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Everything posted by meyerc13

  1. meyerc13

    Resources for Combined Age Dens

    When I started as Cubmaster back in 2013, we had a very small Pack. A Pack that wasn't much bigger than some large Dens that I've seen. Other than me as Cubmaster, I had one other Den Leader actively involved in the pack. That was it as far as leadership. Several of the age groups had only 2-3 boys, and running separate den meetings with so few boys wouldn't have been much fun for those boys, and would have been a lot of work for the two leaders. What got us through that first year was the Alternative Cub Scout Delivery Manuals. They were a great resource for running mixed age, combined den meetings that would result in all of the boys achieving rank advancement by the end of the year. When the new Cub Scout program came out in June of 2015, these Manuals became out of date. So far, I'm not aware of the BSA releasing anything official to help small Packs that don't have enough boys to fill out dens for all ranks. However, some great volunteers have identified this need and worked hard to help fill it. I'm going to start this thread to share resources I've found for running mixed-age dens or events under the new Cub Scout program. Note - running mixed age dens isn't the ideal and I think all leaders who need resources such as these know that. With that said, it is a reality that sometimes we need to make compromises in our program in order for small Packs and Dens to survive. If I hadn't had the Alternative Delivery Manuals, my 73 year old Pack would have died. Using these manuals got me through a tough first year, and over the next two years our Pack doubled in size each year and we made it through our 75th Anniversary as a unit. Small units need a chance to offer the best program they can, and spend less of their time on 'lesson planning' and more of their time on recruitment and fundraising so that they can grow their Packs and outgrow the need for resources such as these. Cub Scout Connections: Finding Common Themes in the New Cub Scout Adventure Program (by Dr. Nisha Zoeller)This is one of the first resources I encountered and maps common Adventure themes (such as Aquatics, Camping, Cooking, etc.) across ranks. It's a good starting point, but isn't 100% complete. For example, it misses Cooking and Nutrition requirements in Games Tigers Play, Family Stories, Running with the Pack, Digging in the Past, Finding Your Way, Bear Necessities, and Castaway. Den Meeting Plans for Mixed Dens Southern Crescent District, Atlanta Area CouncilForum member bbender has been working on Den Meeting Plans for mixed age groups. At the time I type this, he has Tiger/Wolf Meeting Plans, but is reportedly working on more. InSTEP Sam Houston Area CouncilIt looks like Advancement under the new Cub Scout program starts in the October 2015 plans. That's what I've found so far, if anyone else has more, please share them. If I run into more I'll post them here. If anyone is using them, post your experiences, good or bad. I'm sure those who have created these are willing to accept construction feedback to make them better.
  2. I was in the Northern Star Council last weekend, and they are doing something similar to what NJCubScouter's Council is doing. The difference is that they are splitting into two person teams, each covering two Districts. I believe one was going to focus on membership, the other on program. They had new position names, but off the top of my head I don't recall what they were. Personally, I'm curious how moves such as this will help with the amount of time they spend working. In our Council, if we had two DEs teamed up to serve two districts, the amount of geographical space covered by the two districts would be quite large. I would think that unless they start hiding out in the office all day that the amount of travel time they incur would go way up. Is there some loophole that allows the Council to not count time spent traveling to a site? In any case, I think the amount of work that is going to fall on the District Committee and Commissioners is going to go way up. Even though this judge has suspended the rule (pending an appeal, no doubt), most organizations are already so far along in planning that I don't see them dropping their plans now on the chance that this injunction might hold up to an appeal. I do find it very curious how many different ways we've seen Councils handling this issue. Some are charging Council dues, some are teaming DEs up to cover larger areas but focus on specific aspects of the job, some are asking their DEs to cap their hours, and some are giving their employees raises. That's just the four ways I know about, I'm sure there might be more ideas floating around out there. Edit, found a link explaining their approach: http://www.northernstarbsa.org/staffing-changes-at-nsc
  3. meyerc13

