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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 5 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

    In TM you can just use the BOR date and it back fills all the other dates.

    Does this give any trouble down the road for requirements, such as 1st class 8a which says "After completing Second Class 7a, be physicaly active at lest 30 minutes each day for five days a week for four weeks."  ?  Since the 1st class BOR date and the 2nd class BOR date can be less than a month apart.

    That is,  could the lack of specific dates in scoutbook cause trouble when a scout is trying to become an eagle scout?

  2. We are having the scouts use their handbooks as the primary means of recording sign-offs.   Then the advancment coordinator is entering this into scoutbook when each rank is completed.   It seems absolutely simplest to simply put in the date of completion of the rank as a whole.   Is there any need to list the dates each sub-requirment was completed?  (to list dates for 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, etc, separetly?)  That would be a lot more work for the advancment coordinator.

  3. On 1/29/2020 at 12:06 PM, Eagledad said:

    . . . My definition of Personal Growth . . .

    Thanks,  Barry,  that whole post is very helpful. 

    I have been appreciating your taking the time and effort to answer my questions.   Not just this one,  but the previous ones,  also.

    • Upvote 1
  4. You could pack in a dozen girls in sleeping bags into one of those tents -- not much space for gear, and would step on each other if they needed to get up to go to the latrine in the middle of the night.   But for summer camp (1 - 2 weeks long)  they give the girls more space per person.   Makes a more harmonious fortnight, probably.

    I've not seen electric outlets in a GS tent in the camps I've seen.

  5. 27 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    Since the start of my adult scouting experience, I felt I was fighting against National's vision for scouts. Luckily for me, I had the BSA's Vision and Mission Statements to support my personal vision and the Aim and Methods to support how I steered the program. I never felt that National supported personal growth at any age level of the program.

    Hi @Eagledad,

    At least you weren't up against GSUSA's current vision for scouting.   "Civic action" is the current push, there:  https://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/girl-scouts-and-civic-engagement/forgirls.html    Goes right along with their current "Journeys" program.

    My reaction to the Aims and Methods of BSA, when I first encourtered them,  was that that was the first time I had seen that all so neatly set out and carefully thought through.  Many of those ideas do go right back (in some form) to the early days of scouting and are (historically at least) present in other branches of scouting.  (Citizenship?  yup.   Outdoors?  yup.  Patrols?  yup.   GSUSA had them, at least at one time.)

    But the one of the  BSA Methods that I still feel that I don't have a good understanding of is "Personal Growth".   I am still a little fuzzy on what falls under this concept (as opposed to under some of the other methods).   So, Barry,  now that you have mentioned "personal growth",  how would you define this or explain this?   How did you use this method with your scouts?


  6. 2 hours ago, qwazse said:

    The GS camps that I've visited sleep dozens to a tent.


    The ordinary style of GSUSA platform tent that I have seen in multiple states in multiple decades sleeps typically 4  (or 5) on cots.

    Of course some camps don't use those in all their units.    I believe that one of the camps in our council has some yurts.

    • Upvote 1
  7. 16 hours ago, Liz said:

    assume they meant 24 months. This also makes it simpler because you won't have kids who are eligible or not eligible to tent together at different times based on whether they've had their birthday yet this year or not. 


    8 hours ago, elitts said:

    How does using 24 months make it simpler though?

    I agree with Liz.

    If Sally and Susy are 25 months apart in age, they can NEVER tent together.

    If Sally and Sarah are 23 months apart in age, YPT age rules ALWAYS permit them to tent together.

    It doesn't change month by month.  The kids can easily figure out who in their patrols they can tent with.  And it is the same for the next camping trip, also.

    But it does mean that a barely 11-year-old cannot tent with an older 13-year-old.

    • Upvote 2
  8. 25 minutes ago, yknot said:

    It doesn't help that so much of the program revolves around food or requires group cooking. One way of handling it as noted is to require the parent to attend and for the scout to bring their own food. However, this also kind of isolates the scout and prevents the rest of the pack/troop from really comprehending the issues.

    The kid I knew that had the most severe food issues  decided to focus on extra-curricular activities that did not involve eating together.   (Cross-contamination with multiple very common foods needed to be avoided.  Nothing so easy as avoiding peanuts and treenuts.)

    Fortunately with my current troop, none of the scouts with dietary restrictions need to worry about cross-contamination or trace quantities.   Makes life much much easier.

  9. 23 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    dietary restrictions

    Dietary restrictions are a complicated topic.

    One-pot meals make one kind of problem.     Buffet-style serving is a different type of problem, due to cross contamination.    Both have issues with ignorance on the part of people who think that they are preparing allergen-free meals, but are not doing it competently.

