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Posts posted by dedkad

  1. "Please know that these matters continue to have the full attention of the highest levels of our organization, and we will communicate transparently as there are developments or updates to share."

    From the vague letter they emailed me this afternoon, if this is their idea of transparency, we are in trouble.

  2. Our troop from California got a 12-day slot for July 2 to July 14, 2020. I think I'm more excited than the Scouts.

    One thing, though. I have been frustrated with the lack of information or conflicting information available on their website and hope it gets better now that we have a slot and should be getting regular emails. One thing that was frustrating was a quote I pulled directly from their website that said scouts needed to be 17 years old or younger on the first day. We have a scout who will be 18, and since all the adult slots were filled, I told him he couldn't go. The scout's mother got upset and said that one of the adults should step down and make room for her son. That didn't go over very well. Then I came across some other information that said a scout 18 to 21 could register as either a youth or an adult, so I guess he is able to go now because we had one youth spot left.

    Also from the website, I kept getting pages with links that didn't work.

    Did you see how many slots are still available for 2019? Is this normal? https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/registersection/availableslots/

  3. As the person responsible for collecting all the payments from the families and sending them to the Council on the various payment due dates, I would find this system very confusing and it would add a lot of extra work on my part trying to figure out who is going to pay what amount and then making sure I send the correct amounts to the Council.

  4. Our boys bring their own lanterns, which are usually Luci lanterns. No batteries or breakage to worry about. The Luci lanterns don't put off a lot of light like regular lanterns, but I've found if we have two or three propped up on walking sticks or hanging from a canopy, they put off plenty of light.

  5. We live in California near the coast, so we have the luxury of being able to camp all winter long if we so choose. We try to do one snow camping trip per year and will tentatively put a few dates on our calendar, but the drought has interfered with that several times. There's a national park only 4 hours away with a bathroom in the campground that stays open year round and is slightly heated to keep the pipes from freezing. As a woman, this is a godsend. Squatting in the snow to pee is not my idea of fun. Since we often don't get snow until after the first of the year, we have to squeeze our snow camping trip into a single weekend instead of over the school's winter break. We leave on Saturday morning to avoid driving at night on possible black ice and trying to set up and stay warm in the dark. Arriving on Saturday mid-day gives the scouts time to dig snow caves to sleep in if they want. It's a lot of work for a one night trip, but well worth it. 

  6. Thank you! I swear when I first was researching Philmont some months back, I found some information about the various treks and the schedule, but now when I look I can't seem to find anything.

    So I assume a 7-day trek would leave on Day 2, hike Days 2 through 7. Arrive back on Day 7 and depart on Day 8?

  7. Our troop is going to try to put together a crew for Philmont 2020. I have lots of questions, but the most important one I need answered ASAP since the registration is due this week is:

    Does the number of days in the trek (7 or 12) include the days at base camp, or are you actually hiking for 7 or 12 full days?



    On the down side, some of the most reliable venues and best motivated, district, volunteer leadership comes from LDS units.  I would hate to see a reduction in those resources as well.

    This is what I am most concerned about from a volunteer perspective because it impacts our local program.

    • Upvote 1

  9. I'm a female, so I'm at a loss here. Why is there a checkbox for genitalia on the Medical Part C exam, what does it have to do with participating in summer camp, and in reality what are the expectations of the typical practitioner in filling out these forms? From what I've seen when taking my son to the doctor for his annual physical, they are not examining his genitals.


    We had a grandfather come in tonight to our meeting to do physicals for our boys going to summer camp. The grandfather is a cardiologist. I'm in charge of medical forms. The form that came out of the first boy's physical was missing checkboxes for abdomen, genitalia, musculoskeletal, and neurological. I told them that that wasn't acceptable and sent them back in to get all the items on the list checked. I figured that a half-completed form is as good as no form. Apparently the MD didn't feel like he had all the equipment he needed to do the routine check, but he eventually acquiesced and completed all the check boxes. I didn't expect the MD to actually do a genital check, just like I didn't expect him to run an MRI to check for neurological issues. What has been your experience in getting these forms completed, and how thorough are the exams?

