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Posts posted by Jackdaws

  1. On ‎2‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 3:20 PM, Rock Doc said:

    This might just work! Adding details like this can make a relatively simple action quite impressive and highly memorable - and what soon-to-be Boy Scout isn't going to love fire raging at the sound of his name!

    Our pack used to do the flaming arrow across the lake also.  Granted the lake was way to big to really get a real arrow all the way across.  The person on the other side would wait a couple seconds and then light a huge bonfire while the boys canoed across the lake.  Very cool effect each year.   Since the property we were using was sold we have since moved to our local council camp.   There is a zip line already rigged up in the amphitheater for cross over ceremony's.   However, the line failed us last year and the flare type thing they were using just sat up on the line burning for a good 5 min(as you can see in the photo).  Thankfully we had a back up plan of lighting it discreetly from behind.  Still kind of a bummer that it didn't work out the way it was planned.   My son crosses over in 2 weeks.  I hope it works for his den's ceremony.




    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

  2. Sigh.  Count me as being in the stuck on module 2 club.   I was really hoping to finish it before my council training team meeting tonight.  I would love to see a quick reference guide for the camping regulations.  Hopefully National will get up to speed soon as apparently there are already girls attending meetings and signing up.  

    On a side note, is there any change to the BALOO trainings in regards to the girls joining yet? 

  3. If it were me I would run for the hills.  This pack sounds very disorganized and like it doesn't follow the program guidelines. 


    What den is your son in?  Knife safety shouldn't be broached till Bears. 


    Is there another pack in your area for you and your son to join?   If so, then maybe see if your current pack is willing to get their ducks in a row and have a training day and a planning meeting. 


    YP can be taught off line.  I have taught it several times.  We have downloaded the video, watch the scenarios and each person is given a quiz.   We have a parent orientation at the beginning of each year and every parent, whether they are a volunteer or not is to watch it.   I then submit the training sheet to council so if they ever become a leader its already on record.  


    Most of your basic leader trainings are online and can be completed fairly quickly.   You need to establish a key 3 and make a committee from there.   Really have to wonder if your unit is even re-chartered at this point.

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  4. I am wondering if this some kind of scam or something.  I am not an employee of the council.  I am a very active volunteer.


    Seems like I would have seen an email about this from the council letting people know they need to take this training.  I wonder if it stems from the whole transgender issue?   I did a quick google of lawroom.com and it appears to be a HR/sexual harassment/discrimination training place. 


    Here is the email.  I have omitted my personal information. 


    Date:          03-01-17
    Company:      Boy Scouts of America
    Subject:      Course Assignment

    The protection of personal identifiable information (PII) and confidential company information is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and all users of its technology system. It is also should be a matter of significant concern to local councils. As such, BSA is proving this training at no cost to local councils. BSA employees are required to take the training annually and system access is denied to users who fail to complete the training.

    Please ensure that this training course is completed by 03/15/2017. This course normally takes users 15-25 minutes to complete.

    If you have any questions concerning this assignment, please contact BSA's Member Care Contact Center. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    COURSE                                                  DUE DATE
    Checkpoint: Data Security & Privacy                    03-15-17

    Training is self-paced. You can start and leave the course as
    often as you'd like. When you return, the course will open to
    the last page visited.

    Questions about the assignment, contact:
      -> BSA Help Desk  at 855-707-2644

    To access a course now for , click:


    To log in without the link:
      -> go to http://el.lawroom.com/login.asp
      -> enter your login-ID:  Your Boy Scouts Login Id
      -> enter your password:  BSAtraining

    If you have any problems with the site, please contact: admin@lawroom.com
    Training powered by LawRoom - copyright 2017

  5. We had an 18 year old girl in my patrol this past year.  She was the area VP for Venturing.  All of her family is in Scouting so I doubt there was any resistance there.   She did fantastic.  She had a full plate: Going to college, venturing responsibilities and her mothers passing was like 2 weeks before WB started.  She definitely has her head on right.  I believe she is about to finish her tickets.  

