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Twocubdad last won the day on October 11 2015

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  1. So what data is national looking at besides the Eagle application and the Scoutnet records? Do they conduct some sort of independent investigation? Do they conduct interview with folks the locals don't have access to? Right. The appeal process is a different thing. Routinely approving applications shouldn't be a big deal. Our council registrar verifies advancement data on the app against the Scoutnet records BEFORE the board of review. The BOR verifies everything else. National adds nothing to the process. It's just the dog wizzing on a bush. The dog doesn't have to pee, he just wants everyone to know he's been there.
  2. I'm just tired of the constant turmoil.
  3. Here we go.... http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/23/us/girls-in-california-are-latest-to-seek-to-become-boy-scouts.html?emc=edit_th_20151123&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=33315132&_r=1
  4. Our summer camp has done more and more to support the SPLs, although it's still not a patrol-driven camp. For some time the SPLs have been invited to the Sunday night leaders meeting along with the SMs. I suppose it's up to each troop who communicates the info back to the troop. For the past couple years, the SPLs all have breakfast together for a daily camp briefing. Camporees are another matter. Just what you describe, above -- adults running things, adult cracker barrels, adults largely running the activity stations...... Another reason we don't do camporees.
  5. In other words, whatever you want to do is fine.
  6. This ties in with my comments a couple pages ago about council camps stepping up their local HA activities in support of troops which don't have the trained leadership to pull it off. I wrote that council camps should look something like a guide service, especially in the off season, providing climbing, shooting, aquatics and other specialty activities to units which can pull them off on their own. A couple years ago our council had a series of "town hall" meetings with various volunteers to discuss the problem that both FOS and popcorn sales are declining. I mentioned my resentment of the then-recent increases in national dues, but said I would be more than happy to pay the same money to the council, provided it went to support programs. The pros in the room visibly blanched. I had touched the third rail. No professional wants to hear questions about value national provides because they all hitched to that gravy train. Until we change the policy of pros being beholden to national for their career advancement, they will always support the national policies rather than what is best for the council, units or Scouts.
  7. That's the post of the month! Remember that ad from South Africa Scouts a month or so ago? The one with the boy rescuing the girl from the surf, but at the end the video changes and it turns out the boy is now a grown man, rescuing his daughter using skills he learned as a Scouts? http://aplus.com/a/scouts-south-africa-cpr-ad-drowning Same concept, except with a bunch of college-aged guys sitting around a campfire, joking, laughing, having a good time when a little kid in a Scout uniform walks up and asks, "permission to enter camp?" The older guys all straighten up, quit laughing and answer, "yes, sir!" The Scout asks how their dinner was and one of the older guys respond, somewhat oddly, "It was great. I've never had burgers cooked on a real fire before." The little kid says, "Well, you learned something new. That's what it's all about." The video then changes back and forth and you realize it's an identical group of young boys sitting around the fire, the kid in uniform is actually an adult Scoutmaster who turns to walk away disappearing in the dark and says, "have a good night, I'll be in my campsite if you need me." The boys around the campfire resume laughing as the title fades in, "Lessons for Life. Memories for a Lifetime. Boy Scouts of America." You can think of dozens of scenarios to communicate the same idea.
  8. MIB, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. We all will miss your mom but are better for having her insight and perspective. Her passion for Scouting was very evident as was her pride in you. We could certainly tell how proud she was of you, your involvement in Scouting and your willingness to step into leadership roles at a relative young age. She will be missed.
  9. Don't sweat it, joe. This isn't bad. Several years ago we had a guy here who flipped out at anyone referring to "our troop" or, heaven forbid, "my troop." Dogma was the troop belongs to the boys and the only acceptable reference was to "the troop which I serve."
  10. Cook sets are the one item where we feel like the BSA brand nesting pots and pans are preferable. The big advantage is they are sized for a patrol of 8 rather than a family of four. TexasSport makes a similar set, but it's designed for four.
  11. Our council teaches IOLS and WOLS together, giving credit for both. I don't know if they add an extra module for the Webelos stuff or not. I always thought it was silly to require two very similar courses within a year or so. This is one area where the training folks listened to the folks on the ground. No one has answered your question about taking Webelos out in November. There are no national rules concerning this. I've never heard of council rules related to this either. It's up to you to know your local weather and the abilities and gear of your Scouts. Here, in the foothills of NC, we always plan our Webelos campout the first weekend of November. We usually have pretty good weather around here, cool but not cold, but the big thing is we're getting out of fall sports season and popcorn sales are over here . (Our pack is BIG into selling popcorn, the Boy Scouts could care less.)
  12. So how many such classes does your son go to before he figures out the problem is with the classes? The only MB classes our troop offers are for a very few required MBs (like personal management), but those are held on multiple Saturdays (requiring extra effort), taught by a team of counselors who know their stuff and teach way more than is required. The problem is when you throw one instructor at a class of 20 Scouts and tell them they have four hours to complete the badge.
  13. T2E -- in London, breakfast and dinner were served cafeteria style. I think they may be talking about lunch. On the way out from breakfast, we pick our lunch from a selection of pre-made sandwiches, chips (rather, "crisps" there), fruit, snack and different drinks. It was a basic bag lunch, but you did have a choice of the "flavors" you selected. I came to like the prawn flavored crisps.
  14. My campouts as a youth were generally limited to hanging out with my patrol mates, tending a pot of chili or soup all day and staying up most of the night pondering the universe. My first time rock climbing, horseback riding, shooting a rifle, exploring a mine or trying lumberjack sports came at Philmont. The first canoe trek I took was with our OA chapter (which functioned like a HA Venture crew) was at age 15 or 16. Troops simply didn't have the equipment or expertise to pull off these activities. I've always called this the Mountain Dew Effect. Caffine aside, kids seem to think Scouting is supposed to look like a Mountain Dew commercial -- take a long swig then ride your mountain bike down the side of El Capitan. Forget that the guy riding the bike is actually a 48-year-old stuntman with 30 years experience and that shot took six month and $3mil to set up. But that genie is out of the bottle. I think part of the problem is that BSA has oversold HA, beyond the ability of most units to deliver. We're fortunate that we have ASM with climbing, shooting and aquatics certifications, but how many troops can do that. In any given year, we hit most of those formerly once-in-a-lifetime activities I did at Philmont. Not every troop has that ability. I've written this before, but I think council camps need to start looking more like guide services. Camps have millions in infrastructure and equipment which is used 5 or 6 weeks a year. Sure, camps are available to troops the rest of the year, but without certified instructors, the activities Scouts want are unavailable to most troops. Councils need to be making staffed facilities available to troops year-round. I would think that would help the liability issue, too, as a few certified instructors are much easier to supervise than a bunch of troop level guys. I know funding is an issue, but if troops could pay a fraction of what a commercial outfitter does, it could work. IMO this was part of the idea behind The Summit. But even their "summer camp" weeks are pretty pricey -- three days on the ground there is twice the price of a full week of camp, and we're only about three hours away. Still in the category of Philmont or Seabase. Is Scouting is local, national needs to be figuring out how to fund councils to make things like this work. (Frankly, I think the usual council business model is broken and needs to be fixed. Why our ever-increasing membership fee goes to national when most unit support comes from the councils, I don't know. But that's another thread. )
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