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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. As a swimming and first aid MBC I have a couple of reservations with scouts taking these badges in their first summer camp. First, can they actually swim and will they be successful in the swimming MB. Many parents/scouts/SM think swimming is blow off badge and are disappointed when Junior doesn't complete the class. Liking the water and playing Marco Polo, aren't the same as actually being able to swim well enough to pass the required distances. Also, will they swim in a lake if that is where the MB takes place. It's amazing how many good swimmers freak out about being in a lake with fish, bird poop, turtles, etc. I watched a swim team member freak out about no googles, and seeing a fish swim by him as he jumped in so bad that he had to rescued by the lifeguard doing swim checks. He couldn't bring himself to retry the swim test in the lake. Because of his freak out he had to change three MBs (canoeing, swimming, and kayaking) to land based MBs. Camp only had a lake to swim in. Second concern centers on scouts taking T-2-1 class and also taking first aid class. The requirements for FA state that the scout has completed the T-2-1 requirements before taking doing the MB. If they didn't do them at home before camp and are just learning them in T-2-1 then they really haven't done a prerequisites. The scouts will also probably be bored out of their gourds if they do FA in T-2-1 and then go do it again in FA class. SMs aren't doing their scouts any favors if they sign off on the T-2-1 skills that haven't really been learned so a scout can take the FA badge at camp. I've had dozens of SMs sign off the prerequisites so a scout could take class because it was a timing issue. It just puts the scout at a disadvantage. Finally, swimming and FA can be matters of life and death. I teach both topics for Red Cross as a paid professional, so I don't underestimate their value. Do you want your scout to get good and competent instruction in these topics or are you looking to tick a box? Summer camp staff members are more times than not are not experts or even well versed in these fields and usually only have a minimal working understanding of the topics. There are some great summer camp staff members, but usually they are just at a station because they have an interest in the topic or the camp couldn't find an appropriate instructor for the topic. Quality of instruction needs to be a consideration when deciding what merit badges to take. Misinformation from a poorly skilled leatherwork counselor is one thing, misinformation from a FA instructor could kill someone. Scouts should take what they want provided they meet the prerequisites, have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Swim, hike, stir up the muck at the edge of lake to see what they see, watch the clouds go by. What they shouldn't do is take classes from dawn to dark and have no free time.
  2. Run Forest Run!! Get to a new troop if you can. This SM is out of control and will continue to be an obstacle to your son's advancement just because he can be. We had the same issue with my son's SM in troop #2. He was not pleased the son was 13 and starting an Eagle project. No scout in his troop deserved Eagle before their 18th birthday. In troop 2 no scout had a an EBOR until after they turned 18. And he wasn't going to change his stance. My son did everything this man demanded and the SM just kept adding to the demands because he could. He delayed my son for 6 months, when I threatened an intervention with the district advancement chair he relented and signed the proposal. The SM interference didn't stop with the proposal. He tried to shut down both of my son's work days on the project itself. First shutdown was because most of the scouts couldn't help on first work day, MLK Day, cuz their school was in session and my son's school was off. The school wanted the work done that day for obvious reasons. Son had several friends from school to help him all were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Then he said it couldn't go cuz he couldn't be there, and on and on. It wasn't until the school principal called him and said she'd turn him into council for abuse of power that he relented this time. Second work day SM tired to shut it down cuz it was rainy and cold. Then he tried that son and school hadn't cleared the site with MissDig for buried wires, there was already a playscape in place there with deep footings. Then he tried to argue about cement mixing procedures. This time we had a friend that was on the district advancement team for the neighboring district working with the group. He pulled the SM aside and put him in his place. Project complete. SM threatened that he'd never give a now 14 year old an SMC for Eagle, especially after how he was treated during the project. So troop #3 here we were. This man will never change. So as stated earlier. RUN, RUN FAST. Side note - Just saw on Facebook that 2 boys from troop 2 just made Eagle, they turned 18 in mid fall. They were college freshmen when their projects and completed EBORs 60 days after 18th b-days. Somethings never change. The scouts are the same age as my son.
  3. As a Camping MBC I feel if a scout and his troop can't find 2 of the 6 options to do then they aren't trying very hard. A 4 mile backpack can happen just about anywhere all it takes is a little planning. My troop did an urban backpack around a small city then spent the night in a local metro park that let us camp the night. The same can be said for the 15 mile bike ride, a neighboring troop bikes along a foot/bike path beside a major interstate, no lunches or bathroom worries they hit a fast food place at an exit when needed. Whether the scout is a good rider or not isn't the issue - he can improve if he TRIES. As others have mentioned the requirement is about adding value/excitement to a campout and possibly introducing a new horizon stretching skill to a scout. Every scout camp I've been in over the last 12 years has a climbing/repelling wall and at most you don't have to climb to repel. The area my son currently lives in for college is on the southern shore of Lake Superior. They started getting snow in late September and will continue getting snow until late April. They average some 20 feet a year with an average of 6-10 feet on ground at any one time from January to March. Snow is easy for them, but even with the Porcupine Mountains nearby a 1000 foot ascent isn't something they can do locally. Nor is a river float, it is only safe to be on the water for a few weeks in the middle of the summer due to the frigid water temps. Scouts in his area take advantage of the snow, repel at camps and ride bikes and backpack all over the UP paradise. If the scout wants the badge he'll find a way to get 2 out of 6 options done. I spend some time each year in Kentucky visiting family. Each time I'm there I wish I could get my scouts to come with us. In Kentucky you have mountains that could give you the 1000 foot elevation change hike. There is Lake Cumberland and other TVA dam lakes for paddling around and many have boat/canoe rentals. There are 100's of miles of backpacking/hiking trails with not terribly for from the road campsites (Cumberland Gap National Monument comes to mind). Snow camping is just an option, it isn't a requirement. It's a viable option for some but not all. It needs to be left as an option IMHO. This requirement isn't overly tough. Where there's a will there's a way.
  4. bsaggcmom

