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Everything posted by SSScout

  1. SSScout

    "Serious" campfire skits/songs?

    Here is one for your story teller. Do not forget the "gestures".... https://www.dropbox.com/s/payrxfpcrx3khqo/skitoldchief.docx?dl=0
  2. SSScout

    "Serious" campfire skits/songs?

    Calion, your point is well taken. What might be sought is a good story teller. A Scout Aesop, or Chief Longinthetooth (as he was known back when). Or even Mr. Scouter. Many the time, we heard a story recited from a Native American background, or the Campfire Ash Tradition, told from a history/ecology/memory perspective. Ernest Thompson Seton recorded many "stories with a moral" that are written long, but can be shortened by a talented story teller. Anansi the trickster of west Africa makes a good moral lesson story. Look to your library for these. A Scouter walking before a campfire, telling a story well, pointing and challenging the Scouts, can be the cap to a otherwise "just another funny campfire". Robert Service wrote poem/stories for just this purpose.
  3. SSScout

    Unit Money Earning Application

    "It depends". Popcorn, campcards are already "approved" by the BSA and your Council. You sell them, you (and the Council) make money. The Fund Raising Approval Form is intended to make sure you are not stepping on any legal toes. It does not depend on BSA branding per se, but on other possibilities. Your Unit can do what they think best , but by doing the FRA form, you can get the official imprimatur that your idea is good to go. The back of the form lists some good things to check: No gambling, no raffles, value gained for money given, no soliciting donations, that sort of thing. "A Scout is thrifty. He earns his way...." Another consideration is always that , when your unit does a "private" fund raiser, the Council makes no money. This is a consideration, this is why Council works with the big corps for their charity, helps prevent camps being sold, etc. So, car wash, pancake breakfast, mulch sale, Holiday décor sale, yard raking, flag installation and retrieval, spaghetti super, what will it be ?
  4. Yep. Accuracy in reporting.... "First lady Melania Trump went rafting with Scouts, forth Graders who were not Scouts, several Secret Service agents, numerous media types, a few river guides and various incredulous tourists....."
  5. SSScout

    Teaching basic overnight camp comfort - Suggestions?

    Ahhh the vagaries of human perception. Once upon a time, this Scouter in his pre Scouter time, was a freshman Marching Band member in Purdue University . In 19 and 66, Purdue had the privilege of attending the Rose Bowl football classic by dint of Ohio State having come in 1st in the Big Ten for the second year in a row, so the second place Boilermakers got the invite. Long story short, The Marching Band had a World Class half timeshow to plan and provide. So we did. After visiting home(s) for Christmas, we gathered in the Chicago Train Station to board the last of the UP Super Chiefs ( a chartered train !) , we left Chicago the 26th of December with 2 feet of snow on the ground (at least!) and 15 degrees F. Pretty normal, we thought, for Chicago in December. We arrived in California, set up camp in the USC dorms, and fell out to the field to practice our tunes . We wore t-shirts and shorts, and were surprised to see our audience wearing heavy coats, gloves and scarves. They were experiencing a "cold snap" according to the radio. 60 degrees. A cold snap. Ah me.
  6. Well, of course the modern kid needs instruction in Schmartphone operation. Right. What is needed is the simple adventure of the old Greenbar Bill stuff. When the nascent First Class can't tie a good bowline, but still wants to go camping (with no signal?) , one can grow melancholy about the old Boys' Life mags that showed how to make a tent stake or even sew a home made tent. Last time I camped with my old Troop, it was cold at 6am, and nobody but me was out priming the stove for boiling some water. Us adults had a warm oatmeal and egg breakfast while the Scouts tried to remember who signed up (or was assigned?) to get breakfast ready. "Mr. SSScout, how did you get breakfast ready so fast?" Well, I was the Breakfast fellow. Who had your duty?
  7. SSScout

    Parking cars as fundraiser. over $25K (NE)

