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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. Sure, you could tack up the sash to make it shorter, or try to buy a smaller sash, or....you could encourage him to rededicate himself to ideals of the brotherhood of cheerful service next year and become a Brotherhood Member - where he'll get a new sash, and perhaps one he's grown into physically (as well as in otherways). If he's still on the small side next year, then spend the time to tack up the sash - he's likely to have that one for a long time (and if he follows the path, he'll have use of his current sash for a very short time - and may wear it about 4 to 6 times total, if that). Then he could think of his long Ordeal Sash as just another ordeal he's faced and conquered. Congrats to him - and his father, older brother and you. CalicoPenn
  2. Long Haul - excellent post and points. Has anyone else noticed that lost in all of the hullabaloo over this search is that the third "co-equal" branch of geovernment, the judiciary, issued the search warrant that allowed the search? It seems fairly obvious to me that the congressional leaders (and rank-and-file) know they have no "case" here. If they did, they would be going to court to suppress the evidence, not going to the press. If the courts thought there was a problem with the separation of powers, they wouldn't have issued the warrant in the first place. To go along with LongHaul's points, it makes me think the judiciary branch is a bit further along in standards and ethics realm than the other two branches. CalicoPenn
  3. That's it - I'm moving to my bomb shelter. With everyone in here, from what I perceive as most sides of the political spectrum in this forum, agreeing on something with the potential to have been contentious, and even more telling, agreeing on what might be considered a more liberal (or at least left of center) position, the world must be coming to an end! By the way - I agree - with what everybody else has said - LOL. CalicoPenn
  4. Thanks for the clarification, Region 7. Now it makes sense to me. As for the movie trivia, the line is from the Mel Brook's movie Blazing Saddles. It is a parody of these lines from the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre starring Humphrey Bogart: "Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges." CalicoPenn
  5. I have a question: >>There is an adult Scouter in our district that wears a...lodge flap for our councils lodge which he is not a member of.
  6. What about some of the commercial fire pits that are out there now - they started out for at home use but some are now designed to travel, complete with their own case (which keeps the rest of the equipment cleaner when traveling. Calico
  7. John-in-KC, According to an article in the October 2002 issue of Scouting Magazine, when the Oscar De La Renta uniform was introduced, troops had a choice of three headgear options for the uniform: The new baseball-style cap, the "smokey bear" campaign hat and the .... Red Beret. I think that answers the question as to whether the Red Beret was an element of the De La Renta uniform. CalicoPenn
  8. The CP definition of winter camping starts out simple: 1) Winter camping is camping done in tents in the winter (either meteorological winter - December through February, or seasonal winter - December 21 through March 20). The I add the next layers of definition: 2) Camping done during the time of year when normal weather conditions will likely bring temperatures below 45 degrees throughout the day and night (allow me to clarify - you can have temps in the 30's at night in May but temps in the 60's during the day - that's called spring and fall), and/or in conditions where campers may encounter snow and ice (I consider camping in snow in the mountains of Colorado, etc. in the spring when temps are above 45 to be a subset of winter camping - you still need all the skills of winter camping, even though it may be the end of April) 3) Camping requiring additional or modified skills and equipment to handle cold-related weather issues. Just my thoughts. Calico
  9. It's a bit late getting back on this but I have to ask about the "BSA" Boonie Hats - people actually wear those things? In public???? I never thought I would see an article of BSA clothing uglier than the collarless Boy Scout Shirt of the 1970's, but now I've been proven wrong. Now, the commercial boonie hat looks much better - wider brim, not as tall (or maybe it's just the photo of the BSA boonie hat that doesn't do it justice - but I'm doubtful) but even the commercial boonie hat looks rather sloppy - which leads me to the comment that the boonie hat can't hold a candle to the beret for presenting a sharply dressed and sharp looking troop of boy scouts in a local 4th of July parade. However, I suppose the stiffer brimmed, Aussie Slouch Hat, which can be worn with a side snapped up, might do the trick. http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-uniforms/slouch_hat6.htm Or perhaps the Tilly T3 Hat http://www.nevisport.com/zoom.asp?ProductID=241190 Calico
