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Everything posted by Hedgehog

  1. Tahawk~ Your post is going to cost me a lot of money. I had to click on the link to the SOG website - I've fallen in love with the Forge knife as well as the Seal Strike and Bowie 2. I think the most dangerous knives out there are the non-locking (usually multitool) folders. Most parents think that should be the knife that a scout carries. First off, the non-locking blade represents a danger of cloing on the scout's fingers. Also, most of the blades are not that sharp -- parents are usually surprised to hear that a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp blade. Finally, they
  2. The little blue tablets we use for sanitizing are Steramine Tablets. A bottle of 150 costs around $10 on Amazon. It's been two years since I bought a bottle and it is still 1/2 full. Just drop one tablet into a basin and pour cold water over it. You might have to crush the tablet with a fork or start with a little hot water to get it to completely dissolve. No liquid to be spilled in the patrol boxes, no scouts adding half the bottle of bleach to the water and no bleach stains on scout's clothing. Patrol boxes have biodegradable natural detergent repackaged in a small squirt bottle wi
  3. Oh no... I didn't mean to create a controversy! On the swim test, that comment was raised in the context of using two person canoes on lake and in the context of new cross overs not being able to go at all because they hadn't passed the swim test last summer at camp. Our solution was to require parents to accompany the new scouts (some of whom were better swimmers than the adults) rather than telling them they can't go period. Sorry for the confusion on that. I agree that Troops can set their own saftey rules in excess of G2SS, but too often adults go with rules they think are mandated
  4. 1) Do you use Dutch ovens? Who doesn't? 2) Wood or charcoal? Mostly charcoal, but will use wood embers if we have a fire going. On a winter campout, we once put it in a pot bellied stove. 3) Troop cook or patrol cook? Patrol cooking. The Troop has two dutch ovens and between the SM / ASMs we have at least another 6 4) Size(s) used? 12 inch and 12 inch deep. 5) Uses: stove top style (Stews, soups, oatmeals) or Oven (breads, pies, cobblers, casseroles, pot roast, etc.) Pasta (1 pound pasta, 1 jar sauce, 1 jar water, 30 minutes), chili, meatballs, short rib
  5. Good suggestions by Mozartbrau and Stosh -- some of which i'm going to borrow! We do a set price for food - $3 for breakfast, $3 for lunch and $5 for dinner (including dessert). A typical campout is a Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a Breakfast so the per person food allowance is $14. For a patrol of 8, that is $112. This is one area our troop needs to move more toward being completely boy-led. One of the newer scouts typically volunteers to do the cooking for his patrol so that he can fulfill the T-1st cooking requirements. They come up with a menu and shopping list and show it to
  6. I've fournd that good reference skills are invaluable when it comes to taking the BS out of the BSA. It's amazing what you hear - "the boys can't take a hke around summer camp without two adults"; "sheath knives are banned in the BSA"; "alcohol stoves are against GSS"; "SM's need to sign off on all requirements"; "you need to pass the swim test to go on a canoing trip" -- the list of myths goes on and on. And for the record, hedgehogs and beavers look very different.
  7. The answer is in the Guide to Advancement (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf) ​ The Scout Is Tested The unit leader authorizes those who may test and pass the Scout on rank requirements. They might include his patrol leader, senior patrol leader, an assistant unit leader, another Scout, or the unit leader. Merit badge counselors teach and test him on requirements for merit badges. Once a Scout has been tested and signed off by someone approved to do so, the requirement has been met. The unit leader is accountable for ensuring proper advancement procedures are
  8. I have to disagree. The boys in our troop are great. Just watching them over the past couple of weeks take care of the Webelos that joined our troop is awesome. All of the guys address me as Mr. Hedgehog. Not withstanding that formality, they actually talk to me about issues they have in scouting, concerns about the guys in their patrol, how they are doing in their POR, Monte Python, ways to build fires, how to sharpen knives, the existence of God, etc. When you backpack and hike with guys for hours, that's what you do -- talk. I've known a bunch of them since Cub Scouts and know their
  9. I don't see it as trying to get around anything. The rule is that boys in Cub Scouts, other than Webelos, cannot go on a Den overnight campouts because the BSA will not issue a Tour Permit for insurance reasons. There is no prohibition on the parents taking the sons to a Cub Scout event and then deciding to camp overnight as a family. The rules are being followed in that the overnight is not an official BSA event and the parents are responsible for anything that happens once the official BSA event ends. As long as that is clear to the parents and the park where you are camping, I see no is
  10. Still pending... Three cubbies from a pack to the east, three likey from the pack to the north, one who wasn't in cubbies. Next week is cross over of "our" pack (I'm the former CM) and in a couple of weeks the cross over from the pack to the south. Probably 2 to 3 cubbies from each pack for a total of 12 to 13. That will put the troop at almost 60. Build a boy-led troop with a variety of outdoor adventures and they will come.
