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BigDale

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About BigDale

  • Rank
    Junior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Fabulous Fun Filled Las Vegas
  • Occupation
    Not currently working
  • Interests
    Leathercraft, Woodworking,
  • Biography
    Life Scout
    15 year Scouter with my son from Tiger to Eagle plus a few years.
    Currently a Leatherwork Merit Badge Counselor

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  1. I've already donated over 300 (leatherworking) stamps to the 4 sets of Day Camp (for our Council in Las Vegas, NV) tools and have another 300 that will be going to our Summer camp and Girl Scout set that I am putting together. I am documenting my progress in putting the leather tool sets together and will be able to provide information about what works and what doesn't in order to help other councils do the same. Of note to all the Scouters out there willing to donate leather tools and stamps. I especially need the following: All 2d/3d stamps & sets, even if incomplete All sizes of 2d/3d Stamps 1", 3/4", 5/8", 1/2". 3/8" & 1/4" Any 2d/3d stamps in the number range 8500 to 8549, especially the Jewish and other religious symbols. All Scout stamps 13 sets of the Cub Scout Stamps (8532, 8445, 8442, 8441, 8443, 8444, 8440 & some have no number) 17 sets of the Boy Scout Stamps (Craftool 8508, 8543, Some have no number) 7 sets of the OA Stamps (8508, 8545 & 8411) 6 sets of the Wood Badge (8544, 8412, 8413, 8414, 8415, 8416, 8417, 8148, 8419 & ?) 7 sets of the Girl Scout Stamps (Craftool 8483, 8484, 8485 & 8486) Yes I'm working with Girl Scouts also. Alphabet and number sets, even if incomplete 3/4" & 1/2" Standard Alphabet 3/4" & 1/2" Numbers 3/4" & 1/2" Wood Alphabet 3/8" Fancy Alphabet 3/8" Fancy Number Set Any other sets that the kids would like Swivel Knives and Blades Poundo boards All Handle Stamps and Stamp Sets Tool handles for 3d stamps 500 - Large Handles 1200 - Small Handles (These are being glued to the smaller stamps so they don't get lost as easily) Mallets 182 - Wooden Mallets 130 - Plastic or Rawhide Mallets 48 - Number 2 or 3 Edge Bevelers Please PM me if you can donate leather tools and stamps. . (ed - RS) Thanks for you assistance. Dale
  2. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    We'll see how it turns out I just found out that there are actually 3 separate sets of leather stamps. 4 bins of tools that can be checked out for Day Camps and Merit Badges. This is what I'm working on now. 1 large set of leather tools that they keep at the summer camp. I'm going to check out these this week. Scout Reach also has some leather tools that I need to check out. I will try to look at those this week or next. All have to be kept separate from each other. Looks like I have quite a task ahead of me.
  3. BigDale

    My 1st Cub Scout Day Camp

    Thanks for the advise. I have already been asked to do the leatherwork merit badge at next years Expo. I even get to pick the projects. Yeah. After I get all this stuff figured out I am going to go to the monthly roundtable in my district and offer to come to pack/troop meetings for leatherworking activities/merit badge.
  4. BigDale

