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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns


    Let's see now, they raised $100,000 selling 600 bottles....that works out to about $167 per bottle. Yikes! I could almost afford to buy a bag of Trails End popcorn for that much money!
  2. mrkstvns

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    I would be particularly interested in knowing the costs for scouts in Indonesia. According to the Wikipedia page listing all those 170 members, it appears Indonesia is the country with the most active scouts at over 21 million (about 10 times more than BSA). I don't believe Indonesia is a particularly rich country, so how the heck do that many young people afford uniforms?
  3. I read an article today about a Boy Scout whose Eagle project proposal was turned down, because it didn't seem to involve leadership of others. The project was to advocate for a local ordinance involving plastic handling. (Despite not getting it approved as an Eagle project, he believed in the concept and did it anyway.) His proposed project was certainly a lot different in focus than the vast majority of Eagle projects I've seen. I wonder what I would advise a scout who wanted to do something like that....What would you tell the scout? If you were that scout's Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, would you approve his project proposal, or would you advise him to find something more traditional? Here's the story... https://buffalonews.com/2019/08/18/east-aurora-teen-on-his-proposed-plastic-ban-facing-public-hearing-monday-how-could-i-stop-people-from-polluting-the-earth/
  4. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Another stolen troop trailer....this time in Kansas City: https://fox4kc.com/2019/08/16/thieves-steal-boy-scout-trailer-and-gear-worth-thousands-of-dollars-from-south-kc-church/
  5. mrkstvns

    Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

    Okay, I'll compare scouting vs. sports... Sports teams take their names very seriously: the Tigers, the Marauders, the Yankees... Boy Scouts take their patrol names with good humor: the Muffin Men, the Green Janitors... Baseball fans sing during the seventh inning stretch. Boy Scouts sing when they're happy and they know it. When Houston Texans fans go to a game, they can pay over $20 for a stale hot dog and a sugary drink. Thrifty Boy Scout grubmasters can feed a fellow scout 5 meals for $10 (no extra charge for the dirt and bugs). Football fans love their tailgate parties! Boy Scouts know there are better places than a parking lot to have a picnic. I went to a hockey game and a fight broke out. I went on a Boy Scout campout and a gaga ball game broke out.
  6. mrkstvns

    New Committee Chair for a New Troop

    Waddaya got against Bacon Ninjas?
  7. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    I like the idea of scouts doing something to preserve their local historic heritage. Like this scout, erecting a good-looking sign to mark a historic cemetery... https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/aug/15/boy-scout-installs-sign-at-douglass-memorial-cemet/
  8. mrkstvns

    New Committee Chair for a New Troop

    Interesting. It seems to me that Wood Badge is usually attended by SMs or ASMs. I can't think of any committee members I know who have gone to Wood Badge.
  9. mrkstvns

    Right way to initiate Troop/Patrol Service Projects

    Depends on the scope of the projects. If a project was about the size of an Eagle project, I'd poll my friendly Life scouts and see if any of them were on the hunt for a possible project they could lead for Eagle. Other projects, yeah, discuss with PLC and see if they're on board and willing to do it. In another thread, somebody mentioned having more scouts who wanted PORs than jobs to be filled. If I were in this situation, I might take one or two of those project requests and see if the project lent itself to a scout leading the project as a "Scoutmaster approved leadership project". (Note: the requirements allow this only for Star and Life --- not for Eagle). I don't know many scouts or troops that do this --- most older scouts fulfill their leadership requirements via the listed PORs.
  10. mrkstvns

    Changing Election Policy midterm

    4 month terms?!?! Now there's a BAD idea! The requirements for Life and for Eagle are to hold a position of responsibility for a 6 month term. Does that mean you don't advance past Star in your troop? Or does it mean scouts need to hold 2 terms to rank up? (In which case, you're effectively changing the requirement to an 8-month term.) 4 months is barely time to get in the groove of a new job, let alone to make a difference...
  11. mrkstvns

    Scout canoeing, how far in a day

    With a mixed-age group (and I suspect mixed experience levels too), I would be more conservative than Barry's estimate of 20 miles per day. When I've paddled with younger scouts, it seems that many of them take a while to figure out how to move in a straight line and slow progress is made. Maybe only 1-1/2 mile per hour. On top of that, they will get tired after about 4 - 5 hours (so will your out-of-shape adults). If I were paddling with older scouts whose skill levels and maturity inspired confidence, I'd tackle that 20-mile day without much hesitation. If I were paddling with mixed ages of indeterminate skill, I'd probably keep it to 7 miles or less. As always, your mileage may vary.
  12. mrkstvns

    First and Second Class Nature requirements

    It depends...but you're definitely thinking about it the right way. More than 1 way to skin a cat! I've had kids do it in different ways. Identify animals during a nature walk done as patrol/troop activity Take photos (had 1 kid a couple years ago who showed me 10 pictures of road kill, all of which he identified by species) Bring evidence (egg shells, birds nest, shark teeth, feather, snail shell) We sometimes identify animal sounds on the nature walks, and I would definitely count that as fair game for the requirement, but never had anyone try to record sounds as evidence of animals.
  13. mrkstvns

    Blue Cards

    Glad to hear it works out for you. I can see the value in being able to back up a scout who loses a card....but for how long are you willing to be that safety net? Do you keep cards for years? That sure would add up to a lot of clutter as time goes by. That certainly does not work out for me, particularly since the troop should be keeping records of such things (via Scoutbook these days) and the scout should have his copy of the blue card for backup. Triple redundancy just seems silly and an unreasonable imposition on already overtaxed scouters. I remain convinced that there is no serious value in a counselor keeping his part of a blue card.
  14. mrkstvns

