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Everything posted by silver-shark

  1. silver-shark

    Transfer charter, how?

    "Everyone says the funds and equipment belong to the CO, but that depends on which state you live in. Any lawyer will tell you that property laws vary greatly from state to state." Page 7 0f the Troop Committee Guidebook states, "The troop is "owned" by the chartered organization, which receives..." Basically, everything that is earned by the troop is done so in the name of the troop and the BSA, and the troop is "owned" by the CO. Regarding the meeting room scenario, the same page also states, "Each chratered organization using the Scouting program provides a meeting place, selects a Scoutmaster, appoints a troop committee of at least..." The advice to get the DE involved is probably the best way to diffuse the situation as this COR obviously feels that the troop is a completely separate/foreign entity invading their church, not actually a part of the church. The Scoutmaster and CC should also be present.
  2. silver-shark

    Why Venturing?

    The new Venturing Program is very different from the traditional Explorer Program. If it were the same, as in chartered by Police Departments or Fire Departments, we would have still had the exact same problem. That problem being a Government Agency chartering a group that excludes certain types of people. The Venturing groups, which are NOT a part of a Boy Scout Troop, are chartered by the same type COs as the rest of the BSA groups, and the Explorer Posts are chartered by the same people as before, but now that they are a part of LFL, they don't have to exclude the same type people that the BSA would force them to. As far as I know, the Sea Scouts are still a part of the BSA. I'm not familiar with them ever being called anything other than Sea Scouts, and I believe they have always had separate requirements for advancement from the Explorer Posts. Now add the Venture Patrols in the Troops, which are basically taking the place of the Varsity Teams previously in the Troop, and the fact that the Varsity Teams have now been taken out of the Troop to stand alone as a BSA program. Not sure what's up with this, unless they are going to move the Varsity Teams over to LFL with the Explorers, because the Venture Patrols and the Varsity Teams do the exact same things. Hmmmmm?
  3. silver-shark

    Paper Eagles

    Someone mentioned earlier that attaining the Eagle rank should be looked at as a marathon rather than a sprint. KS just gave us a good example of how to present that to the boys. The other problem is the overly pushy parents of some boys. We have one with a former Eagle (at 17) that thought her youngest son should be First Class within 3 months of joining this spring.)This same message can be given at the New Scout/Parent Orientation Meeting that we have each year, just after Crossover. Just as a reminder that it takes ALL of the Methods to acheive our Aims, and that advancement is the natural outcome of a well rounded program. Additionally, I've seen 13/14 Eagles come from both sides of the issue. You can usually tell the self motivated boys by the amount of drive and leadership that they show. It's a personality trait of MANY successful people in general to show both, even at an early age.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  4. silver-shark

    Peeved BOR Member

    Thanks for the clarification Dave... I mean cyber-professional Scouter Steele. I too wonder if our District, or maybe even Council does this at the Life rank to prepare them for the Eagle BOR which is held in the same manner. If so, it is working well. The 2 Eagle BORs that I have had the priviledge of sitting on were both as smooth as silk even though they weere 2 completely different types of boys. (One will be a future politician for sure and the other probably an avid outdoorsmany profession.) Both were extremely comfortable during the entire process.. Incidentily, we do have a member of the District Advancement Committee on each BOR for Life and Eagle, (our SM is one of them) and the remaining members are either Troop Committee Members, SMs or ASMs.
  5. silver-shark

    Peeved BOR Member

    "serve actively", are the actual words. Although the rank cannot be taken away, the Scout is still moving toard the next one. Make sure that you're sitting on that next BOR if possible. As a sidenote, adults from a boy's troop are not allowed to sit on his BOR in our District for Life or Eagle ranks. We have our Adult Leaders present to sit on the BORs for other troops and they have theirs present to sit in on ours. I thought that was the National POlicy?
  6. silver-shark

    Popcorn Disbursement

    I'm sort of in the head 'em off at the pass stage on this one for our troop. We've never let the boys that transfer take the dollars with them before. But....... We have a trip planned to Florida's Sea Base for next June and have put on alot more fundraisers than normal to help the boys earn the cost of between $850 and $900 including airfare and ground transportation. With the United Airlines Hub closing in Indy along with the already dismal job market here, I can see some parents having to move to gain employment. I know after summercamp and their first $100 deposit for SB, my son still has over $500, maybe even $600 in his account right now and we still have popcorn, wreathes, Christmas Trees, help with COs Fish Fry, etc.. left on this year's calendar. We're talking some serious dollars potentially lost for transfers. That's why I'm so curious about other troops handling of this situation.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  7. silver-shark

    Any Way I can Rescue My Dutch Oven?