    There was a local Troop, worked for the County Fair. I do not know all of the financial arrangements, but for the week of the fair, they directed parking lot traffic, collected tickets, delivered ice, watched the intersections (they had Fair radios) . Last year (this past summer) they were told they could not do this any more, and so that was the last Scout sponsored activity at the fair. Another situation, which I have mentioned here before, a local Troop (LDS, actually) made arrangements with a local Museum that holds a LARGE annual festival fund raising for the Museum. They directed cars in the Parking lot, and put out abucket with attached sign asking (!) for donations in return for their directing... When I mentioned this to the SM as perhaps against BSA policy about fundraising, he basically hemmed and hawed. I mentioned it to the DE, who also hemmed and hawed. When I mentioned this to the Museum, perhaps the Museum would pay the Troop directly for their efforts, thus they would "earn" the funds rather than asking for "donations", I was reminded this was a fund raiser. On the other hand, they were paying the local Council a fee for use of the Mobile Climbing Wall that other Scouts were staffing for free (and SSL hours). It gets complicated, don't it?
  8. Many kids avoid reading . Many, not all by any means, assume things. I watched a young lady who was working in our Meeting kitchen during a PotLuck. She wanted to plug in an appliance and could not get it to work. There was a sign , very clearly stuck over the outlet reading "Broken, Not Working". An adult pointed this out to her, she looked at it for maybe five seconds and said "oh", pulled the plug and used a different outlet. Another time, when I was a sub teacher, I think 7th grade English, I printed the instructions on the White Board in 6 inch letters, and told the class, "Here is what your regular teacher left for you to do. If you have any questions, raise your hand, I'll come by and help." One of the kids actually asked, "what are we supposed to do?" Not wanting to overly insult anyone, I went to him and asked what he didn't understand. He said, "Miss Smith always tells us what to do, we never have to read it". So I read it to them. I do not think it was a vision problem. Scouts: MeritBadge Book? Nope. Give me the Worksheet. HandBook? Show me, I shouldn't HAVE to read about it and figure it out myself. Sic semper Gloria.
  9. SSScout

    Troop Bottle Drop Theft Solution? (NY)

    Interesting. A location that still has a "deposit" on bottles. Our county has universal recycling, so all bottles, cans, etc. get picked up at the curb. Back in pre history, back in the days of "Paper Drives" and no official recycling I was "the dad with the pick up truck" for my daughter's school. They collected aluminum cans for recycling at the metal yard. I remember packing crushed AL cans into big plastic trash bags for week or two, and then packing them into my truck (which had a cap top) and sometimes I would have as much as two tons of cans ! Down on the springs! Might bring back $30 or $40. depending on the market..... On to the teacher's fund....
  10. Oh. I like that definition. I will use that.
  11. SSScout

