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CalicoPenn

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Everything posted by CalicoPenn

  1. CalicoPenn

    A Clean Sash?

    The question was asked a few months back about the embroidery running on the sashes and I haven't seen anyone touch on that. Back in the late 70's early 80's, we would tell folks the same thing - don't wash the sashes because the dye in the embroidery threads would run - we told them this because this was our experience with the sashes at the time - we saw quite a few pink-tinged sashes after they had been run through the wash. I general, embroidery thread is not washed after it has been dyed and will run when washed - for most applications, like patches, this isn't much of a problem, partly because patches don't really use all that much thread of one color and partly because hot water seems to make dye run a bit more than warm water and most embroidered patches are washed in warm water with other colored clothes. Sashes use a lot of one color thread - red - and because they are mostly white, they are usually washed with other white clothes in hot water. Of course, this was the case back in the 70's and 80's - but from what I've seen of newer sashes, they haven't really changed so I imagine it might still hold true today. So how to solve the dirty/clean dilemma? My unit had a tradition of presenting a second sash at the next closest court of honor after the ordeal/brotherhood/vigil ceremony - the first sash was presented by the lodge. One became the "everyday" sash and the other became the "formal" sash. One note of concern though - our lodge never allowed people doing physical labor to wear their sashes while working - the sash was to be folded and looped over the belt - it could still get dirty, but wearing the sash while working was considered potentially dangerous - it is a loose piece of clothing that could easily get caught up in a tool, branch, etc... Calico
  2. CalicoPenn

    Are the Red Berets still valid?

    My unit wore the Red Beret when it first came out (1972) - and in our district and council, we were one of the few for the first 4 years or so. Most units wore the field cap or no hats at all. The beret came out before the uniforms were redesigned in 1981 by Oscar de la Renta into the "French military uniform" and when worn correctly, looked sharp with the uniform of the 70's - especially with the forest green uniform shirt of the Leadership Corps (and Explorers) and the medium khaki pants of the time. The proper way to wear them is exactly as described in another post - square on the head with the right side "folded" over the head to the right ear. However, this was a hard thing for many scouts and leaders to accomplish because too much time was spent trying to keep the Beret looking clean and "pressed". Only a well-used beret was able to present the proper effect - until it was broken in, the beret was just too stiff. Someone complained here that the beret was too bulky - compared to the field hat that may be true, but the beret could be rolled up and slung under the belt - try that with a baseball cap. French military personnel in the 1960's often rolled up their berets and stuffed them under the epaulets on their shoulders - coincidence? Personally speaking, I don't think the beret goes as well with the "new" uniform as it did with the older uniform. The beret was a far more useful hat than the field cap or the "smokey bear" hat too. It could serve as a hot pot holder, a temporary water carrier, a baseball base, a frisbee, a nut & berry gatherer, and I'm sure it has many other uses. Some hints on the care and feeding of the beret: 1) Sleep with it - put it in your sleeping bag with you and in your bed with you - to break it in. The beret is like todays fleece jackets - the more you wear it, the more comfortable and loose it gets, the better. 2) NEVER wash it - berets are never the same after they've been washed - they shrink and wrinkle in odd ways (this was a lesson learned the hard way by many mothers - mine included - after a particularly muddy campout - the berets went into the wash with the rest of the camping clothes, and were promptly replaced by the next meeting - fortunately for me, my beret was spared the indignity because I was at a function with my explorer post that weekend instead of camping in the mud). Wait until the mud dries then brush it off. 3) Never dry clean the beret - sure, it won't shrink and wrinkle, but it damages the fibers and makes the hat stiff, never to be comfortable again. 4) Never store it "crushed" like a crusher hat in a pocket or backpack - always roll the beret up into a cigar shape or fold it loosely (no creases!) into thirds. 5) If you must iron the beret (and only as a last resort) iron it on low setting - just low enough to get out any creases and wrinkles - best bet is to hang it in a steamy shower room (or use the steam setting on the iron - hang the hat and steam it to get out wrinkles and creases). With proper break in and care, and when worn correctly, the Red Beret is second only to the classic "Smokey Bear" hat in class and style. CalicoPenn
  3. CalicoPenn

    what happens at 18?

