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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. I'm neither "pro" nor "anti" girls in scouting....but I AM tired of all the bickering and conjecture and am very eager to see what happens (and hopeful that it will benefit all the kids involved).
  2. mrkstvns

    How might you proceed?

    I can see that becoming a problem. Especially if people think you're watching the parking lot while the event is going on. If any cars get damaged or broken into, somebody might make a claim that your scout troop created a "bailment" and should pay for any damages.
  3. mrkstvns

    How might you proceed?

    Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. His viewpoint isn't patently ridiculous, so I think it's wiser to chalk it up as a judgment call and to just go about your business. Definitely a bad move to argue about it with the big local non-profit and a worse move to escalate to the DE. It's honestly not that big a deal, and certainly NOT worth making an enemy of your fellow scouters in other troops nor with non-profit volunteers in your community. IMHO, building bridges is a wiser course of action than burning them...
  4. mrkstvns

    Cookie time!

    I always love this time of year, when Girl Scouts come knocking on the door looking to sell cookies... I can't help myself. I ALWAYS order several boxes of Thin Mints. What do you guys think is the best flavor of Girl Scout cookies?
  5. mrkstvns

    Candle Lanterns

    A very reasonable policy. That's why it strikes me as ridiculously dangerous that sporting goods stores sell compact propane tank-top heaters. What sane person actually WANTS a hot flame burning inside their tent?? If it's that cold out, I'll just plan ahead and bring my sub-zero mummy bag. Fortunately, I live in south Texas so I rarely have a need for the real cold weather gear (unless I'm camping in the frozen tundra of the north, which I think is somewhere around Dallas).
  6. mrkstvns

    Candle Lanterns

    Candle lanterns aren't "barred from scouting" but they are prohibited inside tents. No reason you can't use one in your patrol cooking area or in place of a campfire.
  7. The programs at Kandersteg look absolutely amazing, plus they offer some GREAT activities that would really get the adrenaline pumping. U.S. troops might find that they could work in an amazing winter high adventure trip by going during the school district's Christmas break. (Glacier climbing? Snowshoeing? Awesome!) There's also activities in the summer that I simply can't imagine a "risk adverse" organization like BSA ever trying....Paragliding? Awesome! Thanks for the pointer to Kandersteg! Are there other international scout camps that we isolated Americans should know about??
  8. I originally got this recipe off a box of San Giorgio pasta. But instead of baking it in an oven, I use a Dutch oven, and it works great! Easy to make, tasty to eat! Ingredients: 8 oz package of Manicotti (pasta tubes) 24 oz or larger jar/can pasta sauce 1 cup water 15 oz container ricotta cheese 1 egg 8 oz package shredded mozarella cheese 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 2 Tablespoons dry parsley (or fresh chopped) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper Directions: Sauce: Pour pasta sauce in a pan and add 1 cup of water. Heat to boil. Pour half of pasta sauce into bottom of foil-lined Dutch oven. Cheese: In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and egg. Blend in mozzarella and parmesan. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well. Use spoon to fill manicotti tubes with cheese blend. Place filled tubes into Dutch oven. You will eventually need to stack them. No worries. Pour rest of pasta sauce over filled tubes. Put lid on Dutch oven. Put 6-9 coals under Dutch oven and 12-15 coals on top. Bake 45-50 minutes.
  9. Info about the Ranger Camp is here: https://www.nega-bsa.org/Ranger Scouts can learn mountaineering skills with soldiers from the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Camp Merrill Georgia.
  10. mrkstvns

    Was there a Region One Canoe Base?

    Hmmm. I'm always trying to find exciting new places and activities to engage the older scouts, so I did some Googling... Looks like you might be referring to Maine High Adventure: http://mainehighadventure.org/ Says they're operated by Katahdin Area Council. Lots of canoeing opportunities, evidently with some 10,000 acres of available terrain encompassing lots of lakes, rivers, and about 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Sounds like a spectacular place....
  11. Sounds pretty fun. I wonder how many of these military related experiences are available. The only one I've been aware of is the Ranger Camp --- a high adventure summer camp for older scouts operated by Northeast Georgia Council.
  12. mrkstvns

    Shooting Sports in Scouting’s Program

    This sounds like an OUTSTANDING idea! Hunting is very popular here in Texas and a state Hunter Safety certification is required before you can get a hunting license. I'm very supportive of teaching kids both safety around firearms and the importance of conservation (and an awareness of how hunting can help in wildlife management). I've often thought that in many parts of the country, letting youth experience hunting in a safe and responsible manner would be a great way to keep older scouts active and involved...yet, unfortunately, hunting isn't a permitted scouting activity. But I see no reason why anyone should object to a course like you're proposing. Hope it's a success!
  13. mrkstvns

    Cookie time!

