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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. CalicoPenn

    What is an Atheist????

    I'm looking forward to the day when the BSA is sued for denying the Eagle Scout Award to a boy who proclaims his faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the deity of the Pastafarian Movement. Calico
  2. CalicoPenn

    Mile Swim

    Bill, As I was responding privately to you, MarkS posted the same info on the forum, so I won't repeat. Hope this helps answer your questions - I said unfortunately because I could have easily earned the Mile Swim award back when I was a Cub Scout too, but had to wait until I became a Boy Scout. The Mile Swim was the first award I earned at my first Summer Camp. CalicoPenn
  3. CalicoPenn

    Mile Swim

    Unfortunately, the answer is no. A Cub Scout may not earn the Mile Swim Award. The Mile Swim Award is not a part of the Cub Scout Program, it is available to Boy Scouts and Venturers only. Your Cub Scout will have to wait until he joins a Boy Scout Troop for this one. CalicoPenn
  4. CalicoPenn

    "If we plan it, we can do it"

    Great Job!...Well Done! Calico
  5. CalicoPenn

    Discussing Obedience

    I think that the variety of tactics Beavah mentions used to affect changes in law fits in well with the concepts in "A Scout is Obedient" (with the caveat that "disobedience" be read as "civil disobedience" as opposed to flat out defiance). All of these tactics are, IMHO, done in an orderly manner in order to affect change. The admonition is that a Scout attempts to have them changed in an "orderly manner" - it doesn't say in a "legal manner". Organized protests, boycotts, acts of civil disobedience, etc. are usually done in a orderly manner. I interpret the "rather than disobey them" to mean that a Scout shouldn't just ignore or flat out defy a law (rule, etc.) they disagree with. In most cases of civil disobediance, a person may end up breaking the law, but if done in an orderly manner, with purpose (such as calling attention to the unfairness of a law), it isn't neccessarily a bad thing. A comment on John-in-KC's response - specifically this part: "The historic events Beavah discussed, save repeal of Prohibition, are all significant in that they advanced who we are as a people." I would argue that the repeal of Prohibition also significantly advanced who we (US Citizens) are as a people. Prohibition was the only clause in the Constitution of the United States that prohibited a thing to the People (other clauses prohibits things to governments). Repealing Prohibition preserved a key concept of the Founding Fathers - that the Constitution is there to protect the individual liberties of the People, not to take them away. There have been many attempts to amend the Constitution to prohibit the People from being allowed to take some action (recent example - prohibition of flag burning). These have so far failed, partly because of our experience with attempting Prohibition. The repeal of prohibition advanced us as a People because it reminded us what individual liberty and freedom is all about. CalicoPenn
  6. CalicoPenn

    Who decides if we have unit elections?

