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Everything posted by TAHAWK

  1. double(This message has been edited by TAHAWK)
  2. Bans seem to originate mostly with folks who are not very knowledgeable on the subject matter. So some guys in suits ban "sheath knives" and leave Scouts to handle the large BSA utility and boning knives (AKA "Sticker") in the conditions of a typical council camp campsite (crowded) while removing all official training on fixed-blade knives. No to mention 4" folding "tantos" made by "CHINA" (optimized as weapons) but AOK because they fold (often on the user's hand). In the same manner, telescoping stocks were banned as EVIL by federal law, but folding stocks were AOK. 0___0
  3. In theory, no "knife" with a blade 2.5" or longer may be possessed in any "public place" in the City of Cleveland, Ohio. There is a fine and mandatory jail sentence for violation. This ordinance, an interpreted by the courts generations ago and if enforced, would bar knives used by customers at restaurants (all I should think - even McD's), not to mention the restaurant kitchens and the stores that supply them. My gentle Swiss Army Knife fails the test by 3/16". As for local option bans within B.S.A., my council's two-year old total ban on fixed-blade knives just went away with the pai
  4. Second, While the situation that you describe is unreasonable - and unfortunate behavior in terms of the long-term survival prospects for the unit, such situations are hardly unique to Scouting. Many unreasonable demands are made on us. Government demands alone are an entire category. Transportation is a Committee function and the Committee should explain that what you describe is not "kind" and cannot go on if the troop wants the resource that adult drivers provide. If controlling adult numbers means THAT much, the camping sites need to be MUCH closer. B.S.A. offers training
  5. I heard today - AGAIN - that "national Boy Scouts bans sheath knives." B.S.A. never prohibited sheath knives but "did not encourage" "large sheath knives" -- except for fishing. The stated rationale was that "large sheath knives" are clumsy and unnecessary. That left room for judgment by local Scouters. In 2007, B.S.A. started selling the B.S.A. Complete Guide to Wilderness Survival. Two copies where on the shelves at the local [b.S.A.] Scout Shop last Tuesday. That book advocates use, at least in the wilderness, of very large knives - bolos and khukuris. In June, 2008, B
  6. In theory, is it not the obligation of the Committee Chair to educate parents about the adult role in Scouting? Is it not the obligation of the Committee to be sure parent are kept informed? It was once. As for the adult role, it's not in or out/you don't want me or you do. It's what is is: doing for the Scouts what they cannot do for themselves - being resources. That role would include providing transportation and required adult supervision for activities. I don't think that role is hard for most adults to understand even if it is hard for many to execute. And if no one explained
  7. My first Scout campout was in the desert at a place called Deep Creek (and it had a creek, although disappointingly shallow). Noting a significant wind and the ease with which tent stakes went into the sand, I piled rocks on the tent's "sod cloth" (q.v.). This got a lot of laughs from the older Scouts. That night, an unpredicted thunderstorm brought heavy rain and 75 mph winds. This was not good for tents staked into sand, so down they went and, in some cases, off they went. A couple of the adult pop-up tents were never found. Trailers were flipped over. Ten other Scouts e
  8. When I was active as a district leader some years ago, we went through six DE's in 2.5 years. One quit in ten days -- never met a single one of us. One was a good friend - to this day. That rate of change was not unusual in that council under that SE. Today, that council is losing 10-20% of its DE's a year through resignation, transfers, or firing. Seems like those that resign are the ones we volunteers want to keep. How DE vacancies are handled depends primarily on how your SE wants it handled and how well the SE can carry out those intentions. The SE may want to transfer a cu
  9. As has been said, it's a matter of judgment. No one here has any more information than you had. I too have experienced heavy rain in California where hills were present - and helped dig for bodies. I'm in Ohio now, and few here would fully understand. Drive south a few hours to West Virginia, and they get it. As for who's call this is, safety is a non-delegable responsibility of adults. That's the deal we agree to as Scouters. Scouts can be a force multiplier and extra eyes but it's your call. Having said that, not involving the troop leadership in a discussion would miss an opp
  10. Council camps, even those established in the 1920's, have "troop sites" that cram campers together - adults and Scouts. (Anyone know of a council camp that would allow patrols to be even fifty yards apart? There must be one.) I feel lucky to have spent forty of my forty-one years with troops that do their own, independent summer camp at least half the years. The first troop routinely took over 100 Scouts to camp. If it was the council camp (our council's camp), two adults stayed the week. The tents were all pretty close. If that troop was doing their own summer camp, more adults
  11. "I recall a thread here a while back where one of our members was trying to put together a reasonable test-out for IOLS and to the best of my recollection it didn't seem to be working out - the test out would require nearly as much time as the class. I may have missed a follow-up that solved the problem though, seems like it was a year or so ago. How do the test outs work in your neck of the woods, TAHAWK?" Ah, but I did not say there was a test. ^___^ As I have witnessed it, the Camp staff member handling the "qualification" asks the applicant Scouter about his training and experi
  12. "The second thing that bothers me is the one-size fits all approach to training. IOLS is no where near enough training for someone without much outdoors experience. It's a waste of time for a SM with 20 years experience and a solid outdoor background . . . ." One can qualify out of IOLS, at least in the councils in this part of the U.S. No rigorous examination, and as you noted there is no testing as such at IOLS. I was simply told "forget it" when I asked if I should take IOLS. I "Somewhere in the middle are Scouters with solid outdoor experience but no experience in leading yo
  13. Please comment. Wilderness Survival, I think, should teach that the response to an emergency is to admit there is a problem (famously, "Houston, we have a problem."); thoughtfully adapt your behavior to deal with the problem; improvise with what you have to work your planned adaptation; and be determined to overcome the problem. It seems to me that "Admit; Adapt; Improvise; and Overcome" presents a more useful mantra than the current "STOP," which is merely a tool to address the need to think straight. Under the view I propose, the gear made available in a wilderness survival exerci
  14. Sorry, while I take the points of the last two posts, I just don't "get" the relevance in the context of the OP's issue. "Just had a friend call me and tell me that in order to get his paperwork signed to volunteer at NOAC he had to cut the council FOS program a check for $155 ( family level suuport in our council). He thought the DE was messing with him, so he went to the council offices and talked to a field director and the CFO. Both told him that was the new policy and it would be published shortly. It would apply to all regional and national volunteer spots (NOAC, Jambo, etc). So n
  15. One of Mr. West's favorite words was "control." (It led him to seriously propose that Scoutmaster's be B.S.A. employees. The National Board them began succession planning.)
