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Posts posted by Rythos

  1. I understand that numbers alone do not make a good experience or a healthy program ScoutNut. Adult leader training is heavily stressed in our unit and we are working towards 100% trained leadership including an increasing number of Wood Badge trained individuals so I feel like we have the training aspect covered. The boys who attend our activities seem to go home tired and dirty which for me is always a sign of them enjoying themselves (and hopefully learning a few things at the same time)


    "You might just have tapped the max you are going to get in your spring recruitment"


    This is a very valid possibility. I guess that previously I did not consider the spring and Fall recruitment as one event. Obviously with our Tiger numbers being what they are we signed up a pretty good number of boys in the spring. I was simply concerned over having only three boys show up for our fall recruitment, and it led me to wonder what we could be doing better to reach more boys this fall.


    I'm not trying to grow a Super Pack, I just want to make sure we are keeping the pace or growing slightly with our number of boys crossing over into scouts while giving them a great life experience.



  2. I am in a Pack with around 60 Cubs. We began our recruiting season with flyers passed out at all of the before school open houses, and flyers were brought into the offices of all the schools in the area and distributed to teachers mail boxes by on of the leaders spouses.


    Last night was our recruiting night and we had a grand total of three people sign up. One of the kids brought a flyer, one came from the open house presentation, and one came because myself and one other leader ran into them at the public library before the meeting and began answering their questions, which led them to stop by and sign up. We ended up getting one Tiger, one Wolf, and one Webelos.


    Has anyone had experience with a situation where a recruiting drive has failed to generate any serious response? Are there any other successful methods of mid year recruiting you have utilized? We have only have about 12-14 tigers this year split between two dens (mine has 4-5 (one has signed up but has not come to any meetings as of yet) and the other leader has 8 or 9 kids, and I'm worried without more interested folks the pack will slowly fade away.


    Any help would be appreciated as I may be in the position of Cub master within a year or two and I'd like to be overseeing a healthy program, instead of trying to rebuild one.




  3. Someone also has to explain to me how a "Fiscal Conservative" in the White house has increased the national debt of our country by over three trillion dollars since taking office. It must be all the money spent on the timely response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, or perhaps the global spanning manhunt resulting in the successful capture of those responsible for the deaths of thousands of American citizens.


    This President and his warmongering policies seem to have done little more than mire our country in a horrific economic downturn and destroy what little positive world opinion we had left. How many of us can say we are doing better now than we were eight years ago. I saw an apologetic quote from Michael Dukakis (remember the fool in the tank?) in Rolling Stone the other day that read something along the lines of "If I had beaten the old man, no one would have ever heard of junior" How lucky that would have been for all of us.


    I find it hard to believe that either presidential candidate will be able to implement any serious programs of change unless they can be made budget neutral, due to the overwhelming financial black hole George has helped to put us all in (Unless your 401k is heavily invested in Military Contractors, or Big Oil that is)


    He had such a positive impact on the view that our country holds of the GOP that they wouldnt even let him or his VP come to the convention. Even the boyfriend of Sara Palins daughter got to go to the convention for crying out loud.


    At one point in my life I used to be an active Republican in local and county politics but I can honestly say Ive learned my lesson



  4. The first round table that I went to was a kickoff for the year last month and it was set up to be a scouting information gathering event. You were given a list of 30 names and we had an hour to try and visit as booths as you could/that applied to your part of the program. You were able to get a brief overview of the topic and get a phone number and the name of a contact person within the district to call to discuss the topic with if you had questions about later in the year.


    I thought this was very helpful as it gave me 30 or so new contacts to reach out to and discuss a question or a concern about the program with. It also put names and faces to the individuals handling certain events and/or aspects of the scouting program for our district.


    After discussing it with the other leaders in our Pack who attended almost everyone went away feeling like it was a good experience. I would suggest it to anyone looking to offer a informational roundtable meeting maybe once or twice a year.




  5. I am looking ahead to next spring, and I was curious if we could invite our Pack (Tiger Cubs on up) to attend a Open House at the Camp I work at to do the climbing wall and other activities. This would not be a "Scouting" activity but simply just letting the families know about it and anyone who comes, comes. No uniforms or offical presence.


    This would appear to indicate not:




    I guess if thats the case I'm not sure why the BSA would not allow something that happens every summer our camp. Kindergarden aged and up campers climb the wall in harnesses and being belayed by trained staff. This is perfectly acceptable under our insurance guidelines at our inspected towers, and climbing walls.


    Looking for your opinions and thanks in advance,



  6. I would also recommend the podcast from national as well was the podcast for scout leaders over on www.cubmasterchris.com titled An hour a week. Talking and listening to other leaders will help give you a good idea of things that work and things that don't.