    I'm concerned about this statement: "SPL briefed the ASPL and went to LLD (at the same camp-- just 1/4 mile away) for a few hours. ASPL was not as capable of handling boys. SPL has been taken to task for this and may resign as OA rep leaving us repless too." The SPL was taken to task for availing himself of additional training opportunities AFTER breifing the ASPL on what needed to be done, and, I assume, with the full knowledge of the adult leaders on the trip?? The troop didn't do as well without the SPL there as a result?? Where was the support for the ASPL from the Adult Leaders while the SPL was away for a few hours? How is it possible for a Troop to fall apart in just a few hour without the SPL around? Is there no other youth leaders in the Troop capable of handling the Troop - and if not - WHY NOT??? Who took the SPL "to task" for this? The Scoutmaster? If so, then SHAME on the Scoutmaster for not fully supporting the SPL and for dumping the problems and "failure" of the Troop while he was away on the SPL's shoulders? The Troop Committee? Then SHAME on the Troop Committee for interfering with the SPL/Scoutmaster relationship and SHAME on the Scoutmaster (again) for not advocating for the SPL and telling the TC to mind their own freaking business. I'm also concerned about this: "Decision was made by TC that this was the only week for the campout despite this" Since when is it the Troop Committees decision to schedule weekends for a campout? This is a decision for the PLC with the guidance of the Scoutmaster and the SM's Assistants. Once the decision has been made by the PLC, the TC is there to support that decision. The TC can point out conflicts (but the Scoutmaster should have already known about those potential conflicts and have discussed them with the PLC) but once the PLC makes the schedule, the TC needs to get out of the way and support the boys or they become the problem. Not only is the Order of the Arrow getting blame for your Troop's problems, but you have effectively blamed the Senior Patrol Leader for the Troop's problems as well. It's time for you adults - all of you - to sit down and take a good, hard look at yourselves. Instead of taking responsibility for this "failure" (I prefer to think of it as a learning opportunity - and this would have told me that the youth need a whole lot more training in leadership, and some adults need it too) the adults are blaming a boy. Congrats. Frankly, If I were the SPL, not only would I resign from the Troop Rep position, I would resign immediately from the SPL position and look for a new troop - if not leave Scouting altogether. The one person in this whole scenario who is blameless, the Senior Patrol Leader, who did everything right - avail himself of additional training to benefit the Troop, briefed the ASPL on what needs to be done - gets the blame. You need to take steps to fix this mess - a mess you and the TC created. First step - apologize to the SPL for "taking him to task" and fixing the blame on him. Second step - get more training for the boys and for the adults. Third step - Learn how to integrate the OA into your program - the Order of the Arrow is mentioned in the BSA Handbook as something for the boys to become a member of - it is the BSA's National Honor Society (the one and only - the "Tribe of Mic-o-Say" is not a National Program). Since it's in the Handbook, the opportunity for the boys who wish to become a member should not be removed by a group of parents on a Troop Committee. If this post sounds a little harsh, I mean it to be - the adults in your Troop have failed in regards to the SPL, have failed in regards to the ASPL, and have failed in regards to the boys. Blaming the SPL and the OA when the adults should collectively look in the mirror for the culprit solves none of the issues you've brought up. CalicoPenn
  7. CalicoPenn

    I need Guidance!

