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Mike Long

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About Mike Long

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  1. This issue has long ago been settled and this issue is no longer about hazing and hasn't been for a very long time. The issue is now obedience. That's right, ol' number seven, obedience. The BSA has a rule, not a guideline, not a suggestion, a rule. And the rule is that the whole singing thing and other such acts are not allowed. Period, end of discussion, next page. Now, as adult leaders of the BSA who are duty bound to subscribe and adhere to the rules of the BSA and have agreed to run the BSA program for the boys. Are we going to do as we all ask of our Scouts and be obedient and obey the rules or not?(This message has been edited by Mike Long)
  2. why tell people in Idaho about a troop 700 miles away? Service to others. I get emails constantly from troops 700 miles away who want information about some of the places we camp because they would like to go there too. I do the same. It's very nice to get first hand information from someone who holds the same perspective and
  3. Be aware that most NPS, FS, State and Local Parks consider geocaching to be either littering or establishing an illegal dump and will fine those caught participating. Be sure you know the rules of the location before participating and STRESS this point to those you teach it to.(This message has been edited by Mike Long)
  4. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad decisions.
  5. In March we completed a 6 night 7 day 62 mile backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We performed trail and campsite maintenance and filled out campsite reports and surveys along the way. In July we will go to Northern Tier. So far we have 20 of us going. I'm looking at a week long AT hike in the snow between Christmas and New Years to complete the year.
  6. Thanks again. They knew the safety rules of hunting. Horrible things DO happen to good people who normally follow the rules. This happened in a moment of laxity. They lost focus once and then this... Eisely, Laurel is doing great. She's 17 months old. Blonde Shirly Temple curls and big blue eyes. Shes very tall and has a huge vocabulary. She is even using short but complete sentances. Just a cute little bundle of happy energy. I'm going to be in BIG trouble in a few years when she discovers boys.
  7. Thank you again from all of us and especially the family. Alex's grandfather is starting a baseball scholarship in his name at the University of Nebraska. (Big time Cornhusker family) We really wanted to do something permanent for Alex but we have yet to discuss it thouroughly with the family. One of the newspaper articles had also mentioned that donations could be sent to the troop and several people approached myself and our ASMs at the service and indicated that there were checks in the mail to the troop. If any would like to help just send what you feel led to send to the address on our site www.troop623.com and mark it for the Boy Scouts. Right now we are looking at a Summer Camp scholarship in his name. We have a large Eagle plaque in the form of an Eagle Medal with the name plates in the colors of the ribbon where we inscribe the names of all our Eagles. Alex will be inscribed there as an honorary Troop 623 Eagle Scout. His older brother pinned Alex with his Eagle patch before he was cremated. It's going to be a long road ahead. Last night I was going over our Northern Tier '05 planning paperwork and saw Alex's name as the last guy to sign up for the trip. That was rough.
