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About AVTech

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    Junior Member

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  • Location
    Metro Boston
  • Occupation
    AV Technician

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  1. AVTech

    NYLT for 13 year old

    Just playing Devil's Advocate... You don't know what you don't know. My son, who just turned 16 in December, took NYLT last summer. He came back with a whole new set of tools that have made him a superior SPL. He also has a new appreciation for what it takes to be a good leader, and he will tell you that it was the best thing he has done in Boy Scouts. The skills taught in NYLT might make you much better than fine.
  2. AVTech

    President Trump Eagle Letters

    Eagles in my Troop have gotten them, but they have been very late- well after Courts of Honor have come and gone.
  3. AVTech

    From National: Official Name

    I was specific about the Mission Statement: "The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law."
  4. AVTech

    From National: Official Name

    My next move is easy. When we create our linked Troop, I will step down as SM of the boy Troop and become the SM of the new girl Troop. My wife (my kids' stepmother) just finished all the SM required training, and will be our first trained female ASM. I will provide the same leadership and opportunities for my 13-yo daughter and her peers that I have for my 16-yo son and his. I am not sure why everyone has their underthings in a twist about this. The mission statement of the BSA has always said YOUTH, without mentioning gender. Our flavor of Scouting should be available to any kid who wants to sign up. I have no intention of providing anything less than the same program to the girls that we have always provided to the boys. My daughter is frustrated with GSUSA, because unless the leaders want to do outdoor stuff, it doesn't happen. The GSUSA program may work for some, but its open-ended structure doesn't work for everyone. Its exclusivity is self-limiting, and their insistence that only women should be role models for the girls is short sighted. I get it that the powers that be haven't been as organized or open about these changes as they could have been or should have been. But to turn your back on the program because of a chromosome change is hardly Scoutlike. Just my opinion, of course...
  5. AVTech

    What's A Good Water Bottle?

    Nalgene has a lifetime guarantee. My son used one as a tent peg mallet and cracked the bottom. They replaced it. You just go to their website, fill out a form and upload a photo of your damaged item. That makes the cost easier to take. I prefer the OTF style. They may be a little smaller, but the one handed pop-top is easier to use on the trail. All that being said, if you want to keep water cold, HydroFlask is the way to go. I can put cold water in mine early in the morning at Summer Camp, and it is still cold in the evening (I had other bottles on my pack, this was sitting in my tent all day). They are not cheap though, so your $30 budget won't get you a decently sized one.
  6. AVTech

    Cyber Chip questions

    I do the same. Given my job and employer, I understand way more about this topic than the people at HQ ever could.
  7. AVTech

    Cyber Chip questions

    My opinion is that the whole CyberChip curriculum needs to be rewritten and designed to be a Unit-wide activity. There should be better videos (some of which I already show to my Troop anyway), and then a group discussion with topics led by a moderator (SPL). Something that is important enough that it is required for Rank Advancement needs to be crafted to be useful and more easily implemented.
  8. AVTech

    Family Scouting Update

    I absolutely disagree with you on this point. My daughter is a Girl Scout. She is bored to tears and cannot wait to be able to do all the cool things her older brother gets to do. The GSUSA program is very open-ended, so leaders who don't like to camp run programs without camping. The BSA program is much more rigid, and heavily biased towards being outdoors. We will not be poaching from GSUSA, except for those who are NOT being served by their existing Troop's program. We will be attracting young women who want the adventure that a properly run Troop offers.
  9. AVTech

