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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 1 hour ago, MattR said:

    Just a couple of observations with pioneering:

    Use rope made from natural fiber rather than nylon, poly, etc. It just sticks better when you have to pull the lashing tight.

    A good lashing is tight. Pull it tight often while you make the lashing. You know it's really tight when you can hear the rope creak.

    Start off by learning just the lashings you need. In the above drawing only a tripod and square lashing are needed (along with a clove hitch and any knots to hold up the pot). So just focus on that.

    There are lots of details about where to put the various parts of the lashing and how to go from, say, wraps to fraps, but as a simple rule, just keep everything close together. That will help the lashing stay tight, the poles standing and the scouts smiling.

    After their first success they, and you, can start looking into finer details and more lashings.

    And it requires a round lashing...

  2. OK, so, from the description, they could use their imagination to come up with something like this



    1.  Use the three six foot poles to build the tripod, with a tripod lashing.  The top of the tripod is the fulcrum.

    2.  Using the two eight foot poles, make the boom with round lashings.

    3.  Attach the two cross braces (blue) with square or Mark II lashings.

    All these lashings are in the Scout Handbook.

    Tie a piece of sturdy rope at the end to attach to the object to be moved.

    Orient the tripod and the cross braces for maximum stability while moving the 25 lbs object. 

    Please see if your Scouts can come up with this solution on their own.  Get all the materials together, tell them the problem as stated above, and see what they come up with.  Part of this problem seems to be imagining and creating a solution.  

    Woodbridge is about an hour away from us, so I'll pass on the visit.  The diagram above is relatively easy to construct.


    P.S. If you put the boom on top of the tripod, the upper part of the tripod staves might interfere with the movement of the boom.  They are asking for only five feet, so that is a relatively small movement.  Anyway, have the Scouts figure it out.  You could put the boom below the tripod lashing and use the cross braces as the fulcrum.  Trial and error...

    And I think this is fitting for my 1000th post!!!  Thanks for the opportunity😝

  3. 1.  Scout Handbook Woods Tools section has an OK discussion of lashings.  The illustrations are inferior, and you have to parse out the meaning from each of the instructions. 

    2.  The Pioneering Merit Badge pamphlet.  1993 version (1998 printing, if you can find it.)  Here's a site https://scoutpioneering.com/older-pioneering-merit-badge-pamphlet/

    3.  Practice.  You tube videos might help.  But, you'll find, there is the right way, the wrong way, and the Scout way 😜

    4.  Even if they do not have the confidence or ability, do not skip the town.  Use their time there to go and ask for a demonstration.  In humility, say exactly what you have said..."We don't know how to do this, and we do not have anyone with the experience to teach us.  Would you please show us how to do it, so we can learn?" 

    5.  Would you please post a description of what the Derby officials are asking for?

    6.  Where are you in NJ?  If close, I might be able to attend one of your meetings to help.

    My 999th post!!!  So long, triple digits!! 😜


    • Upvote 1
  4. 1 hour ago, yknot said:

    My experience with legal proceedings is that corporations, institutions. insurers, and lawyers are looking to offload liability all the time in any way that they can and with anything they can. If they can prove you neglected to have any necessary paperwork in place, it gives them a toehold to work through.  And liability for scouters extends way beyond CSA. 


    This is why I am a stickler for paperwork and following all points of BSA policies for activities...

    I shake my every every year, especially at summer camps, at how many adults just blow off safety provisions...

    Thunder?  Yeah, I heard it, but it sounds really far away, we can continue our activity (smh)

    Jimmy is a Beginner?  That's OK, he can get in the canoe with Johnny the swimmer, who is not an adult (smh)

    Canoe Trek?  Naw, they don't need the three hours of instruction or demonstrate proficiency and recover from a capsize (smh)

    Class II rapids?  Naw, we don't need helmets (smh)

    Scuba?  No, we don't need to get the Scuba agency medical formed signed by a doctor...the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record is good enough (smh)

    and on and on and on...

  5. 4 hours ago, qwazse said:

    Glad someone got a laugh. But for anyone who wants to take this seriously …

    One line of thinking is that this rechartering delay is an adult debacle. So, indeed, if the scouts pull of their camp out, even if it’s essentially under the auspices of he CO with no help from BSA, they should be recognized for it. And chances are, your council advancement committee would agree.