    mk - My opinion is that our opinions on this issue aren't important. It is you and your fellow leaders opinion that is important. Do you folks want this lad to remain in Scouts or do you want to kick him out? If you want to keep him in, keep him in - some folks here have provided good reasoning to support that decision. If you want to kick him out, then you've found the excuse to do so - other folks here have provided good reasoning to support that decision. But it's ultimately your call. You can "kick it up to council" to let them make a decision but even trying to pass the buck is making a decision - and your decision is ultimately responsible for what comes next. Whether you agree or disagree with BSA policy doesn't matter at this point - and my sense is you folks haven't figured out if you really agree or disagree with it. If you all fully agreed with the policy, we wouldn't be having this discussion, you would have already shown the lad the door. That you haven't done so yet tells me that while you might agree, in principle, to the policy, this is a non-hypothetical situation with a real person that you folks know, and must like and respect, and are wondering if, in fact, the policy makes any sense at all. What matters at this point is what decision you are going to take - the policy is only the tool to hide behind. There must be other factors driving the question that we aren't aware of - I can think of several situations that might give me pause before I was to toss out a boy for declaring he was an agnostic For instance: father (or mother, or other relative) the head of the Chartered Organization - tossing the boy out could mean the potential loss of the chartered organization too. Boys parents heavily involved as leaders - potential loss of leaders that may not be easily replaced. Boy very popular with other boys (and their parents) in the troop - a true leader - one that other boys follow willingly - potential loss of signficant number of Scouts who decide tossing the lad out was just stupid and unfair. Folks have given you both sides of the coin - the black-and-white letter of the law and the shades of gray interpretation of the law. It's really up to you to decide which to follow. If you let tell him to leave, you can try to take comfort in knowing that you followed the letter of the law. If you let him stay, you can try to take comfort in the various shades of gray interpretations. It's up to you to decide what will make you most comfortable, and what you'll be able to live with - because it is you that needs to live with the decision, and it's consequences. CalicoPenn
  8. The hang up on this seems to be on the non profit part of the requirements and people just aren't getting beyond it. Is Berkeley treating any non-profits differently from others? I haven't seen any evidence that they are. To get a free berth in Berkeley, more than one criterium needs to be met. The criteria we know about are: 1) Be a non-profit organization AND 2) Adhere to the non-discrimination policy of the City of Berkeley. It is not 1) OR 2). It is 1) AND 2). The Sea Scouts can meet requirement #1. They don't meet requirement #2 - therefore, since they don't meet BOTH requirements, they don't qualify for free berths. Now, if someone can show that a non-profit that has a free berth also does not meet requirement #2, then we have a case that all non-profits are not being treated equally. No one has shown any evidence of this, though. Berkeley treats all non profits the same by requiring all non profits that gain a free berth to meet BOTH requirements. If Berkeley allowed the Sea Scouts the use of a free berth by looking the other way on Requirement #2 when they don't do so for other non profits, then they would not be treating all non profits the same. SCOTUS likely didn't take this case up because they knew the Scouts did not have a case to go forward on. The Scouts couldn't prove that they were being discriminated against because they never showed that Berkeley made any kind of exception to the policy for any other non profit. The ordinance never named any organization by name, and as long as it is equally enforced among all non profits, then it is not discriminatory. CalicoPenn
