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Posts posted by moxieman

  1. infoscouter has some good suggestions. I'm an "old schooler" as I simply borrow my father's 1940's era pair of hand-made, Maine Made wooden snowshoes when I need to go out. I should just break down and buy myself a pair.


    Are there any outdoor stores in your area? You mentioned you're near some ski slopes. Most downhill ski areas also have cross country ski and snowshoe trails and they will rent you equipment as Info mentioned. This would be a great way to try snowshoes out before you buy.


    Personally, I've never used the newer style. Both styles of snowshoes have advantages/disadvantages...much like different styles of tents.


    I hope you find something you like.

  2. There are units up this way that do this every year. This year, I saw one troop at LL Bean's Freeport store doing this. I'll bet there's a waiting list for that spot.


    Fifteen years back in my SM days, my troop did this over the weekend before Christmas at the local BigBox Store and took in over $700 here in the Maine Wilderness.


    TIP: Have your scouts PRACTICE before hand on how to properly wrap gifts neatly by using empty boxes and newspaper.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  3. John in KC wrote: To go on any trail at Philmont you will need to do the full Trek version of their physical.


    John, this must have been implemented in the past five years. When I went (2005), you did not need the full physical to hike the PTC-only trails (the only ones PTC folks are allowed on). You also had to hike in a group of four. I hiked with a family of three. This worked out for them and me...even if I had to slow down my pace for them. :)

  4. I went in '05. I flew out of Portland, ME to a connector in Boston to Atlanta and finally Colorado Springs. I flew out a couple days before I needed to be at Philmont so I could play tourist. I got a rental vehicle in CO Springs and toured various sites in/around CO Springs. Drove down. Did the conference. And did a few days of tourist stuff after the conference including the seeing the Koshare Indian Museum and dancers (a BS Troop/Venture Crew--http://www.kosharehistory.org/) and the Royal River Gorge before flying back (also out of CO Springs).


    If you go the route you plan, maybe you can team-up with other leaders during the downtime on Wed.

  5. I've seen this many times. It's due to the "view recent posts" only looks at topics with activity in the past 24 hours. We just got done with a long holiday weekend state-side (we do have members from around the world on this forum) and so things have petered out. It will pick-up again. Then, come Christmas, it'll peter out again and so on.

  6. Oak Tree asked: "Did we really need another knot for Cub Scout leaders to earn?"


    I'd like to ask the very same thing. There's a separate knot award for every position in BSA Cub Scouting, but there isn't a similar system for Boy Scout Leaders. So, yes, do we really need another Cub Leader knot, or will this knot replace the Cubmaster Award? And I forsee that we'll have to start wearing more of those annoying little "devices" to denote how we earned the knot in question like with the Scoutmaster/Commissioner/Committee/Venturing/whatever-they-think-of-next Key Award (the green/white knot).


  7. CNYScouter asked:

    "I dont have a copy of the new BS handbook does it state this in there also?

    Is this statement anywhere on www.scouting.org?"


    Answer to Q1: Yes. You should probably go get a copy of the new handbook. It's states this on page 443 just below the Eagle Palm Requirements. Personally, they should state it sooner rather than at the end of the requirements section.


    In the meantime, you can download the new requirements as PDF's from the handbook website: http://www.bsahandbook.org


    Click on Table of Contents and then Rank Requirements. You can then click on the rank you want the requirements for.


    The website also has videos the scouts can review to help them with T-S-F requirements.


    I can't answer Q2: Maybe. The national website is a pain to navigate. I've found a list of the changes, but no clause about how long one can use the old requirements.


    Answer to Q3: There is nothing in the handbook that states there's a time limit--just that the scout can only work on whatever rank he's currently working on--see Page 443 of the handbook when you get one. What you quoted out of Scouting Magazine is the same. I don't know where your commish got his info. Ask him to provide the written source.(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  8. I said: "Oh, and the USA is one of the last countries (I think Isreal may be one of the only others) where all sections of scouting isn't coed."



