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Everything posted by t158sm

  1. t158sm

    campout-tempest in a teapot

    Occasionally someone will have a brief mental lapse and schedule a fall camporee the week of the Alabama/Auburn football game. Our district has some very good boy run troops and some other less than perfect troops. No matter what campsite you walk by you can keep up with the game and never miss a play. Does this mean that these are all poor Scout troops? No, I don't believe so. Other things are happening as well. The Scouts are playing a game. They're cooking supper or cleaning up afterwards. I always take a small radio to keep up with the weather. It just so happened that last year we found out that after the midnight news/weather the radio version of the twilight zone comes on a local station. Everyone who was still up wanted to listen in, so we did. Did this hurt anything? No. (Before someone says something about being up so late. The Scouts set their own time for bed.) What would have been the difference if I had told a spooky story instead? Everything isn't set in stone, there are always going to be degrees of black and white. Maybe a couple of thoughts attributed to BP to close out my ramblings. "The boy is not governed by don't ,but is led by do." "See things from the boy's point of view."
  2. t158sm

    New assistant scoutmaster in Canada

    The world brotherhood of Scouting. Many fires, one great light. Welcome on in.
  3. t158sm

    Back in Scouts

    Welcome back. Hope you have a great time second time around too.
  4. t158sm

    Another step toward Boy-Run

    Congratulations. Progress toward boy led is great, isn't it? Yes gwd, it can be scary and hard to let go. But the rewards are worth it. Keep up the good work and hold the course. It's worth the effort in the end.
  5. In our previous district I (SM) always tried to attend. After our council consolidated with two others and districts were realigned no one attends as roundtables are now held on the same night as our meeting.
  6. t158sm

    Good Luck Greater Alabama

    Whoops, did I say that out loud?
  7. t158sm

    Good Luck Greater Alabama

    Hey Junky: Why don't you become the new SE. Then we'll really have something to complain about.
  8. So as not to seem overly critical let me start out with a few positives. Programs appeared to be well run and interesting. Lots of variety in the days activities - rappelling, caving, white water rafting, patrol contests, free swim, troop swim-boating opportunities, no time to get bored. Now for the rest of the story. On Monday night there was a murder at the state park next to camp. (Well beyond camp control) Taps was hastily called at 9pm and the event was hidden from campers. I only found out what had happened because I mentioned that I had been a police officer. The newspapers that they given out daily were kept from us the next two days because it mentioned the murder. Sure was strange to see deputies with shotguns guarding the front entrance to camp. The murderer was caught on Tuesday. On Thursday camp was inexplicably locked down. Phones were locked and the gates were blocked off, no one was allowed to leave. No explanation was given. Don't know what happened then. Staff members all had stupid nicknames because they were told upon hiring not to give out their real names in case they did something that embarrassed the BSA. What kind of Scouts were they hiring? Meals were cold and skimpy. Meals were typically an entree and a side ( taco and corn, chicken fingers and peas, pizza and corn) Most meals we learned were prepared after the end of the previous meal and were not reheated. Every time we were served bread it had just been taken out of the refrigerator. Simple things like ketchup and milk ran consistently short. The only choice of beverage at lunch was water. Before the end of the week the Scouts were saying that they didn't want to come back there again. This was my tenth summer at Comer Scout Reservation and by far the worst. Seems like the Greater Alabama Council is systematically trying to erase all remnants of the old Choccolocco Council. Before the consolidation Comer was a very good camp. It had an atmosphere that made people love being there. Now things are different. Pine trees gone - sold for timber with an excuse of pine beetles. (Yet healthy pines abound outside of camp.) Campsites moved and rearranged awkwardly. Change can be good, but in this case it sure hasen't.
  9. t158sm

    What's the admonition??

    Yes the admonition can be found on the jump start website.
  10. t158sm

    And how was your summer camp experience?

