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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. Shortridge wrote: "You can shove a book in your backpack and consult it by the light of the campfire at your whim. You can't do that with a computer screen"


    I'm guessing you haven't seen how small some of the latest laptops are or a Blackberry or an I-Phone (shudder). Provided, you need a magnifying glass to see the screen, but computers are becoming quite portable. I read somewhere recently that they plan to offer an LCD projector option on some cell phones within a few years.


    I'm sure the microwave oven option will follow shortly. (chuckle)

  2. I need to do one better on nldscout. (chuckle)


    I'll send you the SASE and promise they will be displayed on one of the blankets my collection is sewn to and taken to events throughout Maine. :)


    More seriously, others have answered your question: It all depends on several factors, much like the value of a used car.

  3. 1. Elimination of certain people at the council office ('nuf said without going into local scout politics).

    2. Straight answers about our local scout camp property, positive or negative, rather than the same old run-around/dodge the questions we get. If I want to get a dodge-the-question answer, I'll ask a politician.


    That's just the initial starting point before I'd consider starting to give again. I haven't given in 8 years.

  4. Yes, it is a sad day when they plan to start offering a video games loop. However, this does not necessarily mean the scout will be sitting still to earn it. Have you seen some of the games now out there? On the Wii there are full body movement games like Dance Dance Revolution and a fitness/workout one that in addition to putting you through a work-out weighs you and gauges your fitness every day along with other family members that puts on a bit of family competition on who can be the most fit. These are just two examples.


    Here is an example of the Dance Dance Revolution Game:




    Not exactly sitting on your duff. I don't know about you, but I highly doubt I could keep up with that kid.


    I suppose it will depend on the requirements of the loop.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  5. Thank you for the pointer to the national site that corrects the handbook. I'll point that out to the Key Three to help'em out in this 'fun' situation.


  6. Unfortunately, (at least around here), you need to meet all the requirements prior to having your BoR for that rank. BoR's can be conducted at any time for other reasons, but for a rank, all requirements must be completed prior to the BoR.


    Has your son asked the BoR members if they would be willing to schedule a a BoR for him a week later than normal so he can reach the time requirement?


    Most units up this way are willing to reschedule for reasons like this. The request should come from your son, not you on behalf of your son. If he wants it, he needs to show the initiative to get it.

  7. Hal_Crawford wrote: "Meet age requirements. Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old"


    I don't know what edition of the handbook you quoted this out of. Here is what is in mine (11th Ed, Third Printing, Page 4):


    "Meet age requirements.

    Be a boy who has completed the fifth grade or is 11 years old, or has earned the Arrow of Light Award but is under 18 years old."


    No where in there is a minimum age if one has earned AOL.


    Now, here's the problem we're facing in our district. There's a nine year old who is about to receive the AOL in his pack. Whether or not his pack had done things properly, they're about to have a nine year old with AOL.


    The way the BS Handbook is worded, this means that at nine years old, he could join a troop and his parents could point to page 4 and argue that their boy can't be denied being able to join at 9 'cause he has the AOL.


    Most around here are not happy with this and are awaiting a ruling from Council on this one.


  8. I went from a five-year scoutmaster to Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner. I didn't have much of a problem in the transition. The old RT commish hung around for several months to help ease me in. I've found it's a much easier job than Scoutmaster of a youth-led unit. Less stress, no clueless parents who don't understand why meetings look like chaos, and also refuse to learn why and wanting to take over/run the meetings themselves instead of allowing the SPL to do his job, etc.


    When youth and/or other leaders ask me what's it like being RT Commish, I answer, it's similar to SPL, but you're dealing with a troop of adults rather than youth. You're in charge of planning out the monthly RT meetings. In my case, I hold a yearly planning meeting similar to how attendees should hold for their youth to plan-out the upcoming year's RT topics. Yes, it doesn't follow national's plan, but it works for us in this rural district. I have people driving 2 hours one way from our little border town on the Quebec Border faithfully every month to the meeting. Overall attendance: roughly 30 to 35 people representing 3/4's of our district's troops. I can't complain. Yes, it could be better, but it could be a lot worse...like our current cub scout roundtable side. The program is there, it's convincing the cub leaders to come.


    Are all the training segments a success? No. Sometimes, the expert you recruit knows his/her stuff, but hasn't a clue about adult learning styles and you wind-up with a napper of a lecture. But usually, those recruited do a great job. This past month, we had a hands-on training on GPS use from a non-profit that does just that-teach kids about GPS and they agreed to do it for our adults--some of whom have now made appointments with that NP to do it with their unit. They even provide the GPS units. We started this past year with a cooking demonstration night. Several unit leaders who love to cook, stepped forward and did different styles of camp cooking there in the meeting facility's parking lot. What a great way to start the fall.


