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rlculver415

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About rlculver415

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    Crystal River, Florida
  1. rlculver415

    MacGregor Smith Scout Reservation Sold

    I'm sorry to be so late in posting here. I've been out of state all summer. MacGregor-Smith is situated in my county. We were apprised of the sale quite some time ago - I think about two-three years. For a year after the announcement, our local troops and packs were allowed to continue using the facilities as usual. This past year the site has been closed to us so far as I am aware. At least, our troop and pack have not used it. We did use the docking facilities for a canoe trip last spring. I would encourage any troop interested in visiting our area to check out our state's many fine camps. Our own troop has been to most all of them. I can recommend Gulf Ridge Council's camp Flaming Arrow. My son also really enjoyed Tanakeeta and Wahlwood, as well as the aforementioned La-No-Che. Of course nothing tops the Sea Base. Most camps do have AC in the dining hall and often elsewhere. And NOBODY does aquatics like Floridians! Canoeing on the Withlacoochee River is still a viable option here in Citrus County. (I say the county name because there are 2 rivers of the same name in this state - the other being north of here.) We also offer SCUBA and snorkeling venues, and sea kayaking besides opportunities to camp, hike, etc. How about learning Wilderness Survival in the subtropics? So come on down, we'd love to host you!
  2. rlculver415

    A question of Eagle Palms

    Brother Bob -- I have to admit that I agree with you, and beg you all to forgive my poor choice of words concerning the first two points. Of course he didn't quit - he "aged out". He also changed his mind about becoming an adult leader and about joining the Venturing Crew. I'm sure the continuing nastiness between mother and troop was a major factor in that mind-changing. My troop ought to award the palms to this scout in a COH. Having lost the argument, we should be gracious, IMO. It's too bad that we didn't even know they'd been sent out to the family. They didn't come to us, nor were we aware they were sent out until the complaint was made. I admit that I no longer admire the boy's mother. Not so much because of her rudeness to the adult leaders of this troop, but because of her displayed lack of ethics and integrity. I, for one can take the heat of an angry person. (After all, I used to work for the government. ) I can't abide dishonesty. I have always recognized that the scout cannot be responsible for his parent's actions. I know she embarrassed him several times. I still maintain a friendly relationship with the lad, as does one of the ASMs. I like him; I've always liked him, and he knows it. I regret that things have gotten progressively uglier, and here we stand at an impasse with no-one willing to admit where they might be wrong. So teach me, by using the publications mentioned previously, where I was wrong. Use a PM or this forum. I need proof that no-one can refute, since I sit on a committee where I am the most novice member and several have decades of experience with scouting, along with shirts full of knots and the confidence that they're in the right. I want this thing to end, but in such a way that this will never occur again! BTW, I'll not take you up on your bet. Time will tell. However, I wouldn't be surprised if in a decade or so his family has a new Cub.
  3. rlculver415

    A question of Eagle Palms

    Just thought I'd bump this up. I'd really like those references, since I've re-read the documents mentioned and still don't see what I guess I should. To update: The scout has received the 2 additional palms National directed us to award him. Not sure exactly who sent them, or who paid for them, since troop did not do either. His mother is still angry and upset, still calling Council Advancement, because we did not hold a COH to give these to him. Frankly, we were unaware that they'd been sent until Council informed us of the complaint yesterday. This young man quit the troop when he turned 18 six months ago, refusing an adult position in the troop. He also apologized for his parents' behavior. I regret his leaving. We never had any hard feelings toward him during all of this. It was the opinion of both unit and District that the mother deliberately skewed the facts in her letter to National, leaving out pertinent data. National never did ask for our input (Council, District, Unit)to my knowledge. She also did not properly follow instructions National issued, such as the consecutive SMCs and then BORs. After being reviewed by District, and in light of the lad's already receiving the palms, troop committee decided to chalk all this up to a learning experience, and to let matters drop. There are no plans for a COH as far as I know, although I am not the Advancement chair.
  4. rlculver415

    Does the BSA discriminate?

    I just gotta bite on this one --- If there is no belief in a god of some sort, there is no religion. There is only opinion. Religion is the "ritual observance of faith" (credit Webster's dictionary). The storage company doesn't ask about differences of opinion. acco40, I'd say you're clear to go.
  5. rlculver415

