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mrkstvns last won the day on August 22

mrkstvns had the most liked content!

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About mrkstvns

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    Deep in the heart of Texas

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  1. In its quest to emasculate scouting completely, Philmont now offers a glamping option that completely removes the possibility that participants might actually experience outdoor life. The new tents have permanent, full floors, electricity, queen size tempurpedic mattresses with Egyptian 800-thread count sheets, in-tent maid service, in-tent massage, and big screen canvas wall mount televisions with your choice of Netflix or Hulu. Covered parking is provided with valet service available on demand. The story: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/08/16/with-new-deluxe-tents-philmont-training-center-broadens-appeal-to-more-families/
  2. mrkstvns

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    Folks who find scout uniforms expensive should be aware that Scout Shops are offering a 25% off sale. (https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/08/19/unprecedented-scout-shop-sale-on-uniform-shirts-is-too-cool-to-miss/) I went to the 25% off sale and it was great. I got a pair of khaki pants with one long leg and one short leg.
  3. mrkstvns

    Campout planning...who does it?

    The way we do it is that the boys brainstorm and select their top "themes" --- backpacking, climbing, shooting, etc., and they can suggest locations if they have had good experiences someplace. We have a "camping coordinator", who is a committee member with lists of state parks, BSA camps, ACE properties, national forests etc. and he/she will then start calling around for reservations. If a location that the scouts suggested is available for the kind of activity they suggested, it's booked. If it's unavailable, another site is found that enables the type of activity. Only after the camping coordinator is able to lock down all (or most) dates and locations is the plan reviewed by scoutmaster and committee chair and then published. Families can then plan their calendars and the District gets a fair opportunity to cause us headaches by moving their Camporee dates.
  4. A scout troop camping in the Willamette National Forest found a campfire that had been left burning by inconsiderate campers. The fire had already spread beyond the fire ring. It took the scouts about 2 hours to put out all the smoldering embers. Scouts are credited with preventing a forest fire. Story: https://www.koin.com/news/human-interest/boy-scouts-put-out-campfire-that-was-spreading/
  5. Y'all are making some good points about why the staff might deserve tips for a job well done....but is that a judgment call that the adults are making themselves? Is it something that the boys should be aware of? Do you ask the boys to chip in? Seems like the practice might vary by camp (based on Tatung42's comment that he was told "no tips" by Northern Tier staff).
  6. Irrelevant. Infrastructure was evidently fine for getting scouts out of the Summit and down the road to Charlotte --- one of America's biggest, busiest hub airports. An airport that routinely handles hundreds of flights per day and more than 20 million passengers annually. For CLT and American Airlines to have problems getting a few thousand scouts checked in is simply inexcusible.
  7. In all fairness to the airline and airport, they are incompetent twits. In today's modern airline industry, they have these things called "computers". Amazing devices! They are capable of millions of calculations per second, can maintain databases, analyze data, and produce these things called "reports." Given that the airline and airport were caught off-guard, I can only assume that none of the scouts had made reservations for their flights and they all just showed up out of the blue, ready to pay cash for their walk-up tickets. If that weren't the case, the scouts would have planned ahead and booked their flights months in advance. Which means the airline employees would have KNOWN that the scouts had booked up every seat on every flight the day after their jambo ended. Managers would have KNOWN well in advance to expect a crush --- they would have KNOWN that extra staff would be needed at check-in, at baggage handling, and at security (not to mention at any snack bars in the place). A well-run, modern airport would have had loads of contingency plans in place because they would have known that other airports all around the country deal with similar things when it comes to events like the Superbowl, or the Indy 500, or for that matter, Thanksgiving, when everyone needs to arrive at the airport so they can go over the river and through the sky to Grandmother's house. As an interesting aside, there's an article about how Minneapolis St Paul Airport (MSP) dealt with the Superbowl crunch (I love that bit about football fans coming to the airport the night before their flight home so they don't have to pay for an extra night at the hotel....and here I thought it was scouts who were thrifty...). The airport even planned for that by laying in a bigger stash of sleep pads... Superbowl airport story: http://www.startribune.com/msp-airport-s-own-super-bowl-comes-day-after-nfl-s-with-busiest-travel-day-ever-expected/436045143/
  8. In addition to complaining, be sure you ask for compensation if your flight was excessively delayed or cancelled. There is a website that can help you understand how that works and that says they can help you with claims: https://www.airhelp.com/en/
  9. Interesting question. The Participant Guide is completely silent on the question of tips and I've always assumed that the fees paid by a scout were "all inclusive". The only mentions of cash I find in the book are a section about how to make payments, and a bullet point that boys should bring $125-175 (presumably for souvenirs and snacks....but not for tips).
  10. mrkstvns

