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Everything posted by oldbuzzard

  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
  16. Looking at this incident and g2ss is interesting. In this case the scout fell behind and then went off the trail. The buddy system should help with this but bikers get strung out so even with better buddy system you might not notice for a few minutes, certainly not the 45 minutes in the article. However, the big safety issue I would cite here was that there was no one riding sweep. That seems to me to be the way to quickly catch lagging, lost, equipment failure, etc. Interestingly, I see no mention of best group riding practices in the cycling section and no mention of sweepers anywhere in g2s
  17. I'll take a stab at it... Looking at antecedents OA borrowed from, why would an adult join a service organization without the Masons' "mystical" mumbo jumbo? And yet, Rotary and Kiwanis and Jaycees etc seem to do OK. Ignoring solely adult concerns like the grail and networking and business opportunities, the 2 factors youth and adults are looking for in a group are the chance to do meaningful stuff and the opportunity to associate with others they find admirable. So for OA... The ceremony teams are one opportunity to do both meaningful stuff and be admired. But is that really the
  18. I can't rule anything out at the Constitution-free zone that is our modern border, but this shouldn't be any different than someone who smokes dope in Amsterdam, has a beer at Oktoberfest, or eats some raw milk cheese in France. Besides taxation the US doesn't typically try to enforce laws outside their jurisdiction for US citizens.
  19. I assume many of us got the Lifesaving merit badge back when this was the case and usually the teenage camp counselor tried to kick, punch, and drown you on the rescues. Unfortunately this didn't typically highlight the threats of GO rescues, rather it tended to instill a dangerous "illusion of competence".
  20. Much like with 22s, the "bounce and ricochet" is why they recommend against hunting moose with a F150. Brake for Moose, it will save your life.
  21. Maybe our council just isn't good at following directions, regardless of the liberal/conservative bias, but it has had hunter education programs running on council camp sites for at least 15 years. In previous years it has been pitched as a semi-official collaborative effort between them and the Deer Hunter Assoc., https://scoutingevent.com/?forkhorn2015 More recently it hasn't been mentioned on the council site but is still running at council camps, as well as Y camps and others. https://www.mndeerhunters.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Deer-Hunters-FH-Brochure-1.9.18.pdf ETA: I agree hu
  22. For us Cub day camp is $185 + $35 for busing from a single site 30 minutes away + aftercare. The Y is $240 for camp with free busing from a dozen sites, one of which is 2 blocks from our house.. Traditional week long camp for BS age is $615 for the Y vs $302 for council camp vs <$400 for our troop 2 week camp. So BSA is a huge win here... depending on how you amortize out troop dues. High Adventure trips. Y BWCA trips for 6th graders $550; BSA unavailable High Adventure trips. Y BWCA trips 7-8th grader $890; BSA unavialable High Adventure. Y BWCA 12 day $1470; BSA NTi
  23. I agree this is the problem. The G2SS has become a club to beat well meaning Scouters on issues orthogonal to safety. No where is this more apparent than on the gun related issues. The first parts of the guns restrictions are entirely reasonable but unrelated to safety. The ban on shooting at silhouettes isn't primarily a safety ban it is mostly philosophical. Now *I* strongly support this. I think having folks in the liberal church be willing to learn gun safety under the guise of marksmanship is a huge win. Having more Americans familiar with guns and gun safety as a tools, independe
  24. My 9 yo has been at Y Day camp in MN and a family reunion at a Y camp colocated with a Y resident camp in MO this summer. In comparison to Cub camp, for age limited activities he has sailed and canoed on rivers, zip lined, and done a high ropes course. Among banned activities he has zorb balled and had sanctioned water fights with water cannons. The Y camp limited him to crappy air rifles instead of 22s just like Scouts. Overall the Y camps have been cheaper and better than the Scout offerings.
  25. I think Lake Superior is North America's secret inland ocean. The Superior Hiking Trail is a gem ad could support longer treks. The Porkies are great since you can camp right on Gitchi Gami. We went there last fall with my 9yo and 11yo. It would be hard to create a 12 day trek there. The SHT and the Porkies have plenty of rocks, waterfalls, and bluff side hiking. Those Ontario parks, and Sleeping Giant, are intriguing to me since they seem to resemble the West Coast Trail up Vancouver Island, without the ladders, cable cars, and "crowds". However from Minneapolis they are a similar di
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