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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. Some of the popular winter activities here in the Maine "Wilderness" include ice fishing and model rocketry. Why Model Rocketry? Less likely to set the launch field on fire. I know many a scout unit who will camp out at our local summer camp--cabin for the newbie scouts and outdoor shelters for the rest, provided there's enough snow as we've had a few screwy winters lately.


    During the day they ice fish and while waiting to catch something with the fishing traps, they launch model rockets out on the lake.


    I know several of our units also winter hike with snowshoes.


    The next council west of here offers technical ice wall climbing (older scout activity).


    And best of all...NO BUGS!

  2. IF you have been to the Jumpstart website:




    And have a current OA handbook (mine from '84 won't help you), you will be able to get into the site AND find the abmonition (not to mention hear it pronounced--almost creepy).


    The password into that website is: "the fifth word of the title on page 10 of your OA Handbook."

  3. As far as Eagle Scout is concerned, the folks at Eaglescout.org have compiled a historical list of the requirements through the years, which can be found at:




    As for my favorite rank requirement that no longer resists, 6th Edition of the Handbook (late 50's-early 60's) for Second Class Rank, 3B Observation:

    Do One of the following:

    Follow a trail made with trail signs for half a mile


    Follow the track of a person or animal in soft ground or snow for a quarter of a mile, reading the main meaning of the track

    OR (my favorite)

    STALKING: Follow another Scout, who knows that you are stalking him, for a distance of half a mile, without being seen by him.


    (chuckle) Can you imagine the bad PR we'd get these days if scouts were still required to learn how to stalk other scouts? What would stop them at not stalking others? :)

  4. DeanRx,


    I have in front of me, my handbook from the 80's, the Ninth Edition, the last one written by William "Green Bar Bill" Hillcourt (and it's autographed by him too).


    This is the last one where there is a time requirement for except Scout. There are no positions of responsibilities requirements in it for ranks below Star. Only Star, Life, and Eagle have a requirement of a position of responsibility, not necessarily leadership. From page 534 for Star Rank:


    Serve actively 4 months in one or more of the following positions (or carry out a Scoutmaster-assigned leadership project to help the troop): patrol leader, senior patrol leader, assistant senior patrol leader, den chief, scribe, librarian, historian, quartermaster, bugler, chaplain aide, member of the leadership corps, junior assistant scoutmaster.


    Life rank requirement is for 6 months referencing the Star list.


    The Eagle requirement drops bugler and "scoutmaster-assigned leadership project" from the above list.


    The Tenth Edition of the Boy Scout Handbook came out 1990 and dropped the time in rank requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class, allowing a scout to work on requirements for all three ranks at once (but he couldn't receive 2nd class before Tenderfoot, etc.). The goal of this at the time was to get a scout to First Class within a year of joining the troop. It was believed that if a scout made it to first class within a year, they were less likely to quit.


    The other changes between the 9th & 10th editions was the elimination of skill awards at the lower ranks and dropping the term "leadership corps" from the list of positions of responsibility for Star through Eagle ranks and the addition of "Troop Guide".


    The current 11th edition adds OA Troop Rep to those responsibility choices.



    If you look at the time requirements of the ninth edition, they were:


    Scout to Tenderfoot: Minimum of 2 months

    Tenderfoot to 2nd Class: Minimum of 2 months

    2nd Class to 1st Class: Minimum of 2 months



    So, there isn't really much of a change there: 6 months minimum to a goal of getting to the same rank in a year in the 10th and current 11th editions.



    However, the 12th Edition of the Scout Handbook, is tentatively scheduled to be released for BSA's 100th anniversary in early 2010. Who knows how the requirements will be changed again, except those working on it right now for National.


  5. I can't help you with the first song.


    However, as for the second, I have observed this at several Scouts Canada events, but up "this way" (New Brunswick) they have to sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot" to get their item back--youth or adult.


    Keep in mind it's Scouts Canada. The program is different from the BSA. It's coed, they don't have as many sue-happy lawyers, and the Scouts section only run up to age 14 (14 through 17 is Venturers and it's Rovers until I think 25), not to mention that youth in the sections are expected to provide leadership/assistance to the next section below them.