    Ann Kingsford is a very famous manufacturer of charcoal briquettes here in the US. Their's are the ones that I use regularly. These briquettes are the same ones that one would use to barbequue or grill meat. You can also use hot embers or coals from a fire to cook with, although these are somewhat unpredictable relative to the amount of heat they put out. I would not cook over an actual fire, as this would create too much heat for most things. There are ways to judge how hot you're cooking during the process by what is happening at various intervals. Many dutch oven cookbooks will list these ways. The key to baking, which is what I do most often, is in having about 2/3 of the briquettes or coals on top of the lid, and the remaining 1/3 beneath the dutch oven.
  8. silver-shark

    Popcorn Disbursement

    I like your system alot Eagle74. It seems very fair. I've got a question for you though. What do you do with the money earned by a scout that transfers to another troop? Could be because of a family move, or whatever.
  9. silver-shark

    Popcorn Disbursement

    It seems to me that the kids that are out working their tails off, who are in most cases the ones that need it the most, end up paying for the majority of the program when the troop gets a split of the fundraisers. The kids that have parents that supplement either partially or oftentimes fully, and aren't selling as much or any because they don't need to according to mom and dad, aren't paying their fair share of the troop expenses. There are troops out there, and I wish ours was one of them, that have a $100.00 per year fee and give all fundraising monies to the Scout Buck Accounts to be used for all activity fees, campout (including food) fees, and their $100.00 per year fee. This way, ALL scouts are paying for the new equipment, the new troop trailer, all advancement costs, etc... The key to this, and the reason that I can't fully argue the point in our troop yet, is that we don't have an annual budget to set the yearly cost by. You have to have that first. This $100.00, or whatever for your troop wouldn't have to be paid in a lump sum. It could be broken down quarterly ($25.00/qtr.), monthly ($8.33/mo.), weekly (just under $2.00/wk.) or however it worked out best.
  10. silver-shark

    Any Way I can Rescue My Dutch Oven?

    Mrs. Red Feather "red has been known to take skillets on overnights and put them upside down on the coals." I have to admit that we have done this too, but you have to keep a close eye on the peice and turn it occasionally. This would be a definite no-no for aluminum peices, with their much lower melting point. I've seen my father-in-law get iron skillets hot to the point of a soft orange glow on a fire before. The rust and gunk comes off easier this way. I've always been told that lard will turn rancid in the cast iron pores, but vegetable based products won't. I don't know for sure, that's just what I've been told. We too love the Wagner and Griswold peices, but I haven't seen as yet any flat lid dutch ovens, so I use Lodge for this. It has the best porosity/lid fit that I've seen in new peices.
  11. silver-shark

    Any Way I can Rescue My Dutch Oven?

    My father-in-law and I have bought many old rusty, or extremely greasy peices of cast iron over the years and likewise have found that you can't be too aggressive at trying to get something off. Heat them up real hot to make it easier to get rust or greasy stuff off with a brass brush. I haven't had to blast one yet but have to admit it would have been much easier. The key being in the re-season of the peice. One tip, if you don't like the smokey smell of the re-season in your house, just take it out to your propane grill outside. I've even done this in the winter. No mess, no smell.
  12. silver-shark


    "Boys respond positively to positive praise." And vice-versa. This is soooooooooo true. Hi Ryon, Recognizing that you need more positive team interaction is the first step to making it happen. There are many good suggestions here so far. Many of the team building games that you can play either as your Pre Opening, or the Patrol Competition portion of your Troop Meetings, can be found in the Troop Program Resources book. They call them Initiative Games. Reflection is also a TREMENDOUS tool in finding out what the boys really like and want to do, and how to improve on what you're doing. Laura also has a great idea about the, "immediate recognition" of her system. I plan to try it on our next campout. The way that she is helping her son to find life long ways of coping with his ADD/ADHD should be an inspiration to us all.
  13. silver-shark

