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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. You're "stealing" my council's field director to be your new scout executive. We're loosing a very dedicated scout professional to you. May he serve you as well as he has served us here in Pine Tree Council, Maine Wilderness.


    (chuckle) From my understanding the physical area your council serves is roughly the size of one of our smallest districts.

  2. If you accept an invitation, be sure it is for a topic you know little about and want to learn about. I made the mistake of accepting an invitation for a topic I knew. The topic was not well described in Scouting Magazine or the material sent from PTC. The description for District Activities did not sound like a 101-type training, but an advanced training on District Activities. Alas, it was a 101 training for people who have never done any kind of district level activities planning. With over ten years on various camporee/klondike/similar district level activities, I gained nothing from this course. I contributed to others' learning, but I took away NOTHING NEW for my district. I would have been better off sending that invitation back requesting a different topic.


    I don't make a lot of money. I spent close to a month's take home pay to get out there and back from the Maine Wilderness: registration (roughly $350 or so, can't recall now), flight ($750), cheap hotels ($20/night) the two nights before/after the training while waiting for my flight back, travel from Colo Springs Jetport to Philmont/back ($160--grabbed a last minute deal on a discounted rental car), meals before/after (mostly cheap fastfood dollar menu-type meals or occasionally microwave meals from supermarkets..I think the most I spent was $10 on one sit-down dinner and had leftovers for breakfast).


    The week I was there, it was determined that I travelled the furthest of all attendees for that week. However, I got more out of sight seeing the two days before and after the training, then from the training itself.


    Would I go again? I'm hesitant as the descriptions I see now look just like those from two years ago when I went and I fear getting another 101-type training. Nor could I now afford to spend a month's pay to go out there for it. (Since last time, I've gotten a mortgage.)


    Nothing against the training itself. It was well presented, but as I said, I took the wrong topic. I said as such on my evaluation at the end of the week where my major complaint was that they need to plainly spellout a 101-type training as such instead of making it sound like it's a more advanced training. Maybe then they would get more folks from the far corners of this country to make the expensive trip down.


    My advice to anyone wanting to go, take a topic you know little about and want to learn more on. DO NOT TAKE SOMETHING YOU KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT!


  3. Welcome SPL and Dark Amber.


    DA, this is not a live chat-type system. It's a "discussion board". You post...then someone else responds, then someone else, then someone else and so on.


    Browse through the various topics and don't be afraid to jump in if you see something you can reply to.

  4. Back in my days as an SM, what worked for my troop was a 5 to 10 minute huddle by the Junior Leaders/PLC at the end of the meeting. In this huddle they would both discuss what worked/did not work that night and they would go over the tasks of the following meeting (as preplanned at the previous month's PLC meeting).


  5. Let's see if this will let me post today (it refused my password yesterday). And typing this now, the system is real jerky. You'd think I was on dial-up rather then DSL. (shrug) We'll see...


    At the top of my wish list this year:

    I don't need nothin'. I don't want nothin'. I don't have room for nothin'.


    Seriously. I have all the scouting related gear I need. Except a lantern case. I don't expect to get one again this year, though this has been on my list for the past five years.


    You see six years back my mother gave me a propane coleman lantern for Christmas. She didn't realize that you could buy one with or without a case. She thought they all came with a case. Guess which one she bought. They changed the style of the lantern either that year or the following year and I got the older style.


    Any idea how hard it is to find the right case? Even LL Bean (a 40 minute drive down the highway) doesn't carry'em. They did give me the contact info for Coleman and the order number for the case. So that's been on my list the past five years.


    Alas, mother doesn't like to buy over the net/phone. But I also know if I go out and buy it, then I'll receive one. (chuckle)


    In the meantime, I've made a "MacGyverized" case out of a cardboard box, duct tape and foam, which serves the purpose for now. ;)

  6. The patch company will not print the logo without permission from national and my DE called Texas on this matter that is when I found out it would take 6 mos for all the companys to get the paperwork done.


    Sounds like you're dealing with a company that has never done BSA-related patches before. Maybe you could try a different company. Several advertise in Scouting Magazine.

  7. When I was active at the troop level, our unit awarded a plaque to the outgoing SPL and SM whenever the position changed. Usually, a piece of "waste wood" local cedar or hardwood, polished smooth and varnished. On this we affix the position patch in question, the unit number below this and a brass plate with the person's name on it and the time period they served.


    The tradition dates back roughly 15 years.

  8. My district, Kennebec Valley (West-Central Maine) is a large, rural, sparsely populated district (it's over a 2 hour drive north to south and over an hour east to west on back roads).


    As such, our DC tries to assign UC's to units near their home town and that results in a UC handling all unit types in that area. Many times, they help facilitate communications between a pack and a troop or troop and a crew. As many of you know, there can be a lot of volunteer turnover at the unit level (especially the pack level) and this helps keep communication channels open.


    The only exception to the above is that we have a unit commissioner from the LDS Church who handles all the LDS-sponsored units. Their program is a bit different, so it makes sense to have someone assigned to them who understands their program.


