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DuctTape last won the day on May 21

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About DuctTape

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  1. DuctTape

    Recommendations for canister stove

    The "pocket rocket" type can be found cheaply. They are quite light, and easy to screw on to the canister. There are many name-brands like Primus, MSR which cost $20 - $100. The off-brand chinese knock-offs are less than $20. You get what you pay for.
  2. I use most of the FC skills on every camping trip except first aid fortunately. These are the basics. Often the doo-dads or other gear replace knowledge and skill, these are more often commonplace in car-camping trips. The other skills allow one to take less gear, venture farther from the parking lot and allow for the adventure. All of the ideas you presented are also cool, but next step types of things which are part of mBs. These are great, but should not IMO replace the basics. If anything, I would get rid of the allowing requirements to be "done at anytime while any rank". This would allow real growth in the skills, knowledge and mitigate much of the "one and done". The much maligned skill awards were better (belt loops excepted) at having scouts learn, practice and know the basics than the current one&done structure.
  3. DuctTape

    troop meeting structure/rules

    I reiterate my previous opinion. This is NOT a PLC decision, but one that should be made at the Patrol level. Each patrol needs to decide how their patrol will operate during patrol meetings/activities. The PLC should be a place where the PLs can report on their progress as a patrol, seek advice from other PLs and make TROOP level decisions. The PLC should not dictate how a patrol decides to operate.
  4. I would not put it into the by-laws. I would, as the GTA states, designate persons who you know are trained and understand advancement as a method and have embraced your vision of the troop. In other words, no blanket "prohibitions" instead use specific designations. Utilize your ASM corps, and PLC as the field to which you designate. A brand new scout parent who is a first year ASM is likely not to be designated by me as someone who could sign off any scout requirement. It is vital the adult understands the advancement method and knows the expectations of it. IMO, to be designated by the SM : 1. the adult learns, 2. the adult is tested, 3. the adult is designated 4. the adults may sign off.
  5. The exceptions and ignoring of the rules when it comes to advancement has been going on for a long time as has been noted in this thread and others. BSA has zero quality control.
  6. DuctTape

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Start with your other adults. Get them on board with the idea or else they will sabatoge anything you attempt. Get PL handbooks, and SM handbooks and be sure the adults first understand their roles and how they fit in supporting the Patrol Method.
  7. DuctTape

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    I think it is based on intent. When the adults have advancement as the goal instead if a method; this is when it changes. Even if the scouts meet the requirements as written, they are denied a true scouting experience because the aims are not likely realized as they are not the desired outcome.
  8. DuctTape

    Northern Tier- Tips and Tricks

    I have not been to BWCA, but I do go to the Quetico to the north. So this may or may not apply. I have noticed that the evening mosquitos run like clockwork, and you can hear them a few minutes before they descend on your campsite. Thus I recommend determining their timing on night 1, and then plan each day so all can be safely in bug proof zones for all subsequent nights.
  9. DuctTape

    troop meeting structure/rules

    While I usually would recommend a deference to the PLC, in this case I think the decision should be based at the Patrol level.
  10. DuctTape

    state flag patches

  11. DuctTape


    I see you have asked a lot if questions regarding uniform and insignia. Please forgive me if you have already read: https://www.scouting.org/resources/insignia-guide/ Beyond the official BSA resource, I think it is a good practice to then defer all other uniforming questions NOT included in the BSA guide to the PLC. I use this approach as it is then directly related to achieving the aims of scouting.
  12. DuctTape


    I would defer to the PLC as to what constitutes the troop uniform.
  13. DuctTape

    A scout learns...

    I agree with qwazse regarding the signing-off. I would like to focus more on best practices prior to the testing and sign-off. Perhaps I should prime the pump. Starting with a counter-example of NOT best practices. A new scout goes on his first campout and is assigned cooking duty with a patrol mate for breakfast. They make breakfast and then he goes and gets signed-off on the tenderfoot requirement. What is missing here almost entirely is the explanation, demonstration and guidance for the scout to understand and perform assistance at any sort of expected level. A better practice: On the first campout the PL or Instructor acts as the cook's assistant and explains his role, and what he is supposed to do. He demonstrates how to assist the cook appropriately. He brings scouts into the camp kitchen and helps them try the various tasks such as cutting up carrots, or peeling potatoes, opening cans, etc... Depending on the scouts, this might repeat itself for every meal on that first campout. During planning for the secind campout a scout may go to his PL and say, "hey, I'd like to be tested on the tenderfoot req 2a, assist in preparing a meal". (PL may need to encourage scouts to ask to be tested, especially the first time). The PL ensures the scout has the opportunity to be tested by having him assigned as the asst cook for a meal. Prior to that meal PL (or instructor) talks to him (best would be while hiking to camp) about what the scout will demonstrate as the cook's assistant. The purpose of this discussion is for the PL to ensure success, or to determine if the scout is really ready to be tested. Then the scout gets tested, the PL (or Instructor) observes to determine whether the scout fulfilled the requirement.
  14. DuctTape


    I do not favor these, or any other process which takes the scout out of the equation. One of the great opportunities for scouts' personal growth is being denied when they have little to no part in the financial aspect of their program. Weekly dues collected at every meeting, and bringing cash for the upcoming camping trip to give to the patrol mate buying the food are all opportunities to grow in responsibility, and independence. Sure it is easier to have the adults do it all, but that is the case with most everything. So how do the adults help ensure a scout is not excluded from a trip by "forgetting" while still fostering patrol and individual independence, and financial responsibility? Like all questions of this matter it comes down to communication: adults communicate with adults, and scouts with scouts. Let's take an upcoming campout as an example. Evergreen Patrol has an upcoming campout. Without goung through the entirety of the logistics and communications, lets look at one single scout. Timmy tells his PL he is going. The cost for each patrol member is $12. The PL tells the whole patrol the $ is needed next week. The PL gives the list of attendees to the SPL (if exists) or to the SM. Here is where the communication splits but reunites. The SM arranges transportation and more importantly (using ASMs) contact the parents of the attendees directly about the logistics and their scouts responsibilities. The parent, knowing their child best will either help them remember to bring the $ to next meeting, or have it with them so the "forgetful scout" can quickly get the $ at the meeting. So the next meeting comes around and the Patrol treasurer/scribe/etc... is collecting the $ from those attending. Timmy "forgot". The PL could say, "hey is your mom still here, go see if she has it. We will wait for you." Timmy goes to mom to get the $ and returns. If a lot of scouts "forgot" then the SM minute at the end of the meeting ( or better some near future meeting) could be a yarn about responsibility and its impacts on others. They key is to balance the goal of the scouts personal growth and involve the parents in that journey. The SM should explain the purpose of the program and all aspects, including financial are opportunities for personal growth.
  15. DuctTape

    Tenting: 2 years apart

    keep it simple, imo. No fractional ages. 14 y/o and 12 y/o ok 14 y/o and 11 y/o not.