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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. I can't really add much here as others have beat me to the camp blanket idea. They're so popular else where that they have their own group on Facebook: My Camp Blanket ROCKS!


    Seriously. So, if you have a FB account, look it up and you'll find a lot of photos of camp blankets, both GS/GG and BS.

  2. The year I went, I flew into Colorado Springs. Did some tourist things in/around CS (Garden of the Gods, Olympic Training Center, a mining museum, Pikes Peak, Royal Ravine to name a few.) before and after my week at PTC. On the drive back, I side tripped to La Junta to see the Koshare Museum and I timed it right 'cause they were performing that night.


  3. I've seen all three happen. Of course, our council learned after a couple of greenhorn DE's in an 18 month period that it might not be the best thing to put a greenhorn in the second largest district (area-wise) in the Northeast. The last couple of times we changed DE's we had one rotated in from another district. One of our former DE's is now the field director. Another got shifted to a different district. In that case, council had a DE quit in another district and council decided to shift everyone around and then hire someone for the smallest (area and unit wise) district.

  4. What? It's *NOT* a toothpick holder?!?!


    I hate to break that to my brother. I got him one of those Philmont toothpick holders several years back when I went to a training. He still uses it to hold toothpicks. :)

  5. Basementdweller wrote: "These are urban kids that don't have a proper winter coat, hat and glove let alone wool pants. "




    Back when I "served time in exile from Maine" (graduate school) down in Lubbock, Texas, there was a troop in town sponsored by the local air force base (Reese--no longer there). The youth with the backing of the leadership wanted to give winter camping a try. They recruited me from another unit for the trip, 'cause they knew I was a "damn yankee", so it must be old school to me.


    Nope. I grew up in a unit with leaders whose idea of winter camping was a cabin with a wood stove. I had been trained in it, but never got to try it out. I was game, though.


    No wool pants? No problem. Trip to Goodwill, got a bunch of dress wool slacks--hemmed to proper length for the boys. If the pants were a bit large around the waist, no problem, add suspenders.


    Long underwear--not too expensive at the time. Knit/wool hats, were not that hard to come by, even in West Texas, where they do have "winter" compared to the rest of the state.


    As for gear, the Reese unit leaders contacted their counterparts at Clovis, NM to borrow equipment for the weekend including snowshoes, cross-country skis, "Mickey Mouse" boots, winter sleeping bags, etc. From there we headed to Camp Tres Ritos, one of South Plains Council's two scout camps. TR is located at an elevation of roughly 9,000ft 20 miles east of Taos.


    There was 6 ft of snow on the ground when we arrived. There was a bit of a learning curve on how to use snowshoes among them city slickers, but within 30 minutes they got the hang of it. Due to how late we had arrived (it's 6 to 7 hours drive from Lubbock to TR), we camped out in the one building at the camp, which also had a fireplace for that first night.


    Following day, we showed scouts how to build snow shelters. Those that weren't interested in building shelters put up tents. Extra blankets below the bags for extra insulation from the ground. Extra blankets for those who wanted'em to go with the air force-loaned winter bags.


    Overall, all the scouts/leaders had a blast. No one froze, but everyone's self-confidence improved greatly. Oh, and they made a special patch for those who attended.


    But that's enough rambling. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that if the scouts want to do it, there are ways to secure the equipment if you/they don't have it. Just need to ask around.

  6. Last month we lost a long time scouter--over 75 years with the same unit. He joined the unit soon after it formed as a youth and continued on as a leader until his death in early Dec., except for a couple of years while he served our nation in WWII.

  7. Eagle92: my "local" (hour drive away) national-run scout shop told me it's discontinued and not available--I needed one for one of my uniforms. However, they said someone who earned the SM Award of Merit can wear the new Unit Leader Award of Merit knot. I passed and simply dropped down to 2 uniforms (use to have 3) for now. I won't wear the newer knot 'cause I don't believe I "earned" it like the SM one.


    Rickster, if you don't get what you need through here, you might have to go through (shudder) Ebay.


    However, National will gladly sell you a special SM patch for those who have earned the award that includes a gold star on it...ooooohhhhh....aaaaahhhhhh....special (you can tell how thrilled I am with that), which is fine and dandy if you're still an SM:


  8. It all depends on the unit within our district. Most are pack and go after breakfast on Sunday. Some hold program through lunch and then go home. Then there are our LDS units, that pack and go home Saturday evening.


