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blw2

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Everything posted by blw2

  1. I think that I generally lean towards agreement with Latin Scots Point. If you were asking me this question, I'd agree with qwazse about the uniform. The program format, being originally based as an outdoor program using things like patrols, uniforms, rank advancement are all rooted in military focus....more naturally boy focused. Stereotype? sure it is.... are there exceptions? you bet! But I feel like it's a safe bet that more boys than girls are typically drawn or are inclined to play "army", spy, indian tracker, woodcraft skills, getting dirty, and the like. This is all the root of how it started based on what I've read. BP wrote a book for military scouts, then somehow discovered that groups of boys were playing in the woods using some of it...so he wrote another book aimed more to a boy...using the natural draw of a boy to do these things. At least that has been my understadning after having read some of BP's writings On the other hand, girls generally (or stereo typically) aren't so into wearing military uniforms, caring about rank, and such...which is kinda the core of the primary method...and as they get older... the age of scouting's focus.... they are much more getting into 'looks' and style, keeping clean. What is the method of scouting? I look at the overall method of scouting is "The Patrol Method". All those other things you mentioned aren't really the method so much, or at least not the primary one in my thinking. I think some of those are more like tools to use in working toward the aims of scouting (adult association, uniform, advancement maybe), or some such as ideals and personal growth fall more in line as parts of the aim of scouting...building character and all of that.
  2. this is a sidebar.... I didn't mean Eagledad. Your username RememberSchiff made me wonder, since you were pointing out things aviation, if you might be either him or somehow related to Barry Schiff...a rather famous pilot/author.
  3. I agree with the ideas of looking for ways to make them laugh and keep drawing them in. When they start to drift off...I've heard it termed "going away" because their mind is going someplace else... then be ready with a joke, or without warning change the character from Gordon Ramsey to Guy Fieri to bring them back to the kitchen. Resist the temptation to read out of the book, or anything like that. I'd try to make everything hands on...which may be near impossible if the group is big, but still...its a good goal and remember that 99% of them probably have already heard most of the material before. They've had it read to them in cub scout den meetings, they've also attended CubORee and things like that where they've had 1st aid courses and had the books read to them. And probably again in some of their early troop meetings before this camp. They have most likely already tried to make a splint or a stretcher, or maybe wrap a sprained ankle in a necker.... maybe even done all these things multiple times, and some even outside of scouting. But what they most likely haven't done is to do any of those things for 'real', or be held to a standard to actually get that wrapped ankle properly tight enough to do anything. Instead they have wrapped the ankle kinda-sorta like it should be, and then the instructor said, "oh that's good enough, you get the idea. Now let's move on to..." I love the idea of the Ketchup bottle...but if you can, hide it in some way so the scouts don't see it coming...maybe put the ketchup in a water bottle that can't be seen through... and do it without warning I would try to not have defined sessions either... for instance "we are meeting after lunch at Pavilion A, where we will sit around and work through first aid for two hours...". Don't do that. Instead, while on the required hike (I forget, is it 3 miles or 5?), maybe at some strategic point such as maybe when furthest from the trailhead, fake a sprained ankle on one of the scouts. Boom, instant class on how to wrap an ankle...then while that's happening, it might be a good time with a shoe and sock off so as not to stain clothing.... act like you are going to take a drink out of that water bottle.... squirt... "OMG, this scout is bleeding! What do we do?"....Bam, class on bleeding... this could then lead to stretcher making, or improvised crutches.... then split the group so that everyone is either a patient or a first responder and then they actually use the stretchers to carry the patients to the trailhead. I mean really do it. "what should we do? Do we continue on the trail, backtrack the way we came, or look at the map, is there an alternate trail that may be shorter than the one we were 'planning' to take?" Boom, could be an instant course on decision making and navigation... That reroute might have been your secret plan all along because you are of course prepared, but they didn't know it... Try to actually let them make the decisions and let them make mistakes. It's a whole lot more fun and better at keeping a person engaged and present in the moment. Continue on like that....So in one afternoon when the scouts came into it thinking they were only going for a hike, it magically worked out that they did the hike, but also fulfilled some or all of the requirements for 1st aid, navigation, or whatever you dream up... the whole course doesn't have to be like that, and logistically it may be impossible to do it all like that anyway, but the more of this sort of thing that you sprinkle in, the better the course will be, in my opinion.
  4. I'd be all over trying to get in on that camp if I were still a kid! I'm a huge aviation buff. The EAA (Experimental Aviation Association) has a Lodge up in Wisconsin and they have some sort of youth summer camp program they put on. they call it Air Academy. I'm not aware of them doing anything approaching the scale of what they are doing up in Maine, but it still looks way better to me than a typical BSA summer camp experience. I offered it up to my son (when he gets old enough) a few times but he so far hasn't expressed much interest. Surprises me really...I can't even imagine having opportunities like these when I was a kid....but I suppose we all have our interests and passions, and one of mine has almost always been aviation....his are different, and that's ok. I just wish he'd find what it is. So far it's only to become the world's greatest x-box player I suppose.... Well this year I think he's old enough for the youngest bracket at that EAA camp, but to me it doesn't look like all that much fun. When he gets a bit older they look better in my eyes anyway. RememberSchiff, are you by chance Barry?
  5. blw2

