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Everything posted by Sparkie

  1. Sparkie

    Merit Badge Sash

    gbern, welcome to the boards! I just sort-of butt them up to each other, there isn't much room for play when you go 3 across, so i just use the same prinicple going down. However, when he first crossed-over into boyscouts (3 years ago) i heard rumor that Eagle MBs go closest to the heart (last in the row). I never read that anywhere, but i liked the idea .
  2. Sparkie

    Popcorn Disbursement

    Thanks to everyone who has replied, i look forward to reading more of your comments! nldscout, first, you do not get kicked out . Some of our scouts were not supporting the troop with this, our only fundraiser (only a few boys sell the wreathes ). Yet these same scouts/families expect the same benefits as those who do (a break in camping/activity fees for example). Our troop sells by consignment, so i decided to present the com./patrol with the idea that each boy had to sell the 17 items they receive in their initial allotment. If they do not choose to sell, they have the option of writing the troop a check for $60 (our % of what the troop would have made had they sold popcorn). The boys also have the option to do site sales, which will also count as credit. With approx. 40 boys in the troop, we have never had a problem with this policy, which has been in effect for 4 years.
  3. Sparkie

    Medical Forms @ Daycamp

    Thanks to everyone for the advice and help. There was no "nurse" from what i could tell, one of the 2 camp directors must have worn that hat. Our Day Camp had approximately 50 scouts, so i'm not sure how that compares in the grand scheme of scouting (to small?). As a cubmaster (and retainer of all emergency forms) i highlight area's needing attention on my boys forms, i.e. epi pens, allergies. In fact when i called this boys family last year to see what he could eat at our pack picnic they were very surprised, and thought it was very nice of me to ask. I thought, but that's my job! I did in fact call council, and had a nice conversation. I figured all i can do is bring these items to their attention, and what they do with it from there is their choice (hopefully they will use it as a stepping stone!). AdvanceOn, regarding the soap issue, the camp was held on school grounds and we used their facilities (not kybos). Even if the school did not have soap, i felt the camp director should have taken care of this and placed a store bought bottle in the washroom. Sparkie (This message has been edited by Sparkie)
  4. Sparkie

    Medical Forms @ Daycamp

    Ok, this may sound like a stupid question, but, just what is the "roll" of a med. form at daycamp? Are they even looked at when they are turned in, or are they just used AFTER a situation arises? Our daycamp was run very ineffectively this year, and there were many safety issues in general. However, one of my scouts has allergies to all nut and bean products, and eggs (he has an epi pen). We did not receive a week-long activity guide, only a sheet day-to-day. On Thurs. they had cooking programs. When the camp director/health officer was approched in the AM about the scouts allergies he was VERY flipant in his response and said "it'll be ok, we know about it". I pursued to find out what was actually going to be used, only to find out one was to make donuts in Veg. oil (all soybean), and make cornbread in a dutch oven (made with an egg)! Is it not the staffs job to go over these forms and find the red flags? I know as a leader i share some responsibility. However, many of the packs there switch off parents from day-to-day (and basically care only about their own kid ). I'm considering taking this to council along with other issues (like no soap to wash hands in the washrooms all week, especially after handling turtles on Tues.!). Am i off course? Sparkie (This message has been edited by Sparkie)
  5. Sparkie

    Popcorn Disbursement

    I would like to re-open this discussion since Popcorn is right around the corner for my area (i am on the coun. popcorn com. AND Pack and Troop Kernal). At the troop level, it is mandatory the boys sell around $190 to support the troop (this and wreaths are our only fundraiser). The boys currently receive 10% of the units profit in their troop account. From what i have heard (and also seen on these boards) is that this seems awfully low. Most troops seem to give 50% and up. So my question is, how much of your units profits does the individual scout receive? Sparkie P.S. as mentioned previously, i would like to have rules in place BEFORE the sale starts .
  6. Sparkie

    What did he forget?