    Let's talk tents

    Great point Dan, but you reminded me of a problem that our troop had with this. A few years ago the tents were coming down in a pretty hard rain and rather than rolling them up tightly and all together, all of the poles were placed into a plastic container, and the tents were loosely rolled and placed in another. Afterwords, they were set up to dry out in the SMs driveway with the rainflys simply laid out in the grass, not attached so that the tents would dry faster. When they dried, various parts were placed together with a tent and rainfly then rolled up as normal. Upon arriving at the next campout and erecting the tents, they found that several of the rainflys didn't fit. They were either way too loose or way too tight. After awhile someone compared the outrigger poles that hold the flys and found that there were 2 different lengths and 2 methods of their attachment. Some of these were tents manufactured in different years and bought as replacements. After this got all straightened out, all pieces were marked with the tent number so that if they ever got mixed up again, they could be put back together correctly.
  14. silver-shark

    Help!! What do I do with this?

    "The best way to end this problem is direct and honest communication with the mom." That's exactly right Bob. Too many parents see advancement as the end all to the programs objectives. This mom is one of them. A reminder that Advancement is only ONE of the Eight Methods of Scouting is definitely in order. Now that the advancement has been earned, there is only one way to make it right, and that is to get the boy swimming well. Who better than the boy that signed him off knowing better. This is a common problem when boys are signing off for their friends or other boys, but if they sign it, they should be held accountable for making sure the boy actually knows the material.
  15. silver-shark

    Let's talk tents

    kwc57 The key to the groundcloth system that I mentioned is in the rolling under of it. When you do this you have created a lip with the groundcloth roughly 3 inches tall. When I spoke of just barely exposed, the tent wall actually comes down and overlaps this lip. With this system, all water moving toward the tent is forced to go under the groundcloth. It cannot go over the groundcloth (unless you have a small stream moving toward you), which tends to happen when water runs under the tent that has a flat groundcloth cut to the footprint of the tent or just smaller. In that case the water can go over or under it.
  16. silver-shark

    Let's talk tents

    I too have been very pleased with the performance of the Eureka Timberline tents. After 10 to 12 years use on some, and even more on others, the only problem seems to be with the zippers, but only after several years of use. Our SM took a little training course years ago to learn how to repair and replace the zippers, but it's been so long since he's had to do it that he says he would have to be shown again. As Mark said above, proper care is the key. One thing to accomplish this that I didn't see above was to make sure that you have a sturdy plastic ground cloth below them every time they're set up. Make sure that they are about a foot and a half wider than the tent all around. Then after the tent is set up, roll the extra ground cloth material down and just under the tent and just barely exposed. This will keep water from collecting under the tent, while protecting it from rocks and roots. In rainy weather we also have a thinner sheet of plastic for inside the tent and about 6 inches wider all around that wraps just up the sides of the tent, just in case there is a small hole in the tent floor. The sleeping bags will stay bone dry with this system. The only real problem we have with these tents is that the boys think they look old fashioned and dorky, since they are a Modified A Frame compared to the modern Dome designs. But while the boys that bring their own tents have trouble in rainy or windy conditions, the ones in the Timberlines are very dry comfortable.
  17. silver-shark

    Rainy day fun

    Lots of cool initiative games from the Troop Program Resource Book can be played under dining flies during rainy weather. They can strengthen your boys ability to work well with each other.
  18. silver-shark

    Training materials

    Jerry Great idea to run this type of training, and great topic. In addition to the resources that you find... I would ask the boys themselves to come up with as many scenarios as they can. These will likely come from real life events that THEY have encountered and be easier for them to relate to and focus on. GOOD LUCK !!!
  19. silver-shark

    A hazing incident at camp (long)