    I've also warned scout units on our side of the border time and again that if you're attending an event with Canadian Scout troops present, please make more of an effort at the campfire than singing "The Beaver Song". Why? 'Cause it's their Beaver Scout song--equivalent to Tigers and you'll look silly singing a "Tiger/Cub" song at a Scout Campfire.


    "I'm a Beaver, you're a Beaver, we're a Beaver all! And when we get together, we do the Beaver call..."

  6. Anyone in a patrol today would be too young to remember the G.I. Joe cartoons (they fought against Cobra, remember?)


    Yes, I remember that very fondly. Why? 'Cause I was a member of the Cobra Anti-GI Joe Patrol. Our patrol members absolutely HATED that cartoon (which was based on a comic book series if I recall correctly) because of it's forced educational message at the end of each episode which always ended with "...and knowing is half the battle."


    We went so far as to nickname members of the patrol after members of Cobra. Our PL was Cobra Commander, the APL was Destro...We even had a set of twins in the patrol who were good at finishing each other's sentences like the evil twins in Cobra.


    So, of course, our patrol yell was the COBRA!!!!!!!! yell from the show. Our patrol flag was the Cobra flag from the series--a red symbolic-style cobra head on a black background. The patrol existed in one form or another in my hometown troop for nearly 10 years. Eventually, the patrol was retired and the flag came home to me. It's sitting now in the corner of my dining room with our various ribbons and patches from events we attended over the years. Occasionally, it will go on display when I'm asked to show an example of a patrol flag to this troop's patrol or that to help give them ideas.


    As for your scouts, it's totally up to them what they do for a yell. As my example shows, if you let the scouts come up with it, they're more likely to put it to use/have fun with it.

  7. Well, a lot of folks seem to forget that the VP is only a heartbeat away from being the Prez. Either if the Prez drops dead (examples: FDR and William Henry Harrison) or is killed (JFK, McKinley, Lincoln...)


    So, it could be important as they could be prez at anytime after the next prez takes office.


    I recall the common joke back during elder Bush's presidency that he chose Quayle for his VP to ensure he'd survive his term in office 'cause no one would want Quayle to take over. :)

  8. As others have said, this is a council/local level award. You'll need to check locally for your local requirements.


    I've seen some where the requirements are you have to camp a total of -100F to earn it (So, first time you go camping outdoors, it drops to -15 the first night and -20 the second night. That puts you at -35 towards the -100). Other places, you simply have to winter camp.


    Our winter camping award is based on the latter and you're welcome to buy as many of the patch and give it out as many times as you want as long as you/the youth meet the requirement each time. The funds from said patch go into a campership fund for summer camp.


    Ours is called the Bomazeen Old-Timers Cold-Timers Award.


    Bomazeen being one of our scout camps and the BO-T's being a non-profit group of scouters who oversee said campership fund in addition to providing volunteer care-taking of the camp property.

  9. For the past five or so years, we've offered an overnight experience as an option for our district klondike derby. Those who stay overnight are scored separately from those who attend only during the day. We have an award ceremony for the day trippers and then we have a separate one for those who brave the night. We have held it on the grounds of school so that we have access to a heated space where some of the activities are held. Units that spend the night are still being judged right up through breakfast. The patrols are not informed of this until the following morning.


    Additional activities we've done include:

    Astronomy/star gazing

    A campfire program where each patrol must put on a skit/song (or lose points)

    They are observed during their evening meal: are they cooking/working together as a patrol? (score points)

    Boy Scout Hollywood Squares--use nine scouters as the 'stars'. Scouts work as a patrol. If they want a square, the scouter is asked a scouting related question which he/she answers and then the scouts have to determine if he/she is right or wrong--just like the old tv game show. This has been a hit.

    We wrap-up the evening indoors with a Klondike-themed movie before sending the scouts off to bed in their shelters.


    I can't think what else we do as I'm usually busy setting-up the AV or participating as one of the squares. We have at least four activities going on at once--half indoors and half outdoors--the patrols rotate through them. Then it's the campfire program, then the movie.