    A big problem with fundraising -- motivation

    Funny thing -- down here it's the well-off scouts that DO fundraise. The less fortunate keep relying on troop "camperships", which come with strings attached. Go figure. As for motivating the boys, make sure they know what the fundraiser is for specifically. I'm sure you do this. I found it useful to itemize what the fundraisers are for: airfare, camp fees, troop activity at camp, etc. Try to establish a sense of teamwork - that all must pull their weight for everyone's benefit. Trying to curb parental check-writing by talking to the parents and the scouts may help, starting when the boys first join and continuing every year at least once. Explain why the boys' earning their own way will benefit each scout's character, not just their personal account. Build in some rewards occasionally, such as buying lunch out of the profits at a carwash for anyone who works the full time, or a recognition of participants during circle time, etc. "Attaboys" are super motivators, especially if conducted at COHs. Parents eat up recognition even more than kids do. Realize that change takes time, but can be effected. When my son started scouts in 2000, I was a check-writer. Thus began our education. This year, my son has earned his way to summer camp, airfare and all, as well as spending money plus some left over to pay his dues. I may still write the checks for monthly camping trips which average $10, but I work the fees out of him at home. He has learned the benefit of earning his own way, and he's proud of doing so. I am also proud of him. He is one of the most self-sufficient kids I know.
  6. rlculver415

    A question of Eagle Palms

    Pardon me if I seem incredibly dense, I am still trying to assimilate all the details. IF I accept that the SM is responsible for ititiating all the SMCs, several things must be true: 1) The troop's adult leaders have been in error for 30+ years (and counting - nothing's changed yet) 2) There would have been sufficient time between BORs to qualify this scout for the two additional palms, which was the main sticking point for the Board, assuming the SM pursued the scout on schedule every three months 3) We've been tremendously fortunate this never occurred before for any rank National never did say where our fault lay, only directed us to do the SMCs and BORs. As far as pursuing the scout (my words, I know), I believe several of us did just that as I stated in previous posts. The SM did not say to him, "OK, let's sit down and have a conference now while you're here." It seems to me you're saying that's exactly what he should have done. What he did do was remind this scout on several occasions that scout needed a conference and to see the SM at the scout's earliest convenience. As far as we could tell, July was convenient - and too late for obtaining another Palm before he aged-out.
  7. rlculver415

    Troop Account Questions

    We also have a business account, as I understand it. Neither do we pay deposit fees, or fees for other people's bounced checks. I can tell you that all checks are made out to the Troop. As a parent, I would strongly resist being made to handle checks for my son's fundraising efforts privately. I don't want any legal liability attached to me should financial matters not go right for some reason. I agree with FOG - something's fishy. What's behind her behavior? (high-strung, defensive, paranoid, tantrum) What's the real root of her request? There's something more than meets the eye here.
  8. rlculver415

    A question of Eagle Palms

    Bob White -- I hesitate to say that we've had another misunderstanding. I never meant to imply that the SMCs were the responsibility of the SM to initiate. I'm not sure I agree with that, yet. I was trying to point out that our SM is willing to have a conference with a scout wherever or whenever, should the regularly scheduled day be inconvenient. This is something our Scout of 6+ years of membership knew AND took advantage of occassionally. This is the main reason why I was surprised by his mother's reaction: "What?! MY SON'S supposed to arrange the SM conference?!" (As if she didn't know...) SM does initiate conferences occassionally, just not always. Usually this is for disciplinary purposes, or if a scout is troubled, or to find out why a scout is not advancing, and sometimes because something wonderful has happened in a scout's life. There is so much I'd like to say, other doubts I'd like to express, but am gagged for the while. Maybe these will become unimportant over time? I am a by-the-book sort of person. I'll gladly correct any error or misconception on my part. I don't wear my "trained" patch just to show I am a marathon sitter! This is why I am still eagerly waiting for your "scripture references".
  9. rlculver415

    A question of Eagle Palms

    Sorry I've been away so long. To answer Bob White's question about citing the source of my/our concept that the Scout initiates the SM conference - I was just going to answer for myself, but decided to check where the others got their (same) bright idea. I was told this was the correct procedure at a Council training session for Troop Committees. I recall because it hasn't been that long ago, and because it was a direct answer to a direct question. I suspect that the rest of us who were trained locally were told the same. The people I asked were ones I knew were trained out of Council, even out of state. They all said that's where they learned of it. If this is in error, it is a national error and not just a poorly informed Council/District/Unit. One reason why I am interested in a written documentation of your reasons. I believe printed words carry more weight than spoken whenever there are disputes. Also, I stated in two previous posts that the boy is not responsible for arranging a BOR, but the SM is. I'd to make that very clear. I hate misunderstandings - well, I'm hating them a whole lot more in recent months! We do try to make things easier on the boys by having regularly-scheduled days for SM conferences and BORs, but they are by no means exclusive to just those days. I know the SM has had conferences at campouts, on the way to Round Table, at his home, the boy's home, etc. Kids talk, and so do their parents. He's a super Scoutmaster, in my opinion, and tries his best. The committee has also held BORs on other days and at other places. Most recently, an Eagle BOR was held on Scout Sunday after worship. (Due to the ubiquitous "scheduling problems".) They've also taken place at campouts. This is not unusual for us, and the boys know it. Twocubdad -- As far as I can say, District and Council are unhappy with National. I can say no more, because the issue is not resolved between them yet. There were no grounds cited for approving the appeal, nor were there specific instructions for the advancement committee other than this: Hold a SM conference on one day and the BOR on the following day, for each Palm. To me, it sounds as if National wants us to give the boy the Palms - but they didn't exactly say so. Advancement referred the matter to a less-biased District Advancement chair. This issue is not over. There's more I'd like to say, but don't dare until it is finally resolved one way or another. My purpose now is to learn where I may have been wrong, to be sure that another episode like this is averted, as best as I can. As I said, we all sincerely thought our interpretation of the Eagle Palm requirement for Gold and up was correct - three months must elapse after the last Palm was AWARDED (ie - BOR day) before a boy is eligible for the next. I await all y'all's knowledge. It is, after all, why I haunt this site. Thank you.
  10. rlculver415

    What do you show up with?

