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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. Great resources and I hope some put them to use.


    Unfortunately, up my way, it's not so much the cost of attending Philmont that prevents youth from participating. It's the cost of getting to/from Philmont. It's not exactly next door to us up here in the Maine wilderness.


    Anyone know of any sponsorship programs that would help scouts defray the cost of travel?

  2. I haven't bothered surveying out 40-some-odd troops/crews in our district. But I know most of them are active year-round. One of the exceptions is in the tiny Canadian border town of Jackman (and I've mentioned this before). They shut down from mid-December to mid-March. Not because of the snow--they see a lot more than we do here "down state)--matter of fact, their school system rarely closes for snow. So, what if they get a foot during the day--the high schoolers drive their snowmobiles to school anyway.


    No, the reason they shut-down isn't due to holidays, nor the weather. They shut-down 'cause of basketball season--every troop member is on one of the town's teams. Between homework, practices and games (it's 50 miles to the next nearest American town (only 30 to a Canadian one), so away games take a LOT of travel time), there's hardly anyone around/available for a troop outing/meeting. Yet despite this shut-down period, they have one of the highest percentages of Eagle Scouts in the district.

  3. I *HATE* politics. With that said, I say call their bluff and let the cuts expire. With what I make, I'll pay roughly $50 to $60 more a year in taxes. Well worth it if it means the rich are also forced to pay their share.


    I didn't see one job created locally through the "trickle-down" claim that would happen through this temporary tax cut.


    And that's what it was suppose to be. Temporary.

  4. And try not to cook too many at once! One scout unit I was with at a trip about a year ago made that mistake. A couple of the bags got too close to the edge of the pot and melted, ruining the contents, never mind all those nasty chems mixing into the water.

  5. kahits,


    Who does the cooking for you at your ordeals/work weekends and what do they cook? Do you/the youth like what they cook? That would be a good starting point.


    I'm on our lodge's cook crew. We use a few different "standard" menus for the ordeals.


    Fri. evening cracker barrel: homemade pizza


    Sat. Breakfast is either french toast/sausage or pancakes/sausage, fresh fruit salad

    Sat. Lunch is make your own subs and chocolate chip cookies


    Sat. Dinner 1: Pork Roast, mashed potatoes, homemade yeast rolls, veg, salad.


    Sat. Dinner 2: Lasagna, homemade garlic bread, salad.


    Sat. Dinner 3: Turkey (fried in outdoor cookers), mashed potatoes, veg., salad, homemade yeast rolls.


    Sat crackerbarrel: Ice cream sundaes and any leftovers from the day.


    Sun breakfast: assorted homemade coffee cakes (easy--we use institutional-size boxes of muffin mix spread in full sheet pans, topped with blueberries, chocolate chips, apple pie filling or pumpkin pie filling depending on the season. We do three flavors. Fresh Fruit Salad.



    Our youth chose a mix/match of those and some other stuff for the conclave we hosted a year ago:


    Fri eve crackerbarrel: homemade pizza, cookies and popcorn


    Sat morn: Pancakes, sausage, fruit salad, yogurt, cereal, and oatmeal.


    Sat lunch: Pulled-pork sandwiches


    Sat Dinner: Shoot...can't recall now. We might have done roast beef with mashed potatoes. There was also veg, salad and yeast rolls.


    Sat crackerbarrel: sundaes, "Sea Dog Biscuits" (local minor league baseball team is the Sea Dogs. Sea Dog Biscuits are ice cream sandwiches where the "bread" is chocolate chip cookies. As Madockawanda Lodge's "official" lodge color is purple, we ordered raspberry chocolate chip ice cream--deep purple in color--as the ice cream filling in the dog biscuits.) More popcorn, cheese, crackers, pretzels, other snack foods.


    Sun breakfast: coffee cakes, yogurt, fruit salad, and any leftovers from the weekend that anyone wanted. I think we took the leftover mashed potatoes, threw them on the grill, added some cajun spice blend to'em and served'em up as hash browns.


    Of course, we had a vegetarian option at all meals.


    Our core ordeal kitchen crew consists of 3 or 4 individuals and another half-dozen or so "part timers" (can put a few hours here or there). Others jump in after meals to help with dishes.


