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qwazse

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qwazse last won the day on August 15

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About qwazse

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    Just one more beggar ...

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  1. qwazse

    Campout planning...who does it?

    We've found that the adults have to identify their available weekends. The scouts usually pick familiar locations, and we try to add one or two novel ones for them to consider. In general they are open to one in four of our suggestions. We're pretty flexible. If scouts come up with something mid term, we'll try to add it to the calendar, maybe swapping out something they weren't that enthused about.
  2. We've all been talked into using foil for lots of campfire cooking. It's all fine and good if you gather your scrap foil, wash it, throw it in your forge, and roll it into sheets again. But most of us don't have time for that sort of thing. I've found there's plenty of situations where it (or any other utensil) is unnecessary as long as you can maintain a sizeable bed of coals. This is best done by separating the upwind and downwind side of the fire with a large log. The downwind side is for burning wood to make more coals, which you dig out under the log to bring over the upwind side. Things cook slower, but better. Corn on the cob. Do not shell! Rinse the husks lightly, and set the ears in coals to roast for about 1/2 hour. Rotate as needed. (P.S., if the fire is on a sand dune or beach, insert ears under the fire. The hot sand will speed cooking. Potatoes. Get a smaller brand and bury in coals. Three inch potatoes will cook in 1/2 hour. Dry-Rub roast beef. Lay on the coals, pull another 1/2 inch layer on top. Slice meat from edge to center as it cooks. Pastry dough. Store-bought? Bury tube in coals. The paper wrapping will burn away, and as it blackens, you can rotate it. Inside is yum! The alternative (especially useful for dough from scratch) is to wrap around a stick. But getting the thickness of dough correct and suspending it close above the coals is a bit tricky. Apples ... yes the thicker varieties will cook while buried half way in coals. Core them and and spices and a little water to the middle while they roast. Yes, every now and then a husk or one of your vittles will come alight, but that's half the fun!
  3. Don't over-think. Did more scouts join than quit since you started? Give yourself full credit. If you're wrong, your UC can amend it.
  4. qwazse

    Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

    You're not kidding. I mean, I have a perverse heart-warming feeling when ride by the midget football camp in the park on the North Side of town. A fair bit of my time in both Sunday school and scouts is talking kids through their growing lack of interest in whatever sport they were involved in since they were little. Their friends as much as their family are pressuring to keep up with the soccer/baseball/football team (or, sometimes band), but they are realizing they are just not enjoying it -- even if they a pretty good at it. They've gotten bored with the game, and playing it under lights in a stadium of cheering strangers is not gonna change that. Sometimes the conflict can be quite serious. Athletes who are "into the game" can become bullies. They and their victims sometimes need to step away from the game to realize that they can find beauty "on the outside." This also happens in scouting. But not as often, and not as extreme. I think because there are more niches in the program that a scout can fill.
  5. Some contingents did revise their departures. However, I don't know if all of those were flying. Or if the buses were involved. Had they not revised their plans, if they were flying, they would not have had plans delayed because of storms at hubs. A "modern" airport does not have loads of contingency plans. It is based on a few very large hubs through which all traffic must flow. When the weather is fine, millions of extra travelers flow through smoothly. Ground two hubs, and the nation has to sit tight, be it Jambo, sport championships, or everyone's grandmother making holiday dinner hither and yon. Not knowing the weather months in advance, there is no computing to get around this. In fact, knowing the weather months in advance won't help much, because just because you know hubs will be grounded on, say, August 4th, doesn't mean we have the gate slots at the other airports (e.g. Indianapolis, Cleaveland, Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Charleston ....) whose infrastructure has been effectively capped over the past decades. Were airports based on a more distributed system (like we all experienced in the 70's), more ad hoc routes could be formed. But then, we would have been taxed out the eyeballs to make it so. So you don't think scouts should ever experience what most Americans experience every several flights? Maybe it's their turn to fix things. Teach our scouts to elect officials who will build up the heartland so that we have an array of many large airports with extra capacity across the continent. For Jambo, we should start with Charleston, Morgantown, and Lexington. Or (brace yourselves) push for fewer 5 lane highways, and more high speed rail lines.
  6. qwazse

