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HelpfulTracks last won the day on April 10 2019

HelpfulTracks had the most liked content!

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About HelpfulTracks

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday February 2

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    Knoxville TN
  • Occupation
    Director of Project Management

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  1. Depends on the Scout, their interest and what they have already accomplished, but some that come to mind Hornaday National Medal for Outdoor Achievement (which requires 3 Outdoor awards + other requirements) Both of those are rare awards and can be earned by youth until age 21
  2. HelpfulTracks

    NOAC 2020

  3. HelpfulTracks


    If you still have concerns after reading these fine replies, just pull the Adviser aside and let him know. We are the Brotherhood of Cheerful Service not the Brotherhood of Fantastic Voices. I am infinitely more concerned about attitude, work ethic and character than the ability to carry a tune or remember every word. Of course I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and my memory is horrible and somehow I made it through Brotherhood and was honored with Vigil. So don’t sweat this and don’t let the youth sweat it either.
  4. HelpfulTracks

    BSA designates Philmont as a "No Adventure Base"

    I continue to hold that if you believe Scouting is emasculating our youth, it’s your own fault and you are doing it wrong. The opportunities for a great Scouting outdoors experience are there if Scouts want to take them. A friend of mine just took his Crew on a 4day/3 night 30 plus mile AT trek over the long weekend. Both of my kids are likely to earn the OAHA Triple Crown and have more than enough camping for the silver National Outdoor Award and enough high adventure for National High Adventure Award gold x 2. But they work their tails off to make it happen.
  5. HelpfulTracks

    BSA designates Philmont as a "No Adventure Base"

    This is actually a selling point for my family. I have two teen scouts, who had 10 weeks of Summer break (71 nights x 2). They had 68 scheduled nights camping between WSJ, high adventure, unit outings, NYLT, summer camp and staff. They were home all of 2 weeks at the same time. That’s more nights than an average Summer but not by much. They already have over 200 nights Scout camping between them and my youngest has been in Scouting less than 18 months. They already have 38 nights scheduled for next Summer and they aren’t done (pending how much money the raise). Throw in that I average 12-18 nights per summer, (33 nights a couple years back). Mom does NOT camp anymore and has never more than a few nights per year ever. For the last few Summers I’ve tried to figure out how to combine going to PTC with my kids doing a Philmont trek or OATC. That would take the family away from mom for another 2-3 weeks. Well, let’s just say I want to stay married, so I’ve never figured out how to pull off the PTC/Trek combo. With the glamping option I might be able to talk the wife into going out with us. The kids trek for a couple weeks, I get to PTC for one. Then the wife and I spend a week in the area sight seeing and add a few extra days on the trip back to do some things with the whole family. In our case that means a net plus of high adventure.
  6. HelpfulTracks

    Thoughts on "OA Legends" patch

    Sure they could. All they need to do is come up with a design, slap the official OA logo on it, copyright/trademark it, make it and sell it. I have no doubt OA National would make a good deal of money and profit. But the OA does not want any patches on the back of the sash and only Anniversary patches have been approved for the front. The OA could make a nice profit on things like this, but have chosen to keep the sash free of such clutter. In addition, the legend patches expose an important part of the induction process to the general public unnecessarily.
  7. HelpfulTracks

    World Jamboree - Reviews

    Absolutely, there were several overseas contingents at the last 2017 NSJ. In fact, they were in Subcamp Echo or Foxtrot ( can’t remember which) and it was the place to be. When the site for the Jamboree comes out it should have info for you.
  8. HelpfulTracks

