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Everything posted by TAHAWK

  1. As a Wood Badge Ticket item, I agreed to prepare a draft of a revised Wilderness Survival Merit Badge pamphlet. I can send a copy of the draft revision to anyone willing to supply me with their email address. It is a 73 page Word document with illustrations; in short, a BIG file. I may have to send it in piece parts. It has a table of contents, and the subtantive material tracks the proposed requirements. It does not, as some suggested, go back to Olsen's original "primitive living" approach but does reintroduce navigation and self-rescue. The bibliography is as up-to
  2. Per the editorial staff of Scouting Magazine, the three step method described above will appear in the new BSHB, consistent with the HBSM and the April Boy's Life article. We have used a cold sanitizing rinse in out Troop since 1982 with no cases of the "runs" we know of in 51 weekend backpackers, fourteen week-long expeditions, three Philmont expeditions, and hundreds of weekend campouts. When backpacking or canoeing, we use the (very) well-scraped large pot as the wash pot (wash in collected rinse water) and rinse with a Sierra cup from clean, hot water from the medium pot. The s
  3. Da Beav: "Yah, spendin' a lot of time canoein' lakes and such. Boilin' is a given for any kind of cookin' but it's a nuisance for drinkin' water. I and most of the units I'm aware of use iodine in one form of another, either the PolarPure crystal stuff (by far da most economical if yeh use it a lot), or the tabs. A few have tried da funky two-part chlorine option which avoids the decay rate problem, but I haven't tried. I have tried the ozone thing since a buddy had one; kinda pesky and finicky." Hey, Beav, some of da nasty "stuff" in ya' pond don' get kilt by iodine. http://wwwn.c
  4. "1. Do you always attend your council camp for summer camp? " No. Unfortunately, staff is weak, and that results in poor program. For Troops that eat in the dining hall, food has been poor, hitting a new low last year with mouldy bread and spoiled milk (but cheaper because purchased out-of-date). A different Camp Director and different Program Director each year does not help, expecially when they have been very junior paid Scouters with no clout to even tie the struggle with the bean-counters in upper management who make profit the supreme goal. There is no tradition of Staff service.
  5. Magnesium shaved from a "Doan Tool" easily blows away in a mild breeze. Shaved onto the sticky side of duct tape, it stays put. Plus, the tape keeps burning long after the magnesium has flared out. Mineral oil removes sticky from duct tape and is food quality. Blister prevention.(This message has been edited by TAHAWK)
  6. Again, WB left the all-Scoutcraft format in 1972. You will have a hard time (not impossible by any means) finding anyone to personally testify to how that worked. An experimental "traditional" all-Scoutcraft course sponsored by Region here in Ohio in the 1980's was, by consensus, a flop. Perhaps it was all the poision ivy. (-: Seaton was an outdoors skills and Indian craft person, never an administrator. An administrative course, if one existed, might be named for Darth West. WB now spends zero time on administration of the program. What training there is for unit Scouters in a
  7. "To quote National: 'Incorporating leadership concepts that are used in corporate America, the course teaches participants the basics of listening, communicating, valuing people, team development, situational leadership, problem solving, and managing conflict. Once the skill is learned, each member is given the opportunity to use the skill as a member of a successful working team. At the conclusion of the course, each participant develops a set of personal goals related to his or her Scouting role. Working toward these goals allows each participant to practice and demonstrate new skills.'
  8. Cliques are not uncommon. Peopel are inclined to trust those "like them" and that they already know. But excluding a Scouter simply because he is different is contrary to what is taught in the current (third version) of Wood Badge. There are many paths to wisdom, and Scouting is supposed to value diversity. Frankly, given the need for more -- always more -- competent help I have seen in five Councils, I suspect there is a slot at District or Council level that you may fill if you elect to do so, WB or no. Some training special may be prerequisite for some jobs, like Commissioner's tra
  9. My neighbor talking me into joining his Troop when I had just turned 11. In a month, he had moved, but I stayed with the Troop for 11 years. Then, I moved away, got tied up in grad school, marriage, etc. Those were great times, and they provided a basis to say "yes" when I got the "If you don't agree to be Cubmaster. . ." speech after 15 years on the sidelines.
