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Everything posted by AVTech

  1. AVTech

    Cyber Chip

    I was never happy with the CyberChip curriculum. Something that is required for 2 Ranks and as a requirement for several Merit Badges should be something that can be taught in a Ptrol or Troop setting. My work environment requires a much higher than normal knowledge base in cyber security, so I am eager to see what BSA comes up with as a replacement program. I have tended to share some of my working knowledge as additional information during a session that we had used as preparation for new Scouts to earn their CyberChip right after crossover from Cubs.
  2. Double-dipping on cooking has never been allowed. Separate cooking for Rank, then for Cooking and Camping Merit Badges. I agree that Cooking is a bad Merit Badge to take at camp, especially if your Scout's Troop has a good in-house MBC for it, along with a few experienced Scouts who are great camp cooks.
  3. AVTech

    Policy on going through scout totes

    At our camp, the Medical Staff hold ALL medications for ALL Scouts. Prescriptions MUST be in their original containers. OTC medications MUST be in their original sealed packaging. All medications MUST match what is on the BSA Health Record. If the Scout uses an asthma inhaler or any number of self-injectible meds (EpiPen, Insulin, etc.), they can carry one, and a second must be turned in to the Medical Staff. Adults may hold their own medications, but they must be stored safely (locked in footlocker, for instance). For other trips, an adult is designated to hold and dispense all medications. As for "contraband" items, I have found over the years that very few Scouts can keep said item to themselves, and someone will turn them in- the usual offense is phone posession. I have been a Scout leader in many capacities for a long time, and I have never had occasion to search a Scout's footlocker at camp, or even to enter a Scout tent unless there was a medical emergency. That has happened exactly once, and I had another adult and the Scout's tent-mate with me, and most of the Troop standing around outside the open flaps.
  4. As someone who was not elected to the Order as a youth, I have to say that much of what I witnessed at my Ordeal (this past August), was lost on a good number of the youth assembled there. That also goes for some of the Elangomats who thought little of having conversations with many of the Ordeal candidates, despite the rules that had been clearly spelled out for all of us. I am going to hazard a guess that other than showing up for their Brotherhood weekend, most of them will seldom feel any sense of obligation to the Order (pun intended). For me, the weekend was amazing, and was capped off by a Bald Eagle circling the amphitheater where we had our closing ceremony. As a Scoutmaster, I have always taken my responsibility as gatekeeper to the few things that I am allowed to control seriously. I can counsel against a Scout starting 12 Merit Badges at a time, but I can't stop them. I can (and have) removed a Patrol Leader from office, after multiple SMCs didn't alter his behavior towards his Patrol (it was at their request, after the consulted with the SPL on multiple occasions). The Order is supposed to be an honor society, comprised of Scouts who live and breathe the Oath and Law. If a Scout who otherwise qualifies for membership based on Rank and camping nights doesn't have the strength of character and the maturity to understand the Obligation of the Order, I will have that conversation with him (or her), and if necessary, with the angry parents.
  5. Not arguing that point at all. But at the very least, the DAC asks for the paperwork to be dropped off, and doesn't schedule a pre-review review. Most Eagle candidates around here are old enough to drive, so it is on them, not mom and dad.
  6. Requiring that is adding to the requirements, and is not allowed. They can offer it as a service. In our District, once you have all your paperwork done, you submit everything to the District Advancement Chair. They double check that all the details are correct, then send an invitation to sit for the next scheduled EBoR session.
  7. We run our Troop as a nut-free zone. Scouts carry 1 EpiPen, a leader carries the 2nd. We have trainers on hand (one comes with each package of EpiPens), and we have trained EVERY SCOUT how to administer each type.
  8. AVTech

    Reporting progress on NOVA awards...

    In our town, every student from grade 6-10 has an iPad, and 11-12 have Chromebooks. The school system uses Google Apps as a platform, so they are all better at this than the adults are.
  9. AVTech

    Reporting progress on NOVA awards...