    Bridging over and Webelos uniform

    Found the answer elsewhere on this site: http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/12400-arrow-of-light-knot-meaning/
  4. meyerc13

    Online Training and The Photos

    I hate Badge Magic or any other type of glue. Let's face it, how many of us keep our Cub Scout uniforms for the rest of our lives? I'll bet not many. Rather than throw the old uniform out, I'd rather see it passed on to another Scout. Having bought dozens and dozens of 'experienced' uniforms at garage sales and second hand shops, I can tell you that if you glue on the patches you might as well throw it out. Once in a great while I am successful at removing all of the glue residue without damaging the shirt, but in those cases it takes many, many hours of work. It isn't worth the time. Since my old Pack handed out a lot of uniforms to boys who couldn't afford them, we only asked that they give it back when they were done with it (which might be never if they decide to keep it). We also had to insist that they not glue on the patches because of the difficulty this presents in reusing that shirt. We made sure each uniform we sent out had an American flag, BSA strip, Council Strip, Unit numbers, and World Scout Crest. To offer a quick and easy alternative for the rank patches (which are about the only thing the parents would need to attach), for every shirt we gave out we included one of these diamond badge holders: http://www.scoutstuff.org/diamond-emblem-holder.html#.WDMwpUbaEtE Sewing on the patches would be preferable, but at least with these we offer an alternative that doesn't involve glue for the parents who can't sew and won't go through the trouble of taking it somewhere to have it done.
  5. meyerc13

    Cub Scout Recruitment Night Ideas

    Great question. The two main schools our Pack pulled from were very different situations. At one, we were allowed to send home flyers with the kids, put an announcement in the school newsletter, etc. At the other, they would let us put up posters/signs, but we couldn't send anything home and couldn't put anything in the newsletter. So we had to get creative: Setup a staffed table at any registration days, back to school nights, or school-wide events. I say a 'staffed' table because the first year we did this the Girl Scouts threw some fliers on a table and left. Nobody stopped at their table. Meanwhile, I was able to talk to the boys and get them excited about Cub Scouts. Guess which unit gained more new members? Find out if your school and/or district will release contact information for families. Our district will produce a list of students and their addresses for a small fee (I think $25). We asked for all K-5 boys for the three schools we serve. We then removed the boys who were already in the Pack, and created a post card about our recruitment night and sent that out to the boys' homes. It helped that we had a graphic artist on our Committee. All told, including supplies and postage, I think we spent around $100 on this mailing. We included this as a recruitment cost in our annual Pack budget. If we picked up a couple of kids and they sold popcorn just to friends/family, we knew we'd recover that cost. A few days before the recruitment event, the District sent someone to the schools to do a boy talk. The day of the event, we stood on the sidewalk outside the school by the two entrances to the playground (all students at the school exit the school at the playground). As boys were leaving, we handed them a flier and asked them to join us that night for our recruitment event. Since we were on a public sidewalk, the school couldn't stop us from sending a flier home. Plus, this worked better than sending something home in their backpack which might not get read immediately. These fliers went from us to the boys' hands, and from them right to their parents. After our recruitment night, we make one more push using our existing Scouts. We ask them to give invitations to their friends inviting them to our next meeting. If their friend joins, they are eligible to earn a special recruiter patch. These are the main ways we used to get people in the door... and even at two schools with a high level of parent apathy, we had a great turnout. Did it take a lot of work? Yes. Did we spend some money? Yes, probably around $100 on our postcard mailing effort and enough toner and paper to print out around a couple hundred fliers. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes. Without boys, a Pack dies. It take a lot of effort to get them in the door. The key is to make a great first impression to get them to come back. Per blw2's reply to my earlier post, I'm split on how to handle that first night. I think too much talking is a bad thing... I like the idea of having different booths/stations to talk about different aspects because it allows for people to come and go. However, I think the fun is missing. Our Cub Scout carnival recruitment night had the fun, but conveying the information was a challenge. I really think we have to have a happy medium of both... have games to hook the kids, and have information booths to convey the information. The only challenge would be staffing, but if all leaders, committee members, and Scout parents are aware of the date well in advance, scheduling around it should be less challenging. Another option might be partnering with a Boy Scout troop... it's in their best interest to recruit more Cub Scouts because over 70% of Boy Scouts started out as Cub Scouts - less Cubs means less Boy Scouts 5 years down the road.
  6. meyerc13

