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Posts posted by Jackdaws

  1. Wanted to follow up.

    I sat in on one of our scouts Eagle BOR last night and while there, I asked the District Advancement Chair about the not needing to find another counselor. I told him I already knew the answer as I have read the GTA and other materials but I wanted to hear it straight from the horses mouth.  He confirmed that any youth needs to seek out another counselor to finish up a partial from summer camp.  

    Can't wait for the drama to ensue from scout and his parents on this.   I will simply hand them the MB section of the GTA and said let me know when you need to find some counselors for the remaining badges and walk away.

  2. 45 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    @DuctTape made another important point:  youth need to be able to imagine themselves as heroes because of what they will learn in Scouts.

    I always liked the "Don't judge the hero by the size of his cape" picture as a marketing tool.

    Maybe do another marketing campaign similar the one they did a few years ago, with the cape and dirty scout etc. I thought it to be really clever and pardon the term "cute". 


  3. 51 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    I heard that Rainbow Council is thinking about rolling out a program that combines soccer with scouting in the same unit. Instead of scout uniforms, kids wear soccer uniforms. Instead of learning first aid, they learn to roll around on the ground moaning like prima donas.  Here's the story:

    Since Rainbow Council is clearly on the cutting edge of combinatorial youth activities, here are some more ideas for them:

    • Combine karate classes with scouting: kids don't need to chop wood to build fires, they can karate chop those logs!  And if woods tools really ARE called for, they can always use a samurai sword in place of a hatchet (but only if the scout has a Totn Chip).
    • Combine scouting with marching bands.  A bugler playing taps is sooooo "OK Boomer"....let's have 50 kids play reveille with booming bass drums and a few slide trombones!
    • Modern parents like to make up sorry excuses for not going outdoors, pretending that it's the kids who want to stay inside. So let's combine scouting with therapy sessions!  Yeah!  We'll sit around in a circle, holding hands, spouting all kinds of PC BS about feelings and our own personal self worth while doing absolutely nothing of any value to anybody in society.  Then we'll have a big group hug instead of a flag ceremony.  What fun!

    Oh my this made me laugh out loud at my desk.  

    Checked my calendar. Nope not April 1st.  Talk about BSA/council "jumping the shark" if this is true. 

    So when are you supposed to go camping for the weekend if you have games on Saturday?  Or a Football game on Friday nights for the marching  band?  Sadly this is where some people have to make hard choices especially as they get older and more involved. Its a shame as sometimes you lose a really good scout.   Just keep everything separate.  

  4. 1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    Better than no feedback, but no....not great.

    The problem is that the report goes to the scoutmaster, who has 20 or 30 scouts in his care. He scans through the report, and hopefully, big problems like a scout only getting one requirement signed off, will jump out at him so he can raise a question.  But there's a lot of socuts in a unit....and most of 'em are trying to earn 4 or more badges during the week....so there will still be problems that fall through the cracks.

    As TAHAWK says, in many camps, the "counselors" are actually scouts and the camp or council just "cheat" by pretending that a counselor back in the city is "supervising" the camp merit badge classes. Of course they aren't, which is why camps really need to get rid of all the BAD quality classes in their program. One camp my son's troop went to boasted they offered "over 60 merit badges".  Sad...they would be a better camp if they would just do 20 outdoor-focused badges really WELL. 

    This is what I encountered.  We got the list at the end of the week and with all of the hub bub of packing up and making sure boys had showers for the trip home it got overlooked till I got home and finally saw the lists from the SM.   I watched my son for one period on Thursday during the Rifle Shooting badge so I know for a fact they went over a lot more that wasn't checked off.  I think the issue was like y'all have said, the youth running the classes are primarily responsible for getting the paperwork to HQ for the week.  The older gentleman who was probably the NRA certified instructor never went over to the instructional shelter while I was up there.  He stayed on the range while the youth went over some of the lessons.


    As for # of MB's offered.  I imagine it depends on the size of the camps and # of participants that come each week.   My son worked on earning things like pottery, sculpture and leatherwork this summer. The only real 2 outdoor badges he worked on was the rifle and archery.   These 2 seem to be badges that seem like summer camp would be the best place to accomplish them, thus his disappointment of the lack of requirements marked as completed.  So unless he finds another opportunity during this year, he will have to repeat those again at next years summer camp in order to earn them.

