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Everything posted by SSScout

  1. "Aye, the Pirates Code...We been thinkin', it's more like 'guidelines' anyway... arrrgh!" So we install windows in all the church classroom doors... we hold SM conferences on the bench in the hallway and passerbyes just know to ignore them...we make it a point to never be in PRIVATE conversation with only ONE Scout... If the young Scout is having a nightmare in his tent, we make sure the tent flaps are wide open and we sit at the tent door to comfort him...most important, we show and discuss "It happened to me" and remind the parents to discuss the pamphlet that comes in the front of all Scout handbooks... and then we get back to the original topic... Question: If the "adjusting" of the "program" can be "good" or "bad", can anyone tell me about any "impaired" Scouts (pick an impairment: visual, wheelchair, mental/emotional, MD, Polio, etc.) who were awarded their Eagle and how the "program" was tweaked for them? Was this appropriate? or (shiver) wrong?
  2. Perhaps 'cops' is too strong a term. Sounds like a punisher. I watched the show 'Cops' last night in between new years music shows and steamed shrimp with the family ( good new years eve party, small and intimate, ya know?). One of the 'cops' said he saw his job as keeping the streets open and safe, and reminding people what they ought to do. Catching and punishing bad guys was the last thing he WANTED to do. Perhaps 'Program Uncle'? I kinda remember my uncle Melvin as a fellow who was just sort of there when I needed to be reminded about what I 'ought' to do. Isn't that the promise? "On my honor, I promise to do my best, to do what I ought to do..." YiS some more
  3. Update: I am a Scout Leader, hiker and work for the transit system. KOA in Harpers Ferry has a good rep. And Harpers Ferry is a National Park, and a neat historic place to visit. Ap Trail crosses the Potomac River there, the C&O Canal trail goes down to Washington DC (about 60 trail miles),there is an American Hosteling International Hostel nearby, too, in Sandy Hook MD. With a little planning, many "hiker-biker" campsites along the canal are available for use I Highly Recommend "184 Miles of Adventure - Hikers Guide to the C&O Canal" published by the Baltimore Area Council BSA and available from any local National Park Store or the local BSA Councils. It is AT LEAST an hour+quarter drive, from HF, down US340 to I270 to Shady Grove Metro station. More in 'peak' hours. Alternative adventure: Take MARC Rail (commuter train) from HF all the way to Union Station, Washington DC. But don't be late for the last train back! Tickets for this, check MARC Rail website? or buy your tickets on the train. No Checks! Unfortunately, the Metro is not designed for the tourist, although it is by far the best way to access our nation's capitol. Parking at SG Metro is getting more limited everyday, as it is at any Metro Station of late. Park all day $4.00, must have a special card ("Smartcard" ...see the website) to exit the garage. Check out the Metro website. Order your "daily" pass by mail, if you can, $6.50 will get you an all day pass, good after 9:30am, get on and off as often as you like, wherever you like, up to close time (midnite at least). Be warned:::: Metro has recently announced that due to its financial woes(!), all rates may increase this summer. There are four public transit services in the area, all fairly easy to use with alittle research. There are lots of easy to read (I think) maps available to offload from various websites: Metro is the "subway" and the transit bus system between MD and DC and VA. Ride On is the transit bus system only within Montgomery County,MD (adj to DC) MARC Rail is the MAryland Rail Corporation, commuter trains between WVA, DC, Baltimore. THE BUS is the Frederick County bus sytem, north of Montgomery County. There are other bus transit systems, connected but further afield, but I won't confuse you any more! Make sure every Scout has a timepiece and phone numbers to call when they get lost! Have fun, stay safe! YiS
  4. One learns a skill for one of three reasons: It is fun, I get rewarded when I am successful (or punished if I am not), or I see it is useful. Knowledge of ropes and knots can be fun, can make life easier, can even save lives. When you go camping or hiking, find (make) ways to use the knots. Lashings, setting up tents w/o "hardware", slings across creeks, packboards rather than big bag packframes, learn "turks head" necker slides,set up camp 'gizmos' and flagpoles. Speed games are good. Relays (one boy ties a knot, the next unties it on down the line), get some BIG caliper rope and try moving logs and other big things with properly applied rope. Find a "rigger" who works with cranes and high steel and see if he can lead your boys to an appreciation of ropes and harness, "block and tackle'. Yes, the trick knots are fun. Cast around in your Council for a magician who works with ropes. Perhaps a sailor, or Sea Scout. Any Venture(er)s out there that are into rock climbing and rappelling. Especially old style without so much "hardware". "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every job will look like a nail". Learn many knots and proper rope use. You might need the knowledge some day. The Square Knot is not the best choice in every situation. YiS "I'm tied up this weekend..."
