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About Xyzzy

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  1. Food for thought: Taken from the Scoutmaster's Handbook, 5th edition, 1959. "While Scouters may wear the insignia to which they are entitled, a 'total display' may not be in the best taste if the uniform looks overdecorated. Unauthorized insignia or incorrect wearing of authorized insignia is always wrong. Scouters must set the example for Scouts in this matter. The Scoutmaster who wears only his Scoutmaster emblem, council or community strip, troop numeral, and service star on his uniform is never guilty of poor taste."
  2. Buy one compass and use it for the rest of your life. Suunto M3-G http://www.thecompassstore.com/51m3gl.html The Scout Store where I live carries them, although they charge a bit too much for them. Make sure you get a "G" and not a "D".
  3. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Media/InsigniaGuide/10L.aspx
  4. "Also is it just me, but do the bellows pockets and smokes pocket add to the cluttered look? I look my centennial uniform and it looks cluttered and messy, but when I look at my ODL, which has all the same stuff except unit numbers, it looks very neat." I have the pockets sewn down. I also split and resew the tabs so they fit exactly and are fixed at the outermost position. The flap is sewn through the shirt so that it hugs the curvature of the chest and does not curl up. The position patch and the trained tab is sewn through the shirt. Downside? No pockets. But I do not use them anyways. Upside? It looks a lot neater and is much easier to have pressed. (Well, I just use a steamer.) If they sold the shirt with regular flat pockets and without the "technology" pocket, so that the various patches could be sewn on like they used to, I would be very happy. http://img411.imageshack.us/img411/7195/uniform.jpg
  5. Since it is possible to log in and update the info associated with a PLB (travel plans, participants, time schedule, phone numbers, whatever) you would think it would make sense for councils to buy a few PLBs to loan out to units for when they are going someplace where the extra security is warranted.
  6. The Spot is GPS only. Will you always get a GPS fix? http://www.equipped.org/406_beacon_test_background.htm#GPS On a PLB the GPS part is optional.
  7. > OK news, is always good news. Maybe, if you can guarantee that it works. Read up on the Spot for a while and you will see that is is far from reliable. You don't even have to search out the hard core outdoor forums. Just look at the Amazon reviews. Let's say you tell your wife you will send her an "Okay" message every night. Then, one night your Spot fails to send the message or you cannot get coverage. What does your wife do? In all 3 of your posted scenarios, if you do not receive an "okay" message, what will you do? Have you investigated the cost difference between a search & rescue mission when a device has a homing device versus one that does not? How much easier is it to search 10 square miles versus 100? How much time do you have? Note that lower PLB costs are on the way: http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=104 http://www.equipped.org/blog/?p=105 PLB FAQ: http://www.equipped.org/faq_plb/
  8. I have an ACR PLB. http://www.acrelectronics.net/microfix/microfix.htm
  9. I appreciate the replies. The information about the older uniforms is interesting. I know the old days were not as perfect as they seem in the Norman Rockwell paintings, but I know in my mind that I associate the old days with those images. Posted by OldGreyEagle: "On the other hand, if you want to draw attention to yourself and how you feel and what you have done, this is a perfect way to do it, but be honest, you want a celebration of yourself pure and simple." I'm not sure how to reply to that statement. Certainly, my goal is to not draw attention to myself. I waited weeks before posting this question in the hopes that I could find the answer myself. In my scouting duties I want to be transparent. I want to be remembered at "that guy" who guided scouts towards making ethical and moral decisions in their life, and I want those scouts to know that the thought process and decision they made was their own. I do this by listening and facilitating and not by saying that we do things just because we are supposed to. Everything has a reason. Every decision has consequences. Not making a decision is making a decision. That kind of stuff. Proper uniforming is important to me. I am proud to be a scouter. I had always wanted to be a scout as a youth but was never afforded that opportunity. Wearing the uniform is an honor for me, and I wear it to every scouting function I attend. I can only hope that my uniforming practice rubs off on some of the scouts and scouters i associate with who think wearing the uniform is dorky or too expensive or too much of a hassle. I have seen scouts staple patches on their uniform. How can I convince that scout to sew it on properly? Jumping all over him about it isn't proper. Having his mother sew it for him doesn't teach him to be independent. Paying a sewing service to sew a patch isn't thrifty. A needle and some thread doesn't cost but a few dollars. A whip stitch is easily learned. Yes, it takes time, but anything worth doing is worth doing right. Now if I'm not willing to sew my own patches how can I expect to lead by example? So I sew them myself. Is this extreme? I don't know. Is it corny? Perhaps. If not wearing the flag is wrong, I will change my practice. I'll email or call the national office for further clarification. I was told in a private email that there is a memo from 2001 that states that no scout nor scouter should be mandated or told that the flag emblem is a required item which must be worn. Maybe this is the documentation I am looking for. Is this minor issue worth all this angst? It is for me. The little details add up over time. The intention of the rule is just as important to me as the rule itself. Perhaps there is a valuable lesson to be learned in all this. Perhaps I am totally wrong. If so, I will learn from this and the experience will enable me to become a better mentor. Just following a rule is taking the easy way out. Understanding why we follow a rule and then following it is, in my opinion, what we should be striving for. Even though I have a pretty decent medical background, for years I did not wear a seat belt, even after it became the law. So my son wonders to me one day why I don't wear it. I could have started wearing it and told him I wear it because it is the law. Instead, I started wearing it and explained how a seat belt works and how it can save your life in a crash. I think that he might be more willing to wear his seat belt understanding the "why" than "just because". The funny thing is the reason I didn't wear my seat belt up until then was because I viewed it as a hassle. It was for a few weeks, but now it is second nature. I guess an old dog can learn new tricks. I spent many years without a moral or ethical compass. I have made numerous bad decisions. I feel it is very important to teach my son to learn from the mistakes I have made. Sometimes I fail him, and he makes a mistake that I should have been able to teach him to avoid, and he learns the hard way. Maybe learning the hard way is sometimes more effective? It hurts me to see him make these mistakes but I understand this is a part of growing up. I didn't receive a manual when he was born, so I am using my scouting manuals instead. I learned early on that just yelling at him, while successful for a few minutes, doesn't really change anything. Reasoning with him has been a real breakthrough and I thank scouting for teaching me to how do this. Every day is a new opportunity to improve myself. I look back at the things I thought and wrote just a few years ago and I don't recognize that person any more. Will I do the same in a few years looking back at today? I sure hope so. Life sure would be boring if there was nothing to look forward to, and personal growth and learning sure is exciting. Then again, perhaps the purpose of my life is to serve as a warning for others.
