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Everything posted by thrifty

  1. Hello, We are a reasonable driving distance from Summit. WSJ is too expensive but my family is considering the possibility of driving to Summit for a day pass during WSJ. We didn't know about day passes prior to NSJ '17. I've seen the info online for NSJ day passes but those details are too vague for my comfort. I've heard stories about NSJ and I would expect WSJ to be even crazier with regards to lines, crowds, etc.. What I would like to know is what exactly a day pass entitles the user to do/see, what kind of access is the user allowed? I don't think my scout would want to wait in line for 3 hours to do a zip line or other activity so I'm not worried about that but we would like to see the entire camp and be able to explore and people watch and feel like we're a part of the celebration. We wouldn't want to be cordoned off in some small area or only be allowed access to limited areas. That would be a wasted trip. Any feedback on what should happen at WSJ or what did happen at NSJ with regards to day passes is appreciated. Thank you.
  2. we are going for just Saturday. Got a room, so driving down the night before. I believe visitors are kicked out at 5pm so we'll just drive home then. I just want my son to have a chance to experience WSJ without spending thousands of dollars so the one day should be enough. We've never been to the Summit either so it's two birds with one stone. He obviously won't get that summer camp type experience but we're getting what we paid for. I'm wondering if there will be any opportunity to trade with other scouts during the day while we are there. Visitors aren't allowed in the camping areas and we have to leave at 5pm. Scouts should be at activities all day right? Without any kind of prior experience, its difficult to envision what this will be like. I just assume it will be organized chaos similar to a large fair or camporee.
  3. thrifty

    Blue & Gold cost

    our pack has done it several different ways the past few years. The Webelos 1 parents are responsible for B&G every year with anyone else that wants to volunteer. The year before us got a caterer and it was nice so we did the exact same thing. The food was dropped off to the church basement. Chicken, spaghetti, rolls etc.. $10/person, scouts were free. All money covered costs. I don't recall the price but the next year there was a chef in the group so they had a similar meal but he cooked everything in the church kitchen. The year after that it was decided that a big meal was too much work and they kept it simple with a nice sheet cake and beverages. The pack paid for the cake and there was no parent fee. Take a pole of the parents. Give them a few options with estimated family cost and see what they say. B&G should be about the scouts and a scout is thrifty so I like the cake only idea. It's easy and fast so it takes less time from the volunteers/planners.
  4. thrifty

    Selling Camp Cards

    Lake Erie formerly Greater Cleveland. Not going to lose any sleep over it, I just find it interesting. I wonder why they aren't in our council because I would think the council is aware of them. Or maybe not. We have popcorn and maple syrup! The troops in the area also have their pancakes, spaghetti or other fundraisers because popcorn doesn't sell enough to support the troop. We do ok.
  5. thrifty

    Selling Camp Cards

    well, it seems like everyone is selling camp cards except us. Interesting.
  6. thrifty

    Selling Camp Cards

    what's a camp card? I assume its one of those plastic cards that has coupons to various local vendors? Our school athletics program does something like that. I don't see anything wrong with this. Assuming I am correct in what they are, my opinion is that you are advertising the fundraiser on social media. The customers are still dealing directly with you or another parent/scout/leader when purchasing the card. Our troop and many others in the area advertise our fundraisers on our local media websites. Our troop doesn't post pics of the scouts online, its just usually a flier and details. Something else to consider, is this a Troop fundraiser or a council fundraiser? If the troop is doing this under the radar of the council then posting online might draw unwanted attention from council. Its unlikely but possible. Our council doesn't care, but maybe yours would. See if this helps you. It's specifically about fundraising. I haven't read it lately. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/financeimpact/pdf/cfd-manuals/policies_and_procedures.pdf
  7. thrifty

