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mrkstvns

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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. A 12-year old scout in Maryland earned his Eagle rank... https://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/ph-cc-daugherty-eagle-scout-20160311-story.html Hmmm.
  3. mrkstvns

    What Summertime Activities Does Your Pack Do?

    Wow! You sure put a lot of thought into that post, and you have some excellent ideas! A couple thoughts on a few of your ideas.... Attend minor league baseball --- yes, definitely a lot of fun for kids, and a whole lot more family oriented (and affordable) than big league games. I'd just like to add that many teams have specific "Scout Nights" when your kids might be able to sleep out on the field after the game, run bases, or play catch with a player.... Water balloon baseball --- That sounds TOO fun for words! I might change it up to be "Water Balloon Tennis" simply because tennis rackets have more surface area than baseball bats letting the little guys more easily hit the balloon. Theatre night --- Excellent idea! A lot of cities also do free outdoor concerts or theatre during the summer, so this might be cheaper than expected. Outdoor movies ---- Yes. If you don't want to do this yourself, there might be drive-in movies within a reasonable distance. I live in Houston and there is one to the northwest of the city, always a double feature and my kids love bringing friends and lying out in the bed of my pickup truck with the tailgate down and sleeping bags and pillows spread out in the bed. Thanks for all the great tips! (Love your other blog posts too....)
  4. mrkstvns

    Grilled Panini

    Thanks, guys! I'm going to have to try the 2-pan technique next time I'm on lunch detail. Using focaccia sounds like a good idea too!
  5. mrkstvns

    Grilled Panini

    Sandwiches make for easy campout meals, but when you turn your sandwich into a panini, it's elevated to a masterpiece of outdoor culinary art. The deli across the street from my office has a fancy schmancy panini press that they use to cook their paninis, but a scout can easily achieve the same effect with an appropriate rock. Look for a rock that's fairly flat, roughly sandwich sized, and about 5 pounds in weight. INGREDIENTS: Loaves of italian bread (or French bread) Fresh mozzarella cheese Sliced salami and pepperoni Pesto sauce Roast red peppers or sun dried tomatoes Olive oil INSTRUCTIONS Slice bread into thick slices. Spread pesto sauce on bread and layer with slices of salami, pepperoni and mozzarella. Top with red peppers and/or sun dried tomatoes. Close up sandwich with top slice of bread. Coat bread with a layer of olive oil. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over cooking grate or grill and set sandwich on it. wrap rock in aluminum foil and set it on top of sandwich. When bottom of sandwich is an appetizing golden brown color, flip it over and do the other side (also with rock on top of sandwich). Enjoy the tastiest deli-fresh panini you ever tasted on a campout!
  6. A few months back, MattR suggested tagging topics as a way to cope with the inability of the Forum to easily implement new sub-forums. I've been trying to be better about tagging content, but it's often frustrating to me because there are MANY cases where I would love to add some tags to a new topic, but the option to add tags is simply not there. Why is it that sometimes you can add tags, but often you can not? Is there some rubric that would help the poor Forum user to predict when tagging might be supported and when it won't? Is it only available for some Forums, but not others? Wish somebody could help me understand this because if I scratch my head any more, I'm going to be balder than Steve Harvey.
  7. mrkstvns

    5 Scouts struck by vehicle (Long Island)

    Seems like it to me too, but sadly, lawyers are involved, so no closure yet for the scout's grieving family. Reminds me of something my dad used to say, "Where there's a will, there's a lawyer to tie it up in probate for years."
  8. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    Yep. As adults, it's often a whole lot easier for us to just do something ourselves than it is to involve the boys. Those younger guys aren't as efficient as us and they waste time figuring things out and sometimes making the kind of mistakes that will only result in experience. As an adult-led organization, BSA should sure focus on whatever is logistically best.
  9. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    Really? That's refreshing to hear. It would be a long trip for us, but I might have to talk to a couple scouts to see if Camp Dieter might float their boats. I know that most scouts over age 12 really have little to no interest in wasting time at another BSA merit badge summer camp. Maybe if a camp really understood the patrol method and the concept of fun it might change their outlook (and help us retain older scouts). Camp Dieter....hmmmm....
  10. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    Right. The charter organization can set certain guidelines in which the unit must operate, for example, abiding by religious beliefs, not scheduling activities on holy days, etc., but they can't change things that are core to the BSA program. For example, they can't re-write a merit badge or do away with boards of review. When a family puts their kid in a scout troop, they have a right to expect that SCOUTING is what will be delivered.
  11. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    Mmm...maybe if you twist semantics around, but not in "fact". A charter is more like a franchise. The whole scouting program (including the concept of the unit) is BSA's, and when an organization charters a unit, it is allowed to use the program for a contractually specified period (one year). To continue operating the unit, the organization must re-charter (and pay a fee) annually. The program itself is defined in training materials, BSA guides, etc. An organization chat charters a BSA unit is expected to use the materials and to deliver the program they've licensed. Although organizations are afforded much latitude in certain areas, they are not free to do anything with "their" unit that they want.
  12. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    Bzzzt!!! Wrong answer! They hold a charter (i.e., a year-by-year license to operate the BSA program).
  13. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    If the scouts want it, that's great, go for it! But in units with scouts who WANT the chance to do more cooking, patrol cooking should be offered. A scout camp that doesn't offer units the option of patrol cooking is not doing all it can to meet the goals of the scouts (and nowadays, with Cooking merit badge back on the "required" list, there are quite a few scouts looking for more chances to do some outdoor cooking).
  14. mrkstvns

