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About Buggie

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    South Central US
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    Hiking, computers, and camping without traditional tents.
  • Biography
    Scout dad who finally has time to join a troop.

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  1. We had a camp out this weekend. I'm still fairly new to this troop and I did scope it out early before signing up, but I'm still very happy when I see them do things in ways I think are right. First of all, the scout's set their own schedule. It included some instruction time on things the new-boys and some of the other scouts needed practice upon. They chose it. It was fun to watch from the adult's sitting area. (flag ceremony stuff) Secondly they did everything on their own with very minimal adult interaction. Mostly safety things like "How many scouts are supposed to be in the axe yard?" and a few things like "Did you guys take our tomatoes?" (yes, they did, but they thought the tomatoes were theirs because they forgot where they put theirs.) And thirdly it included one of my favorite things. Scouts playing and doing fun junk. Unstructured time where they played around. Not quite sure what they were doing, but they were having fun with something. We also were able to use the area pool since we had a BSA lifeguard. Fun for the scouts and the adults. And it highlighted a strong need for some adults and scouts to get better at throwing a football. Also that we adults probably should pay attention to the need for sunscreen. p.s. we also worked on our tick collecting skills. Some won more than others. The camp's mower was broken, so the grass was rather tall in the camp site.
  2. Buggie

    Summer camp hacks/gear suggestions

    Me too. Now I get it to a degree. Us adults are older. Not as pliable as them young-uns... But still at times I think we go overboard with creature comforts and gadgets. If you carry more than four scouts or require your own truck to haul all your personal stuff, perhaps you should re-think it. My big thing is cellophones. I think it is reasonable for all the adults to have them on a camp out and for very good reasons below. However except for the reasons listed below, ours should be off unless there's a need that you wouldn't frown at a scout for. Main point of contact (maybe two adults, but no more than that) Your job/life requires it (not talking about your need to go check the latest in sports) Health (talking need for an app on the smart phone, though I don't personally know of any need like this someone else might have one. If not now, then soon you'll see something like it. "Scans show that your insulin is low.") Search and Rescue / Emergency (Personal note: I had a scout stop taking his medication for a few days and after blowing up, ran off with a knife he was brandishing at everyone and we were very concerned. It was adult's night at summer camp and I got back a few minutes after he ran off. I had no phone. A phone would have drastically improved our group response. All worked out well.) Weather Checks ("Gee, is that thunder storm coming our way?" "Is that ice storm coming in earlier than expected?") Check in (like the scouts are on a very long trip via foot/canoe/whatever and you should send in a text that you've hit certain points in the journey) Troop Transport ("Hey, we're stopping at the next gas station." or "We've got a flat tire.")
  3. Buggie

    Winter Gear Up

    I'm in the OKC area. And to make the sob story even sadder, my marine battery I use for the CPAP died at summer camp this year as well. I had it since 2010, so I'm happy it lasted as long as it did, but I didn't use it as often as I would have liked to since I didn't get to go camping much. Job limited me to pretty much only summer camps. Also very handy to have in case of power failures at home. Those pesky T-Storms et al. So that's another thing I'm in the market for. My plan is to take stock of all that I need and prioritize it. There are things I'm getting starter items for, where it might not be the exact item I want, but it will do for now until I can afford the one I really want. A new hammock is definitely on the list. As well as a whole truck load of other things. LOL
  4. Buggie

    Sealing a Canvas Tent

    I hear badge magic is fantastic for that....
  5. Buggie

    Winter Gear Up

    Yah, I have a CPAP so I tend not to sleep in hammocks outside of a nap. The hose and apparatus don't work so well with it. The fun thing is that my hammock broke at summer camp this year. I just got comfortable and suddenly I was on the ground. The rope coming out of the hammock and through the carabiner connecting to the straps on the tree went *pop*! I joke that the two other adults in camp woke up long enough to ask if I was okay. Actually I was pretty lucky. I had a camp pillow that cushioned my head in the fall. Also I always try to clear the ground beneath me. Lastly, because I was relaxed and hit the ground square, the contact was spread out and easy to deal with. Needless to say (but I'll say anyway) I did not get my nap. p.s. Hooray for Trappers!
  6. Buggie

    Winter Gear Up

    Mostly camping in Oklahoma. With one trip a year expected to Kansas. The weather varies after October. Either you've got sunny skies and 70 degree weather or you go down the temperature range to highs in the 20's generally. Typically you don't see Okie kids camping below 20 for highs. We deal with heat, not the cold! Most of the scouts aren't well outfitted for below freezing weather, so there's a limit that various troops choose on when to go camping or not. But yah, my situation is that I need to gear up for winter camping and wanted to know what sorts of things people would recommend to look into (brands or items). I'm planning on getting the standard winter gear stuff, but if someone had something that they thought was the best thing ever, I'd like to know. I might not be able to afford it this year, but I'll be planning on getting it eventually. So thanks to everyone who has responded!
  7. Buggie

