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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. Cub Scouts in Massachusetts might have to find something other than scouting activities to keep them busy this summer due to health department inspectors closing down a cub day camp just 2 days before it was scheduled to open. Story: https://www.gazettenet.com/GranbyDayCamp-hg-071619-27012618
  2. Your troop plans a high adventure trek for months. Everything's set, fees are paid, scouts are transported....but then nature strikes! A tropical storm closes down operations at the high adventure base. What do you do? When Tropical Storm Barry happened to scouts at Swamp Base last week, they did what scouts do best. They did community service! Story: https://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/news/weather_traffic/article_b5b12326-a672-11e9-9395-d70d3ca49706.html
  3. mrkstvns

    A Scouters Motto

    I like both of those! I think that keeping "the outing in scouting" grows to mean different things depending on the age of the boys. At the cub level, it's often about the "go see it" kind of activities. Take the den someplace interesting and help widen the world view: might be a local fire station, maybe letting the boys take a stab at tossing a crust at the local pizzeria....just let 'em see and touch. At the boy scout (Scouts BSA) level, I think it means to put as much emphasis as possible on the outdoors and to help them experience outdoor adventures that can challenge them. At the explorer/venturer/sea scout level, it's to really trust the scouts and to encourage and enable them to do bigger, better, bolder adventures. (Maybe not outdoor adventures).
  4. Just goes to show you that there's always 2 sides to a story, and the hyped up emergencies you hear about in the media are often nothing of the sort. No biggee, no harm, no foul. Yeah, a couple canoes flipped and it sure was great that the sheriff deputies came to help get that done. In the end, a good trip was had by all. Happy ending. I LIKE it!!
  5. mrkstvns

    A Scouters Motto

    My scoutmaster seemed to have believed, "If you hear 'em after lights out, shout at the top of your lungs."
  6. 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
  7. If there's a new wrinkle on BSA troops, there might as well be a new adult leadership course on managing the wrinkles... Wood Badge for Linked Troops at the Summit in January 2020 $490 per participant Story: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/06/05/linked-troop-wood-badge-course-at-sbr-will-blaze-a-new-trail-for-training/ Registration: https://bsa-20-1.com/
  8. Do y'all participate in BSA's Summertime Activity awards program? With or without the incentive of an extra pin to tack onto your cub's uniform, getting out and doing things together as a den or a pack can be a heck of a lot of fun! I know some units consider summer to be an "off" season, but a strong unit won't sit idle for 3 months. That's just too long to not hang out with your friends! The highlight of my summers growing up in Northern Virginia was our annual pack picnics in Bull Run Park. Just curious about what kinds of summer pack memories you are creating for your kids.... Ideas??
  9. There's an interesting Bryan on Scouting post about a 16-year old girl who is ensuring she has enough merit badges to make Eagle...she's signed up for four weeks of standard merit badge summer camps this year! Let's see, the boys in our troop tend to earn about 4 to 5 merit badges each (or at least get substantial partials), so that girl could be coming home from her camp experience with more than 16 badges! Kudos to her! Blog Post: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/07/12/why-this-new-scouts-bsa-member-is-attending-four-weeks-of-camp-this-summer/
  10. mrkstvns

    Girls make up for lost summers...

    Yep. It's easy to push a kid too far, too fast. In scouts, as in any other pursuit. In the case of girls joining scouts, I don't think it's really an issue because those girls who are on a tear to meet deadlines have a different kind of motivation. They're already older and wiser and they know the clock is ticking. It's not a case of mom and dad pushing on a youngster.
  11. mrkstvns