    For the Conclave, or core kitchen crew consisted of about 8 with nearly as many "part timers" and again, others who jumped in after meals to help with dishes.


    Council made one mistake for conclave. They put in a new coffee dispensing machine in the dining hall and did not provide us a way to open it (locked) to refill it. Then again, we didn't have anything to refill it with. The machine ran out of coffee at about 6am on Sun morn. Fortunately, we found an old drip machine and we had enough grounds on hand to cover the rest of the morning. Council ranger was surprised we went through that much coffee--vendor claimed it should have lasted the whole weekend and then some. Said machine was not there this spring and we had our commercial drips back. 'nuf said.


    If you have just the commercial drip coffee makers, you'll need someone assigned to just keep those things going throughout breakfast both mornings.

  6. RememberSchiff mentioned the "fun" we're having up here in Pine Tree Council. Our grass roots efforts have worked for now. PTC has decided not to sell Gustin according to a press release yesterday afternoon. Article in the Lewiston Sun Journal at:




    Back to the topic at hand, it does seem like an awful lot of money to me that could be spent elsewhere to support scouting.

  7. Alas, this has fallen by the wayside around here. I think it needs to be revived and I like the time of year your district/council is doing it as February is a time of year when most donors have forgotten about the food banks, right after the holidays.


    Get the local media involved. Are you a rural district or an urban district?


    When I was in graduate school, I served in an urban district. They would hold a press conference with a large map of the city for a backdrop. Units would draw numbers and then in their numbered order choose the block of the city they would distribute bags in and this would be marked on the map (and on camera).


    The media being there got the word out. People in those neighborhoods then knew this wasn't a hoax and when to expect the scouts to show-up with bags and when they'd return the following weekend.


    Rural area? Again, get your local media involved, though it won't be as dramatic as the above urban example.

  8. Solar panels on the roof that charge the deep-cell marine battery that then provides power to a few CFLs in the trailer and your PA system.


    Don't laugh. That's the rigging (minus the trailer) that was donated to our district last year and we've used at camporees. We were the only subcamp at our council's centennial celebration who used green power all weekend.

  9. Namu, every council has different rules in regards to popcorn. Some use a baseball bat (YOU WILL SELL POPCORN OR ELSE), others use a carrot. My council is one of the carrot approach ones.


    Here, you don't have to sell popcorn. You can sell any approved fundraiser on your own that you want to raise funds for your unit--look in Scouting Magazine for some ideas--if they advertise in there, usually, they're approved at the National Level. You can also hold local fundraisers like dinners, bottle drives, car washes, etc. You don't have to share any of the resulting funds with Council.


    By the way, at least here, Districts are not allowed to have their own financial accounts.


    That carrot I mentioned? In this Council, your unit gets free rank advancements for a year if you sell X amount of popcorn and raise Y amount in Friends of Scouting (based on your unit size). For many of our Cub Packs, this is a no brainer compared to what they'd otherwise spend on advancement in a year. Ditto for some of the more active scout troops. Have you seen the cost of an Eagle Presentation kit lately?


    No, it's not the greatest product out there. I've had better...I've had worse. Yes, it's expensive. Locally, it's a three way split: 33% is the actual cost of the popcorn, 33% goes to Council and the rest to the unit.


    Yes, we don't all have well run councils, but without that structure you don't have an office to track your advancement, answer questions, no scout camp property (if they haven't closed/sold yours off yet), etc.


    Personally, they should re-access this and see if some of the other fundraiser companies are willing to offer a similar deal. For example that Virginia nut company.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  10. VigilEagle04,


    I would define CJ'01 as a National Jamboree 'cause it is the Canadian National Jamboree. You might recall that it could also have been viewed as a world event as there were scouts from 23 nations present--thus all the national flags on the entrance gateway.


    So, yes, our contingent proudly wore their CJ patches in the jambo spot above the right pocket. :)


    My unit was stuck in the far back corner of Porcupine Subcamp with two other American troops (we bussed together) and some Kiwis behind us. On the other side of the Kiwis was the laundromat for Cabot Beach Park.

  11. The 2009 guide has dropped "current"? Great! Guess, if I wanted to, that means the CJ'01 patch could come off the blanket and go back on the uniform if I chose.


    It use to be you could wear it for one year after the event (of course I can't find the source now, but it was from National and defined "current" as upcoming or in the past year).


