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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Mosquito control might become an increasingly important topic for scouters as the world continues to grapple with rising temperatures caused by global climate change. Whereas in past years, we might have been able to view mosquitos as little more than a nuisance, the spread of mosquito-borned diseases that were once of thought of a a problem to be dealt with by people and governments in the tropics are now a problem to be dealt with in the United States. An interesting article in yesterday's New York Times discusses how dengue is spreading northwards. See the story: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/10/climate/dengue-mosquito-spread-map.html
  2. mrkstvns

    First Class 1a - Troop Activities

    Just to clarify, the requirement actually says, "...10 separate troop/patrol activities..." so it doesn't even need to be the troop as a whole. If an individual patrol wants to do a hike on its own, even if it's just a handful of boys, that should count.
  3. Precisely! Summer camps provide "experts" in fields that are most closely related to the outdoor experience. Boys can create meaningful memories if they stick to the topics that camps do best: aquatics, shooting sports, camp craft, etc. Take Horsemanship. Take Climbing. Take Whitewater. Take Archery. Leave boring bookish classes like any Citizenship badge to the troop or to local merit badge workshops. There's a right time and place for everything, and summer camp is no time to get bored.
  4. I would revise the G2SS to eliminate as many prohibitions as possible, and may even make many of them into REQUIREMENTS. For example, G2SS says that scouts under age 18 should not use power tools. In today's world, we use power tools. A man won't be a competent family man and homeowner if he can't do basic work around the house. A scout should: Demonstrate how to safely and appropriately use 3 different power saws: such as a jigsaw, a circular saw, and a table saw Demonstrate how to safely use 3 different power tools used to maintain landscaping: such as a lawnmower, chainsaw, or hedge trimmers Show how to safely and appropriately use a power drill to: a) drill a small hole, b) use a hole cutter attachment to drill a hole large enough for a door knob or deadbolt lock, c) use a screw driver bit (standard or phillips) to build a wall frame or install drywall or fence boards
  5. mrkstvns

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    Yes. I hope he keep up the positive attitude. He's got over 5 years of potential leadership ahead of him. Lots of opportunity to earn some of those "above and beyond" awards, staff summer camp, do OA treks, and all the other opportunities that are too often overlooked. I wish him well. But "Bacon Ninja Warriors"??? ?
  6. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    That's a great idea! I'm going to have to make a trip over to the local feed store to see what kind of bulk concentrates they sell. I sure do hate getting bitten like a pincushion!
  7. Very sad news today about an adult who died while rafting on the Arkansas River with a group from Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base. The adult was a 42-year old scouter from the Capitol Area Council in Austin TX. Story: https://www.9news.com/article/sports/outdoors/man-on-boy-scout-rafting-trip-dies-after-falling-in-river/73-b975d955-f69b-40dc-805d-17179c4d9f40
  8. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    That does seem to be the consensus --- avoid spraying DEET on tent, sleeping bag, mosquito netting etc. as it damages synthetic materials. I found an interesting article on the REI website. It discusses most of the issues we've been talking about, plus it introduces another approach that I omitted: the idea of fogging an area (you could do this with a can of backyard repellant, or use one of the devices sold by REI to set up a "skeeter-free zone" in your campsite). Info: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/insect-repellents.html
  9. BSA has been busy rolling out changes to its STEM-NOVA Award program, and that includes new awards for Venturing as well. In 2018, the new "Wade" award let scouts explore the wet and wild world of water, from the basics of the hydrologic cycle and water state changes, to the technology powering modern water treatment facilities, this award explores the science of water and the engineering needed to satisfy a thirsty world. In early 2019, three more NOVA awards rolled out: What a Life - Just about any aspect of life sciences is fair game for this award, including macrobiotic or microbiotic life, genetics, or perhaps medical advances. Execute - Computer programming is an indispensible skill for next generation scientists and generalists alike. Delve into the technology and techniques of coding applications for the 21st century and beyond. Something from Nothing - 3D printing technology promises to change the way everything we touch is manufactured and delivered. Venturing's version of the STEM-NOVA awards program now contains a total of 8 NOVA awards and 3 Supernova awards. Plenty of opportunities for a technically minded young person to explore their STEM world for fun and advancement potential... Official info about STEM-NOVA awards for Venturing and Sea Scouts is here: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/venturer/
  10. Don't matter to me if the tick is tiny or huge, I just really don't want to touch the gross little blood-suckers. Give me the tweezers or the tick-yanker tool any day of the summer camp!
  11. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    What is "TL/USA"? Never heard of it...
  12. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    Hmmm. I never thought of it as "in-charge". I always thought the term Scoutmaster implied one who had mastery of the skills and wisdom needed to successfully navigate the outdoor and advancement program. More along the lines of a teacher or mentor than an authoritarian figure. Like a young padawan following the teachings of the Jedi master....(but without light sabers, since those are not allowed by G2SS).
  13. Girl Scouts in Georgia are collecting used plastic shopping bags and weaving them into beds that they then give to the homeless. Helps people. Helps the environment. The story is here: http://www.fox5atlanta.com/good-day/georgia-girl-scout-troop-recycle-bags-in-beds-for-homeless
  14. mrkstvns

