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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. (chuckle) I know many a patrol in many a troop in my area that would fail these uniform inspections other talk about if we conducted them at district events (which we don't).


    Some of them use Canadian Patrol Patches ("wildlife crests"--see: http://www.scoutshop.ca/eSolution/catalogue2/?data=010203&template=1&path_spacer=%26nbsp%3B%26bull%3B%26nbsp%3B&num_cols=3&entry=40).


    Others have custom embroidered ones that are 1.75 inches in diameter--smallest size they could order through the company they went through.


    I guess we've got a lot of sharp looking scouts not in "official" uniform. (shrug) But at least they've got a lot of patrol spirit--which happens to be something we DO judge at district events.

  2. In response to the response so far:


    Beavah: Thank you. I don't think I could have put it better.


    RicahrdB: Our Assistant Scout Executive spent several weeks on/off in his "spare time" from among his other ASE duties to track down the CD in your link. No one up this way had heard of it before I started asking questions after having seen several out-of-council Scouting Universities offering a Hazardous Weather Training that would count as the official BSA requirement on tour permits. They were only aware of the online version of the training. Perhaps National Supply could categorize it in an easier to find place like "Training" rather than "other". When does the BSA plan to become ADA compliant and offer this with at least the ability to print-off a transcript of the training so it can be provided to the deaf/hearing impaired?


    Our ASE succeeded in tracking down and ordering us a copy last Nov. So if what he was sold was out-of-date, that's beyond my control and the fault of whoever at scout supply sold it to him. Checking the SKU number on the back, it matches your website: 610642--2010 printing.


    When I personally took the training online about a year back, the site was very slow with a DSL connection and I couldn't get through to the resources section after completing the training. I'm bookmarking your link for future reference. Glad to see it work now.


    As for consistent delivery, if that's what National wants, why not do away with all live training including Woodbadge? Why not make it all online? There are ways to lock a PowerPoint so the presenter can't alter it. A script can be provided. The trainer can be trained (isn't there a train-the-trainer for presenting trainings???) to present it a specific way just as scout leader specific trainings are presented. I'll get off my soapbox now (for the moment).


    Venividi: I was all prepared to do so until our council folks determined that despite my background, it wouldn't count as the weather hazard training national requires for tour permits.


    Basementdweller: Please refer to point 1 of the Scout Law. A scout does not steal. Instead he turns to his council office and convinces them that it's a good thing for them to spend some of their $$$ on this training material for their volunteers. :)(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  3. There might have been local issues of 90th and 95th Anniversary patches, but I have never seen a nationally released one. If I had, I'd have one sewn on one of my six blankets (and growing). Good luck!


    Thinking more about it, I've never seen a national release for the 80th or 85th either.

  4. Our district recently obtained the Hazardous Weather Training on CD so we could present it to a group at a time. We are a LARGE RURAL district and many of our leaders only have dial-up access. If you find it frustrating navigating the national site with high-speed, imagine trying to do it at 56K. So, we do what we can to make "live" training available.


    We had an attendee who is legally deaf. He has 90% hearing loss. He reads lips well. If you put him next to the speaker and crank-up the volume, he'll catch most of a presentation.


    Like the other thread for youth protection, the current Hazardous Weather training is not much use for the deaf ('round these parts, they prefer that to the newer "pc" term hearing impaired). If I had been able to print a transcript of the training and given it to him to follow along, he would have gotten more out of it.


    Also, if National were to issue a PowerPoint version of this, it would be better for group trainings. With a PowerPoint version where the trainer does the presentation, the deaf attendee would have had no problem. I (as the trainer in this case) would simply have to remember he will only hear me as long as I'm facing him.


    Also, with a PowerPoint version I could then combine it with my employer's copy of TurningPoint software (we do a lot of adult continuing education) and I could make it just as interactive as the online version. With this software, attendees are given mini-"clicker" remotes. When you get to a question, everyone can click in their answer. The software then tallies up the responses, displays them and you can discuss it before moving on.



    As a side note, as a meteorologist (BS-Plymouth State, MS-Texas Tech), I found one thing very grating about the training. The NWS hasn't used the Fujita Scale for tornadoes since adopting the Enhanced Fujita Scale in early 2007, which was prior to the release of this training. And, where did they get the idea that there's an F6 level tornado? Maybe in theory, but on the old scale, an F5 leaves nothing behind except, maybe, the foundation. So, why even mention the F6 in the training?

  5. My thanks to you also, Eaglescout1996. I was recently given two commissioner patches from the mid-60's but wasn't sure which was which. Now I know I have an Assist Dist. Commissioner & a Neighborhood Commissioner.


