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oldbuzzard last won the day on March 4 2018

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  1. Fair enough... but none of that matches my anecdotal experience as a scout, adult, or scouter. As a Scout in the 80s we did backpacking trips on the Uwharrie Trail and at Grayson Highlands in VA. Uwharrie is definitely not magazine cover material but was under an hour away. Mt Rogers and the wild horses were on the AT and closer to 2 1/2hrs away; along with Roan mountain, it is one of my favorite spots on the AT outside of New England. Both were backcountry. As an adult, I have never seen scouts backpacking in the type of areas you describe. I've seen and talked to scouts on the PCT,
  2. Well the 2nd(gold) document lists multi night backpacking as an approved activity for younger Scouts while the GTSS explicitly lacks a "backcountry/wilderness" check for younger Scouts. Everywhere except outpost camping at council camps, backpacking is a backcountry activity. Hence the tendency to ignore gtss and go with the other doc.
  3. One downside is bamboo is slicker and the lower friction makes them harder to lash...not impossible just slightly harder.
  4. Here, I think there are three models 1) Specialty crews like the SCUBA crews are chartered by subject experts and only do that activity. 2) We have a crew chartered by an outdoor store that is nominally a climbing crew. They also backpack and canoe depending on scout interest. I would call this and similar crews high adventure crews. 3) We have standard CO chartered crew who do whatever that cohort of scouts wants.
  5. Sadly yes. The vast majority of families in our troop are either outdoorsy or scouting heritage families. So camping, knots, and cooking are a given. Map skills, first aid, and LNT are more uneven. Pioneering and lashing are weak. Among our under 16 scouts everyone has at least one BSA, GS, Scout Association, or Scouts Canada parent.
  6. My 12yo picked up a unadorned red wool West German army beret at a church clothing swap. He's received quite a few compliments when he wears it at scout events. Any adults who are Scouts Canada alums seem particularly impressed... maybe berets lasted longer there...
  7. Our main local Ship tries to sail at most weekly meetings between May and October and work on advancement and certifications the rest of the year. They sail on a local park lake in optis and 420s. They also have access to a larger boat for trips on the Great Lakes.
  8. Locally, looking at programs with a large outdoors component, I see two separate differences in outcomes. For our local Loppet program, they have XC skiing, trail running, orienteering, and MTB as focuses. They vastly outperform the Scouts on skill development but are weak on leadership. Though Jesse Diggins' work with the XC ski folks on climate change is positive sign. Scouts is clearly better at leadership. Personal growth will depend. On the other hand our 2 local high adventure Y camps, Menogyn and Widji, both do a great job on leadership and growth. They are on par with NOLS a
  9. Here in MN, we are also around 8 days, mostly for cold. Lots of districts are asking the Governor to waive instruction hour mandates for make up days beyond those built in to the calendar.
  10. All things being equal in terms of patrol method and relative resources, competition/inspiration is a multi-patrol troop's key advantage. GBB and others talk about using occasional inter-patrol competitions to drive both patrol identity and excellence. Even more important, for me, is the role of inspiration. Seeing another patrol eating an excellent meal, dealing with the weather, pulling off a cool activity should give you something to aspire to. If your patrols are balanced, each patrol should be able to regularly find inspiration from the others.
  11. The boilerplate is clearly damage control, but I disagree about separating from National. All the boilerplate releases say the local council is financially strong and "stands ready to help" National. Compare that to our councils statement. Clearly off the same boilerplate document. But the last sentence I bolded is less open ended in its support for National.
  12. I wouldn't count your example. Our scouts usually get snow on our November campout and at least some camp in the snow in Dec/Jan. I wouldn't count those either since it is incidental and not really any different than other camping trips(no planning windbreaks/snow structures/what have you) However, it is easy for us since we do an out of camp trip at Summer camp that rotates between a canoe trip/100 mile bike trip/backpacking so meeting that requirement is never really an issue. Here in MN, 9b1, hike up a mountain and gain 1000ft from where you started is impossible. Like snow camping is
  13. We camped last weekend,Nov 9-11, in WI on our troop's camp property .It was 10 degrees with 2-3 inches of snow on Friday night. We got another inch or so on Saturday night. The scouts really liked hanging out in the falling snow around a roaring fire. All the scouts were outside in tents. The Webelos slept in a storage building with a wood stove. Our December campout is always a joint campout with 3-4 other troops at another troop's cabin. All our scouts will camp out side and there should be sledding and the creek will be frozen and maybe the river. January is uncertain. Our camp h
  14. Our chartering church has experience fighting with National. Our home family church is the same denomination. We have had gay/trans leaders and scouts forever. We opted out of the gay ban and were a major force pushing our council to also opt out of the gay ban. For that I am grateful. My wife's church in NH just dropped their BSA charter. Our early 2000's outdoorsy church in Seattle had no scouts since 2 of our 4 ministers would be banned from contact with scouts for being gay. I am glad some liberal churches pushed through that culture war to allow a more inclusive movement.. But non
  15. Our troop has a "patrol" of girls at summer camp for the past 2 weeks. We run our own camp with usually one other troop. We've regularly had 1 or 2 associated Venture crews that are majority female doing all camp activities . Our girl patrol sent in registrations as Scouts which were rejected. We refused to take the apps back. I *think* council converted them to Venture apps and we refused to take the cards. Anyway, all the females are over 14 but we invited younger girls and would have allowed them if they wanted to attend. This is the female scouts' first troop activity, some of them did a e
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