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    I spent one morning on Mt. Jack with an Indonesian contingent (mostly female) making sassafras tea for their leader. They dressed sharply -- even for what I think was their activity dress. Uniform hijabs for the muslim girls. I was talking to the contingent leaders, and they were interested in purchasing BSA literature (which, sadly the trading post had none of). I think neat dress is a priority for most of them. It's one thing that the scouts can control. One leader who I talked to had lived through the tsunami and now has concerns about seemingly perpetual martial law and subsequent corruption. Another leader was at a University teaching psychology and is trying to figure out the rise in boyfriend/spousal abuse of academic women (the thinking/hope being that educated women would be less vulnerable).
  7. Happy to have bused. There was a little chatter from parents as their sons were delayed a day. But ... Our hub system means that stormy weather in the heartland grounds flights along the coast. It's basically the new normal for frequent air travelers. I figure as a family, we've missed one in five flights. In general Charlotte's expansion of the past decade was at the expense of large corporate tax breaks that could have otherwise been used for better infrastructure, including larger check-in terminals at CLT. TSA and flexibility are not known to go together. This is just life in Post-Modern America. Lower taxes. Live free. Do without service. Accept delays. These scouts will be voting in four years or less. It will be interesting to see how their experience influences their choice in candidates.
  8. List be damned. I believe ASM is the most appropriate position for an 18+ year old working on Eagle. Being a young ASM is sort of scouting's finishing school. It's really the last step in leadership development before going off to college, war, or to earn your fortune. Sure joining a Crew could be an option, if they'd elect you to a position. In my crew, positions were not gimme's. You had to be worthy of your peer's approval. The method in Venturing is not "leadership development" but "leadership", so I took that to mean "don't try, do." If the crew had doubts about your dedication, you weren't getting elected. Obviously, I'm coming from a perspective where I think any adult Advisor, SM, Co-Advisor, or ASM should have to earn First Class, and if they desire to go on to earn Eagle, they should be permitted to do so. So, my answer is based on my intuition and not based on some pronouncement from BSA. However, I do believe that ASM is the natural next step for such a scout. Knowing that they can talk to you adult-to-adult is really important for them and for your community. So, giving them the patch that says they can do that is a great way to "raise the bar" for that relationship. Caveat: as always, my position continues to be only give positions to those who will do the work. If the candidate is only going to be nominally ASM, they don't deserve to advance in rank. But I also recognize my young ASMs if they contribute to the life of the troop on the few weekends or evenings that they have free from college or military. Those hours explaining to scouts what life is now like for them is invaluable.
  9. qwazse

    Hello from Pennsylvania

    @greenreddew, welcome and thanks for all you do for the youth!
  10. I think campaigning for legislation is not an Eagle project because there is no named beneficiary. However, legislation is often a step in the process. For example, Son #1 had to attend several borough meetings and meetings with town planners to get approval to release funds from a state grant for materials to do his project. In this scout's case I think a suitable project would be mobilizing the community to change recycling patterns. Legislating plastic handling would be the first step. Educating and enabling community members would be the next step, followed by an evaluation period and report back to the legislating body. This could benefit a town or county in any number of ways ... not the least of which would be the hours of manpower saved in mobilizing enforcement. But, when we lay out all of the steps like that, it begins to sound like a series of projects on the way to a Hornaday award.
  11. qwazse

    merit badge sash q2

    Not even one. Say a 1st class scout has attended several events where he as earned a patch and is very proud of those first three rank ovals and each temporary insignia. Get him a sash and have him stitch each insignia on the back side. That way, he'll have a sash just like his buddies at the next court of honor. Then he'll be ready to sew on his first (or first ten) MBs the evening that they are awarded. I am trying to nudge the boys in my troop into doing the same thing.
  12. A chill weekend taking my church youth camping,  a much needed change of pace. All of my Jambo neckers were around some boy's neck for most of the day. They never got the memo that American scouts would melt if they wore them!

  13. qwazse

    ASMs assigned to Scout Patrols?

    @TMSM, our troop has basically settled into that routine. Each of our ASMs have different talents, so it makes sense that they should be available to any patrol who asks for them -- as opposed to hovering over one patrol who never asked for it. I really hope that we will soon get a patrol who can only do an activity on a particular weekend or evening, and there will be just the right ASM and one other registered adult available to help that PL make it a reality. That kind of "spark" is what I think will get our patrols really upping their game.
  14. qwazse

    Name on Eagle Project?

    Welcome to the forums! Last December, my kids (all adults, 2 Eagles, one sister-of-said-birds, one wife and one girlfriend who we've given every opportunity to flee) and I visited a pleasant trail in a park on a river island near Vero Beach, FL. On the return loop, one of them spied a granite headstone engraved "donation of (sponsor - a cemetery, go figure), Eagle project of (scout), troop (###)." We were a little bemused by the enthusiasm of the adults who insisted on etching their accomplishment in stone, and felt a little embarrassed for the scout. On the other hand, it was a nice trail, and we were grateful for the scouts who put in the labor to make it so. So, yes, a small plaque recognizing you and your troop's hard work is allowed, it's not a bad idea, and it as not as "out there" as some that we've all seen. Thanks for your leadership in what we can hope will be the first of many service projects in the coming years.
  15. qwazse

    ASMs assigned to Scout Patrols?

    Did it for a while at one SM's request. Told the PL, "If you need me for anything, I'll be elsewhere." He did ask for help addressing one or two issues. And I gave him some pointers on how to handle them, but otherwise I wasn't needed. Moreover, I don't think he other PLs needed specific advisors. I certainly am glad I didn't have such a thing when I was a PL.
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