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Everything posted by SSScout

  1. SSScout

    Wood splitting tips

    In my experience with young lumberjacks, ie Totin' Chippers, the idea of a sharp axe is hard for them to conceive. They want it sharp NOW, not after an hour of handfiling. And the skill involved in aiming and chipping a V in a log takes some time to gain. Rarely do Scouts get that opportunity any more. The Scout Fieldbook of my day, William Hilcourt be thanked, gave fairly detailed instructions on how to fell a tree (bare chested Scout was the illustration). And as to actual splitting bolts? Wedge and sledge? The average 12, 13 year old Scout needs that experience but , again, rare it is in the urban world. Over swing your sledge and presto ! We have an opportunity to learn handle replacement. The "safe" way to split bolts is with the "shilleliegh " method, in which one Scout holds a long handled axe straight on the bolt, and the second Scout stands perpendicular to the axe handle and swings the old bowling pin or carved Persuader to hit the axe poll and drive it thru (!) the bolt. This does work, but it ultimately mushrooms the poll and loosens a wood handled axe by widening the eye. Thus, use only a cheap, disposable axe, if you identify one. I gave my Troop a cheap fiberglass/plastic handled axe for this.
  2. SSScout

    Wood splitting tips

    I agree, this video is not the best for a Scout activity, but a start of discussion. Here is my favorite video, courtesy the USDA Forestry Service: "An Axe To Grind" in two parts, note.
  3. Here in the NCAC, White Oak District, MBCounselors must be registered with the District MBDean, who lists them with the Council. Council has taken to checking MBC names and dates on Eagle Applications before the Scout may proceed to the Eagle BoR . There has been gnashing of teeth, to be Biblical, about this. The MBCounselor needs to fill out two pieces of paper : Adult Scouter Application, Merit Badge Counselor Application (which details which MBs and who the MBC will see, ?only Troop members or any Scout?) and take about an hour and a half of online training (This is Scouting, YPT, MBC training). All this is free, no fee required (unlike us Commishers and ASMs ). There is no requirement to be "expert" in the topic, be it Archery, Nuclear Science or Chess or Basketry, only a desire to BE a MBCounselor. Oh, and maybe a desire to be "Trustworthy". How a Scout teen at Summer Camp can "legally" fulfill these steps has always caused my head to be scratched in wonder. So , perhaps, the "activities accomplished" page is appropriate, unlike the "Partial " Blue Card I partially fill out during my bemused time as Bugling MBCounselor.
  4. SSScout

    Hair-Brained Idea du Jour...

    Not so far fetched. It all depends (as does so much in Scouting and/or kid's life) on the adults. As a Cub, way back in paleo scout times, our local Scout District (I guess) sponsored a Cub Scout softball league. Packs fielded teams, we got together on local park and school fields, and PLAYED BALL . I was a right fielder and first baseman. Learned to swing a bat. Earned a arrow point or two thereby, as I remember. My dad, and the other dads and moms, played coach and umpire and had a real reason to get out in the back yard and "interact" with their kid (me) tossing a ball back and forth, thereby developing hand-eye co-ordination and verbal language skills. Not all of which are repeatable in polite company.... This did not continue into Boy Scouting, but it was fun.
  5. We have another big thread about that program. I remember 106 years being mentioned. The problem is recruiting and convincing teens that "messing about in boats" is a worthwhile thing to do, along with soccer, wifi gaming, other sports, etc. etc.
  6. SSScout

    Teaching First Aid Stories

    Flying? When I was maybe 6(?) dad and I went on a 'guy" day out to the Frederick County Fair. I saw a helicopter land in the big field, and being crazy about airplanes, we went over to see it. I found out later it was a Bell H47G, with the big plexi glass cover for the pilot. For a price, you could go for a ride ! Dad and I strapped in, and man, I still remember that ride ! Unfortunately, my poor eyesight kept me away from a pilot's license, but aviation still became important to me...… Help that young aviatrix learn to fly the REAL way.... Lift, Thrust, Drag,,,, Gravity she already knows.
  7. SSScout

    Teaching First Aid Stories

    Again, the three words no Scoutmaster wants to hear: ""HEY ! WATCH THIS ! ""
  8. SSScout

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    My favorite resource in at least part of your discussion is "How To Shit In The Woods" by Kathleen Meyer. It can be had on eBay or Amazon….
  9. SSScout