  10. Posted by FScouter: "Now if you have a boy or adult that removed the flag from his uniform, you might get some discussion from this forum about that issue if you ask." We do have an adult (me) who does not wear the flag. Hardly anyone ever notices but when someone does the usual reaction I get is that I am not patriotic or that I hate my country. Neither is true. I have served two combat tours (as a medic) and I am very thankful that I live here, but I have several objections to wearing the flag on my uniform. 1) I feel that it is inappropriate and disrespectful to wear a flag on any piece of clothing. 2) I have a duty to God and my country, in that order. 3) How many other countries wear their national flag on their uniform? 4) Why did the BSA decide one day to add the flag to the uniform? Are we more patriotic now than we were back then, or less? 5) I practice simplicity in my life. An uncluttered uniform is simple. I served on countless funeral details while I was in the Army. I never thought much about the flag until that job. When you fold the flag up and present it to the widow, it is a life changing moment, and you will never look at the flag the same way again. I also feel that blindly regurgitating the Pledge of Allegiance is a bit odd. The little kids don't really understand what it means, so they are just saying it because we tell them to. The Pledge of Allegiance has an interesting history and has some controversial issues surrounding it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance_criticism I'm not saying we should do away with the flag or the Pledge of Allegiance. I just think that blindly doing things without understanding them is wrong. I'm sure a Boy Scout can fathom the magnitude of what he is saying, but can a Tiger Cub? Every time I see a group of little kids reciting it I think of the movie "All Quiet on the Western Front". Serving your country blindly is not a virtue. We say the Pledge of Allegiance so many times that the words become meaningless. If one values honesty as a core virtue, why do we have to pledge or say an oath anyways? Just say you are going to do it, and then do it. Making a pledge, or in the case of the Scout Oath, saying, "On my honor", seems superfluous. Just like prefacing a sentence with "To be honest" really means that all the other times you say things you might not be truthful. I realize that there are much larger issues in Scouting that deserve attention than a little bit of semantical nitpicking, but it concerns me. I want my son to grow up questioning things. I want him to not blindly follow what leaders tell him. Yes, be obedient, but make sure what you are being told to do is moral and ethical first. As a side note, wear of the World Crest is prefaced by "May be worn" indicating that it may be optional. I currently wear it although it does bother me that it is not earned any more, like it was a long time ago. Again, I prefer simplicity, and wearing something that I did not earn feels dishonest. The spin that it signifies "unity and world brotherhood" makes wearing it somewhat acceptable to me. I sometimes feel that we are so caught up in America's version of Scouting that we miss the big picture of global Scouting and diversity in general. Plus, it is hard to sew on straight. (I sew my patches by hand.) I've rambled enough for tonight.
  11. Without getting into why someone would choose to not wear the flag on their uniform, is there an official BSA publication or scouting.org reference that says that wearing the flag is optional? The BSA's Insignia Guide (#33066) doesn't clarify this issue. My exhaustive search thus far has only turned up these links and quotes: From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_and_insignia_of_the_Boy_Scouts_of_America "Official uniforms come with the US flag sewn to the top of the sleeve. Wear of the flag is optional Scouts whose religion, tradition, or personal beliefs prevent them from displaying the flag are not required to do so." From: http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/usflag.htm "The Boy Scouts of America makes wearing of the U.S. Flag insignia an OPTIONAL ITEM. It has been this way since 1957, when the U.S. flag emblem was first added as a piece of BSA insignia in advance of the World Jamboree in Idaho in the early 60s." "Finally, Scouts and Scouters should be proud to wear our nation's flag on the uniform, but not all Scouts and Scouters can do this. So let's not be forcing kids and adults to do something which is against their moral or religious upbringing, okay?? There are several religious organizations and faiths who do NOT allow their members to wear anything which symbolizes an alliegence toward. These faiths and organizations believe that "God" or "Allah" is more important than "country" -- and this is EXACTLY WHY the BSA does NOT and WILL NOT make the wearing of the U.S. Flag emblem MANDATORY."
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