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Everything posted by SSScout

  1. SSScout

    ? Webelos neckerchiefs (old vs new)

    Our Council just opened a new mega Cub Scout camp. The price for sodas in the machine in the Council store just changed from $1. to $1.25. (20 oz.) Is there a connection here?
  2. SSScout

    Whats you thoughts?

    Eaglebeader: You sound sensitive and sympathetic to your 'new adult ES'. If you know his past history, is it unreasonable to assume others are aware of it as well? I would not be so concerned with 'keeping an eye on HIM' as being sensitive to others reactions to him. How accepting or prejudicial are they? I tend to think NAES is very aware of others eyes on him. Any rumors or talk among the SCOUTS? Some times my son will keep me posted on things that 'don't sound right' to him among the troops and then I can bring it up in our adult committee meetings (or in the "parking lot committee" meeting). Make sure NAES is 'appreciated'. "by their fruits shall ye know them".
  3. SSScout

    Lake ideas

    Works at the pool: Try a "Steal the Bacon" variation amongst the 'swimmers'. Use a volley ball. Use personal topics instead of numbers("everyone who was born in January" " ... if you normally wear glasses" " If you have a sister who's a Girl Scout" etc. ). Use your magination for topics! YiS
  4. When B-P was asked about the Scout Motto, 'Be Prepared', he was asked "be prepared for what?" His reply was, " well, for any old thing". That great social commentator, Giles Murphy, observed that "If anything can go wrong, it will". We have since been given the Selective Law of Gravitation ("that will be dropped that will do the most damage") and The Parkinson Principle (" junk will be collected to fill the space available") and the Peter Principle (" an employee will rise in an organization to his level of incompetence, at which time he will no longer be promoted"). In light of Mr. Murphy, Scouts should be prepared to counter such predictive dictums as The Bicycling Law (" the wind is always in your face") and the Back Pack Rule (" the item you really really need is either at the bottom of the pack or on the kitchen table"). I would ask my Scouting friends, are there any more to add to the list? YiS
  5. SSScout

    Murphy was a Scout

    When playing poker/euchre/hearts/I doubt it/spades/cribbage the card most needed will be a substitute joker with grape jelly on the back.
  6. We must be doing something right if the folks that we "offically" seek to exclude seek to be included.
  7. How big was it? If it was a young one the colors might not be so proounnced. How many native USA snakes have a diamond pattern on its flanks? I think I must vote with AkelaT and scoutldr. There are diamondbacks on MD Eastern Shore, why not in DE? YiSafe S!.
  8. Lisabob and other Scout friends: I hear a familiar story here. Some personal experience, if you will. As a CM, I met a young man whose parents wanted a Cub Scout for a son, and he seemed to have a good time ,'up to a point'. His mom was very involved, his dad much less so. He was intellectually advanced for his age, and often fell back on making himself 'superior' to his fellows. At first,he exhibited a strange behavior: He refused to button any shirt but would wear the neckerchief. His mom allowed this. But when I finally came up one meeting and told him I wanted him to look good and proceeded to button his shirt, he let me and thereafter he always came with his shirt buttoned. He eventually dropped out, but not before he had earned Wolf. Is Scouting for every boy (or parent?) Evidently not, if our experience with recruiting of late is any evidence. I feel that any boy can benefit and have a good time in Scouting. Making that possibility available is the responsibility of parent, Scoutleader and peer Scout. Back when I was working on my Candle Dipping merit badge, my Troop recognized that the a new Scout's first trip out shouldn't necessarily be a 20 mile backpacking trip in the Adirondacks in January. Even tho the new Scouts (me) were inserted in the Patrols, there were 'easy' trips planned along with more 'advanced' activities. I've seen Troops use the "new patrol" method to good effect, I've also seen today's Troop use the 'old style' way. Mom seems to be aware of the situation. I also would ask, where's dad? Falling back to Cub Scouts? Not appropriate, not 'legally'allowed, not productive. I like the "buddy scout" idea alot. Graduated activities (Troop level and Patrol level)are important to educate and encouage new Scouts. Rank advancement is not the end all, be all of Scouts. I wish more Troops would see this. If a boy does not reach First Class in his first year, is not the end of his Scouting world. Even tho our goal is "Boy Run", us Scouters need to be proactive in encouraging beginners activities and training along with allowing the older Scouts rein in planning the bigger more challenging activities. If we make it impossible for new Scouts to 'keep up' in the initial hikes and camps, how can we expect them to do anything but drop out? YiS
  9. SSScout