  5. If the carpet is red, Spare ribs. If the carpet is beige, greenbean casserole If the carpet is light blue, hold the CoH at the local BBQ place. If the carpet is dark blue, hold the CoH at the local seafood place. If the carpet is white or light grey, go to another church. How impractical for a high traffic area!!
  6. We have an historic town nearby and on the anniversary of its founding ("Oldetown Days") part of the celebration is a "treasure" scavenger hunt type thing. Your family starts at the old train station, where a guide hands you a clue and town map. The clue leads you to the next spot (an historic house or other site. There are more than one trail.), where another guide gives you the next clue, and on you go. The each trail is about 2 hours or so to traverse, you get to see the town, the kids learn a little history and everyone gets a nice walk. This one is free.
  7. Man, what Beaver said. And eagle019 and nldscout, I hope you boys know each other. It's like the realestate broker said when he was asked why invest in realestate: "because God ain't making any more land!" Don't those yoyos understand? Once a Camp is gone, it's gone. You cannot recreate a camp someplace else. The money gained thru the sale of a Camp will never replace what has been lost. As a boy, I spent summers in a private Camp in Maine(anyone recognize the name Stanwood Cobb?), a Private Camp in VA., a Scout Camp on the Chesapeake Bay and a Camp run by my Troop on property owned by our SM's cousin's uncle's brother in law (something like that. What did I know?). The Troop property was saved to a religious retreat center (Scouts can still camp there), the Bay Camp (Roosevelt) became a nuclear power plant and State Park, the Camp in Maine (near Portland, on the ocean)is probably beachfront condos now. The VA Camp wrote to me (30 years later? How did they find my address?) to ask for help to prevent the camp from being developed into a vacation resort. I sent them some money because I remembered. Now there's a concept. The memories and lessons the Scout takes away from Camp remain. Years later, the memories and lessons remain. I believe we call that "program". I would hire Rennel in a minute to run the "program" Here's a man (and I've never met him) who knows about "program". He's lived it from the proverbial ground up. How many thousand of Scouts has he seen go thu Camp Teetonkah? And how have the Council Execs benefitted from his experience? Once a Camp is gone, it's gone. Without the property, there is no place for... the "program". The loss of THREE camps on the premise of reinforcing ONE Camp, does not allow for (dare I say it?) expansion! What would happen if (Praise the Lord!) Scouting became the pre-eminant youth program once again. Where to put all the eager young bodies? The "program" seeds need places to be sown if the crop of memories and lessons are to be reaped. And the Camp ground need never be left fallow. With proper tending, it is nevdr depletted. The crops of lessons learned and memories made are always ready to be gathered. I cannot take my boy to many of the places I camped. Most of them ain't the same. "Heritage" and "tradition" are also part of "program". When the property is gone, that part of "program" is lost forever. Here I must repeat part of my previous post. Find a sympathetic newspaper reporter. Follow the money. Make the Council Execs explain themselves in public forum. Contact the COs that (theoretically) elected the board. Hold the Execs feet to the fire (you do have your Fireman's Chit?) I am no longer too young to know. and too young to care. Now, I must care for my son's sake. Where do I send my donation to the legal fund? And which Newspaper will accept my letter? YiS sceptically
  8. Brentallen: Wowsers. How can one obtain a copy of your Powerpoint , and perhaps a recording of your commentary to share with our District? It is certainly a selling point about the world wide brotherhood all Scouts belong to. BB: I look forward to hearing of the success you have when you finish refining the findings of your trip/ticket. Nothing is worth saving if it is not worth sharing. YiS everywhere...
