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About pinkflame

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  1. It seems to me that there are some things that younger Scouts just won't get to experience if they take certain merit badges too soon. For example, for the Citizenship in the Community requirement about finding out about a community agency and then volunteering some time with that agency, a 12 year old would not have a lot of choices. When I have counseled it the youger boys end up doing stuff like helping out at vacation Bible school or church food pantries. All useful stuff, but I'm not sure how much of it was their choice nor whether those activities will spur them on to volunteer in the co
  2. For inexpensive ideas for trail food. check out trailcooking.com and go to the section called "freeezer bag cooking 101". They have basic recipes that the boys can experiment with and then taylor to thier own tastes, all using zip loc freezer bags and any number of cozies for heat retention while the ingredients "cook". The website has some commercial products, but they are not necessary for most of the recipes. I did a demo a few months ago at roundtable and made o point of only buying my ingredients at the local supermarket. Of course, if some of the guys get into it they might decide
  3. Coleman makes a battery powered ceiling fan that you can tie over your cot. Don't fall for the smaller, cheaper more flimsy fan options. It needs 4 D cells and they will last 3 nights each. If it is not looking like rain, fold the fly up the most you can. Microfiber sheets are probably best but the fan will probably make the regualr cotton ones OK. I sometimes just use a cotton flannel sheet and then I don't need a blanket. We are in south Texas so our summer lasts 6-8 months. Good luck
  4. Maybe my perspective is more activist, but i usually figure that I don't have much right to complain if I'm not willing to do something to fix a situation. There are Scouting professionals, but us volunteer Scouters can and shold have a lot of input into the program; at camp and in the district and council as wel as in our own units. One year our troop went to an out of council camp that had some missing elements in its program. The medic who was supposed to care for the camp did not show up. The First Aid and emergency Preparedness MB class (and the first aid part of the trail to Eagle
  5. BTW, I wouldn't buy a super expensive tent. Webelos are learning about things like zippers and tent flys. The ipeers and doors have a limited life around 10 year olds. This tent will not be your last, so don't make a big investment. You can re-sew zippers, but several of our earlier tents went on to happy lives with the homeless. those guys have lots of time to fix zippers.
  6. I'm in south Texas. Maybe we're not quite as humid as Louisiana, but I feel your pain. Webelos camping is car camping, so you can go with a bigger family camping kind of tent. Look for something advertised as 4 person. That determination is mabe from how many sleeping bags will fit on the floor. If you want to be cooloer (and maybe a little more comfortable), use a cot. (Preferably one of the fold-up nylon cots, maybe with a little air mattress on top of it. You don't need much of a sleeping bag, sheets and a summer blanket are fine. )That will get you up into the air so maybe you'll have some
  7. This is all Texas stuff camping/service/history Fort McKavett State Historical Site. It is about an hour east of San Angelo and about 30 minutes west of Menard. It was a buffalo soldiers site. After 6 or 7 at night it closes to the public and if you are staying there you have the place to yourself. You can camp but even better is staying in the authentically restored 1870's era barracks, complete with iron cots with corn-shuck (or something organic but not real comfortable) mattresses. Our Scout troop stayed there free one Saturday nogth on the way back from summer camp becasue we did a
  8. Since another name for my house could be "teenage jock central", I need to point out that some guys seem to ALWAYS need to discuss who is more buff, who is (or might someday) develop the reasured 6-pack of abs, who can bench what weight, run what distance in what time or perform some other feat of strength or skill. It's pretty boring to listen to, but better than listening to rap music. The little brothers listen and chime in and dream of when they might be talking fact and not fiction. Maybe this ASM didn't grow p in that culture, so comments about muscles really do sound odd to him.
  9. I got pretty tired of the whole brag vest thing by the time my son finished Cubbies, but last Sunday, when I put it out as one of the decorations for the reception after his Eagle COH, it had a whole different meaning. (I just got a few tears thinking about it.) People who didn't know much about Scouts asked a lot of questions, my son told some great stories explaining some of the patches to some of the guests, it was a great walk down memory lane. So don't trash it, it could have an entirely different life in a few years.
  10. It may be time to step away for a hile. If there is a bigger Packnearby where your youngest can have a good experience that you can share with him without feeling burned out and scttered (and therefore not really being with him), maybe you should give that program your support and help and have thepleasure of working alongside a team of committed adult leaders. Are you leaving your friends in the lurch? I think that is hard to say, since friends don't leave it to friends to do almost all the work and get burned out. The people who want to might come with you to the other Pack or maybe the
  11. This policy is common in all the sales tax exempt groups I work with (PTA, church, Scouts), at least where I am from in Texas. There is a paper cpopy of the state tax-exempt certifcate and then a form that I have to hand in at the time of purchase if the tax is not going to be charged. if i don't have the form, then I will take the hit for the taxes i paid. There is nothing underhanded about it and the organizations won't get anything back from the state for not reimbursing me. On the other hand, if the merchant does not charge me tax and does not get the forms and copy of the tax exempt certi
  12. Sometimes I am the only woman on a trip, so the modesty issue is real for me. A few years ago I found the perfect solution at one of the big bog store. I call it the portable phone booth. It is a pop-up cabana that starts out as an almost flat 36-42 inch disc and opens to about the size of an old school phone booth. It is nylon on all the sides with a zipper door on one of the sides. If my tent is not an option (like if we're going swimming somewhere away from the campsite) or if it's just too hot to zip up all the windows of my tent and all I'm doing is a qucik change, I can just pop it out,
  13. OOPS!, I meant PA's not OA's. Apparently I can't even type legibly
  14. I am a family physician and a parent. Although I do physicals for the troop, I do NOT do my son's physical and infact try NOT to treat him (OK, I will call in ointment for pinkeye and stuff like that, but my teenage son needs his own doctor that he can discuss WHATEVER he needs to discuss without worrying about the mom-filter). The other doctors and OA's and NP's in our practice do the same thing with their children. The child in question in this post is younger so may not have teen isues to discuss (although that will soon happen) and probably has a host of sub-specialists who look after
  15. The bottom line is, some people will NEVER 'step up" and no maount of alk, cajoling or even pointing out what htey are missing by not bsing involved with their children will change that. My son is now 17 and I have seen the same phenomenon in Scouts, sports, PTA/PTSA, church and probablky other places that I have repressed by now. I think it is the Marines who say that 10% never get the word. You can probably turn that around and say 90% never "get it" about volunteering. You can either get all upset about it (which I have in the past), or just understand the phenomenon and be grateful th
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