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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. Eagle Project Unsigned

    Contact your district or council advancement chairman. You might not like hearing what he/she has to say. But he/she is the one who schedules Eagle boards of review. In general, I have been coming across more 17 year-olds who just don't do paperwork. We had a boy come back to us in consecutive weeks with an incomplete Eagle app. You'd think at SMC #1 when we said, "Go home, look at all of your blue cards, and fill in the dates," he would do that that very evening, call the SM the next day for a signature, and take that paperwork downtown as soon as office hours opened! But, evidently that's not how post-modern nomads operate.
  2. New merit badge idea?

    Good luck. But, I suspect the name will get changed to something like "mats and macrame" -- which is the art ... of which paracord is only one medium.
  3. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    This ^^^ The method in Venturing is not Leadership Development, rather, it is Leadership. (The equivalent of "Don't try, do.") The working assumption is that from age 11-13, youth have been picking up skills from different spheres of life, and the Crew becomes a crucible where youth can leverage what they've developed, learn from one another, and grow. So, when those freshmen come together with some of them having picked up just enough of a "take care of your mates" mentality, and I suggest "To achieve X, Y must occur by Z date," they step up and begin to soar. It really is something to behold. When that leadership development hasn't been happening ... or when your natural leaders break bad ... collapse is imminent. Also something to behold. And, if I knew how to stop that train wreck, I'd write a book on it.
  4. Sad sign of the times

    If the current distribution of arms has given our communities well-regulated militias capable of, for example, defending school-children or concert-goers from nihilists bent on robbing souls of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then we have achieved the goal of the 2nd amendment. If, on the other hand, we give such enemies of The People an unbalanced advantage in their assault on free society, we collectively find ourselves in violation of the 2nd amendment. The question then becomes: how to bring us all back into compliance with the intent of a well regulated Militia? Wrapped up in this is a profound mistrust of government, neighboring communities, other nationalities, recent immigrants, the opposite sex, bloggers, etc ...
  5. Hey guys! WM crossed over to the dark side! One FCFY down, umpteen thousand more to go!
  6. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    And join the 10,000 other scouters who've had that door slammed in their face? Great strategy for masochists. Exactly ... that's what rogue troops did. BSA4G is the result. We're all victims of their success. ^^ Understatement of the decade!
  7. A case from this weekend ... A couple of boys wanted to work on 1st class navigation requirements. The ranger had a binder full of headings and copies of camp maps, so I borrowed those and told the SPL I would be available before lunch for a refresher on compass parts, etc ... and after lunch to start anyone on the course. It was damp and snowy so I told the boys they could use their phones to take pictures beside each marker. Four boys took me up on the challenge, which was fine by me. I wasn't prepared to run a full-blown timed and scored course. Two, slightly older, came to get the refresher before lunch. After lunch they found 4 of 5 markers and were able to explain what threw them off of the other two. I later learned that the one boy's compass lost its numbers from the housing (which were decals, not painted), and he and his buddy had to adjust by brute intuition. We reviewed what they did and they had a clear understanding of what went wrong. I let their PL know, and he signed off. Two first-years skipped the refresher and consequently found 2 of 5 markers. They had pictures of themselves beside 3 markers for other courses! The one scout asked if he passed the requirement. As kindly as possible, I explained: Cub Scouts try, Boy Scouts master. I did offer them another course for them to try, and they turned it down. I was available that evening to train both groups of boys on the SM's GPS. The SPL was getting increasingly vexed trying to get them to see me to complete one more requirement. I called him over and encouraged him to just put out an invite once for each opportunity that arises during a weekend. It's not his job (or mine) to force kids to do requirements. It was a bit hard for him to grasp because he came up in the spun-off troop that did a bit of pencil-whipping. In another post, I'll go over how I (hopefully) laid the groundwork for this group of scouts to improve their approach skills mastery.
  8. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    Everybody wants adventure, few want to condition for it. Girls are beholden to generations of moms who have been taught not to sacrifice creature comforts, their great grandmothers are shaking their heads. But, if across this country, there were 1000 girls who will master camping and hiking and camping with their mates, what should someone who's sworn to be helpful do?
  9. Good Council/District program examples

    Laurel Highlands Council holds Haunted Guyasuta in October for Cubs. Scouts help staff various activity tables. This year, however, they "didn't have room" for a scouter to set up Jamboree on the Air, which was occurring on the same day ... a pathetic mark against an over wise outstanding program.
  10. Is Varsity dead?

    Death is such a cruel description for a program that is no longer being used ... but yeah. BSA is no longer providing a Varsity Scouts program.
  11. New merit badge idea?

