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Slack-jawed Troglodyte

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About Slack-jawed Troglodyte

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  1. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    wolf without leader

    jandemama, I empathize with you. FWIW, my experience as a "Den Mother" began in Tigers. Our pack had trouble recruiting and retaining leaders, so we wound up with an initial group of 11. No problem, very manageable as a parent was part of each den meeting/activity. They were all dads, too. My wife and another dad served as assistant leaders so we had plenty of help. It grew little from there. When the den reached 12 Scouts by Bear (and 14 at Webelos I), we recruited another dad as a third assistant. And fortunately, all the dads stayed with the program thru Webelos II. They enjoyed the program, too, and we put all of them to work at each meeting and trip. While not ideal if you have the help, a den of 14 is manageable. You need the help, even if it is "one-off's": get a parent or two to arrange/plan/execute one activity; get another parent to do likewise. The hard part is to get the first commitment but after getting one successful "one-off little" job it encouraged a few others to make the effort. It worked for us. YMMV Good luck.
  2. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    wolf without leader

    jandemama, I empathize with you. FWIW, my experience as a "Den Mother" began in Tigers. Our pack had trouble recruiting and retaining leaders, so we wound up with an initial group of 11. No problem, very manageable as a parent was part of each den meeting/activity. They were all dads, too. My wife and another dad served as assistant leaders so we had plenty of help. It grew little from there. When the den reached 12 Scouts by Bear (and 14 at Webelos I), we recruited another dad as a third assistant. And fortunately, all the dads stayed with the program thru Webelos II. They enjoyed the program, too, and we put all of them to work at each meeting and trip. While not ideal if you have the help, a den of 14 is manageable. You need the help, even if it is "one-off's": get a parent or two to arrange/plan/execute one activity; get another parent to do likewise. The hard part is to get the first commitment but after getting one successful "one-off little" job it encouraged a few others to make the effort. It worked for us. YMMV Good luck.
  3. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    How about some plain simple camping?

    Scoutfish wrote: "...do you ever plan a camping trip that doesn't involve trying to cram in a bunch of classes, workshops, rank advancing challenges or requirements?" Our troop does exactly that once each year, typically in June. Our annual "Father/Son Weekend" is our most attended camping trip, includes Moms and siblings who want to attend and often alumni. There are some "planned activities": fishing equipment is de rigueur, and anyone who has canoes or kayaks brings them to share, swimming if it is warm/dry enough (and often in spite of the weather); the highlight is roast beast (prime) cooked all day over an open fire pit. To be sure, Scout skills are utilized (the buddy system, safety afloat, safe swim defense, et c.) but the emphasis is on sharing a good time just 'cuz we can...YMMV
  4. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Eagle without having to build a fire? Really?

    Wish I could edit or delete...
  5. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Eagle without having to build a fire? Really?

    The "City of Village Charm" where my son's troop meets allows for no open fires. However we occasionally have "newer scout" training sessions in town as a matter of convenience. When it comes to fire building skills, we have used a "Coleman" type backyard fire pit. This meets the "open" fire ban of our municipality and is condoned by the local Fire Department and constabulary, this in spite of a neighbor's protestations. Said neighbor was chastised by the FD after their call... It is not an ideal option but it may allow you to do an end run around a ban...do check with your local Fire Marshall and PD, as YMMV. Sorry OP, I wandered with the thread drift. I empathize with you but, sadly, have nothing more constructive to offer. If outdoor skills become more white-washed and removed from scOUTing, I think this old slack-jawed troglodyte may move on away from the movement...one can only be "inventive" to a point.
  6. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Labor Unions as Chartered Organizations

    I believe that Labor Unions can be COs. FWIW, I once belonged (briefly) to an Explorer Post chartered by the AFL-CIO Union (Pratt & Whitney) to which my father belonged. He was presented with the George Meany Award. He did a lot with my Troop, the Explorer Post, and some things (Exec. Bd.?) with my local Council way back when.
  7. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Pepsi Can Stove

    Hey Now, CNYScouter! IMHO, for an individual or perhaps two people, the soda can or alky stoves work "well enough" if all you need to do is boil water. I've been able to boil about 2 liters of cold water on 2 oz of Heet on a 22F day, in about 12 mins. with an approx. 15 min. burn time. A windscreen is essential to the efficiency of any stove but especially so with alky stoves; use a windscreen or don't bother with alky stoves. FWIW, the reason I started using an alky stove was that during shakedown hikes for this summer's Philmont crew, I carried my WhisperLite (jet engine) JUST so I could brew coffee in the morning as that was not part of the meal plan for our group... The alky stove and accessories are so much lighter than the jet engine. I have found that the Cat stove (Google: jwbasecamp) and the UniCan stove ( )* are pretty simple to make. I have determined the Cat stove doesn't work well below about 30F for me, however the UniCan is one I can use easily down to about 18F, if I insulate the stove from a frozen surface. This is enough for me to make cowboy coffee or water for cocoa, tea, soup, et c. I keep one in my day/hunting/fishing pack for making soup when its cold and wet. *I use a IMUSA grease pot from K-mart or Wally-World rather than the Heiny pot they make in the YouTube video. My whole kitchen fits inside the grease pot for storage. Tinny the tinker at Minibull Design has created some intriguing stoves but it was more fun making one (or ten) myself. However, in winter nothing beats my good old jet engine; it ALWAYS works efficiently. As others have opined, for real cooking there are better choices...YMMV,
  8. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Tent recommendation needed

    Many Hats, For a decent 3-man tent at a decent price, the Eureka Camping Center (outlet) has the Pinnacle Pass 3XT A. Having two doors and integral vestibules is hard to beat. I think it's worth looking at (I have an Apex 2XT which is similar): http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/product.asp?s_id=0&prod_name=PINNACLE+PASS+3XT+A&pf_id=PAAAIAOIAOJLKPDK&dept_id=3119
  9. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    A lot of condensate in tent

    Mafaking, I have the Eureka Apex-2xt and I've found condensation is an issue in cooler temps, too. (Temps below about 40F) Notwithstanding that much of the tent roof is mesh fabric, the colder it is the more troublesome the condensation becomes. In freezing temps, I've found that no amount of venting or configuring helps--short of leaving one or both vestibules open or partially so. Even then, under the fly a layer of frost collects above my head... OTOH, the troop bought new Chinook Sirocco 2 single wall backpacking tents and the condensation even in warm temps is legendary!
  10. Slack-jawed Troglodyte

    Dutch Over recommendations....?

    Hi folx, My first post on these forums. I agree that Lodge is the gold standard. FWIW, a couple of years ago I purchased six 12" and one 14" Camp Chef DO's for our troop. Concerns we had were fit and finish for the price we paid (free shipping tipped the scales to "must buy"). On arrival, we determined that they really needed to be properly seasoned (they were "pre-seasoned" but...). The lids do fit well enough but the walls seem a shade thinner than Lodge DO's, and the finish isn't quite as smooth. None of the ovens were ordered with "feet on the lid". We could not be more pleased with these ovens. Once they were properly seasoned we found they work just as well as the two Lodge DO's we had in the inventory. Based on our experience I would recommend the Camp Chef DO, in fact because of this positive experience I now have my own 12" Camp Chef DO. YMMV.
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