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bsaggcmom

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Everything posted by bsaggcmom

  1. bsaggcmom

    Catholic Diocese boots out GS

    As GSMOM73 said, GSUSA doesn't have CO's like BSA. Leaders sign the agreement with the GS council and the troop is off and running. If the Catholic Church doesn't want to endorse GSUSA anymore the GS troops there just have a harder time recruiting and have lost a meeting space. GS troops aren't dependent on CO's to give them meeting space they have to find their own place to meet. My GS troop meets at a church, we pay a weekly rental fees that the girls fund through yearly dues to the unit. Some units meet in leaders homes, public meeting rooms in local libraries or if they are lucky they are allowed to use a room at a school. If Catholic parents in KC want their daughters to be a GS then they can do so. It just won't be at their local Catholic school/church anymore. Maybe not as convenient as it used to be, but still available. I see it as a loss for the church as a whole. No more little service projects to help the parish, no more Scout Sunday masses that include all scouts, and less exposure for the church in the general population's eyes. Not every girl in a troop at a Catholic facility is Catholic. Those girls and their families are lost as potential converts to the Catholic church. Gone are the little donations from such families because they aren't there anymore. My family routinely donates a few dollars, a few cans of foods or a little bit of time to the church that our GS troop meets at. It isn't our church, isn't in our town. no connections except the GS troop meets there. We do it because it benefits the facility that is kind enough to rent us some space. It a round about way we see it as benefiting our GS troop. Nice to them, nice to us thing. The Catholic church in KC is about to ruin this type of relationship. So sad.
  2. bsaggcmom

    Lack of MB opportunities

    Jeanvaljean welcome. I'm going to guess that you are in Michigan somewhere due your comment about going to Cranbrook. If you are part of the GLFSC section of Michigan Crossroads Council then your Scoutmaster should have a merit badge counselor list for your district. Lists were sent by the district advancement chairs to the unit leaders (Scoutmasters, Coach for Varsity Scouts, Crew Advisors and Sea Scout Skippers) at the beginning of this school year. Data was encrypted to ensure that only the unit leaders with the correct code could access the list, some crap about MBC privacy was given as the reason. It has made accessing the list a pain in the butt. Unit leaders were told that couldn't print the list and were to keep it stored as a file on their computers. In my unit one must ask the unit leader for a list of counselor names and hope he remembers to email you that list when he gets home from a unit meeting. It reality it usually takes and email or text or 2 to get the names you want. And even the most recent, secure list is not fully updated and accurate. I know there are people listed on it the quit scouting 3 years ago. They are polite when called by a misdirected Scout, but they are finding it annoying at the same time. Others have given you the general process of how your sons are to go about getting blue cards and continue on the path to earning a badge. So I won't belabor that point. The one thing I have found is that many of the listed counselors only work with their own troop, and the variety of MBCs available to Scouts has dropped greatly in this area over the last few years. If your boys are looking for some of the less commonly earned badges they may not be able to find a MBC at all. Good Luck!
  3. As others have said your son has plenty of time. Let's do a little number crunching to put things in perspective. Based on your son being 11 years old now he has about 7 years to complete his Eagle journey. He needs (currently) 21 merit badges, that's only 3 a year for the minimum. There are 7 ranks from start to end: Scout; Tenderfoot; Second Class; First Class; Star; Life; Eagle. Again that'd be 1 rank a year. But he can work on items in Scout, TF, SC, and FC all at the same time, so very possible to get more than 1 rank a year some years, it just happens. Some of the required badges have time requirements, usually 90 days of doing something. That's a 3 month commitment to working out daily, tracking your income/expenses or doing chores around the house. If he continues as an athlete then his fitness tracking is a breeze. Household chores probably are too. That leaves financial tracking not too hard either. Camping merit badge requires 20 nights of tent camping. If he fulfills his FC rank requirement of 5 campouts, he'll more than likely already have 10 nights, 5 two night trips. Add in the 6 nights allowable from 1 summer camp, boom at 16. He'd only NEED to camp 2 more weekends to have enough nights. Exceptionally doable in 1-2 years, in some troops if the dates work out it can be done in 1 year. Cooking merit badge has a few requirements that can pose a problem or 2 if not active outdoors or the troop doesn't camp a lot. But nothing that can't be overcome. Only other time requirements have been mentioned already, time in position. About 17 months, but they don't have to fall consecutively, 1 month for TF, 4 for Star, 6 each for Life and Eagle. So when you look a Eagle by the numbers achieving it is extremely possible. In fact, I can't understand why every scout doesn't achieve it other than a desire not to. And I really don't understand the 17 year old, 11 month and 23 day old Life scout that still needs 4 Eagle required badges and project taking a week off of school to finish it all in his last week. We have one in our troop doing that right now. Just tell your son that slow and steady wins the race. Work a little extra in an off season or school break time, don't stress in the middle of a season. Use his time wisely, read a merit badge book instead of playing video games or watching TV for 30 minutes a week and badges can be had in a short period of time. The journey is his to pick. GOOD LUCK!!
  4. bsaggcmom

