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Michael DeMar

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Everything posted by Michael DeMar

  1. Michael DeMar

    cubmaster's disappearing packet

    Lisabob, I have heard of this and, in fact, just a few weeks ago my Unit Commissioner gave me the portion of the disappearing packet appropriate for my rank (Cubmaster). My portion of the packet seems to be comprised of fairly up-to-date materials. I don't have a lot of experience with the packet yet (since I just got it), but having read the materials I am looking forward to using it to make sure that our Webelos do cross over into Boy Scouts and not "disappear" from Scouting themselves. Michael
  2. Michael DeMar


    oldsm wrote: "Does anyone recall a plain dark green necktie as part of the scouter's uniform?" AND "So the green tie did exist. The question no one has answered: Can it still be worn? (Without running afoul of the UP?)" I'm afraid that there is no black or white answer to this question, only shades of grey . . . well, green, actually . . . and khaki. As SWScouter points out, the current Male Leader Uniform Inspection Sheet permits male Scout leaders to wear an "olive leader's tie." So, I guess if by dark green you mean olive drab, then that is OK. Fortunately for me, I found a treasure trove of old BSA-licensed OD neckties at a local Scouting retailer for under $5.00. My wife says that they look "too militaristic," so I haven't worn them yet, but some day I will. I have seen vintage Scout Leader ties on eBay that are more like a dark forest or kelly green. I don't know if you can wear one of those without running afoul of the uniform police (I've never seen OldGreyEagle's advice that any uniform part that was once an official part of the uniform may be worn with the current uniform written down anywhere, so I don't know whether the UP would recognize this as a valid "common law" exception to the 2006 Insignia Code and refrain from issuing you a citation or let you off with just a warning, or what . . . proceed at your own risk). The BSA website's page for Male Cub Scout Leader Uniforms states that male Cub Scout Leaders may wear "an olive or tan dress tie." I'm not sure whether your run-of-the-mill UP officer would even be familiar with this "tan dress tie" loophole, so I advise printing out a copy of this page and keeping it on your person at all times. A while back, I purchased a vintage BSA-licensed tan leader's tie on eBay for around $20.00. I haven't seen them on eBay all that often since that time. I've worn it to a couple of COHs. I got a few puzzled looks, but no comments. Of course, neckties are not official uniform wear for female leaders under any circumstances, so ladies wearing even vintage BSA-licensed olive or tan neckties would run afoul of the UP and would be cited accordingly. Whether this is gender discrimination or it encourages "profiling" on the part of the UP is a topic for another thread!
  3. Michael DeMar

    Heating Your Tent

    I read somewhere about bringing an empty coffee can on campouts and putting a couple of rocks the size of a fist that have been heated in a campfire in the can as a safe way to heat a tent. Does anyone have any experience with this? Safe or not safe? Effective or ineffective?
  4. Michael DeMar

    US supreme court declines to hear Berkeley Sea Scouts case

    scoutldr, I totally agree with your conclusion that you shouldn't be allowed to have it both ways. Very good point. You are correct, of course, that LFL and Exploring are alternative options for children who do not meet the discriminatory membership requirements of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, but the fact remains that access to the "signature" Boy Scouts of America programs (Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts) is completely denied to those who do not meet the BSA's discriminatory membership requirements and there is no way around that. That is not the case with the City of Berkeley's Ordinance, which still allows access to groups that discriminate, they just have to pay for the privilege. I think that is a big difference in "treatment" and that is what I was responding to in Hunt's post.(This message has been edited by Michael DeMar)
  5. Michael DeMar

    US supreme court declines to hear Berkeley Sea Scouts case

    Hunt wrote: "This may be a matter of semantics, but if Berkeley is treating all non-profits equally, then BSA's membership process treats all boys equally. . . In Berkeley, some non-profits meet the requirements, and some don't. Some boys meet the membership requirements for BSA, and some don't. All treated equally, right?" Wrong (in my opinion). In the case of the boy who does not meet the Boy Scouts of America's membership criteria, they are completely denied access from being a member of the Boy Scouts of America. They can't gain access simply by paying a little extra to get around the discriminatory membership requirements of the BSA. In the case of the Berkeley non-profit organization that does not meet the non-discriminatory criteria required under the City Ordinance, they are not denied access to the marina berths, they just have to pay extra for the privilege. That's a big difference in my opinion, being completely denied access vs. just having to pay a little extra.
  6. Michael DeMar

