Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by mrkstvns

  1. On 1/28/2019 at 10:47 AM, Eagledad said:

    ...Some older scouts are good leaders, most are not.

    Yeah.  As adult scouters, we always hope to have one of the good leaders in charge of the troop so we can hang out with other adults and do nothing.

    But that's not always a good thing.

    Sometimes, it's the scouts who are not natural leaders who most need the opportunity in order to ever find out whether or not they are or are not "leaders".  I saw one kid who always struck me as a quiet introvert and an absolute "follower" of others stick up his hand to run for SPL. He won and he ended up doing a great job. Things were expected of him....and so he did them. He had to delegate, so he learned to "voluntell" his scouts. He showed dedication to his role, showing up at every meeting and campout even as many of the "older" scouts found excuses to skip meetings and to avoid any real responsibilities. The SPL visibly grew into a strong leader. By the end of his term, he communicated more strongly, and he'd earned the loyalty and respect of his fellow scouts.  If it weren't for the troop taking a chance on the "not so great leader", they'd have never discovered one of their best leaders ever.

  2. 45 minutes ago, David CO said:

    My biggest concern is that people will be confused and think that they are paying for parking. 

    I can see that becoming a problem. Especially if people think you're watching the parking lot while the event is going on. If any cars get damaged or broken into, somebody might make a claim that your scout troop created a "bailment" and should pay for any damages. 

  3. 14 hours ago, SSScout said:

    ... he said  they were asking folks to pay for their "service".  I still think this is asking for donations.  

    Hmmm.  Maybe. Maybe not.  His viewpoint isn't patently ridiculous, so I think it's wiser to chalk it up as a judgment call and to just go about your business.

    Definitely a bad move to argue about it with the big local non-profit and a worse move to escalate to the DE.  It's honestly not that big a deal, and certainly NOT worth making an enemy of your fellow scouters in other troops nor with non-profit volunteers in your community. 

    IMHO, building bridges is a wiser course of action than burning them...

    • Upvote 3

  4. 13 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    Our council camp forbids them in tents, and while I have not had a scout bring one on a troop outing, we would also forbid them in a tent.

    I have seen on more than one occasion how quickly a tent can become engulfed in flames; thankfully never with a scout inside the tent.

    A very reasonable policy.  That's why it strikes me as ridiculously dangerous that sporting goods stores sell compact propane tank-top heaters. What sane person actually WANTS a hot flame burning inside their tent??  If it's that cold out, I'll just plan ahead and bring my sub-zero mummy bag. Fortunately, I live in south Texas so I rarely have a need for the real cold weather gear (unless I'm camping in the frozen tundra of the north, which I think is somewhere around Dallas).

  5. 33 minutes ago, JoeBob said:

    Unfortunately, every Scouter that I've ever run into says that candle lanterns are an 'open flame' and barred from scouting as such.  Hope I'm wrong.  

    Candle lanterns aren't "barred from scouting" but they are prohibited inside tents. No reason you can't use one in your patrol cooking area or in place of a campfire.

  6. A couple years ago I learned about using candle lanterns as a replacement for propane lanterns, bulky battery lighting, and even camp fires.  It's an LNT-friendly device to have and surprisingly practical.

    As a lighting source, it's great to have at night because it's not excessively bright --- no glaring white light to disturb people who want to bask in the beauty of a clear night sky. (LNT Principle 7: "Be considerate of other visitors").  It also doesn't generate any waste (LNT Principle 3: "Dispose of waste properly") and you don't have to carry the bulk of metal canisters or heavy batteries  (LNT Principle 1: "Plan ahead and prepare").

    As a campfire replacement, it's not really going to work for big troop campfire programs, but it's a great replacement when you're dealing with small groups in the backcountry. Let's face it, we don't really need campfires for light, heat, or cooking, like our pioneering ancestors might have, but the soft glow of natural flame is a great gathering point for evening cameraderie, and a candle lantern (especially those with 3 candles) can provide more than ample light for a decent small group "campfire". (LNT Principle 5: "Minimize campfire impacts" --- and the BEST minimization is NO campfire impact!)

