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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. 46 minutes ago, elitts said:

    If having bread-sticks on the tables as decorations is enough potential gluten to require avoiding the table, wouldn't just eating things that came out of the same kitchen pose the same risk?  I mean, I've worked around kitchens before, and even when the staff are making an effort to avoid cross contamination, the best you are going to get is a quick brushing off of the surface before they start pulling the next food item out of its container and the likelihood of the staff washing their hands between handling the gluten rich and gluten free items isn't going to be anywhere near 100%.  Even if the kitchen staff has been told to do so.

    You have just  described what I have observed:   Many people in the general population don't "get it" concerning severe food allergies/intolerances.  

    This is why some people with severe food allergies bring their own food.   Or only eat items than they can peel (like a banana or orange).  Or only eat food someone else has brought if it arrives in its original sealed food-manufacturer packaging, if they themselves can read the label, and if they can serve their portion before other people cross-contaminate it.

    For this reason, some colleges now have major-allergen-free kitchens/serving areas. The major college food-service company Aramark has "True Balance", and Sodexo has "Simple Servings".    Even this does not always prevent all accidental food reactions - if the servers mess up.

    For the pre-college-age kids, some families choose to keep their own kitchen at home completely free of the offending allergens, and always send their kid's food with them (to school, to camp, to whereever).

    • Upvote 1

  2. 13 minutes ago, Liz said:

    It's shocking how few people have even a basic understanding of allergens and cross-contact.

    I agree.

    Sometimes it seems what it takes for a person to "get it" concerning allergens and cross-contact is to either acquire a relative with food allergies (or intolerances), or to develop food allergies of their own.

    15 minutes ago, Liz said:

    I guess part of what I'm getting at is that simple awareness of dietary restrictions is a skill I think Scouts should learn.

    If all they learn is that some people need to be really careful about food, and that you should talk with the person to find out in what ways they need to be careful -- then they will have learned something really valuable.

    • Upvote 1

  3. 5 minutes ago, Liz said:

    . I bought my own brand new dutch oven to take camping that I won't share with the girls because you can't reliably clean gluten out of iron.  

    I've become fond of tri-ply cookware for campfire cooking -- stainless steel with an aluminum core that goes all the way up the sides of the pot.   Distributes heat well enough not to burn on the irregular heat of the campfire, but can be put in the dishwasher when you get home.   (Not reccomended by the manufacturer for campfire cooking, but seems to do well, and I bought a cheap off brand.)


    • Upvote 1

  4. Dealing with kids and dietary restrictions, it is important to get adequate information out of families. 

    "I avoid milk" might mean "Well, actually I drink lactose-free milk,  and I have no concerns about cross contamination"  or it can mean "I have a history of anphylactic reaction after being splashed by milk".


    • Upvote 1

  5. @Liz

    I realize I may have come across as critical.  I did not mean to do so.   I just wanted to illustrate for those not used to cooking for limited diets the difficulties that can be involved,  depending on the potential severity of the reaction to the offending food.

    And I realize that some will risk "natural flavors" knowing that the quanitity of allergen (if contained in the product) is likely to be low, especially if the potential food reaction  is not life-threatening.   But some people do not want to take that risk for themselves, or impose that risk on some-one else's kid.

    On the otherhand,  one can simply leave the seaoning off the chicken and have a cheaper meal.


    7 hours ago, Liz said:

    Menu for 9 scouts, $50.36, gluten, dairy, nut, and peanut free.


    7 hours ago, Liz said:

    Dinner: Dutch Oven Drumsticks (with seasoning),

    That McCormick Bag n Season mix contains "natural flavors" and is not labelled as "gluten free".   It could be hiding a gluten-containing grain such as barley.  Doesn't look like a safe food to me for a kid who strictly needs to avoid all gluten-containing grains.  (Unless you got more info from the McCormick company than is listed on their package.)

    Mainly I am being sympathetic.  It can be very difficult to plan menus for people with severe food intolerances.

