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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. 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.
  2. 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 proje
  3. 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...
  4. With a mixed-age group (and I suspect mixed experience levels too), I would be more conservative than Barry's estimate of 20 miles per day. When I've paddled with younger scouts, it seems that many of them take a while to figure out how to move in a straight line and slow progress is made. Maybe only 1-1/2 mile per hour. On top of that, they will get tired after about 4 - 5 hours (so will your out-of-shape adults). If I were paddling with older scouts whose skill levels and maturity inspired confidence, I'd tackle that 20-mile day without much hesitation. If I were paddling w
  5. It depends...but you're definitely thinking about it the right way. More than 1 way to skin a cat! I've had kids do it in different ways. Identify animals during a nature walk done as patrol/troop activity Take photos (had 1 kid a couple years ago who showed me 10 pictures of road kill, all of which he identified by species) Bring evidence (egg shells, birds nest, shark teeth, feather, snail shell) We sometimes identify animal sounds on the nature walks, and I would definitely count that as fair game for the requirement, but never had anyone try to record sounds a
  6. Glad to hear it works out for you. I can see the value in being able to back up a scout who loses a card....but for how long are you willing to be that safety net? Do you keep cards for years? That sure would add up to a lot of clutter as time goes by. That certainly does not work out for me, particularly since the troop should be keeping records of such things (via Scoutbook these days) and the scout should have his copy of the blue card for backup. Triple redundancy just seems silly and an unreasonable imposition on already overtaxed scouters. I remain convinced that there is no seri
  7. Ummm. Yeahhhhhh.... I sincerely doubt there are many counselors who actually DO keep their parts of the blue card (and even fewer who could actually lay hands on it if ever asked). Expecting counselors to do so is a quaint fantasy.
  8. You are absolutely correct....a lot of things CAN be shared when you're active on FB. Like all your personal data being shared with marketers, identity thieves, and Russian agents who want to foment unrest in the U.S. Your kids can become ripe targets for profiling and identity thieves too! Even if you "opt out" of all data sharing and set your device's privacy settings to the max, Facebook still harvests and sells your data. There's all sorts of sharing that can go on behind your back when you are on FB!! And if you think I'm exaggerating even a smidgen, you might want to actuall
  9. Yet again....another Boy Scout troop's trailer targeted by thieves... https://abc13.com/boy-scout-trailer-worth-$5000-stolen-in-spring-/5459166/
  10. He could probably have knocked out a few requirements for Crime Prevention too. Requirement 7b is to visit a jail or criminal court hearing....bet he has no trouble getting that one signed off!
  11. I love hearing about places like this. Too many of our High Adventure discussions revolve around only the "big 4" national high adventure bases. There are plenty of regional and council-run bases where scouts can have amazing experiences. Some troops even "roll their own" treks....I'd really love to hear more about those kinds of trips! Keep on trekkin'!
  12. It's also a good way to implement a Leave No Trace philosophy in your unit. Building a fire on these metal pans won't scorch the ground and makes it easier to truly "leave no trace" that you ever camped at the site.
  13. As if having a bad quality, overpriced product weren't bad enough, our council is enforcing a rule that scouts selling popcorn need to have a smartphone on which they download a commercial app. Is *NOBODY* in scouting looking out for the interests of parents and scouts? It's hard enough to monitor our kids' electronics usage without adult scouters stepping over their boundaries by intruding into parental oversight territory. Whether or not my kid has a smart phone should have NO impact on what scouting activities he can do. And NOBODY in scouting has any right to dictate to parents
  14. Well, Mr. Horse, if it's profit margin you seek, your troop might want to look into selling Krispy Kreme donuts (45% margin to troop) or Country Meats meat sticks (again, 45% to the troop). The disadvantage to these, from the council perspective, is that all the profit is retained by the troop, whereas, overpriced lame popcorn nets the council a cut of the take. Never mind that, while the margin might be good, the volume is HORRIBLE because everybody knows the popcorn isn't a very good product, it's obscenely overpriced, and it's complicated to sell with too many products at too many pr
  15. Wow! No wonder the Village People thought it was so fun to stay at the YMCA...
  16. Thieves just can't seem to get enough of stealing troop trailers! This week another tale of a missing trailer....this time in sunny Florida... https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/clay-county/thieves-snag-boy-scout-trailer-full-of-equipment
  17. One way to ensure that your kids have a scout event to take part in when it fits your schedule is to make it happen. Maybe arrange a group swim one evening...or a potluck picnic in the park. As another person suggested here, 2 pack events per summer month could benefit a lot of vacationing families. Good luck!
  18. Sounds to me like a sure-fire way to discourage people from wanting to help the scouts... I know that mindless bureaucracy and paperwork sure does dampen MY enthusiasm....
  19. I think they should be able to save up "Eagle credits" for years they miss their targets. They can also sell their "Eagle credits" to low-performing councils....kind of like companies trading carbon offsets. Who knows, a whole new kind of futures market might be created!
  20. Right you are! Thanks for reading more closely than I did. The location didn't hit me because I was reading it on New York Daily News....still a great story, absolutely! Cheers!
  21. From 1910 to 1948, scouts were expected to do a solo outdoor experience in order to complete their First Class Rank. Here is a sample of the requirement from the 1936 Scout Handbook... "5. Make a round trip alone or with another Scout by foot or rowboat to a point at least 7 miles away, and write a satisfactory account of the trip & things observed." Earlier versions of that requirement suggested the trip be done over 2 days. Source: "BSA Rank Advancement Requirements, 1910–2018", http://www.troop97.net/pdfbin/bsa_ranks.pdf
  22. I'd say, "Don't try this as part of an official BSA activity, but DO try it (and challenging activities like it) independently, outside of scouting."
  23. A challenge is always good for character building. It's the only way to gain useful experience. In my opinion, denying kids the chance to actually do something outside their comfort zone ensures they will be ill-equipped to compete in the real world as functioning adults. That woman who wrote the book about "Free Range Kids" is really on to something...
  24. Benjamin Hardy is a man who made many mistakes in his life. I can tell that because his writing reflect experience and wisdom. He passed on to me two observations that I'd like to share with you: 1) the power of desire, and 2) the power of now. Hardy says that If you have a dream, and you really want to make it reality, you are the one who needs to make it happen. When was the last time you did a workout where you literally put everything into it? When was the last time you really tried, I mean REALLY tried, at anything? If you’re like most people, you’re probably puttin
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