    Cub Scout Recruitment Night Ideas

    A few years ago what we did was look at our annual calendar, and figured out fun activities that related to those events, essentially making it into a carnival. The idea was for the boys to have fun, while at the same time giving a preview of some of the cool things we had planned for the year. For example: One month we were going to an aviation museum, so we had one 'booth' where boys could make a paper airplane and fly it For Scouting for Food, I think we allowed them to knock over a pyramid of empty food cans by throwing bean bags For our annual Cakewalk, we had cupcakes they could decorate and eat We had nerf guns they could shoot at plastic cups to knock them down to represent BB gun shooting at summer camp We had a plastic bowling set to represent our bowling outing I think we raced matchbox cars down a plastic track to represent our pinewood derby Now, with the Bear rank being asked to do a Cub Scout carnival, for spring recruiting we tied the Cub Scout carnival to recruiting. You can take a lot of school carnival games and adapt them to a Scouting theme if you want to get fancy, for example: Pinewood Derby themed Race to the Finish (roll dice, your car moves that many spots on a board) or Bumper Cars (Pinewood derby car on a board with rubber bands on each end, the car bounces back and forth until it stops, win that prize) Cub Scout Sign Ring Toss - throw rope rings at a wooden hand doing the Cub Scout sign, try to get the rings onto the two fingers Cub Scout Salute Frisbee toss - Try to throw the frisbee into the triangular space between the elbow, neck and 'hand to forehead' on a wooden or cardboard cutout doing the Cub Scout salute Arrow of Light Nerf Archery Do - Your - Best Ladderball (put one word on each 'rung' of the 'ladder') I've also heard of having normal carnival games, but at each station teach them one of the requirements for Bobcat. When they are done, give them a certificate that they can 'trade-in' at the upcoming Pack Meeting for their Bobcat rank. I think the main idea is to have more fun and have less talk. I like BLW2's idea of having stations to talk about Pack Calendar, Den Adventures, Collecting Fees, etc. I think I'm going to steal that next year when I do Recruitment training. The only potential drawback is that it requires more people to staff the sign-up night. In the past, it's often fallen to 1-2 leaders to do it all. I think the better format would make it worth it though.
  7. meyerc13

    Flag Ceremony at a Business

    We have units in our District chartered by a Harley Davidson dealership. I wonder how those units can do service projects benefiting their chartered organization without hurting the image of the BSA. All of those bikers in their leathers... can't have Boy Scouts associating with them. It's a sad day in this country when I say that I might have reservations about a bar or strip club, and the OP lumps a fast food restaurant serving chicken products into the same category. Since when did having morals become a bad thing?
  8. I hate this rule too, but I understand it. I've seen Cub Scout leaders from other Packs do some stupid things at the BB gun range at our Cub Scout resident camp. Sometimes it is just easier for the BSA to ban something than to ensure that it is done safely.
  9. meyerc13

    Flag Ceremony at a Business

    So we can setup tables in a business to sell popcorn, but we shouldn't do a flag ceremony honoring veterans because it's in front of a business? That doesn't make sense to me. I say do the flag ceremony unless there is some morals issue you haven't disclosed (I wouldn't do it if it was a strip club or a bar, or something like that, but a restaurant or store that incidentally sells alcohol shouldn't be a problem).
  10. meyerc13

