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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. 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?
  2. 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/
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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."
  6. I think a lot of us believe in our hearts that BSA troops camp and GSUSA troops don't. That's the reason why girls bail on the Girl Scout program --- they just want to be outdoors where the fun is. I was completely unaware of this SIG concept where girls can stay in the GSUSA program but still focus on what they most want to do (sounds to me a lot like venturing...) Here's the story that piques my interest... https://www.houstonchronicle.com/life/article/Girls-Scouts-are-crushing-some-old-stereotypes-14298266.php
  7. 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".
  8. 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.
  9. 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/
  10. 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/
  11. 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...
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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...
  15. 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:
  16. 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.
  17. The blue card is the primary way to document progress on merit badges. Scoutbook works well for that too.
  18. 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.
  19. It is a wise man who knows that there is a "best" tool for every job....and who has the critical thinking skills needed to recognize that "newest" isn't the same thing as "best".
  20. Yes, and that's true too....from the perspective of sustaining economic growth where issues of resource availability is not considered and the value of a sustained global life support system is not factored in. The numbers I quoted simply reflect the fact that population has been growing globally. 4 times in the past century.
  21. I always hate introducing too much tech or too many management or business practices into a kid's life (because simplicity and fun are more important than efficiency), but there's definitely value in this kind of Kanban-inspired practice. If I were doing that, I might add another column (or maybe even 2) so I could track "Signed Off" and "Awarded". Just a thought....
  22. Huh? Arguably the biggest environmental problem facing humanity is the issue of explosive population growth. Overpopulation has been looming large for many decades (though arguably, Earth has proven more resilient than Thomas Malthus thought when he first raised the alarm about humanity's crush on the planet's life support system way back in 1798). I don't know how many humans is too many, and I don't know how scientists or politicians should deal with the questions. But the fact is that the world population today is about 4 times HIGHER than it was in the 19th century...and the rate of population growth has done nothing but accelerate. So how on earth do you come up with a bizarre notion of "we procreate so many fewer people"? That just makes no sense.
  23. That's unfortunate. If you're interested in knowing what Leave No Trace (or other OE) courses are coming up at councils around the country, you can find listings on the BSA OE site: http://outdoorethics-bsa.org/ I'm happy that in Texas, the LNT Trainer course is offered fairly often. Next month, LNT classes are happening in the Capital Area Council (Austin), Alamo Council (San Antonio), and Sam Houston Area Council (Houston). I have seen both the LNT Trainer and the LNT Master Educator class being offered in the Circle Ten Council (Fort Worth). Scouts and scouters in the Lone Star State have quite a few ways to get their outdoor ethics training fix! Cheers!
  24. That sounds like a great idea! What I like about that is that, not only can the scouts sell that service as a fundraiser, they can also do it as a conservation project. There are land conservation groups that would likely be happy to have the mulch if your group is able to have the trees run through a chipper. Here in Texas, there are beach communities that have used old Christmas trees to re-build dunes along the Gulf of Mexico. A quick Google search shows that similar beach erosion and dune replenishment projects are done elsewhere. Here's a story about doing it on the Carolina coast: https://www.coastalreview.org/2017/01/old-christmas-trees-can-build-new-dunes/ Who knows....a creative scout might be able to turn that fundraiser into a great Hornaday project (or maybe even an Eagle project).
  25. Perhaps it's just that jobs were described simply and directly without a "title" that implied responsibility. Perhaps it's just a gentler approach to delegation. In any case, sounds like you have a creative thinking kind of Cubmaster. You should try to keep that person around...
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