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mrkstvns

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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    Ohhhhh, it's a bidet! And here I was wondering why the hotel installed their drinking fountains so low to the ground...
  2. mrkstvns

    10 Interesting Factoids About Scouting History

    You're the only person to bring up the last point, which I think is the best testament of all as to the value of Scouting: out of the 12 Apollo astronauts who walked on the moon, only *ONE* was never a scout.
  3. Popular Mechanics magazine ran an interesting article about Scouting a few months back. Some of their 10 facts about Scouting's history are well known to scouts and scouters, but a few are rather obscure, and may be a bit surprising. For example, did you know that there were 5 U.S. presidents who were former Boy Scouts, only 1 of whom was an Eagle Scout...and there was 1 president who was a former Scoutmaster. Want to know who those Scouting presidents were? You can read the article.... https://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/outdoors/g26145549/boy-scout-facts/
  4. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    Precisely! LNT is not "rules". It's about making the right call because you UNDERSTAND the environment around you. The guidelines are starting points for discussion about what to do in different situations. One of the 7 LNT guidelines is "Dispose of waste properly". That means different things at different times in different places: The challenge is to have appropriate discussions so we think about what we're doing and why it's "right" or "wrong". You are completely correct that some techniques (like "smearing") are best left until an appropriate situation arises and the participants are of an appropriate skill and experience level.
  5. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    Eliminating the TP entirely sounds like a GREAT idea....if your goal is to build up crusty skid marks in your underwear!
  6. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Police recovered the troop's trailer and arrested the culprit. While their camping gear was AWOL, the troop improvised by having a "cardboard" campout theme to try and understand the plight of the homeless. (I guess this is a case of when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.) The article says.... "I'm trying to make a shelter for me to sleep in," Gabriel said. The plan for Saturday night for Gabriel and troop 254 was to throw a cardboard camping trip to raise awareness for the homeless population. The boys wrestled against the wind with their cardboard boxes to build shelter while collecting food donations for the needy. It was a lesson learned the hard way, much like the one they learned a few weeks ago when their trailer was stolen. Story: https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/boy-scouts-troop-seeking-stolen-trailer/89-20d9f7ab-ef4b-4852-84ae-eadeaacd1b87
  7. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    A Michigan Boy Scout helps his town build a bench for Santa. Tis the season... https://www.macombdaily.com/news/local/local-boy-scout-offers-santa-holiday-help/article_bd2e4a2a-0716-11ea-a5a6-3f44ce8846ce.html
  8. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    That site has some good discussion! I like that he gets into situations like how to hard-pack a platform so you can take off skis or snowshoes in the winter, how sand is more of a sterile environment (not biologically rich) so less suitable than a hole in the forest, and how you can "roll a rock" in a hard-baked surface. I was sort of thinking he might discuss the "smear technique", which might be useful in a very rocky, arid area --- you just do your business on top of the rocks, then take a stick and smear it around on the rocks. The idea is that while there's no bio action to break down your waste, there is plenty of sun that can do the job for you.
  9. From the map, it looks like the park will encompass all of what was the former River Camp. Unfortunately, El Rancho Cima was a big place (2,400 acres) so the public land will only be about 20% of the former Boy Scout camp. It's better than nothing, I suppose, but to me, much of the magic of El Rancho Cima was all of the rugged hiking trails that really exemplified all that's wonderful about Texas Hill Country. There were scrubby cacti everywhere, a good chance of spotting a few rattlesnakes out sunning themselves on the sun-baked rocks, and lots of mesquite and sharp elevation changes. Climbing to the top of Sentinel Peak was a joy and let you really get away from "development", if only for a few hours. Sure, the river will make for a good swimming hole --- after all, there's a reason why most troops preferred camping in River Camp instead of up in the main camp....but, the real Hill Country magic is in that 80% that will remain undeveloped and in the hands of who knows what private land holders.....
  10. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    Exactly right! So if you're thinking you need a shower, go jump in a lake! (Just don't lather up when you're in or near the water.)
  11. mrkstvns

    Did BSA "Abandon" LDS?

    I'm not sure the LDS was really "dictating" their values. It's simply a matter that the values of both organizations aligned well for many years, then they did not. It's kind of like a tourist visting NYC. He wanted to walk in Central Park in the morning, but feels no visit to the Big Apple is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. He asks a local how to get there. He's told to go to the west side of the park and get on a subway headed south towards South Ferry. He jumps on the first southbound train, and for many miles, all is well: the train is going in the direction he wants to go. But then, the train switches tracks and heads east towards Brooklyn. The train is no longer going the direction the man wants to go. He is forced to make a choice: he can change trains to another continuing south (i.e., find a different youth organization), or he can get off the train and walk the rest of the way to his destination (i.e., develop a new program). The only irrational thing he could do would be to stay on the train that is no longer going his direction. Personally, I think Mr. Ballard is correct. It's not the LDS church that changed directions, it's BSA. This shouldn't be viewed as a bad thing or as a malicious event. It's simply that the values of each organization now differ whereas they were once well aligned.
  12. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    Some of those places can present different kinds of challenges... If you go to Northern Tier and try a canoe trek through the BWCA, you will find a huge abundance of water. But if you're observing LNT practices, you then want to make sure your waste disposal and shower sites are 200' away from any water source. With thousands of lakes and streams EVERYWHERE, finding a piece of land that's 200' away from any water source can be as challenging as lugging an extra 9 pounds of water up a mountain!
  13. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    A Boy Scout designs and builds small wagons as "wheelchairs" for use by special needs kids. The article says, The carts Friend designed and created are intended to be used by very small children (under age 3) with conditions like Spina Bifida or cerebral palsy, who are too young to be able to use regular wheelchairs. The carts allow the children, who would otherwise only be able to be mobile by rolling on the floor or being carried, to move around their environment and play with their peers. See story: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/pomerado-news/news/story/2019-11-07/poway-boy-scout-creates-wheelchairs-for-children-in-mexico
  14. mrkstvns