    Scouts grow up to have better mental health

    This is interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it. Mental health is such a complicated, and not yet completely understood topic, that the correlation is interesting but figuring out what it means is difficult. I've had the unfortunate opportunity to learn and experience more about fighting mental health problems than I ever expected to. There is a lot of ongoing research, and scientists are understanding more about mental health each year. There is a definite physical component to mental health, and research is beginning to point toward a genetic predisposition as well. Yet, just like with other physical ailments such as diabetes, lifestyle also plays a factor. A diabetic who controls his diet will be more likely to keep his disease under control. Likewise, I can think of several reasons why Scouting could have a positive impact on mental health: Exposure to sunlight - increases serotonin levels. Low serotonin can lead to depression, increasing serotonin levels in the brain can reduce depression. Exercise - increases serotonin levels and also releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good, so another way to combat symptoms of depression. Positive thinking Increased social interaction Setting and achieving goals All of these are associated with Scouting, and all of these are suggested ways to help combat depression. In some cases, these may be enough in and of themselves to overcome or prevent mild cases of depression. Even in severe cases of depression, these are recommended along with medication to overcome depression. It makes sense, but Scouting isn't a magic formula that will heal all mental illness by itself. Even with a healthy diet, many diabetics will continue to need medication to control their illness. Many with mental health problems also need medication in addition to positive lifestyle choices. The challenge is, for those with severe mental health problems, making those positive lifestyle choices can be nearly impossible to do on their own. And sadly, due to the stigma of mental illness, many who are suffering don't want to discuss it with even their closest friends and family members. I know my children are predisposed to mental health problems; while I haven't had the genetic testing done to prove it, there are enough cases of severe mental health problems in both my wife's family tree and mine that I am almost positive what the tests would show. Both depression and bipolar disorder are common in our families, and studies over the past ten years have started to point toward certain genes that are linked to patients with these illnesses. We had a local story in the news a few years back, and frankly it scared me quite badly. A straight A student, involved in Scouting and martial arts, held his class hostage by using firearms he brought to school. The description of this boy fits my son exactly - Second degree black belt, Boy Scout, intelligent, does well in school. Eventually the boy took his own life without harming any of the hostages. I'd like to think that in this case Scouting may have been why this mentally ill boy didn't hurt anyone but himself. Sadly, like so many others he hid his inner turmoil and Scouting and Martial Art by themselves weren't enough to fight off the illness attacking his brain. Sadly, because we as a society do so poorly in our handling of the mentally ill, like so many others he hid what he was feeling and nobody knew he was sick. Maybe if we all understood mental illness better and started treating it like the physical ailment that it is, perhaps this boy would have gotten the treatment that in hindsight he so obviously needed. So yes, Scouting undoubtedly helps those with mental illness, but we can't expect it to cure or prevent all cases. What we can do is understand the signs of mental illness and watch our Scouts for those signs. A Scout or Scouter who is able to pierce the illusion that someone with mental illness builds around themselves and convince that sick person to seek out the additional help they need might just save that person's life.
  11. meyerc13

    Veteran Unit

    I'm just going to throw this out there, are you sure your charter lapsed at some point? I say this because my old Pack's charter indicated that the Charter had lapsed about 5 years after the Pack was founded (in the 1940's). However, I was able to find charters from just after that period that showed that registration had been continuous. Due to Council mergers and switching from paper to digital record keeping, somewhere the record was messed up so the number of continuous months of charter didn't align with the actual age of the Pack - but the problem was sloppy record keeping, not a lapse in charter.
  12. meyerc13

    Using Cub Scouts in Political Campaign

    Read here for answers: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2016/07/22/can-packs-troops-teams-or-crews-participate-in-political-rallies/ Images of uniforms for advertising are definitely out. Mentioning Scouting experience... I would probably avoid it. You can say something like "I volunteer as a youth leader with a national civic-minded youth organization", which gets the point across without bringing in the BSA brand.
  13. meyerc13

