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Everything posted by Hedgehog

  1. I'm with you. We just bought three new Venturing uniforms this year (in addition to my son's and my Boy Scout uniforms). Wear them well.
  2. The videos are dated. It actually serves to release any tension about the discussions. We focus the discussion on the Scout Law. That makes it personal. What does it mean to be cheerful to someone who going through a rough time? What does it mean to be friendly to someone who tells you they are contemplating suicide? What does it mean to be courteous in a relationship? What does it mean to kind and helpful when you see someone really intoxicated? What does it mean to be obedient regading underage drinking? What does it mean to be brave when you see someone taking advantage of another p
  3. You forgot to have them pay for the cost when they committ. For things like that, our policy was if you say you are going, you make a deposit which you don't get back if you decide to not go unless you find a replacement.
  4. 1. Shoot for an "Every Parent Helps" culture but ASK certain people to do specific tasks. If you ask a group, you ask nobody. Very few parents will say no if you ask them to do a specific task. "Denise, can you call a couple of caters and get estimates for Blue and Gold?" "Bob, can you get a couple of guys together to set up the Pinewood Derby Track." "Alice, can you make the trip to the Scout Shop to pick up awards onece a month?" 2. Ignore JTE. Design a program that is fun and easy and that works. 3. Do keep it simple and make it fun -- but think about what that means. Assi
  5. My pitch line is "Every boy needs scouting for a different reason." I also tell parents and Scouts, "Scouting is about leadership. Leadership is about being responsible for others. The first step of learning how to be responsible for others is learning to be responsible for yourself." Talking to a bunch of parents, I told them, "We'll teach your sons to do dishes and clean toilets." All of our Scouts would get this one... "We teach them to fish."
  6. The program offers many paths. It is up to you to decide what path your Troop takes. As leaders, the question we have to ask is what is OUR goal for the Troop. To get guys to Eagle Scout? To teach life skills? To develop indoor leadership skills? To create true citizens? To teach boys to lead in the outdoors? To create and encourage independence? Have scouting be fun for the boys? What the goal is defines how you implement the program. For me, the goal is to teach skills, independence and leadership using fun activities in the outdoors. For me, Scouting is a game with a purpose playe
  7. Just because they spend a day cooking in the outdoors, doesn't mean they don't cook as patrols on outings. We don't have a problem with guys going camping. We have 20 guys over 25 nights in the last three years and 5 guys over 45 nights. In fact, I think it helps doing the Cooking MB ouside the camping context, because that makes camping something you do for fun, not for advancement. Further, most of the cooking done on our outings are for the 2nd and 1st Class advancement. The guys who have taken the Cooking MB now mentor the younger scouts in the menu planning and in showing them how
  8. The requirement is your patrol or "a group of youth." "In the outdoors, using your menu plans for this requirement, cook two of the ve meals you planned using either a light- weight stove or a low-impact re. Use a different cooking method from requirement 3 for each meal. You must also cook a third meal using either a Dutch oven OR a foil pack OR kabobs. Serve all of these meals to your patrol or a group of youth." The 8 boys that participate are "a group of youth." For the dinner, the rest of the Scouts families (parents and siblings) are invited. So they are actually serving the m
  9. The way I run the Merit Badge is to have an hour preparation session where they plan the "outdoor" menus and develop their shopping lists, a one-day session that runs from 8:00 until 5:30 where they cook three meals in the outdoors. For breakfast, we cover knife skills and make bacon and egg omlets / scrambles. Between breakfast and lunch we discuss and demonstrate. For lunch, we grill sausages over a fire. After lunch, they start cooking dinner. The dinners involve a dutch oven main course and a dutch oven dessert. Selections have been chicken pot pie, Italian short ribs, barbeque spare
  10. For 1(a) - Some of the hazards are not injury or illness related. For example, how to prevent and mitigate a grease fire in a kitchen (Cover or ABC Extinguisher) or a fire in an oven (Close Door). How to avoid melting plastic utensils on cast iron, what to do with a hot pan (don't put it on Formica or a wood table), etc. Also, some of the prevention ideas are more suited here than 1(b) -- I talk about where to position frying pan handles (toward the side of the stove so there is no chance of knocking it over), turning a flame or burner off before removing a pot (sleeve on fire anyone?), us
  11. Things seem good. Going to my third election this Friday with our Troop's election the following week. Several Troops have not had elections in the past. Our chapter meetings have a handful of kids, but they have a lot of fun. Our Lodge numbers are good and finances are great.
  12. First off, the BSA policy is for membership, not YPT or other purposes. As stated above, unless I hear differently, I'm defering to state law definitions of gender for YPT. Second, I don't think that someone being transgender is required to be a secret. Even in the articles about the Scout from New Jersey, it was made clear that everyone was aware that he was transgender. Third, I don't think there is a basis for a lawsuit for treating transgendered youth differently if their birth certificate identifies them differently than their gender identity. Again, state law controls. In my l
  13. "Required" wasn't the best word for that sentence. I wasn't speaking specifically to YPT but more so to common sense practices. I think it would be better to have said, "Having one adult of each gender would be advisable because under state law, you have a co-ed situation since (absent specific legislation to the contrary) gender under state law is controlled by what is on the birth certificate." Couple that with the maxim that nobody ever got in trouble for exceeding the minimum requirements and you get a better sense of what I'm suggesting.
