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HashTagScouts last won the day on March 20

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About HashTagScouts

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  1. HashTagScouts

    Pioneering Campout

    GTSS does have a restriction of 6 feet for pioneering projects. You have to search for that though, as it is under the "working at heights and elevations" detail. Some of the "rules" are just plain odd, really. Bouldering walls, for example, are not supposed to be higher than the shoulder-height of the scout. How many bouldering walls do you know are 4 feet tall to accommodate a scout that is only 5 feet tall?
  2. HashTagScouts

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    I'm in agreement with the comments that labels can be problematic. If the program is strong, and truly youth-led, and it is the youth that are creating the means and opportunities for their fellow scouts to advance then there is no problem. If they choose to have MB nights, and select the MBs to be offered and recruit the counselors needed, great. If it is a situation like what @bsaggcmom suggests, where the adults are directing it, then it is not particularly a good thing. If the youth are planning and selecting service opportunities for their fellow scouts to have the selection to participate/not participate, kudos to them. At the moment it becomes a program where the adults force it on to the youth to participate, force them to get into merit badges, or even do the recruiting to get counselors and that becomes the collection of MBs scouts then chose from, it is now adult led and thus the rank advancement is being spurned on by the adults. My sons former troop was very much like that. I saw scouts achieving Eagle that did not complete MB requirements, and were given sign-off "because the scout told us he did them"- I was the counselor for several of those badges, seemed pretty simple to me that the scout should have been directed to come see me to discuss sign-off. The responses from other adults were generally "he's 17 1/2, it's no big deal"- as though age and that the kid "hung in there" was all that mattered. I did see scouts that busted their a$$ and got to Eagle at 14-16 too, but a lot of time there would be comments behind the scenes of "do you think he's really ready?", which only exasperates the notion outsiders have that they are focused too much on Eagle (and their version of what that is). There is often a fine line between being helpful to the scouts and doing too much for them that takes the work amount required from them from 100% to 25% in a only a few seconds. At times, it can happen without realizing it. We also have to be mindful to let failure become a reality- the suggestion can go to the PLC about it might be a nice idea to have Mb nights for badges X, Y and Z so that scouts can have a chance at getting some Eagle required ones knocked out- but, if the PLC drops the ball and doesn't recruit the counselors, stepping in and doing it for them isn't the right answer.
  3. HashTagScouts

    Ad Altare Dei Counseling

    I have been a mentor for this award, and make sure you read through the book and make note of the various "project" components in each section. There are requirements to make posters/presentations, to conduct a service project, the day retreat, visiting the church, etc. My groups have met for 1 1/2 hour meetings bi-weekly, total of 9 meetings just to do the book work. Some of those "project" things the kids had to do on their own at home to bring to the meetings. The target age group of this award is 11-13 year olds, but I've had 9th graders do it and say it was a lot of work.
  4. HashTagScouts

    Massachusetts summer camps

    Sorry, you are looking for comments on MA summer camps? I ask, as Sayre is not a traditional summer camp- they have a summer program, but it is not setup as overnight camping. While I can grasp your comments about Sayre, the reality is SoA did that open program so the property gets used as much as it was to get interest in Scouting. It isn't a camp that was getting a terrible amount of usage, especially considering how close it is to the major roadways. Units in their council on the other side of Boston would rather go their properties in NH than try and make the commute through Boston on a Friday night to get to Sayre. For summer camp programs, the following are CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT camps that have summer resident programs. If you haven't already booked in mid-April, availability may decide where you go versus where you wish to go (many are going to have weeks that are full at this point): Camp Location Camp Squanto Plymouth, MA Camp Resolute Bolton, MA Treasure Valley Scout Reservation Rutland, MA Moses Scout Reservation Russell, MA Yawgoog Scout Reservation Rockville, RI JN Webster Scout Reservation Ashford, CT Camp Mattuck Plymouth, CT Camp Sequassen New Hartford, CT Camp Workcoemen New Hartford, CT Ed Strang Scout Reservation Goshen, CT Camp William Hinds Raymond, ME Camp Bomazeen Belgrade, ME Camp Roosevelt Eddington, ME Camp Wanocksett Dublin, NH TL Storer Scout Reservation Barnstead, NH Wah Tut Ca Scout Reservation Northwood, NH Hidden Valley Scout Camp Gilmanton Iron Works, NH Camp Bell Gilmanton Iron Works, NH Mount Norris Scout Reservation Eden, VT As far as reviews: I wouldn't rank Wanockset or Resolute at the top part of my list of favorite camps, but to each their own. Every Scout should feel "their camp" is the best camp. My own preferences if I were trying to narrow down options to be helpful, I would look at Hidden Valley, Yawgoog, JN Webster, Squanto, Treasure Valley and Wah tut Ca. Yawgoog, Hidden Valley and JN Webster especially have put a lot of money in recent years to improve infrastructure and modernize the camp. I'll keep favoritism for Squanto out of this (my son will be staff there) 😀. If you are looking for other New England BSA camps for weekend camping: Camp Location Camp Norse Kingston, MA Camp Sayre Milton, MA Cachalot Scout Reservation Plymouth, MA Camp Buxton Rehoboth, MA Nobscot Scout Reservation Sudbury, MA Camp Greenough Yarmouthport, MA Camp Split Rock Ashburnham, MA Camp Duarte Martha's Vineyard, MA Camp Richard Nantucket, MA Champlin Scout Reservation Cranston, RI Buck Hill Scout Reservation Pascoag, RI Camp Aquapaug South Kingston, RI Sandsland Scout Reservation Block Island, RI Camp Pomperaug Union, CT Deer Lake Scout Reservation Killingworth, CT Camp Wah Wah Taysee North Haven, CT Hoyt Scout Reservation Redding, CT Seton Scout Reservation Greenwich, CT Camp Nutter Acton, ME Camp Gustin Sabbattus, ME Camp Carpenter Manchester, NH Lone Tree Scout Reservation Kingston, NH Camp Sunrise Benson, VT
  5. HashTagScouts