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    Waaay back when. I was a Scout. The Troop was very active, and concerned mostly with outdoor adventure. Our Necker had a big patch on it that read "Always On The Go". The older Scouts went to Philmont every year with tarp tents that they made themselves ! The Patrols were mixed age, encouraged to go on hikes and do things as a Patrol. The Troop went campouting once a month regardless of expected weather. That was my introduction to Scouting. I made a plastic tarp tent, and learned from the older Scouts and Scout adults and The Handbook For Boys how to keep body and soul together on hikes and campouts. The Troop even held their own Summer Camp several years on a private property, built a log cabin three sided shelter for the Quartermaster…. The difference was, on hindsight, the fathers many of whom were war veterans of Korea and WW2 even. They wanted their kids to be self sufficient. Even the Scouts from more urban areas I met were more into (onto?) outdoor going places doing things. "Things have changed". Then a new kid joined the Troop. He announced (!) that he would be an Eagle Scout in less than 3 years, he had "done the math" (back then, you were required to BE in a rank for a certain time before advancing). WELL... us older Scouts (by then I was an "older Scout") suddenly realized, THAT might mean this new kid could be the first Eagle in the Troop! (Troop at that point was only 8 years old ! ) So we talked and conspired. How do you earn Merit Badges? Counselor? We had only earned such things at Summer Camp. Okay, the Council had the Merit Badge Counselor list. Phone calls. Parents taking Scouts to visit men we didn't know. I visited a retired NACA engineer, he was one of only two Aviation MBCs, in Virginia to earn the Aviation MB. So. The "new kid" came to be a pretty good Scout, but he was, ultimately, the THIRD Eagle Scout in our Troop. Point being, that , back then, A Scout had to WANT the Merit Badge. There were no "Merit Badge Days", no MBColleges. The MBCounselors were few and far between. If " A Scout Is Trustworthy", and the requirements for the MB are held to the standard, I have no problem with that. The previous story about the Leather Working MB is, I fear, typical. In like manner, the MBCounselor has to WANT the Scout to meet the requirements. It is, I think, a good thing that Life Saving MB cannot be done at the usual MBCollege. The idea of "Participation" awards are typical. Many kids nowadays (and their parents ?) expect to "show up and get the patch". Once, when I staffed the Cub Scout Day Camp Scout Skills pavilion, the Camp Director said, "and of course the Cubs will learn these eight knots and pass their rank...." I replied certainly not. In a 50minute session, they will be lucky to learn rope safety, handling and MAYBE 4 knots, learn them and be able to tie them when needed! The CSDC Director was AGHAST ! Not pass all the requirements? I said "it depends".... and we left it at that. When she passed me the "activities done and requirements passed " sheet at the end of camp, I again had to say, no, they did NOT learn these knots, don't say they did. "but the parents expect... ? " Doesn't matter, here is what actually happened.... The activity sheet was corrected at least for my station. That year. To be a part of the system, one must insist that the standards be met. There's that bothersome idea again, is a First Class Scout from fifty years ago the same as a First Class Scout of today? Yes and no. My First Class badge included Morse Code , Scoutson (Eagle 2010) and I discussed this. Other things have changed. But part of Scouting has to be the ability to "be prepared" to do things the OLD way when the MODERN way doesn't work. Gas stoves? Wood fires? Wig Wag ? Dead battery cell phone? Walk or ride? Sew on patches? Glue on Velcro? Soap and water? Alcohol sanitizer? Sunscreen? Long sleeve shirts? "it depends"..... See you on the trail.
  12. Now, let's not say no yet. A HOA can be very interesting. Let's assume the Scout's home is in this association. It is a "public" meeting, altho a limited public, I should think. Things need to be decided, bills paid, problems solved, neighbors need to work together.... Might not be as large as a County Council meeting, but hey, this is what democracy is about. HOA I would hope includes all the HO invited, not just the (?) trustees or commissioners or what ever you might call the leadership. Ask the Scout about what he saw/heard. How were things run, decided.... Did he notice any "tendencies"? How did it compare with how his family makes decisions? His Troop? Does the PLC operate similarly? My Scoutson attended the local neighboring Town Council Meeting. Three Commissioners and a dozen citizens. I remember he reported some hearty back and forth, but civil discussion about a new by-pass being planned by the state. Next, the Scout might want to view some videos about the Nuremburg trials.....
  13. GOING OUTSIDE . . . is not a game or a program, not a device or an app, not a protocol or an operating system. Instead, it’s a comprehensive experiential mode that lets you perceive and do things firsthand, without any intervening media or technology. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/03/28/just-in-time-for-spring
  14. SSScout

    Completed MB?

    A conversation with the MBCollege/weekend folks would seem to be in order. You spoke to the Scout. Did he seem to think he had "met" the requirements? A Scout is Trustworthy. The parent is correct (is he a lawyer?) , and so the MB is "passed". But perhaps you and the Scout know the truth of the matter. As a MBC for Bugling, I am no longer surprised , only disappointed, by the number of Scouts who will come to the MBCollege with a new Bugle (or no instrument) still in it's wrapper with obvious expectation they will "learn" and "earn" the Merit Badge in one three hour session. Did you read the Pre-requisite page on the sign up page? er, yea.... Did you read thru the MBBook? I've got the worksheet here.... But did you read thru the Book? Did you read the requirements ? Out of ten Scouts, average, one will be prepared (there's that annoying phrase again) . one will be able to pass the requirements the first meeting. Another two will call me up and make another appointment and play the calls (it is a PERFORMING requirement Merit Badge) after some practice. The rest can't even make a noise with their horn. *sigh*. So I make a few "Partials" that never call me back. What happens with them, I never know.
  15. SSScout

    Got acronyms?

