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Rick_in_CA last won the day on June 30

Rick_in_CA had the most liked content!

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About Rick_in_CA

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  1. Rick_in_CA

    CHIN-BE-GOTA revisited 20 years later

    Thank you for sharing your story @seaoat. I share MattR's sentiments, that is what scouting is all about. God speed on your final journey.
  2. Rick_in_CA

    Son is at YMCA camp this week.

    This is what boy scout summer camp used to be (and should be again). When I was a scout, if we wanted to swim, we went swimming. If we wanted to shoot archery or 22s, off we went and did it (occasionally there was a brief line). Wanted to go canoeing? Off we went (unless they were being used by the canoeing merit badge class). Wanted to go hiking? Off we went. The camp was almost all free form.
  3. Rick_in_CA

    Is this the new normal?

    There is an additional aspect to the ban. My understanding that the original ban dates back to the early 70s. It was a reaction to the protests against the Vietnam War, and the growing anti-military attitude of the country. The BSA was trying too make a big deal out of the fact that it wasn't the military, especially trying to eliminate anything that could look like specific training for war. At the time, most of the scout leaders were veterans, and many of them ran their troops like military units. I remember learning how to march and dress ranks when I was a boy scout. When our troop marched in parades, we (tried at least) to look military (we marched in formation to a called cadence). To a layman, the scouts looked military (we wore green uniforms, saluted, had ranks, marched, organized in patrols, learned to shoot guns, the military offered lots of support to the scouts, etc.). One of the reasons for the switch to the Oscar de la Renta uniform was to make scouts less military looking.
  4. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method - Best Practices

    Weird duplicate post.
  5. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method - Best Practices

    You can also find all the old Boy's Life magazines in Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=HEFsdunJeZMC&dq=boys+life+magazine&source=gbs_navlinks_s
  6. Rick_in_CA

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    Does having adults around on a patrol hike change things? Yes, no mater how quiet they are, and how much in the background they stay. It hurts the scouts. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of unsupervised time for child development. The kids need time without any adults around to grow. Youth Protection is important, but not at the expense of the kids.
  7. Rick_in_CA

    LNT says stop geotagging

    Correct. But the author is correct that Leave No Trace does recommend against geotagged in social media: http://lnt.org/blog/new-social-media-guidance
  8. Which was Mike Rowe's point in his recent rant. I agree with both of you and Mike Rowe. But I'm afraid Eagledad is correct, the BSA is too afraid.
  9. I think you bring up an excellent point about scout maturity and merit badges. I sometimes wish some of the badges had age restrictions or prerequisites. Something to help postpone some of the badges until the scouts are mature enough to get the most out of them. But I am leery of age restrictions, as I am afraid we would get the merit badge equivalent of "must be 14 to use a wagon". I wonder if the UK scouts have it right to split the boy scouts into two age groups. What works for a 12 year old is going to be different than what works for a 16 year old.
  10. Rick_in_CA

    Boys' needs

    I agree about camp fires. To me, sitting around the camp fire in the evening is one of the best parts of camping. The fire bans make me sad. Though here in California, after years of drought, things are so dry in some places a fire ban makes complete sense.
  11. Rick_in_CA

    What's your best Scouting memory?

