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Mr Irish

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About Mr Irish

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    Twin Cities
  1. Mr Irish

    What is a CO not allowed to do

    Reminds me of the time last year when our CO complained about a poster we had up made by a couple of Den Chiefs for the Webelos, listing safety rules for a BB gun range and a proper sight picture. They said the charter school objected to the weapons display. The same charter school that has WWII poster with a picture of an M4 Sherman and a nuclear bomb up year round in the classroom next door. I too urge some clarification, but for us it was easier to just replace the BB safety rules with tree identification.
  2. Mr Irish

    Nasty e-mail from Scout parent

    Ask her to fill out the official BSA complaint form found here http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/28-501.pdf Irish
  3. Mr Irish

    Boy led Troop

    Beaver, Here is what we did. I appointed my son as SPL, not because he was my son but because he was the only 1st Class Scout in sight and I knew communicating with him would be easy. We held Troop elections after 9 months, by which time he was starting to burn out. An SPL you can work easily with is good during that storming period. We treated the whole troop as the PLC when it came to semi-annual planning but limited their choices at first. I printed up 13 or so choices for monthly activities, with pictures and a descriptive paragraph, posted them on a bulletin board and gave each scout six stickers color coded by patrol. I recommended to the Patrol Leaders that they vote in blocs and we held 15 minute patrol meetings before any voting actually happened. We asked my son's old troop and another nearby troop to mentor us. At summer camp one of their (highly bemused) JASM's came by to do a highly publicized campsite inspection. The attention the younger boys paid as this tall Eagle Scout walked though camp with his clipboard was rapt. The other Troop loaned us a troop guide who ended up joining our troop and is currently the SPL. We also sent SPL and ASPL to Grey Wolf, Council's name for NYLT, even though we had to get permission to send them so young. And when we finally held our TJLT, I made sure to bring a couple of the younger Scouts along as "cooks". Those younger guys, both APLs now, spent a lot of time peeking from the doorway of the kitchen watching as we worked the program (we did the old style full day Troop Junior Leader Training, not the three hour TLT.) The adults tent, cook and eat separately, with the exception of cracker barrels and other social events. I also consistently refer decisions to the Scouts and the PLC, whether the questions come from the Scouts themselves or the committee. Irish
  4. I agree with Beav, the Tour permit and health form process and GTSS represent the distilled wisdom of 100 years of Scouters telling one how to take kids on adventures. Why not avail yourself of them? A case in point, my sons folk dance team is traveling to the Midwest Morris Ale in Colorado at the end of the month, about 500 miles away. Despite the fact that the team is also comprised of and led by youth, its about as different from Scouts as one can get. But one of the parent chaperones asked me if I had any forms and advice for him on what he needed to shepherd these adolescents to the Ale and back. I said, boy do I. and spent a few minutes filing the serial numbers off the forms our troop uses, and gave him the stuff a responsible adult should want to have when traveling with someone elses progeny: health history and insurance info, permission to travel with and get the kid treated, emergency contact info, in case one of the darlings sneaks into the single malt tasting (told you it was different from Scouts) etc. We threw in the training on how to handle a Cougar attack for free. Luckily since theyre Morris dancers, all they gotta do to ward off Mountain Lions is start dancing. If six kids with bells on their shins waving hankies and sticks dont scare off the cat they can always resort to telling the accordion player to play louder. Mr Irish
  5. Mr Irish

    Troops VS OA

    Thanks Lisa, I already told them to make sure they bring the OA calendar to our July annual planning PLC to minimize conflicts in the future, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Part of the problem is that I am not very familiar with OA, despite having been a SM and CM for about 10 years, which is why I tried to delegate dealing with it to my ASM. But from what I've seen it exists to keep older Scouts involved by giving them a staff role at Camporees and fellowship with their peers while performing that service. But our troop is so young, that we desperately need all our older scouts to have any hope of being boy-led. It doesn't seem sensible to me to expect a Scout to both staff a camporee as part of the OA, and attend a camporee as part of the Troop PLC. Or am I missing something? I have also recommended to my PLC that they read this thread. I told them that they should consult their own conscience while resolving this immediate dilemma, but that the experience of the others on this forum would likely enable them to make a thoughtful informed decision. So thanks for all your comments.
  6. Mr Irish

    Troops VS OA

    We are having some similar issues, right now. We have a pretty young troop and I always thought of OA as being something for older Scouts. I had an SA who was pretty enthusiastic about the OA though, so I asked him to research it a couple of months ago and build it into our program. Well he got a new job and went off to training without doing it, so I was happy to put it on the back burner. Until the week before last, when our SPL, a great Scout and pretty good leader, wanted to get an election squeezed in, so he could have a sash before he goes camping with his Jambo troop. Against my better judgement I said ok, and now our next trip, a 25 mile bike ride to camp and back, looks like it will be short 2/3s of the PLC, cause the ordeal is the same weekend. I think in the future I will only approve older scouts who have completed their term as SPL and PL. Kind of like presidential libraries don't get built for sitting presidents. Mr Irish
  7. Mr Irish