    How to celebrate a Unit Anniversary

    My old Pack celebrated 75 years in 2015. We had a special Pack Meeting and invited our Chartered Organization, past Cubmasters, and District and Council professionals. The Scout Executive for our Council presented a certificate of recognition to the Pack. As Cubmaster, I did a quick presentation on what living in 1940 was like,and on what was the same or different in Cub Scouting. At 40 years, your Pack could have fun. It must have been formed in the 1970's. Check news archives for articles on the Pack, back then it wasn't uncommon for Packs to publish news releases for every Pack and Committee Meeting. Maybe find some clothing that was common then, and have the Leaders dress up. Find some Cub Scout handbooks from then and show the boys what was the same or different. Find kid friendly games from back then... you could have a lot of fun with this. Of course, you also need cake, so don't forget that! And it might be fun to start a time capsule to be opened when the Pack turns 50 years old.
  14. meyerc13

    Looking to move to a new pack, need advice

    Apparently David CO is in the camp who believes that Unit Commissioners are the Council's spies. That shouldn't be the case. The Commissioner service exists to help units. If a unit needs help, I encourage Scouters at any level, from parent to Institutional Head, to reach out to a Commissioner and ask for help. The purpose of reaching out to a Commissioner isn't to get anyone in trouble, but to get people who need help the help they need (even if they don't know they need help). A good commissioner can come in, observe what is going on for a meeting or two, and probably come up with an action plan along with the leaders of the unit to help the unit to function better. A good commissioner knows that units function on a broad spectrum - from barely surviving to thriving. We know that we aren't going to fix a unit's problems in a week, but that we can help a unit to fix one or two things at a time, with the eventual goal that the unit is heading up instead of down. Don't take my word for it, you can see what we do right here in four simple statements: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Commissioners.aspx The purpose of documenting needs in Commissioner Tools isn't to spy on units, but to get the units that need help the most the help they need. By documenting it other Commissioners and District professionals who work with the unit are aware of the health status of the unit and what the unit needs. Three years ago, I was a new Cubmaster for a unit that needed help. On a scale of 1-5, we were most likely very close to a '1'. A Unit Commissioner identified that we had a need, put us in contact with District resources, and within two years we went from being the unit in the most trouble, to one of the top performing units in the District. Without the Commissioner service, that would not have happened. Now I'm a Commissioner and I use my experience to help other units the same way that my unit was helped. So I encourage you to heed what I've said, and not be paranoid of asking for help. We are really there to help, that's all.
  15. meyerc13

    Looking to move to a new pack, need advice

    Not true. All Tiger Parents are registered for one year as Adult Partners and assigned a number. So this wouldn't necessarily prove anything. However, in my.scouting.org I think you should see that you are missing training if you are properly registered as a Den Leader and haven't taken Position Specific Training yet.
  16. meyerc13

    Looking to move to a new pack, need advice

    I think you need to talk to your Unit Commissioner (if you have one) or the District Executive (a paid, professional Scouter) for your District. In most cases, training should have nothing to do with signing applications. The BSA is starting to push in that direction - that only trained front line leaders can be registered (Cubmasters, Den Leaders, Scoutmasters), but in our Council that won't start until we recharter for 2018 (about a year from now). It was supposed to start for 2017 but was pushed out a year. We'll see whether it really happens next year. What will prevent someone from signing an application is them not being properly registered in their position. Every time you change a role in Scouting, you must fill out another Adult Application. So changing from Den Leader to Cubmaster requires a new application. If the Cubmaster didn't turn in an application when he assumed that role, then he isn't official in the BSA system. In that case, the previous Cubmaster might still be in the system. Your Unit Commissioner or District Executive should be able to check this. It sounds like your unit may need some friendly coaching from a Unit Commissioner. I wish to say it is rare, but sadly many Cub Scout packs have inexperienced leaders, many of whom haven't been properly trained, and they try to do too much without asking for help. If everyone did their role - Cubmasters running Pack meetings, Den Leaders running Den Meetings, and Committee handling finances and the backend stuff, our Packs would all run great. Yet out of 50 Packs in my District I'd bet less than half are functioning well, the others have one issue or another. Commissioners like me try to work with these Packs, and it is probably better if they jump in to help now while the problems are small(er) before the Pack starts to fail. Fixing a failing Pack is a lot harder than fixing a Pack that just needs a little coaching and direction.
  17. meyerc13

