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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. HiLo: I don't really consider myself an expert, but I am a fanatic about Moxie. It's inventor was born/raised about 35 miles (55km) east of here in Union, Maine. I do a little volunteer work at the museum in that town, the Matthew's Museum of Maine Heritage (http://www.matthewsmuseum.org/), which is half-way to their funding goals to add a new wing dedicated to my favorite soft drink. ;)



    ozemu: RE: when we give out the badges


    You're suppose to give immediate recognition as much as possible, BUT most council offices (at least in my part of the country) require you to submit paperwork showing a scout has completed said badges before you can purchase the badges the scouts have earned, so ranks/merit (proficiency) badges usually wait for a Court of Honor where everyones families can recognize the scout for their accomplishments.


    This is a Good Thing in my opinion from personal experience. Years ago as a youth, my unit did as you do (council didn't require paperwork up front back then), but they (adult leadership in my troop) had a bad habit of forgetting to send their paperwork into the council office and the council was still more then happy to sell them all the badges they wanted. It nearly cost me the rank of Eagle Scout for when we turned in the paperwork for that, they (council) had no record that I had earned one of the required badges, or that I had earned the rank just below Eagle (Life). Their records insisted that I was still two ranks below Eagle and as such, could not earn Eagle. It took a few months to straighten out that problem (good thing I kept my own records in my handbook)--in the meantime, I aged out, but finally received Eagle after-the-fact--rank was approved 6 weeks after I turned 18 and my Eagle Court of Honor was held about 8 weeks after that.

  2. And I welcome other fellow Americans to jump in and make corrections:


    ozemu, much of what you've posted is correct, or close enough.


    "COR - For the few sponsored Groups here that means the rep from the sponsoring agency. But the COR is way more involved than I think our version is - this is all supposition as I have never met anyone involved with a sponsored group."


    What a lot of people don't realize, even state-side, is that the BSA is run like a franchise (yes, like McDonald's burgers!). Local sponsoring organizations receive a charter from national giving them permission to run the BSA program in their area. They own the unit number, the unit gear, and the unit checkbook/savings account. So, yes, a good sponsoring organization will be involved with their unit.



    "Leaders - in BSA there seem to be lots. Where we have an SL and maybe two ASL if lucky the BSA Troop may well have as many leaders as Scouts. Not always but seems to be reasonably common. Group committee executive are considered leaders. They can wear uniform."


    I wish all units had enough leaders to support the unit! I don't have the material in front of me, but as I recall, the unit requires a minimum of three leaders in order to function: Scoutmaster (mentor to the youth), committee chairperson (to support the program behind the scenes) and Chartered Organization Representative (COR-covered earlier in the post). Any other leaders (Assistant Scoutmasters and committee members) are a bonus and help spread the burden of the other leaders. Also, in the BSA, you are required to have two-deep leadership at all meetings and outings.



    "Troop leadership - In BSA there are about a thousand positions a Scout can have that is a leadership position without be APL, PL or Troop Leader."


    It can seem that way for the Youth: Senior Patrol Leader--top youth leader, voted in every 6 or so months by the rest of the youth. It's his job to oversee/run the Patrol Leaders Council (PLC) and the weekly meetings and the monthly outings with the mentoring/support of the adult leadership. Assistant Senior Patrol Leader--usually appointed by the SPL as his assistant to help him do his job. Some larger units may have two or more of these. The ASPL(s) also oversee some of the other unit leadership positions such as the troop quartermaster (person who is in charge of maintaining unit gear), troop scribe (maintains attendance figures for meetings and does minutes of the PLC meetings, etc.), and Troop Guide (older youth who mentors the scouts in the new scout patrol--personally acts as a big-brother and helps them learn the 'ropes' of the BSA system in their first year in the unit). Next level of leadership down are the patrol leaders. Like the SPL, they are elected by the members of their patrol and usually appoint their own assistant.


    At the higher ranks in the BSA (Star, Life, Eagle), one of the requirements is to hold a leadership position of responsibility for six months. This is probably one of the reasons we have so many different leadership positions available for the youth.