  10. Lisa, I'm not yet convinced though you make a good point. Perhaps I'm finding it difficult to accept that gray area where the BSA tells a CO on the one hand that it has the right of free association to determine who can be a member of the CO's chartered unit and on the other hand, tells the CO that it doesn't have a right of free association to accept anyone from the "Three G's". I've always considered rights to be rather absolute - you either have them or you don't. While I can tolerate (barely) the notion that to be a member of the BSA, I may need to subsume some of my rights to their rules (no guns, quartering soldiers in peace time (just seeing if people are paying attention)), I do think that it sends a confusing message that CO's can make free association decisions about some things within the scouts and can't on other things. I'm still convinced that the BSA, if its going to make those baseline decisions about who may or may not be members, should then not turn around and tell individual CO's that they are allowed to exclude additional groups of people. How difficult would it be for the BSA to tell a potential CO that wouldn't charter a unit unless it could exclude Mormons (for example - or blacks, Jews, hispanics, Catholics, ad nauseum)"we're sorry to hear that, we would have liked to award you a charter but unless you can abide by our membership standards, which is inclusive of all people that are not already excluded from membership, we cannot award you a charter" I can't imagine the BSA not saying something similar if a potential CO wanted to ignore G2SS, or wanted to cross off the Declaration of Religious Principles from any adult leader applications it turns in for registration. Calico
  11. Camp - that's pretty much the gist of it. A Charter Org can charter a troop and say that its not a place for Catholics but a Charter Org can't charter a troop and say its okay for athiests to join. I just see a double standard. Calico
  12. It's unlikely that it is an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - the diamondback has very pronounced and edged diamonds along its back - the snake described here has faint diamonds along it's side. While the diamondback may rarely be found in Delaware, it is not considered endemic to the state. The only recognized native venomous snake in Delaware is the Northern Copperhead, found mainly in western Sussex and in the piedmont area north of Wilmington (source: Delaware DNR). With the bronze/coppery color described here, and the faint diamond like markings on the side, this could be a copperhead - and they are known to use their tails in ground litter to create a rattling sound if they are feeling aggressive. However, this species isn't likely to turn around and make its rattle noise if it is heading away from you unless you decide to follow it - and, like rattlesnakes, when it "rattles" a strike is imminent - you are too close and if you don't move back immediately, you are about to get struck. They don't rattle to warn if you aren't within striking distance, and neither do rattlesnakes (another strike against the diamondback, too). Copperheads also don't usually have a diamond shape mark on their head. Another possibility is a Black Rat Snake. It is fairly common in younger snakes of this species to have faint markings on its side which could look like diamonds or triangles. It certainly could be a light black color, but the marking on the head would be very unusual. Young Black Rat Snakes are often confused with another candidate: Corn Snake. The Corn Snake is a fairly common snake with highly variable coloring. Typical specimens of this snake have reddish blotches on a base of gray, tan, yellow or orange. These are generally a very colorful snake, which is not the snake that seems to be described here, but some individuals of this snake, especially those around highlands, can be darker with fainter markings (like a young Black Rat Snake). This species happens to have a "spearpoint" marking on its head, which could look like a diamond - the rat snake doesn't have this marking. Both the rat snake and the corn snake are known to use their tails to rattle ground litter and vegetation to scare off perceived threats - and, unlike rattlesnakes and copperheads, they will crawl off a trail for a bit, then turn and rattle - their goal is to make you think they're a rattlesnake. One key here is that searches through field guides didn't come up with an obvious suspect. Had it been an Eastern Diamondback, or a Northern Copperhead, you would probably have had an "A-ha" moment as soon as you saw the picture. The same would go with a typical specimen of Corn Snake or Black Rat Snake. Might I suggest another possibility: Corn and rat snakes are known to interbreed - what you may have found is a young corn/rat snake crossbreed with faint markings similar to a corn snake, including the spearpoint on the head on the black base of a rat snake. I make these suggestions based purely on the description described - the picture might help (or might not) so take what you will from it. CalicoPenn
