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bsaggcmom

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bsaggcmom last won the day on December 27 2017

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About bsaggcmom

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  1. bsaggcmom

    Summer camp hacks/gear suggestions

    You each need a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes for summer camp and other scout activities. Be sure to wear proper socks, a pair of thin, lightweight, wicking liners and a heavier pair of outer socks. The 2 layer system helps lessen the chance of blisters. The friction that causes them is reduced by the 2 layers of socks, they slide over each other rather than your skin sliding in the boots. You can wear the outer socks a couple of days in a row, but you should wear clean liners each day (liners can be washed in a ink at camp and hung to dry). Fit your boots/shoes using the 2 sock system, this makes sure that there is enough room in them for comfort. Also, make sure the boots/shoes fit you well. Even when brand new they should feel comfortable and tell you 'take me home'. Don't settle because of cheap price, especially for you. I have pair that's 12 years old and I still wear them occasionally, when things get really muddy/nasty out. They have hundreds of miles on them, not my first choice for a long hike but good for a gross day in camp. Break your boots in well before going to camp. My family wears them grocery shopping, to school/work, cutting grass, anything that requires lots of walking but let's you change quickly if needed. My family likes Merrill, Vaasque and Cabela's house brand of boots. Each of us has a different foot type, weight, height and footwear need.Fitting hiking boots/shoes isn't a 5 minute job. Plan on spending an hour or so to do it. Try on several styles/brands and vary the sizes a bit. Walk around the store, climb stairs if possible/available at the store. When you find 1-2 pairs that feel really good fits, try them again. It isn't a fast process, but your time will be rewarded. Hope this helps. Happy trails.
  2. bsaggcmom

    Son is at YMCA camp this week.

    My kids did YMCA camp for a couple of years when they were younger. The major benefit to the Y camps, or the church based camps that followed, was the fact that an adult from the family didn't need to go with them to camp. They were much more expensive than BSA camps but Dad and I stayed home, worked and didn't have to worry about childcare, food, or anything regarding the kids for a week. Girl Scout camp was the same way for our daughter, drop her off and come back a week later. When you figure in the cost for a parent to attend Cub summer camp with their scout into to the overall price the BSA is pretty pricey. A week of vacation used or a week of no pay, adult camper fees, and maybe extra childcare for other non scout siblings, etc. It doesn't get better at the troop level if you are a leader. My kids have said several times over the years that they wished we had sent them to Y camp instead of scout camps. Y camp was more fun - more activities at a younger age, no advancement push, and way better accommodations and no adults they knew telling them not to do something fun cuz it was against a dumb safety rule. I hope your son has a blast. I wish I'd had a chance to go as a kid. I found a Y camp in Canada that offers summer camp for adults for a couple of weeks each summer at the end of their regular camp season. Maybe now that my kids are too old for scout camp I can go to camp and not have to worry about other people's kids, dumb rules and advancement issues. .
  3. Ontario also has the Bruce Trail. It runs from the tip of the Bruce Peninsula to Niagara Falls. The first 100 miles or so is very wooded, and rugged when starting at the Bruce Peninsula end. Much of the beginning mileage is in National parks land. There are beautiful waterfront campsites, boulder beaches and many inland 'puddle' lakes that can get downright bathtub warm. There are also campsites on a great little island called Flowerpot Island. You take a ferry over and can camp (pack it in/pack it out style) for a few days at a time. I grew up spending my summers in that neck of the woods. It's a great region. And you'll get more bang for your buck in most cases since the exchange rate is very favorable for US travelers. Some things will be more expensive - gas namely, but for the most part the exchange outweighs the price differences. There's lots of things to in the area. Lots of Provincial parks along the way too. It might not be a Philmont trek but it can still be an adventure of a lifetime.
  4. I can't wait for them to make their way to the Cub Scout camp my own kids are staff at later this summer. They will be arriving just in time to interact with a Webelos summer resident camp group. Should be a great opportunity for the Webelos and their parents. My kids think it is awesome.
  5. bsaggcmom

