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Posts posted by InquisitiveScouter

  1. 43 minutes ago, Tired_Eagle_Feathers said:

    I want to clarify here:  I am not saying there are not differences between boys and girls.  Of course there are.

    What I'm saying is that with regards to activities in scouting, there is no difference between boys and girls.

    In other words, there is nothing in the Scout Oath or Law or scouting activities like hiking, camping, watersports, etc. where your sex makes any significant difference.

    There is essentially one prerequisite for participating in scouting:  enjoying outdoors activities.  If you enjoy outdoor activities, then scouting will appeal to you, regardless of your sex.


    Agreed, but Scouting is more than just the activities.

  2. 5 minutes ago, Ojoman said:

    Same thing... 

    OK, if you are involved with this, recommend:

    1.  address discrepancy between rquirement #1 (15 miles), and the statement at the end requiring only 10 miles.

    2. be consistent in naming convention...use the name "Erie Canal Trail Medal" (ECTM) throughout.  Avoid "Historic Trail Medal" references, as this could be confused with the BSA Historic Trails Award https://www.scouting.org/awards/awards-central/historic-trails/ (which the ECTM could be used to obtain)

    Best wishes

  3. 12 hours ago, Ojoman said:

    A Historic Trails Medal will be awarded for completion of the above requirements and the completion of at least a 10 mile distance along the canal.  There is no time limit or minimum # of hikes to reach 10 miles.

    Is the "Historic Trails Medal" something different than the "Erie Canal Trail Medal"??

  4. 7 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

    Why would an institution deny opportunity to half the population?

    Although I support female youth in Scouting, the answer to your question is that we are wired differently, and there is some benefit in single gender programming.

    • Upvote 1
  5. 12 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    When i organized our COVID-19 summer camp, I used the European model of troops picking their own program as a model. I talked to the PLC, got their input for activities, and organized it. But we were flexible. we moved activities around based upon weather and the conditions the kids were in (the morning bike ride turned into a morning and afternoon bike ride exhausting everyone.) The only Set activity we would not change was the BORs. We had 4 or 5 BORs scheduled for the last nite, and had the committee driving in to do them. Could not be rude to the committee. Everyone had a blast at it,  but many do not want to do it again because they want MBs.

    This is the ideal!!

    This makes me happy 😜  Except for the final clause of the last sentence...that one makes me a bit sad...😞

  6. 6 hours ago, OaklandAndy said:

    I believe my council runs the same way, however, with me never experiencing Scouting until I was an adult volunteer, I thought this was the way things were supposed to be. The way you describe it sounds much more exciting and fulfilling. 

    It is...Scouts want fun activities, not academics.  Parents want academics and merit badges earned.

    Fun is our hook, built around patrol-based activities where we slip in all the character, citizenship, fitness, and leadership opportunities.

    I challenge you to sit in on the First Aid class at your camp, and see what I mean.  Rarely is this one counseled to the requirements.  To elaborate, each Scout must complete the requirements as stated.  So, can you imagine how long it would take to teach and evaluate just requirements 1, 11, and 12??

    1. Demonstrate to your counselor that you have current knowledge of all first-aid requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks.

    11. Demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed or open fractures or dislocations of the

    1. Forearm

    2. Wrist

    3. Hand and Fingers

    4. Upper leg

    5. Lower leg

    6. Ankle

    12. Describe the signs and symptoms, proper first-aid procedures, and possible prevention measures for the following conditions:

    1. Anaphylaxis/allergic reactions

    2. Asthma attack

    3. Bruises

    4. Sprains or strains

    5. Hypothermia

    6. Frostbite

    7. Burns—first, second, and third degree

    8. Concussion

    9. Convulsions/seizures

    10. Someone who is unconscious

    11. Dehydration

    12. Muscle cramps

    13. Heat exhaustion

    14. Heat stroke

    15. Abdominal pain

    16. Broken, chipped, or loosened tooth


    (Sorry, formatting is all messed up on those, and I dunno how to fix it.)  @InquisitiveScouter   Fixed or better?, I recommend you first cut and paste into a word editor, edit accordingly, and then cut and paste into post. ~RS

    And I routinely see classes of 15 to 25 Scouts in First Aid at camps...  Basically, the instructor demonstrates the bandages in #11, or lectures on the items in #12, and then signs everyone off.  And that is wrong on so many levels...  Primarily, to earn any merit badge, each Scout must individually complete the requirements to earn the badge, unless it specifically says you may do it with help/assistance/or another Scout.

