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saltheart

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About saltheart

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    New England
  1. My personal practice is and always has been to give directly to those I direct my charitable giving. That includes the BSA. My personal opinion is that everyone should do likewise to be certain that their dollars are going where they think they are. Simple concerns like how much of every dollar I give actually makes it to the charity drive my decisions. I would assume others share simlar concerns. Giving is such fashion avoids these petty grievances raised by those who would see the likes of the BSA give into their will. Give directly and thumb your nose a the ACLU. Beyond that, I would question whether or not federal, state, or local agencies, whose salaries we are paying with public money, should be banned from allowing the likes of the United Way and other forms of mass charitable collection, especially if agency or state sponsored, to have access to the employees. I'd be for banning that altogether. That would end much of this discussion.
  2. "Ford would probably make a good speaker." Well, I'm not so sure that Gerald Ford was among the best speakers of his time, but in my lifetime, I'll give him credit, as I gave him my vote, for being probably among the most courageous of Presidents. Knowing full well that pardoning Nixon would be committing political suicide at the time, he did it anyway...for the good of the nation...to put the nightmare behind us...and get on with the road ahead. For that I will forever be thankful to him. That was, although most misssed it at the time, a very courageous stand to take. Few would have the courage to stand today on an issue so volatile, and do the same. He might not have been among the greatest of speakers..... ...but I would have sat silent and listened to all he had to say. Courage.
  3. saltheart

    The "Patriot Act" and the freedom to read

    Wrong thread....figures.....(This message has been edited by saltheart)
  4. saltheart

    research project..gays&scouts

    Be very wary of what you find on the internet. There's truth out there, and then there's truth as only the author(s) will see it. And then there's those who will bend the truth so that it couldn't be recognized. Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see. Somewhere in there will be the truth, from each side of the issue, and you will have to decipher which is which...unless you hear it straight from the horses mouth. Good luck. Oh, and by the way...to the 'college' student...the spelling is 'decisions'...not 'decesions'.(This message has been edited by saltheart)
  5. saltheart

    Suspenders

    Decisions, decisions....and now yet another.... Do I wear the red ones? Or the Black? Or do I break out the ones with the family tartan? Am I wearing my troop uniform? Or my Training Staff uniform? Which hat will I don? Shall I be holding up long pants or shorts with the suspenders? My, my...so many decisions!! Shall I wear the ones with the "X" back? Or the "Y" back? The ones with the silver adjustment clip? Or the Brass? The ones with the clips? or the ones for the buttons? (Uh-oh...scout pants don't have the buttons...choice made.) The red ones go well with the training staff epilets, the tartan ones don't... The black ones go well with...well, with just about all the epilets...and the badges.... Uh-oh...the badges...the wide suspenders tend to cover many of the uniform adornments...better go for the narrow ones... But...the narrow ones cut into the shoulders more... Gads....what to do?? Thanks, eisely...just when I thought I had everything in order....
  6. saltheart

    traditional camping and why I like it

    Not any more...hehehehe..... Oh...end of hijack. Now back to your regular scheduled banter and debate.
  7. saltheart

    traditional camping and why I like it

    ...bear skin neckerchiefs? Bear skin? Nah...bear skin was for sissies.........we wore........... Sabertooth.........
  8. saltheart

    traditional camping and why I like it

    Traditional camping...? You think that's traditional camping? Bah.... Why, when I was a boy, I remember the great outdoors and the challenge it presented. Simply surviving was an achievement. Yes, sir... Sleeping bags? Never used 'em. Tents? Never needed 'em. No sir. We'd make our own beds from available materials already on the ground in the woods. Sometimes we'd cut live pine boughs for a softer 'matress'. More often than not, we'd simply lie on the ground in a cave and sleep if we didn't have time to build our own shelter. Tents? Bah... Sleeping bags? No sir. We'd sleep covered with dry leaves, and plenty of 'em. Warm as toast we were. Yes sir. Campfires? Sometimes. More often than not we'd eat what we had without the cooking necessities. We got by. We never lacked food or water. Always camped right where both were readily available by the offerings of good ol' Mother Nature. Yes sir...we survived and we were a hearty bunch. And proud of it. Not like the weenies of today. No sir. We were tough. Once a week, in the early dawn, we'd leave camp and set out with our gear of choice, even if that was only a long pointed stick. Yes sir... And once we found and killed that wooly mammoth, we were set for a week at least...yes sir. A tough bunch we were.... oh...wait.....hey...whaddaya mean by all that laughing....?(This message has been edited by saltheart)
  9. saltheart

    What should they call us?

    OK...so I haven't read all the posts, really only the OP... For all the years I've been at it, I've always expected that the Scouts in the troop would refer to any and all adults, volunteers, visitors, parents..., any of them, as Mr. or Mrs. By that same token, I have always expected the same of myself, and have always referred to the Scouts as Mr. Smith, or Mr. Jones. On occassion, in Scoutmaster Conferences and the like, I might do otherwise. Doing so is a bit more personal in my book. In the troop setting, I give my respect to the boys as Scouts and as a troop...Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones..., if I address them at all (it's most often that the SPL is addressing them). Other adults do likewise, at my request. There's a certain level of respect for each other in this, and we are all quite comfortable with it.
  10. saltheart

    knot /lashing games got any new ones?