  16. SSScout

    navigation and piloting

    I would start here: http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Orienteering The resources at the bottom of the page include teaching materials. When we teach the Map and Compass requirements for 2nd and 1st class in IOLS, we use a standard USC&GS topo map of our area, and a compass course that basically leads the student out from a starting point, thru three compass turns to a known ending point. With some intention, one can do any number of turns and end up (surprise ! ) back at your start point. This can be done in a field or open woods of about two or three acres. When I was a Scout, my Troop would stretch a rope thru the woods, exactly north and south (or east - west) marked off every twenty feet (A, B, C, etc.) with a 3x5 card taped on. You drew a card out of a bag with compass bearings and distances listed. Some trigonometry student had worked the angles on graph paper so that by starting at card "G" and taking bearings and sighting your line of travel, and pacing off that distance (how many paces to a hundred yards? Or should we do meters?) , and then taking the next bearing, and so on.... you ended up at … what next letter? Hopefully, you measured and sighted correctly. If you ended at the wrong letter, your instructor helped you understand your error, and gave you a NEW direction card.. Try again. GPS, Schmarty phone, that's another thing.... Do not try either thing close to a gigavolt power line !
  17. SSScout

    Safety Rules, Population Growth

    Our Meeting's Graveyard dates back to 1754. The earliest graves have no stones, as the early Friends considered headstones with names and dates as "vain displays". But the simple markers from about 1820, are illuminating. One of our members did a study of the age at death vs the chronological date. The results, if not definitive, were thought provoking. Before the 20th century, children who died before the age of 5, were not uncommon. often in one family, more than one child would die in a notable succession. Folks back then had big families, to help work the farm, to make sure there would be someone to "carry on" the name. My father had 3 brothers and 2 sisters, born into the era before the Great War, or just after. The GY study implied that the children who died before 1900, died from causes now easily prevented in the US of A, Diptheria, cholera, measles, pneumonia, all easily cured or prevented now. Back then…? After about 1920, there were far fewer, that is to say, a handful, recorded child deaths in our graveyard. Why the drop in incidence? Because of the discovery of preventive vaccines, better nutrition, understanding of sanitation, it is all cumulative. Why have 8, 10, 12 children. One or two will do now, that we have some assurance they will grow to adulthood. If we choose (now we can choose) to have children. 56 million die because of WW2 before their natural time, many before they could have the "privilege" of children. Does the world population still increase geometrically? Perhaps the Third (fourth? ) world does not yet have the medical and health advantages of the United States or the United Europe. Such is the need for OSHA. But then, we will find new ways to shorten a human life if the more accidental and natural ways do not suffice (Dorian?). I have no doubt about the survival of our species. It just may not be contributed to so much by America..... Best we make Good Scouts from the girls and boys at hand. FYI: Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. 15th Edition. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA p 113
  18. I always encourage Scouts to play the "what if" game: when packing for a trip, planning an Eagle project, waking your dog.... Like BP when he was asked, "prepared for what?" and he responded, "why, for any old thing...." I recently watched a fascinating documentary film from about 1922 that showed how the Phiilips Company of Holland made light bulbs, radios, radio vacuum tubes ("Fessenden valves"), loud speakers (Bakelite !), phonographs.... and it struck me, reading thru this thread about safety standards.... One of the reasons OSHA exists is because we procreate so many fewer people . The fewer people created, the more valuable they are and the more they need to be protected? Was life "cheaper" back then? Workmen wearing neck ties while the operate machinery, glass blowing without glasses, no eyeshields before metal lathes, bare handed handling of raw materials, no "hard hats".... the best I saw was a full body suit ( helmit with faceplate, overalls, air tube trailing behind) in a painting booth. The women were delegated to "fine" work, threading wire, soldering connections (not to much ventilation apparent), etc. War, desease, accidents,,,, The new car you buy will soon make it VERY difficult to have an accident. Lane change monitor, front/rear radar, auto braking, auto headlamp lighting, speed monitoring and reminding, flat tire pressure alarm, consciousness (!) recognition..... You kind of get the same feeling watching the building of the Grand Coulee Dam, Boulder Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and other constructions of the past. The men (and women!) had skills and bravery and accepting of risks beyond what many would accept nowadays. And coal mining. Watch October Sky, and How Green Was My Valley sometime. When I attended the 2013 NatJam, the camps were lettered (A,B,C, etc. ) and named after "famous" coalmines. The coalmine names didn't catch on, and I wondered why the Labor Merit Badge wasn't represented by the AFL/CIO.... And that realization about the "value" of life comes after the Great War, the Spanish Flu, World War 2, and various other conflicts. Or was it a matter of the LACK of concern of the "Bosses" involved? Enough rambling. I just got back from a wonderful vacation, and wouldn't cha know, I start on a free association about safety, population, Scouts and labor unionization..... Pass the pie, please.....
  19. SSScout