    I think that dietary restrictions have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the issue.   Definitely get that scout,  or the parents of that scout,  involved in the planning.   In some cases the only way for a kid to be confident that he can eat safely, is for him to bring his own food and prepare it himself.


    • Upvote 1
  10. 3 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    I think it's okay though for cub meal planning to be done mostly by adults. 

    GSUSA is different from BSA in that it stresses scout-led and scout-planned down to the youngest ages, to the extent possible.   (For the kindergarteners that, in my experience, mainly means choosing between options that adults have suggested,  or else tossing out ideas for the adults to shape into reality.)   But by 3rd and 4th grades, they are capable of doing some of the planning.   Of course,  if the majority of the scouts decides that they don't want to camp,  then they don't camp -- even if the adutls are willing to camp.  (BSA has camping built into the advancemnt, at least at the Scout BSA level, so that they cannot choose not to camp if they want to advance.  GSUSA has nothing at all like this.)

    So I am not saying that cub scouts need to plan their own meals.    I am just saying that it is not crazy for cub-aged scouts to plan their own meals.

    • Upvote 1
  11. 1 minute ago, mrkstvns said:

    The problems posed by cooking as a patrol on any weekend campout are never so severe that the scouts can't be allowed to learn from their experience so they do better next time.

    No scout is going to starve to death on an overnight campout,  even if he consumes nothing but water the whole trip.    If they are somewhat underfed because of poor planning or poor execution of their meal plans, that will give them incentive to do better next time.

    • Upvote 2
  12. 48 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    Woo-hoo!!  Hershey bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    I've definitely had 3rd and 4th grade girl scouts planning their own meals.  There is a really nice tool,  the myplate diagram,  and the scouts were reminded what made a balanced meal before they started their planning.   And after they came up with an initial plan they needed to discuss with an adult how it fit the myplate nutrituion guidelines.   (How can you make this a healthier lunch?   The scout decided that it was bye bye potato chips and hello apples as a lunch side.)



    On 1/25/2020 at 2:23 PM, Liz said:

    8 youth planning to go; it's a new, small female unit)

    On 1/25/2020 at 3:21 PM, Liz said:

    I feel quite comfortable with our girls sharing a yurt.


    On 1/25/2020 at 3:50 PM, T2Eagle said:

    Consider the yurt a cabin not a tent.

    I agree with T2Eagle.   Given the number of scouts, and given the size and spaciousness of a yurt (if it is like the yurts I have seen) it is much more like a cabin than a tent.   Very different from the situation in which you have two scouts in a small tent.

    I actually wish that the GTSS would make its distinction by the number of scouts in the space, rather than how much canvas or wood is involved in the structure.

    Also, it is my experience with girls that they tend to like all being together, 3 or 4 or 5 in the same tent,  rather than being divided into two-person small tents.  It would be much simpler for my unit if the tenting allowed a 2.5 year age range (or better yet, a 3-year age range) if there were at least 3 scouts sharing the tent. 

  14. @prof,  the GTA does permit a troop to limit the number of badges a scout can earn from one counselor   (and also the council can limit the number of badges a single counseleor counsels. )

    From the Guide to Advancment   ( https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/the-merit-badge-program/ )



    It is permissible for councils to limit the number of badges that one person counsels.


    The National Council does not place a limit on the number of merit badges a youth may earn from one counselor. However, in situations where a Scout is earning a large number of badges from just one counselor, the unit leader is permitted to place a limit on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor, as long as the same limit applies to all Scouts in the unit.


    • Upvote 2
  15. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    But, I'd rather see 1 troop of 25-30 girls than 5 troops of 5 girls.

    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.

  16. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    ya'll sound as if you've never been on a Boy Scout camp out

    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:



    And what do you get when you take a group of girls and drop them into an institution that’s got a century of experience being the boys’ club of boys’ clubs?

    You get a group of girls.


    from this article: https://www.ncregister.com/blog/jenfitz/how-the-boy-scouts-are-teaching-girls-about-true-womanhood

  17. 1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    Hand sanitizer is a quick way around the problem, but it really isn't a substitute for actual washing with soap and water.

    I agree.   I meant have both available.

    1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    provide a way to dry hands, towels are environmentally friendly, but paper towels are more effective at reducing bacteria

    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.


  18. 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:



    • Upvote 1
  19. 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?


  20. 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.




  21. 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.


    • Upvote 3
  22. 2 hours ago, Hystrung said:

    I am on the fence about the new choice of fabric for the ladies shirts.

    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.

    • Like 1
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