    Lub2boutdoors, I'm going to PM you. Send me your addy and I can set you up with a 60's vintage ASM patch for your son.

  6. SMT224, sounds like your district needs some more volunteers at the district level, particularly, an activities chairperson.


    What some folks forget is that the district is made-up of volunteers. There's only one paid position at the district level--the District Exec. Everyone else is a volunteer like you.


    If things aren't organized in advance, that's the fault of the activities chair (if you have one) and the district chair, who should be recruiting someone (or several someones) to head-up activities and provide support to the units.


    We've been lucky in our district as we have strong volunteer support. Most times we do have the dates out a year or so in advance for district events. It just depends on the event. We do our best to set the Spring and Fall Camporees on the same weekend each year, along with the Klondike Derby. Other events like the District Banquet are dependent on facility availability and the District Pinewood Derby is dependent on which pack is sponsoring it that year and when the school they choose to use is available for it.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  7. Grrrr...I didn't see that this topic was posted twice and this one had a few responses.


    Sorry folks, but there is a loose policy on this:


    From the online excerpts of the BSA Insignia Guide at:



    Under "Excess Insignia":


    "Previously earned badges and insignianot representing present statusmake a fine display on a BSA red patch vest, a trophy hide or blanket, exhibited in the home of the recipient, or at functions where such a display is invited."


    Whoever told Kevin that the vest is not to be worn is basically stating that the vest is "not invited" to be displayed at these events.


    Then again, the brag vest isn't an official part of the uniform. Every unit seems to have their own policy on brag vests (at least those that have them).


  8. Kevin, whoever told you this is interpreting the BSA Insignia Guide in a specific way.




    Under "Excess Insignia":


    "Previously earned badges and insignianot representing present statusmake a fine display on a BSA red patch vest, a trophy hide or blanket, exhibited in the home of the recipient, or at functions where such a display is invited."


    Whoever told you this is basically stating that the vest is "not invited" to be displayed at these events.


    Then again, the brag vest isn't an official part of the uniform. Every pack seems to have their own policy on brag vests (at least those that have them).

  9. 1980 Chevy Citation. I drove it for about 3 years until I was forced off the road by a drunk driver and wound-up in a ditch just short of a telephone pole. Car seemed fine at first. Then a month later it pulled to the left at random. Turns out I had cracked the transaxle. Being a poor college student, I didn't get it fixed.


    My favorite vehicle to date was my third car. My former folks' car, an '82 Chevy Impala Wagon. The folks didn't have much cash either, so there was a lot of "deferred maintenance" with it when I inherited it. Deferred things like, oh, the exhaust. On one trip, the scout leader behind me kept killing his headlights. It was explained to me it was so they could watch the sparks fly from under my car. Turns-out there was more rust than metal left to the exhaust system--it looked like someone had taken a machine gun to it. It was quickly dubbed, "Da Beast" by the local scouts, due to how it roared and "breathed fire". The ignition lock was broken. You could start it without the keys and/or pull the keys out while driving and toss them to someone else in the car. Was a great gag on the scouts while in Texas. "What? You think I own this thing? I hot-wired it earlier today, (yank key out and toss it to scout in back seat) and stole it!" :)


    Still, it served me for nearly 10 years and 100,000 miles (beyond the 100,000 on it when I got it) and allowed me to drive with all my possessions from Maine to grad school in Texas and back again. The engine blew on the interstate one summer evening with a car-load of scouts in the back. Somehow I was able to keep it at interstate-speed to the next exit, 3 miles down the road, before the car quit completely. Mechanic didn't believe my tale--apparently I had blown 6 out of 8 cylinders.


    They don't make cars like that anymore.


  10. Moosetracker, let me get this straight:


    Your district lacks a RTC and the DC is currently running roundtables.

    A volunteer (you) stepped forward with important info to pass on and the DC didn't snag that volunteer up and recruit them as the new RTC?!?!

    Sounds like this DC has dropped the ball (again).


    No further comment. As others have said, look back at previous roundtable threads.

  11. I missed the original posting of this thread so long ago.


    Scouter-Terry, you and I may have briefly met in your tour with Green Bar Bill in '91. He attended our Maine state jamboree that May at the Brunswick Naval Air Station. My brother and I were the first in line to get our handbooks signed. Bro got recruited by Bill to do the green bars for him, which he did for Mr. Hillcourt for over an hour before another scout in line was asked to take his place.

  12. A long, long time ago...back when I was an older scout instead of an older leader (chuckle), I served on the staff of our local scout camp. We held both resident Boy Scout weeks and Cub Day Camp weeks. One of my duties during day camp week was to collect "lost" (forgotten) clothing from the waterfront change tents after all the Cubs left for the day.


