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mrkstvns

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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. Don't mean to be argumentative, but I don't see that kind of language in any of the Tenderfoot through First Class rank requirements. I see "On a campout", "On one of the campouts," or in the case of Tenderfoot "On the campout" (which I usually interpret as the scout's first campout, at which we try to sign off requirement 1 as well --- have them show us what equipment they pack and sleep in a tent they themselves pitch. Besides, I see no merit in telling a kid he has to cook one particular campout. When he gets it done, he gets it done.
  2. I think your interpretation is correct regarding cooking requirements for Tenderfoot through First Class (all of which specifically say "On a campout"). However, a scout might be able to prepare those meals and use them towards their Cooking MB requirements (some of which do not specify cooking on a campout).
  3. mrkstvns

    Blue & Gold cost

    Hmmm. Doesn't seem right to be charging people to attend a COH.
  4. I think they're a great choice. Conceptually easy to make, the boys have a great opportunity to learn how easily they can be messed up. So what if they don't make perfect pancakes the first time, at least THEY got to make them themselves and they learned a few things they might do different next time. No reason to over-protect kids from the possibility of a messed up pancake. Let 'em fail safely. Or succeed beyond your expectations...
  5. mrkstvns

    Merit Badges of Yore...

    I find lists of BSA merit badges entertaining. The list has grown considerably over the past 100+ years, but despite the constant additions, some merit badges fall out of favor. Maybe irrelevance. Maybe a general lack of interest. Maybe....who knows? Some just get renamed. Some get merged into more generic umbrella badges. (For example, Hog Production, Rabbit Raising and others into "Animal Science"). Here's a few discontinued badges that don't seem to have been victims of re-naming efforts or consolidation into other more generic badges Masonry Cement Working Interpreting Pathfinding Taxidermy Clerk Master-at-Arms Stalking Beekeeping Wonder why Cement Working and Masonry got dropped? They're clearly still relevant as I see lots of men making their living by building bridges, buildings, sidewalks, highways, etc.
  6. mrkstvns

    Merit Badges of Yore...

    If that were the case, Bugling would have ceased to exist decades ago. It's perennially at the bottom of the "most popular merit badge" lists... (For good reason too, since a scout has to be able to play several obsolete, esoteric calls that nobody in the modern world (other than a Bugle merit badge counselor) would recognize.)
  7. mrkstvns

    Blue & Gold cost

    When my son was still in Cubs, the pack usually did Blue and Gold as a potluck event. The pack paid for blue and yellow tablecloths, and always provided a big sheet cake....but the meal itself was potluck. The cost to families was $0 (which is the ideal target price, IMHO, because then you have no barrier to the scouts from less advantaged families).
  8. If a Webelos scout needs to "practice" being in a patrol, I don't think he needs to waste time and money getting a patch and sewing it on, only to have it be moot soon after. Once he joins a troop, he'll be part of a real patrol where it will be expected of him to have a patrol patch on his uniform. That comes immediately after joining the troop (and should be a part of getting his Scout rank --- requirement 3b). Also, the way things tend to work in my son's troop is that when a new patrol is formed, the boys get together and decide as a patrol what their identity will be. They make a flag, come up with a yell, and decide among themselves what kind of emblem they want on their patrol patch. Then, typically, one of the parents will go to the scout shop and buy all of the patches for a patrol, or will order them online (more common, as there's a wider range of possibilities, and custom patches can be ordered if nothing stock fits the name...)
  9. mrkstvns

    Wilderness First Aid Pin

    Looks like it's been done before. Searching the web finds the following:
  10. mrkstvns

    Blue & Gold cost

    That's outrageously out of line.
  11. mrkstvns

    Jambalaya

    Down-home comfort food doesn't have to be complicated. Zesty and adaptable to infinite variations, a great Jambalaya is an easy way to feed a hungry patrol. INGREDIENTS 2 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 1 pound sausage (I use andoille or another full-flavored variety) 3 bell peppers, diced 3 stalks celery, diced 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, seeded and diced 1 yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes 4 cups chicken stock (plus some extra on hand, if needed to adjust moisture) 1-1/2 cups uncooked rice (long grain is best, or short grain will work) 2 tablespoons cajun/creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's or Zatarains) 1 teaspoon thyme 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 bay leaf 1 cup okra (sliced) DIRECTIONS Prepare your ingredients a day or so before leaving. It makes for an easy meal time at camp. Chop the veggies and chicken and sausage. Put in freezer bags (1 big bag for veggies, 1 for meats, and even a small bag for spice mix --- then it's just dump and mix when you're cooking at camp). Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Saute chicken and sausage, then set aside. Saute celery, bell pepper, onion, and any other veggies (including garlic) until soft. Add rice, chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, cajun/creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne, and bay leaf. Cook 30 minutes. Stifr every few minutes. Add okra (and shrimp, crawfish, if used). Taste and add cajun/creole seasoning, salt, and pepper, to taste. VARIATIONS Bell peppers, onions, and celery are the "holy trinity" of cajun/creole cooking. Never skimp on these 3, but feel free to mix it up a bit. I like to use both green and red bell peppers. Yellow onions are a mainstay in my kitchen, but I also like adding chopped green onion to my Jambalaya (often near the end of cooking). Other veggies could be added to make it your own. I use chicken and sausage in this recipe, but it's only the beginning. I love fresh shrimp in my jambalaya and will sometimes add crawfish. I like to vary the sausage too. I often use a venison sausage, garlic jalapeno sausage, or andouille (though that might be hard to find in parts of the country). Smoked ham can be a nice addition, though I prefer tasso (easy to find in Louisiana and east Texas, probably not so easy elsewhere).
  12. mrkstvns

