts posted by MattR

  1. 21 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Those efforts include modeling new revenue projections and exploring various cost-reduction levers.

    That is lipstick on a pig.

    Question: in the stimulus just passed, who decides whether a company on the ropes is worth saving?

    • Upvote 1

  2. 19 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    Lets take my home state of Ohio for example: This is the latest model from University of Washington: https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections 

    I've been watching those models and they have been swinging all over the place because we're so early in the epidemic (!). I found another model that shows both okay cases (people stick with the recommendations) and bad (people get lazy, angry, whatever). Here it is for Ohio: https://covidactnow.org/state/OH.

    The bad cases tend to peak mid April and tail off early to mid May and the okay cases peak mid May and don't fall below the point where there are enough beds in hospitals until June. They're all really bad for the hospitals.

  3. 2 hours ago, swilliams said:

    With 800 scouts participating

    And there you have it, the reason I'm starting to look elsewhere to give my time. It's becoming too much. The idea that a massive online MB class is scouting is just telling of deeper problems we've already discussed.

    On 3/16/2020 at 3:27 PM, qwazse said:

    More importantly, can anyone move us from "how to" to "how to make it fun?"

    I tried bringing this up a week or so ago and the response was that kids already know how to have fun on the internet.

    23 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    I was thinking about that for my orienteering club. Instead of punching in. Take a selfie of yourself with the control.

    That would work. I think you could even take a hike "together" assuming there is cell service. Split the patrol into buddy pairs. Everyone brings a map to the trail head but can't get out of the car until they're called by the pair before them. There are checkpoints along the trail. Once you get to one check point you have to wait until the pair ahead of you leaves the next check point before you leave yours and also signal the pair behind you to leave theirs.

    I had scouts that once made a hilarious story around a camp fire by taking turns adding another sentence or two to the story. That would work great over zoom.

  4. My wife is making masks. I found plans and ordered some N95 equivalent fabric. We'll see how the filter fabric works.

    One thing that seemed good to me was a vimeo video from a doctor in NYC (below). I have been sent this link from 2 different people. A couple of important points: if you're not in a hospital then the most important thing a mask will do is keep your hands off your face. The primary mechanism of transfer is people touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. That's it. Wash/disinfect your hands. Keep your hands away from your face. If you're in a hospital with lots of infected people around or especially intubating people that's a very different story.

    Anyway, being cheerful and helpful is probably one of the best services a scout could do right now. Figure out how to play checkers via zoom with people locked in and hunkered down. Does anyone know of online card games that can be played remotely and then share a zoom connection to see the other people?



    I know we're all in COVID-19 news overload right now, but this is the most practical, down-to-earth discussion about protecting ourselves and families I've heard.  It's from an ICU doctor in one of NYC's major hospitals.  It's long (60 minutes), but I found it worth setting aside the time to watch it in two chunks: the first half is his general thoughts and advice; the second half are questions from the audience, who were family members of healthcare providers.

    Dr. David Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center, March 22, 2020:




    • Thanks 1

  5. 7 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    I wasn't thinking right or wrong, I was thinking that scouting is way way down on a families priority list. They can call a meeting, but even in the best conditions, who would come.


    I agree that a meeting is not high on anyone's list. But social interaction is going to become more and more important. Extended solitude is hard on the spirit. This could go all the way through summer. I'd love to be proven wrong but, we all know the motto.

    I was wondering about different ways to have social interaction for kids without the contact. Make a pioneering project out of pencils, string and rubber bands. Patrol chess or checkers via zoom with side channels to strategize. Make a treasure map using google earth or maps. If one can set up multiple meetings, one for each room in a puzzle, that might be fun as the scouts skip from room to room. Have each scout make a campfire in their backyard and then connect with zoom to sing, tell stories, or the usual games like cross sticks. If you can't make a fire go into your closet with a flashlight. Other ideas?

  6. I hate to be the grinch, but most likely all high adventure and summer camps will be cancelled or limited to August. Cancelling the entire summer would actually mean good news with respect to number of hospitalizations because the curve will be stretched out. Italy thought China was an outlier and now everyone thinks Italy is an outlier.  And yet the US is not slowing things down as well as Italy is now. The US population density is much lower than Italy and we are younger, so that's good news, but it's still going to be rough.

    My county went from 7 to 19 cases in a day (that's likely due to better testing) but even at 33% increase per day we'll be at 88k cases in a month. However, if the number of cases is a tenth of actual cases then our peak will be before that as there are only 360k people in our county. That's the worst scenario. The better scenario is the infection rate is slowed and it drags out a lot longer. One model I saw said an early (and bad) ending was mid July and a late (good) ending was some time in August.

    I think the discussion might be more useful if it were: How can the scouts help after the carnage is over?

    • Upvote 1

  7. 2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

    So, in a no-money situation, the question is:  What parts of the recharter process can we drop because we already have a simpler or easier way to do them?

