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Treflienne

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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. I agree. Currently we have a little over a dozen scouts, drawn from three towns. And we have reached out to the packs in three more adjacent towns, so that they know that their girl cubs have a troop waiting for them. Is it great to need to drive 15 minutes to the neighboring town to go to scout meeting? No, but it sure beats having to start of new troop and then only having 5 girls, or not being in a troop because you cannot find 5 girls in your town. Eventually, if we grow too big, a group could split off to start a troop in one of these other towns, but I think that will be a good while yet. We are not in as densely populated an area as @Cburkhardt. On the other hand, if I lived way out in the country, and if the local GS/USA troop was, unfortunately, not as terrific as the ones in @qwazse's town, I would think that a five-scout troop for girls, supported by the local boy's troop, might be a lot better than no scout troop at all.
  2. Treflienne

    Hand Washing _ Winter

    I've heard some stories from the scouters of the boys' troop, about sanitation (or lack thereof) especially surrounding meals and food prep. And the girls in the girls' troop have heard some of those same stories. And some of the girls have been quite vocal about being glad they were doing things separately. There is really great quote: from this article: https://www.ncregister.com/blog/jenfitz/how-the-boy-scouts-are-teaching-girls-about-true-womanhood
  3. Treflienne

    Hand Washing _ Winter

    I agree. I meant have both available. Ok, I am not familiar with Cubs, but from my experience with Brownie/Junior girl scouts: Paper towels are a problem. The kids go through a lot rapidly. And then you have the garbage piling up, and, worse, blowing away. Most of the time the kids are fine with waving their hands dry. (And, in warmer weather, the kids are fine just drying their hands on their shirts, so there is no problem.) If you insist on towels -- each kid can bring his own bandana to dry his hands on. Another possibility (which I have never actually used with kids, but was promoted at a girl scout leader camp training I attended) issue each kid a handiwipe at the beginning of the weekend, which they keep, carry with them, and dry their hands on like they would a bandana.
  4. Treflienne

    Hand Washing _ Winter

    1) Hand sanitizer pump bottle located right outside the latrine. 2) For actualy hand washing, you could use something that will let water trickle out, but not too fast lest you be needing to refil it too often. You can improvise homemade stuff (milk jug, with hole poked in side near bottom, with golf-tee plugged into hole) but in my experience those tend to be finicky. You can also use something like this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005S4LOYY - a beverage dispenser -- this one does not have an air intake, so the water tends to trickle out slowly, which is a plus for the handwahsing. A quick web search turned up a picture of the classic improvised version: https://craftingagreenworld.com/articles/camping-hack-make-a-handwashing-station/
  5. Time for a new topic: To what extent are scouts involved in making the troop's budget? To what extent are scouts involved in spending decsions within (pre-made) budget categories? What have you seen (and how well has it worked)? What do you think is the ideal? What have been the major schools of thought on this subject? Obviously some expenses are mandatory if you want to be a scout troop (rechartering fees) and ought to be included in any sane budget. Other expenses I cannot imagine dropping (patches for ranks, merit badges, etc). But there is a lot of stuff that is rather discretionary: buy cakes for COHs and pizza for PLC meetings (some troops do)? how much to devote to buying equipment? Do the scouts have a lot of say, or little say, in the budgetting/spending process? And which scouts? Last year the troop had no money and no budget -- so we are starting from scratch here. Both in terms of building a budget, and in expectations for how much the scouts are involved in the process. It would be nice to have a broader perspective than simply that of the boys' troop of our same CO.
  6. Good. So I am not crazy to want the scouts involved in the process, and not to want the committee to set a budget and decide spending with no scout input. (I am still rather uncertain about how many non-BSA ideas I am bringing along from my girl scout background.) @qwazse, thanks. The rest of you: any more suggestions for best practises as to how to involved scouts in the process?
  7. Treflienne

    Your problems with JTE

    Slightly different perspective here: brand new unit, brand new scouts, brand new scouters. The JTE came across as a helpful handy list of things troops should generally be doing. Even to someone new like me, it was obvious that a high JTE score deesn't guarantee a terrific unit -- but rather that if there are areas in which a unit scores really poorly, it is worth considering the reasons why.
  8. Treflienne

    Your problems with JTE

    I agree. @qwazse, what do you have against the number 2? And what was "1" doing in that list?
  9. Treflienne

    Has anyone had their uniform shirt tailored?