  10. Plastic bowl (from when margarine tubs were sturdy) Lexan spoon (cream soup shape) Aluminum cup - either dented or has "character" (don't drink coffee/allows boiling if needed) Piece of plastic from a three-ring binder cut to fit shape of bowl for scraping out. S&P shaker All components are from 1981 except bowl that cracked on a backpacker in Canada five eyars ago. But I bought 25 more at a house sale for $.10 each. (-:
  11. "And lets not blame the camps, they try and do the best they can with the resources they have. If the troop wants quality advancement, then the troop needs to take control. If troops are going to be passive with their program, then cant really complain." It's people and their behavior. I blame the Council paid professionals who, as a matter of deliberate practice or reckless indifference, preside over the handing out of unearned MB's as a device to fill their camps/produce revenue. I blame the Council Advancement Chairpersons/VP's who go along with such a farce. I blame the
  12. We are trying a new BSA camp that has NUMEROUS Merit Badge offerings and little required in the way of prerequisite work. It will be interesting to see if it is another MB mill, as have been the last four BSA camps we have tried in Ohio, PA, and WV - all of which had numerous under-aged -- and even more importantly, very unqualified -- "Merit Badge Counselors." In talking to paid professional Scouters, I am told this is a well-known problem that there is very little interest in addressing. "The same qualifications and rules for apply to counselors for council summer camp merit badge pr
  13. The Scouts could assemble a proper PSK - a selection of basic gear that fits around the neck, in pockets, or on the belt. I like the idea of adding other things that might be in a car. They would receive no accurate guidance for the WSMBP on a PSK (It confuses "10 Essentials" with PSK.), but you could help them. That would give them at least one way to start fire, purify water, and garbage bag-sized item (as suggested) for shelter. The main survival knife, as suggested in the BSA Complete Wilderness Training Manual (2007) at pp. 32-33, should be a stout fixed-blade sheath knife, althou
  14. "We've had boys go to camp and do "Communications" badge. Instead of actually being required to go to a public meeting (city council, school board, debate), the group had a mock meeting during one of their sessions where they pretended to be the meeting." Then the camp is one of the all-too-common Merit Badge "mills." The "boys" did not, in fact, meet the qualifications for the MB. A camp cannot change the requirements. Should we allow this sort of travesty to happen when we know of it? Trustworthy? Honor? As for Wilderness Survival, it OUGHT to be a good one. The Scout should
  15. "We've had boys go to camp and do "Communications" badge. Instead of actually being required to go to a public meeting (city council, school board, debate), the group had a mock meeting during one of their sessions where they pretended to be the meeting." Then the camp is one of the all-too-common Merit Badge "mills." The "boys" did not, in fact, meet the qualifications for the MB. A camp cannot change the requirements. Should we allow this sort of travesty to happen when we know of it? Trustworthy? Honor? As for Wilderness Survival, it OUGHT to be a good one. The Scout should
  16. This is a topic near and dear to me because I teach woods tools in IOLS in the limited time allocated to that topic. Legends? You bet. Such as the legend I have heard (and read) repeatedly that B.S.A. policy is that sheath knives are to be avoided or "not encouraged" (as the BSHB would have it) -- or even "banned." It's "large" sheath knives that are to be avoided or "not encourged," whatever "large" means. Nothing is banned. By negative implication, NOT "large" fixed-blade knives are at least permitted and possibly encouraged. Apparently, "large" means a filleting knife to
  17. In this season of the year, remember that the Church has ruled that beaver is not "meat" for purposes of Lent. (-:
  18. I volunteer at a Scout museum locally. I was looking at a collection from a deceased Scouter who took WB at Course 802-6, Jerome McCall, Camp Chief. This was the "old" course before the "new" course that is now the "old" course. Included was a copy of the Song. The Beavers were "beaving" and could "beave no more." Makes me wonder what other changes have taken place over the decades, besides stand up/don't stand up.
  19. "currently half of the manufactures in china are closed, started closing in may of this year 2008...including textiles (pants shirts socks) and other useful 'stuff'" I'd like to read more about this but I struck out on Google. Can you post links?
  20. red feather: "Having bought the latest version of the WS MBP, and with only a quick perusal, it appears to be a 'dumbed' down of the 2001 MBP. (and those before 2001)." If you go back to the very first version in 1974, it was very different - more primitive living as noted above. Comparing 2007 to 2001, there are differences but my main disappointment is the lack of bringing the information up to date, continued lack or organization, and errors. red feather: "Asked several of our ASMs and older scouts what was wrong with the friction fire area of the MBP we cannot find much faul
  21. The 2008 printing is the 2007 edition with colored pictures (One pictute is very slightly different. Can you find it?). Either will do. Shortridge, thank you for contributing. I posted: [The 2007 edition]ays survival needs are capable of being listed in a fixed priority with no reference whatsoever to the facts of the emergency. Boat sinking? First Aid first! Start a fire before signaling that other boat. Ask any 11-year-old." Shortridge commented: "With respect, that is clearly a gross oversimplification of how the priorities for survival should be applied." Shortri
  22. I do not suggest returning to the orgins of this MB in 1974. That was 1974. I'm OK with "modern survival" as a more obtainable skillset for Scouts. Almost perfect? The current (2007) edition of the MBP: Is wrong on water purification - if you believe the CDC, EPA, Red cross, and U.S. military are right. Namely, the experts say ordinary chlorine (hydroxide) and iodine are dangerously complicated to sue and ineffective for field water disinfection. Is wrong on fire-by-friction. If you can't see, I'd be happy to specify. Is wrong on fire by natural flint and steel.
  23. Any specifics? We seem to have moved to theory fairly quickly. I was hoping for more concrete suggestions. Ok. SO the MBP correctly discusses charateristics of a good site to wait out rescue, then neglects mentioning safe navigation as a survival need AND gives limited info on map and compass navigation only. It's as if you will only get lost/break an ankle/have someone get sick at a perfect place. So add navigation, including sun, moon, stars, terain features. The MBP says wear long sleeves and trousers to avoid sunburn and insects, THEN says wear T-shirts and shorts in the wild
  24. Is it the best introduction that it can be?
  25. "I don't have the merit badge requirements in front of me, but it seems that one of the last requirements is to explain why consuming wild plants and animals is generally not a good idea. Sounds more like a bit of legalese to protect the BSA from lawsuits generated from poor counseling or poor learning!" There was a prof in a large university who was The Man when it came to Ohio fungi. He nearly kiled himself when he "made a mistake." So I see real issues around foraging. On the other hand, cattails seems pretty easy and is better than any fungi. What can we do better. More req
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