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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Girl Scouts Donate Cookies

    The Las Vegas Police will be receiving 3,600 boxes of cookies thanks to local Girl Scouts. "Cops eating donuts is such a stereotype," said Jennifer Farland, a brownie in Troop 183, "They eat cookies too!" See more: https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-las-vegas/girl-scouts-donate-cookies-to-las-vegas-police-photos-1675887/
  2. mrkstvns

    A Moot Point....

    Have you ever been to a Moot? Have you ever even heard of it? I constantly hear about Jamborees on the horizon, but never about Moots. While poking around on scouting.org, I found a page about Moots --- which are like Jamborees, but for scouts over age 18 (like Venture Crews, Sea Scout Ships, etc.) The next one is planned for 2021 in Ireland. Info: https://www.scouting.org/international/world-scout-moot/
  3. mrkstvns

    Scout injured by catapulted potato sues

    Thanks, qwazse! It's good to know that launching vegetables was as much fun 5 years ago as it is today! Not so good to know that the previous discussion 5 years ago allegedly had rules about these activities, but I still can't actually FIND relevant written guidelines. ☹️
  4. mrkstvns

    Camp Program Options

    In Texas, the Buffalo Trail Scout camp offers some excellent "real rock" climbing activities. (Not el lame-o wood walls with plastic knobs nailed in.) In addition to the predictable merit badge class, they offer an advanced rock climbing class so that the kids who loved the basics can get a little more depth... See: http://buffalotrailbsa.org/btsr/climbing/
  5. mrkstvns

    Scout injured by catapulted potato sues

    I find this story very alarming. I'm so alarmed that I will go home this weekend and build a catapult to see if launching potatoes is as fun as it sounds. Naturally, I will have to confirm my findings by launching several additional potatoes to verify that it continues to be as fun. My scientific hypothesis is that the fun quotient could be boosted even higher by launching zucchinis, cantalopes, or maybe even seedless watermelons. I doubt that launching portabello mushrooms will be at all satisfying. That will take quite a few fun launches to confirm.
  6. Fascinating post! It sometimes surprises me that so little has been written about the experience of black youth in BSA. I suppose part of the reason for that is that the organization was formed without racial divides and black youth were allowed to join units right from the inception. Interestingly, there was a de facto segregation that happened in the south. Some insight to this can be found in the following article: https://blackthen.com/first-negro-boy-scout-troop-formed-in-elizabeth-city-north-carolina/
  7. mrkstvns

    Scout injured by catapulted potato sues

    BSA's "Guide to Safe Scouting" doesn't give us much guidance around these kinds of activities, though the "Shooting Sports Manual" does specifically prohibit potato guns (no mention of potato catapults though). It's really nigh on impossible to imagine every scenario in which somebody could possibly get injured, and to write that into the guidelines.
  8. mrkstvns

    STEM Nova Awards for Cub Scouts

    Glad to hear that you're encouraging scouts to pursue the Nova awards. I'd just like to say, though, that there is a bit more to earning the Nova award than "simply being a Scout and earning belt loops and pins". While completing activities within the normal Advancement process is a required part of every Nova award, there are additional activities that need to be done to earn the award. It's not an instant "gimme". At the Cub Scout level, each award requires completing certain "Adventures", then digging a little deeper by reading or watching documentaries, doing experiments or other investigation, and going to visit places where science is being done. These things are all fun though, and it's even more fun when the kids can do them together with their friends as a den.
  9. mrkstvns

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    The whole question of cell phone use at camp is kind of tricky. You unquestionably have scouts (and parents) who are firmly tethered to their electronics. You have lots of parents who want to helicopter their kids and will invent excuses around "safety" or "connectivity" or who knows what else. There's good uses for cell phones (I do like to encourage scouts to take lots of photos!) But sadly, there are more than a few scouts who will be unable to apply enough discipline to use the devices appropriately. Allow them and you need to figure out how to make sure they're not being used to text their friends back home all night, play Fortnight all night, and prowl inappropriate content whether you or their parents think they won't. Total electronics bans are hard to enforce and there are some people who will insist on arguing against them no matter how much sense they make. A more practical approach is probably to allow them en route to/from camp, but then collect them and allow their use only for those activities in which they are required. Scouts have lived without constant communication with mommy for generations. They lived and are better off for the opportunity to be independent. Good luck though, it's a "no win" situation with some parents.
  10. mrkstvns