    Gunpowder and the Golden Elixir

    trial and error. Mix sulfur and carbon and....
  10. Well, only from the original post's description. Sounds very familiar in many ways. Perhaps, but then neither does/did Mashmaster, but he must try to meet the Scout on his terms and deal with the problems the Scout creates. The "motivation" ultimately , I guess, does not matter, only the result , and the ScoutLeader/Teacher/Coach must deal with that result. Does the kid want to feel important, valued, successful, loved by his parents, happy, less sad/depressed,,,,, what is the Scout's "motivation? Does it matter? Only if the ScoutLeader/teacher/coach wants to reach that kid.... so some assumptions need to be made. What has "worked" in the past? What lever/pressure can the ScoutLeader/teacher/coach use to obtain better behavior from the kid? Yep. And yes, peer language education is always possible, depending on the kid's peers, who he chooses to hang out with and why... There's that motivation thingy again. Could the parents/family dynamics have anything to do with the problem? Kids are pulled in many directions by many "motivations". You are to be congratulated to recognize this and use that recognition to your benefit. Such honesty and personal admission is rare. Let me know when the election is, and I'd vote for you. of course. Assumptions are only good in real estate. But we must use the facts as presented in the original post. Did I use any of those facts wrongly? I used my own past experience, as did you , in your response to me. Perhaps some of your experience would, if you could speak to this Scout, benefit him. Good luck to you, mds3d, see you on the trail.
  11. Is he really? He is a manipulative brat who has learned to play his game his way. He gets a rise out of his fellow Scouts. He knows if he couches his story the right way (oh, he told the truth all right, his version) his parents will always come to his defense. He wants his parents' attention, no matter how he gets it. Language, topic? He learned it from the same people anyone learns language, dad, (mom?) Uncle, TV ( which the parents do not censor). He likes the sexy talk because it makes him feel grown up and superior to his "baby" fellow Scouts. He has learned how the "he=men" talk. Locker room talk will be his forte. I was once a sub teacher who accepted a Full Time assignment as a "Special Tutor" for Certain Kids. The Assistant Principal sat me down and explained that he had a few kids that had learned to play the system. Case #1: Cheryl was in 7th grade, a smart young lady, who was constantly acting up in class. Asst. Pr. calls a meeting of Cheryl, BOTH her parents, and ALL of her teachers, and me , the new guy. He read several official reports of her misbehavior, noted that it wasn't just one or even two teachers, but ALL SEVEN ! the parents could not deny their cherub's culpability. Chery sat there silently, said nothing. The Asst. Pr. noted that Cheryl would be in my charge for at least one class, we chose English. The parents sat there and silently fumed, starring at Cheryl, A.P. and me in turn. The other teachers gave stories in turn. The A.P then told the father HE had homework, for he was now the "homework checker". He had to sign every homework assignment, that the SpecialTutor(me) sent home. Three months into this, Cheryl was making all As and Bs in every class, and had been re-assigned back to her regular English class. By all means, make sure the parents of your Scout (BOTH OF THEM) attend any SMConference. Any SMConference, the bad ones and the good ones. You cannot modify the Rank Requirements, but you can insist on conditions for your SMConference(s). This is an excellent example of how Another Adult (teacher, sport coach, Scoutmaster? ) can have an effect on a kid. Make standards, hold the kid to them and Make The Consequences Stick. Oh, and ALWAYS have another adult Scouter with you whenever you speak to these people. YP 102. You want to be liked? Be likeable. You want help when your in trouble? Help somebody when they need it ("naw, I ain't going to do dishes...."). Need to be believed? Tel the truth in ALL things. You want your parents' attention and approbation? Give them GOOD reasons, and then you can learn it ain't your fault if they ignore you, it's their mistake. Be consistant. Be vigilant. Scout Promise, Scout Law.
  12. Way back when, to be a BOY Scout, one had to be a young male human. Depending on the favor of the sponsoring institution, his religion, skin color and ethnicity might be considered in that formula. If the kid was NOT a young male human to start with, they might go to the Girl Scouts for consideration. See above addendums for further consideration. Times have changed. Society has changed, some might say not all for the better. At least for the BS of A, if I interpret the rules correctly, the minimum requirement to be a Scout is to be a breathing young human. Period. For the Girl Scouts of the US of A, one must still admit to being a young female of the species., males need not apply. Color of skin? not a consideration in either organization. Religion of choice? Again, not a consideration except to the sponsoring institution. They can still say "you might want to go to another church/mosque/synagogue". Ethnicity? I hope not a consideration now, either officially or informally . Citizenship? Nope. I know a Troop that has an active young Scout whose family is Armenian, and they will be going home to Armenia in due course. The nascent Scout is strongly urged and asked to live his/her life according to a promise and set of rules. Us ole' timers try and provide opportunities for these future citizens to practice these rules in outdoorsy activities and other places. That's our job. Past mistakes? Yep. Learn from them? We can only hope. Help the victims injured by these mistakes? Absolutely. By so doing the BSA and GSUSA show their resolve to be the moral leaders they claim to be. Now, can we answer the original question? Yes and no. Not everyone can be a Scout or Scouter. Not every young person has that opportunity. I won't try to list all the possible obstacles and reasons. Not everyone can be an adult Scouter. Again, many reasons for not being one. BUT.... There is no modern reason why any breathing human being could not try to fulfill the vicissitudes of being a Scout. If they want to. The next question is. . . do WE want them to?
  13. Well let'ssee now... No, I think I'll start a new thread. I will name it, "Who can be a Scout?" No, maybe, "Who should be a Scout?" Ummm, no, maybe "Who do we want to be a Scout?" Maybe we need to agree on what IS a Scout? How us ole' timers try to pass on a little of our lore and learning?
  14. "Have you read the Merit Badge Pamphlet?" "No. Were we supposed to?" "Did you read thru the prerequisites? They were on the website when you registered." "They were where? Our {insert Scout Adult Leader here) signed us up." " Well, after the class, I can give you a partial, and we can schedule another session to check you out." "But I have this worksheet I filled out. I got it online! At the (insert website here), isn't that how you do it?" " No, it isn't. It is a way for YOU to study the subject, but look at this (hold out the MB pamphlet, open to the requirements), and here (open the BSA requirement book), and you tell me if you have fulfilled the requirements to (mention the hands on , do stuff, perform a skill) ? " Well. let's talk about (insert MB topic here). "
  15. SSScout