    "We had a case where the boy was removed from Scouting because he was involved with a 17 year old girl when he turned 18 and didnt break off the relationship or resign his membership. He fought but lost." Wow - what a choice - Break up with your girlfriend or give up scouting. This is an unintended consequence of the youth protection policies. Did the girlfriend quit after this? Did their friends quit? Did the Venture unit survive? Was there a violation of youth protection that precipitated this? Surely, there is a way to handle this within the policy without forcing a boy to make such a draconian choice. Was the concern about how they interacted while at a scouting event or was the concern about what happens outside scouting? If the concern was about what happens outside scouting, is it logical to also assume that an adult leader would be violating policy if his/her son was best friends with another scout who always comes over to play (outside scout time) and may be the only adult around? I have to say on the face of it, giving that boy the choice of scouting or his girlfriend was the dumbest thing I've read about lately. Calico
  4. CalicoPenn

    Two-hour BOR

    >>Another question - is it appropriate, for me as SM, to ask the scout about the board of review process, and whether he thought he was treated fairly?
  5. CalicoPenn

    out-there patrol names

    Back in the mid-80's, I attended a camporee in Maine. One of the units showed up with 4 patrols and a "patrol" of adult leaders - all with names that linked them together. The patrols were: Slimer's Brigade Friends of Caspar The Booberries Xmas Past, Present and Future (this was the 3 members of the Senior Patrol) The adults patrol name was (and if you haven't guessed by now, get thee to a video rental store): The Ghostbusters Calico
  6. CalicoPenn

    Eagle BOR Fatal Flaws

    Quite a few people have asked for the details in order to properly answer but the following gives me all the info I need to opine that the BOR was flat out wrong to deny this boy's Eagle: "The offense (disclosed to the board in a reference letter, which was not intended to be a negative comment), was an egregious violation of "morally straight", by most measures, except maybe the moral standards of most teenagers these days, whose attitude is "stuff happens". The SM knew about it (as do all of the other scouts in the troop), however, it was felt it was "not relevant" and not important enough to mention to the Board prior to the BOR." The "offense" was apparently not seen to be morally wrong by the Scoutmaster or by the Scout. More importantly - much more importantly, the person who wrote the recommendation letter did not make any moral condemnations about this "offense" - indeed, as the writer of the recommendation did not make a negative comment about the offense, we have to trust that in the writer's view, their was no moral issue in the first place. The Board of Review has imposed their standards of what Morally Straight is over the standards of the recommendation writer, the Scoutmaster, the Scout's Unit, the Scout's Parents, and the Scout himself, who pledges to do his best to be morally straight, not to be perfect. When the BSA publishes a book outlining exactly what actions are considered morally straight, and what actions are not - rather that the purposely ambiguous language it now uses, then the Board of Review can make judgments on the scout's adherence to morally straight - until then, the board is in no position to make its own determinations of what is and is not morally straight. CalicoPenn(This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)
  7. CalicoPenn

    "Jump into water over your head in depth..."

    PNWscouter: I take it your wondering about the swimmer test everyone takes at the beginning of the summer camp session and not the tests for rank requirements (once they take pass the rank requirement test, they aren't required to retake the test). If the scout "fails" the swimming test and is classified as a non-swimmer or beginner at summer camp, then for the duration of that session at summer camp, the scout is restricted from activities requiring swimmer status -- this holds true even for scouts that easily pass the swimmers test in a swimming pool. Others have mentioned the most common reasons for someone who would otherwise be classified a swimmer failing the summer camp test - can't see the bottom of the lake, don't like the algae, afraid of the creatures in the lake (not only fish, but in some parts of the country, snakes and turtles). Aquatics staffs are very familiar with these situations are and usually very open and willing to work with those boys at a later date to overcome their fear of the lake and pass the swimmers tests - most camp aquatics staffs are more than willing to retest a boy who "failed" the test, again, at a later date. I've seen scouts who were champion swimmers in park district swim teams fail the swimmers test because of a fear of lakes - but no matter how well the scout (or scouter) swims at home, its the test he takes at summer camp that determines his classification during summer camp. If you do your own testing, you can use your classification of the scouts for your activities - just not at summer camp - the summer camp swim test trumps local unit swim tests during the camp session. CalicoPenn
  8. CalicoPenn

    Vigil Honor Given Indian name online?

    I've not seen anything online like this. Try contacting your old lodge - they may have a record of the names. CalicoPenn Vigil - Lakota Lodge 175
  9. CalicoPenn

    Secret Boy Scout Spices

    Hmmm...These ingredients look suspiciously similar to Emeril's "essence" (not an exact match, but pretty close). Are we supposed to yell "BAM" when we add the spice mix? Or maybe Boom? CalicoPenn
  10. CalicoPenn

    "Jump into water over your head in depth..."

