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Everything posted by boomerscout

  1. Boys Life magazine had all kind of plans for DIY gear in the 40s and 50s. Make you own tent, sleeping bag, pack, messkit, bowsaw, stove, and so on. One wonders how Lewis & Clark covered half the country without having an REI available.
  2. "what do you do when the advancement issue openly pits boy v. parent?" we stay out of it unless he/she is openly chewing out their son in front of the other boys. If that happens, we quickly, but politely, tell them to knock it off. We attempt to get them to understand that some merit badges, such as the citizenships, are geared to boys having finished at least ninth grade. We may offer to custom tailor a program for their son depending on how many troop duties they (the parents) will volunter for in order to lighten our load. We generally leave the kid alone. We will encoura
  3. Oh, this is an easy one. First: when the parent is making his request of you, call his son over to take part in the conversation. This shouldn't take more than five minutes; let them do all the talking and reach their own consensus. Second: Ask Dad what two days he is volunteering for at camp since you are short of experienced trainers, camp cooks, etc
  4. Addendum: Can't think of anything more boring, as an 11 year old, than to get dragged inside a museum in August. Now, if you could visit a fire tower, and get permission to climb up to the top of the tower, that would be something different.
  5. new Scouts with less than a year of being Scouts. First, you need to decide how the requirements are going to be earned. Do they really have to learn and understand the material, or do they just attend a demo and then get signed off? If you're going for real learning, then a good T to First will take the entire week, and there won't really be time for merit badges. These Scouts, young, don't need so much summer classroom; they need fun in the out-of-doors. Don't forget that T to FC in itself has a lot of first aid to learn and practice, as well as first time cooking requirements. S
  6. The chicken was a training aid. If you could do the chicken, then you should have no trouble with a grouse, quail, pheasant. An emu may still be troublesome.
  7. Kids of Scouting age embarass easily, and seem overly sensitive to peer ridicule. They may skip your camping because they don't have the "proper" gear as shown in Boys Life. Otherwise, to make camping more of a draw, post pix of the last trip on the troop bulletin board, get an action shot posted in the weekly paper. Also post pix at your stationary fundraiser. When Mr. & Mrs. Smith ask why you never have a shot of Johnny, tell them he never bothers to camp. Other than that, some just don't like to camp. That's just how it is
  8. Naturally, not all new Scouts will need to take every module of the first year program due to previous signoffs. There needs to be other stuff they can join/do on a walkup basis - as desired.
  9. an hour a day is not enough; half a day each day is more feasible. T to F covers an awful lot of new material to some who have never seen it before. Getting everyone organized for a ten mile hike, and then doing the hiking can take a half day. Demonstrating fire building, and then having everyone gather tinder, kindling etc and lay the fire can take half a day. If the particular program module finishes early, then the Scouts need not stay the entire half-day Pioneering is not for most first year Scouts - too many knots and lashings all at once (therefore soon forgotten). Plus, many ele
  10. because of the importance of the position, and the training needed, only PLs and APLs - past and present - may run. We (adults) may suggest to some that they put their hat into the ring. Election is troop wide; all Scouts get a vote
  11. "Other prices are rising too - high gas prices drives inflation" Nah, this is what the government would like you to believe. In truth, the government causes inflation by inflating the money supply (eleven trillion over the past two years - more or less). More dollars now chasing the same amount of goods causes all prices to rise. Diverting cornland into fuel doesn't help either. Anyway, lose the trailers. Trailers increase costs: buying the trailer, maintaining the trailer, paying for the extra insurance, increasing fuel costs, increasing wear & tear on the tow vehicle. Wors
  12. between the mummy & the rectangular is the semi-mummy; you might try that. For real cold weather I use two ground pads over a plastic ground cloth -- one is full length, the other hip length. If you don't have far to hike, you might try getting yourself up off the ground; there are some lt-weight cots with six inch legs (still need an insulating pad under you. If you don't like a bag, you might try a quilt with a foot box over you. I'm sure you already know not to wear clothes you've worn during the day to bed. Try a turtleneck shirt with a hoodie sweatshirt and a stocking/toboggan c
  13. the 25 foot rule seems to be a better than nothing rule to get people to stop dumping the waste at the shoreline -- where they'll build up into mounds of waste at the more popular fishing lakes that will visually turn people off while stinking to the heavens
  14. I've viewed the sites of several national & state parks, and they all had diferent answers. The one I liked best: hang the entrails up in the brances of a tree near the shoreline so the birds can eat them. So, if in shallow moving water, throw the entrails into the water to provide food for crayfisn, turtles, catfish, etc. unless park rules differ. if in still water, do not throw the entrails into the water -- takes too long to decay. If the area is heavily fished, such as with a group of 6 to 10, too many entrails in one spot can cause a localized dead zone from lack of oxygen.