    Creating a Merit Badge

    In my short time as a Scout and Scouter, I do not remember a 'Blank' Meritbadge, least in my Council. MBs go in and out of fashion. I have a friend that earned his Rabbit Husbandry MB. No longer in the catalog. A boy in my old Troop earned his Blacksmithing MB. Is that available anymore? At the National Jamboree I met a group that is lobbying Irving to create a Racing Pigeon MB. MBs are created (Computer Science) and laid down as the "market" requires. Other Scout associations around the world have really (to our eyes) foriegn and neat badges. Saudi Arabia has a "Camel Care" badge I saw exhibited once. Sometimes MBs are created by dividing (old Citizenship into the multi Citizenship MBs) or combining (Backpacking) to adjust things. I would, however, like to say that there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Irving is planning to combine the Cooking MB with the Pet Care MB. YiS
  10. SSScout

    Campfire Ashes Project

    I was attending the official opening of Camp W B Snyder near Mannassasn VA last Sat., and met a gentleman, SM of an Annandale Troop, name of Cortney. He was a Brit, hosted a nice display about Brownsea Island and Gilwell and B-P. We had a good conversation. He told me that there was no documentation about collecting ashes at Brownsea (he had several collected interviews with the original 20 or so "Scouts" at Brownsea), but there was good evidence, both from participants and B-P about his collecting campfire ashes for passing on to the next campfire, beginning at Gilwell. Good enough for me. As for the various "pedigrees", I guess I'll have to trust to the Scouts that passed them on to me, just as the folks that I pass them on to will trust me, I guess... "Think back if you will, to the first time our umpty ump ancestor found a tree that was struck by lightning..." YiS.
  11. SSScout

    Personal beliefs versus BSA policy

    "Follow the money". I believe that came from DEEP THROAT. "It's for the kids". Bob the Tomatoe said that. "Let's sell the 2 main Council camps and buy this bigger property for cheap, and consolidate our camps" Somebody said that 15 years ago... "Wow, I didn't know it was a 4 hour drive down to camp Q. Let's go to camp X in this other council. It's only 1 1/2 hours away." I said that... The question almost always seems to gravitate to deciding between: **Is the BSA Council a 'Business'? (A business must show a profit, and if it does, who benefits? Are there "stock holders?") ** Does the BSA Council have a 'Greater Purpose' that it was created to serve? (not just making widgets.)(would Habitat for Humanity really worry about monetary profit?) ** If there is a 'Greater Purpose", what assets are most useful to that end? Money in the bank? Well paid, well dressed executives? Can these 'Bosses' demonstrate their worth? Wooded Campsites close to the Clients? Equipment kept in good condition? What might it cost (in salaries) to replace any volunteer workers with "professional" workers? ** Are reputations or egos being challenged? Are egos more important than the 'Greater Purpose'? Or the "clients"? ** What is the REAL purpose of the Council Executive Staff, as defined by the above questions? Get the newspapers interested in helping to define the difference between the OFFICIAL 'Greater Purpose' and the REAL purpose of the governing board. "follow the money"...
  12. SSScout

    Personal beliefs versus BSA policy

    "Has anyone any direct experience with BSA retribution against a leader expressing disagreement in a rational and courtious way?" "Packsaddle gives us an example of a threat to revoke membership if a critical op-ed was published--is anyone aware of anything like that actually being done? It seems to me that it would be pretty bad PR for BSA to kick out somebody for disagreeing in an orderly fashion (it would violate the Scout Law)." I was cruising thru the "headlines " area a few weeks back and came upon the story from Bradenton Florida about the future of "Camp Flying Eagle" of the Southwest Florida Council. Seems the council is not really considering selling the camp BUT " we'll listen to serious offers" ummm... So the Volunteer Campmaster , B.J. "Red Dog" Maynard, age 77, a Scout for over 50 years, decided to protest this non-policy, and after going thru "official" channels, helped form a community activist group to lobby about zoning subjects, and ended up being president of the association. The association brought suit against the Council to prevent the sale of the camp (bequest considerations, wills, non-policies etc. complicate things). And so the Council ( a combination of two prior councils, another story there) has stated that Mr. Maynard must EITHER resign from the community group OR resign from Scouting, OR he will be removed from the rolls, the Council citing a perceived "conflict of interest" and "loyalty issues". Google ""B. J. "Red Dog" Maynard"" for lots more info... Is THIS retribution ummm?
  13. SSScout