    REI is one reliable place to get candle lanterns:  https://www.rei.com/c/candle-lanterns 

    REI's lanterns are made by UCO (which also sells citronella candles --- environmentally friendly AND drives away bugs --- awesome!):  https://www.ucogear.com/citronella-candles-3-pack-l--can3pk--c


    • Upvote 2

  7. On 9/30/2013 at 4:36 AM, Nike said:

    It would be great if councils in the States could send contingents of older boys to Kandersteg for a week, anytime during the year, with some additional touring on the continent. I don't think the Center ever closes. Kandersteg village has a great little bus system, and Scouts wearing a neckar get free transportation. There are plenty of hostels and places to camp. Trains are a great way to get from one place to another.

    The programs at Kandersteg look absolutely amazing, plus they offer some GREAT activities that would really get the adrenaline pumping.

    U.S. troops might find that they could work in an amazing winter high adventure trip by going during the school district's Christmas break. (Glacier climbing?  Snowshoeing?  Awesome!)

    There's also activities in the summer that I simply can't imagine a "risk adverse" organization like BSA ever trying....Paragliding?  Awesome!

    Thanks for the pointer to Kandersteg!  

    Are there other international scout camps that we isolated Americans should know about??

  8. I originally got this recipe off a box of San Giorgio pasta. But instead of baking it in an oven, I use a Dutch oven, and it works great! Easy to make, tasty to eat!


    • 8 oz package of Manicotti (pasta tubes)
    • 24 oz or larger jar/can pasta sauce
    • 1 cup water
    • 15 oz container ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 8 oz package shredded mozarella cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 Tablespoons dry parsley (or fresh chopped)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


    1. Sauce:  Pour pasta sauce in a pan and add 1 cup of water. Heat to boil. Pour half of pasta sauce into bottom of foil-lined Dutch oven. 
    2. Cheese: In a bowl, mix together ricotta cheese and egg. Blend in mozzarella and parmesan. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well. 
    3. Use spoon to fill manicotti tubes with cheese blend. Place filled tubes into Dutch oven. You will eventually need to stack them. No worries.
    4. Pour rest of pasta sauce over filled tubes. Put lid on Dutch oven. Put 6-9 coals under Dutch oven and 12-15 coals on top. Bake 45-50 minutes.

  9. On 9/26/2017 at 12:39 PM, NealOnWheels said:

    I believe it is now operated as a council high adventure program.

    Hmmm.  I'm always trying to find exciting new places and activities to engage the older scouts, so I did some Googling...

    Looks like you might be referring to Maine High Adventure:  http://mainehighadventure.org/

    Says they're operated by Katahdin Area Council.  Lots of canoeing opportunities, evidently with some 10,000 acres of available terrain encompassing lots of lakes, rivers, and about 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  

    Sounds like a spectacular place....

  10. On 1/20/2019 at 12:18 PM, Summitdog said:

    In the San Francisco Bay Area, the councils are very active in giving scouts the opportunity to work towards their shooting sports badge(s).  As a certified CA Hunter Safety Instructor, a BSA Merit Badge Counselor for rifle, shotgun and pistol (Venture), I have been developing a two day Hunter Safety Course for scouts that will allow them to be signed off on the Rifle Merit Badge and receive partial for Fish and Wildlife Management.  My local council was initially not very receptive to the idea but there may be some appreciation for it developing. 

    This sounds like an OUTSTANDING idea!

    Hunting is very popular here in Texas and a state Hunter Safety certification is required before you can get a hunting license. I'm very supportive of teaching kids both safety around firearms and the importance of conservation (and an awareness of how hunting can help in wildlife management). I've often thought that in many parts of the country, letting youth experience hunting in a safe and responsible manner would be a great way to keep older scouts active and involved...yet, unfortunately, hunting isn't a permitted scouting activity. But I see no reason why anyone should object to a course like you're proposing.  Hope it's a success!