    Here are a couple of examples for those:

    Canoeing:   8. With a companion, use a properly equipped canoe to demonstrate the following:

    Pioneering:  9. Working in a group, (or individually with the help of your counselor) build a full size pioneering structure, using one of the following designs in the merit badge pamphlet:

    • Upvote 1
  7. Just now, OaklandAndy said:

    And more revenue is the reason why most camps don't use this model anymore?

    Yes, many councils have created the merit badge mills, which parents love because their Scout gets lots of badges fast, and they can get their Eagle quicker, and move on to the next college-resume-padding activity...

    Merit badge mills get a lot more attendance.  Our council is a perfect example: small camp offering 75 merit badges.  60% of our council revenue generated by the camp...  A fairly industrial operation, camp is stuffed to the gills with people.  And there are other camps very much like this...

    They went from giving the customer what they need to giving the customer what they want.  Now, that is how our society is based.  (Which is why we have an epidemic of obesity in this country.)  

    Rather than BSA (and councils) saying "This is how the program works, enjoy!",  they say, "What do you want?  Maximum merit badges?  No meal prep? Tents set up in advance? Individualized instruction? Troop sites versus patrol sites? None of that pesky patrol stuff?  No worries, we have got the perfect place for you!  That will be $500 per head, please."

    • Sad 1
    • Upvote 1
  8. 1 hour ago, MattR said:

    I also really liked that they had a build day. Every scout can at least have a reasonable car and it's no more than a few hours. That brings back the fun.

    Yeah, I wish people weren't so messed up in the head, and would stop building cars for their kids.  When you go to some district/council events, it is OBVIOUS that many were not the product of a Cub Scout.

    My son's car never won those events.  He built one two years in a row, and competed.  Where we lived at the time, it was blatant that parents were building and tweaking cars.  Honed axles, graphite, teflon, or other lubes, etc, etc,

    I wouldn't do it for him.  He got a little upset with me, but think he learned a valuable lesson...life isn't fair, and many people cheat and cut corners.

    He never built another one.  Adults ruin so much of the fun.  (I suppose I ruined it for him, too...)

    When we moved here (his last year of Webelos), this Pack did a modified build day... you could build and trick up the body at home, but everyone had to put on Pack-provided axles and wheels at the event.  No mods, and one adult would lube all the axles.  If you won and advanced, you get get another squirt of teflon before the next race.   It restored a lot of integrity to the race, and the kids had a whole heap of fun.

    And there were lots of categories for competition, other than fastest.

    Best Scout-theme Car, Best Patriotic Car, Best Alien Car, Best Military Car, Best Star Wars Car, Best Pokemon Car, Best Transformers Car, etc.  The Cubs picked the themes when we handed out the blocks (weeks before), and we announced them to the rest of the Pack.

    Cubs could purchase extra blocks and build more than one car, if desired.

    I love that this guy spent so much time, effort, and money to make a great event for them.  We should ask him to make us a full up pioneering kit on a trailer 😜

    • Upvote 1
  9. 22 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    Is 2 MBs at camp ok?  :)

    As long as the instructors and counselors mentor Scouts to meet the requirements as stated, then sure.

    This should be a different topic, though...

    Summer camp is supposed to be a week in the woods "under canvas", with all that entails...

    “A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.” BP

    It should focus on "...making camp, putting up a shelter, cooking over a fire, exploring our surroundings without getting lost, learning about the natural world and how to use what it provides, constructing things with pieces of tree and rope, tracking, and finally gathering socially around a fire."

    https://scoutmastercg.com/essential-scouting-skills/#:~:text=The skills Baden Powell (BP,provides%2C constructing things with pieces

    Here are some tenets of an ideal summer camp:

    - separate patrol sites

    - patrols pitch their own tents

    - patrols plan their own menus, do their own shopping, cook their own meals (if possible, over a wood fire!!), do their own dishes, store their own food

    - the PLC chooses the activities they want to do, and the adult leaders help them develop a support plan to make it happen.