  6. This redundant waste of time is no where to be found in my training module.   It only shows up in the "expired" section of my trainings.   I can print out an expired certificate till the cows come home but can't see where to re-take the course.   I checked each section.  Nope nada.  


    I don't really need to re-take it but that expired tag bugs me and I am a training nerd so I like things current.


    Maybe they have done away with it since its outdated and really pointless.  Its basic health class stuff anyways.    I may have to override my training OCD and let it go.  :unsure:



  7. All excellent ideas.  Thank you so much. :)  


    Fehler:  We will be in the school cafeteria.  So pretty decent ceiling height.  I found a stomp rocket on Pinterest that you can aim at a 45 degree angle and another idea for tarp with holes cut in it for a points system.  Its made with a pvc frame so it can be easily transported and stored for future use. 


    Still looking at a 60% chance of rain so far.    Hopefully this storm that is brewing down in the Caribbean will stay much further south and the weather will clear up some. 

  8. Our school sign up night is next Wednesday night.  If the weather permits we will have the council's mobile climbing wall come out:  https://www.nfcscouting.org/mobile-climbing-wall


    But since we live in Florida and it pretty much rains every afternoon here and the various tropical storms that could be heading our way its looking like a 60% chance of rain right now for next week.  :unsure:  Granted that could change a lot in the next week.  


    Last year I had planned on doing the Alka Seltzer rockets outside but it poured.  So we were at a loss on what to do with the boys while the parents filled out applications and asked questions.   We ended up making paper airplanes and have a distance contest. 


    So my question is: What are some fun indoor activities you can plan for the boys? 


    I am thinking some minute to win it type games but I would like to know what has worked well for your pack when the weather doesn't cooperate. 




  9. A true southerner will like KK.   I like KK way better than DD as I feel that DD is a drier more cake like doughnut.   KK when they are hot and fresh will do down like butter.  When we lived up north all we could get was DD.  My mom hated it. 


    I try to stay away from doughnuts as I feel like such crap after I eat some(well that and that I am overweight).  But that being said my husband bought 2 dozen for 3 people in my house.  Geez.   Those are going to go bad before they all get ate.   I may have to down one or two of them(when I have time to feel crappy).  I asked him why he bought so much.  "It was the coupon for this month in the calendar."   I told him that he needs to take them elsewhere so they can get eaten.  Also KK doesn't tend to freeze as well as DD IMO...

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  10. I would definitely make sure the scout participated in any kind of fundraisers the troop holds.  And see if he can do extra jobs like others have mentioned. 


    Is there a reason your unit only does one fundraiser a year?  Why not have a car wash or a spaghetti dinner?  Those one off fundraisers could be enough for whatever he may need and then some surplus for anything the troop needs or even a fun trip one weekend.


    Is there a Scout Reach division in your council/district?  Are there scholarships available thru the council for things like a uniform and some fees associated with scouting?  


    I hesitate to let people in our pack know that there are scholarships available as they may not really need it and will apply for it and take it away from someone who does.   We also had a parent 3 years ago who claimed they were dirt poor (I don't doubt they were lower income but from what I could tell they had no problem going and spending the day down in St. Augustine riding the pirate boats several times at a pretty penny http://www.blackravenadventures.com/price/tickets).  I told her that scholarships were available and that she had to contact the council as we do not handle any of it.   Well they sporadically attended that 1st year.  Then the treasurer tells me at the 1st den meeting the next year that they never paid any dues at all the previous year (yes I know that should have been mentioned sometime in the previous year).  We pull the parent out of the meeting and ask for dues.  She blustered all up and said she paid last year.  Um no you didn't.  We have no record of it at all.  She claimed she had cancelled checks.   We told her she needed to bring them up to us as proof of payment.   Never saw her or her child again.  She knew what she was doing all along and it finally caught up with her.   I still see them at my sons school. I am so tempted to ask if she found another pack to fleece.  But I know that wouldn't be very nice.  But man we paid for awards all year long and gave her son a uniform shirt and patches for it.  That stuff wasn't cheap. 


