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About Bronco

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    SE PA
  1. My wife said the same thing about doing it on the money we paid to send him there. I explained that our other scout did a service project at summer camp and that our Troop performs service projects every year at camp. The more I thought about it - the more I'm inclined to agree with both of you... My guy is home now - I just have to wait 2 hours to leave work and go home to see him and hear the stories. I went in 1985 as a scout and I'm glad he got this opportunity warts and all.
  2. I've been trading texts with my oldest as he heads home. Throughout the week he seems to have had a great time. Didn't get to do everything he wanted but said every day was better than the last. Some days the food 'sucked'. Some days there wasn't near enough food for him. Talking to other parents from our Troop their boys have had a mixed bag. One boy in particular was complaining about adults line hoping for events to the point that despite waiting 4 hours on the last day he still couldn't get on the zip lines - major disappointment for him. I'm sure that sort of stuff happens. Not to highjack your thread but what's bothered me is our council and their behavior and attitudes throughout the entire process. If I didn't have another boy 3 years younger already saying he wants to go to the next I'd never have anything to do with them again. As it is I've shut down all my involvement on the district and council level. I'll put my time and energy into the local unit from now on.
  3. I had to add them by hand. I used this website: http://www.usscouts.org/databases/camp/ocd.cgi Opened each camps page in a tab and used google maps to add them in one by one by searching for the address on the USscouts page or the name of the camp. I can set the map up for collaboration so if you'd like I can add you and you can do the other states you are interested in...eventually we could have a large portion of them added.
  4. I know it's been a few months since this thread was active but I spent an afternoon throwing as many PA camps as I could find on Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=201373616750161821252.0004bd42058c00aed5c5e&msa=0 Far from complete, still a bit of a mess and I'm sure some places are missing. Still, kind of interesting to see how things lay out state wide. I've been to most of the camps on the eastern end of the state.
  5. I've been debating joining this group: http://www.idos.org/ From their website: The International Dutch Oven Society (IDOS) is a non-profit organization with the goals to preserve and promote the skills and art of Dutch Oven cooking. From it's humble beginnings in the Rocky Mountains, IDOS has grown to its current status as the largest and most productive group of black pot enthusiasts in the world. Our motto is Good Food, Good Friends, and Good Fun There is a chapter in my neck of the woods that is trying to get off the ground...I may look into joining it for more recipes and info.
  6. I would not use oven cleaner or any other chemical on my cast iron. I used straight steel wool (with no additives) and elbow grease to get the rust and gunk off the oven I cleaned this weekend. I've always been taught that the cast iron will grab whatever you are cleaning with and you will eat it when cooking in it going forward. I don't know if that is true or not but I'd rather not find out the hard way.
  7. I just rehabbed a rusted dutch oven that was left in our scout shed. I did a little research and found this site: http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/ The one thing I picked up from her that I hadn't done in the past was wiping off all excess oil before baking. I did that this time two times over a 6 hour period and I was amazed at how nice the cooking surface turned out. Now we keep all of our cast iron owned by the unit inside our CO - not outside in a shed where the elements can get at them.
  8. I see both sides of this. I only have one uniform and I do have 7 knots on it. Depending on what crowd I'm with (unit or district) it can feel a bit silly at times to have them on. The best explanation I ever heard in the pro camp for them is that they show others that you are a resource for those positions.
  9. Some clarifications to my original post: "#5 - don't assign them to a job a youth should be doing like QM.... Agree in general. But if you have a QM with ADD or OCD, and an adult with some skills in logistics. The pairing might help transfer some skills the boy may need to manage his job and overcome other difficulties in life." They would be advising only - not doing the job. The Troop has recently been reorganized and there is a good deal of training that has been happening. Care for gear is one area that needs work. "#2 - if the CC (in charge of securing leadership) transferred them from the Pack as new ASM's then heavily stress training for that position if they wish to continue as an ASM." I am the CC - that is why I'm asking this question. Our council requires ASM to be fully trained by the end of 2012 so they must do IOLS etc in order to stay on the roster. "In other words, you want ASMs in positions that complement -- not replace the boys." Exactly our thought process and why I was asking what sorts of positions new ASMs are placed. "We really don't want to involve them with the new scout patrol to avoid Webelos III - we've had that happen in the past (not by choice but by lack of volunteers). " I've heard of SM's who stole money from their troops in the past...so does that mean that the SM of the troop my son is fixing to join will steal money too? " When I say past I mean as in the past year. Yes it is possible that it won't ever happen again but why not be proactive about it going forward? Sorry if I offended you - perhaps I wasn't clear in what I meant. The natural tendency seems to be that people that were in DL positions can have an issue with letting go once they get into a ASM position. We are trying to be proactive and help them find a good place in the Troop where they can contribute and stay active. Another poster mentions how many parents just gather at a table in the back and shoot the breeze. I'm just trying to make sure that new ASM feel welcomed and needed - so they don't say to themselves - I'm not needed here - I won't bother coming anymore. That's all. "Maybe the 1st step would be not to assume that they will automatically become Web III leaders and encourage them to take ASM training. (refer to "prestige" thread) " One more time - we aren't assuming anything, but it is simply easier if the new ASM aren't working directly with their boys. Yes, they've all been encouraged to get fully trained. My apologies if it came out some other way. I'm currently the CC for the Troop but I'm also the Webelos I Den Leader. I've done the DL job 3 times now and have one more coming in a year or two. Ive also held the CM and Pack CC position. I ran a troop as SPL as a youth and it was a real boy run organization. I've had my own experiences coming up into the Troop with my now 13yo son. The day we all met for summer camp to load the trailer I learned my lesson. As soon as the trailer doors were opened I jumped up and started carrying gear into the trailer and organizing it - calling out for boys to grab other stuff. It lasted all of about 30 seconds before a seasoned ASM pulled me aside and nicely told me that 'wasn't my job here'. I instantly knew what he meant and felt foolish for it given my background. It can be very hard to let go. If you do it right off the bat - then my hat is off to you. I'm much better now and I dont hold it against anyone that has an issue with it. Thanks to everyone for your input - I always appreciate the wisdom of these forums.