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    We are already seeing the whole family joining scouts. The new rules about parents attending summer camps with their scouts having to have a membership in order to go. In order to go to summer camp or camp more than 72 total hours in a year's time adults must now be registered adult members in the unit. So we will have even more adults registered than we used. IMHO, this is going to put a real hurt on summer camps especially at the cub resident level. The cub resident camp my kids work at is running less than 50% of the registrations it had at this time last year. My college aged kids are fearing they may not have jobs as a result of this decision. It isn't profitable to run a camp session for 20 kids and adults with a staff of 20. Hopefully, it is just parents being slow to register. At the troop level, this decision has caused 2 of my very small troop of boys not to go to camp. The parents don't want to/won't pay the membership fees, might not meet the background check requirements, I don't know why, but their kids aren't going to camp without them. So Junior isn't going to summer camp and parents are blaming the new rules as the reason. At any rate we have 3 boys going to camp and 5 adults traveling with them. 2 won't be staying in camp because they have younger siblings travelling too. We are going 3/4 of the way across country but still 5 adults to 3 kids. Glad I'm not going this year.
  6. I used to work for National Supply for years. The patches for Committee Chair changed to that from Committee Chairman several years ago.
  7. I have just the opposite in my little troop. I have 2 Eagle Scouts that enjoy teaching but I have new cross-overs and slightly older scouts that don't care and don't try. The older boys want to mentor but the little guys could care less. Unfortunately, the Eagles both age out in 2 months. Then the troop will be left with 3 new cross-overs, 1 third year that has no drive or ambition and a Life scout that is starting his project. We also have 1 Life scout that is currently living on the other side of the state, he comes when he can about every 4-6 weeks, he's pretty much done except for a project too. It is disheartening for older boys to try to mentor, only to have little ones show no desire or interest. My third year has 6 things left for 1st Class and has had the same 6 things left for over a year. We finally dragged him across the second class line last week. He had been done his requirements for 6 weeks and didn't want to bother with the SMC or BoR. The older boys have done all they can to get him thru 1st but the last few things are on him and only him to do. The SM tells the older boys to get the third year done, but they can't, short of going his house and helping him sort his garbage, and things like that. This batch of cross-overs and the ones that quit from last year have no clue what BS is about. They aren't ready to be in the troop with or without a parent in tow. The Cub parents are equally clueless. I think the new Cub requirements have really hurt the troop level. I really fear for the troop in a couple of months. When the Eagles leave and head to college out of town the troop won't need to worry about advancement or merit badges. Because if left to their own devices the little ones will do nothing and pursue nothing.
  8. Brian depending on where you live there are some great older boy camps around. My son and a friend went to Camp Rainey Mountain in Georgia last year and did a week of whitewater rafting camp. CMR shares the program with Camp Woodruff. Both are in northern Georgia not far from the Smokey Mountains. It was a 10 hour trip each way and they weren't the scouts from the furthest away. There are aquatic bases in a couple of the northeast states too. Just about every camp with older scout programs allow scouts to come as provisional campers (you don't have to go with your troop or own adult). Here in the Great Lakes State, there are backpacking camps offered at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, ATV camps, horse trek camps, canoeing and kayaking camps along the many rivers in the state. And sailing adventures in Straits of Mackinac area. Philmont has individual treks available for interested scouts. Sea Base has a match board for scouts that want to go but have no troop to go with. Not sure if Northern Tier has a similar thing. What I'm telling you is you don't have to be stuck with your troop at the local minimalist summer camp. Read the ads in the back of Boys Life and research a place to go. That's how my boy found CMR. The sky's the limit.
  9. As a SCUBA instructor I agree with @perdidochas. I recommend a watch with no less than 100m waterproof rating, 200m is better. I had a Casio as a backup to my dive computer for over 20 years. I now have Timex. A couple of things to keep in mind when shopping. 1) Can the buttons be pushed underwater? Some styles will flood if the buttons are used underwater. 2) Can the battery be changed by the local watch store/repair person or jeweler ? If the battery can't be replaced locally it can get expensive. Waterproofness (if that's a word) can be compromised when the battery is changed. Not an issue now but could be in the future. 3) Is the wristband long enough to go over a wetsuit top? Is it short enough to wear as an everyday watch? Band length can be an issue if it fits on land it may not fit over a wetsuit top. I have very slim wrists, to get something for daily wear I can wear it over my wetsuit. So I get around this by attaching it to my BCD on a chest strap. It's secure and easy to see there. For safe measure I work a tie wrap into the buckle so I don't lose my watch. 4) Can the face of the watch be read underwater and in love visibility? It does you no good if you can't read it. Is it big enough to see, but as above not so big that it looks/feels awful on land? 5) If it has a bezel (the rotating ring around the face) it should only rotate in one direction, counter clockwise. This is a safety feature. Counter clockwise will rotation will decrease dive time not extend it if accidentally bumped/twisted not increase it. This make your bottom time less in reality and less chance of decompression illness. Unless you are going to become or are an avid diver less is more here. Get what you can afford that does the job you need it to do. As beginning or occasional divers you probably don't need one of the $$$$ watches. $50-$60 should get you a really good beginning watch for your purposes and maybe a milkshake for after shopping. Happy Diving!! A little jealous as I sit here in the sub-freezing weather getting ready to shovel the driveway yet again.
  10. Bear with the following, it'll come together in the end. My son is the oldest in the troop now. We have been in 3 different troops over the years (various reasons for switching, not pertinent here). When we were in our first troop he was one of the youngest scouts in a mixed age patrol troop. He tried several times to make friends with the older boys but they had no interest. The 'fumes' thing really make a difference between 11 year olds and 16/17 year olds. The young ones stuck together regardless of patrol. It was just the way it was. On occasion at the urging of the SM both groups and the one in the middle, 13-15 year olds, would do things together. Every now and again a young one would strike up a relationship with an older one. It was rare. In the second troop everyone was pretty much the same age. The issue here and what ultimately drove us away from it was groupings of scouts by schools. Since my son went to a different school than the rest he was constantly left out of things. Trips were planned based on 1 school schedule not that of the group. The guys hung out with each other, went to school together, played sports together, they were a patrol in the true sense. They weren't interested in adding a new guy, no matter how hard he tried. Facebook just made the 'being left out' even worse. We finally found a home in troop 3. He was an older boy and Eagle in a troop that was rebuilding. He's a good teacher and the younger guys flocked to him. He also had friends that moved troops with us so he had peers to hang with as well. Unfortunately, some of the parents of the less popular middle and older boys decided that it was inappropriate for older boys to be friends with younger boys. They caused crap and actually broke up the troop. So, in my experience, no matter what type of troop you're in there is always going to be issues with boys getting along with each other. It is a good lesson for life. Learn to deal with interpersonal relationships in a safe monitored space. If parents step in to solve/fix their child's issues they rob their child of a lesson to learn, IMHO. At the extreme of parental stepping in a troop can be destroyed. My advice, do nothing as far as the troop goes. Teach your son about rejection and arm him with tools to help himself. I like the advice above - take a ball, book, your own deck of cards, etc.
  11. bsaggcmom