    Identifying a Mystery Patch

    It's the Spanish Inquisition patch. I never expected to see that.
  8. Buggie

    Summer camp hacks/gear suggestions

    For me, chigger protection is always appreciated along with your standard bug spray of choice. Every year I think, I need to remember to get the chigger powder for next year and I always forget it and wish I hadn't. A nice wide brim hat. A cooling towel. A friend of mine recommended one of those cooling beanies that motorcyclists use under their helmets. Some folks swear about those zero g recliners that can tilt back. To me I can't relax in those. I feel like I'm about to fall backwards. I like using a Sansbug for my mosquito netting. It's my luxury item. If I'm bringing one. I also get by with just a sheet and no netting. I like a good book that I wouldn't care if it got damaged and I also like to bring something to pass the time with other adults. My favorite game to play is Farkle, which you can find the rules for on line. Takes five dice, a surface to play upon, and a paper/pencil to keep score with. Fun to just pass time with other scouters that way and doesn't take any skill. Number one thing is, have fun. Do something service wise to help out here and there, but enjoy every moment you can possibly grab.
  9. I'm privy to a few schools in my area and how they handle it in regards to hotels etc. They are assigned to share a hotel room together if they are in the same trans-gendered classification (FTM or MTF). If there is only one, they receive their own room. I've come across a few transgender scouts at summer camp, but I don't know how they handled tent assignments as it wasn't in my unit.
  10. Conflict of interest happens too. And then there's the situation where people think that something is going on, even when it doesn't. Or even though they are taking a minor role, because of their District role they carry more authority causing more folks to follow along than would otherwise. Even if they aren't trying to do that at all, you get the problem because it isn't them pushing their position, it's someone doing it for them. So yah, it can get ugly even with the best of folks and intentions. It really takes a set "just do this job and nothing else" type of mindset. A complete boxing of them doing something that doesn't push the unit in any direction other than getting something done for the unit.
  11. I've seen it done. It required scouters to devote their time on whatever day it was that was needed, regardless of holidays/weekends/etc. It is a huge undertaking and if adults aren't on board or the scout doesn't follow through, it's blown. Still possible, but dangerous. Make sure the scout has the support they need all the way through. Communicate often and early. Scouters tend to bend over backwards to help when they see a scout doing their best, but it only takes one to upset that apple cart and destroy everything. Best to have as much wiggle room as possible.
  12. Buggie

    Stay or Go

    Never be afraid to shop around. Also never be afraid to and try your best at keeping your eyes open at self examination. Sometimes it's the unit. Units are good fits for some folks and bad fits for others. Sometimes it's us. We're too "us" and we need to change what we're doing. But again, it never hurts to see what other units are around. And even though I hate the thought of a kid leaving scouts, sometimes you need a break. I would rather someone take a year off then get frustrated to the point where they don't ever want to be a part of it again. People try to give the impression that you have to be in it from Lion to Eagle, but really you need to do what is best for you. Malraux has a good post too.
  13. These replies above are great. One of the things I've discovered as a parent and I definitely see it necessary as a scouter is that you've got to learn how to advocate for the scout(s). The parents, the SM, the ASM, the CC, etc. Everyone involved had best be very familiar with the current guild to advancement etc. Especially for Eagle boards. At camp two SMs I know give the SM training for those interested. The next day one of them came and asked if I knew the answer to something that he was surprised about. He was shocked that I knew the answer that he had just learned. It's because it had been a long while since he had taken the training and I had done it this year and had been reading too. So what he used to know either has changed or got replaced with false information. You listen to other people tell you things and then you believe them because how could they be wrong? Often scouters get stuck in either old information or have gotten to where they think they know the answer, been told the wrong answer, or have dreamed up an answer. You've got to know your rights. Or more specific, the scout's rights according to the BSA. And don't be afraid to ask for an explanation or to take it to the next level. Eventually the appeals go on up to national if you get that far. They are going to side with the guide to advancement. They aren't going to go with somebody's made up expectation.
  14. And if the witch is heavier than a duck, which means they sink in water and are thus a witch. Turning scouts into newts. (they get better) Course I'm also thinking of plague cart races. Yes I know. Bad Buggie. Bad boy. Go to the corner. Sorry I didn't really have anything helpful to add.
  15. I worry for things like this. BORs should be to assess how the scout is doing in the program and how the troop is doing to address the scout's needs. It isn't a retest or examination of the items the scout has fulfilled for the rank. You can see how well the scout has been taught, but you can't deny them because they no longer remember how to tie a square knot for example. (you can then go back to the SM and say, hey, we need to beef up the square knot knowledge. we're seeing scouts aren't remembering it.) For the POR, it isn't an assessment of how well the scout did in his duty, but that he did so. The SM should be the one addressing how well a scout is doing through various moments in the scout's service in that POR. It should NEVER be an ambush where someone comes in and says, "Well, you haven't been doing enough these last six months." I certainly would question any district rep coming in who doesn't have a good grasp of what the scout has done for the troop. They didn't see the scout for those six months. The District Rep might have observed them in the OA in this case, but that's not monitoring the scout as far as the unit is concerned. And if that District Rep really has an issue, it needs to be delivered to the SM and not to ambush a scout in their BOR.