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Everything posted by HelpfulTracks

  1. HelpfulTracks

    Advancement question

    In mashmaster’s defense, I told the same to my son and his reply to me was similar to mm jr’s. I encouraged him to track them for future reference. He didn’t follow that advice. Now as he is closing in on Eagle, he commented he wish he had tracked them as it would save the time and effort of re-doing some of the, now, mundane task. I simply shrug and smile. There are a few life lessons in that exchange. I’m curious how many he recognizes.
  2. HelpfulTracks

    Badge Magic is THE DEVIL!!!

    I position all of my patches using Elmer’s washable glue. My wife uses her sewing machine to make the accessible ones permanent. The glue washes out in the first laundry cycle. (After my first/only effort in sewing with her machine, it was placed off limits and I am forbidden from touching it). The patches not easily accessible to the machine, like the pockets, she sews by hand, using a method I think she called appliqué (?). The needle never passes through that patches plastic, only the threads around the outside. It looks a bit tedious. Fortunately, I have no patches like that, but my son and daughter are learning how to do it. I had to sew my patches on myself as a youth, and I don’t remember having to deal with this Kevlar style backing.
  3. HelpfulTracks

    REI weighs in

    A surprisingly well done article. Anytime I see articles/opinion pieces written by companies with a direct profit motive I expect it to be overly colored by said motive. I think this one is well balanced.
  4. HelpfulTracks

    Badge Magic is THE DEVIL!!!

    I think Badge Magic is a BSA semi-hazing, rite of passage. Most people fall in love with the magic of Badge Magic, only to be horrified by the evils of the black magic later. THEN everyone says “oh yeah, that stuff it horrible”, but only AFTER you have learned this for yourself. It seems no tells you to avoid it upfront. Snipe hunting, anyone?
  5. HelpfulTracks

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    I am not answering for T2Eagle, but vague issues like the term "active" are left to the SM discretion. Just like a vague MB requirement (assuming there are any) would be left to the MB Counselor.
  6. HelpfulTracks

    Only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.

    But in 6 month's it will matter. You have set an example. You and your CO have appointed yourselves the judge of which rules should and should not be followed in an organization you do not run alone. Your Scouts, other Scouters and Scouts have witnessed this and may well model you and your CO. Perhaps they will not have your advanced wisdom to know which rules are good and which are bad. Maybe they choose to ditch some important G2SS or YPT rules, because they know better. I once had a discussion with a famous athlete who stated he was not a role model, and people should not choose to model their behavior after him. I told him that was not his choice, people choose who they emulate, go or bad. His only choice was if the he was going to model good behavior or bad. Needless to say he did no take to my message, because her knew best, and, frankly, simply wanted to do what he wanted to do, regardless of others. There are a number of BSA rules and policies I disagree with and I work to change them. However, I follow them, because I know youth are watching what I do and some will model my behavior, be it right or wrong.
  7. HelpfulTracks

    Only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.

    The OA has not set equivalencies. First, they have no authority to do so in any of the programs, the OA does not set policy for Boy Scouts, Venturing or Crew nor will they for ScoutsBSA. Secondly, the OA worked with Venturing and Sea Scouts to identify the appropriate award level to eligible for election to the OA. While they may have worked with those programs to identify awards that roughly approximated the time and effort of achieving First Class, no one set those as equivalencies. Earning First Class does not get you Discovery, or vice versa. Each must be earned on their own in their own program. If a Scout belongs to both programs, he/she, can count much of the work done in one organization for equivalent requirements in the other (as long as they are actively registered in both simultaneously.) Additionally, the prospective youth must have earned the rank/award the OA requires in order to be elected in that program. For example a Scout with the Discovery Award cannot be elected from a Troop if they are Second Class, they may only be elected from the Crew. As for camping nights, Boy Scout camping nights has been the term used and that included Varsity. Boy Scouts being the reference for BSA regardless of the unit. So, yes, camping nights made as a member of a Crew or Ship would count just as they have for Varsity.
  8. HelpfulTracks

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    You can lead the horse to water but you can't make him drink. The Den Chief serves the Troop by being a friend and guide to the den. He can do a great job and the Cubs can still choose to go elsewhere. However, he has introduced the Cubs to the Troop through his service. That service is for the Troop, even if it does not benefit them
  9. HelpfulTracks

    O/A @ WSJ 2019?