    My son forgot his pants!! And, he needed them to do his OA Ordeal, so.....he used mine! We traded them back and forth because we both did a C.O.P.E (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience=Fear Factor to me:) ) course in which long pants were required. I gave him alot of ribbing, and kept telling him "Hey! nice pants" Sparkie(This message has been edited by Sparkie)
  7. Sparkie

    Scouting opens doors

    Fat Old Guy, Obviously the term "Lead by example" doesn't mean anything to them (unless no-one has to wear the uniform on trips). Sparkie
  8. Sparkie

    Scouting opens doors

    Yarrow, i agree 110%! Two activities come to mind right away. Sleeping overnight at the Chicago Field Museum (only open to youth groups), and flying in a bi-plane with the EAA to get 1 million kids up in the air. Although the last one wasn't only for youth groups, i wouldn't have heard about it if i wasn't for scouting. I'm kind-of embarassed to say that many things i've done with my son(s), i wouldn't have done if it wasn't for scouting. I'm so thankful for the personal growth i have seen in my older son, and how he has learned to become independent, especially from camping every month (packing, cooking, etc.). Also, working on MB has opened many doors for him, who knows where the knowledge will lead him later in life....a new hobby, or better yet, possibly a career? Sparkie
  9. Sparkie

    Parents at Summer Camp

    Twocubdad... I learned long ago that i cannot take into consideration how i am going to act based upon whether a parent is there or not. I am always telling kids what is inappropriate while a parent is standing there (hopefully they would get a clue too ). However, i always back up my correction with a reason such as you did, i.e. we don't use that kind-of language in scouting, we follow the leave-no-trace rule, etc. You have no reason to feel self-conscious about what you did. I think you handled the situation fine. I have always said, when i became Cubmaster i never dreamed i would have to be teaching the adults how to act! As far as sending them home (all of them), i would need to assess how it is affecting the whole Pack or Troop, in addition to my time. IMO, if they don't straighten up, the whole camp shouldn't suffer. Therefore, i would talk to the dad and explain to him how the disruptive behavior affects the whole camp. I'm sure he doesn't look at the situation thru your eyes, and he may need a little enlightenment. Sounds like he's in for an eye-opener in Boy Scouts! Sparkie
  10. Sparkie

    Parents at Summer Camp

    I had a situation this year at summercamp in which a parent came up mid-week. No homesickness or anything. However, the father would pull his child away from all the other boys whenever it was time to go somewhere. I tried to stop it right at the beginning. I was sitting on a picnic table when he was pulling him away from a game of 4-square (we were due at a volleyball tournament). I politely said "Hey, why don't you come over here and have a seat next to me", he said "but..." i said "come on, have a seat". I then proceeded to gently inform him that he was here as an observer, not a parent. I shared with him (although i'm not proud of it) that i did overhear some boys tease another boy last year after his mother left camp. This older scout was pretty popular and could handle it, but i'm sure it still hurt. I tried to show the dad how he was pulling his son away from the other boys, and excluding him from everyone else. Unfortunately the next day it was still happening, although i'm not sure he realized he was doing it. And, I didn't push the point because i was a stand in scoutmaster for the week. Don't get me wrong, it is very hard NOT to be a parent at summercamp (been there, done that). I just think it's important to remind them that they are there to observe, not to parent. This was my 4th year at summercamp, and i always take off that parent cap when i go, it helps me keep my sanity too Sparkie
  11. Sparkie

    One Night At Camp....

    Eamonn, thanks for the great report! Sometimes we're so busy doing our thing with the scouts, going to meetings, trainings, getting ready for the next meeting or campout etc., that we fail to sit back and see all the we have accomplished! I think we can all benefit from sitting back once in awhile, and appreciate all the benefits and opportunities scouting has opened up for us and our sons. Heading off the Summercamp tomorrow and i can't wait!! Although i do have to go get packed Sparkie
  12. Sparkie

    Merit badge timing question

    Welcome to the campfire Hunt!! I also agree with acco40. I personally do not count activities PRIOR to scouting for MB credit. However, i'm more lenient when it comes to the card. I feel it's more important that they do/did the requirements, not when they gave me the MB card...JMO. Sparkie (This message has been edited by Sparkie)
  13. Sparkie

    Happy 4th

    Thanks BW!! I wish you and everyone else on the boards a happy and safe 4th of July also . Sparkie
  14. Sparkie

    Summertime Award and Activities

    A few other things i'm thinking about.... Do you give the boys segments or patches (larger) for the activities they have done? The boys love getting these! I ask because a couple years ago i encountered a pack that gave them out ONCE a year! Well what good is that? i can't imagine why they would give them out only once a year! Our boys get like 5-6 each month minimum (if they attend den meetings and pack meetings). This also encourages participation. Another thing you may want to try next year, is to have the boys who participated last summer (meaning this summer) make a little poster of all the fun things they did and talk about it. I do this at our April or May meeting. The boys love talking about what they did, they get all excited, and the other boys ask lots of questions. I doubled our day camp participation the first year. Glad i could help, have a great summer! Sparkie
  15. Sparkie

    Unmotivated Scout or right on track?

