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About WonderBoy

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    Northeast Iowa
  • Occupation
    Domestic Engineer

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  1. WonderBoy

    Cub Girl Uniform

    Not to be dismissive or snide, but that's an adult problem. And in my (however limited) experience, the "average" Pack is probably closer to 40 kids or less. What I worry about is the kids (OK, the parents) having to spend an additional $37.96 per year (at current Scout Shop pricing) on a hat, slide, neckerchief, and (maybe) belt buckle every year. I personally don't feel there's $37.96 in "value added" by having kids switch those out every year. Boy Scouts (soon to be "Scouts, BSA!") certainly don't change out anything with every year they're active. Or with every Rank they achieve. Why do we think this is necessary for Cub Scouts? Other than paying our designated tithe to the Scout Shop...
  2. WonderBoy

    Cub Girl Uniform

    Or maybe a Scout is thrifty and we go back to everyone, except the Webelos, wearing a yellow neckerchief and hat?... Just sayin'...
  3. WonderBoy

    BSA Executive Salaries

    The economist in me smiles at this statement. This truth applies to almost anything we do. That said, and I'm not trying to defend some of the boneheaded things coming out of Texas, the great U.S of A. is a VERY big place. It's sometimes hard to remember that what's "natural" or "apparent" to us locally doesn't apply or have the same meaning to someone across town, across a District, or across a Council, much less across a country as big as ours. A Scouter's experience growing up in a local Pack, bridging over to an attached Troop and eventually finding a home as a Scouter all with an involved CO in a small community is/can be very different from the experience of a Scouter who's experience is in a larger community with multiple CO's, both religious & community based, who are very "hands off". For me locally, I know our DE works her butt off. But I'm still not convinced there's much "value added" to my Cub Scout Pack. After all the money that comes out of my personal pocket (much like classroom teachers) for this & that in our Pack, the popcorn sales, the registration fees and the many hours a month that I volunteer, FOS solicitations kind of feel insulting to me. Just my 2¢, YMMV.
  4. Grrrrrr.... Personally, staffing requirements for me locally would be easier if the requirement was for a female CM/ACM only. It'll be a lot easier to recruit ONE female to be a ACM than however many we'll need (up to 6?) for den leadership. Plus that would finally give me an ACM to groom (does YPT allow me to use that word?) to take my place as CM. I know many Packs have a lot of female leadership, as evidenced by the 50/50 ratio at Roundtables, but our Pack has pretty much exclusively males in uniform. In spite of my efforts to cajole more women. And here we are accepting girls into more of our programming, while simultaneously saying, "women can mentor our boys, but men aren't capable of mentoring our girls without female assistance/guidance". So I guess that we're not truly just "opening up our membership to those interested in our programming". Because these leadership requirements imply that there's something fundamentally different about the programming now that requires a female's presence. How and in what way do these requirements make our kids safer?
  5. Nothing like a deadline to really bring things into focus... Just ask any Life Scout approaching his 18th birthday... (I hope your results exceed your planned expectations.)
  6. WonderBoy

    Breaking Point

    So many programs would be so better off if we did a better job remembering that. We learn so much better (adults & kids alike) when we're having fun. For me, in a great program the advancements are a byproduct of the learning which is itself a byproduct of adventure and fun.
  7. WonderBoy

    Cub Scout Uniform Changes

    Making the tan uniform an option for Webelos was a brilliant move when it became an option. Just ask any parent of a growing Cub Scout who intends on becoming a Boy Scout (Scouts, BSA after Feb 2019). Making it a requirement... is just more proof that National Supply plays a big part in the pyramid marketing scheme that is modern day Scouting. (And don't get me started on having a separate hat, slide, neckerchief and, in some cases, belt for each year. If a Scout is truly thrifty, they can make do with the perfectly serviceable uniform they already have. Just my $0.02)
  8. I feel your pain. Just last night before we started our Pack meeting, a Committee member and I realized we had differing understandings of the forthcoming rules. In spite of having just attended the same Roundtable where the discussion focus was Family Scouting. It's no wonder my District & Council are suggesting not to encourage any sign-ups of girls until August. So does this mean that all boy dens now require at least one male leader too? Or is sexism a one-way street?
  9. WonderBoy

    Stain on Uniform!

