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Everything posted by torribug

  1. In a moment (or two....or three) of frustration with my son's periodic apparent lack of motivation to do ANYTHING other than watch television or learn a new lick or two on his guitar, I have threatened to withhold the driver's license. It is a pointless threat. We live one mile from the church where he goes to youth group and scouts, and another 100 yards away from where he attends school. He may not be particularly motivated, but he loves to walk. No reason to drive. He is finally getting his act together (been Life for like 3 years now) and getting his project done. Not because of his license - but because he knows how much Scouting has meant to him, and this is his way to show it. We are doing parent-taught driver's ed. He has to do the schoolwork before he can get his license. He hasn't touched it. He's working on his Eagle project instead - because it matters more to him than a driver's license. My point is, I guess, that if the scouting experience has been good for a boy, he will go all the way. If it hasn't been meaningful, he won't see the value in it. Why force it?
  2. Only ONE roll of TP for 12 days? I'm impressed! Seriously, our troop just did a shoebox campout (Thanks, Trevorum, for finding out about it and presenting it to the PLC!)Everything for a short weekend (Sat. night only) fit into a shoebox, including food. There were some interesting things that came out of those boxes that scouts/adults thought essential for survival. My son and I both had air mattresses. A few others had backpacking stoves, while others had hammocks. I think everybody had shelter of some sort (trash bags to tarps to painter's dropcloths). Other than uniform items, I would think that at a minimum, a scout would need a sleeping bag, personal first aid kit (with a whistle in it), appropriate shoes for the activities you will do, compass, watch, knife (after totin' chip), and water bottle. A scout can always share a tent with somebody else until he gets his own, so that would be lower on the list. Sunblock is a great thing to have, as is insect repellant, and for longer campouts, Gold Bond powder. BUG
  3. Oh, Dug. I really wish people didn't use the words "maturity" and "mentality" to try and make a case for older Eagles. So - mentality. Does that mean that we can't have emotionally delayed scouts become Eagles because they don't have the maturity, even though they are trying their darndest? What about the boys with Down Syndrome who have to have alternate requirements? Are they not Eagle worthy? I'll tell you what. I have 4 sons. All were in cubs, but only one of them went into Boy Scouts. My two oldest are 21 and 20. If they had been in scouts and you were to grant their Eagles based on maturity, you wouldn't have granted them until each of the boys was 19 (I know, you can't get Eagle after 18 and that's my point). Up until they left home (each about a year ago), the youngest (13) was teaching THEM things. They're doing fine now, the oldest is in college (lives on his own), and the second oldest grew up when he got a new "mom" at Marine Corps boot camp. The third (15) has some learning differences/emotional delays, so maturity is hard to quantify. The youngest just seems to be the most mature, maybe out of necessity because his brothers WEREN'T mature, or maybe just nature. Would I dare tell him that he can't work on his Eagle until he's 16 because he won't be mature enough until then, or that there is something wrong with his mentality? Sure, a bit more "seasoning" and leadership would be a great thing, and I hope he takes that route. But if he decides he wants to "go for it" now, contact the people that he needs to, and start finding an Eagle project (on his own) is that not a mark of maturity? c'mon. Bug Bug
  4. I like your idea, Wyoming, about Scouting America, with separate programs for boys and girls. I have thought about this before. Think of the money that could be saved on maintenance at scout camps, scout shops, and personnel that could be used for other things. Unfortunately, I don't think that would work with the current GSUSA. GSUSA has gone so far now that a uniform is optional, God is optional, and avowed lesbians can be leaders. I'm not saying they are right or wrong. I just don't think they would retract that in order to merge with BSA, and I don't think that BSA is ready to back down on those issues solely to fit girls into the program. I would like to see a "separate but equal" program run for girls by BSA. While the GSUSA program may be good, from what I have seen it just doesn't match up to the BSA programs. I know I may end up lynched for saying this, but Cubs could be co-ed, as long as DENS weren't. I don't know about troops, even with separate patrols, because I don't see the two genders camping together (and no, it's not about S-E-X). I think that when you mix the two genders between the ages of 11 and 14, there is a lot of self-consciousness for both sexes, and when camping and working on ranks and skills, that self-consciousness can cause problems.