    My 1st Cub Scout Day Camp

    It was. The kids can't keep their hands off them. I would have the same problem though, even at my age.
  5. OK, I worked my 1st Cub Scout Day Camp. I handled the Leather Craft table. (See my other posts if you are interested in leatherworking and scouts). I have a lot of unique experience with kids since my mom ran a daycare from our home while I was growing up. We helped out when needed and I treated the (12) kids like little brothers and sisters. It was good practice for raising my own kids and many of the kids brought their own kids later in life when my mom opened a larger center with 125 kids. I've done some leatherworking with girl scout and boy scout troops but It's been a long time since I worked with groups of young boys (and a few girls) and it brought back some memories. We had a specific project to work on and a bit of information I had to pass on, and their attention span was low. These kids don't care about where leather comes from and how it's processed. Why would they? But just before the 1st session I was handed a sheet of paper with information on Italian leather. Apparently I was to inform them about this leather and it took me a couple of sessions to figure out why. The theme was "Passport to Adventure" and I was Italy. For me, the best method I've found when working with young kids is to be a performer and treat them as the audience. But you need to engage them in the "act". Lots of silliness and audience participation. And I'm ok playing the "fool" so this works for me. So after introductions and spending a few minutes just talking about whatever popped up I, I told them it's time to start and flat out said, "OK, we're going to do a leather project today. But first we have to go over some boring stuff." Now the important thing about making a statement like this is that whatever you say during the boring part can't be boring. I felt like I worked out a pretty good routine throughout the day. Next was the description of the project and a demo on how to use the tools. I discovered that it is best not to pass out the tools until just before you turn them loose on the stamping tools. I showed them samples that looked good with some design and also some that were just random stamping, all over the place. And as much as it kills me to see random stamping I told them it was totally up to them what they wanted to do. At this age I think it is important that with any art they should decide what looks good to them. Now we cover the rules. I do this last because they would not remember most of them if I did them earlier. This is not the time for silliness. The key is to present the rules and explain the consequences if they are not followed. Basically, telling them not to use the tools for anything but what they are designed to do, for our project, and if they didn't then I would take the tools away and they wouldn't be able to finish the project. Keep the list short and sweet. After I gave them the rules I had them tell them back to me. Then I hand out the basic tools and turn them loose, while I'm repeating the rules again. I was really surprised to see many of the kids put in some actual thought before they started stamping. But there were also a lot that NEED to stamp on every square micro-millimeter of the leather, front and back. Even when they say they are done they find a place where one more tiny stamp might fit. I made a list of some additional things to bring in to the next day camp. Samples or leather items, additional supplies and such. All in all it was a pretty good experience and I look forward to the next one. But, as I was asking about the next one. I found out that each district, within the council has their own volunteers. Silly me, I thought that there was a group of volunteers that moved from district to district until they were all completed. Like Gypsies moving from town to town. But nooooo. It isn't that easy. I have to WORK to be a volunteer. There are 9 more this summer, but only 6 that I can be at. I want do as many as I can in order to work towards my ultimate goal within the council regarding the leather program (see my other posts). Dale
  6. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    Thank, I'll order some and test them out. Dale
  7. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    I've gone through Wood Badge and served on staff a couple times. I'm a Fox. Which also happens to be my patrol animal. But your right about "trickle down" respect and pride. I took all the stuff in today and is being used tomorrow at a day camp. I'm working the next 4 day camps so I know the tools will be taken care of. I'll miss the next one but by then I'll have a manual together and a sign in/out procedure that will make a single person responsible for the tools. So if anything is missing that district would have to pay for it. We'll see what happens. Dale
  8. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    I don't qualify to itemize but I get the receipt anyways because I know people that do.
  9. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    Thanks, I am going to order a set and try them out.
  10. Sorry for the late response. I am still learning how this site works. That is a difficult question. Cost is a very real concern because even the smallest projects can be expensive. But my main concern is that the kids make something they will actually use. And a rounder isn't it. I consider those practice pieces. And repeating projects every year is no fun also. Here are some thoughts: Neckerchief slides are good projects would be used every time the uniform is worn. Especially if the whole pack makes them with a common design. They can be bought in packs of 100 at a cost of about 65 cents. Add a foot long piece of leather lace and maybe some beads and you have a nice item. Comes out to less than 1.00 each Wallet - A very good project because in involves different pieces of leather and some lacing. It's a good project for the webelos because they will have an ID card from school and a place to keep money. But the cheapest kit I've found is still 9.00 each. Wristband - I like these but I've discovered that the kids don't wear them very long. I think it is because most scouts want to just stamp as much as they can fit on them and there is no design. Around 2.00 each depending on size. Bookmark - This is a simple and often overlooked project but having them make one for use with their scout handbooks will keep the project used for a long time. These can be purchased for less than 1.50 each in bulk. Book Cover - I think this is a great project for Boy Scouts. There are a lot of customizing options with this project and the scouts can get very creative and really make it their own. It is also a good project for tooling. But this is a very expensive project. My price at Tandy is about 25.00 each. Key Fob - A good project for older scouts because they will be driving. Or younger scouts can make one for their parents. I also let the parents make one if they want to. The key to this project is a wide variety of 3d stamps. But most programs don't have a large number of stamps. I just donated over 200 3d stamps to our council's Day Camp program so they could have 4 identical bins of tools. So, along with their stamps, I put together 4 identical sets of 60 stamps each. And I