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Everything posted by Tiny1pj

  1. Thank you so very much for your prayers and those who are helping to locate "experienced uniforms". Let me take this time to encourage those who think they have "insurmountable" problems, that, in my opinion, anyone can help our boys. God bless all, Paul Johnson Lander, WYoming
  2. Tiny1pj

    A real Flag??

    I have to agree with overtrained. My den meets in the same location as my troop. We were used to using the Troop colors for the opening and pledge. My scoutmaster had removed them for storage because we are selling the church building (and building another), so we had no flag to salute. I asked the boys what to do, and they decided to stand in a circle, saluting the flag on each other's shirt. Then had no thought that they were saluting each other, only trying to show respect to the flag. In a similar note, and one that probably only those with military experience will understand. I was out on a training course, and heard the call "Retreat". It was faint, and not everyone in the area could hear it. However, when those around me saw me standing at attention and saluting, they did the same, facing the direction of the music. I did not know exactly where the flag was, just that it was time to show the proper respect. Paul Johnson
  3. Now to the Jacket/Coat - Why not the less expensive, easier to care for, and attractive "Polartec", "Polarfleece" or similar coats, instead of spending $100 or more for the "official" pendelton wool shirt-jac? They can be found online and in local stores, even here in Wyoming, for around $20-40, in all sizes. Look at Sierra Trading Post, Cabellas, Sportsmans Guide, etc. The addition of the "BSA" patch on the left chest area, make it the official troop uniform. Just MHO - God bless, Paul Johnson
  4. Speaking of hats - I have worn all the differant forms of hats the BSA, Army, and Navy have used since 1973. Given that, here IMHO: 1. Beret - Looks cool when worn properly - Takes time and effort to train, and not really a useful item in the field. More of a "Dress" or Honor Guard/Color Guard item to me. 2. Overseas Cap (Envelope looking thing) - Easier to wear properly, looks good for formal activities, but NO useful purpose in the field. 3. Ball Cap - Most common and least expensive hat option. Not much more useful than the beret for keeping warm or cool. Lots more options. 4. Campaign Hat - VERY expensive (if you go with the officisl stuff), very good for keeping the sun off your whole head, and as you wear it, it "becomes" yours, developing character. My favorite for fomal functions. 5. Expedition hat (Indiana Jones Hat) - Mid range price, Looks good, greak for keeping sun and rain off your head, not real good for winter. My favorite for field use. 6. Boonie Hat (Solid color with "camoflage band") - Most useful field hat out there, does not look good for dress activities. Can be had for the price of a good ball cap. Great coverage for protection from sun and rain. This is my troop's favorite. THey like to wear it with one side tied up and the chin strap on the top of the head 7. Aussie hat (Snaps allow the sides to be held up) - Essentially the same as the boonie hat, and similar price. Given this option (recently available on the net through the Sportsmans Guide), I think the boys will be changing the troop hat. In the cases of all but the ball cap and overseas cap, the boys and adults wear their rank on the front of the cap. YIS Paul Johnson
  5. With the cost of uniforms so high, and living on Social Security Disability, I am having trouble finding experienced uniforms. Since July of last year, when I had surgery to help me lose weight, I have lost 185 lbs. I now need 2xl shirts (if the shoulders were larger, I could wear XLs) and 44x32/34 pants. If anyone out there has some they are willing to part with, please let me know. I have adjusted my old shirts as much as they can. Thanks, YIS Paul Johnson, (307) 332-5957, paj@wyoming.com
  6. Way to go! Just remember your training. It may seem like a big job, however you can do it!!! Paul Johnson
  7. This is a very important topic to me! As the father of 2, one now in the troop and one in the pack, it can sure be a challenge. I became my oldest's den leader when the person who volunteered did not do her job. That was 5 years ago. 3 years ago I was approached to start a troop as an option from the Morman troops and the 1 non-morman, but not boy led troop. I am now the committee chair for that troop, with 4 active boys. Last year I was approached to be the Cubmaster for the pack! So now I am a leader within BOTH troop and pack, so have to be careful of how I am seen by the boys when in my "official" capacities. I have been fortunate that my sons have both found ways to acknowledge me in my position, seperate from being their father. This is probably because I have been "Santa" as long as they have been alive. When my beard became white, I was santa, but after my shower I was "Dad". I do go on campouts, but not every one that happens. When I do, I am both, and my sons know that I expect them to be examples to the other boys. We do talk as father/son, but seperately from the other boys. We often go for walks together if either wants to. My youngest usually does, but my oldest prefers to be with the other scouts. FWIW - I just asked my wife this question, and she said that "You have a wife that pulls you back from being too involved." She is very correct, in my case at least. Keep up the good work. Do not let your sons forget that you love them, and want to be part of their lives. Paul Johnson