    Our Scoutmaster's huge, clunky briefcase exploded one meeting night. Rather than get a new one, he used 2 bungee cords to keep it together. The troop finally took pity on him, and he now sports a medium-sized bright red pilot case. We figured with all his stuff he must be about to throw his back out! I haven't actually finished snooping through all his "sacred stuff" (), but it looks like he has pretty much what y'all have. He also carts a milk-crate full of files and forms, plus occassionally the many-drawered gadget box full of badges, stars and stuff. (The last mainly lives with the Advancement Chair.)
  11. rlculver415

    Men in GSUSA

    FOG -- If you will refer to my previous post, you will realize the word I used concerning chaperonage was "sufficient" (as in enough), not "proper". It would be a wide-open opportunity for lawsuits if our Scouter were alone with a troop full of pubescent females. As for proper chaperonage of female BSA Scouters, to which group I belong, let me say that I don't need a chaperone, so I don't insist on one. However, I wouldn't ever be alone with any boy other than my own son wherever we might be. It's against the two-deep leadership requirement.
  12. rlculver415

    Men in GSUSA

    Our BSA troop has an informal partnership with a Girl Scout troop that's about two hours away from us. We join forces for a couple of campouts each year. We also have a very active Scouter in our troop who also enjoys working with a local Girl Scout troop. I see nothing wrong with his working with the girls, as long as there is sufficient chaperonage - which there always is. I have heard some comments wondering why he does this since he has no daughter in scouts any more. However, they all seem to benefit from the set-up, and are having a lot of fun.
  13. rlculver415

    Jamboree Fundraising

    I knew I'd get it for mentioning Krispy Kreme! Actually, our troop didn't do the doughnut sale because while it is a good fund-raiser (even within BSA parameters), our nearest supplier is over an hour away. That would require one of us getting up mighty early to be there by 6 am. None of our other endeavors (outside of Popcorn) included brand-name products. Our troop shirts do have a tiny BSA emblem, with a large troop logo on the back. Whenever anyone asks what we are fundraising for, we tell them it's for Scout summer camp, Eagle project, whatever. I'll need to re-read the rules to be sure we haven't screwed up. I think, Heacox, the question is no longer can you all fundraise - yes, you can, as long as you get your Council's blessing. Read the rules carefully. I know I will be even more alert about this. Another suggestion - have you considered asking others to sponsor you, like your CO or extended family and friends? (BW - I'm cringing here, since I'm saying this without any rules in front of me to check.) My son let it be known to family and close friends last Christmas that the trip to Oregon would be beyond our usual means, and that he would appreciate cash for gifts to help him be able to go.
  14. rlculver415

    Jamboree Fundraising

    Our troop has been doing a huge amount of fund-raising this year for our summer camp-trip to Oregon. Not Jamboree, but a similar situation. Our Council advised us that fundraising by our unit was acceptable and encouraged, but that we could not wear our "Class A" uniform to any but the Popcorn sales. So we fundraise in troop t-shirts. Let's assume you get the "go-ahead" -- As to what to do for fundraising, I expect you'll get as many ideas here and where you live as there are people to offer them. The main this I, as Fundraising Chair for our troop, would suggest you do is to make the community pay up rather than the scouts' families. There are many ways to do this: car washes, dog washes, pet beauty contests, yard sales, cook-offs, booths at community festivals, sales of candy bars/flowers/wreaths/Christmas trees, drawings, golf tourneys, etc. Krispy Kreme doughnuts has a good fundraiser. One of our local grocery stores has a special-coupon program that will donate .1% of every coupon-bearer's total bill to whatever organization is identified on the coupon. A local flower shop offers a small bouquet each month for a year. The cards sell for $20 and the return is 50%. Go for high percentage return on any investment. Avoid any fundraiser that offers a return of less than 50% of amount raised - you'll likely lose money or the effort is much greater than the satisfaction of earning any funds. Keep a record of what works, what could be improved, and what failed to succeed. Your unit fundraiser will appreciate the info.
  15. rlculver415

    merit badge revision

    I agree with Ed. Your son needs to do the new requirements since he began the work after the badge revision. Therefore, as a point of clarification, if a boy has already started a MB and then the badge undergoes revision - the former requirements are still in effect. This is the way I interpret MB requirements for which I am counselor.
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