    Let's talk about the Eagle Scout journey

    My troop has had 4 Eagles in less than a year. We had a total of 5. 2 earned it young, 2 at the last minute (BoR after 18th birthdays), and 1 at 16. My son earned Eagle at 14, almost 4 years ago. He was done his badges by 13, but wasn't ready to head up a project. A project fell into his lap and he pulled it off by 14. We were in an 'Eagle mill' troop for his first 2.5 yrs of Boy Scouts. They did Eagle badges each month in troop meetings, pushed the boys to go to MB fairs and to max out their summer camp schedules with badge classes. His first CoH he got 4 Eagle Required badges and 4 more. 8 badges in 5 months, a little nuts looking back on it. Then another 7 at his first summer camp. We transferred troops and things slowed down, the SM there refused to allow a 14 year to become and Eagle so we transferred again. Third troop was laid back, but no issues going for Eagle. Other young Eagle from the troop earned his at 13 and change. Mom made him do badge work every Sunday as part of his chores. He would 'earn' 6-8 badges every CoH and more if a MB fair or summer camp fell during the timeframe. Scout wasn't really wanting to be there, but was well behaved. Mom was the ultimate helicopter, kid and his younger brother never did anything without mom in tow. Imagine an Eagle scout that's never been anywhere without mom to remind to put his sunscreen on. They left the troop in the spring over a leader dispute. He didn't even have a ECoH with us. One of the just in time guys, #1 had been putzing along on Eagle for the last 1.5 years, his project gave him fits. He'd left scouting for a few years after reaching Life young and came back to fulfill a promise to his late mother. The other just in time guy, #2 finished 6 Eagle required MBs the day before his 18th birthday. Mom of the young one above arranged a MB fair of sorts at her house that night. His project was done the weekend before his birthday and signed off the night before becoming 18. SM did his SMC at 11:30 PM that night. Took the paperwork to council on the kid's 18th b-day. Kid hadn't shown up all school year for meetings, no real PoR work, not a scout in any way shape or form. But all the adults thought he should be an Eagle cuz mom wanted it. I don't think the kid cared one way or the other. There was a family history of last second Eagles. He couldn't even make time to come to to his own EBoR. It was done on day 45 after his 18th B-day, too busy to schedule it, after threats from the district Eagle coordinator. He didn't care. So where am I going with all of this? Each boy's journey is individual and he makes it happen or not happen in his own way. There is no shame in not finishing Eagle. Scouting is about having fun, learning and growing. My son has grown in numerous ways as a scout - NYLT, Jambo 2013, 2 summers of camp staff, 4 years of summer camp without mommy in tow (not counting work). It was rather emotional for me to watching him at work one day, it was 10 years to the date that he and I had gone to his first Cub Resident camp as a Tiger graduate, and there he was the Eagle scout that the little Cubs were looking up to. I can't say just in time guy #2 got anything out of Scouts, he was never there. As for the other young Eagle scout, I don't think he's gotten much out of scouts either. Hard to grow when mom is on your shoulder every inch of the way. So, IMHO it doesn't matter what rank a scout leaves off at as long as they learn, grow and become good young adults.
  12. bsaggcmom

