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Campfire Fairy

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  1. My council's wood badge training recently came to a close, and I'm proud to say that I was a part of it. A handful of Venture youth scattered across the council, myself included, spent the last 3 days of Wood Badge in one of the patrols (go Bears!), helping to explain such things as the fundamentals of a leave-no-trace campsite, as well as running a problem solving round robin as one of the training modules. I must admit, I didn't know what to expect going into it, but I came out of it with a good experience and a fun weekend to talk about for quite a while. Venture Crew 1 (of course, the number 1;)) even made their own flag to accompany the other patrols' flags-- we became the Mad Cows, with a very 'enthusiastic,' very constipated-sounding "Moo000ooo" as our cheer.


    All in all, a good weekend. I don't know if involving Venture youth in the Wood Badge training is a standard thing or not, but I don't think it would hurt the program in any way. Actually, I think everyone there last weekend quite enjoyed it, and to be honest, being a girl who just happens to be in Ventures, it taught me a few things about how the Boy Scout program runs.


    *shrug* No real point to this post... just thought I'd share. :)

  2. I recently found out that my youngest sister's troop is disbanding (is that the right word to use?) this year. The girls will be in seventh grade in the fall, which is about the time when a) they start working on their silver award, and b) when I started getting bored with the program. Granted, I stuck with it until I earned my silver, and for another year after that, but once I joined Ventures I had no need for the GSA. It was too much fluff and not enough fun.


    I was talking with my mom the other day, and from what I understand, the main reason is that the moms who were running the troop before don't want to be bothered, which is a shame. I've been toying with the idea of calling council to see if maybe I could take over as the troop's leader. I'm 19 now. By GSA policy, I'm pretty sure I am old enough to be a leader (is that right...?), though I couldn't drive the girls anywhere. And I'd need another adult at all the meetings, naturally, but I don't anticipate that'd be too much of a problem.


    My only dilemma is this Studio2B nonsense. I like the concept of the girls choosing what they want to do, but at the same time there are a lot of things about it that I -don't- like, and even more things that I'm confused about.


    This is what I do know:


    1.) The girl scouting program, if offered in its entirety, can be a great experience for these girls.

    2.) They'd probably have a lot more fun with a younger leader than a "boring old mom." Sorry, all you moms out there, but let's be honest... it's cool for 12 and 13 year olds to hang out with someone who's 19. Most 40-something moms aren't terribly "cool and exciting."

    3.) It's a lot of training, but I've got the time.

    4.) I'd even be willing to sit through the training necessary to be able to take the girls camping (I think the main reason so many girls drop out of girl scouts is because they don't do anything through the GSA that they can't do at home with a couple of friends).

    5.) If this Studio2B thing is what I'm going to have to work with, I really need to know what the dealie is before I commit to anything.


    Any suggestions, resources, opinions, or vaguely-related thoughts to share?

  3. The 2 girl scout camps in my area have summer programs as well asorganized winter camping. The winter camping programs run Friday nights-Sunday afternoons and the activities vary. There are Mom-and-Me weekends, where each of the scouts (typically Brownies) brings their mom, and a similar weekend with dads. There are open-scheduled weekends when troops can reserve units for winter camping to earn badges, or just for fun.


    Both camps also contain ropes courses- low ropes at one, high at the other, unless things have changed since I've last heard. And I can tell you for a fact that non-girl scout groups can utilize the ropes courses and camping facilities, because my Venture crew is looking to plan a COPE course weekend at one of the camps, and we were assured that the male crew members wouldn't be slapped in the face and sent home before even stepping foot beyond the gate. From what I understand, the camp director seemed to kind of like the idea of sharing the facilities with a branch of the BSA.


    If you ask me, it's about time the BSA and GSA started working together. :)

  4. Wow, it's been a while since I've been to the forums here... they've updated and everything, and I feel all shabby and inadequate with a little half star rating... like I'm underdressed in a really expensive restaurant.;)


    So, some time may have passed since I was here last, but old habits die hard and I just have to throw in my two cents...


    An awful lot of people have responded to this thread who -aren't- Merlyn, despite the specifications of the title. Although I suppose if OGE wanted this to be a one-on-one conversation he would have privately messaged Merlyn instead of making it a public discussion...


