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Everything posted by topshot

  1. I'm curious how often most Troops hold elections. We just started to look at this Star to Life time issue in depth. We have elections only twice a year (2nd Mon of May and Nov). This means the May-Nov Scouts will always be short 3 days (which seems stupid to me since Nov-May span is actually fewer days). They can wait for the next monthly BoR to get advanced, but they also must have some type of position or special SM project to cover the extra days (assuming they aren't re-elected into another one that counts). To me this seems rather unfair. Maybe our Eagles have been lucky to not have
  2. With that kind of base weight, why are you wearing boots?
  3. The running shoe/hiking boot industry is filled with a bunch of BS about support and such that keep your feet from operating as designed. How else will they continue to get you to buy the new and improved models? That being said you will need to ease into minimalist footwear to avoid a lot of pain since you're not used to walking like you should be. I personally wouldn't go without a rock plate though.
  4. At least when using the "New Topics" feature, the "Sort By" function does not work. I tried Started Post, Last Update, Replies and Title. It gets resorted, but it's clearly not even close to correct.
  5. In our Council, family camps are district level events for all Packs in the district (usually only once per year in our district). Pack overnighter is any overnight (camping or otherwise) with just your pack.
  6. Our council switched to Walmart or Amazon gift cards last year though there were a couple prizes that could be earned at higher levels in addition to the GC. I much prefer that to the old way (though you could also get cards back then, too) though I suspect some Scouts/parents may prefer those prizes. My son has always been one of the top sellers in the unit ($1,500+ avg sales) so he's able to fund his entire year of Scouting including uniform pieces with the earnings.
  7. Should have added you should check out this paper I wrote, too. It's made for newbies and Scouters that don't know how to backpack light. http://topshotsystems.com/Lightweight_Scouting_Dissertation.pdf
  8. May be too late for you, but I'd also go for the 7x7 Walmart tent. It's fly isn't as pathetically small as the 6x5 tent, which would be too small for you anyway. However, be advised that you should really seal the seam between the walls and bottom. They apparently aren't taped. Had torrential rains on our recent trip and our son and his buddy got wet while my wife and I were fine in my true backpacking tent.
  9. The only time I use a groundcloth is if I'm using a tarp (no floor). On a recent trip to the Smokies where we had to pitch on gravel platforms, my backpacking tent with it's ultralight 30D floor was the only one that didn't get wet when torrential rains created nice ponds on these platforms.
  10. I only found 3 of them (via Google). Fishing, Fly Fishing and Fish and Wildlife Management. Given the commonality of subjects, it's clear someone did those for some special purpose.
  11. Our troop's Scouts are "lazy" as the former SM told me. We pretty much car camp each month within a couple hours. We did go rafting in southern KY (5+ hours) 4 years ago. We'll have a small contingent going to the Smokies this summer. We also live in one of the most depressed areas of the state so few families have money (or money to buy popcorn, etc.). A few of the Scouts do manage to fund their whole year via fundraising though. Since the troop doesn't provide the adventure, I've been doing it on my own with my sons.
  12. topshot

    Velcro Rank?

