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oldbuzzard last won the day on March 4

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About oldbuzzard

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  1. oldbuzzard

    Cost of Being a Scout

    Troop. Our camp predates any of the council camps and in fact the first Camp Director for our biggest/earliest Council camp was CD at our camp previously so there is weird overlap in traditions.
  2. oldbuzzard

    2 scouts, 2 scouters rescued Mt. Baker (WA)

    Based on the sketchy facts available I wholly agree that they were not prepared. The one thing I give the group credit for is sheltering in place instead of trying to self rescue. Yes they risked the rescuers' lives, etc etc... but if they hadn't done that I think there is a reasonable chance there would be dead scouts instead of injured scouts. I think in these cases it is easy to point to outrageous root causes of the incident but it is important to highlight the good as well as bad decisions once you are trapped in the incident pit. I also like to remember: "There are old climbers; There are bold climbers; There are no old. bold climbers."
  3. No. Our CO is very clear they want us to be as close to coed as the rules allow. My wife has been a WDL for the last 2 years but is waiting to see how this shakes out before choosing her leadership role next year.... Maybe girl WDL, maybe female ASM looikng towards Feb. '19. So starting a stand alone girl troop is a non-starter for us.
  4. I agree its brilliant for the camp to raise money by sponsoring this group. I just don't quite understand its purpose. Isn't that what CAP is for? Military planes, EEA ride alongs, etc isn't that the point of Summer Encampment. Is this for STEM kids who can't tolerate the military side of things?
  5. oldbuzzard

    North Face to develop GS outdoor adventure program

    You must have missed the all girl qualifier on that expertise. On a national basis their only real competition would be the YMCA. The Girl Scout Canoe base started in the 60's in a rented building at Northern Tier. My wife, did bike touring trips across both VT and Cape Cod as a GS. The GS offer a lot of "high adventure" trips and in contrast to Scouting BSA these are open to either individual girls or troops as a matter of course. To take the Boundary Waters as an example. Northern Tier runs something like 750 crews into the BWCA, a few years ago when I talked to the GS at our outdoor expo they were running a 100+, and YMCA Camp Widji was running around 150 crew evenly divided between genders. YMCA Camp Menogyn runs plenty of single sex canoe and backpacking treks from the North Shore. YMCA Camp Manitowish runs plenty of girl canoe and backpack treks from within 6 miles of the old Region 7 Canoe Base.. Presumably YMCA camps have similar gender divided stuff else where, but they are the only national competition for the GS and I can completely believe that the GS have a much stronger national portfolio.
  6. oldbuzzard

    Cost of Being a Scout

    We shoot for monthly camping during the school year and Summer Camp. This year we missed that target and had 6 instead of 9 camp outs, so 12 nights. Any given campout has a bit less than 50% participation which isn't great. In terms of funding all camping out of Troop funds, there are two warring principles. 1) "A Scout pays his own way" and 2) "A member of a community supports that community". We focus on number 2. Just as you wouldn't only support your church on a transactional basis, likewise with Scouts. Everyone needs to contribute through dues or fundraising regardless of whether they attend every event. This removes any financial pressure for the basic program, especially since the troop or our alumni will cover the needy. Yes, our 2 week camp is $400. We have owned our camp since the 40's. It is quite primitive. No running water, no electricity, no walled buildings except the newish concrete storm bunker. But we have archery, rifle, and shotgun ranges and a shifting primitive waterfront for swimming or canoeing on a national wild and scenic river. Maintaining it is a shocking amount of work but also helps build that sense of community and has probably contributed to the troops longevity.
  7. oldbuzzard

    Cost of Being a Scout

    Our troop is way under $1000. Here is my sons break down for the 2017-2018 Council/National dues: ~$150 Troop Dues:($100 Fall/$100 Spring) All waived this year due to fundraising. Fall has been waived for at least the last 10 years. Necker/Book: Troop provided at crossover Uniform Shirt: $8 from uniform exchange closet. Camping/Food: Covered by troop dues. Summer Camp: 2 weeks for ~$400 . I just paid $260 with fundraising discount. 4 day BWCA canoe trip: ~$200 pp so since I was a paying leader ~$400 Gear: Old family gear. So all told under $850 for everyone. Our troops basic fundraising is a pancake breakfast, spag dinner, and wreath sale. The kids doing bigger HA like Seabase or whatever usually end up with another $600-900 of fees depending on how well their supplemental fundraising goes.
  8. oldbuzzard

    Unit milestone anniversary - What to do?