  11. I'll have to bring this up to the PLC... My suggestion is one of these: http://www.mbsprinterusa.com/sprinter/passenger-van I figure it would only take around $150K of popcorn sales to get one nicely equipped.
  12. Copyright law permits for "fair use" and "educational" exceptions. I suspect photocopies of a select number of pages would fall under those exceptions. As for the use and abuse of intellectual property on the internet, the abuse is just evidence of our failure to effectively teach what is ethical and not ethical.
  13. A possible suggestion for a different solution.... work with the new COR representative to revamp the committee. Try to get people with boys currently in the unit on the committee. If your son has aged out, you can stay for a year to provide wisdom to the new members. That way, you get some empathy for the boys - seriously, who is going to be an [insert un-scout like word] about advancement if they and their sons are involved in the troop? Also, the new blood will go through the current training. Finally, if there is a concern about the boy's leadership (agree, the requirement i
  14. Interesting. As I read the rules, California judges also cannot be part of Girl Scouts either since they invidiously discriminate on the basis of gender by not allowing boys to be members. So that tells me that even if the ban on homosexual leaders is removed, membership in the Boys Scouts is still prohibited because we don't allow girls to be members. However, it is likely that Trail Life USA would not be effected by the ban because it is a religious organization. I guess when you try to make rules designed not to provide impartiality but to make a political statement you get unintended
  15. As others have pointed out, it depends on the badge and the wording of the requirement. I break down merit badges into three groups of requirements: learning, showing and doing. Learning can be done in merit badge classes or by the scout on their own. Learning is acquiring the background knowledge. I have no problems with the boys using the merit badge book or even the on line worksheets to guide their learning. Showing includes actually demonstrating a skill or having a discussion with the merit badge counselor. Showing needs to be done to with the merit badge counselor. Doing needs to
  16. If you have the guide to advancement, you understand that the Scoutmaster is wrong there too. The problem for scouting with a Scoutmaster who believes "my way or the highway" is that scouts take the highway. Advancement is one of the methods of scouting... take that away or make it more difficult then the program becomes a little less like scouting. Good luck to you and your son.
  17. Although your son should have followed up on his request with the Scoutmaster in person, I don't think you son has made any real mistakes. He did what he was supposed to do and the Scoutmaster dropped the ball by not calling back (presumably because he didn't want to issue the blue card) and then by imposing his own rules. The Scoutmaster and Committee are wrong. Scoutmasters cannot deny a blue card. The BSA Guide to Advancement provides: The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise a ny registered Boy Scout
  18. Speaking of the dead of winter, one of the boys suggested that we do a backpacking trip on skis or snowshoes. The logistics on that one may be too difficult in that most of the boys don't have cross country skis or snowshoes and because we don't have any lightweight 4 season tents. Another boy suggested a downhill skiing trip (will have to check G2SS on that). Although not related to winter, one of the boys wanted to go deep sea fishing. I liked the idea but the rest of the PLC wasn't so excited about it. I've never heard of canyoning. Based on a quick trip to Wikipedia, that sou
  19. This is great. A lot of ideas here I can bring to the PLC and they can build on. The search and rescue idea is one I remember talking to a couple of the younger scouts in our Troop about. They thought it would be a good idea to do that as a patrol competition -- see who finds the lost scout the quickest. One of our ASMs is really into cycling, so the camp and bike idea would be great. I think a couple of day bike trip would be great. We would probably need a support vehicle for gear for that. Also, camping and then having a Saturday bike trip would be fun too. Ken -- those
  20. Great ideas. I like the wilderness survival idea. I've thought about having the boys go on a hike and "get lost" so that they have to survive. They will know ahead of time what is going on, but they will only be able to bring what they would have on a hike - i.e. the ten essentials plus an emergency blanket or bivy. The goal will be to stay out overnight and then hike back into camp the next morning. The only dinner the boys would get is what they have in their day pack - Cliff Bars, trail mix, etc. There probably wouldn't be time to build shelters (I've always laughed at the Wilde
  21. I'm looking for some ideas for different types of outings to incorporate into the troop's outdoor program. Ideas that would up the excitement level and give the scouts different experiences. Some of the ideas we have done or are planning include: Beach Campout Campout at COPE Course Canoeing Trip Backpacking Trips Lightweight Long Distance Backpacking (13 Miles in One Afternoon) Sea Kayaking (One Day Adventure While Staying at Scout Camp) Skiing / Snowshoeing (One Day Adventure While Staying at Scout Camp) Single Day Hikes and Urban Hikes Scout Camp Camping with Hikes (6
  22. Another option is to have the non-felony charge expunged from your husband's record. Expungement is typically available for those sorts of charges in the circumstances you mentioned. I would recommend looking into that regardless of what your decision is regarding submitting his application for Den Leader.
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