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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Doing away with blue cards?

    Most of the summer camps our boys have attended in recent years use some kind of electronic reporting method (sometimes as simple as a spreadsheet emailed to troop). Scoutbook or report, either way it saves you the problems about errors on the cards, unsigned cards, etc. (BTW: Often the unsigned card signals a "partial" --- look at the list of completed requirements). I do still see the blue cards being used at merit badge university workshops and the like. My son's eagle coach told him to have proof he earned his MBs, but that a report from Scoutbook would suffice (which is good, because he only has blue cards on maybe half his badges ---- though he did save all the completion cards that he's received when awarded each MB).
  2. Recognized by Governor, to be honored during a Baltimore Ravens game...story: https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/news/cc-scouts-pantry-governor-20190917-d6ffrvu2c5hznlu2dnxcv5v3be-story.html
  3. BSA's Sea Base "Bahamas Sailing Adventure" might be imperiled next year due to the destruction of their facilities on Abaco Island, Bahamas. They're trying to recover. There's a story on scoutingmagazine.org about damage: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/09/12/how-you-can-help-sea-base-bahamas-after-devastating-hurricane-dorian/
  4. Yes, booking a trip there would definitely put a vote of confidence in the people trying to recover from all the devastation. Might be wise to have a "Plan B" in mind though, just in case their recovery is slower than they hope...
  5. mrkstvns

    Emergency Prep MB Requirement 7 done right (CT)

    That sounds really cool! I've always like the mock emergencies our troop does, but being able to integrate with pros can really open up a kid's eyes to what "be prepared" might mean to them down the road... Thanks for the links!
  6. mrkstvns

    Got acronyms?

    People on these forums use 1,001 different abbreviations and acronyms. Many are common across scouting. Some are just invented on the spot and assumed to be understandable (but rarely are). BSA publishes a list of common scouting acronyms. The list is here: https://www.scouting.org/resources/los/abbreviations/ As I read through the list, it is obvious that the folks compiling the list missed many, many very common acronyms. Here's my quick and dirty list of additional acronyms.... AC - Advancement Chair BL - Boys Life BOR - Board of Review CC - Committee Chair CM - Cubmaster CO - Charter Organization EBOR - Eagle Board of Review G2SS - Guide to Safe Scouting ILST - Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops JTE - Journey to Excellence LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints MB - merit badge MBU - Merit Badge University NAYLE - National Advenced Youth Leadership Experience NSJ - National Scout Jamboree OE - Outdoor Ethics QM - Quartermaster SM - Scoutmaster SS - Sea Scouts WSJ - World Scout Jamboree YPT - Youth Protection Training Got more acronyms that BSA and me overlooked???
  7. Thanks, Cleveland! I learned a lot from your post,. Never having been a GSUSA leader, I never really knew what kind of rules they followed. "...twice as long as our Guide to Safe Scouting."... Hmmm. I was about to post some snide comment about all the rules BSA scouters have to follow, but for now, I will just be quiet and thank my lucky stars that I don't have to read TWICE as many rules!
  8. mrkstvns

    "Unofficial uniform"

    You and me both. When I see scouters bragging about their slovenly uniform habits and then making stupid statements about "uniform police" and the like, I have to wonder why they ever joined scouting in the first place. The uniform is one of the methods of scouting. Just like patrol method, just like advancements, etc. It contributes to developing strong values in youth. When somebody sees a scout uniform, they know it represents values like "Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Cheerful, Thrifty, Clean and Reverent." The scout uniform has stood for those things for more than a century. Times may change, but those values are still valuable. Perhaps moreso than ever as we live in a society with fewer role models who actually exemplify role models worth emulating. U.S. Marines wear their uniforms with pride because they know that it's not just clothing, it's a symbol of who they are and what they hold dear. That's the same reason that the best scouts and scouters wear their complete, proper uniforms. Thanks Latin Scot for saying what needed to be said!
  9. Just out of curiosity, how restrictive ARE the safety guidelines used in Girl Scouts? Some of the BSA guidelines seem downright stupid to me (like no power tool use by anyone under age 18, or not letting young adults age 18-20 satisfy requirements for "adult supervision"). Anybody have experience using both sets of guidelines?
  10. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    A troop trailer was stolen from a church parking lot in Ohio, but this time, police were able to recover it... https://fox8.com/2019/09/12/its-unfathomable-local-boy-scouts-troop-says-someone-stole-the-trailer-they-use-for-camp-outs/
  11. mrkstvns

    Back to school night recruitment

    Having known a few of those experienced scouters, I'm much more inclined to be worried about the damage done by a fear mongering gossiper, spreading rumors about good people. Such things constitute defamation and the parents should be quietly advised to keep their fears and ignorance to themselves.
  12. mrkstvns

    Real estate donation

    Donating to the CO sounds like a workable plan. Another possibility is to set up a revocable land trust to hold the title. You might need to get an attorney to do this for you, or you may be able to consult with your local "Bank & Trust". Better to rely on professional advice about this than it is to listen to most of us typical internet users...well intentioned as we might be.
  13. Darn those pesky paywalls! Here's a quote for you and Al... This summer, almost a dozen Houston-area Girl Scouts spent three nights on the trail in Colorado, backpacking 18 miles through rough terrain and demonstrating that the Girl Scouting experience can be pretty intense — more so than the familiar door-to-door cookie sales. The 11 girls are members of the Girl Scout Backpacking special interest group. The young women are in junior high and high school but have outdoor skills that most adults lack. They know how to assemble their packs, prepare and cook meals on the trail, and aren’t afraid to sleep out in the open. They’re also crushing Girl Scout stereotypes. “When I talk to people who don’t know anything about Girl Scouts, they think it’s all about cookies and crafts,” said Heather Solomon, backpacking coordinator. “One thing about San Jacinto Council is we have a huge outdoor department.” Solomon said a lot of people don’t know about the Girl Scouts Outdoor special interest groups, called SIGs, which exemplify one way the organization tries to keep junior high and high school girls engaged in Scouting."
  14. mrkstvns

    How often do you meet?