  5. I had a problem with my sons most recent summer camp and the rifle & archery classes he took.   They only marked off 2H for Rifle. I know they did more than that as I went up there on Thursday to watch him shoot.   They didn't mark off a lot of things that you even have to do before you even make it to the firing line.   I called the camp back afterwards and the lady said she can only answer for what was put on the print out.  Really?  Such crap.  So now my son will effectively have to start all over when he decides to find a new counselor for it. 

    They also didn't mark off much for Archery.   He made the arrow & bow string and they didn't mark it off along with several other things. :mad:

  6. We have a Life scout who believes that if he starts a badge at summer camp and only receives a partial, that he does not need to find another counselor to finish up the badge.  He can just finish it up at home and submit it.   

    Am I mistaken in thinking that is not correct?  From everything I read on here: https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/ and in the official Guide to Advancement, any partials must be completed with that counselor from camp or a new one is found to complete the badge with so they can receive a signed blue card.  

    I have recently become the advancement chair for the troop.  Our new SM also agrees that this scouts impression of the MB process is not correct and is trying to explain that to him.  Its beginning to look like more and more that the senior scouts were just flippantly advanced by the old advancement chair and SM and given MB's by all of the parents in the troop who just signed up for whatever the boys wanted to earn.   :eek:

    I have attended the last 2 summer camps and neither time do we receive a signed blue cards.  We get a print out of what is completed.  If a scout completed the badge at camp, we fill out a blue card and attach the print out as proof of completion. 

    So now that the old guard is gone and the gravy train has derailed said scouts & his parents are becoming difficult to deal with.  

    Calgon take me away! 


  7. 41 minutes ago, yknot said:

    There is no reason to be irked. We promote that we are a character building organization. Scouts and scouters are supposed to be a cut above the rest. Most of them are. Sadly some are not. When that happens, it's a relevant headline in the same way it is to point out that someone accused of arson was a firefighter. It's tragic and ironic.

    True.  It just seems like the media is trying to sensationalize things.  

  8. I sliced my thumb open last year at our district camporee.  I broke knife code and was cutting towards myself and oops.   I panicked as I could see white and it was bleeding pretty good so I went to our table and sat down trying to get it to stop bleeding.  My son runs over and says "Ooh ooh I can help! I have earned the First Aid merit badge!".   I am trying to rifle around the first aid kit to see what we have and I told him to please go away so I could collect myself.   I was debating if I needed to ride down the road to get a couple stitches.  Started to get a little woozy (like I said I panicked, nervous about needing stitches.  I am a wimp! :laugh:)  but got my self under control and found some butterfly bandages and managed to get the blood slowed down. Put some ointment on it and bandaged my hand and went back to work.   Got a nice little scar from it.   

    Funny part is, that date is apparently not very kind to me and my hands and sharp objects.  It came up in my Facebook memories that several years before that I sliced my thumb open on a can lid and then last month when it was the anniversary of camporee it came up about my mishap.  So for dinner that night I said lets go out to eat as I don't want to cook and chance cutting my hand again. 

  9. Journalists are so lazy these days.  Twice they misidentified this shooters association with Boy Scouts.  Once calling it a squad and then a team.   :rolleyes:

    It irks me that papers seize the chance to sensationalize something.  I read an article this article the other day and the headline is annoying.   You read the article and it says this: Bellomo - who was well known among the small Minnesota as a volunteer firefighter, award-winning taxidermist and a leader of a Boy Scout troop

    But they choose to use his title as a BS leader to put in the headline as click bait.  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7678117/Boy-Scout-leader-34-leads-police-dangerous-20-minute-chase-Valentines-Day-massacre.html


  10. 2 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    I'll be very sad if it's the end of meritbadge.org.  I very much enjoyed using the Wiki interface to look for scouting information.  

    This is my thoughts exactly.   It was very quick to be able to locate something.   But if all of the MB info is on usscouts.org, I am off to bookmark that website on my computers. :)

  11. We had a parent meeting on Monday night. Several people were not real happy about it.  Heck I am not very keen on it myself but I am in it up to my eyeballs so we will keep the path but I may try to motivate my son on advancements and merit badges to try and get to Eagle quicker as I fear more increases at the national and council level each year.  Right now as it stands the best we could probably do is about 18 months.   I hate to say that but its a possibility.    If he choses to remain in scouting afterwards, I wont discourage it.

    My husband had major open heart surgery back in May and we are still trying to recover financially from that so this increase hits me more than it would have last year.  

    I proposed that we have a car wash sometime soon to try and cover the cost differences.  We made over $300 at our one in June to help with summer camp travel costs.   Just not sure when we will be able to have one before we break for the year on 12/16.  Camping next weekend and then Thanksgiving and a swimming merit badge test on 12/7.  Maybe 11/23 but that will be our only chance.  We live in Florida so the weather may still be warm enough for a carwash.