    At any rate, these are my thoughts on this matter:


    Stop trying to persuade one another to conform to your own beliefs. If a person could be swayed so easily, his or her faith must not be very strong. Gentlemen, if you're having an affair (please excuse my immoral example;))with a married woman who says she'll leave her husband for you, what faith can you have that she won't turn around after marrying you and have an affair with another man, and then leave you for him? It's the same way with religion... if I can get Achilleez and Merlyn and other atheists to believe in God, then their belief in -no- God was weak and unsure. Therefore their "belief" that God does exist will also be weak and unsure. In which case, are they any better off?


    And vice versa to the atheists out there. You can't fully convince a devout Christian that God doesn't exist. He might say, "Nope, no God for me, thanks," but there will always be that niggling thought of, "What if He does? Will I be screwed over when I die?"


    And now I'd like to take the time to vent about one of my pet peeves. I have a couple friends who claim to be atheist, and yet they say things like "Holy s---" and "Goddammit" (sorry, folks) and "What the hell?/Go to hell." If you don't believe in God or the presence of a Greater power, these are words and phrases that shouldn't be in your vocabulary. If you don't believe in God, don't ask Him to damn things. If you don't believe in Heaven, you consequently don't believe in Hell, so don't order someone to go there. And if there's no higher power, then nothing is holy, perhaps only holey or wholly.


    That's my dose of babble for the day. Or at least the hour. Ah, how I missed this place... :p

    (This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

  5. NeilLup- I'm afraid I may have been a bit confusing and ambiguous in my last post. I agree that it is necessary to have a female adult in attendance during co-ed overnight outings, and I more than understand the legalities behind this when the what-ifs and could-have-happeneds -do- happen. My sometimes overactive imagination can certainly drum up a number of ridiculous but not impossible allegations and accusations that could be devastating during a legal proceeding, and I certainly buy into the better-safe-than-sorry theory. To a reasonable extent.


    Before I go on, I am forced to ask what exactly the G2SS is. I don't feel that I should comment on my interpretation of the source until I know exactly what the source is. :) And I am also curious about Neil's post regarding the significance of capital and lowercase letters concerning being registered BSA adults and >leaders< being any unregistered adult who wishes to accompany a troop/crew/etc. on an outing.(This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

  6. Just to state my opinion in all this, I have retracted my comment that it was okay for a dad to be a girl's leader because I have been proven wrong with a reference source. However, my

    "interpretation," since that seems to be everyone's favorite word in this thread, is that of the two leaders present on an outing, one and only one is absolutely -required- to be registered with the BSA.


    I would like to think that I am perceptive enough to decide, after meeting the woman who will be my adult chaperone for the outing, whether or not I can put my safety and my trust in this person. And if I decide that I do not believe this woman to be competent, and in fact find her to be a rather shady and untrustworthy person, I believe I have enough sense to respectfully decline my participation in the event in the interest of personal safety. On the other hand, if suddenly a new male leader were to attend an event, around whom I felt uncomfortable and threatened in any way, I also would not participate in the outing. It goes both ways. (And, being a female, it's generally the male gender that you have to watch out for, not the women.;))


    Please do not confuse youth with naivete. I may look young, but I have a good head on my shoulders. But perhaps I'm biased in my opinion, seeing as how it's -my- head and all. ;)


    I would rather go on an outing and risk the possibility of an incorrect judgement of a person to be trustworthy than be stuck at home doing nothing, my plans for the weekend ruined because we don't have a -registered- female chaperone, and wishing once again that I had been born a boy. :p


    And I agree with bsabrit's comment that "just because you are "BSA trained" does not make you 'safe.'"


    And that's all I have to say about that.


    For now. :)

  7. Hey. Being a girl in a co-ed crew, I can help you out here... hopefully, anyway :)


    First of all, it is my understanding that yes, if the girl's father attends, he is her "chaperone" and you do not need a female leader. This only works for that one girl, however. She can't bring a friend and have her dad be the friend's chaperone, too.


    As far as female leaders go, no, they don't need to be registered with the BSA. My crew has always been desperate for female chaperones to the point where we almost steal them from other crews, but we've also had a few young women who were students of one of the leaders, a college professor, as well as older co-workers of one of the youth members.


