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Everything posted by Hedgehog

  1. I'll echo what others have said. Entitlement doesn't come from getting things for free, but expecting those things and then doing nothing in return. They can give back through service projects and, if they stick with scouting for the long run, they will give back to others if they continue live the Scout Oath even after they age out. I disagree that scouting is a richer person's activity. If you have a pair of shoes, you can go on a hike. You can have a Troop spend a whole Saturday: 1) learning to tie knots with pieces of a $5 rope; 2) learning first aid with $10 worth of supplies; 3
  2. To me, the bouncing between A's and B's is part of the continuum of being boy-led. Actually, I tend to see each year start out with a B and the boy leaders grow into those roles. The other part of the continuum is what aspects of the Troop are boy-led. The more aspects the better. ​For example, taking just the running of the weekly meeting, is your (in the generic sense, not directed at Qwazse) troop boy-led to the extent: 1. The boys lead the weekly meetings, meaning they are up front covering everything and have done all the planning on their own and the only adult is sittin
  3. I think that the two illustrations in the article are there for comparing and contrasting. The first illustration appears to be adult lead - the adults putting up the tent (pole in nose and all that) and the second illustration appears to be boy lead (an adult helping as directed by an older scout). I'm not sure that the article is implying that it is OK to revert back to adult-led but that the troop realized that they hadn't done the groundwork and nobody (adults or scouts) knew what they were doing. I'll give credit where it is due, they didn't give up on boy-lead but decided to do it
  4. I'm looking forward to: 1. Cross country skiing / snowshoeing and cabin camping in January. 2. Building Quinzees and sleeping in them in February (OK, still working on convincing the boys on this one). 3. 3 day backpacking trip in May (destination to be determined... but its really the journey that matters!). 4. Canoing down the Delaware and then backpacking into summer camp. 5. Being the ASM for the Venture Patrol at Summer Camp (and working with the boys to come up with challenging hikes and overnight trips. 6. 5 day backpacking trip over Labor Day on the AT in Shenandoa
  5. My apologies for misunderstanding. From your first post, I thought the question you asked was along the lines of "what are the core ideals necessary for the Star requirement?" If the questions were more directed to asking him what he learned regarding specific ideals (i.e. leadership, service, etc.), then you and I are on the same page. The remainder of my response was related to what appeared to be your disappointment in how the scout responded and the scout's inability to go beyond listing the requirements. I just don't think that 12 year olds have it in them to do the analysis / thinki
  6. As a parent of a 12 year-old and a scout mentor to most of the 11 and 12 year-olds in the Troop, I can tell you that the lack of theoretical response is more the age rather than the maturity. Simply put, 12-year olds aren't able to take the definite (requirements) and extrapolate to the abstract. Give them two more years and you can have all the metaphysical discussions about the meaning of life (that is what makes backpacking with those guys interesting). It is also unfair if you've never had those discussions before with the scouts. My scouts know that leadership means being respon
  7. Have him go over to town hall and interview the receptionist or whomever he can find about why everyone is so busy not to be able to take the time to talk to a scout about local government. Then suggest to him that he write up his interview and send it to the local newspaper. It would make a great story.
  8. I prefer the "Assistant Scoutmaster's 30 Seconds" to provide sound-bites that the kids remember. Two of my favorites which are applicable in this instance are: Scouting is about leadership and leadership is about being responsible for other people. The first step in being responsible for others is learning to be responsible for yourself. (I tell this to both scouts and their parents. The second time I tell a scout, I 'll say the first sentence and the half the second sentence and they will fill in the rest. I rarely have to use it a third time). If your hands are in your pocket or yo
  9. Over the summer as a bunch of guys from our troop hiked into summer camp (seriously, how cool is that -- arriving in summer camp with a backpack on having backpacked 16 miles over two days?), one of the guys found a wallet. It had some cash, some gift cards and a library card. No ID. He called the library and got a phone number for the owner. It turned out to be a 13 year old who had lost it the weekend before. That resonated with the boys -- they could have easily have been the one who lost their wallet. The wallet was mailed with a note that it was a Boy Scout that found it and returne
  10. With my son's Cub Scout den, there was a progression. For Tiger, Wolf and Bear, the boys didn't know about the requirements, they were just having fun. For Webelos, the boys were given a list of the requirements (showing which requirements we were going to do) on a separate sheet of card stock and they checked off each requirement as we did it. It seemed like a good transition. Despite what the Pack does for advancement, the crossing over to a Troop is a good time to explain "you've leveled up, things are done differently here..." One other suggestion, is to put Den Chiefs in th
  11. I like the Lodge lid lifters and the lid stands. The scouts can use them easily without gloves. Whenever I've seen pliers used, it is typically by an adult. I have a pair of the Lodge red gloves - they work well for picking up the DOs by the handles.