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    My example of Scout to counselor ratio is more about the badge and what the structure of the MB college allows. I have taught at a few. If the event gives me only a three hours to work with Scouts on say Personal Management (with the disclaimer they have some homework to do on their own as well before or after the event before I can "sign off") , I can do it with a small group of enthusiastic youth where I can relay a concept, get their feedback and have a discussion. Trying to do that with a larger number, for me, would diminish my abilities to actually counsel them through the badge, so I won't put myself out there to be a counselor at an event structured like that.
  6. HashTagScouts

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    IMO, it depends on the badges being offered, and the structure (ie how many Scouts per each MB class). If the MB event is a whole day or two half days dedicated to Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting or Archery, and on the same limits of the number of Scouts that is used at summer camp, then I see it as no different than summer camp. If it is First Aid, and again uses the same # of hours & Scout ratio as your summer camp would use, then I see no issue. If it is Personal Management, with 20 Scouts in the class with one counselor giving it lecture style, then I would absolutely agree with you, it is not an appropriate way to present that MB.
  7. HashTagScouts

    Eliminate the Eagle application?

    Not sure how every council handles the process- the link below my be helpful on how our council handles the process. I've been told on several occasions that our process follows the recommended process from National, but who knows. Once the scout has their signatures, and notifies the District Advancement Chair the workbook & application are complete, scheduling of the EBOR begins. Generally, if the notification is complete by the Friday of the 3rd week of the month, the EBOR gets scheduled for the third week of the following month. The council gives a certificate the night of the EBOR to the new Eagle signifying the date and award- though it is not the "official" award, which does take several weeks for National to issue. https://www.mayflowerbsa.org/program/youth/advancement/
  8. HashTagScouts

    When To Elect SPL in Brand New Units?

    A brand new troop with only enough scouts to fill one patrol, no, SPL isn't a priority and can wait. When you have enough scouts to have two functional patrols, absolutely have an SPL elected and begin to train the troop on the model of having the SPL lead the way. Yes, if they are all inexperienced, you as SM are going to have a lot of one-on-one mentoring with that SPL outside and inside of the troop meetings. But, by watching that SPL, your other scouts are learning what the job entails and why it is important.
  9. HashTagScouts

    Two adults 21 or over

    As our iOLS training team was preparing for our course we held recently, when it came to discussion of the GTSS we all just sighed. In past courses, we always gave a brief talk to the participants about getting familiar with the GTSS as they worked with their youth to conduct their annual planning conference and selecting activities. This year, we seemed to just not collectively have the strength of will to even mention it for some reason...
  10. HashTagScouts

    Family Scouting Coming to You!

    If a council/camp was offering something like this as a means of giving family members not actually involved as troop leaders an opportunity to experience what their child gets out of a week of camp with their unit- that is, as a "supplemental experience"- I could live with that. However, I would not be in favor of the camp even showing a hint that advancement of any type during these weeks is being recorded or tracked for the scout. For me, that leaves the family to bypass their child going to a week of camp with their unit.
  11. HashTagScouts

    Tan Velcro for patches?

    you could try this Ebay seller: https://www.ebay.com/usr/goosescache?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
  12. HashTagScouts

    SM Preventing 1st-Years From Being On Ballot

    The names for the ballot are given to the election team by the SM, so there should be no one on there that he/she did not approve. The team must take his/her word the scouts meet the requirements to be eligible (minimum camping nights, etc.). There are NO WRITE INS allowed. If someone told our team they were going to lawyer up, I would laugh in their face.
  13. HashTagScouts

    Vintage Uniform Question

    The aoL knot didn't come around until the late 70's. Not so sure about the Eagle Scout knot.
  14. HashTagScouts

    CC and COR is the same person

    Being your Pack is that small, and you mention that other parents are feeling frustrated, is finding another CO an option? Then you can all go en masse to creating a new unit. There is no rule you have to be chartered to a CO with a troop attached to it.
  15. HashTagScouts

    Need a Cot or...?

    I have a $45 1.5 man tent that I use. Can't fully stand up in it, but can adequately sit up in it. Gives enough room for me and my pack. i use a thermarest as well. Even on OA weekends, when cabins are available for the adults, I tent by myself. I have an ENO hammock, but I'm so much more of a side sleeper than a back sleeper, so it isn't very restful for me. If you have a routine you use at home that gets you into the rest mode, try and keep that as much as you can even on camping trips. If you like to watch TV before a few minutes after climbing into bed, try and watch a few minutes of move or something on your phone in your tent.