    2018 Membership numbers are in

    Good to hear. As far as I'm concerned this should be where the BSA devotes more of its energy. I know that in our area the term Explorers has recently been used for short term classes with specialists in Engineering or other careers but I am most familiar with the Law Enforcement and Fire programs. My son is enjoying his LE explorer post more than his troop because the post meetings are fun and active. My brother has 20+ years in law enforcement and still says the time he spent with his post was inspirational and important to his career. I live in the suburb of a large midwest city. If a teen is motivated enough to want to rock climb, cave or hike they don't need to form a group to do it. A simple google search will show that there are already local groups that are established and have experts waiting with open arms. I don't think it was that easy in the past and I know its not that easy everywhere. Most likely, the teen will convince a buddy or two and just go do it. why form a group at all? Took my son to a new Venturing crew meeting because it was supposed to be about a topic he had interest in. With the exception of my son and another scout, the teens were clueless about Venturing and the adults hosting the meeting had planned poorly, did a terrible job explaining the goals of the new crew or why anyone would even want to be in the group. They were talking about elections and they hadn't even established what was going to motivate the crew to show up. I understand that Venturing is crew lead but I don't think most people join a group and then ask what does this group do? After two hours of talking about everything except why we were there my son decided he wasn't interested in joining. When anyone mentions Venturing I cant help but think back to the meetings we had when our troop was starting a crew. One of the people that spoke about venturing was a gentleman that was active and an adult advisor in several crews that did different activities. He mentioned that the crews had more adult participation at planned activities than the youth. They had to set rules to limit the number of adults. The adults were more interested than the youth. I'm not talking about 21 yo's, I'm talking about the parents of the crews and the advisors. I'll never forget that
  8. thrifty

    Privacy of Health Forms

    This isn't your question but I thought I would share this. Our CC does not destroy any of the forms when they are outdated. She hand delivers those forms back to the parents. It may seem like a small detail, any of these forms could be photocopied or the details could be written down but I think it shows responsibility and accountability for the details entrusted to her. Maybe the parents care about the paperwork, maybe they don't, but they gave it to her and she gives it back so they can dispose of it instead of wondering or assuming that she did.
  9. The pack didn't do much of anything in the past. Someone finally decided to do the arrow similar to Eagle87's pic above without the plaque. Its simple, cheap and we just used various bits and electrical tape. Presenting the arrow and describing what the individual colors represented added some flair so family members understood what it all meant. My son is a 14yo Life scout and his arrow still hangs in his room. I would assume that eventually that arrow will be delegated to a cardboard box in the basement until he's an adult and wants to see it again. Personally, I think its important to keep in mind that a gift of some sort will mean something different to each scout and family. I think its safe to assume that many of the webelow arrows have unfortunately been tossed in the trash. Others will cherish them forever. I've witnessed Eagle Scouts purge almost everything scout related that they owned (except patches, never patches) as if they had just quit a job. So I would say any gift should be of moderate value. The troop provides a necker and book upon crossing over.
  10. thrifty

    Tent fire buckets

    Never heard of the fire buckets. Our tents have a laminated sheet in each tent identifying that there are no fires in tents. If you want buckets, try asking Firehouse Subs if you have one near you. Their pickles come in red buckets and they sell them cheap after emptying. Individual stores have been known to donate the buckets upon request. Otherwise the $2 goes towards helping firemen. https://www.firehousesubs.com/ The buckets have print on them but you could easily paint WATER or SAND over the print if you wanted.
  11. How much drama could there be if everyone was onboard with the decision? Of course there would be drama with the objectors but it also lets everyone know where the CO and/or troop leadership stands on any future changes. Backdoor meetings and whispers between leaders certainly doesn't build respect or trust.
  12. I don't disagree but many COs don't have any involvement with the packs or troops other than providing meeting space. It wasn't our CO that wanted a girl troop, it was the leaders with daughters that wanted the girl troop and asked for one. Every leader and committee member in our troop has a child in the troop. Some adult leaders actively petitioned for the girl troop and their voices were heard. Being involved with committee meetings would have been the only opportunity for anti-girl parents to voice their opinions. If parents are not actively involved in the troop, decisions will be made by the parents that are. Our troop always encourages anyone to attend the committee meetings but sadly few do.
  13. thrifty


    somewhere (facebook maybe) I saw a post where the pack used orange pill bottles. Got them donated new from a local pharmacy or something. Of course I wonder if the child proof cap would prevent them from opening? hmm.
  14. thrifty