    It also illustrates why some kids with severe food allergies or intolerances prefer to bring their own food -- they simply cannot trust the competence of the average person in checking for allergens.

    7 hours ago, Liz said:

    It's important to understand how dietary restrictions affect kids socially and emotionally too. Having that one kid who always has to stay out of the kitchen area and eat his meal away from the rest of the patrol is not a good way to foster a sense of belonging.

    Yet some kids prefer to eat separately and stay alive.


  7. 10 hours ago, Liz said:

    But now that the World Crest is standard issue and no longer earned, nobody knows what it's for.

    Really?  What about you others, do you think your scouts know what the World Crest is for?

    In my ignorance of current BSA custom,  I have made sure that all new scouts in our Scouts BSA troop know what all the parts of the World Crest symbolize.  (The discussion can fit nicely in the scoutmaster minute section of a meeting, after an influx of new scouts.)  

    Probably that is just the influence of my WAGGGS/GSUSA-TOFS background.   The international friendship/brotherhood aspect of scouting is important to me.  And really, there are some decided similiarities between the WAGGGS trefoil and the WOSM fleur-de-lis.


  8. Some things I did with Brownie Girl Scouts, grade 3:

    Have lots of little squares of fabric (denim from old jeans,  pieces of cotton t-shirt, polartec fleece,  woven nylon,  wool . . . you get the idea, some stuff that is good for camping and some stuff that is bad).   Near the beginning of the meeting have scouts dip them in bowls of water, wring them out, and hang them up to dry.  At the end of the meeting see which ones are still soggy and which feel almost dry.

    Have a pile of lots of shoes:  hiking boots, cowboy boots, snow/slush boots, flip flops, crocs, sandals,  party shoes, etc.   Have the scouts sort out which ones would be appropriate to wear and which ones would not be appropriate.

    Depending on numbers of kids, you might rotate them through stations.


    • Upvote 3

  9. 5 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Is this the new "epi- pen" that scouts should be prepared to use?


    3 hours ago, mds3d said:

    I don't think anyone was confused about the use of naloxone, but the question if this is part of an advanced first aid kit or not.

    When I first saw a photo of an Evzio Naloxone auto-injector, at first glance I thought it was an Auvi-Q (epinephrine auto-injector) until I realized that the color and wording are wrong.  Both share the same really distinctive shape.  Scary, really.  If you are having an anaphylactic reaction, you don't want somebody to grab the wrong auto-injector.  On the plus side,  having a device that talks someone through how to inject it seems like a good thing.

    According to https://www.businessinsider.com/price-of-naloxone-auto-injector-evzio-2017-2


    The Auvi-Q and Evzio use the same auto-injector technology to deliver their respective emergency medications.



    • Thanks 2

  10. The relevant section of the GTA is Limited Recourse for Unearned Merit Badges



    In most cases, with a fair and friendly approach, a Scout who did not complete the requirements will admit it. Short of this, however, if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement. The unit leader then offers the name of at least one other merit badge counselor through whom any incomplete requirements may be finished. Note that in this case a merit badge is not “taken away” because, although signed off, it was never actually earned.

    This is all theoretical to me.   You'll need to have someone else tell you how to handle the angry parent.

  11. 7 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

    I wonder if the people running this program are aware of the longstanding policy of the BSA in not wanting its programs to be "military" in nature - or maybe that policy doesn't exist anymore?


    2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    Sea scouts wear what are effectively Navy E6 and below dress whites.  What's to object to?  I think these boys look damn sharp.

    Why be sensitive to appearing too highly militaristic?

    Let's see . . . a British army officer and war hero writes a book "Aids to Scouting", for soliders, and finds that it has become popular with boys.  He had observed the poor quality of army recruits, and seen a need for better training for the ordinary youth of the nation. He thinks that scouting as an outdoor game for boys could help them grow into good citizens, and to that end writes "Scouting for Boys", emphasizing that the boys will be "peace scouts" rather than soldiers.