    Stuffed French Toast

    it's like a breakfast monte christo sandwich! I love it! except I'd replace the raspberries and berry syrup with strawberries and either sweet strawberry juices or just a touch of natural maple...just a personal thing, raspberries are one of very few things I don't care for... I'm gonna try that some day!
  6. blw2

    Breaking Point

    I agree with others, this is well said....on one aspect of scouting.... the surface one. Preparing for life in the tangible sense.... another, more primary point of learning the woodcraft, wasn't the skill itself.... it was more about capitalizing, I think, on something the boys enjoyed doing to gain all sorts of covert opportunities to build positive character, confidence, independence, teamwork, etc... I totally agree with your look on the positive side.
  7. blw2

    Breaking Point

    this was in response to one of my comments.... I should qualify that my experience wasn't necessarily that the forbid the practice. It just wasn't on anyone's radar. Patrols doing things on their own just was not encouraged (with the exception of huddling up in one of the corners of the room during a troop mtg to brainstorm the menu). when I mentioned it I often thought I had something between my teeth based on the look I got. I doubt if most of the scouts had ever even considered the idea.
  8. blw2

    Breaking Point

    i like that!
  9. blw2

    Breaking Point

    Yes! isn't that only part of it..."100 yards" when on a troop camp The idea of patrol activities that is being 'outlawed' (if I'm understanding this new rule correctly) is more about the encouraging the comradere of the group, the gang of friends to paraphrase Baden Powell. the guys on their own decide to get together for some fun (or whatever) just like a bunch of neighborhood kids might do with their friends in the neighborhood so 100 yards.... Yes, it seems like that practicing that is perhaps a decent compromise solution to this new 'problem'. (but as I wrote before, since this is all theoretical for me...since I never really saw the patrol method and patrol outings or meetings in full-force action)
  10. blw2

    Breaking Point

    I thin I might have posted this idea before....but in case I didn't My read on this is the vast majority of units operate this way already...so this is really almost nothing new to a majority if I'm right. It has just been an adult leadership unwritten rule, and now it's written as an official program rule ...
  11. blw2

    Cost of Being a Scout

    without getting too deep in the weeds, the OP's numbers are ballpark close to what our troop was....except for the uniform spread over multiple years, which has already been pointed out. Also, I think we camped just a little less. It varied but maybe more like 9 or 10 per year at normally $20 a pop, sometimes a little less or more. As treasurer, I hated that it seemed like we were forever asking for more money..... we need your dues.... we need your camping fee..... ah, we still have some unpaid dues.... time to collect the deposit for summer camp... and then the fundraisers which really end up in part a way to ask for more money from parents...
  12. blw2

    Summer camp - too many adults?

    funny you mention phones.... just a couple days ago, I found myself explaining what a dial tone is to my almost 13 year old. I had mentioned it in the discussion, as he and I were hooking up a new voip system for my wife's business fax, discussing how phones get their power....and he didn't know what it was!
  13. blw2

    BSA Executive Salaries

    yeah, of course....kind of my primary point....but no reason a knowledgeable and personable person couldn't advise too. And certainly no reason a capable person sorta like that couldn't lead, too. I'm just suggesting that it could be taken to a different level. And yeah, I do think I'd a whole lot rather someone like him sit at the head of the table when they are devising changes to the program, requirements, or whatever.... as opposed to a starched shirt business guy that's probably more comfortable in a suit than he is in a tent.
  14. blw2

    Summer camp - too many adults?

    Very common way of thinking these days. It is how we are all conditioned now. But to look at perspective, and perhaps change your paradigm a bit.....I don't know how old you are, probably not quite as old as I am, but if you're close.... think about what age these 1st year scouts are. Now consider the kinds of things you did at that age. When I was much younger than these scouts, I was on my bike or on foot, roaming the neighborhood...sometimes with friends, sometimes on my way to see friends. I'd be out of the house for hours at the time, doing all sorts of things.... exploring new home construction sites, catching crawdads in the creek half mile from home..... My parents probably usually had a good idea of where I was approximately, some of the time, but often they didn't....could be anywhere within a mile or two... but I knew to be closer to home in the evening and to be home usually when the street lights came on...but not always. I remember many times hanging out in the evenings under that street light. This was Cub Scout age.... fast forward to the age we are talking about.... I'd be out with my friends roaming much further away. Rode my bike to school sometimes just for fun, instead of the bus...5 or 6 miles away and this was in a small city. & I wouldn't say that I was any sort of exception to the norm...not a rough family, not bad irresponsible parents...actually quite conservative and I was fairly timid as a kid... My only point is that these guys at that age can certainly handle getting to a merit badge class on the other side of a very controlled access boy scout reservation, crawling with scouts and scouters all willing to help....well most willing to help
  15. blw2

