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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. There's an interesting Bryan on Scouting post about a 16-year old girl who is ensuring she has enough merit badges to make Eagle...she's signed up for four weeks of standard merit badge summer camps this year! Let's see, the boys in our troop tend to earn about 4 to 5 merit badges each (or at least get substantial partials), so that girl could be coming home from her camp experience with more than 16 badges! Kudos to her! Blog Post: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/07/12/why-this-new-scouts-bsa-member-is-attending-four-weeks-of-camp-this-summer/
  2. mrkstvns

    Girls make up for lost summers...

    Yep. It's easy to push a kid too far, too fast. In scouts, as in any other pursuit. In the case of girls joining scouts, I don't think it's really an issue because those girls who are on a tear to meet deadlines have a different kind of motivation. They're already older and wiser and they know the clock is ticking. It's not a case of mom and dad pushing on a youngster.
  3. mrkstvns

    2019 World Jamboree

    Nice of Kenn to explain to everyone that UTV means "underwater television".
  4. Perversely enough, you're right. Sad, isn't it?
  5. Quite right. Some kids grow up faster than others, and some are much more driven than others. What makes sense for one scout (or even a large group), might not always work best. Take Lifesaving. I've always viewed this as a badge that is most appropriate for a scout who has already been active a couple years and who already has Swimming MB under his belt. But I know of a scout who was already a very strong swimmer who took Lifesaving his first year and excelled at it. Good for him for making his own choice and not listening to old farts like me who say to just do Swimming the first year!
  6. Right you are, Steve. There's nothing inherently wrong with getting a partial, but the guts of Camping merit badge is experience camping. A scout who waits a couple (or more) years to tackle Camping is better off because he's prepared to meet requirements like the nights of camping and the "experiences" (like rappeling, backpacking, paddling, etc.) He's also better equipped to discuss things like equipment choices because he'll actually have experience with making equipment choices. A first-year scout probably doesn't --- all he's likely to have under his belt are a couple of car-camping weekends. Most scouts will figure out on their own that Camping is better put off until a later date, but you never know when you'll bump into somebody who thinks, "Scouts camp, so Camping should be the first merit badge they do." The basics of camping are better taught by the troop as a scout pursues his trail to First Class. By then he'll have the basic skills down pat and will be more than prepared to delve in deeper via Camping merit badge.
  7. Most of the time, partials are okay. It's a good way to "divide and conquer" the requirements list. There's a few though that are a pain for the scout, parents, and leaders --- sometimes because of lack of available local resources, or lack of local qualified counselors. My son still has partials from 5 years ago. Maybe he'll finish 'em, maybe not. None are required MBs (but some are kind of cool). He's still got a couple years until he ages out, but he doesn't need any more merit badges, so we'll see if he ever loops around to finish them.
  8. Congratulations on the new job, and it sounds to me like you will do a MUCH better job at serving your bosses (the boys) than the previous Advancement Chair did. I'm not even sure why an Advancement Chair is involved AT ALL in picking merit badges for a troop's summer camp. It's just not part of the job... Your experience though does reflect one of the fundamental lessons of being a volunteer in any organization: when you complain about somebody else's job performance, you should be prepared to be appointed their successor.
  9. I notice that the article cites a girl troop with 8 members. I know that girls in scouting is a new concept, but I wonder if, and when, girl troops will become as large as some of the boy troops. We have troops in our council of well over 100 boys. I wonder if girl troops will grow as large and as active.
  10. mrkstvns

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Looks fancy....but I'm not sure it will be an improvement over the basic mosquito netting that scouts have used for countless summers in the past. The biggest advantage (to the manufacturers) looks like they charge about 5 times more for these things than the old-style mosquito nets... Example: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/magellan-outdoors-mosquito-net#repChildCatid=1472930
  11. mrkstvns

    History question

    It was when you had "inexcusibly useless" hooks without barbs. The barbed hooks are much more effective in ensuring that if swimmers survive the near-drowning, they won't survive the rescue.
  12. mrkstvns

