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ChiefThundercloud

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About ChiefThundercloud

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  1. Several years go, I stocked our Troop's "Trading Post" with a bunch of used uniforms that I found after visiting many, many, many thrift shops over the years. I spent hundred of dollars stocking the trading post. Initially, I charged $5 for a uniform piece. Occassionally, someone would turn in a shirt or pants that their Scout had outgrown. I started getting more donation, so I stopped collecting fees and really stopped paying attention to the Trading Post. The Trading Post is now completely empty.
  2. What a great place for inspiration. I'm going to change the braided leather strap on my walking stick gifts for my Eagle Scouts to red, white and blue braided straps - what a great addition!
  3. I was ASM in a troop years ago that had a Scout with tourette syndrome. It was very difficult. We all understood what the situation was and he was fully medicated, but the disruption he caused created many problems within the troop and his patrol in particular. It was painful to watch him stuggle internally with the syndrome. I saw that he wanted to act one way, yet couldn't control his actions. He would at times cringe as he said the things he couldn't stop himself from saying. Most Scouts and Scouters are unfortunately, unprepared to handle this type of problem.
  4. My Troop just had an Eagle Court of Honor yesterday. Other than the new Eagle Scout, all Eagle present were over 18 years old. Three were less than 20 years old. They all came in full adult Scouter uniforms complete with Eagle knots and the Eagle Medal. Does that answer your question?
  5. ChiefThundercloud

