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Everything posted by P_Swigs

  1. P_Swigs


    The Webelos crossover is an important time of a Scout's life. Where the Arrow of Light presentation marks the end of being a Cub Scout, the crossover ceremony represents the next big step on the Trail of Scouting. The boys crossing over into a Boy Scout Troop are the only ones who should be participating in the ceremony. Having the others cross the bridge, be presented a Scout Handbook, etc. provides nothing but a feel good moment for boys who aren't doing anything more in Scouting. They know it, the parents know it, the Scoutmaster knows it - why have them crossover? If the boys earned the AOL, they got their moment in the spotlight - now it's time for the one's crossing over to have theirs.
  2. P_Swigs

    Cub Red Indian Weekend

    Anyone besides me uncomfortable with your event being called "Red Indian Weekend"? I try not to be TOO politically correct, but given options, I might go a different direction in regard to the name.
  3. One thing I've noticed with our Troop as we've worked toward completing Hiking Merit Badge is the shyness of some hikers to acknowledge hikers going in the other direction, almost to the point of looking down or away as they approach. I've always been taught to be polite and greet others on the trail and I try to encourage that with our Scouts. Obviously, the total conversation is likely nothing but a simple "hi" or "good morning" as you pass, but if it's done with a smile while looking at the other person, it offers a warm greeting, respect and courtesy to others that is, and always should be, a large part of Scouting.
  4. Mike, Thank you so much for what you bring to this forum. It's information and past experiences like yours that drew me to this message board in the first place. Your willingness to share has always been well thought out and constructive. As one leading a contingent on a 50 mile backpacking trip on Isle Royale next summer, I've found your posts to be very helpful and insightful. They will be put to good use. Thanks! As a sidenote, you and I seem to see Scouting in much the same fashion. It's a pleasure replying to your posts.
  5. P_Swigs


    Mike, I am very grateful for your words on backpacking and thoughts on the lack of backpacking experiences in some Troops and/or councils. I couldn't agree more. It is for this reason that our young Troop is starting a High Adventure program. Challenging, fun, great for Scout retention and all the things you mentioned in your post. Thanks!
  6. P_Swigs

    Uniform Inspections

    In regard to uniform inspections, I would always accentuate the positive. There is seldom, if ever, anything constructive accomplished by pointing out someone's shortcomings in a public forum like a Troop meeting. I agree that uniform inspections be done in the patrol setting. The PLC, with direction from the Scoutmaster and Troop committee, can set the standards by which the Patrol leaders are to dress and to lead the inspections. This can be a very positive, reinforcing event. I don't understand why any adult leader would want to make an example of a Scout in front of the Troop. If a Patrol leader started to do that, I would stop the process immediately and take it into the patrol. Now, if there is a patrol that shows up to a meeting so well uniformed that they deserve recognition, I would do that. Again, it's keying on the positive.
  7. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    Nowhere in any of my postings did I even have a twinkle of a thought that any of the putrid examples made by DD were acceptable anywhere. I am tired of arguing, so I am going to do as Rooster is doing - opt for silence in this forum and spend my time on our Troop's program and high adventure treks. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
  8. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    You know what, Dedicated Dad? Your last posting is exactly what I was talking about in one of my posts way back near the beginning of this thread. Commentary like that seems so un-Scout like that I find it hard to believe you would make it in a public forum with other Scouters. The simple fact you would suggest such a thing is enough to make one pause and wonder about your intentions. I don't believe there is anything in my postings that should lead anyone to say such putrid things here.
  9. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    DD, Regarding your comment, "UmmThat would be the Supreme Court."... what? The Supreme Court ruled that the BSA could set it's own membership standards and, in the case of Dale, ban avowed homosexual Scout leaders (or Scouts) from membership. While that ruling may very well be a result of the definition, "morally straight" certainly wasn't inserted into the Scout Oath to mean "not gay". Way back when it was written, everyone was encouraged to be a gay Scout leader. It simply meant you were happy and cheerful. Now days, gay Scout leaders are everywhere. My guess is most of us are. But with the dual meaning of the word in today's world, we choose to refer to ourselves as friendly and full of cheer, important ingredients to being morally straight.
  10. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    No! Please not the camo pants issue again! I'm back to apologize for stepping a little over the line in response to a few of earlier posts in this thread. While I still believe some of the commentary to be ridiculous in nature, there's better ways for me to respond to it. Actually, I've read with interest the issue at hand of the multitudes of meanings of "morally straight". I truly believe that we're all within the same "ballpark" as far as our own meaning. Yes, morality is defined by us as individuals and by our religious beliefs and upbringing, but we all have certain responsibilities to be good citizens and follow basic written (and unwritten) laws of the land as pertaining to conduct. I don't believe any of us truly believe that the words "morally straight" were included in the Scout Oath to mean "not homosexual". When one examines the Twelve Points of the Scout Law, a person who lives his or her life following those points SHOULD be a morally straight person, regardless of religious belief, etc. That person should be able to be trusted, should be obedient, helpful and courteous to others, he or she should be a loyal friend, helpful, courteous, kind, and cheerful in their demeanor, be a brave and thrifty person and practice their religion. Having good morals means you DON'T do lots of things to which were alluded in this forum, but IMHO, it all goes back to following the Scout Law and being a good, supportive person to your family and your community.
  11. P_Swigs

