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Longhaired_Mac last won the day on July 24 2014

Longhaired_Mac had the most liked content!

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About Longhaired_Mac

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 09/27/1975

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    East Wenatchee, WA
  • Occupation
    Small Business Owner
  • Interests
    Fatherhood, Archery, Hiking, Camping, Fishing, Scouts.
  • Biography
    Bobcat to Arrow of Light, Scout to Eagle, a few palms and OA as well.
    Had a false start back into scouts as a parent with my step-son but I'm no longer with his mother and he is no longer in scouts. Now it's my son's turn. He'll be joining Tiger Cubs in the fall in a pack of the Apple Valley Dist. of the Grand Columbia Council, and starting up the ranks.

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  1. Longhaired_Mac

    GoFundMe for Eagle Projects

    I'm not up to date on official positions on this matter but when I did my project back in the day National had made a point of preference. They preferred the projects be of service, implying work, so that no one could make the claim that a boys family bought him his Eagle. Yes realistically you have to raise funds for supplies at times but similar to OA the project should be about service to the community. If your prospective Eagle needs money because he can't find suppliers that will donate materials then you are left with finding funds to purchase what is needed. And it's my understanding that begrudgingly National says it's ok. But the focus still needs to be on the SERVICE project. How the scouts raise funds and the frustration of working within parameters set by others is just part of the learning. If the local council or district or troop leadership want to put limits on how the project gel's done, well that's unfortunate but the process of going around them or fighting them is going to be at least as consuming as trying to find alternate means of accumulating donations in the first place. I guess it comes down to what lessons the scouts need to learn. As far as crowd funding, when laws and fiances are being dealt with responsibly, there really shouldn't be a problem.
  2. Longhaired_Mac

    New Volunteers vs the Old Guard

    I'm afraid I don't know the best course of action here but I can share my own experience. I'd not been involved with scouts for sometime other than buying popcorn or donating to eagle projects and such. A few years back I married a gal and her son was in cubs already. I started taking him to his meeting and easing into being involved as it was a very new dynamic to be on the parent side of things in scouts. For a while he chose to stop scouts and involve himself more in sports. When he started making rather poor choices I put my foot down and said back to scouts. I didn't know how to fix the problem but I figured Scouts couldn't hurt and maybe more one-on-one time with me would be beneficial too. By that time he was old enough to start with a troop. We shopped around, first with my old troop. Very disappointing venture there, it was closing within a year or so and only that long because they wanted to get the last 2 senior boys through their eagle projects. Then a troop that had it going on, lots of boys of various ages, the Lutheran church that held the charter supported the troop very well, and my step-son already knew a few boys from school. So here is where I freaked-out. I was taking him to meetings and hanging around when they asked for volunteers then out of no where my son tells everyone I was an Eagle and the best scout around. Being introverted this shot my embarrassment up a notch but I just smiled and waved it off. However, the SM who had been running this well oiled troop for nearly 15 years and well past his own boys tenure makes the grand statement that I should be the next Scout Master with all my experience and all the parents looked right at me. A very uncomfortable few minutes while they waited for my response and I remained a deer caught in the headlights. The SM paid his dues and someone has to let him escape eventually, But I felt on the spot and completely overwhelmed. There is a big difference in helping boys tie knots or keeping an eye on them if the SM leaves the room and knowing parents, encouraging scouts, and working council members. Little came from it as I divorced and even though I said I would continue to take my step-son to scouts he chose to quit. My involvement with the troop dwindlwed and stopped as well. Now I know Moms and Dads that are ready to go gung-ho for their kids in anyway and other parents want to be supportive of their kids, but I have seen plenty of parents step back when they feel like something is about to get dumped in their lap. Some people have the "Pilgrim's Zeal" from the get go and others need to mosey in at their own speed. When the different types mix it doesn't always go so well. For me I need to go one brick in a wall at a time and feel secure in what I'm doing, others are taking arm loads and figuring it out on the way. Timing and pace have always been key to preventing burnout but it can really be as important and help with recruiting parents as well.
  3. Longhaired_Mac

