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Everything posted by oldbuzzard

  1. 2017 Report to the Nation-Membership

    Wow is that 36% drop in Venturing mainly LDS related?
  2. New merit badge idea?

    Some of this is already in Leatherwork
  3. If only the BSA had some way to confirm what their lobbyists were doing.... Right... given that... I'm fine assuming BSA is lobbying against this bill for the financial liability reasons outlined in the article until they say otherwise.
  4. Adult Adventure Weekend at the Summit

    Yeah... that framing was extremely off-putting. Especially since they could tweak it slightly and have a great national Powderhorn course. Combine the skill development/fun with more location neutral workshops, etc. Unfortunately that would have Scouters building their own adventure instead of buying Summit's. Or even better make a weekend of day long short courses. A half day workshop on building climbing anchors and a half day trad climbing at the New or sport climbing at Sommerville Lake. A day of whitewater kayak skills . A day of mountain bike skill work... etc etc. Three day-long technical short courses for $300... wow sign me up. Outdoor Disney not so much.
  5. Do we know this was on the camp hill? When we were at Andersen last winter the cubs did some sledding on the path outside our cabin with only pack oversight. This year at Stearns the south facing camp hill was unsleddable but the boys used the camps sleds sitting around our cabin to sled on the hill the cabin was built into and another hill nearby. On the helmet front... they are recommended not required. My kids sled in gym class at school and noone has helmets. The parks and rec people don't have helmets. On the local hills and at troop outings my kids wear their skating helmets but I've seen maybe 3 other kids in helmets in the last few years. Helmet use for sledding is where helmet use for skiing was 20 years ago. This will speed up that change in Scouts, which is a good thing, but I wouldn't be too hard on the leaders in this case.
  6. For pack campouts, they prefer you to be with your parent(s) but the firm requirement is that all cubs must be under the direct charge of an adult and a non-leader adult can be in charge of one kid who isn't their own. We had a couple of dads at our winter campout with son and best friend.
  7. STEM Scouts continues to grow

    From our church's troop centennial history: I wouldn't mind reading more about this episode in early scouting.
  8. Pack YP equal or double standard

    The video is private/password protected for me.... Did it explicitly say 2 adults for boy dens vs 2 adults(at least one female) for girls dens on outings. Or, are we just assuming the old rules "still" apply to boy dens. The simplest and in my opinion most likely explanation is that both genders of dens and the rest of scouting is moving to venturing rules with at least one leader of the same gender must be present for all attendees and National just hasn't gotten around to telling us yet or updating g2ss.
  9. Eagle Scout Application Filing Fee

    Our council has been $144/yr for youth for National and Council dues for a couple of years now. It hasn't effected our existing scout numbers, just made fundraising for other stuff harder. That extra $111 to council that we get almost nothing for makes it harder to have higher troop dues for program.
  10. I've played that game as a kid and it was lots of fun but you can't use that name in the US. In the UK it is harmless, but here that name would be seen as referencing capital punishment and at least at our CO , pretty quickly get the COR and IH involved as violating our churches moral principles. Edit: I don't remember what we called it but it should be easy to rename... flaming tree, bottomless pit whatever....
  11. Girl Scout Camp/Organization Better than BSA?

    Hindsight from my youth in the 80s.... My non-scouting sister went to GS sleep away camp a couple of years. It was more like Y camps than BSA camps. Maybe that allowed them to serve more girls and create a recruitment pipeline or maybe that was a distraction from the "core" mission... I really couldn't say.
  12. Northern Tier - Suggested Number of Days

    Our troops is planning an independent BWCA trip this Summer with 3 crews: 11-13yos: prep day, 3 full canoeing days, and exit day so 5 days by NT counting. 14-15yos: 7-8days by NT method Older scouts: 8+days depending on how many 21+ scouters they can find... shooting for 10i-12 days probably will actually do 10.
  13. What power options are camps offering for CPAP users?

