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Posts posted by Jameson76

  1. On 9/1/2019 at 11:13 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Maybe I am a pessimist, but why would they listen to the Scouts and Venturers on anything, when they do not even listen to the Scouters who volunteer their time and treasure to the program? Don't believe me, well there is the "Instapalm" survey of 2015 in which 94% were  either against (18%) or strongly against (76%) the idea, and they did it anyway.

    You know, if they really really were interested, possibly "they" (whomever they may be) that are in fact making decisions, policy, and program decisions could actually go out and see Scouts in the wild.  I have asked this question to Council Board Members, Scout Executive of the Council, Council Camping and Program chairpersons; when was the most recent time you were on an outing?  Typically their answer falls into two areas 1) I was at Jamboree, the Council Event, came to Summer camp for the day OR 2) I was a leader XX years ago.  

    My follow-up is when was the last time you been in the parking lot as a troop assembles, driven to the outing, wandered about the outing as the youth setup and started camp, sat with the adults, cooked a meal, mentored a youth on properly cooking bacon (Protip - you have to peel the strips off the big hunk-o-bacon for it to fry up), participated in the weekend program, maybe administered some first aid, counseled two youth who may have had a disagreement, maybe sit on a BOR one evening, pack up camp, loaded the trailer up, waited at the church for the parents.  That is where Scouting happens.  If the powers that be were truly interested, there are lots of troops out there, camping every weekend.  GO AND SEE, talk with Scouts and Leaders.

    Surveys tend to tell you want you want to hear.  Real change or understanding involves actual involvement with the program.

    • Upvote 2

  2. We went very simple

    All are 3 x 5 flags, these are on 8' standard 1" dowels (available at Home Depot).  We stained these

    • US flag was made in USA and sourced locally at the hardware store
    • Troop flag is the new one from wherever they come from
    • State flag is a synthetic, not sure country of origin

  3. 5 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    Here's one writer's venture into the rabbit hole of conjecture...


    Wow - that is some Educational Ivory Tower wide ranging ramblings.  Interesting the writer makes a number of broad statements, but little or no actual foundation.

    Some interesting revisionist history, they fall into the trap of viewing historical events in the lens of current thinking.

  4. 11 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    I'm curious of how many scouts use hammocks. Most of the hammock users in our troop were adults. Scouts tried them out for an hour, but never got motivated to use them. 


    We are about 90% Scouts in hammocks and 50% leaders

  5. 7 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The only reason I bring it up is that I believe the majority of visitors to Philmont are first-time backpackers and they should learn the accepted habits of wilderness camping to take back to their troop. Shelter, water, food.


    When we go on hikes, even short ones, we stress the rule of 3's for being out and dictating what your priorities may be.

    Note these are generalities, this makes it simple to remember:

    1. You can survive 3 weeks without food
    2. You can survive 3 days without water
    3. Your may survive 3 hours without shelter in the rain

    Key being shelter is vital.  Our SPL on a Webelos visitation campout was explaining the importance of a jacket and the emergency blanket as the troop went on a hike.  The Scouts repeated (in unison) " You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter in the rain...take proper shelter or die". 

    Some of the Cub parents thought it was a bit over the top, my response was that we want all of the Scouts to clearly understand what needs to be the priority when out in the woods.  I asked them what they hoped their son would do if in 10 years he was on a hike with friends on a fall afternoon and a sudden rainshower hits the group, soaking them, the temperature was dropping, and they were several miles from the trailhead; what would you hope they did?  One of the Scouts overheard and said seek shelter, build a fire as much as possible and calmly assess the next step.

    I said nothing else.

    • Upvote 2

  6. 1 hour ago, Double Eagle said:

    .  And please don't suggest Philmont allow hammocks. 


    1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    Why not?


    As others noted, bear tacos is one reason (though pretty unlikely).  Main reasons are tree damage, spreading sites out to the trees, also there are wandering deer etc that could get hung up on the hammocks.  Potentially a better shelter in a tent.

    Last thing may be it would be a might chilly.  You would still need pads, potentially heavier sleep gear, rainfly, etc.  Not sure you would save a great amount of weight

  7. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    "Family Scouting" creep is a major concern for me. Some folks do not care about boundaries. 

    That too is my concern.  The inevitable slide.  So you are camped out in a back country site.  Your crew of 16 - 17 year olds, say day 7 or 8.  There is a crew of Mustangs in the next camp.  Maybe it's their only night out, so they are more boisterous.  Also it can lessen the feeling of being out and away.