    Use the self-stick velcro - no need to sew it. Sticks very well to the "glue" on the back of the patches. It may come off the newer uniforms, which seem to have some kind of finish, when washed. Make sure the loop part is put on the shirt to prevent pilling when being laundered. I ended up using an iron from the opposite side to help the glue set into the fabric better. Removing the patch when washing also helps it stay put. I prefer using the 2" wide strip and cutting to shape as needed vs using several of the dots. Only problem is if the Scout doesn't have a current position, you'd have a pi
  13. Our Troop does the same. Each patrol rotates who buys the food for the next campout and it's up to the parent to get them to the store. Those Scouts will take home a tote (and sometimes a cooler). He gets $10/Scout so he knows his budget.
  14. Propane and it's various mixtures also have their own dangers. Valves can go bad, easy to tip over uprights, etc. The worst, of course, would be getting the canister too hot, which would cause it to go boom. That's pretty much only an issue with upright stoves (canister below the pot) where heat is reflected downward. That's why the mfr says never use a windscreen with an upright. If the canister is too hot to keep your hand on it, you need to remove the pot and turn down the stove ASAP.
  15. It seems clear Terry (or someone else) restored from a backup so a couple weeks of posts are now gone. I'd mentioned here that vBulletin has screwed the pooch with this release for sure. It seems many of these issues existed in beta several months ago and haven't gotten fixed yet so I wouldn't look for a solution from the vendor anytime soon. No, they don't support downgrading. Your only option is restoring from a backup using the old version. I assume Terry went direct from whatever he was using to vB5 so here we are. From my quick searching on the vB support forums, it didn't seem like anyon
  16. Is there some official national document that indicates you can't or shouldn't use scout accounts? We always have escrowed their money and haven't had any of the issues others have. The Scouts get 100% of their fundraising efforts. We charge an annual fee ($90 this year) and now run pay per activity in advance ($10 for food plus any other expenses) because we did have some issues when we considered the $10/month as dues with a few not paying for extended periods. So now you pay to play and only pay for those events where you attend.
  17. Where to begin? Perhaps it's because I use Firefox 18, but lots of things don't show up correctly. None of the tags seem to work (url, color and size in the post above, for example, as well as quote) The number of pages in a thread seems to broken. One that claimed to have 78 posts only showed 1 page (I had set it to show 40 per page). Going to Latest Activity tab rather than Posts tab seemed to be correct. When I switched back to 10 per page, this thread for example showed 1 of 4 pages yet there were really 7 pages! There's also no way to go to the last page. Doing a search will give re
  18. Not sure how what I asked is relevant to the discussion but: Is the omission of the Scuba MB an error? If not, are those hours to be counted as "swimming"? YES, Scuba is a valid MB Would the hours needed to earn Boardsailing and Snorkeling emblems count as "swimming"? YES Then I asked a followup, Whether any activities before the award was available should count, similar to how merit badges are done where they don't count? YES, prior activities any time during Boy Scout or Venturing carreer count. Not sure what you mean by how they got answered. I was emailed back. Seems simple
  19. Susan.Fitzhugh has been answering some of my questions regarding these awards. Add scouting.org for her email.
  20. > I see you recommend chemical water treatment and others in this thread do too. However I have had the filters recommended by another troop as a more surefire way of assuring water safety. I don't know of a filter that you can verify it's working as you expect in the field. Yes, you can tell when it's clogging but have no idea if it's been damaged somehow, letting through larger particles. Yes, chlorine dioxide tablets can "expire", but you can normally see and smell whether they're reacting as they should be. You will get water faster with a filter. I don't see that as an i
  21. Haven't been by in a while or I would have responded sooner. The paper I wrote for my University of Scouting dissertation was done for people like you. You can find it at http://topshotsystems.com/Lightweight_Scouting_Dissertation.pdf
  22. > We are looking for ways to handle Scout camp next year and in the near future, a 50-miler. Hopefully, the Scout camp kitchen will accommodate you. We have one that did but stopped (we'd always go the first week to make it easier on them). When they stopped, the family made their own food and stayed out of the dining hall. The other camp we normally attend will also work with us. As for the long backcountry trips, your son will likely need to fix and eat on his own given the amount of stuff that affects him since nearly all typical backpacking food will contain some of those ingr
  23. I'd join Pack212 in Denali and Juneau.
  24. Another happy NeoAir user. As a side sleeper you definitely want a pad over 2". There are those much cheaper than a Neo but also much heavier and bulkier. I'd be willing to try hammocking but most of my preferred camping is above treeline.
  25. To clarify, I wasn't suggesting greenhorns would or should be the 2 adults. I'm committee chair but have never taken IOLS. I do backpack solo in the wilderness for a week at a time. I've also done WFA. If I have to take IOLS to take a group of kids out I will, but my time is too valuable if it's not required. There are other adults in the troop I'd have no trouble with supervising a patrol. Am I correct in thinking the SM has final say in the matter? Can he require IOLS? I can understand the point that it's his reputation on the line.
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