  15. I would never throw fish guts into the water because of eutrophication; many fish and other aquatic critters live near the bottom. Gather them up at your fish cleaning site, put them in a paper sack lined with dead leaves or pine needles, etc, canoe back to camp, and burn them. The purist approach is to find a rock or reef well offshore, place them on the rock for the birds or turtles to eat. I feel certain that the 25 ft. limit was so passers by wouldn't be able to see them
  16. when I did this as a wee lad, the two of us walked 20 from the suburbs to downtown Detroit. When we arrived at the Wayne State University campus, we had lunch in the faculty dining room (my friend's Father was a prof); after lunch he drove us home.
  17. Well, you didn't exactly get a phone call, so that part was OK. I liked your method. The only change I would make is to tell them when they crossed over that they would eventually be forming two patrols - one of 7 and one of 6. Give it time to simmer, so to speak.
  18. is the full dress class A uniform even practical? I would have a miserable time wearing it while hiking x-country; I'd be too worried about the briars and burrs tearing and ripping off the patches and pins to really enjoy myself. So, to overcome this, the Army issues two uniforms - one dressup for ceremonies, and one utility for when there's work to be done. Of course, this would be overkill for children. A much better uniform, methinks, would be similar to what Nathaniel wore in the movie the Last of the Mohicans Not knowing any better, on my first trip to the Boundary Waters, I
  19. A couple of tips: 1) Use decent washing mitts. Those wands that are screwed onto the hose end, often with a revolving brush at the other, do a lousy job. They may remove visible dirt, but do little for the road film covering the car. They are also known for putting hundreds of micro-scratches into the finish, which is why many won't have you wash their car 2) reserve your calendar slots now. Holding the carwash at your church, school, fraternal org just doesn't cut it. You want to be where the traffic is, and where people are in a spending mood -- this means in front of the big box
  20. for the size you need (Wow!), perhaps you could find a 50s Scoutmaster's uniform (or Junior Assistant Scoutmaster's) and adapt/modify it as needed. The hard part would be adding the front pocket flaps with the red piping at the edges The summer uniform -- Scout shorts and short sleeve shirt -- had little difference aside from the patches Don't forget the economy sized neckerchief; it was a rectangle that the Scout folded on the diagonal
  21. Most all hobbies cost money, and the Scouts need to be made to understand that. Our first year Scouts are told not to buy any uniform pieces until it's time for summer camp due to sudden growth spurts. Their first priority is to start assembling gear. For Scout tees we screen print our own -- much cheaper and enhances troop cohesion. Our uniform closet is located in a spare room at a Scouter's home - keeps the uniforms clean, and the Scouter has time & daylight to check for mising buttons, etc. She does go after the Scouts to donate their outgrown uniforms - even from other troops as
  22. "I'm kinda thinking about wearing one on my collar to show my support" No, you must follow the rules. The stamping out of individuality and self-reliance requires eternal vigilence. Scouting is too serious an undertaking to waste time on fun. Imagine if our Boys started dressing in other than the official leggings and knickers, and tossed aside their campaign hats for a totally silly & useless field cap. We would have anarchy, total anarchy, in troops nationwide. (I do wear a light-up Santa head, during December, at indoor Scout functions)
  23. parental involvement? When the kids are home, they're buried in an Xbox. When they're not in school, they're with their friends where their real learning takes place. How to improve education? Make it necessary in their lives. One way is to abolish all long-term welfare so they understand learning is necessary to get ahead. It's all about motivation. Of course, our educational system will need to become more flexible to meet different learning styles. The country also needs a better vocational program; at present it is often a baby-sitting dumping ground for kids who don't want to
  24. You overlook the world this child-bozo inhabits. His schools teach self-esteem, feeling good about yourself, and "making the grade" as the most important goals. Lying, then, is just another tool to get ahead; it's cool! "In the real world, you don't need to set up tents to have a place to sleep. You have a house, and when you are travelling, there are many fine hotels everywhere in the world." When he gets older, if he gets older, his bosses may be non-American (increasing globalization) and not perceive lying & cheating in the same ways his peers view things. He will then defi
  25. SCOUT SPIRIT What is it? How do we measure it? How can we get more of it? How do we get our Scouts to pay more attention to it? Why cant the BSA give us a more tangible definition of it? How do we know when its there and when its not? Is a rank-directed Scoutmaster Conference or Board of Review the only place we talk about it? What do we do when we think we need more of it? These and questions like them have been coming into this column for a bunch of years, now, and Ive tried to do my best in offering insights on these important issues. Perhaps its time to put some real focus on it
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