    As long as at least one adult leader attending the outing is a registered (and I guess trained) BSA member, the female chaperones can be plucked randomly for a crowd. If it weren't for all that jazz about not breaking the law and all... ;)


    Of course, I don't have the handbook and all its clutters of regulations memorized, so I could be wrong and if anyone would like to prove such, I will graciously retract my comments. :)(This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

  8. I like the camping/rock climbing/backpacking/general outdoorsiness that I do with Ventures. I also like little kids (in a very NON-Michael-Jackson kind of way!;)). I like to draw... I'm into photography... I like animals and have aspirations of being disgustingly rich when I get older so I can own a white tiger, an elephant, a black panther, a panda, a chimpanzee, 2 horses, and your typical dogs, cats, rabbits, and small lizards. Oh, and a cute little green snake whom I will name Mr. Squiggles. :p I'm a movie freak but I hardly watch any tv at all, and I confess to having unhealthy obsessions with fun socks, pajamas, and Arby's curly fries. :)

  9. I got a Venture uniform shirt... and a fleece liner for my sleeping bag... and a backpacking backpack... and a backpacking tent... and that awesome pair of hiking boots I so subtly pointed out to my parents that were 50% off or something crazy like that in the Cabela's catalog... and a tricked out, impressive pocketknife... and a spiffy leather-bound 3-ring binder thing with my initials on it in gold to keep my oh-so-efficient secretarial Venture meeting notes in... oh, and I got a horse.


    And then I woke up.


    Okay, so, Santa must have given away all the exciting camp-y things to you people before he got to my house. *glares at everyone*


    Or maybe it's because I forgot to give Mommy Clause and Daddy Clause my list of scout related things I wanted/needed (that horse goes under the needed list, naturally. What, it's scout related. All of my Venture crewies could have gotten horses in their stockings, too, and we could have had a horseback riding event;)). *glares at myself*


    Oh, well... there's always my birthday... :p

  10. I'm curious (and maybe I should be putting this out in the open discussion forum, because I'm quite sure that very few of the male members of this forum pay any attention to this little corner of the world) as to how the boy scouts, youth and adults, view the Girl Scout program. Be brutally honest, and please share any observations you may have regarding girl scouting.


    As for the female members/girl scout members out there reading this, feel free to share your own opinions on the mission of girl scouting and what you think the "Girl Scout Image" is, generally, nation-wide. I'm curious to see how many of you think like me, or if I'm the only one. :p

  11. Since someone else resurrected this thread, I'll have my say now. Yes, I admit, I didn't want to bring this one back from the dead if no one else was interested... I figured, I missed my chance to rant and rave about the troop mentioned in the article Beaver was so kind enough to post in here. But now, thanks to Anne, I can. :)


    I think it's precisely troops like that one that deny girl scouts any considerable amount of respect. Spas and yoga and shopping trips and the like are not the kind of events that teach the girls to be strong, ambitious, competent women and community leaders. If anything, it's teaching girls to digress to the pampered-housewife stereotype that women today are now trying to break out of. Maybe this is just the feminist in me protesting, but I know that in the boy scouts, girl scouting is generally a joke. The boys in my Venture crew know not to make any degrading comments about girl scouts *smiles innocently* but I know that there are people-- and not just in boy scouts, but people in general-- who think Girl Scouts is an excuse for girls to get together with other squeaky, squealy girls and paint nails and do makeup and hair and occasionally talk about world hunger and the struggle for world peace, and then earn a badge for it. And to be brutally honest... I think that's crappy.


    I will say that the concept of the girls planning meetings and events based on what they want to do is a good one. I won't knock the Studio2B program because I personally have not had any influence on it nor have I been influenced by it, but I will say that if I were still in scouting and my troop converted to this program, I would remain in scouting only if we did more of the things I wanted to do and less of the girly things. I can do makeup and hair anytime I want at home. When I'm with scouts, I want to be able to do something I can't do by myself. Like AlphaCentauri, I think it's ridiculous to expect young girls to contact and arrange with some corporate CEO or whomever to shadow them for a day, just to complete one lousy requirement for a badge. Who does that?!?


    Okay, I'm stopping myself now before it gets to be several more paragraphs until I can manage to be rational enough to realize I'm going ballistic and generally making a fool of myself. It's weird how I can no longer be involved in girl scouts and still be passionate about it and protective of it. I guess I must have had a good time after all. Either that, or it's that little feminist voice in my head getting overly excited.


    Either way, rest assured I would have tons and tons more to say about this, although maybe I should start my own thread... *ponders* hmm, maybe I will... *prances off to do just that*

  12. *jumps up and down and waves*


    I'm here, I'm here!