    Yellow Hammer wrote - "In defense of the Greater Alabama Council (GAC), I'll point out that one reason that the Chocolocco [sic] Council was absorbed into GAC was because they had been running deeply in the red for several years. GAC had to absorb that debt along with the responsibilities for Comer." Sorry, but the Greater Alabama Council did not absorb the Choccolocco Council. The GAC was created from the consolidation of the Choccolocco, Tennessee Valley, and Central Alabama Councils. For the first few years of the process each of the three even retained Scout Executives. At the time of the consolidation the debt the Choccolocco carried in previous years had been diminished substantially due to the efforts of the only Scout Executive that has truly earned my respect in almost thirty years of continuous Scouting. Had Bill remained I'm sure the state of Comer and my feelings therefore would also differ. As for pine trees, the excuses may vary, but the trees are still gone. The question I ask is why is all the land around Comer (Desoto State Park) among others as of yet still unaffected by pine beetles? Also I remember several Achunanchi ordeals in the 1980's in which the camp had sustained storm damage to an extent that the question arose if it would even be possible to hold summer camp that summer. Each year the council pulled together and many peoples hard work made camp possible again.
  11. t158sm

    Woodbadge Patrol Yells

    Oh, what wonderful memories. Ours was: Some are old, and some are bold but wood badge owls are good as gold. Since two of my fellow owls were deaf the yell wasn't yelled at all, it was done in sign language. SR - 33 1994 Comer Scout Reservation
  12. t158sm


    Why Howdy back at you. Welcomw in and enjoy the campfire, a cup of coffee and some good discussion.
  13. t158sm

    Alabama Scouting Awareness Day

    Here you can read Governor Riley's proclamation: http://www.governorpress.alabama.gov/pr/proc-2006-07-05-scouting.asp
  14. t158sm

    The beginning of the end?

    There are both good and bad things that will occur with a council merger. Some people won't like the changes and will simply quit Scouting. The loss of your council and OA lodge identity and "the way things were" will be a major outcome of the merger. I continually wish we could go back to "the way things were." Our rural county moved districts into another micropolitan county instead of the metro county we were with. End result - I don't have to drive 50 - 60 miles for many district events. Banquets, camporees, etc.are now no more than 20 miles away. Stick with it in the ship, try not to let the other things get in the way of what your doing for the Scouts themselves. That's what matters.
  15. t158sm

    And how was your summer camp experience?

    Sir_Scoutalot: Comer used to be a great camp. It was a wonderful place full of atmosphere and a teriffic Scouting spirit. We'll have a new SE before too long, hope this one will care about Scouting more than about numbers and money.
  16. t158sm

    And how was your summer camp experience?

    John: The SE situation is a bit difficult right now. Ours is the one who got busted for overinflating membership numbers and resigned due to that. We are Still waiting to hear what the FBI investigation has to say about the matter. 540 Beav: The Scouts have already told me that they don't want to go back to Comer next year. I've already been looking into other camps to present to the Scouts so they can choose one. Rainey Mountain looks like it might be a good one. Have read good things about it on here. Boxwell is supposed to be good too. May find out we opt for something totally different. Well see what happens. Here's the rundown on what may be the problem. Late 90's Choccolocco Council - Anniston HQ, Tennessee Valley - Huntsville HQ and Birmingham Area/Central Alabama consolidated into The Greater Alabama Council (GAC). Comer was the Choccolocco camp (My little part of the world). It was a wonderful place. Jackson was the Tennessee Valley camp, and Sequoyah was the Birmingham camp. In total now we have six camps of various sizes and uses. Since the consolidation Jackson has been practically abandoned. Sequoyah gets the preferential treatment and Comer has gone downhill. At the time of the consolidation the three OA lodges Achunanchi - Choccolocco, Cherokee - Birmingham, and Kaskanampo - Tennessee Valley were promised that they would retain their independence. Today there is only the Coosa lodge. Many people feel they were lied to about this in order to gain their support for the consolidation. Since that time the Anniston office has been closed. The Achunanchi lodge building burned down - with all the records and a patch display dating from the lodge founding in 1938. From appearances it seems that systematically the heritage of Choccolocco and Achunanchi, Tennessee Valley and Kaskanmpo are being erased. Things no longer run smoothly and there are more problems now than ever. People have complained about the way they have been treated at the Birmingham office if they are not from the city (refusing to take out of city checks drawn on Scout accounts) (lost and misplaced paperwork and records) and a multitude of other problems. What we were should be celebrated and make up a vital part of who we are now. Instead there seems to be an effort to eradicate the past and make it seem as if it never were. What do you do now?
  17. t158sm

    Where does this patch go?