    LauraT7 You did great except for not having enough adults along. That's what you need to be the most vocal about TO YOUR COMMITTEE !!! It's THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to make sure you have enough adults along. You don't have to put up with that ! We run a 10 to 1 ratio of scouts to adults with a minimum of 4 adults in case of accidents. (We have 48 boys total in the troop) If you have more special needs kids, bump the 10 to 1 to more like 5-7 to 1. (We have those too) I know you will hear, "well... we just can't get enough people to take a weeks vacation to go with you." THAT'S BULL !!! They don't have to take the whole week. They can split the week up however they see fit. This usually works out better anyway. Last year we took 21 scouts, 4 full time adults, and 3 part time adults. By Wednesday (the day all heck broke loose) we needed the fresh perspective of the adults that hadn't dealt with the STUFF of the first part of the week. (2 of our scout in a fist fight in front of the QM Shack, escorted back to camp by the Camp Director. Several of us were livid.) This year we have 27 scouts currently at camp, 3 full time leaders, 4 part time (making 2 full time) leaders, and I went down to get them settled in Sunday night. I'm going for the full day tomorrow (passing of the baton day for the part timers). And I'm going back Saturday to help with Blue Cards while the boys pack up. Like I said... You did nothing wrong, but your committee sure let you down as far as having enough adults along !!!
  20. silver-shark

    Leaving Camp

    I agree with both Bob and Marty. Our troop rule is always MINIMUM 4 deep leadership on overnight activities. Thus extending the weekend for the rest of the campers, unless of course another accident occurs. With what you had though... You did the right thing. (This message has been edited by silver-shark)(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  21. silver-shark

    Really Bad News

    Change press to pursue, or request if you'd like Fat Old Guy. What you call it depends on the part of the country you happen to be in. Here in Indiana, USA a battered wife has to "press charges" before the police will begin an investigation, but other crimes are treated differently. My point still being that the BSA is certainly not responsibile for pursuing criminal proceedings. That is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Any other technicalities in my post?
  22. silver-shark

    Really Bad News

    "D'Apice said the abuse allegations, detailed in a handwritten letter from the boy, were investigated thoroughly by a three-member committee, consisting of experts in juvenile law and juvenile issues. After collecting evidence and interviewing "every person who could possibly provide information," the committee concluded there was no incident of sexual abuse." It sounds as though the committee that reached the decision, was completely independent of scouting. It seems that there should be no bias on their part or intent of deception. As for what to do, if this happened in a troop, whether adult on youth, or youth on youth, we are to report the incedent immediately to the SE for them to address. That's it, unless there is a current safety issue. The BSA would have NOTHING to do with pressing charges against anyone. Only a parent or guardian could do this. It may be that the parents are the only ones seeing dollar signs here. It sounds like they still haven't pressed charges against the alleged offender. That would indicate to me that they are not interested in making sure that this doesn't happen to another child. The boy, if not abused, may have been merely trying to get back at a boy that had been teasing him about his condition for some time. Who knows... One thing for sure. This is a reminder for all of us, that Youth Protection is not just for the kids, but to save our reputations if a boy becomes angry with us.
  23. silver-shark

