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Everything posted by Krampus

  1. @@Eagledad, those are good points. However, there's the other side to that coin. It looks like the adult-led guys are not just entrenched, but digging in deeper, shoring up their "buy-in" from other adults and the leaders seem new enough that they are not going anywhere (figuratively or literally) soon. So any movement to a more boy-led approach will be years in the making. Can it be done? Sure. But the process will take time, additional leaders who feel like @@Eagle94-A1, and a whole lot of extra effort. You not only have to build the boy-led mindset, you have to deconstruct the whole adult-led apparatus. We all know that will take many years to fix. I think the non-supportive tones you hear here are simply to help @@Eagle94-A1 realize that the level of time and effort to fix the existing program may outweigh the desire to experience Scouting in a more boy-led program in the short time he has left with his son.
  2. I think my guys found the work around on their own too.
  3. [shaking head] I just cannot get over adults getting THAT involved in managing kids. I really feel for the boys. They are not learning a thing other than dad will be there to save your butt when you give up. Just wait until they get in to the workforce.
  4. So, had PLC last night. They had a great idea for a game involving...wait for it...water balloons. When I told them that BSA prohibited the use of non-biodegradable water balloon over the size of a ping pong ball, you could have cut the sarcasm that followed with a knife. I think when BSA tries to pass another rule they should run it past a focus group of teenagers. If the BSA leaders can argue their way out of that room without having one person quit Scouting as a result, then they can implement the policy. The PLC's solution was to NOT have a meeting that week BUT for anyone interested in having fun to show up on their own (no uniforms) and conduct the game. Since it is not a Scout activity I cannot stop them...out of my jurisdiction. Bravo BSA.
  5. Free? Who is getting free in-state tuition? Try being a mid to upper class ranked student with A-B grades and 1200 SATs trying to get in to your own state school. If you have color you have a shot. If you don't, you better be looking at a private school that hasn't reached their quota yet. I'd rather acceptance we totally blind and accept kids based on achievement, not color, or sex, or orientation, or size of mommy and daddy's bank account.
  6. Had never heard of this, so googled it and found it here. It is called Unit College Scouter Reserve. The process seems simple but is done at the council level and not the unit level at recharter:
  7. It is actually not that bad. My guys that went to Colorado last year did a little prep but had to time to acclimate to altitude. Took it easy the first few days and hydrated 5-6 liters per day. Slow and steady, but they got to see a great deal and still managed 32 miles.When done they realized that they could have done more...way more...but were satisfied as Flatlanders. AT won't give them the altitude issues CO did, but they should not under estimate the up/down of the AT. Ridgelines are your friend.
  8. Something is rotten in Denmark. The SM and CC can now expect to be put under the microscope. Good!!! They are being unscouting and deserve to be [put under such scrutiny. I've said it a 1,000 times, UCs are useless. Never met one that did anything beyond ask me for my JTE paperwork and when they could do their FOS presentation. Want, want, want. Hope he is unvolunteered from that position. You son learned a valuable lesson, while trust is a great thing you cannot trust everyone...even people who claim they are working for your best interests. He will get Eagle and a good life lesson in the process.
  9. Councils would hate that idea, wouldn't they? My council pushes their camps for us to use every month. We go all over but they (council) gives you the stink eye when they ask you why you don't use their camps instead.
  10. Very true, Barry. All Scouts should give back what they take out of the program...not just the Eagles.
  11. You'd need several for Texas too. We measure travel time in hours, not miles.
  12. Dear Fellow Flatlander ( Train, train, train before you go. Don't think that you can do 10 miles a day unless you've trained on similar terrain. It just won't happen. Take it easy and relax and enjoy. If you have to do 30 miles instead of 50, so be it. If you've never been, get a guide or at least take time to know your route. There are sections of the AT that are like US 95. There are others that are not. Last time I checked, NC was perhaps lesser traveled than those routes in the northeast.
