Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. In its quest to emasculate scouting completely, Philmont now offers a glamping option that completely removes the possibility that participants might actually experience outdoor life. The new tents have permanent, full floors, electricity, queen size tempurpedic mattresses with Egyptian 800-thread count sheets, in-tent maid service, in-tent massage, and big screen canvas wall mount televisions with your choice of Netflix or Hulu. Covered parking is provided with valet service available on demand. The story: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/08/16/with-new-deluxe-tents-philmont-training-center-broadens-appeal-to-more-families/
  2. Thousands of scouts attending the World Jamboree found it to be a very tough place to leave behind. I'm not talking about all the great memories they had of spending time with fellow scouts at the Summit --- I'm talking about American Airlines not staffing their checkin counters adequately and TSA and Charlotte Douglas Airport not having plans in place to adequately handle the number of passengers that they KNEW well in advance were coming to the airport when Jambo was over. Few scouts got checked in on a timely basis and 3/4 of the flights ended up with delayed departure as scouts were herded outdoors in the summer heat to wait. The story is here: https://www.wcnc.com/article/travel/boy-scouts-vocal-about-extremely-challenging-departures-from-charlotte-douglas-airport-after-world-scout-jamboree/275-dcd51598-4c6e-46e1-bc1b-5e770fe63128 Did any of you folks attending Jambo fly out of CLT? Did you encounter problems like those described in the article? Scouts and scouters who had problems getting home should know that air travel complaints can be filed with the DoT here: https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
  3. mrkstvns

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    Folks who find scout uniforms expensive should be aware that Scout Shops are offering a 25% off sale. (https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/08/19/unprecedented-scout-shop-sale-on-uniform-shirts-is-too-cool-to-miss/) I went to the 25% off sale and it was great. I got a pair of khaki pants with one long leg and one short leg.
  4. mrkstvns

    Campout planning...who does it?

    The way we do it is that the boys brainstorm and select their top "themes" --- backpacking, climbing, shooting, etc., and they can suggest locations if they have had good experiences someplace. We have a "camping coordinator", who is a committee member with lists of state parks, BSA camps, ACE properties, national forests etc. and he/she will then start calling around for reservations. If a location that the scouts suggested is available for the kind of activity they suggested, it's booked. If it's unavailable, another site is found that enables the type of activity. Only after the camping coordinator is able to lock down all (or most) dates and locations is the plan reviewed by scoutmaster and committee chair and then published. Families can then plan their calendars and the District gets a fair opportunity to cause us headaches by moving their Camporee dates.
  5. A scout troop camping in the Willamette National Forest found a campfire that had been left burning by inconsiderate campers. The fire had already spread beyond the fire ring. It took the scouts about 2 hours to put out all the smoldering embers. Scouts are credited with preventing a forest fire. Story: https://www.koin.com/news/human-interest/boy-scouts-put-out-campfire-that-was-spreading/
  6. Y'all are making some good points about why the staff might deserve tips for a job well done....but is that a judgment call that the adults are making themselves? Is it something that the boys should be aware of? Do you ask the boys to chip in? Seems like the practice might vary by camp (based on Tatung42's comment that he was told "no tips" by Northern Tier staff).
  7. Irrelevant. Infrastructure was evidently fine for getting scouts out of the Summit and down the road to Charlotte --- one of America's biggest, busiest hub airports. An airport that routinely handles hundreds of flights per day and more than 20 million passengers annually. For CLT and American Airlines to have problems getting a few thousand scouts checked in is simply inexcusible.
  8. In all fairness to the airline and airport, they are incompetent twits. In today's modern airline industry, they have these things called "computers". Amazing devices! They are capable of millions of calculations per second, can maintain databases, analyze data, and produce these things called "reports." Given that the airline and airport were caught off-guard, I can only assume that none of the scouts had made reservations for their flights and they all just showed up out of the blue, ready to pay cash for their walk-up tickets. If that weren't the case, the scouts would have planned ahead and booked their flights months in advance. Which means the airline employees would have KNOWN that the scouts had booked up every seat on every flight the day after their jambo ended. Managers would have KNOWN well in advance to expect a crush --- they would have KNOWN that extra staff would be needed at check-in, at baggage handling, and at security (not to mention at any snack bars in the place). A well-run, modern airport would have had loads of contingency plans in place because they would have known that other airports all around the country deal with similar things when it comes to events like the Superbowl, or the Indy 500, or for that matter, Thanksgiving, when everyone needs to arrive at the airport so they can go over the river and through the sky to Grandmother's house. As an interesting aside, there's an article about how Minneapolis St Paul Airport (MSP) dealt with the Superbowl crunch (I love that bit about football fans coming to the airport the night before their flight home so they don't have to pay for an extra night at the hotel....and here I thought it was scouts who were thrifty...). The airport even planned for that by laying in a bigger stash of sleep pads... Superbowl airport story: http://www.startribune.com/msp-airport-s-own-super-bowl-comes-day-after-nfl-s-with-busiest-travel-day-ever-expected/436045143/
  9. In addition to complaining, be sure you ask for compensation if your flight was excessively delayed or cancelled. There is a website that can help you understand how that works and that says they can help you with claims: https://www.airhelp.com/en/
  10. Interesting question. The Participant Guide is completely silent on the question of tips and I've always assumed that the fees paid by a scout were "all inclusive". The only mentions of cash I find in the book are a section about how to make payments, and a bullet point that boys should bring $125-175 (presumably for souvenirs and snacks....but not for tips).
  11. mrkstvns

