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  1. I would say I put in (on average) 60 hours a week. Of course, I like it so much I became a District Exec. In case you guys don't know, the work you volunteer for the units is greatly appreciated. There is no real way to measure the successes you have helped create in each Scout, but know that it would not be possible without the dedication and hard work of the adult volunteers. Thank you.
  2. Wow! Small world. I tell ya. As a DE, groups like these make my job alot easier.
  3. First, I can take no responsibility for the successful relief operation mounted by some of my Troops. However, I will gladly spread the word of gratitude. Go to the BSA's Hurricane Katrina relief page on their website at this link. http://www.goodturnforamerica.org/katrina/index.html You should see an article titled, "Mississippi Scouts Lead Community in Assisting Hurricane Katrina Survivors". I encourage you to take a moment and read this quick article about the efforts of Troops 45, 144 and 146 from the Yocona Area Council. The short version is that within 72 hours after the storm hit, the youth decied they needed to do something. They raised over $10,000 cash and tons (literally) of food. They had everything donated. Trucks, warehouse, fuel, boxes, etc. It's stories like these that really make me proud to be in Scouting!
  4. A couple of years ago, I went to National Camp School for COPE Director certification. Well, we did a skit there that became banned afterwards. We set up a small, indoor obstacle course and selected 3-4 volunteers from the crowd. Once those volunteers were selected, we explained that COPE deals alot with trust and communication, as well as many other goals. We then took the "volunteers" and placed them at the start of the event and blindfolded them. As they were blindfolded, the COPE group's leader explained that we would walk them through the course and they would have to listen to our commands. Such things like, "Step over the bar in front of you without touching it" or "Crawl on your belly under the bar ahead". Well, as the COPE instructor is explaining this to the blindfolded participants, the rest of the COPE class ran out and removed ALL the obstacles, leaving only an empty room. Then, the leader will start running the participants through a course that is no longer there. The only people what don't know it's all gone are the blindfolded participants. Harmless you say? Well, we selected our participants out of the crowd well ahead of time. The ones we decided to use were 2 guys from the Regional Office, the NCS camp director and another high ranking volunteer. It seems they lost their sense of humor along the way.
  5. eaglescout2004 might be in the same boat I am in. I was inducted last July as an adult. I will go for Brotherhood later this month.
  6. As a police officer, I can tell you that, for the most part, if someone has three tickets for speeding, they are going to do it again. If they had learned their lesson, they would have stopped after the first one. I can tell you that the officers in my department won't stop anyone until they are going at least 13 over the limit. Some wait until 18-20. Those are almost automatic tickets and there really is no arguing with them. I personally think that the people with the authority in the group need to pull this person aside and tell them that he will not be allowed to drive scouts or operate "official" vehicles at scouting events. The liability is too great. I don't favor lawsuits, but I can see a parent sue the troop and charter org. after their child is hurt in an accident when this adult was driving. Their attorney will say, "You knew of the past history of dangerous driving yet you failed to do anything about it." Look out for the adult, but cover your own tail first. Better safe than sorry.
  7. One was the AoL, but they have the papers on that. The other was a religious. I may try to find one of the old scoutmasters. The records would have to be about 15 years old now though. It's worth a shot I guess.
  8. As a youth (many years ago) I earned a couple of awards that can be worn on the adult uniform as knots. However, I have since lost the actual awards and the council can not find the records from them. IIRC, my scoutmasters were a little lax in sending the proper paperwork to the council office. My question is, how can I prove that I earned the awards and get the knots? I am still in the same council today as I was as a youth. They may take my word for it, but I would prefer to have some type of proof. Any suggestions?
  9. I went to NCS in May 2003 for COPE Director certification at Camp Bob Hardin in Saluda, NC. That course was one of the longest seven days of my life! We were up for breakfast by 0700 and rock-n-rolled until at least 11:00PM every night. Oh, did I mention that it rained the ENTIRE time! After that week, I hurt in places I didn't know I had! Man, I want to go back so bad!
  10. I was tapped out this year at Summer Camp and went through my Ordeal last month. IIRC, I was one of two adults tapped out this year. I plan to earn my Brotherhood as soon as allowed. Should get it done before next summer camp. Lodge is Chicksa 202.