    10 Interesting Factoids About Scouting History

    Yeah, the Indonesians seem to have wholeheartedly embraced the scouting program. BTW: I see that for 2012, Indonesia claimed 21.6 million members and in that same year, BSA's membership was 2.9 million. In 2012, the total population of Indonesia was 248.9 million while the US population was 314 million. Proportionally, the Gerakan Pramuka is kicking BSA's *ss when it comes to recruiting and retention.
  15. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Another Boy Scout troop in Minnesota also had their trailer stolen. Their trailer was also unmarked... https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/boy-scouts-troop-seeking-stolen-trailer/89-20d9f7ab-ef4b-4852-84ae-eadeaacd1b87
  16. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    A Boy Scout troop in Kansas had their trailer stolen. BTW: The trailer was unmarked --- no logos, no troop identifiers. Story: https://www.kmbc.com/article/lenexa-boy-scout-troop-has-trailer-stolen-before-big-trip/29820652#
  17. The media is reporting that Nathaniel Berhow, the shooter at Saugus High School yesterday is a Boy Scout.... 😞 https://www.businessinsider.com/california-school-shooting-suspect-nathaniel-berhow-2019-11
  18. Sounds like fun! Since it's a competition, I assume that fabulous prizes will be awarded...
  19. mrkstvns

    Teaching First Aid Stories

    Yep. Sometimes the cure can be worse than the cough. That kind of reminds me of a story called "First Aid" by the famous Russian author, Anton Chekhov. In the story, everyone in town is hanging out, drinking to excess, and having a grand old time. One man decides to cut the evening short and takes a short-cut back to his house. Unfortunately, he's not on a trail and gets lost in the woods, where he falls into a river. He cries out for help and is rescued by another man. He emerges from the water, shivering and utterly incoherent, but breathing and ambulatory. One of the villagers suggests that since he's so incoherent, the soul must have left his body, and they should all perform "First Aid" on the near-drowned man. They get a big tarp and use it to launch the victim into the air, catching him on the downward trip like he was on a big trampoline. Eventually, the man's neck breaks and the villagers stop their "First Aid" when it's obvious the man is dead.
  20. mrkstvns

    Anyone hear of Raise Craze?

    Sounds like a good project! This could also double as an individual or unit Hornaday project, if somebody chose to manage it that way. There are several ways to turn x-mas tree recycling into an environmental project: run the trees through a chipper and use the mulch to plant trees. Some cities already set up chippers --- and let citizens take the mulch home for their own planting projects --- like Tucson does: https://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2018/12/26/from-christmas-trees-to-merry-mulch-recycle-your-tree-this-holiday truck the old trees to a seashore and use the trees. This article tells how it's been done on the Gulf Coast, near Houston: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/energy-environment/2018/12/28/316426/how-your-old-christmas-tree-can-help-protect-the-texas-coast/ take the old trees to a park or public forest and use the trees for an erosion control project. This article gives you an idea how it was done in the Washington DC suburbs: http://fosc.org/XmasTree.htm Read more about Hornaday conservation projects here... https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/04/hornaday-award-scoutings-rarest-prestigious-honors/
  21. mrkstvns

    Frugal Backcountry Cleanliness

    If you have a ready water source, that might work just fine, but if you're backpacking and you have to carry everything in, then a few baby wipes for a faux shower will save quite a bit in weight. Water is heavy!
  22. It's a small detail, but it's been bugging me for weeks.....why doesn't the "NEWEST MEMBER" block on the lower right side of the Forum page update any more? It's been out of date for over 2 months now. I know that we've actually HAD new members sign up during that time (in fact, I saw at least 2 new members show up within a few minutes of each other just this morning). Sounds like a bug to me...
  23. mrkstvns

    Troop Pressure for OA

    Hmmm. What do you think? Maybe it's time for a little chat about whether your son (and you) actually DO see any value in Brotherhood. It would be a shame to reject it simply as a response to SM pressure. After all, it might be a case of "cutting off your nose to spite your face". But if you and your son genuinely don't find value in it, then why make him waste his time and effort? Let him make the call though...
  24. mrkstvns

    Gunpowder and the Golden Elixir

    How ironic !! They search for "life" and instead get "death"....
  25. mrkstvns

    Anyone hear of Raise Craze?

    Let me explain my reasoning here....it all boils down to understanding "targeted marketing". * Your unit is local, focused only on your community (probably within a few mile radius) * Raise Craze is NOT a local, community-based info source: its audience is global, not local. The site is likely to have a local audience penetration of under 1%. * Your unit is likely either a pack chartered by an elementary school or a troop chartered by a church * Most schools and churchs have communication methods that reach their members, and those methods almost certainly have many, MANY times better local audience penetration rates than Raise Craze. Leverage the school or church to reach the local audience. * Word-of-mouth and door-to-door campaigns are likely to have many, MANY times better local audience penetration rates than Raise Craze. * Traditional print media (flyers) will certainly have many, MANY times better local audience penetration rates than Raise Craze. Raisin Craze does nothing new (Rent A Scout has been done for years), and it is a FAR less effective way to reach your local market than traditional low-tech methods.....so promising Raisin Craze 10% of your take is a TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY.
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