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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Uncovering swim attire past and present

    Wow! No wonder the Village People thought it was so fun to stay at the YMCA...
  2. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Thieves just can't seem to get enough of stealing troop trailers! This week another tale of a missing trailer....this time in sunny Florida... https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/clay-county/thieves-snag-boy-scout-trailer-full-of-equipment
  3. mrkstvns

    Summertime Pack Award

    One way to ensure that your kids have a scout event to take part in when it fits your schedule is to make it happen. Maybe arrange a group swim one evening...or a potluck picnic in the park. As another person suggested here, 2 pack events per summer month could benefit a lot of vacationing families. Good luck!
  4. mrkstvns

    Medical Forms

    Sounds to me like a sure-fire way to discourage people from wanting to help the scouts... I know that mindless bureaucracy and paperwork sure does dampen MY enthusiasm....
  5. I think they should be able to save up "Eagle credits" for years they miss their targets. They can also sell their "Eagle credits" to low-performing councils....kind of like companies trading carbon offsets. Who knows, a whole new kind of futures market might be created!
  6. A New York scout with non-verbal autism was able to earn his Eagle rank at age 21. (Exceptions to the usual age 18 limit are sometimes allowed for disabled scouts, and there have been examples of some young men completing their Eagle at age 30 or later.) Story: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-boy-scout-nonverbal-autism-eagle-20190722-ltv5ejjzbfgvxlhetx6g6gxgnq-story.html
  7. Right you are! Thanks for reading more closely than I did. The location didn't hit me because I was reading it on New York Daily News....still a great story, absolutely! Cheers!
  8. From 1910 to 1948, scouts were expected to do a solo outdoor experience in order to complete their First Class Rank. Here is a sample of the requirement from the 1936 Scout Handbook... "5. Make a round trip alone or with another Scout by foot or rowboat to a point at least 7 miles away, and write a satisfactory account of the trip & things observed." Earlier versions of that requirement suggested the trip be done over 2 days. Source: "BSA Rank Advancement Requirements, 1910–2018", http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf
  9. I'd say, "Don't try this as part of an official BSA activity, but DO try it (and challenging activities like it) independently, outside of scouting."
  10. A challenge is always good for character building. It's the only way to gain useful experience. In my opinion, denying kids the chance to actually do something outside their comfort zone ensures they will be ill-equipped to compete in the real world as functioning adults. That woman who wrote the book about "Free Range Kids" is really on to something...
  11. Benjamin Hardy is a man who made many mistakes in his life. I can tell that because his writing reflect experience and wisdom. He passed on to me two observations that I'd like to share with you: 1) the power of desire, and 2) the power of now. Hardy says that If you have a dream, and you really want to make it reality, you are the one who needs to make it happen. When was the last time you did a workout where you literally put everything into it? When was the last time you really tried, I mean REALLY tried, at anything? If you’re like most people, you’re probably putting half-thought and half-effort into most of what you’re doing. Paul Arden, the famed designer and author, once said, “Don’t look for the next opportunity. The one you have in hand is the opportunity.” He also said, “Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you got, and fix it along the way.” If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. However, if you don’t want something, even the best of strategies won’t serve you. Too many of us don't achieve everything we want because we don't take the first step on the road towards the goal. If we really, REALLY want something, we need to act to make it happen. The only sure way to never achieve a goal is to never start. There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” What tree do you want to plant? When will you plant it?
  12. When hot water is outlawed, only outlaws will have hot water.
  13. mrkstvns

    Medical Forms

    Astounding the kind of overreach and unnecessary paperwork that some people can fantasize about. I'll be sure to avoid reading that FAQ so I have plausible deniability when I continue to use common sense about when to collect (like for camping and adventurous activities) and not collect (like for trivial service projects, merit badge workshops, non-strenuous day trips, etc.) Thanks for the heads-up about astounding stupidity abounding in some corners of scouting...
  14. mrkstvns

    scoutmaster merit badge

    The scoutmaster merit badge is kind of a fun novelty item. While I, personally, wouldn't put it on my uniform, I might sew it on my patch blanket or patch vest.
  15. mrkstvns

    Any tips for conducting an ILST?