    Crossover schedule

    Interesting perspective. For many boys, that last few months of Webelos is tough to get through. The boys are getting tired of the pack program and are itching for new challenges and a ramped up outdoor program. They WANT to be done with Webelos and starting a new chapter in a troop... The issue was discussed in a "Bryan on Scouting" article here... https://scoutingmagazine.org/2018/10/how-to-avoid-a-final-year-webelos-burnout/ I suppose this will vary from boy to boy and unit to unit, and if you are getting a 100% retention, then I wouldn't mess with your recipe....but for a lot of kids, moving into a troop quickly works better for them, and for the troops, it's often easier to have the boys come in as a group at a predictable point in time (like January) so that they are able to work through initial rank requirements together and so they are able (and prepared) to be with the troop at summer camp (we're usually signing up scouts for camp in February).
  12. mrkstvns


    Let's see now, they raised $100,000 selling 600 bottles....that works out to about $167 per bottle. Yikes! I could almost afford to buy a bag of Trails End popcorn for that much money!
  13. mrkstvns

    Uniforms for Committee Members

    I would be particularly interested in knowing the costs for scouts in Indonesia. According to the Wikipedia page listing all those 170 members, it appears Indonesia is the country with the most active scouts at over 21 million (about 10 times more than BSA). I don't believe Indonesia is a particularly rich country, so how the heck do that many young people afford uniforms?
  14. I read an article today about a Boy Scout whose Eagle project proposal was turned down, because it didn't seem to involve leadership of others. The project was to advocate for a local ordinance involving plastic handling. (Despite not getting it approved as an Eagle project, he believed in the concept and did it anyway.) His proposed project was certainly a lot different in focus than the vast majority of Eagle projects I've seen. I wonder what I would advise a scout who wanted to do something like that....What would you tell the scout? If you were that scout's Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, would you approve his project proposal, or would you advise him to find something more traditional? Here's the story... https://buffalonews.com/2019/08/18/east-aurora-teen-on-his-proposed-plastic-ban-facing-public-hearing-monday-how-could-i-stop-people-from-polluting-the-earth/
  15. mrkstvns

    Got acronyms?

    People on these forums use 1,001 different abbreviations and acronyms. Many are common across scouting. Some are just invented on the spot and assumed to be understandable (but rarely are). BSA publishes a list of common scouting acronyms. The list is here: https://www.scouting.org/resources/los/abbreviations/ As I read through the list, it is obvious that the folks compiling the list missed many, many very common acronyms. Here's my quick and dirty list of additional acronyms.... AC - Advancement Chair BL - Boys Life BOR - Board of Review CC - Committee Chair CM - Cubmaster CO - Charter Organization EBOR - Eagle Board of Review G2SS - Guide to Safe Scouting ILST - Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops JTE - Journey to Excellence LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints MB - merit badge MBU - Merit Badge University NAYLE - National Advenced Youth Leadership Experience NSJ - National Scout Jamboree OE - Outdoor Ethics QM - Quartermaster SM - Scoutmaster SS - Sea Scouts WSJ - World Scout Jamboree YPT - Youth Protection Training Got more acronyms that BSA and me overlooked???
  16. mrkstvns

