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Everything posted by perdidochas

  1. Is BSA Sustainable?

    They're not quite dead yet....... I don't know a single Campfire kid. I know Royal Rangers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venture Scouts, but no campfire kids.
  2. Parents as MBCs

    The general rule in my troop is that a parent can't be solely a MBC for their son (meaning that we prefer that Scouts do a MB with an MB buddy, when they are working with their parent), and that if there are alternative counselors in the Troop, they use them instead. I was the only MB counselor we had for Environmental Science (I'm a former science teacher), and most of the nature badges. My sons did those with me, but in the case of Environmental science, I conduced a Enviro Science class one night a week in addition to the meeting. Talk to your SM about it. He's the one who signs the blue card.
  3. IMHO, it depends on if he's actually making money on this. I think the scouts should talk to the SPL about it, and ask him how much money he's making on it. If he's making negligible money (say less than $1 per scout), I wouldn't worry about it. If hes' making serious money (over $1 per scout) or if he refuses to tell them, then your scouts should talk to the SM or an ASM about it. The other thing is that the above needs to be an option. The SPL still needs to plan an activity for non-participating scouts, or this needs to be a purely free time activity.
  4. Camping Distance for Adults

    Exactly. The majority of campouts we would go to state parks. We had some work to do on boy led. I do agree it would have been better to have the Scouts do all that legwork.
  5. Camping Distance for Adults

    Well, the troop was a by-law troop, so I didn't want to rock the boat too much. I rocked the boat for things I felt were more important--like encouraging the boys to plan backpacking trips. The troop has three person tents, which would fit four small scouts barely, three small scouts well, and was spacious for two large scouts. The adults encouraged them to sleep in twos, unless there was an odd scout out. Three in a tent were too noisy to the other scouts. I can't imagine a patrol sized tent trying to sleep. I was initially a committee member (Advancement person), but ended up going on a lot of the campouts, as we didn't have enough active ASMs. Often we would camp with one ASM and myself for adults for 8 scouts. However, when I thought there were too many adults, I usually made sure I was the first to bow out. I knew I would be needed to go on plenty of campouts.
  6. Camping Distance for Adults

    Yes, but many places won't allow people under 18 (or sometimes 21) to reserve campsites.
  7. Camping Distance for Adults

    My sons did prefer being in their own tents for the most part. My youngest didn't realize that until he slept in a tent by himself. The troop had a rule that only Star Scouts and above could tent alone. Personally, I would have moved that down to First Class, but it seemed to work.
  8. Camping Distance for Adults

    As a scouter with two boys in the Troop, I would occasionally skip a campout, just so the boys had the experience of camping without me. I also arranged it so that they would occasionally camp without either me or their brother. I didn't go to summer camp with the troop until my oldest was an Eagle, and my youngest was Life and the SPL. I was pretty much hands-off with the boys when I was there, until they became older scouts. Then, as they were involved in troop leadership, we interacted more.
  9. Camping Distance for Adults

    Very buzzwordy, I like it.
  10. Camping Distance for Adults

    The same with us. One of the main things is that we don't allow the scouts to come into our campsite without permission (and the adults likewise ask permission before going into the boys' camping area).
  11. I do think that a lot of what we do in Cub Scouts makes it so the boys don't like Boy Scouts as much. I think coddling the Cub Scouts and them having no responsibilities during a campout is a negative thing, and is not good for them in the long run. My youngest began scouting as a tiger, and my oldest as a wolf. From the first campout, they helped me (and sometimes their mom) set up our family campsite, even while their friends were off playing (and the friends' parents were doing all the work). Yes, when they were small it would have been easier to set up the camp by myself, but if I wanted things easy, I wouldn't be camping with them. I do agree there's a problem with repetition and too much "school type" learning rather than hands on learning.
  12. Camping Distance for Adults

    I believe the 300 foot gap was Baden-Powell's advice. I don't know how, but I would discourage any scout from regularly sleeping in their parent's tent UNLESS there is some disability (mental or physical) involved. The Scout isn't growing much if that's the case. The umbilical cord needs to be cut sometime. About the only time that happened in our troop is 1) backpacking and 2) if the scout and parent showed up late, after the troop had already set up tents, but it was never allowed as a regular practice. I never slept in a tent with my sons after Cub Scouts. It's hard for a scout to have a buddy in another tent, and I don't believe in a mixed adult/scout buddy system.
  13. I know you are getting close to Eagle. Just finish the Eagle required, and get your 21 total. An Eagle with 21 badges is still an Eagle. (My oldest got his Eagle with 21 badges. He ended up with a few more when he was a summer camp counselor, but I'm not sure he actually was awarded them. It didn't matter to him, he was having too much fun.)
  14. Environmental science isn't bad at all at home, if you have a counselor. I did an Environmental Science class on Thursday nights (our regular meeting was Monday night), for about a month. Gave us the time to go into detail, do some experiments, etc. That said, it's the most bookish MB that I think should be taught at summer camp.
  15. I agree totally with that. Personally, I think it's horrible that summer camps are teaching the Citizenship badges. I encouraged my sons (both of whom are Eagles) to only take fun badges at Summer Camp. I wasn't paying that much money for them to learn Citizenship in the Community from a high school student, when the counselors for that badge in the Troop were for the most part, retired military officers, and were educated men who knew about citizenship. They had fun climbing, riding horses, canoeing, sailing, etc.
  16. I think advancement and merit badges requires boys to get out of their comfort zone. It's a motivator for some. One boy I knew (he was one of my Tiger Cubs and later one of my Webelos) had a fear of water and would not swim. He wanted to get Eagle, so he worked hard to learn to swim. He learned to swim well enough for both the BSA Swim test and the Swimming Merit Badge That said, if it were my druthers, I'd change up the Merit badges required for Eagle. First, I'd reduce the book learning merit badges. I would combine Family Life and Personal Management into a Life Management merit badge. I'd merge all the Citizenship badges into one. I would only allow physical badges (Shooting, various types of boating, climbing, etc.) and nature badges (Nature, Bird Study) and crafting badges (leather work, welding) at Summer camp. I would add the requirement of at least one nature merit badge (beyond Environmental Science).
  17. How has it changed, other than going from one year to two? In the Webelos program of 2009-2011 (when I was a WDL), there was nothing in the program that wasn't appropriate for all Webelos. I don't view Webelos as a transition, so much as a phase. Webelos aged boys are changing. They need different things than do Tigers, Wolves or Bears (or Boy Scouts).
  18. I don't think there is a difference. When I was a WDL, I knew that only some of my Webelos were going to Boy Scouts. However, I think the Webelos program as designed was appropriate for all Webelos, not just the ones going to Boy Scouts.
  19. The difference between the two models (athletics and scouting) is that there isn't a limit to the number of boy scouts we have, nor do we have a minimum skill level in Scouting to participate. There are definite limits to how many kids can be on a high school sports team, as well as a minimum standard to participate.
  20. I personally think that the Scouts should be working on T-2-1 simultaneously. Then, after a while, they should concentrate on Tenderfoot to finish, then Second Class, then First Class.
  21. I agree that actually achieving FCFY isn't necessarily a good thing. That said, I think that a good troop should have the conditions in place so that a scout could get FCFY, theoretically. Besides scout inertia, a very active super Scout should be able to achieve FCFY.
  22. Has your troop ever gone to Disney World?

    I resemble that remark.
  23. Pack Trailer

    Should be registered and titled under the name of the CO.
  24. Can Scouts use campers?

    Sure, but in general, it shouldn't count as camping for Camping Merit Badge or for T-2-1 requirements. Special needs scouts are a different issue.