  13. Beavah, I have to disagree with your definition, which for others edification is as follows: "* brats (BrAHts) n.: 1. Slang form for bratwurst or other grillable sausage served in the upper midwest as a staple foodstuff from May through the start of deer season. As distinct from 2. BRAAts, n. young men who don't learn good behavior and value through scouting programs." Serving brats from May to the start of deer season might be true in Minnysoda but in Wisconsin, brats are served right up through the Superbowl - and are still grilled outside. Why, I hear that in some parts of Wisconsin (mainly Sheboygan and Green Bay) brats are considered a New Year's Day tradition! In Wisconsin's largest city - Chicago - brats are a highly prized tailgate food, second only to ribs, at all sporting events, even ski jumping events. (yes, yes - I know Chicago is in Illinois, but only because of a member of the House of Representatives in the 1800's named Nathaniel Pope who was able to convince Congress to draw the northern border of Illinois where it it currently situated so that Illinois could have port space on Lake Michigan - had it not been for good ol' Nate, the border would have been below Lake Calumet. Besides, every Chicagoan knows that Wisconsin is really nothing more than a suburb of Chicago anyway). CalicoPenn
  14. In a boy run troop, I see nothing wrong with the Scoutmaster asking the PLC for their input on what should constitute what camping is for the purposes of the camping requirements for OA eligibility - however, it would need to be consistent, and ultimately, in this case, the Scoutmaster has the final determination as to what counts and what doesn't according to OA regs. I'd guess that most units have already come to consensus as to what is and what is not camping. CalicoPenn
  15. Campfire Law 1) The downwind position of a smokey campfire is always where you are standing or sitting. Campfire Law 2) The wind will change directions when you move from the downwind position to ensure that Campfire Law 1 always remains in force. Campfire Law 3) No matter the size of the wood you burn in your fire, the fire will never be large enough to keep your Boy Scouts satisfied. Burn 10 acres worth of wood at one time and your Scouts will insist you add another couple of acres to the fire. Campfire Law 4) You will never find the perfect size stick for roasting marshmallows - they will always be too thick, too thin, too long or too short. Just when you think you've found the perfect size stick, someone else will add it to the fire as firewood. Campfire Law 5) The size of your campfire is inversely proportional to the distance from the nearest water source. Corallary to Campfire Law 5) When its time to put your fire out, your Boy Scouts will be impossible to find. CalicoPenn
  16. By definition (Webster's), camping is taking up lodging in a temporary shelter (tent, cabin) or outdoors (sleeping under the stars). Cabin camping would likely be considered camping under the regs. Sleeping on a battleship or in a museum would likely be considered an overnight, but wouldn't be considered camping - I'd consider these to be on par with staying in a hotel - and that ain't camping (though some friends of mine might disagree - their idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn). It's really about judgement - I would consider staying overnight in a cave to be the equivalent of camping but I wouldn't consider staying overnight in a "cabin" that had a television, or microwave oven, to be camping. One other thought - the OA is an HONOR society - I don't recall ever questioning a Scoutmaster on whether a Scout he said had met the requirements really met the requirements - if the Scoutmaster says the Scout has met the camping requirements, in the OA's eyes, on the Honor of the Scoutmaster, the lad has met the requirements. CalicoPenn(This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)
  17. As an afterthought - giving the DE the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he does have a letter from the registrar that says a boy in a Crew has to be registered as a Scout as well. If that's the case, show him the application (and the word OR) and together, get on the phone to National and ask for someone else from the registrar's office to make the correction - it could be someone in the registrar's office that made the mistake. CalicoPenn
