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Vigil-Hiker

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About Vigil-Hiker

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    New York state
  1. Vigil-Hiker

    When is a Den too big?

    A max of nine boys is allowed. If a tenth boy wants to join, then the den needs to be split in to two dens. Policy set by National. If you have multiple elementary schools, then ideally, you group them that way if possible - the kids will know one another better. But that is a matter of convenience, not a policy. Kids should not be yanked out of a den they had been in all year, unless that was a major problem between kids within the den that could not be resolved. The only other reason is the meeting time does not work for them in that den but the other den's schedule fits in better, but that is usually something you should hear from the parent before a change occurs. If there too to be in a single den that want to be together, have a joint den meeting or outing once a month to visit a museum, play scout games, build and fly kits, etc. This way they will see their friends at the pack meeting and at one mega-den meeting a month.
  2. Vigil-Hiker

    so many choices, so little cash!

    If there was interest in both, look for a local areas to do 3-4 day canoe or backing trip and save bulk of funds to go to the Jamboree. This one is a once in a lifetime - 100 years of Scouting in the US. If there are financial hardships, there are camperships available - even for attending Philmont. Another option to get permission to visit the Jamboree for the day and spend the rest of the trip visiting Yorktown\Williamsburg area or Washing DC area, or head 2-3 hours west from Fort AP Hill and backpack in Shenandoah National Park.
  3. Vigil-Hiker

    Merit Badge Sash

    Once I reached a certain proficiency in sewing, I stitched on all my patches on my uniform shirt and even made a couple of cloth backings for temp patches that were odd shaped, like my Gettysburg one. Mom used the sewing machine for the button hole to keep the fabric from ripping and fraying around the hole. As for my sash, I handed that over to mom sew on the merit badges using the sewing machine. We only wore the merit badge sashes at board of review and COH. Less to lose, less to get dirty and need to wash.
  4. Vigil-Hiker

    Big PM problems

    The cub master needs to be removed ASAP. He is to be a figurehead at Pack meetings only and act as the leader at Pack events or District/Council events that the Pack attends if you do not have an activity chair. The Committee Chair is the one who is supposed to run all the committee/leader meetings, sets the agenda, and recruits the pack leadership. That is person who is in charge at the Pack level. Leadership issues should go to your COR and Unit Commish first. To feel better, you can simply have a vote about the situation and have the CC carry out the "firing". If he won't go after the real Pack Leadership says he has to call your Unit Commissioner or District Exec. If his actions warrant it, the Council Scout Execute can remove him scouting for any period of time he desires. If you have enough people to together for training, you may be able to schedule the trainers to come to your unit to provide your training. Get a couple copies of the Cub Scout Leaders Manual for the pack library. It details each position and their duties, among other other things.
  5. Vigil-Hiker

    unearned awards being given out

    Awards should never be handed out unless they are earned. So what if only 2 kids earned it. Then only 2 kids should receive it. How is it an award for achieving something extra if you did not do everything for it. Leave No Trace award is based upon a the national guidelines set by the Leave No Trace organization for protecting and respecting the outdoors. Pack committee meetings are not closed meetings. Any parent can attend to bring up any concerns, suggestions, or advice. Part of a meeting may be close for an executive committee meeting dealing with something sensitve - but I have never seen one of these take place. I was a den leader for 5 years and only missed 2 meetings due to work. Find out the next meeting and attend to express your concerns. We had the opposite issue in one of our dens. One kid was very active and did a lot on his own. He had to wait months to receive his awards since the others in his den had not earned anything yet. This kid's den leader only goes to half of the leader meetings, none of the events the pack attends, and holds a den meeting once a month. His parents are looking for another pack for next year.
  6. Vigil-Hiker

    Patrols for Summer Camp

    I am a fan of the traditional patrol method. This way at least some of the old guys get to know the new younger scouts and what their skill sets are. This way they will be better equiped to deal with people of different ages and skill sets in life. If your patrols are already organized, keep them the way they are. If their patrol leader/assistant patrol leader is not there, have some one in the patrol fill in temporarily just for summer camp. If need be, assign an older scout to advise the "new" patrol leader during summer if needed. This will help build their leadership. The temporary position from summer camp may just get them elected at the next troop elections if they do well.
  7. Vigil-Hiker

