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Posts posted by NWScouter



    I like to use REI they have many good tents. Two I would recommend are REI Camp Dome 2 $99 (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?productId=11780909&storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&langId=-1) and REI Half Dome Plus 2 (http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?productId=47592792&storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&langId=-1) . I hope these links work if not go to www.REI.com and type in the names or go tents. REI has a great return and repair policy. Once I ordered a sleeping bag on line and when I used it , it was too small. They took it right back no questions. These are great sturdy tents for backpacking and can be used for car camping. The things you need to look for are rain fly that covers most of the tent not just a doily on top, solid poles hooked together with shock cords, and easy to put up. these even have the directions sewed on the tent's stuff sack. I hike with an earlier edition of the half dome and gave the new Half Dome Plus 2 for my daughter and her husband for a wedding present.


    Their Learn and Share site has plenty of good information on out topics and equipment. This is the tent topic: http://www.rei.com/rei/learn/detail.jsp?URL=/rei/learn/camp/howtentf.jsp&ls=Camping

    Check it out.


    I know I am sounding like a REI salesman but Ive became a member when I still was a Boy Scout and I still am using a down sleeping bag I got back in 68


  2. I didnt see it say non-denominational but it is absolutely nonsectarian. Here is the definition: nonsectarian [ nnsek tiree n ] adjective 1. not relating to religious subgroup: not relating to a group or denomination within a wider religion or disputes between such groups

    2. not restricted to one denomination: not restricted to members of one religious denomination, but open to all



    The latest training that I have said that we arent to use non-denominational but inter-faith. Non-denominational has come to mean a particular type of Christian church and also denomination is only used to describe different groups of Christians. Inter-faith encompasses all type of faiths.

    No where does it say he has to belong to any religious group or where he gets his religious training. It is up to his family, himself and his religious group if he has one to define his Duty to God.





  3. When leader says that the youth want to do it, especially in Cub/Webelos program but we cant because the rules ban it, it usually means they the leader want to do it and the Webelos wouldn't me. I honestly believe Webelos Outdoor Leader Training is offer because of the two types of Webelos Leaders. The first that have very little idea how to do the outdoor skills and the other is the ones that need to be reminded that the Webelos arent little versions of Edmund Hillary. High adventure is different for each age level. The G2SS tries to fit the average abilities of the age to activities allowed. It does change, and you need to check . I didnt and questioned Scouting Magazine (http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/archives/0103/d-lett.htm) about a picture of Webelos canoeing on their cover. When my son was a Webelos they couldnt do it period.

    Fotoscout have you taken Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat training? You have to take every two years or you cant get a tour permit for any water activity. One time I took it the trainer mentioned that since they established the water safety rules in the 20s there has never be a life lost in Scout water activities when the rules were followed.

    Out here (in public not scouting) we have our annual batch of drowning deaths and most of them come in flat water and when people go beyond their abilities. So when you state that it is flat water what could happen? it worries me.

    The G2SS reminds me of what my pastor said when I was in confirmation. the Ten Commandments say thou shalt not. Look not at what it bans but realize how much you may do . There are plenty of activities that you boys will think are high adventure.


  4. Other trivia bits. You had a silver colored tenderfoot, second class, and first class badge if you were a patrol leader. Also you continued to wear your first class badge even after you earned Star, Life and Eagle.

    Also if you held a office like scribe, it's badge was on the patch with your rank upto first class.

    Instead of the tenderfoot badge now on adult position patches there was first class badge.

    See http://www.sageventure.com/history/early_badges/index.htm


  5. Explorers were moved to the Learning for Life subsidiary of the BSA. They are mostly fire, police and other career type interest groups. In order for the government entities to be involved they have no discriminatory membership requirements. Therefore they arent officially a traditional BSA program. I dont believe that there is advancement program.

    The high adventure and other interest groups that use to be part of Explorers were renamed Venturing. At the time they did the change they started a new advancement program. It consists of a Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards. They also can earn the Ranger award. Venturing has the same membership requirements as Boy Scout except that it is co-ed, and the ages are 14-20.

    Back to topic. I had two Scouts that were in a similar situation to your Scout. One that through his dad reaction to church and their schools in his life had a bad attitude toward religion in general. When he was coming up to his Eagle Board of Review. He and I had our Scoutmaster Conference where we discussed his belief in god. I didnt tell him what to say but to seriously consider his position and his answers. I told him that Duty to God did not mean any one religion, but to that you believe in god.

    The other was a son of Chinese family. His parents came from China where each village has different beliefs and many other competing beliefs systems. They did not give any guidance and wanted to him to make up his own mind. It was an interesting conference because when we speak of God we assume the other has the same general definition. The both passed and are Eagles.

