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Buffalo Skipper

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Everything posted by Buffalo Skipper

  1. SR540Beaver, thank you for the post. I used that as my Scoutmaster Minute last night. It acutally got a round of applause from some of our scouts. Life is Good!
  2. Doing my part to spread the gospel of hammocking. Best night's sleep I have ever had. Discovering the hammock started my quest to lighten my backpack weight (or did my quest start with the hammock? Hum, not sure which came first, like the chicken and the egg...). Regardless, what was a 15 lbs of backpack, sleeping bag and pads and tent, is now down to just over 6 lbs, and I sleep soooo much better. Long live the trees! The original poster asked about pads. My son and I have been researching this for him. He has decided to go with the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite (small). It is 2.5" th
  3. First I need to clarify that (in part, due to the following experience) I no longer sleep in a tent. For the last 19 months, I have spent nearly 60 nights hanging in a hammock, with not a single night on the ground. The worst night I have had in my hammock was better than the best sleep I ever experienced on the ground. With that said, I have only had two miserable nights in a tent. One was at Woodbadge and was health related (incredible heartburn caused by "walking tacos"). But my singular worst tent camping experience was while backpacking at FDR State Park in GA, on the Pine Mounta
  4. There is a training award for Roundtable staff. Details here: http://usscouts.org/awards/scoutertraining5.asp The Arrowhead Honor is ONLY worn as a commissioner, on a commissioner's uniform. I was on Roundtable Staff, and earned the Roundtable Training Award. I later "moved up" to CS RTC, where I completed the Arrowhead Honor; then I transitioned to Venturing Forum Commissioner, and I completed the Commissioner's Key. As a Scoutmaster, I am no longer a part of the commissioner or roundtable staff; I still have the training knot and keys on most of my uniforms, but I removed the Arro
  5. Any guess what network Comcast channel 30 is?
  6. A couple of points on my approach to Scoutmaster Conferenc (SMC). The SMC is not a retest of skills (as stated my many here). The SMC is not a prep for the Board of Review. The SMC is not a lecture by the SM. I try to use it bring out the scout and have them do nearly all of the talking. This is more difficult with younger, shy scouts, but that is the point. The SMC is about finding out more about your scout. Sure we (should) all know our scouts pretty well, but this can be an opportunity to go into a depth not normally covered in day-to-day conversations or on campou
  7. We do 12 weekend campouts per year. Summer camp is tacked on to the end of a weekend campout. Holiday weekends, we will often take the extra day. One summer weekend campout is usually 4 or 5 nights. That comes out to roughly 33-35 nights of tent camping a year. Most years we also do 1 or occasionally 2 lock-ins. The PLC will do a weekend of cabin camping for our leadership training. A scout who participted in everything would have 35 nights of tenting, plus up to 4 nights of cabin camping. Active OA members will add 8 more nights a year. Philmont crews would add 12 more.
  8. In January 2010, after recharter, our troop was down to 11 scouts (minus 2 who inactive Eagles who were about to age out). By February 2010, after crossover, we were up to about 16 scouts (50% growth). The following year, again after crossover, were were up to about 25 scouts (50% growth). We have just received all our Webelos, some of which have brought along some friends, and we now stand at 39 scouts, the third concecutive year of 50% growth. Looking ahead to next years pospects, it is not inconceivable that we my approach that percentage again next year! These figures include scouts w
  9. I wanted to state that at this weekend's campout, the aforementioned leader showed up in uniform pants. We spoke briefly and succinctly and this is now a non-issue. Thank you for all your advice, even the stuff I didn't want to hear. For what it is worth, a few gentle pushes the past 3 weeks or so seem to have things working the way they should be, in matters beyond just the uniforming. I am glad to have this behind us. We are bringing 12 new Webelos onboard (40% increase in troop size) and it is good that so many things are falling into place for us. Again, thanks.
  10. The packs I work with cross over at the Blue and Gold. Ceremonies at the B&G start with Tigers and progress through Webelos and the Arrow of Light presentations. Following the AoL, there is a (tear jerker of a) slideshow with pictures of the Webelos den from Tigers up. Following this the OA does their ceremony for crossover with the Troops ready to receive on the other side (the parents follow the scouts as they cross). It is a moving ceremony and is the true climax of the Blue and Gold, leaving the remaining Webelos den(s) chomping at the bit to join a troop. Yet other local pack
  11. I have not yet made one of these, but I am intersted in hearing the replies. I have seen a few designs, but haven't settled on what size/type cans.
  12. I have looked at wood-gas stoves for some time. I have been very interested in using them, and working with scouts to make them. Great project! FWIW, when I was in scouts, we did all our cooking over a wood fire. No stoves, no charcoal. Every campout. Rain or shine. Car camping or backpack. That's just the way it was.