    So naturally now we are on guard when someone claims they can't pay their way. I hate that we are like that but the whole fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me thing holds true. 

  11. As a female, I don't see a problem with it.  I thought they were sufficiently covered.  Were the shorts too short?  Not really, you can go to Walmart on any given day and see much more skin from a lot of people who really shouldn't be showing that amount of skin.   :blink:


    I am willing to bet that these Mom's who complained, never ever volunteer for anything in the pack or council.  They are probably the ones who are sitting in the back on their phones...



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  12. I hate that you are faced with this situation. 


    Like the others have said, I would push for further explanation from the council.   It seems rather odd that he gets to stay but you are the one asked to leave when he is the one who had the outburst and was arrested.   As a parent, I would have something to say to the pack leadership about that if I had witnessed it.  I would ask the council/unit leadership why couldn't they let him go and have you step up to be the full time leader?   If you were an assistant anyways I don't see where the transition would have been hard for anyone so that excuse just doesn't hold water with me. 


    Back in November our assistant Cubmaster was arrested along with his wife on domestic violence charges.  We spoke with our district executive and agreed to ask him to step down. We also agreed we wanted what was best for the scout.   Even if it meant someone else picking him up (I know that is frowned upon by some people) but we didn't want him to miss out for something that was beyond his control. The Mom has faithfully been bringing him each week now that dad can't come.   They have made up apparently and we do see him every once at something special like pinewood derby(he always helped tremendously at PWD time as woodworking is his hobby).  I think the charges were dropped against both but the damaged had already been done. 


    Hopefully you and your son can find another pack to join(go to beascout.org to find another pack!).  You don't want to be in a unit that acts like that and backs an unfit leader. 



  13. It's serious.  The remaining leadership needs to get with the Charter Org. rep and appoint a new chair and Cubmaster as soon as possible.   At this point in the year, packs should be planning for the upcoming year.   Without the proper leaders in place the pack will not be able to function properly.  Sure you maybe able to limp along but when it comes down to making decisions and resolving issues you need to have that committee chair in place.


    Can I ask why they left?  Did they crossover?



  14. I think parents today maybe are not seeing the value in scouting.  Ideally we are instilling values in them that will serve them to be better men.  It may not be something immediate you can see but the seed is planted there and with proper commitment it will grow and flourish. 


    Parents balk at any kind of work that needs to be done at home.  Why is that?  How is it any different if your child plays a sport and you have to go to practices before the game.  Its the same thing if you ask me. 


    There are always those people who seek fame and fortune/making a quick buck over hard work.  My son had a school chess tournament last night and there were kids who were upset they didn't win anything.  I am not talking about trophies (certainly there were some of those) but kids upset and crying they didn't win something as simple as a fun size bag of skittles from a random drawing.  Wow really?  I told my husband that I better not see our son cry over something like that.  He did get a trophy (6th place out of about 70 kids :)  ).  I honestly wasn't expecting anything after 3rd place but the top 10 kids got a trophy.  That means there were 60 or so kids that walked out of there empty handed.   That's life if you ask me. 

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  15. I have been kind of pinching the top side of the belt loop and then slide the loop onto the card.  Its not an ideal solution but it works.   I initially put all of the awards for each scout in their own Ziploc bag but I want that bag back so the den leaders lay them out on a table and gingerly hand them off to boys during the ceremony.  Most boys want to put on the loop as soon as possible.  For those who don't its best to hand them to Mom and hope she doesn't lose them.  


    Some kind of slotted card would be what I am thinking is needed.  Maybe an index card to put the loops onto.  Then you can staple the index card to the acknowledgement card. 

