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mrkstvns last won the day on May 9

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. mrkstvns

    Merit badge sash

    Agreed. Even though the rules state that only 1 merit badge sash should be worn at a time, the double-wide approach really looks dorky compared to the scouts who blow off the rule and just wear 2 sashes, bandolier style. It's over the top, but at least it kind of looks symmetrical instead of looking like a blanket.
  2. First I've heard about something like this.....sounds like a cool (and profitable) idea! https://buckrail.com/boy-scouts-antler-auction-rakes-in-big-money-for-racks/
  3. mrkstvns

    Best comfort items & traditions for summer camp

    I think it depends on the terrain where your camp is located. If I were in a mountainous region, or very rocky terrain, I would definitely prefer the boots, but if I was in a softer, flatter, or forested area (like maybe Northern Tier), then I would prefer something lighter --- like maybe your Nikes.
  4. mrkstvns

    Baloo Training

    Agree with jjlash. BALOO and IOLS are not necessarily one and the same. When I did BALOO, it was a few hours, mostly classroom, and definitely centered on family camping. IOLS was centered around the outdoor skills that a scout needs for Tenderfoot through First Class advancement: knots, first aid, map and compass, knife and axe, cooking ---- basically everything that a SM or ASM will be asked to sign off for a scout over his first year or two in a troop. The IOLS was practical camp skills taught in a camp setting. A much better class than BALOO... (Besides, even if some material might be repeated, a little reinforcement never hurts...)
  5. No disrespect intended, Carlos, but you would benefit greatly from reading and embracing the "Guide to Advancement". Any time you create a policy of any kind, type, or form, you make things harder on your scouts and create unnecessary problems for your scouters. Take qwayze's suggestions to heart and you'll be a wiser leader who enables his scouts to succeed.
  6. The only rules that are absolutely inappropriate are the absolute rules. Every scout and scoutmaster is a bit different. There are unquestionably cases where the scoutmaster is BEST qualified to review requirements and do scoutmaster conferences, even if its for his own son. There are other cases where a troop might have really good bench strength and the scout would benefit from working with an ASM rather than with his own dad. Neither approach should be an absolute "must" or an absolute "never". With respect to merit badges, things are a little different because the Guide to Advancement specifically states that any MBC is allowed to sign off for any scout including his own son. In my opinion, any troop that establishes contrary policies is putting up roadblocks for scouts that are unfair and insupportable. There are some cases where an MBC absolutely should sign off for his own son --- like when the counselor is doing an activity or class for a group of scouts and his son is doing exactly the same thing at the same time as his peer (What possible benefit to anybody in scouting could be gleaned by telling the scout he is less deserving of the badge that he earned than his friends doing it with him?)
  7. I was a scout in the same time frame. Whether or not camping was required, our troop sure did a LOT of it (and much more adventurous trips than my son's troop sometimes embarks on). I don't recall our troop ever having a "high adventure" trip, but we did cool things like a 65-mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail (which was only a couple hours away by car, and free). Of course, we were also blessed by a G2SS that wasn't as restrictive and policies that didn't body block every fun activity under the sun.... Might not have been "required", but I can't imagine any but the lamest, most worthless troops doing a program that wasn't very active and completely outdoors. I'd have quit in a heartbeat!
  8. mrkstvns

    Baloo Training

    Baloo training varies from council to council and from district to district. Our council is weak on training, mistakenly assuming that districts "got it covered". Some do. Most don't. Looking around for options in neighboring districts or councils is a great idea. I've had to do much of my training at summer camps, or in other councils because our local council just plain fumbles the ball when it comes to providing adequate adult training options. I don't think you need Baloo in order to do a swimming event. "Safe Swim Defense" is your basic intro training for that, and if you want to delve deeper, then the two courses in Aquatics Supervision, "Swimming and Water Rescue" and "Paddle Craft Safety" might be right up your alley. Good luck!
  9. mrkstvns

    As an adult, what about my ideas?

    Interesting. In our troop, the SM and ASMs are not "on" the committee. We'll sometimes attend the meetings, but we don't vote on things or participate in boards of review, like committee members do. I can certainly understand why a small troop (or one without good parent involvement) might need to do things differently. I wonder what's "normal"...
  10. mrkstvns

    As an adult, what about my ideas?

    I often share my ideas with my son. If he's gung-ho about something, he'll tell his friends and they'll back him up when he brings it to the PLC or to the next troop planning meeting. I'll then be happy to "volunteer" to be part of the 2-deep leadership to make the activity happen.
  11. mrkstvns

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    I really didn't mean to be controversial. I just meant that up until this year, there were girls who wanted an outdoors-oriented program like Boy Scouts but the reality was that the organization's rules didn't let them join. Not implying any kind of deliberate malice, just that it is what it was....
  12. mrkstvns

    Hornaday Award????

    As he should be. The bronze medal is a VERY significant award. It means he's essentially done 3 Eagle projects (probably more, since the Hornaday projects I've seen most scouts doing are harder and more time-intensive than your typical Eagle project).
  13. mrkstvns

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Perhaps....but perhaps not so strange. If we embrace the idea of "Servant leadership", then that experienced scouter is doing exactly what he should be doing --- enabling scouts to achieve their goals. While we might not normally encourage a youth to zip through the scouting program in a mere 2 years, I think we can understand why a girl who has been locked out of the program until now will want the chance to achieve the same goals as boys. If she has the ambition and motivation to do it for herself, then I will be happy to help her just as I'd be happy to help any boy who has a goal that might not mesh with everyone else's.
  14. mrkstvns

    Hornaday Award????

    The Blue Ridge Mountain Council has an amazing council guide to earning the Hornaday awards. In it, they say... "Scouts who do not meet the stringent requirements of the Silver Medal may be awarded the Bronze Medal. These Scouts may not re-apply for the Silver Medal using any of the same projects for which the Bronze Medal was granted." If they're right, then yes, your scout could re-apply with another project. Do you know which of the 4 initial projects was deemed not quite "up to snuff"??? See: https://www.glaacbsa.org/files/23421/BRMC-Hornaday-Guide-8-18-pdf
  15. mrkstvns

    Hornaday Award????

    My understanding is that no, once the bronze is awarded a scout cannot then reapply after doing another project....but I could very well be wrong about that (and I kind of hope I am, because it seems rather harsh.