    Not just rechartering but all the data. For some reason the BSA has very important information that must be guarded by humans. That is the reason that this whole thing can't be just a simple web interface that every parent can use. I understand the need to ensure adults have YPT but nothing else needs to get above the unit. What other youth organization cares about all the data we require? Advancement, training, knots. When my son was on a soccer team all they cared about was his address, that a parent signed a consent form and that he paid. Each year they just started over. In software that's called stateless and it's much simpler to write software for. How important is it to keep records of all this? Changing the mindset of the BSA to leave advancement at the unit level would be an enormous challenge.


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    • Upvote 1

  8. All good ideas.  But this is more than rechartering and even more than software. Making robust software that scales to a million users is expensive and there is no money. My guess is there needs to be a simpler goal rather than an easier process. What is all this data used for? Part of it is doing background checks. Part of it is collecting money. Tracking training and advancement and membership. There are also security issues that add a lot of complexity.

    Rechartering is a big pain for us mostly because of tracking down parents that don't respond. So if this process were pushed down to the families it would become a pain for a different reason.

  9. Maybe nobody failed? Or rather the issue is the perception vs the reality of eagle. Eagle is a list of requirements. Our perception is that it's about character and self sufficiency and other subjective ideas. I don't see how any list of requirements ensures any of these traits. I truly see where you're coming from. I've been there but I don't see a way to improve the situation.

    What character really gets down to is a desire to do the right thing. How people get there is a much bigger topic than scouts and orders of magnitude bigger than a rank patch.

    • Upvote 2

  10. Welcome to the forum!

    Most troops have custom activity shirts and someone is printing them. My troop sure does. I have never heard of anyone getting upset. Honestly, I say go for it.

    As for patches, some patches have a loop of the edging thread that makes for a button hole so the scouts can easily attach them to their uniform temporarily. If your serger can do that then that would be nice. I have no idea how those loops are made, though.

  11. 14 hours ago, ParkMan said:

    I'm sure you're right.  

    Guess I'm just getting tired of all the drama in Scouting these days.  More and more I just think of calling it a day.

    Yep, I understand why you're saying that. There are a lot of long discussions about detail that probably doesn't make that much difference to the end goal. In the OP I was more interested in how the patrol leaders were being developed, they're the most important leaders in the troop. If the SPL is helping develop the PL's then this troop(s) are better than most. If not, they're missing the same point that most others are missing. I'd rather see descriptions of different ways of doing things that all work.

    • Upvote 2

  12. Welcome to the forum, @atrox79.

    Going from 7 scouts to 3+1 patrols sounds great. I'd be interested in hearing how that happened.

    As for a female SPL, hopefully the response from national will be: you have two troops so you need two SPL's, a boy for the boy's troop and a girl for the girl's troop.

    Here's another idea. Get rid of the SPL. The girl's troop doesn't need one as there is only one patrol. For the three boy patrols the PLC can consist of the three PL's working together. They can figure out how to have a single, senior PL to cover events. They might go round robin. They might just have the senior most PL be the SPL. Let them decide. The point is the focus should be on a group of patrols, not a troop. If the girl's patrol wants to do something different then they should (they are a different troop, after all). And if one of the boy patrols wants to do something different then they should as well.

    • Upvote 2

  13. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    I often converted old boot laces (back when they were leather)

    Leather laces are still available. Firefighters use them, or at least those fighting forest fires.

    I would get white laces, dye one part blue, one part red and then carefully tie a woggle that had a blue, a white and a red stripe.

    • Upvote 1

  14. 2 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    This elimination of the essential character of the Patrol System is just not my experience as a unit leader.  

    I don't think it's intentional. The training doesn't emphasize it so it's just fading.

    It's a constant battle to get parents to accept it and it takes a critical mass of adults to both teach the scouts and pull back parents. And a parent that's eagle is not necessarily helpful. Often they don't understand the difference between being an adult and the spl when they were 17.

    • Upvote 2

  15. 20 minutes ago, Chadamus said:

    @MattRI have scouter . com bookmarked on my desktop and phone. Both bookmarks gave me the "this site is unavailable" message.

    Samsung internet browser on my android phone.

    Windows 10 PC using Chrome.

    So you didn't get the nginx message? The site was unavailable while the fixes were being made and I suspect the nginx message was a temporary landing spot while the server was up but the site wasn't. If that's what you were getting and it works now then I don't see an issue now. Thanks.

    • Like 1

  16. Why make these programs different? I have never understood that as it just seems confining.

    Why not have more opportunities within scouts for adventure or just organizing fun with your friends as soon as you turn 14? Eagle track, adventure track, service, environment, a mix, let the scout(s) decide. Make it an expectation. When you get old enough you have a responsibility. Make that the vision and maybe scouts would start practicing more leadership.

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