still don't think 60 is enough of a variety. I have about 400 different stamps and there are about 350 that I don't have. Anyways, these cost less than 1.00 each. Coin Purse - Admittedly this is a better option for Girl Scouts but if I was doing a class just before mother's day or Christmas this is a good present for mom. The kit I would use runs about 5.00 each Mystery Bracelet - There is not much stamping you can do on these but the cool thing about it is how it is braided. You can even get these pre-finished so all you have to do is the braiding. Unfinished ones at Tandy are around 2.00. Rounders - I consider these practice pieces but can be used for multiple projects. Coasters are obvious, but punch a button hole at the top and a small hole at the bottom with a piece of lace running through to add beads to and you have an award "patch" Make sure they stamp the name of the event on it and the date. Depending on size they run about .50 each Leather Braided Bracelet - I think this is a great project because braided bracelets are still "in". There are a lot of designs that use no hardware so that keeps the cost down. There are also a bunch of colors of round leather lace in different sizes so that leaves tons of options. Plus the Leatherwork Merit Badge requires a braided project. And let me tell you that using plastic lace and even paracord for that requirement is not real popular with the kids, but sooooo widely used. Once again we come to cost. I'm still looking for the best prices on the internet so I don't feel comfortable listing any. Leather shapes. There are a lot of leather shapes you can purchase and design a project around them (like all 50 states). Costs vary but are reasonable. So these are the project ideas that I have right now. I want to do a more research with actual kids to see what they would really want. So I'm thinking of starting a few leathercraft clubs at some of high schools and middle schools in my area. An important factor that I've mentioned several times above is design. I think that if the kids got a bunch of scraps to stamp all over and get it out of their system then we could concentrate on design. Starting with a name, initials or 3d stamp and a nice border. is all they need for most projects. Another really important factor is the finishing of the projects. That is why I want to spread the class to two meetings. The 2nd meeting is for dyeing, finishing and assembly. Not just a clear coat, but giving the kids a choice of colors. I think Tandy's Professional water based dyes come in 23 colors. I want to be able to offer each of them. Once again cost comes into play. So where do you draw the line? I don't know. I want to do some fundraising to raise a bunch of money so I can provide all the dyes, paints, finishes, varieties of lace, etc... Who knows, maybe even offsetting at least part of the cost of the projects. Buying the projects in bulk saves a lot but has a big upfront cost. It comes down to how much the troop or pack wants to spend. By not having to purchase tools every year they could spend more on projects. So there is that. As far as my actual plan, I'm still working on it. I'll probably let the unit pick the projects and charge them slightly above cost plus a fee for replacement of the dyes, paper towels, disposable gloves, etc... maybe 25.00. Still working out the details on that part. I'm not trying to make money, I just don't want to lose any. Dale
  11. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    I totally agree and nice job. It does take someone that has a real interest in a particular activity to make things really interesting for the scouts. Someone willing to take care of tools and supplies to make sure the next time they are used. Yours is archery and mine is leatherwork. I talked to the person in charge of our local camp and volunteered to come out every morning and either teach or help out with the leatherworking merit badge. He said it was ok and asked if I wanted to do other merit badges. My reply was "No". Not because I can't do basket weaving, I have no interest. I don't want to do merit badges I have no interest in. My heart wouldn't be in it. Some people can do that no problem. I'm just not one of them. To be honest, I'm not even that good at leatherwork yet. But I have a strong desire to learn. Eventually I would like to do Entrepreneurship, Gardening, Sustainability, Woodworking and Pioneering merit badges. Along with cast iron/dutch oven cooking classes. But I'm not ready yet. Since I'm not going to be at each event I want to make sure it is as easy as possible for those that borrow the tools to make sure they are back in order when they turn them in. Sometime this summer I'm going to color code each bin's boxes and it's contents so it will be easy to find out what is missing. That includes all tools. For example, there are two 1/2" alphabet sets in each bin. One will be red and the other green. So when the kids put them away, as long as they put them in the right color box, and there are no empty spaces, we know that it is a complete set. That way we don't end up with two w's in one box and none in the other. I'm even going to try to make it so none of the colors will be repeated, even in other bins. So once red is used it will not be used in another bin. That shouldn't be too hard. I think there are enough shades in all the colors that I won't need to repeat any. It may seem excessive to go to that length in organizing the tools but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I also plan on putting together a binder that has an inventory of all the tools and how to use them. In addition to a video that will demonstrate how to conduct the class from start to finish. Including about a half dozen or so projects that they could complete. But as much as I enjoy doing this, I don't know how long I will be available. Hopefully, if I make it easy enough, someone else would take it over because it is so organized and complete. I can dream. Or our council will think I'm another anal retentive a-hole, get tired of me and kick me out. Dale
  12. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    After repairing what I could it looks like I need 16 wooden mallets. They run about 4.50 each at Tandy. I put together a spreadsheet of what we have, what we need as a bare minimum and what I would like to have. It's amazing how much it adds up to. I eventually want to add additional bins and advertise to the packs that there are leather tools that can be loaned to them. Then I will go out there every week or two and make sure everything is in order for the next pack to borrow it. I am hoping to do a Go Fund Me campaign or a Kickstarter Campaign. Our council is checking if I can actually use the the BSA name in the campaign. I think they need to control use of the name and funds. They don't make it easy. I will probably just do it and not mention the name but elude to it. Then I can spend it without having to go through the whole approval process. I am working with Tandy about donating wridtbands or another small project in order to keep the cost of the whole program down. But it might fall through if I don't get approval from BSA to hang a small banner during the class and mention that Tandy donated X. Maybe even pass out a 10% off coupon from Tandy. We'll see what happens.
  13. BigDale