    Come morning, staff feeds everyone. Again patrols are judged on if they eat as a patrol, say grace, etc. Each patrol is assigned a time to arrive for breakfast. Again, arriving at the correct time scores points.


    Award ceremony: We don't give trophies. We give away troop gear such as stoves, lanterns, coolers, cook kits, etc. Top patrol gets first pick. Then second place, etc.


    We also split judging into two divisions: Younger scout patrols (up to 13yrs old) and older scout patrols (14 and above). IF there is a mixed-age patrol, which division they are in is determined by the oldest scout in said patrol.


    We've only had one year where the majority of the scouts were not allowed to sleep outdoors. It was -25F during the day, never mind how cold it got that night. I say majority for two units did sleep outdoors. They had Maine Guides (which go through very, very rigorous training to get licensed as such) among their adult volunteer leaders who had taught them how to prepare shelters for such extreme cold--and those shelters were inspected by staff before they were allowed to do so. Those scouts still talk about that year. "You remember when we stopped at that station and the judge was trying to cook his lunch, put the pot the steaming pot aside for five minutes to work with us and then found an inch of ice in his pot?"


    Good luck!

  10. Should your boys choose the patch blanket option, there's many different ways they can go. In many other countries, scouts/scouters slit a hole in the blanket, reinforce the edges, sew patches on it and wear it to events. I've also seen them done-up as a cape. I display my collection on five different blankets (and counting). I used the pattern at the second link below for one of my five blankets.


    Some ideas/patterns for patch blankets:




    Pictures of camp blanket of another scout leader:



    Old picture of two of my blankets:



    How come no recent ones? Many scouts and leaders have taken pictures, but I've never received copies. I need to borrow my girlfriend's fancy digital camera and take some updated shots of my collection. Not just to post, but for insurance reasons.


    Good luck and I hope some of these links inspire your scouts should they go the blanket route.



  11. One Mainah to anothah, welcome.


    I serve as the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner for Kennebec Valley District (Kennebec, Somerset, and Franklin Counties), Pine Tree Council. We also have "Secret DE" on this board, who is the DE down in Casco Bay District (Portland area) and an leader from over in Hancock County/District, Katahadin Area Council.


    As others have asked, how far Downeast are you? Far enough to be at the Moosehorn Camporee outside of Calais this weekend, or just the Penquis District (Piscataquis County) Camporeee this same weekend, or perhaps I'll see you at our district camporee up on the Quebec Border in Jackman next weekend. :)



  12. Well, we did a cost comparison in our office recently between our newer HP b&w laser printer and our newer HP Color printer--both about a year old.


    Black & White Laser print job: 1.9 cents per sheet

    Full color laser print job: ~23 cents per sheet


    This includes the cost of a piece of copier paper, the toner and electricity costs.


    Our cost for the toner for the B&W is $79 per cartridge. Each of the color cartridges for the color printer is $250 on sale and normally $300. The black cartridge for it is $240.


    So, color is still more expensive. Maybe they've got cheaper/better machines in some shops, but not at our office.


    As for why BSA is changing to color MB Pamphlets and raising the price...simple, they've changed their acronym to B$A. :)

  13. Yes, I believe it is a dying art around here. It's no longer taught in our school system.


    What? Yes, it use to be a REQUIREMENT in seventh grade. EVERYONE had to take full Home-Ec and full Shop. So everyone knew how to sew (both by hand and with a machine), cook, and safe use of shop tools. They dropped this about a decade ago. :(


    Personally, all my patches/badges are hand sewn by me. And that included the 2,000 patch collection on 5 blankets (and growing).

  14. You could also ask some of the experienced attendees to share their knowledge with the others present. This is one of the things I turn to a lot with the various topics I've presented or found presenters for over the past six or so years that I've served as Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner in my district.


    Also, do you have an active OA Chapter in your district? You could contact the youth leadership and see if they have a places to go camping/hiking guide for your area (ours does).