    Program Helps

    Our Pack uses Program Helps as a guide for Den and Pack Meetings, although we often substitute more challenging (and consequently more fun) activities than those suggested in Program Helps in order to keep the boys interested. While we might introduce or start work on an achievement in a Den or Pack Meeting, we would never make it the main focus of the meeting. When we include work on acheivements in a Den or Pack Meeting, we try to make sure that they fit with the monthly theme and also lend themselves well to being worked on this type of setting (e.g., a simple craft project).
  7. Michael DeMar

    The Top 10 for a Qaulity Unit

    Good topic. For what it's worth, here's my list of what I'd like to see as requirements for Quality Unit for a Cub Scout Pack: 1. Dedicated, enthusiastic, and inspiring leaders; 2. Family support/involvement; 3. Pack membership reflects diversity of community; 4. Year-round, planned program; 5. Fun and challenging yet age-appropriate/safe activities; 6. Activities develop good character and good citizenship; 7. Regular (yet meaningful) recognition and advancement; 8. Outdoor Activities; 9. Service Projects; and 10. Strong relationship with one or more area Troops.
  8. Michael DeMar


    Anarchist wrote: "BSA probably doesn't give a darn about paintball except it is an activity that 'projects' violence at living things thus no paintball, fencing, boxing (and other martial arts) targets are fine (shotgunning etc) live targets are not..." Apparently the BSA doesn't have a problem with projecting violence against live targets if you are in Venturing. The Guide to Safe Scouting states "this policy [designating hunting as an unauthorized activity] does not restrict Venturing crews from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses from either state or federal agencies."
  9. Michael DeMar


    On behalf of lawyers everywhere, I offer this one: To create publicity for their soon-to-be-announced merger, the CEOs of two Fortune 500 Companies, George and Lenny, decided to cross North America in a hot air balloon. Of course, neither man was a particularly experienced balloonist, and, predictably, within a few hours after taking off, they realized that they were hopelessly lost. George declared, "Lenny -- we are going to have to lose some altitude so that we can figure out where we are." Lenny let some hot air out of the balloon, which slowly descended below the clouds, but the men still couldn't figure out where they were. Far below, they could see a man on the ground. Lenny lowered the balloon further, so George could ask the man their location. When they were low enough, George called down to the man, "Hey mister, can you tell us where we are?" The man on the ground yelled back, "Sure. You're in a hot air balloon, about 100 feet up off the ground." George, exasperated, called back down to the man, "You must be a lawyer." The man, astonished, shouted back, "How did you know that?" Without missing a beat, Lenny replied "Because the information that you gave us, while 100% accurate, is totally useless to us in our current situation." The lawyer on the ground thought about this a while, and then called up to the men in the balloon, "Well then, you two must be corporate executives." Lenny, dumbfounded, yelled back, "How could you have possibly known that?" "Well," the lawyer replied, "you have no idea where you are or in which direction you are headed. You got into this mess on account of your failure to plan before deciding to act, and now you expect me to provide an instant remedy. Having sought and received my counsel, you are in no worse a position than you were in before we me met, yet somehow now everything is my fault."
  10. Hello, fellow Scouters. I am a first year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL. I have 11 boys in my den. I know that that's at least 2 too many, but it's working out very well. I'm having a lot of fun being a Den Leader (almost as much fun as I had when I was a Cub Scout nearly 30 years ago), although man is it a lot of work. One of the things that I am trying to do is make the Den program memorable and meaningful in addition to being fun. I'm always on the lookout for an activity, ceremony, or outing that really makes an impact. I've just started closing every den meeting with a Den Leader's Minute and that is going over very well. I'd love to hear from fellow Scouters about activities, ceremonies, or outings that they have done that really meant a lot to the boys in their Unit. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you.
  11. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    GS-CS Leader, Thank you so much for your posts. I agree with you that vending machine candy and caffeinated soda at 9:30 p.m. during an Overnighter is a bad idea. We will bring lots of alternative (i.e., healthier) snacks for our group. We still have plenty of Trail's End popcorn. I didn't know that Home Depot had Cub Scout workshops. We will definitely take advantage of that in the future. Thanks again, Michael
  12. Michael DeMar

    Any leaders out there wearing an olive or tan tie?

    Welcome to the forum, Daddio!
  13. Just wondering if any leaders out there have chosen the "neckwear option" of wearing an olive or tan necktie instead of the leader's neckerchief or a bolo tie. I like the classic look of a solid olive necktie and have found some websites where they can be purchased at a rather reasonable price. Do any leaders out there wear the olive or tan tie?
  14. Michael DeMar

    Any leaders out there wearing an olive or tan tie?