    Las Vegas Area Council Donation

    Sorry, I am trying to upload photos and had a problem. There are still additional items that need to be purchased. But our council does not want to spend the money or they don't have the money, or didn't budget for it. Whatever. I can only do my part. I could get the rest of what I need for around $750.00. That would include 2 extras of each alphabet/number set to replace missing letters and numbers that occasionally happen. I'll try to get some photos of the completed bins when I finish them. Let me know what you think. Dale Here is the pile of tools I sorted through: Here is 1 set of the 3D stamps that each bin will have. The following photos are the rest of the donation I am making tomorrow:
  14. I've been gathering leather tools for use in Scout and youth groups over the last few years. I just got access to the leather tools that our council has for the Cub Scout Day Camps and for use by Leatherworking Merit Badge Counselors for classes. They have 4 bins of tools. Each is supposed to have enough for 20 scouts. The idea being that the bins could be checked out for district events and merit badge events. When I helped out with the merit badge at our "Mega Expo" the bin contained 20 mallets, 3 of which were broken, 26 stamping boards, a rack containing 12 handle stamps, and about 15 3d stamps. There were 6 alphabet sets, but only 1 was complete. I went to the Scout office and got access to all the tools and found that over the years, multiple sets were checked out for a single event and when put away no effort was made to make sure the alphabet sets were organized back into complete sets. In fact, the sizes were even mixed up with 3d stamps thrown in for good measure. Fast forward a couple years and you get the situation I was just in. I sat there most of the day and sorted and organized the tools. Now in total there should be enough tools for 80 scouts to work with. As it turned out, there are only 68 mallets, 26 I need to repair, less than 50 3d stamps and less that 2 racks of misc handle stamps. And a bunch of those are damaged and will be thrown away. So I went to my stash of leather tools and put together the following: Using 34 of the 3d stamps they already had, I added 206 additional stamps to make up 4 sets of 60 3d stamps for each bin. Each set has the same stamps to make re-sorting easier in the future. I also put together 4 sets of 27 handle stamps, each set the same, for the bins also. I had 30 handles for the 3d stamps that I included along with some extra racks and misc letters and numbers to complete their sets. I still need to find additional mallets along with purchasing 6 each of 3/8" and 1/4" alphabet/number sets and they should be set. Here is the pile of tools I sorted through:
  15. I agree about the adults not caring for the tools and equipment properly. And have the same issues with spending my own money on stuff only to get "lost" if I don't keep a tight rein on them. I do plan on using the tools also. The 3d stamps are the only ones I would share with the scouts. There are so many that it wouldn't make sense to have 2 sets of them. Although some of the older stamps are very hard to find and also very expensive to buy on ebay. So I will probably have a bunch that I won't take to the scouts or have the scouts sign them out/in if anyone wants to use those stamps. I have also been lucky about buying larger lots of the stamps and getting them for between 2.00 and 4.00 average cost. it depends on how many of the stamps I need from that lot. I actually have multiple goals for getting tools. 1. Get enough stuff for me to have group classes of my own for up to 30 kids. 2. Get enough of a very specific set of tools to have intermediate level classes for up to 12 kids. 3. Inventory our BSA council's leather tools, repair and clean them. 4. Donate extra 3d stamps that I have to supplement their set. 5. Raise enough cash to purchase the latest 2d/3d stamps, stamp sets, replace their missing tools, and donate them to our council. As far as the troops go, maybe just providing a space that they could come and make what they need. That way only those that need to make stuff show up. But I don't totally agree with you about the scouts not wanting to make additional stuff. I think it depends on the instructor and their ability to inspire. I would like to show the kids that leatherworking can be a great hobby and even a part time or full time business. Since I live in Las Vegas, we have a ton of scouts, church and other youth groups. So I think I can be as busy as I want and the tools should be well used.
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