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mrkstvns

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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. The Guide to Advancement is clear. A scout who begins working on a merit badge is allowed to complete it using the requirements in effect at the time he begins. Requiring a scout to get a new blue card is *NOT* an acceptable procedure. It sets up an obstacle to the scout. Talk to your scoutmaster and see if he can recommend a better MBC for you. With today's Scoutbook, you can also look it up online and select a nearby counselor. Most MBCs are very good and would never ask a scout to do that. Remember that you do NOT have to use any specific counselor (this is also spelled out in black and white in the Guide to Advancement).
  2. Maybe I walk around with my eyes half shut, but I very rarely see scouters wearing the service stars. I don't wear them myself because.... a) I'm too apathetic to jog over to the Scout Shop and buy 'em, and b) There's no real requirements that might make them significant or meaningful.
  3. It could also be one of those projects that qualifies for "double dipping" as both Eagle project *AND* Hornaday project. If a scout were interested in doing this, I'd point him to the council's conservation committee so he can talk to a Hornaday Advisor...
  4. mrkstvns

    Donuts

    Here is a chart from Krispy Kreme that might help you get an idea as to how much profit you could make...
  5. Interesting. I never realized Bloomberg was an Eagle scout. Found this recent article about how other candidates might underestimate Bloomberg's "Preparedness" at their own peril... https://villaricanews.com/2020/02/16/alvin-townley-could-bloombergs-eagle-scout-creds-be-his-key-to-clinching-the-dem-presidential-nomination/
  6. Snakes. Right. That's why we teach scouts to "Be Prepared". We know snakes live in the woods, so we take common sense steps to prevent bites from ever happening: * stay on trails * stay away from the snake if you see it * wear leather boots * wear long pants We know that snake bites do happen (some 8,000 per year in the U.S., but only about 12 per year that prove fatal) --- it's not a huge risk, but it exists. So we do first aid training, and we teach scouts how to call 911, and how to transport an injured buddy. Like most every "risk" that people fret about, educating ourselves, taking prudent preventative steps, and being aware of what to do "just in case" makes hiking (and any other scout activity) far safer than the "Adventure" ads might imply.
  7. I'm glad to hear you say this because I've been thinking about letting my son and some of his buddies do a 20-mile hike without adults going along. I was thinking of doing this on an established trail within a National Forest. Adults would drop off, be at a "check-in point" mid-day where the trail crossed a road, and then wait at the trail end for the hikers to return. I've been hesitant to bring it up with other adults in the troop for fear of being criticized for not helicoptering. Sometimes it's tough to know what the prudent course is. I don't see a hike in a forest as being particularly risky, but the non-outdoorsy parents might...
  8. Interesting question. Unfortunately, I don't think it's something that scouters are likely to make the "right" call on because we don't know where, or how extensive the spread might be....but it sure does behoove us to start thinking about it and making contingency plans just in case the spread is bad (or if folks succumb to the urge to cry wolf).
  9. Using New Scout Patrols makes it easy for the troop to comply with the YPT rule that scouts tent with other scouts who are within 2 years of age. Presuming that scouts who bridge into the troop are about 5th grade age, they will tend to be well within the 2-year range. So they tent together as a patrol. It becomes harder to have patrols tent together when you assign new scouts to patrols without regard to their ages.
  10. Hmmm. Hammocks again. Just a reminder to folks that hammocks might be a good solution for some folks, some of the time, but do take the time to think about how you camp and where you camp, because they are definitely not a good solution for everyone. As others have mentioned, the hammock can be less comfortable than sleeping on a cot, or even flat out on the ground. Do you like being bent into a taco shape at night? We also need to be aware that hammocks damage the environment in many areas. There are places where their use is so short-lived or where the trees see little hammock use and the impact is so little as to be irrelevant. But there are also places (like "front country" state parks) where sites are heavily trafficked and a few good size trees constantly get picked as "perfect hammock trees". Because so many of those trees have been killed by constant stresses of large numbers of hammock campers, you see camps and parks that now have "no hammock" rules. Some state parks have recognized that there are people who enjoy hammocks, but rather than fight them with rules and restrictions, they will provide permanent steel hammock stands. If you find these in a park near you, use them rather than the trees. In scouting, we have an "Outdoor Code" and we promote use of "Leave No Trace" as an outdoor ethics program. Outdoor ethics is about understanding the places we hike and camp. We observe the conditions and we do things in a way that doesn't damage the resource and that preserves it for the enjoyment of others. LNT does not have any "rules". It has some guidelines that help us know what to look for and what to consider when we're outdoors so we can apply the "authority of the resource" to guide us. That means that if we are in real backcountry in an area with healthy, hearty trees, then the hammock is a great choice for us. If we are in an area with delicate ground cover, then likewise, the hammock might be an ideal solution to help us protect the resource. However, if we're in an area where trees are smaller or fragile, or where conditions like drought and wild fire have left them struggling for survival....then any hammock usage at all will damage the environment far more than a tent on the ground. There are also many areas where tents matting down the ground really aren't an "impact". For example, any camping on a beach, on the snow, or even on a layer of pine needles in a southern forest, will have zero to near-zero impact on "the resource". Scouters who love their hammocks but still want to be responsible outdoorsmen can educate themselves about how the potential pitfalls of hammock use occur and can become aware of what natural factors affect the decision of whether or where to use a hammock. Here's a good source of basic info that really helps understand just why hammocks can be a problem. https://hammockinformation.com/do-hammocks-hurt-trees/ I'm not saying hammocks are always a problem....they're not. But sometimes they are. Good outdoor ethics training helps us understand when, where, and how using a hammock is "good".