    My recommendation is have your Scout stay in . Encourage him to explore his belief in God and listen to him in nonjudgmental way.



  6. Bob,

    I was Scouter when New Scout Patrol and First Class Emphasis was introduced to Scouters. I sat in the talks when I was with my troop at Scout Camp. It was introduced as the suggested way of delivering the program of Boy Scouting.. The program was developed to retain new Scouts based on studies based on Troops that had using parts of the new program and polling done to see why some new Scouts leave early. The New Scout Patrol went against everything that was taught in leader training about how to have patrols organized. It came about because some units went against the training. So there are more than one way to deliver the program. There were plenty of Scout Troops that were successful before the new program and still are successful without using the New Scout Patrol.

    If you are an instructor in training you teach by the syllabus. If outside of training a leader comes up as says I tried the program but isnt working in my unit. You question him and you offer advice to help him to meet the unique situation in his unit. You dont say hit the road jack you have to follow exactly the training. Health and Safety issues no arguments, but working with boys to deliver the program

    Needs to be tailored to them.

    Not all Troops are stamped out with a cookie cutter. They have different boys, with different age spans, different levels of skills in Scouts and leaders. To say one method will work for all is being nave.

    You need to be less judgmental. From what I see, you are knowledgeable of book learning but as a District Commissioner I would not have you on my staff. When I first trained as commissioner, we were told about Red Coat syndrome. It is sitting back and drinking a coffee and just pointing out a unit failings. Your posts make me think that youre a classic example of it. But I dont know you as person and you may have great personal skills but it doesnt show here.





  7. Cooking merit badge is one I earned in the 60's. It was a Eagle required merit badge. The one thing I remembered about it was that you had to help your mother with a fancy meal. Everything form planning, to cooking, to setting the table and finally to crave a roast or ham. When I got back in to Scouting I was surprised to see it out of the list and the requirements for it had changed.

  8. First Class Emphasis is not First Class come heck or high water. The emphasis is there because it retains boys in the program, just like getting them to camp their first summer. I saw a greater corollary in my term as Scoutmaster with a Scout making it to camp with staying in Scouts. Also a scout that doesnt advance doesnt stay either. The Scoutmaster Handbook states A boy who advances to First Class within his first year in Scouting has a better-than-average chance of eventually becoming an Eagle Scout. p.119 They mention other ways to motivate Scouts on to First Class, new-Scout patrol, boy-led patrol with a troop guide, and assistant Scoutmaster.

    The troop needs to plan their program to give them opportunities to meet the requirements. If a troop takes a year and half to have ten outings a new Scout wouldnt make first class in a year. If it doesnt have three overnights or a five mile hike again the scout wont make it. If it is not allowing the older Scouts to teach and pass on skills, it wont happen.

    The troop needs to make a big deal about advancement. Dont toss them their badges at a troop meeting but make them feel special, have a ceremony of some kind, sign them into a special rank book, and give them added responsibilities and activities. These are ways that would encourage them on.

    If a Scout is not advancing be sensitive to him and find out why. He may need help realizing that on campout he needs to save time to work on few requirements. Sometimes they are having too much fun. You must also understand that each boy is different, some are tortoises and other hares.


    By the way, looking in the 1960 printing of the Boy Scout Handbook there was no time in rank requirements through First Class, but you had to finish each rank before you could pass a requirements for the nest rank. You had to be Second Class before you could work on merit badges. For Star and Life you had three months periods and for Eagle it was six months. You could be an Eagle one year after making First Class. You had to be eleven to become a Scout, again if you were motivated you could be a 12 year old Eagle. I remember that you were moving along in those days if you made a rank a year.


  9. MK.

    If I understand what you were look for, I think I can throw some light. One you Scoutmaster was wrong to say that if they know that the boy was UU he couldnt be in scouting. BSA does not ban scouts based on the religious group. They just have to believe in God, gods or a supreme power. Per BSA standards a unit may not make membership requirement of any specific religious character beyond a belief in God. Like make them attend their services or Sunday School.

    A few years back UUs religious awards requirements did not meet the BSA standards, so those awards can not be worn officially on the uniform. Im not sure but I think an individual UU congregation could still be a CO.


  10. No OA is not a numbers game, but where I have a problem is when a Scoutmaster puts a filter on the Scouts eligible for election. It is just like advancement no more, no less. If he meets the requirements and if you would sign Scout Spirit for a rank for him right then, he should be on the ballot. Let the Scouts in the unit decide who should be in. If a Scoutmaster starts adding on requirements where does it end. There was a Scoutmaster I knew that wont put anyone on the ballot unless they were Eagle.

