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Tampa Turtle

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Posts posted by Tampa Turtle

  1. I think we are also moving away from Base Camping to Back Packing.


    I think a Backpacking Troop is a GREAT idea. Things like Patrol boxes really are only for base camping anyway. Some things like Dutch Ovens are used infrequently by many Troops and you can sometimes borrow one.


    Now that my boys are getting into backpacking I see that things can be done a lot simpler.


    I would consider looking at Tarp camping instead of Tents. There are tarps with bug mesh bottoms/sides. I would also look at Bivy Sacking as well. I would teach the boys who to make a Philmont Dining Fly. For the ambitious making Hammocks might be a good idea as well...Hammock camping is catching on at some Troop (though it can lead to site issues)


    I recently got a Outdoor products external plastic frame pack at Walmart. It is a copy of the old Coleman Ram Flex. I like it a lot and it can be had for $60-80. I also made a ultralight backpack from an old mesh laundry bag and kids book bag for Ultralight camping.


    My older scout wants to make his own external frame with wood/bamboo and sew a bag so there are ways to make things cheaper. I would encourage that sort of thing.


    As for stoves I am interested in wood volcano stoves. Usually there is always some burnable twigs, etc. Takes longer but you do not have to haul fuel. In any case you should not need more one stove per 2-3 boys.


    For water bottles 1 liter plastic soda/water bottles are cheap as heck. Plastic bowls instead of mess kits.


    I am not too familiar with water filters as in Florida we often have to hike in a lot of potable water anyway.


    I think Campmor is pretty good as a vendor.


    As we have an affluent Troop I like to push "a Scout is Thrifty" and get the boys to not just rush out and get the latest and greatest (expensive) gear. Unfortunately Boys Life seems to have become a shill for the gearhead manufacturers. You hardly ever see any articles anymore for "Stove made from a Coffee can" sort of thing.




  2. I agree with the above. A good Den Chief has really influenced the boys in a positive way no adult can. It may point the boys into a better path their whole life. Where we live the "market" for scouts is pretty competitive--in a 15 minute drive there are 6 really good Troops. Cubs and parents choose Troops based on friends, fellow parents they like/dislike, Church, meeting night, Eagle production, etc.


    The Den Chief should be proud of the job he has done!

  3. My (large) Pack always does a Feb AOL/crossover at the B+G. I think it is to reduce he work of the large pack meeting. I think it is a mistake. It makes things too rushed; I think the AOL and Crossover should be separate. Otherwise it implies you must get the AOL to join Boy Scouts.

  4. I have heard experienced scouters repeat the "Get your AOL and start as a Tenderfoot" myth; just like the "Earn your Eagle and enter the Army as an NCO/skip basic, etc. (!!)


    The boy must be retested. Both my boys got their AOL and a week later joined the Troop. They were retested (and had to relearn a couple items) and were awarded their Scout Badge. My youngest got his three days ago at his 1st COH and went to bed very happy "I am now a Boy Scout who earned his very first rank". (I don't know if this is correct but I sometimes refer to them as "Scout Candidates). My boy was proud because he had to do the requirements. Admittedly it took less than 30 minutes to do most of them (not counting the personal safety discussion) but it wasn't a gimmie.


    Because he rushed to complete it before the rest of the newbies (who missed the first meetings) now he "out-ranks" them and it has spawned some competitiveness which is what we want. Also he is hot to trot to start on his Tenderfoot.


    None of that would likely happen if he was given a meaningless badge.

  5. I have just finished 6 years of cubs. Make sure to play some games every meeting. I would recommend the Cub Scout "How To" book and the games section. Start a box with ball, balloons, cones, etc and you can make up many games.


    Try not to make lectures and crafts all the time.

  6. I have mulled this point my self. I think programs like "Life to Eagle" provide more support to boy who are disorganized and have problems setting goals and so make the deadline. In the past maybe only the really motivated and self-organized boys could make it.


    I would agree that a lot of boys are going to classes and "ticket punching" requirements as opposed to really learning the skills.

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