    Somewhere in America, there is a giant hazardous waste dump full of gluten extracted from all these "gluten free" foods... I'd hate to contribute to that, so I'll stick to regular cookies loaded with chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, and tasty, tasty gluten! Mmmmmm....
  14. mrkstvns

    Seabase 2020

    I guess that means the Summit is in your future....unless you're into one of the council-run high adventure programs. Fortunately, I hear good things about the Summit...
  15. mrkstvns

    Who signs off partial MBs?

    From the Guide to Advancement... Partial Completions A Scout need not pass all the requirements of one merit badge with the same counselor. It may be that due to timing or location issues, etc., he must meet with a different counselor to finish a badge. The Application for Merit Badge has a place to record what has been finished— a “partial.” In the center section on the reverse of the blue card, the counselor initials for each requirement passed. In the case of a partial completion, the counselor does not retain his or her portion of the card. A subsequent counselor may choose not to accept partial work, but this should be rare. A Scout, if he believes he is being treated unfairly, may work with his unit leader to find another counselor. An example for the use of a signed partial would be to take it to camp as proof that the camp’s prerequisites have been met. Partials have no expiration except the Scout’s 18th birthday. Units, districts, or councils shall not establish other expiration dates for partial merit badges.
  16. There are dozens of variations on the classic Mountain Man Breakfast, but the basics have been around for decades. This is a hearty breakfast of eggs, meat and potatoes, topped with cheese and baked for 30-45 minutes in a Dutch oven. It's great for cold weather campouts and any time you have hungry morning appetities to feed. Ingredients: 1 pound roll of pork sausage 5-6 strips of bacon, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 2 pounds frozen hash browns (shredded) 1 dozen eggs, beaten 1 8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese Directions: Cook sausage, bacon, and onions in cast iron Dutch oven until sausage is browned and onions are transparent. Add red and green bell peppers and hash brown potatos. Cook about 15 minutes. Pour beaten eggs into Dutch oven. Cover and place 6-9 coals underneat and 12 to 18 coals on top. Bake 40 minutes or until eggs are firm. Sprinkle with cheese, cover, and continue cooking about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Variations: Use Ore Ida's O'Brien potatoes instead of 1) hash browns, 2) onion, 3) bell peppers. Use sage, hot or another flavor of sausage Add some chopped linked sausage (I like venison sausage, jalapeno garlic, etc.)
  17. mrkstvns

    Girls in the BSA

    Best of luck, Eagle91! Just curious...does "non-linked" mean that your CO has no boys-only troop under its auspices?
  18. In 2018, BSA rolled out the 6th NOVA award for Boy Scouts. The new "Splash" award focuses on water and its importance to life on this planet. Requirements are on scouting.org and can be viewed here: http://usscouts.org/advance/nova/scout-nova-6.asp Anybody tried doing this award as part of their troop program?
  19. mrkstvns

    Merit badges for Venture and Sea Scouts

    In the case of NOVA awards, Boy Scouts meet certain requirements by earning merit badges, but Venturers and Sea Scouts can earn their NOVA awards by completing "Explorations". See: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/venturer-supernova-exptopics/
  20. mrkstvns

    Cookie time!

    What happens to all the gluten they take out of the chocolate chips?
  21. mrkstvns

    New NOVA award for Boy Scouts

    There's also a new water-focused award for Venturers called "Wade". Unlike the other Venturer NOVA awards, "Wade" actually has the Venturer delve a little deeper into the subject than the Boy Scout.
  22. mrkstvns

    Outdoor Ethics Action Award #5

    I think a "service project" implies advance planning and likely approvals --- (thinking of "Eagle projects" or "Hornaday projects"...) On the other hand, a "service activity" could be something informal that you do because you see a need and because it's "the right thing". For example, if I'm out fishing with a patrol, we might see lots of monofilament line discarded on the shores, tangling vegetation and presenting a hazard to wildlife. We could clean up the recklessly discarded lines.
  23. mrkstvns

    How should I help my boy?

    Ahhhhh....the truth comes out! Thanks, ValleyBoy! If, indeed, your son was involved in bullying another boy, then he's lucky to have gotten a mere 6-month suspension. That's not something a Scoutmaster should ever tolerate.
  24. mrkstvns

    How should I help my boy?

    I would chat with the Scoutmaster and get a different perspective. If your husband told you that troop leaders didn't want parental involvement, then he almost certainly wasn't paying attention...no successful troop runs without parental support. Also, focus on that 6 month suspension. That's really out of line for a well-run troop, and if it really did occur, then the advice that you look for another troop is more than warranted. No good Scoutmaster supports that kind of draconian discipline (with possible exceptions for very serious issues like reckless endangerment). But again, chat with the Scoutmaster to find out what's really going on before you pass judgment. It does sound like Dad was totally out of the loop. Good luck!