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Posts posted by mashmaster

  1. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Interesting timing on this topic. Last night the SM stated he has 17 months left as SM. That is when his son turns 18. Why do I have a feeling I am in several people's crosshairs now?

    Congratulations!  It is only one hour a week 🙂

    • Haha 1
  2. 59 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Or if you do not have kids at all. I am a Scouting addict. I was involved after aging out, and before the wife and I had kids. I had some weird looks and some whispers. One thing that helped during part of the time was I worked for national. The other thing was moving back to my wife's hometown, the one I was a DE for, and folks knew me. 

    These are probably the same parents that also don't step up and volunteer.  When people complain, hand them an adult app and explain how many hours a week you spend on the program their son/daughter benefits from.


    • Upvote 1
  3. Eagle has it listed pretty well.

    For me it was a combination of conflicts with adults and my son unhappy and needing a change.  Now I am a Skipper and my son is almost complete with his Eagle rank.  Sea Scouts and Venturing made a world of difference for him.

    • Upvote 2
  4. The fears are real and founded.  We need to be empathetic to the kids.  

    In my experience, what is needed is to pose the problem of not having meetings being a problem that needs to be solved.  Let them know the problem and maybe even some solutions that have worked for other units.  Ask and listen to their ideas and solutions.  I am not doubting that your husband is already doing this BTW.  In my experience if they feel they own the problem they will come up with a solution that they will fight for.

    We are much smaller than a troop but we have been able to meet in small groups, masked, socially distanced, and activities following CDC guidelines. Zoom meetings every so often.  So I don't pretend to say our situations are the same.  but there are ways forward.  All our units are hurting and recruitment is almost impossible.  Honestly the biggest problems with people following guidelines have been the adults complaining and not following them.  I pull them aside and have private conversations, normally there is denial and grumbling but they come around.

    Here are things I have seen that have worked:

    • Small group camping, youth stay in their own tent.
    • Hikes, masks on whenever they are six feet or closer.
    • meetings in camp chairs in a circle chairs six feet apart learning a scout skill.  
    • Playing scout games like charades. 
    • canoeing, sailing, bicycle rides

    Just some ideas.  good luck

    • Upvote 1
  5. 1 hour ago, elitts said:

    Ugh.  Get yourself one of the gravity bag filter systems.  I remember when I was a scout and we had to use those cursed hand pumps whose manufactures apparently all thought, "An 8" intake hose is long enough right?".  Now all they have to do is scoop out some water with a bucket or bag, (in your situation you could hook a bag to a rope and just toss it out and pull it in) then let it hang off a tree or something for 10 minutes for 10L of clean water. 

    Though personally, I prefer using a cloth pre-filter just to keep sediment out of the filter.

    Agreed, the Platypus system rocks.  It works great.

    I get you on the getting people to camp at cub level.  The key is to start getting the kids used to camping in their own tents, but this is a hard issue with COVID restrictions now.

  6. I am hopeful this is not the way it will be long term.  I realize it probably is the way it will be.  

    In person training is just so much far superior in most ways with good instructors.  I think parts of IOLS can be done well online like the SM fundamentals portions, but the outdoor skills, really need to be done in person.  Have you ever tried to teach someone to tie a knot virtually?  It is a frustrating experience for both people.  You really need to see and interact with the student to understand how to best help them.

    We have adapted our Sea Scout meetings to have somethings done online and other things in person. There are things that do work but many do not.  IOLS is one of those things IMHO that needs to be hands on.

    Sea Badge/Wood Badge for example can be taught online but you lose the most important part of the training which is the networking that is achieved.  I have gained so many friends/helpers from taking and staffing those courses that I wouldn't have gotten if they were online.  e.g. One of the people taking Sea Badge happenned to be a climbing Cope instructor.  Our scouts wanted to go climbing, I rang up my new friend and he helped our scouts get that setup.

  7. We have done the sailing adventure out of Sea Base and it was fun.  Everyone had a great time.  Maybe we were lucky, we had zero problems with sea sickness.  We spent an afternoon in Fort Lauderdale at the beach on the afternoon before Sea Base then visited a gator farm and fan boat ride.  After leaving Sea Base and getting to the airport.   Pre-Covid, tit was easy and cheap to get flights to Fort Lauderdale and rent a big van for the week.

  8. 14 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    I do appreciate the fact that BSA announced they will not recognize a "First to Earn."   Even so, there is a good deal of the "She is the First!!" syndrome this going around...here, and in articles I have seen.  BSA cannot control what the media writes.  My daughter has delayed a bit, for various reasons...she might make the Inaugural Class cut-off date, but we don't care about that.  As long as she gets it, that's all that matters to her.  She is at college now, and with all the Covid-19 restrictions, she has some extra time for merit badge work via Zoom.  And she is one of the best Scouts I have seen ;)  Really knows her stuff, and prides herself on diligence and skill (versus appearance and fluff) and will most likely finish her Venturing Ranger award (🤞)!!!

    Congressional Award Gold Medal in 2018, Summit in 2019.  Hope you don't mind a proud Dad bragging on his daughter!  When she finishes Eagle, I will feel like Master Yoda...

    "We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."



    Congratulations to your daughter!  Brag away.