    Eagle Project question... help

    As the Eagle Coach for my troop I'd encourage him to round out his ideas more. I think it is a wonderful idea and it would be approved in my district provided the scout could articulate how it meets the goals of an Eagle project. ASMmom1976 has your son started filling out his Eagle Project Workbook yet? Or did he just try winging it in his discussion the the advancement person? I have found that when a scout uses the workbook with lots of pictures added to the text that they become more focused and the project starts to fall into place better. If he can't answer a particular question in the pre-plan section help him to find an answer. Sometimes it is as simple as making him think about where his helpers will go to the bathroom during a work day (a key topic in my district for some reason) or where will a work day be held. Once he starts laying out the steps involved and how those steps show leadership things will click better for him and the project reviewers. As others have said he doesn't have to build anything or fundraise for a project to approved. But he does need to think through his steps. The guideline my district folks use for the pre-plan is could another scout pick up the workbook and run the project if your scout became ill on a work day and couldn't come. Are the steps clearly laid out? Finally, if it was a troop level person he presented to and was turned down a trip to the district committee might be of benefit. Have him fill out his workbook as completely as he can for the pre-plan with lots of pictures to show what is going to be done. Sometimes the district folks are a lot easier than the troop level people who can be power tripping. Good luck. I'd be happy to long distance coach a bit if he would like a bit of outside help. Sometimes a new set of eyes on the workbook can find things that the scout and his proofreader don't see. Just send me a message.
  5. bsaggcmom

    Who Works on an Eagle Service Project in Your Troop?

    We were in 3 different troops while my son was scout age. Troop 1 encouraged the Eagle project leader to ask all the scouts to help in some way. Younger scouts were paired with older scouts or adults to learn a new skill if the need arose. or the younger guys were the go-fors. Everyone was encouraged to help if they could and the project allowed that much help. Troop 2 the SM refused to sign off the pre-approval unless the troop was included as the main work group. His thoughts were an Eagle project belonged to the troop and this was one of the few ways boys could get service hours signed off. If the Eagle candidate didn't use the troop members to the satisfaction of the SM he'd give the project leader a hard time when it came time to sign off. His other rule was that he had to be at every work session, since he was signing the the candidate showed leadership he had to see it in every session for himself. This caused lots of conflicts with when and how a project could get done. Unfortunately, this is where son did his project. At final sign off the SM wouldn't sign the project as complete as my son used schoolmates and Girl Scouts as part of his crew. Instead he attached a 1 page legal brief type document stating that in his opinion my son hadn't completed the project because he had used non BSA workers. This lead us to move to troop 3. Troop 3 is utterly laid back. SM doesn't care who, how or where the project gets done. Use scouts or not he doesn't care. He tells the project leader it's his problem solve it. If the SM is available to come help he will. With the new YPT rules he may not get to stay as laid back as he has been. Luckily the district advancement people listened to my son at his EBoR and determined that he in fact had completed the project and the SM of Troop 2 was a pompous wind bag. Eagle granted.
  6. Glad I could help. Most people don't understand the difference between reverence and religion. They aren't the same but are similar.
  7. I have never really considered myself overly religious, but do consider myself to be quite reverent. I rarely attend church now, I have attended regularly in spurts over the years, but not now. I work with people of several faiths and beliefs and respect their customs. I am not closed to their thoughts or actions. I respect their needs to pray, say grace before meals, attend services,etc. I participate in such activities when I am with them but not usually at home with family. It was not the way I was raised or my husband. The Scout Law says be reverent not be religious. There really is a difference. I know several religious folks, very religious folks that aren't the least bit reverent. They have no use for anyone that isn't their religion, and they mock others for their beliefs. I'd rather be reverent than religious any day. The world needs way more reverence and maybe a little less religion. Or at least we need religions to teach its okay to be reverent.
  8. bsaggcmom