    Don't forget ebay. That gives more options of shirts available a few years ago -- such as nylon. People in my troop tell me that the polyester-microfiber shirt snags too easily. Of course these particular scouts, who are telling me this, would be capable of snagging almost anything.
  10. Treflienne

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RP1B2TD (“6055 Army Green”) Good color. Big pockets. Zip off. Quick dry. Haven't had them long enough yet to check durability.
  11. Treflienne

    LDS Youth Program for 2020

    This is a complete aside. But one of the things that really struck me, coming from GSUSA into BSA was how much more the boy scouts had in the way of resources that the girls scouts. Money? Local BSA troops seem to be sitting on back accounts with thousands of dollars in them. The GSUSA troops start and end each year with no money. Resources: The BSA camp has motorboats, kayaks, canoes, new-looking life jackets, bicyles, rifle range, a fancy archery range, etc, etc, etc. The GSUSA camp has battered aluminum canoes, faded old orange life jackets, and a small shed containing a few bows for archery -- and this is one of the premier camps in the council. I have just been astonished at much money boy scouts appears to have.
  12. Treflienne

    Three Sisters Pottage

    I guess that in your part of the country, the schoolkids don't all take field trips to Plimoth Plantation. Around here its hard *not* to know what the "Three Sisters" and "pottage" are: Plimoth Plantation's explanation (for kids) of how the three sisters were grown: https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/homework-help/growing-food And see the sobaheg recipe: https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/recipes
  13. Treflienne

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    For us the sticking points were a) patrol identity stuff (name, yell, etc). When a new patrol is formed it takes the patrol collectively a while to reach consensus on a good name. So for a number of our scouts this was the sticking point. (But scouts who joined later had this really easy -- the flag was already made, the current scouts were really enthusiastic about their yell . . .) b) the cyber chip -- scheduling the opporunity to teach other scouts c) the cyber chip -- the contract with one's parents about electronics usage.
  14. Treflienne

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    One could wish. But IOLS certainly did not do that.
  15. Treflienne

    on the trail to ... Scout?

    I'd like our troop to make the transition to youth doing the sign-offs. The question is which scouts and how soon? None of our scouts are first class yet, but different scouts have different skills. Could the scout who did the Pioneering Merit Badge be approved to sign off on the knots? Could the scout who did the Lifesaving Merit Badge be approved to sign off on the swimming? Could the scout who completed the LNT trainer course be approved to sign off the LNT-related requriments? Could scouts who have done the First Aid Merit Badge (or WRFA) be approved to sign off on the first aid requirements? Could the patrol leader sign off on Scout Rank steps 1-5? Or does this sound crazy, since none of these scouts are first class yet?
  16. Treflienne

    What are the BSA priorities??

    But the "Tenderfoot" rank of the 1960s is, in content, more similar to the "Scout" rank of today than it is to the "Tenderfoot" rank of today. That is, today significantly more is required for the Tenderfoot rank that in former years. Actually, one can argue that today's "Scout" rank is a marginally more difficult rank than the 1960s "Tenderfoot" rank. The only things in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank that are not in today's Scout Rank are the requirments about the uniform, the flag, and the clove hitch. And today's scout rank has a number of things not in the 1960s Tenderfoot rank. From the history of rank requirments, http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf helpfully brought to our attentions by @HashTagScoutswe have the 1965-1970 Tenderfoot
  17. Treflienne

    What are the BSA priorities??

    I don't know that the name "Scout" is the best choice. But the content is a helpful preliminary orientation. The focus is on understanding how being a scout works: (scout oath, scout law, "four steps of Scout advancement", what ranks are, what merit badges are, how scouts provide leadership in the troop, the types of patrols in your troop, etc, etc. And of course going throught the YPT pamphlet with ones parents.) There is very little in the way of outdoor skills. (3 knots, whip and fuse rope, "tell" about pocketknife safety.) So later on when the scout wants to be signed off the very first time they, with help, stumble through a skill activity, one can ask them whether they remember the "four steps of Scout advancment" in which "You learn" and "You are tesed" are separate steps.
  18. Treflienne

    What are the BSA priorities??