    - a swimming hole

    - a place to shoot (if Scouts want to have that activity)

    - a campfire (or three) with songs, skits, cheers, and general silliness

    - map and compass work, with some hikes to distant places

    - exploring the natural world...water, rocks, soil, trees, plants, flowers, insects, fish, mammals, birds...  stalking them to learn about their habits and behavior (I am really good at stalking rocks and trees!)

    - ropework and pioneering, building structures that are actually used around the camp, not just a gateway

    etc, etc, etc... the focus should be on the activities themselves, under the patrol method, rather than individuals going to school-like classes taught (in general) by Scouts who have little to no experience or skill in those things, and only geared toward getting a piece of cloth

    The focus of the summer camp program is not advancement.  Advancement should happen as a result of the program.

    What you get in most council-run summer camps is just a poor shadow of the ideal, and our Scouts' development suffers for it



    • Upvote 2
  10. 13 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    My preference, Boy Scout camps provide secure pantry and refrigerator space and loaner cookware for attending units . Units/patrols bring their own food according to their needs. The only food ordered by a camp would be for their provisional camp.

    Mess halls for Cubs.

    My $0.02,

    @RememberSchiff, sorry, but this does not meet the country-club merit-badge-mill motif we are going for.  Gotta shave off as much Troop & Patrol work as possible to maximize the number of merit badge classes a Scout can attend and be awarded!!! (I did not say earn)

    C'mon, man! Get with the revenue program!

    • Haha 2
  11. 1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

    Age based patrols are basically setting the scouts up to fail because they don't have a good example for how to succeed.

    No, they aren't...the key is the Troop Guide. Wanna really understand the Troop Guide role?  Look at the patch.  He is the Patrol Leader-mentor.  We use Troop Guides to great effect.  Usually, they are past Patrol Leaders for their Patrol.  For six months, they go side by side with the PL of the New Scout Patrols until they "get it".  Six months is about all it takes, depending on program.  We camping trip every month, immediately followed by a PLC, a day trip every month, and have a service project every other month.  Plenty of leadership opportunities.

    Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let them lead!

    • Like 1
  12. 1 hour ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    We have not had a dull time DE in my district prior to merger for at least 9 years, always having to share one with another district.  Since the merger in 2021, we have had 2 DEs.  One didn't even attend the district camporee. The other didn't  attend the council camporee, although she was brand new and I will cut her some slack. We have hand delivered advancement paperwork only to be be told "It was never turned in" (despite having a photo taken of the paperwork in fact being turned in because of previous issues). We needed professional help trying to get into the schools for recruiting, to no avail. When asked to focus membership recruitment on struggling units instead of starting new units, was told point blank they would start new units where "needed." And prices to use facilities and attend events have skyrocketed with no announcement. In fact prices went up, but the prices listed on the website are the old ones. 

    Just makes you proud to be a part of it all, doesn't it?

  13. ^^^^^

    There is no justice among men that can remedy this. My heart swells every time I read a similar account.

    And my anger burns at the mostly now nameless and faceless people who protected pensions and organizations rather than flesh and blood.

    It is my fervent hope and prayer that the burdens of victims be lifted one day with righteous judgment and recompense.

  14. I use my experiences in the military to teach these exact principles to Scouts.

    It is a beautiful thing to see when a Patrol Leader understands his Mission/Task/Purpose and just gets it done.

    Scouts tend to struggle with this at first, because they are so used to parents/teachers always telling them exactly what and how to do something, then constantly looking over their shoulders to see that it is done the way the adults would do it. (Russian style of leadership.)

    Thanks for the video link! The US has been working with Ukraine over many years to teach exactly this Patrol Method style of leadership, and we are all watching the outcomes.  Very effective in combat, yes, but also very effective in any endeavor.


    • Upvote 1
  15. 17 minutes ago, clbkbx said:

    Ouch… I would also be too embarrassed to link to that partisan source (Jonathan Turley of The Hill).  

    Integrity and ethics are very, very important but some hide behind the veneer of the institution. How does a victim of abuse in the BSA think when they hear trustworthy, loyal… ? I know it makes my stomach turn even as I try to follow the same principles in my life.

    We need to track ethics and integrity by actions not words. SCOTUS has ideals of non-partisanship but politicians fight for the appointments… so the ideal is laughable.  Same for BSA in my mind, better to prove it than say it. 

    Esse quam videre

    • Upvote 1
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