    On the other hand, when I was a kid, campouts — especially in winter — were just for fun as @MattR described. If you told me the night would not meet the “under the auspices of BSA” requirement as written, I’d still show up with my pack ready to go. Given what I now know about about the current training that the Catholic Church requires of their volunteers, I’d be happy to send my kid on an overnight with their youth group.

    Hopefully you’ll hear back from the council’s registrar and all of this will be a non issue.

    But, if requirements for advancement are malleable rules “written by second graders”, why let 6th graders pursue the award at all?

    Yes, the only thing I think would bring it to a full stop is a Cease and Desist Letter from council...then you are officially no longer under the auspices.

    I totally agree with you: never let the adult side of things hold a Scout back from advancement...

  6. On 1/14/2022 at 9:09 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Ours just went through yesterday.  We have a charter until 31 Dec 2022!  Now, I'll ask if our charter agreement has actually been signed for the year?  (Since our unit has unilaterally handled the last four years doing this [coordinating all signatures on the document and delivering it to council], my sense is we will have to do it again this year...)  

    Nope, no signed Annual Charter Agreement.  I'll run one around for signatures, just so our CO is covered.  This is the document that binds the BSA to cover the CO with insurance.

    So, do your registrars issue you a unit charter without having this form completed?


    Ours has for the past five years...



  7. On 1/15/2022 at 5:10 PM, MattR said:

    Well, when salary has to be made every 2 weeks and camp can sit for 9 months, it's easy to see why this happens. I'm sure it's easy to get addicted to donations. From '45 to the late 60's I'm sure they got all they asked for. But that gravy train is long gone. And yet the culture of rewards is still based on donations. In the meantime, there are fewer volunteers with less outdoor knowledge that need more help in order to deliver a better program.

    That's a lot of change needed.

    As implied above, the real challenge is getting leadership to see that the leadership isn't working. Who wants to admit that their leadership is dragging the organization down? ... that their way of doing things hasn't changed much for the better in a very long time? While I've been fine with the membership changes I've never really thought they were going to make a big change in numbers. The BSA leadership was absolutely convinced the changes would solve all their problems. I was hopeful when Mosby was made head honcho but it's been crickets since then.

    I'm not sure there is anyone that understands all the issues and has the authority to change things. At least not yet. My guess is that there are a few on the national board that know all about these issues but until the rest of the leadership is willing to listen it's just wishful thinking.

    You are right on the money...and sometimes I think that is why we need the "creative destruction" of a Chapter 7.

  8. 5 minutes ago, clarkbear said:

    Asking for an Eagle Scout if their hours worked on their own Eagle project also may count to other awards, and in this particular case, the National Outdoor Achievement  Award - Conservation Emblem. Assuming his project was conservation related, is there a problem with his hours counting toward this award? Or should all his work on his Eagle project not be used for any other scouting awards?

    Absolutely you can double count.  Unless the requirements specifically say otherwise.

    Also, since the project was conservation related, he could use it to fulfill requirements for the Distinguished Conservation Service Award. 


    • Like 1
  9. 52 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Well, I guess it just it depends on who is doing the counting.

    And, frankly, your comment is just obtuse.

    I cannot adhere to rules prescribed for third graders which were written by second graders (National 



    I took it as a joke.  @qwazse?

  10. 1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    It supposed to be in the upper 30 to low 40s all day Saturday with 30 mph winds and maybe getting down in the teens at night.  

    Sounds wonderful!  No bugs, fewer other campers, and a good chilly night to sleep 😜

    Hope your other outing goes well...  

  11. 19 hours ago, qwazse said:

    @InquisitiveScouter, ours seems to have gone through. But, maybe because we were merging troops (again) this year and transferring a lot of scouts, we got pushed through. We made sure clearances were well organized three months ago.

    I haven't seen a certificate yet, but that's not much of a surprise. The transferred scouts are now visible to us, so something worked.

    Ours just went through yesterday.  We have a charter until 31 Dec 2022!  Now, I'll ask if our charter agreement has actually been signed for the year?  (Since our unit has unilaterally handled the last four years doing this [coordinating all signatures on the document and delivering it to council], my sense is we will have to do it again this year...)  