    One day, I found the following piled together in one of the tents:







    swim trunks

    scout shirt




    I figured some Cubby must have gone home in his birthday suit.

  13. At past Klondikes, we've had three age categories:


    Webelos (who may attend and compete if they are invited by a troop)

    "Younger" Scouts (All First Class or under)

    "Older" Scouts (Above First Class or mixed group with at least one scouts above First Class)


    Venture Crews are allowed to participate and are lumped into the "Older" category.


    We've only had a crew participate twice so far. The first time, it was a brand new crew, half boys, half girls. They didn't even have a crew flag yet. Two of the boys were also Boy Scouts. The crew took second place in the older category. They were very psyched and it helped the crew 'cause we award camping gear rather than trophies. So they got themselves a two-burner camp stove.


    It motivated the scouts. The crew didn't place the following year. However, they've remained very active and have provided us a lot of service at other district (and council) events in return.


    So, yeah, we have no problem with it in our district.

  14. Relayed from Peter S. Wolfe of USSCOUTS.ORG who relayed it from the folks who operate Scout-L to rec.scouting.usa Usenet newsgroup (yes, there are a few of us dinosaurs who keep an eye on the original Usenet "discussion board":


    "Jon Eidson, owner of Scouts-L sent this out earlier today (2/3):


    > We've had a fairly major disaster at TCU's computer facility. A

    > pipe burst in our building and flooded our computer room. The

    > building's power is down as well as our computer room. I just spent

    > the day getting our priority systems running at our backup site.

    > Obviously the ListServe server is not a priority system ... thus

    > Scouts-L is down. It may be several days before things are back up

    > and running in our main facility."

  15. Eliza, I'd suggest you contact the organizers of the event. Explain you have a group of Webelos attending. Ask them what they're looking for by that request. Are they looking for enough to make ONE French toast, or enough for the judges or enough for the entire patrol and the judges, etc. Ask them if the egg mix can be pre-mixed or if it needs to be done on site. Do they need to clean-up on site, or can they pack the dirty dishes to take home? This last one will determine whether or not they need to pack cleaning gear in addition to cooking gear.


    If it's like the cooking event at our past Klondikes, the group will be judged not on just whether or not they can cook it, but on whether or not it's made from scratch, teamwork, cleanliness, taste, etc. So, someone who arrives with eggs/milk (or cream or water), bread, etc. and makes it all on site will score more points then a group that arrives with premixed batter.


    There are many different ways to make French Toast as you've seen so far in the responses to your question. A favorite up this way is to beat eggs with a little milk, dash of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla.


    As for the concern of the ingredients freezing, you can slow down the freezing process by packing the ingredients in a small hard-side "6-pack" cooler that is at room temp--don't add any ice. The insulation works in both directions. In this case, it will keep the stuff inside warmer than the outside air...at least for a while. Pack no more ingredients then you need for the event. You could also transfer the amount of syrup needed into a smaller, tightly sealing, non-breakable container. Have one of the scouts keep this in an inside pocket of his jacket (if you dare).

  16. Greetings, gjjennell, from your neighbor to the north in K-Valley District. Your current DE is our former DE. Talk to him and he'll give you some ideas of what has and has not worked in our district. We must be doing something right as we're averaging 50 leaders a month in our rural district with some (Jackman) traveling as far as 2 hours one-way to attend.


    Our Cub side is hurting, but we've just recruited a new, gung-ho commish for the Cub side and the numbers are already improving there.


    Others have given great suggestions. Here's a few more. I'm the Boy Scout Commish in our district. I give the leaders buy-in into the roundtable. In May, we run the meeting like an annual troop planning meeting, except the leaders who attend PLAN their roundtables for the coming year. Let them dictate what topics they want to learn about and set it in the months they think will work best.


    We get the word out in advance through our email list about the planning meeting. I believe your district has a Facebook page--use it for the same thing. After the planning meeting, I post the schedule via email and our website so leaders will know what's upcoming.


    Use the resources around you. In this case, those same leaders and other leaders in the district. I recruit from among the leaders for those topics. Sometimes, I'll turn elsewhere, for example, our chapter of the OA will be presenting Leave No Trace principals. I brought in some folks from a non-profit GIS program up in Farmington to teach hands-on GPS. One of our units is known to do major high adventure trips to Wyoming and Alaska, so I brought them in once to discuss planning such a trip. If the topic is on alternate requirements for advancement, then I turn the district's advancement committee for help.