    Boys have more fun.

    Spring break is just finishing up in my neck of the woods. My GS troop spent it backpacking a section of the AT trail in North Carolina/Tennessee. The BSA troop did nothing. Couldn't even get a few boys out to help on a couple of Eagle Projects during the week. Girls trekked through rain, sleet, snow, then high temps and lots of mud. Boys didn't do much that I know of. A couple went on family vacations, rest were on their rumps. So I'd say my girls had more fun and bragging rights too. BTW - 2 out of 3 of the adults on the AT were Dads hiking with their daughters. For one Dad this was his second doing an AT section with the same troop. My troop has no issue with Dads helping out. EMT hubby and lifeguard son have taught first aid and water safety to the girls. Hubby of head leader (a card carrying lifetime GS member) has taught woodworking, knots and fire building among other things to the girls. IMHO, GSUSA doesn't have issues with men, but they'd rather women be the lead. My council even has a guy as one of its employees, in a position similar to a DE in the BSA system. But it has been noted that I don't have a 'normal' GSUSA troop either.
  5. bsaggcmom

    Canada Girl Guides restricting scout unit travel to USA

    @@RememberSchiff As a very frequent border crosser and having family members that cross daily here are a few tips/guidelines for your trip. 1. Make sure you have notarized travel documents for each Scout you are bringing with you across the border. These include a permission to travel abroad with a list of specific adults on specific dates. Permission to obtain emergency medical care for each member (youth and adult) while in Canada if needed. Create a travel packet for each member. A gallon Ziploc bag that contains notarized forms, passport/border cards/enhanced state ID/original raised seal birth certificate, troop permission slip, and a copy of the member's health form. 2. Packets accompany the members and are held by the driver of each vehicle. Driver hands the packets to Canadian/US customs agent at the border. Identification document on top, notarized permission to travel abroad form next, then notarized emergency health and regular health forms round out the bundle. Driver's packet is first. Organize packets by front seat, middle row and back row of the vehicle, driver to passenger sides. This is how we have done it for 25 years with our Girl Scout troop when we travel to Canada each Mother's Day weekend for a big camporee near London Ontario. Never had a problem crossing either way. 3. All phones/electronics turned off and stowed at the time of crossing. No sunglasses or hats on. If your driver wears prescription glasses have them switch temporarily to indoor glasses from their sunglasses. Border agents don't like sunglasses. Or they can take the glasses off for discussion with the agent. 4. No cameras at either border or near the border area. NO PICTURES OF BORDER AGENTS OR SURROUNDINGS. 5. Keep all vehicles in the same lane and together so that everyone deals with the same agent. Trailer comes through last. Designate a meeting spot after clearing customs. DO NOT gather the convoy on border crossing property. That way you will be close if there is a problem but not interfering with traffic flow. Everyone should be organized the same way going on to the border zone property too. 6. Parents and their kids should be in the same vehicles at the time of border crossings. As should siblings. You can regroup before entering or after exiting the border zone if siblings don't want to travel together. NEVER, EVER REGROUP IN THE BORDER ZONE. 7. NO WEAPONS, MACE, PEPPER SPRAY, NOTHING BIGGER THAN A POCKET KNIFE in vehicles or on person. CANADA DOESN'T DO GUNS!!!!!! Make sure all guns and ammunition are left at home. You will go to jail and they will seize your vehicle forever if you bring a gun in. Larger cooking knives need to be secured in a patrol box in a trailer or trunk. Pocket knives put away pockets or backpacks. 8. Proper current identification for everyone. Passports, passport cards (obtained just like a regular passport with the same forms and processes, only good for land crossing to US/Canada/Mexico), enhanced state ID (similar process to getting passport but done at your state DMV office, not available in all states). Our group and several school groups here also use raised seal/original birth certificates for youth under 18. There has always been an exemption for organized youth groups traveling between Canada/US to travel on birth certificates. Anyone over 18 has to have a passport/passport card/enhanced state ID. Check guidelines before travel. 9. Turn off data usage and roaming services for mobile devices unless the device has an international usage plan. It isn't uncommon for people to rack up hundreds if not thousands of dollars of roaming/international usage charges. A quick text can cost $5 or an email check can cost $25 or more if you don't have an international plan. My daughter tallied up $550 in 2 days because her phone didn't connect properly to the hotel wifi. Phone company was good about it, but they didn't have to be. Just turn the devices off. One leader can get a temporary international plan for a month and roll the cost of that into trip costs. We are doing that when the girls go to England in August. Hope this helps. I have been crossing the border for over 50 years, and 7 years with Girl Scouts and never had a major problem. A few crabby agents here and there, only 2-3 vehicle searches. Searches were because my vehicle matched a vehicle of interest (Amber alert type things). Follow the Scout law and you shouldn't have a problem. Courteous, kind, obedient, friendly, cheerful and most of all Be Preapred. Nothing worse than rifling for documents at the agents shack. Have a great trip.
  6. bsaggcmom