    Tents and Summer Camp

    All the summer camps I went to in Maryland supplied the old heavy canvas 2 man tents with the roll-up sidewalls on a tent platform. I have visited a camp in Texas, and one in NJ that use the same thing. They use the same tents in base camp at Philmont Scout Ranch. My son and I just moved up to Boy Scouts. This years' camp in upstate NY supplies the same tents I used as youth and ASM while in college. The pictures from the last 3-4 years summer camps they have attended all had the same tent (our council only runs cub scout day camps at our 3 council camps - so we visit different camps every couple of years for variety. For the camps we attend, if you are doing a trek during summer camp you can bring your own backpacking tent and borrow one from camp for the trip. To pick up additional gear inexpensively, talk to the other troops in your area. Some troops do gear swaps or will give you gear they no long use. Such as stoves, tents, and dining flies. Some troops are moving away from the traditional heavier 4 man tents and large 2 burner stoves and going for the lighter backpacking type gear.
  8. Vigil-Hiker

    Not going to Council Camp = Not Supporting Council?

    My son's troop goes to different Summer Camps - little choice since our Council only runs cub scout day camps at 2 our council camps and does cub scout over-night at the third camp. The reason is the dining halls will not meet state regulations for a week long scout camp program. They would need to tear down the working, original 50 year old dining hall and build a new in one of the camps. This one has a lot of history in it. Funds are also a big issue. We are in year two trying to complete the first new cabin in 40 years in camp. This new one is designed to be handicap friendly for wheel chair access. Funds ran out on the building the fireplace and completing the interior. We may have a kid with CP moving up to our troop next year. A handicap accessible cabin would make it easier for him to attend some camp outs - tenting it would be too difficult for him. Our troop does a mix of same site and backpacking trips for our camp outs. For instance, this weekend they are backpacking several miles of the Appalachian Trail. Last month went out of council to an extreme sports weekend - rifle, shotgun, archery, rappelling, and mountain biking. Food was in dining hall. Our troop OA members, work in our camps on the work and Induction weekends. So we put in time and work at our camps. Just little program at them for the Boy Scouts - about 2-3 weekends a year. So we only really get to practice the patrol method on our own camp outs and events. Now we are traveling 5-6 hours(one way) to go to summer camp. Thanks NY state. And they wonder why boys drop out after a couple years in Boy scouts.
  9. Vigil-Hiker

    The new uniform.