  9. I once had a supervisor (one of many. I work for a goverment agency) come to me and compliment me on a report I had just submitted. He said he always found my work complete, clear and such that unlike some others, he "never had to come back and ask more questions". I said thank you, and then in a fit of inspiration, I said "could you maybe put that in writing for me?" He was obviously taken aback by that request, but replied, "absolutely. You know, I should do that sort of thing more often. I'll address it to XYZ ( the department head). Let me know when you hear from him?" I thanked him again. About a month later, I hadn't heard from XYZs office, so I called a friend in her office. No, they hadn't seen the compliment. So I checked back with the original super, and he said, "mmm, I sent that up the day after I spoke to you. Let me check". Turned out a jealous colleague had held the compliment and so XYZ would never see it. The first super good naturedly sent a copy directly to XYZs office, rather than "via" the other colleague. I received my official "attaboy". BB: 1) Reread the sentence you quoted sending to your TG. Does it sound respectful (never mind the request itself) and grateful for the opportunity, or does it sound like you attach any value to the award? 2) What Lisabob said. 3) Everyone wants to be "appreciated", even secretly. Even tho your comments here have raised hackles, you have accomplished your purpose in getting folks to think about what to some Scouters is the unthinkable: that maybe, MAYBE, somethings in Scouting need attention. They may not agree with you in everything that needs attention(Lord knows, I don't), but I do agree that Scouting as a movement needs to be thought over and fingers can be pointed. THEREFORE I would ask you, WHY do you NOT (seemingly) want to be appreciated? Having your award "MAILED" to you really leads to all sorts of questions none of which have anything to do with Scouting and everything to do with BB hisself. 4) Try not to concurrently try to be successful and then poo poo that success (gorsh, ain't I humble). Help others to be successful. Your 'sky is falling' attitude is useful only if you know how to patch the ceiling plaster, and the congregation wants you to do the patching. I'm signed up to take WB this spring. I've been aske why I didn't put in for it sooner. I've been asked when I DID take it (compliment there). I look forward for the challenge of it. I almost dread accepting the challenge of it. was your WB REALLY that bad? YiS, because.
  10. Let me see now. What have I learned in this discussion. A racial epithet is considered offending if used by someone who is NOT a member of the racial group that the epithet defames. But if it is used by a member of the group towards another member of the group, it is okay (snicker snicker). Maybe. A joke is better if it is NOT an historical anecdote (ie, a transcriptionn of a real incident). A joke is better if it is totally fictional. Well, maybe if folks are honest about the origin of the story, then many iterations down the road (remember the game "telegraph"?) it can still be a joke, and not an insult. If the joke/insult/offending epithet/satire is about MY group or me, I should shrug my shoulders and move on. Hope I always have strong shoulders. The context of the telling is of no import. Oh, yeah? Yer mother wears army boots! (mmm, some do. wait a minute...) * * * Let's ask an American Aborigini (native American? Pick a nation) about the following terms: squaw. Redskin. Injun. #1... The original posted "incident" never happened, historically. It is/was a made up joke, and as many jokes utilize, this one utilized the foibles of several well recognized groups to launch it's humor. #2... Once upon a time, I was a real gung ho Scout. And a fan of Mad Magazine. OOOO, the angst I felt when once I spied the latest issue on the drugstore rack, and it had a copy of the Boy Scout Handbook on it's cover with Alfred E. as the Scout striding along. HOW DARE THEY!!! Well, they dared very well. I learned that even sacred stuff like Scouting can be grist for the satire mill. Context is everything. But there's humor and then there's... #3... Context is everything. Catholic priests, Army generals (thank you Bill Mauldin), Quaker elders, Scoutmasters that can laugh at them selves will find themselves better respected and even liked. But there is Humor and then there is Insult, and the divider is often a little blurry and not often straight. Sometimes best to err on the side of NOT offending, and missing the questionable laugh. Consider your context, in the telling AND in the listening... YiS until...
  12. See if this story rings a bell... This past four years, I have been the Archery Range Safety Officer (no shoulder patch, but plenty of recognition) for our District Cub Day Camp. Five days of alternating fun, panic and great satisfaction. Every Cub earns a bead a day for his Totem for being there and shooting the arrows( not to mention the belt loop). One of the things we do is award a Special Bead for the Cubs Totem if he makes a Bulls Eye. I make the award of the bead at the closing ceremony each day, calling the boy forward, and the Cub signs my Bull Book. When we are explaining and training about safety and technique, I make a point to explain EXACTLY what a Bulls Eye is. The arrow must STICK in the target in the inner circle. The line counts. If it bounces off in the circle, someone else must testify that they saw it hit in the Bull area. I never fail to have to explain to some boys that THAT area is not a Bull, and sometimes I have to dissapoint and sometimes I give the benefit of the doubt to the boy. But I can never, in good conscience, award a Special Bead if they didn't put the Arrow in the Bull. Perhaps you could talk to your fiend in that vein. Oh, By the Way, Why did the Cub Scout Cross the Road? To get to the Archery Range!! KiSMiF
  13. Howdy, Scouting EMT: If you are a "volunteered" ASM, how's the SM? What's your relationship with her/him? You're right to go slow, as the new ASM on the block, and feel out the history and the philosophy of the Troop. There's a thread about using positive reinforcement (behavior mod) in such situations. Talk to the Committee and the SM, both in and out of the room, about their feeling here. What you do is reward with a piece of candy ,quietly, the Scout who is uniformed. Pretty soon, it will get around, and you'll need more candy, at least that is what was reported. Perhaps the fun and games before or after the meeting leads to not wanting to wear the best uniform. Rugby, broom hockey, touch football? Keep us informed.