  16. As I am not a den leader anymore I can't give the best answer but as general observer for each den it seemed like there was a lot more planning and prep required for each requirement especially for the den leader.  Each rank/den has 9 boys in it and its a lot for one person.   Parent participation is something we are going to press much more next year.  I would almost like to say "enforce". 


    Take the Grin and Bear it for the Bears.  My sons den spent over a month on the whole thing.  They had to figure out what games they wanted to present (that was one meeting) then the den leader spent who knows how much time and money on building things for the carnival.  We had a full on gaga ball pit made out of plywood.  Yet there were other small things like a duck pond that were not that big but you still had to put all of the stuff together and buy the ducks.  Since we needed space to put on the carnival ( our CO stinks, no space & too many rules) we had to wait till a Saturday to put it on our feeder school.  We advertised it w/in our pack but attendance was low.  Thank God for siblings.   That way we had people other than our den to participate.   It also seemed like it was a one off thing.  If you didn't help and attend with the carnival, you didn't make rank, that really only happened to one boy.   He dropped out anyway because he didn't get any awards at a pack meeting and his Mom was upset about it.  Well, if you don't attend the meetings or show us that he has completed the requirements then you aren't going to get any awards...  :rolleyes:


    Anywho, here we are with only 2 den meetings left in the "year" and each boy has made rank but only earned about 2 electives.  My son earned one of those at summer camp last year.   I know its not all about getting the "bling" but if you have boys who were used to the old program and getting several awards each month then this new program seems like such a let down. 


    I still don't like the new "adventure" loops, they are IMO, hokey looking and there is no way to attach them to the cards.  Yes, I am the awards chair.   Those belt loops have been the bane of my existence all year.  On the other hand I think the Webelos pins are so plain and cheap looking. I can't win either way. LOL! 


    I for one am glad I stepped down as a den leader last year and moved up to the committee.  It got too much for me to do by myself not to mention it got expensive. 



  17. I will undoubtedly have my son in something next summer no matter what.  He is already signed up to attend our district day camp at the end of June.  Lord its going to be hot as heck here in Florida.  I prefer an earlier camp but it is what it is.  


    Next year we may attend the webelos resident camp @ Camp Shands.  They have a new aquatics center that everyone is excited about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq4pIjTEO2o


    They may try a pilot district to see how it goes.



  18. Last night at our district committee meeting, the D.E. said that other people at the council are kicking around the idea of doing 4-5 Saturday activities in lieu of a week long all day long camp.   And they would allow you to pay as you go=each Saturday. 


    Obviously from a volunteer stand point you should get more help since adults probably wont need to take a week off of work. 


    But I have some reservations/questions:

    I don't know if it will prepare the boys well enough for boy scout resident camp. I know day camp is not the same as a resident camp, but I am thinking of the boys doing all day of scouting activities consistently.   


    I know some people see day camp as a week of babysitting.   Now that they are made to attend a Saturday all day event (presumably 1 of their 2 days off) with their child, will they not bother to go?


    Will they still be able to work on some requirements like they would with a day camp?  My son completed 2 or 3 of his Bear requirements while at camp last summer.  


    Will people sign up with good intentions and then forget to attend or easily blow it off? 


    Will the council lose money by letting people pay per day? 



    So I am on the fence whether I would want to do the several Saturdays deal.  I have a weird work schedule (3am-12:30pm M-F and I do have to work a couple Saturday's a year) so weekends are when I tend to try and catch up on my sleep and decompress(if I am not camping).  I have a full scouting plate (Wood Badge, also just promoted to district Membership chair and am on the pack committee) so the summer is kind of a small breather for me.  Well not this year since I have to prepare for the fall sign up nights but its nice to know my Saturdays are free at least.  My husband already isn't that keen on the amount of time I spend on scouting as it is...


    Obviously I am dedicated to scouting so I would more than likely attend the Saturday sessions, but I don't really see those parents who aren't as dedicated or into it taking a Saturday or two a month to go and be there all day. 