    "During the summer camp swim test, one boy refused to jump into deeper water and the other had to be hauled to the surface. The problem is that these boys do not have the swimming skills you describe, but conducting the swimming test allows that fact to be disguised." This is why summer camps do swim tests for all campers at the beginning of the week - a Scout (even a Scouter) may be able to pass a rank required swim test, or may have been able to earn the swimming merit badge but that doesn't necessarily mean he has the skills to swim in a lake. The scout may have been able to overcome the swimming challenges for rank or the swimming merit bage just enough to be able to pass. The summer camp staff is conducting their test for classification and safety purposes - and, at least in my experience, aren't testing a whole unit en masse but one or two boys at a time, so they can keep a close eye on the boys and yank them from the water if needed. They are conducting these tests to try to avoid having to yank a boy out of water the boy can't handle when the swimming area is crowded and busy. Just as a chef might tell a scout that just because he earned the cooking merit badge, that doesn't mean he can cook, an aquatics staffer assumes that just because a scout has passed the swimming merit badge or his rank requirements, that doesn't mean he can swim. Even scouts and scouters who are known to be very strong swimmers are re-tested every year - when I was 14, I swam the mile swim at camp every day for 13 days, one day swimming it twice (without stopping between miles) - the next year I was required to take the camp swim test, just like everyone else - and the camp aquatics staff was the same staff as the previous year, and remembered my mile swims. Frankly, I wouldn't have had it any other way. If the boy refuses to jump into the deeper water during the swim test, he gets an uncolored tag, and is only allowed to "swim" in the beginners area (in my summer camp, thats about 2 feet maximum) - this rule would hold true for a star member of a swim team back home who has no fear of deep water in a pool but can't bring themselves to jump into lake water as for a rank beginner. CalicoPenn
  11. CalicoPenn

    Films for Troop JLT Weekends

    All the movies mentioned are great examples of movies with leadership roles, but almost all of them are much more suitable for adults - when I think JLT, I think 12-14 year olds - and you want movies that will appeal to them and will hold their interest. What about X-Men and its sequel, X-Men 2? How about one of the Star Trek or Star Wars movies? How about the Steven Spielsberg movie Hook, with an adult Peter Pan as a reluctant leader? CalicoPenn
  12. CalicoPenn

    Appropriate Questions at BOR

    "Its a creampuff question if - any reference to a higher power suffices as a definition for God, and/or duty to God becomes so personalized that no one is qualified to challenge the answer." The Scout Oath DOES personalize "Duty to God" - and as long as a scout has an answer that works for him you really can't challenge the answer. Lets look at what the Scout Oath says - the most important part that qualifies all that follows: "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty" - Its all about "I" and "my" - MY best, MY duty - who is anyone else to stand up and tell a Scout what there duty is, or should be (other than perhaps the parents) - its all about how the individual sees his duty, to whatever god he may believe in. The Scout is responsible for defining what his duty is, no one else - and his idea of what his duty is may be completely foreign to his BOR questioners - but the BOR must still accept that the Scout is doing HIS duty. The BOR's idea of what a Scout's Duty to God is has no bearing on whether the Scout is doing his Duty to God. As an example, let me pose an answer to the following post: "Okay, so lets say youre on a BOR for little Johnny. You have never seen Johnny display anything remotely considered as reverence towards God. He goofs around during prayers. Hes never referenced God in any conversation that you can recall. In fact, you have never even overheard him make mention of a church, a synagogue, or any other place of worship." The above seems to assume that one's Duty to God is to reference God in conversations, or to go to church, or to pray (granted, the Scout isn't being reverent if he's goofing around during prayers - he isn't respecting others expression of religion - but that can be handled in a discussion of the Scout Law - which, by the way, the Oath tells us we must do our BEST to obey the Scout Law - not follow it letter perfect). I submit that this is a shallow representation of ones Duty to God. First - can't a Scout believe in God without belonging to a church, or praying, or referencing God? Second, isn't a Scout who doesn't go to church services on Sunday (or whatever day) but spends time working on prairie restorations, volunteering at an animal shelter, teaching younger kids how to play sports (in an organized program), (etc. etc. etc. - you get the idea) also doing a Duty to God? The question "Do you believe in God", whether we want to admit it or not, is a question of intimidation - and its a question of intimidation because of the way it can be perceived by the person who is asked - not by the way it is perceived by the person asking the question. The questioner may have no motives behind the question at all other than just as a general question, but the person being asked such a question is more likely than not to fill in certain unstated (whether they are meant to be there or not) blanks. The question may be asked as "Do you believe in God" but may very well be perceived as "Do you believe in MY God". Would you ask a Scout "Did you really earn that swimming merit badge?" - no, probably not - you would likely ask "what was the most challenging part of earning the swimming merit badge for you and how did you overcome that challenge" Same holds true for this question - rather than ask "Do you believe in God" (and as one poster said, if the boy answers yes, he moves on - which suggests that no more questions about duty to god or a scout is reverent is asked, a better question - one that is open ended is "How do you define your duty to god and what do you do to live up to your duty. It seems to me the problem really comes down to what are the best kinds of questions for a board or review - and it really doesn't matter what the subject is - a merit badge, a duty to god, a leadership position. The best kind of questions, in my opinion are open ended questions - "How do you..., What was your... - questions that require more than one word answers. A question that can be answered with just one or two words, like "do you believe in god", are closed questions - and really don't lead one to any true knowledge. CalicoPenn
  13. CalicoPenn