  8. Good for you Tim. I know that it is hard to take a stand, however, you are starting to reap the benefits of that. It is very unfortunate that some people are so stuck in the way they do things that they are unwilling to change. It goes both ways, in that BSA may be wrong and the unit leaders may be wrong. We need to be open, and use what we have learned to incorporate the PURPOSE and INTENT of what we have learned in training. 1) BOYS FIRST. If the boys are not why we are here, then we need to leave 2) BOY LED. Some of our leaders (at all levels) have forgotten this. If we do all the leading, then the boys will not know how. 3) Age appropriate. At each age the boys are differant. Cub Scouts are NOT Boy Scouts! They have differant needs, therefore the leaders have differant learning needs! Paul Johnson
  9. I hope no one thinks that I do not want to support council. My troop has been gold card for 2 years (we are 2 1/2 years old as a troop). Our Pack sends almost $1,500 a year to council from FOS donations. It is the fact that the boys are forced to wait until March to get the commission that they have returned in November. That is 4 months after earning it that they get paid. How many of us would accept that from our employer. Even as a consultant, I was always paid withing one month of completing a project. I have several adults who are ready to say that their sons will not sell popcorn because of this procedure. It is time that the council realize they are counter-productive when they hold the money for so much time. Paul
  10. After reading all the posts, including mine, I wish to offer the following observations from MY district and council. The Council Executive is the individual who was hired to raise money (1st) and numbers of units and boys (2nd). He seems to understand very little about our state and especially the rural areas (which is 90+% of the state and council) Our DE is a very fine woman who is as helpful as anyone I have met. If she has a fault in her job, it is thinking that everyone knows where she has arranged to have our meetings is located! Our district include the entire county of Fremont, the largest (in area) county in the state, and is nearly the size of the state of RI. We have at least 10 cities included in this district. We may have to travel 75 miles to get to a meeting within the district. Having said that, how is our district run? The August RT is always about 50% popcorn, and making sure everyone has everything, and understands the current procedures. The rest is introductions of the district committee chairs, and calendar events. Since I am a "gofer" on the district committee, I see how the volunteers do run things. The DE is a "volunteer" leader at the cub level, and also does a number of "volunteer" activities at the district level. Just some clarification thoughts. Paul
  11. I guess I just better go to bed! Sorry for the last post, as this is the right location for the one before that.
  12. Sorry for this last post, it belongs in another forum! I am not sure how it got here. PJ
  13. OGE asked: "The quesiton is do you (scouts and scouters) beleive that your council/disrict professional staff is more interested in providing a quality program or pumping up funds and units regardless of quality and why? " Please note, I am answering this one before reading other responses. So please forgive me if I upset anyone. pj That is an easy one. Our DE cares about nothing (that I have seen) but meeting or beating a monetary amount and increasing numbers of units and boys. He has never said anything about the program. Any time we hear from him it is about FOS/Sustaining Membership or Popcorn. Last spring he told me that he wanted me to divide the pack in half (we have about 50 boys, in 8 dens, 15 in the Tiger den). We have 1 2nd year Webelos, 1 1st year webelos, 3 Bear, and expect to have 2 or 3 Wolf dens. His suggestion would not work because of the fluctuating size of the pack every year. I get very tired of the money council takes from the boys. When he was hired, about 4 years ago, he changed the Popcorn procedures and commission rates. Now council gets 40% of the popcorn sales, and the units only 30%. THis year he changed it again so that the units only get 25%, with the possibility of a 5% bonus if a unit met every one of the added stipulations. I do not disagree with the stipulations, however it has caused a lot of hard feelings toward the council. I know of NO BODY who likes him and his monetary policies. We do like most of the other people at council. I better stop before I get really upset. PJ
  14. It sounds like some leaders at best were ignorant, and probably just plain idnored rules and local laws. If they are found to be guilty, they can be charged the ENTIRE amount of fighting the fire. Next time you have a leader that does not want to follow policy or laws, bring up the monetary aspect. That usually gets more attention. On our campout last weekend, we were allowed to have open fires, but only in established campgrounds, in the provided fire rings. I had personal phone contact (not messages) with the BLM person in charge of the campgrounds. We cooked over both a camp stove and the fire, and the boys learned a lot. We had an adult monitoring the fire (even tho the boys were unaware of it, one monitoring the axe yard, and a third helping (with suggestions) the cooks. We had 2 buckets (about 3 gals of water in each) near the fire. I stayed with it to make sure it was out when the boys went on a hike, accompanied by the other adults. Was there a fire in the area? Yes. It was caused by a lightning strike less than 5 miles from where we were camping. It has now burned over 13,000 acres, with one structure burned. That structure was probably over 100 years old, and unknown untill the fire. I found out last Tuesday that there were at least 3 troops camping inside 10 miles from the fire start point! Unlike many areas, our forest and BLM personnel like our troops. We are involved with clean-up days, trail maintenance, etc. One of our recent Eagles project was to restore the Blue Ridge Fire Lookout. As was stated, the problem that caused the Utah fire was the adults, not the boys. Time to think about some new leaders in that unit. Paul Johnson