    World Jamboree - Reviews

    I know there are a couple of days left in the Jamboree but I figured I would go ahead and start a thread on how things went. The Good: from everything I am hearing, the programming has been great. Both of my kids are having a great time. They are meeting people from around the world, making friends, trying new foods (that participants brought and at the country tents where they can purchase food). They are trading items and getting a few things. Both have been to events at the Summit before, so they were more focused on meeting people than hitting the activities. But the only complaint I have heard was that lighting cut short the activities at Mount Jack, which was out of anyone’s control and understandable, still frustrating when you consider hiking 14 miles for activities. Overall I think I would give it an A, maybe even A+ based on current feedback from my youth and others I know. The Bad: I will start with what frustrates me most. Just short of half way into Jamboree, my son told me he had heard they had already consumed 70% of the food. I thought, surely it was a rumor, and even if it was not, the logistics team had time to recover. Then I saw Facebook post about rationing food. I asked my son about it this morning and he told me they were rationing for last few days. He has been purchasing food, not just for the experience, but out of being hungry. I offered to wire him some additional money since he was spending more on food and cutting back on souvenirs. He declined, he told me a Scout is thrifty and he already feels bad that he wasn’t able to raise enough money to cover the whole trip. There is no excuse for not getting the participants fed properly, particularly considering the Jamboree team should have the experience of past national Jamborees as a guide and this event was almost a $1000 more than the NSJ. However, in hindsight I am not really surprised. There have been poor decisions and bad execution for sometime when it comes to logistics. It has been a mess from day one. There have been a number if issues. The participants patches were supposed to be mailed were not received. The Jamboree store was opened to the public so some items were sold out before many participants were even emailed about the site. We were not told before the store opened that bags were being supplied (they were a separate purchase for NSJ unless Council purchased them), some parents went ahead and purchased them because of concerns they would run out. We had to go to multiple sites to purchase SWAG. Virtually every order was wrong, missing items, even included items not ordered, wrong sizes etc. Orders were canceled without explanation or notice even after card was charged. USA contingent items, including neckers, were available on site for anyone to purchase making the trade value nearly far less (kids had hard time trading neckers because there were for sale). Some USA contingent items were at trading post onsite but never on the internet, so USA kids missed out on getting them. Venturing units were setup regionally, not by council, so one of my kids units was shuffled 3 times, making communication with leaders difficult. At one time we were told the original unit was collapsed into another unit and there would be new leaders. It was weeks before we knew who those leaders were. Both of my kids received emails from leaders from units they were not assigned to, including my son, who is in our councils troop. The SWAG issue is frustrating and disappointing, but the food issue is intolerable. Particularly, since it has had a negative impact on my son enjoying the last few days ( he is SPL and had to spend extra time dealing with getting his troop fed and dealing with unhappy Scouts - something he should not have had to deal with) I would give logistics a D-, maybe an F. I am just sad that such a great program has been lessened because of poor logistical planning and food. I will get more details when they return.
  9. HelpfulTracks

    Philmont's Allure...

    I know things may have changed over the last 40 years, but Philmont is hardly crowded. Except for Base camp and some activity camps, I don’t remember seeing other crews much. I think we may have seen a couple in passing, and at Baldy and the Tooth. But 98% of the time it was my crew, the mountains, trees and animals. The memories are great and still strong. I loved Philmont.
  10. HelpfulTracks

    2019 World Jamboree

    My son and daughter at there, in Delta 3. My son had the Francesinha and really wants to make it at home. Both are having a great time meeting peoplpe, trying new food and taking it all in.
  11. HelpfulTracks

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    No myth, I have seen it happen too many times. The kids want to make friends, with rare exceptions. Some find it easier than others. The process is messy, disorganized, loud and sometimes a bit crazy. All things that run counter to our adult need for things to be organized and orderly. That is why we attempt to "assemble" friend groups. But core groups of youth with form into friends groups and eventually patrols. Leaders will emerge. Some youth with struggle to fit in, that is where adults nudge, whisper in the leaders ear, listen to the youth, ask questions and lead them toward making good decisions and helping others find where they fit in best. It is pretty simple, but not very easy. As adults we have to fight our urge to take control and smooth everything out.
  12. HelpfulTracks

    Can the Patrol Method Be Revived?

    I have read and heard this and similar questions / conclusions / complaints before. I am bewildered each time. If Patrol method is not working in a troop, then it’s because of the troop. More often than not, Patrol method is failing because it is being impeded by adults. Left to their own devices youth will naturally gravitate towards what we call the Patrol method. Yes, the recent policy changes of requiring 2-21+ registered leaders makes it more difficult, but it does not make it impossible.iu In my time as training chair, the hardest thing I had teaching SM/ASM’s wasn’t how to teach knots, compass or axe skills. The hardest thing was teaching them to stay out of the way as much as possible. Guide, nudge and whisper when needed, but let the Scouts be Scouts and you will be 80+% of way to Patrol method. Teach them as needed and you will have a Unit with a healthy Patrol method.
  13. HelpfulTracks

    Tent set up question

    1. BSA, PLC and SM ( in extreme cases) make the rules. So, unless MOM is a new acronym I have missed see 2 below. 2. Present mom with a brand new kite kit, let her figure it out*** 3. Looking at photo, I see 3 separate rugs, so just pull the rug in 2 inches and problem solved. 4. The only real reason I can see for a similar rule is if a stiff rug is sticking out 3-4 inches it can give the appearance of a solid step and cause someone to stumble. Simple solution, see 3 above, but no need to remove it. *** I would never tell a Scout to tell someone to go fly a kite, it’s just my inner frustration coming out about overbearing adult rules.
  14. HelpfulTracks

    Quick: Are Crocs closed toe enough for camp?

    Personally, I love my Crocs, but I’m not a fan of them for camping. They are too soft to offer real protection and tend to get slippery (inside the shoe) when wet. They are more expensive, but my whole family uses Keens. As much as we camp though, it’s been worth the cost. We would have worn out several pairs of Crocs at this point, and I can’t count the number of times they have saved toes from protruding rocks and roots.
  15. HelpfulTracks

    When beneficiary destroys Eagle Project

    Similar here. Church was sold and torn down to make room for larger church.