    Sad to say, this is quite obviously one of the least popular places on here... but I guess it's to be expected on a boy scout forum. But I would hope that more of the adult advisors, particularly those who are active in a Venture crew, might be interested in Girl Scout affairs as they may at some point have a girl scout Venturer in their midst and would be anxious to learn a thing or two about the way girl scouts works, the way the girl is learning a crazy amount about how boy scouts works (I know I certainly did when I first started Ventures... heck, I'm still learning! I've got years and years before I'll be anywhere near being considered knowledgeable:P)


    I know my crew leaders are interested in how the G.S. do things, and kudos to DS, as I posted before, for participating in this area!

  13. DS, a big thumbs up for being involved in the Girl Scout section of this forum! I think that is very cool of you.


    Ozemu, good luck finding your koala :) I think the traveling mascot is a really neat idea (I can't believe I used the word neat... usually I'm so much more creative with my vocabulary... *is shamefaced*).


    I learned something interesting today... koala bears don't drink water! I think that's weird. But then again, I don't drink water... so I guess I'm weird.


    ...oh well, it's nothing I haven't heard before. :)

  14. I'll be the first one to answer my own topic... just because I can answer for my own crew... :)


    I would say there are about 20-25 members (OGE and OT can correct me if I'm off... I'm a horrible estimater. All I can tell you for sure is that we have about 8 or 9 active youth-- the rest are inactive because they're away at college... again, correct me if I'm wrong!) I would say close to half of our crew is made up of girls, and we're very proud of this fact. ;)


    We have a couple of young'uns, but for the most part, we're all in the 17-20 range. Which is great because we've got a pretty mature and responsible group, but bad because we need younger members to keep the crew going once we all get too old. :)


    We have 3 excellent advisors who are very dedicated to the crew and who completely encourage youth leadership in our crew. They truly advise and do not lead. :) Sadly, we don't really have any regular female chaperones of our own... as a result, we like to steal female chaperones from other crews, unless one of the leaders can lure their wives to the outings. ;)


    Our crew has been around since 1999, if I am correct in my mathematical skills (and it's very likely that I'm not... you'll notice it's 1:12 AM, my time at least, and I'm not exactly at my peak:P).


    Our crew focuses on high adventure and community service. We generally do a little bit of everything.


    As far as fundraising, in the past we've done popcorn sales, and we worked a Coke/hot dog trailer outside the local Wal-mart once (maybe twice... not sure...), and we have dues of $3 a month or a lump of $30 for the year.


    New members are recruited generally by word of mouth, which works great getting friends, but as I said, most of us are older scouts, and mostly recruit friends our age, thus getting more older scouts, and not really any younger ones. But lately we've became recruiting fiends and we're scouring our feeder boy scout troop and girl scout troop for eligible potential members, and we're working on a couple younger siblings. :)


    During the warmer months, our crew can have an event scheduled for every weekend (a few single day events and maybe a weekend-long thing). In the winter we're not quite as active, but we meet the 2nd and 4rd Sundays of each month, and we usually have at least one, if not two, events planned each month.


    Our most successful outing would be rock climbing, by far. While camping trips are always a lot of fun, we probably get the biggest turnout for climbing (usually indoor) because it's a 2-3 hour thing that isn't too expensive and it's a lot of fun.


    We have several members (I want to say 3 or 4...?) who have earned their Bronze awards, in the Outdoors and Religious Life areas (again, OGE and OT, inform me if I'm leaving someone/a category out) and I know of at least 2 (myself included; if I can get my butt in gear, we can add Arts & Hobbies to the list:P) who are working on theirs.


    Yes, our council created the Venture Executive Board, which is now in its second year of existence. Any member of any crew in the council is invited to attend this youth-organized and youth-run meeting. All the adults but one, the designated VEB Advisor, leave the room to have their own little pow-wow while the youth plan such activities as the now annual Rendezvous, a weekend camping extravaganza (haha) to which each crew in the council is invited to participate and mingle and get to know each other. This is different from the Venture Roundtables which our council is beginning, but for the life of me I'm not too sure what the difference is/will be between the Venture Executive Board and the Venture Roundtables (anyone want to answer, I don't mind at all if you hijack this thread to do so:))


    Alas... I am a babbler, and that was a lot longer than I expected, but feel free to be even longer if you so desire. I get bored easily and this place is becoming one of my favorite online hangouts. :)

  15. Okay, so I kind of copied purcelce's topic from the Open Discussion forum, but I'm curious about the other Venture crews out there...


    How many youth members does your crew have? Do you have any girls?


    Age range/numbers of your youth?


    How many adult advisors does your crew have?