  15. Tiny1pj

    Your Uniform

    Our troop VOTED on the following. Fatigue (class C or field use): High quality Ts with screen printed unit info on the left chest pocket area. This cost us $7.50 each plus $10 for the screen setup. Hat: Black boonie with metal rank insignia. Other pins may be added, but the current rank is in front center. The boys voted on the boonie after discussion of the costs and benefits of all the availble hats. The second choice was the beret, and third the expedition hats. If the cost was reasonable, I think they would have preferred the expedition hats. As for the other, these are my opinions. Pants: Formal: Wool/Poly or similar dress pants. Fatigue: Good quality mil-spec field pants (BDU style) with adjustments, and cargo pockets. Color: olive or tan Shorts: Canvas or duck, with cargo pockets. Shirts: Formal: Current shirt with tie or appropriate bolo, Wood badge regalia Fatigue: BDU style. The pockets and take-up cinches are very handy. With a T under the shirt they are very comfortable. Again, green or tan. As for the Campaign hat. It is very useful, and did not cause any problems when I wore it in the field. If your choice is to wear it for formal, you might consider a second just for dress. After a while the hat "becomes yours" as it is shaped by use and weather. I bought mine for about $20, and have only added the universal insignia. I will be adding a Turks Head band in the future, made from para-cord. My thoughts. Paul Johnson Fatigue:
  16. I would like to ask how other councils deal with money from popcorn sales and the commission rates. A few years ago our council changed its rate of commission to units for popcorn sales to 30%, they get 40%, from an even split - 35% each. They also REQUIRE us to send ALL popcorn receipts to the council, and then ask for a check to put in our local account. The last 3 years we have not recieved out commission until February, in spite of turning in money before Thenksgiving. Needless to say this upsets both the parents and the boys. What do other units and councils do? How can we convince council that this policy is counter productive for inspiring the boys? Paul Johnson
  17. In my troop and pack we use differant methods. First you need to know that we are in a sparsely populated county, the poorest in the state. The council takes 40% of sale, units getting 30% IF they make all the conditions set by council. In the pack, we typically sell $13,000-17,000 each year, with each boy averaging around $400 in sales. The pack budget is about $3,500 annually, and we usually have no problem making it. The boys are given a commission of 10% of their sales (1/3 of unit commission) in cash. In our troop, the boys commission is 6% of sales (20% of unit commission). The commission is placed in an account for their use to purchase scout or camping related items. In both cases the boys that sell the most recieve the most. Since my sons have averaged almost $1,000 each year they were in the pack, they recieved about $100 each year. We controlled how they spent it, making sure the purchases were appropriate. I know of some units that do not sell popcorn because they think the commission is too small. They may have a point. However, if our pack continues as it has, we will not have a problem making budget. As for the troop, they need to average about $750 in order to do what they want. Paul Johnson
  18. Scoutnut's last comment is right on the money. I have used both, and the plastic boxes were much easier, unless at a long term camp. I did the design on the patrol box that my troop will be using. First decide what you want to take, and then it is fairly easy to make. I personally like the two-sided box for allowing two boys to be doing something at the same time. The idea of a dolly or adding wheels is a great one. Paul Johnson
  19. Bob has put the answer very succintly (s). (Please pardon my spelling) Most fishing (other than fly) can be done with very similar rods, the same line, and even use the identical rods and reels with differant types of lures and bait. The fly fishing rod is very specific, with a unique line, lure, and method. Although I do use a technique called "fly on a bubble" with my spin cast rig, it is differant from true fly fishing. As for why it came about, because the boys asked for it! I have volunteered to be one of the camp counselors to teach fly fishing at our council camp next year. I hope that it goes through! This year was the first year that fly fishing was taught at the camp, and there were more boys wanting it that the camp was capable of handling. Paul Johnson
  20. PS. I forgot to mention that the RTs do not come back together after they have finished. Usually the CS finishes first, and it would waste their time to wait for the BS to finish. Each RT takes until it is done, or a set time is reached. Sometimes it is less than 45 minutes, but we have 1 1/2 hours planned for the night. Paul Johnson