    Just what I was thinking, emb.
  18. Even yards around my neighborhood where I know kids live don't look the same. No swingsets, no basketball goals, no bikes. A kid today most likely wouldn't even know about forts and treehouses.
  19. t158sm

    Back from Summer Camp

    I think we have all just gotten back from summer camp - sounds like it from the posts. Scouts had a good time - program wise. Was a strange week all around - more later. Food was the worst ever - cold and skimpy. Good to be home.
  20. I ain't never heard of a coke being a dope ya'll
  21. t158sm

    Cell Phone use.

    The problem with cell phones lies in a person's lack of humility. To interject yourself and your life upon other people via the constant use (abuse) of the cell phone is simple an attempt to validate one's self worth. In as much as society has changed the past several decades, people no longer value themselves by simple being who they are. Accessories make the person - heard that before. The more you have, the more "in touch" you are - the more important you make your psyche feel. Just my ramblings - Take it or Leave it.
  22. t158sm

    Out of Council in 2007 ?

    We will be going to Comer Scout Reservation in a few days, haven't been there in several years. Near Fort Payne - NE corner of Alabama. Beautiful camp, Rappelling, whitewater rafting, extreme adventure base, COPE, and much more. Will let you know how it goes this year. www.1bsa.org is the link to the Greater Alabama Council.
  23. t158sm


    Welcome in Christina. Glad to have you join us. Try to get some of those parents involved more and have then help out. Even more fun when there are others to spread the work around. Doing everything yourself will make for one burnt out Scouter in a hurry.
  24. t158sm


    Why Jeepers Creepers welcome in, glad to have you join with us. This is indeed a great place to find ideas and help. Lots of dedicated Scouters around here.
  25. Since this is my council, I'll follow Fred's example and let everyone else have the discussion. http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1149326370170920.xml&coll=2 Scouting audit indicates rolls vastly inflated; top exec quits 13,000 phantom members identified Saturday, June 03, 2006 KELLI HEWETT TAYLOR News staff writer Membership in the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America was inflated by more than 13,000 youths over three years, according to details from an audit made public Friday. The departure of the council's top paid executive, Ronnie Holmes, also was announced Friday. Efforts to reach Holmes were unsuccessful. John Hayden, the 2006 board chairman of the Greater Alabama Council, would not discuss details of Holmes' departure. The council, which serves much of central and north Alabama, said nearly all the questionable memberships were linked to a program that is supposed to serve inner-city youth. The council's executive committee approved the audit Thursday night. Hayden said the audit was given to both the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI. Efforts Friday to reach FBI agents in Birmingham who are conducting a separate membership investigation were unsuccessful. That probe began in December 2004 amid allegations that high-ranking Scout officials were padding enrollment numbers to boost government and grant funding. The Scouting organization's highlights of the audit showed most problems were with inner-city membership forms, involving incorrect birth dates and lack of addresses or parental signatures. "Our report did not find any cause for criminal misconduct," Hayden said. A Scouting news release also says the report, covering the years 2002 to 2005, shows the Scouts had accurately adjusted their membership rolls to 21,000 by December 2005. "We have to continue a lot of internal investigations, but we are already setting up systematic, periodic spot-checks to look for things that may be a little unusual," said Hayden. "We are just happy we can find a way to deal with the issue." Hayden said the report was not sufficiently detailed to determine whether entire "ghost units" had been fabricated, but said the council will continue investigating. The audit of the membership forms was conducted by Summerford accounting firm in Birmingham. Findings show: In December 2002, 5,619 Scouts, 13 percent, were not verified. In December 2003, 4,265 Scouts, 11 percent, were not verified. In December 2004, 3,518 Scouts, 11 percent, were not verified. Hayden, of Huntsville, serves in a volunteer position for the Greater Alabama Council, which serves 22 counties, including Jefferson and Shelby. The 2006 executive members and other representatives met Thursday night and are instituting the new procedures to build public confidence. Along with the spot-checks, the procedures include stricter monitoring of enrollment forms.