  10. Our current new scout patrol has 3 adult leaders that have crossed over into our troop. One of them, the Den Leader has an older son already in the troop - he gets the program and has bought in. The other two leaders do not have experience with scouting as boys. What sorts of things do you guys 'assign' to new adult leaders to keep them involved and not drop from adult leadership? We really don't want to involve them with the new scout patrol to avoid Webelos III - we've had that happen in the past (not by choice but by lack of volunteers). Now we don't NEED that to happen but we can't really throw these guys at the older scouts can we? We are thinking getting them involved with QM duties or something like that. Any advice is appreciated.
  11. In my own experience I've seen the pecking order on the unit level. I joined a pack as 'a dad' and found myself Cubmaster about a month later. As I began to meet the adult leaders in the troop it became painfully clear that they had little to no interest in the pack that fed them with boys for the troop. I warned them that I was going to run a program that would double the size of the pack in 2 years and they better be ready for a LOT of scouts. They didn't catch on, ended up leaving when the troop exploded growth wise and now I'm a Webelos Den Leader and Troop Committee chair. The pack has changed CM 3 times since I stepped down and continues to grow. It also has a great connection with the Troop and our Webelos start visiting Troop events the moment they become that year. People that don't get the connection between the incredible importance of a strong pack to feed your troop amaze me.
  12. Thanks Kudu - this makes sense since this unit is over 75 years old and many of these members are in their mid to late 70s. I've spent more than a few afternoons reading your site. I appreciate it greatly as a resource.
  13. Thanks for the responses. To give some further clarity: >> Is this an annual event? Monthly? Annual event in March. I do believe that initially it was meant as a 'Welcome to the Troop" night as there is a small section (5 minutes) devoted to recognizing the scouts that have just crossed over to the Troop from the Pack. >> The title "Charter Night" suggests that this is something that the CO wants. Have you spoken with the COR about what its goals are for the night? I haven't had a formal conversation with him about it but he does attend out committee meetings. We have one tonight so I'll chat with him about it. >> Does it replace a regular troop meeting? No. >> What incentive is there for the boys to attend? If it's such a boring night, what brings them out? I think they come because they are 'supposed' to do so. I've watched attendance drop over the years. Some of them probably come for the food. >>If it's just a once-a-year event, *and* it's something the CO wants to happen - a reflection on the past, looking forward to the future, etc. - perhaps it's not worth fighting over. Honestly, I don't think there would be a fight. My main reason for asking about this was to get an idea of what if anything other units do with their charter nights. Turns out this seems to be a creation of this unit. Upon further reflection, I don't want to completely change it - just get some ideas of how to tweak it and perhaps rebalance it to speak to the current generation of scouts. Thanks again to all for their input.
  14. We just wrapped this up on Saturday. Our unit is recovering from a breakdown in the PLC. The new PLC is grabbing the throttle and re-directing the Troop. We advertised a TLT where people should attend to see what the PLC does and to plan the following year. During the TLT training we handed each scout a sheet of paper and asked for 3 things they wanted to see the Troop do - no dream too big. Be vague or specific - whatever. During the training we copied their ideas onto large sheets of paper. If something received multiple votes we put a number next to it. Prior to the meeting I printed out a series of 24"X30" monthly calendars. You can get them here for free if interested: http://www.somacon.com/p352.php They were then posted around the room during the planning session. We provided the scouts with a list of activities both inside and outside of the troop that are 'must do's'. Major holidays as well as CO events like scout sunday, camporees, etc. After the PLC agreed to put those on the board we then revealed the 'wish list' items. We discussed each and marked them as 'can do this year', 'could do in a future year with planning', 'long term dream/goal'. It was stressed that even the dreams could be achieved with proper planning. We then went from item to item and placed them on the calendar. We used the Journey to Excellence to see what we might be missing. This took the unit from virtually no tent camping in the past 14 months (other than summer camp) to 10 scheduled trips, hiking, canoeing, etc. Using the Journey to Excellence also helped us to get service on the calendar as well - not as an afterthought. We also 'themed' the months to match the Troop Meetings to the events of the next month. Now, with proper mentoring we will see how the scouts do with implementing this program. I could see the excitement in the boys eyes for the first time in a while as they left the cabin.
  15. I've recently jumped into the CC chair for our Troop. My son has been in the Troop for three years now and I served on the committee during that time. As I've posted in other threads, this unit had a committee that had a serious disconnect from the unit. One of the traditions in this unit is Charter Night. I've attended three of them now and what they boil down to is a 3+ hour evening where (to put it bluntly) the primary focus is not on the boys or the current program. It usually revolves around older committee members telling camp stories from the 40s and 50s while the current youth membership plays with their cell phones or stare off into space. About 30 minutes MAX is spent on the current program with 10 minutes of that being a slide show of summer camp. I don't remember having Charter Night as a scout - is this something that is common? If so, what kind of things do you all see on this night? During the yearly planning session I mentioned to the PLC that as the CC I had zero desire to run a Charter Night like we've been having. I asked them to draw up some plans for one by the boys for the boys. I'd appreciate any advice you all may have. I'm kind of hoping that they will come back with something vastly different than what is currently happening.
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