Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by mashmaster

  1. 1 minute ago, 69RoadRunner said:

    Well, now we've canceled our mulch delivery.  It will cause a hit to the troop financially, but there's no other way.  The governor of VA just banned gatherings of 100 or more people.  CDC recommends 50.  

    This situation is so fluid.  It's the right decision.

    Could you do it like out Ship, does?  We have each scout that sells deliver their own mulch.  We have a trailer that they can borrow.

  2. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    Yes, but we don't know what the youth want on this basically adult forum.

    And since we don't know what they want, we don't know who the grumpy adults are. Fashionista's or traditionalists. 


    My scouts like to wear both kinds.  When they wear the NYLT neckers they wear slides, when they wear bigger neckers they use friendship knots.  Sea Scout and Venturers also rarely wear neckers because they prefer not to unless it is for a formal event.  There needs to be BSA buffs, they are more likely to wear those.

    • Upvote 2
  3. 6 minutes ago, Cburkhardt said:

    If Venturing is so reduced in numbers and dysfunctional in terms of its recognition program and structure, perhaps the national reorganization bankruptcy is the right time to re-examine its role in Scouting. 

    If there ever was a "golden era" for the older youth program, it was the 70s and 80s when the older youth program allowed each unit to select a specialty and pursue it.  Some units specialized in outdoor adventure activities, others specialized in a particular career and others specialized in a hobby or other avocation.  While there were some awards to earn, BSA-style ranks and advancement was not central to the program.  Venturing in its current format is very "scouty" in look and activities.  Maybe with girls being able to be in Scouts BSA the overwhelming "scouty" themes of Venturing are no longer calculated correctly. 

    Finally, Exploring was spun-off exclusively because the BSA was being forced to discontinue the DADT policy for career-oriented programming in the 90s.  So, a then-influencial group with national forced the career programming entirely outside of BSA membership.  That way the rest of the program would still be subjected to DADT.  Because we discontinued DADT, there is no longer any reason to maintain an organizational divide between the career programming and the outdoor programming for young adults.


    I expect the Venturing numbers are lower now because of the inclusion of girls in Scouts, BSA but I think you'll see more scouts going back to Venture crews as their primary unit as they hit First Class Rank.  And they will be completeing their Eagle in the Crew,  I have 2 in my ship that are doing that.

    Also remember that the numbers quoted are the primary unit registrations, there was a big push last year to have the Troops be the primary registration.  So for kids in mulitple units they only get counted once.  Our Crew and Ship have both doubled in size the last year, so at least in our council/district it is thriving.  We have also added two ships in the last year at our council.

    • Upvote 1
  4. 22 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:


    If Venturing -- fully co-ed, uniforms optional, no patrols, no ranks, awards optional -- is a program that has real value and is a great alternative to ScoutsBSA, why not make it available to younger boys and girls, as an alternative to ScoutsBSA starting right after Cub Scouts?  Have an age-appropriate Junior Venturing program that takes the youth through 8th grade, then they graduate into the high school-and-beyond Venturing program. By stripping away many of the complicated features of ScoutsBSA, Venturing gets down to the essence of Scouting:  planning and doing things that require learning skills, and growing through failure and success. As @desertrat77 stated, "Simple and complex at the same time.   When it works, it is scouting at its very best."  And because Venturing does not use rank advancement but instead is built around planning and carrying out adventures, it is ideal for recruiting youth of any age because no member is ever "behind" his or her peers.


    I think it comes down to the age development.  The maturity of an 11-12 year old is much different from the maturity of a 14-15 year old.  There is nothing stopping a Troop from allowing the youth to attempt to do a variety of things.  Our Crew and Ship do activities with troops and you can see the maturity differences.

  5. 2 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

    If I recall, the Sea Scout program is advancement-oriented, skills-oriented, and outdoor adventure-oriented, isn't it?  But in Venturing, using the Venturing awards program is an individual and crew choice, and the type of crew activities are pretty much up to the crew, so Venturing isn't necessarily high adventure -- is that correct?

    Both programs have advancement, called awards in Venturing (bad choice of words IMHO).  Sea Scouts are a bit more focused as doing things on the water like (sailing, motorboating, kayaking, windsurfing, whitewater rafting...) but they also do camping, Philmont, Northern Tier....Venturers tend to do more land based high adventure.  Both groups can choose what they would like to do.  Our Ship does a lot with our Crew together.