    I should have said something

    Thoughts as they come... My mom grew up as a "flapper", one of the first "liberated" women. She was one of the first female Journalism degree earners from Boston U. And she smoked like a factory chimney. When I knew her, she had a 3 pack a day habit. Then, when I was, oh, maybe 7 or 8, she announced that she was quitting, got down to 3 cigs a day and then quit all together. She finally died at age 82. Might have lived even longer, the Dr. said, but her emphesema would not allow. News item: Tobacco company memoes reveal plan to add chemicals to tobbacco products to increase their addictive qualities. When the Europeans arrived in the New World, they met folks that used tobacco for ceremonial purposes, even spiritual purposes. They recognized that tobacco had an effect on the person. White man took that and ... Bob Newhart has a wonderful routine in which he is the Queen's agent in England, talking on the phone to Sir Walter Raleigh in Virginia, about this new activity: "It's called tobacco? uh huh. to- back- koe. It's a leaf? Okay, and what do you do with it? uh huh. Umm. What you do is you, you roll it into little cylinders and, and you stick them in your mouth , yeah, okay... and then you set fire to it??? Is that right? Walt, are you pulling my leg?" It's all down hill from there. "Some times a cigar is just a cigar" ...Sigmund Freud. Not a few years ago,I once met up with an acquaintance of mine who smoked like an old WW1 destroyer. Never saw him without a cig in his mouth. I asked him, "How'd you like to have an extra $100. a month?" he brightened up and said, "sure, how'd I do that?" I said, "quit smoking". I still remember the look of recognition on his face. Back then $100. was a LOT of money. He cut down soon after. When I was running track back in school, I trained with a senior who smoked (big man on campus, had to smoke..). When he trained for the season, he quit. After the season, took it up again. Never understood why the difference. He spoke of how he breathed easier with out the weed, but 'he enjoyed it'. Maybe you should have said something, but then, maybe you did...
  14. SSScout

    What I *didn't* say...

    Everytime I see or hear an episode like this (someone can't WAIT for our boys to make things/decisions/discussions HAPPEN....because I can do it faster/easier/more appropriately...) I am reminded of the classic routine by Bob and Ray, "The Slow Talkers of America". Find it, look it up, listen to it, learn from it! "...ofAMERICA!!" LoL YiS
  15. WELL!! Here I am,minding my own business, listening to my "classic rock" station as my son and I return from his Ice skating lesson today ( I want his cultural education to be complete), when the DJ, Shelby, announces that the lunchtime theme today is SCOUTING, from a request of a "Tiger Scout Pack", who had done some service project. People called in to suggest songs in line with "Scoutings Values" . HELP by the Beattles, CCRs "Run thru the Jungle" (Be Prepared), "Get Ready" (Be Prepared again), usw.. CELL PHONE TIME...AND when I called in to request Allan Sherman's "Camp Grenada...Hello mudda, Hello Fadda" (hey, Scouts go camping!!) THEY PUT ME ON THE AIR!! I reminded them that our Scout camps were NOTHING like Grenada!! I thanked Shelby for mentioning Scouting, and a good time was had by all, even the fellow that called in to say that the Scout motto was "trustworthyloyalhelpfulfriendlycouteouskindobedientthriftybravecleanandreverent" (he asked for something by the Eagles).(someone else called in to remind him that that was the LAW, the MOTTO was...) Even the woman who asked for Adam Ants "Goody Goody Two Shoes" had a good time. And the boy thought his old man was way cool... Thank you, WARW, 94.7 fm in Baltimore!!
  16. SSScout

    patch for memorizing the scout oath and law?

    Perhaps the parents need the patches...
  17. SSScout

    Campfire Ashes Project

    I have something of a reputation as a campfire story teller. I have a bit of a repertoire. But when I tell a story, my audience will KNOW if it is a bit of history (personally mine or otherwise) or if it is only allegory or example ("there once was an old indian chief..."). I was told the campfire ash story was a TRUE tradition. It had happened, was continuing to happen. I cannot pass on something as TRUE, as historically accurate ("B-P did this...") if it is not so. I do so BECAUSE a Scout told me it was true to him. The Coca Cola Santa Claus is NOT a historically true story, childhood dreams and St. Nickolas in Constantinople not withstanding. So, do I continue to tell the ash story as a wonderful example of a symbolic tradition (" Lord B-P knew that...") or as an allegory of something that sounds nice ("Lord B-P is said to have...")? A Scout is Trustworthy...
  18. SSScout