    Scout flashes knife at another at summer camp

    Hi LauraT7, I think we probably agree more than we disagree. When I said " I believe that either they control their behavior, or it will control them.", what I really meant to say is that I believe that for a boy to be successful as an adult, they need to learn to control their behavior, or it will control them. By control their behavior, I mean by using coping strategies. Too many parents either believe, or want to believe that medication alone will solve the problem for their child. It won't, and when it doesn't, they're all too eager to pass it off as the ADD/ADHD problem, and "I just don't know why that darned medicine isn't working right". The steps that you have taken with your son to help him find coping strategies are the key to his future well being. I whole heartedly aplaud the actions that you have taken with him! I wish that I could say the same about more parents, but they happen to be few and far between. This is probably due to the fact that either one, or both of a child's parents suffer from the same thing. In my day we (yes, I'm sure that I too was ADD as a child and probably still am today) were called "air heads, spaced out, boneheads, etc..." Now we know what causes it and what it really is. In my generation, all we had to go on WAS coping strategies. My kids make fun of me constantly, telling me that I'm anal retentive because of the way that I over organize things, but this is how I have learned (coping strategy) to keep things straight and on time. Would medication have helped me more? Probably. Would it have done everything for me? No way! I'm very concerned that more kids are not learning coping strategies. Rather than a Pediatrician referring a kid to a Psycologist, they are prescribing medications only, without teaching the coping strategies. Additionally, MANY kids are misdiagnosed as being ADD/ADHD every year because the tests that Pediatricians do (none of which are medical) are not nearly as thorough as what the Psycologists can give. As a result, many kids go untreated for other problems such as bi-polar disorder, depression and other emotional problem because of this. The other thing that concerns me about the medications only method is that we just don't know what the long term effects are going to be. This is basically the drug Speed that they are taking to compensate for the chemical imbalance that is in their brain. That CAN'T be good for them in the long run. I don't see how they can continue to take it daily into adulthood if they don't learn coping strategies. Another good reason for your method. I have to admit after coaching many sports for over 15 years, and being involved in scouting, that I have become very cynical about the words ADD and ADHD, when uttered by a parent USUALLY, AFTER a child has behaved inappropriately. I can't say if this was the case in Jerry's situation or not, and I jumped to a conclusion that I shouldn't have when I read it in the same paragraph. Again, my apologies... BUT, if I had a nickel for every time that I had a parent, after the fact, tell me that, "well... ya know... little Johnny... has ADHD..." When I dig a little deeper, I almost always find that there are no coping strategies being learned by the child to help them in the long run. Just the medications. Enough of that... but I do have a couple of other observations. First. "He just crossed over three months ago and is only 11 years old. If he crossed over he was a Weblo. If he was a Weblo, he probably earned a Whittling Chip. If he had a Whittling Chip, this was his second go around with knife safety. (All assumptions on my part of course.) Secondly. "John" had just earned his totin chit that afternoon. Both myself and his father had specifically addressed the fact that a knife is a tool and not a play thing. However, the boy just made a bad decision - a rather foolish and immature decision. He was in the dark whittling on a walking stick to give his dad. Using a knife in the dark itself was not a smart idea." and... "But maybe Dad and the scout leader should have given him some pre-prep and special instructions knowing that this kind of temptation would be tough on his impulsivity." Not to be critical, but I think there is maybe one more lesson to be learned by the adults. Jerry, it sounds like your TOTIN' CHIP program may have been in the form of a lecture by the adults to several scouts. Laura, it looks like your program works this way as well. I know that many others do it this way too. Until recently ours did too. For something as important as a TOTIN' CHIP, or FIREM'N CHIT, since they pertain specifically to safety, it seems that the rules for advancement need to be scrutinized as closely as possible. First. The boys are more apt to pay attention to another scout giving the instruction. I don't think it would be cheating to have a sylabus prepared for the instructors to follow, to make sure that all items are instructed. Our troop has them for these. Secondly. Remember the steps are (and I'm paraphrasing. My books are not with me.) 1. A scout learns. 2. A scout is tested. 3. A scout is recognized. Numbers 1 and 2 probably shouldn't be done on the same day if you truly want to know if they have absorbed the material. During number 1, this is where all of the, "pre-prep and special instructions knowing that this kind of temptation would be tough on his impulsivity." effort in the world can be spent to make sure that the material is truly absorbed,
  24. silver-shark

    Scout flashes knife at another at summer camp

    Jerry You did good! Again, my apologies. I over reacted.
  25. silver-shark

    YP and G2SS Questions

    We use the minimum of 3 persons in the vehicle in our troop. We've never had an opportunity to have more than 1 adult in the vehicle. (Never enough drivers to do it.) Laurie, I see the 21, and 18 rule that you speak of as not necessarily having to be in the same car, but on the same trip, since this is the minimum for 2 deep leadership on an outing. I also see the 16 year old, with the proper qualifications the same way, but have never had anyone under 18 drive on a trip before, and hope I never have to. The convoy thing just baffles me though, unless they're just talking about the C.W. McCall song type of Convoy. One way or another though, you're right... It's as clear as mud.