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Posts posted by boomerscout

  1. We all put in the hours; most of us do it gladly. Somehow, our hours do not make it cheaper for the Scout when he goes to scout supply.

    When I was younger, teens & adults who wore jeans were the poor, the shiftless and the delinguents. Nowadays, jeans seem to be the uniform of choice the world over. No need for anything else. So, how do you get them into Scout pants? By having good fund-raising so they can be purchased with Scout accounts (IRS rightly or wrongly), or by being presented as part of COH. Give them a reason full uniform is actually needed: full uniform to march in the county or town parade, to assist at civic functions...

    For the longest time our own Scouts thought the neckerchief was girlie. Then, one of them learned how to tie the shemagh, and taught it to the others. Who knew you could face the dangers of a sandstorm in the middle of the woods? We now have acceptance of wearing our custom neckers -- a little large, but it's their uniform, and their adventure.

  2. Has the "official" Cub Scout knife changed?

    Yes, it has! In the interest of public safety, and because of possible dangers to the user, the new, official Cub knife will be issued without a knife blade. With every knife will come an interactive DVD enabling each Cub to do his whittling online with his own virtual blade.

  3. Kenk--

    You've nothing to apologize for. Your son did all that is required, did it without wasting much time, and that's enough. Congrats to you both! Most Scouts do not get to Eagle, so I don't understand all the griping.

    Of course you do understand, that to please everyone, future Eagle candidates will have to earn all 121 merit badges, plus any discontinued badges offered in the past, while turning around General Motors? Geez, guys! Are we putting too much BS into BSA?


  4. with one of the dads yelling "you're not going to tell me when I can spend time with my son!"

    these Dads may be the only ones you can get to drive the boys to camp. Also, since we don't have guardianship rights, parents can sniff around all programs that involve their minor children to assure themselves of safety--unless restrictions are stated in writing beforehand.

    Maybe start doing more primitive camping where you hike ten miles in & ten miles back out so no one has time to play cards?

  5. I agree with you on the need for big boy programs. Something on the order of spending the entire summer on the AT, sailing the crew ship to Europe and back, canoeing from the border to Hudson's Bay. These are the adventures that are in the mind's eyes of the new scouts when they join. Yet, the best they get--even if that--is the amusement park we call Philmont

  6. "The stat which is frequently quoted is through the last year of Webelos and the first year of Boy Scout the dropout rate nationally is 50%."

    Possible reasons:

    1) After reaching the top in Cubs, AoL, they have to re-start back at the bottom in Scouts. For some reason, a lot of people do not like to start over in many things

    2)ten years old are still small, and may perceive Scouts as large, scary, hairy Neanderthals

    3)Cubs may have become boring, and they get the idea Scouts will be more of the same

    In any case, it seems a better bridge is neded. After earning AoL, no reason they can't complete T'foot requirements while still in Cubs. My idea is that if they already have a Scout rank, they won't want to "waste" it, and so will join a troop.

  7. PATROL LEADER: Maintains organizational "harmony" throughout the cooking process. Makes sure that each Patrol member knows his job and that they don't interfere with the other Patrol members doing their job. The Patrol Leader is not generally included on the Patrol Duty Roster. It is his responsibility to be the "foreman" and step in where help is required.

    ADULT LEADERS: Make sure that Scouts use safe cooking and food handling practices. Provide

    encouragement and advice when needed while allowing the Patrol Method to remain the means by which the meal is prepared. Scouts will gain no confidence or practical experience in cooking if you step in and do everything but the clean-up.

    This was from Camp Bashore in Pennsylvania. They believe the patrol method of cooking is the first step in becoming a boy-led troop with an effective PLC

  8. I am wondering if a restless sleeper might kick open the nalgene botle sometime during the night -- especially if we thrifty are using a nalgene TYPE bottle? Has anyone tried warming some rocks and putting those in the bag (wrapped up in cloth of course)?


    Even though it's cold, if the camp is stationary you might consider airing out the bag every mid-day.

  9. "Because this is budgeted in, if an event has a surplus of $200 and was budgeted to have $400 it goes down as the district event lost $200"

    This is how old-fashioned corporate accounting was done. Probably is still done this way. I always felt this was the dumb way.


    I feel Camporees are very IMP, else you may get too insular. If district & its troops have neither money nor inclination for a Camporee, maybe they can host a Camporee Day. Take over part of a local park/rec area for the day and run the events from dawn to dusk. Get the park staff involved for nature walks, have a tent & awning company donate the rental of a large activities tent, find a large corporate sponsor for a mass hot-dog cookout for lunch...

  10. duty roster is worked on @last patrol meeting before camp. If you don't attend your patrol meeting, no telling what you may have volunteered for.

    Patrol works as a group for intial water (& firewood if we're having a campfire), plus filling in latrine at the end. If you finish your initial assigned tasks early, you're expected to help set up the fly, clean out the firepit--if needed, erect the tents. Slack off & you get instant feedback.

    Anyone working on cooking mb will cook more than once if desired. Patrol tries to schedule such that for each meal 1-2 Scouts have no duties.

    For activity camps--such as Camporees--everyone is given a copy of the itinerary, and is expected to be able to tell time

    PL is expected to lead. By the time he gets to FC he has done all camp chores many times. His duty is to supervise the entire camping experience. PLs all pitch in anyway as they feel guilty standing around if everything is going well. However, if PL is out on some task, then he is not really where he needs to be to handle problems and emergencies

    Just one way of doing things. Nothing is cast in stone; it ebbs & flows for each outing

  11. I believe Mike F is spot on! No matter how well we may believe we are doing for our own troop, it helps to get out in the world and and do onsite comparisons with other troops.