  6. 1 hour ago, dkurtenbach said:

    I'll ask it:  With young women in ScoutsBSA and the Order of the Arrow, is there any role for Venturing?  Any need for Venturing?  Is there anything in the Venturing program not already available in ScoutsBSA?

    I am a Skipper for a Sea Scout Ship and also a leader in a Venture crew.  Scouts BSA is much different from Venturing and Sea Scouting.  The older programs are much more youth led and they go until their 21st birthday.  They focus on high adventure activities and work extremely well in teams because they are more mature.  They also are truly co-ed rather than segregated like in Scouts BSA.  They are truly great programs that are radically different than Scouts BSA.

  7. 9 minutes ago, jjlash said:

    Do some searches for a "turtledog hammock stand".  TurtleDog is a user name for the person on HammockForums.net who created the stand.  It is just what you are asking for - two tripods with a spreader between the tops.  People make them from many materials - mine is from 2x2 lumber and a chainlink fence top-rail.

    The suggestion I would make is to make the tripods tall enough.  I made the legs of my tripods 6ft so it would fit in my vehicle.  When it was all set up with the tripods wide enough to be stable, they were so short that the hammock was less than a foot off the ground.  I like it a little higher so it is easier to get in/out of.




    • Like 1
  8. 6 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Hmmm.  Hammocks again.  

    Just a reminder to folks that hammocks might be a good solution for some folks, some of the time, but do take the time to think about how you camp and where you camp, because they are definitely not a good solution for everyone.

    As others have mentioned, the hammock can be less comfortable than sleeping on a cot, or even flat out on the ground. Do you like being bent into a taco shape at night?

    We also need to be aware that hammocks damage the environment in many areas. There are places where their use is so short-lived or where the trees see little hammock use and the impact is so little as to be irrelevant. But there are also places (like "front country" state parks) where sites are heavily trafficked and a few good size trees constantly get picked as "perfect hammock trees". Because so many of those trees have been killed by constant stresses of large numbers of hammock campers, you see camps and parks that now have "no hammock" rules. Some state parks have recognized that there are people who enjoy hammocks, but rather than fight them with rules and restrictions, they will provide permanent steel hammock stands. If you find these in a park near you, use them rather than the trees. 

    In scouting, we have an "Outdoor Code" and we promote use of "Leave No Trace" as an outdoor ethics program.  Outdoor ethics is about understanding the places we hike and camp. We observe the conditions and we do things in a way that doesn't damage the resource and that preserves it for the enjoyment of others.  LNT does not have any "rules". It has some guidelines that help us know what to look for and what to consider when we're outdoors so we can apply the "authority of the resource" to guide us.

    That means that if we are in real backcountry in an area with healthy, hearty trees, then the hammock is a great choice for us.  If we are in an area with delicate ground cover, then likewise, the hammock might be an ideal solution to help us protect the resource.  However, if we're in an area where trees are smaller or fragile, or where conditions like drought and wild fire have left them struggling for survival....then any hammock usage at all will damage the environment far more than a tent on the ground.  There are also many areas where tents matting down the ground really aren't an "impact". For example, any camping on a beach, on the snow, or even on a layer of pine needles in a southern forest, will have zero to near-zero impact on "the resource".

    Scouters who love their hammocks but still want to be responsible outdoorsmen can educate themselves about how the potential pitfalls of hammock use occur and can become aware of what natural factors affect the decision of whether or where to use a hammock.

    Here's a good source of basic info that really helps understand just why hammocks can be a problem.

    I'm not saying hammocks are always a problem....they're not. But sometimes they are.  Good outdoor ethics training helps us understand when, where, and how using a hammock is "good". 



    My son is going to try to make a pioneering project for a hammock stand when car camping.   anyone done this before?  We were thinking of two tripods and a spreader between the tripods.


  9. Fellow Texan here.  A lot of our campsites don't allow hammocks.

    for pads, I recommend the Kylmit inflatable pads.  They are small and comfortable.  When uninflated, they are the size of a nalgene.  Cost is from $40 - 80 depending on size.

    for cots, if budget is no object, I recommend helinox cot one cots.  THey are amazing, small, light, and great support.  Also $230+tax when on sale, normally $300.

