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Posts posted by oddball

  1. My son and I are going to be provisional campers at Swamp Base this year.  We're leaving Fredericksburg, VA heading to Lafayette, LA.  Looking for advice on places to camp along the way.


    Overnight stops will be:

    1. Somewhere close to Chatanooga, TN on the way down.

    2. Spartanburg, SC, or Charlotte, NC on the way back.


    Does anyone know of any good campgrounds, which allow tent camping near either location?  We would be interested in local outdoor attractions where we could do some exploring.




  2. Part of me wants to ask the parents about the "secret" boy scout campouts their boys have been going on, so maybe my son can be invited.  

    Like anything else, it's up to what the boys and leaders come up with.  An organization to which I belong has hosted several OA functions on our grounds.  Looked pretty boring to tell you the truth.

  3. From their standpoint, giving out their e-mail address and creating an account is a "big deal" to only take a likely one time 30+ minute online course. Reminds them of financial planners, etc, who offer a "free" course but require you to register and provide all that marketing information for future spam.


    Too bad, we needed their help.

    And they are the crew whining about what a crappy job the ASMs are doing no doubt.

  4.  Neither could I. But that doesn't keep me from knowing what is right or wrong. Walking on water or not this mother was WRONG.


     Neither could I. But that doesn't keep me from knowing what is right or wrong. Walking on water or not this mother was WRONG.

    I figured there was more to the story.  Not defending the woman at all, but saying we're all subject to doing or saying imprudent things. 

  5.  and I've met mediocre non-Eagle Scouters.

    Like me - was a Bear and Webelos I 45 years ago.  Sometimes, we're all that's available.  I do the best I can, but I'm learning it as my son does.  I just have to  not let the boys know I am only one or two steps ahead of them.

  6. Young'n,


    Welcome to life.  The simple fact is, 1 out of 15 of you is mature enough to be in a boy-led troop.  Doesn't get any better in the adult workplace. 


    Maybe there is this super-troop out there where everyone pulls their weight and the boys can lead, but it's probably a smaller troop. 


    I just got back from camp with 25 of my boys. 


    The SPL checked out, and didn't do much of anything all week (except for text his parents on the phone he snuck along).  And no, I didn't take it away, but did ask him if his integrity was worth the ability to text.


    The ASPL tried to pick up the slack, but most boys wouldn't listen to him.


    The duty roster was ignored by the vast majority of the scouts.


    The most mature boys, other than the ASPL Star scout were all 2nd class and below.  The bulk were my new scouts.


    I'd swear many of these boys are so lazy they have someone to come in and wipe for them in the mornings. 


    Now you might take your 4 or 5 friends who are mature enough for a boy-led troop, along with a couple of ASMs who would find that refreshing, and find or found one of these super-troops where every scout takes care of business.  I'd like to know how you will handle the scout who will do nothing, or the scout who is a babysitting problem.  And how about those "syndrome" scouts?  Are you versed enough to handle them?  Will your new super-troop shun "problem children".


    I'd suggest that these super-troops are full of scouts who want to be there, rather than scouts whose parents pushed them into it.  Eagle looks good on those college applications, don't you know.


    Now, if you and your buddies can show the ASMs and SM you can handle the troop, then by all means try it.  Demand your PLs have duty rosters, sleeping assignments, etc. in writing before your next camp out.  Have equipment checks and uniform inspections.  Practice leave no trace. 


    But most importantly, before you accuse the adults, look at the boys.  I do believe I've had to light fires for most all my life scouts.  Are you a troop which can be boy led?


    Now for all you keyboard commandoes who will chide me for being such a cynical ASM...  PM me and I'll invite you along to summer camp next year.

  7. Not an LDS, but served with plenty over my military career.  I don't believe I could call one a slacker, though I have heard them use various terms for the less involved members of their religion.


    So the LDS religion/culture is a little different than some other folks may be used to. Their culture demands one be heavily involved in the church, and live their faith.


    IIRC, one of my old LDS colleagues told me it's like this with scouting (could be wrong, but like I said, IIRC):

    - every boy is supposed to participate in the BSA.

    - the bishop (an LDS bishop is like a pastor in the heierarchy of things) is either the scoutmaster, or directly appoints the scoutmaster. 

    - the bishop/sm then appoints committee members, ASMs, etc. sort of depending upon their position within their local church (stake, I think they call them).


    Thus, if you are a devout Mormon, and are called upon by the bishop to perform service as an ASM, you don't refuse. 


    All this said, we're all volunteers, regardless of faith, most of us work unless we are fortunate enough to be retired, an do the best we can with the time we have.

  8. It's always sad to hear about things like this.  My condolences to his family.


    It should remind us all to work on getting in better shape.  I just came back from scout camp, and observed that a majority of us are "over 50" (years of age and/or pounds overweight).  Everyone says to me I don't look fat, but my BMI precludes me from going on HA trips.

