Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


bsaggcmom last won the day on December 27 2017

bsaggcmom had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

53 Excellent

About bsaggcmom

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
  • Occupation

Recent Profile Visitors

515 profile views
  1. What I want to know is how Ms. Ireland got into Scouts Canada? We live in a border city and I was not allowed to enroll my children that are half Canadian in Scouts Canada. I was told by the local council, provincial council and the National office that kids living in the USA weren't allowed to enroll in Scouts Canada due to reciprocity agreements between Scouts Canada and the BSA. The only way my kids could enroll was to be residents of Canada. My daughter wanted to be a Scout so bad she could taste it in first grade. There were no GSUSA troops in our area that would take her. So I called Scouts Canada to find a unit near my Mom's house for her. They told me no. So I called Girl Guides Canada and they helped us get her in to unit near Grandma's house. She went all the way thru their program. A weekly trip across the border for Scouting for 9 years. During much of that time she was in a great GSUSA Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop 25 miles one way from the house. Life would have been so much easier if I could have just put her and her younger brother into Scouts Canada's program. But we were told no. If kids that are half Canadian are refused by Scouts Canada how did a US kid get in? We didn't force the issue. We didn't fake papers or residency, we accepted what we were told. I'm not saying that Ms. Ireland lied or cheated to get in but I am confused. She was part of the same provincial council we would have been in and we were told no. Something seems fishy on that front too. Ms. Ireland needs to play by the same rules as everyone else, not have lawyers and money buy her what she wants.
  2. bsaggcmom

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    My son's first troop was an Eagle Mill/Factory in the true sense of most definitions. Troop meetings started with the SM handing the SPL a sheet of paper with the announcements for the the opening. After the opening the troop broke into 2 groups and went to MB instruction for the next hour. One of the 2 badges was an Eagle required and the other was usually an elective. Sometimes there would be 2 Eagle required badges running at the same time. All scouts that had not completed the Eagle required badge were required to attend that session. The only way a scout could attend the elective badge session was if he had the required badge. No choices allowed. Badge instruction usually took 4 troop meetings and then the scouts were signed off for the badge. 90 day badges had the usual 4 weeks of instruction, then monthly check ins for progress. There was no T-2-1 instruction at troop meetings, no games, no activities other than MB instruction. If the scout wasn't interested in either badge offered or already had them, too bad, hope you brought a book to read. T-2-1 skills only happened on campouts and were only signed off on campouts. The meetings ended with the SM handing the SPL another piece of paper with the closing announcements on it. Campouts ran on a schedule, 30 minutes for each skill then sign off and go to the next one. Adults did the teaching, older scouts helped but never lead the process. Higher rank scouts not involved in helping with skill practice just lay in their tents and read or take part in merit badge classes run by adults. The scouts did cook and clean for themselves, but only under the strict supervision of adults. Campouts had just as many adults as there were scouts. Even at summer camp. The troop was adult run and advancement driven. There was only one path with these guys. They turned out Eagles on a regular basis. Palms flowed freely. But it wasn't scouting.
  3. bsaggcmom

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Our council banned this skit a few years back citing that it glorified bullying and hazing both of which are not allowed in scouts. My guys (cubs and scouts) used to loved JC Penney and centa-peed. They can't do them anymore. It's ashame adults have to ruin kids fun. Kids think bodily functions are hilarious, too bad the up tight PC adults won't let kids be kids. We're raising a generation of hypersensitive kids, I'm scared of the thought of these soon to be adults running the world in my old and grey days.
  4. bsaggcmom

    Summer Camp Staff

    My son the former camp lifeguard recommends a good pair sandals. Think Chaco, Teva, or some other sturdy, hard soled, arch supporting sandal and don't use them as shower sandals. The dock can can get hard and hot. He also said a good pair of water shoes, think aquatic tennis shoes, will come in handy especially if your beach has a rocky bottom. He wore those when he worked boating. He also said have multiple bathing suits and change them regularly, dry them thoroughly and wash frequently. He changed his after polar bear swim, after lunch, and for evening flags. He learned the hard way that chaffing sucks. My daughter said to make sure that you take a few minutes everyday and 'escape' camp to keep your sanity. Take a walk, read a few pages of a book, listen to your go to playlist, watch part of your favorite movie that you downloaded to your phone, draw, write a journal. Just do something that removes your brain from camp mode each day. They wish you all the best. Have the time of your life.
  5. bsaggcmom