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    Yup I've heard of Eagling out. Trying to keep son from doing it. Darling son will be 17 in a couple of months, he got his Eagle just before his 15th birthday as a high school freshman. He is the troop's only Eagle. He has stuck around his troop and earned 6 palms with enough badges for 1 more. It has been a struggle to keep him and 2 other HS juniors and 2 HS seniors engaged in the program we have or should I say don't have at this time. The seniors and 1 of the juniors are Eagle bound, 2 should make it one probably not. When son joined his current troop as an incoming freshman it was about to fold with only 3 paper scouts on the rolls. We joined and so did 20 others, we're down to about 13 active scouts and a couple more on paper only. We've lost 6 scouts in the past year due to our lack of program. We are boy led and the PLC has not planned anything that the older boys are interested in. When the PLC actually plans a meeting it is based on the advancement of the younger scouts or a merit badge the younger guys want to do. In most cases the badges are ones the older guys have and the teaching that needs to be done is by one of the middle guys needing to teach for rank advancement. The older guys have no real place in the troop, not PLC presence, and no need to be there. No older boys are not allowed to be on the PLC because they have their time in for rank and others need it. Currently we have 11 boys between FC and Life. All need PoRs, so if you are Life and have your 6 months in your out of a PoR. Weekend camps are based on the middle school calendar no consideration for the high schooolers. Last camp was weekend before finals at the HS. So keeping older boys especially Eagles engaged here is tough, really tough. Son loves scouts, but his main reason for hanging around is to be on camp staff at a local cub resident camp. The troop goes to a merit badge mill summer camp (kids get 6-9 badges in a week), so no desire to go there again. Did it once, and that was enough. He went to NYLT but isn't allowed to demonstrate the skills he learned since he isn't on the PLC. The age gap is starting to effect our troop. 5 juniors/seniors (seniors age out in 6 weeks) and 10-12 middle schoolers or lower. No common ground, no common focus. Don't now how much longer son will stay around. He hasn't Eagled and run, but he's lacing up the sneakers. I really feel we need to make scouts from grades 5-8 and Venturing from grades 9-12. 17 year olds have nothing in common with a not yet 11 year old. With limited leadership opportunities and program options, like our troop, it is no wonder boys Eagle and run.
  7. bsaggcmom

    The big question

    EBoRs aren't about telling a bunch of old guys what they want to hear. Its about answering their questions honestly and articulately. Being able to stand up for your point of view and respecting theirs. If you can't say for certain that you'd get back involved when you have kids of your own or when you are done with college and have a stable life then you should be able to back up your point of view with reasons. I'd rather hear that a young man wants to include his wife in the choice, or that he was forced into scouts by his parents and really didn't enjoy it. I'd accept that career and family needs will play a role in the decision as to whether he returns/stays with scouts. What I don't want to hear a line of horse hockey to 'please' me. We are supposed to be fostering the ability to think for one's self and support your thoughts in the program. Not teaching them to BS (and I don't mean boy scouts) their way through things. If that's the skills they've received in the program shame on the leadership of their units. My son learned how to talk to and with adults from scouting. He learned to justify his opinions and how to ask questions. To the point that as a beginning high school junior, he wowed 2 college admissions advisors with his maturity and composure. Part way through their chat one of them asked if he was an Eagle Scout, she said she could tell by the way he handled himself. If EBoR members want to be 'pleased' by answers then they need seriously reconsider why they are willing to sit on an Ebor. I sit there to find out how the program is going in my area. To find out what makes a good program and maybe swipe and idea or two. I'm there to make the boys think about what they've done to date and what they are going to do with their lives to come.
  8. bsaggcmom