    Emb021 said: "BZZZT. Sorry, not true. Last stats I saw from WOSM was there are about 100 Scout Associations that are male-only. I get really sick of hearing people claim the BSA is the last non-co-ed Associations. Just not so."


    Funny, looking at Scouts.org website at:

    http://tinyurl.com/y93d5lo (Tiny URL is such a great site for compressing long website URL's!)



    I quote:

    "Only one national Scout organization can be recognized in a country. In some countries the National Scout Organization is a federation composed of more than one Scout association. These are listed here, in black italic, under the National Scout Organization.


    Of the 160 National Scout Organizations, 126 belong only to the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and 34 belong both to WOSM and to The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).


    Of the 126 National Scout Organizations which belong only to WOSM, 100 are open to boys and girls in some or in all programme sections. 20 are only for boys. All 34 National Scout Organizations which belong both to WOSM and to WAGGGS are open to boys and to girls."



    As it says, only 20 national scouting organizations are male only. Sorry, but the USA *is* in the minority and if we went coed at all levels it would not be the end of the world.



  9. I have to agree with Chug based on what I've observed with my neighbors to the north in Scouts Canada. Coed works.


    For example, at the Moosehorn International Camporee back in September, it was one of the coed Scouts Canada troops that beat out everyone else in several events. The only exception was the dinner cooking competition. They tied...each other. It was the one event where they decided it was going to be Boys vs. Girls. The two patrols tied, and beat out all the other units at the same time. Most of the scouts in that unit were first or second year scouts too.


    Show-off? No. More like the boys stop slacking off 'cause they don't want to look bad in front of the girls.


    For several years, my brother and I served on staff at a Scouts Canada Night Hawk event (all night hike with competition stations along the hike--picture a camporee but at night). The coed Canadian units did better at our teamwork station than non-coed units from either side of the border.


    Oh, and the USA is one of the last countries (I think Isreal may be one of the only others) where all sections of scouting isn't coed. Isn't it time we move into the modern era?


    So, going back to the original question, what would have to change?


    The thinking of the adult leadership.

    Need to sell it to the parents and one of the ways to do so is to show how well it works elsewhere.

    Guide to Safe Scouting would just need a little tweaking and as someone else pointed-out, you can use the Venture section as a starting point for those tweaks.

    BSA would also have to have some serious talks with GSUSA to avoid any "misunderstanding". BSA would also have to drop the B and become Scouts America or something else that is more encompassing of a coed organization.


    It wouldn't be the first coed scouting movement in the USA. Look-up Baden-Powell Scouts. Coed is already here. We just need to catch-up.

  10. We have a few troops with "mascots" that show-up at district/council events.


    In one case, the SM's dog has been adopted by the troop and is considered a "therapy" dog as the unit has a few kids with ADD and/or autism who function better when the dog is around. Said dog is also a Hurricane Katrina survivor and has his own webpage on the troop website. The dog is on a leash at district/council events. Troop makes arrangements in advance to be able to bring the dog to summer camp with them, again, on a leash at all times. The dog also travels with them on troop outings. They are fortunate as they have several sites to choose from, one owned by the sponsoring organization (willed to them specifically for scout use), and a few locations owned by scout families in the unit. So, no problems with bringing the troop mascot on those trips (and no cost for the campsite!).


    Just got to have the right dog and the right training. I'm rather surprised the SM in this case doesn't sign his dog up for Dog Scouts, which is a real organization, especially, when there is a Dog Scout Troop here in Maine:





  11. Nearly 300 youth and leaders from two districts attended the rally this afternoon. It is on the evening news on two of Portland's three television stations. It was again in today's Lewiston Sun Journal. The SJ article was picked-up by the Portland Sunday Telegram, Augusta Kennebec Journal, and Waterville Morning Sentinel. In other words, EVERY news outlet but one (WCSH Channel 6) in the council is now covering this proposed sale. There will be a follow-up in tomorrow's Sun Journal.



  12. There was a follow-up editorial in the Sunday Lewiston Sun Journal newspaper, which simple adds more bad PR for the council:




    There's apparently a Facebook group started by those trying to save the camp. The link is in the comments section of the above editorial. As I'm not on Facebook, I haven't a clue how many may be signed-up so far. I may need to look into this later.

