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Thomas54

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About Thomas54

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  1. I am looking for the on line training for Venture crew adult leader youth Protection. I am told that there is an online YPT for ventures but I can find only the Boy Scout one and the cub Scout one. Here is where my search ends. http://www.scouting.org/Training/YouthProtection/Venturing.aspx But if you go to the Boy Scout section it has"Take Training on line" in a link.
  2. Thomas54

    American Heritage Girls question

    My family is Co-ed and we go camping.
  3. Thomas54

    Eagle Project scope creep

    This is turning into a little more drama then I care to deal with. Give me the benefit of the doubt that as a seasoned SM I am doing what I can to develop the scout and allow the scout to lead his project. I drew up the plans and sat down with the scout and discussed it with him and and his mom. I had a slight warning tone in my voice so if this boy looked at this and freaked out at the magnitude of the project I could pick up on it. He did not. He and his mom were resolute that this was the project he wanted to do. I learned today that the old pavilion was 8'x16' the new one we proposed 12'x16' or 50% bigger than the original. I am concerned that the boy should not have direct contact with the IH without a SM as the IH will bully the scout. The boy and the mom are talking to the IH direct;y and leaving me out. All the better. But the IH continues to call me and leave messages saying things that he has thought this over and he just can't have the smaller pavilion. I have not called him back as I fear it will turn into a bigger disagreement than I want. The latest is that The IH is calling an ASM to have the plans re-drawn. Fearing that we will never get this right with the IH, my wife is suggesting that I step away as the advisor for this project. But I feel I will be letting the scout down. It has also been suggested that we require the IH to supply a certified drawing of what he wants. The final thought is to build a pavilion at a nearby veteran's home. The scout and the IH will meet tomorrow. I am out of town and won't be there. I am just shaking my head in disgust over how the AM Legion Post and and the Scout unit are supposed to be partners in developing young men. That is not the case with this new IH. Until now we have had great relations with the Post.
  4. On Saturday morning I got a call from the Institutional Head of our Charter, an American Legion Post. He says he wants to meet with me as soon as possible. Says he needs to get a handle on things at the Post. I tell him I will call my committee chair and a couple of my assistant scoutmasters and we can meet later that afternoon. Background: The IH is new to the post and became commander just recently. At 67 he is the youngster of the post. Locally he has run for public office before but has never been elected. Since his last election defeat he has jumped into three separate community service organization where he has taken on a chairmanship role. When we get there he is putting tape on the AC so that no one can lower the temperature. The first question out of his mouth is, "how much fundraising do the scouts do for the post?" We tell him that we cannot raise money for the post wearing scout uniforms but have helped out in previous fundraising events for the post either directing cars, or serving tables and things such as that. He then ask how do we go about recruiting veterans for the post. We say we recruit scouts not adults. It then goes into how often do we clean. We sweep up and remove the garbage every meeting night. We continue to describe how we do 2-3 work days a year at the post where we either clean and paint or work on the grounds outside. One of guys got his company to donate a used ice machine. The troop even paid to have it refurbished and professionally clean and calibrated. He tells us that we need to do more such as a reoccurring custodial service at the post that includes cleaning the bathrooms. The conversation rambles with him stating he wants to put on additions to the building to finding a new building to making the place a showroom for weddings. The place is marginally in code compliance for a certificate of occupancy let alone a showroom hall for weddings. Then he got on us about a pavilion one of our scouts is building. That is in another post in Advancement. The questions were very business like, (what do you contribute to the post why should we keep you). The tone was more one of disdain for the our scout troop. He wants to attend our next few committee meetings. Of course we will invite him but there is no telling where he will take this. I am ok with doing more. But is wasn't just do a little more. He sees the scouts as needing to payback the Legion in servitude or cash or both.
  5. Thomas54

    Eagle Project scope creep

    I am the scoutmaster. The eagle candidate is not my son, just a boy in the troop. Packsaddle wins the cigar. He is pissed-off. I will post the other 1 hour discussion we had with IH in another post. I did not go to there to discuss this project with IH. The scout is paying for the materials through fundraising. I did design the Pavilion and am serving as the coach for this scout.
  6. One of our scouts approached our charter some time ago about doing his Eagle project at the Charter. They had a pavilion over a fire pit that had a very low flat roof with wood rafters and a tin roof. Consequently the rafters often caught fire. The structure had caught fire so many times that it became an unusable eyesore. The charter agreed, signed off on the project and the project was approved by council. As written the scouts project was to replace the roof and leave the posts. In the process of the demolition the posts were pushed over; they were not cemented and had been in place many years. The scout asked me the engineer to help him design a new pavilion. I designed one with a pitched or gabled roof and a hood over the fire pit. The pavilion is 16 x 12 and the scout used the material take off list to estimate the cost at just over $1,000 without the hood. We had a business meeting with the Institutional Head (without the scout) and he brings up the pavilion. He wants the pavilion to be 20 x 12. The cost is pretty linear so the cost will go up by $250. My self and the other leaders at the table tried to perused the IH that the pavilion is plenty large enough with 3.5 of covered isle way around the fire pit. We also tried to instill that the project is already marginally too big for the scout. And that by adding another 25% to the project will push it over the edge for a boy that turns 18 in January. He got upset with us and suggested we could cancel the project. I dont want our charter to be upset with us, but on the other hand we are not contractors. The only reason we agreed is that some of the dads are pretty handy with a hammer and it was going to be convenient place to work at the Charter. How should we handle this?
  7. Thomas54