    For sleeping bag, lots of options.  I have one from REI outlet that is a combination of down and synthetic.  It comes in a compression bag so it packs down small and is light.  the compression bag is a great thing to have for a sleeping bag.

  10. Dear Scouting Family,

    Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.

    While the word “bankruptcy” can be intimidating, it is important to know that Scouting programs will continue. Your regular unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual.

    We took this action today amid increasing financial pressure on the BSA from litigation involving past abuse in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, we provide counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward. Our plan is to use this Chapter 11 process to create a Trust that would provide equitable compensation to these individuals.

    As we go through this process, we want to make certain that all Scouting parents and volunteers know the following:

    • Scouting is safer now than ever before. Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. As someone close to Scouting, you know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA’s absolute top priority and that one instance of abuse is one too many. That’s precisely why over many years we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.

      From mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, to policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require that any suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement, our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. You can read more about the BSA’s multi-layered safeguards and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse at www.scouting.org/youth-safety. In fact, this is a resource that you can share with friends and family who are interested in understanding what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe.
    • Scouting continues. Scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come. Just last year, communities across the country benefited from more than 13 million Scouting service hours, and young men and women earned more than 1.7 million merit badges that represent skills that will help them succeed throughout their lives. Studies prove and parents agree that Scouting helps young people become more kind, helpful and prepared for life, and as long as those values remain important to our society, Scouting will continue to be invaluable to our nation’s youth.
    • Local councils have not filed for bankruptcy. Local councils – which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities – are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.

    We know you will likely have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. We have posted information about our restructuring on a dedicated website, www.BSArestructuring.org.

    This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ and a reference document that will help you discuss this announcement with youth in our programs. The site also includes a Milestones page, which will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.

    If these resources don’t answer your questions, please feel free to reach out to us through Member Care at 972-580-2489 or MyScouting@Scouting.org. We will do everything we can to provide helpful, transparent responses and ensure your Scouting experience continues to be a great one.

    Yours in Scouting,

    Jim Turley
    National Chair

    Ellie Morrison
    National Commissioner

    Roger Mosby
    President & CEO

  11. Our main goal is to ensure scouts can continue scouting.  Many reasons scouts will want to switch.  I would only contact them if he decides to switch.  I have had scouts where the other troop wasn't happy with the scout and the scout did very well in a new circumstance.  

    Every troop is different just like every scout.

    • Thanks 1
  12. The Charter org would be the same church with potentially a different name.  If the Church decides to no longer be the charter org then they could keep everything but I doubt that they would do that and would be willing to transfer it to a new charter org for the pack/troop.

    • Upvote 1
  13. 1 hour ago, David CO said:

    It is specific enough.  For a hundred years, scouts have understood its meaning.  It is only recently that people have labored to distort its meaning.  When people are determined to distort the clear meaning of words, no words can be sufficient to convey the meaning of the scout law.

    100's of years?

    There are many things that were understood 100 years ago that we know are wrong today.

  14. Being reverant does not pertain to a specific religion even if you are part of the majority.  That must be nice.  Scouting recognizes and respects believe in the religion of your choice which is bigger than a single religion.  It is not arrogance, scouting does not pick which religion to follow and welcomes all.  A religion is more powerful to those that follow it,  I don't know or care what religion you are.  I guarantee that people from another religion would disagree with your beliefs as the one true force.  

    Today I attended the service at our Charter Org to show them respect and the sermon went on to call out how Jews in not a great light.  Being Jewish, I stayed silent during the service but several other leaders came up to me afterwards to apologize for something they had nothing to do with.  Just because someone is ordained, doesn't mean they understand that we are an interfaith program, including leaders like me that are not the same religion.  I dedicate my many hours a week to the youth in the program not the charter org or their beliefs. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2
  15. Not commenting on this case specifically.  But it does seem that in general that a Church could abuse it's power over a follower and abuse could be perpetrated and covered up under Scouting or any other youth program.  A church can probably cover up better that BSA can, especially in the case of The Church of Latter Day Saints (I am not sure I got that right but I am trying) where leaders are chosen by the church to serve vs. a purely volunteer basis.  This could happen in religous sponsoring organization that has a controlling interesting in a scout unit.


    Just pointing out a potential overall issue that could happen.  And I would imagine Churches have a great deal more money that BSA.

  • Create New...