  11. Quite right. As my son's troop inches towards 100 scouts, fundraisers that net $10K don't stretch all that far. It will only help defray costs of $100 per scout. $10K might sound like a lot of cash, but when you have an active troop that sends scouts to summer camp every year, offers a couple of different high adventure treks, and has a very active troop program with monthly campouts, scholarships for things like NYLT training, etc. .... well, we might need something like this project in addition to our other troop fundraisters and in addition to participating in popcorn sales or other types of council-sponsored fundraisers.
  12. When I re-read the article, it seems apparent that the primary goal here was troop fundraising. I have heard about scouts doing similar projects for Eagle or Hornaday....in those cases the "noble benevolence" is a reasonable element to consider. In this specific project though, the elements of community service and conservation turn out to be by-products of a well-planned fundraiser.
  13. It's already happened. Remember the flap over USA Gymnastics and their team doctor, Larry Nassar? The legal wrangling over that has still been going on even as the media focus moved on to other subjects. Settlement for victims in that case is still up in the air... https://www.businessinsider.com/larry-nassar-survivors-reject-usa-gymnastic-215-million-settlement-2020-1?amp%3Butm_medium=referral
  14. What I'm referring to is the allegations of institutional-level cover-up. Most of the previous cases that I've read about have involved accusations against individual scouters, but I haven't heard about the "powers that be" in scouting or the COs doing anything to perpetuate the problem instead of stopping it. This systematic perpetuation is what I find particularly heinous. It was disgusting when it was reported that certain Catholic bishops were simply moving offenders to new, unsuspecting parishes where they could find new victims. That's the same kind of situation that is being alleged in the article: That LDS leaders told the victims to hush up while they let the offender go back to the camps they came from, able to offend again. Sure, it might take a while for things to get sifted through. That doesn't change the crux of what's supposedly been happening...
  15. Yes, I see the gray zone....charity should be done without expectation of an award. Let me ask you a question though: Hypothetically speaking, if you were on an Eagle board of review and the candidate told you that he was able to make some money off the project, which he then turned over to the recipient organization or his troop (i.e., not for personal gain), would it affect how you view the candidate's service project?
  16. We've all seen the stories of abuse accusations against scouters. What many of us might not realize is that the problem may be even more insidious and pernicious in LDS troops, where church elders are alleged to have aggressively conspired to cover-up crimes and silence victims. Story: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-teen-who-helped-expose-the-boy-scouts-child-abuse-epidemic-and-the-mormon-churchs-cover-up
  17. We've had some previous discussions in these forums about scouts collecting old christmas trees for use in conservation projects like beach dune replenishment or soil erosion control in woodlands or stream beds. But these discussions were mostly about doing it for the conservation impact, not necessarily to raise funds. Yet a well-planned conservation project often CAN be a very effective fund raiser. There's a new article in the Bryan on Scouting blog that shows how one troop made this work: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/01/29/oh-christmas-tree-troops-unique-project-blends-service-fundraising-conservation/ I thought it was interesting in that the troop seems to be eliciting funds from seaside communities who want their dunes built up so their community can be more resilient against storms. That's an interesting approach to the "revenue stream" problem. When I've thought about how this kind of erosion control project could make money, I'd only thought about asking families to pay a "disposal fee" for the troop to pick up the trees. I wonder how much a troop might be able to earn if they charged both for tree pickup and for the project execution...Hmmm.
  18. In my opinion, that's not only a good way to show reverence, it also shows the community that scouting is alive and well and available in the community. A troop that's really on the ball when it comes to recruiting won't rely just on Webelos bridging into the troop. Being visible in the CO church lets other kids and parents see an opportunity that they might not have been aware of if they were not themselves webelos.
  19. A Boy Scout troop in Ohio had their trailer stolen nearly 3 years ago. At the time, it contained only a pinewood derby track. Police were unable to recover the trailer....until now. Turns out an innocent person had bought the trailer off Facebook and only found it had been stolen when he, in turn, had things stolen out of it and called police to report the theft. Story: https://www.the-daily-record.com/news/20200130/stolen-ashland-county-boy-scout-trailer-recovered-nearly-3-years-later-about-100-miles-away
  20. Ancient thread, but I appreciate your updated post....very interesting! I wasn't even aware that councils would approve their own locally worn knots. I think that with girls now allowed to participate in the Scouts BSA program, you might have more interest in these knots for the Gold award. How many councils have approved that gold knot? Just a couple? Lots?
  21. I know everyone here knows that "a scout is reverent", but does your unit do anything special to show it? Like maybe doing something together for Scout Sunday? Well, that time of year is just around the corner, and many units WILL be doing some kind of special event to show reverence and Duty to God. Does your unit have something special planned?
  22. I definitely see the value in what you're saying, and agree with most of the points Barkley mentioned. A few other inconvenient bling items of dubious utility.... * sashes (be it merit badge or OA) * epaulets (...esp. with all the stupid little color tabs...) * den chief cords * anything with beads (WB, Cub Scout progress beads)
  23. Your wisdom knows no bounds.
  24. Maybe we also need one that says, "Hey, brand new parent of a proud Lion cub, but I already know everything you could possible say, so don't bother trying to tell me anything"
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