    There currently is no planned/organized presence for the OA at WSJ. To my knowledge the OA was not invited as it is a uniquely a U.S organization.
  10. When unread “technicality” I immediately thought something like a Merit Badge was completed but not recorded properly, or paperwork was turned in but a signature was in the wrong place, or maybe he had an extended illness that delayed him. Those are technicalities beyond the Scouts control. There are remedies for those situations. But the time in rank is a well known and well documented requirement. That requirement nearly caught up with me more than 3 decades ago, it has nearly caught up with several Eagles I have mentored. It did trip up one I mentored. It is not a technicality, it is a requirement. And it’s not one I hear people complain about being unfair. I do not feel sorry for him, he had a good Scouting experience based on the article. It looks like he has good character based on his comments. I say congratulations on what you have achieved. Nothing is preventing him from continuing as a Scouter, most Scouters are not Eagles. If he chooses not to become a Scouter based solely on feeling slighted by not earning his Eagle then he probably shouldn’t have earned it in the first place. If he does become a Scouter he will have a significant life lesson to pass on to his Scouts. It’s not a technicality if you show up for a college exam 2 hours late and fail the test. It’s not a technicality if you fail to take a licensing exam prior to your deadline. It’s not a technicality if you don’t complete a project by the time the client needs it. If there is some technicality, like I listed above, then I would support National In giving him some more time, but I don’t see that in the article. Eagle Scout is not a participation trophy given out because you tried hard or you are a good kid, it is earned based on then prevailing rules. Congratulations to this young man, it appears he has a bright future with or without having earned Eagle.
  11. HelpfulTracks

    Who is headed to NOAC 2018?

    Is anyone from the Forum headed to NOAC this Summer?
  12. HelpfulTracks

    Who is headed to NOAC 2018?

    Hello to all those at NOAC. It would be cool to have a meet up while here. If anyone is interested and has an idea of where to meet, let us know.
  13. HelpfulTracks

    OA and the aboriginal cultures

    There will indeed be discussions about optional ceremonies without the Native American regalia going on at NOAC, but nothing I have heard about requiring such a move. If that were to occur, it will come as a huge surprise to many, as about half of the sessions revolve around the traditional induction ceremonies, AIA and creating regalia. NOAC attendance is down from 2015, not surprisingly since it was the 100th anniversary, but pulling the rug out from under thousands of attendees would do far more damage than letting us know in advance of any moves toward doing away with Native American theme. I would be shocked if there was anything more than offering an alternative, and perhaps a discussion of long term possibilities.
  14. HelpfulTracks

    National Medal for Outdoor Achievement

    I am sure National does. I read an article a couple of years back that stated only about 300 had been awarded nationally at that time. That sounds a little low but probably not too far off based on how many awardees I have seen personally.
  15. HelpfulTracks

    Patrol Method - Best Practices

    Seeing how as the Patrol is the fundamental unit of Scouting, that the Patrol Method is the only method and that today in Scouting we do not see patrol method being used enough or very well, I thought I would start a thread on Best Practices. Not just how to define what patrol method is, but what adult leaders can do, and maybe more importantly what they should NOT do in order to create an environment where a true boy-led patrol method environment takes hold. I'll start with a few: A gang of boys, friends, with common goals and interest, that work together to have fun and accomplish their goals. To use current vernacular, I see patrols as self-organizing and self-directing. Self-organizing in the sense that I don't think adults should assign boys to patrols except in rare circumstances. They boys need to figure out their won patrols, who they want to hang out with. The boys pick their own leaders and for how long. Self-directed meaning they make their own plans about what they want to do, what is important to them. They decide how they are going to make their Scouting experience fun. They divvy up responsibilities how they see fit. They fix their own problems. They put their own plans into action and ask for adult help when needed to accomplish that. Adults step in when asked, when safety is an issue or when a youth cannot accomplish the task, (like driving them somewhere, or signing waivers, permission forms and contracts). Adults coach from the sidelines, one-on-one (staying with-in YP guidelines) and discretely. More importantly adults lead by example. I make it a point to ask PL if I can speak if I feel the need. When I am done, I thank the PL for allowing me to speak to HIS patrol. This way they boys know it is their patrol, not mine, and the the PL they selected in charge, not me. Please add you thoughts. The best way to help spread patrol method is to talk about it so others see the example.
  16. HelpfulTracks


