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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. If there's still snow on the ground:

    cross-country skiing

    animal tracking/track identification


    Do you know of a local dog sled team who might be interested in demonstrating their team to your scouts?


    How about contacting the Boy Scout Troop that your Webelos feed into and invite them to do Boy Scout Winter demonstrations such as how to build a snow shelter? Possibly, they could also be recruited in on animal track id.


    Look at past threads on cooking in the forums for great ideas on meals outdoors for large groups.




  2. We lost a scout under similar circumstances (but a little less sudden) about four years back in our district. The district dedicated the spring camporee in his memory that year. Funds have been raised to build a bb gun range to be named after him at the local scout camp that is in the process of conversion to a Cub World Camp.


    Perhaps you could convince your district to do likewise with your spring camporee--dedicate it in the deceased scout's memory.

  3. Beavah asked: Any recommendations for cheap places to obtain decent, straight, load-bearin' poles that aren't too heavy?


    That depends on what part of the country you're in, Beavah. Here in the Maine wilderness, poles are free for the asking. You just need to ask a landowner who's getting ready to clear some of his woodlot for some of the resulting "poles". Most are happy to let the scouts have'em around here...then again, most of those our units ask are scout volunteers themselves. :)

  4. The requirements for Eagle Scout have changed quite a bit over the years. At first, it was for a scout who earned 21 merit badges, including some specific ones.


    Eaglescout.org has a list of the requirements over the years on their history page:




    The first major change was in 1927, when a time requirement and earnestly show attempt to develop leadership ability were added. These were the requirements in place when your 1932 Eagle earned his. Hold an actual position of responsibility for 6 months and conduct a service project were added in 1963.


    It's still always great to see some of the 'experienced' Eagles at these events. It helps inspire today's scouts.

  5. I agree with DYB-Mike. It would be nice if people put something in their profile, even if all they put in was "Midwest" for their location so we would have a better idea what part of the country they're from.


    For example, someone asking for advice for "cold weather" camping, who is somewhere in "the deep south" is going to have a different notion of "cold weather" camping then someone from Minnesota, Alaska, or Maine.


  6. Well, you can plug "Wind Chill Guide" into your favorite search program and you'll find a page with a guide on it like the following on the City of Monroe, Michigan website:




    Here is the link to the online version of the Guide to Safe Scouting (sometimes referred to as G2SS):




    And here is the direct link to Winter activities within the guide:




    I've skimmed it briefly and see no reference to wind chill.



    You said you're expecting single digit temps with a wind chill down to -20, huh? That's balmy, compared to some we have had here in the Maine Wilderness! I've staffed some where the High was -26F before windchill and the Webelos still participated.


    Our district rarely cancels events. Why? Because events take months of planning and there are costs involved behind the scenes that will still be incurred even if the event is canceled. IT is near impossible in many cases to try and reschedule an event as you're group isn't the only one trying to book this facility or that for your event. If the event was canceled, participants would expect a refund and the District, which is run by volunteers just like you, would be stuck with those bills and no way to pay for them. Examples: Facility rental fee if you can't find a free one (even a lot of schools these days can't let you use it for free--they have to have a janitor on hand and need to pay his/her salary for being there, never mind the extra cost for power and heat used during the event that wouldn't normally be used), port-a-potties (camporees more then Klondikes), event patches, trophies, participation ribbons, FOOD (if you have a concession stand or included a meal in your event planning for everyone or at least the staff), office supplies/coping charges for the registration flyer and judges score forms, etc.



    Safety is always an issue for a Klondike Derby in these parts. One of the things we emphasize for our Klondikes is LAYERS, INSULATED BOOTS, and NO EXPOSED COTTON WHATSOEVER! All Scouts must use the buddy system. You watch your buddy for signs of hypothermia. If he starts showing signs, you immediately stop whatever you're doing and move to shelter. We ALWAYS make sure there is a warm-up building for our Klondike. We also have several stations where hot chocolate is available (and one with soup) throughout the day. We hold a clothing inspection first thing in the morning for every group. If a scout isn't properly clothed, he's not allowed to participate. PERIOD.


