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Treflienne last won the day on June 15 2019

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About Treflienne

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  1. There is a new activity log system as of, I think, today. We had been using the ability in the old system to make notes about trips. (Who slept in the cabin versus who pitched tents outside in below-freezing whether? Who arrived late and thus did not pitch her own tent but slept in a tent her friends pitched? etc, etc, etc) I cannot find these notes in the new system. Are they gone? Are am I simply not looking in the right place. Paper records are looking better and better.
  2. When my scouts were picking out neckerchief colors I told them they should not pick solid red (looks like communist young pioneers) nor solid black (Hitler Youth). I was not really concerned about people seeing black and making a Hilter Youth connection. (I have a troop of girls, and there does not seem to be a lot of German influence in the area in which we live.) I was genuniely concerned about how people locally would react to girls wearing red neckerchiefs. We have many adults in our community (including the parents of some of our scouts) who grew up in the People's Republic of China.
  3. Thank you all for helping me think this through. @Eagledad, you articulated one of my underlying concerns that I had not actually identified yet – I don't want this enthusiastic scout to become discouraged by being “stuck” and to lose momentum. (Thanks for clearly articulating this issue.) And I realize, that even if I were to combine these two outings and call it close-enough, I would not solve the “stuck” problem – she would very quickly bump up against the need for another troop-or-patrol tent-camping trip for first class. Another layer under my concern, I realized, was whether this scout was starting to count up the months left till she turns eighteen. It is not too tight a time-table, but it could be worrying to blow all one's “buffer” of time near the beginning of the process. So I am attempting to redirect the scout's advancement enthusiasm towards the merit badge program. There are a bunch of merit badges (including eagle-required ones) that can be done very well at home, or for which large portions can be done at home (Family Life? Personal Fitness?) For an active scout who is active in a leadership position in the troop, completing Star in four months and Life in six months should be quite doable - if the scout has already worked hard at earning merit badges while waiting to being able to do those camping trips required to complete 2nd and 1st class. @DuctTape, no the scout had not asked yet, nor was she being demanding, but it was obvious the topic would come up, and I wanted to have thought through my answer in advance. Y'all's advice was helpful in the thinking process. @TMSM I agree with you that sleeping in a tent is really a very small part of the scout camping experience. (There is a great description by Baden-Powell in the 1929 “Scouting for Girls” that articulates the character-building (and character-testing) aspects of camping with ones fellow scouts/guides ) A “virtual” backyard camping experience, though it can be a fun light-weight activity, is simply not patrol (or troop) camping, since it does not allow for growth in “citizenship” in the same way. I attempted to explain this to the scout so that she would understand that it was reasonable not to count “virtual” backyard camping as equivalent to in-person patrol or troop camping. So, in short, I decided that “fudging” this requirement would be a bad idea. By the way, I am interpreting BSA's covid-19 FAQ as allowing “virtual” backyard camping (if well done) to count for Tenderfoot but not for 2nd Class or 1st Class. The “virtual” camping for tenderfoot does not trouble me too much – since the scout will still need two in-person camping trips for 2nd class. In other words this allowance delays but does not, ultimately, lessen the required amount of camping along the way to 1st class. So far I have no scouts in the position of asking to do count a “virtual” camping trip for Tenderfoot – they are all either far from Tenderfoot, or else have done tent camping with the troop. Thanks again for the advice.
  4. You can still do a parent as the second adult -- you just need to prepare in advance by proactively registering them as "reserve scouter" (which entails having them do YPT and background check). Once they've done this, next step is to get them to sign up as a merit badge counselor for some area in which they have skills and interest -- promising them that you will never require them to teach a merit badge class, you are merely hoping that they will be available when an eager and enthusiatic scout comes along wanting to learn about their field.
  5. Hello Strangers-On-The-Internet, I'd like your opinion. The covid-FAQ is permitting some temporary changes to allow Scouts to complete rank requirements, despite the need for social distancing. It discuss certain specific rank requirements. Specifically concerning camping it says “Tenderfoot rank requirements: 1b - Virtual patrol or troop campouts via video conferencing will be permitted.” and “Second Class rank requirements: 1a & 1c – Virtual patrol or troop activities via video conferencing will be permitted.” Note that virtual camping is not listed as permitted for Second Class, which make a lot of sense, since a “virtual” back-yard campout is very very different that troop or patrol camping. Here is my situation: Scout joined in the fall. Went on one tent-camping trip. Has been on various day activities, two cabin overnights and an adirondack overnight, but the troop did not do tent-camping mid-winter. In March/April three tent-camping opportunities have been canceled due to covid, and I suspect our May and June trips will be canceled also. This scout has been camping out in her back yard and decided that the other scouts should do so to, so she convinced the other scouts that our troop needed a “virtual” camping trip. She took the lead in the organization and got the other scouts excited about it. Some scouts (including this one) slept in tents in their back yards. (A few scouts, such as ones in apartments, slept in tents pitched indoors). While the scouts had fun, this was very very different from a real in-person camping trip. This energetic scout has been enthusiastically ploughing her way through the rank requirements and has very very little left for 2nd class, mostly just one more “troop/patrol activity” “including overnight camping” “spend[ing] the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect” Here is the question. Can I combine the aspects of two overnights into one and call it close enough? On the troop trip in which she slept in an adirondack the temperature was in the upper teens (Fahrenheit), all the cooking was done by patrols over campfires, and the facilities were boy-scout-camp pit privies, and (very cold) water could be fetched from a hand pump a short ways from the campsite. One scout slept in her hammock, a couple under the stars, and the rest in the open-air very cold adirondacks – simply because it was logistically simpler than borrowing enough tents for the troop. (The scouters brought personal tents.) After that trip I regretted not encouraging this scout to find a tent to use, because of the 2nd class requirement. Because apart from not pitching a tent, this trip had the other aspects of a basic troop camping trip. Now, on the virtual campout she has had more tent-pitching practice, and further experience of sleeping in a tent on a troop “virtual” activity. I feel that between the two overnights, she has gained the experience and shown the skills of a typical troop camping trip. Would it be reasonable to call it “good enough”? Or would that be bending the rules too much?
