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neil_b

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About neil_b

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  1. If you have the patrol method and use it consistently that's the main thing. That's what sets Scouting apart. Read a pre-1980's scoutmaster handbook if you need help with the patrol method.
  2. I don't think preservation of Native American culture or any other culture falls to the OA or any other part of the BSA. The OA is there to honor campers and promote a life of service. It does so in an imaginative way, because that's more fun that just preaching at people that they should camp more and do more service projects. If you don't like the OA you don't have to be part of it.
  3. "What we have here is a straightforward case of reductio ad absurdum." Actually, I would say what we have here is a straw man.
  4. "I find the failure to have effective recruiting efforts to be the most consistant thing that leads to failing packs." When I have brought up the idea of recruiting over the years, I have repeatedly gotten responses like... "Whose den are they going in? I don't have room in my den for more boys." "If we recruit more boys we'll have to buy more gear and the troop trailer won't be big enough." What they don't realize is that some day their boy may find himself the only one left his age in his pack or troop and may decide to quit rather than look for another unit with boys his age.
  5. "The problems I have seen is that the adults are all in favor of sharing the load and 2 minutes in they start barking orders or making remarks about how the Scouts aren't doing it right." Amen. That is exactly the problem I have seen. Adults who think they are being "helpful" but are just annoying the boys. There is a fine line between the adult who is helping and the adult who is hovering. The boys don't need multiple adults sending the boys in different directions or constantly reminding them that they can't do things as efficiently as the adults. Assuming the adults have their own tents and fly and other stuff to setup, if the boys can't setup theirs as efficiently that doesn't mean the adults always come to their rescue to prove what hard workers they are. There may be exceptions for example if it's raining and things are more in a hurry. Otherwise, so what if it takes a little longer to setup camp?
  6. I can't recall anything we did in our patrol that could have resulted in a fist fight. High fives, knee slapping, hugs, yes. Fist fighting, no. If anybody got so upset they left or got into a fist fight I think it says more about their character than it does about the course or the staff.
  7. neil_b

    canvas towns

    Stosh - Where are these camps? Sounds great!
  8. I am impressed that your son has done so much research on his own and knows what he wants. However, troops aren't going to advertise on their web site that they have boring meetings and don't use the patrol method. Also, don't think that the issues with the den leader will not be a problem if he crosses over with his den into the troop. My son crossed over with his den into a pretty good troop that used the patrol methods on all outings. But within a year his den leader took over as the new scoutmaster and he turned it into Webelos III. He drove away numerous people and things didn't start to turn around until he left. So, if your son doesn't like his den leader he might not want to cross over into a troop with him.
  9. neil_b

    canvas towns

    B-P did criticize the "canvas town" summer camp as being less than ideal. Kudu quoted B-P as saying it was the opposite of Scouting, but I'm not sure B-P went quite that far. However, I have to wonder what B-P would say about the summer camps we have today. I saw one boy last year get 10 merit badges in a week at summer camp. I suspect some of his counselors were rubber stamping and not really testing the boys on the requirements. I know for sure that the adults running the shooting range were relaxing the requirements for rifle and shotgun. Unfortunately, I have also seen too many youth counselors at summer camp leading merit badge sessions who don't seem to know what they are doing and/or just don't do much. There doesn't seem to be anybody checking up on these boys to see if they are doing their jobs properly. I think they should let the participants evaluate the counselors. If the counselors knew they would be getting feedback on their performance they might try harder. We had a bunch of boys sign up for camping merit badge last summer and all of them left with partials. The incompetent counselor didn't even sign off on all the requirements that the boys did, but camping is not a merit badge you can do in a week anyway. It seems like that's one they should not offer at summer camp. They should stick with ones like swimming and rifle shooting that can possibly be done in a week. Astronomy is another merit badge that often disappoints boys at summer camp. If it is too cloudy they can't do all the requirements, it turns into just a classroom exercise, and they get sent home with partials. I guess mainly I just am not crazy about classroom merit badges in general whether it is a merit badge clinic or the classroom style used at summer camp.
  10. My religion tells me I should celebrate, because God has given me great things that are worth being happy about. So, whose religion wins? We have had lots of Catholics in our troop and they have never told the Protestants that they should not eat meat during lent. Why does this JW think she is so special? I would say don't change anything. I read about a Jamboree in England in 2007 where they forced everybody to eat vegetarian because they have become so PC. It's a slippery slope. Pretty soon you cannot do anything because everything violates somebody's religion.
  11. "The phone chirps....the boys dig them out by force of habit. Reflex. then the just respond out of reflex. It has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on. Besides, who is in charge of the program?????" The training material says one of the SM's responsibilities is to "Build a strong program by using proven methods presented in Scouting literature." In most cases rules are of course coming from the adults even if the SM gets the PLC to rubber stamp them. Once at church my son was messing with his phone and I said something to him and he showed me he was looking up the Bible passage. Another time at a troop meeting he made an OA announcement and used his phone because the information was in a tweet from the lodge. I've used mine to look up merit badge requirements, to check dates for activities, to check the weather report while on a camp out, etc. I also use it to take pictures. At summer camp last year I put pictures on facebook in realtime so parents who stayed back home could see them. It can also be used as a light source when you cannot find your flashlight. The anti cell phone rule is kinda like gun control. Bad people use the guns to shoot people so the solution is to take guns away from everybody. The cell phone isn't what's bad, it's the behavior of how it's being used. There are down-sides to the technology, but there are also some ways it can be used positively as well. Yeah, the GF breaking up with the boy while he's at a camp out is a bummer. Kids have to deal with modern problems we didn't have to deal with. However, he could have discovered this at home and maybe it was better for him to learn it while he was surrounded by friends.
  12. Unfortunately, a lot of times kids start to text and play with their phones when the meetings are boring. So, if you have a constant problem with this, maybe the adults should start to look at the program and ask themselves if they can do something to better keep the interest of the scouts. At the last OA camp-out I went to the lodge had a Twitter account setup for sending out informational messages during the event and told people how to have the messages sent to their cell phones. My son and I both subscribed and they are still sending us messages in this way. So, you can try to communicate with the boys on their level in the 21st century manner or you can lay down the law and see how many are turned off by all the rules and eventually quit.
  13. I got fingerprinted for a security clearance just last year by my local police department and they used ink. Strange requirements? How about this one, "5.Using the construction project provided or a plan you create on your own, identify the items that would need to be included in an environmental impact statement for the project planned." Making a kid learn how to comply with government red tape, now that is truly strange. At least killing and eating a chicken is something a kid could relate to. I bet if the kids had to do that they'd never look at their chicken nuggets the same way again. It's only strange by modern standards in which most people never see the animals they're eating while they are still alive. I am thinking they probably used chickens because it wasn't rabbit season. Right? B-P had his boys skin and cook rabbits.
  14. I've had some of the same frustrations even though I've only been a scouter since about 2002 and never was a boy scout.
  15. It's difficult for me to understand why anybody who doesn't believe in the basic teachings of a religion would want to be identified with that religion and instead seek to change the religion to suit their own ideas.
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