    My vote is right on track!! He'll have a great time at summer camp! Sparkie
  16. Sparkie

    Summertime Award and Activities

    Hi Lauri! Yes, based on the information you have given, your den will qualify! First, your pack offered an outing in June, July and August. Second, 50% of your sons den participated. So....you (or another com. mem.) will have to file an "Application for National Summertime Pack Award" with your council by the end of August. You will be requesting a Pack Award Cert. and Streamer, 1 Den Participation Ribbon, and 3 Cub Scout Award Pins. Be sure to fill out ALL the information on the form. Congratulations on running a Summertime program! Don't get discouraged if only a few show up, three boys earning this pin is better than zero boys earning it (even if it is our own sons ). Don't put to much value on the number of boys that don't show up, instead look at how much fun the ones that do show up have!! YiS Sparkie
  17. My family and I are planning to head out your way (from Ill.) to visit Graceland (sigh), and the Hermatige (I know what a combination lol). What else is a must see for my family? I have 2 boys ages 14 & 10. Thanks in advance for your help! Sparkie P.S. We are going to take a pass on Opryland this trip.
  18. Sparkie

    ? for Tennessee friends

    Thanks you both for your wonderful suggestions!!! We just came back from our 6 day whirlwind trip, and boy did we do alot! Although we were'nt able to do everything . In case your interested, here's what we were able to do... Day 1 - drove from Chgo to Evansville, Ind. Day 2 - made it to the Hermitage by 1:30 pm. I loved the tour, although they rushed us through. I especially liked viewing the archeological digs, and seeing the new/old carriage route they think they found. Day 3 - visited the state capitol, then drove to Jack Daniels Distillery, and stopped by the Stone River Battlefield/Cemetary along the way. Continuted on to Florence Ala. to rest for the nite. Day 4 - made it to Graceland . Saw the Peabody ducks at 5 pm, ate at the Rendeveoux (yikes, those ribs were spicy!!), and then visited Beale St. . Day 5 - arrived in St. Louis in time to catch a 6 pm boat ride on the Mississippi, and then watch a beautiful sunset from atop the arch at 7:45 . Day 6 - onto Springfield, IL to visit our own capital WOW, vist Lincolns house, onto his tomb, and then to the New Salem settlement. Arrived safely home at 8:30 . Now i have to get ready for summercamp which is next week. It will be nice to slow down for awhile . Thanks again for all your help! Sparkie P.S. Sorry i missed Opryland hotel and Shiloh, i guess we'll have to go back .
  19. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Laura! Sounds like your getting ready for next week!!! Remember to look me up at Cheeroke (behind the office, down the hill of death! lol). I've been away all week touring Tenn., and i came home to find out our SM will only be up one day (as it looks now) so i'm in charge!!! He's not happy about it, he loves Napowan. However, i'm the only constant there all week (and yes i'm fully trained, over trained actually ). Luckily his son is SPL, and very well organized. You have received alot of good ideas here! I would like to add that Napowan (actually Wis. state law) will not let you disperse meds. So you will have to check in with first aide to be sure everyone is taking what they need every so often, i usually give a reminder to the boys (individually, i do not annouce their names) in the morning, and then check with first aide after dinner. Some of these boys NEED their meds, and i'm not leaving it up to them that they take it (i don't want to deal with what happens if they don't!). I agree with BW (as usual), this should be fun for the boys! Yes, they pick what they would like to work on, and by mid-week that might change...that's life. Our troop does not allow boys in camp during the day unless they are working on a MB (like Environ. Sci.). There is just to much to do at camp for them to just be sitting around. I would suggest having a lost and found box! Boys leave things laying around all the time...it was a big problem last year. The tables seemed to become their bedroom floors! This year, we'll have a lost and found area, so if i see something that has been sitting around for awhile, i can just chuck it in the lost & found instead of always asking "who's towel (cup/shirt/book)is this?". Our SPL keeps track of the MB's the boys are working on, asks each one of them (usually after dinner) how things are going, if they started anything new since the day before etc. I really like this idea of the scouts checking in with him or visa versa, it goes along the "boy run" idea, so we take advantage of it when we can . We do NOT do hygiene checks, most of the boys are in the water everyday anyway. Now i know all the moms are going yuuuuuuck, that doesn't replace a shower! This is going to sound bad, but get over it, it's only a week, and you'll be lucky if he comes home with more than 2 pairs of dirty underwear! LOL But seriously, 2 years ago i was at summercamp where a mom kept yelling at her son "look how dirty you are, your taking a shower!" and mothered this kid for the 2 days she was there. When she left, the other boys had noticed this and commented on him being a mama's boy. Parents, please leave your parenting at home, let the leaders lead, and observe the camp and how it works. This is VERY hard to do, but it is the best thing you can do (or not do) at camp. JMHO, i'm sure some will disagree. Sparkie
  20. Sparkie