  11. I have over 20 years of siting on church councils. Our council has never asked even a report from our troop but and a big but as the organization that owns the troop we would be responsible for a financial errors. That why we have bonds for our officers. So it maybe that there may a real reason that particular church needs the control (i.e. insurance, bonds). Most congregations I know are very careful in keeping account of funds, be it the roof fund, scholarship fund, youth fund for the national gathering . These fund are usually off the budget, which means they are held in trust for the purpose that they were given and moneys issued without a reference to line item in the budget. This is where if we were to take over our troops finances the money would go. Since our congregation treasurer is a volunteer, we most likely be looking for a new one. He has enough with keeping up with the churchs checks.

    My suggestion is document to the church how much activity there is in troops account and the time it takes to keep them up. Offer to submit a report as often as they want and allow them to audit the books. This may be all they need to keep them happy.


    By the way, all you who are assigning ulterior motives to the church. Most churches are run by volunteers, sure there are paid ministers but the governing body has people who are there because they love work of the church and wish to see it succeed. Sounds like another group I belong to.


  12. When I was Webelos Leader('86), our den went on a father-son overnight. Being the spring in the Great Northwest it poured. So under the bridge at the campground we were skipping stones and sinking twigs. My son had just started to fling a rock when Josh stuck his head in the way. The rock never left my son's hand. Luckily we had a dad for each Webelo and his took him into town. We still had a good time.

    SMT did the right thing, the Scouts had good time (one at least till he got hit). YPT and GTSS where complied with.

    Bob White what would you have them done differently. More leaders would have only allowed the troop to stay. I dont know where you hike, but come out here. A five mile hike can get 2000 ft elevation gain, and unless you are on top of mountain, cell phones arent worth a darn . Would you have had them brought a satellite phone or a chopper standing by. Even if they called mountain search and rescue they would have told them to hike out. The planning for this outing sounds to me like it was fine. It meets the guidelines (could have had more than two adults but some time you go with what you have) -- trained leaders for the level of activity, level of activity meeting the scouts skill level and first aid training and equipment.

    I look back at my troop hikes in the Cascades, I remember when I lost my footing and slid a few yards down a slope with my backpack on. The scouts and the leaders gathered on the trail looking down at me as sat getting my wits back . I was touched by their concern, Latter I realized they were trying to figure out if they were going to leave me there or carry me out 15 miles. They had to do neither, I scrambled back up and continued on. This was a group of Scouts and Scouters who between them had 100+ 50 milers, most of the peaks in the Cascades and mountains search and rescue training. Yes there were those with us who were on their first 50 miler and we met the wilderness back country limit of 12 in our party.

    Our plan with an injured hiker is so simple, if you can hike him out -- hike him, if you need aid send your fastest pair of hikers out with directions for a rescue (adult with car keys if possible).

    Any of that party that would have been on the planning with SMT and went on the hike would have done the same thing.


    Job well done -- SMT

    I'd go hiking with you anytime.

  13. The only reason I can think that there is no assistant position in Tigers is each Tiger is to have a adult partner. Therefore they could be considered 'assistant'. Just a guess.


    CrewGirl there is no reason when you go off to college that you can't be still active in Scouting/Venturing. Stay connected with your home crew and be active on your breaks. If you can make the time get conected with a crew where you are going to school. Will be a lot better to do on your off time than some of the other activities some of us did in college.

    Good Luck.(This message has been edited by NWScouter)(This message has been edited by NWScouter)

  14. Wingnut, if you are implying that Eamonn would out if he was a member of your unit for bringing that boy home without a second leader present, I as District Commissioner would say that is wrong answer. The two other options would be 1. Wait at camp with him until his parents or an acceptable leadership came along. He would still be in violation of two deep and in a more dangerous situation than in a car on the highway. 2. To leave the boy there and hope that someone would pick him up with the correct two deep leadership. If anyone doesnt see that as unacceptable needs to revisit the purpose of safe scouting.

    Safe Scouting are guidelines, the goal is to keep the Scouts safe. If I had a leader that put Scouts at risk without violating a guideline his position in scouting would be at jeopardy. When you are in leadership you must look at everything. When you are driving a car and a child jumps out in front of you. You severe to wrong side of the road to avoid, even though driving on the wrong side is illegal.

    Yes you must train the Scouts on the rules and follow them but in all cases safety is the primary duty



  15. Another thing to do is be alert to the behavior of the scouts. For you maybe able to turn them around to positive outcomes. Idle hands can be the devils workshop.

    If you are a swimmer, qualify, the new scout(s) that is mopping around the campsite may respond to an invite to a swim. As a swimmer you can bring those non-swimmers, beginners out in a rowboat. A trip the archery or rifle range can make a week for young scout. It also can take down a peg a cocky SPL. He thought he could out shoot me. He had the bench rest and I did prone, wasnt even close. I never did get the ice cream bar I won from him.