    Welcome to the forums. Do submit your idea via the Email using the address in the link that Bryan's blog sent you. Be patient, it takes years ... sometimes decades ... for an idea to congeal into a Merit Badge.
  12. Call me contrarian, but Webelos really don't need to engage with a troop at all. Be nice if they do so they earn AoL etc ... But, they'll do just as well learning from scratch in a troop that their buddy invites them to the following year. I think we would all be better served to revise the AoL requirement to simply say, "Make friends with a Boy Scout, have him teach you about the Scout rank." Then revise the First Class Rank requirement to say, "Befriend an AoL Scout or someone your age, teach him/her about Scout rank, with your PL/SPL's permission, invite him/her to visit your troop on a meeting night or other activity." This takes the onus off the DL to be the perfect patrol leader, etc ... and puts it on the community of scouts, not just the den chief, to acclimate a boy to troop life.
  13. Regardless of those slight changes, our Webelos are coming in a little sharper than before. I remember when I was a cub, Webelos made you tenderfoot-ready. (Plus, in my den, we had some skill with the DL's '38 special.)
  14. Don't worry HT, E94 has his bright moments. But graft an corruption -- especially from volunteers and pros -- cause him to squeak. We really emphasize this point with the boys. If they don't know a scout, abstain. (Yes, we have to teach them what the word means and how to spell it!) Some first class scouts in a troop that's only been doing patrol-oriented activities may only be known to their patrol, SPL, and ASPL. For them, 6 honest votes (up or down) out of 10 is all that should matter ... unless between school and meetings other scouts know that he robs liquor stores to buy drugs. The opposite could be true. A scout could be in a patrol full of bullies, and he's going against their current. The thugs don't notice it, but boys in other patrols do. Either way that's why you want as much of the troop as possible to weigh in and vote: yes, no, or abstain.
  15. I'll let someone else spin this about something like who's got any news about WSJ acceptances ... @FireStone, don't get me wrong. I want boys to master first class skills ASAP. Girls too ... my crew, when active, goes for wilderness, and we only go as deep as skills allow. The sooner those skills are mastered, the sooner we can make better hike plans, do better service projects, build honor guards, support civic ceremony, cook really good meals, etc ... But, I'm in no hurry to put a patch on a scout who hasn't mastered the skills in those requirements. And for all but disabled boys that is met, not by time spent in the program, but rather time spent on the program. A boy spending 5 hours a week and an overnight a month working on advancement will rank up right quick ... an hour a week and camping once a quarter will take a good couple or five years.
  16. It's a national policy. I think the general idea is if a scout is favored by the majority of half his unit, that's a 25% of the boys registered in the unit weighing in on his election. I'm pretty sure they didn't spend a lot of time examining the properties of the multivariate binomial distribution for this one. They just figured it was a good enough number of boys to judge if the lodge was getting a decent candidate or not. Obviously, if you've screen your boys and 3/4 of ballots from 40% of the troop endorse each of them, the other half of the troop would make no difference. We've had some "just-by-a-vote" elections. So, if we ran one with less than half the membership present and the absent majority found out that they we railroaded the results, we'd catch a lot of flack from our scouts. We used to have elections at summer camp. I liked that. But then our boys started going to different camps. That made it tougher to get a majority, so we arranged for a meeting night. And, it's pretty much like @Back Pack's troop. We make a plan to collect ballots early and announce well in advance.
  17. Teaching Orienteering

    Want to be despised, yet loved? Try "tortured soul": I'd say make your course 5 points on the edges of your grounds. That's 20 possible headings (four from each control to any of the next). At night, you could set up strobes/glowsticks and drop decoys. Be sure to leave time for clean-up.
  18. Dude, where have you been? Mom's have held committee positions for a long time. The mom of the best scout I ever knew sat on my BoRs.
  19. Fat Tuesday Dinners

    No pancakes last night, just tacos and fellowship. There a friend delivered an awesom one-liner in her Midwestern deadpan .... I can think of no better mashup of holiday for a single woman than Valentines and Ash Wendesday
  20. Actually, they have had a voice. They joined venturing, rose to positions in the national cabinet (similar thing hope so via O/A) and have been telling key-three that we scouters need to stop being petty for a couple of decades. And that may be a real victory. @cocomax, have you actually talked to scouts from other associations. Or, have you camped with our boys when a couple of them were afflicted with the drama bug?
  21. Learning to drive efficiently.

    I think you're trying to mansplain something to me, but being a dude, I missed the micro-aggression
  22. i.Scout

    Replacing the period with the space in the search, I found https://iscoutgame.com/en/home
  23. Has your troop ever gone to Disney World?

    My FL relatives don't do WDW with their Pack/Troop, but they do camp at Daytona speedway sometime on or around race week.
  24. As long as they are cool with the declaration of religious principle, I'll SM a patrol of them too!
  25. I missed your post the in Virtual Campfire, so thanks for linking to it. I could merely upvote it once in both places. So I strongly recommend everyone to navigate to MattR's post, then the link he shared, and vote on both accordingly.