    So I have a scout who hates the name "Tenderfoot". This scout had a lot of camping experience before joining BSA and does not feel like "Tenderfoot" is an appropriate term -- since using the broader meaning of the term, a "tenderfoot" is someone who is inexperienced in the out-of-doors. Thanks to @HashTagScouts for that ready reference to the history of rank requirements. Back in BSA early days, 1910-1911, "Tenderfoot" was a very basic rank: Scout Law, signs, salute; a little flag knowledge.; four knots. If you go further back, Baden-Powell in Scouting for Boys in 1908 said that “A Tenderfoot is a boy who is not yet a scout”. It seems odd, indeed, that first one becomes a member of BSA, then one becomes a "Scout", and only after that does one become a "Tenderfoot". So I would propose (not that there is any chance in the world that BSA will change) the following: Upon paying the registration fee and turning in the required paperwork, the kid becomes a "Tenderfoot", that is someone who has not yet learned those things that even the lowest ranked "Scout" should be expected to know. No rank badge. The first rank to be earned is, as now, "Scout". All the same requirements and same rank badge as current "Scout" rank. The next rank up, while retaining the its requirments and rank badge is renamed to be "3rd class scout", instead of "Tenderfoot" This would restore the sense of the tenderfoot being a kid who is not yet a scout, and the tenderfoot being the least knowledgeable kid in the troop.
  19. Treflienne

    The Lost Art of the Tarp....

    Well, my scouts are not quite at that point yet, but they are definitely getting practise with knot tying and shear lashings.
  20. Treflienne

    The Lost Art of the Tarp....

    Spare tarp from someone's garage that they had used a few times for raking leaves. Spare tent stakes from someone's basement. Someone else donated some ropes. All the troop needed to buy was four scout staves -- two lashed together for the front pole and two lashed together for the rear pole. And when you don't need the dining fly, the scout staves can be used for other purposes.
  21. Treflienne

    "Good" Groups vs. "Bad" Groups

    I think that one big difference is the attitude towards newcomers or outsiders. The term "clique" is often used of groups that exclude or heap scorn on outsiders or on those who do not measure up to their standards. (For girls it might be: not stylish enough, not thin enough, not rich enough, haven't lived in town long enough . . .) A group of close friends who is friendly and welcoming to newcomers would not merit the derrogatory term "clique". For a patrols, the practical question is how well do they treat new patrol members. Are the scouts truly being "A friend to all, and a brother to every other scout"? (Or "sibling", if the girls prefer that terminology.)
  22. Treflienne

    Supporting the Patrol Method - as Unit Commissioner

    P.S. I expect that by age 11 kids ought to have learned at home not to do "cutting tomatoes right after cutting raw chicken" and the importance of handwashing after using the facilities. However, since most of our families have dishwashers that do the santizing for you, they may not have learned how to wash dishes by hand.
  23. Treflienne

    Supporting the Patrol Method - as Unit Commissioner

    Yup. It's that raw chicken that I am concerned about. Even if you keep the raw chicken well isolated during food prep, you still have raw chicken on the cutting board and the knife. That meal, when you wash dishes, you make sure you wash the chicken-contaminated stuff last, so that no one's personal dishes are contaminated with raw chicken. But by the end of the dishwashing, all the dishpans are contaminated with salmonella (if you ignore the sanitizing rinse.) So after meal #2, when you wash dishes, all the scouts personal dishes become contaminated with salmonella. So at meal #3, everyone has salmonella to eat. As much as I believe in letting the scouts figure things out, the point at which the raw chicken seemed to be on the verge of spreading was the point at which I stepped in to give some specific directions. I agree. But still, failure to properly wash dishes (and properly sanitize your dishpans) is also a source of trouble.
  24. Treflienne

    Supporting the Patrol Method - as Unit Commissioner

    How I learned to wash dishes as a kid was camping with the Girl Scouts: the three dishpan method, third pot containing a bit of bleach. GS reinforced this when I took their leader training earlier this decade. Then I joined BSA, and bought the latest fieldbook being sold at the scout shop, and saw that it had (5th edition, p92) the bleach (or other sanitizer) in the second pot, not the third pot. It seemed a little odd, but I thought that I had better do things the BSA way now . . . So my troop did this on their first outing. Then I saw that the BSA handbook (14th edition p308) puts the sanitizer in the third pot. Makes much more sense, and I'd much rather the scouts do this. Trouble is, my scouts aren't convinced and having conflicting literature does not help. See, for example, Bryan on Scouting in 2017 https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/03/30/how-to-wash-dishes-at-campsite/ Do you a good reference to a public health department that mandates the sanitizer in the third and final pot? Or to you have any BSA literature repudiating the former sanitzer-in-second-not-third-pot practise? I'd like it to seem to my scouts more than just my arbitrary say-so in directing the scouts to follow one piece of scout literature versus another and put the sanitizer in the final rinse.
  25. Treflienne

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Imaginary conversation between two girl scout parents: Mom A: My daughter is doing a week of scout camp this summer. Mom B: Is she doing day camp or overnight camp? Mom A: She'll be doing overnight camp. It will be the first time she's been away from family for a whole week.
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