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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. I was reading a post about Wood Badge and it occurred to me that patrols today are not quite like the patrols of yesteryear. In Wood Badge, traditional animals are used for the patrol name and emblem. Owls, Bears, Eagles, Beavers....these are the things of patrol names for Wood Badge (which allegedly takes its inspiration from B-P, Brownsea, and the earliest days of scouting). When I was a scout, things had changed only slightly. In the 70s, we still had a lot of animal name patrols, but I suspect it's because that was what the scout shop stocked for patches. My first troop mixed up the ages in a patrol, and we had a 17-year old Eagle scout as our patrol leader. He must have been reading Lewis Carroll because he named us the "Jabberwocky" patrol and our emblem was a blank patch. After a year, he aged out, we elected a younger patrol leader, and our first official act as a boy-led patrol was to change our name to the "Undertakers". The good thing was that we kept the blank patch, but got a marker and drew a gravestone with "RIP" on it. Today, as an adult leader in a large troop with 7 patrols, I don't see a single traditional animal name. When animals are used as the mascot, they invariably have an adjective preceding their name. "Toxic Kangaroos", "Nuclear Lobos"....you get the picture. As I browse through the patrol patches on web sites like ClassB, I see two classes of patrol names that seem to dominate (presumably across the scouting world): 1) Mutant Animals, and 2) Whimsical Whatever. Here's a few amusing examples of real patches that are in stock and ready for you to order today: MUTANT ANIMALS: Angry Owl Angry Squirrel Bad Cat Cosmic Cardinal Dab Cat Evil Blue Bunny Flaming Chicken Killer Panda WHIMSICAL WHATEVER: Amish Electrician Bag of Mulch Bozo Chaos Dancing Mummy Flaming Sock Loose Screw Man in Blue Shirt Bitten Donut Cat Herder Dancing Banana Do you miss the innocent animal patrol names of yore? Think Wood Badge should update their patrol for 21st century scouting?
  2. Seven scouts and four adults were traveling home from a camping trip when they were involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. The scouts' vehicles were completely engulfed in flames, but fortunately, all escaped serious injury. Story... https://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-heat/fl-sp-boy-scouts-survive-crash-20190624-jvdsrcru4rhy7o5t7fnpklaq3e-story.html
  3. mrkstvns

    Scouts OK in Fiery Crash in Florida

    More about the crash is here... https://wsvn.com/news/local/miami-shores-boy-scout-speaks-out-about-fiery-turnpike-crash-near-orlando/
  4. He's not the first to do it, but a Houston area Eagle scout became the latest to earn every merit badge available to him... https://abc13.com/society/houston-teen-earns-all-138-boy-scout-merit-badges/5358948/ I wonder how often that happens...
  5. mrkstvns

    Bear encounters UT, AZ

    Those stories about bears coming into camp absolutely terrify me. I can't imagine how people who've lived the experience deal with it....
  6. mrkstvns

    Polish or Patina?

    Depends. Are you the kind of guy who will buy Clairol hair colorings as you get older, or the kind who prefers to wear his distinguished looking silver highlights with pride? Either answer might be right for different people.
  7. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    What?!?! Your summer camp doesn't have coffee trucks? Ours does...
  8. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Police recovered the scouts' stolen trailer... https://fox4kc.com/2019/06/20/fox4-viewers-lead-police-to-stolen-northland-boy-scout-troops-trailer-filled-with-camping-equipment/
  9. mrkstvns

    Opening Scout Camps to commercial camping

    Well, if you're not saying it, then I will say it. This is a BAD idea.
  10. mrkstvns

    Lightweight Rain Jackets

    I see where you're coming from. Yeah, for a whole summer, it's probably wiser to just bite the bullet on up-front costs and go for a nice REI jacket.
  11. mrkstvns

    Duty to God question

    2 Points Just 2 points I'd like to make: 1. The Board of Review is *not* to re-test a scout. 2. If a person on the Board of Review is unreasonable, stubborn, or biased against a Scout, the BOR Chair person has an obligation to dismiss that adult from the BOR. (like every adult scouter, Committee members have an over-arching duty to enable scouts to succeed, not to put up obstacles to them). Why do I say that.... Point 1: See Guide to Advancement, section Not a Retest or “Examination” Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what was supposed to have been done to meet the requirements, it shall become neither a retest or “examination,” nor a challenge of the Scout’s knowledge. In most cases it should, instead, be a celebration of accomplishment. Remember, it is more about the journey. A badge recognizes what a Scout has done toward achieving the primary goal of personal growth. See “Personal Growth Is the Primary Goal,” It is thus more about the learning experience than it is about the specific skills learned. See also “Mechanics of Advancement in Scouts BSA,” A Scout must not be rejected at a board of review for reasons unrelated to advancement requirements. For example, the Scout must not be rejected for not bringing a Scouts BSA Handbook or being tardy for a board of review, but the reason for the tardiness may certainly be a topic for discussion. Point 2: See Guide to Advancement, section ...Board members who cannot be fair and impartial should recuse themselves."
  12. mrkstvns