    We use Excel spreadsheets to track partials for things that Troopmaster, Scoutbook, etc aren't good at. For example: the multiple rides in Cycling Merit Badge Req. 7Ab and 7Bc. The Scouts have no place to track these rides. We keep them on a Google Drive for ready access, but as the MBC for that badge, it is most helpful for me, so I can "nudge" the Scouts that are close to finishing up.
  10. AVTech

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    Actually, #2 answers my question. The thing that I was tripping over was the number of activities, other than meetings, that a Scout could possibly participate in while still in 5th grade, which is when most Scouts crossover from Cubs.
  11. AVTech

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    The curriculum is based on grade, so a 5th grader would likely be using the Cub curriculum, regardless of program. That is why I am asking how a 5th grader is working on Star.
  12. AVTech

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    Please explain how a 5th grader is working on Star? That doesn't seem right...
  13. AVTech

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Easy is, of course, a relative term. For the motivated Scout, earning Eagle Scout at a young age isn't a big deal (as long as their leaders can keep the helicopters at bay). My son earned his Eagle at 16.5. He is the first Scout in our Troop to not wait until 17.99 in over 4 years.
  14. AVTech

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    In my daughter's case, this isn't a joke. She desperately wants an outdoor program, but the moms in our upper-middle class town just don't do "that sort of thing". So I am stepping up to give her the same opportunities as her now Eagle Scout brother has had.
  15. AVTech

    New girls in Scouting

    The info I got was that internally, the linked Troops would have either BT or GT in front of the number.
  16. AVTech

    Two Deep - Married, Related ok?

    As the person that apparently has created so much controversy... My wife is my kids' stepmother, if that makes a difference... The other points I would like to make are 1. We will most likely NOT be the only 2 adults in the room, especially since our calendar and that of the boys' troop are pretty much running in parallel and 2. The reality of the situation is that the work is always done by those who show up. It is now November 18, which gives us 90 days to launch, provided we get 5 applications. I am also going to insist on maternal participation to build a team of fully-trained female leaders so I can step aside at some point, and see where I can be of he most help in my town/district going forward.
  17. AVTech

    New Scouts BSA marketing video

    Just FYI, on Tuesday evening, I stepped down as Scoutmaster of my son's Troop to become the Scoutmaster of my daughter's Troop. It is a linked Troop (well, it will be on 2/1/19), using the same chartering org and Troop Committee. My wife is the ASM. I will be posting the heck out of this video and the other info on the new BSA branding site on local social media and getting articles in the local papers and school communication portals to recruit. I am also getting a head count from my DE of the Webelos 2 girls in all teh surrounding towns that don't have a planned Scouts BSA program for them to cross into, so we can go talk to them. These girls should have a Troop to cross into, and we're just the people to offer it.
  18. AVTech

    broken lantern globes

    We have also retired our propane lanterns in favor of LED. A set of 4 AA batteries lasts forever, and they are very bright. We didn't have globe issues, but it seemed that every time we took them out of their storage bags, the mantles needed replacement.
  19. We have had similar issues with door to door donors cleaning out old food. We had a smaller but still significant amount of very expired canned goods. I don't understand what goes through people's heads. I think that cash donations would be good for us to add to our flyers as well.
  20. Most of the event patches I have seen in recent years have a button loop on them already. Just place them over the button on the pocket flap and then push the button through its hole on the pocket to secure it.
  21. AVTech

    Totin Chip

    Your Troop Instructors should be able to set up a proper ax yard during a Patrol Meeting or Troop Meeting and run Scouts thorough the required training in less than an hour.
  22. AVTech

    Youth Membership vs Adult Membership

    As far as I know, if this person, if they are 18-21, would still be eligible for OA as a youth if they are registered as a Unit College Reserve member of a Troop. They would need to have the requisite number of camping nights. I would ask your local Lodge, just to be sure, since they would likely not be able to be elected by the active members of the Troop. Interesting question...
  23. Participation is already a requirement for the lower ranks, and holding a POR for the upper ranks would by necessity require participation. This seems, to me anyway, either a way to increase participation in program that the Scouts aren't thrilled with, or a way for a SM to minimize the time he spends working with his Scouts. In either case, it is adding to the requirements for rank advancement, and a de facto denial of a SM conference. Both are putting roadblocks in place that ought not be there.
  24. Sorry to disagree with you on this Q. This SM is adding a hurdle. I am all for respecting people's time, and just as an aside I do NOT live in the same town as the Troop. I am 2 towns away, which adds some time to every appointment I make. In my mind, it is part of the servant leadership that I happily give to the Scouts in the Troop. It is much the same as your story about walking to the SM's house on a Saturday. If it works out that a Scout and I can sit in a campsite and have a chat, cool. But to insist that it can ONLY be done there is just wrong. This SM needs to ask his ASMs to help out if his schedule is that tight.
  25. Since our SPL runs the Troop meetings, I always have time to meet with Scouts before, during or after every meeting. I am also more than happy to go to their home or have them come to mine whenever is mutually convenient. My job is to make sure that Scouts who want to advance, have every opportunity to do so, without adding a single roadblock to the process. In my opinion, this Scoutmaster is adding hoops to jump through. Is attendance at camping trips an issue Troop-wide? If so, the answer is to figure out why, not force attendance by tying advancement to it.