    The big question

    When son had his EBoR he was asked how he'd give back to Scouts - stay in troop till aging out and if he had a son would he come back at that time to help out. Reviewers went out of their way to tell him they weren't expecting him to balance college and scouting, but thought involvement in later life would be good. They also asked him lots of questions about the PoRs he held and how they demonstrated leadership in the troop. Nothing about uniform wear in public.
  9. As a CPR/AED instructor for over 2 decades, the sad reality is that an AED alone without rapid EMS response and high quality immediate medical follow up is pretty much useless. People that suffer from cardiac arrest may be revived with an AED but they don't tend to survive without proper medical care. There are a very tiny percentage folks that have arrhythmias that an AED can convert and they will be OK, but those folks are few and far between and usually as Richard B says awaiting an implant. Most people that suffer from cardiac arrest have underlying heart and vascular disease that must be addressed quickly to insure survival. Proper medical screening before activities and discussions with medical providers before activities is a more prudent and cost effective management of cardiac arrest risk reduction. That is in part why BSA requires yearly health form updates for all long term campers. It should also be mandatory for all "high adventure" troop level activities too. But enforcement would be an issue. GSUSA requires a medical provider signed health form for all activities occurring more than 4 hours from home, all activities where medical assistance is more than an hour away, and all international travel. We actually have to turn in copies of the signed health forms in order to get their equivalent of a tour permit and insurance. IMHO, anyone with such a high risk of cardiac arrest that the unit is considering taking an AED with them to the back country shouldn't be going on that outing. While cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time and anywhere, the risks can be mitigated of that happening. Proper training, proper medical pre-event evaluation, proper trip planning and execution. Not everyone (youth or adult) is qualified for every outing -be it physically, psychologically, financially. Have we lost all common sense? If you get winded and dizzy climbing the steps at home, do you really belong on a 5 day backpack trip in the Colorado Rockies? I don't need to workout, just bring an AED and all will be OK. Final thoughts, AEDs are effective medical devices that are PART of a cardiac chain of survival. Quick effective CPR, early AED use, rapid EMS response and proper high quality medical follow up. Take away a link and the chain will fall apart. If you want to invest in an AED, get one for your meeting place and have it accessible to all that use the building. Invest in one for your favorite camping area, again available at all times for those that us the area. Remember that pads are only good for 2 years and replacements can be $100+. Batteries are only good for 5 years. If the AED is exposed to elements (stored outside in a box) it will require pad and battery updates more often. The units by law require a monthly maintenance log be kept and you must have a medical overseer for your unit (usually set up through your fire department). Training is needed to use one, although they are pretty much idiot proof.
  10. I am a BSA leader and a GSUSA leader. I've been in BSA units that average 70 scouts per year with 45-50 active and ones that average 10 scouts, 5-8 active. My GSUSA unit has averaged 36 girls each year. Our biggest year we were 55, smallest 28 girls. We are a Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop. We have NEVER turned a girl away. We have limited some activities to first come, first served due to rides/event space/ticket availability. We tell our parents Moms and Dads that they are expected to help out. If they don't help we don't go anywhere and won't do much. We are a week to week core leadership team of 4. We run a girl led troop, they decide everything and run it themselves. As adults we are there for permission, finances, transportation and technical support. I have never been involved with a BSA troop that is this boy led, and I'm on my fourth troop. I've been hoping to find what my daughter has had for my son. If the girls ideas aren't fulfilled it because they haven't followed through. No rescues. We have only said no to one activity that the girls picked out to do, an overnight at a theater after a Broadway style show on the other side of the state. It was going to be $150 per person for ticket and overnighter before transportation. Our GSUSA troop runs more like a BSA troop as far as the adults are concerned. We have one head leader (Scoutmaster), several assistant leaders that head up finances (treasurer), advancement, communications/news letters, trip/outing planners. 3 of our adults don't even have girls left in the troop. The unit has been around for 20 years. Started when the Scoutmaster-like head leader's first daughter was becoming a Cadette. Her youngest is now 30. With increased numbers comes the ability to more things and a greater variety of things. We backpack at spring break, travel to Canada each Mother's day for an international camporee, travel to England every 4 years for a different camporee. We cabin camp at least twice a year and tent 2-4 times more. Do 2-4 service projects, attend council events and plan 3-6 outings a year on our own. When we are on the small size we don't do nearly as much. Numbers at a blessing and a curse too. But it sure beats sitting around staring at each other because you can't get a minimum number of bodies to get a group discount or make an event feasible. Ask your parents for help. You are not a low cost babysitter. If they won't step up in some fashion, each and every family each year dissolve the troop and move your daughter to a troop that'd like your help and form a leadership team. One of my pet peeves with GSUSA is troops come and go faster than I change my tennis shoes out in my area. And they are closed groups here too, only girls from this grade at this school that my daughter likes. IMHO that is not scouting it's a play group. My reaction would be take the girl and all her friends that want to come too, but they have to bring willing and helping adults. No adults no girls same for current girls. All for one and on for all. Every family CAN help some how, some way. USE IT, EMBRACE IT (emphasis).
  11. bsaggcmom