    Online Training and The Photos

    I'm a Commissioner, so it is my duty to encourage wearing the full uniform. However, I also work with 'economically diverse' (picked up that buzz phrase from the latest Scouting magazine) Packs. My old Pack served the school that the local homeless shelter feeds into, for example. For many of the families, the uniform shirt is out of reach, at $25 for the shirt plus an additional $12-13 in patches (Council strip, unit numbers, World Scout crest). Add on a handbook, neckerchief, slide, and hat that change every year... plus belt, pants, and socks... and there is no way these families can afford the whole thing. We buy any shirt we find at garage sales and second hand shops and buy the basic patches to make the shirts functional. We've been giving out these shirts to families who can't afford them now for several years. Sadly, I rarely find belts, hats, or neckerchiefs; and have only seen one pair of secondhand uniform pants. So the best we can hope for as a standard is the uniform shirt and neckerchief. Anything more a boy has our Pack considers a bonus. I like a well uniformed Scout as much as any Scouter, but the reality is that uniforming Cub Scouts is expensive with hats, neckerchiefs, slides and handbooks that change every year. It's worse than the Boy Scout side, where a boy only needs to buy new uniform pieces when he outgrows them. Since in many cases the Scouts who need Scouting the most are the ones least likely to be able to afford annual uniform purchases, I personally don't have a problem with the training showing a situation that is reality for many Scouting families and units.
  18. meyerc13

    Frequency of tiger den meetings

    Welcome! Since this is a Tiger Den, does the Den Leader have previous Scouting experience or is he just another parent new to Scouting? With my old Pack, we met every Monday that school was in session. One meeting was our Pack Meeting, the rest were Den Meetings and Outings. If an Outing had to be scheduled on a weekend or alternate night, we might skip a week, but in general we had three den meetings per month. If this Den Leader is new to Scouting, he may be in over his head. If he hasn't completed training or looked through the requirements, he may not realize that one meeting a month probably isn't sufficient to complete the advancement requirements. Look into the new leader training and Roundtable schedule for your District. Perhaps you can plan to attend, and invite him to attend along with you. Tiger Cubs should be using a Shared Leadership model, so ideally he'd assign each family one Adventure to work on, and establish a regular meeting schedule. Beyond that, a Tiger Den Leader shouldn't have to do much except encourage and support the parents who are going to be leading each adventure. Good luck, and hopefully you can inject some enthusiasm into your son's Tiger Den!
  19. meyerc13

    LED Lanterns

    I can recommend a lantern that hits on all of your points but one, it isn't rechargable - the Rayovac SE3DLNACOM. You can pick it up for less than $20 on Amazon. 240 Lumens, small and compact. It runs off of 3 D Cell Batteries. As I stated, it isn't rechargable, but you could use rechargable batteries in it. My family has used three of these for camping for close to three or four years now. We carry extra batteries, but rarely have to change the batteries even using at least one of the lanterns for several hours each night. Since you can get so many hours out of a set of batteries, the lack of rechargability shouldn't be a major deal because you shouldn't need to swap out the batteries all that often. We generally hang one or two upside down under our dining fly, there is a clip on the underside for doing this and the diffuser on top can be removed easily. This lights up the area pretty well. It isn't as bright as our Coleman white gas lantern, but it's usually bright enough for playing cards or whatever we want to do outside. If you don't have one of these, you can't beat the price and it's worth having one at home just in case of an emergency. You might want to pick one up to give it a try, I think you'll fall in love with it like I have. I bought my first one years ago during a multi-day power outage, and it is still going strong. We liked it so much we picked up two more over the years. During that same storm, I also picked up a Coleman Quad LED Lantern which uses rechargable panels. Several of the panels no longer hold a charge and the batteries need to be replaced. It wasn't a bad lantern, but it has fallen out of favor because we like the Rayovac so much more.
  20. Since uniforms/insurance and sheath knives were already brought up, I'll add the one I brought up last week - white gas (Coleman fuel) stoves are banned. Apparently a myth that was sold as truth within our Council some years ago, but which seems to be finally coming around now.
  21. meyerc13

