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About Melgamatic

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    New Jersey
  1. It took me about an hour to highlight the Merit Badge sections (section 7) in both the 2015 and 2017 guides to show what was deleted, added and changed. I'm very happy to report that there were a few wording improvements, a few additional sentences and a few removed sentences, but almost no change, and no material change. The MB process is exactly the same, as is the process for selecting and approving counselors, etc. You are right that reviewing the entire book would be a big task! One of our advancement committee members had hear rumors that there were big changes in the MB process, but happily these rumors appear to be unfounded!
  2. Yup, thats it. I got it from another source at the same time, so I am all set. Thanks very much for the help!
  3. Thank you. I've read those, but I'm looking to do a deep analysis and see the "minor changes" as well as the major ones. I've got an email out to our whole advancement committee, in the hopes that one of them downloaded a 2015 version.
  4. No, when you click on the link it goes to the standard location, which is the new guide now...
  5. The 2017 Guide to Advancement is out, and I've been asked in my capacity as District Merit Badge Dean to prepare an analysis of what changes were made to the Merit Badge process. I've read the new GTA, and I think there are changes. However, I can't find a 2015 GTA to compare. I've always just looked online and not saved a copy, and now every 2015 GTA has disappeared, and scouting.org doesn't appear to have old versions of things archived (which makes sense, because you wouldn't want people searching and finding information in outdated guides). Can anyone lead me to a 2015 GTA? Thanks, Dave
  6. We sell popcorn through the council popcorn system. Our troop has about 50 scouts who do some selling, but most of the sales come through ~10 single-day "show and sell" 6-hour events at convenience stores, etc. About 30 scouts participate in that. Our troop's net profit is around $8000 a year. In addition to paying for troop equipment and events, we charge our scouts less for annual membership that we pay the council (i.e., the troop subsidizes registration fees). We also sell poinsettia's and wreaths, but our profit is much lower. Our scouts pay for their patrols' food at campouts, but the troop pays for camp reservation fees, reimburses drivers if necessary, etc.
  7. The BSA Foundation's statement of the tax status of units indicates that it comes strictly from the chartered org. If your unit is chartered by a for-profit organization (e.g., a bicycle store), your unit is a for-profit organization!
  8. In the past few months we have started a number of Venturing units chartered by businesses. The latest is a culinary arts-focused Venturing unit that is chartered by a local gourmet food and cooking instruction business. I think the most common for-profit chartered units are chartered by businesses like scuba stores and bike stores.
  9. United Way in our area stopped funding Boy Scouts in 2000 after the Dale decision. Before then we got massive amounts of funding from them. In the past 15 years we got almost nothing. So we faced this issue 16 years ago and managed to survive. With the recent changes in membership guidelines, United Way has slowly started to give us funds again.
  10. I have a situation in my unit (for which I am the CC) which makes me uncomfortable. It's not so much the facts, but rather that I think it conflicts with YP training. We have a youth member (17, male and mature) who is "friends" with an unrelated adult leader (35-ish, male, married, no kids). The leader is a key member of our unit, and serves as an adult leader on our weekend overnight events which happen almost every weekend. Without his service the unit would fail. There is always at least one other leader on our weekend activities (often me), and the unit follows various YP and safe scouting guidelines, but this leader is always there whenever needed. However, the youth and the adult end up alone together a lot. The adult leader has hired the youth to help clean out a barn at his farm. They have driven alone together to various events, and the adult has visited the youth at the youth's place of employment to say hello. The youth's family seems to be OK with this. The father is also a sometimes active member of the unit, so he knows the adult leader well, and the adult leader has been sometimes invited to eat with the family, etc. I have no suspicion that anything untoward is happening. But, I keep thinking to myself that this is against Youth Protection Training, which I think tells us that a leader CAN NEVER be alone with a youth. I've mentioned this to the adult leader, and he says "What if it is non scouting related? I spend a lot of time with the family and the youth helps me work around my house." Am I too strict and should not be worrying about this? Or should I be worrying about this? -Melgamatic
  11. A Kindle battery will last several weeks. The e-ink only uses battery when changing the contents of the page (not during normal display), so they last a long time. Both my son and I will be bringing our Kindles on trek at Philmont next year. They are lighter than the paperback book he had, and I didn't bring a book because I didn't want the weight and volume. It was a mistake. Reading for 10 minutes before falling asleep or when the scouts were doing program would have been relaxing. I'm anti-phone on trek (mine was turned off in my pack for the 10 days on trail), but pro-Kindle.
  12. The web page for cubscoutpack308.com isn't coming up...
  13. I have used: http://www.arrowoflightaward.com/ for the past 3 years, and just ordered again for February. They are very nice people, produce an amazingly beautiful award, and then are very fast. I had a mispelled name one year, and they got me a replacement plate for free and quick, even though I probably spelled the name wrong. Nothing against the people you mention, I just have personal experience with these. When we started giving them out 3 years ago, the ceremony changed, people started really looking forward to getting them, etc. They are a highpoint. -Dave
  14. I have at least two, often three. They handle various projects, assist at pack meetings, lead events if I'm not going to be there, etc. I'm not sure what the purpose of limiting it to just one would be, unless you don't want additional uniformed leaders helping out? Often one will lead a specific campout, another might help with a service project, another might help out with a pack program, etc.
  15. At a recent camporee, I spent a while helping to park cars in a too small lot with a police officer from our town, who also happens to be on the K-9 drug sniffing dog team. He told me that the K-9 drug dog teams loved doing programs for scouts (boy scouts, cub scouts, whatever) because it was important for the dogs to work well even when surrounded by tons of confusing boys, weird smells, etc. My concerns about the boys freaking out the dogs was exactly the reason they relished such opportunities for the dogs. So, their presentations are as much a benefit to them as us. I wonder if there is a K9 drug dog team in your town that would actually be anxious to help give an anti-drug presentation. I know boy scouts aren't big on this kind of "dog show" as cub scouts, but it might be an easy way to knock off 9a for a lot of boys and also be a very interesting night for the others.
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