    Captainron14 wrote "When was there a tan tie? With what uniform?" Captainron14, According to the National Council's website, the tan tie is a neckwear option for the current Male Cub Scout Leader's Uniform. It states: Neckwear is also optional for leaders, but there are a handful of options: Necktie - An olive or tan dress tie may be worn. Necktie - A Cub Scout leader bolo tie is also available. Leader Neckerchiefs - A Cub Scout leader neckerchief with navy blue with gold edging and gold Cub Scout emblem may be worn by all Cub Scout leaders. Specialized neckerchiefs are also available for Tiger Cub den leaders and Webelos den leaders. I guess you would have to find an olive or tan necktie on your own, because the National Supply Group does not offer an official BSA olive or tan necktie. I just bought a vintage BSA Leader's necktie (still in the original box)on eBay. Michael
  15. My Tiger Cub Scout's stocking had in it 5 council strip patches from the Virgin Islands Council (his grandparents' home council), 2 from Nashua Valley (MA) Council (my home Council back when I was a Cub Scout), and 2 more from Gulf Stream (FL) Council (his great Aunt's council in Florida). I also gave him a 2005 Mt. Diablo Silverado Council World Friendship Fund patch. Let the patch trading begin! He used the the BSA Hot Spark flint that I had given him for his birthday to light our ceremonial Yule log on Christmas morning. Got it started on the very first try!
  16. Michael DeMar

    Any leaders out there wearing an olive or tan tie?

    "Running about with only a neckerchief could land you in jail, not to mention have you removed as a Scouter." True enough, but what a lasting impression you would make on your way out.
  17. Michael DeMar

    Any leaders out there wearing an olive or tan tie?

    Hence your User Name, right ScoutWithNecker?
  18. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    bchan, Thanks for the head's up about the Federal Reserve Bank. It's rare to find an institution or organization that has a program for 6 and 7 year-olds. If I recall correctly, visiting a bank is one of the 50 electives in the back of the Tiger Cub Handbook. I am going to look into this. Thanks again for the suggestion. Michael
  19. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    Prairie Scouter, Thank you for the nice welcome and for sharing some of your Scouting highlights with me. I don't know if I am techincally a midwesterner, having grown up on the East Coast and subsequently lived on the Gulf Coast, but maybe I get a pass since I am raising two midwestern boys and am putting up with this extreme deep freeze that you all call "Winter" around here (I guess global warming is only a summertime issue in these parts). We are looking into next year's overnighter at the Adler Planetarium, so it was nice to hear that your group really enjoyed this. We probably will try the overnight program at the Northbaert Nature Museum this spring, which looks like it will be both fun and educational. Where do the NWSC kids go camping? We have some nice camps in our Council, but it might be nice to visit some outside the Council borders at some point down the road. Michael
  20. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    meredelaire, Thank you for sharing your experiences. We did a firestation visit in October, but we did not get a demonstration or anything. I can see how that would be really fun for the boys. Maybe I can get the fire department to incorporate a demonstration into next year's visit. Thanks for the advice on the Tour Permits, too.
  21. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    Cubmaster Randy, Thanks for sharing some of those memories with me. You might be interested to know that as much as things change over time, many things do remain the same. Later this month our Den will be singing Christmas songs for the residents of what used to be the Swedish Retirement Home on McDaniel St.(we were considering Presbyterian Homes) and we are gearing up for the pinewood derby (possibly with your old Pack, now re-numbered as Pack 922)in March of 2006. If you ever get nostalgic, you can check on the progress of our group at www.pack924.com. I will look into the Grosse Point lighthouse visit. We'll probably have to wait for winter's deep freeze to end before getting that close to the Lake again. Nice hearing from you. Keep in touch. Michael DeMar
  22. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    Cubmaster Randy, Thanks for your message. I'm sort of new to the area, having moved about a year and a half ago from New Orleans (just in time to avoid a lot of headaches and heartaches). I'm not familiar with College Hills School and I couldn't find it on google. Was that a school connected with Northwestern? I'd be interested in hearing about where you and your Unit went on outings "back in the day." Thanks again for writing. Michael
  23. Michael DeMar

    Very Short Scoutmaster Minutes.

    Here's another one that I like: "Nobody ever had a rainbow, baby, until he had the rain." Jim Croce
  24. Michael DeMar

    First Year Tiger Cub Den Leader in Evanston, IL

    MarkS, I think that each Council is allowed to formulate its own policy regarding when a Local Tour Permit Application must be filed for Tiger Cub Den trips and outings (p. 8-2 of the Cub Scout Leader Book states "Check with your council service center for local policy on tour permits for den trips and outings.") Accordingly, the policy in your Council might be different from the policy in my Council. I've received all kinds of conflicting advice on this issue. I plan to check with my Council Office to see what is required in my Council.
  25. Michael DeMar

    Very Short Scoutmaster Minutes.

    A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes. Mark Twain