    Interesting stuff!! I haven't come across the JLOW course before and found the PDF you referenced to be interesting reading. I think I might pull some of the patrol method materials from here, but will combine with some of the material from the standard ILST curriculum. For example, I really like the concept of "servant leader" that is in the current ILST, but that I don't see in JLOW. Mix & match the best, most useful concepts from each.
  16. I'm a media junkie and while prowling the news this morning, came across the following story about Boy Scouts retiring flags: https://www.nj.com/hunterdon/2019/05/boy-scout-troop-200-retires-us-flags-in-lebanon-borough.html One line in that story particularly jumped out at me: Local vexillologist and former Troop 200 Scoutmaster Larry Friend shared his extensive knowledge about the American flag and its history and explained the role of the Color Guard, the proper way to retire flags and flag etiquette. Now, every flag burning that I've ever attended was done just a bit differently from the others. My understanding was always that there isn't really any such thing as a "proper way to retire flags" ---- as long as your flag retirement is respectful, it's a good ceremony. Is there actually a "proper way" to retire flags? What are the elements of a "proper" flag burning ceremony?
  17. I had a nice discussion with a fellow ASM about doing flag retirement, and I recalled this point being made here. Unfortunately, it seems to have gotten swept under the rug, which is unfortunate in this fast-changing world we live in. In today's world, most of the flags we display are made of synthetics (plastic). While the flag code tells us to retire flags respectfully "preferably by burning", that causes lots of potentially toxic fumes that not only can cause health issues, but frankly, just plain smell bad. How DO people dispose of an old flag made of synthetic material? I've heard that some people recommend cutting the flag in some manner and then recycling it, but this doesn't seem as dignified as burning. I'm also worried that many recyclers don't really recycle --- they just dump in a landfill anyway, or they ship the materials oversees where an out-of-sight-out-of-mind entity throws them in a landfill. This has become increasingly problematic now that China wants its incoming "recyclable" material to be cleaner than they demanded in the past. Is it okay to run a cut flag through a shredder? Would that be considered "dignified"? Should we just accept the risk of noxious fumes and burn synthetic flags like we do cotton flags? What's the best thing do do?
  18. mrkstvns

    Rider etiquette

    Basically, we tell scouts to follow whatever rules a driver might establish for his riders: His car, his rules. We do, though, have 2 points that keep coming up: - only drink clear-colored liquids in the car (no stains) - if using personal electronics, use headphones or mute volume
  19. mrkstvns

    A Scouters Motto

    A thought occurred to me (kind of an aside): in this era of institutional abuse allegations and a pervasive breakdown in trust, I wonder how organizations like Big Brother/Big Sister can cope. Seems to me their whole organization is built around the idea of fostering 1-on-1 relationships between adults and kids so that kids can grow up with mentors and positive role models. That sure wouldn't work in BSA where YPT rules would completely nix such an approach. Anybody know anything about Big Brothers / Big Sisters programs???
  20. Cub Scouts in Massachusetts might have to find something other than scouting activities to keep them busy this summer due to health department inspectors closing down a cub day camp just 2 days before it was scheduled to open. Story: https://www.gazettenet.com/GranbyDayCamp-hg-071619-27012618
  21. Your troop plans a high adventure trek for months. Everything's set, fees are paid, scouts are transported....but then nature strikes! A tropical storm closes down operations at the high adventure base. What do you do? When Tropical Storm Barry happened to scouts at Swamp Base last week, they did what scouts do best. They did community service! Story: https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/weather_traffic/article_b5b12326-a672-11e9-9395-d70d3ca49706.html
  22. mrkstvns

    A Scouters Motto

    I like both of those! I think that keeping "the outing in scouting" grows to mean different things depending on the age of the boys. At the cub level, it's often about the "go see it" kind of activities. Take the den someplace interesting and help widen the world view: might be a local fire station, maybe letting the boys take a stab at tossing a crust at the local pizzeria....just let 'em see and touch. At the boy scout (Scouts BSA) level, I think it means to put as much emphasis as possible on the outdoors and to help them experience outdoor adventures that can challenge them. At the explorer/venturer/sea scout level, it's to really trust the scouts and to encourage and enable them to do bigger, better, bolder adventures. (Maybe not outdoor adventures).
  23. Just goes to show you that there's always 2 sides to a story, and the hyped up emergencies you hear about in the media are often nothing of the sort. No biggee, no harm, no foul. Yeah, a couple canoes flipped and it sure was great that the sheriff deputies came to help get that done. In the end, a good trip was had by all. Happy ending. I LIKE it!!
  24. mrkstvns

    A Scouters Motto

    My scoutmaster seemed to have believed, "If you hear 'em after lights out, shout at the top of your lungs."
  25. The New York Times ran an interesting in-depth article about how it's going with girls being welcomed into BSA. An interesting take-away that I saw was that BSA recruitment numbers have been down in recent years, and that the new opportunities for girls may represent a potential growth opportunity. That's really "potential" though so far, since the article pointed out that while 8,000 girls have joined scout troops, there are still more than 1.7 million girls who are involved with Girl Scouts USA. Perhaps the people who seem gloom and doom in girls saying "Scout Me In" will end up seeing that all their hype was much ado about nothing. We shall see. Any of y'all read the article??? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/03/nyregion/girls-in-boy-scouts-bsa.html