    The new pants appear to be a combo of hit/miss. The new materials for active warm weather seems good, but unhemmed zip-offs of nylon will be hard to sew. I guess that if you need to to convert to shorts while on the trail, need to find a spot to sit and take off the boots to remove the legs. Hope they relent and have pre-defined lengths for the nylon pants or offer the lower zip portion in different lengths for purchase. At least they have gone back to belows pockets on both legs, like my similar, but more brown-toned Columbia zip-offs. I missed those from the 1980's pants - used to tuck handbook in one pocket and my beret in the other. The new color is hard to tell. I have seen fliers for other items and when get to the store, it is either lighter or dark color than expected. I did not see the wool pants listed, guess they may be dropped. I was planning to get some for winter camp outs next year - nylon melts and is a bit thin to keep warm. Just bought switch backs for myself, so until being getting the new *improved* ones for awhile. This is year six with the current standard pants. Have a pair with the real bellows pockets from my days in college, but can't squeeze back into those yet. Will the nylon ones last as long? I will carry my pack into a site in uniform, but will not backpack in a uniform shirt with epaulets. They need to drop them. We got along without them until the mid-80's. Webelos have different neckerchiefs and hats than any troop in the US would, and the Red Commissioners' patch sufficed. Venturing has a different Uniform - so where is the need for colored tabs and epaulets? The shirt pockets definitely look smaller in length and appear to be placed higher. Can we still fit all of our current training cards, membership cards (BSA, Venturing, and OA)at once due length of the pocket? The bellows style appears to help in the bulk of certificates and sewing on rank for Youth. But is there room for World Crest and 2-3 rows of Knots? Frequently used Velcro fails - sometimes the Velcro itself is fine, but on thinner cloth, the stitches rip out. I also don't trust a non-button-through button to keep a temporary patch or pocket dangle from coming off. I guess I will either tack on a temp patch or leave that pocket plain, other than my Lodge flap. It appears that the training patch is getting relocated. It not worn, perhaps there is room to a troop 25th or 50th anniversary bar. The shoulder\arm pocket I could picture using for lip balm, contact drops, etc while hiking\backpacking. Sewing on my ASM patch appears to be more challenging. Like the swiss tabs. Hope the collar is more neckerchief friendly. If I wear one of my neckerchiefs, I roll my collar under - I started out with those lovely V-neck shirts where you needed a neckerchief, but it laid much better then. Usually I just toss on a camp or Philmont bolo tie - faster and no slide to lose. If the current short sleeve shirt does not go on sale then I will have to try one of the new long sleeve shirts. The cap seems much nicer. Never wore the green and red one - hated it. Started out with the solid green cap with gold Fleur-de-lies and troop went to the red beret with the uniform change. By the nineties skipped any hat. Now need to cover the top - guess I am growing through it? I hope the socks are basically just a color change. My son has very sensitive feet. Most toe seams annoy his feet - the current short socks he loves and would wear everyday for their comfort. The other 10 pairs of hiking socks - various brands, styles and weights annoy him - fun to listen to on a backpacking trip in the mountains with 34-50 degree weather and he wants to go sock less.
  10. Vigil-Hiker

    New Unit Needs Help

    You do not want too may hats to wear. You may provide a good program, but at the same time see your kids less. My dad was Cubmaster and Webelos Den Leader. He had pack commitee meetings to go, attended Round Table, went to training sessions (not just position training but also PowWow's), did popcorn pick up, and help run events at district cub events. I appreciate everything he did, but saw him mostly at den meetings and on the weekends. He later became the unit commish. Four meetings a month, not including pack and den meetings. Try to get all the roles filled with good people so you do not need to do half their job too. Pickup the Cubscout Leader handbook. Suggest each den leader has their own copy of the appropriate handbook for their den.
  11. Vigil-Hiker

    ideas for a arrow of light crossover gift

    Our pack designed a special certificate to present to the over-achievers who earned every Activity Badge. Other than that, it has been up to each Webelos den leader to decide on what to present each one with. I am considering making arrows for each. Use color bands to indicate ranks earned (have not decided on using small strips of colored tape, painting, or using colored thread). Orange for Tiger, Red for Wolf, light blue for bear, etc. Not sure how to do the Coup count for arrow points and any special awards earned (religious award, Leave-no-Trace, World Conservation, etc). Another option, walking stick/stave and decorate similar to above or get them the staff emblems and put on it. Some troops use staves on hikes, others don't. If you are looking to purchase something they could use once the cross-over, consider items like: boy scout pocket knife, utensil kit, waterproof match case, hot spark kit, compass, etc. I still have my original ones from 30 years ago (OMG time flies) and use them for cubscout hikes/camping, and when camping with just the family. If you want to get a them a flash light - headlamps are easier when it come use, not sure on durability - still testing one. Or get them a maglight - used a mini since 1985 for every campout, changed bulbs maybe twice since I got it and change batteries once or twice a year.
  12. Vigil-Hiker

    AOL

    For AOL, it is 2 separate troop activities, not including camping or Hiking with Scout Troop for Outdoors man. it States: "With your Webelos den visit at least one BS Troop meeting and one BS oriented oudoor activity (If you have already done this when you earned Outdoorsman, you may not use the same outing to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award.)" Then a separate visit with your parents to a scout troop you want to join and have a conference with the ScoutMaster. These should be the easy requirements unless the kid is over-scheduled - scouts, religion classes, sports, school clubs, etc. Or there are very few troops nearby and their meeting conflicts with something that the parents can not change (sports practice, religion class) Luckily, religion is on Thursday this year for my son. We have two troops in town who both meet at 7:00 pm on Tuesday on opposites side of town in different churches.
  13. Vigil-Hiker

    As an adult, what do you REALLY wear?