  18. From BSA Publication # 58-728 - "Eagle Scout Rank Application" (accessed online at Scouting.org) "Merit badges, badges of rank, and Eagle Palms may be earned by a registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout OR Venturer" (emphasis on OR is mine). The application makes it very clear that one does not need to be registered as a Boy Scout to earn the Eagle Scout rank. It doesn't get much clearer. CalicoPenn
  19. If I'm reading correctly, then the "special LDS" Webelos program is really nothing more than the old way of doing the Webelos program. When I was a Cub, you didn't become a Webelos until you hit your 10th birthday - no exceptions - and when you reached 11, you aged out of Webelos - no exceptions - and yes, that meant you might very well have a crossover ceremony every month the pack meets and people came and went from the Webelos Den all year round. Cubs were based on age, not year in school - the only exceptions being that you could join a Cub Scout pack at age 7 if at the beginning of the current school (pack) year, you were starting 3rd grade (and would turn 8 by the end of the calendar year) and could join a Boy Scout troop from a Webelos Den at age 10 if at the beginning of the current school year, you were starting 6th grade (and would turn 11 by the end of the calendar year). So really, the "special LDS" program isn't really all that special at all - they could run the program using older books. As for why a Catholic or Wiccan (or take you pick of non-Protestant denominations) may be taking God & Country, I can only speculate based on my experiences in my council growing up - Churches were encouraged to open up the religious award program to anyone from any denomination and lads were encouraged, if they desired and their parents approved, to do as many religious award programs from various denominations as they felt they could handle - starting at about the age of 12, a lot of young folks start to really explore their faith and are interested in the faith of others - I would say about 50% of the parents in this area were open-minded enough to allow their children to start exploring other expressions of faith (and maybe I see it that way because my parents didn't prevent us from making our own decisions about our faith and most of my friends and scouting aquaintenances parents were similar to my parents - one of my friends father was a Rabbi and had no problem with his son earning both God & Country and Ad Altare Dei in addition to his own religion's awards). What better way to start that exploration than through a religious award program that explores the issues without being as stringent a program as catechism or bar mitzvah school (I'm sure there is a name for it, I don't know what it is). A number of my friends had 2 or more religious awards. I earned a God and Country (Lutheran) award at age 12, started the Ad Altare Dei program (dropped out) and became a Wiccan at age 14. I think my explorations helped me determine where my true spirituality lies and helped me understand other people's religion. Isn't part of a Scout is Reverent to show respect and understanding of other people's religions? Now for the part where I'll be awaiting the wrath (love the image Campcrafter). It seems interesting to me that the BSA tells units on one hand that they can set their own membership requirements (within the rules of the BSA of course) that allows a unit to say no Wiccans, Catholics, Baptists, Jews, etc. allowed , thus preserving the unit's right of free association while at the same time telling units they can't allow athiests or gays in, which seems to me to violate unit's right of free association. This is a wishy-washy and ultimately untenable position to take - my opinion is that if the BSA is going to make the determination of what the rights of free association for the BSA is going to be, they have to do it all the way - to me that means if they tell units that may have no problem with gays or athiests that they can't have them, they have to tell units that may have a problem with (pick your religion here) that they cannot refuse to take them as long as they are allowed in the BSA by the corporation's rules. CalicoPenn
  20. It will be hard to beat OGE but I'm going to give it a try - and with just one sentence: It's the one the lads are still talking excitedly about the next year. CalicoPenn PS: As for Anarchist's question: Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation, Northeast Illinois Council located near Antigo, Wisconsin. Three camps - two of which offer full programs with their own dining hall, waterfront, etc. (West Camp and East Camp). Full waterfront programs in both camps including motorboating and sailing. The other camp (Wabaningo) is a wilderness/pioneer camp for up to three units at a time. These units provide their own equipment and programs, and do their own cooking though they can arrange to participate in most of the programs of the reservation. West Camp has a barrier-free campsite for special needs