  5. Didn't the Explorer program get absorbed by LFL?
  6. We've been through this discussion for sure. But I still keep coming back to this: there shouldn't be any shame in a boy earning Eagle when he is good and ready, as long as he has met all the requirements. Age is not a factor, and the folks that wrote the requirements were wise to see that obtaining Eagle isn't a cookie-cutter age-based process like schools. It depends on the boy to meet certain requirements. If he meets them, he gets Eagle. If he doesn't, then there are other things he can do in life to be proud of, but getting his Eagle isn't one of them. I didn't know you had to be a certain age to be a good leader, BTW. My son is in a fairly large troop. There are boys that are very active, attend most of the outings, have merit badges out the wazoo, gave fantastic project presentations, carried out their projects with minimal intervention from adults, and got Eagle at age 13. Then there are the guys who got Life while in middle school then left the troop until their senior year, about 6 or 7 months before turning 18. They hadn't been on an outing in 4 years and don't know many of the guys in the troop. They're there because their parents are pushing them to get Eagle because it looks good for college and scholarship applications. They meet all the requirements a few weeks before they turn 18. Tell me - which of these guys would you rather see having the Eagle patch on their chest? My answer would be "both", because they both met the requirements as they were outlined. I have to wonder why we keep having this debate. Bug - shaking my head.
  7. The former Boulder Dam Area council covers cities in California and Arizona, as well as Nevada. The reason that the name "Boulder Dam Area" council worked was that when it was created, most of the cities in the council were along the river below the Boulder/Hoover Dam (although there are smaller dams below it). Blythe, California, is a long way from Las Vegas. There was talk (okay, rumor) about renaming this council to the Las Vegas Area Council a few years ago. I'm sorry to see that rumor was true. Maybe it was the almost $6 mil grant from a Las Vegas foundation that tipped the scales? Looking at their new logo, all I could think was "yuck". I wonder if they are going to incorporate it on their CSP. I would LOVE to get one of the Boulder CSPs as as a sentimental souvenir. Ivac, As far as the council name being Boulder Dam vs. Hoover Dam, a lot of the "locals" still refered to the enginerring feat as Boulder Dam when I was living in the area (mid 70's to late 80's). It was a political/pride thing, I'm sure, just as the renaming of the dam was.
  8. Sdriddle, just be happy that you're still getting anything. Not sure where you are in in Texas, but the United Way Capital Area chapter no longer provides funding to the Boy Scouts of America because of "our rules on membership and volunteer leadership". People can still donate to the BSA through United Way if they specifically designate (via write-in) BSA on their United Way pledge form. So ONLY the amount that United Way donors specifically designate on a pledge card, minus the 13.7% administrative fee, is given to our council. I'm not sure how successful that is. I'm just happy that we don't have the heavy-handed sales people from United Way here at my work trying to guilt me into making donations to an agency (UW) that I do not respect (for reasons beyond their refusal to support BSA).
  9. I think that the "gift" that should be given by attendees is taking the time to go by and shake the young man's hand, look him straight in the eye, and say "Well Done!" If somebody wants to do more than that, perhaps a donation to FOS in the new Eagle's name would be appropriate? A card with a favorite snapshot of the young man? The young man has already received a LOT of gifts up to this point: the gifts of his involved parents, his scoutmaster's time, the elbow grease of those involved in executing his Eagle project, the dedication of all of the adults that saw him through to getting Eagle. I personally think (and this is just me, I'm NOT judging anybody who DOES give a gift), that it COULD cheapen the occasion by putting a price tag on it. Okay, I'll climb off of my soapbox now. Bug
  10. Whether this is an egregious abuse of school administrator's power or a dumb (or even calculated) mistake of an 11-year old boy is not the point of this post. I honestly didn't post this to make the school look bad (although I think this news article or even the one Laurie posted doesn't make them look GOOD either). There are plenty of anti-ZT websites out there that already do that. My point of posting this information was that if your troop is working on a project involving tools (think service hours here), you might pass the word on to your scouts that nails are now considered dangerous weapons, and that they shouldn't be taking them to school (even if they ARE shorter than pencils and less easy to wield than a fine-tip pen with a large gripper handle). Another thought: when my son was in 5th grade and had just crossed over to the troop, he occasionally used his school backpack for scout outings. If you know of a boy who does that, it might not be a bad idea to caution them at the end of the campout that when they get home, they ought to take a good look at what's left in their pack before using it for school the next day. Yes, even the mess kits with a dull knife can be considered a "dangerous weapon". Bug
  11. This is just an FYI, if any of the boys you work with are doing Eagle projects that involve nails or something similar. Make sure that they know they can't bring them to school: http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3313972&nav=0RaPZaCA (Rock Hill-AP) May 7, 2005 - An 11-year-old boy was arrested this week for carrying ten nails in his pocket at a Rock Hill middle school and charged with carrying an unlawful weapon. Dianne McCray, assistant principal at Rawlinson Road Middle School, asked the child Wednesday what was jingling in his pocket and the student gave her the 3.5" long nails. A school resource officer arrested him. His father picked him up and he was not taken to the police station. The father said the nails were left in his pocket after a Boy Scout outing. He says it is ridiculous that his son faces an unlawful weapon charge. He says the boy threatened no one. One would hope, however, that a boy would wear clean pants to school! But I also have to wonder why sharpened pencils aren't also considered dangerous weapons at this school.