    "First Year Patrol - they often stick all of their new Scouts in a single patrol to get them through to level 2 of their award scheme."


    Some do units do and some don't. If you search these boards, you'll find many debates about this.



    "Venture Scouts - Venturer; but this is a separate part of BSA. It has girls and the age range is the same as ours. But a Venture Crew (not unit I think) is not linked to a Scout Troop. Venture Scouts do adventurous activities. So do ordinary Troops but - no girls.


    Scouts can be aged 11-18. Venture Scouts 14-18. So when aged 14-18 they have to choose between the two."


    The USA is one of the few countries with scouting that does not have coed at all levels. I'm for coed, but I'm not in the majority. Venture scouts who are boys may belong to both a Venture Crew and a Boy Scout Troop until they turn 18. I think Venture Scouts actually goes to 21.



    "DE -District Executive - no equivilant. They have an employed manager(probably other staff) at District level. The DE is not uniformed. They seem to be focussed on sponsorship and lots of rules and forms."


    Close. The DE is usually uniformed (at least up my way) and very involved in helping new units formed. They are also involved in fund raising that helps the local council function and maintain its facilities (both the council office and the scout camp(s)).

  3. HiLo, tell me about it. The first time I went to a Scouts Canada event, the Canadian Scouts asked me if I traded Crests. I was boggled because Crest is a brand name of toothpaste state-side. Why in the world would they want to trade toothpaste! :) At the same time they were boggled when I offered to trade them patches because to them a patch is something you use to repair a tear in your clothing. :)


    It wasn't until we pulled out our crests/patches that we realized we were talking about the same thing.


    ozemu: Court of Honor is the event American Scout troops hold two to four times a year where the scouts receive the badges/awards they have earned since the last Court of Honor. Some units also make it a banquet event. When I was active at the unit level as scoutmaster (I'm now a District-level volunteer providing help to all volunteer leaders in our district), our unit scheduled three of these every year: one in the fall, which was a dessert-social event. One mid-winter, which was a pot luck banquet. And one in late spring which was a barbecue at the local town park. When a scout earns the rank of Eagle Scout, in most units, he has his own Court of Honor just for that rank presentation. In most cases he plans his own CoH.


  4. OldGreyEagle: Moxie started as a nerve tonic/snake oil remedy back in the 1870's. It was first carbonated and sold as a soft drink in 1884. By the 1920's it was the #1 soft drink in the USA. It had a hit single song (Make Mine Moxie), appeared on 100's of different types of advertising materials (where do you think Coca-Cola got the idea from), had it's own theme park (Moxieland in Boston) and became slang for "Nervy, or full-of-pep". That slang eventually made its way into the dictionary and many outside of New England don't realize that moxie came from Moxie.


    The word, Moxie, itself is the English butchering of an Abenaki (one of the native tribes that originally inhabited western Maine and New Hampshire) word "moskus". One of the meanings of this word is "Chosen One".


    And that's probably enough useless trivia for this post. :)

  5. John-in-KC wrote after quoting from National Regs:


    "If your Roundtable is not delivering the promise, you as SM together with your COR should be making lively comments to the DE, DC, SE, and Council Commissioner. Program support is part of the contract (license/charter) Scouting makes with your Chartered Partner."


    John, I guess then I'm a failure as a Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner. We have never followed the suggested national themes for upcoming months, except by coincidence. Up here in the Maine Wilderness, most units use Troop Program Resources (formerly Woods Wisdom), which is an expanded version of the themes printed every month in Scouting Magazine. The Troops choose their own themes for their unit during the Troop's Annual Planning meeting and use TPR to make it work. We have roughly 40 troops and it would be rare to find more then 2 using the same theme in a given month.


    In our May (last of the 'year') Roundtable, we hold a "Troop Annual Planning Meeting" where the Scoutmasters/ASM's/COR's/other leaders present act as the patrol leaders. They throw-out themes/ideas they or others in their unit want to learn about in the coming year. They then determine which month we'll concentrate on which theme. It has worked quite well for us for the past 10 or so years (I've served as BS-RTC for the paste six of those). By allowing the leaders who attend roundtable to choose their program, we're setting the example they are to follow in their own units. We've had the full support of our district's key three (DE, Chair and Commissh) in how we're running it. If I didn't have their support, I wouldn't still be in this position.


