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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. CNYScouter, we'll take any snow you want to truck our way and we're much closer then Houston (less fuel to ship it!).


    Maine has had a very light snow winter and we need the snow BADLY! Much of our winter tourism isn't happening and our busiest tourist snowmobiling winter is next weekend and doesn't look that great in some parts of the state due to the lack of white stuff. I know of some areas that are trucking in what they can to build-up the trails for those out-of-state snowmobilers.


    Many of our small mom-and-pop ski resorts (the affordable ones, unlike the biggies-Sunday River, Sugarloaf, etc.) have not been able to open until a couple weeks ago (if they have snowmaking capabilities) due to the lack of snow.


    So please, tell your cities and towns who are running out of places to dump their white stuff, that we'll gladly take it here in Maine.


    We depend way too much on tourism. (sigh)

  2. Pick-up a Requirements Book (or whatever they call it now). I know I need to get an up-to-date one, but cutting down trees was dropped as a requirement some ten years back. The requirements I have (and are probably far out of date as this is from ten years back when it was last changed) are:


    1. Earn Toten Chip

    2. Help a scout or patrol earn Toten Chip. Show him/them the proper use of wood tools on a troop camping trip. (again help them earn Toten Chip)

    3. Do one of the following (with approval and supervision):

    A. Clear trails or fire lanes for 2 hours

    B. Trim a DOWNED tree, cut into 4 foot lengths and stack, make a brush pile with branches

    C. Build a natural retaining wall or irrigation way to aid in a planned conservation effort.


    No where in there do you need to cut down a tree anymore. I assume 3B is in reference to a tree that has fallen on its own (and probably blocking your hiking trail).


    Looking on http://www.usscouts.org (who are very good at updating requirements as they change and showing the last set of changes), the requirements above are the requirements they currently have posted. Cutting down a tree was dropped as an optional requirement to #3 in 1996.


    Sounds like whoever has been saying this is using a requirements book that is even more out-of-date then mine (chuckle).

  3. Two hours from Hudson, huh? So, are you currently in Great Northern or Wannalancit District? I spent my undergraduate days at "Party" State in Plymouth (Wannalancit District) and helped out Troop 56 while I was there (1988-92).


    Looking to our neighbors to the south I'm in shock! They aren't hosting theirs the same weekend!


    The three councils in Central Mass, Pioneer Valley, Mohegan and Knox Trail, will be hold their University of Scouting/Commissioner College on March 10:



    (scroll down)








  4. I'm sure this has also been announced in Scouting magazine*, but felt it wouldn't hurt to pass it on here as I just saw it in my current issue of Eagletter.


    The BSA is soliciting feedback on the current edition of the Boy Scout Handbook and suggestions for a new version. Send your ideas to:


    Joe Glasscock

    Boy Scout Division

    Boy Scouts of America

    1325 West Walnut Hill Lane

    P.O. Box 152079

    Irving, TX 75015-2079


    Is it me, or should they be asking this of the youth as much or more so then the leaders?


    I plan on suggesting to the leaders in my district that this should be passed onto their patrol leader council, who in turn, can take it up with all youth members in their troop. Then they can then send their combined feedback/suggestions to BSA HQ.




    *--Which I am currently not receiving--they still haven't resolved that glitch in Scoutnet in my local council that claims I don't exist (but they gladly take my registration money every year), but that's another topic.

  5. Get yourself an updated (which my 2001 version is not) copy of the BSA Insignia Guide, which your local scout shop should carry. Covers everything from Cubs to Adults and all the different badges/awards you can think of. The Code number on the back of my out-of-date version is: 33066B

  6. Well this is a surprise to me as there use to be a Lion Rank in American Cub Scouting. It's now first year Webelos. Anyone on this board earn their Lion Rank? If you don't want to admit you've been around that long, I'll understand. It was long gone before I was a Cubbie (which was in the time period where Webelos was for ten year olds, period, and Arrow of Light was as rare as Eagle Scout).


  7. baden wrote:

    One thing our District does for Winter Camporee that I like is everyone brings a can of Chicken Noodle Soup to the event. We open it all up and heat it. Everyone can get a cup of soup at anytime during the day to help warm up.


    This is a requirement at our Klondike (well non-cream-based soup, doesn't necessarily have to be chicken noodle). It has worked very well over the years and we've had years much colder then what we had yesterday (-12F first thing in the morning and got up to a 'balmy' 14F at noon).