    2019 World Jamboree

    fyi - WSJ day passes are now available. I was able to get ours last night. https://www.2019wsj.org/attend/day-visitors/?fbclid=IwAR0KipxPhJIj4OXNMTnsv6VJu6ud9IEykS3qfHf0HCCuC56w9vpNCTRrcHM
  15. Yes sounds like fun, too far for us though. I am aware of activities at West Point and Annapolis. Troop has been to a West Point activity, had fun but it was very crowded. Navy's is STEM related, haven't done it yet. https://www.facebook.com/ScoutmastersCouncil/ https://www.facebook.com/USNABoyScoutJamboree/ Coastguard also. don't know anything about this one. http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/01/boy-scouts-get-hands-on-experience-at-coast-guard-academy/
  16. thrifty

    Keeping Older Scouts

    Our shooting campouts are always popular but most scouts in our area do not have their own guns or access to guns. My son lost interest in shooting with scouts because he's bored of the .22 after shooting it for several years at campouts, camp and in private. He's only interested now if I mention other guns.
  17. thrifty

    PW Derby Car from past year

    our pack always had old spare pw cards in the closet. anyone that didn't want to keep their car could donate it to the cause. these served as examples to new cubs/parents and were also used as family participation cars after the cub races were over. my 30yo+ cars are part of that collection so they still get run on occasion. Kindness is important but compromising the rules for an individual when everyone else followed them can lead to problems. Our pack always had a few days when cubs with no tools at home or a parent that couldn't help would be able to come in and get their cars ready.
  18. wasn't sure where to put this. Does filling out a youth application count towards BSA membership numbers or local executive recruitment goals of some kind? Took my 14yo Life scout to a Venturing meeting. This crew was advertised as having an emphasis on specific areas that my son has an interest in. The recruitment meeting was poorly planned and very confusing with almost no talk about what they do. Anyway, my son did not want to join the crew based on that meeting and so neither one of us filled out an application. The local BSA executive saw that we were not filling out the paperwork and made an announcement that filling out the application will give the crew contact info for everyone and to not worry about any other specifics until they start asking for money. My son is already in the BSA so his fee would be waived but I'm not going to submit an application for him when he isn't sure about the crew. I've become a terrible cynic as I've grown older and I was wondering if the executive was encouraging us to fill out an application because it would somehow increase enrollment numbers or something. I can imagine that my son would be listed as belonging in a crew that he may never see again. Someone please tell me I'm wrong. thx
  19. thrifty

    Troop office expectations

    you said the plc does not choose these kinds of things. Are adventurous ideas ever submitted? Does the plc know that more adventurous camping is an option? Our troop was full of stale ideas and adult leaders set in their ways. The scouts had been doing the same things for years because that was the only thing they knew. It took a few new vocal scouts to submit fresh ideas they found online to the plc and a few willing adults to start making things happen. Many scouts would not know what Philmont was unless someone told them. My son had never been canoeing before he joined the troop, so I don't think it was unusual for him to not consider it as an activity when planning. I think this is common when you are dealing with young scouts that don't have a lot of experiences. if ideas are submitted to the plc but just not chosen then what about splitting the troop if resources are available? Older scouts go on a backpacking trip and the younger scouts or scouts that don't want to backpack camp locally and do something else. If the scouts are having fun they will come. Why would they want to be there if its not fun? I wouldn't want to come either.
  20. thrifty

    And so it begins

    I concur with Parkman's thoughts. The troop my son joined had no chaplain aide, said no prayer before meals and had no sunday services. Our CO has never had any interest in being involved with the scouts either, the church is just a place to meet. Religion was never emphasized in my son's pack or troop (or when I was a cub 30+ years ago). It has only been in the past year that one vocal parent has gotten the troop to say grace and if a scout wants to be a CA, he is welcome to do so. IMO I think the troop leadership just felt that duty to god was best dealt with at home. I was surprised to see how much religion was emphasized by some scouters when I first joined these forums.
  21. thrifty

    Linked troops share bank account?