    We're a large, rural district and average 75% unit representation (roughly 35 leaders) every month at our roundtables. We must be doing something right that's bringing people back every month (some of whom drive 2 hours one-way on rough back roads and dodge moose on the way to attend!), despite not following what National says we're suppose to be doing. (shrug)


    I guess I'll have to announce next May that we've been doing things wrong, they can't choose what they want to learn in the coming year, and then I'll need to resign my position since they will riot on me. :) (chuckle)

  6. For the other Americans on the board, what the Aussies call a biscuit, we'd call a cookie. Tim Tams are a chocolate lover's dream come true. 'Nuf said.


    No..not really. I led a local contingent of scouts to the 2001 Canadian National Jamboree. Met up with some Aussies who were regretting they didn't bring any Tim Tams with'em. They could have traded a package of 11 cookies for a large handful of patches/crests. Tim Tams' fame beat them to the jamboree.


    Any idea why they have to put 11 'biscuits' in a package. Are they trying to encourage buyers not to share their Tim Tams?


    As for Moxie, it's an acquired taste much like Vegemite is Downunder (though it tastes nothing like Vegemite). You can't buy Vegemite locally, but you can buy some British knock-off called Marmite (or something like that), which is just as bitter/salty as Vegemite.


    But I'm wandering off what I meant to type about. No way to describe how Moxie tastes. Some have called it carbonated Ben-Gay (State-side muscle ointment). Others have called it carbonated spoiled Jagermeister without the alcohol or hangover. It derives its flavor from gentian root and is a bit bitter as it hits the back of the throat. The uninitiated should try it cold. Those who are fans should be able to tolerate it at room temp. Wacked-out fanatics like myself enjoy...no prefer it at room temp. :)(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  7. Oh, and I forgot...


    HiLo wrote:

    "...we Aussies feel we know a fair bit about your culture from what TV tells us, although I know that's not always the most reliable source."


    Very unreliable. If Americans believed everything on TV, then we'd think that every Aussie drives a Subaru Outback (LL Bean Edition) as endorsed by Paul Hogan and drinks Fosters Beer (which my Aussie friends tell me isn't Australian for "Beer" but for something that can't be printed politely on this discussion board). :)

  8. Greetings, HiLo, from the Maine Wilderness.


    I've got a few penpals down your way originally from the Blue Mountains area, currently in Sydney and soon to move..drat can't recall where. They are not in scouting, but they have sent me some beautiful scout patches/crests/badges from down there. I've sent them Moxie and real Maine maple syrup and then they've sent me (drool) TimTams...half a case. That was 2 years back and I've been stingy with'em. But I'm down to my last package. Guess I'll have to send them another shipment of Maine maple syrup. :)


    I wonder how many other non-Aussies on the forums know what TimTams are.

  9. One unit in our district had a very successful Car Smash during the town's 4th of July Celebration.


    A what? Get an old car, and let people pay you to hit it with a sledgehammer.


    Said troop got a local lawyer to donate his services writing up a "Hold Harmless" contract that each participant had to sign before they were allowed near the vehicle. Basically, in lawyerese: Thou shalt be responsible for thy own actions. Thou shalt not attempt to sue the scouts or the business who's property the bust takes place on or thou shalt be responsible for everyone's court/lawyer fees and thou shalt lose because thou signed this contract. Also anyone under 18 had to be accompanied by their parent/guardian.


    They approached the local auto parts store which was very happy to host the event--it was publicity for them. They even took the gas tank off the vehicle for the troop. They got a couple of mechanical know-how adult members of the troop to remove the engine. So no concerns about any hazardous liquids leaking on the day of the bust.


    They also got a wrecker service to donate the towing charges to/from the busting site.