    Methods in Scouting

    I would like to hear more about troop HA trips. In my son's troop, all of the HA trips I've seen done over the past 4 years have all been those ones you refer to as "BSA packaged HA". I'd like to educate myself as to more exciting "out of the box" options.
  13. mrkstvns

    Jack Links Fundraiser Partnership with BSA

    Agreed. That's where I think Girl Scouts differ: their cookies are good quality and people know what to expect. Country Meats has ads in about every issue of "Scouting" magazine printed in the past 10 years....or you can see their web site: https://www.countrymeats.com/scouts.aspx I also think it would be very easy for scouts to sell a $1 product. Even the cheapest guy in the world probably has $1 in spare change lying around. On the other hand, that $25 bag of popcorn is going to take some hucksterism to move...
  14. mrkstvns

    Methods in Scouting

    WHAT?!?!?! Are you implying that boys would have more fun out in the woods than they would in a classroom ignoring a tedious merit badge workshop led by a boring adult reading to the boys all their requirements that say "tell", "show", "explain" or "describe"???
  15. mrkstvns

    Methods in Scouting

    Hmmm. You make a valid point. I agree particularly with regard to positions of responsibility. BSA events like NYLT or NAYLE also exemplify "leadership development" --- even though not all scouts do these "optional" activities.
  16. mrkstvns

    Jack Links Fundraiser Partnership with BSA

    Jack Links....purveyor of the worst-tasting soggy "jerky" in the world. YECH! More interesting, and FAR cheaper, and easier to sell, are the Country Meats beef sticks --- you can find their ads in just about every issue of Scouting magazine. Just $1 each (no need to buy a big box of too many beef sticks). The Country Meats beef sticks are not only an easy, fast sell, but if the unit does it as a fundraiser, they keep 45% of sales (which is better than the 30% they typically keep from popcorn sales, though admittedly, the total payback to scouting is good with popcorn sales....it's just that the majority goes up the organizational hierarchy, not directly to units that serve the boys).
  17. mrkstvns

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Those are the 2 that I always end up buying. Gotta agree with some of the other comments here though....I prefer to buy from the kids who knock on my door, though I will admit to occasionally buying from the parent who brings an order sheet to work. I do wish the Boy Scouts could come up with a fundraiser that was cheaper, easier to sell, and a HECK of a lot less complex than popcorn sales (too many price points, etc.) When girl scouts come around, I can buy from every girl who approaches me --- after all, $4 a box isn't going to break my budget and I always have at least a five-spot in my wallet. On the other hand, the cheapest popcorn sold by boy scouts is $10 and there are those "boxes" at prices up to $55. Yikes! That's WAY too much for popcorn... Yech! That sounds as gross as that Hershey bar with pretzel bits in it...
  18. My son did his Eagle project about a year ago. The process here is for the District Advancement Chair (or a designee from the Advancement Committee) to meet with the scout to review and approve his Eagle project. Still not an issue as he/she requests a parent to be present at the meeting. Requiring 3 adults would sure burnout the advancement committee mighty fast!!
  19. mrkstvns

    Methods in Scouting

    In my opinion, Personal Growth and Leadership Development are both expected outcomes more than they are "methods". So even though doctrine says there are 8 methods, I think it really boils down to 6 methods. Of those 6, I think the top 3 are the 3 most important, and when we get caught up in squabbles over the minutia of the bottom 3, we lose sight of what's most important. Just an opinion...
  20. mrkstvns

    Merit Badges of Yore...