    Then again, once it goes on the blanket, it don't come off. :)


    Do you suppose they dropped "current" 'cause hardly anyone obeyed that requirement?

  12. Do a search on "Night Hawk" or "Scout Star Trek". You might come-up with some hits from Canada as Night Camporees are very popular there, but go by the names above.


    The ones I've participated in have involved hiking 3 miles (5km) in a loop at night--well, they've got the room for it where they hold'em at the ones I've attended in New Brunswick and the few times we've tried it here in the Maine wilderness. Event stations are all along the trail. Each patrol is assigned a different starting point. Patrols are allowed up to 20 minutes to complete the task at each station (depends on the difficulty of the task and the number of patrols you're expecting).


    Check-in/Registration is usually 4 to 6pm. Patrol Leader's meeting at 8pm. You hit the trail at 9pm and must complete/quit by 5am. Breakfast (provided by the district at the Canadian event) is 5:30-7am. Closing with awards at 7:30am.


    At the Canadian events, you're judged on:

    Whether or not your patrol announces themselves upon arrival and asks permission to enter the site.

    How well they work as a patrol to complete the task and not necessarily whether or not they complete it. Rather, how well they work as a team depending on the task--infighting/arguing costs'em points.

    Whether or not they ask permission to leave the site when the task is complete.


    Leaders/advisers are welcome to observe/cheer their patrol(s), but they can't coach/help them.


    Events I have seen used:


    Low-level cope course elements such as the spider web, using 2 to 3 candles as your only light source. Sounds hard, but sit there a moment and you'll be amazed at how quickly your eyes adjust to the small amount of light. It IS enough to complete this task.


    Disability awareness teamwork: Blind nailing a nail to a board. Sounds scary, but can be done safely--three scouts, two are blindfolded, one is not. Only the non-blindfolded one can speak. One of the blindfolded ones has the board/nail. The other blindfolded one has a hammer. This can only end badly, right? Not, if it is well controlled. The non-blindfolded scout must guide the other two verbally in properly placing the hammer above the nail. When in the correct place, the hammer wielder may lightly tap the nail a few times to keep it in place and then strike it solidly. More of a fear factor for both blindfolded scouts.


    Variations on Kim's Game--unkempt campsite. Scouts are lead into a messy campsite and given five minutes to "police" it without picking anything up (so the next patrol can see it and so on). Then led away and must write down as many problems as they can remember such as an ax out in the open with no sheath, litter on the ground, etc. In total, about 20 items/problems. The year I observed this (walking from site to site for future ideas), the patrol in question missed the underwear hanging from a tree branch 7 ft off the ground. :)


    Night compass work--just as it's described.


    Various team building games


    Hot chocolate/snack station--'cause the events I've attended have been held in late October and it's not unusual to watch frost form around you on the trail as the night progresses.


    Tarzan swings using the equivalent of giant nylons with a knot in the end--two platforms a couple feet off the ground and about 30 ft apart. Enough of these giant nylons to swing from platform to nylon to nylon to nylon to so on to other platform. Most scouts don't make it all the way across.


    Astronomy station--provided you have a cloud-free night.


    Slingshots (with certified range person) using dry dog kibble for ammo fired at targets downrange.


    Almost any event station you would normally use during the day could be used as a station at a night event with a little thinking/planning--pioneering projects, obstacle courses, etc.


    Good luck and no, it's not too soon to start planning for next year.

  13. Several of these I have not heard of. I'm guessing they're regional favorites. Round here, local Native American stories/legends featuring Glooscap (several different spellings including Kluscap and Gluskonba) are popular. Glooscap is the folk hero (like Paul Bunyon or Pecos Bill) in these tales. Among the Wabanaki, he is considered the first human and has been granted special powers/strengths to help his fellow humans. One tale that has become a favorite (as in those present drop to dead silence while it is told) is Glooscap and the Four Wishes:





  14. Well, it won't let me edit/correct the earlier post. The PDF version of the requirements for the knot is more clear. I'm not as far along as I thought on the quick glance. I'm at 3.5 completed out of 6. Like I said previously, it's more difficult.


    Oh, and the last two options are the "buy a knot" category. The become/recruit a member bit requires a four-figure donation if I recall correctly.


