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HelpfulTracks last won the day on April 10

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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  • Location
    Knoxville TN
  • Occupation
    Director of Project Management

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. HelpfulTracks

    When beneficiary destroys Eagle Project

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

    Man Bites Dog... Den leader sues Cub Scouts

    Okay, I know I am a bit jaded when it comes to the news media. I read news with numerous questions about what the REAL story is far too often. In this case, the article is about a civil law suit, filed 2 years ago, about an accident 5 years ago, being dismissed. That happens dozens or more of times a day in a city (MSA) the size of Buffalo. So what is the news worthiness? Is there any real news here? Was it just an excruciatingly slow news day in Buffalo? Or, is there some other agenda. Of course how one reads an article also lends a bias, but I still don't get the news value here. Is it, Scouts are dangerous? Snow sports are dangerous? Parents are careless? People are greedy? Personally, I see many great things that come out of Scouting, but the preponderance of articles are negative. This story appears to be a factual story, but I still do not understand its news value. Maybe I am just too paranoid of the news media and their agendas.
  5. HelpfulTracks

    Has anyone seen C.W. Fetter?

    Ahhh, the ubiquitous records fire. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard our council or lodge lost their records in a fire. Apparently a whole lot of councils and lodges should have their firem’n chit taken away. As for your search, I have no information. But good luck, I hope you find something. Start with the troop, they may have some history files. You might want to check the local paper archive/history and photo archives. I have heard of some newspapers keeping kill files on articles not printed, as well as all photos taken. Also some churches will have old church bulletins. The OA lodge is usually a good place to find council historians as well. Good luck
  6. HelpfulTracks

    OA election nights

    Actually, no. The election, it’s requirements and how it’s run belongs to the Lodge, which must follow national guidelines. The unit leaders discretion ends at determining who is eligible, again, based on national guidelines. I have to admit, I’m not following this paragraph. I will say I follow the spirit of what the OA is trying to achieve, which is to select honor Scouts with an emphasis on camping experience. Specifically, national has said you cannot split long term camping, like a 10 night Jamboree, into 3 outings of 5, 3 and 2 nights. But I cannot find anything on using a portion of a long term camp. Personally, to me counting it goes against the spirit, as they are usually, different types of camping. Also, I do not count shelter camping unless they are open shelters like the Adirondacks (not fully enclosed) found in some national parks. Even then I would have to give it some serious thought before counting more than one event using any shelters like Adirondacks. Ultimately, beyond defining the minimum nights for long term camping (5), and maximum nights for short term camping (3), the OA leaves it to the discretion of the unit leader to determine if a Scout meets the requirements. I would point you back to the spirit of the election. It is not about getting a sash and a patch. It’s about selecting those scouts with strong camping experience who live the oath and law daily. A few more points to think about in terms of elections and eligibility: First, call out is not required and even if you want one, it can be done by the troop itself, so don’t make it an arbitrary barrier. Second, the unit may have only one election per calendar year. Third, a Scout is eligible for election until they turn 21, so even if he is going off to college he can be kept on roster as a Scouter reserve and sill be eligible to be elected up to the date he turns 21. I hope that helps.
  7. HelpfulTracks

    Camp Paperwork Organization

    Like @qwazse said. I prefer zippered binders. If you have need things that don’t fit nicely into binders, zipper pencil bags or good old ziplocks (hole punched) are good. I like to keep things organized by unit paperwork in front and Scouts alphabetically behind that. Being really overly organized I tend to use labeled dividers for each subject/scout. I always keep an identical binder for anything I need to turn in, which has come in handy on more than one occasion. Any meds go in a lock box where I and two trusted adults have keys. I will also keep extra cash/prepaid card for emergencies, ever since I had one Scouts pack become lost by the airline. I would not do that because a scout is careless or over spends, but for something out of their control I won’t let it ruin his trip or mine. That is a particular issue with Sea Base as so many fly in and will not have time to wait for found luggage before departing on their adventure.
  8. HelpfulTracks

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    Hmmmm, coffee delivery trucks at camp. Sounds like a fundraiser for some enterprising young scouts.
  9. HelpfulTracks

    Be Prepared

    Scouts rock!
  10. HelpfulTracks

    Patrol Method not so much

    Have your scouts had any trading? TLT, ILSC, NYLT? Are your youth active in OA and attending events and OA training? Too often youth have no idea of how they should/can organize or lead. Training is a good place to start. Even with training, our Scouts didn’t really totally grasp how they should/could be leading until they saw it in action outside the troop. They saw how it was working with OA and everything we had been teaching them sort of clicked and youth led took off like a rocket with them. Patrol system and youth led go hand in hand in my opinion. It also takes both the adults willingness to let it happen ( including encouraging and teaching it) as well as the youths willingness to take it on. Try starting with teaching the youth what patrol method and youth is all about. Then assist the adults in staying out of the way.
  11. HelpfulTracks

    Grilled Panini

    We have made “pressed” sandwiches since I was a youth many years ago. We used two cast iron skillets of differing sizes. Preheating both skillets, cooking in the larger and using the smaller as a press. Works well.
  12. HelpfulTracks

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    If the Cooking merit badge is the goal, then there is nothing stopping you. Have your scouts plan their meals in the weeks running up to camp, purchase their food the days before and cook during camp. Just do not attend the camp meals in the dinning hall. But understand, that will likely exclude the Scouts from participating in scheduled activities. Most of the camps I have researched, that offer patrol meals, provide ready made menus for the Scouts to cook. That does not meet the requirements for cooking merit badge. This is the reason Scouts can’t work the cooking MB at high adventure bases. It would also increase the total cost of Summer camp. Even if every unit cooked their own meals, the camp still needs to feed staff and they get significant cost savings buy for several hundred. So you will not cut the camp fees enough to cover the food cost of purchasing your own food. But if your Scouts choose to cook on their own knowing the opportunity cost and real dollar cost, go for it. Also, dinning halls have been around since the earliest days. Both of our camps had dinning halls from the first day they offered organized Summer camp. They date back to the 20’s and 50’s respectively.
  13. HelpfulTracks

    Let's talk about Unit Numbers

    The four digits for the system is a legacy database issue and nothing more. I would just pick a number you want. If it isn’t in use or reserved, I seriously doubt it is a hill and DE or SE wants to die on. A DC really has no say in the matter.
  14. Our main Camp has a nice museum. Some units and OA Lodges have some nice collections also.
  15. HelpfulTracks

    Does National want to kill the uniform?

    I just flipped through the girls version of the handbook. Of the first 25 images of people (through page 27), 10 are in field uniform, 7 are clearly activity uniforms, 3 are non-uniforms (youth doing stuff at home). The remaining five are rain gear or outdoor gear that may or may not be be covering field or activity uniforms. I cannot say I see a pattern that makes me think BSA is down playing field or activity uniforms.