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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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
  4. Scout builds book exchange kiosks along beaches: https://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20190714/boy-scout-bringing-books-to-beach/1
  5. 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
  6. Well, the media reports what it thinks people will watch/read/listen to. Their "agenda" is to sell papers and sell ad space. So, if a writer thinks that the public perception of Scouts is that it's a safe, wholesome place for kids, then anything, no matter how minor that deviates from that, might be considered "newsworthy". In this case, I'd agree with you. The event happened long ago, and the judge dismissed the suit...(which in my opinion is newsworthy because the judge evidently had some common sense, and you don't always see that). To me, the story was a "who cares?" kind
  7. 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 tha
  8. Hmmm. 2013 is pretty recent. What kind of standards were used prior to NCAP? Did BSA participate in wider, more nationally recognized camp accreditation (like those from the American Camp Association, ACA)? I wonder why BSA needs to have its own set of standards if they could simply leverage an existing, recognized set of camp standards...
  9. The rugs are also a good idea for practical reasons. Who hasn't had coins or a pocketknife drop between the slats on a tent platform? A rug can keep that from helping (plus elminate the old splinters in the foot issue). Not only should rugs not be banned, they should be recommended as one of those "comfort" items that a scout might want to bring (space allowing).
  10. I applaud those 2 scouts for being able to think for themselves! What a shame that some older scout feels a need to throw a wet blanket on their creativity just because he never thought of doing something that cool. Even when I was a scout, we had kids put rugs in their tents. Welcome mats would sometimes appear as would small folding tables, and more. As long as it wasn't offensive or dangerous, it was always allowed (and usually smiled at, approvingly). Sounds to me like the older scout needs a refresher course in how scouting is supposed to be fun and how leaders are suppos
  11. Delivering fresh donuts is an easy and time-honored way for scout units to raise cash....but when I looked into it myself, I had to laugh at the irony of one of the "Customer Success Stories" in Krispy Kreme's fundraising brochure: a Police Explorer post with 15 active explorers sold 600 boxes of donuts....oh, the perpetuation of stereotypes! Krispy Kreme brochure: https://images.kktestkitchen.com/fundraising/FormsFAQGenericEnglishOrderForm.pdf
  12. I just noticed that the Scouter Forum passed the half million mark in terms of number of posts. Y'all RAWK! Time to catch up on my reading!!
  13. I would expect that as district training chair, you might have been involved with facilitating the Scoutmaster Position-Specific training. That is where I would expect you to touch on ILST, so that the new scoutmaster is aware that there is an expectation for him to make sure scouts are enabled to successfully fulfill their positions of responsibility. Now I understand why our district training chair is bald.
  14. Lest we criticize the ambitious scoutmaster too much, let's ponder an article in "Boys Life" that celebrated a troop for doing a 50-mile trip in homemade boats... https://boyslife.org/video-audio/153762/scouts-paddle-50-miles-in-homemade-kayaks/
  15. Yes it is. A 57-mile trips is a very significant undertaking. Lots of planning. Good equipment choices, etc. The scoutmaster's shortcomings aren't in letting the boys make boats, or even boating when the water level is a "little high"....it's in doing these things as a 57-mile trip. THAT combination is silly.
  16. Maybe not so odd. It's not the district training chair who should be organizing or facilitating the ILST. The "T" in ILST stands for "Troops" and it's at the troop-level that these are conducted. The scoutmaster should make sure they're happening and the instruction and activities that make up ILST should be led by the SPL and older scouts in the troop as much as possible (augmented by the scoutmaster and ASMs if the youth need help). I can't imagine wanting the district training chair to be involved in (or even aware of) our troop's ILST activity. You lock the scouts in a
  17. I'm always sad to hear of good people leaving our world. If there's a silver lining to today's vacuum of strong role models, it's that those individuals who truly do reflect positive values stand out even more than ever. When I heard about Perot's passing, I had to reflect for a moment on how he came across to others. I always admired his leadership style, and I think his strongest leadership skill was his ability to think outside the box and develop a strong vision. When I think about how his life reflected the points of the Scout Law, I think his strongest point was "Brave". He h
  18. Here in Texas, most of the immigrants come from Latin American countries, a fair number from Asia, and a good number from Africa. I see few coming here from European countries. My own observations jibe with some of the comments that others have posted here. I think Terasec is right when he talks about Asian families pushing their kids to more academic pursuits: I see that too, although I also see kids from Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indian families participating in the scouting program (in fact, some of the most high-achieving scouts I've dealt with have been the Asian scouts....they seem
  19. If you've never been to Philmont and wonder what all the fuss is about, take a look at this article. It might give you a glimpse of the kind of magic that others see in the place... https://www.journalnow.com/entertainment/philmont-ranch-is-scouting-paradise/article_d660b318-46a2-52f2-8861-97802b28efa5.html I love seeing positive press about Scouting!!!
  20. A sure sign that girl troops are being increasingly accepted and commonplace is that we're seeing less and less attention being focused on them. It won't be long now until they are just plain old "troops" and their members are just scouts who do what's been expected of every scout since 1910. Not quite there yet, though. The "Houston Chronicle" still finds girl BSA troops to be newsworthy... https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/pearland/news/article/Pearland-all-girl-Scouts-BSA-troop-happy-to-14085655.php
  21. Yes. Confronting a problem head-on is often the best way to deal with it. Not every boy will have the personal courage to do that though. I'm surprised that RememberSchiff had camp staff deal with the problem. When I've been to camp, the camp staff have run activities, run the mess hall, run camp-wide activities, but never really involved themselves with the individual units and we rarely saw them around the troop sites. Units dealt with their own scouts. I also suspect that many scoutmasters might not run into the problem often because they haven't ever discussed it with parents
  22. Well, there you go. As long as it meets the needs of the scout and is fun for him, his choices were the right ones. There is never a "one size fits all" camp schedule that will work for every scout in the unit. BTW: Your son doesn't need to wait for "merit badge weekends that the troop" attends. The time-honored way for scouts to earn merit badges is to work on them independently based solely on their own initiative and interests and to find local counselors to work with on a 1-on-1 basis. Sadly, few scouts do it that way these days (and parents seem to expect the easy, insta
  23. Planning for summer camp usually begins in the spring and often culminates in a troop parent meeting where the scoutmaster talks about how to prepare for camp, what to pack, how the logistics will work, etc. One of the details that I don't often hear scouters talk about is bed wetting. For most scouts, that will be a non-issue because the boys will have "outgrown" that common pitfall of youth. But all kids aren't created equal, and some kids will still be dealing with the occasional nighttime "accident". For first-year scouts, the stress of being away from home for the first time
  24. I read a lot. Sometimes I come across things that make me pause. Such was the case today when I came across an article about a Parks Canada program to teach camping skills. The article made a couple assertions that give me food for thought: 1. Immigrants don't have a camping tradition, ergo they should be taught camping skills so they can enjoy the parks like everyone else. 2. Tent camping has been declining in popularity and teaching camping skills might push the trend line in the opposite direction. The point about immigrants might be true in a very broad sense, but my own exp
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