    How long have you been in existence?


    What is your crew's concentration (i.e. outdoors, community service, religion, etc.)


    What fundraisers, if any, does your crew do?


    How do you recruit new members?


    On average, how many activities/events does your crew have monthly?


    What do you think your most successful outing/event was/is?


    Have any of the youth in your crew earned their Bronze or Ranger awards, or any other recognitions?


    And also... does your council have a council-wide, youth led leadership committee/board/whatever?(This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

  16. Just have to throw in my trivial two cents...


    The word pablum (I understand it's a brand name as well, but the words itself) means something (as writing or speech) that is trite, insipid, or simplistic.


    It was the Word of the Day on the 19th. :)


    Now I can tell all my friends who make fun of me for getting a Word of the Day email that it actually came in handy... :p


    Sorry for disrupting the thread, I just wanted to share my random intellect with you fine people. ...okay, so I wanted to share my intellect with people who couldn't tell me to shut up and refuse to listen. Now you all probably already read it, so there! ;)(This message has been edited by Campfire Fairy)

  17. I enjoyed the ironic fact that the man who sucked his people for all they were worth, whose lavish palaces were scattered here and there, who could afford handfuls of Saddam-decoys but not to feed his people, who could so valiantly send hundreds of thousands of soldiers to fight his neighboring countries (and then some), was finally caught cowering in a hole, hidden under a rock like the vicious snake he is.


    That humiliation alone might have been worth the wait, if you'll excuse my insensitivity for those who fought and died or were injured trying to find the atrocious weasel.


    And I finally have a reason to use words and phrases like "the vicious snake he is" and "atrocious weasel." I am also quite partial to "ignorant, insolent imbecile" but I didn't want to overdo it. :)

  18. I have can attest to le Voyageur and acco's statements that the ratings of sleeping bags don't necessarily apply to everyone. Like Eamonn, I can't stand being cold. And maybe I'm just a little abnormal in my exceptional ability to freeze my butt off, but my NorthFace blue kazoo mummy bag does not cut it for me... maybe in the summer, but when we went backpacking in the NJ Pine Barrens in October, a weekend when the weather was in the upper seventies during the day, and (to normal people ) considerably warm at night for the season, I still froze. Then camping in Gettysburg I shoved the mummy bag inside a fluffy L.L. Bean sleeping bag (I'm not sure of the rating, as it's a fairly old sleeping bag that I've had since I as a young'un), and I was still cold. It took both sleeping bags and a fleece blanket to get me warm enough to sleep comfortably.


    As I said, I could just be a mutant cold-blooded freak, but ratings are a rough estimate, basically, and you should keep in mind your natural body thermometer when looking for a sleeping bag. If you get cold easily, go for the lower-degree rating, if you can sweat in 40 degree weather... I'd say no need to go all out and get that -15 bag

  19. There's gotta be something wrong with me... it took this thread to remind me that Christmas is in 12 days. Well, okay, I knew it was in 12 days, because I've got the majority of my Christmas shopping done, but somehow in the craziness of it all, I forgot that I get presents, too...


    Thank you hops for resurrecting this thread, because it gave me some ideas to give my parents-- who thank you, too, I'm sure! Apparently I'm hard to shop for... which is ridiculous, because I'm about the most easy-to-please person ever...


    Anyway, I know she might even forget she said anything, but a million thanks to LauraT7, for suggesting a fleece sleeping bag liner... anyone who knows me knows I absolutely abhor being cold, and unfortunately I get cold quite easily (I'm a freak). I think a fleece liner (or two!:p) would be the perfect present for me. That, and a green Venture uniform shirt...


    Oh, mother...


  20. That's great, Eamonn! I must admit, I'm slightly disappointed that I was born a girl and not a boy... I think I would have had a lot more fun being a boy scout than I had when I was a girl scout. Maybe it was poor choosing of troops, but we never went camping or anything like that(not to knock girl scouting-- if you have a daughter, I encourage her to try it out for herself!! :)), and all the Boy Scouts I've talked to only have great things to tell about their early (and recent, of course!) Boy Scout experiences. *sigh*


    But, luckily, I joined up with Ventures and have had a blast.


    The important thing in times of frustration is to remember all the good the Boy Scouts has done for thousands-- millions-- of people nation/worldwide in the past, and all the good it'll continue to do in the future. And from the impression I get of you, you're a pretty top-notch Scouter in my book, and a good portion of that good I mentioned is thanks to you :)

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