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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. 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.
  2. mrkstvns

    Dinosaurs, Fossils and a Scout ...

    That's why the time and effort we all spend supporting scouting is so worthwhile.
  3. 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?
  4. 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...
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. mrkstvns

    Why no "trained" shoulder emblem for NAYLE ?

    Yes, that's what makes the most sense....but I've seen many scouts who show up for ILST when they become Patrol Leader for the first time, then always manage to have "conflicts" when subsequent ILST is conducted....despite their having accepted new positions of responsibility. Every ILST will be a little different because you have different boys involved in the activities, you'll hear different observations during the reflection moments, etc., etc. Aside from any nitpicking about whether they should remove the trained strip, a youth can definitely grow his leadership skills by continuously revisiting topics and looking at things from a new perspective.
  8. mrkstvns

    Why no "trained" shoulder emblem for NAYLE ?

    That's precisely why the shoulder emblem makes sense. NAYLE represents the highest level of leadership training a youth can reach, so the "normal" position on the sleeve is where it should be indicated --- not a "temporary" place that is unlikely to be used by most youth.
  9. mrkstvns

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Excellent idea! i'd advocate for giving the award to the patrol that goes furthest "outside" the rut of whatever the troop's usual themes and sites might be...encourage the kids to think for themselves.
  10. I would love to take some of the NOLS courses.....just wish they weren't so EXPEN$IVE!!!
  11. mrkstvns

    Why no "trained" shoulder emblem for NAYLE ?

    I don't buy that argument. The high adventure bases already have pocket patches for NAYLE attendees, so what on earth would be the least little bit hard about having a small shoulder emblem too. They don't even have to sell it via the national scout shop....they could just stock it at the sites that offer NAYLE training. The pocket patch isn't really as useful as the shoulder emblem because it's then a "temporary" patch, vying for space with summer camp patches, high adventure base patches, and lots of award emblems like Nova awards, National Outdoor award patches, etc. Besides, a pocket patch for NAYLE is inconsistent with the way training is indicated for ILST and NYLT. Consistency is good and increases the visibility of leadership progression. Still looking for a GOOD reason for not having a NAYLE emblem....
  12. mrkstvns

    Loveland Castle, Chateau Larouche (OH)

    That sounds completely amazing. I just love hearing about people who think outside the box and let their dreams guide their actions. There is a somewhat similar story around these parts of a guy who owns a bakery in the town of Bellville, Texas. He visited castles in Europe and decided that he needed to build himself one too. The result is Newman's Castle which is open for tours to those who patronize his bakery... http://newmanscastle.com/
  13. mrkstvns

    Memorial Day

    This coming weekend is Memorial Day. For many scouting families, it marks the winding down of the school year and the beginning of the summer vacation season. Swimming pools are open for business and college students are back home for a respite. Memorial Day means so much more though. It's a time to remember America's fallen soldiers, and many scout troops will mark the occasion with flag service events at local veterans cemeteries, battlefields, or other military landmarks. Does your troop do something special for Memorial Day?
  14. The basics of all these skills are taught to new adult leaders in the IOLS (Introduction to Outdoor Leadership Skills) course. This is required for Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters in order to be considered "trained" for their position. Scoutmasters and the more dedicated/hardcore ASMs tend to pursue additional training as they grow into their roles. That might include Wood Badge, or it might take the form of specific skills that enable them to lead or do more within scouting (like taking Wilderness First Aid courses so that they can lead crews at high adventure bases). Parents of new scouts generally do not know much about camping, and few could tie knots, demonstrate map and compass skills, or do the basic first aid tasks that a young scout is asked to demonstrate. But parents can learn and have fun doing it. Like my dad used to say, "You can always teach an old dog a new trick."
  15. Sounds like you'd create a more relevant, challenging program. In addition to incorporating more Orienteering and Wilderness Survival skills, I'd include the "challenging" requirements from Pioneering MB. Using lashings to make something really COOL would be challinging and a practical demonstration of using kntos and lashings. (Besides, who doesn't want to try out a monkey bridge??) I also think that skills in handling watercraft are useful and relevant. Maybe sailing, or maybe kayaking or canoeing. Basic river rescue skills could also be useful. Swimming skills at the level that they could save a life would be nice: complete BSA Lifeguard, or complete BSA Aquatics Supervision: Swimming and Water Rescue (or similarly challenging course, such as Red Cross or YMCA lifeguard certifications). I think it would also be useful to challenge scouts to master some subset of skills to the level they can teach it, for example, get a Red Cross CPR instructor certificate, or become a Leave No Trace trainer, or complete the USA Archery instructor course. (Not just go through the motions using EDGE, but actually be able to teach a skill "for real").
  16. mrkstvns