    As to never seeing your unit commissioner, have you taken the following steps:


    Communicate with them regularly and sending him/her your unit's newsletter

    Invite them not just to your B&G banquets/courts of honors but also to your regular meetings (and tell them when/where they are)

    Invite them on your outings. Provided many of the UC's up this way are also unit leaders, but they can also be a resource to you should you be short of leaders for an outing.


    I am a roundtable commissioner not currently affiliated with a unit. Many a time in the past few years I have served as a 2nd trained leader for this unit or that who needed a 2nd leader to make an outing happen.


    Some UC's don't show-up more often fearing the unit thinks they're a spy or trying to interfere with their program (adult turf wars and such). Show them this is not the case and that they (a resource to you) are welcome in your unit and they'll probably show-up more then once or twice a year.


  9. Life! Breath life into this old thread and make it live again!


    I have two degrees in Meteorology, but am a victim of politics. I finished my master degree just as Contract on America took effect, slashing the National Weather Service Budget in half and flooding the private sector with highly skilled meteorologists. The result, "entry level" in my field requires 2 years of work-related experience. (blink, blink) I was even rejected (1996) by the military with a generic form letter stating they were inundated with meteorologists and didn't need any more.


    Alas, the bank doesn't like that excuse and unlike a car or house loan, they aren't willing to repossess your degrees, so I have done what I can over the past eleven years. Most 'regular jobs' at that time wanted nothing to do with me as I was "over qualified" with my master degree. So I did stuff on my own and eventually got hired by a temp agency (they're not so fussy about how much education you have had. Some of the past jobs I have held through the temp agency and/or on my own have included:


    Band roadie (for brother's band)

    Breadman helper (long days: 2am to about 4pm--this is a rural state with LONG bread routes that can be upto 200 miles each way-I was once placed on the "bun route", a 15 hour (if you speed) route that delivered Burger King buns from the distribution warehouse 20 miles north of Disgusta all the way up to Caribou, then down along the eastern border of the state to Calais and back to the warehouse, that was a really *LONG* day.)

    Auction House Laborer

    First Time Homebuyer helpline (got a two day crash course on how to buy a house and then immediately put on the helpline as the first contact person--"fun")

    Legal secretary (except the lawyer in question was not use to having the help of a secretary, so it amounted to a lot of reading and occasionally mailing a letter)

    Truck rental company parts man--was hired to clean-up their parts store room and rearrange the parts in some logical way involving UPC coding.

    Rake lawns/wash windows/other odd jobs, whatever I could find to make that next student loan payment


    After two or three years of that sort of stuff, I finally landed my current job. I now work for the University of Southern Maine's Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service in their satellite office in the state capital of Disgusta.


    I can't easily describe what I do for a living. The department ("Project") I work in has contracts with the state's Dept. of Health & Human Service's Mental Health/Mental Retardation divisions. My official title is "Project Assistant".


    Some of the things I handle:


    *--Logistics for Continuing Education courses for the state's MH/MR and private agency MH/MR workers--these can be trainings for as few as 20 people or 2-day long conferences for 600 people with multiple concurrent workshops (my personal record was 8 concurrent sessions at once and a total of 48 different workshops over two days). Logistics covers everything "behind the scenes" short of actually teaching the course: find the facility to hold the training at. Advertise the training and register people for it. Give directions to trainer (and possibly ferry thme to/from the airport). On day of training, make sure room/AV is set-up properly. Coffee and food are delivered/set-up when they are suppose to be. Great attendees upon their arrival. Troubleshoot as necessary--it's amazing how many professionals who have taught this stuff for years still can't figure out their own PowerPoint presentation. Collect evaluations and hand-out attendance/CEU (continuing education units/credits) certificates. Pay all bills involved. Need to hold a training somewhere in Maine? Tell me your budget and what part of the state you're looking at and I can tell you where to try and where to avoid and also whether or not the facility is ADA compliant. (chuckle)


    *--Front line "go to" person for the state's mental health worker certification programs including explaining the process to new applicants, screening applications, data entry in database, maintaining all certification files (over 17,000 records at the moment), fielding phone calls, etc.


    *--"Other duties as assigned"--Audio-visual tech when there isn't money in the budget to hire one for some trainings. Find and obtain 2nd hand office furniture when needed (and usually new isn't in the budget). Courier--sometimes, there's stuff that needs to be delivered like an hour ago to the state or a print shop and it can't wait for the following day's mail. Maintain Project's website: http://www.cfl-muskie.org Many other things I'm probably forgetting at the moment.


    It's a job. It pays the bills (barely). However, it's not what I trained to be. (shrug)


    The last of my student loans should be paid off sometime next spring. Probably just in time for the "Stealth Lemon" to die and I'll have to get a car loan. (chuckle)

  10. Back several (several, several) years ago in my early college days, my younger brother was coming up through our home troop. I came home one weekend to serve as one of the leaders for a trip to Baxter State Park in north central Maine.


