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Everything posted by Hedgehog

  1. At a meeting of the Den my son is Den Chief for, the Den Leader asked him is he knew how to tie a sheepshank. He promptly said "of course" and tied a sheet bend. There is an ongoing issue about whether a bowline is pronounced "bo lynne" "bo line" or "bow line." A knot by anyother name is tied as sweetly.
  2. The District guys started asking about it at Eagle Board of Reviews. In response, the boys stated reciting at the opening after the Oath and Law. I think they still have their signs up and I don't see anything inappropriate with that. Also, knowing it is part of the Camping merit badge, but I'm not sure when it became a requriement.
  3. I think you misunderstand how the BSA programs actually operate. For most of our Pack's Cub Scout Den functions, the parents are present. The Dens are divided by grade and so if you have multiple kids, they typically do not meet at the same time. The only exception is Webelos where the parent's generally start attending less because the Den is tranistioning to the Boy Scout boy-led model. For Pack activities, the parents are typically there also. On outings, parents are required (unless they give permission to another parent to be responsible for their kids). At the Boy Scout and Vent
  4. So my experience comes from 5 years of Cub Scouts, 4 years of Boy Scouts and 4 months of Venturing. Our Cub Scout Pack had the boys only at the Den meetings, but the pack meetings and campouts were very family oriented. Our Pinewood Derby had a separate race for siblings (eihter too young or too old). In Boy Scouts, I saw the benefits of having 11 to 13 year old boys be in an environment with older boys that gave them a comfortable space to be awkward "tweens." Now, I see young men and women in a Venturing Crew operating at an amazing level of youth-led. The young women who join the Crew
  5. The BSA doesn't have any age / rank requirements for any position. Those are imposed by the Troop, typically the SM because the SM thinks that those requirements exclude people who are not qualified. Any requirement that is a proxy for ability to lead really shouldn't exist. The criteria should be the scouts ability to lead despite any arbitrary requirement. The popularity issue shouldn't exist. If the SPL's role is defined as making sure the Troop succeeds through supporting the PLs and the troop-wide PORs such as Quartermaster, Troop Guide and Instructors, then the SPL will find the
  6. We purchased authentic Indian arrows (or so the website said) and the parents painted them using various stripes for various ranks and achivements. For example, a broad orange stripe for Tiger, a yellow stripe for Wolves, a blue stripe for Bear, red stripes for Webelos 1 and green for Webelos 2. Thin silver and gold stripes for arrow points, purple for World Conservation, a stripe for each of the Webelos awards earned, etc. It was a fun activity for a group of parents who got to be friends over the five years of Cub Scouts.
  7. 44 Scouts 1 SM 9 ASMs (6 that will camp with the unit) 10 Committee (Including Committee Chair, Popcorn Chair, Treasurer, Advancement Chair and 6 members at large) 11 Crew Members 5 Advisors 3 Committee
  8. Leadership isn't what happens when things are going well. Leadership is what happens when things don't go as planned. What you saw was scouts stepping up and leading. That was a direct result of you giving them permission to lead.
  9. Congratulations. The best advice I can give is one thing I kept repeating to myself as I worked with a bunch of youth to start a new Venturing Crew -- "Begin as you intend to continue."
  10. We've gotten the adults to camp anc cook separately from the scouts on both the Troop and Crew outings. The adult leaders have bonded much like a patrol and we tend to work together seamlessly. We also informally teach each other skills, show each other gear and generally learn from each other. It takes the new parents a little getting used to camping away from the scouts, but they find that they enjoy themselves. Honestly, I think the best part is just being able to relax with a bunch of friends.
  11. This: And this: We always seem to have the CC and two or three committee members at each meeting. There also are some Dads that that aren't registered that sit in when needed. It is only a major production if the adults make it one.
  12. This is the most important post to read in the whole thread. I find that the Scouting even can change the adults' behavior. I've forgotten how many times I've had to e-mail parents and tell them that their son should be the one responding or corresponding with me and how many times parents try to give me money or permission slips and I tell them to give it to their son to handle.
  13. By the time the zero tolerance policy is used, it has already failed in its purpose. The poliies were designed to deter behavior, if someone does not heed the deterence an engages in the prohibited behavior (by inadvertance, accident or intentional act -- which it is doesn't matter for zero tolerance) then the policy has failed. Discretion, on the other hand, allows for the same deterence -- knowing there will be a consequence -- but also allows for recognition of the wrong, the ability to redress the wrong and an opportunity to prove that you have learned from the mistake.