  12. While there may well be Assembly of God churches that sponsor BSA troops, I have never seen one. I attended a private school run by an Assembly of God church, and although my parents weren't members, all of my classmates' families were. They did not allow their boys to go to scouts, and started up "Royal Rangers." They have rank advancement and merit badges similar to the offerings of BSA. They start as young as Kindergarten. royalrangers.ag.org
  13. Thanks, Thumper, for the explanation. I always enjoy hearing how different groups of people (read that as religions, countries, etc.) use scouting programs (and not just BSA) to help shape our young people. Sounds like the LDS church has really used this program to work in the best possible way for their youth.
  14. Trevorum, While talking about this a bit with my (non- outdoorsy) sister, she mentioned that a cell phone and some cash would fit quite nicely in a shoe box. So - how close is the nearest pizza delivery place to your campground, and how far of a hike out to the road to meet the pizza guy? Not that *I* would do something like that...... just a funny thought. Bug
  15. KS, I have to agree with you 100%. What I didn't post is that I personally wouldn't want my son double-dipping like that, but since my son doesn't have that requirement (he doesn't go to public school), I'm not going to be the one to pass judgment on those who do. Community service is a great thing, whether it is a requirement for school or scouts, or just because you want to do it. There are a lot of lessons to be learned, and the warm fuzzies are priceless. But I do know of kids who resent HAVING to do it for school, while they don't mind one bit doing it for scouts, church, Aunt Mabel, etc. Maybe they just want to get it over with? I don't know because we aren't in that position. Bug
  16. Sorry if I seem dense, nldscouter, but why don't they just do second year Webelos? I remembered that the young men started in the Arronic Priesthood at age 12, and that all young men in the church were in the troop. I also remember someone explaining that that's why they started the boys later in cubs. But the Blazer question still stumps me - why not just two years of Webelos? Please understand I'm asking this for educational reasons, as I'm always fascinated by different scouting programs and methods.
  17. On another scouting list that I'm on, one of the members mentioned that a family that she knows attends an LDS Church, and that they run their scouting program a bit differently. They only do one year for Webelos, then they go in to Blazer Scouts. The little bit of info I came up with by googling showed it to be a patrol for 11-year-olds (I recall that LDS packs start their boys a year later than "traditional" packs, so their 2nd year Webelos would be 11). Can anybody give me some info on that? Why do they have that program, and what do the Blazers work on? Since they are 11, they are old enough to be registered in a troop, so I'm wondering why they have a separate program instead of just a New Scout patrol. Bug
  18. I'm jumping in here a little late, but I want to go back to the original comment that other parents in the troop advised you to counsel the Life scouts to consider not finishing their Eagle rank before entering high school because of entries on their high school transcript. I have heard this comment from parents, too, but in a bit more detail. It's not that the Eagle rank goes on the student's transcript. It's that a lot of high schools now require their students to perform a service project, or at least perform a certain number of community service hours, in order to graduate. So what the parents I have heard are really saying is: "don't do your Eagle project until you're in high school so that the project hours count toward graduation requirements, as well." Bug
  19. The resident teen at my house is one requirement shy from completing his camping merit badge. This was a merit badge that he started at summer camp. He discussed the outstanding requirements with the ASM that was in charge of summer camp. The ASM told him that he is aware that he has done some of the requirements that are outstanding, and that he needs to just send him an email stating on which campout he accomplished these things. There was also some written work, which my son has just completed. However, looking at the list of outstanding requirements, he is missing 9c: "On one of your campouts, perform a conservation project approved in advance by the private landowner or public land management agency." To my knowledge, our troop has only done one conservation project in the last year and a half, and my son didn't go on that campout because of a family commitment. They do police their campsites to pick up trash (theirs and that which is left over from previous campers). Anybody have suggestions? Can a scout do a mini conservation project without having to head up a whole troop-wide project? He isn't in a troop leadership position right now, so he doesn't go to PLC (he's a den chief instead) and therefore can't really make the suggestion of a conservation project for a campout. I know that what meets the requirements should be left to the MB counselor (who in this case would be the ASM for summer camp), but knowing this ASM, I think it might be a good idea for my son to go in with some suggestions for meeting the requirement. I hope we (son and I) aren't making a mountain out of an anthill.