    Saturday evening of the trip, bro was talking to friends when someone asked him to move the fire grate. He was so enthralled in his conversation that he reached over bare-handed and removed the grate from the fire while continuing to talking. He trailed off when he realized that everyone had become silent and were staring at him. It was then that he realized what he had done (and fianlly started to feel the pain) and high tailed it down to the lake to cool off his burned hand. Fortunately, only 1st degree.


    Now he's scoutmaster and still talks about this event to his scouts. "...we nearly had handburger that weekend..."


  11. You can also try: http://www.oaimages.com aka the online OA Bluebook Guide


    Unfortunately, there is no way to search by lodge totem at this time. Many lodges have the turtle for its totem. The patch you have a scan of uses the same style turtle as found on many Unami 1 patches/flaps. However, I did not see anything under Unami that was similar to the patch you picked-up. This site also has a "Whats It" section.


    Good luck and when you do learn what this is, please share it with the rest of us.

  12. The only camp box similiar to what you're asking for we simply call a "coffin" because it takes at least 6 scouts (or more) to haul one.


    Several troops in our district have those port-a-garage style awnings. Volunteers in soe of those units have designed wooden boxes that all those poles/elbows/tarp pieces can be hauled in. The resulting box is roughly the size of a coffin and when filled weighs so much that it takes six to eight "paulbearers" to haul the thing. But once at the campsite, legs slide into these and make good-size worktables. One example I saw the legs slid into the sides of the box to be used as lift handles to carry the box around. In the other, there were metal pipe legs that stored inside the box and were screwed on the bottom of the box when it was time to use it as a table.


    Alas, I have never seen plans--each one appears to be custom made.


    Back when I was active at the unit level 5 years back, our unit aquired one of those awnings, but we opted not to build a coffin (no storage space, etc.). Instead, we have two heavy-duty (upholstery fabric) bags handmade by one of our volunteers to haul the upright/cross poles. The elbows and the plastic tarp go in one of those large Robbermade-type totes. Easier to store and easier to haul.

  13. OldGreyEagle wrote:


    "...we only had 5 channels to choose from..."


    Five? I'm jealous. I currently get two and only if I stand on one foot while holding the antenna: PBS and CBS. I happen to live in the "Maine Wilderness" on the edge of the range of the state's two broadcast markets. When I moved from an apartment to a house, I found that a Net connection was more valuable then cable, and I could only afford one bill or the other, but not both, so I'm here rather then vegging in front of the boob tube. I miss History Channel and Sci-Fi at times, but not enough to fork over that kind of cash for all the other crap that comes with it.


    So I settle for NOVA, a few local Maine PBS shows and occasionally CBS news (which is when I need to do the balance on one foot praying swan act for it to come in).

  14. I've never heard of a Powder Horn course being offered up this way. Then again, I'm not active with Venturers. However, most of the councils in New England offer a University of Scouting program (usually on different weekends). Some of our leaders go as far south as Conneticut and some from down that way travel the 500 miles to attend our University.


    Why should they do this when they have a course in their own council or close by? To get/share ideas with scouters from other councils/states.


    I made the trip down to one in CT a few years back and took a Roundtable course. Some of the other roundtable commissioners were asking how for help on trying to get leaders to attend their roundtable when it was more then a 15 mile drive away. I started chuckling, which caused all eyes to stare at me. I explained that my district was larger area-wise then CT (and it is) and that we have leaders who drive two hours one way to attend roundtable, yet it's the close units I can't get to attend.


    I wonder if any of them used this later as an example in response to folks in their own district complaining about the 'long' distance to their roundtable. ;)

  15. As usual when I try and use this bulletin board system, it's not happy with either my password or simply crashes when I try and post. My apologies in advance if this hits multiple times. Is there even any admin-types around anymore who work on this thing. Anyway, enough ranting, Eamonn asked for help (and the system crashes when I try to spin this off into a new thread):


    Eamonn wrote:

    "I'm having a problem with power point.

    I want to play music all the way through the presentation (several tracks)

    The music seems to want to stop between each slide."


    It's been a little while since I've had to edit a Powerpoint presentation (I handle logistics for continuing education trainings as part of my job), but from what I recall, here's what you can try:


    Insert the music into the first slide you want it to start at.


    Now in the dropdown menus at the top click on Slide Show


    Choose Custom Animation


    A new window will open on your screen with a mini-version of the slide in the upper right-hand side, a list of objects in the upper left-hand side and a bunch of tabs in the middle.

    In the upper left-hand window, check mark which ever object is marked "Media". This is your sound clip.


    Now click on the Multimedia Settings tab. Options for these settings will now appear in the bottom of the window.


    Check "Play using animation order"

    Click the bullet next to "Continue slide show"

    Select the number of slides (pictures) the music is to play through without stopping.


    If you want the music to loop, click the button on the right marked "More Options..." and then check the appropriate box.


    Once you've made all the changes, you can either Preview your work or click OK and you should be done.


    I wish it was easier, but we are talking about a Microsoft product (chuckle). Remember, Microsoft has NO BUGS in it's programming, just undiscovered FEATURES. :)

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