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Rock Doc

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Everything posted by Rock Doc

  1. Rock Doc

    Any tips for conducting an ILST?

    Ditto SSScout... Our ILST is taught entirely by older scouts who are NYLT grads, so highly recommend reaching out to the District/Council or OA Lodge to find youth resources
  2. I agree with the concept of a development tree, although we don't currently have a specific track. As SM, I generally encourage scouts to explore troop leadership roles that interest them, rather than requiring a specific progression. We do however, strongly promote SEALS, NYLT, camp staff, and OA LEB roles, as we've seen that participation in these programs consistently leads to more successful SPLs.
  3. The process is outlined here: https://troopleader.scouting.org/assistant-senior-patrol-leader/ Electing an ASPL prevents the SPL from selecting his choice of assistant.
  4. The ASPL is not an elected position, the SPL appoints the ASPL with guidance from the SM
  5. Rock Doc

    Troop invited to Pack event, help needed

    The "Key 7" sounds great, but I'd also invite the SPL and the Crew President to make sure youth have a voice
  6. Rock Doc

    Worst things you seen taken to summer camp

    Vuvuzelas...dozens of them. They're now specifically banned in the Leaders Handbook!
  7. Rock Doc

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Just curious about the breakdown of the $40,000 annual budget. Our 40+ scout troop probably operates on a tenth of that amount. Are you including the costs for summer camp or super trips?
  8. First Class requirement 4b reads in part: "Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination." I'd be interested to hear your opinions on what you believe the underlying intent of this requirement is meant to be. For example, GPS can be used in a variety of environments and settings, including urban/suburban/backcountry/surface water bodies, etc. Since the last sentence requires the scout to physically follow the route chosen, would it be acceptable to follow the route while being driven from point to point with the scout calling out directions? Or is the intent to use GPS in concert with maps to plot a backcountry route avoiding difficult terrain or bushwacking? Or anything in between? It seems that the first option requires little to no skill and could be as simple as parroting an automotive GPS' verbal directions, while the latter could be quite challenging. Thoughts?
  9. We were in the same boat - older scouts not having the experience to teach the younger pre-First Class scouts. Our PLC decided to try GPS orienteering, essentially combining a skill they knew (map and compass-based navigation) with GPS coordinates to identify the control points. Hopefully, they will build upon this activity during extended backpacking trips and start to fully utilize GPS (way points, tracks, analyzing rate of progress over varied terrain to help refine future treks, etc) while retaining map reading skills.
  10. My crossovers do seem to struggle with the left handed, double cork 1080 alpine butterfly. Knots by Grog hasn't been helpful. Any suggestions?
  11. Thanks for all the great feedback. Sounds like the consensus is: Keep it FUN and don't make the requirement too burdensome! Suggest to the PLC that they consider teaching GPS skills using a simple short course at a local park or CO campus (maybe use geocaches as motivators?) Smartphones, dedicated GPS units, and fixed units all have pros/cons; learn them Incorporate GPS skills into campouts/activities to encourage mastery (not required for advancement) See if you can find a pilot to take you flying!!!
  12. Some good stuff here! We've found an Android smartphone app called "Backcountry Navigator" (free) does a nice job of allowing 7.5-minute quad topo downloads over wifi or cellular for use when there's no cell signal at all (smartphone GPS receiver still works without cell signal). Google Earth (free) is also great for selecting coordinates of features to be used in a GPS course. So, with a little prep it's pretty easy to set up a course in the local park, or even around a shopping mall or other large open space.
  13. I hear you and agree with your sentiment - not everything has to be geared around high adventure and skills are scaleable. I keep harping on the use of car-based GPS because Second Class scouts are almost always not yet driving and therefore couldn't independently apply the skills. That's why I'd lean towards teaching GPS skills at a local park or even the CO facility if it's reasonably large. A simple course could be set up with way points/coordinates to help scouts learn the device's input interface and understand the level of accuracy of different devices in different settings (tall buildings, tree cover, etc).
  14. Agreed! So, how would you react if a scout showed you a video of him being driven along his chosen route (using handheld or built-in system), and asked for credit for requirement 4b?
  15. I think that your comment "it would depend on the knowledge he gained from the experience" captures the problem precisely. We should not be making judgment calls to determine completion of rank requirements. It should be black and white. As to my perspective on the minimum skills that are intended to be learned, I'd lean towards learning how to use a GPS for backcountry travel rather than car-based travel. So, selecting a route between trail side campsites using coordinates rather than street addresses. I completely agree with wanting to promote the spirit of fun and adventure, and would never create abitrary roadblocks or hold scouts to higher standards than required. I just see the example I cited (programming a car navigation system and having a parent/guardian) drive the scout along the route as more befitting a Cub Scout, where it would be shared experience, but would not pose much of a challenge to a 11 or 12-yr-old (who is likely already coding, etc)
  16. Barry, You are correct, although this is a rank requirement not a MB. The text for 4b just seems a tad vague for a rank requirement. Would you give credit if a scout programmed a route into their parents/guardians car navigation system and were then driven along the route?
  17. I agree that we can't add to the rank requirement. However, people frequently end up driving into rivers, lakes, dead end streets, etc., by blindly following GPS directions, so truthing the chosen route using a map is a helpful cross check, even if not required. Also, scouts should understand the limitations of navigation devices that don't include a pre-loaded base map, for example many geocaching devices, that function more like an electronic compass.
  18. Rock Doc


    Has anyone in Venturing completed the new YPT? I'm hearing that it's missing coed issues as well as older teen concerns. Seems like the one-size fits all may not adequately address the Venturing program...
  19. Looking for input to help with an on-going "discussion". To determine if an event is greater than 72 hours in duration (requiring Health Form Parts A, B, and C, and 100% registered adult participation), do you include travel time to and from the event? The GTSS doesn't address the matter and neither did the old Tour Permit/Plan. My personal opinion is that travel typically poses greater risks than the actual on-site event, and should be included as part of the event. But I'm interested in your thoughts...
  20. Rock Doc

    When does a scouting event start/finish?

    Our council handles resident camp the same way, and travel time is only 30 minutes. We're looking at 6 hours round trip, which makes things a little different in my opinion
  21. Rock Doc

    When does a scouting event start/finish?

    I agree with your approach. The issue we're discussing is for a Webelos/AOL scout den campout 3 hrs from home. Most scouts will travel with their own parents, but a couple will be without parents and carpooling. Given the distance involved and ride-sharing, I see the travel as part of the event.
  22. Rock Doc


    If you are a Webelos/AOL Den Leader then you should absolutely take IOLS, as it prepares you to function as a patrol and will help you better prepare the AOLs for life in the troop.
  23. Long overdue! https://oa-bsa.org/article/2018-membership-update
  24. Our PLC meetings are also open to all youth who want to participate. It's usually just the SPL/ASPL, PLs, Scribe, and QM who attend. However, I think it's helpful for the APLs to attend occasionally to see how decisions are made and prepare them to become PLs in the future
  25. I never bought into the corner clipping scene. Our scouts saw it as a badge of honor to have corners missing... We just take the card and require that they go without for a couple of events, and then re-earn the privilege. This seems to get the message across, and we rarely have repeat offenders