    Safety: The area was roped off with many signs reading "Caution: Flying Debris. Everyone within the roped off area had to have safety goggles, long pants and closed-toe footwear on. Troop had three spotters around the roped off area at all times. Only one participant was allowed in the roped off area at a time.


    What did they charge: $5 to smash out a window and 2 hits anywhere else for $1.


    Implements of destruction offered included a few different weight sledgehammers, a full set of old golf clubs, aluminum baseball bat, 20 lb rock, section of steel I-beam,...you get the idea.


    Over the course of the day they made over $600. The tow company hauled their vehicle to the scrap yard for them and they got another $140 or so for what was left of the vehicle.


    This troop plans to do this again next year and already has three vehicles that have been offered up for the event.


  10. As a Roundtable Commissioner, I try my best to set the proper example:

    socks, pants, shirt. Patches in the right place.


    But for fun, on the short sleeve uniform I have "Overtrained" rather then the "Trained" strip.


    On outings it's a pair of green army surplus pants I wear due to the wear and tear needed at district events and a lack of $$$ on my part to be able to afford the new switchbacks. Though I may be forced to come up with the $$$ from someplace soon as my uniform pants are showing their age--I replaced the zipper last year--did the sewing myself.

  11. Kennebec Valley District covers 3 counties in Maine. Area-wise, it is area larger then the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. We have 42 troops in the district. We are (to my knowledge) the second largest district area-wise east of the Mississippi River. However, we are a sparsely populated rural district. Most of our District volunteers are also unit volunteers. Some of us wear 3 or 4 hats in scouting (I currently have three).


    District events (Klondike, Spring and Fall Camporee) are usually scheduled on the same weekends each year.


    Who plans them? That various from year to year. We ask for volunteers to step forward. Sometimes we get'em, sometimes we don't. When we do, it's usually 3 or 4 units in the same part of the district who work together. When we don't, either some district members step forward or we turn to the youth leadership and say: You want this event to happen? Then plan it!


    Some of our best camporees have been youth-planned. Either way, it's tough to get everyone together to do the planning due to how large we are area-wise (it's about 2.5 hours travel one-way north to south and 1.5 hours east to west in some parts of the district).


    In all cases, the District Activities Chair is involved.


    Where do you get money for materials, location and port-a-potties without forking over unit money up front and still keep your registration fee reasonable? One possible way is to do some fundraising. Some years, the units involved have created a camporee brochure and sold ads to local businesses in said brochure. Businesses were charged a very reasonable fee for their ad (based on the size of the ad) and were told how many brochures were being produced up-front.


    Other years we didn't need port-a-potties as we held our event at a county fairground or at the local scout camp (holding it at camp eliminated any need for fees other then camporee materials, patch and liability insurance).


    We've tried to keep our fee around $5.00 Some years it's been as high as $10, but those where the years when the planners said, "Let's cap the Saturday night campfire with a professional fireworks display!" Fortunately, we have some contacts with a local pyrotechnics company that offers a display discount for scouting events.


    Who runs the events? That depends on the events planned. We try hard to always get the older youth involved in some way/shape/form, especially the local chapter of the Order of the Arrow.


    So far, things have worked out for us and I've been with this district through all my scouting career, youth and adult except the years I was away at college.

  12. I don't have the proper books to quote from the regs. However, locally, you have one year from the date of your election to complete your Ordeal, or you must be reelected before you can attend Ordeal.


    Our elections are held in late winter. We offer 2 ordeals in the spring and one in the fall. All dates are provided to the candidates soon after they are elected. These dates are not secret and are also listed on the council calendars passed out every year. Very few fail to make one or the other ordeal.

  13. What Beavah said at the end of his post.


    We've done this several times--offered training opportunities for the adults at district camporees. AND our training (like all other districts in our council) is open to any registered adult leader regardless what district/council they are from.


    Some of our best attended training events have taken place at camporee.


    Why can't the Council compromise on this one and offer training at the camporee? ESPECIALLY, if the district (the troop that volunteered) had set the date of that camporee before Council decided to make that a training weekend?