  13. JV...varsity...below JV...whatever. I'm not a sports person and never was. What I have been told by that troop is that they shut down due to basketball season, period.


    They usually don't have any Tenderfoot Scouts by the time shut-down rolls around. They get all their cross-overs (usually one or two a year) from the pack in their town and since the next nearest town/pack is 40 miles south, there aren't other prospects, per say.


    Cross over is in March, right as the troop starts-up again. If they aren't at First Class or close to it by December, something's wrong.


    It's not "my" troop, unless I can count all 42 Troops in my district as "mine". Then again, they've been trying to "adopt" me for the past 8 or so years. :)

  14. Actually, I know of a troop that shuts down from mid-December to the end of February. Why? 'Cause it's a small, isolated town of about 700 people and every scout in the troop is also on either their JV or varsity basketball team. Between homework, practices and games (a road game is a minimum 2 hours travel each way), there's no time (not my excuse, but theirs), for scouts during those three months. We're talking small town, small team. You might have one or two substitutes you can turn to during the game. Yes, that kind of basketball, the kind where hometown games literally have the entire town in the bleachers cheering for you.


    This town is so isolated that you need to have a passport, cross the Canadian border and drive an additional 30 miles north of the border to go to the nearest MacDonald's for a Big Mac & Fries (er...Frites as we're talking Quebec Province with no guarantee that the person behind the counter will admit to understanding English).


    Yes, I've pointed to Jackman, Maine before in other posts, but they make a great example on many fronts. And they must be doing something right despite shutting down for a good part of the winter 'cause nearly every scout-aged boy (all 12 or so of them) in that town is in the troop AND they've produced 10 Eagles in the past 6 years.


    From what I've observed/experienced up here in the Maine wilderness, it's not leaders stopping summer scout programs. Many times it's parents. Back when I was a scoutmaster, I tried hard to encourage the PLC to have a summer program, but Mom & Dad always interfered in one way or another or with one excuse or another.


    So, how do the rest of you who find ways to convince your PLC to have a summer program get Mom & Dad to buy into it?(This message has been edited by moxieman)

  15. I tried to post yesterday, but the forum was having issues--I'd get an "SQL Microsoft Database error".


    Anyway, according to an article in yesterday's Lewiston, Maine Sun Journal (http://www.sunjournal.com/node/431414/), BSA Camp Gustin could soon be put up for sale by Pine Tree Council.


    At one time (about ten years ago), the council had been considering making Gustin the council's Cub World Camp, but changed it's mind in favor of doing that to Camp Bomazeen.


    Times change. Bomazeen has been sitting semi-mothballed for the past 6 years. All of our camping properties are heavily used by area units.


    Apparently, my council is $180,000 in the red, according to this article. Pretty sad that the volunteers need to learn of this through the media instead of from the council office, huh?


    Personally, this is a short-sighted way to make up the difference. I'm already hearing the backlash from some leaders in the district that camp is in. They plan to not give to FOS this year if the council goes through with this proposal. Rather, they will give directly to their own unit and help their scouts go to camp, etc. I'm sure some won't give now even if council doesn't go through. I saw the same thing happen when Bomazeen got mothballed.


    Gotta love scouting politics, huh? And I know several of you on this forum have "Been there, experienced that".


    There is a follow-up article in today's Sun Journal where the son of the original donor states he's not happy with the council's decision and his inability to contact them: http://www.sunjournal.com/node/432559/


    Should the rest of you care, I'll post more when I learn more...provided "Secret DE" doesn't beat me to it. I'll bet he's glad he's not in that district at the moment.


    $180K in the red? Why isn't our Scout Executive addressing the volunteers directly in regards to this issue? Might have been better than the negative publicity this is getting. I've found references to this in the online Boston Globe and apparently AP wire has picked-up the story.


    I'll get off the soap box for now. Thanks for reading.