    Summer Camp Staff

    My kids found the following things helpful sometimes indispensable while camp staffing for 4 summers. They had the time of their lives at camp. Daughter is staffing Philmont PTC this year and son is staffing a snowboard camp on Mt. Hood. You never know where a camp staff job will lead. Have a great summer. Large plastic tote boxes with tight/snap on lid - keeps stuff clean/dry and reduces critters in your snacks battery alarm clock - cell phones don't always charge or stay charged, have a back up phone charging brick - for above, you can get them cheap and cheap ones work just as well as expensive ones a small rug or carpet squares for beside your bed in your tent - nothing worse than stepping out of bed and getting a splinter a folding chair - good for kicking back in staff village cards, books, board games SNACKS!!!! - put in box listed above A rain suit and a poncho & rubber rain boots - if you have to do a severe weather round up at 2:30 AM boots are nice to pull on and keep your hiking boots dry for the day Clothes hangers, clothes pins, and a length of paracord - you can make a makeshift laundry area and air out those staff uniforms Small fridge - my kids camp allowed a small bar fridge in each tent, kept drinks cold, had to be unplugged if tenters left camp for the night. They used my ancient college one, but now is the time to look in thrift stores near colleges for them, they are cheap lots of small flashlights and extra batteries - flashlights are worth their weight in gold and disappear all summer long, get cheap ones to give as 'loaners' that never come back
  6. bsaggcmom

    Campfire Smoke Allergies

    Not doubting you, he's your kid. But in my experience as a severe allergy sufferer for decades and the mom of an Eagle Scout with asthma I have never seen an allergy attack cause a fever. Not even a low grade fever. After 14 years of scouting what I have seen is a kid(s) that may have seemed fine on Friday develop a cold/flu while at camp over the weekend and end up sick by Sunday afternoon/evening. I had one mom accuse the troop of poor sanitation because her kid got sick after every campout. It wasn't until she keep her scout home from a campout, so he couldn't have caught it from camp, and he got sick that weekend just like 3 others in the troop on the campout. Turns out it was a bug they picked up at school and it manifested over the weekend. Allergies can lower resistance and make 'catching something' easier, especially if the kid is either blowing or wiping their nose a lot or if they are coughing and sneezing and covering their mouth as they should be. This can happen anywhere, home, school or on a campout. The other things that can happen on a campout that can lower resistance to bugs include: not dressing appropriately for the weather; not changing clothes regularly, although this causes more in the way of rashes; poor eating habits/diet; and finally some level of sleep deprivation. If your scout isn't changing his clothes regularly at camp then any smoke particles and other allergens (pollen, dust,etc) are on/in his clothes and he's breathing them in even when he's in his sleeping bag at night. If his sleeping bag isn't being aired out and maybe washed per manufacturer's instructions between campouts then he is sleeping in accumulated 'yuck'! My recommendations: follow above advice; stress the importance of changing clothes regularly at camp; have a set of fresh PJs that never went outside near the fire for each night of camp, store them in a Ziploc bag if needed to keep them clean and separate from 'contaminated' clothing; fresh pillow cases every night of camp stored in Ziplocs if needed; finally air out or clean sleeping bag between trips. These steps should reduce his exposure to allergens/smoke while he sleeps. It may add slightly to his luggage for camp but as long as he isn't backpacking he should be okay. It's worth a try for a couple of trips. The fresh PJs and pillow cases (every couple of days for summer camp) help me survive summer camps and peak pollen season. Hope it helps and you can keep him camping.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Glad I could help. Most people don't understand the difference between reverence and religion. They aren't the same but are similar.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.