  9. For the sake of argument, let's put aside the obvious problem of vacation time aside.



    I don't think you can do this. I'm blessed with more PTO than I can usually take, but many are not. And this, I feel is the bottom line, right there with camp fees.


    But, let's remember an instructor and a MBC can be two separate people. For example, I was reminded by a Cherokee and former ASM, that he could most definitely instruct all the Indian Lore essentials, then I as an MBC could evaluate the scout's knowledge.

  10. No, I think you failed to do the right thing. All too often I see these "Peter Pan" dads in scout uniforms who flagrantly violate BSA policies.


    I sometimes hike a half mile or more to have a cigarette so the boys don't see me, but having come to the realization all the boys know I smoke, I'm giving that up on camp outs. Are these guys such alcoholics they cannot make it through a weekend without a drink?


    Where does it stop? If a little wine, in violation of BSA policies is alright, can I then ignore other policies and carry my handgun concealed (I have a permit)?

    What about states where weed is now legal? Is it ok to hike out and twist up a doobie, as long as the boys don't see you?

  11. I have to through a flag on the "too young to advance" mentality. Remember Clown Boy from another of my posts? He's only 12, and has had everything done for Star except for a leadership / service project done since June of this year. His buddy Aspergers boy is right there with him too - swimming is the only thing which was holding him back.


    As a matter of fact, Clown boy is two merit badges, hard time, and a service project/leadership role from Life (I think Aspergers boy has all the merit badges he needs for Life done).


    (ok, I'm going to get busted anyway, so yes, clown boy is my son). His Star SM approved service project is more involved than a number of Eagle projects I've seen approved.


    If he does pull off Eagle at 14, who gives a flying flip that he's only 14? Completed merit badges (not the pencil-whipped ones) are how we measure a scouts progress, with a verification via SM conference and BOR.


    I'll guarantee you, if you think about it, some of your 6,569 day old Life scouts do no better at their EBOR than Young Pup did at his Star BOR.


    Rock on, Young Pup!

  12. So my son and I went out today to work on his SM approved service project for his Star rank. Our C.O. is a church, which operates a food pantry, so he's going to hang out in front of grocery stores once per month for 6 months and run a food drive.


    Temps in the 30s, but he made it 3-1/2 hours, and collected enough food to fill two shopping carts to overflowing. He also received $125.00 in cash donations. With the city food bank charging $0.19 per lb, to privately operated pantries, that cash will let the C.O. buy a little over 650 lbs more food.


    With Christmas coming this week, I guessed folks would be pretty generous. We'll see how January goes, but I hope we can help keep the pantry stocked.


    In reviewing today's work with my son, I outlined all the good this project will do:

    1. Most importantly, feed the hungry.

    2. Assist the church's pantry with its mission (the pantry manager told us tonight the pantry's budget had been cut).

    3. Give people an opportunity to actively be charitable. By buying an extra can or two of food, they think about what they might need themselves were they hungry, they participate actively in feeding the hungry.

    4. Well, let's face it, asking folks to spend more money in the grocery store helped them out a bit, but that's ok, as they let us sell popcorn even though they do too.

    5. Provided the boys in the troop a community service opportunity.

    6. Reflected positively on the BSA. (a woman gave us a bag of groceries, and in tears, hugged me, telling me when her husband got out ot the military, they had nothing, and would have gone hungry had it not been for church food pantries).

    7. Taught him something about people and how to interact with them.

    8. And of course, his hard work will merit his advancement.


    Anyone else doing recurring community service projects? Let's hear about them!

    • Upvote 1

  13. A recent experience has me thinking a mountain is being made out of a molehill, or an isolated incident is being touted as commonplace. Or perhaps we are projecting our own lechery onto our children?


    Case in point. I was a timer at my daughter's swim meet last night. Boys/young men in Speedos, girls/young ladies in skin tight swim suits. The was no ogling, groping, drooling, etc. on the parts of either the male or female athletes. Lots of high-fives, and a couple of hugs, but no sneaking off to the dark corners of the pool.


    Maybe it is the adult leaders who need to check themselves.

  14. You seriously aren't asking us to donate money for you to work at the jambo?


    I am guessing you should skip a couple of weekends at the range and pay for it yourself


    Given your other post today, I will choose to forgive your uncalled for rudeness and hostility. Please indicate where I asked any member of this forum for money?


    You, sir, have no idea who I am, what my financial situation may be, or how much I spend out of my pocket on scouting already.


    I am not ashamed to ask for a little help with the ridiculous volunteer fee associated with Jamboree. If anything, putting it out there to parents might remind them there's more costs to scouting than meet the eye. Just a week''s vacation to do Jamboree might cost me well over $1,000. Why shouldn't any Jambo volunteer ask for help making a national event available to thousands of scouts?

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