    We hold our Klondike on the grounds of one of the school systems in our district where we have access to one of the schools as a warming building and all the grounds (includes a research forest). Our Klondike includes an optional overnight option out in the snow for the Boy Scout participants. You must register in advance. Participants must train in advance through their troop to participate in this option. That year when we had a high of -26F was the only year we "semi-canceled". The overnight event that year was moved into a school gym for safety, except for two patrols of older scouts who had trained Registered Maine (outdoor recreation) Guides as leaders who insisted on staying outside anyway. They didn't freeze and still had a good time.



    Back to your situation. It's your call as to whether or not you think your Webelos are ready for the weather. Since they haven't had any winter training (it's a shame this couldn't have been done with your local scout troop in advance) and you don't think they have the gear (such as insulated winter boots, wind-blocking snowsuits/pants/jacket, hats and mitten, etc.), you have most likely made the correct call for your group.


    You're not required to participate in any district activity (here). We provide them as an opportunity for your unit to get outdoors and to interact with other units.


  7. Back when I was a scoutmaster, I had a very simple response for parents who didn't like how something turned out (though it may not be the best response, but it worked for me). I offered my position patch to them. Funny how none of them were every willing to take my offer.


    To quote a sign I've seen posted at a few Scouts Canada-sponsored events: "This program is run by volunteers. If you don't like how it's run, then you had best VOLUNTEER!"

  8. local1400,


    The password into the OA "Restricted" section is the Admonition. The challenge is spelling it correctly. It took me months to get it right as my 1983 printing of the OA handbook doesn't have it in it (or at least not obviously) and the OA quick start website refers to a page in the current handbook. In my old handbook, the page referenced is a picture.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  9. scoutldr,


    I've been preaching that in my part of the country for years, but point ing to Scouts Canada's program instead (which is very similar to Australia's except their program for the youngest set is Beavers instead of Joeys) since it's a short drive from where I am.



  10. Original Skin-so-Soft all the way. The "Insect Repellent" version works like most other insect repellents when it comes to Maine black flies--it's a seasoning to add flavor to your skin for them to enjoy, sort of like adding mustard, Tabasco or other seasoning of choice to your favorite dish.


    We use to laugh at the OFF bug repellent commercials back in the 80's. The ones where there's a $100 bill in the glass case filled with hungry mosquitoes and if the passerby was willing to reach in they could have the cash and they'd refuse until they could spray their arm with OFF. That would never work up here. It's misnamed. That stuff is "ON" up here. Absolutely no effect on the bugs...though you'd swear it attracted rather then repel'em. :)


    Ben's 100: Back when it was 100% DEET (you know, that nasty stuff that if you dripped it on your nylon tent it would dissolve it), it was one of the few things that worked other then Skin-so-Soft against Maine black flies. But I haven't seen 100% DEET Ben's in years.


    The only other thing I've ever seen work against Maine Bugs was "Olde Time Woodsman". That stuff stank, was highly flammable, but it repelled bugs (and fellow scouts) very well. I suspect it was "Human repellent" that made the bugs think you were one of them. You'd lather that on your skin and it would change your skin a few shades darker. "Good stuff." :) Wish I could still find it around here. If it's still around, you probably can't get it shipped due to the flammability.


  11. Well, my apologies for taking a bit longer to get this info then planned. If the suggestion of making arrangements with the base directly doesn't pan out, I did get to the copy of the Bangor area phone book today.


    According to the yellow pages in said directory, Cyr Bus Lines will cater to a scout troop. It is the only charter bus line in the Bangor area that is listed.


    There are two other charter services listed, but they aren't in Bangor:


    Custom Coach & Limo of Portland (2 hours sw of Bangor):

    http://www.customcoachandlimo.com 800-585-3589


    Northeast Charter Tour of Lewiston (1.5 hours sw of Bangor):

    http://www.northeastchartertour.com 888-593-6328



    One last little secret about the Maine North Woods. If the black flies are out, better have some Avon Skin-so-Soft. No, seriously. For some reason the stuff works and is one of the few things I've seen work against those nasty little buggers.