    At camporees, I'm very thankful if units are packed and on the road home by 10am on Sunday. That means I might be able to leave between 1 and 2pm, depending on how much district gear has to be packed from the camporee site, and what my share of said gear is that needs to be transported to district storage (kindly provided by a town rec dept that also hosts one of our troops).

  9. During the energy crisis of the late 70's, my folks added a wood/coal furnace to the oil furnace. We had baseboard hot water heat. The system was set-up so that the oil furnace supplemented the wood furnace if necessary. It was a rarity for the oil furnace to kick-in. We went through 4 tons of coal and 6 cord of wood a year to heat the old 12 room house. My folks got rid of that second furnace about 15 years back and I know my father has regretted that decision. Mother was always fearful of it, especially after the chimney fire when I was in junior high. Four story chimney--it was bound to happen.

  10. I agree with SR.


    I went through my Ordeal at 14. I then concentrated on keeping my troop/patrol together. I attended the occasional weekend OA event at the local camp, but that's all I did. Back then, I had no clue where the chapter met--it wasn't well advertised.


    Never bothered to seal my membership until I was in graduate school in another state and only then as a deal with my younger brother who had become active in the home lodge and was pestering me to seal it. I made him a deal--he complete Eagle, I'd seal my membership. He did so with 4 hours to spare (8pm night before he turned 18), so at the next available op, I sealed mine.


    Moved back to Maine and and helped-out at weekend lodge events on the kitchen crew, usually, as "galley slave" (dishwasher). Eventually received Vigil Honor, totally unexpected as I didn't view myself as a very active member--I was just the dishwasher at weekend events, but I guess the youth noticed/appreciated it. I've joked with some of the young'uns who are trying to "earn" Vigil that they could just join me on KP for a year or two. :) None of them have taken me up on the offer.


    One of the reasons I wasn't expecting Vigil was that I wasn't a "good" lodge member. For several years after returning to Maine, I maintained membership with Nakona. Why? At the time, I was poor, trying to make ends meet. Nakona didn't charge membership dues unless you wanted the newsletter. You were welcome to wear their flap, "paying member" or not. Meanwhile, Madockawanda had a $10 reinstatement fee in addition to yearly dues. So, for several years, that Nakona flap stayed on my uniform as a protest until the youth changed the lodge rules and dropped the reinstatement fee. Considering the lodge numbers increased quite a bit afterwards, I think they made the right decision.


    Never active at chapter meetings--hard to do so when you're on RT staff and the meeting takes place same night/location as RT, but at the same time, that's better for the chapter as the youth can catch a ride from the leaders going to RT. We've had a very active chapter over the past decade or so.


    So, there's my ramble/personal background in regards to flaps.


    By the way, my favorite one I've picked-up trading has to be from 488 Ta Tanka and uses glow-in-the-dark thread for the white buffalo:


  11. Madockawanda Lodge still has a "restricted" flap. They don't call it that, but that's what it is as you're limited to 3 for life--one at each "level" of the OA. I only have two 'cause I sealed my brotherhood in a different lodge, Nakona (Lubbock, TX). They do sell a different trading flap (all you wish to buy) nearly every year.


    Nakona had (17 yrs ago when I was down that way) the different border flaps for the different levels. So, I could buy blue (ordeal) and red (brotherhood), but not silver-gray, which was reserved for Vigil. However, they GAVE me one to add to my patch blankets display, knowing that's where it would go. I was told at the time I was the first non-Vigil to be given one. I felt honored at the time to be trusted with it.

  12. I admit I haven't had time to read through the whole thread, but need to add my 3 cents (inflation) as a leader who did like the young college student mentioned at the start of this thread--I volunteered to help the unit in my college town. They were quite happy to have me volunteer and were understanding that I may not always be there as college course work came first. Apparently, I wasn't the first college student over the years to help Plymouth (NH) Troop 56, and I'm probably not the last.


    I assume I was a good role model for the scouts as they observed me cart along my homework on some of their events where if I wasn't around, they wouldn't have been able to attend said event due to not having a second parent/leader available other than me.


    I was invited back to the ceremonies of three of those scouts when they made Eagle. I flew cross-country to attend one of them as I had promised said scout that if he stuck to the troop and made Eagle, I'd be at his ceremony regardless of where I was in the country when it took place. He'd go on to win one of NESA's scholarships (a $5K one if I recall) and major in physics. His mother informed me privately, that he had almost quit the unit until I talked to him.