    Giant Clove Hitch tied around a tree (no stumps, must be full size tree). Use the thickest rope you can find and make it about 40 feet long. Everyone in the patrol needs to participate in 60 second planning session and then tying. Everyone has to hold the rope during the tying and pulling tight. Fastest time wins. (Of course...having the knot tied correctly must count for something, too.) That's the knot. Lashing can be done by constructing a 3-piece flagpole. 3 poles lashed together to make a longer flagpole, 3 additional ropes long enough to use for stake-outs tied at a certain point and used to raise the pole...no hands on the pole after it's lashed together. Again, fastest time wins, and...of course, knotsmanship counts...all patrol members must participate.(This message has been edited by saltheart)
  11. Actually, nothing is what I asked for, and nothing is what I got. My years have placed me where I don't need or desire anything that I don't already have. A Christmas List of Wishes wasn't going to happen this year. But wait..., upon reflection, I did get quite a bit. My family, immediate and extended, came to the house at our invitation and for a long Christmas Eve's celebration and a longer Christmas Day gathering. The house was full to overflowing. Some came and left. Some came and stayed the night. Some stayed yet another night. And what we shared simply by being together far outweighed anything material that I could have received. And that's the way we'll plan it for all the coming years.
  12. saltheart

    ASM duties and appointment

    The handbook isn't the best place to look for that information. If you have one, look in the Troop Committee Guidebook for a complete job description. If you don't have the book, get one. The job description should look something like this... Assistant Scoutmaster: To fulfill obligations to the troop, the Scoutmaster, with the assistance of the troop committee, recruits assistant Scoutmasters to help operate the troop. Each assistant Scoutmaster is assigned specific program duties and reports to the Scoutmaster. Provide the required two-deep leadership standards set by the Boy Scouts of America. May be 18 years old, but at least one in each troop should be 21 or older, so he or she can serve in the Scoutmasters absence. Note that the words are..."with the assistance of the Troop Committee". The Troop Committee does not hold total jurisdiction in this instance. It is reasonable to expect that the Scoutmaster will have assistants that he/she has had a hand in recruiting so that the working relationship is one of mutual respect and understood expectations. Your past SM is wrong. Note that the job descriptions in the Guidebook should be viewed as guiding, not absolute. The definitions shouldn't be viewed so absolute as to make inelligible any potential volunteer who had limited time, but unlimited energy. Accomodations can certainly be made in each ASM's defined role to suit their availablility. The most important issue is that each and every ASM work to support the Scoutmaster and the program. If an ASM isn't doing that, the position is wasted on him/her. I know of no official BSA recognized "honorary" positions within the troop structure. Such positions, if they exist at all, would be administered and recognized only by the individual troop. That, of course, does not infer that such a thing is a good thing...nor would it be bad, I suppose, depending on the position..., and the person. Personal opinion...as a Scoutmaster? I'd only want ASM's that were active...as in being there most if not all the time when the troop is active in some function. I'd only want ASM's who would give of themselves in similar fashion to myself, being available as much as possible for the troop and the boys, in whatever time they had. Honorary wouldn't cut it with me. In my book, adult leader positions are supposed to be filled with folks who are interested in helping make the program go...not to sit and bask in the glory of accomplishments past or time in office, nor even as simple recognition in some fashion. I'd want folks who would be interested in actually participating and working. I don't think you'd be out of line in recruiting new ASM's no matter what the other non-participatory ones you have now think or do. You can always go to the committee and work with them to decide where troop funds for registration are best spent...on those who work?...or those who watch. If you're the SM, you need those who will actually support you with their time and energy. You're doing yourself and the troop no favors by thinking otherwise. Good Luck. (This message has been edited by saltheart)
  13. saltheart

    Too much help from Mom?

    Suggest to 'Mom' that she back off on the June Cleaver stuff, and allow the boy to succeed or fail on his own. Of course, this suggestion would have to be made in a most sincere and respectful manner. As for the Scout, if he never said anything to his Mom about letting him do his own packing, I'd express some real dismay. That may not be the case though. He might not have had a say in the matter. Some Moms are more Mom than others. I don't think I'd interrupt his progress toward rank on this if everything else in his portfolio is in order.
  14. KoreaScouter asked..."Are we holding the lads to a different standard?" Given the example of not knowing the difference between a city and a state that Fat Old Guy cited, I'd have to say no. Now, was the concern to be one of a Scout not being able to recite the Declaration of Independence on the spot, then I'd agree with KoreaScouters question. None of us are that infalable, but the simplest of things like those cited in the OP should be of concern to us.
  15. Teaching as a profession suffers from the same problem that most professions do. Most in a profession are good at what they do, but there are always a few bad apples. Teaching is one of those professions that is, unlike my profession and perhaps that of many of us, held up for public scrutiny every day...24/7. That being said... For many years we've been blessed with a school system that is one of the best in the state. The school system allows us to provide the appropriate teachers with copies of the current Citizenship merit badge books, but that's pretty much for information only. Beyond that we trust that what is taught in school will be useful both in life and in Scouting, as with these merit badges. We don't, however, put all our eggs in one basket. Our merit badge couselor roster also lists a small number of adult volunteers who wish only to provide their assistance for these 3 merit badges. So we have the issue covered from 2 directions. And then, believe it or not, we actually count on Mom & Dad to help when and where necessary, too.(This message has been edited by saltheart)
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