    Still can't swim

    Call it what you will, but it works for us. All first year scouts take swimming at summer camp, so it's usually not an issue. How are they supposed to learn to canoe with out canoeing? Hello...they earn the Canoeing MB! This is also earned at our summer camp, some boys want to earn it the same year they earn swimming, but we don't push them to do so. And this does NOT spoil anything for the boys. Short story as an example, last year the boys decided to do Flambeau after a week of summer camp. One of the scouts had the swimming MB, but NOT the canoeing MB. He was such a slug, never canoed before, and made the week long trip even more exhaustive. The other scouts (able to handle the requirements of canoeing) were not to happy to say the least. However, i can't blame the boys in this scenario, the adults failed. He was not physically able, or mentally prepared for this trip. Extremely harsh and cruel rule? i don't think so, it's a responsible and safety guided decision our troop has made.
  21. Sparkie

    Still can't swim

    Our troop requires scouts to have the Swimming MB for all aquatic activities. This was hard for my son since he only received his Swimming MB last year at summer camp (he's a bean pole-no fat on his body!). It took him 2 years to get it! But him and I both appreciated the need to have this guideline! There are many other valuable lessons (other than swimming) to be learned within the Swimming MB requirements. As i said above, i'm glad our troop has taken this responsibility a step further to require the Swimming MB for all aquatic activities. JMO Sparkie P.S. And if they want to go canoeing, you quessed it, they need the canoeing MB.....it makes perfect sence if you think about it.
  22. Sparkie

    BOR War Stories

    Our troops old scoutmaster was a rubberstamper, that was a year ago. About 6 months ago his son came with an Eagle project. It was denied because the benefitting orgn. was the same as his older brothers, and It was also very similar. His next project was also denied (it read like the gardening merit badge). We asked him to do something constructive, not just plant flowers in existing beds. Fortunately, his 3rd presentation went thru. I felt really bad for this scout. But when you sit on these meetings, you can begin to tell what ideas are the scouts, and which ones are the parents. On his 3d presentation, i could tell this project was coming from his heart. He answered all questions quickly and accurately, whereas there was confusion and uncertainty with the first two.(This message has been edited by Sparkie)
  23. Sparkie

    Is Organizing a Blood Drive an Eagle Project?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OGE, i used to think this was a wimpy Eagle project, but have since changed my view. After 9/11 a scout in our Troop was allowed to do a blood drive. It is my understanding that the emphasis of an Eagle project is to show leadership. The scout 1) contacted a local blood bank to draw the blood, 2) secured a location for the blood drive, 3) signed up 70 participants to donate blood (the minimum the orgn. required to do the drive, this included handing out flyers and getting the word out to the community), 4) solicited for pizza and pop to be donated for the workers. He may have also supplied the juice and cookies for the people who donated. Pulling this altogether for one day, i think showed leadership. I still think it's weak, but not as weak as i used to. SouthPoleScout, how is a bookdrive more substantial?
  24. Sparkie

    Summertime Award and Activities

    Welcome to the forums Clay! The Summertime Pack Award is for the whole pack. Here is a link from our council website, along with an application form. I think this will answer most of your questions regarding the award www.chicagobsa.org/forms/summertime_pack_award.pdf Sparkie
  25. Sparkie

    Why the rush with Tigers?

    jbroganjr, I don't have a vast knowledge regarding rules and regulations like others have on these boards. However, i can speak from 6 years of being a registered scouter, including 4 years as Cubmaster. In my opinion, the tigers are not being rushed, in fact, they have been waiting all year to join cubscouts! I turn down so many kindergartners during fall recruitment, at least it feels that way when your telling a little kid he can't join . I have already registered 5 Tiger cubs from our spring recruitment! Personally, i think it's a nice way to ease the kids and parents into scouting by allowing the parents get to know other parents and leaders in a more casual/fun setting. During the first days of school it gets so hectic, some parents don't want to deal with another thing... and i already have their interest in scouting. Of course, having a good program is essential (summertime or otherwise) our Museum Sleepover raises lots of interest . Technically, all the other ranks have moved up, why not the Tigers? They should be allowed to start working on their Tiger books for rank advancement too. Does it pump up membership numbers...SURE! but i view it as excitement in a childs face when i tell him he can join . Sparkie