    You as the Scouter in camp should move around camp, just to keep an eye on whats going on. Check the clipboards in Scoutmasters lounge. Not to browbeat the scouts to finish their merit badges but to help them to know where they stand. Nothing worse than on Saturday morning finding out that Johnny thought he had finished rifle shooting but he still needs his last target.

    Some camps have opportunities for you as a Scouter in camp to help out. Many first year programs need help with the mass of new scouts, and need you to instruct a skill. A few need a extra adult in the ski boat or one camp offered golf merit badge they needed a adult or two to play a round at the end of week both tough duty.

    Then theres that time between end of evening program and lights out. Time to teach cribbage or help the scouts put together a cobbler. It maybe time to become an English teacher and proofread the Environmental Science essay. Or just listen to their adventures of the day.

    If a scout and his buddy isnt doing advancement but fishing at the lake, sitting under a shade tree whittling, chasing grasshoppers in the field, bugging their favorite staffer theyll have plenty of memories and that will stay with them.

    Remember you're there to have fun also. Store up those good memories.(This message has been edited by NWScouter)

  16. Eamonn, I just read somewhere today that for about twenty years the US Board of Geographic Names around 1890s spelled Pittsburgh without the h. You should fell at home there as it is name after British PM.

    On the main subject - I know good DE's and I know bad DE's just about in the same ratio as Scouters. The lucky thing is the the good out weigh the bad by a durn long shot.



  17. When I have been on camp staff we would not have allowed a non registered adult to spend the night without being a parent. Your son needs to be registered to be there. Now there has always been a little confusion when a scout ages out. My understanding is that he needs to fill out a adult application but not pay another fee for that year. There is another thought, register him in a crew.

    I know at Scout Camps when youth turn 18 during the season they must move from youth (under 18) housing to adult (over 18) housing. So YP policy should be followed on the trip to camp. Would anything happen if it were not? I dont know but my guess would be nothing bad would happen, YP is in place to protect the youth and the adult leaders in that small parentage (Im sure much less than 1%) of cases were a youth is at risk. But I put my seat beat every time I get into the car. In fifty one years of life I have only been in three or four car accidents and the only time I ended up in the hospital was last November. Then I was hit as I was getting in to a car at the side of the road.


  18. If you are close to REI in Sandy or Salt Lake they always have free classes for all levels of backpackers.

    One thing I've learned after 40 years of backpacking good equipment increases the enjoyment and scouts will keep coming back.

    My dad brought me to REI when I was a young scout. We were getting me a pair of boats, my first real hiking boots. A nice man fit my boots on me. A few weeks later I was down at the store with my patrol when a buddy said "Look there is Jim Whittaker." It was the man who sold me my boots. Besides being the first American up Everest, in the 40's & 50's he was a Boy Scout hiking and climbing the Cascades and Olympics.

  19. This thread brought back a most memorable homecoming of a first year scout and his mom. We had been over a Camp Easton on Lake Coeur d Alene. The young scout had earned his finger carving merit badge. His father was along and took him into the town of Coeur d Alene to be stitched up. He had his figure all wrapped up in a big white bandage.

    I rode back with him and his dad in a 14 passenger van that his dad had borrowed. After crossing the whole state of Washington and getting to half mile from church, smoke poured from the engine. We pulled into a mini-mart parking lot. We called his mom to rescue us and ferry us to the church.

    His mom rolled up and the new scout ran to greet her, waving his bandaged finger. She about fainted on the spot. It seems Dad hadnt called to inform her. I took the rest of the scouts across the lot so they could have some family time


  20. There has been some good advice given. Retesting has and is the greatest violation in BOR process. It adds to requirements as published no more, no less. It needs to be handled by training. Also there are some great BOR sample questions on this Scouters.Com site and others. Find them and edit them to your situation.

    I had a great advancement chair in my troop when I was scoutmaster, if he couldnt a person to stop asking inappropriate questions, by golly he didnt get asked to serve again.

    The same when I served as District Advancement Chair, my Eagle Board Chair would not ask them back.

    My DE was always on the look out for special people in the community to sit on our Eagle Boards. We had assistant police chief, superior court judges, city council members, and heads of the youth program for state VFW and Shrine. He wanted them to see the cream of crop of youth and also to give those young men going for Eagle a idea how special they are.


    Early in this thread, one poster said that they had their scouts do the board of reviews for some ranks. When my son joined in 1986 he was reviewed by the PLC up to First Class, Star and Life were done by members of the troop committee. In 1989, the revamping of the requirements made all BORs except for Eagle are to be done by members of the troop committee. This is not to be changed by any local body (PLC, TC).

    (This message has been edited by NWScouter)

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