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Everything posted by pinkflame

  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
  16. How exactly is it possibe to focus too much on the Word of God? As for interpretation and the way to a relationship with God, that whole thing that happened at Easter with Jesus is the way God made the way for me, a sinner, to have a direct relationship with His Son and, through Him, to God the Father. As for venial sin making me less worthy of God's help, as a sinner I am COMPLETELY unworthy of God's help and only by His grace and mercy am I saved (or helped in all those mundane things of life). At least, that's the Protestant take.
  17. To further muddy the ecumenical waters, I recall from my famly members of the Church of Christ persuation that they belive that Peter is the rock upon which the Chuurch of Christ is founded and that all other denominations (including the big one out of Rome) are inauthentic. They do not consider themselves Protestants but instead see themselves as the original. Funny how so many different well-meaning Christians in so many different groups can use scripture to divide instead of unite
  18. It is the food you end up cooking and having left over that is the biggest dilemma. One year we ended up taking 50+ hotdogs and numerous opend bags of chips along with some fruit to "under the bridge" people and a rained out Cub sports day. The pantries couldn't take stuff that was already opened or cooked. My son and I got nominated to go downtown with the goods. He was about 9 and had all those suburban stories in is mind about the homeless. I worked downtown at the time so I guess I had a bit more personal contact (many homeless came into our clinic as patients). For safety we found a
  19. For non-perishables, Sam's club will usually take back your unopened items
  20. Precisely why the influenza vaccine, although promoted high and low, may be yet another hype. The strains are chosen sort of on the statistical probability that those will be the strains that will be out there making peole sick, but also based on which strain are available to make vaccine. There is ALWAYS the possiblity that a highly virulent strain will surface that hadn't even been under consideration or that was considered so low a probability that it wasn't included or present as a "new strain". So when people tell you they are protected ffom the flu because they got a flu shot, it is sort
  21. 70% for a vaccine is not good. If we were talking about something immediately lethal (say, if a bird flu vaccine were developed and there was an immediate threat of a bird flu epidemic which is known to have a high fatality rate and has no treatment except supportive care), then a 70% effectiveness rate (or even a 50%) might be acceptable. That was one of the debates about re-vaccination for smallpox a few years ago, although in that case the complications were known which made the discussion a bit more useful. The diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine is almost 100% effective. As you sta
  22. I guess I'm a religious nut, proud to be a Jesus freak with a bumper sticker on my car that says evangelical liberal democrat", so put me in any box you want but i probably won't fit. However, as a family physician, i think the current cervical cancer vaccine is bogu since in only protrects against 70% of the HPV known to cause cervical cancer, has significant immediate post-vaccination reactions, and uncertain period of efficacy and absolutely unknown long-term consequences. Add to that advertising that says to young people that they are "protected" and we have a formula for disaster.
  23. I think the loving and merciful God who I know wouldn't be nearly as harsh on folks as some of the posters on this forum. He evan gave Sodom and Gomorrah chances to repent and sent Jonah to Nineveh to get those folks right (after letting Jonah do a little getting right himself). And that's all Old Testament. However, I have one judgement to make. TheScout, you need to step back from working with youth before you infect them with those racist ideas. Maybe you will perceive this as a personal atttack, but you really crossed the line here
  24. Education never killed a baby. Counseling, listening to what the young woman has to say and explaining ALL the options for her pregnancy will not kill the baby. SHE may make a choice for abortion, but she also may not if it and her other options are explained to her. The leave the elephant in the room out of the discusion does not make the elephant go away.
  25. I AM one of those single parents, by adoption, and the wording of events like this doesn't offend me but I have seen it hurt my son's feelings. He's a teenager now, so mostly out of those kinds of events, but we saw it in school, church and scouts. Our extended family does not live near us, so it was never possible to just scrounge up an uncle or a grandfather. From around kindergarten on he would somply choose not to attend events like that. He said it felt weird going with a neighbor or other acquaintance and habing to keep on introducing him (a big responsibility for a little boy). Then the
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