    Currently, I am a Webelos II den leader. For most meetings I wear uniform shirt, uniform long pants, and web belt (my Philmont belt from when I was 14 just doesn't seem to fit anymore). I sometimes will wear my Philmont bolo or a neckerchief with the collar turned under (grew up on the yoke collar uniforms when you had to wear the necker.) I change slides from one of serveral I have made or my original cubscout slide from the 70's. If I get home just prior to a metting I will grab my shirt and run back out. Cub events, training, district dinners - uniform shirt and pants, web belt, and necker or bolo. Camping - uniform shirt and pants, black crushable felt hat(similar to the expedition but cost $25), and waterproof hiking boots. Change to other clothes when time to work on dirty duties like: cutting/splitting wood, assisting with dinner preparations, fishing, etc. My pants are loose enough to fit thermal climbing pants(LL Bean use to make them) under them in the Winter. I still wear my old Lodge flap from Nentego 20 although I am inactive and have relocated to another Council and have serveral patches instead of stead of just the Philmont Bull and OA Jacket patch on the Red Wool jacket that was my dad's. (his jacket, my patches). After cross-over I will probably look into the switch backs, but I have a pair of pants that could pass for them, minus the belt.
  14. Vigil-Hiker

    No BALOO adult - What do you do?

    We currently have 4-5 Baloo trained leaders, but most of us leave next year. Baloo is offered once a year in our council at the local Girl Scout camp (2 miles from Boy Scout Camp[other side of the mountain], which is always booked). Most of us leave next year and we have not been able to get new parents/leaders Baloo trained for past 2 years. we hope some will get trained next Dec. Our pack has been camping since it started 7 years ago. we justed started having 2 campouts a year. The Fall campout in Oct. we have open to all but the Tigers, they can stay until dinner. We do not want the Tigers to have just signed up 2 weeks earlier and know nothing to camp in the cold damp air and quit immediately, but can attend the day's events. We coordinate it with the Cub Fall fun day - no activities need to be planned other than dinner, skits, and campfire. Our June campout on Father's Day is for all, but still is rather cold in the morning. We usually offer Whittle-n-Chip, hiking, fishing, and free game time (toss around a ball, frisbee, look for lizards, toads, etc.) We often get 20-30 boys camping out of 55-70 members. Even have one Cub restricted to a walker or wheelchair due to CP camping and loving it. Our pack requires at least 2 Baloo trained people, and general health forms for everyone attending. Some camps by us are checking for health forms per person and the required number of trained adults or you can not even check-in. Most of the experienced leaders are now on their youngest, or last son in cub scouts. We are trying to stress on the newer parents for help, but little help so far. Our Cub Master moves on next month and we are still trying to get a replacement. It is hard to stress enough to the parents that we are all volunteers and do this for the kids. We may have resort to "if these postitions are not filled by you or x # trained for this, we can not have XX event" or "if these vital positions are not filled we will have to dissolve".
  15. Vigil-Hiker

    Fair Share - units paying their own way

    Our Pack has decided not to participate in the Pop-corn sales. Our council changed Pop-corn companies and most of our members and ouside buyers did not like the taste last year, so we our doing our own funraising. We do plan on sending something like 20% of the profit to Council. I am sure our CC has heard something from council on our lack of participation. We do charge a bit more for dues($60), but it includes the cost of going to the district and Council cub events and our semi-anual camp outs. (Steak for dinner encourges first-time scout dads to attend). Our pack often does canned-goods drives for shelters and groups like people-helping-people. And one den is raising money to donate it towards finishing camp's new handi-cap cabin (first new one built in 40 years). It is fitting since we do have a cub with CP that requires a wheel-chair. Our Council has been asking for FOS levels of $115 per family. Our distict says that the district can make its FOS numbers if 25% of members contribute $20. That will make FOS easier for families to swallow.
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