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Ridgewalker

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About Ridgewalker

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  1. What are your thoughts about commercial patch traders? I recently found a patch at auction on e-Bay that I designed for a council event that was given only to participants. It was being offerred by a commercial trader thousands of miles from me. He must have gotten it from the patch company since it is unlikely that the few dozen we had made would have traveled so far. I don't mind scouts and scouters exchanging and trading patches. But now it seems that our council is coming out with 'anniversary' and special event patches simply as a fund raiser. Basically, if I haven't earned it I don't wear it, and I won't sell the patches I have earned.
  2. Ridgewalker

    High Adventure for a Low Price

    I forgot to mention another source for inexpensive High Adventure destimations: Selden's List at http://www.lns.cornell.edu/~SEB/high-adventure.html. It has links to many other websites. Also, if you know of a high adventure location in your area that might not be known nationally, please post it on this forum with a web link if it has one. I'll start with the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior. It is a great one week backpacking destination. You can make it a two week event by also visiting Picture Rocks to the east. PS, there's dozens of waterfalls in the area. There are several sites on the web, just do a search for Porcupine Mountains.
  3. Ridgewalker

    High Adventure for a Low Price

    Let's not forget that one of the purposes of BSA high adventure progams is older boy retention. The big three of Sea Base, Boundry Waters and Philmont are great, but have become the ONLY high adventure destinations in the minds of some leaders and scouts. When a unit isn't able to get into the BSA bases it can have a negative effect on their program because they have never considered anything else. That is why I encourage unit leaders to use the Passport to Adventure as a guide. I've been on five Philmont treks, and three backcountry training sessions, and will be leading a council contingent again this year, but won't be going on the trail. Philmont and the other high adventure bases are great if you make it part of your overall high adventure program ... letting the youth leadership plan and prepare for the event. But if they just show up with an 'entertain me' attitude then you may as well go to Disneyworld. With everyone's tight time schedules and limited budgets, a unit can get more out of a 7-10 day high adventure event that the unit has selected and planned, than one of the BSA bases. Use the patrol method, set achieveable goals, and have fun!
  4. Ridgewalker

    High Adventure for a Low Price

    Get a copy of the BSA publication: Passport to High Adventure. It lists all the Council High Adventure camps, and their programs, in the country. Your scout shop should have it, or can order it. As far as costs, Philmont is $415 next year. Add transportation, meals and miscellaneous expenses and you can easily spend $750-$1,000 each. Our contingent from Wisconsin is charging $800 for 2002, this year it is $720, but Amtrak and Philmont fees have gone up. However, if you're willing to have your scouts and leaders put in the planning time, you can do a great self-directed week-long High Adventure program within a day's travel for a couple hundred or less. You can stay, and eat, at most military bases for very little. If you're passing through, council camps will let you stay the night for next to nothing. Now, a commercial: My son is Camping Manager at a private camp in Colorado. If you're interested, and not offended by this solicitation, log on to www.lostcanyon-camping.com
  5. Ridgewalker

    USSCOUTS.org

    That is good news, thanks for the update.
  6. Ridgewalker

    Leave No Trace and Scouting

    The Philmont LNT course was basically a Master Educator course without some of the Wilderness Medicine emphasis. We originally expected that there would be a NOLS trainer, but BSA decided not to have one for some reason. Participants are registered with LNT as Awareness Trainers qualified to train Scoutmasters, SPLs and others to present LNT to their units. I have given presentations to adults at our day-long Rendezvous adult training event in November, plus to Roundtables. I do not give them to individual units, that is the responsibility of the unit leaders. The Philmont course is still evolving, so if you are interested in this year's course content you should probably talk to PTC yourself.
  7. Ridgewalker