    Cub Scout Reading Badge (not the Boys Life one)

    It's a Wolf elective. A Cub Scout may work toward earning an arrow point by completing the requirements below. Hope this is what you were looking for. http://www.geocities.com/~pack215/wolf-electives.html 6. BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS A. Visit a bookstore, or go to a public library with a grown-up. Find out how to get your own library card. Name four kinds of books that interest you (for example, history, science fiction, how-to-books). B. Choose a book on a subject you like and read it. With an adult, discuss what you read and what you think about. C. Books are important. Show that you know how to take care of them. Open a new book the right way. Make a paper or plastic cover for it or another book.
  12. P_Swigs

    Cub Scout Reading Badge (not the Boys Life one)

    No reading belt loop. I thought perhaps there was a Webelos reading activity pin but it was not to be. Only reading badge that I know of is a Boy Scout Reading Merit badge.
  13. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    Dedicated Dad, Either add something useful to the thread or kindly refrain from typing anything. What you're asking is about as stupid a comment as anything I've seen in this forum. Because of commentary from you and other people like you, I believe this entire forum is on the verge of being cast aside and forgotten by the majority of Scouters who come here for it's original intent - to exchange creative ideas for our Boy Scout Troops and Cub Scout Packs and to have constructive conversation, not to put up with ludicrous statements like yours. Either grow up and become a responsible Scouter or get out!
  14. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    Come on, people - lets not go off the deep end here. Pretty soon this discussion of morally straight is going to turn into another "off the charts" conversation similar to the ridiculous camouflage pants issue. OGE, I think you're trying to stir the pot a bit too much by asking inflammatory questions like "Can you be a Scout leader if you're divorced?" and "Can you be a Scout leader if you're not a virgin on your wedding night?" and all the other such nonsense. Questions like that deserve zero response. Unfortunately, you're going to get some. The original question is a great question to ponder but don't start it by posing extreme right wing, holier-than-thou questions. They do nothing but anger people whose Scouting experiences involve a lot more than worrying about digging into people's personal backgrounds.
  15. P_Swigs

    What is Morally Straight?

    You're right, FScouter. Kids do know. It's the adults that often times get things all out of skew. As a Scout in the '70's, away from Scouting in the '80's and back again with my son in the '90's and '00's, I've said the Scout Oath hundreds (if not thousands) of times with the full understanding that "Morally Straight" meant that I was to follow the Scout Law and the common sensical rules of being a good person. There was never a thought of having it mean "not gay". The meaning of morally straight has never changed to me, but since the whole issue reared it's ugly head, I can't help but think of the duel meaning of the word when that part of the oath is said. I feel violated in a sense because the innocence of the world (and my childhood) has, in a sense, been chipped away a bit. The way it's misconstrued by people outside the Scouting community, especially the pro-gay groups who use it as their rallying cry, bothers me. "...Physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." Take good care of your body, take good care of your mind, and live your life as a thoughtful, caring, quality person with good values as stated in the Scout Law. Any Scout or other person who does that is going to be a value to any family or community.
  16. P_Swigs