    Being active is good. IMHO, the "ideal" is one monthly pack meeting and weekly den meetings. Den meetings are scheduled on a day and time convenient to the Den Leader (typically at den leader's house, sometimes at a "go see it" location). Pack meeting is a set day/time/place determined by Cubmaster and Committee Chair, and well-publicized far in advance. Pack campouts (and other pack events, like Pinewood Derby and Blue-n-Gold) also planned by committee and publicized well in advance. I think that if you do something less than this, you're going to get complaints that you aren't doing enough. Don't be surprised that you have light participation in "show and sell". I never let my kids do Trails End and there are lots of parents more jaded about it than me.... Show and sell isn't "the program".
  15. mrkstvns

    First Aid Kit

    Your choice. If you put it together yourself, you can customize it to better meet the needs of your own unit. For us, band aids are what we need most, so I would buy plenty of those. In a year when we're doing a lot of hiking and backpacking, moleskin becomes a "best seller". In this part of the country, it's always hot and sunny, so we need to be ready to handle sunburn because somebody will surely ignore the constant advice to use sunblock. Have you got a kid with severe allergies? You might want to sock away an epi-pen (if allowed in your state). Take a look at the Health forms and see if something jumps out at you as a condition you might want to be prepared for. Of course, the advantage to just going to a friendly neighborhood pharmacy (or a Wal-Mart) and buying a pre-made kit off the shelf is that you have the basics, you have it immediately, and you don't have to think about what to buy. (As long as you're happy with a "one size fits all" solution). Your choice.
  16. Got a spare $90 million laying around? Want your very own BSA summer camp? Well, act now before the "luxury home developers" snap up over 1,000 acres of Nevada backcountry... https://www.reviewjournal.com/homes/real-estate-millions/boy-scouts-camp-in-mount-potosi-marketed-for-future-luxury-development-1842774/
  17. There's a Legoland Discovery Center in downtown San Antonio. During the month of September, scouts in uniform can get free admission. Could be a fun activity for packs and dens in Alamo Council... Details are here: https://sanantonio.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/whats-inside/news/scout-appreciation-month-at-legoland-discovery-center/
  18. mrkstvns

    Safety Rules, Population Growth

    Yes, this is what's been happening over the last couple decades. The problem for politicians is that as population growth slows, so does the economy. You just don't need as many factories, stores, services etc. if your population isn't going to create more demand. Declining birth rates is great for the planet....not so great for the bean counters...
  19. Yes. We have an outstanding SPL who can visualize success and communicate goals to his troop. This SPL has gone through NYLT and takes his leadership seriously. He not only influences the scouts, but is respected by the adults as well. An excellent influencer!
  20. mrkstvns

    Safety Rules, Population Growth

    In some places (rich countries) more than others (the places with the most people). But you know, even if you reduce acceleration on your speeding car so you hit the brick wall at 130mph instead of 132mph, you're still going to die. Kind of the same thing with overpopulation. A drastic decrease might alter the equations, but slower increases won't.
  21. mrkstvns

    Safety Rules, Population Growth

    Yep, you're right! Crop yields have increased. Amazing what fertilizers, insecticides, genetic modification, and over irrigation can do.... But do you honestly think such things are sustainable forever? For that matter, is runaway population growth sustainable forever? Our generation has certainly created some big problems to leave to our kids and grandchildren, haven't we...
  22. mrkstvns

    Cyber Chip

    Cyber Chip can be taught in a patrol or troop setting. I have taught it several times. I usually do embellish the materials with updated info (because risks constantly change with technology) and I use extra material from sources in addition to NetSmartz. A few months ago, I put some of my methods and experiences into the following post on this site:
  23. On 8/15/2019 at 6:37 AM, qwazse said: ... save pictures of the signed handbook pages and blue cards to a cloud drive that the scout shares with his parents. Absolutely agree....but even that cloud drive should be backed up to a LOCAL physical media. Quick story: A few years ago my son was a cute little kid in a Cub Scout pack. One of the parents had a great idea! "Let's all put our pack pictures on a photo share site! It's on the web, so we can all get to it 24/7 and it's backed up so we will never lose all those precious photos!" It sounded great, so the pack put hundreds of photos out in the cloud via a site called "Webshots". All was good until one day when Webshots decided to get out of the photo sharing business. They gave site owners 2 weeks to migrate to Shutterfly before they pulled the plug on their servers forever. The day came. The plugs were pulled. Our pack's site owner did not get the message in time.... ALL of the pack's photos were gone forever! The only parents who have their precious memories preserved are those who kept copies of everything on their local hard drives.
  24. The blue card is the primary way to document progress on merit badges. Scoutbook works well for that too.
  25. mrkstvns

    merit badge sash q2

    Hmmm. That's actually a useful "life skill". I can't tell you how many pairs of pants or oxford shirts I've tossed in the Goodwill bag just because a button popped off and I don't know how to sew it back on myself and am too lazy to take it over to the alterations shop to get it sewed on. My son taught himself to sew things on his uniform. He was surprised to learn that I was paying the alterations shop to sew his patches on for him. I never told him to do it himself, he's just a responsible kid who wants to do things for himself.