  14. @@Stosh, if the Boy Scout's identified gender of male is different than what is listed on their birth certificate, I think it is required to have a female adult along on the trip. If the gender listed is the same based on state law, no female adult is required. First problem solved. Latrines - Most latrines have doors. The one's that don't the scouts always impose their own "one person at a time rule" and the buddy stands outside. For public bathrooms, state law applies. Second problem solved. Showering - Typically, scouts don't shower on weekend trips. At out summer camp, any s
  15. I agree that Boy Scouts should remain boy-only (and have said so in other posts). Allowing transgendered youths who identify as boys into Boy Scouts doesn't automatically results in Boy Scouts becoming open to any female youth. Even with the most supportive parents, friends and adults, announcing to the world that you are transgender is a difficult task and one that kids don't take lightly. As others have pointed out, abuse of the check-the-box-you-identify-with rule can easily be addressed.
  16. I've read through the various posts and thought that it would be helpful to share my perspective as a Venturing Crew advisor for a Crew with two trangender youths. I haven't seen anyone else post that has experience with transgender youths within the BSA. Let me start off by telling you that in the Troop and in the Crew, I consider all of the Scouts to be "my Scouts." I get to know them on a personal basis. I truly like all of them based on their positive traits and I truly care about all of them based on their shortcommings. I know there is amazing power that youth derive from having
  17. My son did NYLT last summer and it was transformational. I know in our council as well as the neighboring council where my son did NYLT (which I think may be @@NJCubScouter's council) it is age 13.
  18. I like the Venturing term "Advisor." At summer camp when the staff would say "Adult Leaders" I'd inform them that the term is an oxymoron.
  19. So our Troop of around 50 scouts makes $3,000 in income from popcorn. At 35% tax rate that would be a whopping $1,050 in tax a year for say four years (three prior plus current) if we were not chartered by a tax-exempt church. If you hit all the 10 scout units in the area (assuming they were all for-profit entities), that total around $40,000. More likely, they will have to audit 500 scout units to find 10 that are for profit. The booster clubs (especially the independent sports teams) often raise around $5,000 per member with a team of 20 members that is $100,000 per year which would g
  20. Somebody need a woodland creature who impersonates at tax attorney? I've never encountered this situation, so all I can do is provide some educated speculation. I think the answer as to the profits is clear - you sell popcorn that is a gross receipt, you pay for the popcorn that is a cost of good sold, the difference between gross receipts and the cost of good sold is income. Same answer if you are the local grocery store selling popcorn out of your inventory or the local freight company selling Boy Scout popcorn. From a technical perspective, I doubt most of the amounts
  21. When my son realized we were going the wrong way on a trail and turned the patrol around to backtrack despite another adult insisting that we were going the right direction. Followed by my son being respectful to the adult who insisted we were going in the wrong direction when my son was proven right. The smile of a new scout after his first campout when his worried mom asked him if he had fun. My son addressing the parents and telling them about our week as SPL at the end of summer camp rather than the adult leaders doing the talking. Our last Court of Honor which was (with the e
  22. Scouts pay $125 for registration. That covers 3 CoHs, rank and advancement badges and a holiday party. We maybe raise $1,000 through popcorn. Scouts and Adults pay per outing - the cost of the campsite divided by 15 (average number of scouts going), $14 for food ($3 breakfast, $3 lunch, $5 dinner, $3 breakfast) and $1 for supplies (propane and paper towels) plus the actual cost of any activity. Scouts pay for summer camp, the camp lets 4 adults go for free and the troop pays for the additional adult that goes to camp.
  23. Our Troop teaches and uses the EDGE method consistently. When the patrols are planning to run an activity for the Troop, the older guys teach the younger guys the skills they need to know using EDGE. Then when they run the activitiy, the younger scouts used EDGE to teach other scouts. After doing this for a while it becomes natural: We're going to do this by going through these steps Let me show you how to do it. OK, I'll say each step as you do it. Great, put it all together and do it yourself. I agree with @@qwazse that there are other ways to learn skills. I think the Researc
  24. The local option on sexual orientation was for adult leaders and not youth membership. The youth membership rules have always been national whilce CO's have always been able to approve adult leaders. The local option really removed any BSA rule regarding adult leaders and recognized that the COs have the final decision regarding adult leadership. My goal is to get BSA out of the social policy morass and shift the issue to a more appropriate forum - politics. It is not up to the BSA to define what a "male" is. That is determined under the various state laws and is the job of the elected
  25. Wouldn't it be easiest if BSA said that what is on your birh certificate controls? Then it is up to each state to determine what is necessary to have a birth certificate changed. Then BSA could easily say, we go by state law and if you want a change in how that law is applied, go to your state legislature. So that means if you have a person who is listed as a male on the birth certificate but who identifies as a female, they can be in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. If you have a person who is listed as a female on the birth certificate but identfies as a male, they can not. If someone is bo
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