  14. Haven't we heard about similar things in... Florida? Chicago...? Oh Semper, you are good... V/O: (1)Make sure your brother saves all his documentation. Wrongful termination is a sue able offense. Does he have his Job Evaluations (assuming). Around here, in the DC area, I know a couple of union labor relation lawyers that would fairly salivate over such a case. 21 years and then let go like that? Not even a "Thank You BBQ Dinner?" If they even sort of kind of put another person in a similar position of similar responsibility after they have fired your brother... (2) Have your bro think back... has he made any enemies of late in the Council world? Pointed out problems someone should have fixed? Helped a Scout along the way when someone else said not to? (3) Call your local newspaper. There is an eager newshound out there lookin' for a chance to embarrass someone important. The Scout Exec that signed off on this does NOT want to be that person, because.... (4) "Follow the Money" . This may only be the start of something bigger. Is the Camp in the way of some "OTHER" project? Who else has seen the "notice pinned to the door" of late. Are you on good terms with the Camp Manager? What does he/she say? (5) Do you have any entre into the Council Meeting? Any Allies there? Might want to notify them too. (7) Please realise that this forum has NO official imprimatur. We ain't National. I might hope, however, that someone here might know someone who knows someone. IMHO, I don't think National would dein to intervene in something so CLEARLY local. ,But a letter to our new National President, good ole was his name (?something about ice cream, I seem to remember...) certainly couldn't hurt. Oh yes, Tell you brother, Merry Christmas from the REST of the Scout world. And keep us informed. YiS despite...
  15. Oh My Goodness... Such a compliment... "All the other parents were in favor of it" That is compliment indeed. I would certainly say thank you to those Parents for their vote of confidence. Then... They must realize that being a successful DL is a full time job. Have you made the other parents aware that if you take on DL, one of them (?a couple of them?) need to take up the reins you put down? Oh, I did enjoy my Cub Leader years. What I did not enjoy was the number of parents that told me "wow, you're really good at that (DL, CM, WDL, Event planner, etc), I could never do that" and so they didn't. Often, no amount of encouragement, or training opportunities or exampling would convince them. Often, the only way to get more parent involvment was to ask and ask and then back away and let the boys risk disappointment. Then, the "I could never do that" folks found out, yes they could. So, KiSMiF
  16. I would send everybody (email?) some pictures of all the happy Scouts at the campout. Let the "lastminutemen" make their own conclusions.
  17. I had the pleasure of marching in a Big Ten University Band. Esprit de Corps? oooo my yes. Look sharp? Grades dependant not only on musicianship but uniform inspection. AND the seniors (I became one) would let you know if your 'look' wasn't. Fun and Games? More than our share. We often felt we had earned the right, but never to the detriment of our reputation or image... Military? Goo'ness no. We were disciplined, sounded good, looked good, and represented the school in all types of situations. But the marching was for fun. (Whistling Colonel Boogie while about 50 of us "sauntered " in unison (march?) thru Notre Dame student union?) The music was because we loved music. And the Cheers were because we could, with almost impunity. WE WERE THE BAND! Can a Scout Troop attain the same sense of 'belonging'? I dearly wish I could convince our Scouts of the possibility. The Scouts we have in our Troop are of two types: more Scouty and less Scouty. The first wears the uniform, the second not so much. The older Scouts (of both types) seem to be not in the business of encouraging good uni wear. Some seek to not wear Scout pants (blue jeans) or hats (4H caps?)) or belt (pants low on the hips, loose, ya know?). Some seek to wear the necker, the hat, the trou as Scouty as possible. I have bit my lip more than once to keep from mentioning some egregious uni affectations. So far, I have limited myself to (1) reminding color guard to tuck in shirts (Scout shirts into jeans) and (2) reminding own son that if he would be a Scout, should he not look like a Scout? I find one thing especially troublesome. Sometime in the past, before my entre as an adult Scouter, the PLC had voted permission to Life and above Scouts to attend ordinary Scout occasions (ie, Troop meetings) in the red "activity" shirt. I've mentioned this to the TC, but they all say "that's a PLC decision". So, it was not unusual to see the SPL and his ASPLs and scribe etc., seated at the head table all in red. The latest SPL is an Eagle of the Scouty type. I have hopes to see some new attitude. We shall see.