  9. Long term storage? Short term storage? Long term (such as over winter) I hang my tents in a clean, dry closet. I don't do this to prevent mildew (because my tents are dry before I stuff them into any sack - if it's raining when I take down my tent, I gather it and place it at the very rear of my pick-up truck bed - becomes the last thing in the truck - then it becomes the first thing out of the truck and is either set up to dry or hung in a room - then set up to "finish" dry when the rain stops (a wet tent never seems to dry completely when hung up)). I hang them up because it keeps critters from moving in during the winter. Short term? The only tent that even resembles being folded is my canvas rendezvous tent - and thats only to make it easier to fit into the rubbermaid container I carry it in. The rest of my tents (I have three of them - one backpacking tent, one 1/2 dome tent, and one 9x9 dome) are stuffed loosely into their sacks. Why? Partly for air exchange - nylon comes from Organic Chemistry processes - and can give off Volatile Organic Compounds (those fumes you smell when you take off the cap from a Sharpie). Unroll a nylon tent that's been tightly rolled for a while and you'll smell them - and not want to sleep in your tent until it's been aired out. Stuffing the tent into a sack leaves plenty of air pockets allowing the outgassed VOC's space to get out. It's not dangerous to most people, but is plenty annoying. The main reason, though, is to increase the lifespan of the tent. Artficial fibers tend to be short, so if they are constantly folded and bent in one place, the fibers weaken and eventually rip. Stuffing the tent doesn't prevent the fibers from being bent, BUT it helps prevent the same fibers from being bent in the same way multiple times. Sleeping bags should be stuffed into sacks too - not rolled. Properly cared for down bags were never rolled tightly and jammed into a bag - they were rolled or folded very loosely, enough to barely be considered a roll or fold, or were stuffed into a large sack. Kept the down from compressing too much. Today's polyfill bags work on the same basic principle as down. Stuff, not fold. There is a reason they call the sack a Stuff Sack and it's not because it holds stuff. CalicoPenn
  10. CalicoPenn

    Walk the Walk, Hike the Hike?

    I don't think we can really answer this question yet - so much information seems to be missing. For instance, is it raining? What type of rain - a fine mist? A mere drizzle? A steady rain? A heavy downpour? Thunder and lightning with tornado sirens sounding??? What about the mower? Are the blades sharp? Has the mower been properly oiled? Was the mower borrowed from an elderly neighbor? Is the mower rusty from having been left out on the lawn all winter? Is the mower a Sear's Craftsman??? What is the snack? Is it fruit? A banana perhaps? Or maybe an orange? Or an apple? Or maybe even a pineapple (dare I dream)? Or is the snack trail mix? Just raisins and peanuts? Or are M&M's added to the mix? Is it a fancy trail mix with coconut and mixed nuts? Does the trail mix have dried fruit? Or is the snack a package of Ho Ho's??? So many questions.... CalicoPenn
  11. Good question...and a very tough question. It would be easy to say it would probably be the same, but I'm not sure it would, and here's why... BP shaped Scouting from his perceptions and experiences in the Boer War. He felt that the British Army would be a much better force if boys were better prepared with certain skills before they joined the Army - from this, Scouting was born. It wasn't meant to be a military training ground, but the outdoor skills taught in Scouting certainly would serve a recruit in good stead - and would also serve those not joining the military too - it would be good for the country. Since the Boer War was a great influence on what Scouting became, if BP lived now, instead of then, the Boer War wouldn't have the same impact - so something else would have to impact his thinking. My hypothesis? The Falklands War, or perhaps the first Gulf War would have been that influence, assuming of course that BP is a military man in this time as well. Both of these wars had less reliance on "surviving in the outback" than the Boer War, and much more reliance on Technology and Communications. So I think Scouting would focus more on Technology and less on the Outdoors. I think we would still see the emergency preparedness skills heavily taught (First Aid, etc). Probably a lot of athletics to keep people physically fit, but I think Camping would be dropped as an Eagle required badge to be replaced by Communications or Technology. Summer Camp would be held in computer rooms on college campuses all over the nation. Instead of practicing lashings, Scouts would be practicing writing computer code. The outdoors would still be there, as a lesser component (and forget Indian Lore) but I think it would be quite different than what we see now. Scout Troops? They would be virtual, with no district, council or regional boudaries. Instead, Scouts would join a Troop that matched their interests and technology levels - Mac users would join Troops of other Mac users, etc. The size of the Troop would be limited to he size of a "chat room" - if a "chat room" could hold 36 people, and assuming 2 adults in a Troop to lead, guide and teach, the maximum size of a Troop would be 34. If Troop 185 if full, then a new chat room and Troop 186 is formed. Just some thoughts on what it might look like. CalicoPenn
  12. CalicoPenn