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    There are no female adults camping at this event at all? Not just the pack and host troop, but the whole event doesn't have a female attending and camping? If there is 1 female somewhere on the grounds during the event then the requirement should be met. The requirement in my interpretation says a female scouter must be there, not that the unit must provide 1. My way fulfills the letter of the requirement but not the spirit. But if YPT guidelines are going to stupid (I totally agree this is a ridiculous rule in Cubs) then fulfilling the letter of the requirement is all that is needed. Dad can make sure she is truly safe and cared for. Have this young lady and her dad co-op with a unit that has a female scouter. Scout will get her camping experience, letter of the requirement met, and all should be well.
  9. I have mentioned our experience with GSUSA several times when my daughter was young. No one would accept her into a Daisy or Brownie troop in our area. Wrong school, wrong grade, not in the right clique of girls, wrong hair (not really but you get the idea). I was willing to be an adult leader and help so ratios weren't an issue. No go, no troop, but a heart broken 6 year old. One year the local council even took my membership fees for the girl and myself and kept it until the next fall then finally refunded it because we hadn't been able to join a troop. I had a kid that wanted to be a scout so bad she could taste it. Luckily we live on the border with Canada. A short 20 mile drive and a border crossing, let her be a Canadian Girl Guide. She went through their Brownie, Guide and Pathfinder programs. Some years she was a Lone Guide (a Juliette) other years we made the cross border trek every week. When she was in 6th grade and BSA friend of mine got us into a GSUSA troop for Cadettes/Seniors/Ambassadors. The troop was fantastic. The head leader never turned girls away, girls came from all around to be part of the troop. We drove 30 miles 1 way every other week to attend. The leadership asked each family to help in some way to help the troop go - front line leader, treasurer, cookie mom, drivers, snack parent, etc. The troop is on its 20th year of existence this year. The head leader hasn't had a girl in the troop in over 10 years (she had 3 daughters), but she believes in the movement and wants as many girls as possible to experience the program. The troop is very outdoor oriented, they go to England for a jamboree every 4 years, backpack every spring break, etc. These girls are more active than any BSA troop that my son was ever involved with. Some years there are 20 girls other years there are upwards of 50 girls. My experience with GSUSA for the most part, is it is a clique of girls that have a couple of moms that feed and support the clique. It is very rare to find a troop like my daughter's. Once the clique of girls break up, change members, change tastes the GSUSA troop falls apart. Not a good service delivery model.
  10. bsaggcmom

    Business Insider interview - Sylvia Acevedo, CEO GUSA

    I just got home from my local Joann Fabrics (a major national chain). While there I noticed on the front door and then repeatedly around the store, flyers and posters saying Joann's supports Girl Scouts USA. There were recruiting flyers and info up around the store as well. Then at the cashier I was asked if I'd like to donate to the GSUSA so that all girls could have a scouting experience. Then a flyer was placed in my bag to allow me to direct possible girls to the program or even more importantly telling me I could volunteer with the program. It says there are girls desperately wanting to be scouts in our area an no adults to lead them. We don't have many girl cub scouts in the area yet but school just started 2 days ago. Time will tell. But if the Joann's campaign is a nation wide one, not a regional one then GSUSA has found a new funding source and a great recruiting technique. Not sure where it will lead the local GSUSA membership but what a marketing partnership. The campaign with Joann's in my area will introduce the concept of the GSUSA to a lot of families that might not have sought it out. I'm in a very heavily ethnic area (Muslim and Hispanic are the main groups) and the thought of boys and girls together won't get traction. But a program for girls by women might get some notice. Not seeing any advertising by the local BSA council for round-ups or even popcorn. So the local council might not get the girls it thought it was going to get with this campaign going.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. .
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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