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PA Scoutmaster

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  1. Our council announced today that all Summer camps are closed. The camp straddles the state line between PA and MD, with part of the camp in each state.
  2. Our council had a high adventure section on their website at one time. Scouters would post descriptions of trips they had taken with offers to help other troops with planning. If you have friends in other troops or if you attend round tables, talk with scouters and see what options are available in your area. You can also look into outdoor clubs outside of scouting for tips.
  3. I agree, Stosh. I notice the Scoutmaster couldn't schedule because he wouldn't be at the next meeting. I never do conferences for an Eagle candidate at troop meetings. There are too many distractions. I would rather do it at during an outing, or at my house or the scout's house (with my wife or the scout's parent in the next room as a second adult). I look at the conference as my opportunity to help the scout be ready for his BOR.
  4. Congratulations! The ability to set a goal and keep working toward it will help him throughout his life.
  5. I see where you're coming from, Stosh. I would say that the parent references actually tend to be more critical than any others. I've heard from lots of moms that say their sons could use a little more work on "A scout is clean"
  6. Congratulations! As far as paperwork, it does seem like busy work. However, it's not the worst thing in the world to learn how to do paperwork just as required. College professors and employers will not want you to "wing it", so I look at it as practice for the real world.
  7. Sounds like a perfect job for the troop Historian! If you have a scout that wants to take on that role, he could go through what you have, research on line, talk to former scouts, etc. As a relatively newer troop, he could make a pretty complete history. I like the idea of documenting trips with photos and recollections of the outing by the scouts. I find scouts take much more interesting photos than adults do. We tend to pose people or have everyone looking at the camera, where scouts tend to take more random pictures that better tell the story.
  8. Yes, it's the same logic for work uniforms. If you wear a suit and tie to work, you can't deduct the cost because it can be used elsewhere. If you wear a uniform like a UPS driver or a chef jacket, that would be deductible. I usually figure the deduction isn't worth as far as clothing is concerned. Mileage, on the other hand, can really add up.
  9. Yes, that is correct. If he moved from PL to SPL, he can use both positions for the time requirement. For example, he was PL for 4 months as a Life Scout and SPL for 2 months as a Life Scout, that makes 6 months in an approved position of responsibility.
  10. Congrats! Enjoy the ride, it goes by fast. My son aged out at the end of January. It seems like yesterday that he was just like the guy in the photo you shared.
  11. Usually the SPL assigns each patrol to bring something (Hawk brings drinks, Owl brings sweets, etc). We have done either a meal or just snacks/desserts depending on what the scouts prefer.
  12. Good point, Qwazse. Clarke Green had a nice article about this very subject in his blog today: http://scoutmastercg.com/every-scout-a-leader/
  13. In case anyone needs it, here is a pdf of the new scout requirements 2016 from the new 13th edition handbook. They can be placed in the old handbook if scouts don't need or want to purchase the new edition. A scout is thrifty! http://www.scouting.org/filestore/boyscouts/pdf/524-012_BS_Requirements.pdf
  14. They both fall apart quickly. The spiral bound does lie flat, but the pages fall out as soon as a scout opens it. At our council camp headquarters building, there are different edition handbooks going back to the 50's. Even with people regularly flipping through them, they are all in better shape than any handbook that our current scouts own.
  15. I was not an Arrowman as a youth. When I did my ordeal as an adult, an elderly man approached me after the ceremony. "You don't recognize me, do you?" he asked. Turns out he was my Assistant Scoutmaster from 35 years prior. I was in my forties at the time of the ordeal. I have no idea how he recognized me as I was only a scout for a few years, in a different council.
  16. I don't like to use a specified number or percentage. It really depends on the boy. One of the best SPL's I've ever had was also captain of several travel soccer teams, taking multiple AP courses, etc. There were a number of outings where he just was not able to attend, even though he wanted to. He was great at delegating to his ASPL, He gave detailed instructions, came to the church Friday night to make sure everybody was ready and followed up with his ASPL and PL's after. If I only looked at numbers, his performance was somewhat lacking. But every outing was successful, even when he couldn't
  17. I concur with the group, it is up to the scout. Most of our scouts do individual ECOH, but some (including my own son) prefer to do it during the regular Troop COH. I support the scout in whatever decision he makes.There are as many ways to do an ECOH as there are Eagle Scouts. With your troop having this tradition, I would recommend discussing it with the Scoutmaster so that he is on board. It sounds like your son led a great project, and congrats to him on his Eagle rank!
  18. So far it's been easier than I thought it would be. People who help with the troop are usually the same people that help at church, soccer, school, etc. All the groups now need the same clearances, so there hasn't been any push back asking people to get it done. Our council has an email address to send them, so it's pretty easy to submit. The only issue was one guy that needed the FBI check and it took months. Everybody else had lived in PA for 10 years so just had to sign a waiver stating as much and that they hadn't had any out of state convictions in that time.
  19. That is depressing. The worst part is this quote: “Every school is looking for a way to increase student activity and engagement and decrease conflict,†he said. We wonder why some kids have trouble resolving conflict. It's because they aren't allowed to have any type of conflict, so they can't learn to resolve it. When my son was in elementary school, they banned games of tag and any running at recess. Some kids might lose and feel bad. Some kids don't run as fast as others and might feel bad. Yikes.
  20. I think going back to the original poster's question, he is looking for a long term plan. In that case, I would stay away from the cheapest stuff; you are just going to end up replacing it. As many others have said, decide what kind of camping your scouts want to do. We do both plop and drop and backpacking. We have had good luck with the REI half dome tents. Not terribly expensive but not dirt cheap either. They aren't ultra light but when split between two boys they work fine for anything up to and including Philmont. Most good camping suppliers have programs for youth groups. Talk with com
  21. Alamance, I've been there, and it feels terrible. It took 3 years on the ballot for my son to be elected. Looking back, he probably lacked maturity the first year. The second year was definitely a popularity contest. However, he did eventually make it, and he really embraced it. Maybe because he had to wait, he valued it more. He has become involved with the lodge and jumps at every opportunity for a service weekend, trail crew day, or pretty much anything else. I found the link you posted regarding elections a few years ago. We did find that it helped to make an actual ballot as opposed
  22. Wow, that's pretty cool! They use the same advancement in Abu Dhabi as we do here? Sad to say, I know next to nothing about international scouting. Maybe I'll start to do a little research.
  23. I would agree, Krampus. I get pressure from parents to get kids home earlier. I've found that our late arrivals on Sunday and/or camping 3-4 hours from home was a primary reason that some boys were not camping as often.
  24. My son got a patch from your council at the last jamboree. Being from the east coast, it was very exotic for him! I think our council uses the same template as yours: http://www.cccbsa.org
  25. Dryer lint is free and makes easy to start tinder. It catches easily but it doesn't burn long. Need to have some good birch bark shavings or similar.
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