    Nope. No "Blacksmithing" MB, but the Metalwork MB does contain options for "Foundry" and "Blacksmithing", so a boy could earn the badge the "old fashioned" way... BTW: I don't know of many summer camps that offer Metalwork MB, but Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Texas does (they even have a forge!)
  21. mrkstvns

    Jambalaya

    Waffle House.
  22. A scout must earn at least 21 merit badges for the Eagle rank. 13 of these must be Eagle-required. Of those 13, 10 are specific badges and 3 have alternatives. It's interesting to note that in all 3 cases, the first listed merit badge is always chosen most often by the boys (according to the popularity lists published in Scouting magazine). Swimming is 9 times more popular than Hiking and 12 times more popular than Cycling (in 2017, Swimming was earned 62,057 times, Hiking 7,084 and Cycling 5,742) Environmental Science is 7 times more popular than Sustainability (55,703 vs. 7,295) Emergency Preparedness is twice as popular as Lifesaving (43,351 vs. 20,748) I wonder what conclusions we might draw from this...
  23. For the past few years, I've been teaching the Cyber Chip in our troop. Not necessarily because I like it, not because I think it's a particularly great program, or even because I think I'm uniquely qualified to do it ... I've been doing it simply because nobody else did it. I've taught the class several times --- most often for newly bridged ex-Webelos scouts who wanted to earn Scout rank. A couple times for older scouts working on Star rank or merit badges that required it. THOUGHTS ON MAKING CYBER CHIP WORK FOR A TROOP Here are a few of my experiences and observations: BE PREPARED ... TO EXPLAIN It should go without saying that you should know what you're talking about, but I underestimated the depth of content the first time and my classes get better the more I know. Understand the Cyber Chip requirements, but more importantly, understand the issues. At a minimum, I recommend looking at the links below (CYBER CHIP RESOURCES). The last link, for Media Smarts, was the most useful to me in this regard. NetSmartz has some good resources, but Media Smarts is geared more towards adults and the way we read. I found everything on their "Digital Issues" page to be particularly relevant. BE PREPARED ... TO UNPLUG Murphy's Law, being more like a Law of Physics than like a Municipal Ordinance, doesn't lend itself towards bending or breaking. If you think you'll just bring a laptop and view the required videos online, I can guarantee your class will be a failure. The first time I tried it I discovered that, 1: Nobody in our troop knew the password for the church's Wi-Fi, 2: My laptop's speakers can't be heard further than 2 inches from the screen when you have a group of 12 chatterbox boys in a room, and 3: Giving up on the church's Wi-Fi and connecting via a parents' AT&T Mobile G4 Internet is a great way to watch the NetSmartz actors doing "The Robot" (and taking 12 minutes to watch the 3 and a half minute video). My most recent classes have gone faster and more smoothly because I downloaded the videos as a zip file ahead of time and staged them on my laptop's hard disk. I also bought a pair of powered speakers and we project the screen onto the wall. Figure this stuff out BEFORE the class because Mr. Murphy WILL be lurking... BE PREPARED ... TO ADAPT Take point 4 in the "Announcing Cyber Chip" flier to heart --- adapt the class to your unit. As a matter of fact, take the whole flier to heart --- especially the part about incorporating games. If you STOP lecturing and START doing more games, the scouts will pay attention (and even look forward to re-doing the class in a year or two). The suggestion of "Jeopardy" is a good one. I've also had good luck using a "Family Feud" game ("we surveyed 100 cyberbullies and asked them....") Or you can stick to the "no more, no less" philosophy and just lecture them. Your choice. But the scouts already think Cyber Chip is boring. There's a good reason for this: it is. The material is not anything they really care about --- especially in an organization that sold them on the promise of "adventure". Spice it up and laugh with them and everyone will get through it. BE PREPARED ... TO ASK FOR HELP In another thread on this forum, a well-respected member suggested turning Cyber Chip over to the PLC and let them figure it out. That's a great suggestion! (If your goal is to just treat the Cyber Chip as another rubber-stamped check-off.) Be for real, the PLC members think Cyber Chip is as boring as the new scouts do. There's a reason for that. It is. If you can get older scouts to chip in, help them be successful. Prepare yourself very well in advance, have a lot of suggestions, and work with the teaching scouts to develop some fun approaches and strategies. The NetSmartz Mini-Activities document has some good games that scouts can lead themselves (I've had very good results with "Take a Stand", sometimes good results with "Simon Says", and dismal results with the other activities...your mileage may vary). BE PREPARED ... TO DISCUSS "POLICIES" Schools and school districts have already grappled with some of the issues around electronics and internet use.Take a look at 'em if you can. Cyber "policies" are very common and most make a lot of sense. They provide "rules of the road" for kids to know what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior online. Cyber Chip asks families to also set "rules of the road" and troops to set "rules of the road". - TROOP: