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Everything posted by Sparkie

  1. Sparkie

    How's popcorn going?

    Our popcorn sale went as expected From a council viewpoint (i'm the popcorn chair for the coun.) we reached our goal even though we shortened the sale by 2 weeks (formerly ran 7 weeks), and raised our $12 tins to $15. It's very unusual to have an item under $10. We (coun.) asked our supplier, Pecetonica to create a $10 site sale only carmel bucket that's non-returnable (last year consignment returns were 30% ). The item seemed to do very well. A big problem we have is units opening up microwave popcorn and selling it for $1 per packet. Not only are they NOT marked for individual sale, but it hurts the sale of the other items like the 15 packs. And i firmly believe the 6 pack is now extinct (at least in my area) due to this practice. Fotoscout, we offered units (mainly troops) an opt out for prizes. In lieu of prizes, they could receive 5% of the gross sales. Sparkie P.S. We tried the prize brochure mailing to homes to try to get non-selling units to sell. Needless to say, the same thing that happened by you happened to us, more tossed than looked at .
  2. Sparkie

    Tiger kick the can Ice Cream

    Along the same lines.... we've done a "Pudding Toss". Place ingredients for making pudding in a ziplock type bag (freezer works best), and then place that bag inside another freezer bag (incase of a blow-out ). Have scouts (or a den) stand in a circle and toss the bag around, kind-of hot potato style. With larger circles, usually on a campout over the summer, we have 2 bags going at a time... 1 chocolate and 1 vanilla.
  3. Sparkie


    We don't sell TE, we switched a couple years ago to Pecetonica. All our microwave 15 packs (Kettle included) are $12, and the 30 pack double butter is $20. The price of our tins increased up to $15 (due to peanut prices so the mfr. says), but we (council) refused to up the cheese, so that's staying at $12. Good to know Campmasters is not a good product. Thanks for the info. Jemek! Sparkie
  4. Sparkie

    Popcorn DE's?

    For the past 4 years or so our council has been selling Rural Route 1 popcorn under the name Pecetonica River for the BSA. I am also the current Coun. Popcorn Chmn. I would like to note, no-one ever said popcorn was a value. It is the cause you are supporting (BSA, summer camp, whatever). If anyone sells it as a regular product, i'm sorry, it's wrong. One time a person complained to me about the price and value of the popcorn. I said (half in jest) "listen, you are buying insurance that little Johnny isn't going to whack your mailbox with a baseball bat in 3-4 years because he's got nothing better to do! Scouting is a good program and helps develop a good foundation for boys to become independent and make good choices". I don't go around saying this that much, but if someone starts to bully the popcorn program, i throw this at 'em and they pipe-down. Sparkie
  5. Sparkie

    Units Supporting vs. Not Supporting Coun.

    Thanks everyone! some good ideas out there that i'm sure council hasn't thought about. Sparkie
  6. The discussion recently came up regarding units that do not support council via fundraisers... namely Popcorn and Wreaths. Should they, how do we get them to participate, etc. Then the issue came up about a unit that does neither, but does contribute about $4,000 to FOS (which would be considered supporting council). So my question i guess is... Does your council have a requirement for unit support? I think the buzz going around is those units supporting council will receive a discount on camping opportunities. Those who do not support council by fundraising or FOS would pay a higher rate to use council facilities/camps. Thanks for your input! Sparkie
  7. Sparkie


    Our summer camp is in Wisconsin. I think it was about 3 years ago we were told we could no longer disperse meds to scouts... state law. I hand over all meds at the medical check-in. The exception is, as previously stated Bee sting kits (epi pens) and asthma inhalers. I'm notified with a pink slip when a scout has missed a med so i can remind him. It's not a bad system, if it's done right . Sparkie
  8. Sparkie

    Quotes Needed

    not a BP quote, but one i like, and appropriate to scouting IMO... "A pessimist complains about the wind, an optimist expects it to change, a leader adjusts the sail." - John Maxwell
  9. I agree with Uncleguinea. That was an inappropriate reference on these forums.
  10. Sparkie

    I just did the math!

    Welcome to the club!! Sparkie
  11. Sparkie

    "problem" scout?

