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Everything posted by denibug72

  1. @69RoadRunner I finally have time to update on our Yellowstone trip. The permit process wasn't too bad. All four of the adults grabbed spots in the lottery, and two of them got picked for dates towards the end of April. We had the original itinerary, but since the dates were so late in April, we came up with 4 other options in case that one was taken on our dates. We managed to get the route we wanted, but had to reverse the direction to get the campsites that fit our group. It seemed like a pretty smooth process to get the permit, but we have no idea what the rest of the trip would have
  2. We got two vans - a 12 passenger & a minivan. We've got a crew of 11 right now, and since this is a combo of car camping/backpacking, the gear needs forced us up to 2 vehicles. It also gives us flexibility in backcountry planning - we don't have to pay for a shuttle if we end up having to choose a loop route. And we can easily make grocery and other supply runs when needed. Hurts the pocket book, but the parents/scouts were all on board with the decision. We're putting on a ton of miles on the front & back side of the trip, so being able to have the scouts spread out between the v
  3. We're still working on the Tetons part. One day of whitewater rafting, and one day of hiking for sure, but the rest is still up in the air right now. We need to nail it down quick before the whitewater reservations fill up. A big theme of the trip is fishing/fly fishing, so I'm sure that will work it's way in there too.
  4. Our shakedown is about a month prior to the trip, but all of the scouts have been on backpacking trips with the troop in the past year. It's a bit tough to get a backpacking trip in every month before the trip though - still battling snow & freezing temps here in the upper midwest. I'm game for it, but I don't think I could talk the other adults & scouts into it. 🥶 My backpack is sitting next to the treadmill. It's been too snowy/icy to get out on the trails, so that's been the only way I've been putting on miles lately.
  5. I will post an update as we go through the lottery and beyond. Right now, we're counting on getting those backcountry campsites because everything else that's reservable within the park is unavailable (or not big enough to handle our group). We picked up the campsites we needed on either side of the backpacking trek a few months ago, but now we're scrambling to figure out a backup plan if the backcountry permit falls through. After our Yellowstone segment, we've got a group site at Grand Tetons NP to base camp out of, and there weren't many of those left either. My advice would be to
  6. Our troop is in the midst of planning a western HA trip including Yellowstone right now. The permit process has changed to a lottery this year, so we're not sure how things are going to shake out. Basically, you pay $10 to get a spot in the lottery, and you might get a chance at a permit. We've got a short backpacking segment in Yellowstone, but we're trying to come up with Plan A, B, C, D, and E just in case sites are booked before we can get in the system to get them. We've been scrambling to get other campsites also. The council that runs Camp Buffalo Bill is short staffed & in the
  7. We had coffee, but my memory is hazy as to if it was perc or instant. Just send them an email about it. Our crew had dietary issues, so there were a lot of emails back and forth with the base. At that time, they were very responsive and we had answers to our questions within a day at most. Granted, that was a few years ago, but hopefully that's still the case. Even though you're doing Out Island, you may want to pack some dramamine (or at least a little extra in the first aid kit). You're not on the big water a lot, but the fishing & snorkeling days could get a bit stomach chur
  8. My experience mirrors Fred's - we did an August Out Island trip, and would definitely recommend that over the Keys Adventure. The boys are still talking about the trip years later, and I honestly don't think they'd be doing that for a KA trip.
  9. We're not vax deniers, but our family has dealt with vax reactions in the past. My oldest had a major reaction to his 6 mo shots, to the point that we stopped all his shots. Years later we found out that Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a horrible disease to go through. My oldest son contracted a rare variant of it (Miller-Fischer) as a young teenager. We still don't know how or why he got it, and probably never will. So thankful for IVIG plasma treatments, and a neurologist that had a pretty good guess as to what it could be (since the spinal tap & blood workups took weeks to come back).