  21. Only one of the posts mentioned the primary reason for having the BS and CS RTs on the same night, time and location. Many of us are registered and active in BOTH! Especially in districts with small populations, this makes sense. We have fewer people in our county, the size of Rhode Island, than many cities have! Other than the common information, and things like recharter, our RTs are seperate. There have been a few instances when the BS RT group wanted to join the CS because they sounded like more fun. I usually find out from the RT leader (may be differant each time depending on program) what will be done. Since I am a Cubmaster, and will not have another den, I usually attend BS, unless there is specific things presented that I need. FWIW, I am occaisonally the CS RT presenter. For the most part I attend the BS, since I am the troop Committee Chair, and often an acting Scoutmaster for camps. I need more information from the BS RT than from the CS. For those of you who live in districts with large numbers of units and people, the seperate RTs make sense. But that does not work where I live. Paul Johnson
  22. Congrats Mike!!! Enjoy the fun that comes with this blessing. God Bless, Paul Johnson
  23. sctmom - Thanks for bringing this subject up. First I will give my summercamp experience this year. I took both my sons, an 11yo with ADHD and a Webelos, and one other scout, 12 with a processing disorder or ADHD. They went through the 1st year camper program, and were given an award by the class coordinator for being the most squared away troop in the program! Scout camp was the best thing my sons could have done this summer! Glenn's initial evaluation for arithmatic was the highest he has ever done! As for does ADD/ADHD exists, YES IT DOES! A common problem is that the child with ADD/ADHD is extremely inteligent, so not only cannot keep concentrated on a single subject, but is not challenged by the normal curriculum. This is another advantage of Boy Scouts - it gives the boys a chance to advance as they desire, challenged to their own level. As one person mentioned, if the meds work within minutes, 30-45, it is diagnostic. Any school that wants to medicate without QUALIFIED MD and psychiatric evaluation should be questioned and have the child moved to one that will listen to the proper people. "Y", get help from the local parent support group. If you are capable of home schooling, that is a good option. However, if not, then pursuing legal avenues is what I would reccomend. Your child is "disabled" under the definition of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), and you have legal recourse to get him assistance that does not include "Special Ed". Under Special Ed, my son would not be able to get what he needs, as it can only address one issue at a time. Do not give up. It sounds to me like the school your son is attending is "programmed" to go right to drugs for problems. THIS IS WRONG! Work through the problems without drugs, self control, when possible. We constantly work with Glenn to develop self control. He is doing better, but still needs Dexidrine for some assistance with self control. If I can help with any specific info, please contact me at paj@wyoming.com and I will do my best to get you in contact with the right people and organizations. Paul Johnson Lander, WY
  24. Bravo James!!! You have hit some points that none of us have brought to the discussion. The only thing I would change would be KISS to KISMIF. KISMIF = Keep It Simple, Make It Fun!!! To paraphrase BP - Scouting is FUN with a purpose. My troop loves to work with woodworking tools. They learn responsibility to take care of the tool, watch who and what is around them, careful handling of the tool, and first aid. All are useful and neccesary today. As for other "unused" skills, even though semaphore is no longer part of the program, we intend to teach it. It is the only way to communicate ACCURATELY over distance without electronics. As for tracking, the person who mentioned its current uses in the city is correct. I have been teaching my sons tracking since they could understand. They love finding tracks, learning what made them, and what ever else tracks can teach us. All hunters, now and future, need to understand how to track. As for where it is in the program, check out nature (plaster casts of animals), the fieldbook, and any other meritbadge booklets discussing wildlife. A lot of things that have been taken out of the handbook are in the fieldbook. YIS Paul Johnson
  25. As often happens when one or more immature or insecure people hold differant views, this thread has fallen away from a discussion of the use of tools that some would do away with and others use daily. It has denigrated to name calling and the call for mental health professionals by an appearantly insecure person. TAKE IT ELSEWHERE! I do not always disagree with Bob, however this thread he has attempted to be logical with his arguments. I did not see an attack, but rather a humorous discussion of the direction that "Y" was taking the thread. I have seen this same form of humor used in other threads by other posters. It should be taken in the light that it was meant - an exageration to get a point across. It seems that you would rather name call than discuss the issues. Get a life. I just came back from what is probably our last local campout until snow flies due to another range fire. Life is too short and the boys too important to belittle our colleges with whom we have a disagreement. We do not teach our boys how to ride a bus, there is no public transportation here. We do teach living in bear country because there have been bears, mountain lions, and moose seen within town. Paul Johnson
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