    When we had an issue like this, we told the parents that one of them would need to attend the den meetings with their son. It worked out very well. However, in your case it sounds like the parents are using you as the unofficial Baby Sitter of America. They may just pull their son out if they have to attend meetings also. On the other hand, after being CM for 6 years, i have found some PARENTS need disciplining (they may find this behaviour acceptable... believe it or not). The only other piece of advice i can give regarding the CM is to try to not let it become personal. The CM needs to do what's best for the pack and the den (not his friend). They need to be reminded that they have to wear the CM hat in this case, not the friend hat. Good Luck Sparkie
  12. Sparkie

    Sad, Sad, Mad, Mad

    I am so sorry for your loss. Why does it always take something tragic for us to appreciate what we have. I have a 15 year old son who is anxiously waiting to take driving lessons like everyone else his age. My parents didn't let me drive until i was 18. I thank them now for that. I tell my son it's not so much him i'm worried about... but all the other drivers out there. I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite thoughts... To the world you may be one person, but to one person, you might be world. I hope you find comfort in knowing you helped shaped this boys life, even for the short time he was with us. Sparkie
  13. Sparkie

    Adults as shepherds?

    We too use the buddy system. But no shepherding in our troop. Leaders may pop in at the various locations, but that's it. All first year scouts are at swimming in the morning. We do enforce a rule that scouts cannot stay in camp with out doing anything constructive, i.e. working on a MB (say a write-up for envi. sci.), chopping wood in the ax yard, etc. Scouts can't just hang around. It actually works quite well. Sparkie
  14. This thread was spun from another thread.As a parent of an OA scout who completed his ordeal last summer, what should be happening now? Not being OA myself, i don't know what's supposed to happen next, or what should be happening now. Should he be going to meetings, getting phone calls, newsletters, what? I know OA is a brotherhood, there is a work weekend and, i know OA does alot of service, that's it. Unfortunately our "older" OA members ditched the troop once they became OA, hardly ever see them. I've heard this is a common occurance in our area. So back to my question, if my son did his ordeal at summer camp, what happens next?
  15. Sparkie

    Youth Leadership Selection

    Our troops' sr. leaders will all be at Seabase during summer camp. I guess that's good news! But the bad news is there is not an SPL or ASPL attending summer camp. How would you recommend selecting a leader for the week? There will probably be about 20-25 boys attending. None of the scouts have SPL or ASPL experience... just patrol leader experience. Should the Scoutmaster decide or should the boys going decide? Maybe the current SPL should appoint one of the boys going....just a thought. How would you handle this? Sparkie
  16. Sparkie

    OA ordeal.....what should happen next?

    Thank you to everyone! After Tues. Roundtable meeting (OA also holds their meeting at the same location). I spoke to the Chief of my situation. Four OA members from our troop (2 are the same age as my son) show up to these OA meetings but NOT troop meetings . I know he thinks highly of these 4 boys, so i proceeded with caution. I asked him how 4 boys from the troop can be so active in OA, yet they don't encourage involvement from new members within their own troop. He stated he wished i had come to him earlier that night, because one of the boys was "boasting" about a recent call out at our troop. The chief said that would have been a great time to ask him (the boastful scout) where the 3 members from last year were? One thing that explains alot is.... The first two weeks at summercamp, those who did their ordeal were not recognized, or got lost in the shuffle because someone was sick for 2 weeks. Me thinks some cross-training needs to be done at council! I wanted to ask why nothing was done if they knew this happened, couldn't they touch base with all the units that went the first two weeks? seems simple enough.... but there was no follow thru. At least i got the ball rolling for the 3 in our troop. I guess i'm a little disappointed in the division in the Troop over this, and the lack of support from the existing OA members to the new OA members. Thanks again for all the great info! Sparkie
  17. Sparkie

    Emergency Preparedness BSA

    Fotoscout, ARC, BFA and BAT are not required, but are 1 of 3 options (for Tiger, Wolf and Bear). I choose the McGruff route because of the age level. The Webelos dens are doing a presentation to the den. since McGruff was not an option at their level. Sparkie
  18. Sparkie