    Resistance to OA

    Glad your boy reconnected and was able to participate in Lodge again. I remember a fellow named Number Seven, seems like he did go on a bit from time to time. Usually when work needed to be done or some emergency was going on. Troop drama, Lodge drama, social networking drama...it's enough to make you want to run off to some mountain top and be a hermit or something. But politics and drama have been around for a long time and I suppose realistically they are here to stay. Best we can do is make sure the scouts' critical thinking is sharpened enough to cut through the nonsense when needed.
  4. Longhaired_Mac

    Resistance to OA

    Honestly I think there might be a rant coming so forgive me if this goes into chapters or novellas. I haven't been active in OA since the 90's, I know my old lodge has merged a time or two since then, and as a parent now I really don't know what my role or participation in OA will be in the future. But I do remember why I accepted being tapped. I was made to feel special. When I got my arrow of light and joined a troop I was ready for the big stuff. The 50 milers and such. And just as I came in all the senior scouts went out. A few got their eagle, more transferred out to other troops, and others just stopped coming. All of the sudden the Scouts and Tenderfoots WERE the senior scouts. I was ready to learn camping and wilderness survival, I didn't want to be the next Rambo but I sure wanted to be able to if I had to be. And all the experienced teachers evaporated. So I studied hard. I could tie any of the knots put to me blindfolded and behind my back. Of the 8 or so different types of tents the troop owned I could set them all up in 5 minutes flat. I might not have had a grizzly named Ben, but I wanted to be just as at home in the woods as Adams. I was quiet and shy, introverted to the point of being mute in school from 6th through 12th grade. But at meetings or on the trail I had confidence and did and said what was needed. When the OA dance team came around I thought THAT IS AWESOME! I want to do that. And when I learned you had to be voted in I blew it off as one more thing that wasn't for me because voting meant a popularity contest and I might have been gaining leadership but I wouldn't think of myself as popular. No matter how much my SM stressed that we were voting on the best campers in the troop, the best service people, the best ect.. I still assumed others would vote the popular charismatic person. So when I got tapped I was shocked. My troop understood my interest and recognized my contributions. Not my Mom or Dad, not a SM that might have pity on me, but my peers. It meant a lot to me. The ordeal was nothing. Working all day at my favorite Summer Camp was cool. I got to see areas I hadn't known existed and became pals, equals of sorts with the councilors I'd known for years, if only in brief 1 week encounters. Did I like digging holes for new outhouses? No. Did I enjoy eating the one egg in the morning? No, I about vomited because I hate eggs, always have. For the first time I was shoulder to shoulder with SM's and ASM's and senior scouts as an equal. We were all Ordeal and even if we couldn't talk..we could smile or wave or high five. I've spent far worse weekends in a hotel on vacation with wife and kids than I did for my Ordeal weekend. It's a day of bonding in service. Which is quite different from hazing. After that I went to a few Conclaves, the NOAK in 92, helped a few Arrowmen with the Eagle serve projects. By that time I was 15 or 16 I was pushing hard to get my Eagle so the Lodge took a back seat. But I have always been proud of my lodge patch on my uniform when I received my Eagle. I didn't just plod along on a course set for me. I proved myself, and my peers recognized the difference in the quality of my "Path." Now I don't recall why I didn't get Brotherhood and maybe it's waiting for me as an adult as an ASM, But I do recall my frustration with not having more elections in my troop until well after my time with the troop had passed. The other scouts didn't like the idea of an ordeal. Of extra work. Everything I saw as a new challenge to test myself they saw as a negative. I had a poor opinion of myself and I thought if I can do it anyone should be able to and I was frustrated because they didn't even want to try. And I think that sentiment has grown in the years since I was a boy. Instant gratification and a sense of entitlement are very political terms and come easily but they seem very fitting to the situation. Can OA make the boys scouting experience harder? Certainly, just as a rotten SM who has been at it too long can. Can lodge and troop functions and outings choke a schedule? Yes, just like family and work and any hope of a hobby does for us adults. It all still falls under learning and growth. You get out of scouting what you put into it. If you want it to be negative it sure can be. And just as easily you can put positivity in and reap positive results. I'm sure it sounds ignorant to those who view OA in the negative but my bottom line is: If there is an aspect you don't like then get involved and help make changes. If you don't want to be involved then don't be, but let the boys make their own decisions about it.
  5. Longhaired_Mac

