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Everything posted by Treflienne

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. One could wish. But IOLS certainly did not do that.
  5. 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 fi
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Well, my scouts are not quite at that point yet, but they are definitely getting practise with knot tying and shear lashings.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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, e
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. That's because BSA was an innovator back around 1911, and added extra badges (Life Scout, Star Scout, Eagle Scout) that were innovations not in Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys. The GSUSA did not add these extras. Not sure when "First Class" when from being a "rank" to being an "award" in GSUSA. But by the time I was the appropriate age, it was the highest award in GSUSA. It was definitely annoying how little those boy scouts at the time were aware of the girl scout program -- I definitely got reaction from boy scouts "You've ONLY reached first class?". Of course, changing the
  17. Let's say you really have a kid who wants to do scouting, and you think scouting is valuable, "Scouting" as in the whole broad Scout Movement. Choice comes down to do we quit scouting entirely? (I hope not) or do we see which scouting organization will best help us provide a good scouting experience for the youth? Depending on where you are, and who, locally, is involved with what scouting organization, it might be: the Hungarian scouts (there are some around here), BPSA, AHG, GSUSA, BSA, Trail Life, Campfire, . . .
  18. "Where would you go?" I actually thought about this a good bit, pre-2017, in relation to where would I go if I left GSUSA. And I read about BPSA and AHG. These organizations had, in my mind, two or three very very big drawbacks. (1) lack of good camps in the vicinity of where I live -- this area is rather built up and the scouts (both BSA and GSUSA) have owned properties for years which have remained relatively undeveloped and available for nearby camping, while suburbia has swallowed up a lot of land. (2) lack of existing units in the area. While the program materia
  19. Absolutely. We did what we could, when we could. Some things we had to wait on that were beyond our control - for example, one potential CO was not be able to consider the idea of taking on a new troop until after they had completed a change of institutional head. So we did what we could, when we could, while hoping that the other things would eventually work out. For much of 2018 we did not know whether we would really get a troop up and running.
  20. Of the newly added scouters (the parents of the girls) only one dad had been a scouter before (but with cub scouts, not boy scouts). We have a lot to learn. Sharing a committee with the boys, and learning from them, has been extremely helpful.
  21. We, and the troop we were linking with, assumed that the boys troop and the girls troop would have the same committee. When it came time to turn in the paperwork we learned from the council that the committee members of the boys troop would only be committee members of the girls troop if they turned in an additional paper form. The COR, CC, and a few boys troop committee members did so. So now we have some people on both committees, some offficially only on the boys committee, and some officially only on the girls committee. (It is a bit of a mess.) The whole committtee meets all togeth
  22. Well, . . . we got a troop started February 1st, and the girls could start being scouts. (Highly important to the girls who were eager to start.) From that point of view it was successful. I felt like that all spring and summer. I'm just about feeling like we have caught up. I'm not really sure how we could have done it in a different order. To recruit adults to work with the troop, we first needed to recruit their daughters to want to be scouts. A non-linked troop might have been a very different situation. But we were hoping to link with one of several boy scout
  23. Nope. The best way is for the already enthusiatic scouts (or scouts-to-be) to invite their friends and sisters. We started with 2 interested girls. Six more joined because they were invited by friends (the orginal two or scouts recuited by the original two). Three found us via the web (beascout or our own website). Two girls found us because the local boys' troop advertised among their families. We took part in two scouts/cubs recruiting sign-up events. ZERO SCOUTS found us through sign-up events.
  24. @Calion, we did it in a completely different order. Your points, ordered roughly as we did them, were: 1 Decide what kind of unit you want to start. This was easy. My daughter wanted a Scouts BSA troop she could join 9 Train the adult leaders. I, at least, did IOLS nearly a year before launch date 13 Recruit Scouts. The really essential item for getting a new troop started was a critical mass of scouts. Recruiting started around a year before launch date, with a couple of highly interested families and ramped up about 3-4 months before launch date. 15 Have your first
  25. There are older brothers of our scouts, with great skills that they learned in scouting, that I would like to tap to help with our Scouts BSA girls -- were they not away from home attending college. There are also older cousins, male and female, in their twenties, with Eagle Scout and Venturing backgrounds, that I would love to tap to help out -- except that they live out of state. We live in a town which people leave at age 18. And to which people move at around age thirtyish, already married, and either with preschool children, or thinking about soon having children.
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