    Annual Swim Test Question

    My answer to the question of who approves the boys for aquatic activities. I do. Even though our troop has a Aquatics Chair that signs the forms, and I am happy to the council camp waterfront staff take personal responsibility for retesting any boys that look light, whenever the Scouts go swimming or boating in the troop I am the SM for, I have seen them all in the water, with my own eyes. I might not run them through a formal test if they have already been signed off, but I'll challenge them to a race or jump in with them or have a floating contest. Any kid that looks a little weak, gets to use one of my Y guest passes the next time my family goes. Any who look less than marginal gets referred to our Aquatics Chair who keeps a file of all the swimming classes offered in the city, who sends that info to the parents. But I assure myself, to my own satisfaction, that that Scout won't drown, before any trip. To me, that's one of the strengths of the Scouting program, the luxury of knowing the abilities and weaknesses of the individual Scouts.
  8. Mr Irish

    If caps are "optional" can we substitute?

    Here is the option my son wore at special events, like recruiting and pack meetings http://shop.mnhs.org/moreinfo.cfm?product_id=403 Until they became Webelos and changed to the Viking Patrol. Then caps often involved horns, although there was a Teddy Bear that got skinned as used as a bare sark.
  9. Mr Irish

    New Restricted Insignia offered on eBay

    In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, only people with a personal fortune of at least two hundred pounds could wear lace, silver or gold thread or buttons, cutwork, embroidery, hatbands, belts, ruffles, capes, and other articles. After a few decades, the law was being widely defied. Man, I miss those days.
  10. Mr Irish

    With whom does the SPL eat?

    We're a pretty young troop, but we just had a camp out last weekend where the new SPL kept butting heads with the PL of the patrol he was eating and tenting with. I took the SPL and my son (the other PL) out for pizza after the campout, where we brainstormed for a while and came up with the notion of attaching the SPL to the adult patrol for logistical support. I'm glad to see here that arrangement works for many others. Something we did as well, after a weekend of slight acrimony and micromanaging, was I asked the SPL to do a big Sunday breakfast fry up of all the leftover food, while completely leaving the patrols alone to break camp. It let the PL's get their job done, then the SPL got to play breakfast host, which worked pretty well.
  11. Mr Irish

    so how much respect is due?

    Good discussion on NPR about how kids decide if rules are fair. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125302688 Irish
  12. Mr Irish

    April Fools Pranks

    Sent this email to my troop last April, all the links were active and my friend Annie real. My DE got very excited before he read the PS. Mr Irish 185 Scouts, It is with great excitement that I announce that Troop 185 will be switching its charter from Boy Scouts of America to Spiral Scouts International. http://www.spiralscouts.org/ The Spiral Scouts is a program for girls and boys of all faiths working, growing and learning together and is sponsored by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church. Many of our community have expressed concern with the Deist focus of the Boy Scouts and when I met my friend Annie Pashal-Zimbal who runs the Minnesota Pagan Kids Circle in Lakeville last Beltane she turned me on to this much more inclusive program. Her son, Tycho's milk brother Merlin, is a Spiral Scout. Effective today our group will change from Troop 185 of Metro Lakes to the Poisson Hearth of the Till Eulenspeigel Circle. The age range for Spiral Scouts is 9 to 13, younger kids are Fireflies. Advancement will be based on embracing a whole new pantheon of elder powers and lunar wisdom. Our next meeting will concentrate on earning the athame toting chip, extra sensory perception and psychic communication. After that email notifications will cease, future information will be provided ethereally. Tribal coordinator Daniel PS Happy April Fools Day
  13. Mr Irish

    The Unofficial Pie Thread

    Once I had a roommate who generously made strawberry rhubarb pie with rhubarb from her family's farm. The next morning she came down while I was having a slice for breakfast. With horror she exclaimed, "Pie for breakfast?!?" as she opened up her customary Poptart, that she normally had every morning. At last I have a found a forum to ask. How is breaking ones fast on freshly baked home made pie worse than consuming days old pastry crust and fruit filling baked in a factory and aseptically packaged in mylar foil?
  14. Mr Irish

    Handbook for Boys

    I got some leftover xmas trees from the YMCA lot up the street and plan to have my scouts practice building the lean to with conifer branches in the church parking lot next meeting. Oh and burn the trunk in the rocket stove we made with a five gallon can to melt snow. The reprinted Handbook I have refers to Scouts being able to slaughter their own cattle, still negotiating with the committee on that one.
  15. We also shoot for about $2-2.50 per head per meal. When my son found out that when the CC takes Scouts shopping he routinely goes over budget by about 100% (goes to boutique grocery, doesn't use coupons or sales flyer for meal planning), he said we shouldn't allow the CC to supervise any more shopping.
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