    As to the original topic, I don't understand why National doesn't just have the patch presewn on the uniform either.

  15. My "weekend" started today as I purchased some of the stuff for cracker barrel for this weekend's event. Well, technically, it started months ago when I signed-up to be on subcamp staff for "Scoutfest", our council's BSA 100th Anniv. Celebration. More cracker-barrel stuff will be purchased tomorrow--National Guard will be setting-up our HQ tents tomorrow, but alas, I have to be elsewhere when they arrive--another rep from our district subcamp will be there. Then on Thurs., I will layout the campsites for our district's 425 (and rising) scouts/leaders representing 32 registered units and then jump in to help the other four districts layout theirs (our district has the largest number preregistered). Total number of campers, 1,400. Fireworks on Friday. Scouting events for all age levels of scouting all day Saturday. Laser show Sat. night. Assorted church services Sun morning, a service project and then everyone goes home...Except us staff volunteers as we'll be there a bit longer to disassemble stuff/clean-up/pack-out everything that makes it go smoother for when "you" when you attend Friday through Sunday.


    Edit: Forgot to mention that in addition to the above weekenders, we've got at least 2,500 day visitors registered to attend on Saturday.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  16. BartHumphries wrote:


    "Well, you can still earn the international activity temporary patch and the the international scouter knot. I believe they have requirements comparable to what the old world crest requirements were.


    As a youth, I "earned" my World Crest three times before the change to having to earn it vs. anyone can wear it. Though I've been active in scouting now for over 30 years, have participated in staff at a regional Canadian Jamboree, was the "advisor" for my home troop at CJ'01, taken youth (and served on staff) at a Scouts Canada weekend event for several years...oh and four times to the Moosehorn International Camporee (on the USA side of the border), I have yet to complete the requirements for the knot.


    So, NO, the knot isn't comparable. It's tougher. We have one adult in our entire district who has earned the knot (and they were the first in the council to boot).


    Requirements are at:



    The numbering is off--whoever did that page up used the wrong CSS or html as they've accidentally numbered the headers of each section (bold) and continued the same numbering for the options in that section. I'm almost there. All I need to do is hold one more collection for the World Fellowship Fund and I'll finally have completed it.

  17. sam&john'smom, I guess I'm not a "true patch collector". (chuckle) My collection of roughly 2,000 patches/crests/badges are sewn on 6 blankets--2 for things I've done/earned, the rest trades/gifts over the years--one of them is camp-blanket style (as Eagle92 described).


    Some collectors I've met do take it way too seriously. They react like a baseball card collector when you bend the corner of a card. How dare I "rape" my patches by taking thread and needle to them! What? It's my collection to do with as I please. And it pleases me to be able to display them the (IMO) easiest way possible at scout events to get others interested in the hobby.


    I'm glad your sons are excited over the work you're doing for them. Teach'em how to sew those patches on themselves and see the pride they display when they next earn one and put it on themselves. Every one of those in my collection I hand-sewn.

  18. We've done events similar to this "Insomniacs Revenge" in our area, but for the scouts on both sides of the US/Canada border. They fall under two different names depending on who is running it:


    Night Hawk and Star Trek (not the sci-fi show)


    Start at 10pm or so and go through until morning. Hike of roughly 5km or so with scout event stations along the trail. Usually in a loop and every patrol starts at a different point of the loop (so some will put in a bit more than 5km when it's all said and done). You're allowed up to 20 minutes per station (depending on number of stations, patrols participating, etc.). Just about any event you can think of--low-level cope course elements (try doing the spider web with only two candles as your only light sources), some of the usual camporee-type events (picture Kim's Game in the form of a messy campsite--scouts can examine the camp site for 5 minutes and then are expected to write-down the 20 problems they spotted--they usually forget to look-up and spot the underwear sitting in the tree just above eye level), games of trust (ever tried nailing a nail with a hammer while the guy with the hammer and the guy with the nail are both blindfolded and must follow directions from the third not-blindfolded scout?), and so on.


    A shortened version of this running 2 hours has become a staple at "Moosehorn".


    That's Moosehorn International Camporee, held at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge outside of Calais, Maine and a stone's through from New Brunswick. 48 years strong and has been featured in the past in Scouting Magazine.

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