    Appropriate Questions at BOR

    Someone asked a question some posts back that I don't think has been answered yet - and I'm really curious to know the answer. What would happen if a boy is asked "Do you believe in God?" and he answered no? Kick him out? Not kick him out but never advance him again? What is the purpose of asking this question, in this blunt way, if not to weed out the "undesirables"? Under the current national policies of the BSA, wouldn't you be required to kick a boy out of the scouts that told you he didn't believe in God (or some other higher power)? And if you didn't kick him out, wouldn't you then be violating the policies of the BSA and therefore not living up to the Scout Law and Oath yourself? I'm curious, do you also ask the boy in his BOR "Are you Gay?" as the second question? CalicoPenn
  14. CalicoPenn

    Right to Peaceably Assemble

    I'm trying to figure out the point of the question - is it to assert the right to have the jamboree at a miltary base? Question - what other groups have had large gatherings like the jamboree at a military base? Do you really want to go down the path of using the right to peaceably assemble to assert a right to meet on a military base? Won't that mean that the military would then have to open their gates up to any group that wanted to hold a peacful assembly on the base? Groups like the National Knights of the KKK, or (insert the name of your favorite "bogeyman" group here). Is that what you want? I have no problem with the BSA having their jamboree on military property - I do have a problem with the BSA's seemingly exclusive privilege to have their jamboree on military property when no other group has that privilege - and I definitely have a problem with taxpayer dollars being used to support that jamboree - Let the BSA have their jamboree on military property - but the BSA should reimburse the entire cost to the government of the jamboree - and I take that position with any group. As was stated by someone else, you have the right to peaceably assemble, you don't have the right to make government pay for that assembly. Calico
  15. Full disclosure - I take along my lap top computer during my full week vacation/camping trips and use it about 1/2 hour per day to download and sort the days photos from my digital camera - after that, its back to the car (and I use a converter to recharge the lap tops batteries if needed while driving). On weekends, and I try to camp as many weekends as I can, the only electronics that comes with me (other than the aforementioned digital camera) is my cell phone which I leave off and in the car - I camp to escape from the technologic world, not to keep myself surrounded by it. TV's, DVD's, I-pods, WiFi in a campground? May as well camp in the backyard, or set up a tent in the living room. Its bad enough to watch people pull in to a campground in a big RV that they never leave, running a generator and air conditioner all day and into the night while they pretend to "camp" - now we have people setting up TV's, and stereo systems in their campsites because they just can't live without seeing Sponge Bob Square Pants one more time, or can't make it one night without hearing Stairway to Heaven. Try camping in a Wisconsin State Park in mid-August when the Packers are playing a televised pre-season game on a Saturday night - no matter where you go, you'll know the score of the game. Last year, I was searching the trees for a calling Barred Owl near my campsite - which I found - people in the campsite nearest the owl were amazed that there was an owl nearly above their heads and they never even heard it - of course they didn't hear it, they were busy watching television! Keep the electronics at home where they belong - the kids can survive (really!) for a weekend without Barney and Game Boy. Do your neighbors a favor (you know, those of us in the neighboring campsite, which is probably no further away from you than the bedroom in your home is from the living room in your home)and help create the quiet, restful zone we have come to find. Calico
  16. CalicoPenn

    Why attend District/Council events?