    Camp Ransburg and Firecrafters

    My troop is kicking around the idea of going to Camp Ransburg in Indiana next summer. The youth in charge of the research like the class offerings and dining hall idea but haven't really researched other topics. We have no troops near us to ask about this camp so I'm coming to you all. In one of the Micosay threads Ransburg was mentioned as having Firecrafters program. A spin off of Micosay, I believe. My question, does Ransburg push the program and favor Firecrafters members like Bartle does Micosay? The scouts going to this camp will all be younger boys, 5-10 new crossovers and 3-6 second/third years. Our couple of older boys will be attending a high adventure trip instead of regular summer camp. The adults are concerned about the possibility of isolation of our boys if the Firecrafters is highly pushed and favored at camp. We'll have our hands full enough with a bunch of beginners, we don't want to add problems that already occur at camp when you have a bunch of young guys there. At the very least we want to know the what we are in for and be able to prepare the boys before we get there. Also, is the camp walkable for little guys? Is the instruction traditionally good or more on the merit badge mill end of things? Anything we need to know or should add to the modest research that's already been done before we let the boys vote? This camp will be 5-6 hours from home if that adds to your thoughts. The other camp we are considering is Camp Gerber in Michigan, it's 3 hours away from home. It was put on the back burner due 1 episode of foodborne illness last year. Because 1 session had a issue, the SPL and a couple of adults don't want to consider it now. I told them that anywhere can have a bad food day, a camp, a school, a cruise ship and so on. We can't base the choice on it might happen again, because it could happen anywhere. Any thoughts form those that have been to Gerber would be welcome too. Thanks everyone. We appreciate the help.
  12. bsaggcmom

    Do we really need summer camps?

    Growing up in Canada there were very few scout/guide camps and they didn't offer programs like the BSA or GSUSA run for their scouts here. If we used a scout owned camp the unit provided the adults and the program. It was awesome. We canoed, cooked, hiked and generally had a blast as kids. We went to national parks, provincial parks and conservation areas. Some were better equipped than the scout camps (showers and flush toilets). Me feeling is that scout camps have a place, but that they should be on a provisional basis across the board. If parents wish to send their scout to summer camp do it. But if you want troop bonding then the troop needs to plan and execute the summer camping experience. I have been to 6 different BSA summer camps over the years and not one fosters troop/patrol bonding. Each scout has his own program and is seldom with his troopmates. Even evening programs foster individuality. Merit badge can come from other sources. My girl scout troop plans and executes a summer program each year and once every 4 years we go to the West Sussex Jamboree (hey Skip you going next year)in England. Our summer camps have been a blast. We have backpacked, gone to a Midwestern city and done the tourist thing, vegged at the side of a great lake for a week, whitewater rafted and rock climbed. The girls research everything, plan it all and arrange the campsites. They make the shopping lists, and do all the cooking. The adults make reservations, drive, aid in shopping, and generally are available to assist when asked. We have a great week too, some of us partake in the activities planned, some just veg with a good book. Very few of my girls go to council provisional camps. They're expensive and bland compared to troop adventures. On the other hand just about every boy goes to council summer camp and adults have to go too. I don't know any troops in my area that even attempt to plan their own adventures. I get the feeling its frowned upon by the BSA. I guess my feeling is we need scout camps to be a resource, trained staff members that can teach/monitor activities that can't be done at home. They don't need to be scout schools with set class periods, pre-reqs and report cards (blue cards). Imagine a camp where scouts get up in the morning on their (the troop's) timeframe, make and clean up breakfast, the scouts pick an activity or 2 for the day and head off for some fun in the sun. Back for dinner and troop time around a campfire or an evening swim at the lake.No stress, no classes, kids being kids and playing and having fun. Oh, but we can't have that happen, BSA would have a fit. No merit badges, no progress towards Eagle, no badge sales income. How anit-scouting could I get ;-)
  13. bsaggcmom