  10. Your ability to hammock camp will be highly dependent on the campsite you are assigned, which you won't know until you arrive on base. Munson is broken up into two campsite areas - Front Porch & Back Porch. When we were there in 2018, we were assigned a site in the Front Porch that had a few trees in it - enough that 3 of us could barely hammock (1 w/tarp, 2 w/o tarps). Many of the campsites on that part of the island didn't have much for trees or living shrubs - not a lot of rebound from the hurricane at that point. From what I saw on the island tour of the Back Porch side of the isla
  11. Our troop has a scout that's close to this situation as well. He was supposed to present his project to District on April 2nd, and had his work days planned for mid-April. He ages out in June. Our state closed all the school districts until the end of March, and our local district has said that they would most likely resume in April via online school. Our Council has now told us to cancel everything scouting related - all meetings, activities, etc. - anything in-person - until the schools are back in session. Some of the teachers I've talked to have said that they're being told to prep fo
  12. We just did this a few weekends ago. Every November we have our annual Tarp & Twine campout, and for the adults that participate in the campout, we do an early Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the food is cooked in dutch ovens or over the fire, and the turkey gets wrapped in foil & cooked in a hole in the ground. The boys are always interested in what we're doing, but none have tried it yet.
  13. Those are patches & segments from Tomahawk Scout Reservation. Our troop promotes the segments for our boys - it gets them out of the campsite & trying things that they might not do without the opportunity of earning a segment (like the 5k rootbeer run). It's also a bit of bragging rights too - there's some very competitive scouts that try for the highest total each year. Now how they wear the segments...that's a different matter. The majority of our boys wear them as pictured in the OP - the middle patch is their first year at Tomahawk, surrounded by all the segments they've earned
  14. Well, we got a reprieve from the fee hike. Next year will not be pretty - with this national fee hike & the talk of getting rid of FOS & moving to the "Program Fee" model, I'm sure our fees will be quite high. At least we get a year to plan for it. http://www.northernstar.org/national-membership-fee-increase-delayed-for-all-northern-star-units
  15. Just dealt with this on a BWCA trip. My husband & I set up our hammocks with a spreader bar, so we were both connected to the same two trees. The first night went by without incident. At 1:30am the second night, we awoke as we hit the ground when the tree that the foot end of the hammocks was connected to gave way. Still half asleep, we grabbed our gear & finished out the night in the tent. Took a closer survey of the damage the next morning, and found that the center of the tree was rotted out. Thankfully, it fell just to the side of the hammocks - missed me by about a foot. On
  16. This is an issue in our troop. We have a number of scouts that have been attending a monthly program where about 15 MBs are offered in morning & afternoon 3 hour sessions. Every one of the MBs that scouts have taken at these sessions have resulted in a signed off blue card during the session - some of them in highly questionable circumstances. Once the Scoutmaster found out about the cost for this program, and the issues with how they obtain & use counselors, he announced to the troop that he would no longer issue signed blue cards for anyone attending those programs. There's been
  17. I've opted for Duluth Trading's Dry on the Fly pants. Love the fit, and the pairs I have aren't terribly far off from the official BSA color. Unfortunately, they're as spendy as the BSA ones, but for me, they're worth the extra $$.
  18. I have to disagree with ValleyBoy. I'm part of our district advancement committee and sit on the project approval boards each month for the district. Depending on how he presented his project to us, I could see it being approved in our district. As others have said, there is no building requirement for Eagle projects, and I definitely don't see this as a routine labor situation. Valleyboy, if he held some kind of a collection drive to collect more Lego sets, would that help his project in your district? As it is, I honestly see enough chances for him to show leadership in the project as i
  19. I know Northern Tier is running a WFA training course this December, and the instructors are NOLS certified. Seems kinda odd for the BSA to say that you need ARC, ESCI, or ACA WFA training when they're using NOLS to train their own staff. If you're targeting a specific HA base, send them a quick email to see if they'd accept other courses. If it's for a troop level activity, I think any full weekend WFA training would be enough. As far as tracking down the courses - ask around at Roundtable to see what other units have done in the past. Your district or council training team may have
  20. This is my 14th year of homeschooling my boys. They both participated as much or as little as they want - it's their choice. Older son earned his Eagle about 3 years ago, and the younger is one merit badge away from his. The only real influence I see is that by homeschooling & not working, as a leader in the troop I'm usually available to head up outings and opportunities that other working leaders might not have the chance to do (high adventure, daytime activities, etc).
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