    Don't Widen The Plate

    I know we argue about Sports versus Scouting. I ran across this on another Scout Facebook page. It is long, but worthy of your reading. I attribute it to the name at the top. 'Nuf said... Brock Moore October 23 at 9:26 AM I promised myself years ago, every time I saw this I would re-post. Happens about twice a year. Rings true EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.... Here goes!!! Most people won't take the time to read this all the way to the end. I hope that you will. 17 INCHES" - you will not regret reading this An excellent article to read from beginning to end. Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA's convention. While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.” Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there. In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy? After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally … “You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.” Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer. “That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause. “Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach. “That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?” “Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident. “You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?” “Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison. “Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”............“Seventeen inches!” “RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues? “Seventeen inches!” “SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.'” Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? " The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!” Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?” Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.” “And the same is true with our government. Our so-called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.” I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path. “If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: "If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …” With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.” Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches." And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it! "Don't widen the plate."
  16. They forget one possibility: Asking the Scout "Do YOU think you have fulfilled the requirements?"
  17. SSScout

    After 40 years, Mike Lovitt is now a Scout

    Yep. NCAC< Camp Snyder, we know Stephanie Messenger. Scout Salute indeed. I always liked how Camp Snyder got established, the property was originally intended as a Disney attraction, the county thought better of that, a worthy area developer worked some water rights, wet lands swaps and voila, Camp William B. Snyder.... Note the full name, and the initials.... C double U B S...…. we have lots of events there...… y'all come by some time.
  18. SSScout

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    "Aye, it be more like a guide than rules...." Counsel the Scout, help him find a way to show his pride in accomplishment. Back ofMB sash? Red Jacshirt? Many Cub Scouts of my time had the same trouble showing off all the Arrow Points we earned. They were supposed to be sewn (!!) below the Wolf/Bear/Lion diamond, as appropriate, but that downline could go right down into a young Cubs pants.... We had a Scout in our Troop that sewed his own patches, was very proud of learning how . He earned a dozen Merit Badges, and sewed them on his sash, but did so as to hang them upside down over his RIGHT shoulder. He had some ADHD issues, and the rest of his uni was okay, so no one ever corrected him. His parents counseled not to correct him, so we didn't. He made Star before he dropped.
  19. SSScout

    Movies on a campout, a new essential?