    BSA Executive Salaries

    Yeah...I concede that point. There is a difference though...in his case he's not out there primarily representing or showcasing scouting on his shows. I do think I remember seen and episode where he ran face down a mountain in a semi-rappel sort of thing on a line. Is that what you mean? i'd take that as more likely representing military techniques...but sorta speaks to that 'cool' factor that hashtagscouts mentions. I mean really if you think about it, if a tv show had to fallow the Guide to Safe Scouting 100%, it would probably make for a pretty boring show... Another point about the bear G example... he sort of does his show as a caring nice-guy with character....although I'll say I don't really like some of the sensitive interview stuff. Yeah, I think hashtagscouts nailed it.... someone that seems cool and connects vs some upper middle aged boardroom guy in a starched shirt. My point wasn't to build up or support Bear G in anyway really, it's more about the folks that are getting paid high salaries and the kind of job they do and the image they project.... it could be better spent on folks that will keep the program grounded and cool, more so than the way it has been...
  16. blw2

    Summer camp - too many adults?

    thanks, but I seriously doubt that. I know the temptation you write of, very well. I had to work hard to resist it.... but thanks to effort & interest on my part, enough to do a lot of reading books on the subject and participating here and actively reading scout blogs and listening to podcasts...I think I came up to speed very quickly. Nothing about being a Cub Scouter certainly had anything to do with it.... Yes it was hard to resist and no doubt I wasn't perfect at it and made mistakes... I'm remembering one of my early camps though that I went on with the troop.... a veteran ASM who was an Eagle as a youth, had attended Philmont, Order of Arrow, and all of that...good guy, very smart guy...but I remember him jumping in and doing it for a scout (building a fire I think it was).... and I tried to politely/covertly call him on it to steer the situation. that's just an example, and not trying to brag or anything...just point out that blanket statements like "don't let first year scouters..." can be just plain dangerous to take without a grain of salt. Since that experience, I have strongly felt that both cub scouts and cub scouters would be better served if training and the program in general, probably starting at the bear level, started to steer in the ideas in the patrol method and "boy leading the way" concepts....not going full in at that point, but easing towards that independence
  17. blw2

    BSA Executive Salaries

    yes, I knew all of that about Bear Gryls. Yes, a person like that may not know how to run a board room meeting....but in my opinion they'd still make a good functional head in that they could steer things in a good direction for the youth.... keep things grounded so to speak. they can always have accountant types or whatever supporting and advising them.... And call him a fake adventurer if you want... the guy was British special forces till he broke his back (that was my understanding anyway)...and he's on camera on his show all the time rappelling, climbing, scrambling, jumping off cliffs into lakes, paragliding, demonstrating scout-skills, and all sorts of stuff. Often with a little scout pin on his lapel.... sure he has a support crew, and it's all staged. So what?
  18. blw2

    Summer camp - too many adults?

    I keep seeing this said.... I get the idea, and it probably has merit most of the time, but I have a problem with the statement generally.... it's basic premise demands that the veteran scouters that are presumably teaching those first years what's-what, a) are teaching them, and b) understand it themselves... sorta like the idea that if an adult was a scout as a youth, that they understand the 'code' or whatever.... or when questioned about something a veteran of the (job/trade/hobby/or whatever) says something like, "I've been doing this for X years...". to that the inside my head voice says "doing what, doing it wrong a long time?"...well, usually it's not out loud anyway.... I'll say this, as a "first year scouter" at the troop level, I 'got it' much better than some of the veterans of the adult lead troop did....
  19. blw2

    Breaking Point

    was he useless, or did he truly understand the patrol method and the idea we call boy lead?
  20. blw2

    Breaking Point

    davidco, I think that is a very interesting perspective....good point. It does seem like it's easy for so many adults to get caught up in 'playing the game'. I'll admit that in some ways I did, but I think I was always aware of what I was doing and kept it tempered down....usually. I think that many adults probably aren't so self-aware about it though. While I wasn't actually doing work on the "requirements", I do enjoy this stuff and sort of feel like what we are often doing is similar to auditing a college course. I've seen some take it to an extreme...forming the "adult patrol", and all of that.... I see this as one of the big reasons that it is all so common to have too many adults envolved. I couldn't agree more with you about doing things like playing in the sand.... (or having a tea party with my nieces, etc...) so it's easy to keep that separation with things like that....but with scouting, it's like.... hey I like to camp, I like to hike, i like to canoe, i like i like i like....count me in! Easy to get lost in it.
  21. blw2

