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Posts posted by dedkad

  1. 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

  3. 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?

  4. 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. 

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  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Since none of the active Scouts in our troop have driver's licenses and families are so busy nowadays, communicating with the parents is essential to ensure that there will be no conflict in getting a Scout to a meeting or activity.


    To answer your two specific questions:


    Yes, I would pass along the message. When things are running smoothly in the troop, he should have already heard something about the event at one of the meetings, but maybe not all the details.


    Yes. For the two instance you provided, I would make him go because my son has not yet mastered the skill of being helpful and if given a choice, he would choose to not help.

  13. If you're asking this question, then your scouts are attending the wrong summer camp. There is so much more to summer camp than earning MB's. Different summer camps have different "feels" and offer different activities. Shop around. You know you've found the right camp when the boys want to go back there year after year, like our troop does.

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  14. I know you stated in a different thread that your nephew is not on the Spectrum, but from all the traits you've described, I think he might be. You said the dyslexic special education teacher would have mentioned something, but that isn't necessarily the case. Not sure about your state, but in California most school districts try their hardest to not identify the special needs that some kids have because then they are forced to spend a boatload of money and resources to help the child. Especially when it comes to autism. I know of parents who even had to sue the school district to get the help their autistic child needed. Children on the spectrum need special attention. Not everyone is up to that task, especially not a volunteer Boy Scout leader. The challenge becomes trying to educate yourself and others in the troop on how best to understand and deal with your nephew's quirks rather than just labeling him as weird and ostracizing him. Dropping him off at meetings and expecting things to work themselves out is not going to happen. You are going to need to do some research and work with your nephew to improve his social skills. Without outside intervention, these issues aren't going to go away on their own.

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  15. Our troop alternates each year between a camp that is expensive ($700 including travel) and one that is closer and cheaper but not as good ($400). If they had their choice, they'd go to the expensive camp every year, but it's tough on the pocketbook. The boys did not have a good experience at the cheaper camp this past time around, so I am encouraging them to consider another alternative.

  16. The medical forms are good for one year and Parts A and B with insurance cards are required for most every outing/campout. Are you telling us that summer camp is the only outing your troop does ALL YEAR LONG that requires medical forms? Getting medical forms should not be a last minute effort prior to summer camp. It is an all year effort to make sure every scout and adult has a current form on file prior to attending any campout. Maybe you should consider having one person in charge of the medical forms all year long. I volunteered to handle this for our troop. I created a spreadsheet with the dates that everyone's medical forms expire. I get a list of who is attending each outing from the leaders of that outing. I then make sure I have a current form for those scouts and give all the relevant medical forms to the leader when they leave for their outing. It then just comes down to Part C for summer camp. I remind parents throughout the year that if their scout has an annual appointment scheduled with their doctor, then bring the Part C with them to the doctor's office. We also have a physician come in and do the physicals for those scouts who need them about a month before camp. I collect the completed Part C's right then and there. That cuts down a lot on last minute paperwork. I leave it up to the outing leader to collect the permission slips and file the tour permit.

  17. The main arguments against bright colors is the 7th LNT principle (be considerate to others).  In other words wearing bright colors interrupts the solitude of people who go to the backcountry to get away from people.

    The fact that you are there has already interrupted my solitude, regardless of what you are wearing. Try as hard as you want, but you will not go unnoticed. Might as well wear bright colors in case of emergency. I usually save my bright-colored shirts for the hike in and out, and wear whatever I feel like on my layover days.

  18. Thanks for the great ideas! Unfortunately, some of them are already taken by other troops. I should have mentioned that this year they are holding the Scout O Rama outdoors at a public park. Our troop would pay for supplies, so some of the other ideas are a little too pricey for us. The water rocket idea sounds fun. I wonder if the Council would allow that. I have the leatherworking tools, so that's an option too, if we can find cheap strips of leather. Catapults are good too. Keep the ideas coming. I want to give the scouts some choices.

  19. Every year at Scout O Rama our troop hosts an event that I find to be pretty boring. They make fire starters out of wax. They don't even let people who come to the booth touch anything because of the hot wax. You look at our booth and the lack of people stopping by and you see other booths from other troops and how much fun people are having at those booths and it makes me sad. Our scouts tend to sit in our booth the whole time, so they don't get out to see the other booths and see what exciting things the other troops are doing.


    I am encouraging them to do something a little more exciting this year and would like to present them with a few ideas. What are some great Scout O Rama or Scout Skills activities that you've seen that would attract a crowd?