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mrkstvns

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mrkstvns last won the day on November 21 2019

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About mrkstvns

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    Deep in the heart of Texas

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  1. This morning, I read an article about a New Jersey troop that's suffered dwindling numbers. They blame their problem on "scouts getting Eagle". Hmmm. Methinks they haven't done enough self-examination. Getting scouts to Eagle doesn't cause the implosion of a troop. Poor recruiting does. The New Jersey troop's story should be a warning to scouters that they need to be aware that there are a lot of factors that can make scouts choose not to join a particular troop....and few prospective scouts would cite "successfully helping scouts earn Eagle" as one of the reasons. In my opinion, the troop needs to... * focus on building relationships with Cub Scout packs so Webelos will want to bridge into a troop - invite Webelos to meetings and activities - have leaders attend Roundtables to meet leaders from Cub Scout units - participate in events like Webelos Weekend * promote the unit within the charter organization - are parishioners/members invited to visit troop meetings? - does the unit participate in charter org events? (church picnic, Sunday socials, etc. * raise visitibility of unit in the community - blurbs in community papers - offer service to community groups / HOAs, etc. * make sure leaders are not complacent about membership (sometimes, even if you build it, they will not come....if not invited, encouraged, welcomed) Here's the story about the NJ troop: https://patch.com/new-jersey/brick/brick-man-mission-build-eagle-rich-boy-scout-troop
  2. If ever a scout deserved his merit badge for Personal Management, it's gotta be the kid who literally "wrote the book" on how to invest... Story: https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/ct-gla-shout-out-jiwani-tl-0123-20200117-tuibovg7xjdhrj3ckmc3r24ata-story.html
  3. I wish I could call that a stupid statement. I wish I could jump up and down in rage. I wish there was no way that such a thing would be allowed to happen. Sadly though, I shake my head and worry that you just might be right...
  4. Hmm. That doesn't sound like much of a weight saving. Yeah, 2 pounds is pretty light, but what's the advantage of "trek poles" if I'm only going to save a measely 1 ounce? (Last I checked, the difference between 2lb and 1lb 15 oz was exactly 1 ounce...
  5. mrkstvns

    Book recommend; adults

    Curious about this, I went looking for quality reviews. Found out more about the story in a New York Times Book Review. Now I'm intrigued. Will have to give this one a read. Thanks for the recommendation, skeptic! Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/books/review/hearts-of-men-nickolas-butler.html
  6. mrkstvns

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    Please don't put words in other peoples' mouths.
  7. mrkstvns

    Merit Badge Counselor Registration Renewal

    I was disappointed when I looked in to Scoutbook and checked to see if I showed up as MBC for certain badges. I do....but somehow, Scoutbook says I'm "willing to work with any scout in my district". That's no really correct. On the MBC registration form, I actually checked the box saying I would work with ANY scout. To me, "any" means "any". As in, scouts in other districts, scouts in other councils, scouts who are male, scouts who are female, scouts who are christian, scouts who are buddhist, scouts who are gay, scouts who have disabilities, even scouts who are downright ugly.....ANY scout. I'm a scouter because I believe in helping youth grow: I'd have to be a pretty big dirtbag if I said "No" to any scout who asked for my help...
  8. Good sounding call....what would it be used for?
  9. mrkstvns

    Hand Washing _ Winter

    They are, indeed. Wasteful and messy. From the perspective of effectiveness in getting hands dry and germ-free, they are not to be beat --- except maybe by shaking hands dry, which can be a problem outdoors in winter where some days, some places (outside Texas), you might shake your hands frozen before they get dry. 😉
  10. I used to think that "Scouting Professional" would be a dream job: get paid to do things with scouts and go to camporees, summer camps, and other fun things? Awesome! As I read some of the discussions in these forums, it doesn't sound so good. Folks talk about... * low salaries * long hours * boring jobs (meetings, budgeting, marketing with little real hands-on "scouting") In the past, I've been switched off by "Commissioner College" that was nothing of the sort....just really boring topics. Now I see a couple of legit university programs being offered that look like they might be fun, but that seem to focus a whole lot more on boring managerial content than on the real meat of what makes scouting (or any outdoor adventure) fun in the first place. For example: * Scouting degree program offered by WVU * Adventure Recreation Management degree program IMHO, volunteering in scouting is probably a heck of a lot more satisfying than doing it for the money.
  11. Christmas tree projects seem to have more ways to potentially benefit conservation and help scouts in myriad ways: 1) raise funds, 2) earn Eagle rank, and 3) earn Hornaday awards. I've posted her about some of these ways before, including a favorite approach of mine, re-building sand dunes to combat beach erosion. Now, I see an article about a California scout whose Christmas tree recycling project is being used as a way to provide habitat for juvenile fish: https://www.chicoer.com/2020/01/12/boy-scouts-recycle-christmas-trees-to-help-lake-oroville-fish/
  12. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    A Boy Scout troop in San Antonio had their trailer stolen from a church parking lot, despite having had a boot locked to the wheel and chains padlocked. Thieves cut the chains and cut the boot too! (How you "cut" a boot, I don't know...) Here's the story: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/stealing-from-the-boy-scouts-thieves-snag-trailer-from-church-parking-lot/ar-BBYLyQS
  13. Fairly simple, eh? My son was a troop bugler for a while and the only calls he ever played were "Taps" and "Reveille". I'll bet 90%+ of scouts have never heard any of those other myriad calls required by the merit badge. (I never have either). I think there's a reason why Bugling is the least earned merit badge in scouting, and esoteric calls is that reason. Note: that isn't a criticism of Bugling merit badge. Quite the opposite. It's good that there are still some merit badges that can't be earned by simply being present in a classroom for an insignificant classroom activity. When something requires effort, it has value to the scout.
  14. mrkstvns

    Hand Washing _ Winter

    I like Treflienne's suggestions. Hand sanitizer is a quick way around the problem, but it really isn't a substitute for actual washing with soap and water. Washing in a trickle of water, followed by the hand sanitizer can be a good approach. Even if the camp turns off water spigots in the winter, cubs usually car camp and tossing in a couple extra water jugs so you have water for hand washing seems like prudent planning. I would also add 2 points: * provide a way to dry hands, towels are environmentally friendly, but paper towels are more effective at reducing bacteria * consider temperatures: water freezes, wet towels can freeze, wet hands get cold fast, sanitizers sap body heat faster than water
  15. mrkstvns

    January Pack Meeting Ideas

    Cold weather might be a good motivator for one of those myriad "sleep over" events, like a Night at the Museum (if your local museum offers such things). In our area, there are multiple opportunities, including a zoo sleepover, a sleepover on a de-commissioned aircraft carrier, etc.
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