    Our troop runs its own camp with no power or running water. They run a generator 30-45 minutes a day to run the electric pump for cook shack water and water barrels for the showers. Any adults needing medical power would need to be self supporting. We have never had a scout needing power accommodations.
  14. Camping is at the core of the Scouting program. Shooting and Fishing have *never* been core scouting skills. Camping, hiking, and cooking are Eagle badges. Orienteering and Pioneering are linked to 1st Class requirements. High Adventure usually requires Backpacking, Canoeing, Sailing etc. Besides the MBs and the Venturing Shooting Sports Medal there is not a real pathway for shooting within Scouts. I see a lot of value in kids getting comfortable with guns and gun safety at camp and Leopold very eloquently defends fishing and hunting as a key element in his land ethic. But, given a choice I'd rather have camping, backpacking, canoeing parents over shooting ones to support the core program.
  15. The boat at 1:33 has a nice "Swallows and Amazons" vibe.
  16. NYLT strip?

    Maybe thats why we still go with Grey Wolf Meh. I like local traditions. Our troop has been giving lanyards as a summer camp thing since the 30s. If you earn rank at camp you get a cool lanyard. Other lanyards are given for other reasons serious or not. The scouts all wear them at CoHs etc... The Eagle Scout lanyards take quite a while to make and the most impressive bit of decorative knotwork I've ever seen . Every summer when lanyards are being given out at the closing campfire, any troop Eagles with lanyards(usually alums who are counselors or camp director and any active scouts) get to show off thee works of art as part of our "official" uniform.
  17. So, what merchandise is so exciting that seeing it will have any effect. I remember going to Belk department store in the 80s as a scout to buy books and uniforms. It was a dinky section way in the back. If BSA got REI or Cabelas or Dicks or whatever as distributors, it would be the same. There isn't enough money there to get them to put up high profile displays in the stores and most of the gear isn't in and of itself cool. If you want parents to see the uniforms and such as a recruitment tool then you need to be active in the community where they'll see it(which is part of the uniform method). Have some cool posters and flyers at Scout Sunday and anywhere else you volunteer. Not my kids troop but our church's troop, marches every year in the neighborhood 4th of July parade with 2 12ft pioneering towers on casters. At the picnic afterwards they have the towers set up and a ~25ft bridge. Every kid who goes by gets enthusiastically asked if they want to climb the towers by a 13-14yo scout. You see toddlers and up going across the bridge... I wish our troop and all troops had something as visible, way more useful to get the uniform seen in public than merchandising from national.
  18. Snow - good or bad

    Here in the Twin Cities, Mother Nature has been very gracious about allowing our troop campouts the illusion of Winter. Our early November campout at our troop camp had an inch of snow when we arrived. The kids got to pitch tents in a decent snow squall and wake up with 3+inches of snow. Just enough snow for snowball fights and good animal tracking. We got tracks of coyotes spooking a flock of turkeys and mice snow tunnels among other things. By Sunday, it was back in the 40s and 50s later in the month. This past weekend the boys got ~3inches in time for their multi-troop campout. So, at least it was cold and felt Wintery. Not much real sledding but plenty of stomping around on the frozen creek and such. Overall we have just enough snow to make it pretty without it actually being winter. Hopefully we'll get quinzhee levels of snow before the January campout.
  19. Messed Up Patrol Method

    I agree with Back Pack, stupid or not... thats not scouts. Restrict membership by gender, religion, whatever on the front end and then let the kids be... Chartering school says leaders must have at least 3.5 GPA... not cool. Church says leaders must have gone through confirmation... not cool. Church says only boys can be leaders in coed troop... not cool. The CO can direct the program but not change it. If they don't like the leaders they can of course expel them(for valid religious/other reasons) but I don't think that gives them carte blanche to meddle in the internal affairs of the troop otherwise. Any eligible scout should be able to be a leader without CO meddling.
  20. New Necker Colors

    My cynical side sees this as an arbitrary change to sell more merch since scouts will no longer be able to use older sibs necker, hat etc...
  21. Our troop is going on an independent BWCA trip this summer... the adults and the PLC viewed the greater planning as a huge plus not a con. More control for the older kids, more growth opportunities for the younger and cheaper. We're using our own camping and cooking gear, planning and prepping our own food, and hopefully can rustle up enough dry bags and duluth packs(though we may end up renting some of those).
  22. TampaTurtle: Unneeded parents on hikes

