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Posts posted by Treflienne

  1. The www.ScoutsBsaDcGirls.org website is great!

    Our troop ended up going with using the services provided by bsahosting.org    Our committee member who was looking into this liked that the website came with email lists for the troop with a reasonable privacy policy that did not involve selling our data.    They have a template troop website that a troop can customize.

  2. 47 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

    cooking, dishwashing

    What kind of cooking and dishwashing?  

    Chopping vegetables,  getting lots of prep dishes dirty,  setting up a full three-dishpan wash station -- which might need to be refilled if kids are sloppy about getting food into the dishwater?  

    Or rehydrating dehydrated meals,  eating out of a single cup/bowl per person (or eating out of the meal pouch), then  licking your cup and spork clean and calling than good enough?

    • Upvote 1

  3. On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    We also determined that our meeting could be longer (we go 2 hours), given the longer attention spans of girls at the critical 11-13 year-old ages. 

    I agree that  11-13+ girls certainly have the attention spans for 2 hour meetings.   Our Scouts BSA girls' troop has 1.5 hr evening meetings.  The meetings always feel too short, especially given the over-long opening ceremony and announcements done jointly with the boys troop -- but given the schoolnight evening,  there is not time to go longer.      (A few years ago the 4th grade girl scout troop I was associated with, on the afternoons they got out of school early, had 2 hour meetings, and the longer meeting format let us do more during the meeting time.)    

    I could see that with scouts travelling by public transit,  longer  meetings on alternate weekend mornings,  is best.   We have scouts from four towns, who attend six different schools,  and so see each other only at scouts -- for us having a meeting every week is helpful for developing friendships within the group.  (As are the frequent weekend outings.)

    On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    This was in reaction to the survey of parents saying they did not want their girls or themselves engaging in product sales. 

    Sounds good to me.   I'd be very happy with that,  but we have inherited a product sales from the troop we linked to.      In my girl scout past,  girl scout troop parents (we polled them) preferred to fund activities through yearly dues and skip the cookie sale -- but we were a much lower budget operation that your Scouts BSA troop.

    On 9/30/2019 at 8:23 AM, Cburkhardt said:

    You can visit our site at http://www.ScoutsBsaDcGirls.org  if you want to see our take on this. 

    Very impressive.  We didn't get a website up till end of the summer, and immediately were found by two more families.   In retrospect, having a website earlier would have been better  -- but we were too busy trying to get out-of-doors to get to that quickly.

    @Cburkhardt you seem very organized, and off to a great start.  Almost intimidatingly so.  It is great that you are sharing what has worked well,  but I want to encourage those who are starting with less experience:  We are just muddling through, but we are improving, and growing in numbers and experience.  Fortunately none of our girls or parents seemed to get too discouraged in the initial months -- we focussed on getting out-of-doors camping, which I think made up for various other deficiencies.

    This is off topic, but  I do have one comment about your website @Cburkhardt ,  the recommended packing list seemed a little odd.  For a weekend camping list you included shampoo (I've never known any girl, no matter how long the hair, to wash her hair on a two-night camping trip) but you forgot the feminine hygiene products. 

  4. 6 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    You are assuming the male leaders identify as male...one cannot assume in the this brave new world.  I do actually wonder how that would play out.  All female troop, one male leader identifying as male and one currently biological male that identifies as female; is this in compliance with YPT?

    If we reach this point, this is when I am looking for some sane and sensible support from the chartered organization.

    If I remember right, the issue of transgender leaders has come up in Girl Guides (UK).

  5. I will point out that requiring a woman leader present when girls are involved is not unique to BSA. GSUSA also requires there to be at least one woman leader present (i.e. for GSUSA the require minimum two unrelated adults can be two women, or one-woman-and-one-man,  but not two men.)

    There are several ways BSA can get rid of the double standard, if people push hard to get the double standard removed.

    1) Allow adult leadership to be men-only.   Some parents, including me, will balk at this and not permit our daughers to go, depending on the event.  (Would I really want to send a small group of teenage girls on a camping trip to be supervised by young men in their early twenties?  Sorry.  Not a good idea in my mind.  )

    2) Make the exception the new rule -- I.e. if each female scout attending is accompanied by a parent or guardian, then you can get by without an adult female.   Say hello to "Family Scouting" if we, at the Scouts BSA level, have every girl accompanied by her dad.  Where would be the opportunity for scouts to learn how to be independent and self-sufficient if their parents are constantly hovering?

    3) Make it reciprocal.  Require there to be at least one male adult in attendence at any scouting event at which there is a male youth in attendance.  This would probably have no impact on any current Boy Scout troops.   It might require some cub scout packs to step up the recruiting of dads to work with the younger boy dens.   While nobody considers it inappropriate for a couple of moms to be in charge of a group of 8-year-old boys, it could be argued that it is beneficial for the younger boys to have the opporuninty to interact with male role models.   

    Which of these do you prefer?    As a parent of a female scout, I'd rather live with the double standard.   Anyway,  I don't see BSA going with option 1, especially with all the current concern about YPT and related issues that have been in the news recently. 

  6. 28 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    religious reasons for not having certain food items

    These, too, come in all degrees of strictness of avoidance,  and I am certainly sympathetic to those scouts who have religious/cultural reasons for avoiding certain foods.  We certainly don't want to be causing friction between a scout and his/her parents, and we want to be welcoming to scouts in all cultural groups.


    30 minutes ago, DuctTape said:

    taste preferences

    I am much less sympathetic here.   My general attitude towards the scout is that if you don't like what someone else planned and cooked, then next time you can volunteer to be the meal planner and cook. 

    In practise,  scouts will sometimes eat at camp things that they didn't think that they liked -- and will sometimes expand their likes in that way.


  7. 16 minutes ago, Liz said:

    But using breadsticks as table decorations was a whole level of "we don't give a ____" beyond what I could really comprehend for a company that somehow thought they were making gluten free food available.

    "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence and ignorance".   I don't know about that specific instance.  But I have encountered huge quantities of incompetence and ignorance when it come to dealing with food allergies.    Well intentioned people, who think that they are being helpful, and have absolutely no clue how ignorant they are, and how pointless their efforts to be allergy-friendly are.


  8. 38 minutes ago, Momleader said:

    with fabric markers. 

    Acrylic paint works well, too,  if you happen to already have that in your craft supplies.

    Turned the scouts loose with the scrap fabric box, the paints, the beads, the yarn, the entire set of craft supplies.   Those scouts who were interested came up with a really nice flag as a collaborative project after an afternoon's work on a school holiday afternoon.   (Probably helped that it was an older crowd . . .11-13-year-old girls.)   Since then they've taken the flag on most camping trips,  to summer camp,  and (as a one-patrol troop) used it as a stand-in for the troop flag we don't yet have.

    The worst patrol flag I saw was one made at NYLT.  Admitted it only needed to last a week.  But they used washable markers!  My daughter said it was a blurry mess after the first rain.  When I saw it end of the week it was completely unrecognizable.


  9. 23 minutes ago, Calion said:

    Do you think that at least some Campfire skits and songs should focus on teaching Scouting mores and values


    24 minutes ago, Calion said:

    And are you aware of any such things?

    Scout vespers. ("Softly fall the light of day . . .")

    And I know a bunch of Girl Scout songs of that ilk that my daughter tells me we cannot sing in Scouts BSA.  ("On my honor",  "Girl Scouts Together", "Green Beret" . . .)

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. @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.


  16. 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.


  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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
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