    Walking Stick issue - Am I overreacting?

    This thread has long since been left behind but like many things in life and scouting I think it will circle around again. So my2 bits worth: I hate carrying a hiking stick in when I'm fresh footed and energized, yet so very happy for it on the way out...or at least nearing the end of the trail for the day. Decorating staffs can be a great teaching moment for Totin' Chip cards. Teaching scouts to weave a quick-deploy grip out of paracord brings home the "Be prepared" slogan. In so many ways they can be used on the trail, in the camp, and even during service projects. Banning them seems over the top and teaching the scouts the uses of a tool highly rewarding. I have collected images across the web and grouped them in a Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/charlesmcguffey/boy-scout-of-america-hiking-staves/ Now a hook in the eye, a butt to someones brake-light...well 10 times as many accidents can come from having a hiking staff around than if it wasn't there. But that is what happens with groups of kids. I remember being on a hike when i was maybe 14 with my troop. One of the boys thought it would be fun to kick a rock down hill. It was a bit bigger than a bowling ball and probably at least 20 pounds. And as it cut across several switchbacks and alarm went up for the rest of the troop below. No one was hurt but by the time the rock had made it to the trail head and parking area it had begun to jump higher and go faster building momentum, right until it slammed into the back of an ASM's truck. The ASM didn't have kids and had joined as a friend of the SM. The boy who kicked it down hill was the nephew of the SM. In the end the matter was settled out of scouts between friends and family I suppose. But the rest of that 5 mile hike and 3 day weekend campout the rest of the boys were waiting for a bear of an outburst from all the adults. Saftey was stressed, responsibility and conservation was covered, but no real consequence was shown. BUT we all had learned the lesson. Sometimes no matter how cautious you are with kids, no matter how strict you are, or even how hard you drive yourself crazy trying to prevent bad things from happening to them, someone is going to do something foolish or ignorant before the concept of safety is drilled into their heads. As they say, everyone is born for a reason, unfortunately some are born to be examples of what not to do. So back on topic, If you are a parent and you don't want your child hurt from a swinging staff, remove them from the activity. If you feel the activities are inappropriate take into account the setting and environment and what other supervision is taking place and reconsider your position. If its a troop meeting, inside, or close quarters then any adult should recognize the bad choice occurring. If it's outside on the trail, take the time to discuss how to use the tool correctly. if they don't know better then someone has to tell them that first time. Discuss it with the other supervision concerns so that you both have input on the situation. If it continues and you are still concerned, then run it up the line....to the council if you really feel that strongly about it. I've known troops to use staffs in a modified burpee of sorts as discipline measures or just part of morning calisthenics. Some PL's are inspired to teach their patrol the positions and movements of the staff for display and flag teams similar to what military personnel do with rifles. There are positive and structured activities that allow the scouts to carry their staff, but supervision will always make the difference. Parenting and scouting are hard and there isn't one true way to do it just yet. Do the dance, 2 steps in doing to much, 2 steps out not doing enough, a spin here runs a scout to the first-aide kit, a jump there gets them to a productive adulthood. \
  6. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    I've put together a pinterest board on hiking sticks and scouting. I've taken all the pics from the web so perhaps it's nothing new to anyone, still might be worth a look. http://www.pinterest.com/charlesmcguffey/boyscout-hiking-sticks/
  7. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    the pictures didn't post in the forum here for some reason. I tried again but got an actual error message this time. I was able to post them in my profile under the visitors log. http://www.scouter.com/member/43602-longhaired_mac/media
  8. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Sorry about the blurring, couldn't quite keep my hands steady this evening.
  9. Longhaired_Mac