  18. " Twas brillig and the slithy toves... ...and the mome raths outgrabe!" I do love classic literature. Especially when it fits! Seriously, One's proper name is always appropriate. Preciseness of language is something my son and I always seem to discuss ("well, you know what I mean!" "Maybe, but the next fellow might not.") What kind of apple? they all taste different. All make good pies, but some make'm better! YiS because(This message has been edited by SSScout)
  19. "....the hieght of a buffalo..." Thank you for reminding me of a Scout Leader of umpteen years ago. But he measured grizzly bears in his advice... Still a good thought thumper. YiS yet,,,
  20. Petard, Petard... Why would anyone want to be lifted up by a Starship Commander?
  21. At Jamboree, one of my tentmates had 5 (five) seperate uniforms that he wore in rotation, one dating back to his Scout days, and he was rather proud of the fact that he could still (barely) wear it. Each was correct from its period, each was similar to the others, each was a Scout uniform. He had updated each with the particular adult office he might hold, except the Scout one didn't have any epaulettes. I don't know of anyone who would have challenged him for the appropriateness (or lack of) of any of them.
  22. What they said. Be careful you don't do too much, even if you are able. Please get with your Committee Chair and CM and talk about who will call on whom to ask them to take on a couple of these responsibilities. Reasons: **Personal burnout. Already addressed. Which often leads to... **Personal life neglect. Scouting is a noble calling, but be aware of the needs of your own family and career and psyche. **Training up the next generation. If you are the only capable Cubber in the Pack, who's there to take over when you 'graduate'? How do you 'pass on' the corporate memory? Get others involved so as to avoid... **Jealousy. "Oh, I could never be as good as dsantos". Why should they try? Don't become "THE PACK PERSON" even if you could. Encourage and Ask. Many are willing, They will help, but not until They are asked. **Exampling. All that being said, one good example can lead and suggest the possibility. But several average efforts can suggest to others "well, if she can't do it, how could little ole me make a difference?" Meantime, KiSMiF...
  23. "Why, daddy?" Now, who, as a parent, hasn't heard that plaint? (okay, maybe mom) And can we not expect that our response to it will color the childs expectations to every next inquiry? Now, which 'follower' would most leaders want: the unquestioning sycophant or the well informed willing person that wants to do what is required and right? By questioning, we make sure our 'leaders' really are considering what they are about. And this goes on up the 'Chain of Command' all the way to the top. (look under 'prayer'). I was called to a meeting at work. We were to be informed about a new, multi-million dollar radio communication system that was to be installed soon. The staff listened politely to the contractor's presentation. One of us asked a "what if" question (I remember thinking 'well, yeah, that could happen...'). The contractors looked at each other and said "well,gee, no one ever thought of that before". The bosses went ahead with the installation. The problem that was asked about was never addressed, and comes up on a regular basis. Should the question have never been asked? A lot of 'we told you so' comes up still. Most of the bosses involved in the installation have 'moved on', but the corporate "why Daddy?" was resented by the corporate daddies, and the result is a resentful staff and a radio system that is not what it could have been. So this Qing of A goes both ways. The Questioners must be respectful, but insistant. The Questioned must be understanding and accepting and provide good answers. The success of both Qs will be increased thereby. YiS
  24. Phelps deserves the same consideration as any human, mistaken or not in his beliefs and actions. Do we have his address, so we may write him and remind him of the Sermon on the Mount and the sacrifice of it's author, which friend Phelps seems to have forgotten. It does little more than bruise our backs as we slap each other congratulating ourselves for our groups righteous indignation.
  25. Dear Cluttered. dear Cluttered, "You have no complaint You are what your are and you aint what you aint So listen up buster, and listen up good Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood" (thank you, John Prine) Get your gal involved in Scouts, and see how neat HER household becomes. See what HER priorities are/become. Better yet, buy her a sleeping bag and pack frame for Christmas and see what her reaction is... "With the #3 dinner you get the egg roll. No substitutions" YiS (This message has been edited by SSScout)
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