  20. The youngster that lives in my house mentioned that boots (as in the cowboy variety) come in a pretty good-sized shoebox. So a size 13 pair of Ropers might have a box large enough to hold most anything! Now, I have to wonder, what about the guys that wear those "cargo" pants that have enough pockets to carry another shoebox full of stuff?
  21. Our pack had traditionally crossed the WebII's over in November. The year my son was to cross over, the leader of the other WebII den said his boys wouldn't be ready til March, so the CM asked us to wait. My son earned his AOL in early Nov., and had already earned ALL the activity pins (he was in another youth program as well). After talking with CM, SM, and an ASM our family knew for a long time, he went ahead and joined the troop. He then came back for the actual AOL/crossover ceremony that was held at the end of March. His stuff was dated for the actual date that he received the AOL, not the date of the ceremony. Since I was the den leader, I stayed with the pack til March, and I often had my son help out with den meetings. It worked out well for all of us.
  22. torribug

    Patrol Patches

    Thank you for that link, Chaplain! That will hopefully help get his creative juices flowing.
  23. torribug

    Patrol Patches

    I'm helping my son out right now by doing some googling for him. They picked the name "fighting worms" for their patrol without thinking about what they would like to use for an emblem. Anybody even know what fighting worms might look like?
  24. I know that my son would like to see a video games merit badge. I think the problem would be finding a merit badge counselor who knew enough about it to be an effective counselor! Personally, I would like to see a housekeeping merit badge that had requirements like this: Show how to properly load a dishwasher rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher make sure that there is enough room between the dishes for water to flow through. Show how to properly load the washing machine separate the white clothes from the colored clothes (especially reds) select the correct load size for the amount of clothing you are washing - do not pack the clothes in tightly, even if you do select "extra large cycle" ensure that you put the load into the dryer before they start to mildew. Demonstrate how to properly mop up a spill on the kitchen floor.Show how to clean the microwave after you made bacon in it without covering it with a paper towelShow how to put clean linens on your bed. Follow up with making your bed daily for a period of one week. With your parent or counselor, change the vacuum bag in your vacuum cleaner when the old bag gets full. A good indication that the bag is full is when the vacuum no longer picks up pieces of paper from the floor, and no matter how many times you run over that piece of paper, the vacuum still does not pick it up.For a period of one week, make sure that all of your dirty clothes are placed into a laundry basket or other receptacle, and not under your bed. I'm sure that others can come up with more possible requirements for this one. Oh, and I would like to see this one "Eagle Required", if that isn't too much to ask! And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pass this one quickly, before my son becomes an Eagle!
  25. What are us laypeople to do? Err on the side of caution. There could be a 50% cure rate. But I think that hoping that the person you approve could be among that 50% is a little like playing Russian roulette. If a psychiatrist says that a pedophile is "cured", then maybe it's okay to have them live back into society instead of being institutionalized foreveer (although I personally don't agree with that, the name John Couey sticks in my mind right now) - it DOESN'T mean that they should be given carte blanche access to children. To use another analogy: You don't go and put a nice tall, sudsy, cold mug of beer in front of a thirsty person who just got their 90-day coin from Alocholoics Anonymous and say, "I'm going to leave you alone with this; I know you won't touch it, because you're cured" and walk away. I think the counselor who said he was cured shares part of the blame. I wonder if he (she?) sleeps well at night.
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