    Scout Related Secret Santa Gifts

    Check out your local chain sporting goods store or general retail store that sells camping/outdoor/hunting gear. I've picked up first aid kits in a lexan box listed originally for $15 for $5, water bottles filled with survival kits for about $8 (originally $20), and pellet fuel stoves and a refill for about $8 (originally $8 each). The items were in the sporting goods sections of the general retailer (think Target like places) or the camping section of the sporting goods stores. The stuff is too small to pack up and ship back to the corporate warehouse, but not in demand over the winters, so the retailers mark it down big time. Another great place to shop for Secret Santa gifts is your local dollar stores. Some have great mittens or gloves for a buck or two. I've picked up gloves, mitts, stocking hats, and scarves. What person doesn't need a spare set of warm items in the winter (I guess if you live in the south this one won't work so well). My son created a survival kit in a bottle at the local dollar store one year. If the guys in the troop are of less means something as simple as a few pairs of extra socks might be well received. In our troop we used to draw names for the SS gifts. One guy always ran out of socks, or never packed more than what he wore to campouts. His SS got him socks one year for his gift, turned out he only had 7 pairs at home. If he brought extras camping he had to wear dirty ones to school the following week. He cherished his 3 pairs of dollar store socks and mitts he got that year. Wore the socks to campouts till they were full of holes. One item I got one year was a small flashlight and a pack of batteries to feed it for a year. I love that thing, fits perfectly into my cargo pants pocket. I put it in my pocket in the morning when I get up at camp and then I don't have to worry about having a light if I don't come back to my tent all day. Your imagination is your only limitation. Gook Luck and happy shopping.
  13. Not really sure how the decision was made. I have a hunch it was by the camp director/camp ranger in response to requests to bring sisters to Cub camps in the past years. Having volunteered quite a bit there over the last few summers, I know that parents having to balance a daughter's need for care and taking a son to Cub camp for 3 days can be difficult. I lived the problem for 5 years myself. I think the session for sisters to come was to help with accessibility. The session isn't listed in the regular Cub camp flier. It may be listed as a council family opportunity. I haven't gone surfing to find it. But it was confirmed when we worked a Halloween event about a month ago.
  14. The Cub Scout Summer Camp my kids work at will be having a session that girls will be able to attend this summer. It was announced last summer at their staff week when the rumors were flying that girls would soon be allowed into Cubs and Scouts. The session is titled 'Cubs and Sisters' or something similar. It was scheduled in part due to the expected announcement but also in response to the requests to bring sisters to camp. It turns out that many Cubs aren't able to attend summer camp because the parent that would bring them also has a female sibling at home to tend to. So by allowing sisters to come to camp, its a win for all involved. More Cubs in camp, extra sisters in camp and more adults at camp. A great way to max out the session. Also a great way to hook the girls on Scouting. Maybe new BSA members come fall. Camp will only be open to Cub age sisters is my understanding. No really little folks at camp. Nor any teens in Cub camp. My daughter is looking forward to having girls in camp. It'll be a treat to have other young ladies in camp than her and her tentmate. The program is supposed to be the same as any other session of Cub camp, but nothing has been finalized that I know of. Different note - spring recruiting around here for Cubs is in May/June. Thought is get them signed up before school starts, get them involved over the summer and get them hooked. I foresee a lot of girls joining in the spring at round ups. Our district even runs a Bobcat Boot Camp twice a year. One of them is June, just before Day Camp and just after school lets out. It'll be interesting to see if this happens.
  15. We have a cemetery in our district that has a Scout campground in it. The campground is in a section of the cemetery property that is close to a river with a water table that is too high for grave use. The area frequently floods, but it has a beautiful pavilion with a dozen or so picnic tables in it and BBQ barrels mounted on the side. The pavilion also has a cement floor which is nice after wet weather. A scout even created an orienteering course on the site for rank advancement. The only down side is there is no potable water and only 1 porta potty that isn't cleaned/emptied often. The cemetery doesn't charge for the campground use only a refundable key deposit to the site's gate. It is down right creepy at night as you are locked into the cemetery at dark till dawn. We have used the site for adult trainings, day camp, and camporees. There's often a waitlist for a chance to use it. It's a little piece of wilderness 10 minutes from the suburbs of a big city.
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