    BSA Executive Salaries

    Whenever I think about those guys in national... the high paid ones... I don't think so much about over or under paid. Hey, people are in high paid jobs leading all sorts of companies...but considering the pressure they are under, the hours they probably work (even when it looks to us like they are playing), maybe it aint' oh so bad.... I do get that it can be hard to swallow though from my perspective down in the lower end of the spectrum.... anyway, what I think about when I think of them is image of BSA, recruiting, etc... I keep going back to Bear Grylls and his TV show. I've heard the rumors about his cheating and faking survival situations.... but hey, he's out there in a very visible place doing some very adventuresome stuff that in theory at least scouts could do. I still say that's the kind of folks the BSA needs in that leadership position...showing what scouts could do and routinely having fun. Wouldn't it be great if you had a show with Bear or someone like him and a few scouts, instead of a celebrity. (two deep compliant and all of that)...but doing some truly adventuresome stuff, maybe some quality one on one face to face interviews on mountain tops like Bear does in his show.... If those guys did more of that, don't you think membership numbers would be helped? Would we generally be a bit more open to those high salaries for taht, instead of teh guy in the Board room all day?
  22. one more thought... in an ideal world (in my thinking) the incoming SPL would have served as ASPL. Sort of like an apprentice, learning the job. that would count towards that do things the way they were done time before you make changes. ...this would make for a more seamless hand-off. But I don't see this as real world for most troops
  23. I can't answer directly since I was not involved with that process in my son's troop. I can say that we were in many ways still "adult run oriented", and with that came regular elections on what I feel is a very short cycle....if I remember correctly it was roughly mid way through the school year. Not only SPL but all positions changed. This was done so that more scouts had opportunities for a POR.... seems good in theory, but in my opinion you scouts should make the call when to vote or not...if the guy isn't doing a good job, THEN the SPL or maybe scouts in general will call for a vote... no term length limits on the low end or high, and no specific schedule for voting. As far as transitioning.... In business I've never know really anything more that what you've described as a hand-off. Usually not even that much.... the new leader comes into a vacated office and 'figures it out'. My tact is this...and this is what I did when transferring my treasurer job too... basically I think what you have done already.... have a short meeting to outline what you have been doing, your comments about any thoughts you have about what you would do differently, what really worked, etc... IN my case there was some software to "train and practice for a bit", so we had a month or so transition where I worked with them before they took the job...It's all about just telling them what I did....NOT what they are to do do. And then get out of the way and don't undermine, don't advise or jump in unless asked to, follow their lead the way THEY decide to do it etc... and I think, IMO taht any incoming person should work a short period of time...maybe a week, maybe a month, or whatever, depending on the job.... just doing things more or less the way they were done by the previous person. This is to better understand the why's, the players in regard to the role, and such...what I mean by that is this, for example you already know the scoutmaster BUT you don't know him from the perspective of the new job.
  24. blw2

    2018 GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING

    in a similar fashion - in aviation, there is an overarching concept of 'pilot error'. When you really get right down to it there really are very few accident causes that are not in some way "pilot error" then there is the regulation that says the Pilot in Command is the final authority.... in part: The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of thataircraft. (b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency. so rules are in place that in my thinking puts 100% of any responsibility squarely on the pilot's shoulders. Pages and pages of fine print rules and regulations apply, but it really all boils down to that
  25. yes, lot of nuances for sure. ok, so happiness is the ultimate goal. What's the easiest way to achieve that? through drug use maybe....artificial happiness. No, we certainly don't want to encourage that. but more to the point, what's the most likely way to be in a happy situation with regard to marriage? On one hand you have a couple who right or wrong is going to have a lifelong road of odd looks from others, misunderstandings, and all sorts of uncomfortable problems and situations (this could be based on religion differences, racial differences, or diverging from any other cultural norm). Another extreme might be two folks from very different cultures coming together...I don't know.. say a headhunter born and raised on some jungle island marrying a rich girl from the hamptons. on the other hand you have a single parent who will have at least twice the workload, will not have a partner to brainstorm things with, will not have the yang to their yin, a widower dad that won't know how to deal with a multitude of issues that girls face (how to use makeup, braiding hair, biology issues, and the rest), etc.... and on yet the other hand you have, at least in our culture, a man and a woman who are emotionally compatible, fiscally compatible, share the same religious beliefs, come from similar backgrounds, and live in a community with folks just like them, etc...
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