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blw2 last won the day on September 30 2017

blw2 had the most liked content!

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About blw2

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    Retired - former CM, ACM, ADL, CC, & Treasurer

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    former Cubmaster, former Assistant Cubmaster, former Assistant Den Leader, former troop CC, former Troop Treasurer
  1. Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    those are awesome! how I think it should be in a perfect world. Talk about taking patrol spirit and troop pride to another level.....I'd add that the patrol leaders should all have keys to the place so the patrols can have meetings on their own time.... keeping the adults "out of it". A real scout hut club house! Meanwhile, my troop as a boy, was much like the Troop I volunteered for. We fought every other ministry in the church, along with wedding receptions and the rest, for space in the parish hall or the school cafeteria.... No regular place even to store the troop's flag.... we'd have to look for it every time to find which corner or closet it got squirreled into.... curious about those examples.... who charters these troops? who owns the building and land for these troops to have such an awesome set-up?
  2. I'm not so sure I totally agree. I think scouts is about a group of friends, usually 6-8 of them, getting together to do fun stuff together as a patrol. In the process they practice leadership, learn skills, and all sorts of stuff. Sure, the 'game' of scouts is outdoor oriented but isn't that only because the idea is that boys get so much good out of being outside? Sure it wouldn't count towards nights camped, it probably shouldn't be encouraged as a regular thing....but I'd liken it to a patrol getting together for a game of basketball at the scout hut. A special event, fun, leaders lead, .....
  3. My wife had CBS Sunday Morning on yesterday evening (recorded on Tivo) They had a nice bit on Boy Scouts going Coed. Showed the GSUSA's reaction, interview with their CEO. Interview with Michael Surbaugh....Came across as a nice guy, but boy, that guy seems out of touch to me when it comes to the reason for the decline. I'll say it again, the BSA needs a real outdoor guy at the helm, not a CEO boardroom type...like a Bear Grylls adventure guy https://www.cbsnews.com/video/boy-scouts-of-america-girls-now-admitted/
  4. Cub Scout Patrols

    Watch out, don't get them too far advanced... I often thought that the webelos scouts would have more fun if something like this were done. When I was CM I tried to encourage it a bit, and I leaned on the Webelos some furring pack meetings as leaders.... they would help keep things organized, pick teams for games, stuff like that.... I would have liked to have even done way more at the den level then we did, in making it into a patrol rather than a den....patrol spirit, patrol yell, picking what they want to do, etc... BUT fast forward to after about a year after my son joined the troop. I was seeing serious signs of boredom....and we really didn't even do all that much at the den level. The troops might be set up less advanced in the patrol method than even you do now, and that could be a set-up for let-down and disappointment...
  5. also with cubs, we did Patriots Point...great trip, slept under the space shuttle at Kennedy Space Center, slept under the Whale tank at Sea World... there are lots of great options for scout groups that aren't "camping". Those were our most popular things in the Cub days....
  6. Teaching Orienteering

    I don't really see the night as a hindrance at all.... we did it at night in the cub scouts....although that was a very simple level.... Still, I think the darkness reduces the chances of sneaking with the eyeball to find a small waypoint marker. When i was searching for it back for the cubs, I found lots of really great ideas for scavenger hunt type things using a compass..... the clues for the next waypoint would be hidden at the waypoint you're trying to find like in a baloon....but there would be lots of decoy balloons with bad clues inside so you couldn't just find it by eye. For the cubs, I believe we just used a small marker, like a coin I think.... Lots of great ideas out there.
  7. We are easy driving distance form there...about 2-1/2 hours. Our pack used to go camp at Fort Wilderness every year or two. Good family camping there, since we were close and it's palatable for many new families....clean bathhouses and such... But that was all family camping stuff.
  8. These points, I wish were burned into every scouter with every required training that they take. they should be dissected and analyzed thoroughly during every IOLS, and probably ILST too, as long as we are making the scouts sit through that....
  9. Arrow of Light Ceremony - Flaming Arrows!

    Jackdaws, Is that Echokotee by chance? If so, I've sang on that stage...my apologies to anyone in earshot...which was quite a few since I tried to sing loudly....
  10. Remind - A Messaging App

    well said! I agree, texts are harder to deal with unless it's something that will be dealt with right then and there....like reminders are ok but the problem with reminders is that they become noise. Newsletters can be the same.... I remember reading something a long time ago, before all this electronic stuff, about posting stuff on bulletin boards.....those things would become so cluttered with things that were just always there, that when something new would go up it would just be lost in the noise and never noticed.
  11. Can Scouts use campers?