  10. Similar experience here, Stosh. Back when I first registered I received no response. I later learned the only responses given are when an application is denied. Regardless, I took the initiative to follow-up on my application so I could be prepared when a Scout showed interest.

    I spent a fair amount of time going through the list of merit badges and the requirements for each one to see what MB's I was qualified for. I had to fill out an application (I'll call it a a "resume") with explanations of why I was qualified to be a MBC for each of them, and then also complete the BSA application for MBC. I can't even remember which MB's I ended up signing up for. When the following year rolled around and I was told that I had to do the exact same process over again and nobody bothered to keep a copy of my previous "resume", I got fed up and didn't re-register. I'm a volunteer. They shouldn't make it hard to be a volunteer. 

    • Upvote 3

  11. I don't mean "expired" in the sense of passed away, I mean that I am no longer a registered MBC. Several years ago I was a registered MBC for the Family Life MB. I counseled a scout all the way through his requirements, but he never brought me a blue card to sign off. I didn't renew my registration for MBC once my year was up. Now this boy is calling me wanting me to sign off on his MB. Can I sign off even though I am no longer a registered MBC? Can I just backdate the blue card and fill in the dates when we covered each requirement?

  12. Apparently patch trading is a big deal. They've been talking about it at our Jamboree preparation meetings. If you have patches that you are going to get rid of, you might contact your local council and see if there are any Jamboree participants who would like to take them for trading.

  13. Wish I'd known about the lifetime guarantee, but I probably never would have been able to find the receipt anyway. After just a year the zipper broke on one of my son's pants leg. I swore then and there I would never buy another pair of official scout pants. The quality was not comparable with the price.

  14. This is why the pack my son was in added a Lego derby to their yearly agenda. The pack purchased special Lego wheels that fit on the PWD track. The kids would make their own car bodies at home or borrow from the bin of Legos that the pack would provide on race day. We'd attach the wheels and they would take turns racing them just for fun on the track. When they were done, they could rebuild and race again. It was much more fun for the boys, and at least you knew they were building the cars themselves. The siblings enjoyed participating too.


    FOLLOW UP - Yikes, I just did a search for Lego wheels to provide a link to the company where we bought the wheels (it was Derby Magic). It now looks like other companies that provide PWD cars and accessories are into the game and they have already turned the fun act of building Lego cars into a competitive sport. There's lists of rules, ways to add weight, suggestions for shaving the Lego wheels, etc. I'm shocked and saddened. This is probably how the whole PWD thing turned into what it is today rather than just a fun thing a dad and his son could do together.

  15. It's not the program they paid for, why would they continue.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  Boy Scouts of America has today become a bait and switch program.

    The program we pay for is administered at the local level. The less we let National's politics enter into our every day Scouting activities the better. I can understand someone wanting to make a statement about National's policies, but I doubt these two individuals would EVER be affected by this membership change. How many TG kids do you think there are? Let's get real.

    • Upvote 2

  16. So bought the system above. Son had the next gen system $30 more than the one above. For the record that's $150+ worth of filter systems. Second use, the things clogged...both of them. Not in the water system but the hand pump. One pump handle broke (on the more expensive system). The systems' hand pump needed to have an o-ring lubbed every use. Ridiculous!! Worked great the one time (first time) we used it. After that it was a disaster.


    Contacting the company to return or replace the product. I would totally steer clear of the Katadyn systems. They are worthless. You'd be better off using a coffee filter and iodine tabs.

    I use the Katadyn filter and haven't had any problems, but I do my backpacking in the high Sierras where the lake water is probably pristine enough to drink without being filtered at all.

  17. I no longer use gas or battery-powered lanterns. I felt like it was not only a big drain on my budget, but also on the environment. I now use the Luci solar-powered blow-up lanterns that blw2 linked in his post. For their size, they put off a lot of light. One is fine for general lighting, but two are better if you need task lighting. I'll strap one on my backpack while we're hiking and it's ready to go once it gets dark. I'm not sure how long a fully-charged lantern will last, but I've had them run for hours in the evening and have never once run out of light. When they first came out, they were only $9 each, so I bought a bunch. I keep two in my tent trailer, one in my backpack, several in my house in case of power outage, and I even have one in my glove compartment in my car for emergencies.

    • Upvote 1