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About ScouterNorth

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  1. With Scouts Canada background checks are required every 3 years. Now that all registration etc. is online, an adult's status changes as soon as their record check expires and I think that generates a flurry of automated emails. Record checks are free for adults volunteering with any organization (eg. scouting, sports etc.). All that is required is a letter from said organization to accompany your background check request and the usual fee is waived. It is up to the individual leader to make sure their background check is current and to seek out a new one when required. Scouts Canada,
  2. "The Announcement Song"...it was funny at first when I was a kid, but then it became way overused and now I can't stand it. The cross-over point for me was when an adult, in the interest of expediency, deliberately did not say the word. After which another ADULT said "Wait, don't you have any more ANNOUNCEMENTS?" Cue song, mostly sung by the other adults. When I became a leader, this was still happening on a regular basis to the point where the kids were getting sick of it. Timing is everything in comedy and most cornball hilarity is ill-timed and the kids cringe at it. Not all cam
  3. I've found that the modern internal frame packs work very well if you have exactly the correct type of gear that will fit inside it. The moment you have something that's an odd shape or is too big, you carrying options become quite limited. Back in the day, you could plop a 4 man tent on top of your external frame pack, secure it with bungee cords and you were off to the races. It's pretty difficult to do that with the current crop of packs. I also do not like top load packs at all. After my first external frame pack, I had an internal frame from Camp Trails that was panel load an
  4. If there is one thing I'm a stickler for, it's standards and requirements. " I did all the things you're supposed to do to become an Eagle." No you didn't. Plain and simple. Perhaps someone should ask this scout which other requirements he feels are optional, or how comfortable he would feel if someone else was awarded the rank having not completed a requirement that he did. Eagle project? Number of merit badges?
  5. Thanks for the information. It's always good to learn something new. I'm in Canada where pistols are considered a Restricted Firearm which means that a) they are very difficult to get and b) their legal usage is severely restricted. Hunting is not a legal usage for a Restricted Firearm. Hence my previous ignorance on the subject. Thanks again!
  6. Fair warning - I am not a hunter but have friends who are. Correct me if I'm wrong but... Is a pistol even a viable hunting firearm? I'm pretty sure hunting does not involve running around shooting at things that pop-up. Speed is not an asset. From what my friends have told me hunting is essentially either sitting quietly in one spot waiting for the animals to come to you after which you get one shot, or walking around very slowly and quietly after which you get one shot. The only real exception is duck hunting, where you sit very quietly in one spot but yo
  7. Q: What research did the BSA conduct that informed this decision? To inform this decision, the Boy Scouts of America conducted extensive research. You hear that? Not just research, but Extensive Research. I bet they have Top Men working on this as we speak:
  8. This is the best summary I've seen so far. Yes the program will survive in some form, but it will not be the same and actually cannot possibly stay the same. When you change who you are marketing to then your membership will change and what they want in a program will change. I came up during the program of Boy Scouts Canada 30 years ago. I've since participated in the roll out of the new program of Scouts Canada. The two can't even be compared as they are so incredibly different. The BSA's program will change. Maybe not abruptly, but it will change and 10-15 years I'm gu
  9. You do not want to emulate Scouts Canada's new program. It's a couple of years in and there is still quite a bit of confusion as to how it is all supposed to work. For starters, imagine taking most of your merit badges and making them optional for the program. Then have each Scout come up with his/her own requirements to get the badge. http://www.scouts.ca/wp-content/uploads/s/s-pab-guide.pdf They have opted for a more "Choose your own Adventure" style of requirements for the top awards so now you can get every top section award (equivalent to Life, Eagle etc) without spending a si
  10. "If the Boy Scouts want to attract a new generation of members, they’ll need to stand for something more than inclusion. " Standing for something by definition means you are going to leave someone out. If you include everything, then you stand for nothing. Over the years I've noticed that standards of all kinds have slowly changed. Not so much the standards themselves, but what are actually considered to be standards. The Personal Fitness badge (Scouts Canada) is a great example. One requirement involved six events (pushups, shuttle run, situps, standing long jump, 50m sprint, 16
  11. “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense." - Sir Winston Churchill I'm also partial to his "We shall fight on the beaches" speech although it's a bit long to be used as a quick quote.
  12. Along the lines of experience... "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgement."
  13. Adding girls to Scouts Canada did nothing to stop the declining membership. I left Scouts as a youth before it went co-ed and came back as a leader afterwards. The difference is obvious and glaring. Add to that the brand new, severely watered down program and I don't see boys continuing to be attracted to the program. I will also add that the useless training burden and ever thickening red tape is causing Scouters drop out since it has become far easier to organize something among friends than it is to go as an organization. In Canada, for many activities, girls have the choice
  14. A Canadian perspective... Our Troop is roughly 1/3 girls and we don't have any female leaders. As far as I know there is no Scouts Canada policy requiring female leaders if girls are present, however, I have had the occasional parent say that although they trust us completely they would still like to see at least one female leader. We do have plenty of female leaders at the Cub and Beaver level, so I expect those ones will eventually percolate up to the Scout level. We enforce separate accommodations when possible but if we have to share a cabin, we make sure there are separate chan
  15. With any change you are going to lose members plain and simple. The hope is the change brings in more than you lose but I would say it is very difficult to predict how many and who you're going to lose, especially when looking at men who have been in the program a long, long time. Actually, I would say those guys are the ones you are most likely to lose. Canadian Scouts just rolled out an overhauled program. My son looked at it on paper, looked at his experience with it (our Troop were early adopters), compared it to two previous versions of the program and found that with the changes S
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