    BSA ATV program

    I agree with the Basement troll er dweller. BS was founded for boys. ATV is what young boys want to do. Great! Let's create a program that teaches how to safely use this equipment and the proper outdoor use for the hobby. Downhill skiing can't be done without the wholesale reconditioning of the mountain. From grooming to lifts to snow machines and water collection ponds the mountain is changed. Most ATV trails are in designated areas of national and state forests. The forest service roads are typically placed there for commercial logging. ATV's will have minimal impact.
  8. Thomas54

    campout "tradition"

    You asked what do other troops do. We do separate the tents by patrols and adults. This is done mainly to keep from hearing the scouts talk all night. Or to keep the snorers away from everyone else. Unless we keep an eye on the patrols they will camp too close together. That way they can cross tent talk until 1:00 - 2:00 AM. The late night talking usually only occurs the first night. By the second night they are going to bed before the adults. But to your question, there is no yellow tape or mine field between us and the scouts. For Meals we eat as a troop. One patrol will take a turn cooking one meal for the whole troop including SM's and guests. We started off doing patrol meals but as the troop shrank the PLC has continually voted to do troop meals. It's not as bad as it sounds since more than half our meals are on high adventure trips where its buddy meals or individual meals. This way the meals tend to be more complex and develop the cook within the scout. Right or wrong this works for us. At meal time a blessing is made and we eat as a troop. Scouts will sit next to adults and SM's may choose to sit with the younger guys. But usually the SM's sit together and the guest parents sit as a group and the scouts gather first by age and then patrol. I must admit My 16 year old Life Scout does not hang around me much. It's more like a chase to find time to spend with him. Afterwards we discuss the campout but during the campout he is not really looking for Dad time.
  9. Your attributes and qualifications sound better than most of the committee chair's we have had. Stop dwelling on your imperfections. Set-up monthly meetings send out the emails and do the best you can.
  10. {0riginal Poster} Here is what occurred Nine people went out for six days over 54 miles on the AT we had: One person with a First Needs XL water purifier One person with a MSR Mini Works ceramic filter Two people with SteriPens Two people with Coghlans Two Step Drinking Water Treatment Tablets Thats six individuals with a water treatment system and three without any. Of the people without treatment and the people with the pills they preferred to barrow the First Needs XL. It was fastest and easiest to use. Each of us was using around 10-12 liters of water per day. By the six day after pumping 150-200 Liters including previous trips, the First Needs XL started to show signs of clogging. Unlike the MSR Mini Works the First Needs is not field cleanable (back filtering produced little improvements in flow). People then started to switch to other water treatment systems. The MSR Mini Works is a great little filter. The trouble is after about 5 liters of stream water the filter needs to be taken out and cleaned. Its also slow, even when working with a clean filter. Consequently the scout who loaned out this filter often got it back clogged. The SteriPens worked very well. Most of the water sources that we came across had a 1 PVC pipe stuck into the rocks. These pipes made for easy filling of the bottles. These were very small steams with maybe the volume of 1- 2 garden hoses for total stream flow. We then purified with the UV pens. I didnt notice any huge pieces of wood or leaves in the water. Summary For overall ease of use the First Needs XL worked the best. Based on this trip two people could easily go on a 10 day hike and still have excess filter capacity. But the filter cartridge is $50 to replace. The Miniworks is good and the field cleanable ceramic filter will last a long time. But it is slow to pump and fast to clog. The Steripens worked just as they were supposed to. This was my first personal use with the Steripen. I did bring a set of replacement batteries and I did have to switch out the factory batteries on day three. The Coghlans two-step process was clearly the least favorite but this was also the cheapest. Group Dynamics It would have been hard for the scout to say no to adults and other scouts when they asked to barrow his filter. Many times the barrower did fill up the entire groups water jugs. But that only lead to the early clogging of that scouts own water purification system. More shake out hikes with sticker policies on individual reliance could have deterred the over reliance on one filter. However, in the end we never did run out of a method to produce clean water, and no one had to be un-helpful about sharing a critical resource.
  11. Thomas54

    Camping Merit Badge Req 9a

    If the idea of only one summer camp being a qualification for the camping MB because the BSA wants a more varied camping experience for the scout; Then, why not limit the number of MB's that can be acquired at a long term camp our limit the number of MB's that can be acquired through a council or district sponsored events? All in all its a good policy. A troop could get into a situation where the only camping chosen / offered by the scouts is the week long summer camps. It is easier for the adults not to pan monthly outings.
  12. I am not sure how to gauge this. Three adults and six scouts are heading for week long backpacking trip. The scouts know that I have a Steripen. This is a light weight UV device that purifies a liter of water in about 60 seconds. My son does not trust this so he is packing our water filter. I just learned that a couple of scouts who own water filters have decided not to bring them. Partly because of weight and also I think they just don't want to use them. So I ask "how will you purify your water". They reply, "we have tablets." Hmmm, these are kids that won't eat anything if it looks or smells a little funny. And now they are going to use iodine tablets which have a bad smell and a bad taste for six days? What I suspect is that after day they will be asking to barrow the steripen or my son's filter. If this occurs should I politely accept this and just let them use the filter or steripen? Or should I direct them back to their decision to use tablets? If the answer is the later how would you tell the scouts, No?
  13. We have our six day Appalachian trip coming up. How many changes of clothes do you recommend? Number of shirts? Number of shorts? Number of socks? Camp shoes are they necessary?
  14. Our numbers have dropped some so we will be at or very close to 10 people. We will take our tents. I have never stayed in a shelter nor have I ever had the desire too. The meal plans I have some concern over. I am ok with letting scouts arrange their own menus for a 2-3 day hike. But this is six days and if they don't plan right either enough or too much they could be a drag on the group. I am considering that they submit a plan for 3000 calories a day. Thoughts? I like the idea of having a food drop at the Nantnahala Outdoor Conservatory.
  15. We have been looking at six day five nights. That puts a few hikes below 10 miles a day and few above 10 miles a day.
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