  16. If they are employees and it's a job assignment, they should be paid. In fact, in some states, they must be paid. It's not the rate of pay - low enough for most. It's how many we are paying for, unlike the rest of the world. Plus there is the issue, with many of the paid Scouters, of value added. Fewer, with better pay, might be a better value.
  17. Asking relevant questions, however politely, can get you red-carded. Is it not possible that irrationality in financial record-keeping is less the result of a conspiracy to obscure than a lack of ability in the paid decision-makers? While some are among the finest Scouters - and people -- I have ever met, for many Scouting was the employer of last resort which could not, in the event, be escaped. A penny for a spool of thread; a penny for a needle; $1,000,000 for personnel; pop goes the budget.
  18. It makes me wonder. Forget theory, what is the actual, real-world purpose of B.S.A.? Making payroll?
  19. Considerable paper and electronic literature on water purification is inaccurate, including the 2010 Handbook and 2008 Wilderness Survival Merit badge pamphlet (but not other BSA publications, such as the book "Don't Get Sick" and a recent article in Scouting [magazine]). Current advise from private and public authorities is that iodine and regular chlorine (Sodium hypochlorite) are minimally effective against protozoans, which form protective cysts. Unfortunately, protozoans are the most widely-distributed bio hazard in wild water, being found, for example, in every county in Maine. He
  20. Assembling a PSK, as noted, helps boys focus on survival needs - "priorities." As life is not without crisis, this is a useful exercise with application outside the wilderness. Also, it helps teach that one may do more than hope to be lucky, as were the lost Scouts mentioned. Fortune favors the prepared -- that "Be Prepared" thing.
  21. "Flashlights" these days can be as small as a couple of Quarters. Iodine, like regular chlorine, will not eliminate giardia or cryptosporidium, the Handbook to the contrary notwithstanding. Hence, having a small metal vessel to boil water is good, although aluminum foil, used VERY carefully, can serve. Many PSK's propose a metal cup as the container. A "button" compass takes up little room and works well navigating to a "base line" feature. Fire is a great multi-use tool (98.6/water/signaling/morale), so a source of ignition is good. BSA Hot Spark is small. A plastic wh
  22. "'And should we not use the Roman or Greek format as even more 'traditional?' Romans & Greeks had Boy Scouts? Cool!" Soma Hellinon Proskopon (Σώμα Ελληνων Προσκόπων, ΣΕΠ): http://www.facebook.com/pages/%CE%A3%CF%8E%CE%BC%CE%B1-%CE%95%CE%BB%CE%BB%CE%AE%CE%BD%CF%89%CE%BD-%CE%A0%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%83%CE%BA%CF%8C%CF%80%CF%89%CE%BD/138314816192767 http://www.romascoutcenter.com/ (^____^)
  23. When they are backpacking, they should have the "Essentials," whatever they are for the there and then. A "Personal Survival Kit" ("PSK") is a selection of basic survival gear so compact and so light that the Scout will never be tempted to leave it behind and would not lose (or abandon) if the boat flips or he goes down crossing a stream. It can be in a pouch, pockets, and/or strung around the neck. As a PSK gets larger and heavier, it can do more. Eventually, it crosses an imprecise line and becomes an "Essentials" selection and not a PSK. For example, a PSK deals with the
  24. As to knives, B.S.A. never prohibited sheath knives and only "did not encourage" "large sheath knives" -- except for fishing. The GTSS was amended in 2011 to include the following statement: "We believe we have a duty to instill in our members, youth and adult, the knowledge of how to use, handle, and store legally owned knives with the highest concern for safety and responsibility." In my council, a short-lived ban on fixed blade knives at council's camp was eliminated this January. So what is the point about "sheath knives." As to Morse Code, would not semaphore be
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