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About mrkstvns

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    Deep in the heart of Texas

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  1. mrkstvns

    Philmont 2020 slots

    I wonder if some units might be worried about how much of the scout ranch was damaged by the Ute fire last summer. I'd heard that 26,000 acres of Philmont burned in the fire, but with 140,000 acres there, it seems like they should still be able to find lots of open space for treks to explore. Anybody heard whether the fires caused any lasting impacts to the areas used for their program ??
  2. mrkstvns

    Philmont 2020 slots

    My son was planning to go on a 12-day Philmont trek this past summer. But then came the wildfires. Philmont cancelled his trek (and lots of other troops too). They guaranteed the troop a slot for 2020...but that seems so far off. For 2019, the troop has 2 crews to Seabase plus 1 crew to the Summit.
  3. mrkstvns


    Sablanck wrote: "Ahh the wooden toggle experts. I dont trust them either and they bring out my unscoutlike demeanor. Many I have dealt with are not there to help just to point out flaws. If you are not here to help you can pack up your tent and leave. I dont need "experts"" Ahh the voice of the know-it-all. Although I've been camping and hiking all my life, I still marvel at the ingenuity and adaptability of my fellow scouters. Not a campout (or camporee) goes by that I don't learn something new. Sometimes I'm reminded of something I've long ago forgotten. Sometimes a really great idea comes from the "wooden toggle experts"....sometimes it comes from the youngest Tenderfoot. In my experience, if you really think that you "dont need experts", you guarantee that you'll never truly be one. And by the way....I've never been to a wood badge course. I just respect those who do it and then come back to share their knowledge.
  4. Unfortunate, but not a particularly dangerous risk, nor one that can be reasonably avoided. Look at info from the CDC and the Mayo Clinic and you'll see that... * Histoplasmosis is not rare, and that most people exposed to it never even realize it * Histoplasmosis is transmitted by breathing in fungal spores that come from bird or bat droppings, so exposure is more likely to happen in local parks, fields, farms, or even your own back yard than at a scout camp (though birds and bats poop there too...) * Most people who get sick from histoplasmosis exposure are farmers and landscapers (not people engaged in outdoor recreation) * You can't really eliminate risk of exposure to histoplasmosis * It's not something that the scout leaders should or could have avoided or prevented * Histoplasmosis is most common in the midwest and the south Sources: * CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/histoplasmosis/index.html * Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/histoplasmosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20373495
  5. mrkstvns

    Reporting progress on NOVA awards...

    What is this "plain white paper" you speak of? Sheesh! Next you're going to ask us to start a fire with a match instead of a butane lighter. Seriously though, thanks for the suggestion!
  6. How do scouters acting as Nova counselors report a scout's progress toward a Nova award --- i.e., *PARTIALS* ??? The FAQ on scouting.org says a counselor can use the advancement report (#34403) to report awards completed, but if a scouter is doing a group activity or a Nova class, it's almost ALWAYS going to be a "partial" that you want documented (because 2 Nova requirements, i.e., "watch 3 hours of video" and "earn a qualifying merit badge", are impractical to do in most class settings). The advancement report doesn't lend itself toward "partials" of anything --- it's oriented only towards *completed* ranks or awards. Something equivalent to a blue card would be ideal, but I've never seen such a document used for Nova awards. (I've seen a couple of nearby districts offering Nova classes as part of their Merit Badge University, but wonder how their Nova counselors document the scouts' Nova work...) Anyone with thoughts on this?
  7. mrkstvns

    Buffalo hunt at Philmont - auction item

    RememberSchiff said: ...and of course, local Snipe hunts. Putting on my Leave No Trace hat, I'd just like to remind folks that one of the LNT principles is "Respect wildlife." So please...when taking part in Snipe hunts, remember to practice catch and release practices.
  8. mrkstvns

    Where did you go to summer camp?

    I grew up in the Washington DC area, and my troop always went to Goshen scout reservation in Virginia. Every year. The place is big, with several different camps around the lake, so the experience was different from year to year. It was a great experience for me. Nothing I've seen so far in or near Texas is as good as Goshen...but then, that might just be because I used to be young and naive, whereas now I'm older and more cynical.
  9. mrkstvns

    Cyber Chip Sign off

    If your Cyber Chip card says "Cub Master" signature, then someone in your unit bought the wrong cards when they went to the scout store. The one you have is the blue Cyber Chip card, used for cub scouts. Boy scout troops use the green card, which has a line for "Unit Leader" signature (and corresponding green pocket patch). Not a big deal though --- the pledge on both is basically the same, though the requirements vary (depending on age/grade). See the requirements on scouting.org More info: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/06/04/with-bsas-new-cyber-chip-online-safetys-the-point/
  10. mrkstvns

    Howdy, y'all.

    I've lurked here for several years but just recently decided to actually engage. I'm an ASM in a troop in Texas. Personal interests in conservation and STEM fields lead me to encourage boys to look at BSA's Hornaday program and Nova program. Few do. I still try... I'm MBC for several merit badges and a Supernova mentor. Also a LNT trainer.