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Everything posted by DuctTape

  1. Felon?

    The major point here for me (setting aside the criminal record for a moment) is that this is your boyfriend. He is not a parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or registered adult leader. For this reason alone he should not attend a cub function unless invited by the cubmaster and only within his /her parameters. I think you might be focusing too much on the criminal record piece and missing this important facet.
  2. Genealogy. While the majority of the requirements can be done by the scout "before" the session, I feel the scout gets zero benefit of the research techniques, software, interview questions, etc... I as the counselor have to offer.
  3. I received an invitation to be mB counselor for a neighboring district's mB college. They specifically stated that the scouts were to be able to complete the badges in a 3-hour seminar. I politely declined and gave my reason as "Three hours is not nearly enough time to provide to the scouts to complete the requirements as written. Secondly, this format and time limit denies the scouts the opportunity to truly benefit from the adult association method and to really engage in the mB itself."
  4. Walking out on merit badges

    If one does "walk out" for those reasons, I would encourage that those reasons be communicated to the persons in charge.
  5. For Fun: What was your favorite Merit Badge?

    Wilderness Survival; the experience of trying out the different techniques to learn was great. But the best part was how the counselor tested us, we actually went on a 2 day trip and used the skills and knowledge. As we demonstrated a skill he would sign it on the blue card. If we needed to discuss, he would ask us questions as we were doing it. He was skilled enough to go through all of the requirements with each of us without us realizing he was doing it. It was only looking at the experience after the fact that I came to the realization. He gave us back our signed blue card and paper with a comment/note about each requirement. I still remember for one he wrote, "cool shelter. great use of surroundings".
  6. One of the problems is the BSA *does* just hand out mBs just for showing up at mb colleges and summer camps.
  7. Family Scouting Update

    The problem with the "all things that smell" is that all things smell, the bears sense of smell is very acute. Scented or unscented soap makes no difference, people smell, their clothes smell, their pack smells. A curious bear will investigate. Most will not as they are lazy and except for human habituated bears scared of humans. There are many "we are told to..." regarding bears. Most are crap as you experienced. Since you mentioned BWCA, a well known and respected guide of many years who has published much provides some insight into bears... https://www.cliffcanoe.com/bear-proofing-your-camp
  8. Family Scouting Update

    A bear's sense of smell is so powerful, they know where the humans are without any soap or other smells. When camping in an established campsite, especially at a park the bears already know the site. They will visit if it is on their route, soap and other smells wont make increase it.
  9. Is BSA Sustainable?

    "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law." is the official mission and the Scout Motto is of course "Be Prepared". The BSA website needlessly muddies up the mission with all that corporate gobbletygook. And often the motto is focused on having some piece of gear, or knowing some skill. I often looked at the motto in concert with the oath and the bsa, mission. To Be Prepared is to be willing and able to make that ethical decision as is one's duty as promised in the scouth oath. Many years later I found out that was exactly what BP meant. He wrote in Scouting for Boys (I paraphrase due to memory issues) that to be prepared is to be in a state of mental and physical readiness to do your duty.
  10. Re-engaging Older Scouts

    Agree with Barry. Also most of the T-Fc skills can be attained just by doing scouting stuff itself.
  11. Dynamic patrols and the patrol method

    I cannot recall any time in the past when most of a patrol attended an event. There were always conflicts. A patrol can still be a patrol with two guys. IMO that is better than ad hoc, plus it allows for the addition of a patrol member whose conflict was eliminated at the last minute.
  12. Parents as MBCs