  12. SSS Wrote:

    I don't think there's any truth to the rumor that the Pet Care and Cooking MBs are being combined.


    Almost. You're thinking of "Road Kill Grilling" Merit Badge:





    Great site for spoof badges, some PC, some not PC. I gave a bunch of these as recognition gifts at our district dinner last year to those scout volunteers who stepped forward to present at one of our roundtables.

  13. Gold-Winger, if you have earned either the Commissioner's key or the Scoutmaster's key in the past, you'll be in for a disappointment--they use the same knot. You get to wear a 'nifty' (and overpriced) pin on the knot to represent which key (or keys) you have earned.


    As to everyone else, we have an abundance of Mooseturds here in the Maine wilderness. We dip'em in shalec and sell'em to tourists as necklace jewelry (seriously). They're not like cow patties. They are more like deer pellets and about twice the size each/hard as a rock.

  14. Ah, you're heading up north of my way and deeper into the Maine Wilderness.


    A few things to note:


    On Baxter State Park: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/

    Under rules/regs: "VEHICLE SIZE LIMITED - no vehicle over 9 feet high, 7 feet wide or 22 feet long for a single vehicle, 44 feet for a double vehicle. Please note: Dual-wheeled vehicles are usually oversized."


    So, if you charter with a bus company, like Cyr Charter Bus Lines (http://www.cyrbustours.com/), forget about going to Baxter State Park, unless they have smaller vehicles other then full size buses (which they might, but I've only ever seen them drive full size buses).


    I would also highly recommend that if you charter a bus, that you don't go to Mattawamkeag Wilderness Park. They don't call it wilderness for nothing. It's roughly 7 miles down a twisty, windy logging road (passably by two-wheel drive car). Those 7 miles take about 25 minutes to drive. If you go by regular vehicles, it's a nice camp ground. Their website is: http://www.mwpark.com/


    I'll have to hit the Bangor phone book at work to see if there are other charter companies in the area. Cyr does an excellent job. But as I've stated, they won't work with the overnight suggestions of Baxter or Mattawamkeag (other then KSR).


    Patten Lumberman Museum as others have already mentioned has a website: http://www.lumbermensmuseum.org/


    Depending on when you come up, and if you are willing to drive on the east side of the Penobscot River (and not take I-95 north), you could swing by Leonard's Mill (http://www.leonardsmills.com/) for their living history day usually held the 2nd Saturday in July. The grounds of this late 1700's-style lumbering camp/village are open year-round, but they have folks in period costume doing 'period' activities during their various living history days.


    Katahdin Scout Reservation is about 15 miles east of Bangor. If your trip coincides with their summer camp schedule, you might be able to get a couple of meals (dinner/breakfast) along with a place to pitch your tent for the night. Contact Katahdin Area Council for details:



    There isn't much more I can give you about that area. There's very little out there.


  15. To clarify local1400's responses as I also grew up in the "Maine Wilderness" in the 70's. The Waterville area to be exact. Waterville was half-way between Maine's two television markets: Bangor and Portland. As such, you get squat with an antenna on your television. You were totally dependent on early cable. Back then, cable supplied your local stations out of Bangor and Portland, the Sherbrook, Quebec affiliate of the Canadian Broadcasting Company (in French as this area was heavily settled by the Quebecois in the mid-to-late 1800's to work in our mills) and two Boston stations: WSBK Channel 38 and WKGB (call letters were changed in '74 to WLVI) Channel 56.


    Both had a strong children's program. It was 56 that had Bozo the Clown and all the action-based scouting commercials for the (then) Greater Boston Council.

  16. > Your patches should be covered by your home owners insurance.


    You need to check with your insurer. I read the fine print when I bought this house. With my insurer, collections are insured only if they are itemized, valued and registered with the insurance company.


    Yup, and I need to take the time to better catalog my own collection of roughly 2000 CSPs, OA flaps and event patches. Most of the event patches are "worthless" as few collect those, but add the entire collection together and I could replace the Buick, aka the Stealth Lemon, I drive with a very good used or a low-end new vehicle for what it's worth.