    It's hard to pick just one, but here are a few that stand out. My boy scout troop was camping at the Pinnacles and visited the Bear Gulch Cave. This cave is a large talus cave (made by large boulders) that climbs up following a water course. The cave was partly flooded in that it had water running in it, and the only way through was to go wading (in about thigh high water at it's deepest). But it was a hot day (the Pinnacles can get really hot), so we didn't care that we were getting wet. The upper two thirds of the cave is completely dark (I mean pitch black, no light at all), so we were all carrying flashlights. We had a couple of hours to explore the cave, and we quickly split up into groups (patrols mostly if I remember correctly). We climbed through the cave up the top, stopping along the way to stick our head into every crevice we could find. And then went back down to the bottom. I then had the idea to do it without flashlights. It was a whole other experience in the pitch black. The sound and feel of the rushing water, the texture of the rocks, our voices and the dark. We relied on our memories of the path and the water current as a guide. It was a great feeling of accomplishment when we got to the top and sunlight again. We had done the whole thing without turning on the flashlights once! There were other groups from our troop already at the top. We told them what we had done, and turned around to go down in the dark again. This time leading two other patrols. We did a total of five passes through the cave without lights before it was time to move on. In 1976, I was a webelos. My local council was holding a special week-long event in celebration of the Bicentennial called something like the Bicenteree. It was in a dry valley somewhere in the Diablo Range. The valley wasn't a normal campground as it had no facilities and just a dirt road running into it. The National Guard trucked in all the water and there were big banks of porta-potties. My older brother, along with my Dad (he was an ASM) stayed there all week with the troop. Us webelos were only going to be there the final weekend (we were hosted by the troop). It was to be my first time camping with real boy scouts, so I was excited. The den leader drove all of us in his huge station wagon (remember those?) and parked the car in a huge field of vehicles, grabbed our gear and hiked in (it wasn't far as the "parking lot" was next to the camping area). We could see on the hill above the camp a large black and pink scar on the hillside. It turned out that the day before, there had been a grass fire. The whole camp was mustered to be ready to fight the fire. All the scouts were ordered too return too their troop area and prepare to do fire duty. The fire was actually put out by a plane dropping fire retardant on the fire (hence the pink) with some actual firemen and national guardsmen. The scouts just stood and watched. My Dad managed to get a great photograph of the plane doing the drop. It was my first scouting camp out (though we had done family camping many times before), and it made a big impression on me. It was a big event, with well over a hundred boy scout troops attending. I remember wandering around and seeing giant pioneering projects (signal towers, bridges, fences), a few foreign troops, a troop playing bag pipes, buglers, games, competitions, archery, activity everywhere. To a webelos, it was an amazing introduction to the world of boy scouts! I couldn't wait!
  12. A lot of schools are eliminating group showers in the locker rooms and replacing them with individual stalls. Most of the local schools did that many years ago for the women, and are now doing it for the men. They aren't doing it because of concerns with transgender students (though I'm sure that is becoming one more reason), but because of a dramatic increase in body modesty in our society (lots people equate any nudity with sex - so group showers must be perverted). When I was in high school (and junior high) the guys took group showers after gym. But I was surprised to learn that most of the girls didn't. They used individual stalls (their locker room had a small number of individual stalls in addition to the group shower area - almost all the girls waited to use the stalls). A couple of years after I graduated high school, they apparently rebuilt the girls locker room and eliminated the group showers, it's all individual stalls now.
  13. Rick_in_CA

    New and comprehensive Family scouting FAQs issued:

    Wow, I apologize if my comment came across in an unfriendly way. It was not my intent. I was also attempting to address hyperbole in general, not you specifically. I guess I failed in that. Hedgehog, I've been enjoying your comments on this topic, and I hope you will continue to contribute too this forum.
  14. Rick_in_CA

    potentially the stupidest GTSS rule?

    Understand the "don't point water pistols at people" thing has been there a long time. And it's not about keeping people from getting wet, it's about not pointing any kind of gun (real or play) at people. It comes out of the "BSA is not military and does not train youth for war" thing from the 1960s. And yes, the you must be 14 to use a little red wagon rule is one of the dumbest in GTSS.
  15. Rick_in_CA

    New and comprehensive Family scouting FAQs issued:

    So it doesn't work? At all? So the 120+ coed scouting programs around the world are all failures? Really? Look, I think the reality of international scouting clearly shows that coed scouting can work, and work well (ask Cambridgeskip or ianwilkins). That doesn't invalidate the argument that single-sex scouting is better than coed (and some rather cogent arguments in favor of that position have been presented on this forum). But can we leave the hyperbole out of it? I understand that there is a lot of passion around this question. But some of the hyperbole I have seen around this topic is silly and discredits the arguments being made. Not to mention that it can come across as an unintended insult to our international scouter friends ("your coed program sucks").