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About mtm25653

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  1. And now an address from our scoutmaster: "I live at 111 xxxx rd."
  2. My sons' troop has a building owned by the "Former long-time scoutmaster" Memorial Scouting Foundation. They provide the use of the building at no cost to the scout troop, other scout units (girl scouts/cub scouts/district training) and the troop's charter organization, a Lions Club). Except for the charter organization, no non-scout group can use it. It is on land donated by a former troop member, and was built 8 or 10 years ago with funds raised from current and former troop families. The foundation has its own board, and existed before the building (provided, and still provides, some camp scholarships.)
  3. My oldest son's ECOH was held at the outdoor worship space/fire circle he built as his Eagle project. To me, having it there added an extra dimension so it was even more meaningful.
  4. mtm25653

    Slide Ideas

    The coolest cub slide I've seen/made is a Wolf head made from a turkey neck bone (the bone looks like a wolf - add beads for the eyes, plus felt ears and tongue if you want). Paint the bone grey or brown or leave bone white. Add a piece of pipe cleaner to the back to hold the neckerchief.
  5. DON'T UNDERESTIMATE what this scout will be able to do. I had a first year Webelos, special needs (autistic) boy. His mom put him is scouts to help him become more independent. When he started, he did not look anyone in the eye, never spoke except when directly asked a question, participated some but frequently was kind of in his own world. He could not read or write beyond a first grade level, so I made sure he didn't need to. 17 months later, he legitimately earned his Arrow of Light. His parents were amazed at what he was able to do. He crossed over into boy scouts. Sunday afternoon of his first boy scout campout, he came home and asked his mom if he could show his younger brothers how to build a fire and cook over it. She let him, and for maybe the first time, he got to be the big brother, teaching his younger brothers (who already could do more than he could academically). He cooked eggs, and told his mom he did a better job than the other boy in his patrol who got ashes in them. Fast forward 6 years. The troop has done the paperwork with Council for alternative requirements - he still can't really read or write. He is a Star Scout, working on his Eagle project collecting books and materials to send to the troops in Iraq. He stands up straighter, looks people (even strangers) in the eye when he speaks to them or shakes their hand, initiates conversations, sees what needs to be done (like setting up chairs before a meeting) and does it. He's been to Philmont. I have 2 Eagle Scout sons (and a 3rd working on it), but I will be prouder when this scout earns his Eagle then when my own boys did. Give your scout the opportunity to grow and advance. You may be amazed.
  6. If it is a pack event (everyone in the pack is invited) then it isn't den camping, even if only one den attends. Pack camping does require at least one BALOO trained leader.
  7. We have our monthly pack Powwow the last Monday of the month from 7 to 8pm (or a little later.) We call it a powwow instead of a meeting, because meetings are boring. We don't use the monthly themes, but we sometimes have special decorations (halloween, flags, etc.) A couple of times a year, we have the powwow outside. One den does the flag ceremony. One or more dens does a skit, or display, or talks about a field trip (frequently with a photo slide show). When boys get their awards, they stand on the "steps of honor" to be individually recognized. We have a ceremony for ranks involving drums and face painting. (Bobcats also mark their parents' faces). The ceremony for joining our pack involves face painting and a parents pledge to support their boys. This year, we are also learning patriotic songs - we sang God Bless America for several months (finishing with the boys singing it on their own for the parents) and now we are starting on It's a Grand Old Flag. One meeting we have uniform inspections followed by den pictures.
  8. When we were buying youngest son his first pack, we looked at adjustable frame packs at REI - middle son pointed out they were having a clearance, and we ended up buyning 2 non-adjustable frame packs (small and medium) for less than $100. He used the small for a couple of years (then several others in the troop borrowed it to try out) and has used the medium for 300+miles of backpacking. All for under $100.
  9. Turn around time for passports is back to normal - applied for son's passport (for Northern Tier) 12/29/07 - received passport in the mail (normal delivery option) 1/15/2008.
  10. We usually camp at the nearby state park lake, so we have a fishing derby - safety and other info to earn fishing belt loop, then 1 hour of fishing, with awards for (at various campouts) biggest fish, most total inches of fish, most interesting non-fish, smallest fish - this takes up most of Saturday morning. May/June campouts we include a period of swimming (with Safe Swim precautions) in the afternoon. We usually have a den time - dens plan their own activities for an hour. Potluck hot dog dinner (pack provides hot dogs and drinks, everyone brings a side or dessert). This May, our campout is going to focus on Geology belt loop/geologist activity pin (Web father is a geologist and puts on programs). Many times I've put on the hug-a-tree program (how not to get lost in the woods and what to do if you get lost). Sometimes a scavenger hunt by den (include the appropriate cub handbook as one item). Tug of war is a big hit. We've also done a Tent-or-Treat campout the past 2 years in October - afternoon includes pumpkin carving by family, early evening includes a pumpkin contest, costume contest and trick-or-treating to tents, followed by a campfire (glow stick necklaces/bracelets were a big hit.) Short worship service Sunday morning before packing up.
  11. mtm25653

    Derby Racing

    We do 2 sets of races - by den, every boy races in every lane (4 lane track, so 4 races) with den winner by total time. Then, double elimination for the pack (2 races in each heat - boys swap lanes), so again each boy races a minimum of 4 more times (more if they win one or more heats).
  12. Because the Chaplain has responsibilities far beyond what I would expect of a youth: Responsibilities of the Chaplain, from BSA's The Roles of Troop Chaplain and the Chaplain Aide, No. 5-216A (1992) (as found on usscouts.org) 1. Serve as a resource to new families on opportunities for worship in the area (at no time should the chaplain proselytize). 2. Help in the event of accidents, illnesses and other problems. 3. Work with Chartered Organization Representatives. 4. Support unit leadership through recruitment and recognition. 5. Encourage Scout participation in Religious Emblem study programs. (and several others)
  13. It might not matter if a pack draws from 2 or more schools if the schools are minutes apart. In our case, from the far reaches of one school district to the far reaches of the other is more like a 50 minute drive - having a pack 10-15 minutes away, instead of one 30+ minutes away makes school night meetings feasible.
  14. My boys came up in a pack that averaged 60-70 (high of ~90 over 7 years) that served 3 schools. Our side of our rural county is experiencing a lot of growth, with the population set to double in the next few years. 2 years ago we started a new pack, taking a Web II and a Bear den from the old pack into the new. Both packs recruited at 2 of the schools, the old pack at the other school right by their location. Recruitment first year added a Tiger and Wolf den, and 2 Web Is (boy scout ASM took them under his wing as a separate den.) Second year, another den moved over (all lived 20+ minutes closer to our location) and have 2 Tiger dens, for a total of about 55 boys. Old pack had some leader challenges last year and are down to about 25 boys - combined we are still bigger than the old pack, and we both have some room to grow. We are already nearing capacity at our charter church (old pack was very crowded at its church at 70 boys). I anticipate that within a few years we will split our pack again, so there is one pack per school (our 2 Tiger dens are already split by school.) Our biggest 2 challenges are coordinating recruitment events when there are 2 packs pulling from the same school and (longer term) finding space for a pack that's bigger than about 60 boys. So for us, I think ideal would be 50-60 in each pack, one den of each level with maybe one or two levels with 2 dens.
  15. dfousek asked about a PACK outing, not a troop - these are 2 different animals. All pack camping is family camping, so you can't banish the moms to another area. I agree that the ships you can stay on know how to deal with this, so go with what they say. Likewise for a lockin at a museum, everyone sleeps in the same area (there are restrooms to change in). Our pack doesn't do any cabin camping so we've never had to deal with this - each family has their own tent, and sleeps as a family.
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