    We had our eye-opener long ago when our NSP (adult-led until they are signed off on T'feet, then they join regular patrols or form a new one) turned in better scores than our seasoned boy-led patrols. We were all slacking off!

    It is hard, sometimes, for a novice to compete against a pro. Perhaps Camporee staff could have separate awards--some for older troops, some for brand new troops (or patrols)

    One good way to increase attendance is to offer a really boffo Camporee patch.

  12. "I've never heard that the PL shouldn't be on the duty roster"

    I grabbed the nearest book--which happened to be Fieldbook, 2nd edition. Page 126: "You buddy up on the jobs and leave the Patrol Leader free of regular assignment so he can give a hand where needed; it's his job to see that everything gets done."

    In a boy-led troop, the duties of the PL are to lead his patrol. This includes making sure all assigned & necessary tasks are getting done--many not on any duty roster. If he's out gathering firewood, then he's not around to be leading & supervising. PL can lend a hand, but it needs to be on tasks that can be interrupted if something occurs that needs problem-solving & decision making. Obviously, if you leave the cooking to look for your patrol, you lose the meal.

    The PL wanted to cook the meal--which was fine, but it was then the duty of the APL to take over PL duties for this time period. If the PL gets reamed, then the APL needs to also.

  13. Since the troop paid for the LNT training, I would ask the Mother for a refund. Ha-Ha!


    Lying seems to be part of the human condition as even adults do it. For some reason, lying seems to be the fist method of choice in problem avoidance (1st stage denial, 2nd stage anger/acting out...). Therapists tell us that nothing happens in a vacuum. If one family member has problems (ex: lying), then other family members have complementary problems (Mother's chronic lack of trust, chronic accusatory nature & probably chronic fearfulness of life in general).

    Since the Scout is a near-A student, I'm sure he can understand what he reads. I would grab a high-school psychology text, find the section on coping mechanisms (denial, anger/acting out, bargaining... and have him read it. Discuss it with him. Then ask him why many Native-American tribes thought falsehood was a worse crime than murder. You can't do much more than this, or the problem may blow up in your face as the parents decide you interfere too much in their family life.

    From a different website: "Anger stage

    Disciplines > Change Management > The Kbler-Ross grief cycle > Anger stage


    Symptoms | Treatment | See also

    In the Kbler-Ross Grief Cycle, the third stage is one of outraged anger. In order, the stages are: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, Acceptance.



    The next step after denial is a sudden swing into anger, which often occurs in an explosion of emotion, where the bottled-up feelings of the previous stages are expulsed in a huge outpouring of grief. Whoever is in the way is likely to be blamed. In a company this includes the managers, peers, shareholders customers and suppliers. The phrase 'Why me?' may be repeated in an endless loop in their heads. A part of this anger thus is 'Why not you?', which fuels their anger at the those who are not affected, or perhaps not as seriously so.



    When they are angry, the best thing you can do is give them space, allowing them to rail and bellow. The more the storm blows, the sooner it will blow itself out.

    Where anger becomes destructive then it must be addressed directly. As necessary, you may need to remind people of appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Reframe their anger into useful channels, such as problem areas and ways to move foreword.

    Beware, when faced with anger, of it becoming an argument where you may push them back into denial or cause later problems. Support their anger. Accept it. Let them be angry at you.


    See also

    Coping Mechanisms


    Elisabeth Kbler-Ross, On Death and Dying, Macmillan, NY, 1969"

    Sounds like this kid gets a lot of grief at home, and needs better coping mechanisms.


  14. We all like to criticize, but only a few of us are willing to stand in the arena.

    At the next troop meeting I would ask the boys present how they see the trip to Blue Ridge. Tell them what all is involved, and start your detailed planning.

    District doesn't own you. They make suggestions. He may have been having a bad hair day.

    Ditto on several meetings with your potential crossovers--keep them informed, and involve them in the activities

  15. as important as SM is, I believe a CM is even more important. with too many single-parent homes and abusive parent homes, young boys need to be able to interact with a worthwhile adult male. This is more important at ages 7-10; if we wait until ages 11 & up, it may be too late

    In my mind, trying to force someone to do something by laying a guilt trip onto him is akin to imposing slavery

  16. Selling fundraisers are difficult everywhere. There was a forum here on non-selling fundraisers.

    At that three day country festival your Scouts help set up, can they get permission to sell bottled soda pop and water during the activities? Can the troop contract to clean up the town park once a year, and after any parades? Are any of the parents farmers? Would they help the Scouts plant a field of pumpkins in the spring for an autumn sale? Can the Scouts go door to door asking for cast-offs to be sold during yard sale week? Possibly help a local campgrounds re-open in the spring: clean & paint the picnic tables, wash the windows of the cabins, clean trash out of the firepits, remove downed limbs, etc. If you're in the South, selling boiled peanuts in front of Wal-Mart does very well. Cleaning out the stables after the county fair, the high school field after home games could also be contracted for.

    Possibly the best bet is year-round Rent-A-Scout. Each Scout is his own business to do yard chores, babt-sitting, spreading FFA mulch, and so on. A stay at home adult will need to act as dispatcher matching jobs with Scout's preferences, availability & fees. Ea. Scout collects his own money when the job is done. He may give the dispatcher a fee for each job to pay for the dispatcher's time. Scouts should work in pairs.

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