    Good luck!


  7. "How do I get the meeting to run with an agenda" I was a pack committee chairman for many years and not use to a pack the runs like this one. I want more order to things.

    I don't want to step on any toes"


    How much responsibility do you want to take on? The more changes you want to make the more likely you are to end up with more and more jobs. Its kind of like going to Roundtable and asking someone how they got that Commissioners patch :)


    One way you could approach things is to take a look at how long the meetings are running. Are they normally running over the amount of time scheduled? Do you notice others complaining about this, or about how things didn't really get finished? If so that may be your "in" to mention that an agenda could help make sure things get covered in the amount of time you have to work with. Just be sure your ready to be the one who ends up organizing the agenda, as if they are amendable to the suggestion to change, someone is going to have to put the agenda together :)


    Good Luck,






  8. I went with my wife to her allergist last night & asked about this. The allergist said this would have to be extremely severe & that is extremely rare!



    This may be true but if a parent tells me their child has an airborne peanut allergy that has the potential to cause a life ending allergic reaction I have no choice but to take it seriously.


    What I can do however, is have some detailed conversations with the parent of the scout. This will help to narrow down if the parent is trying to establish a peanut free outting just to attempt to reduce the risk of cross contamination or accidental exposure, of if there is actually a serious risk of airbore reactions.


    Many parents are just convinced that we will not take their problems/concerns seriously and assume overexaturating the situation will make for a safer out come for thier child. In truth it would be safer if we excluded all peanut products from every meal (many schools now do this), however it creates a ton of extra work and planning which often isn't needed.


    Once again my thought is be prepared. Talk with the parent to determine the extent of the allergy, and let her know you take this seriously and are interested in making this work for her son. Talk to the boy to determine his level of awareness, talk to the leaders and other scouts about how important allergies and food safety in general is.


    A solution can be reached that is safe and workable for everyone.



  9. Even if the child brings his own food, in the example given by the original poster the scout has an airborne peanut allergy. If the troop does not select menus based on peanut free options this scout will have to eat seperately from the rest of the scouts. This is a problem that will be come more and more common for scouts and scouters to deal with as we seem to be finding more and more kids with food allergies and sensitivities such as Celiac Sprue (the folks with the doctorates love to argue if more kids have allergies today, or if we can just detect more allergies with improved testing)



  10. The biggest things to watch in my experience as the Director of Food Service for a Large YMCA Camp are processed foods. The larger the amount of whole unprocessed foods you can work with the better.


    Deserts like cakes, cookies, brownies are largely processed either with peanuts or in factories that handle peanut containing products. Things like snack mixes (chex, etc....) are often problematic. It is important to have any lables double and triple checked (I know it will kill some of the 100% boy led proponents but have an adult check it) Ensure the other scouts and scouters know about the situation and make them aware of how a small mistake on their part can possibly cause severe reaction (Someone with a candy bar/granola bar in the their pack, etc.....)


    Make sure others in the troop know how spot any signs of an alergic reaction, and what they could do to help out in the event of a reaction.


    Its very important to BE PREPARED



  11. "Around here, Cub leaders can learn about new places from reviewing the council list of approved camping locations. If it's not already on your council list, you could volunteer to do the inspection and get it added to the list"


    I wish it was that way here. Our council refuses to keep a list and requires the Pack to Baloo certify each site they wish to use on their own. It would make things easier if they had a list so you get an idea of local places that have met council requirements in the past.


  12. I guess I'm just not sure why McCain would pick her despite the fact that she's under investigation in an Ethics related probe? I would think with the generally negative opinion people have of the Bush way of handling things I would look for the most squeeky clean canidate I could find for VP.


    I understand politically why he made the choice, but I just think that it has the apperance (perhaps not the reality) of someone who did not recieve a large amount of consideration and examination before hand




    You would think that someone that McCain was counting on to help him reach a large base of voters would have been examined fairly closely. In the interest of full disclosure I have voted for McCain in the past, but I will most likely not do so this time around.

  13. Do you see even the remote possibilty of situation being dangerous? If so why not follow the established procedures for that situation. Without the manual in front of me I believe you should contact the SE, provide all the information available, and let him/her make the determination on the need or not to envolve law enforcement etc..... If I recall correctly training seems to indiciate that it is not your job to make a determination on what should happen to the scout, but to determine if you feel someone is in danger and contact the SE.


    The scout needs to be responsible for his actions, its clear the father is not interested in making that happen. You need to follow the BSA procedures in order to protect yourself, your unit, and ultimately this Scout. Let the SE make the determination, it is after all what we pay them for.