  11. I actually had two starts in scouting. I first started in cub scouts as a youngster. I was successful in advancement, earning many awards all the way through Webelos. I earned my Arrow of Light then on to Boy Scouts. While in the troop, I progressed through First Class. IIRC, I had earned Star and was waiting on the next advancement ceremony when the bottom fell out. When I started to get involved in baseball and girls, the BSA fell to the wayside. My troop was failing to keep current scouts and recruit new ones. With this, the veteran Scoutmasters had more on their plate than they could handle and the troop folded under. Fast forward to college. I had a certain instructor in the Health and PE department that offered a PE class that took a trip to the council's COPE course for one weekend. It was a fun way to earn an "A". I had such a good time, I signed up for the class the next semester with a few friends. While there, the staff asked me if I was interested in joining them. I did and became a COPE instructor until May, 2003. At that time, I went to NCS COPE Director school in North Carolina. When I returned, I took over the operations of the council's COPE programs as the Council COPE Coordinator. About the same time, I also started as a Unit Commissioner in my district. Last month, I signed on with a friend's Cub Scout group as a Pack Committee Member. I was recently tapped out and went through the Ordeal for OA. So, I am looking forward to working with the lodge also. I really am glad I got back into scouting. Looking back on my time as a youth, I regret dropping out. I know there is nothing I can do about that now, but I plan make contributions as an adult.
  12. I need a new backpack for hiking and camping. The one I have is getting outdated and worn out. My current one was a Wal-Mart special and I have no idea how many cubic inches it is. So, Help me decide what size a pack I need and any specific packs I sould look at. I am not sure of the size I need. I am looking for a pack that I can use on weekend trips. Probably no longer than two nights. So, just how much stuff will fit in a 3000 cubic inch? 4000 cubic inch? Thanks, OX
  13. mn_scout, When I am directing a COPE course, the trust fall is the last low element I do. COPE is designed to be a progressive building program that is founded on seven key principles--teamwork, decision making, leadership, teamwork, problem solving, self esteem and trust. We start with initiative games that are used to break the ice, learn names and generally get the group comfortable working together. We teach basic things like spotting techniques, etc. After the initiative games, we move to the low course. These elements range from ground level to about 12-13 feet high. On the low course, they will use the lessons learned from the initiative games to accomplish the tasks of the low course. The group will run through about 6 low elements. These are just as tough mentally as they are physically. This is really where the group dynamics start to form. It is where they really start to work as a team, communicate with each other, learn to solve problems and develop leadership skills. The trust fall is the final low element they do. After that, they move to the high course, which starts at 35 feet up and tops out on the rappelling tower a cool 65 feet up. As before, they use the skills learned during the initiative games and low course to meet the goals of the high course. As for a description of how the trust fall is run, I'll give it a shot here. First, you line all the team members up facing each other, shoulder to shoulder, starting at the edge of the platform. They will make two lines that face eaach other, with about two feet between the two lines. Then, they all extend their arms out, palms up and fingers flat. They will alternate arms so that one side does not have two hands next to each other. Then, the "faller" gets on the platform with the instructor. The faller crosses his arms across his body to prevent his elbows from hitting another group member during the fall. The instructor positions the faller so that his back is to the group and he is centered up and ready to fall. At this point, the group goes through their commands. Faller asks, "Team ready?" Team replies, "TEAM READY!!" Faller says, "Johnny falling." Team replies, "FALL ON, JOHNNY!!" Then, the faller falls into the arms of the group. It should be noted that for safety purposes, anytime a person is on the platform, the group should be in position and ready to catch them should he fall accidentally. Also, when you fall, it is VERY important to stay as stiff as a board. We always tell people to put a dime between your buttcheeks and pinch. (This message has been edited by OXCOPS)
  14. The Trust Fall is the strongest low course element on a COPE course for building trust. I have sent literally hundreds of people, young and old, off the trust fall. The vast majority of them are scared to death when they are preparing to fall. Once they fall safely into the arms of their group, almost all of them seem to have a new respect for their group members. They also have a newfound sense of pride in themselves. They all have a look of accomplishment in their eyes. That look gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing that they have just taken a huge step inside. That is a feeling no one should be deprved of if they want to participate.
  15. This rule also takes the liability off the instructor. As my Council's COPE Coordinator and a certified COPE Director, I deal with this question a good bit. IIRC, the COPE standards allow for some personal equipment to be used only if the COPE Director on the course inspects it and deems it suitable. Now, should the Director allow a piece of gear and it fails, the blame falls right on his shoulders. It is a risky postion for a Director to be in since he/she does not know the history of the gear (falls, impacts, chemical contamination, etc.). So, as a general rule, most COPE programs will not allow any personal gear. In our program, COPE staff can use their own harnesses, provided that they are only used on COPE events and a log is kept to record amount of use. If you want to use a personal harness for weekend climbing out in the desert on your own, you get another harness and do not use your COPE harness.
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