    Fast forward to graduate school in Lubbock, TX. I had no clue where the local scout units were, so I went to the council office. They gave me the contact info for my nearest unit--I was too little, too late. The unit was already falling apart. Basically, another college student and myself were the only two active leaders left. We held the remaining 6 scouts together in that unit long enough to find another one to merge with. Just in the nick of time too, 'cause the other student transferred to another school. I was more than welcomed at the new unit as a leader through my time in graduate school.


    I think this unit that is hesitant to except a college Eagle Scout is shooting themselves in the foot.

  13. I'm disappointed as I HATE those little devices. Why can't they come-up with some sort of soft rubber backing for them. The two I have on my Key knot (Scoutmaster and Commissioner) keep poking me in the chest.


    And yes, I'll gladly take some Extra Sharp Cheddah with my "whine". :)

  14. pchadbo: So Yankee Clipper Council has dissolved and the Salem, NH area is now part of DWC? That's news to me. (chuckle)


    As for me, not afraid to post my name once (Scott Bernier).

    Eagle Scout

    I have served at the troop level in NH (Plymouth T56); Lubbock, TX (South Plains Council) and Winslow, Maine (Pine Tree Council).

    Up to this past spring I had served as the Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner for Kennebec Valley District, PTC (ten yrs). I'm now on the RT staff. I've also been a District "Member at Large" for the past ten years. I've served on numerous district events over the years. Come to one of our OA events and you'll find me on the kitchen crew. I'm very thankful that when I was called out for Vigil that my Vigil name did Not translate to "Galley Slave". :)


    I have never attended a US National Jamboree, but I have attended a Canadian one (2001, PEI) and served on the staff of a regional Canadian one (1999-Maritime Jambo, NB).


    That's probably enough for now.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  15. We had a similar issue up here in Maine this summer. I don't recall if it was a parent or grandparent. He built a treehouse for his son/grandson and was forced to remove it. Not because he forgot to get a permit, but because it was 2 ft too close to the lake and within the shoreland (no development) zone. He got the town to compromise and allow him to leave it up through the end of summer.

  16. SR540Beaver: I've never been to a US National Jambo. I've heard about the vandalism. I have been to a Canadian National Jambo with youth from 23 different countries--never had a problem with their bathrooms. I guess the scouts of other nations are better behaved.


    That and most other countries scouting programs are coed.

  17. jrush, great idea, except nearly illegal now in our state without a lot of permits first. Of course, the ground is so rocky in this part of Maine, you'd be lucky if you could dig down 6 inches before hitting ledge. Thus the port-a-potties.


    In addition, this particular camporee was held at some fairgrounds that do not have a bathroom facility. We needed that kind of open space because the county emergency management offered to do our program for the event if we could provide that sort of space. It was a good event, even if the weather prevented LifeFlight from "surprise" landing one of their helicopters as planned.


    The owners of the fairgrounds (a Lions Club) were very generous and allowed us to use the grounds for free. I doubt they would ever let us return if they found that each of the 25 attending units had dug latrine pits into their midway area.


    CalicoPenn, your suggestion is one thought from a couple staff members.

  18. Venting here, but also looking for ideas to pass back to district as we need to put a policy in place in regards to port-a-potties at district events.


    I just returned 2 hours ago from our fall camporee. We should rename it Pig Scouts rather then Boy Scouts after this event.


    We, district volunteers, were short staffed due to work schedule conflicts, illness, and an inability to just get leaders to step forward and help. That's a different can of worms. However, we really, really had better things to do than having to go clean-out the port-a-potties every couple of hours as we couldn't seem to catch the pigs who thought it was funny to, among other things:


    Bowl movement (to put it politely) on the edge of seats/floor, including the handicap stall that they should have stayed out of.

    Urinate all over everything BUT into the urinal.

    Unroll an entire roll of TP and stuff it down into the holding tank.

    Projectile Vomit all over everything--walls, floor and ceiling (more than once).


    We couldn't exactly leave things be, as it's a safety issue. Short of having some Outhouse Police posted to guard the things all day/all night, what can we do to prevent this kind of behavior in the future?


    The culprits are lucky I didn't catch them 'cause I'd be thrown out of scouting. By this morning and finding the outhouse trashed for the umpteenth time I was ready to take the little pigs/dogs and rub their noses in their mess before making them clean it.

  19. If true, I guess I retired from the RT Commish position at the right time. But considering how rebellious our district is, we'll probably continue holding them whether or not National likes it. We might just call it a different name if need be.


    Oh, and BadenP, don't give National any ideas. Imagine how much $$$ they could save if they could axe all the DE's and use your virtual substitute in their place. :)

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