    Storage ideas

    We are fortunate that our CO has a mostly unused basement. We keep all of our gear in a caged area. Our Klondike sleds and a few other large items are outside the cage. We store our trailer in the parking lot of an industrial building owned by a local electrician. We have a designated parking spot next to a small dog park, so there is a lot of coming and going, which makes that lot a relatively safe location. You might want to see if you can find a similar local business that has space for you to locate a shed.
  10. I don't understand why anyone has to drone on about upcoming events. Does the Troop not have a website with a calendar? Does leadership not send out reminder emails? I spend more time writing and sending emails to the parents as a backup to the SPL's weekly announcements than I do on most other Scouting business. We use a website from SOAR that sends out a weekly eBlast to all Scouts and their parents. It has all of the events that are open for registration- they can register and pay for all trips online too. They can also (and this is HUGE) sync the Troop calendar to their phones or even Outlook or Google calendar, so no one has to waste time reminding them about every little thing at these few events- for some parents CoH are the only time we ever see them. As for FOS- I told my DE a long time ago (back when I was a Cubmaster) that coming to any Unit event looking for handouts from the families that already support them is barking up the wrong tree. They need to go knock on the doors of businesses that have deeper pockets, a much better return on their investment in time. I also told them that the presentations were awful and boring, and an unwelcome distraction from the purpose of the gatherings that they asked to be added to. That was the end of any FOS presentations at our events.
  11. AVTech

    Teaching Orienteering

    Wasn't joking. Do the basic instructions inside, then everyone grabs their headlamps and heads out to do a course.
  12. AVTech

    Teaching Orienteering

    Headlamps make so many activities much more fun...
  13. My take on this has always been that no matter what the intent of the folks in Irving might have been, they will not get the volunteer base that would be required to run separate Troops in most communities. The more opinions I see, and the more I think about how the heck they plan to roll this out, the more I am convinced that we will see separate Patrols in mixed Troops. The other thing that no one seems to be able to answer is when they plan to roll this all out. The issue with no clear dates as of yet is this: Let's say, a 10 year old girl joins a Cub Scout Pack on January 15th as part of the early adopter push. She earns her Bobcat in the first week, and starts working on the requirements for Arrow of Light. Without pushing her hard, she is eligible to earn her AoL on July 15th- 6 months later, as per the Cub Requirements. What does she do after that? If the current timeline is gospel, she has to wait until sometime in 2019 to join a Troop. I see another early adopter program for Troops available over the summer. As the father of a really bored 13 year old Girl Scout, I am actually okay with having a coed Troop, and with starting the coed program for the 2018-2019 school year. I have the backing of my CO to run whatever program I think will best serve the local community. I have the support of most of our Troop Committee. I also have a wife who has already taken the online SM training and is scheduled to take IOLS this spring so that we have one trained female direct contact leader before we even start.
  14. AVTech

    Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

    Barry- No, failure is an appropriate term. Scouting is supposed to be an experiment for the Scouts, a safe place in which they can test themselves. How else do they learn? It used to be that much of youth was a laboratory. We did stuff, lots of it undoubtedly unsafe and probably outlawed now, and we learned what worked and what didn't. Occasionally those lessons were accompanied by some injury. Broken bones generally heal, and eyebrows DO grow back... In the new childproof reality, that experimentation doesn't happen very often. As an aside, I used to work at a small private college. The school president always addressed the parents of the incoming Freshman class at the beginning of orientation. He started his speech like this: Your children will, at some point, fail at something, often spectacularly. This, in my opinion, is the best place in the world for them to do so. I feel the same way about Scouting.
  15. AVTech

    Why Can't Adults Trust the Scouts

    Just out of curiosity, is this ASM trained? When I took my SM classroom training (and I highly recommend this over the online version if it is at all possible), the SM in charge of the sessions told us that rule one is to take a step back. He said that it is the hardest thing to do, but easily the most valuable in being an adult leader in a properly run Troop. He is correct, and any time I happen to cross paths with him in the 5 years since I took that class, I thank him again for everything he did to make me the SM I am now. As an aside, this is one of the few reasons that we have Troop bylaws. No one is allowed to be an ASM or SM in our Troop unless they can wear the TRAINED patch for those positions. I know that the prevailing wisdom here is that bylaws are a bad thing. This is one of the few exceptions, IMHO.