    Great Expectatoiins

    A great thread OGE! One worth printing out Sparkie
  19. Sparkie

    Emergency Preparedness BSA

    I did this with my Pack at the Sept. and Oct. Pack meetings. At the September meeting we had a McGruff presentation by a local officer. Then, at the Oct. meeting we had a member of the pack who is a fireman do a presentation on some emergencies one may encounter, i.e. a downed live wire. We broke off into group levels so we could make it age appropriate. The rest of the requirements are being done at the den level. It gave them a good start to earning the pin. Sparkie
  20. Sparkie

    OA ordeal.....what should happen next?

    evmori, Would you recommend i facilitate things and get him to go to a meeting? He's one of those kids that doesn't like the unknown, but once he's there he's dedicated! He's worked Daycamp for the last 3 years (for 2 weeks no pay ), staffed WOW, Webelos Weekend 1, Klondike and other district events. He's not one to take the initiative, but ask him and he's there. I guess i'm just hoping he'll want to do it on his own without me saying anything. And i don't know if i'm helping him by not saying anything, given his personality.
  21. Sparkie

    OA ordeal.....what should happen next?

    As i stated, he "completed his ordeal last summer". Yes, it's done at summercamp. He probably was invited back at summercamp. Out of site, out of mind. I can't remind him, nothing was received in writing. Don't get me wrong.... it's his fault too for not pursuing it. But he's so busy with the Troop and school work, i'm thinking he doesn't want to add another thing to his schedule. Sometimes it takes more than one blanket invite to a newbie OA mem., especially if he doesn't know much about the orgn. Remember what it was like to be 15? I don't think i would be to excited about going to a meeting by myself where i knew maybe 1 or 2 people who would rather be with their other friends. A phone call, a letter, something from the lodge may encourage him to go to a meeting. But he has received nothing, no acknowledgement whatsoever, not even a calendar of events (if one even exists). This may explain Eamonns original question of "Where they go?". He may or may not ever go to a meeting, sad but true. Sparkie
  22. Sparkie

    I am angry

    Keeping it simple...i think the idea is to teach camping skills, or skills to go camping (i.e. working together, cooking simple things, being fit, etc.) to cub scouts. You don't want them to learn incorrectly from a parent who used to go camping while in college . Case in point, i had a parent at Webelos Outdoor Weekend (WOW), start a campfire under a tree with no fire bucket! Teach them right the first time so there is no question on what is right and wrong. Also, i think it builds up the excitement to go camping in a couple years, just as Scoutingagain stated. There are many camping opportunities in our council once a scout is a Webelos, until then, there is family camping. fotoscout - your scenerio on leadership is a best case scenerio. At least not typical for my past pack of 60 boys (i just crossed over after being CM for 5 years). I'm grateful to have my den leaders trained with some extra training. Asst. den leaders...we had 3 registered. It might depend on the area one lives in, but i think leadership and safety for many dens IS an issue. So we'll agree to disagree? Sparkie
  23. Right on Scoutnut! It's where you place the value! It's not in the popcorn, it's in what the program provides for the kids. When parents start giving me that shpeel (sp?), i half jokingly tell them "think of it as insurance that scouting will provide johnny a program where he won't be bored and come down your street in a couple years wacking your mailboxes with a baseball bat!" They usually chuckle about it, but there is some truth to it .
  24. Sparkie

    Where they go??

    My son resembles this scenario! He was called out last year and went thru his ordeal at summercamp (shhhh.... no parents BIG secret). Anyway, that's the last he heard of OA. Sure we have a troop rep that goes to OA meetings, my son has also worked the OA haunted hike (for the past 2 years), even when he wasn't a member! I personally thought being a member of OA was a more dignified position. In our lodge, the scouts act more like cub scouts in their own little click. At one campfire shirts were hanging out, and one was wearing a Jack Daniels hat! I'm not impressed. I think these new members might become more involved if there was a welcome meeting for all new members, and better communication. I realize our lodge might be one that is bringing the good name of the OA down. I hear of many great things other lodges do on these boards, i can only hope something will turn ours around. Sparkie
  25. Let's not forget that the Popcorn sales also support council. I would wonder how you are supporting council if you don't participate in Popcorn or Wreath Sales? I'm not against other fundraisers, but i would hope that a portion is being directed to council. Sparkie