  13. If he's that accomplished and he has two years until he ages out, I would recommend a JASM or Instructor role for him. I always tell my guys like that what my football (soccer) coach told me. He was from Africa and had a very unique but simple outlook on life. He'd say, "Life is like a well. If you keep taking from the well and don't help dig it deeper or build a new one, future generations will have no well, no water, no future. Dig another well or dig the well that's there deeper before you leave." His point was simple, put back into the program what you have taken out. If you are an Eagle there is a great deal you owe the program. I pass that wisdom on to my Scouts. Don't Eagle out and leave. Troop meetings can be dull. How can HE help make them fun? How can he help equip the new Scouts coming in with the core Scouting skills they need to be just like him? How can he help develop the youth leaders of the troop? How can he help train the adults in the troop how to stay out of the Scouts' hair? My kid is in the same boat. As a SMs and CMs kid, he's put in WAY more time than perhaps 99% of the all the other Scouts. However, I always point out to him that the ability to continue to give -- even after you have given your full measure -- is what defines you as a human being and a good Scout. He's taken a role as a JASM and lead Instructor until he ages out. He's going to come on as an ASM before he graduates. Sounds like your Scout still has the interest. It's up to you and his SM to help him challenge himself further instead of thinking he's "done".
  14. If two show up, that's your patrol. I wouldn't mix them just to make numbers. The hardest thing I found was managing the expectations of adults that everything should go smoothly. Once they jump that hurdle and buy in to the fact that it may be a train wreck for a while, then you are halfway there. The next step is to train the guys in patrol operations. How do patrols set up camp? How do they purchase and cook food? How do they clean up? Once they get used to those things then the rest should fall in to place. Just like sports, you have warm ups before the game or practice. Getting good at patrol and troop operations is the key. Once those become second nature -- if even just for the older Scouts -- leadership will grow on its own. The adults just need to sit back and have that cup of coffee AFTER the boys have been trained.
  15. When we are making the change way back when, one of older, wiser ASMs would cook a great Friday snack for the adults, including dessert. It was amazing how many adults couldn't find the time to put up Timmy's tent when there was good adult food available. Timmy got tired of waiting and finally put up his own tent. Amazing the power of food!
  16. 360 Panorama https://goo.gl/maps/7JQjpQQYMfB2
  17. @@doakley Our SPL leads the camp outs WITH the PLs. The camp out is planned by the PLC. There is a camp out plan which the SPL and PLs execute. They meet at the PLC Friday night and Saturday night to discuss what happens the next day. Each month a program patrol is responsible for planning the weekly meetings. The PL of the program patrol manages that task are reports to the SPL. Took a while to build this in to the process but it became the cornerstone of our movement to the patrol method.
  18. The requirement only says, "Collect and identify soils found in different layers of a soil profile." Doesn't say you need to go to Moab and become a strata expert.
  19. @@Stosh, it is tough to get in to state schools from i-state these days. With all the quotas out there, if you don't fit in to one of the quota groups -- and at the top of that group -- you don't get in. Out of state or private schools are the only option in most cases. Some state schools are now offering in-state tuition to lure those folks from neighboring states that would otherwise qualify for in-state in their own state. You'd think that in-state folks would get preference over out-of-state folks but that's a thing of the past. Then let me explain. You work your butt off but still pay a ton of taxes because you are successful. You hope to benefit from your hard work when you retire by recouping some of what you have paid in the system. You can't because I have sat on my butt my whole life and am using all those government programs you've paid for so I can live off of your hard work. Remember, Jesus was the ultimate Christian but even he said it was better to teach a man to fish (hard work fulfillment) than simply giving him one (charity). Funny. Actually, most of us stopped flirting with socialist and 60s style sociology when they realized that the government cannot provide for you as well as YOU can provide for you. Remember the 80s? Funny how all those hippies threw their views about wealth accumulation out the window when it meant that THEY could have large sums of money. Nothing like selling out what you thought you believed in, huh? Paying our FAIR taxes is good citizenship. Just as working for a living rather than living off the taxpayer is good citizenship. I have no issue with very limited social welfare programs. I have a huge problem with people here illegally using them or people living off them long term as if they are an entitlement program for those who don't give a darn. Those truly in need due to illness or injury, that's another story. I have mates that came back from Iraq and Afghanistan that are STILL waiting for help from those government programs you think are working. Private charities have done more in one month for them than the government has done in 5 years. It is hard to take anyone who advocates government as a caretaker of social welfare seriously with the horrid track record they have in this area. But there are still quotas. When a kid with 1310 on his SATs and an A average cannot get in to a prestigious tech school because "his slot" is full, tells me that the system is not picking the best and brightest, but is still looking at skin color to determine who get in. Worse, when kids get financial aid when both parents are making 6 figures, there's something wrong with the system.