    You could also have a handout with websites for places to hike in your area rather than just tell them.

  15. Scoutmaster Fundamentals, 1991

    Fast Start Training, 1993 (needed it for a training award)

    Greenwood Rangers (local, intermediate level outdoor skills training--good refresher), 2000

    Basic Commissioner Training, 2003

    Commissioner College BA, 2003

    Council & District Activities at Philmont Training Center, 2004

    Commissioner College MA, 2005

    Several courses at Commissioner Colleges/Universities of Scouing between 2002 and present


  16. My first name is Scott. When I made Eagle 20 years back, my mother rewrote the Scout Law as the "Scott Law" as part of her recommendation letter for me. My scoutmaster found it so humorous, that he read it at my Eagle Court of Honor.


    "A Scott is Thrifty...no SCRATCH THAT! A Scott is CHEAP!"


    And I still am today and I still fit in my uniform from 20 years back, so you won't see me in the new one unless they REQUIRE it and trust me, in these parts, many of the scouts are poor so there will be an uproar if that happens.


    As such, I don't need to buy either a discounted, soon-to-be old uniform, nor do I need to go spend hard earned cash on a new one.

  17. I never had a corner cut, but I wore out my card over the years until it was more oval than rectangular.


    While in college, I tore three corners off the card of one scout in the troop I was helping. I don't recall the offense, but it was something really stupid for the scout to have done RIGHT AFTER COMPLETING THE TRAINING!


    Eventually, his family moved to another state, but he made Eagle. I was invited to his ceremony and I made the 6 hour drive to attend. The SM invited members of the audience to step up to the podium to say a few words about the new Eagle Scout if they wished.


    I asked, "Did you ever lose corner number 4?"


    The new Eagle smiled, produced his card with the three missing corners and said, "No, You taught me a valuable lesson..."


  18. I went to PTC in 2004. With travel from the Maine Wilderness, it cost me a month's pay (roughly $1.7K at the time). I was recognized as the person who had traveled the furthest to attend the particular week I was there.


    Was it worth it? In my case, NO, absolutely not. The course I took was misdescribed as an advanced course in district/council activities planning. Instead I got a 101 planning course I could have taught at my local scout university. I got nothing new to take back to my district. I contributed a lot to other attendees, but I got NOTHING out of it. I provided two pages of written feedback at the end of the course over my disappointment, the poor course description in comparison to what it was and if they would like to see more folks from my neck of the woods, they had best correct this problem. I got more out of doing touristy things the two days before and after my week at Philmont. If it had been possible to get a registration refund after the first day, I'd have left. That's how disappointed I was with my training.


    However, I was impressed that the following year, they corrected the description to reflect the content of the course. I guess someone read my feedback and took it seriously.


    Would I go again? If I could ever afford to blow a month's pay again (that was before I got a mortgage) and the right course was offered with a non-misleading description, I'd think about it, but I don't know if I'd want to take that kind of gamble a second time. That's a lot of money to waste if you don't get something out of it.


    When others ask me about PTC I simply advise them to make sure they are choosing a topic they want to learn more about, but are going into knowing little about.

    (This message has been edited by moxieman)

  19. As of next month I will be continuously registered in scouting, first as a youth and then an adult for 30 years.


    When I turned 18, I immediately became an ASM. I helped out units in my college towns and was welcomed by those units and their leaders/parents.


    When I came back home at age 25 (with two degrees under my belt), my hometown unit was in need of a scoutmaster and they asked me to fill the role. I filled it for five years. However, there were several parents who would not accept me (nor would they step up) because I didn't have any kids in the troop. It was due to conflict with some of them that I stepped down and moved onto district level volunteering.


    The troop went through some very rough times between then and when they convinced my brother to step up as SM at age 30. Like me he has no kids, but the current parents seem more accepting of him.


    Our SM when we were scouts was in his 20's with no boys of his own. He had three daughters and so his wife pressured him to step down and join girl scouting.


    So, there is nothing wrong with a leader in his 20's. However, depending on the troop, you may or may not be accepted. If not, move on and find a unit that is happy to have another leader.

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