    Having worked around a lot of greasy motorcycles and trailer hitches back in my days administrating a motorcycle training program, I took a hint from one of my instructors who's day job was running a greasy semi-tractor up and down the road. Murphy's Oil Soap. The original, not the specialty stuff. Spot soak full strength with some gentle rubbing and then wash in the warmest water you're comfortable putting your uniform in. And to echo for the umpteeth time, don't use heat to dry until you're absolutely sure the stain is out.
  10. WonderBoy

    Lifetime of Leadership - new Girl Scout ad campaign

    I think this is an important point. Leadership and skills for life are not exclusive to Eagle Scouts. And there are plenty of former Scouts out there who would be more ardent supporters for a club they belonged to, (Scouts), over one they didn't (Eagles). The best Den Leader in my Pack "only" continued through Cub Scouts. Three years in, I JUST discovered that his Assistant is an Eagle Scout. (Don't get me wrong, the ADL is a great guy, but the DL clearly has better leadership/management talents.) If we really want to shine a light on the benefits of Scouting to the general public, why are we only highlighting the accomplishments of approximately 4% of us?
  11. WonderBoy

    Family Scouting Update

    I think I have one too, down in my basement. An old dark green Explorer/Leadership Corps shirt. You had to buy the little embroidered strip with the appropriate label (Explorers or Scouts) for your use separately.
  12. WonderBoy

    How Many ASMs per Troop

    My guideline has usually been the "ideal" troop makeup from "back in MY day" of my old council contingent to a National Jamboree. Four patrols of eight Scouts, plus 4 leadership Scouts (SPL, ASPL, QM & Scribe?) for 36 Scouts. This was accompanied by four adults: one SM and three ASM, one of which had to be between 18-21. One of the ASMs may have been focused primary on helping the Quartermaster, but my ancient history is a little fuzzy at this point. Obviously not everyone's situation matches these numbers and this was back when two deep leadership was just good practice and not policy etched in stone. But it meant there was one adult eating with each patrol to help ensure Scouts were adequately feeding themselves and provide any requested guidance. It also meant that in the event of an individual emergency, one or two adults could attend to it and still leave two adults to supervise the rest of the troop. Does a Troop need more than "X" number of ASMs? Maybe not. But leaders need backups and eventual replacements. And getting someone fully trained and certified takes time and energy. And I've never worked with or in a volunteer organization that could afford the luxury of turning away willing help. My oldest son's Troop is on the small side (they just grew to 16 boys and had to form a second patrol!) and is constant need for trained adults to ensure two deep leadership for campouts. Do they need more ASMs? Not really. More Committee Members? No. But until they institute a "Reserve Assistant Scoutmaster" or "Qualified Transportation Specialist", ASM or Committee Member are the only real options for some Troops to ensure enough trained adults are available for when the Scouts want to go camping. Just my $0.02, your mileage may vary, test on unseen area before washing...
  13. WonderBoy

    Where to start with a sewing machine for badges

    I'll second most of what bsaggcmom said. But rather than pinning (or stapling) patches, I'd recommend a temporary fabric adhesive. I use a product by Odif called "505 spray and fix" designed for "sewing applique & quilt craft". You spray it on the back side of your patch and then place it how/where you want it. It sticks weak enough to reposition if needed but strong enough to hold in place while sewing. And it washes out with the first washing. Also, keeping the stitch per inch setting (longer stitches) on your machine lower (less than 10?) makes it easier to remove the seams later. If you're particularly OCD about your unit numbers get the thinest non-fusible interfacing fabric you can find and sew your unit numbers to that first, then trim the interfacing as close to the numbers as possible. You now effectively have a single unit patch to sew onto your shirt. This works particularly well if you're not using the fabric adhesive. As for machines, most basic machines should do OK. Given that most of the sewing I tend to do ends up being heavier fabrics, when my old (my grandmother got it right before I was born) Singer finally gave up the ghost, I replaced it with a Janome (New Home) brand HD-3000 machine. This is one the heavier duty, non-commerical, machines that I'm aware of. I've repaired the loop (two layers of thick web strap) on my dog's leash with much fuss. I've yet to try leather, but people claim it can be done, with the right needle, of course. And finally, if you want to retain full use of all your shirt pockets, you'll still end up with some hand sewing. Good luck!
  14. WonderBoy

    Another year over

    A lot of smiling faces doing a lot of cool stuff! Good job Skip!
  15. WonderBoy

    Wayback machine... 1983-ish

    Thanks Eagle94-A1! That fills in the missing pieces for me. I was pretty sure about the neckerchief and slide, but I wasn't too sure about the headgear back then. Heck, even today it's not obvious what the "correct" official headgear is for a Cubmaster. As near as I can tell it's the green Boy Scout ball cap, but the Cubmaster is the only one in the Pack to wear it. While I still have my original ODL "mk1" (LOVE that term, btw) and can still button the shirt, my wife says I may not wear it in public. But I REALLY don't like the zip-off pants and I'm none too impressed with the newer shirts either. So thanks be to eBay. So I'm still on the lookout for the old "Trained" version of the Cubmaster patch with the silver/mylar highlights and now, apparently, an appropriate hat. But other than that eBay and patience has been my friend. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.