    To Camo or not to Camo

    It's time for a cold bucket of water on the whole issue.
  17. P_Swigs

    National Camp Schools

    There is a National Camp School being held at the end of April 2002 in southeastern Wisconsin near Kenosha. I don't yet know if they'll have aquatics training. Might just be for Cub Scout day camp and resident camp. I'll keep you posted.
  18. P_Swigs

    Website 2

    Why are you asking?
  19. P_Swigs

    To Camo or not to Camo

    AMEN! Enough already!!!
  20. P_Swigs

    Pack Committee

    To register, at least to get Quality Unit, you must have a Committee Chair and two committee members. The responsibilities they hold can be flexible, but one is usually the treasurer.
  21. P_Swigs

    Parents Letting Go?

    Parental support for Scouting... what a great thing! Bring 'em all, educate them on the patrol method and the importance of the boys learning (and failing) on their own, and watch the Troop prosper.
  22. P_Swigs

    Webelos & Troop camping

    The purpose of Webelos camping with Boy Scouts is to give them a taste of what lies ahead in Scouting. The Webelos den / Boy Scout Troop overnighter or camping weekend can be a very powerful way of presenting Boy Scouting to the fifth graders, and is a great way to sell those prospective new Scouts on what a great bunch of guys and well organized Troop you really are. If done properly, the Boy Scouts will lead the Webelos in a number of different activities and show them how the patrol method works. It's also a great time for having fun and basic interaction. If there's a lot of the latter, and even more of the former, you'll have lots of Webelos joining you at crossover time. The overnighter should not, however, be done as part of a district or council event such as a camporee. You want the Webelos to be the main focus of the event so they can learn and see what you're all about. Camporees are Boy Scout events and should be kept as such. Organizers spend inordinate amounts of time planning challenging tests of skill for boys who have learned them, or putting together a merit badge themed camporee, neither of which are appropriate for Webelos. As the Webelos Leader Guide (page 21)says, "Dens of Webelos with their parents are encouraged to participate in several joint den-troop campouts, particularly during the fifth grade year. These campouts, conducted with an individual troop for the purpose of strengthing ties between the pack and the troop, are to be held separate from any district or council Boy Scout activities." That's not to say you couldn't have a special Webelos event held in conjunction WITH a camporee. A special Webelos event designed to give the Webelos a camping experience and some outdoor activities, perhaps working some of the outdoor activity pins into the program, is encouraged, as long as the Boy Scouts are doing their thing while the Webelos do theirs. Both groups should camp separately and participate during the day as if they're camping in two different camps. As someone suggested, it's a great idea to have a joint morning flag ceremony and evening campfire. That allows the Webelos to see the Boy Scouts in action, and during the campfire, even gives them an opportunity for doing a few skits. Lastly, parents ARE required to camp with Webelos-age Scouts. There is an allowance of one extra boy per adult should a parent not be able to go for some reason, but that is the requirement.
  23. P_Swigs

    In the Dumpster

    Sorry to take a side-step to this issue, but in my 41 years, I'd never even seen the word "pusillanimous". Is it any wonder Eisely is a Senior member? (It means cowardly - One learns something everyday!) I wish I could add something else to the discussion on this subject. I just hope cooler heads prevail and the parents realize that there is far greater harm from pursuing legal action than from having the boy change Troops.
  24. P_Swigs

    Parents Letting Go?

    I'll second jmcquillin's post. An adult "patrol" has worked very well in our Troop as well. We had a similar situation with a few parents of an outstanding group of Webelos that joined us last winter. The parents were very active with the Webelos den and they wanted to continue "helping" with the patrol. (That's certainly not a bad thing, as witnessed in other posts about apathetic parents). Needless to say, when the Scoutmaster stated very clearly that parents are to be observers and work within their own "patrols" only, a few egos were wounded. But, things run smoother now, and the boys are developing into a well-oiled machine as a patrol. It all started with a clear statement of goals to the parents. They now understand how things work and the boys are spreading their wings.