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Everything posted by SteveMM

  1. My 15-year-old son has always been on the small side, but suddenly he's growing ... rapidly. I don't want to buy official BSA uniform pants because he'll outgrow them so quickly and our troop isn't fussy as long as they somewhat resemble Scout pants. He's outgrown all of the long pants he had, and he has a District dinner coming up in a couple of weeks, so he'll need something other than the green shorts he wears to meetings. Any ideas? I've been looking on Amazon and the only thing I can seem to find is the "brand" (sold under a bunch of different names) that I bought him to go to Philmont this past summer. He's now outgrown them and weren't that good anyhow. I'd prefer, if possible, convertible pants that can zip into shorts.
  2. SteveMM

    Troop Pressure for OA

    How appropriate is it for the higher-ups in a troop (in our case, the SM) to pressure Scouts to get their Brotherhood? At our regular troop meetings, I've heard things like, "We don't want any sash and dash OA members, so if you don't plan be involved, don't do it." Now, I guess this doesn't sound all that bad, as he's looking for Scouts who will be active OA members. However, my son and others who are OA members but haven't yet gotten Brotherhood are regularly harassed as well. At the latest meeting, our troop's OA representative reminded OA members that there was a ordeal weekend coming up. The SM then jumped in and asked my son if he was going. My son (who is kind of done with the guy) shrugged, probably knowing that he wasn't. The SM then looked at his own son, who is our OA rep, and said, "take him out back and beat him until he says yes." This type of "joke" has led to the son applying his own pressure to my son (verbally, mind you) whenever he gets a chance. A little background: My son hasn't been the most active OA member, for sure. He did his ordeal in the fall of 2017. He balances Scouts with playing soccer, which sometimes doesn't leave time for much else. He's done his ordeal, one service outing, and attended conclave this year, but he doesn't regularly attend OA meetings. His soccer schedule is now loosening up a bit. He has his Eagle CoH coming up next month, and I think his plan is to focus on advancing and being more active in OA after that. I know the answer to this is to have a talk with the SM, but I'm wondering if this sort of thing is normal.
  3. SteveMM

    Troop Pressure for OA

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have had many discussions with my son since I made the original post. He is not going for his Brotherhood, and says the incessant nagging from the SM and his son are part of the reason. There's another Scout in the troop (Life Scout and just finished his term as SPL) who is in the same boat. They were both so turned off by the pressure that they aren't interested. I disagree with my son's stance, but it's not something I'm going to push further because I know it clearly won't do any good. He's only 15.5, so he might change his mind later.
  4. I just saw this on Facebook. I don't deny that many people were hurt before youth protection policies were put in place, but the lawyers are now trolling as a way to make money.
  5. SteveMM

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Update: Son and I did go to Walmart yesterday, and managed to find a pair of pants! His waist size is now 28.5, which makes finding something that fits a bit challenging. However, we found a pair of green Wrangler cargo pants with a 29 waist. The color looks like BSA pants that have been washed a bunch of times. The cost was $20. I grabbed two of them, and spent around what I would have spent for one pair of official BSA pants. They have a little room to grow in width and length, so he's set for a little bit ... hopefully. Thanks everyone for your help!
  6. SteveMM

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    This is an idea, if they have a really small size. He's very skinny, and waist size has always been a problem for him. I haven't yet found a pair of adult pants that fit him. He's generally wearing youth 16 sizes now, and that's with the adjustable waist tightened a bit! Maybe we'll make a run to Walmart after school and see what we can find.
  7. SteveMM

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Thanks! I think those are actually the adult version of the ones I bought for my son to take to Philmont this past summer. It was really weird. I ordered XL and they were HUGE -- like two inches too big in the waist. So, I sent those back and ordered large ones. They were a little on the small side! They worked well enough but he's now outgrown them, but he probably hasn't grown enough that the XL ones would fit.
  8. SteveMM

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Unfortunately eBay is out because the District meeting is next weekend, so I don't know that I'd get it in time. I don't love CraigsList very much. Thrift store is a possibility, but very hit or miss. Yes, I waited until the last minute. In my defense, he and I cleaned out a lot of clothes that didn't fit yesterday and I just realized he'd grown out of what he had This is really making me think our troop needs to start a uniform closet if we can find the room for it.
  9. SteveMM

    Recommendations for off-brand Scout pants

    Thanks. I saw that in my searches. My son is between 5'4'' and 5'5'' (at the moment) and around 110 lbs. So, he's pretty skinny. I'm not sure he'd fit in any of their sizing options. I'll see if I can measure his waist when he gets home. I feel like he might be at about a 28-inch waist, so even 29-inches would be big.
  10. SteveMM

    Troop Pressure for OA

    He's only 15 years old right now. He earned Eagle back in August and plans to remain very active in Scouts. I really thought advancing in OA would be his next step, along with leadership in the troop. But, I think he's decided leadership in the troop is enough, given his soccer commitments. If the SM will just stop nagging him, I have a feeling he'll come around about Brotherhood eventually. No one should really be pushing him, especially the SM and his son. What I've learned on this one is that pushing him will do no good. The SM tried, and he failed. The SM's son tried, and he failed. I even tried it a little, and I failed.
  11. SteveMM