    our CO is very hands off so they have nothing to do with our bank account. just from experiences with our troop, people are not always going to agree on how money is spent. some adults find it easy to spend money that is not theirs. IMO there will be many questions similar to this one in the future, you have to find what works for your troops but I tend to be cautious and the less people that have their hands in the pot, the better.
  22. thrifty

    selecting a uniform hat for a new troop

    most boy scouts in our troop don't wear hats so they just use whatever personal head gear they want if any. Personally I don't see the need for mandatory assigned hats. If the youth don't like them, they won't use them anyway.
  23. thrifty

    Starting a new troop: Budget items

    Our troop charges $30 above the required fee. This provides a necker, slide, patrol patch and advancement/MBs the first year. All campouts including summercamp are charged separately in advance. Try and network. Does someone's grandfather or someone at the CO own some property where you can camp? What about shooting sports/hunting clubs in the region? beg and borrow equipment in the beginning. many communities have facebook pages devoted to local happenings, post that the new troop is looking for tents and items that might be taking up space in someone's garage. people are happy to help the scouts when they can and maybe that old tent will only last a year but by then there should be some fundraiser money in the bank. Also, depending on what tents you eventually buy, do not pay retail! Several companies give scout discounts on tents. we sell popcorn and do an annual fundraiser as well. the two combined replace any needed tents and purchase any new equipment like staves or rope. our troop also assists with leadership training costs so some cash goes there.
  24. thrifty

    Pre-season Pinewood Derby drama

    We did this. It was only a few parents so it didn't take long at the end but it was fun because the dads didn't have to adhere to all of the usual rules. one dad used rubber tires and that resulted in the car going off track every time to much laughter from the scouts. we also did work days but not at regular scout time. a separate day or two was set aside on the weekend for a few hours in the church basement with various tools so that a scout could work on cars if their family did not have the necessary tools. My son's first pack had a lot of single moms with no tools or knowledge about such things. I admit to rolling my eyes on occasion. One car really stands out in my memory. There's no way the tiger cub did anything except maybe some of the sanding. It looked like a real toy car you could buy at the store. But that's between the scout and his father. My kid did almost everything on his cars including using the saw except for a few cuts. That's how we roll in my house. If someone is going to do all the work for their scout, there's really nothing you can do to prevent it. Are you going to disqualify a scout's car? I enjoy this scout cartoon.
  25. thrifty

    Simply falling behind or is it more complicated?

    Don't know anything about boys vs girls. My son's school system pushes students to attend college, not just encourages, but emphasizes college as the goal. My wife and I have several degrees but feel college is not for everyone. The recent highschool graduates of our extended family have gone on to college because that's what they were told they needed to do. Both dropped out the first year after getting sizeable loans. Now both are pursuing law enforcement and possibly EMT. Those seem like skills better suited to them. My son's school had a job fair and not a single trade was there. It was all IT and medical based with the local FD and PD mixed in. How do you not have a trade at a large job fair? They weren't invited. I asked some of my teacher friends and they said something about the school being ranked/graded on the number of future college students it has. Students that would be best served by exploring options other than college don't get what they need. There is a very scary future on the way. Our school system has implemented a program that goes by several names Summit, Basecamp, individualized learning platform. Its experimental and in more and more school systems. When you follow the paper trail, you find that this program is sponsored by Gates and Zuckerberg money. The school got everything for free so of course they agreed to it. The students spend much of their time on the computers and are encouraged to use Youtube, Facebook and Instagram. There are a lot of crazy things about this program that I could go on and on about. We have a small school and there are a lot of parents unhappy with the direction our students are going. The wife and I both went to trade schools our last two years of highschool. I never thought I would have a chance to go to college and she thought she'd be a secretary. We agree that we learned more at the trade school and in our first professional jobs than we did in college 20 years ago. I don't know what they are like now but when we were in college, our classes were stagnant and mostly boring with no real world application of what we were learning. We still have our text books and I've flipped through them for a laugh. The only good reason for us to have been in college was to get the piece of paper that says we have a degree so we could get our foot in the door and prove ourselves. Its obviously not that way for everyone.