    First Class 1a - Troop Activities

    A few things that might be considered as counting towards 1C requirement 1a (troop/patrol activities): troop campouts patrol day hike (5-mile hike, orienteering course, 10-mile hike, etc., even if it also counts towards other rank/advancement requirements) participation in district/council activities (if done as a troop/patrol group), for example, Scout Fair, helping at Pushcart or Webelos campouts helping fellow scouts on Eagle project helping fellow scouts on Hornaday project participating in other troop/patrol service project (for example, helping senior citizens weatherize houses) participating in Merit Badge midway event (if done as troop/patrol group, but not if done individually) participating with troop in Scouting for Food drives participating with troop/patrol in Scout Sunday activities participating with troop/patrol in unit fundraising activities, e.g., bake sale or car wash As long as it's something that was done within the scouting program as a troop or patrol group (and not as an individual), I think it's fair to let a scout count it as an "activity". I'm not inclined to let a scout who is a Den Chief count activities done by the den or pack towards this requirement....
  17. mrkstvns

    First Women

    Thanks, Hawkwin! It slipped my mind that girls could have been active as Venturers or Sea Scouts. Appreciate the reminder!
  18. mrkstvns

    Hornaday Award????

    Really?!?! That doesn't jibe with the info I see on scouting.org, which says: "The Hornaday Awards Committee meets three or four times a year. Therefore, applicants must recognize the lead time involved." See: https://www.scouting.org/awards/hornaday-awards/judging/
  19. mrkstvns

    First Women

    That's too bad because it means the local lodge is likely ignoring or skirting the rules for OA membership. How does someone who has only been eligible for membership in BSA suddenly achieve 15 nights of camping with 1 long-term (5 night) camp? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for girls in BSA, but I'd be a lot happier if they actually earned their accolades instead of getting there by exception or fiat. These "firsties" devalue the honor that so many scouts have legitimately earned.
  20. First I've heard about something like this.....sounds like a cool (and profitable) idea! https://buckrail.com/boy-scouts-antler-auction-rakes-in-big-money-for-racks/
  21. mrkstvns

    Merit badge sash

    Agreed. Even though the rules state that only 1 merit badge sash should be worn at a time, the double-wide approach really looks dorky compared to the scouts who blow off the rule and just wear 2 sashes, bandolier style. It's over the top, but at least it kind of looks symmetrical instead of looking like a blanket.
  22. mrkstvns

    Best comfort items & traditions for summer camp

    I think it depends on the terrain where your camp is located. If I were in a mountainous region, or very rocky terrain, I would definitely prefer the boots, but if I was in a softer, flatter, or forested area (like maybe Northern Tier), then I would prefer something lighter --- like maybe your Nikes.
  23. mrkstvns

    Baloo Training

    Agree with jjlash. BALOO and IOLS are not necessarily one and the same. When I did BALOO, it was a few hours, mostly classroom, and definitely centered on family camping. IOLS was centered around the outdoor skills that a scout needs for Tenderfoot through First Class advancement: knots, first aid, map and compass, knife and axe, cooking ---- basically everything that a SM or ASM will be asked to sign off for a scout over his first year or two in a troop. The IOLS was practical camp skills taught in a camp setting. A much better class than BALOO... (Besides, even if some material might be repeated, a little reinforcement never hurts...)
  24. No disrespect intended, Carlos, but you would benefit greatly from reading and embracing the "Guide to Advancement". Any time you create a policy of any kind, type, or form, you make things harder on your scouts and create unnecessary problems for your scouters. Take qwayze's suggestions to heart and you'll be a wiser leader who enables his scouts to succeed.
  25. The New York Times ran an interesting in-depth article about how it's going with girls being welcomed into BSA. An interesting take-away that I saw was that BSA recruitment numbers have been down in recent years, and that the new opportunities for girls may represent a potential growth opportunity. That's really "potential" though so far, since the article pointed out that while 8,000 girls have joined scout troops, there are still more than 1.7 million girls who are involved with Girl Scouts USA. Perhaps the people who seem gloom and doom in girls saying "Scout Me In" will end up seeing that all their hype was much ado about nothing. We shall see. Any of y'all read the article??? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/03/nyregion/girls-in-boy-scouts-bsa.html