    Adult leader in a troop

    Thoughts... Ain't never been wet that I didn't get dry... At one exteme... I went to school in Indiana for many years, visited a lot of friends thruout the state there thruout the year , never saw a tornado. I have seen three in Maryland, been close enough to worry. Maryland is NOT a tornado alley state! Thunderstorms are exciting and dangerous. Those two words always go together, I think. Canoeing? E&D. Hiking the Appalachian trail in the winter? E&D. Rock climbing? White water rafting? Yep. E&D. Surf fishing? E&D, too. Skate boarding? oh yeah..E&D..Even swimming in the neighborhood pool CAN be E&D. Roller coaster riding? E&D...Watching TV? Depends on the show, yes? It can be exciting (which is why we watch) and dangerous (what is the show telling us about ourselves and our world?).Adventure is about stepping outside our comfort zone, however gingerly, One decides what to DO and does ones best to do it safely, mitigating the dangerous part. Life guards, safety helmets, planning, training, critical thinking, listening to them that have been there & done that. See again the GtSS. Camping in Thunderstorms? Well, hopefully not on PURPOSE. There are "tornado chasers", who seek the excitement but mitigate the danger as they study the storm. Scouts are not them. The desire for the excitement must give way to reasoned thinking, yes? Planning, study, proper equipment make our trips and adventures exciting AND as safe as possible. I would modify Frank Buck's motto: Scouts "bring'em back alive" by "being prepared" . I know your son will learn and grow in Scouting. He's there because it IS exciting, but only because alot of Scouts have been there and done that. Be confident his Scout leaders will "do their best" to "bring'em back alive". Always.
  19. SSScout

    Campfire Ashes Project

    I first heard the "Baden - Powell" Campfire ash story at a Parent Son Overnight. In all my Scout history, going back to the 60's, I had not heard of it before. I was very impressed,took hold of the 'tradition'. I eventually asked the man who had presented the story ( the discovery of fire, it's taming and use for good or ill, the fellowship and spiritual center imbued in a campfire, story telling, etc.) and asked him about the truth of it. He said that the men who had given the story to him had assured him of its truth. All good, loyal Scouts, the 'Man' lineage evidently going back 50 or 60 years... He gave me a looonngg pedegree, including Brownsea Island, national and world Jamborees, campfires in almost every state, 50 other countries, and a trip of some ashes to the moon with an Apollo Astronaut... And now I am told the story is a made up myth? So I am left with deciding 1) Does the story SOUND true? Is it credible? 2) Is it important to have DOCUMENTATION as to B-P's having actually started this chain of campfires? and 3) Can I BELIEVE the men who told the story to me? and 4) Is there VALUE in passing the story on to others (not just Scouts!)? 1) Yes, it SOUNDS true. It could have happened. It has the ring of B-P in it, from what I've read of him. 2) I do not have the actual DOCUMENTATION. I'm not sure I could do the research necessary. Others must give testimony to the yea or nea of it. 3) "A Scout is Trustworthy". If a Scout, ANY Scout, tells me something, I will believe him/her until I undeniably find out different. It is what our "program" is all about. Check the OLD Handbooks, and you will find words to the effect that should a Scout be found untrustworthy, he might be asked to turn over his Scout badge (see another thread about rescinding Scout membership or earned rank).Unadulterated truth, with or without an "oath". 4)It makes a real thought provoker. The passing on of tradition. The use of a commodity (FIRE!) in ways one might not ordinarily consider. Collection of a nondescript, otherwise worthless material (ashes and coals) as a remembrance of things and times gone by. A connection to the REALLY distant past. The story has been used (by me and as I've listened, by others) to link Scouts with Scouting's Past, with grandparents and their time, with the importance of passing on family, personal history, of the importance of LISTENING to the elders....( a link to the invention of cooking and barbecue comes to mind) So will I continue to tell this "story"? I think I will.
  20. SSScout

    Dad & Sons in the same tent

    Both systems(New Boy Patrol and Feed in to Old Patrols) can work well, with appropriate leadership/mentoring. In NBP,this can either be a whole new Patrol, where the boys go thru Scouting together, or they may be reassigned later to 'regular' Patrols. In the OP system, you can have a certain traditional culture exist that is very 'Scoutish' and positive. But the SM and ASMs need to be sensitive to the creation of cliques and mini tyrants (see Lord of the Flies) as the the newer boys are either welcomed in as equals or 'initiated' as 'plebes' or 'servants'. True story: A bike camp trip was planned. Being the resident bike expert (used to own a shop), a parent called and asked first if I would check over his son's bike. Sure, I said bring it over. Then he started asking about our plans. Where would we sleep? Camp grounds along the route were reserved. Who carries the gear? The boys carry the light stuff in bike packs, we had a 'sag wagon' for support. Well, what happens if it rains? The boys get wet. There was silence on the other end of the phone. Oh. Then we talked about the need for rain gear, which had already been discusssed at the planning sessions, but... Sometimes the parent needs to sleep with the boy, not the other way around. Independance has a price on both sides, I think.
  21. SSScout

    Very Short Scoutmaster Minutes.

