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CalicoPenn

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CalicoPenn last won the day on July 13

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About CalicoPenn

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  1. CalicoPenn

    Gold Awardee reduces corporate plastic straw usage

    I like the idea of using bamboo for the citrus picks. They should use bamboo for the stir sticks as well instead of white birch - white birch takes much longer to grow to a harvestable size than bamboo.
  2. I was unfamiliar with Gaga Ball - it looks like a safer version of dodgeball to me - foam balls, no throwing, target is below the knees. What I'm reading is that the Scouts playing Gaga Ball are having a lot of fun with it (even if it is a safer version of Dodgeball). I'm surprised no one has complained that the BSA is taking all the fun out of dodgeball by doing Gaga Ball instead.
  3. CalicoPenn

    Sea Scouts

    I served on the Great Lakes - we call everything a boat - even the 1,000 foot freighters.
  4. CalicoPenn

    Stephen Covey

    Unfortunately, given who he was and how carefully he crafted his biographical information for public consumption, I don't think we'll ever have a definitive answer but my guess would be no. I think he would have mentioned in his biography that he earned the Eagle Scout rank, and the BSA would surely have mentioned that he was an Eagle Scout as part of their marketing of Wood Badge since they mentioned Covey's name in that marketing.
  5. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    I once had a moose pacing me for 2 miles on the side of a road in Maine while I was driving home from work one night - when I slowed down, he would slow down - if I sped up, he tried to keep pace with me. I was afraid he was going to decide to try to jump over my car to get to the other side of the road - this was one of the scariest things I've ever experienced because I saw what a moose trying to jump over a little car could do to the car.
  6. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    I am - but I should have also mentioned that these rules are for hunting raccoons.
  7. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    In Maine, one can hunt with a handgun - but not with one with greater power than .22 caliber long rifle ammunition.
  8. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    Actually, hunting is a restricted activity, not an unauthorized activity. Hunting is not allowed in the Cub Scout or the Boy Scout program but is allowed in the Venturing program. Hunter Safety programming is not considered hunting and is considered part of the BSA programming curriculum (according to the G2SS). So I would say that running hunter education programs on council properties is well within the acceptable range of activities.
  9. CalicoPenn

    Denied a court of honor.

    You've mentioned a couple of times that you think it was the Council that denied the Court of Honor . The Council is not involved in Courts of Honors - unless someone from the Council is invited as a guest at the Court of Honor. The Council does not approve or deny Courts of Honor. A Court of Honor is a unit function - not a Council function. Neither is it a District function - if some clown at Council or the District told me that I couldn't hold a Court of honor for one of my Scouts, that person would find themselves on the wrong end of an epic verbal smackdown.. If anyone denied the Court of Honor it was the Troop (either the Scoutmaster or the Committee) or the Chartered Organization. Most CO's aren't engaged enough to deny someone a Court of Honor - and most would be ticked pink to have a Court of Honor for an Eagle Scout in a unit they sponsor. If the Scoutmaster gave you the impression that the denial came from anywhere other than the Troop (or CO), then he is not being 100% honest with you. I know someone mentioned that you should do this in person - me? I would e-mail the Scoutmaster and copy the Scout Executive at the Council, the head of the Chartering Organization (not the COR unless that person is also the head of the organization) and if you can get their e-mail addresses, the Council Advancement Chair and the Council President and without going in to a lot of detail ask two very simple questions. Don't let any anger show, don't expound - just ask the question - I would word it like this: Dear Mr. Scoutmaster, I have two questions about your statement to my son in a meeting that his Eagle Scout Court of Honor was denied: !) Who denied the Court of Honor 2) Why did they deny the Court of Honor I await your response. That will surely get someone's attention. Give them a few days to respond - if you haven't heard back, resend it to them and include the editor of the local paper - I guarantee that will light some fires. Your son deserves his Court of Honor - and yes, you can do it on your own if you want - but I've got to say, this is a really poor way for the Unit to treat your son after all those years in Scouting.
  10. CalicoPenn

    Denied a court of honor.

    Short Ridge - I know I'm coming in late on this but I have to take exception to your statement that no one deserves a Court of Honor. Every Scout - at every level - deserves a Court of Honor if they have moved up in rank. A Tenderfoot earning Second Class deserves a court of honor. An Eagle Scout? Definitely deserves a Court of Honor. That's a big part of the program - and should never be ignored.
  11. CalicoPenn

    Is this the new normal?