units or troops with wheelchair bound lads/adults. The reservation has its own, fully functional, horse ranch (the Triangle M Ranch) which offers horse programs, riding experiences and overnights. Whitewater rafting on the Wolf River is available to units. Camp sessions are two weeks in duration, and the units take (comfortable) coach buses to the reservation. The reservation also has a family camp with 8 cabins so that leaders spouses/other children can also enjoy a vacation in the north woods. East and West Camps have their own trading post but Family Camp has a centrally located "Country Store" that Scouts can also visit - pizza parties can be arranged at the Country Store. The council's OA Lodge presents one of the most impressive OA call out ceremonies I've ever seen 4 times in the summer on the mid-session Friday night with the work weekend taking place right that very weekend. With advance notice, and with permission from the home lodge, the lodge is willing to let out of council OA nominees complete their work weekend at the camp. CP
  21. My understanding of the notification policies, based on my past work on camp staffs and at a national high adventure base, is that it is mainly to make sure that the right person in the professional (read "paid") staff makes any phone calls on behalf of the BSA - it isn't meant to prevent the Scoutmaster from calling a lads parents or a leaders spouse (parents, etc.) to inform them of an incident. It is to prevent the Camp Director, or Health Officer, or Waterfront Director, or even the District Executive from making that call - In an incident, the council needs to speak with one voice, and the Scout Executive is given loss/risk prevention training in how to make such a call - it isn't about being polite, its about minimizing liability exposure. I know that sounds cynical but from a liability standpoint, nothing would be worse than someone saying something in an offhanded way that could lead to liability exposure - for a hypothetical instance, a boy gets tangled up in some underwater plant growth and a waterfron director telling the parents they warned the kids about the area but that maybe they could have done more by posting signs or pulling the weeds. Such a statement is just an invitation to a negligence lawsuit. As Scoutmaster, you aren't forbidden from informing the parents (etc.) and frankly I would imagine most parents/spouses would be really hacked off at you if you didn't tell them yourself. I can pretty much guarantee that the emergency authorities (hospital, police, etc.) aren't going to wait for the Scout Executive to contact the parents. The best thing, though, is not to get into any details on such a phone call, and make sure you do call the Scout Executive because he will have to get the insurance paperwork ball rolling - it will also give you a great barrier between you and the press - if they ask for details, you can just tell them that they have to call the Scout Executive for any statements. But, bottomline, if you as a Scoutmaster or leader of your unit faces this situation, you need to be prepared to make what will be one of the most difficult calls you'll ever make in your life. CalicoPenn
  22. Historians believe that the "mohawk" originated with the Huron (now Wyandot)Indians - a confederacy of 4 nations that were centered around the western portion of Lake Ontario and near Lake Huron (in the US, in the Eastern part of the state of Michigan). The Huron's are in the same linguistic group of indians as the Iroquois Confederation (the linguistic group is named after the Iroquois Confederation, though some scholars believe that the Huron's are the true root of the language) - but they are not a part of the Iroquois Confederation. The Mohawks were part of the Iroquois Confederation, and were mostly found on on the eastern edges of the Iroquois Confederation, the Hurons were generally found to the west of the Iroquois Confederation- something that will become more important in just a bit. A small "confederacy" of Neutral Indians lived between the Hurons and the Iroquois. The Huron's had a habit of plucking the hair from the sides of their heads, leaving a narrow strip of hair down the center of the scalp when going to war - a hairstyle that is correctly called a Scalp Lock (not a Mohawk). It is important to note that only the warriors going to war wore the scalp lock - so perhaps their is some ritual involved. At various times, the Hurons and the Iroquois plunged into war - they were bitter enemies as it is believed that the Iroquois forced the Huron's off their lands in the east causing them to migrate west. Because the Hurons and Iroquois were often at war with each other, it is very likly that the Mohawks came into contact with Huron warriors, and copied the scalp lock from them. White missionaries and settlers likely saw the scalp lock hairstyle first when meeting with Mohawk Indians - and though they weren't the first to use them, they got the credit (via the name) for it. CalicoPenn