    Our troop provides all the default neckers(folks can use Gray Wolf or Eagle neckers if they want). We have red neckers for scouts crossing over, blue for after certain conditions, and green for leadership. All of these neckers still have a pentagonal patch on the point celebrating the troops 75th anniversary in 2004.
  9. oldbuzzard

    New Cooking Subforum

    You just need to rebrand that as "Expedition Cooking". If the cooking and backpacking MB books with debranded generic Kroger and other grocery store supplies isn't convincing enough, get the "NOLS Cookery" book out of the library. It details how they plan all their trips, including the 30 day+ trips in Patagonia, using bulk grocery store supplies.
  10. oldbuzzard

    Arrow of Light Scouts Crossing Over

    We're getting ready to go through round 2 of this with our kids. We are in a school district with a *very* firm Sept 1 cutoff for K. My kids both have early Sept birthdays so they can crossover in March as AOL with 6mos in their dens since turning 10 or ~9months total as Webelos and as 4th Graders. For older son this was a great option. The other choice wasn't waiting a whole year, it was to join BS in the Fall as an 11yo with or without AOL. Instead, he's been to summer camp and every monthly camp out. Tomorrow he'll finished 5th grade as a 11yo and Saturday we head off for his crew's Boundary Waters trip. While he'll be the youngest, he won't be the weakest kid on that trip by a good stretch. Younger son will be a 4th grader and cross over next year. His best friend is 6 months younger and in his den so that'll be awkward but he is so ready it is the only viable choice. His buddy will join many of the Scout campouts as a Webelos, but it is not yet clear whether he will cross over the following Fall or Spring. Either way my son will be able to attend camp next Summer. For older kids the age vs grade requirements may be the best way to keep them in the program. PS: For Scouts the situation may be reversed. Our troop is spinning back up its venture crew solely to serve the 4 or 5 kids who turn 18 during senior year who want to do Seabase SCUBA next Spring. If I were in charge I would have more age flexibility for Cub Scouts while allowing Scouts to stay active until HS graduation regardless of age.
  11. oldbuzzard

    Patrol JTE

    Maybe 6 sigma/iso9000 whatever, but certainly nothing to do with lean. Lean, TPS, continuous process improvement, Covey's sharpening the saw, whatever you want to call it is actually a bottom up process for improving workflow and capturing innovation. Scouting actually tries to do a good job with this. Both the plan-do-review framework and Thorns and Roses are Lean by another name. The problem with JTE is the rigid top down metrics that don't allow for small scale organic improvements that are likely to be more meaningful long term.
  12. oldbuzzard

    BSA Executive Salaries

    Maybe our scouts are jaded. We're taking 3 crews into the BWCA including a 12yo crew I'm helping to lead. The only thing I've see inspire them is when our long emeritus SM came to talk. When he started out saying "I was part of this same church and joined Cub Scouts in 1949 and earned Eagle in the the mid-50s and was hired on at the Region X canoe base in the late 50s base solely on my experience in troop xxx." You could see the scouts eyes go wide. The path between 11yo new scouts and 16-17yo(then) charlie guides became clear. I doubt a celebrity could have been more "relatable". All those Marine Corp ads, including the infamous magma demon ad, weren't about relating to celebraties, but about doing stuff. Folks who can reflect doing stuff should be better than those who are "famous".
  13. oldbuzzard