    So what does everyone think?  What are the pros and cons to you on this idea?




  19. Ah welcome to the "joys" of being a den leader. 


    I am a former den leader and am now on the committee. I transitioned over just before the new program started.  So I feel your pain about parent participation or lack there of. 


    My son is also a Bear so I can relate to what you are trying to cover during the den meetings.  Your den parents need to be reading thru the handbook with their boys to understand the requirements.  Take for instance the "Paws for Action" requirement. 

    Learn about 2 Americans and share what you learn.  The learning portion needs to be done at home.  Our den leader made a simple one page book report type page for each boys to write what they learned. And the boys shared what they had learned at the den meeting.


    Visit a historical place and visit it with your family or den.  Since life can get hectic and that you work on weekends, planning a go see it would be really tough.  I would suggest this be a family activity.


    Learn about our flag and display it at home for a month.  Learn the meaning of the pledge of allegiance.  The underlined part is pretty self explanatory. 


    Learn about how your family uses energy and how you can help your family decrease its use.  Again pretty self explanatory. 


    Also the Fellowship and duty to God is something we told the parents they need to work on at home with their son as religion is such a personal thing and not everyone is the same denomination.



    Tell these families if no one camps, no one gets their rank. This may spur some parents into action on going and getting trained.  As for the camping, is there no other leadership in your pack who can go get BALOO trained?  What is the Cubmaster saying?  I got trained as a Tiger den leader and we are looking to get our current Tiger den leader trained just to keep the cycle going.  Myself and the Cubmaster (also a bear parent) are the only two trained currently.  I would also look at trying to attend council run camp outs.  You shouldn't need a BALOO for that.   Looks like your council has some kind of camping fairly frequently :http://www.seattlebsa.org/images/Parent-Pal_Information.pdf


    In our council you technically have till the next school year to finish a rank.  However if you go to summer camp or day camp they will typically work on what should be the boys next  year's rank so if your son is a Bear then he will be working on Webelos stuff.  


    Some of these kids who wont put in the work along with their families are going to get left in the dust.  Sorry.  You shouldn't have to pull your hair out about each boy.  I know no one wants to see someone not get their rank but you have provided the information and a platform for them.  Its up to them to do complete it.


    Question: do you make your parents stay at the meeting place during meetings or are they allowed to drop off and come back?   Our pack has a strict no drop off rule.  You MUST be on the property during the meeting.  We tell them at the 1st meeting that BSA doesn't stand for Babysitters of America.   If you are allowing these parents to leave and they are the ones balking at the "home" work then they are looking for babysitters.  


    Also here is what is on the BSA Cub Scout FAQ page. 


    The Cub Scout Program

    Are Cub Scouts the same as Boy Scouts? No. Cub Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America—so in

    that sense, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are both members of the same organization. However, they are entirely

    different programs: Cub Scouting is a family-oriented program designed specifically to address the needs of

    younger boys.


    May parents attend den meetings? Cub Scout den meetings are intended to be an activity for the individual

    boys. They are not a family activity, and the presence of parents can be a distraction. However, parental

    involvement is encouraged, and all meetings should be open to your participation. If you would like to be

    present at a den meeting, ask the den leader in advance so that the leader can plan a way for you to observe or

    participate in an unobtrusive manner, or talk to the pack leaders on becoming more involved.


    As to answer your question about rank completion time.  We thought we could be done by February with the requirements as that is what we have been able to do in the past with the old program but we realized by December that simply wasn't possible with the new program.  We finished up in early April and had our rank ceremony at on 4/26.  There are still a few stragglers working on some requirements but they are boys who have joined late.   2 boys joined in February but they are working hard to catch up.  One is a little slower than the other but that is mainly due to a language barrier but we have gotten him a Spanish version of the Wolf handbook.  So hopefully he can catch up. 


    If you can't get everyone on the bandwagon now, try and plan a meeting/activity when school lets out and have a meeting with the parents as to what to expect next year.