  23. There is a quote by Rep. Argall that, if accurate, points to the Council wanting to end their relationship with the Charter Organization, not the people in the troop. It is as follows: "We've been told there is no appeal, although we are trying to review our options,'' he said. ''An option the council has suggested is we can form a new unit at a different church." An option the council has suggested to the troop leaders is that the troop leaders form a new unit at a different church?? If this has anything whatsoever to do with hazing, or with inviting disallowed former leaders to an Eagle Court of Honor, then why cancel the charter of the troop (and pack - which had no involvement in troop affairs) then tell those troop and pack leaders that they're welcome to form new units somewhere else? If the quote is accurate, then the issues of hazing (in 2004 - 2 years ago) and inviting disallowed leaders to Courts of Honor (something the unit, or individual boys would do, not the chartering organization) is nothing but a red herring. The Charter Organization did something the council didn't like - and thats what the big mystery is. What did the CO do, or not do, to cause this to happen? CalicoPenn
  24. Interesting dilemma, not easily solved (the POR service, not the DC issue - that one is easy to solve). I'm not 100% positive but I don't believe that National has ever explicitly stated just what it means by serving in a position of responsibility - they don't tell us what serve means. So, in order to try to figure out what they mean by it, we have to try to decipher what it means based on National's past actions. For instance, the requirements state "Be active in your troop and patrol" without stating what active means but based on the experiences of many Scouters in the past, in practice, National interprets "active" to be "maintaining paid membership in the BSA" So, what is National's common practice in regards to "serving" in a POR? That is the question (and I don't have the answer) - if National hasn't dealt much with this question in rank advancement appeals, then the answer is still determined at a unit level. I'm not sure I see making a statement that serving means showing up to 50% of the activities as "adding to the requirements" - I'm leaning towards saying that is DEFINING the requirements, not adding to it (at the same time, stating that showing up to 50% of the activities is required to be "active" would be considered "adding to the requirements" since we know what National's definition of active is). Of course, this is all based on the supposition that National is expecting individual units to define what it means to serve. As for the District Commissioner - present a united front with your COR, IH, Committee Chair, Committee Members and Assistant Scoutmasters and send a letter to the District Chairman, copying the District Executive, Scout Executive and Council Commissioner, that you will no longer welcome the advice or services of the district's commissioner service until the current District Commissioner is replaced and that the commissioners are to stay out of the affairs of your unit, and state clearly your reasons for this. The commissioners are there to provide help and advice to units - but units are not required to listen to these folks. If the Unit Commissioner shows up at a meeting, politely tell that person he/she is not welcome and to please leave (Boy Scout meetings are not public meetings open to anyone who wants to attend). Unfortunately, you'll have to do this even if you like your present Unit Commissioner - just let them know its not personal and when your main issue is resolved, you'll welcome them back with open arms. So why send this letter to the District Commissioner? Because, District Commissioners are approved and appointed by the council executive board, with the concurrence of the Scout executive, ON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE DISTRICT NOMINATING COMMITTEE. Guess who has the responsibility for appointing the district nominating committee? Yep, the District Chairman - and he can quietly make it clear to the nominating committee that this guy should not be reconsidered, and is likely to do so if you quietly share this little tidbit: " I told this to the District Commish, and he said, and I quote "they're wrong; you answer to me; I AM the District!"" As Scoutmaster, you don't answer to anyone but the COR, members of your troop committee, parents, and your scouts (in differing ways of course). CalicoPenn
  25. If Aquila's translation of the Star Spangled Banner to Spanish is accurate (and I don't for a second doubt that it is) then anyone that can sing those words to the tune of that song deserves a medal, not scorn. CalicoPenn
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