  12. A lot of it comes down to explaining and selling the program. When we have Webelos visit, our SPL talks to the parents about the program while the Webelos get assigned to patrols for the night. When we have crossovers, the SPL or Guide explains advancement to them. I'm around talking to the new parents about what it means to be boy lead, the coffee cup style of management, how the shift to Boy Scouts mirrors what the boys are doing in school -- taking more responsibility, how scouting is a safe place to fail, how scouting is about leading and leading is being responsible for others -- and h
  13. I wear the Indiana Jones type hat. Now if I can just find he matching whip.
  14. Have a bonfire and campout open to all boys in first through fifth grade and their families. Use your local school to advertise (ours used to let us send flyers home with the kids but now it posts events and invitations on its calendar page). Have each scout invite his friends. Offer s'mores at the fire and hot chocolate in the morning. Find someone to tell camp fire stories - there are a ton on the net and I'd be glad to post links to my favorites. Have another adult arrange skits for the boys (MacScouter has a whole book you can download). The current boys can do more elaborate skits and
  15. Talk to the SPL, explain the situation, and ask him what he thinks should be done. The answer will be better than anything we can come up with.
  16. The advice you are reading isn't just theory. It is how successful troops are run. I'll be honest. Nobody learns leadership through someone else's example. Not boys and not adults. We were talking about the saying that if you teach someone to fish you feed them for a lifetime. A scout asked, "once you teach them, how do you actually get them to fish for themselves?" The adults stopped for a minute and thought. Our reply was, "you stop fishing for them. " The answer to your question is that there is nothing the committee should do except encourage the SMs and ASMs the learn how to implemen
  17. I'll take my Marmot Helium 15 degree down bag over synthetic any day. It weighs just over 2 pounds and compresses smaller than a Nerf football. I've never had a problem with condensation inside (that's what zippers are for) or outside (well ventilated tent equals no condensation inside). Even if there is moisture, it has a DWR coating so the moisture wouldn't effect the down. My 12 year old son has a 20 degree synthetic North Face Cats Meow bag. It weighs about a half pound more (not bad for a synthetic), was around $100 less expensive, but only compresses to around 14 x 7 inches.
  18. Sosh's post is right on. Avoid cotton. This includes underwear, t-shirts, sweatshirts and socks. The only cotton allowed is a bandana (and the 800 count Egyptian cotton pillow case over my down backpacking pillow). Always have separate clothes for sleeping (they will be dry and will not have food odors if you are in bear country). Dress in layers - the space between the layers will keep you warm - use a base layer and the synthetic sweat pants and sweatshirt if it is real cold. I typically sleep in just a wool base layer (with the weight varying on the temperature) or a pair of compression t
  19. To steal a marketing slogan, just do it. Or better yet, set up the tents and they will come. Even if you only get a couple of scouts the first time, there will be more the next time. Plan two events a year and put them in the calendar. Remind people of the events well in advance. As others said, have people come for the picnic dinner even if they won't camp out. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a kid plead with his parents to camp out and the parent promising that "we'll get a tent and do it next time. "
  20. I've got a Marmot Helium 15 degree bag and love it. It weights 2 pounds and stuffs down to 6 inches by 4 inches. It's never been wet because it is in its stuff sack and in my pack which is covered with a silnylon cover if it is raining. Nonetheless, the newer bags have down that is treated with something that makes it water resistant. I got mine at an end of the season sale. There are lots of good websites that give 20% off coupons.
  21. The key here is that the program need to reflect how people learn. Nobody can learn a knot in one sitting and remember it forever. Same with first aid skills. There needs to be a "D" added to the EDGE method for "Do it again and again." Our boys this year decided to do a knot of the month in their patrol meetings. We adults just had to get them rope - they will cut it and fuse it. The boys do First Aid as a theme for one month each year - they learn the skills, they relearn the skills, they learn them again to teach them and so on. If you have the boy leaders (in our troop it is PLs, APLs
  22. There are a lot of good cook books out there. Tim and Christine Conner's "Scout" series - the Outdoor, Backpacking and Dutch Oven books are great. Another good book is "Fix it in Foil". Lodge has a great cast iron cookbook in addition to the one that comes with their Dutch oven. Also, Check out the Freezer Bag Cooking cookbook and the recipies at trailcooking.com. All that brings up the question that Sydney and Stosh asked - why do we need another cook book? Wouldn't a reference book on methods or a step by step course be better? Oh, and the last time I had fresh baked blueberry muffins w
  23. Stosh I think supporting and coddling are different. My response to "I can't" is "I wouldn't be asking you if I didn't think you could do it." Then I would ask them why they couldn't do it. Then I would encourage them to try, letting them know that trying and not getting 100% is better than not trying. At the end, I circle back with my favorite saying "argue your limitations and they are yours to keep." In the end, I feel like I've provided them with a framework for overcoming "I can't" as they progress through life.
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