    In the good news column, the last session of OATC, which starts 7/13, is still on. In fact they are trying to expand and invite youth from earlier trail crews that were canceled. If the youth cannot attend in that time frame they are looking to get them on at one of the other high adventure base crews.
  17. HelpfulTracks

    Fatherhood by John Dickerson

    Funny, I have spent the last two weeks writing personal letters to each of my children as well as my wife. I will quietly leave the letters for them to see when they wake Sunday. I would not be a father without them, and they are the greatest gift I could hope to receive.
  18. HelpfulTracks

    Linked troops won't work

    I see a good deal of opposition to girl units because some organizations will not follow policy and have coed units. Yet when organizations don’t follow policy in other areas (advancement, boy-led, patrol method, uniforms et al.) most argue they should be corrected rather not having that standard. I have seen units extremely lax with advancement standards. It doesn’t make sense to drop advancement from the program because some units won’t follow policy. Just as it doesn’t make sense to oppose female troops because some units will ignore policy and become coed. I support the new policy, but I am absolutely opposed to coed troops. I will push back on th parents that try to impose coed troops just as forcefully as I push back on parents that try to treat troops as cub packs.
  19. Short answer, yes. Long answer, I’m to tired for a long answer.
  20. HelpfulTracks

    Linked troops won't work

    I don’t know. Our troop and crew have same CO, COR, same meeting night, same meeting location (different rooms). We share equipment, but usually have different dates four outings, but not always. Sometimes we share programs or service projects. We have different Committee’s, different unit leaders and different youth leadership. The youth work out the logistics. Sometimes we have improvise on equipment. Our focus has been on providing the best program we can for our units, less about reasons we can’t.
  21. HelpfulTracks

    What's A Good Water Bottle?

    Surplus army canteen (plastic) with cover is nearly indestructible and insulated. I still have some aluminum ones, but they are pretty banged up from years of use. I have several Nalgene bottles, 32 & 48 oz. I have never broken one yet. They work great and are easily sanitized. Not a fan of Hydro Flask. I have had 2 that allowed detergent to seep into the seam and could never get the taste out. Camelback or similar bladders work great if your pack accommodates them, or you use water packs.
  22. HelpfulTracks

    Neckers back in the "news"

    I love neckers and routinely wear them. Over the years I have garnered quiet a collection. After a while a few of my Scouts began to wear them because they liked how they look. Eventually, they voted to wear them as a unit and created a custom necker for the troop.
  23. HelpfulTracks

    From National Annual Meeting: OA Eligibility Updates

    I cannot speak to The Latin Scot’s plans, but I have spoken to a number of LDS Scouters that are planning on staying involved with Scouting. Refardless of his plans, I have no doubt he will continue to serve others, which is fully within the spirit of the OA.
  24. That pretty much sums up the experience. Very happy I had the opportunity to experience it.
  25. After a decade of being closed Treasure Island Scout Reservation may actually have a future for Scouts again. It is not exactly the same, as it has been sold to a private developer who plans to open it as a commercial campground, but the deal will allow Boy Scouts to camp there for free. For those that do not know, Treasure Island is where the Order of the Arrow was born. After a couple of floods, it fell into disrepair and was closed. It has been for sale for some time and most previous potential buyers were looking to develop it for something other than camping. The original OA circle has been moved in whole to the Summit, but it is nice to see a piece of Scouting history may still have some Scouting life left. https://patch.com/pennsylvania/newhope-lambertville/former-boy-scout-island-delaware-river-reopen-campground