  16. The largest my home troop ever got was 4 full patrols of 8 scouts and that was back when I was a youth. So, I can't provide much advice on running larger troops, which gets away from the original post/question of this thread (and I've already commented on what I've observed in regards to that).


    As for Camporees, in this district, we base the size of the site your unit is assigned on the number of Pre-registered adults/youth in the unit. If you pre-register with 20 and show-up with 30, we'll do our best to accommodate you if there's room. Otherwise, you're getting the space set-up for 20 'cause that's how many you told us were coming. We try and provide a 50 by 50 ft area for 12 people (this is similar in size to the assignment provided by Scouts Canada for their events). It all depends on the venue the camporee is happening at as to whether or not we can make camping areas larger than that per group.


    As others have stated, you can't really take LARGE groups backpacking all together. But why not split'em up into patrols and have them all hike different sections/routes depending on where you're going. Slightly smaller groups--say 24 people can be split in half and hike the same section in opposite directions--have half drive to the start point of the hike and the other half to the "end point" of your hike. Pass each other and exchange car keys (DON'T FORGET TO SWITCH KEYS!!!) on the trail and then take each others vehicles back to your rendezvous point. I've seen several local troops do this while hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail.

  17. Eagle92 wrote: "If memory serves, the BSA uniform and US Army uniform were nearly identical, and one reason was that the US Army supplier was also the BSA supplier."


    Interesting. That would mean that the BSA Uniform of that era was made by Hathaway and would have been made in Waterville, Maine (across the river from my home town). They invented the first shirt with the collar attached on it at the request of the US Army during WWI.


    It's a shame they didn't/couldn't hold onto the BSA uniform contract all these years later (if they really did have it back then). Maybe they wouldn't have had to close down their US (Maine) operations in 2003 if that had been the case and the Scout Uniform would still be American made.


    Hathaway dress shirts were the best shirts I ever owned--and I could only afford their factory seconds/thirds.

  18. The only times I've seen a troop split hasn't been due to having too many youth. It has been due to some adult leaders not getting along with other adult leaders within the unit. So, one group goes off, finds another sponsor and starts their own unit.


    Which ever set of leadership runs scouting the "right" way thrives and the other unit dies within a few years. So, no, I've never seen a troop split successfully, unless you define successful as eliminating "bad" leadership.


    And because the DE is suppose to form new units whenever he/she can, these new units get formed without trying to look at the problem that caused the split and attempt to settle those problems.


    I saw one case where the Chartered Rep fired the scoutmaster. SM, simply formed a new unit with a different sponsor. CR must have had good reasons 'cause that new unit didn't last long--couple of years. Unfortunately, the SM drew all the youth and other adults with him to the new unit, so the then original (and 50 year-old) unit died.

  19. Keep the suggestions up. It's helping me pass judgment on what I've done for RT in the past and may offer as suggestions for the future. However, I must be doing something right 'cause I've got leaders who have to drive over 2 hours and 90 miles one-way to attend and they show-up faithfully nearly every month, unless there is a serious snow/ice storm up their way on the Quebec border.

  20. Eamonn wrote: "I'm thinking if we had a program that ran from 10 through 14 year-olds (Maybe 16??) And then had a separate Senior Scout program for the older Lads we might do a better job."


    Summary: Maybe it's time the USA gets off their high horse and operates their scouting program like many other nations do.


    Yup, I agree.


    I'd also push for total coed. We don't have a lot of venturing units up my way. The few there are happen to be coed and very successful. Our council just gave out it's first Ranger Award (and the second in the state) to a young lady in the unit my brother is an assistant adviser on. She has worked closely with the boys in the boy scout unit filling in for the (lack of) senior leadership in said unit.


    The first award went to a good friend of hers in the other council. The two of them had worked at the cope course at that council's camp (Katahdin Scout Reservation).


    This is very much how I've read things are intended to run elsewhere like in Scouts Canada--Cubs are expected to help-out the Beavers. Scouts to help-out the Cubs, Venturers help out the Scouts and Rovers help-out the Venture units.


    Hey, but what do I know? I'm just observing how things seem to work on the other side of the fence. (chuckle)

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