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Rock Doc

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Everything posted by Rock Doc

  1. Wee man should be fine as you suggest. As for you, I'd go with an insulated air pad (Big Agnes, REI, etc.). They're close to 3-inches thick and allow plenty of isolation from the odd root or rock. Air mattresses are bulky and cold, you'd need to use the thermarest on top of the mattress to prevent a chilly night. Good luck!
  2. As a non-Wood Badger, but with 20+ years of scouting experience, just remember that scouts don't know or care about Wood Badge. They only care about what you say and do, and how you treat them. So, use your training wisely, and remember that this journey is not about you, it's about developing tomorrow's leaders.
  3. First crew adventure was ATV riding. All participants completed their ATV safety certificate and then rode all weekend! We're a pay as you go crew right now, but starting to build a fundraising culture. Get involved with your council VOA for local connections, and reach out to the Areas and Regions to attend larger events.
  4. Our annual planning focuses on blocking out dates and general themes, allowing the PLC du jour to flesh out the details closer to the time.
  5. Our patrols plan their menus, and a pair of scouts from each patrol buys the food (usually $10/scout/weekend) and then get reimbursed from their patrol members. They rotate through all the younger scouts for rank requirement, as well as Cooking MB requirements. Adults plan their menu separately, and one or more serves as grubmaster, split costs evenly. Simple process, and has worked well for years. Patrols occasionally challenge other patrols and the adults to cook-offs (chili, desserts, etc.)
  6. Our troop and crew are almost 100% hangers
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The ASPL is not an elected position, the SPL appoints the ASPL with guidance from the SM
  11. The "Key 7" sounds great, but I'd also invite the SPL and the Crew President to make sure youth have a voice
  12. Vuvuzelas...dozens of them. They're now specifically banned in the Leaders Handbook!
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. My crossovers do seem to struggle with the left handed, double cork 1080 alpine butterfly. Knots by Grog hasn't been helpful. Any suggestions?
  16. 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!!!
  17. 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.
  18. 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).
  19. 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?
  20. 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)
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. 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
  25. 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.
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