    Now I've gone and done it

    Congrats! Moment of weakness?? Uh uh...It was a moment of strength. If you weren't ready and willing, you never would have said "Yes". Everyone has given great advice (and I'm sure others will continue to do so) - in my opinion, EagleinKY gave the best advice you'll ever get, though - and it's just two words: HAVE FUN CalicoPenn
  13. CalicoPenn

    What should I do?

    Lots of good thoughts and advice presented here. It doesn't sound like anything to escalate to the committee at this point - and it doesn't sound like bullying behavior to me as much as frustration boiling over in an inappropriate manner. You say the earlier issues had more to do with responsibility issues - mouthing off certainly could fit in with that as well (we don't have a sense as to what he was mouthing off about). I sense that there are issues with self-esteem in this lad - and losing an election, which are at the best of times, part popularity contest, could certainly cause someone with a lowered sense of self-esteem to lash out verbally as this lad has done. When you recognized him for his good performance at camp and recommended him for the CIT program, you saw that the boy seemed to do very well, at least personally ("he really enjoyed it") - you say you heard nothing bad about him from the camp but don't say if you heard anything great about him - have you asked? That sounds like you really boosted his self-esteem with your recommendation and he wanted to prove to you (key word - prove to YOU) that he could do this. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this lad may have been, unbenownst to you, a victim of some type of bullying behavior himself - that would certainly affect his self-esteem. Perhaps nowhere you saw it (not in your troop), or in any manner you might recognize as blatant bullying, but you say his parents have been dealing with behavioral issues at home and that issues he may have had with other kids at middle school may be a reason his parents are sending him to private school? Bully's don't tend to act up at home (they are perfect little angels for Mom and Dad). Victims, on the other hand, do often act up at home as a way of trying to get attention. We know that boys who are bullied tend to suffer from lowered self-esteem and will lash out at other boys they think may be weaker than themselves (your new PL - the "shy boy"). It sometimes leads to that person becoming a bully themselves, but so far, there doesn't seem to be a pattern of bullying emerging. I know, nowhere do you say that this lads parents said he was bullied in school - but my sense is that you haven't gotten too many details from the parents about his behavior at home and issues in school anyway - only that they have mentioned he is having some issues. My take? You're dealing with a lad with low self-esteem, who had another notch at his sense of worth hacked out with the election. I would speak with the boy and let him know you heard what happened, you understand how frustrating it was, that you see this as an expression of that frustration, but that it was an inappropriate way to express that frustration. Make sure he knows how proud of him you are for his work as a CIT this past summer. Ask him if he thinks an apology to the PL is in order (the lad is 14 now - telling him to apologize is meaningless at this point - he's old enough to figure it out for himself - you may just need to guide him into making the right choice). Talk to the SPL again - ask him if the Lad would still make a good ASPL - and if he would reconsider if the Lad apologized - no other lads in the troop other than those who already know, need to know what is going on. Beavah's idea of the SPL telling the lad he wants to (wants to - not wanted to) appoint him as an ASPL but telling him his verbal reaction to the election left him "bummed out" is really good. See what happens - I'm willing to bet that the lad will apologize to the SPL too and promise not to let it happen again. Then give him responsibilities and TRAINING and see if he grows into the role. I'll bet he will - as long as you are willing to mentor him. Which leads me back to that key word - YOU. The other sense I get from your post is that this lad responds well to YOU, oldsm. Part of Scouting is the chance to interact with other adults outside the family. A lot of lads look to one particular outside adult as a potential mentor (they may not realize it at the time, but they will later on). You've started out well with this lad - are you willing to take it to the next level? Yes, I know you have a troop full of boys, but how does that saying go - "In 100 years what will matter the most is that I was able to make a difference in the life of one boy" (or something like that). From the outside looking in, I think this lad is that "one boy" who will be most affected by you. And you seem up to the challenge to me. CalicoPenn
  14. FGoodwin, Though you asked us not to, I'm going to comment on your use of pedophilia and rape as analogous to homosexuality - though you say you don't personally equate them, and I'll accept that at face value, you still chose to compare a human characteristic with criminal acts. Instead of using pedophilia and rape, why not use Blacks and Jews? One an obvious unmutable characteristic (race) and one a choice (religion) which covers both sides of the coin on where homosexuality comes from (the born with it/it's a lifestyle choice argument). Read your sentence now with those wording changes: "Zahnada, are you saying that our children must "accept" homosexuals or be branded as bigots simply because they exist? By that rationale, our children should "accept" Blacks and Jews, or be branded as bigots, simply because they exist." In the world of 2006, I'd wager that most of us now agree that children must accept Blacks and Jews or be branded as bigots - at least in public. This kind of bigotry is what needs to be shoved into a closet - a closet so deep it never sees the light of day. CalicoPenn
  15. Gay's are intolerant of heterosexuals? Where's the stories about gay parents picketing their children's schools demanding that the schools no longer allow Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella be read because they spread the myth that heterosexuality is ok? Where's the stories about gays demading that States stop marrying heterosexuals? Gays aren't intolerant about hetersexuality. They're intolerant about bigotry and intolerance and are telling the bigots that their time is up. Make no mistake - this is all about the fact that this woman's daughter has a gay teacher and that it's going to be very hard for this woman to inculcate her bigotry towards gays to her daughter if her daughter has a positive gay role model. Don't like the curriculum? Run for the school board - or change schools, or homeschool. What's next, a protest against Multiplication, Division, Spelling or Grammar because a parent thinks these are the devil's work? The State has already "undermined" this woman's authority over her children by demanding, under penalty of law, that her kids be schooled to State standards of education. I can just imagine how loudly she would scream if there was some white parent protesting the school for assigning his kids to a black teacher's classroom with a teacher who insists on showing that black people are no different from white people when he is trying to teach his kids at home that blacks are inferior to whites. For those jumping in to insist that tolerance for gays has no place in the curriculum, would you be that quick to defend a white supremecist who insists that tolerance for other races has no place in the school curriculum? Or will you admit to be a hypocrite?? CalicoPenn
  16. CalicoPenn