    I think if I hadn't served as an SM in a youth-run unit for several years prior to taking over as RT Commish, it wouldn't have worked out for me as RT Commish.


    The district tried to recruit me several times prior to when I stepped up for roundtable for other positions. I felt either they weren't a good fit or I wasn't ready for that on top of unit leadership. Within a year of stepping up to district, I stepped out of the unit completely. Stress-wise, probably the best move I've made as a volunteer.


    Basically, if you're stepping up from unit to district, try to move into a position you're good at.


    Are you good at HTML? Maybe your district could use a webmaster.

    Are you an expert at knots (or lashings or compass or...) offer to help at a Roundtable on that subject.

    Are you good at fundraising? Then your DE is going to love you. :)

    Understand advancement well? Join the district advancement committee.


    I could go on and on.

  9. GernBlasten wrote: "Does the congressional charter for BSA grant us exclusive international rights to the term Boy Scouts? Could we go to war with Texas if they adopt the Boy Scouts of Texas?"


    No. Prior to becoming Co-ed, Scouts Canada was known as Boy Scouts of Canada. The USA hasn't invaded Canada since the War of 1812, back when they were still part of the British Empire.


    I spent 30 months in "exile" in Texas back in the early '90's. I heard this all the time from Texans: "We can secede anytime we want, it's in our state constitution...yaddayaddayadda"


    I always responded, "Go for it. We won't miss you." Since this is the political thread, it makes me wish they had done so 9 years ago.


    I've been to the National HQ. It's just another office building and it wouldn't be difficult to find another one for the new HQ elsewhere. It might be a pain to transfer some of the paper records, but most records are electronic/virtual these days.


    As to what they'd call themselves, come on, we're talking Texas here. Land of the stereo-type folks who DO wear western wear with the high healed boots and dinner plate belt buckles (I saw more of that then I thought possible while living there).

    They wouldn't call themselves the Boy Scouts of Texas. More like the Lone Star Scouts or perhaps Ranger Scouts.


    If the boy misbehaves, he gets a whippin', period. (Saw that once too while down there, offered to be a witness to the mother, mother said tell the scout leader to use his belt next time her son misbehaved like that (he tried to pick a fight with the leader) and not his hand.).


    I could see some new/rewritten merit badges for Texas Scouting too:


    Leatherwork would require you to make a saddle and a pair of boots

    Rattlesnake Raising

    Cattle Raising & Branding

    Tumbleweed Burning (makes dried Christmas Trees look fireproof in comparison)

    Storm Chasing

    Truck Mechanics

    Football would be it's own badge totally separate from Sports as it's the state religion.


    And the Uniform would get a makeover:


    Native, Dryland Texas Cotton Shirt

    Faded Blue Jeans with chaps

    Dinner-plate belt buckle, which you change out based on your rank, with the highest rank being Houston Scout.

    10 gallon hat (5 gallon for the Cubs)

    Authentic Leather Cowboy Boots with spurs (spurs are earned after you demonstrate proper horsemanship)

    Checkered, extra large bandana-color indicates your position in the troop.


    :)(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  10. Depends on the trip and who invited me.


    As I'm a district level volunteer, if a unit invites me on a trip, I usually only need to bring a plate, utensils and a cup. I use a plastic plate, lexan utensils and a Moxie travel mug. The mug doubles as my bowl.


    Drinking water is in a nalgeen bottle with belt clip.


    If I need to cook my own meals at a district function, I've got a 20 year old Coleman Feather 442 white gas "backpacking" stove that puts out 10,000 BTU's (can you say portable blowtorch?) that will bring a quart of water from room temp to boiling in about a minute. But maybe it cooks a little too hot on high setting. Last year, I had to replace the "firebox" (everything below the pot support and above the fuel tank) and generator (the portion of the fuel pipe that passes over the burner to preheat the fuel) when the stove had malfunctioned when a leak occurred in the generator, which resulted in melting the original firebox. It was a very impressive thing to observe. The top of the firebox turned cherry red and kind of drizzled/drooped down. It now works great with the new parts installed the new firebox is a heavier gauge than the original. Makes me wonder if there was a recall on the thing I had not heard about. :)


    I've got an old beat-up 3 qt aluminum pot minus the handle for boiling said water. The stove and a pot grip handle thingy fit nicely within the pot. I tend to aim for meals that require minimum clean-up so I don't have to pack-in/out so much. I'll usually bum off a troop to use their three-pot dish wash system. A scout is resourceful, right?


    If I'm car camping, the gear expands and includes my dutch oven, a two burner stove, three-pot dish washing system, etc.