    I think this perfectly encapsulates some aspects of the women/girls in scouting issue of the original unsplit parent post. I strongly agree with everything you are saying about challenge, but the yardstick should be much more internal than external. Setting it up as a matter of whether you are better than women or younger scouts or some "other" misses the whole point. It is rather am I better/strong/more competent than my younger self. No need to denigrate others. There are always higher peaks to climb. The whole better than a girl thing doesn't work if mom is waiting for the kids to be older so she can add the training time to go from 50mile trail races to 100s. My 11yos ~70yo grandmother is talking about through-hiking the Long Trail with him in a year or 2. In our extended family, it is less about I'm stronger than Mom and more about now I can also do all the epic stuff. I think that is the whole point of your post and TampaTurtles post. The kids don't want to be better than others, they just want to do objectively challenging stuff. That's why they asked a dad to lead a "real" trip outside of scouts. Now it is an open question what the best way to do the objectively challenging stuff(high adventure) is. You can use the prevailing BSA model that it is a reward for 14yos who have stuck with the program as a gateway/capstone experience -or- You can add in high adventure elements earlier with more supports. Regardless, you need to have a progression of more challenging activities for older scouts. For instance, our troop is doing an independent Boundary Waters trip this Summer. The PLC initiated the idea since a number of kids have family experience and want to do it as a troop. They decided it should be open to everyone but the older kids want to push themselves.So... we're taking three crews(max BWCA crew size 9). Crew 1 is the new scouts. This group will need the most help. They have to show First Class skills and do the troop portage races before the event. This group will have a couple parents and one experienced scouter. The parents will need folks with WFA, Safety Afloat, Safe Swim, Defense, Weather, etc... Overall this group probably has the most growth opportunities for kids and adults, despite shorter routes and portages. Even at 3:5-or-6 adult to scout ratio this should be a real crash course in backcountry adventure. Crew 2 will be middle scouts who will have 7 scouts to 2 scouters and have an experience typical of the Northern Tier program. Crew 3 will be older scouts. They are going to plan their entire trip and help prepare the younger kids. This group won't have any "adults". None of the normal SM/ASMs are going with them. We run our own summer camp, so we have an active alumni group.The adult supervision on this trip will all be under 25. That said they will be the most trained. They'll have more WFA/WFR, camp directors, waterfront directors, lifeguards, etc etc than the other crews. Having an excess of parents with the younger kids won't interfere with the older kids adventure. Would it be better to have older kids providing more support for the younger crew... probably. Do we have to do that this time... no. Is it better to allow the younger kids to go with more parent support (they're still doing the portages on their own )if needed vs waiting a few years... that is a philosophical issue for your troop. I think the key thing is if you want to push younger kids into high adventure you *must* provide higher levels of challenge for the older kids.
  23. TampaTurtle: Unneeded parents on hikes

    I think there are 2 different issues here, a logistics issue and a culture issue. For logistics, you need to figure out how to run multiple crews. LNT crew limit is 10. Philmont, the Porkies etc have a backcountry limit of 12. If the moms want an easier trip then you need a crew with one experienced scouter and them and the younger kids. Then you have the older crew that goes more hardcore. So 2 scouters for hard core group. 1 scouter and moms for beginners. Moms drive and get whatever training you desire as part of making this happen. Now culture is a little harder. If it was me, no way the younger scouts hike on the AT. Yes this is entirely arbitrary and artificial. There's plenty of good hiking around Asheville, on the Black Mountain Crest, in the National Forests, etc etc...Let the younger kids do a real challenging backpacking trip. But, respect the unique nature of the AT hike in your troop. Don't have easy AT hikes for now. Make a big deal of it at COHs. Give AT patches or AMC has a AT bandana or some signifier the PLC comes up with. The younger kids/moms get to backpack but the special nature of the AT hike isn't violated for the older scouts. If logistics has been an issue, then I can't see turning away eager volunteers. Its a tricky matter of doing that in a way that is respectful of your troop traditions.
  24. I agree with Stosh. Our older scouts did Seabase last Spring. We are doing an independent BWCA trip this summer so we can bring younger scouts than NT allows. We have 11 and 12 yos who did a two night canoe trip on the St Croix at camp last Summer. BWCA will be a BIG jump, but manageable with planning. Philmont would be beyond their abilities just based on the sustained exertion. That said, the bases have plenty of experience taking trained 14yos successfully through either Philmont or NT. So while NT has more manageable options, either it or Philmont should be a good choice for your scouts.