    We have a couple families who are on the fence.   Their scouts progress has been stagnant(not for lack of trying from the adult leadership!) and this cost increase maybe the final nudge for them to go ahead and leave. 

    Not sure how the pack took the news as I am not in the pack anymore.  

  12. We are not a big troop so we would probably be ordering about 50 shirts unless we do the one for each day of camp.  

    On a side note.  How come scouting events don't do t-shirts anymore?   Seems like when my brother was a scout, he got a shirt at every turn.   Since I have been a scouter,  over 6 years now, I can count on one hand how many events offered a shirt.  One of them was my wood badge course shirt.   I would so buy the t-shirts if offered at events.  Maybe its just the council I am in.  Oh well. 


  13. I probably should have put this in the Uniform section but figured it may get more visibility here. 

    Other than Class B.com has anyone ordered multiple day t-shirts for summer camp?   Our troop is thinking of doing a different shirt each day so we can have some better visibility from afar and have some cohesiveness during flag ceremonies and meals.

    I want to say I saw on Facebook last spring where units were getting shirts for about $5.00 each. 

    Please show me your class B t-shirts so we can get some ideas.   Several boys wanted a tie dye shirt for at least one day.  :D

    Here is our current troop t-shirt.  We quickly discovered that many other troops have the same shirt.  LOL!

    Sorry its not too clear.



  14. 29 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    I don't know how I overlooked a great badge like Circus Skills!

    Somehow, I can't imagine BSA telling kids it's okay to practice their skills as a trapeze artist.

    I am in a overseas Scouts Facebook group and I see pictures of Scouts skinning and cooking rabbits. Personally I think that is really cool.  Sadly I don't think it would fly here in the USA.   PETA would have a fit.  :laugh:

  15. How about Circus Skills?    

    How to earn your badge:

    1. Select two skills from the table below:

      The two skills must be from different lists.

      Aerial Balance Manipulative Ground
      trapeze trick-cycling cigar boxes handstands
      roman rings stilts club swinging tumbling
      aerial ladder ladder devilsticks acrobatics
      aerial rope tightrope diablo  
      wire walking wire walking    
        roller bolo    
      Clowning Juggling Spinning        
      make up with three objects or more yo-yo  
      costume   poi spinning  
          rhythmic gymnastics  
          (twirling ribbon)  
          spinning plates  
    2. Carry on putting effort into your two selected skills and show some achievement.

      Someone with experience should guide you throughout.

    3. Demonstrate your two selected skills in front of an audience.
    4. Find out things about circus life and talk about these with an adult.
    5. Watch at least two circus or street performance events.

      Talk about what you saw.


    • Thanks 1

  16. 19 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    You would hope that would be the case.

    Some camps that are inhospitable to an activity go ahead and find workarounds. I classify these as "El Lame-O" merit badge programs...

    For example, Camp Hale in Oklahoma lets kids earn a "Winter Sports" merit badge during summer camp.  Never mind that Oklahoma isn't exactly ski country even in the midst of the coldest winter....

    How do they do it?  Well, they put plastic sheets on a hill and pretend its snow.  Here's a photo:


    Well I guess you could complete this based on these requirements.  Granted D & I maybe challenging depending on how far they took to planning the merit badge area... 

    Downhill (Alpine) Skiing Option

    a. Show how to use and maintain your own release bindings and explain the use of two others. Explain the international DIN standard and what it means to skiers.
    b. Explain the American Teaching System and a basic snow-skiing progression.
    c. Discuss the five types of Alpine skis. Demonstrate two ways to carry skis and poles safely and easily.
    d. Demonstrate how to ride one kind of lift and explain how to ride two others.
    e. On a gentle slope, demonstrate some of the beginning maneuvers learned in skiing. Include the straight run, gliding wedge, wedge stop, sidestep, and herringbone maneuvers.
    f. On slightly steeper terrain, show linked wedge turns.
    g. On a moderate slope, demonstrate five to 10 christies.
    h. Make a controlled run down an intermediate slope and demonstrate the following:
    1. Short-, medium-, and long-radius parallel turns
    2. A sideslip and safety (hockey) stop to each side
    3. Traverse across a slope
    i. Demonstrate the ability to ski in varied conditions, including changes in pitch, snow conditions, and moguls. Maintain your balance and ability to turn.
    j. Name the major ski organizations in the United States and explain their functions.