    Troop Pressure for OA

    Since this topic resurfaced, I thought I'd give an update: There was an opportunity for my son to get his Brotherhood last weekend. Weeks in advance I talked with him, and offered to register him for the lodge weekend as long as he was willing to do the work to prep for Brotherhood. It was also a big anniversary for our local lodge, which would have made getting Brotherhood that weekend even more special. After hemming and hawing about it for a while, my son finally said he's just not interested. I asked why, and he said the pressure from his SM and the SM's son has made him a lot less interested in OA. That may be an excuse to not want to do the little bit of work that's involved. However, my son claims that our current SPL is in the exact same situation.
  12. SteveMM

    Uniform During Fund Raising

    That seems insane to me. If it's a fundraiser for your troop, why wouldn't the boys wear Class A, or at least Class A without the neckerchief or sash? If nothing else, it's harder to say "no" to a kid wearing a uniform!
  13. Oh it's not a rule, and if the boys decide the want to plan to go to one, we can do that. We do, however, subtly discourage it. Thankfully, the boys haven't shown much interest in them lately, and would rather just go on a regular campout. I disagree with a lot that our SM does, but this is one thing he's done right -- reduced (not eliminated) the culture in our troop that you have to advance as fast as possible. My son's Eagle came a bit early, but it was starting to get a little ridiculous in our troop how young kids were getting there. It's slowed down a lot, and kids are better Scouts because of it.
  14. There's a strong push going on right now, led by me and another Committee Member, to limit our troop's participation in merit badge weekends to one per year. In previous years, we've gone to as many as three or even four in a calendar year. It's part of the reason we have some Scouts with merit badges wrapping all around their sash, but don't remember half of what they learned. Our goal is to replace those merit badge weekends with more traditional hiking, fishing, and camping trips. So far we're winning. Merit badge weekends are NOT needed. My son got his Eagle in early August at the age of 15 while splitting his free time with competitive travel soccer. He has attended exactly one merit badge weekend in his Scouting career.
  15. SteveMM

    New Sex Abuse Arrest

    That's the first thing I thought of. He's allowed to take JUST his own son, but not JUST the other kid. If he takes his own son AND the other kid, it's acceptable.
  16. SteveMM

    Scouter.com Slogan Contest

    Scouters.com - Uniting Scouters Worldwide
  17. SteveMM

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    Our troop doesn't do inspections and isn't particular about shorts or pants, other than telling the boys that they have to actually wear shorts or pants. We'd prefer they were green or at LEAST khaki, but don't say much if a Scout shows up wearing his uniform shirt with basketball shorts. At least they're showing up, right? With that said, a Scout would be counseled if he showed up with that bullseye below his pocket.
  18. SteveMM

    Movies on a campout, a new essential?

    "The rule in our troops on normal campouts is that if it's not warm enough to play manhunt in the evening or at night near our campsite, then I’ll show a movie instead." I realize this is an advertisement article, but this sentence says it all --- they do this regularly. Our troop allows phones and other tech while driving to a campsite or outing, but once we arrive everything is collected and locked away. There's a reason for this -- we don't want them watching movies or playing games. This troop, apparently, facilitates it.
  19. SteveMM

    Troop t-shirts for summer camp

    We do a troop t-shirt every year, and it's included as part of the boys' dues. A committee of boys designs it using some website or another ... possibly ClassB.com. Last year's was pretty ugly, but it's a quality shirt so I wear it every now and then. If the boys (or their parents) want to buy a camp t-shirt for summer or winter camp (or whatever) they're welcome to. Our troop requests that the boys wear class B shirts while camping, but no one says anything if they wear something else during the day. We consider any Scouting-related shirt to be an acceptable class B, including ones that are left over from Cub Scouts. Before my son went to summer camp for the first time, I went down to our Scout Store and picked up a few extra shirts that were on clearance, so he had enough to get through the week, but later realized I didn't need to bother. Now that he's been a Scout for nearly six years, he's got way more than he needs.
  20. SteveMM

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    Well that's a complete nightmare. 😵
  21. Our new Scouts receive a kerchief, a neckerchief slide, and Scout book. This is whether they bridged over from Cub Scouts, or they joined the troop fresh.
  22. SteveMM

    Hard Merit Badges

    You know, I feel like an idiot, but that's something I'd never thought of. We're in Virginia, where ski slopes and beaches are each less than two hours away. Not being able to earn a merit badge due to geography never occurred to me.
  23. SteveMM

    Discouraged: A Very Poor Call Out Ceremony

    My son, despite getting Eagle rank earlier this month, has not achieved Brotherhood in the OA. He's not even 15-and-a-half, so he has plenty of time. However, he's not remotely interested. Part of it is knowing he doesn't have the time to go to OA meetings due to sports, and part of it is his Scoutmaster nagging at him every couple of weeks to get his Brotherhood. It turned him off to the whole thing. So, I guess he's a Sash and Dasher. I figured getting his Brotherhood and rising in the OA ranks might be a good next step for him, but as of right now, that's out. I'm disappointed, but there's no sense in trying to force him.
  24. SteveMM

    Team Up!

    I believe that Scoutmaster's name was Caractacus Pott
  25. SteveMM

    How much water?

    I was starting to say it should be higher than 30 gallons, but I was thinking more of the first example Treflienne gave, and not the second. They say a person needs to drink two liters of water each day, and you may absolutely go through that if you're doing hiking or other exercise during your trip. Each gallon has a bit less than two liters, and I would err on the high side to be safe, so maybe 17 gallons for drinking. That leaves 13 gallons for cooking and cleaning, and as mentioned above, what kind of cooking and cleaning you're doing will determine whether that's enough.