    Pigs in Blankets

    Cub Scouts (and even some Boy Scouts) love sticking things in the fire. Instead of constantly admonishing them to stop playing around the fire, give them something useful to do --- like cook their own dinner. Nothing is easier to do on a campfire than roasting hot dogs and it's no big deal to up the game just slightly by making pigs in blankets! INGREDIENTS: 1 package of good quality hot dogs (Boars Head, Hebrew National, or maybe Johnsonville Bedda Chedda) 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough Ketchup and mustard to taste DIRECTIONS Separate the triangles of crescent roll dough. Wrap a triangle of dough around a hot dog. Skewer the hot dog on a long-handled skewer. Let each scout roast his own pig in a blanket. This works best by keeping the pig a bit away from the flames so that it browns without burning. When the bread dough is nicely brown, you're ready to eat!
  15. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Yep. Lots of natural repellants around. Some better than others. Interestingly, I saw a report that compared natural repellants to chemicals like DEET. They found that Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus was almost as effective as DEET. Report is here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029101456.htm As an aside, they also found that Victoria Secret Bombshell perfume repels mosquitos ...
  16. mrkstvns

    Pigs in Blankets

    Well, if Mrs Q is going to hijack the "Pigs in Blankets" moniker for her cabbage rolls, I hope she will at least have the decency to skewer them and cook them over a campfire like any self-respecting Boy Scout would...
  17. mrkstvns

    Troop invited to Pack event, help needed

    One way to build tighter bonds between the pack and troop is to involve more Boy Scouts as Den Chiefs for the cubs. Encourage Den Leaders to have a Den Chief and let the Scoutmaster know that your pack wants more Den Chiefs. Because scouts need positions of responsibility for rank advancement, it's usually easy to enlist them. They then become de facto emissaries between the pack and the troop...
  18. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Yes. Spiders (all varieties) can be controlled using permethrin. Info about permethrin, its uses, and precautions can be found here: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PermGen.html
  19. Thank you, Ian! I had never heard of "The Dump" before reading your post. Googled it and found LOTS of interesting historical references around scouting. It's going to take me quite a while to peruse the collection. If other folks are also unfamiliar with the site, you can find it here: http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/
  20. When I first heard about the Scouting Heritage merit badge, I thought it was a challenge for many scouts because it seemed like "the way" to earn it was to go to a jamboree or visit BSA's scouting museum, with merit badge classes doing a cheesy workaround to write a letter to the scouting museum asking for info. After reading RememberSchiff's interesting post in the Scouting History forum about an Eagle scout who put together an exhibit about scouting during World War I, I started googling around the web to see if there were other exhibits about scouting that could be used to meet requirement 4c. Boy was I surprised! Turns out there are many scouting museums around the country and scouting exhibits are not uncommon. A scout who wants to earn that badge (or a troop looking for a day trip activity) might easily find relevant places right in their own backyard.... Here's a list of scouting museums and exhibits that look like they would satisfy that requirement.... Scout Museums BSA National Scouting Museum, Cimarron NM https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/museums/ International Scouting Museum, Las Vegas NV http://www.worldscoutingmuseum.org/ L.L. Lee Scouting Museum, Manchester NH http://scoutingmuseum.org/ Museum of Ozarks Scouting, Springfield MO https://ozarktrailsbsa.org/about/museum-of-scouting North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting, St Paul MN http://www.nssm.org/ Otis Chidester Scout Museum, Tucson AZ http://azscoutmuseum.com/ Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum, Ottawa IL https://pickusottawail.com/attractions/scouting-museum/ Post Rock Scout Museum, Lincoln KS http://www.kansastravel.org/postrockscoutmuseum.htm Scout Heritage Museum, Milwaukee WI http://www.threeharborsscouting.org/council/scout-heritage-museum/51539 Scouting Heritage Museum, Denver CO http://www.denverboyscouts.org/scouting-heritage-museum/65659 World of Scouting Museum, Valley Forge PA http://www.worldofscoutingmuseum.org/exhibits.html Scout Exhibits The Casements, Ormond Beach FL http://thecasements.net/visit.html Museum of the American G.I., College Station TX http://americangimuseum.org/exhibits/exhibits-bsawwi/ Osage County Historical Society Museum, Pawhuska OK http://www.visittheosage.com/things-to-do/museums/0sage-county-historical-society-museum Parsons Historical Museum, Parsons KS http://www.parsonssun.com/news/article_08cf718c-4531-11e9-b934-439f5616c6a2.html
  21. Boy Scouts spending the night in a Polynesian temple (called a "marae") were forced to run for their lives when the building went up in flames. Investigators say it was arson. The story: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/06/boy-scouts-forced-to-run-for-their-lives-after-fire-at-wellington-marae.html
  22. mrkstvns

    Let's talk about Unit Numbers

    Low unit numbers are cool. They imply permanence and solid roots. The low number says you have identity, while the high number says you're just another cog in the machine.
  23. 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?
  24. Wow! I had no idea it went on so long either. Guess I'll end up being one of those people Saltface describes, mumbling everything beyond "Day is done, gone the sun". Cheers!
  25. mrkstvns

    Protect Yourself Rules - New Training

    The Yo-Yo adventure looked kind of cool. Though I imagine it has its ups and downs.