    First Aid Kits

    How about an Altoid tin? Or a Sucrets package? Calico
  17. Jerry, I love doing the Rendezvous - I'm still learning new things all the time, and the people you meet are fabulous, talented, great story tellers, excellent craftsmen and musicians. The last Rendezvous I went to had a local Boy Scout troop helping out collecting the garbage generated during public hours. We offered to teach them how to throw hawks (tomahawks) but their leader had to say no because it probably would have been a violation of G2SS (let alone a violation of Totin Chip - and he's probably right). We had a fire starting contest and only two of the Scouts tried it with us. They did pretty well but I think they were a bit intimidated by some of us older folks who could use flint and steel and get a fire going in under thirty seconds - the look on some of the other Scouts faces when we wrapped a sparked char-cloth in a wad of tinder, picked it up and blew on it until we had a flaming mass of stuff in our hands was something to see. At least we never heard from the Scouts one of the more common questions we get from the public: "You sleep in that??" I did hear overhear a comment from one younger Scout who thought the rendezvous was "like a camporee for grown-ups" - I hadn't thought of it that way, but yeah, he's right - there are competitions through the day for both men and women. Hawk and Knife Throwing are done at almost every rondy (both men and women), Archery and Black Powder shooting contests are common. Fire Building, Trap Tosses (like a water balloon toss, but with a set leg-hold trap (usually a number 0 or 1 so it won't hurt much if it closes on your hand or nose - definitely a G2SS no-no), cast iron frying pan toss (for women) Apple Pie contests (both solid (traditional) pie and liquid pie (an alcohol concoction), and occassionally, a Blacksmithing Contest. If you have one near your neck of the woods, I recommend visiting. CalicoPenn
  18. Other than laziness (yes, I've said it - let the slings and arrows commence) in not wanting to spend time in cleanup, the only other possible reason I can think of for lining the dutch over with foil is discovering, upon pulling the oven out to use for the first time in a few months, a layer of orange rust on the bottom of the oven that now means the oven needs to be cleaned and re-seasoned before use. Cleaning a dutch oven (or other cast iron cooking utensil) isn't really that difficult or time consuming. I have a rope scrubber brush especially made for cleaning cast iron - some warm water, and this scrubber brush, is all thats needed to clean the dutch oven. Never use soap, just put some warm to hot water (comfortable for your hands) in the pot and scrub very well with the rope scrubber brush - then rinse. At thi point most people put the oven back on the first to warm up a little so that they can rub in a small amount of vegetable oil to protect the surface. A little trick I learned is instead of using vegetable oil, use beeswax. It's edible, and it won't turn rancid - buy a stick of raw beeswax from a beekeeper or a candle supply company, warm up the oven, rub the stick of beeswax around the inside of the warm oven to melt enough to create a thin coat, then use a cloth towel (or paper, if you must) to fully coat the inside of the oven with wax and soak up any excess. The whole process should take less than 10 minutes - and if you have stubborn, stuck on food, fill the oven with water, plop it on the fire, and let it boil for a bit to loosen the food. CalicoPenn
  19. ljn - Woolite is a great product for this type of work - thanks for the reminder! My first backpack was an old BSA Yucca external frame backpack - and it was well used by the time I got it. After my first internal frame backpack used on all of my college trips, I'll never go back to an external frame again, but the old BSA pack certainly served it's purpose (it was eventually removed from it's frame for easier packing in cars and trailers, and I rarely missed the frame anyways). I sleep under canvas tents pretty much every other weekend from May through October these days - I participate in pre-1840's fur trading rendezvous in period correct dress and camp style, and that means canvas tents, flys, bags, floors, etc. You learn alot about cleaning canvas and keeping it dry, and treating for mildew that is inevitable no matter how careful you are. CalicoPenn
  20. I wouldn't recommend chucking the backpack in the washing machine - this is a "by hand" job. First step would be to brush off all the obvious dirt and debris - a whisk broom is perfect for this. Take the pack off the frame (so you can wipe down the frame too)and gently brush the dirt away from the canvas (gently so as not to grind the dirt into the canvas). If you need to, turn the pack inside out to brush out the inside too. If you have stains or stubborn dirt patches to remove, water and a soft bristled brush is best - you want a soft bristled brush (like those used for washing cars) so you don't grind the dirt in or damage the canvas. You can use the stiffer brushed whisk broom as long as you promise to be gentle with it - we want to brush the canvas, not scrub it. What you're trying to do here is "float" the dirt off the canvas then brush it off. Just spray the bag with water and brush where needed. There really shouldn't be a need for soap but if you must, use a mild soap - one that you wouldn't mind keeping you hands in for a while. This means no laundry soap (unless you use Borateem or some other borax based soap) and most dishwashing liquids. Ivory dishwashing soap is good to use - but use it sparingly. An alternative is a solution of vinegar and water - I'd say about a 50/50 solution. Once you have done your brushing, give it a good rinsing, then hang it out to dry (since the backpack is small enough, you can wring it out a little). Here's the key to drying though - it's best done outside on a nice, sunny day - and you'll want to attach the pack back onto the frame BEFORE you start to dry it. Canvas can shrink as it dries (even if it's gotten wet many times), it is, after all, cotton, and has a tendency to stretch and shrink, just like cotton clothing. While usually not that noticeable, you'll certainly know its shrunk "just enough" to make it difficult to put back on the frame after drying (if you forget to do this and can't get the pack on the frame, just soak it down again, then put it back on the frame (you may have to work at it but its better and easier to "stretch" canvas when its wet/damp/moist), then let dry again). Same applies to canvas tents. Hope this helps. CalicoPenn
  21. CalicoPenn

    Popcorn prices out of control?