    Yeah, no I get what you mean.... At first we started looking at the popup as an upgraded tent.... then as time passed it became a really low-end RV. Now we have a basic class C motor home. Interesting thing related to this thread, it was on one of those cub scout trips I mentioned, when we first started toying with the idea of getting an RV. It rained all weekend. I was out doing the seemingly hour long set-up process getting soaked, while I watched all the folks in TT's and motor homes, back into their spots, set the parking brake, and crack open a cold drink....to watch me. I was also out there helping other folks set up their tents too, although there weren't many of those... Anyway, RVing really is fun family time but it aint camping....although what is camping anyway? I think it boils down to roughing it....compared to your normal. RVing is not so unlike cabin stays. Sometimes it can be approaching roughing it....well at least simplifying it.... but it gets the family together, breaks the routine, encourages travel to visit nature in places like state parks, sometimes like this past weekend where I hiked 6 miles on some really great trails. ....and on the other side of things, i just splurged and bought myself a new tent recently.... a Duplex from Zpacks. Wow that thing is light! Cant wait to carry it a few miles to use it!
  12. Arrow of Light Ceremony - Flaming Arrows!

    I've seen the flaming necker thing done a few times in my son's early years with the pack. Honestly, I think it's all adult driven non-sense. Any of these ceremonies that I've seen away end up being a long drawn out over produced thing that bores the kids to tears. Our pack always did AOL in conjunction with B&G AND a bridging ceremony....all together too much. My 2 cents....AOL should be done as instant recognition at a den meeting at the time an INDIVIDUAL scout earns it....with follow-up MENTION at the next pack meeting. Something simple and meaningful. That's all.
  13. Can Scouts use campers?

    well I see that the OP has not chimed back in..... It could be that they were talking about cub scouts and "family camping" ....er.... does that family camping also now apply to Boy Scouts too? When my son and I were in the pack, the first few years before i got heavily involved, there was a rather large cadre of families with RV's. Mostly travel trailers, a huge 5th wheel or two, and a few motor homes as I recall. We had a pop-up tent trailer, the only one in the group. I guess on an average of about twice a year the pack would reserve a bunch of sites in a state park, with one site designated at the pack site, where the pack's trailer would be parked, along with a huge trailer smoker grille. Some folks tented to, and everyone would gather around the pack's huge coffee kettle and the grille. remembering I just shake my head.... it was good times...but at the same time there was so much in the way of clique groups and silly adult stuff....grill kings and the like. The boys had fun though....little sisters too...running around through the woods and such, lord of the flies style.
  14. 501(C)3 non profit status

    that's exactly how I used to put it. I'd make the case that we were an extension of their youth ministry. I remember when i first thought of it that way... I was the CubMaster and basically also the CC and several committee member jobs too.... and I was having a discussion with the GS leader. They were being very stand-offish about letting non-parishioners into the troop. I made a strong case that i look at it as a ministry. That our hope should be that we engage in families not currently coming to church. That it would be a blessing if through our activities even just one family found a church community that they might even considering to join. Sadly, i think it's the other way around from their perspective, at least to a degree. The pastor likes and verbally supports scouting, and I believe he would echo the same sentiments that I did, but basically the general 'machine' of the church "staff" sort of treats us as you put it "renters"..... We always seemed to have a lower standing when compared to youth and other uses of the building.... and we certainly never had our own room. I never really understood that... I've honestly thought it comes from the catholic tradition...."think the stereo typical nun in an old catholic school"....mean and strict. It's just the way they are. Like a drill sergeant. Anyway, in our case the COR was never engaged so that may have been a factor.
  15. Need a spreadsheet for finances

    https://www.troopwebhost.org/ I would not have done the treasurer job without it, period. Even if the troop did not want to use it for the other tools, I would have insisted they keep it or find another treasurer. It's set up to log everything in for you. Payments can be made through the site (seamlessly with paypal), it's a tool like quicken in a sense to balance your checkbooks and accounts. It has lots of budgeting tools, but I recommend against a lot of that. It's a layer of complexity that simply is not needed and will amount to busy work. keep it simple. It has great tools for sending out balance statements to scouts or parents, that sort of thing...tools for printing various reports for the monthly committee meeting, you can drill in to see reports from events (camping trips, fundraisers, etc.... to see the money... parents and scouts can log in to see their individual situation and I liked that it gives complete transparency. Any committee member can be given permissions to either view or to edit the money stuff, so they can log in any time they want to see what I'm doing. An online spreadsheet (such as google sheets) would do this too, but it more complicated and apt to and then the other things....troop emails, newsletters, calendar, etc.... we found the newsletter doesn't get read for the most part, folks don't really log in to sign up for events, stuff like that..... and personally I think a lot about it looks a bit dated and maybe "clunky", but it was still a good thing. The guy that operates it was a troop treasurer and he has it set up well I think. We used it with "scout accounts"...the idea is that every troop member has an account. They put their own money in, and can choose to maintain a positive balance that can be used to pay things like camping charges or for dues... It's their money sitting in the troop's bank account. the site just breaks it out really nicely to show what their balance is. It wasn't scout accounts in the sense that fundraising money from the troop goes to the scout personally like payment for doing the work. thats' a whole sticky wicket that a lot of troops used to do, probably many still do, but should not be doing. So if a scout owed money for an upcoming camping trip, I would charge their account. It would show as a negative balance if they didn't have enough in to cover it. worked pretty well overall.....