    Still, some people thought that Boy Scouts might be too militaristic, coming too close to training boys to be soldiers.  And the fear was not irrational: indeed the Hitler Youth borrowed aspects of the boy scout program as it trained boy soldiers.

    No wonder BSA today still avoids the appearance of militarism -- even down to the extreme of banning water guns.  

    So, yes, military Explorers is surprising.

    • Upvote 1

  12. 14 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Just out of curiosity, how restrictive ARE the safety guidelines used in Girl Scouts?

    The "Volunteer Essentials" document seems to be customized by council -- so that different councils have slightly different rules.

    GSUSA does not seem to be either uniformly more restrictive or uniformly less restrictive than BSA.

    Based on my memory from a couple of years ago, I few differences that I have noted are:

    GSUSA is more persnickety about the two-deep rule.  They require two UNRELATED registered adults.  Cannot be mom and grandma, or mom and aunt, supervising a troop.   BSA, on the other hand, does not seem to require the two-deep adults to be unrelated --- this makes things much simpler.  One can press one's spouse into serving as a second adult, rather than needing to round up someone else.  (assuming said spouse is registered.)

    GSUSA does not have a no-one-on-one contact rule. (or at least my council did not a couple of years ago.)

    GSUSA does not prohibit Brownies from using two-wheel or four-wheeled wagons.  Indeed the local summer camp provides such carts for the little kids to use to haul their gear to their summer camp units.

    GSUSA requires a lifeguard for all swimming.  (We had to hire a lifeguard for an end-of-year backyard pool party.  Fortunately my favorite baby-sitter was also a lifeguard.)

    And adult driving scouts somewhere on a GSUSA outing or field trip must be registered and CORI'd.

    Which brings me to:

    5 hours ago, Cleveland Rocks said:

    The minimum number of volunteers rule tends to be a sticky wicket with a lot of troop leaders, and they tell me it's why they keep their troop membership numbers low, so they don't have to worry about having enough registered volunteers with them on activities.

    Going from twelve Brownies to thirteen Brownies was very tough as far as getting adult volunteers for field trips -- and we met after school on the half day and liked to go places.   With 12 Brownies, two registered CORI'd adults were enough for an outing, and the Brownies could walk from the school to the conservation land, the firestation, the police station, or the library.   As long as the second registered CORI'd adult also had a minivan, two adults could drive them to the scout camp,  the museum, or wherever else.  Once we reached 13 Brownies we needed a third registered CORI'd adult,  even for the walk to the conservation land -- hard to round one up for 1pm on a weekday.

  13. 1 hour ago, SteveMM said:

    I guess what I'm saying is that the Girl Scouts *could* have filled the needs of girls who want to do high adventure stuff ... it just appears they didn't.

    Within the bounds of safety guidelines, Girl Scout troops can do pretty much anything they want to.   There are no rank advancement requirments requiring specific activities. 

    The big problem is how to find that group of like-minded girls.  

    The special interest "high-adventure" type groups are better than nothing,  but when the girls are scattered over half a state, and the meetings are by conference call, its just not the same as a troop that meets regularly.   (Maybe other groups do it differently, but that is what I am aware of in my state.)


    • Upvote 1

  14. 2 hours ago, Double Eagle said:

    From the sounds of this thread (pun intended), we need a 139th merit badge of "Sewing", and make it a required one

    It would be politically inexpedient to introduce one within the next few years.  People would complain that the girls are changing the program.

    Of course, to be able to sew on a button,  restitich a seam that has come loose,  and hem a pair of pants is really really useful for almost anyone.   To take a tuck in a waistband, to replace an elastic or zipper, or to make a costume for a special event -- also handy.    I was disappointed that GSUSA doesn't include sewing in its badges the way it used it.

  15. 12 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    5. If a commercial product is to be sold, will it be sold on its own merits and without reference to the needs of Scouting? All commercial products must sell on their own merits, not the benefit received by the Boy Scouts. The principle of value received is critical in choosing what to sell.

