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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 26 minutes ago, Saltface said:

    But even still, that doesn't make this program unequal. If anything it has done the opposite, the local budgets for boys have been decreased to parity with that of the girls.

    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. 

  2. 1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    Interesting ideas here.  I had to do a bit of research to figure out what the heck "Three Sisters" meant, then more research to figure out what the heck "pottage" was, since it's not exactly something that comes natural to my kitchen.

    "Three Sisters" refers to the Native American practice of growing corn, squash, and beans together in the same plot, or mound. "Pottage" was a thick stew made in medieval times, consisting of veggies and grains with little or no meat. 

    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:


    And see the sobaheg recipe:


  3. 6 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

    Scouts who take longer than a month to earn Scout rank typically have difficulty with

    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. 

    • Upvote 1
  4. 9 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Possibly consider limited sign-off authorization for specific types of requirements: for example, let a trained Outdoor Ethics Guide sign off on any of requirements identified as "Outdoor Ethics" (and perhaps those identified as "Nature"). Similarly, it might be that you want to let scouts who earned Lifesaving MB sign off on water rescue requirements, scouts who earned First Aid MB could sign off on first aid requirements, etc.)  Not sure if this is logistically wise or overly complex, but it's a thought I've tossed around. I guess it depends on size of troop, leadership skill level of scouts and adults, etc. 

    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?

    • Thanks 1
  5. 3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Back in the 60's, most troops required that scouts earn Tenderfoot as a prerequisite for  their first campout. 


    3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    IMHO, the whole "Scout" rank/non rank is unnecessary confusion for a non-existent problem.

    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


    Very minor rearranging & slight adjustments (1965):
    1 Know Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan.
    2 Give Scout sign, salute, & handclasp.
    3 Describe Scout uniform & when to wear it.
    4 Describe Scout Badge & explain its meaning.
    5 Describe US flag & flag history, when to fly it, how to hoist, lower, display,
    fold, salute it. [Pledge of allegiance now assumed as part of Tenderfoot
    6 Whip a rope. Tie square knot, sheet bend, clove hitch, two half hitches,
    bowline, taut-line hitch.
    7 Understand the Outdoor Code.
    8 Give your patrol name & yell; describe the importance of the patrol in your
    Scout activities.
    9 Explain what to do to earn Second Class.


    SCOUT Rank Requirements
        1a.    Repeat from memory the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan. In your own words, explain their meaning.
        1b.     Explain what Scout spirit is. Describe some ways you have shown Scout spirit by practicing the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan.
        1c.      Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handshake. Explain when they should be used.
        1d.     Describe the First Class Scout badge and tell what each part stands for. Explain the significance of the First Class Scout badge.
        1e.      Repeat from memory the Outdoor Code. In your own words, explain what the Outdoor Code means to you.
        1f.     Repeat from memory the Pledge of Allegiance. In your own words, explain its meaning.
           2.      After attending at least one Scout troop meeting,do the following:
        2a.      Describe how the Scouts in the troop provide its leadership.
        2b.     Describe the four steps of Scout advancement.
        2c.     Describe what the Scouts BSA ranks are and how they are earned.
        2d.     Describe what merit badges are and how they are earned.
        3a.      Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that are used in your troop.
        3b.     Become familiar with your patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell. Explain how these items create patrol spirit.
        4a.      Show how to tie a square knot, two half-hitches, and a taut-line hitch. Explain how each knot is used.
        4b.     Show the proper care of a rope by learning how to whip and fuse the ends of different kinds of rope.
         5.      Tell what you need to know about pocketknife safety.
         6.      With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide and earn the Cyber Chip Award for your grade.
         7.     Since joining the troop and while working on the Scout rank, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.


  6. 3 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    IMHO, the whole "Scout" rank/non rank is unnecessary confusion for a non-existent problem. Every kid who joins is a scout. Skills mastery was demonstrated by doing and not assumed absorbed from x number of campouts/overnights.

    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.

  7. 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:

    1.  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.
    2.  The first rank to be earned is, as now, "Scout".  All the same requirements and same rank badge as current "Scout" rank.
    3.  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.


    • Upvote 2
  8. 1 hour ago, mrkstvns said:

    Sure does beat the cost of an EZ-Up

    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.


    2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    So, if a group is "good" for helping youth develop their own leadership dynamics via "the patrol method", why are groups of friends viewed as a "bad thing" in other contexts?

    There was a story today on NPR about a school that is battling "cliques".  That made me wonder how those "groups of friends" differed from the "groups of friends" we promote in scouting...

    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.)


  10. 1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    cutting raw chicken

    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.

    1 hour ago, DuctTape said:

    No matter how well the cooking implements were cleaned, failure to follow safe serve food prep makes any cleaning regimen futile. 

    I agree.   But still, failure to properly wash dishes (and properly sanitize your dishpans) is also a source of trouble.