    Crossover schedule

    Interesting perspective. For many boys, that last few months of Webelos is tough to get through. The boys are getting tired of the pack program and are itching for new challenges and a ramped up outdoor program. They WANT to be done with Webelos and starting a new chapter in a troop... The issue was discussed in a "Bryan on Scouting" article here... https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/10/how-to-avoid-a-final-year-webelos-burnout/ I suppose this will vary from boy to boy and unit to unit, and if you are getting a 100% retention, then I wouldn't mess with your recipe....but for a lot of kids, moving into a troop quickly works better for them, and for the troops, it's often easier to have the boys come in as a group at a predictable point in time (like January) so that they are able to work through initial rank requirements together and so they are able (and prepared) to be with the troop at summer camp (we're usually signing up scouts for camp in February).
  11. Thousands of scouts attending the World Jamboree found it to be a very tough place to leave behind. I'm not talking about all the great memories they had of spending time with fellow scouts at the Summit --- I'm talking about American Airlines not staffing their checkin counters adequately and TSA and Charlotte Douglas Airport not having plans in place to adequately handle the number of passengers that they KNEW well in advance were coming to the airport when Jambo was over. Few scouts got checked in on a timely basis and 3/4 of the flights ended up with delayed departure as scouts were herded outdoors in the summer heat to wait. The story is here: https://www.wcnc.com/article/travel/boy-scouts-vocal-about-extremely-challenging-departures-from-charlotte-douglas-airport-after-world-scout-jamboree/275-dcd51598-4c6e-46e1-bc1b-5e770fe63128 Did any of you folks attending Jambo fly out of CLT? Did you encounter problems like those described in the article? Scouts and scouters who had problems getting home should know that air travel complaints can be filed with the DoT here: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
  12. mrkstvns


    Let's see now, they raised $100,000 selling 600 bottles....that works out to about $167 per bottle. Yikes! I could almost afford to buy a bag of Trails End popcorn for that much money!
  13. mrkstvns

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    I would be particularly interested in knowing the costs for scouts in Indonesia. According to the Wikipedia page listing all those 170 members, it appears Indonesia is the country with the most active scouts at over 21 million (about 10 times more than BSA). I don't believe Indonesia is a particularly rich country, so how the heck do that many young people afford uniforms?
  14. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Another stolen troop trailer....this time in Kansas City: https://fox4kc.com/2019/08/16/thieves-steal-boy-scout-trailer-and-gear-worth-thousands-of-dollars-from-south-kc-church/
  15. I read an article today about a Boy Scout whose Eagle project proposal was turned down, because it didn't seem to involve leadership of others. The project was to advocate for a local ordinance involving plastic handling. (Despite not getting it approved as an Eagle project, he believed in the concept and did it anyway.) His proposed project was certainly a lot different in focus than the vast majority of Eagle projects I've seen. I wonder what I would advise a scout who wanted to do something like that....What would you tell the scout? If you were that scout's Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, would you approve his project proposal, or would you advise him to find something more traditional? Here's the story... https://buffalonews.com/2019/08/18/east-aurora-teen-on-his-proposed-plastic-ban-facing-public-hearing-monday-how-could-i-stop-people-from-polluting-the-earth/