  13. At summer camp last year, I went to evening flags without my neckerchief, arriving a few steps behind the rest of the troop. One of our patrol leaders called me out in front of the troop on where my neckerchief was. I replied (loud enough for everyone to hear) that I had loaned my neckerchief to Frank (the most senior scout on the campout) because he had lost his in his tent, and didn't want him to be late to flags. A quiet "Oh," was all that was heard in reply. After dinner, Frank (who I have know since he was a Webelos) returned the neckerchief to me (with his in his other hand), and tha
  14. "First of all I do believe that alcohol has a lower BTU rating than that of white gas at about 50% which means one has to carry twice the alcohol to produce the same amount of heat as white gas. Maybe someone out there can confirm or refute that statement." ---That's roughly correct! (close enough for the sake of the discussion) It is also why alcohol is MORE efficient per weight up to about 4 day's worth. Because a simple alcohol stove (like a Pepsi can or Cat can) weighs only 1 oz. A typical white gas stove weights about 14 oz. So until you are going on a trip long enough to re
  15. Frankly, I have worked hard to return the idea of a uniform culture to the troop. He is a retired Marine officer, and I am concerned that his defiance undermines the leadership far beyond his appearance in blue jeans and a scout shirt. He has two sons in the troop one older and one younger. As for whether or not he can afford the pants himself? I belive he can. With either personal funds or via work associates, he has secured significant funds for summer camp and for uniforms (in an amount approaching $1000 over the past 18 months...) for those who really cannot afford it. As a
  16. We have one ASM in the troop who refuses to buy/wear uniform pants. He is the only leader in the troop who is doing this. I have spoken to him several times, and he generally says he can't afford or doesn't have the time to buy them. The Committee Chair and I had a "Leaders" meeting (not committee or parents, just all the registered leaders to discuss issues. He handed out a "flyer" requesting that all ASMs wear a complete uniform as an example for the scouts. Of course, our wayward ASM showed up at the end of the meeting, read the flyer and threw it away. Any ideas on how to get him
  17. Thanks for that clarification. I was too lazy to actually look up the reference and was just going by what was posted.
  18. Regardless of whether or not they are parents of another scout, what you quoted still states it must be conducted by "3-6 committee members...." This clearly states that in order to participate, one must be registered as a committee member: not an ASM or unregistered parent.
  19. Upon the completion of the Board of Review, I give the scout a sheet of paper indicating their completed SMC. It has the name and phone number of the Advancement Coordinator, whom the scout is now responsible to contact (she is usually at the meeting, so only rarely is a phone call necessary). The Advancement Coordinator sets up the BoR for the scout. The BoR usually takes place at the next meeting. The Advancement Coordinator contacts committee members, and invites them to the BoR. Most frequently the adults are the Advancement Coordinator, Treasurer, Webelos Coordinator, Outdoor Act
  20. Engineer61, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. Having seen how effectively it works as a postive motivator, I don't think I could ever be convinced that immediately recognizing scouts for their accomplishments is an "entitlement." Besides, Advancement is one of the 8 Methods of Boy Scouting; video games is not one of the remaining seven.
  21. Whether or we agree with policy changes or not, it is natural to assume that they occur as a response to an incident or incidents. So with the above listed incident, it is not a stretch to connect the two, which makes a policy change understandable, even if a bit misguided. It has been harder for me to swallow the "Patrol Campout" pill because I have seen no information relating actual "patrol without leader" incidents. I try to follow scout stories (even the tragedies I hate to see smeared in the media), but I have yet to see a headline reading: "Scouts Camping without adult supervisio
  22. It was discussed here at length. Here is the thread: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=232385 Remember the context, this was not a cooking or stove incident. It was a lapse of judgement and a tragic accident. As I said, it may only be coincidence that I noticed the change in policy on alcohol fuel/stove use after this incident.
  23. Engineer61, I take that as "apology accepted." Thanks for your understanding. "Entitlement" is a fairly new word, as words go, allegedly first used in 1942. For the sake of our discussion, I believe what we are saying is that "entitlement" is the expectation that everyone is treated equally, regardless of actual accomplishment or effort. One example I see of this is at some Pinewood Derbies where every cub scout receives an award or trophy, whether for mere participation or for some concocted award like "Fastest Looking Car." If that is "entitlement," then "instant recognition" is
  24. Engineer61 and all, It was suggested to me privately that I may have used stronger than necessary language when I made my "sham on you" remark. Though I have very passionate opinions on certain Scouting topics, I should have found a better choice of words, which were unscoutlike, and inappropriate. I do sincerely apologize if my words or tone offended you or anyone on the forum.(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)
  25. A few years ago, there was an incident involving the misuse of alcohol by a scout. It resulted in another scout's death. It was the following G2SS which prohibited DIY alcohol stoves and discouraged alcohol fuel. I always felt this was a liability issue with the use of stove fuels, as alcohol is particularly flammable as it readily vaporizes at most any temperature. Also keep in mind that penny stoves can on rare occasions "burp" with a backpressure. This is rare, but regardless, the "penny" is extremely hot, and therefore a hazard. Also, DIY (reservoir) stoves cannot be "turned off." A
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