    dyslexic scout

    It's available in current versions of Adobe Reader DC, but it may not be available if your user preferences aren't set appropriately or you don't have a PDF that's suitable for audio reading. See Adobe's help here: https://helpx.adobe.com/reader/using/accessibility-features.html
  15. I'm convinced that the impetus for lame dining halls at summer camp is lazy adults, not lazy scouts. Most scouts I've met LIKE cooking their own meals.
  16. mrkstvns

    Camp Program Options

    I've heard lots of raves about the "rugged" programs offered by Camp Emerald Bay, which is located on Catalina Island off the coast of California and is operated by Western Los Angeles Council. They have SEVERAL programs for scouts who want to advance their scuba diving skills and their sailing program offers options to go "above and beyond" the simplistic basics of the Smallboat Sailing merit badge, their sailboat fleet includes keelboats so boys can get a chance to actually experience what it feels like to do genuine coastal sailing (though they do offer lightweight merit badge programs too). Cool location, meaningful programs....lots to like about Emerald Bay. See: http://campemeraldbay.org/
  17. It's also important that kids get an OPPORTUNITY to do and learn through experience. Pre-cooked everything is just a babystep away from sending mom to the nearest McDonalds for fast junk food instead of bothering with camp stoves. Am I the only person who thinks it's unconscionable that MOST BSA summer camps have eliminated patrol cooking in favor of mess halls where a surrogate mom fixes meals for the kids? The pitiful argument that it lets kids have more time to squeeze in an extra merit badge only shows the foolish over-emphasis on checkbox advancement embodied by too many scouters.
  18. mrkstvns

    5 Scouts struck by vehicle (Long Island)

    Legal proceedings against the drunk driver who killed the scout are still dragging on... https://www.newsday.com/long-island/crime/boy-scout-fatal-drunken-driving-1.32258655
  19. mrkstvns

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    You're not making me feel younger...
  20. mrkstvns

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    I don't know what scares me most.... somebody thought up the patrol name "Bacon Ninja Warriors" everybody thinks its a cool name there's actually a patch available that is in-stock and ready for immediate delivery the page on that link you posted got rated 5 stars I must be getting old.
  21. mrkstvns

    dyslexic scout

    Is that really all there is to it? My understanding is that common reader apps look for text-based content to "read". That's fine if you create the PDF using Word, Publisher, or one of the many professional publications software packages that create PDF output.....but maybe not so fine if you just scan pamphlets yourself. The problem is that these are probably images and not really text strings, so your reader won't interpret it as human language, but rather as a picture. Maybe your mileage varies, but it seems to me like it might not work.
  22. As it gets easier and easier to find merit badge classes, it gets harder and harder to find GOOD merit badge classes. Council-run summer camps increasingly expand their merit badge offerings into classroom subjects that they are ill-equipped to teach --- particularly in the inadequate time they allow. Merit badge universities (or colleges or midways) are sometimes even worse, with some events alotting as little as 2 hours to teach a subject that requires 6 hours or more to cover the requirements as written. Scouts are shortchanged with poor experiences. That's why it's so refreshing to me to hear about groups or individuals who make the effort to create merit badge "experiences" in which scouts get an honest chance to see what a field is about. In a good merit badge class, they interact with adults with deep experience and expertise in a field. In a good merit badge class, they get a chance to do real, hands-on activities. Here's an example of a "good" merit badge experience.... https://www.dvidshub.net/news/323430/air-force-dentists-boy-scouts-team-up-dentistry-merit-badge
  23. mrkstvns

    Camp Program Options

    Camp Rainey Mountain in Georgia has a Whitewater-KR program that focuses tightly on going above and beyond your basic kayaking and whitewater merit badges... The camp's leaders guide is here: https://www.nega-bsa.org/files/24043/2019-Summer-Camp-Program-Guide
  24. mrkstvns

    Who's got these Boy Scout Movies?

    I saw an episode of "NCIS" in which McGee is a scout leader bringing his patrol to see the crime lab. Abby shows one of the scouts how to take fingerprints and enter them in the system for a background check when OOOPS! the system gets a hit on the scout as an abducted child. What hit me most about the episode is how it would absolutely drive the uniform nazis bonkers because the kids had "merit badges" sewn all over the place....on pockets, above pockets, on the sleeves, etc.
  25. That used to be true. But in today's all-inclusive scouting program that accepts gays and females, there may exist scouts who don't feel they need to understand chicks.
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