Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by mrkstvns

  2. Yes. I'm a firm believer in learning to enjoy doing things badly. Like my dad used to tell me, "Son, if it's worth doing, it's worth having to do over again."
  3. Some STEM is okay....but it needs to avoid conflicts with the core outdoor program. Nothing wrong with a kid being interested in science and going for a Chemistry merit badge and a NOVA award... Things go wonky when you take it too far. Like BSA did with the stupid "STEM Scout" program. (Or like *MANY* organizations do by watering down their STEM focus by stacking art on top of it and making it "STEAM" --- talk about a sure-fire way to guarantee that your program will be a failure!)
  4. IMHO, the NCAC practice you describe is an excellent demonstration of PITIFUL servant leadership. If the scouters in Council were GOOD leaders, they'd be checking "downstream" --- looking at the blue cards or electronic advancement records *WHEN THE SCOUT EARNS AN AWARD AND THE TROOP BUYS THE BADGE FOR HIM*. That way the scout has an opportunity to correct himself, and the troop can discover their sloppy advancement processes in time to nip future problems in the bud so they don't end up with a years-long procession of non-compliant sign-offs. Waiting until an Eagle BOR to verify t
  5. There might be ways to get partials done on those anyway. Our local council has a "Shooting Sports Fulfillment Weekend" where they open up the ranges at a nearby camp and provide certified instructors to help the boys --- any scout from any unit is welcome to come. The council also provides NRA and USA Archery instructor training periodically for adult scouters. We have several adults in our troop who have taken those classes and are now registered as MBCs. They provide qualified instruction for the troop as a group, but also work with individual scouts to complete merit badge re
  6. I heard that Rainbow Council is thinking about rolling out a program that combines soccer with scouting in the same unit. Instead of scout uniforms, kids wear soccer uniforms. Instead of learning first aid, they learn to roll around on the ground moaning like prima donas. Here's the story: https://patch.com/illinois/homerglen-lockport/new-boy-scout-program-will-combine-soccer-scouting Since Rainbow Council is clearly on the cutting edge of combinatorial youth activities, here are some more ideas for them: Combine karate classes with scouting: kids don't need to chop wood to build f
  7. Autistic scouts face a number of challenges as they progress through BSA's advancement program. For a scout who is unable to express himself verbally, some of the Eagle badges are particularly difficult because the scout must find ways to communicate without words. How does a non-verbal scout ever manage to earn Communication merit badge if they can not stand up and give a 5-minute speech, or emcee a Court of Honor? Well, here's a story about one young man with non-verbal autism who found ways to overcome any challenge the Eagle rank could throw his way... https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/21/us/oh
  8. You'er telling me that belt loops are harder than merit badges?
  9. Better than no feedback, but no....not great. The problem is that the report goes to the scoutmaster, who has 20 or 30 scouts in his care. He scans through the report, and hopefully, big problems like a scout only getting one requirement signed off, will jump out at him so he can raise a question. But there's a lot of socuts in a unit....and most of 'em are trying to earn 4 or more badges during the week....so there will still be problems that fall through the cracks. As TAHAWK says, in many camps, the "counselors" are actually scouts and the camp or council just "cheat" by pretendi
  10. The great thing about scouting is that it's a very rich program, full of opportunities for people of diverse interests. If Wood Badge isn't the kind of training you want, maybe Powder Horn will be more up your alley. Or maybe take an NRA class and become a shooting sports guru....or one of the American Canoe Association (ACA) instructor classes ---- there's never enough adults in the troop who really know how to teach paddle sports! I've heard that BSA is rolling out an Angler Instructor certification class....maybe that would be of more interest.
  11. Stick to your guns, you've got it right! If the scout does not complete everything with the camp's counselor, then he needs to find another Merit Badge Counselor to complete the requirements. The only people authorized to sign off on Merit Badge requirements are those who register with District/Council as a Merit Badge Counselor - position 42 (MBC is not a unit position) and counselors need to be approved for each badge they will counsel. Some badges require specific training --- for example, Rifle Shooting MBCs must have NRA Instructor training, Archer MBCs must have USAArchery ins
  12. Very interesting. I've always sought out the leaves of sycamore trees because they have a soft, velvety feel. Sycamore leaves are like Charmin Ultra compared to the rougher, thinner leaves of other trees.
  13. Ohhhhh, it's a bidet! And here I was wondering why the hotel installed their drinking fountains so low to the ground...
  14. 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.
  15. 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 participa
  16. Eliminating the TP entirely sounds like a GREAT idea....if your goal is to build up crusty skid marks in your underwear!
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. If you live in an area where woods and fireplaces are commonplace, you might be able to have your troop prepare and sell firewood to raise some $$$ for the troop. Be aware of any G2SS guidelines that might apply regarding age-appropriate activities and use of chainsaws or other power tools. A troop in Michigan has been successful doing this....at least until recently, when thieves stole the troop's log splitter.... https://www.wilx.com/content/news/Thieves-steal-Spring-Arbor-Boy-Scout-troops-wood-splitter-565113052.html
  20. 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 br
  21. 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 chang
  22. 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.)
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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/pow
  • Create New...