  8. pargolf44067 wrote:

    Last week at our district Klondike (which was only a one day event), there was a troop whose boys had only jeans with no thermals on underneath


    Our Klondike is this weekend. As in past years, I am one of the inspection judges. If I find a scout who doesn't have ski pants or some other wind/waterproof layer on, I will not allow them on the course. Same goes if you have sneakers rather then winter boots. All scouts must also have a winter hat (baseball caps do not count). We warn all units in advance of this and emphasize it is a SAFETY ISSUE. I have turned away some scouts over the years, but only a handful.


    Three years ago, our high for the day out of the wind was roughly -20F to -25F. Tonight, we're only suppose to dip down to -15F with a high in the low teens tomorrow (almost too "hot" for the Klondike!). ;)


    Three years back, I impressed one patrol. They had arrived at my station as I was starting to prepare lunch. I run a quick station, so I set my pot of water aside that had been heating on the stove, took care of them and they were ready to head off 5 minutes after they arrived. They stared in surprise at the inch of ice in my water pot. Even I had not realized how cold it was 'cause I was dressed properly for the weather.


    Our klondike is usually an overnight event. We have decided not to allow anyone to camp outside this year as there is not enough snow to provide proper insulation from the cold ground. I understand they're still going to do the overnight part, but it will be in a nearby school gym.


    I have winter camped before (in 6 ft of snow up in the mountains of New Mexico--one of the best times I've ever had camping). I don't do it now because:


    A. I'm not active at the troop level (I'm a district volunteer).

    B. I no longer have enough gear (sleeping gear) to do it safely, nor the cash to purchase the right gear.


  9. Trailfinder, I'm not involved with crews, but rocketry seems to be very popular with a lot of the scout troops in my district. As for advice from what I have observed:


    1. Buy more engines then you think you'll need. Better off having a few left over at the end of the day then having someone get disappointed 'cause they ran out of engines before they felt they had done enough launches.


    2. Be sure to do your launches in a large field or closed off parking lot away from power lines and trees to make it easier to retrieve your rocket after it floats/parachutes back to earth.


    3. If you live in the frozen north (like me), a frozen lake makes an excellent launch site and unlike a field, you don't have to worry about scorching the grass.


    4. Have fun!

  10. Let's try this again...it crashed on my first attempt at responding (chuckle).


    gwd-scouter has answered your question on placement. There are also reference guides for the placement of the badges in the inside covers of your son's scout book.


    As to not wanting a scout vest 'cause no one else has one, that's not the best excuse. Someone has to set the trend. Or maybe he should consider a camp blanket if he's planning on sticking to scouting through Boy Scouts and beyond.


    Yes, I'm a little biased on this:



    I display these at various pack/troop/district events in my area. The photo only shows two of the three I had when that shot was taken 5 years ago. I'm working on blanket number 5. One of the five is wearable.


    Wearable? Yes. In many other countries, the scouts wear their patch blankets, which they call "Camp Blankets". Scroll to the bottom of the following link for some sample blankets from other countries (the Canadian one shown has a hood):




    As you can see, there are no real rules to a camp blanket--each one is unique to its owner.


    For some simple patterns (as simple as cutting a hole in the center of a blanket), try:






    I used the simple pattern from the first website for my forth blanket. Hem/reinforce the opening you cut and you should be good to go. I'm sorry I don't have any pics--lots of folks get pictures of my collection, but I rarely get copies (chuckle).


    Maybe this would inspire your son to be the 'cutting edge' in his pack. :)

  11. I'm not a big sports fan (of any sport).


    I hear you about the ups and downs. Fortunately, we're in an up at the moment with our University (and the Council has finally updated their website).




    And much to my annoyance, our neighbors to the west are hosting theirs the same day:




    Why not the week before or after so some of our folks (and theirs) could then go to both? I think both councils are missing some opportunities here.

  12. In the other thread, Eamonn said:

    "Sadly from the look of it Pine Tree Council is more than twice the size of our Council."


    Area-wise, we might be (covering the western 1/3rd of Maine), but population-wise, we're really small. We have five districts and maybe a total of 400 units (Cubs through Venturers/Explorers).


    And Lisabob said:

    "Still, it is a bit of an "in-group" thing. It would help if we had more active UCs to get the word out to pack leaders, who often don't even know it exists until their third or fourth year in cubbing. All of our neighboring councils have also made the switch. The only unfortunate thing is that they all offer their UoS on the same day every year!"


    Our council advertises it in the council newsletter sent to all adult leaders quarterly (and this time of year to all the parents of the youth too). In addition it's on their website and we do get the word out the best we can at roundtables/emails/district websites.