  11. Somewhere in America, there is a giant hazardous waste dump full of gluten extracted from all these "gluten free" foods...

    I'd hate to contribute to that, so I'll stick to regular cookies loaded with chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, and tasty, tasty gluten! 


  12. 7 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

    h well, The rest of the crew will go, We will find a different adventure to go on.  He has already said no to Northern Tier (too many bugs...and to Philmont )  

    I guess that means the Summit is in your future....unless you're into one of the council-run high adventure programs.  Fortunately, I hear good things about the Summit...

  13. From the Guide to Advancement... Partial Completions
    A Scout need not pass all the requirements of one merit badge with the same counselor. It may be that due to timing or location issues, etc., he must meet with a different counselor to finish a badge. The Application for Merit Badge has a place to record what has been finished— a “partial.” In the center section on the reverse of the blue card, the counselor initials for each requirement passed.
    In the case of a partial completion, the counselor does not retain his or her portion of the card. A subsequent counselor may choose not to accept partial work, but this should be rare. A Scout, if he believes he is being treated unfairly, may work with his unit leader to find another counselor. An example for the use of a signed partial would be to take it to camp as proof that the camp’s prerequisites have been met. Partials have no expiration except the Scout’s 18th birthday. Units, districts, or councils shall not establish other expiration dates for partial merit badges.


  14. There are dozens of variations on the classic Mountain Man Breakfast, but the basics have been around for decades. This is a hearty breakfast of eggs, meat and potatoes, topped with cheese and baked for 30-45 minutes in a Dutch oven. It's great for cold weather campouts and any time you have hungry morning appetities to feed.

    1 pound roll of pork sausage
    5-6 strips of bacon, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    1 green bell pepper, chopped
    2 pounds frozen hash browns (shredded)
    1 dozen eggs, beaten
    1 8 oz. package shredded cheddar cheese

    Cook sausage, bacon, and onions in cast iron Dutch oven until sausage is browned and onions are transparent. Add red and green bell peppers and hash brown potatos. Cook about 15 minutes. Pour beaten eggs into Dutch oven. Cover and place 6-9 coals underneat and 12 to 18 coals on top. Bake 40 minutes or until eggs are firm. Sprinkle with cheese, cover, and continue cooking about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.


    • Use Ore Ida's O'Brien potatoes instead of 1) hash browns, 2) onion, 3) bell peppers.
    • Use sage, hot or another flavor of sausage
    • Add some chopped linked sausage (I like venison sausage, jalapeno garlic, etc.)

  15. 12 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    Given that some of the Venture and Sea Scout requirements are merit badges.  When do you think they will allow scouts that aren't in a troop to work on merit badges?  Or can they?  I didn't think so.

    In the case of NOVA awards, Boy Scouts meet certain requirements by earning merit badges, but Venturers and Sea Scouts can earn their NOVA awards by completing "Explorations". 

    See: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/venturer-supernova-exptopics/ 

  16. 2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    In 2018, BSA rolled out the 6th NOVA award for Boy Scouts. The new "Splash" award focuses on water and its importance to life on this planet.  

    There's also a new water-focused award for Venturers called "Wade".  Unlike the other Venturer NOVA awards, "Wade" actually has the Venturer delve a little deeper into the subject than the Boy Scout.

  17. On 5/28/2018 at 11:35 AM, NJCubScouter said:

    A service activity?  Is that anything like a service project?  :)

    I think a "service project" implies advance planning and likely approvals --- (thinking of "Eagle projects" or "Hornaday projects"...)  On the other hand, a "service activity" could be something informal that you do because you see a need and because it's "the right thing".  For example, if I'm out fishing with a patrol, we might see lots of monofilament line discarded on the shores, tangling vegetation and presenting a hazard to wildlife. We could clean up the recklessly discarded lines.