    Fred's response nails the BSA mission. Good job.
  13. Parents as MBCs

    While I do not think it is needed, and I agree with others about your integrity and have no doubt you will complete all the requirements as written, I would encourage you (if possible) to find a different MBC. Not for the reasons of people thinking mom just signed off, but for you. One of the methods in scouting is adult association and the opportunity for the scout to work with and learn from another adult who is an avid cyclist is the real benefit of the mB program. No matter your choice, I am sure you will excel.
  14. Yes. For a while it has been been popular to say govt should be run like a business but I never bought into that idea. While budgets and financial controls should exist in both, the inherent differences between governmental agency and a business are to profound to be run the same way. To wit, the primary function of a business is to make profit. This is accomplished by maximizing the delta between income and expenses. In simplest terms, providing the least service (goods) for the highest price possible. The primary function of a government agency (should be) to provide a service to the public with the cost shared across the community. In simplest terms, providing the most service for the least cost possible. The primary functions and methods to achieve them for a business and a government agency are opposites for the most part. While some business sense is important in running government, the mindset is completely different. Public policy, and providing for the safety and general welfare of the people is best not driven by a profit motive. In my opinion many in government (both sides) have either willfully engaged in profit based decision making to enrich themselves, family or friends or are so entrenched in a business mindset that they are unable to comprehend the mindset of public policy for the general good so they have unwittingly abdicated their true responsibility. And partisanship is just the gasoline on the fire.
  15. Dynamic patrols and the patrol method

    "Form the patrols for the event..." confuses me. I think of it as the patrol forming the events. I find most ad hoc patrol issues arise when events are planned as a troop instead of as a patrol. If the patrol is the primary unit, then all decisions, events, planning arise from that primary unit. When the troop is tbe primary unit which makes tbe decisions, plans the events it is no wonder the patrols break down. In essence the troop is trying to operate as a giant patrol ineffectively.
  16. Scouting ties in the Trump Administration

    Don't cross tbe streams. It would be bad.
  17. Programming Merit Badge

    This puts a fine point on why I despise mb universities. The DOs should almost never be pre-requisites; the DOs should happen after the mb counselor has provided his/her expertise to the scout. Then the scout DOES, demonstrating to the mb counselor (or discussing, whatever the req states). If done beforehand the scout doesn't benefit from the adult's expertise and the mb is reduced to a cub scout "do your best" award. IMHO
  18. Swimming Merit Badge Questions

    a cut/dry measurement can be made objectively, but the a complex evaluation cannot.
  19. Swimming Merit Badge Questions

    An informed opinion by a person with expertise is much more valid than an impartial objective metric in evaluating complex, nuanced, context based behaviors.
  20. Swimming Merit Badge Questions

    The other problem with purely objective metrics is it leads to check boxes, and the "letter of the law" mentality vs an honest evaluation. Evaluating the application of skills and knowledge requires a non-objective approach.
  21. One aspect of cub life, which if mentioned I missed it, that I think negatively affects troop life, is the family signing off on cub items. When I was a cub, it was the den leader only. Even when mom/dad gets that the SM or patrol leader will be the one to sign off, many parents (and scouts) who came through cubs will say "I saw them do it (I did it with my mom). Will you sign it off". This even bleeds into the mB program where the scout fills out workbooks with parents and then shows up at mB universities and gets a mB signed off.
  22. Another thing to consider when the "others" are solely the parents is the inherent hierarchy of the parent-child relationship. In some (many?) cases it might be difficult for either/both the child and parents to suspend that relationship hierarchy for the scout to actually lead. IMO unless the individual circumstances make it impossible to have others besides parents, I would be extremely suspicious of any project completed solely by a scout and his parents.
  23. Camping Distance for Adults

    There are many other options besides paid campsites. Also the youth planning and leading is more than just putting down a credit card. I also mentioned the training of adults. Most of the time when I hear the "yes, but", it is a way to justify the present course regardless if another may be far superior albeit imperfect. Instead of looking for obstacles which make it a challenge, find a way to do it the better way for the benefit of the boys. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  24. End of Year w/out Rank complete

    I am not a cubber, so my questions are for my own understanding. Are the bobcat,wolf, bear, etc... ranks or awards? I was also under the impression (from my days as a cub scout) that the dens (bobcat, wolf, etc...) were based on your grade level, and did not require achievement of the previous level. I remember a friend joined our bear den and had never been a cub scout. Has this changed?