    People younger than us.
  12. CalicoPenn

    Sea Scouts

    Oliver Perry also served on and commanded boats in the Mediterranean Sea, the West Indies and the Caribbean - I think he earned his sea chops. It could also be said that Lake Erie is an arm of the sea. Back in 1987, as part of the America's Cup competitions, the Heart of America, sponsored by the Chicago Yacht Club and practicing on Lake Michigan, competed in the Louis Vuitton Cup. The rules of the America's Cup required all boats to practice on the sea. The Heart of America went to the New York Supreme Court and got the court to agree that because of it's connection to the St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Michigan is an arm of the sea and therefore the Heart of America was practicing, for the intents of the America's Cup, on a sea. If Lake Michigan is an arm of the sea because of its connection to the St. Lawrence Seaway via Lake Ontario, then surely Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior is an arm of the sea. And if these lakes are all arms of the sea, then surely lakes like Lake St. Clair, Lake Nipigon, Lake Winnebago, Lake Nipissing and Lake Simco, which are all connected to the Great Lakes via river systems, are all arms of the sea. And if that's the case, the any other lake connected via river systems connected to the Great Lakes - either directly or through other connections, are arms of the sea. And if that's the case, then we can take it to its ridiculous extreme by saying that Lake Nokomis in Minnesota is an arm of the sea because it is connected to Minnehaha Creek which is a tributary of the Mississippi River and the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan are connected via rivers in Illinois and a canal that connects the river system to the lake.
  13. You may have oversight and control of the Troop's accounts but that is not the same as having significant responsibility to control, manage or direct the legal entity, which is what is required under these rules. The Troop is not a legal entity. Your CO is the legal entity that you operate under. Getting an EIN number for your Troop doesn't necessarily solve the legal entity conundrum either. EIN numbers do not confer legal status to anyone that holds them - to be a legal entity, you would likely also have to incorporate the Troop within the Commonwealth (yeah - I payed attention to where you live) as well. So how to solve this. I would suggest that you request a meeting with the Treasurer of your chartered organization and bring the information Hawkwin has found. There is a better than even chance that this person may already be familiar with these rules and can get you the signature you need. If they've made any changes to their accounts in the past couple of years, the Treasurer may have already had to deal with this.
  14. CalicoPenn

    Fundraising

    Scout accounts: I agree with Qwazse on only one of his takeaways. The others I partially agree with. My takeaway? low risk, potentially illegal and potentially inappropriate. Is it illegal for individual scout accounts? The IRS has not yet made that clear (in other words, there have been no test cases), however the IRS did send a letter in response to a unit that asked them about it (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-wd/02-0041.pdf) and while the IRS wouldn't come right out and say it (hmmm - kind of like National perhaps?), they strongly hint that it is probably not ok for a Scout to use the funds to purchase anything he may keep after leaving Scouts. They don't appear to have an issue with a unit using the funds to hep offset Scout's activity costs, or even for a unit to offset 100% of a Scout's activity costs in case of hardship. The key point though is scale and this is where it gets tricky because they won't define the actual scale. Could a Scout use an individual scout account to buy a handbook? Probably below the scale of what the IRS would consider significant. If the Scout uses it to buy a $250 backpack or $300 tent that won't become unit property when he leaves? That might tip the balance. If he uses an individual scout account to pay for a trip to the World Jamboree or for a Council contingent to Philmont? These will more than likely run afoul of the personal conversion rules (they may benefit the Scout but how do they benefit the Unit in a really meaningful way). Is it inappropriate? Depends on your view of the Scout Law and whether you believe that you're delivering a bad example to the Scouts by skirting what may very well be illegal - of course it is only potentially illegal since the IRS hasn't gone after any BSA units that use individual scout account. It really depends on how comfortable you are about gray areas. It's up to individuals to make this decision. I do agree 100% with Qwasze on the risk. He is right on when he says scale matters. Right now, the scale involved with individual scout accounts is pretty small - the IRS isn't likely to be too worried about them right now. That could change in the future but for right now, it's pretty low risk. I think the most important takeaway is to just be diligent if you are using Individual Scout Accounts. Keep very good records, always remember that, unless your unit is also using them as "savings accounts" where a Scout can "deposit" their own money in to the account to help pay their own way, that the funds in a Scout's account is ultimately the units (yeah, I know - its ultimately the CO's - but lets keep it simple) and not the Scout's. Know that if the Scout leaves the unit, you don't cut him a check for what is left in the account (again, unless you're returning his own money he has deposited), even if he is transferring to another Scout unit (though it might be ok if he is going from one unit to another that is chartered by the same chartering organization - and I still wouldn't do it because most of those transfers are from Cubs to Scouts and it's rather unfair to the Pack). I'll leave with one other thought - Parents love to try to guilt Scout Leaders in to transferring fundraising dollars to their son's new units, or for the unit to pay for their son's individual trip to a different summer camp, by claiming that their Scout has done a lions share of the fundraising and why should other kids get the benefit of their son's superior fundraising skills. I once witnessed a Scoutmaster asked this very question - and the Scoutmaster's response was perfect - he told good old businessman dad that while his son may have sold more popcorn than anyone else, he didn't clean the kybos once during summer camp, he leaves his patrol to set up his tent, he doesn't do his share of the cooking and cleaning up - he just wants to do the fun stuff leaving everyone around him to do the work - so the Scoutmaster would just consider his superior fundraising as a tradeoff.
  15. CalicoPenn

    BSA National and Change Management

    Who do you want National to be held accountable to? National Staff is held accountable by the National Board. The BSA is a business - non-profit granted - but still a business. If you're thinking National needs to be held accountable to the volunteers and the Scouts, then you've got our roles wrong. We're the customers - our only recourse is to stop being a customer. The problem with that is that for everyone who doesn't like a BSA policy, there are far more that are either ok with a BSA policy or are apathetic and don't care either way.
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