    Debugging and Suggestions for new SCOUTER.com

    I had a 4 stuck for abit but for several weeks, maybe even a few months I've had a big red 2 that is rather annoying at this point.
  10. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Sorry, My hiking stick or my Sons?
  11. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    http://www.scoutstuff.org/bsa/gifts-...s-shields.html In-case the link doesn't work, go through Scoutstuff.com's drop-down menu as Gifts & Gift Cards>Outdoor>Medallions & Shields There are more medallions, mostly wood badge, at http://www.boyscoutstore.com/awards-...ick-medallions And then Philmont Specific medallions here http://www.toothoftimetraders.com/Walking-Staff-Shields/9102/Dept BTW, My son got a blue ribbon for his Hiking stick, AND Best of Class for it in the Boy Scout division. He is very proud of his ribbons and is already planning out a new design for another staff for next years county fair. Instead of fancy medallions he is researching "Survival Staves" on YouTube.
  12. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    sorry, got wrapped up in back to school stuff and end of summer Court of Honor. Will track down the link and post it soon.
  13. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Thanks for the info...
  14. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    I know its not a patch but this still seemed the logical place to ask this question. My folks bought me a walking stick with a "once and Eagle always and Eagle" medallion on it a few years back as an Xmas gift. As my son has gotten into scouts I've bought other medallions showing badges and ranks I earned. Now my son has done some wood carving/whittling on a hiking staff to enter into the county fair coming up. He's carved a basic design, made a spiral para-chord hand grip, sand and stained it, set a compass in the head of it, and now he has started putting his first hopefully of many scout medallions into it. He wants to earn all the ones I did and more which is great, but as he looks for things to do for other medallions he has come across one I don't know anything about and have had limited success in researching it. On Scoutstuff.org there is a hiking medallion that is called, "I Made It" and in its circumference it says U.S. Geological Survey - Bench Mark with an empty center as if to have it engraved. I glanced at the survey MB book but didn't see any mention of it. Can anyone tell us its meaning and where we can read up on it?
  15. Longhaired_Mac

    sewing patches on pockets

    This is an old topic but since I haven't read how our family does it I thought I'd throw it out there. In the late 90's I would hand stitch my patches and I didn't like it. When I was 15 or so I went to a yard sale and found this handheld sewing machine like new for 10 bucks. It looked like a large stapler and I could stitch a patch on clean in about a minute no problem. No sewing pockets closed or anything. Now I have seen those machines on infomercials so I know they are still out there available. I might even have one hidden in the deepest darkest corners of a closet somewhere. So that is one idea no one has mentioned yet. Here is a link to one at Penneys I found in a quick search. Looks like most are under $20 but some get spendy. http://www.jcpenney.com/for-the-home/storage-or What we do now however is a bit if a cheat for sure, but came into use out of necessity. We now use a tool called a Buttoneer. $10 at Walmart. It is supposed to be used to stitch buttons on in an emergency. It's basically a plastic staple that a palm sized machine pushes through the patch and pocket. We started using it in cubs when the boys would rough house and a patch would get fully or partially ripped off. We didn't want angry mom's calling us later that night, again, so we would put a few of the stitches in and remind the boy to tell his mom. He either forgot or the moms figured we had fixed it well enough. That scenario moved to some of the boys wanting their ranks on their shirts as soon as they were awarded them. So click click and it was done. Refills can be a pain to get but it packs the size of a sewing kit and has been very handy at camps when secondhand clothing needed hemmed and other situations. http://www.walmart.com/msharbor/ip/1...0&veh=mweb:sem