    Getting shafted by Scouter.com's catalog

    Okay everyone, here's the bad news. In July, 2000 I paid $2,500 (that's not a typo) to Scouter for an ad in their postcard pack, which they have never publshed. In the past six months I have been lied to repeatedly by several people at the Sakima Group, which actually owns and publishes Scouter magazine. The only thing that I'm amazed at anymore is that this web site is still operating. Has anyone receive a copy of Scouter magazine lately? I'm supposed to get a 'free' ad in there for my business because I've been so patient waiting for the postcard pack to come out.
  8. Ridgewalker

    Leave No Trace and Scouting

    Hello out there. According to the little number in the corner, over 60 people have read this forum, but only two have replied. Are the rest of you indifferent, confused, hostile? Or, just busy? Can't have much of a forum if I'm mainly talking to myself.
  9. Ridgewalker

    Hoop Dacne

    Dear Tallkinbear... as long as you brought it up... our council camping committee has been having discussions about what Native American inspired activities and ceremonies are appropriate in Scouting. Specifically, O/A ceremonies, summer camp activities and symbolism, and cub related programs. I don't want to take away from the 'hoop dance' question, but it does bring up related issues.
  10. Ridgewalker

    Fees at high adventure bases?

    Philmont fees for 2001 are $395.00. Our council contingent is charging $720 each, which includes the Philmont fee, Amtrak and bus transportation from the Milwaukee area to Philmont, all meals there and back, plus a hat, shirt and patches. The council also makes all the arrangements and handles administrative details. For 2002 the contingent fee is estimated at $800 because we anticipate that both Philmont and Amtrak will raise their fees. In 2000 our fee was $650. Other nearby councils charge more than $1,000, but include an extra day of sight-seeing plus some equipment.
  11. Ridgewalker

    Scout Oaths

    I am only aware of the Cub Scout and Boy Scout Oaths. I've never heard of the professional staff taking a special Oath, but they may have directed a few at us Souters from time to time. Two sources for a wealth of Scouting information on the web are www.usscouts.org/ and www.ins.cornell.edu/, plus this Scouter.com site.
  12. Ridgewalker

    Philmont question

    I think that National BSA wants to take the mystique out of scouting. They are afraid that anything special will be considered exclusionary or secret, so they are taking a lot of the 'tradition' out of Wood Badge, O/A and Philmont. Fifteen years ago when I joined Scouting I felt left out because I hadn't done a lot of things or earned a lot of recognitions. Now, these things represent my commitment to Scouting. Who knows what's right. As to going over the three peaks, you have to pick a specific itinerary that takes you to one or more of the areas. There are now almost three dozen treks to choose from, and not all of them go over a peak. However, there's not a bad trek at Philmont. And there's not a perfect one, either. Each is what you make of it. And, exactly the same trek taken a couple years apart will give you an entirely different experience.
  13. Ridgewalker

    Leave No Trace and Scouting

    Thanks for the responses. I took the LNT course at Philmont Training Center this fall, so I'm obviously a believer. However, in my training courses, whether for LNT or anything else I teach, I emphasize "Do Your Best" rather than Do It Perfect or Not At All. Sure, I carry the poop out of pristine wilderness areas, but I also maximize my impact in already impacted areas rather than spreading out and creating many new minimally impacted areas. Once environmental degregation begins it's hard to stop, and 90% of BSA camping occurs in already heavily impacted areas. The trick is to minimize your impact no matter where you camp. If you're teaching LNT principles, end your presentation with Woodie Guthrie's 'This Land is Your Land' it really brings the point home. And, start teaching at the Cub level. By the time they are Scouts many of their camping habits are already developed and hard to change.
  14. Leave No Trace has recently been emphasized by the BSA in Scouting and Venturing. What is the reponse to LNT in your units. Have you heard about? Will you use it in your outdoor program?
  15. Ridgewalker

    Philmont question

    In the past the bull patch indicated that you had hiked over the Tooth of Time, Mt. Phillips or Mt. Baldy. Recently, Philmont has tried to downplay this tradition and now says that anyone can wear the patch with the tail positioned over the shoulder. The arrowhead is still reserved for those who have completed a Philmont trek.
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