  8. Yes, it was one of my boys. Thank you for your thoughts and emails. I haven't been active here due to time constraints but I do think about y'all. I guess I'll tell the story. Last weekend we were backpacking Cumberland Island National Seashore. Alex decided he would rather go hunting with his dad and older brother (one of our most senior Eagles) The afternoon of the second day a ranger walks into our camp and asks for myself and an ASM by name. He informs us that there was an urgent message and we needed to contact one of our Scout parents, ALex's mom. We called their house and a neighbor informed us that there was a very serious hunting accident and Alex had been shot. Come back as soon as you can. The adults gathered together and we prayed for Alex. It was too late to get off the island that night so one of my ASMs and his son woke up early the next morning and hiked out to the ferry. Lacking information we decided to not inform the other Scouts untill we knew what Alex's condition was and they had the support of the pastor and their parents with them. The rest of us caught the late ferry home. When we neared the dock we were scanning for Kelly the ASM. I spotted Kelly, he saw me and he shook his head and drew his finger across his throat. When we moored he informed us that the pastor, youth pastor and the parent were waiting for us at the church. When we arrived at the church we gathered the guys in the sanctuary and Alex's brother told the boys what happened. At the hunt camp they were having breakfast and Alex finished early and headed across the field to look for deer sign. Alex wasn't wearing orange which to me is VERY abnormal for Alex. That boy ALWAYS wore orange inn the fall and winter. That was how I used to find him, look for orange and you'd find Alex. Alex was crouching down in a depression. 230 yards across the field Alex's dad thought Alex was a hog. He handed the .308 to his older brother and invites him to shoot his first hog. Older brother looks and says I can't see it that well. I can't positively ID it so I'm going to pass. If you can ID it then go for it. Dad says he's sure it's a hog by the shape and movement. Dad takes the shot and hits Alex through the head. Someone else at the camp yells that Alex was over here and they run to find him. Older brother finds the body first. Then dad. The local news has behaved in a subhuman manner in this. They have broken into the camp to take footage, they have trolled the neighborhood for kids to interview, they have jumped the families fence to shoot footage through the window and they have tried everything to get me to give out the personal information of my boys so they could shove a camera in their face. They even tried to show up at our troop meeting this week. The service was Wednesday. The church was completely packed and there were people lined up outside. Our boys presented the colors and the family asked me to speak. We had guys show in uniform who I haven't seen in very long time. Some of the boys are still in shock and we are trying to do what we can to help them. We are looking at creating a summer camp scholarship in Alex's name. Condemnation of the father doesn't help Alex and it certainly won't punish him any worse than what he is doing to himself. I know God and Alex will forgive him. Wether or not you can is irrelevent. Orange is required during hunting season but Orange is not required on private hunt camps in Florida. I would like to see that change. Alex would have been 14 on the 30th. He and I had completed his Star Scoutmaster conference last thursday and was to do his board of review this week. He was awarded his Star Scout Posthumously. Article http://www.news4jax.com/news/2779597/detail.html
  9. Are you a business or a Boy Scout Troop? If you are a Boy SCout Troop I'd suggest you review the fund raising rules of the BSA before you form a business out of your troop.
  10. I have no clue what other troops around us do. I have limited contact with them as roundtable is on our weekly meeting night. I do make it a point to talk it up when we do get together. I'm not even sure exactly how many troops are in my district (I'm guessing 25) but I do know that two of us hold regular HA trips every year. I also know of about three or four others who do HA trips on a roughly bi-yearly basis. Personally I define HA as extended length trips or trips where the difficulty/maturity level exceeds the ability level of your average 2nd class and under scout. HA is something not just everyone can do without training and a degree of experience. As subjective and wiggly as that definition is, I doubt I could clarify more. Basicly I know what I call HA when I see it.
  11. It has the potential to be both horrible or fantastic advertising for the BSA. It all depends on how she carries herself. (This message has been edited by Mike Long)
  12. Interesting tidbit about the "Great Scoutmaster" prayer. Our Scouts didn't recognise it as a prayer. I asked them who they thought the "Great Scoutmaster" was. You of course, Mr. Long. They told me. I was flattered, embarassed and more than a little disconcerted. I see I have some more work to do.
  13. The shelter holds 12 and has been recently rebuilt. It used to be the worst, most abused shelter in the park but hopefully that has changed. Personally, I'd choose the shelter over the Lodge but that's just me. The kids would certainly like it (especially at the tail end of a backpacking trip) and THAT is what is important. I disagree, any scout can hike those trails. Just allow your fellas plenty of time and rest break as often as needed. Stronger guys help the not so strong. This was a March high adventure trip in the area. http://www.troop623.com/Smokies01_1.htm
  14. This is a simple fix and it works without much fuss. Use seam sealer (like you use on your tent seams) mix it 50/50 with mineral spirits (or the appropriate thinner for whatever variety of sealer you use) and using a thin brush (like a craft brush) paint thin lines of the mixture in a non-skid pattern on your thermarest pad or better yet, your tent floor. I personally just do parallel wavy lines.
  15. Hi LV, Thanks for posting your gear list awhile back. It was very helpful.
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