  11. 1 hour ago, TAHAWK said:

    I am reminded of the debate at a National Jamboree between the "professional" "supporting" health and safety about safe dish-washing, the head volunteer Gold Hat having run off.  The "professional" had a BA and, doubtless, Camp School training.  On the other side was a fellow with a  Phd in Microbiology.  In later years, he was a top executive at the  World Health Organization, specializing in E. coli.  While in Switzerland, he was selected as a lecturer in biotechnology at the Haute Ecole Specialier.  The Camp hospital was filling with E. coli dysentery cases.  The Virginia Department of Health would come to threaten pulling the permit for the Jamboree over illegal dish-washing practices.  But what did Doctor  Horsfall know compared to a "professional."?  We WOULD put the chlorine in the second, and final, hot rinse!

    In the end, B.S.A. capitulated to the Health Department's ultimatum and distributed third washtubs to all Jambo troops for the legally required final, tepid sanitizing rinse - although it took over fourteen years to change official B.S.A. practices.  (Our two troops already had and were using the third tub and had no dysentery cases, mere volunteers us.  Horsfall had presented at our Roundtables years before, being from our area, so we knew the proper practice and ignored the Handbook practice.)  (Some printings of the 12th Ed. relapsed into error a few years ago, but it was corrected - all with no announcement.  The 13th Ed. is incorrect.  Like the incorrect illustration of the tripod lashing that has come and gone in BSA publications for almost sixty years, error has a high survival quotient [13th Ed. illustration is correct. 12th Ed. illustration is incorrect.].)

    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.

    • Upvote 1
  12. 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.

    • Haha 1
  13. 1 hour ago, qwazse said:

    “The highest I could get in Girl Scouts was in first class because that’s all I had and as soon as I left high school nobody cared. ...” Judi Polson of Now New York City said.

    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 name of the highest award to "Gold Award" didn't actually help when it came to recognition value.


    11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    Scouting is really about the youth experience.  When I was a kid, I knew councils & national existed - but they were irrelevant to me.  


    11 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    council & national.  Don't let your frustration with them get in the way of what's important. 

    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, . . .


    • Like 2
  15. "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 material and/or the fees might be appealing,  the lack of infrastructure  (not just camps, but also nearby units for mentoring purposes, for interaction,  for a summer camp program) seemed like a problem.  

    (3)  AHG also lacked the international scouting connection.   

    I decided that the best option was to stay put with GSUSA.   Then in 2017 BSA announced it would be admitting girls, and my daughter starting reading a BSA handbook . . . .

    • Upvote 2
  16. 5 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    many steps blend into each other.

    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.

    • Upvote 1
  17. 1 minute ago, Calion said:

    a linked troop, but the chartered organization insisted that the girl troop have its own committee.

    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 together.  I suppose if there were ever a contentious vote, it would matter who was registered on which committee.    As it is,  some people are more focussed on the boys,  some more on the girls, and some foccussed on both.

  18. 2 minutes ago, Calion said:

    Do you think that that worked well for you?

    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.

    3 minutes ago, Calion said:

    As it is, I feel that I'm always one step behind.

    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 troops in our school district.   So while we (and by "we" I mean the interested girls families) were busy recruiting more girls (and their families), we were also talking with existing boy scout troops about the possibility of helping us get started.


  19. 4 hours ago, Calion said:

    It’s finally time to recruit some youth members! The best way is to have a sign-up event.


    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.

    • Upvote 1
  20. @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 troop meeting. Well, not really a troop meeting, a gathering of interested girls and parents

    Finally at a organizational meeting only a few weeks before launch date the decision was made which Boy Scout troop to link with, this gave us: 2 Find a chartering organization.   3 Appoint a Chartered Organization Representative.   4 Appoint a Committee Chair. (and also gave us help from the boys' troop committee members)

    At the same organizational meeting a few weeks before launch date, various parents volunteered to work with the troop, as SM, ASMs and a committee member, which gave us  8 Select and recruit adult leaders.

    These newly recruited adults then did   10 Complete Youth Protection Training.   9 Train the adult leaders. (the ones not previously trained)

    Then we did 14 File the paperwork   15 Have your first troop meeting. (The official one)

    Within the first couple of months after chartering:  21 Have fun! -- That is, start camping   18 Get the Scouts trained. -- did IOLS  19 Set the Scouts loose.

    About seven months after chartering: 12 Establish an online presence.  18 Get the Scouts trained. -- sent scouts to NYLT

    Starting about nine months after chartering:  17 Raise money.

    Still are working on  7 Train the Troop Committee.   6 Recruit a Troop Committee. -- we are a linked troop, and are getting help from the boys troop, but we are working on adding parents of girls to the committee

  21. 10 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    a combination of moving away from home for college, . . . . keeps Scouting in the US from tapping into a knowledgeable and needed group of volunteers.

    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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