  20. Yeah, @@qwazse is wise. This is the major reason almost any project fails, whether in big business or in volunteer organizations. You need buy in from the key stakeholders (adults and scouts). If the adults don't back it, they will surely submarine you every chance they get. If they Scouts don't buy it, then even with the adult backing you are pushing rope. We have this problem years ago when our unit made the change. We simply had to "wait out" the nay sayers until they left, then went about our change. Hang in there. Change will happen. It may take time but when you are successful it will be worth the wait.
  21. Some good advice here, I would add this: Pick your segments and resupply points carefully. As @@vumbi said, picking your segments wisely is important. Water and food re-supply are key. There are some "trail angels" -- folks that supply hikers in a trading post fashion -- on various segments. Have someone waiting on your hiking grid in case you need some extracted and taken home for non-emergencies. Have a plan for emergency situations. Where will you get help? How will you contact emergency personnel? Make sure you have 1-2 people trained in wilderness first aid. This is required by BSA for anything considered in the "back country". Consider renting or buying a personal locator beacon. Have a weather radio too. Have gear and endurance shakedowns before you go. Nothing stink more than troubles that could have been avoided on the trail. Make sure EVERYONE knows how to use a map and compass. Make sure EVERYONE has their ten essentials on them at all times. Most search and rescue problems start because someone wandered off without following procedure or having the right gear. Train everyone on Outdoor Ethics Awareness. Packing out trash, properly managing human waste and such are really important on the trail. I would avoid the shelters. Most campers are not as good about food and waste management as Scouts should be. Those things are breeding grounds for rats, mice and vending machines for other critters. @@TAHAWK is right about certain locations, including Harper's Ferry. It is expensive to eat there unless you live in the DC area and are used to their inflated prices. I would DEFINITELY visit Harper's Ferry, but I would make my own breakfast and eat it on top of Maryland Heights. Breakfast for sunrise or dinner at sunset, your boys will remember that view the rest of their lives...I know I still do.
  22. River or creek beds. Best place to find the strata. Make sure you go when it is VERY dry and no rain forecast upstream.
  23. @@desertrat77, the three people I hired were SAC command/control specialists with two years of community college and two years post tour at UTSA. Beat the hell out of the UT techies with $100k of debt and no work experience.
  24. State techs are expensive for out of state. Hard to get in to for in-state unless you are illegal or "of color". That leaves private schools. Like I said, if the playing field were level, and we let supply and demand work, tuition would come down. Dinkering with it has lead to everyone getting diplomas BUT their debit to income ratio is HIGHER than had they not gone to college and the market been allowed to find equilibrium. Yet another example of the government intending one thing, but the opposite happens.
  25. Social security would be more successful if you could opt out and invest the money yourself. Those who feel they need help can invest the money through an agent the government if need be. But you aren't allowed to take out of someone else's pot. What you earn is yours, that way you don't have people loafing around waiting to steal out of a life time of someone else's hard work. Education is free through 12th grade. If you need more, work for it. Save up. Part of the reason college tuition has sky-rocketed is because everyone now is going to college. While the demand goes up, the supply also goes up. It is one of the only markets where the laws of supply and demand are not operating properly. Why? Intervention by the government. I told my kids to go two years to community college and then transfer in to the 4 year college they want that piece of paper from. There's ZERO reason to spend $50k/year for the same piece of paper that you can get for a fraction of the cost. No employer is going to ask if you spent all four years at Hi Tech University; they just want to know if you got your diploma. Why be $200k in debt when you can be $50-100k or less in debt?
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