    If the only tool you have is a hammer, then every job looks like a nail. Study, learn, practice, keep your eyes open, ask questions respectfully and give thanks for the answers politely. The more you know the more you can do well. Make sure there is more than one tool in your tool box. YiS
  22. SSScout

    The magic of Scouting

    True story. My good friend T. and I were the "Scout Craft" guys at the Cub Scout Day Camp. Since our theme was "Frontier Days" we had decided to use the Lewis and Clark expedition as a framework for the camp. Worked really well. Anyway, T. and I were the Scout Craft guys, and he had assumed the personna of a French Voyageur and used a cartoon french accent all thru camp, thus: "Zee naught iz held een yo' haund lika zis.. hau, hau ,hau...". Weeks later, we were in a grocery store and a small boy comes up to T. and smiles, and says "hau, hau, hau," and runs away giggling. That's the magic of Scouting. YiS
  23. SSScout

    Parent crossed the line, I quit the pack

    Boy, do I resonate with this one. As a CM for a small Pack (when I "retired" to follow my son into Scouts, one father SERIOUSLY offered to PAY me to stay on as CM), I found three main kinds of parents: the Scout parents (encourager), the my son right or wrong parent (and mostly I was wrong) and the take my son and I'll come back later parent ( I call this the "Soccer Syndrome"). I (and my wife, who was the CCh), did our best (where have I heard that before?) to work the program and had some small success. PWD was very popular, drew the most boys (used it as a recruiting tool at school) and did have some societal difficulties, but nothing like cajuncody describes. HOWEVER... I found that when a boy ( or parent) presented a problem we would try to present it generally, with a CM Minute at the Pack closing.("Once there was a boy..." or even an Aesop fable, where ever I found inspiration) Sometimes, the parent would come up later and ask, "were you speaking about me (or "Johnny?")"? And I would pray a little and then ask "do you think I was?" and perhaps we would have a friendly conversation. I never had a bad outcome, maybe a neutral one, sometimes a good one. As has been said in many other threads in this forum, we Scouters really have no business sticking our nose in the family dynamics (unless we see some evidence of real abuse. Another topic, another time), so our responsibility is to the Scout program. As an archery range safety officer, I have been chastised by a parent for being too strict and thanked heartily for being strict. I tell the boys at the beginning, the range rules are for their safety and my peace of mind. At the end of the week, I say that if I yelled at them, if I made them sit down and wait, if I insisted they follow the rules, it was because I loved them and wanted them to go home safe and unhurt, and come back next time to shoot some more arrows. As Bob the Tomato says, "it's for the kids". Cajuncody, it's for the kids, not the parents, yes? Listen to your principal. YiS.
  24. I find great agreement with all that has been said, especially VinceC and CA_scouter. I am reminded of a comment attributed to Harry Truman. Mr. Truman was asked how he got his daughter to be such a good pianist and he reportedly replied that he found out what SHE liked to do and then encouraged her to do it.
  25. SSScout

    Juding Unit Level Leaders

    As the Carny barker says, " Ya pays yer money and ya takes yer choice" All the above is true. In one of my past lives, I was a CM. I never had more fun in my life. When it came time for me to move on into Scouts with my son, I had a Cub parent approach me and ask "can I pay you to stay on as CM?" He was serious. We ( my dear wife was CCh) had a fair amount of support in keeping things Cubby. Parents went to the Leader Training. But ultimately, I could not get anyone to step up to be CM. Even tho the P/T income might have been nice,(!) I had to consider 1) how BSA would look on it 2)it was apparent that I would be ALONE. None of the other Cub parents would step up to be CM, or CCh, or Treasurer, or DL for the remaining 3 Dens. ( my dear wife was CCh and had agreed with me that without us, the Pack would dissolve. It did) 3) the dad that had promised to be Webelos DL took all the books and materials and we never heard from him again ( asuccessful contractor, his son was very active, and he watched me every meeting. Even took notes). Two Ws went to other Packs, the other 12 boys either went to other Packs or dropped out. Our DE tried hard to recruit at the schools we drew from, to no avail. In conversations with folks, it was apparent that many parents wanted the "Scout Experience" for their son, but ultimately were not willing to support it. As my DE and I agreed over some coffee one night, " all you can do is offer". In our community, one will often see exhibited what I call "the soccer syndrome", the parents are so used to giving their sons and daughters over to professionals, (or even authoritative volunteers-- the soccer coach), that they have lost the ability to take time to do for their son/daughter themselves. Let me drop off my kid and come back in 2 hours...