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    One might hope... Unfortunately, "the device" is also the best source of MIS-information. We've all heard about the proliferation of "fake news" sites on the web, and bad information in every realm of human knowledge is equally easy to find online. Few adults know how to judge the quality of information they consume and increasingly, being able to judge information quality is a vital life skill that kids need to be taught in school, just like they need to know how to manage their finances, find a job, navigate the world around them, etc. You're right about good info being available "on the device", but separating the good from the bad is often EXTREMELY difficult to do. Fortunately, BSA has often done the heavy lifting for us. For scouting programs, the "best source of information" is often in the BSA Scout Handbook, the BSA Field Book, and the many merit badge pamphlets. When you use the BSA books, you also don't run into problems like inappropriate advertising, privacy violations, click tracking, etc.
  11. Hmmm. I have mixed emotions about events like this. Publicity is usually a good thing, but the Summit's attraction is that it offers adventure activities in a wilderness environment. Bringing in lots of tourists, church groups, etc., can diminish the outdoor experience and take away resources that could be better used to build stronger programs for the scouts. Just my 2 cents....
  12. mrkstvns

    Young American Award

    I love it when ancient threads percolate their way up the food chain... The Young American Award sounds like a very interesting program, though I imagine it's of limited interest to most scouts and scouters because it's for ages 19-25, and most scouts I know, disengage by that age and move on to college, military and other endeavors. I find it interesting that national discontinued making these awards, but that councils can continue their Young American Award programs. Do very many councils do so?
  13. mrkstvns

    Breakfast is served...

    Yeah, I know what you mean. The more you add to the menu, the more you increase your costs and the more you increase your complexity. Keep It Simple S....
  14. mrkstvns

    JamCam 2020

    I just know y'all want to catch a plane heading to sunny Foz do Iguacu, Brazil for the week of January 4 - 10, 2020. That's when JamCam --- a combination Jamboree and Camporee --- will gather scouts from across the Americas. Here's the info: https://www.scouting.org/international/events/jamcam-2020/
  15. mrkstvns

    JamCam 2020

    Airfare alone must eat half that cost. I just priced tickets from Houston (IAH) to Iguacu (IGU)....cost at that time of the year is $1803 for one passenger. It is definitely a trip for the well funded crowd...
  16. La Salle Council is planning a first-of-its-kind "STEM Park". Read all about it... https://www.wndu.com/content/news/SB-area-boy-scouts-shoot-for-nations-first-outdoor-STEM-park-510284151.html
  17. The BSA just rolled out several new NOVA awards for Cubs, Scouts BSA, and Venturer/Sea Scouts. The new STEM awards focus on long-obvious gaps in the STEM disciplines of computer science and biological sciences. Computer science awards (TECHNOLOGY) include: Cub Scouts: Cub Scouts Can Code Scouts BSA: Hello World Venturers: Execute Biological science awards (SCIENCE) include: Scouts BSA: Mendels Minions (Genetics) Venturers: What a Life NOVA Counselors, Supernova Mentors, and Unit leaders and parents who want to explore BSA's STEM award programs can find requirements for the new awards here: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/
  18. BSA rolled out yet another new STEM-NOVA award for Scouts BSA. This one focuses on the practices and methods of inventors and innovators as they go from idea to product on the shelf. It includes factors like cost, market analysis, and similar "behind the scenes" efforts that go on during the sometimes long timespan from initial concept through box on the shelf. The new NOVA award is called "Next Big Thing" and scouts can start earning it NOW! Requirements for "Next Big Thing" are here: https://i9peu1ikn3a16vg4e45rqi17-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/NextBigThing.pdf Official info about BSA's STEM / NOVA awards can be found here: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/scouts-bsa/
  19. Came across an interesting and timely article about Boy Scouts who spent 5 hours yesterday "properly" retiring flags... https://www.fourstateshomepage.com/news/boy-scouts-of-america-spent-memorial-day-honoring-flags-that-have-served-their-duty/2032613101
  20. An interesting web site is "Art of Manliness". They have some excellent discussions and ideas for boys to investigate on their paths to manhood. One of my favorite articles there is 23 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do" https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/23-dangerous-things-let-kids/ (None of 'em are really dangerous at all...) BTW: I would add to the list of skills that boys should be allowed to forage for food.
  21. mrkstvns

    Dinosaurs, Fossils and a Scout ...

    That's why the time and effort we all spend supporting scouting is so worthwhile.
  22. Scouts typically wear a "Trained" emblem on their shoulder if they completed ILST.... ...or a "NYLT" emblem if they completed more advanced leadership training.... ...but why isn't there a similar "NAYLE" emblem for the scouts who complete BSA's highest level youth leadership training?
  23. mrkstvns

    Why no "trained" shoulder emblem for NAYLE ?

    Quite right. While I think scouts (and adults) would benefit from all the exposure to leadership ideas they can get, they should not really be pushed into it, and dry classwork might well be counterproductive. In an ideal world, we'd just toss around nuggets of leadership wisdom while out on a lake fishing for trout, or hiking a 10-mile trail through wooded hills...
  24. Just wondering whether it's more common for a Venturing crew to specialize in a certain kind of activity, or whether it's more common for them to do a smattering of whatever floats their boats... Any thoughts? See: https://venturingcrew.blogspot.com/p/what-will-our-crew-do.html
  25. Hmmm. Much as I love STEM fields, I can't help but feel like this is yet another effort doomed to do nothing but dilute the scouting brand.