    Lightweight Rain Jackets

    I think you're a little hard on the Frog Toggs....I've had them hold up well for extended outdoor excursions and they're still willing to be dried up and folded for next time. An REI rain jacket is unquestionably more durable, but it's also many times the price of Frog Toggs. For the "in case I get caught in the rain" problem, I just pack one of those flimsy plastic Wal-Mart ponchos that have a Rollback price of 97 cents. Now *that* is the solution that's only going to serve your for the half hour downpour!
  13. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    Hmmm. I'd like to see real data on that because it sounds completely upside down. A commissary window should be many times cheaper for the camp than a mess hall. After all, a commissary can be run on a much smaller staff, requires a simpler facility (essentially a small warehouse vs. a fully equipped kitchen), lower energy costs (no stoves or ovens), and less complexity (no need for prep lines, dishwashing areas, or serving facilities/staff). It's very hard to imagine a scenario in which even the best-run mess hall is genuinely more economical than the worst-run commissary... But if you really have credible info to the contrary, I'm happy to be convinced otherwise.
  14. mrkstvns

    Duty to God question

    Hmmm. That makes me lie awake at night wondering, how are we, as scoutmasters, supposed to determine whether the dyslexic scout is fullfilling his Duty to Dog? It's a Ruff question!
  15. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    That's fine if that's really what the BOYS want....but in too many troops, the adults never even presented the option and the boys don't realize they COULD opt to cook.
  16. Good attitude! There's no such thing as too much vigilance when it comes to supervising swim activities. It's good that BSA provides the Safe Swim Defense training, but it's really nothing more than an awareness course and it needs to be taken to heart by all supervising adults. I think this is an area where unit leadership should be encouraged to improve their "qualified supervision" level: take the Aquatics Supervision: Swimming and Water Rescue course, take the BSA Lifeguard course (or similar courses from YMCA, Red Cross, or other organizations). I would also urge adults not to allow themselves to be distracted when they are tasked with supervising kids: that means no cell phones, no texting, no reading magazines, etc. while "on duty". A few points for pause... Most young kids who drown have a distracted/non-observant parent within 200 feet of them. Boys drown 5 times more often than girls. African-American kids are 5 to 10 times more likely to drown than white kids. Even if you do rescue a drowning victim, if he or she has stopped breathing and needs CPR, he or she will likely have permanent brain damage (seconds count) More facts about drownings are available at the CDC web site: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html
  17. mrkstvns

    Be Prepared

    The Governor of Maine will be recognizing the scouts involved in this rescue during a ceremony tomorrow morning. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/06/19/maine-governor-recognize-mass-boy-scouts-who-saved-two-canoers/w7ueUD5i1IWtPNxo0HTveK/story.html
  18. mrkstvns

    Be Prepared

    Good thing scouting teaches emergency preparedness! A troop camping in the Allagash Wilderness area of Maine found out why when they suddenly found themselves needing to rescue two men whose canoes had capsized on the lake. Thanks to the scouts, both men are safe...and so is their dog, even though he nearly drowned the two men in an effort to save his own furry skin... Here's the story: https://kstp.com/national/boy-scouts-rescue-brothers-canoes-capsized-maine/5378861/ My takeaway: What we teach the boys matters.
  19. mrkstvns

    Sea Shell necklace

    Sounds like a nice memento though. I might wear it with my Class B or my official scout camp Hawaiian shirt.
  20. A scoutmaster and his son were driving in rush hour traffic when an inconsiderate driver cut them off in traffic. The scoutmaster leaned on the horn with all his might, but not so much as a peep or sigh was heard. The scoutmaster pulled over, popped the hood, and fiddled with the wires for a few minutes. "Were you able to fix the horn?" his son asked. "Yep," the scoutmaster replied, "Beep repaired."
  21. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Ya gotta wonder about the moral depravity of someone who would steal from scouts. Sadly, I gotta agree with the folks who recommend the tire boots. It's cheap insurance....this little guy can be had as cheap as $50 on Amazon or buy it in person at a local tool emporium...
  22. mrkstvns

    Got acronyms?

    These are definitely used, but not always the same way by everyone. I looked up "SWAG" in the urban dictionary only to be confused by several definitions. Knowing what a cultured gentleman you are, I'm sure the definition you intended was: "A slang word originating from Shakespeare's use of the word "swaggering" in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." "What hempen home-spuns have we swaggering here, / So near the cradle of the fairy queen?"
  23. mrkstvns

    Eagle Workbook questions

    It's okay to "want it typed" and to encourage scouts to do so. It is unacceptable to have a rule or policy about it. Such local rules violate the principal of "No More, No Less." Good adult scouters enable scouts to succeed. They never set up roadblocks or impediments.
  24. mrkstvns

    STEM Nova Awards for Cub Scouts

    Just thought I'd point out that the Supernova medals are considerably more achievable at the Cub level than they are at the Scout or Venturer levels. (By that, I mean that parents are more likely to be able to competently guide and advise their kids than they will when the subjects get more involved and the requirements more intensive).