  14. National is not required to accept bids, nor are they required to use American companies. I think most would agree, however it is always in your best interest to product your specification and then offer the opportunity to bid to companies and determine who can offer the best mix of quality, cost, and the ability to meet your supply needs. And not considering American institutions seems counter productive to a movement based on Civics. Failure to do so just leaves people feeling that National is not being the best steward of its resources.


    The Uniform has been expensive no matter where they are made as far back as most can remember. I think that those people who advised the cost was due to higher labor of an American Made product were probably giving the best answer they could come up with at the time for what would be a difficult question. I could not guarantee it but I would imagine the more truthful answer (then and now) is they are the price they are because that is what people will pay it.


    Maybe they use the profit made (I think we can safely assume that they are making a profit even without cost of goods information, how big a profit is hard to say) to subsidize other areas within BSA that are not sufficiently funded. It could be like any large entity that there are areas where money is being wasted/unwisely allocated (the recent staff cutting at National may be a sign of fixing this to some degree) and examination of this may lead to correction of the problem.


    More than likely the uniform costs will continue to remain high (This term is relative obviously) for as long as people keep joining scouts. I know that many will argue it is no different than any other game the kids can play, it costs money to participate and if they truly want to take part a uniform should be within the reach of everyone (i.e. saving up, birthday/christmas present, etc..) . I know its not out of the realm of possibility for anyone to scrimp/save/resale shop a uniform if their kid truly wants to belong, but telling the Family of a Tiger Cub who has just signed up for scouts if they want a new uniform they need to pay 83.00 for is a lot to ask someone who hasnt had time to become committed to the program.


    I think that we lose some people to that right away in Cub Scouts (who can say how many.) Im sure things arent any different for new Boy Scouts at signup time, with the exception of most Boy Scouts having had a chance to be part of the BSA through Cubs and knowing its a program they want to continue in.


    It seems obvious to me that the uniforms are more expensive than they need to be to cover the costs of the materials. Maybe if National made available the information on what those additional dollars are going towards, I would feel better about telling scouts and parents to buy new uniforms, instead of directing them to yard sales, uniform closets, and resale shops.


    Rythos(This message has been edited by rythos)

  15. "I do think Eagling as a Boy Scout is really the route to go. Our crew is not conducive to assisting a boy with Boy Scout requirements and we don't have the resources nor the program to assist him with his Eagle."


    As Stosh mentions I would think that while it is an option for Scouts to finish the path to Eagle in Venturing/Sea Scouting, it would seem that it wasn't really the original purpose of the Venturing program.


    If the crew members are ok with the Crews agenda being built in part around finishing off Scout requirements I don't see a problem. I would think the only issue that could arise would be in the rare/unlikely situation where a scout came into an established crew with an expectation of that crew changing around how things are done specifically to help him finish his requirements.




  16. I've heard if that if it was even proven that BW is not perfect it would open a gate to the Astral Plane, sucking in every creature in a ten foot radius, and destroying both the Scouter.com and the Scouting Program.


    And if you know where that came from your my kind of Scouter :)



  17. Not to channel Bob White, but why does it really matter what you feel active is, as long as he meets the BSA definition?


    Feel free to tell him he didn't hold the POR long enough, or he doesn't have the right merit badges, but I don't see how you can use your own definition of active as opposed to BSA's in this matter.



  18. I'd recommend taking some/all the online trainings




    Orientation Training

    Fast Start: Cubmaster

    Fast Start: Tiger Cub Den Leaders

    Fast Start: Webelos Den Leaders

    Fast Start: Wolf/Bear Cub Scout Den Leaders

    Fast Start: Pack Committee


    Supplemental Training

    Safe Swim Defense Retake Course

    Safety Afloat Retake Course

    Weather Hazards Retake Course

    Youth Protection Training


    To recieve your "Trained" Stripe you need to take New Leader Essentials (This is not offered online) Your position specific training (online), and Youth Protection Training (Online)


    The other suplemental trainings above are all good ones to take as well.





  19. And as far as the proper temps go:


    Whole Muscle Beef & Pork - 145 degrees

    Ground Meats (not poultry) - 155 degrees

    Poultry (whole or ground) - 165 degrees


    Holding temps are:

    Over 135 degrees for hot food

    Under 41 Degrees for cold good


    Cooling is 135 to 70 within 2 hours and 70 to 40 within an additional 4 hours.


    Food between 70 and 135 is considered to be in the Danger Zone, the temp range in which Bacteria will grow most quickly.


    One thing that many people don't realize is that several of the most common foodborne illness are caused by toxins, that are created when the bacteria grow and reproduce, not the bacteria themselves. Most bacteria can be killed by cooking to 165 degrees, but if the bacteria have had too much time to grow they will have produced toxins that are not killed by the heat, and people end up with one of the many "two bucket" diseases :)





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