Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Longhaired_Mac

  1. Longhaired_Mac

    Cub Leader who pays for Woodbadge

    I haven't gone through the WB training yet (plan to next Oct) But I came across this vid clip and it really seems to speak to the Ideas behind the WB. On multiple levels. And maybe an idea as to who should be paying for it as well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. \
  7. 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?
  8. 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/
  9. 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
  10. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Sorry about the blurring, couldn't quite keep my hands steady this evening.
  11. 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.
  12. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Sorry, My hiking stick or my Sons?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Longhaired_Mac

    Need info on Hiking medallion

    Thanks for the info...
  16. 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
  17. Longhaired_Mac

    Skits for Scouts

    I was wondering if anyone has seen a skit like this done in scouts before? I recall something similar done by OA guys during the evening campfires at summer camp but it involved some stomping as well. (20 err or so years ago) But haven't seen anything like this done since then, and it has always stuck in my mind as pretty awesome. I remember alot of us trying to repeat it for months after seeing it.
  18. Longhaired_Mac

    Camps, Modern over Rustic, whats happing to the camps?

    I've already posted my thoughts on this topic but this last weekends family camp-out has brought something to mind I thought I would share all the same. I used to read Pat McManus books on the trail because clean camp humor really lifts the spirit when a downpour is ruining fine and well thought out plans. As I got older and more confident in my place in the troop, I would sometimes read a story or 2 or 3 in the evening by the campfire aloud for the benefit of those who didn't know how to play Rummy or Cribbage, or at least couldn't ever win a hand. More and more the humor kind of ran out as those I met in camps or on the trail morphed into Glampers. The experiences in camping just weren't the same and the laughs were lost to them. Now as my kids are getting old enough to be taught how to do "age appropriate camp chores" without killing themselves or their mother, I've dug Pat's books out and begun reading them aloud to the kids before lights-out. As my children experience some of the hardships in being outside and preparing food and shelter in a more primitive fashion, they are picking up on the humor and giggling the brisk evenings away. One of the first books of Pat McManus I ever read, "A Fine and Pleasant Misery," really kind of sums up the nostalgia of scouting for myself. The short story talks about how camping has changed with light weight tents and sleeping bags, propane camp stoves and dehydrated meals. How a camper used to suffer such misery just to tell stories about the trip the entire month following to his co-works and friends. And then plan greater trips for greater adventures and better stories. Now I always liked hearing our SM's tell humorous or even spooky stories of their own camp experiences...it started the rest of us sharing and joking about difficulties and hardships. Group therapy I suppose. The camp-outs didn't just bond us scouts together but taught us we could survive and do it better next time. Laugh at past mistakes and move on. It prepared us better for dealing with stress and hardships in life. It had us wanting to go camping more so we could correct past mistakes and have even better stories of our own to share. I think as summer camps continue to morph into Glamps, the Boys are missing out on life lessons. Plug-and-play scout camps accomplish merit badge accumulation and some time away from mommy, but what are they really providing? Are the Boys learning to work with peers instead of isolating themselves? Maybe. Are they learning to laugh at past disappointments instead of holding on to festering resentments? Less likely but maybe. Are they learning to take some lumps and persevering instead of bringing a handgun to school to fix a childish squabble? Not so far as I have noticed, the adults learn enabling quite well though. How are kids suppose to understand priorities in life if they have nothing in their experience to compare to anything else? Because a 10 year old melting down at camp because his porridge doesn't have fake apple flavoring in it is in fact no where near the hardship of having numb fingers and shivering in the cold wind while being frustrated on your 10th attempt to start the fire in the morning so you can cook your porridge or have to go without. I'm not advocating any kind of cruelty to force hardships on kids, though many children believe any form of summer camp is exactly that, but I do think Boys will become better men if they suffer a bit of misery due to natural consequences and struggles, and learn to laugh about it and move on. Check it out scouters: "A Fine and Pleasant Misery" (1978) by Patrick F. McManus ISBN-10: 0805000321
  19. As a dad I have to teach my children about rights, privileges, responsibilities, and consequences. The need for and the difference between them as well as what each looks like. It is not the Boy scouts job to parent my kids. By design the Boy scouts are values-based youth development organization that ADDS to my teachings as well as what school, church, and personal experiences provide but not replace. Expecting SM's to replace all parenting, regardless of training or personal experience, is just wrong. It so often starts out in Cubs when Den moms are used as free babysitters. The assumption that Scouting will fix a "bad seed" is ridiculousness and lazy. If you have to struggle this much with a scout then he needs to be removed from troop activities until he and his parents have figured things out. Now the parents or council may not go for that so natural consequences may need to be allowed to occur. This can be done without bullying or hazing. No food until morning duties are accomplished while at camp is a very good suggestion, hunger is a rather primal motivator, and no one died by being sent to bed without any dinner (so to speak). Putting less effort in to trying to get him to do anything, and more time into the other boys will leave him bored, lacking attention, and alone. His own sloth will become too much and he will seek you out. At that time you need to uphold the consequences that have been established for this boys behavior. An Amish shunning so to speak. More than likely he has already experienced some of this from the other boys. Peer pressure at that age is also a very strong motivator. Don't give up, but don't give in either. If you just can't figure it out then utilize your leadership structure and get help from others above.
  20. Longhaired_Mac