    BSA requirements are out of hand

    If the amount of discuss, describe, and explain elements were decreased in MBs then 2 things would have to happen. Scouts would actually have to do a series of skills and MBCs would actually have to test the scout on those skills. End result would be no more/greatly reduced merit badge fairs, and greatly decreased summer camp class sizes. This would slow the rush to Eagle and is not what the BSA wants. One can lecture and hold discussions with dozens of scouts at once. Hard to supervise dozens of cooks at once.
  14. bsaggcmom

    MB Completion Day?

    A couple of the camps in our statewide mega council are hosting events like this. Scouts pay for a weekend of camp and complete just about any partial they earned at a summer camp or elsewhere. The waterfront and ranges will be staffed by the area directors from the camps with staff from all the council staffs that wish to volunteer. About $25 for the weekend of provo camping with food included.
  15. bsaggcmom

    Gold Award Approval times

    In our council they tell the young ladies to be prepared for a 2-4 month wait after turning the initial proposal into the council office before being assigned an advisor. And that's after a guaranteed 3-4 rewrites of the proposal, the words of the council professional that handles the proposals. Then the advisor can pull the plug on the project if the candidate is not progressing at a pace the advisor sees fit. Also, there is no guarantee that the candidate will be picked up by an advisor. If no advisors want to deal with a candidate in your area/town then the proposal sits and waits at the office until an advisor gives in and accepts it. The advisor could be a very long distance from the candidate too. My daughter has dragged her feet for 6 months getting the vaguely worded proposal written up and may miss out on her chance to get her award. She's going into senior year of high school. She may have found a work around however. One of her cub summer camp staff friends met with her advisor at camp and introduced my daughter to her. The advisor told her to call when she had the proposal written up and they'd talk. Maybe we can skip the council crap and move on. Our council pro is a real piece of work too. If she knows you're involved with the BSA and have Eagle project experience she really takes a dislike to you and your candidates will wait until they age out and never get an advisor. The GSUSA paperwork is so vague and useless too. The proposal is just the first step by the way. There is also a final write up that has to be finished after the project is done and it has to be done before they age out. The final paperwork hassles have cost 3 of my ladies their awards. They did the project but couldn't get the paperwork through council to its satisfaction in time. Good luck to your daughter.
  16. bsaggcmom

    New Way Funding

    Nice $75 per registered member donation to the council. I can see why they are dropping the Family FOS in that district. A great way to drop the volunteer base and multi scout families numbers. All I can say is glad my son only has 1.5 years left, it shouldn't make it out of pilot phase in that time frame.
  17. bsaggcmom

    BSA requirements are out of hand

    Thanks for the offer Hedgehog, but we live in the Great Lakes state. New MBC lists are due out this fall. Maybe he'll get lucky and find the counselors he needs.
  18. bsaggcmom

    Retirees as scout camp workers?

    The cub camp my kids worked at all summer had several seniors or almost seniors working at it. The health officer was a retired nurse, still licensed in the state. Handicraft/scoutcraft was headed by a senior, was a waterfront director in his younger days. Kitchen had 3 oldsters on staff. Some stayed in their RVs, others were in adult staff housing. All were part of the staff and interacted with the younger staff, some good friendships were formed I think. The oldsters gave the youngsters a stability they needed and the youngsters gave the oldsters a reason to get up in the morning. I spent a lot of time as a volunteer at camp this summer and enjoyed watching a teen interact with a 60 something. What was really cool was when they all agreed on a movie for staff night off.
  19. bsaggcmom

    BSA requirements are out of hand

    My son needs wilderness survival, nature, soil and water, for his NOA medal. We don't have any non camp counselors for any of them in our district. He just figured out that he could complete the NOA medal with a little more work. At 16.5 yrs old and no more traditional summer camps in his future he may have a tough time getting it done. He decided to work at a highly rated cub scout summer camp this year and not go to camp with the troop. Next summer he'll work at the same camp, after going on a high adventure trip(which he is financing by working at camp) as soon as school is out. I agree that the rules have gotten out of hand. Scouting seems to be for those with lots of money, and no need to work to support their habit.
  20. bsaggcmom

    how are your first years advancing?