    I agree, it seems that many councils have a habit of holding the event on the same date. I know many here who would love to go to a neighboring council's event, but cloning is out of the question. :)

  13. Having never been a Cub leader, I have never attended a Pow Wow. Then again, the local council eliminated their Pow Wow a few years back for the same reason as in Eamon's Council.


    BUT, rather then just make it go away, the took it, the old Commissioner College and combined them to form the local University of Scouting with additional courses for Boy Scout Leaders and the OA.


    The OA lodge comes in and helps set-up tables/chairs and preps/serves lunch.


    Unlike the individualized events, this one keeps growing. The past couple of years we've had scout leaders from as far south as central CT (6 hours drive away) attend our University.


    Website: http://www.pinetreebsa.org/university/


    Alas, they haven't updated it with this year's info yet.

  14. I agree with Kingfish about Camp Post. Back in my graduate school days I served as an ASM with two different Lubbock Troops (first 409 and then with 140, which 409 had merged with). But he didn't mention South Plains Council's other gem.


    Provided, Camp Tres Ritos is not in Texas, but a stone's throw from Taos, NM, but it's a beautiful mountain camp. Cooking (back when I was down that way) was by patrol, and you also fed a staff member or two every meal. In addition to a traditional camp week, they offer the Pecos Packer wilderness expedition that some have said are as good as nearby Philmont (I can't vouch for that part of the program as our unit were traditional the two summers I was down there).


    Links to both of their camps can be found on their council website at:





  15. troop1illinoiscouter,


    Like you, I can pronounce it and know what it is. But I couldn't spell it. I had to wait until my Lodge's next event to look at the current handbook (the page number referenced on the jumpstart website is only for the current one--in my old book from 23 years ago, the page referenced is a picture) and get the password for the jumpstart website. It is 'creepy' when you listen to it on that site. Asking around my lodge before looking at the current handbook got me little help or cryptic responses without a correct spelling.


    If you know what it is, send me a private message with your best attempt at spelling it and tell me what it means. I will then send you the correct spelling, one brother to another.

  16. Some days, the system accepts my password. Other days it will not. Some days, I'll post and only post once. Other days I'll have eplamer84 echo effect. I am on my 'antique' Win98 system as it's all I own. It don't matter which of the three web browsers on it I use: IE, Firefox or Netscrape.


    Then again, computers and I don't get along. I have been known to 'smoke' a few in the past--as in cause smoke to pour out of the things!

  17. Back in my days of activity at the troop level (now district level volunteer), Court of Honors were done several different ways. We had a tile floor, so we didn't have to worry about the stain problem as much. Like others have said, it depends on what the boys want.


    In our unit we had three regular courts of honor each year: Fall (pass out summer camp awards/badges), Mid-Winter (usually lighter on badges) and Summer kick-off.


    By Troop tradition (and the boys never wanted to change this), the Mid-Winter was a potluck supper. The patrol leaders usually called around to their members and gave them a choice of what to bring to make sure we didn't get all salads or desserts--each patrol had to bring an equal mixture of main dishes, salads, desserts. Troop supplied papergoods/drinks.


    Also by Troop tradition our summer kick-off in June was an outdoor BBQ in the town park. Troop supplied the meat/rolls/papergoods (we had some contacts for getting all this donated). Different patrols were assigned to drinks, condiments, sides, and desserts. This also gave the troop public exposure--look the town has an active Scout Troop!


    Fall was always different and upto the scouts. Sometimes it was just snacks. Sometimes pizza. Whatever the boys decided.


    All of our COH's were open to all family members of the scouts and the general public (as long as they also contributed to the food).

  18. Gonzo1,


    Be careful, you could be playing right into their hands. It could be that they would like to sell that camp--we don't know--it could be it has a deed restriction to prevent this or maybe they don't want to sell and there is a totally different reason this long time ranger was fired. We only have one side of the story.


    However, if this is a possibility (would like to sell camp for quick profit as we've seen elsewhere around the country), what better way to justify such a sale then to make it drop in popularity. How do you do that? Tick-off the area troops to encourage them not to go there. "Nobody goes there anymore, let's liquidate the assets and move on..."


    Sounds to me like Virginia needs to get more info on what is really going on in that council to better determine why the brother was fired and what the Council's real motives are.


  19. Follow-up. I just received the materials for this coming summer and it's blank--I'm invited to attend any non-restricted session. Alas, as I said before I can't spare that kind of cash. And one of the sessions I wanted to take two years ago isn't available next summer: International Scouting.


    It is also nice to see that they *HAVE* changed the title and description of the course I took, which is now called "Council & District Activities Leadership", and it now better reflects what the actual course content is.

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