    • Thanks 1
  9. 1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Update Oct 5,2020 on Ms. Ireland

    After 15 years in Scouting and nine years spent urging the BSA to admit girls as official badge-earning members, on October 1, Sydney Ireland, 19, whose family also has a home in New York City, had her Board of Review and officially earned her Eagle Scout rank.

    On Friday, Sydney told Patch: "During my Board of Review last night, I was asked what the most challenging part of Scouting was for me. I answered, 'Getting into Scouts was the hardest part.' I am so grateful to everyone that has supported me on this path to Eagle, including elected officials and the National Organization for Women-NYC. This is such a wonderful opportunity for young women to achieve greater equality."

    Sydney ...will lead the inaugural class of women scouts poised to become the first female Eagle Scouts.

    Sydney became the first female to successfully complete all requirements to earn the Eagle rank more than two years ago. She finalized her Eagle project, "Connect a Vet with a Pet," on Veteran's Day in 2018.
    more details at source


    I congratulate her for Earning her Eagle but I have a bad taste in my mouth by their statement of her earning the requirements basically before the girls were allowed to join....She will be part of the class vs. leading the class IMHO.


    • Upvote 3
  10. Fair enough, maybe our guys were all used to sailing already it wasn't particular new to use.  It was beautiful and a ton of fun.

    My two High Adventures we did we 74 mile canoe trip on the Buffalo River and backpacking the Gila Wilderness loop in New Mexico.  Neither had no preset itinerary and the youth had to roll their own adventure.  Some things worked, some things didn't....  Like failing to put the food in waterproof containers on canoes....  dunked dinner more that once on the trip. But great adventures! 

  11. We have done the Key West sailing through Seabase, it is a lot of fun. It isn't High adventure but it is a lot of fun.  I am not sure how the Bahama base is now after the last hurricanes, might be worth checking,

    For our Sea Scouts they were looking at the Captain waiting to do more, they would rather charter a boat and sail it themselves, because they can.

  12. I used to live in the Seattle area, traffic is a nightmare and has only gotten worse, although I am sure it isn't bad now with Corona.

    I think that after Corona passes, many things from this change in lifestyle will stick around. Corporations will find that

    A) Brick and Mortars are still on the downward path (they already were)

    B) many people will continue to work from home. If the job can be done well from home by people who are diligent about it, The company saves a lot on rent and utilities for example.  It isn't for everyone but it will be for a fair amount of people. I know my company has paid to have my home office upgraded with very nice chair, computer peripherals, and general office supplies.  

    C) Curbside pickup will continue to exist and be used more. 

    D) The RV industry is booming, I expect that many more people will find the love of the outdoors. Hopefully that will stick.  Yes RV'ing isn't the same as camping, but maybe there will be a carry over.

    • Upvote 1
  13. Fair enough.  I guess I have seen too many bench projects.  

    I don't believe I ever criticized the scouts.  When a project is too light or easy, the advisors should be advising and not signing off for a scout.  Many advisors sign off too easy for projects, rank, and merit badge requirements.

    If it came across a criticism of the scout, I apologize.  I as well am reaching my lifetime limit as well.

    Peace to you my scouting brother, happy to have ginger ale with ya at the scouting bar any time.

  14. 7 hours ago, qwazse said:

    IMHO. There have been way too many scouters who think every Eagle project should be something more than a scout and his buddies slapping together a nice looking bench in a public location.

    I have more trouble with projects that are barn-raisers that take thousands of man-hours where the scout’s hand on the tiller seemed incredibly light.

    The problem I have is that a scout is supposed to demonstrate leadership for the project.  Something that takes a few scouts a couple hours to build doesn't really provide that opportunity to provide leadership.  I have sat in many Eagle BOR's where a scout asked the SM for a project, they handed the scout a project from a benefactor that included everything planned out including all the resources.  The scout only showed leadership is making a sign up for that day and following the plan handed to him.  

    They don't have to build a barn but they should be working with the benefactor to understand the project goals and limitations.  Make a plan based on that and execute and lead.

  15. Can someone explain to me why this is really such a big deal?  I am not downplaying the girls that are and have been working hard on earning their Eagle, I commend them.  But is there a specific benefit a girl gets from being part of the innagural class of Eagle and someone the gets in a month later?  Isn't the point of earning the Eagle rank to be that they are basically equivalent in rank forever?  And Eagle scout is always and Eagle scout.  Maybe I am missing something.




  16. 20 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

    She built a bench.  Like oh so many Eagle scouts before her.  I would love to know how many benches have been built as Eagle scout projects over the years.  I see them in virtually every park I've been to over the years, and have had my share of my troop's scouts build them.  The number has to be in the tens of thousands.

    ETA ... and the sore feet and tired legs of a nation,including yours truly, are grateful.

    I have issues concerns with the female or male part of the Eagle process.  My worry is that an Eagle project is something that you need to show leadership on. And there have been way too many "benches" for projects, IMHO. I have seen a range of Eagle scouts through the boards I have staffed for EBOR, you get to see quite a range of projects.  All of the are approved by the district so they all count.

    I have a girl in my Ship that is getting her Life rank this weekend and what impresses me most about her is that she never takes the easy route, she is always pushing to do it right. She even redid a merit badge personal finance on her own because she felt she really needed to get more of an understanding on it.  That was when I had talked with her about how it wasn't necessary, she insisted that she really wanted to do it again. It wasn't a surprise to me when she was asked to staff NYLT.

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