Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by oldsm

  1. Our troop has for many years followed the practice of awarding rank advancement badges at a scheduled court of honor when we have family and friends present. They are always presented with something of a solemn ceremony that acknowledges what the Scout has accomplished and what is expected of him as he works toward his next rank. The parents like it, and I rather like the way it lets the parents know something of the expectations. We are considering converting to the "as-soon-as-possible" awarding of rank badges, presenting the badges immediately, but holding the cards for "public" presen
  2. mkay, welcome to the forums. I understand where you're coming from (I think), but the key phrase you used is "If they can intelligently discuss and/or explain the requirements". The problem is that too often, they can't. The boys have this idea in their heads that they just have to fill in the blanks. If you ask a related question, they're hard-pressed to give an intelligent answer. "Discuss" means to converse orally, the idea being to share knowledge (both ways). If they have just "researched" online and filled in the blanks, they have not met a discuss requirement. In insist upon s
  3. "I can't emphasize that first scentence in #2 enough. "Learn to make the coffee for your scoutmaster the way he wants."" The lads in my troop are doomed. I rarely drink coffee, and it's never part of my camping menu. Extra weight, extra bother.
  4. Incidentally, after spending time at Stockbridge, it becomes easy to see the stylistic differences between Rockwell and Csetari. I prefer Rockwell...
  5. This is well worth attending. I recommend all day if you have the time. (And they give a discount for AAA members.) On two occasions (several years apart) I have taken the troop to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Both times I was surprised at how much they "got into" to stories behind the paintings. They were interested in looking at the Saturday Evening Post covers, and visited Rockwell's studio. There's a good interpretive movie on endless loop. Be sure to pay the few extra bucks for the audio tour. It's outstanding and worth every penny. I've actually had scouts say they want to go back.
  6. I would have like to watch it, but you have to have cable TV...
  7. How about posting sources for some of these skits? Some I've seen, but have trouble filling in the details. Others, I've never heard of. It would be nice to find scripts...(a quick Google didn't find one for Princess Princess). Thanks.
  8. the7hiker, Are you "authorized" as a vendor/supplier by BSA? If not, then you run the risk of being visited by the BSA legal team for using their intellectual property (logos, etc.). You should have no problem with items that Supply Division does not furnish AND that does not use BSA images (such as the fleur-de-lis logo, Venturing logo, etc.). For example, custom patches for specific events should be OK as long as they do not include anything that identifies it as BSA. Really, people, the Supply Division's patch prices are not unreasonable.
  9. There are a surprising number of musicians in our ranks. For some reason, most adults tend not to talk about that. While my HS and college band experiences don't rank with some of yours, here's a quick synopsis of my music life: Piano lessons: 16 years beginning at age 5. Included 5 years studying at Peabody Conservatory (prep department - concertos!, and studying with students at a state school for the blind), and ear-training courses (theory). Organ (church organ): started at age 7, played first church service at 9. Flute: started at age 9. Piccolo: started in High school. Sw
  10. I am all in favor of online training entry. No, ScoutNet is not the total answer, but it's what we've got now, even though data entry is manual. Not all Councils scan applications. Mine is still manual. Not all training gets to the registrar. For example, none of the training that goes on at our Council camps gets reported to Council UNLESS the trainee takes it in and submits it themselves. It took a DE to personally enter last month the SM training I took in 2000 - and I'd submitted my proof of completion 3 or 4 times over the years. Our Council camps do not report any of the s
  11. Perhaps the scenario I posted was unclear. Maybe too long. It is a bit convoluted. Whatever. It appears from the comments so far that there is misunderstanding. Let me clarify. First of all, I have known this dad since before his stepson came along. He has always been a "straight shooter". The mom (his 2nd wife and the biological mother of the scout) is always real quick to blame someone else for whatever ill fortune may befall her or her kids. From what she's told me, the kids are never wrong. There is a strong scent of "entitlement". And we all know the old adage that the apple doesn't
  12. Sorry - accidentally posted this in the wrong forum. Can someone move this to Working With Kids, please? Thank you! [Edited by oldsm to correct forum name](This message has been edited by oldsm)
  13. I have a dilemma and would like opinions as to how to address it. The matter concerns one of my almost-18 Life Scouts who is about to go for his EBOR, after he finishes the paperwork and we have a "final" SM conference. He's not a "stellar", over-achieving scout - really quite typical. This Scout, who was on a Council camp staff this summer, related to some other staff members that his mother (who was a Troop Committee Member) had been abusing him for years. He claimed physical abuse. The example he cited to staff was that when she dropped him off at camp, he thought he was going to get a
  14. The Eagle Application can be downloaded from www.nesa.org. It is not yet a "fillable" pdf form, and is intended to be be filled out by hand. Sort of like Motor Vehicles forms or some standardized test sheets where you have to fill in one letter per block. The hardest part is squeezing in the contact information for potential references. Of course, signatures have to be manual - no digital signatures yet!