    BSA Executive Salaries

    OK. The best media celebrity on that list is Steve Fossett(RIP). Maybe there are great scouts that BSA could build into media spokespeople. Maybe we could pull in celebrities like Jon Krakauer to be spokespeople. But I think using actors who happen to be scouts is a terrible idea.
  14. oldbuzzard

    BSA Executive Salaries

    I think this is the whole problem with folks like Mike Rowe. Any media personality has had to whip up controversy. The whole "safe space" thing is a effort to insult liberals while attracting blue collar conservatives. That's not helpful. A real adventurer to me would be someone like Cliff Jacobson. Regardless of being a NESA Distinguished Eagle Scout and all his BWCA and Arctic canoe trips, a scrawny 70yo former high school teacher just isn't mediagenic enough. Navajo's aren't midwestern.... If I couldn't find mediagenic Scout(er)s., the the people with little to no scouting background I would choose to represent us would be Andrew Skrurka and Amelia Boone. They could have a Colin Fletcher/Chip Rawlins "Complete Walker" buddy thing going on and be just as completely legit.
  15. BSA, national and local, clearly sees an existential threat and is taking a broad approach to countering it. I think the BSA is intentionally making two changes under the transition to "Family Scouting" and is making another change as part of the broader approach. I will term these three changes inclusion, institutionalism, and consumerism. 1) Inclusion: They clearly want to quickly juice the numbers by admitting girls. This is part of the reboot around gays etc. I assume that in the next few years all the added God bothering in the requirements will disappear and we'll end up with a nearly secular group. Uniforming could become lighter like Scouts UK of could move to optional uniforms like Venturing or Scouts Canada. I'm enthusiastic about these changes and don't think the doubters' concerns will come to pass. 2) Institutionalism: This change is part of the goal to raise revenue and not purely related to "Family Scouting". BSA and councils clearly want to generate big home run projects without having to build programs slowly from the ground up. This is obvious in STEM Scouts. I can imagine a great BSA stem-only initiative. My kids have been in a local maker group that could be a great model. DIY.org could be a model. All loosely structured and maker led. Partnering with Team America Rocketry Challenge, which schools and 4H use, could be a plan. Patriotic, potential large donors, could partner with NAR, fits with Cub Scout launch themes and BS merit badges. But instead STEM Scouts is something delivered in schools in a school-y format where they offer the program, BSA "provides" volunteers and collects fees. Likewise, at the council level I see the desire for these home runs. Our council has built a new $17million headquarters and most of the justification about community engagement. They aren't only or perhaps even primarily looking to support units. Before the upgrade they had a ropes course and climbing wall. Now they have a "leadership lab". It is fairly clear their goal is to sell leadership course to the schools and corporations. Sign your entire student council up for a multisession leadership training.... just like NLTY w/o the camping. The camps are also building lodges whose main purpose seems to be recruiting school environment education field trips, despite currently lacking staff to support that. These more structured projects seem speculative and out of the current mission of BSA. 3) Consumerism: It seems like "Family Scoutng" is an excuse to monetise the current membership as much as possible. Out council has added $100+ council dues in the last couple years, perhaps to fund the building spree. I assume National will be heading towards $100 dues shortly. Scouts Canada showed a pretty linear inverse trend of enrollment and dues. Hopefully open enrollment of girls can delay these huge dues hikes. That last Scout Stuff Flyer looked like an REI catalog. The councils are trying to sell family camp and so is national. Philmont Family Week is underwhelming. Everything at The Summit is worse. It has always seemed like a unsuccessful money grab. The ATV stuff violates outdoor ethics and reeks of pay to play. These are all consumerist vacations, not real adventures. I'd look for a lodge at Philmont and an every other year Family Rendevous at Summit between Jambos and lots more marketing of expensive deluxe family events. Its Scouting as a lifestyle brand. So I think the core Scouts BSA program may be strengthened by recent inclusion changes but overall the adventurous core program will likely be marginalized by other trends completely unrelated to girls.