  6. By the way, I found it odd that BSA (differing from Scouting for Boys) raises the hand well above shoulder high, rather than shoulder high, for the half salute. Also, I found it odd that the BSA does not accompany the scout handshake with the half salute. Scouting for Boys, page 42 says These are two areas in which GSUSA is closer to Baden-Powell than is BSA.
  7. No need to reinvent the wheel, here. Quoting Scouting for Boys, by Baden-Powell (page 41) And what is this secret sign and half salute? From page 40
  8. The New England Orienteering Club is doing something like this. "Stay tuned . . . as we work with land managers and club volunteers to implement a number of bring-your-own-map events. Participants will be able to navigate around a course on their own time to minimize interactions." https://newenglandorienteering.org/news/1082-orienteering-during-the-covid-19-outbreak
  9. Thanks for your description of how the online class format worked. My council is also pushing online merit badge classes, and I am a little skeptical. On the other hand, my daughter started a new merit badge. Spent an hour conversing one-on-one by phone with the merit badge counselor who is an older adult who lives in our neighborhood. It looks like it is going to be a really good experience. (Because of YPT she put the phone of speaker phone, so I could listen in.) Of course there are a couple of steps that she won't be able to finish until the quarantine is over, but a great deal of the work on this badge can be done at home. Rather that push for online mert badge classes, I am trying (with not a lot of success) to have self-motivated scouts take initiative and work rather independently on merit badges.
  10. Looking on the bright side of things, I am trying to encourage my scouts to take initiative on merit badge work, and find things they are interested in doing rather independently while at home. Maybe we can get away from a "merit badge class" mindset - which is unfortunately the mindset of the boys' troop to which we are linked. Even if a scout cannot complete all the steps of a particular merit badge class, there are a lot of steps of a lot of badges that can be done quite well at home, and there is a lot of "discuss" interaction with a merit badge counselor that can be done by telephone (or by whatever one's preferred electronic communication system is).
  11. That sounds like our joint committee meetings for our linked troops (some committee members are on just one committee, some are on the other committee, and some are on both). There has been good and bad: good the girl's troop committee members can learn from the boys troop, and the boys troop commiteee members can hear what the girls troop is doing. Bad: the committee meetings are taking way way too long, and I feel like some of the girls troop issues are getting squeezed out. Fortuntaley for us the girls troop PLC and the boys troop PLC meet separately, and can plan their own things, and the smaller troop's concerns do not get squeezed out in that setting. You can go ahead and start with separate PLC meetings now (or at the time of the next election.) You can do this, even if the girls troop is a single patrol. PLC meeting is PL, APL, any of the other POR deemed necessary, and any scout in that tiny troop who wants to get involved in the planning.
  12. My understanding is that the big concern is that boy troop and the girl troop are each to have its own leadership structure. Because girls and boys don't mature in the same ways at the same rate. With one girl patrol, the girl troop (which was a single patrol) did not need an SPL. With three boy patrols, the boy troop needed an SPL. But now you have it backwards. That is precisely the problem. The boys are missing out on an opportunity here.
  13. Sometimes the additional structure can be helpful to those who are inexperienced. That is why I prefer the ScoutsBSA program to a hypothetical "Junior Venturing" program.
  14. I am more familiar with Scouts than Venturing, but I think these are some differences: Scouts BSA: single gender troops. Venturing: Coed Scouts BSA: wears uniforms. Venturing: uniform is optional Scouts BSA: patrol method including patrol names, flags, yells Venturing: doesn't have this Scouts BSA: very structure rank advancment program Venturing: advancment seems not to be a big deal If you have a scout who (a) wants to be in a fully coed group (b) despises the unifrom (c) cannot stand rah rah of patrol spirit items and (d) would rather be able to ignore the old-fashioned stuff in the rank advancment program --- then maybe that scout would be a happier fit as a Venturer. Especially if said scout loves backpacking, canoeing, etc, etc.
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