  15. Probably the most difficult part of being a Scoutmaster is dealing with parents. While we all run into "situations" from time to time, one happened last night that has me shaking my head. The troop went to a Council camp about 2 hours from home this weekend (Saturday morning to mid-day Sunday) to do Wilderness Survival stuff (sleeping in shelters that they built, cooking sans stoves, etc.). This is a camp that grants permission to cut living stuff to make shelters (so you can have leaves, branches, etc.) It's basically unimproved woods, and anything that gets cut down grows back quickly!
  16. By profession, I am a technical writer. I know good writing. Clear communication is important. That includes spelling, grammar, and organization. I get very frustrated with Eagle candidates who can't string a few sentences together into a coherent thought, who leave out major chunks of information, and never learned subject/verb agreement or how to conjugate a verb. I used to pull my hair out trying to teach these guys English writing. I have given up. I am not a school teacher (bah!). If you listen to the way they speak, it's little wonder that they can't write. (Actually, the writt
  17. Not sure just how much of this is ScoutNet functionality and how much is just my Council. But... 1. When doing advancement, I can choose to sync with the ScoutNet database, which will likely change some of my data (such as middle initials/names, etc.), which I don't want to lose. So I haven't done this. 2. I use TroopMaster for all troop-based advancement recording. It's fabulous. When it's time to submit advancements, I just print a report from TM for COH/Form 4403. That gives me a written summary of the things that need to be added to ScoutNet. 3. My Council pushes on-line Int
  18. Register at www.scoutdirect.com. They'll sent you a pricelist via email. They're excellent to deal with, and the quality is first rate. We used to use Timberline 2XT exclusively (great headroom, traditional styling, but relatively heavy and took up a lot of room). Two years ago we tried Alps tents for our youngest patrol (don't recall the model, but they're 2-man). The scouts love 'em: plenty of headroom, light weight, easy to setup (use clips instead of sleeves). This will become our new standard tent, I think. I bought one (a step up) for myself at the same time. I love it! Got
  19. Coffee: just the way the Scouts drink it: none. Kicked the habit years ago. H2O is fine (maybe powdered milk on occasion). OJ: Forget the juice. Doesn't backpack well, requires refrigeration. East whole oranges instead (except the peel - pack that out!). KISS
  20. I visited Dachau many years ago in 1981. It was an overwhelmingly somber experience that I distinctly remember today. I truly hope that the imams' tears and prayers were genuine and not some put-on for publicity purposes. Count me skeptical.
  21. My youngest son's ESLSP involved arranging for and guiding the work of others to rehabilitate a piece town property into a conservation area. It involved construction of 2 bridges, clearing and re-blazing a trail, installation of post/rail fence and bollards to prohibit ATV access to the trail, remediation of vehicle-damaged areas, and creation of permanent signage. That was all done 2 years ago. The town was delighted. No mention was made of future maintenance. We know from cars parked there that the trail is used frequently. Since then, son (and an occasional friend) have gone back to t
  22. Has anyone noticed that it is not possible to add scanned graphics to the current "fillable PDF" ESLSP booklet using the free Adobe Reader? Even if a scout fills out all of the workbook online, he can't replace insert scanned pages (with signatures) or add graphics (before and after pictures) without using full Adobe Acrobat (not an inexpensive program). How do your scouts work around these limitations?
  23. The problem generally isn't the boys - it's the adults. To wit: A few years ago the boys in our troop decided to bone up on their skills before the Camporee - they were tired of getting beat by everyone else. To make a long story short, they placed first or second on almost all majority of the stations (we only had 7 boys at the Camporee, none above Star). When award time came, one of the awards that they should have received was given to another troop. The scouts in the other troop were surprised (because they had been running the station and knew what the scores were) and told our boys tha
  24. I asked Eureka a few years ago about resealing Timberline tents. They've tested many products, and the only one they recommend is Polycoat by AquaSeal. Here's a link: http://www.aquaseal.com/polycoat.html You might have to call around - I was able to find only 1 retailer in my entire state. Of course, I haven't tried it, yet - after all: never do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow...
  25. A few years ago my family and I took Amtrak from Connecticut to Albuquerque, stopping in Raton. On the way west, a whole bunch of Scouts got on in Kansas City. They were ultra polite to everyone, even as they enjoyed each others' company. On the way back, another group got on heading east. They were tired and a bit dirty, but likewise courteous. I was impressed. Not all Scouts are rowdy and disruptive.
  • Create New...