    At the surface, seems benign, it would not take much to have a less than favorable impact.   Maybe there are ways to promote outdoors and not be out in the crown jewel of Boy Scouts backcountry.

    Hey...there's always Summit and they desperately need folks to go there.  Make it Family Scouting paradise and leave the rest of us alone.  Not sure how many families you need attending to pay down an over $125 million balloon bond payment....

    • Upvote 1

  8. 13 minutes ago, Pale Horse said:

    This has zero impact on Treks.

    Not 100% sure about that. 

    There were many pics posted by PTC with the kids and families out and about in the back county.  (see one example below).  Not much a stretch to see this could impact the remoteness and "adventure" experienced by the 12 days crews when they come across a group of kids or families on the trail.  Sort of like when families come up mid-week to summer camp, can changes the dynamics of the experience.  I wonder what the long-term impact of more families, family scouting, the family glamping, will be to the Philmont experience for the 20,000 Scouts and Leaders that come to New Mexico looking for the (literally) mountain top backpacking and crew experience as part of their Scouting journey.

    A group of Mustangs from the Philmont Training Center hike toward Crater Lake's main cabin after spending the night in the backcountry.

    Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, sky, tree, outdoor and nature

  9. Once you write stuff down, you have to start abiding by it.  Use the documents from BSA on structure, etc.  Everything else should be situational.  Don't reinvent the wheel.

    We have a 100 +/- Scout troop.  No troop rules, by laws, etc.  We do give out information on how we do stuff.  Maybe 1 page??  Only written rule not covered by BSA is no cell phones on the outings, summer camp. 

    • Upvote 1


    15 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

    On a related note, I think that by the end of what is now almost SIX YEARS of Cub Scouting, the parents (particularly those who were not Scouts themselves) tend to think that their sons have "done Scouting" and have gotten all the benefit they can out of it (of course, we know they're wrong, but they don't.)  On the other hand, they view the benefits of sports as just beginning at that age.

    That pretty much sums up a great issue...SIX YEARS OF CUB SCOUTS.  The  Cubs used to be sort of the waiting room for Scouts, as that was the really good stuff.  Now it can be a 6 year slog to Scouts, parents may determine to do something new.  Also after SIX YEARS OF CUB SCOUTS many parents (can you say family scouting) expect Troops to be the same, or in many cases worry that it will be more of the same


  11. 1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

    I think that's the answer.  A lot of parents have stars in their eyes.  They look forward to their child getting a free ride on a sports scholarship, turning pro and supporting them in their old age.  The fact that the chances of this happening for any given youth are very, very small does not seem to deter many of them.

    Good reading




    • Upvote 1

  12. 57 minutes ago, SubSM said:

    I have heard advertisements over and over about the benefits of youth sports on the radio. How kids learn leadership and teamwork etc. Many of these benefits can be found in scouting. 


    Cautious reminder that many of the advertisements on the benefits (and not discounting there are positive aspects) of youth sports are driven in many cases by groups that will benefit financially from youth sports

    • Sporting goods stores and manufacturers that sell equipment
    • Coaches who are paid and need customers
    • Associations that run the "exclusive" tournaments and need the revenue
    • Private coaching and instructional academies that need customers
    • Groups running sports camps that need attendees
    • Parks and rec groups that have fields that see leagues as rental clients

    For the "elite" youth athlete I have questioned the wisdom to pay $4k - $6 annually to participate in a sport for 6 - 8 years with hopes/plans of getting a scholarship.  That same money spent could be invested and you could pay for most of college.  If they like a sport, maybe there is a rec program.  Interestingly the participation in Sports has come to define many youth, and I guess their parents.

    Not sports bashing in any way.  But I have seen a evolution in the last 40 years from kids playing 3 to 4 sports, having fun, off season, doing random sports things to the drive for 1 sport at 8 or 9, year round, and that's it.  Kids get burned out, injured etc.

    Youth need

    • family
    • sports (organized and just exercise)
    • social things (church group, Scouts, youth groups)
    • academic (school)
    • free time

    All of that should part of a balance kid

    • Upvote 1

  13. A lot to unwrap here, but this pretty much sums it up

    34 minutes ago, mds3d said:

    GET OUT!!!!!!