    District events are only as good as the amount of effort your unit puts in to it. The district "staff" after all, come from the units. Don't like the campfire at a camporee? Volunteer your unit to set up and run the campfire at the next camporee. Get a member of the troop committee or an ASM to volunteer to serve on the event committee. Challenge the district to do something different and come up with some ideas. Not all camporees need to be competitive - one of the best camporees I attended was themed around the cooking merit badge - every station corresponded to one of the requirements - at the end of the camporee, every scout had earned the cooking merit badge. Those that had the badge served as junior instructors at the stations. The competitive nature of the camporees were always somewhat of an issue. There are always some "powerhouse" troops that seem to go in fighting to take it all. I doubt that can ever be solved - except by the attitude the leaders take - in our unit, the leaders didn't make a big deal out of winning - they made a big deal out of having fun - and if we weren't having fun, we had the option of returning to camp and planning our own activity/hike for the rest of the day. Just my two cents (sorry, 3 cents - inflation ya know). Calico
  17. CalicoPenn

    Shark patch?

    Where to place the shark patch on the red jacket? How about with the nose coming up on the belly of the bull, as if the shark is about to take a giant bite of beef steak. Calico
  18. CalicoPenn

    Hot Dogs are Banned!?

    Back when I was a scout (in the 70's), my troop banned hot dogs AND hamburgers on camping trips. Both foods are too easy to fall back on, become routine, and show a lack of creativity. The interesting part was how the troop leaders went about the ban. At a unit camping trip (so as not to hear any complaints about time restraints due to camporee activities) each patrol was break out the cost of each meal per person, and keep track of cooking times. The adult leaders did the same thing. The patrol menus all featured such gourmet fare as hamburgers for dinner and hot dogs for lunch, and the typical eggs and pancakes for breakfasts. The adults had chicken for lunch, steak (!!!) for dinner, omelettes one breakfast and crepes for another breakfast. When we sat down on Sunday after breakfast to compare cooking times and cost per person, we lads were astonished to find that the adults had eaten much better than we did for about the same price per person and about the same cooking time. The next campout, and all camputs after that, hot dogs and hamburgers were forbidden - and we all got very very creative with our menus. I agree with Ed - ban hot dogs (except for the cub scouts)- at least on camp-outs. Hot dogs while backpacking? Ughhh (who wants squished buns anyway) - for short backpacking trips, let your imagination run wild - try making quesadilla's instead. Look over some recent issues of Backpacker magazine - they have been running articles lately on great foods to make while backpacking. As for Hebrew National Hot Dogs - they'll do, if you can't get Vienna Beef (all beef!) Hot Dogs - the real secret to a great Chicago dog. The absolute best are the Vienna Beef Jumbo Hot Dogs - when a hot dog tastes good plain (thats without condiments - not even mustard or celery salt), then that's a good dog - and nothing, not even the Hebrew National's, compares to the taste of a plain Vienna Beef Jumbo Dog. Calico
  19. I've read all of the posts on this issue and one thing stands out that I'm surprised no one has mentioned - the knowledge about this boys drinking is all heresay. No one has actually seen this boy drinking, at least thats the impression I get from reading the posting. Even the father's "admission" that his son has had a drink is heresay, unless the father actually witnessed the drinking. The claim is that it is common knowledge that the boy is drinking - but again, without a witness, without actual facts, the "common knowledge" is all heresay. Be very careful about using common knowledge as your "factual" basis - remember, it was once common knowledge that the earth was flat, or that the sun revolved around the earth. Unless this boy admits to drinking, or unless you have actual witnesses to the drinking, you are walking an extremely fine line in denying this boy a rank based on heresay - even to the possibility of opening up yourself to a charge of slander. Even questioning this boy on his drinking based on the "common knowledge" accusations against him may not be wise - again, unless you have witnesses, use caution. In a way, your fortunate you are dealing with a father who seems to be showing somewhat of a laisez faire attitude about this issue right now - I know parents (more than I care to) that would already have you in front of a judge to defend yourself against slander charges. I'd suggest that you proceed with caution and remember that the Scout Law and Oath works both ways - if your unit is giving greater credence to outside sources of "common knowledge" with no factual basis over your own scouts, then how can the scouts be expected to be trustworthy when their own leaders aren't being trustworthy. Just my two cents. CalicoPenn
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