  14. @@David CO, I agree that drug use is inconsistent with the values of scouting -- physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. I doubt any of us disagree with you on that. However, the question is how do you react to finding drug use by a scout? A zero tolerance policy (i.e. one infraction however minor and you are out of the unit for good) is great for the unit or sponsoring organization because it releives the unit of the problem and provides a seemingly clear conscience -- we did what the rules say we do and what we told you we would do. But what about the scout? I believe th
  15. So in our Chapter, the boys who are active are going to go around to the Troops and run the elections. A step up from adults coming in and running them. The Chapter meeting next month is bowling - my son already has it on my calendar. We have a day of service at a community park in December that sounds like a lot of fun and our banquet in February. The Lodge has a ceremonies team and just started a drum team., The level of youth leardership is great. My son thinks that OA is one of the best parts of scouting.
  16. Yep. I think that happened without any encouragement from me. We had two new Venturers show up at yesterday's meeting. Now at 11 (6 young woman and 5 young men).
  17. This weekend was the Crew's first overnight camping trip. The crew did a 10 mile bike ride in September. In October, we did a shakedown hike for a planned AT backpacking trip. Unfortunately, the trip had to be cancelled because several of crew members who panned to go couldn't make it for valid reasons (severe cold, death of relative, injury on a 50 mile bike ride the weekend before, etc.) and the weather looked awful (40s and raining all weekend). So our November trip was going to our council camp and doing the COPE course. We only had 5 out of the 9 crew members but it was great. Th
  18. Nothing Taboo at all. As a Boy Scout my son is very involved in the Order of the Arrow (a scouting service organization) in our council, is applying to staff the National Youth Leadership Training program (where youth teach youth to lead) in one council to the north of us and applying to serve on summer camp staff for another council to the north of us. Our Troop does weekend camping in camps across the area in various councils - more than 10 councils in three years. As @@frankpalazzi said, some councils give preference to their own units or scouts, but there is no prohibition.
  19. At one point the Troop's rule was any scout first class and above could sign off on the ST21 requirements. I'm not sure if that is still the rule. Currently, we encourage scouts to have requirements signed off by their PL, APL or the Troop Guide assigned to the patrol. We like the person to be someone who saw them fulfill the requirement or taught them. The SPL and ASPLs can sign off but rarely do. For the Star, Life and Eagle ranks, the SM signs off based on a discussion with the scout (how did you meet this requirement) and a review of the advancement records (which merit badges have be
  20. I see good fire-building as a collection of maxims: You need six things to a fire: ignition source, tinder kindling, fuel, oxygen and patience. If a piece of wood is wet on the outside, it is dry on the inside. Never use a piece of wood that doesn't break with a snap -- if it bends it won't burn. Look for wood that is smaller than your wrist that you can break easily Look for wood that is off the ground (i.e. branch that fell against another tree) If the ground is wet, build the fire off the ground (lay some wood on the ground and put the tinder on top of the wood) Leaves and needles are
  21. Eagle90: I haven't found battery operated lanterns that use rechargable batteries that are suitable for base camping (I like that better than "car camping" or "stop and plop camping"). Our troop has gone to using the refillable propane tanks with stands. We are planning on purchasing smaller propane tanks here: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Worthington-Pro-Grade-4-25-lb-Propane-Tank/3089591to replace the larger 20 pound tanks. We also use the tanks and stand pipes for cooking. That way, we aren't throwing away 4 to 6 of the Coleman fuel tanks for each campout. Faith: I have a go
  22. Ours is $24 per scout and $1 insurance. Council supports itself with popcorn, fundraisers, summer camp, camporees, scout shop and FOS. The claim that the Fair Labor Standards Act caused the issue is spurious at best. All they need to do is take the current weekly salary (say, divide it by the number of hours spent a week, including time and a half for overtime, and then translate it into an annual salary. So if someone is making $30,000 per year working 50 hours a week, the salary could be set at $10 an hour. $10 x 40 hours = $400 plus $10 x 15 (10 hours overtime at time and a half)
  23. This makes no sense if two-deep leadership is only required on overnight outings.
  24. We've done a bunch of 3 day, 20 milers on the AT in New Jersey. Our Troop has talked about doing a section down in Shenandoah National Park. My son and I have talked about doing the 100 Mile Wilderness the summer after his senior year in high school as the capstone to our Boy Scout careers. Best adventure yet was doing the section from High Point, NJ to Sunrise Mountain, NJ with my son (just the two of us) over a three day weekend in November two years ago. We still need to go from High Point to the NY line so I can claim to have done the entire AT... in New Jersey.
  25. The requirements for the MB remain the same. The boys still need to demonstrate the requirements to the Merit Badge Counselor. But rather than having the MCB "teach" the boys, we are having ohter boys do the teaching. The requirements don't say how the boy is supposed to learn the skills. In my opinion, the best way to master skills is to teach it. The other option is to have the MBC run the meeting for a month and do the teaching... that wouldn't be very boy-led, would it? I think that the experience of the SPL coordinating with the PLs to have each patrol teach part of the merit badge
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