Know the troop's Electronics Policy so you can discuss it (requirement 5 or 6, depending on age group). If the troop doesn't have a policy, sit down with the Scoutmaster and SPL and hammer one out --- BEFORE the class, so that nobody asks you to be untrustworthy and just rubber-stamp that you discussed what you know darn well you didn't. - FAMILY: You won't know what policies a family might set (requirement 2), but you can have a low-key group discussion about what rules the boys follow and what they think are useful/reasonable/effective. A good way to do this is to just think about the 6 basic questions a professional journalist asks about ANYTHING...."WHO", "WHAT", "WHEN", "WHERE", "WHY", and "HOW". Think about how those apply to games, apps, devices, content, etc. Keep in mind that all this changes every year. BE PREPARED --- TO RECOGNIZE Get the Cyber Chip cards and patches from the Scout Shop before the class. Have Scoutmaster sign the stack of cards. Hand these out as final step in the class....after all, the boys don't care about the boring material. They care about having the card so they can get a requirement signed off. SAMPLE COURSE OUTLINE Here's how I did my most recent class... ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION (~10 minutes, max --- keep it fast and focused) - Overview - Brief back-and-forth about what is Cyber Chip and what issues we should care about (Steer conversation towards overarching themes of "Stranger Danger" and "Cyberbullying" for younger scouts and about "Privacy" and "Reputation" for older scouts, while reinforcing "Stranger Danger" with room for scouts to introduce other issues of concern to them). Invite Scoutmaster, Committee Chair, or other adult to do this, but be prepared to wing it. - Policies - high-level, "rules of the road", families and troop have policies just like school does Troop electronics policy (invite SPL or Instructor to do this, but be prepared to wing it) Remember troop goal is more about avoiding distraction than safety. Elicit thoughts/feedback from scouts. - Family policies, (did scouts actually sign a document with parents? act shocked when nobody does, so pretend like you're winging it, though you know what kind of rules might be included based on who,what,when,where,why,how...elicit scout thoughts on each others' contributed "rules") VIDEOS (~15 minutes, total) - Format is watch a video then do a quick roundtable discussion: "Thoughts?" - TV / Computer / Projector is pre-setup and staged with appropriate videos from NetSmartz. For new scouts we use Grade 6-8 materials, corresponding to NetSmartz "Teens Talk Back" tag. Staged videos are: - "Friend or Fake" - "Teens Talk Back: Cyberbullying" -"Teens Talk Back: Meeting Offline For Star / older scouts, we use Grade 9-12 materials, corresponding to NetSmartz "Real Life" tag. Staged videos are: - "Survivor Diaries" - "6 Degrees of Information" - "You Can't Take It Back" or "2 Kinds of Stupid" TEACHING ACTIVITY / GAME Use game-oriented approach to teach skills. If you want to see how boring you can make the class, follow the requirement to the letter and let the boys use the EDGE method to teach other something about one of the issues. I did it that way once. Once. Games and fun are really the way to approach this requirement. This is one where you can definitely let the older scouts SPL/Instructors lead (if they want to --- I've had almost 40% success getting them to grab some ownership on this and to lead the games. Use "Jeopardy" or "Family Feud" for maximum fun, or one of the "NetSmartz Mini-Activities" . If you didn't work with the older scouts ahead of time to prepare them, don't count on making this activity work (it won't). WRAP UP Hand out cards and/or patches on the spot. Ask scouts to take turns reading off points of the "Internet Pledge". CYBER CHIP RESOURCES Cyber Chip Requirements https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/cyber-chip/cyber-chip-requirements/ Announcing Cyber Chip https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/youthprotection/pdf/100-053.pdf NetSmartz materials for Cyber Chip https://www.netsmartz.org/Scouting With BSA’s new Cyber Chip, online safety’s the point https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/06/04/with-bsas-new-cyber-chip-online-safetys-the-point/ What’s your unit’s electronics policy? https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/03/14/electronics-policy/ Media Smarts https://mediasmarts.ca/
  24. Yes, the personalized contract is between a scout and his parent. What I do is ask the scouts if they've got an agreement with their parents about online/electronics usage. A couple might, most won't....so I do a round-table discussion using the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY approach to talk about what they think are reasonable guidelines and restrictions. Then I tell the kids to talk about it with their parents and see if they can come to an understanding as to what is right and wrong for their family.
  25. Requirement 3d for First Class says scouts must "Use lashings to make a useful camp gadget or structure." Requirement 2a through 2e are various cooking requirements. Requirement 6a through 6e have various aquatics requirements that could be done on a canoe trip.... Who's hungry for rotisserie chicken on the river ?!?!?! https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=river+powered+rotisserie&&view=detail&mid=C788244FBA53A6264913C788244FBA53A6264913&&FORM=VRDGAR
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