  14. Ayuh, I got the word this past Wednesday. Pine Tree Council's new SE is Tony Rogers, moving up heeya from Pennsylvania. Anyone got the 'skinny' on him?


    We also are "losing" our district's DE. He's getting promoted to Field Director. Good for him....not so good for us. At least they're not sending us a greenhorn to replace him. We're "stealing" a seasoned DE from the next district over.

  15. In our district (and in most if not all in this council), the Eagle Candidate must schedule his own BOR. If the SM calls to make the appointment, he/she is politely reminded that the candidate is the only one who is allowed to do this.


    In our district, the advancement committee has a schedule posted listing when they are doing BOR's and when each month. They are also willing to schedule special sessions, but rarely need to do so thanks to providing this schedule.


    I understand that the candidate in this case forgot to notify you when his BOR was, but he did take the responsibility to schedule it himself.



  16. Well, it's not the southeastern USA, but southwestern...


    South Plains Council has two camps: Camp Post and Camp Tres Ritos. Camp Post is in Post, TX and is a traditional summer camp with dining hall.


    Camp Tres Ritos is in the mountains in New Mexico at an elevation of 9,000 feet. All cooking at Tres Ritos is by patrol and can be a challenge at times due to the high elevation--it's sometimes hard to keep your fire going--less oxygen at that altitude and all that.


    Info on the council with links to the camps:


  17. I have yet to make it out to Katahadin Area Council's (Eastern Maine) Camp Roosevelt, but their log cabin lodge/dining hall dates back to 1929. Maybe I need to go have a surprise visit on my brother and his troop who are out there this week.




    They replaced the roof in the past couple of years. There is a photo of the dining hall in their summer camp brochure (click on forms and then the Boy Scout Camp brochure link in PDF format).

  18. (blink, blink) Huh?!?


    If our local lodge attempted something like this, it would be like slitting its own throat. I'd estimate between 1/4 and 1/3 of our units go out of council in any given year. Why do they go elsewhere? That's fodder for a different thread in a different topic area, though one of the major reasons is for a change of scenery.


  19. Well, talked to our DE this past weekend at our 2nd Ordeal of the spring. Now we're losing our DE. He got promoted this past week to Council Field Director. He'll fill in as DE for the rest of the summer (until a new Scout Exec comes on board, then they'll advertise and fill the DE position).


    Anyway, he knows of no "in-jokes" as far as JT is concerned.


    However, JT loves BBQ (not the 'sissy-style' grilling we do up this way, but slow-cooking BBQ) and he's a Star Trek Fan.


    Have fun with that and if/when you meet him, ask him if he brought his snowblower to Austin with him just in case. :)

  20. When I was active at the troop level (rather then District), our troop had an adult patrol. However, as others have said, we did not have a patrol patch. We had a patrol yell, "Where's the Coffee!", but that's about it.

  21. I tell ya, there will come a time that JT fondly remembers Maine (the state, that is). Probably later this summer when the high temp will hover above 100 for weeks on end.


    JT was born and raised in Alabama. Give him more credit when it comes to East Texas Heat/humidity. He'll probably be able to handle it as he's probably got a set of gills in addition to lungs. :)


    No, if he really wanted to be tormented, he would have had to move to South Plains Council over in Lubbock where I lived in "exile from Maine" for 30 months while in graduate school. "Dry" followed by Humid followed by Dry followed by humid (repeat ad nausea) for at least a month with day time temps at least 100 if not 110 and night time 'lows' in the mid-90's. When it's dry, you get dust storms (and the resulting dust-damaged paint car sales at the dealerships) and when it's humid you get T-storms that dump 6 inches of rain at a time and flood the city, if you're lucky. If you're not lucky you get golf ball to softball size hail with those 6 inches of rain. And within an hour or so of the downpour, it's just as hot as if it hadn't rained at all.


    Never got down Austin way, but I'm sure you have some idea how flat the Lubbock area is. Brings a whole new meaning to our local term for tourists: Flatlandah. Lubbuck is roughly 15 miles across from east to west. Elevation change over those 15 miles is three feet. (seriously)

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