    Boy Scout kilts

    As scouting goes I think it would be great if the BSA would allow Utilikilts be worn at functions, dress or otherwise. The BSA logo embroidered on the front panel in gold on a green Survival model would look very sharp. I've had my denim Utilikilt for 15 years or so and have worn it to weddings, clubbing, BBQ's, and campouts. It has made hiking a lot easier when terrain is steep or involved any climbing. Camping has its benefits too. http://www.utilikilts.com/shop/survival.html
  21. Longhaired_Mac

    Ordeal labor used for service hours?

    I like this CPenn I think the double and triple dipping is used far to often to get a 12 and 13 year old Eagle. It's something I disagree with strongly. Service is just that, SERVICE. The Boys are doing a task to serve, to understand giving back and participating in their community. As with anything else, the more they do it the more practice accomplished the more the lesson is integrated into the Boy's character. The more it's done the easier it it for them to continue. I've known a few Eagles that had the whole troops help executing their Eagle Project and after that you couldn't drag them to another outing to help with service hours much less help another with their EP. Very disappointing. And if the Boy is standing around counting time then he isn't actually working and needs to get on with the service with a smile. I do think clear and direct conversations with the Boys about the honesty of double dipping needs to happen BEFORE they have a chance to make assumptions about it themselves or feel sabotaged.
  22. Longhaired_Mac

    Need Tent Suggestions

    Just saw this and had second thoughts about a troop of boys in hammocks. LOL!
  23. Longhaired_Mac

    Another mb question

    I'm certain there are multiple reasons for these regulations but the one I hear about the most is the concern of a parent signing off on things without any verification. A Boy shooting up the ranks because mom and/or dad want whats best for their son and unintentionally enable him rather than support him can be detrimental the his program and the troops in general. Similar but different is the household where mom and dad are trying their best but the zoo is a ZOO, so expectations are lower in order to manage other challenges in the home...as in "It's good enough for government work." This too is detremintal to the Boy's development because he will hit obstacles later on when side by side with others and the knowledge or skills are not equal. BUT another reason, is that sometimes parents want what's best and hold higher expectations for their son which comes out as overly critical behavior. This can stress the Boy but push him ahead, or it can stress the Boy and shove his nose to the ground. I don't know the SM so I can't say which of these are the more likely reason for his concerns and as such his request for the Boy to start changing it up a bit. He may feel mom is overly critical, or not critical enough. For all that the Boy himself might think mom is overly critical or not critical enough for his own needs and may have discussed it with the SM himself. So to christineka I would suggest you talk with your son about the pro and con's of continuing with you as a MB counselor for the full 7 or 8 badges you are allowed. Then if your son feels that the pro's outweigh the cons, as a concerned mother you should approach the SM and ask his reasoning's, share with him you and your sons own discussion, and decide if the change up needs to happen yet or not.
  24. Longhaired_Mac

    Harassed by SM

    There are probably "proper channels" to file complaints and concerns about the SM's behavior or processes to deal with him within the troop and they should be used. If sexual harassment is or isn't the correct pc term for what has happened doesn't really matter. There are really only 2 people who need to label or define the behavior, Chagrined Chair and the SM's wife. So I would take your concerns to his wife. Even if she gets upset with you and says she doesn't believe you, his poor behavior will stop.
  25. Longhaired_Mac

    Camps, Modern over Rustic, whats happing to the camps?

    I'm not going to go into my local councils choices on camps and their development and upgrades over recent years (leading to near bankruptcy, lots of hot feelings about that). I will say that the need for flushing toilets and hot showers and restaurant grade cooking facilities and/or staff usually aren't needs but expectations. Expectations are built on experiences. "Cat-holes" or "crapping-log latrines" were the norm for me when I went through scouts. My wife was brought up on a commune and as a teenager she worked as a river guide for her fathers white-water rafting company, both situations required primitive elimination habits of her. Our experiences have taught us we CAN take care of business without a toilet. Our expectations aren't what others are because of those experiences and so both of us can go into the backcountry and camp with no problems. We family camp probably every 3rd weekend from spring through fall and our kids have learned that they can go potty in the woods and the world won't end. We do have to watch the 5 year-old little miss from dropping trow in the front yard at home when nature calls but when shes older she will be empowered and capable of handling "emergencies" better than others who lack her experiences. Learning to be prepared isn't just about having camp gadgets and tools, a pocketknife or first aide kit on you at all times, or knowing which knot to use when. It includes practical mental processes and practiced skills to deal with everyday issues that emerge out of context. The move to GLAMPING shows the experiences behind the leadership and their expectations. I'm not putting down parent's or adult scouters, we all know sometimes if any parent steps-up to help its a miracle so any help should be met with gratitude. Just stating a fact of how camps become what they are.