    2019 World Jamboree

    Nice of Kenn to explain to everyone that UTV means "underwater television".
  12. Perversely enough, you're right. Sad, isn't it?
  13. Quite right. Some kids grow up faster than others, and some are much more driven than others. What makes sense for one scout (or even a large group), might not always work best. Take Lifesaving. I've always viewed this as a badge that is most appropriate for a scout who has already been active a couple years and who already has Swimming MB under his belt. But I know of a scout who was already a very strong swimmer who took Lifesaving his first year and excelled at it. Good for him for making his own choice and not listening to old farts like me who say to just do Swimming the first year!
  14. Right you are, Steve. There's nothing inherently wrong with getting a partial, but the guts of Camping merit badge is experience camping. A scout who waits a couple (or more) years to tackle Camping is better off because he's prepared to meet requirements like the nights of camping and the "experiences" (like rappeling, backpacking, paddling, etc.) He's also better equipped to discuss things like equipment choices because he'll actually have experience with making equipment choices. A first-year scout probably doesn't --- all he's likely to have under his belt are a couple of car-camping weekends. Most scouts will figure out on their own that Camping is better put off until a later date, but you never know when you'll bump into somebody who thinks, "Scouts camp, so Camping should be the first merit badge they do." The basics of camping are better taught by the troop as a scout pursues his trail to First Class. By then he'll have the basic skills down pat and will be more than prepared to delve in deeper via Camping merit badge.
  15. Most of the time, partials are okay. It's a good way to "divide and conquer" the requirements list. There's a few though that are a pain for the scout, parents, and leaders --- sometimes because of lack of available local resources, or lack of local qualified counselors. My son still has partials from 5 years ago. Maybe he'll finish 'em, maybe not. None are required MBs (but some are kind of cool). He's still got a couple years until he ages out, but he doesn't need any more merit badges, so we'll see if he ever loops around to finish them.
  16. Congratulations on the new job, and it sounds to me like you will do a MUCH better job at serving your bosses (the boys) than the previous Advancement Chair did. I'm not even sure why an Advancement Chair is involved AT ALL in picking merit badges for a troop's summer camp. It's just not part of the job... Your experience though does reflect one of the fundamental lessons of being a volunteer in any organization: when you complain about somebody else's job performance, you should be prepared to be appointed their successor.
  17. I notice that the article cites a girl troop with 8 members. I know that girls in scouting is a new concept, but I wonder if, and when, girl troops will become as large as some of the boy troops. We have troops in our council of well over 100 boys. I wonder if girl troops will grow as large and as active.
  18. mrkstvns

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Looks fancy....but I'm not sure it will be an improvement over the basic mosquito netting that scouts have used for countless summers in the past. The biggest advantage (to the manufacturers) looks like they charge about 5 times more for these things than the old-style mosquito nets... Example: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/magellan-outdoors-mosquito-net#repChildCatid=1472930
  19. Most of the BSA summer camps that I'm aware of seem to have taken girl troops in stride. No big deal. A girl troop can go to camp like any other troop, they just register and do whatever the boys do (but with female leadership requirements). A few camps seem to stress over it. I've heard of one large council-run scout reservation of several camp areas that isolates the girls in their own area. I've heard that the Heart of America council has a "Girls only week" at Bartle Scout Reservation. I wonder how that works .... are girl troops required to go during that one (and only that one) week? Or can they sign up for any week of the summer, but if they choose a "girls only" environment, it's provided? Does your council or camp do something to treat the girl troops differently than the boy troops?
  20. mrkstvns

    History question

    It was when you had "inexcusibly useless" hooks without barbs. The barbed hooks are much more effective in ensuring that if swimmers survive the near-drowning, they won't survive the rescue.
  21. mrkstvns

    When beneficiary destroys Eagle Project

    From the article, it appears that the scout built the walkways only 2 years ago. That seems like a mighty short time for the walkways to have deteriorated to the point that they couldn't be maintained to a safe condition. Though yeah, in the woods, leaves drop, wetness happens, things get slick....maybe the state park guys were right in thinking there was a problem. Ya never know!
  22. Boy Scouts do service projects. They put in time for most of their rank advancements, and when they get to Eagle, they are expected to come up with a good project on their own and lead other scouts in getting it done. Hornaday awards also require big projects --- most are even more involved than Eagle projects. The Hornaday projects focus on environmental problems. Many troops also do service projects simply because its part of the scouting DNA. I thought it might be nice to put together a few pointers to media articles that cover some of these service projects. They help put scouting in a positive light, and I think they could help younger scouts get a few ideas for what's possible and maybe help them think about what kinds of service projects they might come up with when it's their turn to lead a project. Do you know of good scout projects? Got comments about any of these?
  23. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    Scout collects used eyeglasses that will be reused for homeless and developing countries: https://patch.com/washington/mercerisland/mercer-island-boy-scout-smashes-goal-eyeglasses-drive
  24. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    Scout builds book exchange kiosks along beaches: https://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20190714/boy-scout-bringing-books-to-beach/1
  25. Saw an article about a boy scout who had an anaphylactic reaction while on a backpacking trip in Colorado. Rescuers carried him over a mile to get to an ambulance. Story: https://www.dailycamera.com/2019/07/04/boy-scout-rescued-in-western-boulder-county/ Makes me wonder....could I recognize the signs of anaphylaxis if the scout weren't able to tell me what was going on? Would I know how to properly respond? Would you? Info about dealing with anaphylaxis: https://www.webmd.com/allergies/anaphylaxis#1