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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. 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
  2. When hot water is outlawed, only outlaws will have hot water.
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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
  8. Most of the scouts who have disabilities who I've met have been members of typical community-based units. I know of one troop in the Houston area that promotes itself as supporting kids with physical or developmental disabilities. Now I see a troop in the Baltimore area with a similar membership base (https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/harford/aegis/cng-ag-xcomm-shucks-free-library-0717-20190717-vgrs34wclvav7o5tgxr7lcpn3y-story.html). Are such units common in scouting? What do you think is better for the individual scout? A unit where the scouts and parents are most capable of
  9. 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???
  10. 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
  11. 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 t
  12. 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!!
  13. My scoutmaster seemed to have believed, "If you hear 'em after lights out, shout at the top of your lungs."
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. Nice of Kenn to explain to everyone that UTV means "underwater television".
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. If there's a new wrinkle on BSA troops, there might as well be a new adult leadership course on managing the wrinkles... Wood Badge for Linked Troops at the Summit in January 2020 $490 per participant Story: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/06/05/linked-troop-wood-badge-course-at-sbr-will-blaze-a-new-trail-for-training/ Registration: https://bsa-20-1.com/
  24. 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/
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