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Thunderbird last won the day on August 24

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  1. I'm just speculating here, but I bet what they are doing is using 16-17 year old minors as "instructors", and having a registered Merit Badge Counselor (age 18+) sign the forms. It's OK to use instructors who are not MBCs, but it's supposed to be the MBC who actually tests and approves merit badge requirements. I suspect that they are using the non-registered instructors to do all of the testing / approving, and just having the registered MBCs sign the paperwork. As you said, exceptions would be areas with liability concerns such as: shooting sports, water-related merit badges, climbing, etc.
  2. Thunderbird

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Not sure if this is what you are looking for or not, but we found some green pants at in the men's section at Wal-Mart that are pretty similar to Scout pants. They appear to be made from rip stop material. We have only had them for about 6 months, but they have held up pretty well so far. The brand name is "Genuine Dickies".
  3. In my council, I have been told that the Scout turns in their part of the blue cards (or a copy of the blue card, so the original blue cards don't get lost) at the same time as the Eagle Scout rank application. The dates on the blue cards are checked against the electronic dates that are in ScoutNet. ScoutNet syncs with Scoutbook, so merit badges that are approved in Scoutbook should be visible to the council in ScoutNet. If the dates don't match, they can be corrected. I don't know how a council could really check the names of merit badge counselors on blue cards - especially for MBCs outside of their own council (frequently the case for summer camps). Also, some of the MBC info. on blue cards can sometimes be a bit hard to read (whose name is this? LOL). It might not be an issue unless the parents try to sign blue cards for their Scout when they aren't MBCs (but this is the type of thing that hopefully gets caught at the unit level).
  4. Thunderbird

    Hard Merit Badges

    Bugling is definitely one of the more difficult merit badges. It took my son several months to earn it, even though he played trumpet in band. (He had some difficulty reaching the high notes.) Signs, Signals, and Codes is kind of difficult, because there is a lot of material to learn. Game Design is more difficult that some Scouts might expect, because it has its own specific terminology / jargon. And also because the Scouts have a tendency to want to just design their game and be done with it, but the merit badge requires an iterative process of play testing and making modifications / improvements to their game.
  5. This is also what I have seen at summer camps. Usually Thursday afternoon / evening they make the reports or blue cards available, and the Scouts have Thursday night / Friday to finish stuff up or discuss with MBCs anything that was marked incorrectly. As for partials, depending on the merit badge, the Scout might be able to finish the requirements at home, but would still need to find a registered MBC for the merit badge in question in order to get the final approvals.
  6. Thunderbird

    New Sex Abuse Arrest

    By "retreats", I assume that this probably refers to campouts. Campouts usually last at least one night, and there is more time and more opportunities for things to happen. Whatever went wrong seems to have gone wrong on multiple occasions. Did they not have 2-deep leadership as required?
  7. Thunderbird

    Bikes in Camp?

    There is a neighboring summer camp near me that allows Scouts to bring bikes (and helmets) as a way to shorten travel time between program areas. This camp also has a cycling/mountain bike program. It was a good thing, for the most part. However, sometimes Scouts would ride their bikes through the middle of camp too fast, which could be a problem if you can't see people on the path around the turn ahead or when they would try to jump little hills / berms that had people on the other side that they couldn't see.
  8. Thunderbird

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    I started using velcro for ranks, position, JTE, etc. Then I put sticky back velcro (cut it down so that it's smaller than the patch) on the back of the patch. Makes it much easier to keep up with patches that change a lot.
  9. Thunderbird

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    In my council, Cub Scouts really love to put all of their patches on the red brag vest. They could get a round council patch, put it on the back of the vest, and then put all of their segments in rings around the council patch. To me, this looks better than trying to fit all of that under the right pocket. I have only seen Cub Scouts wear the red vest, though - not older Scouts.
  10. Thunderbird


    OK, I found this in the Troop Committee Challenge instructor guide / syllabus. The duties and responsibilities should also be available in the Troop Committee Guidebook.
  11. Thunderbird


    My understanding is that Committee Chairs are responsible for it, although the CC can designate someone (usually someone else on the committee) to be the processor. If you have Scouts who have stopped showing up to meetings, then I could see having the Scoutmaster be the one to contact them to find out if they plan to recharter or not.
  12. Thunderbird

    Wine Auction Nets Council $132K

    That's a lot of grapes! 🍇 🍷
  13. Thunderbird

    Older Tiger Cub Immediate Recognition Kit

    Something like this? Tiger Cub Tiger Totem Instant Recognition Kit Cub Scouts
  14. Thunderbird

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    Also, the requirements for Scout rank say: So the Scouts have to at least demonstrate their knowledge / skills after joining the troop. The requirements are mostly similar (but not exactly the same) between the AOL Scouting adventure and Scout rank, but the standards are different ("Do Your Best" vs. passed as written). If they are able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and if they are able to get the parent pamphlet exercises done, and if there are existing patrols (with flag and yell), then it is possible to earn Scout rank at the first or second troop meeting. It typically takes more time to earn now that it is a rank - not just a joining badge.
  15. Thunderbird

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    Going back to the Cyber Chip requirement, there is a change this year where a new preview adventure called "Protect Yourself Rules" can be used in place of the Cyber Chip. So AOL Scouts who crossover this year might have earned this adventure instead of the Cyber Chip. However, the "Protect Yourself Rules" adventure cannot be used as a substitute for the Cyber Chip for Scout rank, so they will have to earn it. From what I have seen, Scouts who take longer than a month to earn Scout rank typically have difficulty with saying from memory: the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Outdoor Code, etc. Or they haven't done the Scouts BSA version of the pamphlet "How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parents Guide" with their parent / guardian (the pamphlet for Scouts BSA is different from the one they did as Cub Scouts, because it is aimed at older youth). If they haven't earned the Cyber Chip yet and they are currently in the 6th grade, then the holdup is usually getting them to do Cyber Chip requirement 2 (write and sign a personalized contract with your parent or guardian).