    Sorry but this sounds like an excuse to me. I think this because the Girl Scouts are made up of volunteers as welll and they seem to be able to handle the massive distribution of cookie units to customers. I see some others saying a bit more elegantly than I have that it's not about wanting to support the program, but that the prices are so high that it's turning some who would love to support the program away. Had the popcorn been $6.00 a unit, I probably would have bought two - but at $10.00 a unit, I bought none - it has nothing to do with supporting or not supporting the program, it's about climbing over a psychological barrier to buy a product at a higher price. There are lots of marketing and pricing studies out there that show the effects of our mind-set on purchasing things. That's one of the reasons gas prices are written the way they are - when you see $2.99 9/10 a gallon do you see it as $2.99 a gallon or $3.00 a gallon? The vast majority of people will tell you that they paid $2.99 per gallon even though they essentially paid $3.00 a gallon. I'm not suggesting that popcorn sales be stopped, I'm suggesting that perhaps the BSA should look at the program, maybe hire an MBA/Marketing guru to revamp the program, lower the prices (which may get units excited about selling again - based on some comment here, my hunch is that many units that aren't selling made that choice not because of the quality of the product but because the pricing structure makes it too difficult to sell). I believe that the Scouts would start seeing more money come in to their coffers from popcorn sales with lower prices. Calico
  22. CalicoPenn

    Popcorn prices out of control?

    I'm not an MBA, nor do I pretend to be one on Television (as I always say, "$4.00 and an MBA will get you an overpriced cup of bad coffee at Starbucks and a fool willing to spend $4.00 on that cup of bad coffee") but I think I have some marketing and profit/loss sense banging around this head of mine. Taking the assumption of 30% of the popcorn's price is product cost as true, then of a $10.00 tub of popcorn, $3.00 is the cost of the popcorn, $7.00 is the "profit". I've certainly not done any studies, or watched any scout group for a long period to get any trends but lets make some further assumptions. What if at the $10 cost only 1 in 10 buy your popcorn - thats a profit of $7.00. Drop the price to $6.00 and 3 in 10 stop to buy (because now you're attracting 2 people who would never pay $10, no matter how good the cause) - that's a profit of $9.00. Drop the price to $5.00 and 5 people stop to buy, that's a profit of $10.00. I suppose you could say that one might still only sell to 1 out of 10, but that seems rather unlikely, given all we know about the American Consumer. Think Wal-Mart. They sell known brand names of all kinds of items for less than a local store, or even other national chains, yet they make a lot of money. Why? Because they sell more of it. Why do they sell more of it? Because their prices are lower. If you can buy a GI Joe figure at Toys R Us for $10 and that exact same GI Joe toy at Wal-Mart for $7 - where are you going to buy? Same principle applies. Selling more of a product for less money often means a greater profit - and shouldn't that be something to try? CalicoPenn
  23. CalicoPenn