  12. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:


    My unit is in paperwork limbo. Everything has been turned in, and money has been attempted to be paid. but something in the online system is not allowing it to go through. To make matters worse, only the 2021 key 3 have access to the online system, and they are unavailable at this time. Hence why we got new Key 3.


    58 minutes ago, Eagle1993 said:

    We are also stuck with the money issue.  One issue is the online system is going to charge adults in multiple units multiple times.  We are just going to pay and then get refunds later.  A bit of a mess.

    Our registrar is struggling with the "new" system.  It was all supposed to be done electronically.  But, in PA, the registrar must verify PA volunteer clearances are up to date for the entire adult roster before approving the recharter.  However, the registrar cannot see the "future" roster until she approves it.   Catch-22, so they had to go back to all the units and ask for a roster for rechartering, outside the electronic system.

  13. And please, for the love of all that is Scouting, make him pack his own gear!  You can go through the Scout Handbook checklist with him to guide him, but please make him pack it.

    And starting today, after school & homework, have him gather at least about a third of his stuff  ... if he waits until the last minute (Friday after school) , there will be problems for both of you.

    Windy and chilly in your area this weekend.  Lows in the high 20's.  Hats, gloves, and layers are a must.  Don't know if you two are used to those temps.  Is his sleeping bag good for that?  And a final trick...use a wide-mouth Nalgene filled with hot water as a hot water bottle in the bottom of the sleeping bag.  He'll literally be a bug in a rug 😜

    And congratulations, Dad (?)!  Mine got his driver's license yesterday, and I bought him a celebratory milkshake (his favorite).  Celebrate those milestones!!  Have a short parent-son treat on Sunday when he returns home. 

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 2
  14. 1 hour ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Similar for my council.  For Scouts BSA, less of an issue; however, would definitely impact camporees ... so definitely a negative impact but perhaps managable for strong Troops.  For Cub Scouts, losing local council camps, can kill their camping program.  What I was told, for Cub Scouts, is the idea of buying a large warehouse location that could be used for scout offices and a Cub Scout camp (indoors).   Indoor tents?, climbing walls?, trout pond?  Not exactly sure as it was a rumor.  

    They could call it Cubela's!!


  15. 15 hours ago, Armymutt said:

    My grand plans for sustaining the growth in my Pack are coming to a halt.  Friday I found out that the Army has decided that I need to move to a different job than I planned to take this summer.  The new one is 9 hours away.  Depending on many factors, I'll be there by myself and my wife will step down from being the committee chair.  I have one person in mind to replace me as Cubmaster, but no clear CCs.  My kids will still be in the Pack as long as it exists.  I may see if I can swap into a committee position that doesn't require attending weekday meetings.  Our committee meetings are all done online, so maybe I can be the treasurer.  Thoughts?  My bigger disappointment is the OA.  I am really active in our chapter and am trying to get our ceremonies team back on track/in existence.  

    On the far end, I won't have much to do in the evenings.  Hopefully I can find a unit that will let me be a leader of some sort.  

    Hey, if the Army wanted you to have a Scout unit, they'd have issued you one!! 😛

    Keep up the good work.  We all need you.

    • Like 2
    • Haha 1
  16. 1 hour ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Yesterday, I learned that our scout executive's salary plus retirement fund contribution, for last year was just shy of 50% of the Council's budget. (The retirement contribution was HALF of salary.)


  17. 5 minutes ago, Muttsy said:

    My understanding is the LC execs salaries are paid by National. Is that wrong? If true, who pays those salaries when BSA liquidates? Do the locals have the cash flow to pay those salaries and benefits with BSA gone? Under what authority do the local councils have to continue to operate absent the charter from National which will be defunct?

    Oh no...all salary and benefits paid out of the funds from the local council.  You can see this on any IRS Form 990 for your local council.  If you need a link, post your council, and I'll try to put in here.

    • Upvote 1
  18. Just now, MattR said:

    Exactly. The MB counselors that require certification are usually much more fun.

    Yup...I try to steer my Scouts towards the aquatics badges, shooting sports badges, climbing, and scuba.  All of those are a blast.  And lots of "doing." 

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