    If I'm backpacking, it's the coleman stove mentioned earlier, the pot it sits in, a margarine bowl and a lexan spoon. If that's not enough to prep/eat my meal, then I'm carrying too much weight. :)

  11. I try to keep clear of the derby races as much as possible. I was asked last minute to be an impartial judge for best of show at a local pack derby this past weekend. I didn't choose the car that should have won best of show due to illegal wheels. I pulled the CM aside and explained the situation and that whether or not his pack follows that rule, I couldn't choose it 'cause the cub would have been barred from the district event. CM said he'd explain the situation to Cub and Dad.


    Suffice it I didn't stick around for that conversation. Said pack should have known better as one of their active leaders is the district activities chair who distributes the district derby rules to all packs.

  12. SctDad,


    The "former" Maine High Adventure Area still exist, but is now operated by Katahdin Area Council. It's not the desert southwest, but a lot of the same style of rugged wilderness hiking in the Maine Wilderness.


    Anyway, I did go out to Philmont Training Center (PTC) for a session five years back. The week I was there, I was recognized for having traveled the furthest that particular week. I've covered elsewhere in the past on this forum my experience at PTC and won't repeat it here.


    However, it would be a long time before I'd return due to the cost. That trip cost me a month's pay. I can't spare that kind of cash these days. It wasn't the cost of the training that hurt the wallet. It was the cost of travel in order to get there and overnights prior to/after the training in order to work with the airline schedule. And I didn't stay in fancy places. I stayed at the $30/night motels. Yes, they still had those just five years ago if you searched hard enough.

  13. Gags wrote: "although who on the East Coast is going to travel 3 hours for training?"


    I'm going to guess you've never been up to my neck of the woods in the Maine Wilderness. We don't call it that for nothing. My district is 3 hours long north-to-south. Many of us travel that far and further to attend training events.


    We have people come from as far away as 6.5 hours to the south from CT Rivers Council to attend some of our training events up here.


    My job sends me to far northern Maine once a month. It's 4.5 hours each way from Disgusta to Presque Isle in good weather.


    Three hours travel is *nothing*.


    Oh, and if they started offering Philmont-like trainings at this new center at Goshen, I would make the trek down. It's only 13 hours in good traffic/weather one-way from here. :)(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  14. JoeBob asked: "How is that pronunsciated?"


    Heeya in Maine, that lettah is pronounced Ah. As in: "We drove the cah down to Bah Hahbah and enjoyed a lobstah dinnah."

  15. More serious response to Buffalo Skipper's last post.


    This is a good start. I recall a Wilderness Survive exercise similar to this as a scout. In our case the "background story" was:


    Your plane crashes deep in the Maine Wilderness, pilot is killed. Only your patrol members and a dog survive. Radio is destroyed. Due to fuel shortages, there won't be any search and rescue parties looking for you. You'll need to travel 50 miles through the wilderness back to civilization. You are able to salvage the following items from the crash (insert your list of picnic table items along with other items that would be useful or useless such as 20lbs of dog food, a handgun, but no ammo, etc.). You can't carry everything out. What do you take to use on your hike back? It was a very interesting and educational test/discussion where the patrol members discussed the useful or uselessness of each item.


    Anyway, in your case, where you have the choices from the picnic table for these scouts, if this is a "plane crash", maybe suggest they have only two minutes to rescue 4 items each because after two minutes the wreckage is engulfed in flames.


    Don't tell'em about the #10 can at all. Do as you mention--they "find it" near the wreckage site.



  16. Bah! You're all being too easy on 'em. :)


    My brother's troop holds a "Survival" weekend every summer up here in the Maine Wilderness.


    What are you allowed to bring? A pocket knife, flint and steel and if they choose, fishing line/hooks. They are also allowed/required to bring water as there is no portable water source on the 20 acre woodlot used for the event, but there is a nearby lake for fishing.


    Scouts have to make their own shelters and sleep in'em along with living off the land for the weekend using their edible plant knowledge learned on previous camping trips from older youth/leaders.


    It has become a very big hit among the scouts and has become a recruitment point for the unit.


    Might sound easy in a Maine Summer, but up here that means temps anywhere from 50F to 95F. Could be dry, could be pouring rain and raw. Also, the misery known as black flies--more annoying than mosquitoes and more painful. No bug dope allowed. Wouldn't matter anyway. Most of the commercial products, even the ones containing DEET seem to have no effect on Maine Black Flies. Maybe it's viewed as hot mustard by'em. :)


    That Survivor "reality" TV show will never impress me until they try and host the event up here in the Maine Wilderness during black fly season. We got plenty more folks like that high school teacher from Gorham, Maine that won the last season up here who would gladly give the others a run for their money. :)

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