    Researching old Scout Masters

    Our Pack recently celebrated our 75th Anniversary, so I went through a similar exercise. There are basically two methods to track down previous Cubmasters/Scoutmasters: Each leader undoubtedly remembers their predecessor, so you can start with the current leader and work your way back. It's time consuming but easy enough to do. Your Council should have a file on your unit, and this information should be there. The challenge is that today we have fewer Councils than we had many years ago, and during mergers sometimes historical records have been lost (or more likely filed in a box in a basement somewhere, never to be found again). I'll warn you, if you ask the Council at this time of year you might be asked to wait. When I contacted our Council, I was basically told that the months around recruitment and again around rechartering are too busy for them to pull these records, For our Council the recharter year starts on Jan 1, so basically Sept-Jan are too busy (last year recharter pushed into March-April due to a requirement for all leaders to have current YPT).
  22. That's what the G2SS states now, but what was it 10 or 15 years ago? I know that my Troop growing up switched from white gas to propane, and I swear it was required, not optional, because it was a significant investment to replace equipment - money our Troop didn't really have at the time, so I doubt this was done on a whim. Anyone have a hard copy G2SS from ten or fifteen years ago to see whether this was fact or myth?
  23. That sounds like a lot of propane cylinders. I wonder how many Troops are properly transporting their propane. My understanding is that propane cylinders should never be transported in an unventilated, enclosed vehicle. Propane tanks are now required to have an Overfill Protection Device valve, and if the tank is too full that valve will release propane from the tank into the surrounding air. In an enclosed vehicle like a Troop trailer, that could result in an explosion if enough propane is released. That's why campers have the propane tanks mounted outside on the trailer tongue. The overfill condition might not happen immediately, as temperature changes a cylinder that was fine might start to release propane. Most reputable propane dealers know to leave propane tanks underfilled to allow room for expansion, but you're taking a chance if you fill at a gas station or retailer that only dabbles in propane. Also, I believe if you transport more than five cylinders that the vehicle must have a placard. So again, how many of your Troops are properly transporting it, less than five total cylinders, upright and secured, in a properly ventilated vehicle? Watching Troops pull propane out of unventilated Troop trailers makes me think not many.
  24. When our family got back into camping a few years ago, I had to make the decision on white gas or propane. After doing the research, white gas was the clear winner. One plus you didn't mention is that the white gas stoves can be adapated to use propane (and actually do a better job than the propane stoves because of their larger burners). I don't know if this is still true, but when we bought our stove the white gas models from Coleman were still being made in the US, but the propane were all made in China, so that was another plus at that time. As much as I like the white gas, learning to use it can be tricky, there's certainly more involved than with propane. Propane can be as simple as turning it on and lighting it. However, I think the big reason is that the BSA discouraged white gas for a period of time. I don't know if this is fact or rumor, but when I went through BALOO they told us white gas wasn't allowed because the flames burn too clearly - you can't tell it is lit as easily as you can with propane. I know that now the BSA doesn't necessarily have a position on the matter, but if it were up to me the clear choice would be white gas, not propane.
  25. meyerc13

    parent guide and cyber chip

    Great questions. Yes, the following is a requirement that must not be completed each year for each rank: The only exception is if they completed Bobcat, they don't need to do it twice the same year to also complete their rank, completing it for Bobcat their first year also counts toward their first rank, whatever that might be. As for the Cyberchip, currently the 'recharge' activity is the same for Grades 1-3, which means that a boy would need to do it twice (Wolf, Bear) if they earned their Cyberchip as a Tiger. For Grades 4-5 (Webelos), there is a different level of Cyberchip they must earn, but again the recharge is the same as it was for 1-3, so in total the number of times a boy would do the recharge is three times. I get the impression they planned to change the recharge activity, but so far I don't think they have.