    Advice for a new wood badger

    You will learn that "all feedback is a gift". Even the kind you might not want to hear....
  20. SSScout

    Advice for a new wood badger

    1) In Scouting, it's called "Bug Juice" . The real life events that led to the metaphor "Kool Aid " are very regrettable and often forgotten, if ever known. 2) Woodbadge, has a National Curriculum. The course you take will therefore depend in large part on the Staff that leads it. Notice I did not say "teach", there can be a large difference in those two terms. The Staff on your course will be very devoted to Scouting, that's a given, but as has been mentioned, the Bead Wearers that exit the course will use the learnt material in many ways. For personal aggrandizement, to help the Scouts, for fun (what's your critter?), for personal growth (the ideas and techniques are applicable in your family , work, not just Scouting) and for philosophical reflection. Up to you. 3) When they start sending you stuff to fill out, and write about, sit down by yourself and be honest with yourself. Most likely (a Scout is Trustworthy), you willnot be required to send in or even share your evaluations with anyone (except food. If you love watermelon, SAY SO !!) . 4) Bring some fun stuff with you . A silly hat. A Hawain shirt. Rope. Your best camp songs. You just might need them. Do you play the bugle? let your Director know.... 5) Be open to new things and creative in defining your "tickets". I was led to believe I could plan projects to benefit ANYTHING in Scouting. Wrong. They had to be in my "registered" position area. As a ASM, they said I couldn't do Cub Scouting! What to do? This is how I found out what a Commissioner is! And now I are one ! 6) Goforth and do Scouting. See you on the trail !
  21. SSScout

    GPS usage may cause dementia

    The last time I did Map and Compass for CSDC, Here is what I did: We collected some real magnetic compasses from Oriental Trading, about 50cents per, but they really worked and one could navigate with them. I had collected a number of maps (!) and taped themup in the pavilion thus: Nat Geo Map of the Universe, then "Local Cluster" then Milky Way Galaxy, then Solar System, then a world globe, then a Mercator Projection world Map, then a Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion projection world map, (what a difference!) , then a USA map, then a State (Maryland) map, then a County map, then a map of the campground/park, then,,,, Here we are ! As I pointed and talked about each map, noting the change in scale and detail, I mentioned how big or small a representation it was.. Then, I had the Cubs stand up with their compass, and we talked about magnets, steel tables, steel posts and belt buckles. Everyone pointed North ! Now, This group walks due East, this one due west, this one due north, this one due south for 100 paces ! Turn 90 degrees ! Walk 100 paces ! Look for the LandMark to walk toward ! etc. Most of the Cubs wound up (surprise...) eventually back where they started ! And they had a real compass....
  22. SSScout

    GPS usage may cause dementia

    I have no idea what app. It was her Schmart phone. And it was , now, 12 plus years ago.
  23. SSScout

    GPS usage may cause dementia

    Triple A (AAA) provides excellent maps. On paper. But one must join, I do not think one can walk in a buy a map in their office, BUT one does not know until one tries, does one?
  24. SSScout

    Community Event

    Cubs or ScoutsBSA? Demonstration camp, offer to lead a flag opening ceremony, check if your Council has a portable climbing wall ("Scouter Horn"), they make a really neat Scout activity, but you must be trained to operate it safely! Pioneering demo (build a short signal tower), Monkey Bridge (rope bridge) for folks to cross "The Mighty Piranha Enfested Amazon !". Charcoal fire, Dutch oven brownies....
  25. SSScout

    GPS usage may cause dementia

    And too, my favorite GPS thing..... NASCAR GPS: "turn left, NOW. turn left, NOW. turn left, NOW. turn left, NOW....."