    School won't hand out flyers

    NLD - Mea Culpa - with an explanation: I was referring to the fairly well known Equal Access Act - the Equal Access Act applies only to Secondary Schools. After reading your response, a little more digging brought me to the lesser known Equal Access to Public School Facilities for the Boy Scouts of America and Other Designated Youth Groups Act (what a mouthful). This Act, as you point out, does indeed apply to elementary schools. The act basically states that the school must provide equal access to the Scouts, at no less favorable terms than the most favored group, if the school allows outside groups to meet in their designated open forum or designated limited open forum (open forum seems to mean during school hours, limited open forum seems to mean before or after school). So, if a school lets the Girl Scouts meet after school, the school must let the Boy Scouts meet after school. If the Girl Scouts are the most favored group and they only pay $50/hour rental and everyone else pays $75/hour, the school can only charge the Boy Scouts $50. If the school allows no outside group to meet during school hours, it does not have to allow the BSA to meet during school hours. If the school allows no outside group to meet after hours, the school does not have to allow the BSA to meet after hours. Schools may allow outside organizations in to speak if it advances their educational mission without obligating the school to allow the BSA in to recruit. For instance, a school can have a DARE speaker come in, and since it is part of their educational mission, it does not trigger the equal access provisions of the act. Now comes the tricky part - literature distribution. As I read the comments on the final rules (found here: http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2006-1/032406a.html) my understanding is that if the school allows a group that meets in the school's open or limited open forum to distribute literature, then it must allow the Boy Scouts to distribute literature - provided that the Boy Scouts have requested to be allowed to meet during the schools open or limited open forum. I take that to mean that if Pack 10 has requested to meet at the school but Pack 20 has not, and Outside Organization A, which meets at the school, passes out literature, than Pack 10 must be allowed to pass out information - but Pack 20 may not. If none of the other organizations that meet at the school are allowed to pass out literature, then the act does not require the school to allow the Boy Scouts to pass out literature. It's pretty clear that the Pack or Troop will need to request to meet during the schools Open or Limited Open Forum in order to pass out literature. If you are just Pack 20, have not made a request to meet, and want to pass out literature, the school has no obligation to allow you to do so, even if other outside organizations are allowed to do so. To further obfuscate, it appears that even if you have made a request to meet, the act doesn't force the school to allow you to distribute literature even if outside organizations are allowed to do so, if those outside organizations do not meet at the school, since those outside organizations would not be covered by the act. One more obfuscation - the rules apparently suggest that if a PTA/PTO is affiliated with a school it may not neccessarily be considered an outside organization, and therefore may not be covered by the act. If this is the case, a schools PTA/PTO may pass out any literature it wants (with the school's consent of course) without triggering this act. The rules seem to be differentiating between "The School's PTA" and "The Neighboring School's PTA". Confusing? So is government. CalicoPenn
  24. CalicoPenn

    School won't hand out flyers

    Before anyone contacts the ACLU, or the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education, or rushes into their school board's meeting carrying voter registration cards, demanding that the school follow the law (the equal access act), and embarrassing yourself and the Scouts, perhaps a basic understanding of the law is in order. We all seem to have a good idea of just what equal access is and means - that's not the problem. What isn't widely known (I admit to discovering this myself as I was trying to find out if there are exemptions for PTA/PTO programs that benefit the school, or other government agencies, like park districts, in handing out flyers) is that the equal access act applys ONLY to public SECONDARY schools that receive federal financial assistance. Put another way, it does NOT apply to Elementary or Mddle Schools (unless a state defines middle schooling as secondary education). In even simpler terms, the law applys to High Schools only! It doesn't apply to elementary schools, where Cub Scout recruiting is taking place. They can give access to all, none, or any combination they choose. If you want to go to the school board and demand/request (I would hope in the spirit of Scouting it be a request) that Cub Scout recruiting be allowed - then have at it - just don't try to claim they have to because it's the law. Finally, if I may be so bold as to give my interpretation of a certain Bear's song, it's "If there is a problem with recruitment in your pack, stop looking to outside influences and look within - make sure your house is in order and you are offering the best darn Cub Scout program there is, one that gets the Cubs that are already in your pack excited enough to invite their friends" CalicoPenn (Still learning something new all the time)
  25. CalicoPenn

    What do you know about boys using myspace.com

    The internet can be a great place for doing research, chatting with friends, connecting with old friends, getting and giving advice (example - this forum). Like any "community" - it can be a risky place too. As mentioned by others, when the "little darlings" are online - the parent should be monitoring what's going on - if that means rules that your darling child who never does anything wrong can't be online unless its in a public place in the house, library, school where s/he can be monitored - then create that rule for your house. It is one of the responsibilities that comes with being a parent - monitoring what the kids are doing. The internet and it's many points of access/chat is a tool - its up to you to monitor your kid's use of that tool. The complaints being bandied around about My Space are the same complaints that have been faced by AOL, Yahoo, etc., and will be faced by the next 100 big new things out there. If you don't want your kids on My Space, block My Space. Will that prevent unwanted advances, requests to allow web cam viewing, availability of porn? No, it won't. Parents being vigilant about what their kids are doing online will (and frankly, being one that inhabits chat rooms on an online service, it would be refreshing for a parent to keep their precious little brat from polluting the chat rooms with their nonsense). Point is stop blaming web platforms and access providers for poor parenting - those of us who are adults and want free and unfettered access to legal information (even if we never access it or never intend to access it) will thank you. CalicoPenn