    One thing to remember is that this year's crossovers finished the old Webelos program and the new Scout requirements are very similar to the new Webelos program AoL. We had 3 crossovers this year 2 very well prepared by their den leaders, one not so much. The one that isn't so prepared came from a den where the leader didn't heed the roundtable advice to add to the AoL requirements from the old blue book. The 2 that have completed Scout and came in well prepared came from a den that did the new Scouting Adventure pin in addition to the old AoL requirements. Maybe next year's crossovers will be in a better place after completing the new Webelos and AoL programs. I hope so we're expecting 12 boys next winter.
  21. bsaggcmom

    The "Explore <YOUR STATE>" Badge?

    Girl Scouts here in Michigan had such a badge. I don't if it still exists or not. Required things like knowing the state flower, tree, bird, capital and some history. Also required visiting a list of places in the state. If I remember right the list was quite long and the number of visits was fairly low. But it did require that you go to a region other than your own. I think one of the BSA councils had a similar badge. It was lost when we had our statewide merger to one main council from 9. The merger hasn't faired as promised. We've lost a lot of unique programs and activities. The state badge was one of them. I would love to see it brought back. It'd be fun to visit a new state and the boys could earn something n the process.
  22. bsaggcmom

    What camps offer what activities

    My son will have one year left in the BS program after this year's summer camp. He and our 5 other older boys are looking for a camp for the summer of 2017 that offers whitewater MB as an option. We have found Camp SOAR in Colorado, but that's about it. The camp needs to offer a base camp for our younger scouts and a high adventure option for our older scouts, SM's requirement not ours. Does anyone know of a database that lists what summer camps offer what MBs? I have 6 older boys that want to do a high adventure, preferably whitewater rafting and 12 "little" guys that need a traditional MB driven camp. We have kicked around the idea of doing our own camp but we don't have enough older scouts to fill the minimums for MB classes with outfitters. We also don't have the adult manpower to do 2 different trips so each group gets what it wants. And several of the older guys have little brothers and the parents want camp done in 1 week not 2 different ones. We are looking at driving. Trains and planes are too expensive, especially when you still need rental transportation at the arrival location. Hoping to keep it to 1500 miles or less from southern Michigan. Colorado is at the far edge of our distance limits. The site must also operate in the last 2 weeks of June. The guys won't be out of school until June 15 next year. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks so much for your help.
  23. bsaggcmom

    What camps offer what activities

    Thanks again for the thoughts. Yes it needs to be whitewater. We have it narrowed down to 2 camps. BSA SOAR in Colorado and Heritage Scout Reservation in Pennsylvania. Prices are about the same, travel is the big difference. There are a few logistics we adult are still sorting out before letting the scouts vote. Has anyone gone to either camp? Can you please offer any pros or cons to each camp? Any info to help make the decision please?
  24. bsaggcmom

    Trouble collecting required forms

    I don't know about doctors in other areas, but most in my area will fill out a camp/sports/school physical anytime of the year as long as the child has been seen in the office in the past year. Just about every kid has a visit to the doctor's office at least once a year, flu, cold, strep, etc. Our doctor will filling out all my kids' forms at their annual physical or if I leave them with a self addressed stamped envelope at a sick visit. It may take a week or so to get them back, but if I ask in March and need them for June all is good. We also have urgent care centers on just about every corner here. They charge $20-25 per kid and will fill out up to 3 separate forms as part of the visit. Sports physicals must be completed after 4/15 of the school year before to be good for the entire next school year. $25 is less than a lot of people's office visit charges in this area. One doctor in the area organizes camp/sports physicals in the evening for a week in May and all the fees he collects get given to the school sports programs that the kids attend or to Girl Scout or Boy Scouts as FOS donations. I know one troop in the surrounding area that got the local family practice doctor to come to their meeting place and do the whole troop's physicals for $20/kid. They are a huge troop, 100+ scouts.
  25. bsaggcmom

    What camps offer what activities

    Thanks everyone for the replies so far. I will check your suggestions and pass the results to the troop.
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