    Blue Cards

    Ummm. Yeahhhhhh.... I sincerely doubt there are many counselors who actually DO keep their parts of the blue card (and even fewer who could actually lay hands on it if ever asked). Expecting counselors to do so is a quaint fantasy.
  15. mrkstvns


    You are absolutely correct....a lot of things CAN be shared when you're active on FB. Like all your personal data being shared with marketers, identity thieves, and Russian agents who want to foment unrest in the U.S. Your kids can become ripe targets for profiling and identity thieves too! Even if you "opt out" of all data sharing and set your device's privacy settings to the max, Facebook still harvests and sells your data. There's all sorts of sharing that can go on behind your back when you are on FB!! And if you think I'm exaggerating even a smidgen, you might want to actually investigate the facts before you speak. *MOST* adults in the U.S. know shockingly little about the information that is being collected (and often stolen) by big tech companies like Facebook. Did you know that just a few weeks ago, Facebook was fined more than $5 billion for violating lax U.S. privacy laws? Several European cases have also resulted in billions in fines and judgments against Facebook. For those who don't keep up with cybersecurity issues, here's a good starting point to getting to know Facebook (it's "good" because it contains many links to specific instances and other general discussions.): https://www.techrepublic.com/article/facebook-data-privacy-scandal-a-cheat-sheet/
  16. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Yet again....another Boy Scout troop's trailer targeted by thieves... https://abc13.com/boy-scout-trailer-worth-$5000-stolen-in-spring-/5459166/
  17. mrkstvns

    Alleged Fentanyl kingpin was Eagle Scout (UT)

    He could probably have knocked out a few requirements for Crime Prevention too. Requirement 7b is to visit a jail or criminal court hearing....bet he has no trouble getting that one signed off!
  18. mrkstvns

    Who gets the money?

    I was reading an article about Scouting for Food... http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2019/mar/10/scouting-food-nets-more-10000-pounds-goods-samaritan-center/769227/ The last line of that story jumped out at me: "He said someone also gave away a $100 bill Saturday, adding the amount of cash received in total was "pretty substantial," though he did not have an exact count." If your scouts are participating in a Scouting for Food activity, and someone hands them a "pretty substantial" donation, who gets to keep the money? Is it a donation to the scout unit, or a donation to the local food bank? What do you think?
  19. That sounds like one *BIG* bookshelf!
  20. mrkstvns

    Just Returned from MOHAB

    I love hearing about places like this. Too many of our High Adventure discussions revolve around only the "big 4" national high adventure bases. There are plenty of regional and council-run bases where scouts can have amazing experiences. Some troops even "roll their own" treks....I'd really love to hear more about those kinds of trips! Keep on trekkin'!
  21. mrkstvns

    dutch oven tips

    It's also a good way to implement a Leave No Trace philosophy in your unit. Building a fire on these metal pans won't scorch the ground and makes it easier to truly "leave no trace" that you ever camped at the site.
  22. mrkstvns

    Jack Links Fundraiser Partnership with BSA

    As if having a bad quality, overpriced product weren't bad enough, our council is enforcing a rule that scouts selling popcorn need to have a smartphone on which they download a commercial app. Is *NOBODY* in scouting looking out for the interests of parents and scouts? It's hard enough to monitor our kids' electronics usage without adult scouters stepping over their boundaries by intruding into parental oversight territory. Whether or not my kid has a smart phone should have NO impact on what scouting activities he can do. And NOBODY in scouting has any right to dictate to parents what software they load on their kids' phones. Cybersecurity and digital privacy are HUGE issues these days. Forcing kids to adopt electronics usage puts scouting on the wrong side of the parent-child relationship. It's bad policy. (As if any of us really needed "yet one more reason NOT to support el-lame-o popcorn sales"...)
  23. If you've never been to Philmont and wonder what all the fuss is about, take a look at this article. It might give you a glimpse of the kind of magic that others see in the place... https://www.journalnow.com/entertainment/philmont-ranch-is-scouting-paradise/article_d660b318-46a2-52f2-8861-97802b28efa5.html I love seeing positive press about Scouting!!!
  24. Most of the BSA summer camps that I'm aware of seem to have taken girl troops in stride. No big deal. A girl troop can go to camp like any other troop, they just register and do whatever the boys do (but with female leadership requirements). A few camps seem to stress over it. I've heard of one large council-run scout reservation of several camp areas that isolates the girls in their own area. I've heard that the Heart of America council has a "Girls only week" at Bartle Scout Reservation. I wonder how that works .... are girl troops required to go during that one (and only that one) week? Or can they sign up for any week of the summer, but if they choose a "girls only" environment, it's provided? Does your council or camp do something to treat the girl troops differently than the boy troops?
  25. mrkstvns

    Jack Links Fundraiser Partnership with BSA

    Well, Mr. Horse, if it's profit margin you seek, your troop might want to look into selling Krispy Kreme donuts (45% margin to troop) or Country Meats meat sticks (again, 45% to the troop). The disadvantage to these, from the council perspective, is that all the profit is retained by the troop, whereas, overpriced lame popcorn nets the council a cut of the take. Never mind that, while the margin might be good, the volume is HORRIBLE because everybody knows the popcorn isn't a very good product, it's obscenely overpriced, and it's complicated to sell with too many products at too many price points. Girl Scouts might only be seeing a 15-20% margin, but when girls routinely sell $1K+ of product that net sure is a bigger pile of $$$ than the Boy Scouts with their 35% from scouts routinely selling ZERO.