    As Dirty Harry said in Magnum Force "a man's got to know his limitations"  Your limitations may be turning this Titanic around

    Not sure of the timing but 4 Scoutmasters in a few short years is a sign of trouble

    • The one who slapped a Scout (Was his name Patton??)
    • The one there when you joined
    • You
    • The next Scoutmaster victim

    As a comparison my home troop had 4 Scoutmasters in 16 years 70's and 80's.  Current troop has had 2 in last 19 years, retired one and current.  Overall in 35 years current troop has had 9 SM's and one had a short tenure due to heart attack.

    • Thanks 1

  14. Our crew found it interesting that they sort of encourage the crews to build fires not (in approved rings etc etc).  Seems line a good idea to have the 20,000 Scouts going through each night to scour the ground for loose burnable debris.

    When I first went in the 70's we had to cook on fires, so as you came to a camp you started picking up wood about 1/2 mile out.  Went in the 80's and backpacking stoves were a thing so we built no fires, same for other treks.

    On the Baldy climb, I have told all the crews I've been that the climb up the tailings / loose rocks seems close, but will be arduous.  The saddle and going out the the lower peak there is a nice stroll.  Also the hike around the back heading North East over to Copper Park along that ridge is stunning.

    The Mt Phillips hike is great and underrated 

    • Upvote 1

  15. 10 hours ago, fred8033 said:

    I think this is one of the reasons.  All my adult leader friends who brought a smile when they showed up have moved on.  I still have many friends, but it is not like it was.  

    And I must admit ... this last month, I've done a lot of yard work and home projects that I have put off for a decade.  It's sort of nice working my ticket back into my home life.  :)

    Not an untrue observation

    Many Scouters take on District or Council positions at the request of a friend and then enjoy the camaraderie that may bring.  As friendships change or people move on, you may turn around and then you may not really have a lot in common with the team you are working with.  Lack of friendships and common experience can impact the "fun" you may have had in the past doing whatever for the District or Council.  Becomes more of job.

    With the troop you go in knowing the main focus of your efforts (the Scouts) will in fact grow-up and age out, that is sort of the overall hope and plan.  As the older ones move on you can build relationships with the new ones, work with them, help develop them.  Sort of Rinse Lather Repeat.  A good bit of personal satisfaction to sit on an EBOR with a Scout who you remember being a somewhat homesick 11 year old.

    • Upvote 1

  16. Interesting that a lot of comments seem to center on Scouters who are burned out on district or possibly council positions.  Personally I have been involved with unit work for many years.  No district or council (well except 7 years of camp staff and 2 years as DE).  No Woodbadge or anything like that.  Worked with my home troop out of college #2, worked with others as I moved, worked with a local one here that my son joined.  He has aged out, but I Scout on with 11 years with this one.  Multiple trips to Philmont, long local High Adventure, coaching Life to Eagles now and logging 35 nights camping annually with the troop.

    Keep involvement at the unit level.  Watch and get to know the new Scouts as they crossover.  That keeps it fresh.  Don't be afraid to be the old guy, who knows what is what, yet has a lot of fun doing it.  Those conversations with the 7th and 8th graders on the way to outings are pure comedy gold.


  17. 11 hours ago, vol_scouter said:

    The Summit Bechtel Reserve is a truly unique Scouting gem that all in the BSA should feel a sense of pride in being owned by the BSA.

    To be clear, Summit is not actually owned by the BSA, it is technically owned by the various bondholders and lenders.  It will be years and years and years before BSA will in fact "own" Summit Bechtel Reserve.  There are bond balloon payments well north of $100 million (though these will no doubt be refinanced) that come due in or about 2022.

    Sure it may be a nice facility, but the challenge is that the Summit is sucking up a lot of money from BSA operations.  Question needs to be asked, is it worth it?


    • Upvote 1

  18. We have sent 12 crews over the last 10 years to Seabase and the Out Island Adventure.  Had 3 full crews there late May and early June.  Great experience, very good intro High Adventure.  Most of ours were rising 9th and 10th grade, so agree that the 14 - 15 is better age group.  Not only the physical stamina but the maturity level.

    The variety of activities is good; fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, etc etc.

    • Upvote 1

  19. Been 3 times, recently in 2014.  Went in 85 during the Jamboree year, place was empty.  More open than many trails I hike and camp in the southeast.

    2014 there were crews at campsites, but the sites are heeewge.  Actually did not see another crew camping...well maybe across a field.  Passed a crew now and then, but you can go for hours and only see your crew.  Last day we hiked out from Zastrow to Rayado...5 miles or so over basically good western terrain (down at the SE corner of the ranch), saw cows.  Stopped when we got to the road.

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