    Well let's see now.... Plan ahead and prepare. yep. Who does what when. Gain agreement for desired result. Spread the load. But what if someone doesn't like the idea of carrying batteries? Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Yep. Seems okay here. Dispose of waste properly. yep. Carry out what they carried in, I'm sure. Leave what you find. Yep. Not an issue here. Not mentioned. Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire). Too small a space to have a campfire? The presumption is that they are cooking on backpacking stoves. Fire wood collection might be a consideration. But there is space enough to set up a theater ? Respect wildlife. Won't have any wildlife nearby with theater quality speakers at 100% volume, uh huh. Maybe if they show Over the Hedge? Be considerate of other visitors. Charge admission for the theater? Look for other campfires in the neighborhood.? Gray area to me.....
  20. I have much respect and appreciation for the experience and history represented hereon. Packs, Troops, Ships, Crews, Posts.... When the young future citizen joins your local Scout Unit, they (parents?) pay the fees and dues, and they receive.... what? Necker, book, decal for the car , cap, hearty handshake, WHAT exactly does the new recruit receive from your Unit initially?
  21. What, no "Pioneering" ? Lash, knot, poles, and voila ?
  22. Christian radio? Did they have that crazy guy on that claimed the folks without sin should be throwing the stones? I guess everybody needs a hobby. There is a Lutheran synod that instructs it's member churches to not charter BSA units because BSA is not purely Christian. The LDS church is forming their own "Scout like" youth organization so the mother church can have full control worldwide of it's activities. When B-P founded ("discovered") Scouting, the Church of England tried to adopt Scouting as a youth ministry. Tried. B-P successfully resisted that. Maybe the Catholic church should be "disbanded" because of the unfortunate actions (and inactions) of many of their priesthood and leadership. Maybe the Southern Baptist church should disband for the same reason. Public school athletic coaches? Disband the school? Waaaay back when, the same thing could be said about any of these other organizations. Sue the bastards. There are some old white guys who seem to think kids can become adults without passing thru adolecency (is that a word?) Adolesence ? Ah, you know what I'm trying to say. Without a certain amount of getting dirty, learning how to work together, learning what to do about that other sex, becoming independently confident, how to succeed to a goal, no young human gets to be adult. isn't that what Scouting is supposed to be about? And every so often, we come up with a pseudo-adult who has had their own young psyche injured and doesn't know how to deal with life except to hurt the next bunch of young folks that come along. I think I like the BSA's response as I understand it. Unlimited help for folks that have been hurt. Tighten up the controls and protections. Admit to mistakes. Make sure they can't happen again. Surely, that spirit of evil abroad in the world will find some more chinks in the armor, other cracks in the dam to allow such poor people to wreak their havoc. We just need to be that much more aware and diligent. "It's for the kids".
  23. Scoutson earned his 4H Diamond badge with Rabbit raising. Won some ribbons, county fair, state fair, mom and he went to a national convention and brought back some awards. He did, for sure, had some "rabbit connections" . On a Scout Skills weekend with his Troop, he offered, and his buds said yes, to bring some freshly butchered rabbit. They further cut 'em up, roasted them over the fire, and had a grand time. Sorry, the skins were already removed, but still, an education. Scoutmaster said "great". Rabbit is not a commercially raised meat in most parts of the country, FDA inspections being required for such, but if you know who to ask....
  24. Hard Merit Badges… led me to remember when certain skills were REQUIRED for rank (First Class in this case) that are now "merely" a Merit Badge, to think about those "old timey" skills (knife and axe? Fire building/safety? ropes and knots? Cooking? ) Once upon a time, SIGNALING was required in First class. Morse Code, semaphore, wig wag (Morse again), sun mirrors, Here ya go, which is faster, cleaner, more accurate? ::: www.rfcafe.com/miscellany/cool-videos/jay-leno-tonight-show-morse-code-text-message-sms-contest.htm I remember being at the beach with friends, and suddenly realizing that the lifeguards were using semaphore to TALK to each other! Subjects were varied, but ultimately predictable. Dumb tourists, break times, hottie chicks/bikinis (or lack of), wave patterns, is that a shark or dolphin??, beer appointments, lalala…. Knowledge is power, usage leads to facility.
  25. Winter camping. Oh, to Scout in Finland or Sweden. Build a sauna (!!) out of natural materials, use it and jump in the lake after....AND climb out and get dry and dress....