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About wffarrell

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    Junior Member
  1. Hello All, After a long absence from this forum I am pleased to see that is alive and well. Certainly, this group helped me as a new SM and I am eternally grateful for the help I received here. That said, yes, as SM I did sway one or two elections and definitely it's a judgement call. In both cases the boys felt good about voting for the successful candidate and the troop was strengthened as a result. In one case the candidate was very quiet, but turned out to be a great administrator and his quiet demeanor was quite different and appreciated by the boys from his predecessor w
  2. I was cook for the Adult Patrol. Eight adults signed up for the campout and eight "forgot" to sign up but showed up. I bought food for 8-10 and 16 were in the camp. I was cutting bananas in half, tearing tortillas into little pieces and adding many cups of water into the chili. However, far from a disaster we all ate well, did not overindulge, and I think I ended up with an onion and a can of sardines left over!
  3. Every troop is unique. Every troop has it's own history and style. I think that if a troop has "Lawyer" as a committee position, they've gone too far. Some troops operate using the Scout Oath and Law as their bylaws. Hat tip to them, I assure you! For the rest of us there needs to be further clarification. Fees and camping policies, for example, can be codified in bylaws. Reimbursement for travel, or not, how to submit expenses. Scoutmaster evaluation and succession policies may be important to some troops and not others. Whatever the bylaws or policies a troop decides
  4. I'm a Roundtable Commissioner and this is an excellent question! In two words: cooking themes In another word: competition The boys will rise to the occasion given a theme and a contest. We've had great success with box ovens made out of a cardboard box and foil. They actually work and the boys cook everything from pizzas to pot roast. Cooking themes push the boys to trying new stuff and new foods. We were successful with an unlikely theme of Grilled Vegetables, but the boys really got into grilling zucchini, carrots, onions and even eggplant! And, they ate it. As ad
  5. Hello Scouters, I haven't been here for a while, at least as a contributor, but I have been lurking in the shadows. I decided that some thanks were in order for the help I received when I became a Scoutmaster over 3 years ago. It was a rough time for me and the advice and support that I received from Scouters here on this forum helped me find my groove, so to speak. During my tenure I graduated 22 Eagles and had countless moments that only a Scoutmaster can have. Now, I am still active in my troop but also serve as Roundtable Commissioner and Vice-Chair Program for the distric
  6. Yes, many, many, many years ago my wife and I went on a ski trip to New Mexico and stayed in a lodge with 6 other people. There was a large fireplace and split oak, but no newspaper or gas jet. None of the other adults could figure out how to start the fire and I disuaded one guy from trying to get gasoline from his car! With only my Swiss army knife and my Scout training, I had a roaring fire going in no time. Hold the applause, just throw money.
  7. Hello Korea Dude, I switched to the campout method of TJLT last year and have run three sessions. I created a program using the JLT material, NJLTC from Philmont and Wood Badge. It's been successful for our troop. Here's the basic blueprint. The whole weekend is planned out minute by minute. The SPL is given a peek at the "next event" only a little before it happens, much like in Wood Badge. The Leadership is divided into patrols, and with my troop it's been two patrols: North and South. On Friday night after arriving at camp the patrols are created, a leader elected and they
  8. Hello All, It's been a while since I posted, but this is an interesting topic. Yes, an axe can be used safely. Also true, modern camping may rely upon propane stoves that makes an axe somewhat of an historical tool. As a young Scout myself I was comfortable using an axe because I used one around the home. Not so modern city boys. I set up an axe yard whenever possible and encourage the boys to use an axe to prepare for campfires, etc. The shock of my life was a Life Scout who could not figure out how to make a tent peg out of a piece of wood. But, unlike me as a young Scou
  9. I'm 52 closing in on 53. By the time I was 16 I had spent half my life in Scouting. I took a 25-year nap during college/grad school/early married life and returned to active duty when my son became a Tiger. Now, I'm a Scoutmaster, my son is Life and we both went to Philmont for the first time this summer. Each year is better than the previous one. I can't wait! bill
  10. I think that in the future Scouting will have something like the video game The Sims. Let's call it The Scouts. Real Scouts will have virtual Scouts that they manipulate through advancement. There won't be any camping and troop meetings will be a bunch of Real Scouts at their laptops networked into the National Scout Simulation. As the Virtual Scouts earn their ranks, the badges will be ordered automatically through Amazon.com and FedEx'ed directly to the Scout's home. Courts of Honor will be on-line, that is, virtually. Just imagine, no heat, no humidity, no bugs, no dirt, n
  11. I love Houston. No, I haven't been out in the sun without my hat again. It's true. Houston is a great place to live because of its multicultural society. Our troop is very diverse representing at least 10 nationalities if not more. As SM I should know this stuff; if only I had another hour a week. Our campout cooking themes have been a lot of fun. We've had Curry Weekend, Vegetarian Weekend, and, my personal favorite, Iron Chef where I pick the theme ingredient. At our Luau campout I chose pineapple. Several patrols brought fresh pineapple. I demonstrated several dishes includin
  12. Web developer for a major oil company in Houston, Texas. Yippee! Scouting was a big part of my youth and I achieved Eagle with palms and Vigil Honor in the OA. I was fortunate to attend the National Jamboree in 1964 and the World Jamboree in 1967. I had a 25 year nap during college, graduate school and early married life until my son was Tiger Cub age. I should have said "I'll be back." and I would have been famous. Now, my son and I are on the trail to Eagle together and it's even more fun. I can't wait to get laid off so I can do this full time! I'm off to Philmont for the fi
  13. In our troop we conducted a traditional JLT, whatever that is, over a weekend as a lock-in arrangement. We showed the videos, went through the script, did the games and discussions and concluded with a long range planning session. After doing this a few years even I dreaded JLT because it was just so boring. So, when I became SM I decided to shake things up a bit. I combined the elements from JLT, NJLT (philmont) and Wood Badge into a customized program for our troop. I know where we are weak and I put special emphasis on those parts. Instead of the lock-in we did a weekend campout m
  14. Swiss Army Tool. The Victorinox version of a Leatherman. I never knew I needed it until I bought it. All tools accessible without opening it. Pliers are the most useful camp tool. Granted, I coped just fine without it and I once fixed, er, "fixed" a coffee pot with a rock but the SAT does a much more "refined" job. The saw is great. I cut a great red maple hiking staff from a fallen tree using the saw. I'd take it to Philmont, except I'd rather carry the two liters of water it weighs instead! For weekend camping, though, I can't beat it.
  15. Raised in Arizona; live in Houston. Love the dry heat and the wet heat. Yes, I think that living in air conditioning sort of ruins you for the outside. I try to run every day outside at lunchtime. Just for an hour or so. I find that I can go to soccer games, camp and do outdoor things without the heat bothering me. Many of my friends wilt in the heat because they're not used to it. Also, I've learned to stay hydrated, seek the shelter of live oak trees, and to be truthful, I'm not a big fan of the beach because of lack of shade. A big part of it is attitude. I live in a hot place
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