  17. Why would someone steal patches?


    Because of auction sites like eBay. Provided common event patches don't sell for much. But slip in an OA flap or two from Far East Council or a lodge that no longer exists (such as some of the patches in the stolen binders--we're still working on that list) and you'll see that auction fly skyward.



  18. That scout troop in VA who had their Christmas trees stolen wasn't the only ones to get robbed recently.


    One of our local scouting families (both parents are long time leaders and their kids are scouts) came home from Thanksgiving to discover that their home had been ransacked. This is highly unusual (but on the increase) in our area.


    Among the things stolen where the leaders' patch collection in two large three ring binders representing two generations of scouting in their family. In addition, the thief(ves) stole their son's patch vest.


    We're still trying to get a complete list from them of the items stolen.


    If/when I get a list, it will be posted here and elsewhere.


    In the meantime, I've left messages with other leaders in their unit to try and determine what events their son had attended in the past. We may never be able to recover that which was stolen, but maybe we could at least reassemble that one patch vest for the son.

  19. As others have said, welcome. There is a LOT of info available in past posts on this board. But remember the buddy system! Don't go old post diving alone, or you may never surface from the archives! ;)


    More seriously, you'll have a good time, meet new friends, and learn from the combined experience of all here.

  20. I am the DE of the Casco Bay District of the Pine Tree Council. I guess that ends the secret part...and would not mind being assigned to the area (KV District) at some other time. Your current DE, Matt, is a great guy, as is your former DE and our new Council Field Director.


    Careful what you wish for. (chuckle) Especially with gas as costly as it is. Yes, our current DE is a good guy and many here do miss our former DE, but know he hasn't forgotten KV District now that he's FD.



    Today I talked with Matt about your District and one thing to note is that while there is a large area to cover, there are very large tracts of land in the KV district that are forest.


    There are reasons I call it the "Maine Wilderness". :) Yet, our 2,000 youth nearly outsold your 3,000 youth in popcorn sales this year and our top selling youth (who went door-to-door) was #2 in the council with something like $7K in sales.


    Nah, no cross-district rivalry here. :)


    Glad to see I'm not the only person from PTC on here now.



  21. Throwing in one more to this thread. I looked-up our other four districts out of curiosity:


    York: 1,271 sq. mi.

    Cumberland: 1,217 sq. mi.

    Downeast: 1,846 sq. mi.

    Abnaki: 2,672 sq. mi.


    So, total those four up and you get 5,736 sq. mi. I hadn't realized my district covers more area then the other four combined. No wonder we rarely see anyone up this way from the council office in Portland other then our DE. Most of those districts have roughly the same number of units/youth as our own.


    Thank you everyone so far for sharing your info.


  22. For my part, it never occurred to me that there would be a district that is larger than Connecticut.


    And that is partially why I started the thread. I was also curious to hear from others and to help them provide something to counter to those folks in their own district who gripe when they have to drive 15 minutes to an event. ;)


    Another reason was to get an idea of population densities. We don't have much population up this way and that's why our district is so big.


    And we're not the largest district in Maine! That honor goes to our "neighbors" in North Star District, Aroostook County, Maine at 6,829 square miles, or as Mainahs call it, "The County". It also happens to be the largest county east of the Mississippi river.


    In the past I have served as a scout leader in the southwest (South Plains Council, TX), in it's smallest district, Chapparel, a mere 1600 square miles if I recall correctly--one square-shaped West Texas county. Most of their other 4 districts had 4 or 5 similar sized counties lumped together in each of them...so roughly 6,400 to 8,000 square miles each, but out there it was mostly tumbleweeds and cotton. Most of those counties only have 3 to 6 towns in'em to begin with.


    So again, to those of you in tiny, suburban districts, when your folks complain that 15 minutes is too long a drive to go to training, roundtable, or a scouting event, point to this thread and us up here in the Maine Wilderness. Tell'em that we would gladly swap traveling distances with'em at $3/gallon gasoline! ;)

    (This message has been edited by moxieman)

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