    Soooooo, you're telling me that popcorn is actually *WORTH* the ridiculously inflated prices shown in the Trails End catalog?  If it weren't for the promised "benefit to the Boy Scouts", would ANYBODY ever buy so much as a kernel of the stuff?   

    It's not just an issue with Trails End popcorn.  Same issue with Girl Scout Cookies.  And the candybars that the sports teams sell.  Etc. Etc. Etc.    It seems like these sorts of fundraisers are teaching the kids to beg.

    One of the troops in our town has a really great fundraiser.  Collecting and disposing of Christmas Trees after Christmas.   It seems that no-one else provides this service and it is valued by its customers -- at least every year on the neighborhood email list some neighbor starts asking about who they can contact to haul away their tree.

    Do y'all have more ideas of great fundraisers that provide useful services that people want?   

  16. For Scouts BSA only the Key 3 can update the Troop's info.   I assume that for a Pack it is similarly the Key 3  (COR, CC, CM)

    If you are one of the Key 3, then log into my.scouting.org.   Go to Menu --> Legacy Web Tools --> Beascout.  This should let you edit the pin. The changes will not show up immediately, but will appear by the next day.   

    If I remember right, one of the things you need to set is the option that makes the pin visible.


  17. 16 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    "Only non-scouts, non-scouters or guests who are being encouraged to become Leaders or Scouts are automatically covered while in attendance at a meeting or unit activity or while traveling as a group to or from such an activity. No other guests are covered."

    Great.  And is there a place on a BSA website where I could find this?    And yes we are encouraging all new scout families to have a parent sign up for some position in the troop (committee member or . . . )

  18. Resurrecting an old thread to ask a related question . . .

    Our troop would like to invite a couple of prospective scouts on an outing.  (They've attended one troop meeting this week, but not yet made up their minds whether to join.)   Outing would be an easy bike ride -- a few miles on a suburban bike trail (rail trail) to the ice cream shop and back.   It seems like a good way for a prospective scout, accompanied by a parent, to get acquainted with the scouts in the troop.  (And most kids in our town own bikes and know how to ride them.)

    But . . . our committee chair is not sure that inviting a prospective scout on an outing (even accompanied by a parent) is permissible.   Can you point me to something in writing by BSA talking about this situation?

    I see this for venturing  ( https://www.scouting.org/programs/venturing/crew-resources/recruiting/ ) which clearly talks about inviting prospective Venturers on "Tier I" outings.  But what about Scouts BSA?


  19. On 9/4/2019 at 2:35 AM, WAKWIB said:

    In our council, the girls who participated in our summer camp program loved it to the max, and we changed absolutely nothing about it.  We were quite surprised

    Our girls troop went to summer camp, and absolutely loved it, and it did not surprise me one bit.   Remember, BSA scouts, especially the girls, are self-selecting.

    On 9/3/2019 at 4:38 PM, Jackdaws said:

    But kids now days are not interested in outdoor stuff. 

    Some are, some aren't.  BSA is a good organization for the kids that are.   Some kids may find a better fit in a different youth-serving organization. 

    • Like 1

  20. I like the sign-offs in their handbooks -- not only can they see what they have completed,  it also puts the record keeping responsibility on the scout. 

    I'd also like to keep personal electronic devices from intruding too much on outings.  Sign offs in scout handbooks don't require getting out someones cell phone.

    I have seen that not everyone has the same opinion I have.


    • Upvote 2

  21. 3 hours ago, qwazse said:

    If you're wrong, your UC can amend it.

    Sounds good.

    Common sense would say to compare the scouts on the end-of-2019 recharter with the scouts on the 1 February 2019 initial charter, and we can go with that, even though that is not how the Journey to Excellence scorecard actually says to calculate it.  (If I read it correctly, JTE wants a comparison of Dec 31, 2018 with Dec 31, 2017, which seems odd.)

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