    When beneficiary destroys Eagle Project

    From the article, it appears that the scout built the walkways only 2 years ago. That seems like a mighty short time for the walkways to have deteriorated to the point that they couldn't be maintained to a safe condition. Though yeah, in the woods, leaves drop, wetness happens, things get slick....maybe the state park guys were right in thinking there was a problem. Ya never know!
  13. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    Scout collects used eyeglasses that will be reused for homeless and developing countries: https://patch.com/washington/mercerisland/mercer-island-boy-scout-smashes-goal-eyeglasses-drive
  14. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    Scout builds book exchange kiosks along beaches: https://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20190714/boy-scout-bringing-books-to-beach/1
  15. Saw an article about a boy scout who had an anaphylactic reaction while on a backpacking trip in Colorado. Rescuers carried him over a mile to get to an ambulance. Story: https://www.dailycamera.com/2019/07/04/boy-scout-rescued-in-western-boulder-county/ Makes me wonder....could I recognize the signs of anaphylaxis if the scout weren't able to tell me what was going on? Would I know how to properly respond? Would you? Info about dealing with anaphylaxis: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/anaphylaxis#1
  16. mrkstvns

    Man Bites Dog... Den leader sues Cub Scouts

    Well, the media reports what it thinks people will watch/read/listen to. Their "agenda" is to sell papers and sell ad space. So, if a writer thinks that the public perception of Scouts is that it's a safe, wholesome place for kids, then anything, no matter how minor that deviates from that, might be considered "newsworthy". In this case, I'd agree with you. The event happened long ago, and the judge dismissed the suit...(which in my opinion is newsworthy because the judge evidently had some common sense, and you don't always see that). To me, the story was a "who cares?" kind of shrug because it didn't even seem like the den leader was badly hurt. Bloody nose? Big freakin' deal. When I was a kid, one of my friends broke his leg sledding down an icy street when he ran into a tree. His mom came and took him to the ER, and that was the end of it....though everyone in the neighborhood talked about it for months. No news story though because, well, it's not exactly an earth shattering event. Winter happens. Sleds exist. Kids love 'em. Sometimes accidents happen....where's the news?
  17. mrkstvns

    History question

    Hmmm. 2013 is pretty recent. What kind of standards were used prior to NCAP? Did BSA participate in wider, more nationally recognized camp accreditation (like those from the American Camp Association, ACA)? I wonder why BSA needs to have its own set of standards if they could simply leverage an existing, recognized set of camp standards...
  18. mrkstvns

    Tent set up question

    The rugs are also a good idea for practical reasons. Who hasn't had coins or a pocketknife drop between the slats on a tent platform? A rug can keep that from helping (plus elminate the old splinters in the foot issue). Not only should rugs not be banned, they should be recommended as one of those "comfort" items that a scout might want to bring (space allowing).
  19. mrkstvns

    Tent set up question

    I applaud those 2 scouts for being able to think for themselves! What a shame that some older scout feels a need to throw a wet blanket on their creativity just because he never thought of doing something that cool. Even when I was a scout, we had kids put rugs in their tents. Welcome mats would sometimes appear as would small folding tables, and more. As long as it wasn't offensive or dangerous, it was always allowed (and usually smiled at, approvingly). Sounds to me like the older scout needs a refresher course in how scouting is supposed to be fun and how leaders are supposed to be servants of the individual scouts, not taskmasters. Just because a scout is older doesn't mean he's necessarily learned to be wiser.
  20. mrkstvns


    Delivering fresh donuts is an easy and time-honored way for scout units to raise cash....but when I looked into it myself, I had to laugh at the irony of one of the "Customer Success Stories" in Krispy Kreme's fundraising brochure: a Police Explorer post with 15 active explorers sold 600 boxes of donuts....oh, the perpetuation of stereotypes! Krispy Kreme brochure: https://images.kktestkitchen.com/fundraising/FormsFAQGenericEnglishOrderForm.pdf
  21. I just noticed that the Scouter Forum passed the half million mark in terms of number of posts. Y'all RAWK! Time to catch up on my reading!!
  22. mrkstvns

    Any tips for conducting an ILST?

    I would expect that as district training chair, you might have been involved with facilitating the Scoutmaster Position-Specific training. That is where I would expect you to touch on ILST, so that the new scoutmaster is aware that there is an expectation for him to make sure scouts are enabled to successfully fulfill their positions of responsibility. Now I understand why our district training chair is bald.
  23. Lest we criticize the ambitious scoutmaster too much, let's ponder an article in "Boys Life" that celebrated a troop for doing a 50-mile trip in homemade boats... https://boyslife.org/video-audio/153762/scouts-paddle-50-miles-in-homemade-kayaks/
  24. Yes it is. A 57-mile trips is a very significant undertaking. Lots of planning. Good equipment choices, etc. The scoutmaster's shortcomings aren't in letting the boys make boats, or even boating when the water level is a "little high"....it's in doing these things as a 57-mile trip. THAT combination is silly.