    Troop Trailer Stolen

    Another stolen troop trailer....this time in Kansas City: https://fox4kc.com/2019/08/16/thieves-steal-boy-scout-trailer-and-gear-worth-thousands-of-dollars-from-south-kc-church/
  17. mrkstvns

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    Mess halls proliferate at BSA summer camps...but that wasn't always the case. At one point, BSA summer camps fostered scouting goals like independence, self-reliance. They trusted scouts to do things for themselves and they let scouts learn by doing. One of the ways they did that was by letting scouts cook their own meals: a practice referred to as "patrol cooking". You can read a bit more about patrol cooking here (https://www.summitbsa.org/patrol-style-cooking-not-your-typical-summer-camp-meal/). Fortunately, there do still exist a handful of outposts where scouts are allowed to have meaningful camp experiences that help them grow into competent, confident young men. An example of this type of outpost is the summer camp where genuine patrol cooking can be done.... Camps that allow patrol cooking include.... Camp Liberty, Heritage Scout Reservation (PA) Rickenbacker Side, Bear Creek Scout Reservation (TX) Camp Dietler, Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch (CO) Camp Waubeeka, Curtis Read Scout Reservation (NY) Camp Freeland Leslie (WI) Soaring Eagle Boy Scout Camp, Ben Delatour Scout Ranch (CO) Camp Marriott, Goshen Scout Reservation (VA) Do you know of another summer camp where patrol cooking lives? Please tell me about it!
  18. mrkstvns

    Compare Scouting vs Sports ?

    Okay, I'll compare scouting vs. sports... Sports teams take their names very seriously: the Tigers, the Marauders, the Yankees... Boy Scouts take their patrol names with good humor: the Muffin Men, the Green Janitors... Baseball fans sing during the seventh inning stretch. Boy Scouts sing when they're happy and they know it. When Houston Texans fans go to a game, they can pay over $20 for a stale hot dog and a sugary drink. Thrifty Boy Scout grubmasters can feed a fellow scout 5 meals for $10 (no extra charge for the dirt and bugs). Football fans love their tailgate parties! Boy Scouts know there are better places than a parking lot to have a picnic. I went to a hockey game and a fight broke out. I went on a Boy Scout campout and a gaga ball game broke out.
  19. mrkstvns

    New Committee Chair for a New Troop

    Waddaya got against Bacon Ninjas?
  20. 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?
  21. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    I like the idea of scouts doing something to preserve their local historic heritage. Like this scout, erecting a good-looking sign to mark a historic cemetery... https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/aug/15/boy-scout-installs-sign-at-douglass-memorial-cemet/
  22. mrkstvns

    New Committee Chair for a New Troop

    Interesting. It seems to me that Wood Badge is usually attended by SMs or ASMs. I can't think of any committee members I know who have gone to Wood Badge.
  23. mrkstvns

    Right way to initiate Troop/Patrol Service Projects

    Depends on the scope of the projects. If a project was about the size of an Eagle project, I'd poll my friendly Life scouts and see if any of them were on the hunt for a possible project they could lead for Eagle. Other projects, yeah, discuss with PLC and see if they're on board and willing to do it. In another thread, somebody mentioned having more scouts who wanted PORs than jobs to be filled. If I were in this situation, I might take one or two of those project requests and see if the project lent itself to a scout leading the project as a "Scoutmaster approved leadership project". (Note: the requirements allow this only for Star and Life --- not for Eagle). I don't know many scouts or troops that do this --- most older scouts fulfill their leadership requirements via the listed PORs.
  24. mrkstvns

    Changing Election Policy midterm

    4 month terms?!?! Now there's a BAD idea! The requirements for Life and for Eagle are to hold a position of responsibility for a 6 month term. Does that mean you don't advance past Star in your troop? Or does it mean scouts need to hold 2 terms to rank up? (In which case, you're effectively changing the requirement to an 8-month term.) 4 months is barely time to get in the groove of a new job, let alone to make a difference...
  25. 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??