    In the past couple of years two of our most enjoyed presentations has been that one on GPS and a cooking demo night--any/all leaders interested were welcome to demonstrate a cooking technique and provide samples. We had folks doing dutch-oven, cardboard box ovens, one-pot meals, foil dinners, etc. We had a total of about ten different presentations. No one went away hungry, and everyone went away with some ideas they hadn't thought of before.


    Remind your presenters a month in advance and another follow-up reminder a week before. Thank them after wards. I also give a small thank you gift to my presenters at our district banquet and recognize them a second time.


    Are all the presentations a hit? No, but you make note of what didn't work and move on. One of our biggest flops was an outside presenter on canoe trips. Basically, it was miscommunications between the volunteer who made the arrangements with a Maine Guide friend of his. His presentation was great if you wanted to hire him, but it wasn't what we were looking for to help units plan their own canoe trips.



    Announcements: I limit the DE/Key Three/others to a maximum of 30 minutes of the 90 minute roundtable. Ask the current council field director sometime about his first roundtable (yes, he was our DE back then) and how he used-up over an hour of our allotted time. Usually, all announcements are covered in under 20 minutes now. It may sound like a long time, but we're averaging 9 people needing to talk to everyone in any given month. You'd think it would take a lot longer.


    It's only 20 minutes on average (I'd love to see it even shorter) partially due to the mailbox system started by our former (and now your) DE. In our case, the mailbox system is two portable file boxes with a folder for every unit--we have just over 100 units. Got something important to share? Put it in writing and make enough copies to distribute in the mailbox system. Then those announcements are more brief providing an overview of what's new and for more details see the write-up in your mailbox. Forgot to put it in writing in advance? Email it to the district email newsletter editor (or post it to your district's Facebook page if you have one) or to the district webmaster.


    After announcements, we take a 5 minute break and then break-out into Boy Scout and Cub Scout specific topics in separate rooms.


    Some months we reverse this and do the break-outs first and the announcements at the end. It just depends on the topic.


    One of my biggest challenges with RT is keeping side conversations/business to a minimum during presentations/topic discussions. I politely ask those involved to take please it to an empty breakout room or out in the hallway.


    Our next challenge will be finding a larger (and still free) facility to meet in as the cub side is built back-up. That's a challenge in our area.


    I think our other challenge will be leaders complaining that they can't be in two places at once. As I said, we're a rural district. We have several leaders representing two and sometimes three units. Once the cub program is built back-up, they're going to have a hard time choosing which break-out to attend.


    John-in-KC, we don't have a Venture RT session at the moment. There is a separate Venture Advisor meeting on a different night that may turn into a RT, but again, we'd have the same problem already mentioned--find another location. We've only got a handful of Venture Crews in the district.


  17. Nothing fancy for our opening after the Pledge to the flag. In the past, we have done a staggered timed-start to a destination point (roughly a half-mile down the trail). This timed race is used a tie-breaker at the end of the day should two patrols finish with the same score.


    End of the day ceremony is simply awarding the prizes. We don't give trophies. We give camping/troop gear. Top patrol gets first pick. Then second place and so on down to fifth place. Gear we've given away have included camp stoves, griddles, lanterns, the 4 scout picnic table you can build out of a sheet of plywood, coolers, etc.


    Top patrol doesn't always choose the most expensive item. They choose the item they believe their unit could use the most.

  18. For the past few years in the fall, we have been offering Cub Leader Basic Training on the same night/location as roundtable. We are fortunate to meet in a facility with several meeting rooms. It is offered in addition to the roundtable program. We've also done this with YP.


    Yes, YP is online...if you have high speed access. A good portion of our rural district does not. Try accessing the BSA national site with a 56K dial-up modem, and you'll understand why we continue to offer live versions of the online trainings up this way.

  19. Please don't forget that we do have forum members from Down Under and from "Middle Earth" (formerly known as New Zealand). For them, this wasn't the winter solstice, but the summer solstice and their days (as in hours of daylight, wise crackers) are now getting shorter.


    I need to save up the $$$ to go visit some friends down there. I think it would be fun to be singing carols around the barbie in my shorts. :)

  20. SctDad, John-in-KC, was being polite by saying "They can release the members". What he means is they can choose to kick you out at any time (thus releasing you from membership).


    I've been a "released member" before. I was active with a unit in graduate school. The entire adult leadership except myself and an undergrad student quit. We approached the IH and explained the situation. The IH chose to "release" us from our volunteer duties and dissolved the unit rather than try and recruit some new leaders. The chartered organization in question shouldn't have had any trouble--it was the largest church (10,000 families strong) in the city. They just decided they didn't want to deal with it.


    We found a new unit for the 9 scouts to transfer to.

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