    Neckties

    I have three such neckties and wear them occassionally. One tie is the dark green and is quite short. The other two are the tan ties and also quite dark. Given the dimensions of the ties (the green is narrower than the tan ties, I'm sure that would halp someone properly date them. The problem with all three ties is that they're very short. Really too short to wear regularly. I got all three from a thrift store. Check your local Goodwill.
  6. We make the presentation of the badge, the medal, the certificate, the necerchief, etc all part of the ceremony. I think you'd be watering down the rank if you didn't make the ceremony as much of a declaration as it can be. Why not take off his Life rank and then attach it with velro (or a pin) then you can formally attach his Eagle Rank to his shirt as part of the ceremony?
  7. The very first Eagle Board on which I sat, denied the Scout his advancement. He was, similar to your example, a Scout who clearly didn't care about the rank. He had not been an active Scout for about 3 years. His mother pushed him to complete everything at the last minute. His circumstance was complicated in that he was already 18 years old, so the appeal process was limited. I have been on four Eagle Boards where the Scout was not awarded the rank. Each time, the Scout hadn't shown that he was worthy of the rank (one Scout came without his uniform - we gave him until we finished the other Eagle Boards that day to return in full Class A uniform). There's a well-repsected Eagle Scout ASM in my Troop who has a view on this situation. He tells my Scouts and parents, "Not everyone will become an Eagle. The Scout that demonstrates that he wants that rank shows the difference between a Life Scout and an Eagle."
  8. I've had the occassion to deal with a new Pinewood Derby track three times. First, we had a verrrrry old track that was warped and splintering. It was refurbished (kinda). Second, when our track needed replacing, we had a dad in teh Pack who was a cabinet maker. We asked if he could fix our track so that it would work better. He took it upon himself to completely rebuild the track and the Pack ended up with an absolutely beautiful wooden Pinewood Derby track. The third time was after I moved into Boy Scouts. The younger boys didn't want to give up the Pinewood Derby (nor did the dads). We modified the rules (ok, there are no rules - it's amazing how heavy a five POUND pinewood derby car is!)and one of the dads bought a three place aluminum derby track. We settled on aluminum for various reasons, one of which is we hold an outdoor - rocket powered - derby race UP the track.
  9. There are other unforseen bonuses for wearing the uniform in public. I've been approached, while wearing the uniform in public, on more than one occassion by a youngster asking how he can get involved in Scouting!
  10. What an interesting (and yet disturbing) topic. I wear a chest full of knots for several reasons: One - I have earned them. Two - BSA has provided them as recognition for meeting certain training, tenure and leadership criteria. Three - The other Scouters whom I have admired over the years had several knots. I appreciate the work that they've done and I wanted to be just like them. The end result was getting knots for achieving those same accomplishments (and as my wife says, becoming horribly over-involved). I remember when I first got involved in Scouting, I admired those Scouters so much, that I wanted knots too. I bought the fake knots and wore them for a time. As I behaved more like those great Scouters, participated in advanced training opportunities and served my units, I was rewarded in the only way BSA allows an adult to be rewarded - with knots. As more real knots came my way, the fake knots were taken off and thrown in the drawer. The real knots meant so much more to me. I was being honored for going above and beyond to serve the youth around me, for getting advanced training and for helping the youth and adults around me. When I went to the Philmont Training Center, there were two old Scouters attending who had more knots than I've ever seen on a Scouter - 7 rows each, I believe it was. I remember wondering what could these two old-timers have possibly done to earn that many awards? When I looked up the list of knots and saw what some of them were, I was truly impressed. These two gave back so much more to Scouting than I can ever hope to give. These two were quite, respectful and offered assistance and advice graciously. What fine examples of Scouters to carry on Baden-Powell's dreams. I find the wearing of a bunch of knots has some interesting effects on those around me. I see a difference of interest from adults and youth regarding the knots. Very seldom does an adult come up to me as ask about a knot. Sometimes a newly involved Scouter will ask about a specific knot that they've not seen on leaders in their units. I do get asked a lot of questions regarding unit problem-solving, training, the Patrol method, etc. I am by no means an expert, but I answer to the best of my ability or try to steer them in the right direction. Is it because I wear a bunch of knots? probably not. I'd guess it's more because they've seen me around so many Scouting activities. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are another story... I proudly wear the complete BSA uniform whenever I'm at a Scouting function. I am a firm believer in leading by example. Who cares if I'm on my way to a Troop Meeting - I'll wear my uniform into the gas station. I'm happy and proud to be associated with the Boy Scouts of America! How can I expect my Scouts to be properly uniformed if I am not myself? Scouts are constantly asking me why I wear this knot or that knot; what that white arrowhead is for or what is up with the pretty pink necherchief and beads. Everytime they ask, I have the opportunity to explain the importance of properly wearing the BSA uniform; the importance of being part of a team. I have the opportunity to explain the purposes and rewards for rank advancement as well as setting & reaching goals for the other non-rank awards offered by the BSA. It's like having a mini Scoutmaster Conference each time they ask. I don't understand the negative attitudes here towards a Scouter who wears a bunch of knots. I've never heard negative comments in my neck of the woods - only here. Why would you frown upon someone who has shown their willingness to give so much more back to Scouting? Do I consider myself an expert? Of course not. Do I look down upon my fellow Scouters who do not wear a bunch of knots? Certainly not. Do I look for opportunities to nominate those other Scouters to receive these well-deserved honors? You betcha!!! I nominated two Scouters this very day to receive a knot honor. Would you frown upon a Cub Scout who had a gaggle of arrow points on his shirt, or a belt full of sports and academics loops? Would you think poorly of a Boy Scout who had a sash full of Merit Badges? I would surely hope not.
  11. I attended the Philmont Training Center several years ago. I bought the bull patch and was told by the person who sold it to me that it should be sewn as indicated in the many responses above. It can be worn by anyone who has been to Philmont. The tail should be sewn on over the shoulder if one has been to the Tooth of Time, otherwise, it should be kept nearer the body of the bull. The arrowhead patch was reserved for the trek participants. We were not allowed to climb the Tooth, so I have my bull's tail near his body. I do have a Philmont Arrowhead (I bought a Scout shirt with one attached from a thrift store), that patch is safely in my Troop's Scouting museum. Right or wrong, that's my story.
  12. Sure wish there wasa better closeup of the bark for a sapling. I found mine growing an a marshy area near the shore. From what i can remember, it did look similar to those. It does have a mottled whitish bark.
  13. When I left my post as Cubmaster (to join my sons in Boy Scouts) after 3 years, I received a set of hiking staff medallions that go from Tiger to Eagle. That final Pack Meeting was quite memorable and touching. It was an unexpected surprise. I carve hiking staffs with an Eagle Scout topper as a gift for my Eagle Scouts - how about something similar for your Scoutmaster? That's certainly a gift that would be used and appreciated. "Your Scoutmaster led, supported and guided your Scouts through their journey in Scouting. It's befitting that he is award a gift that will help support him in his life's journey." Ok, I stole that modified quote from my speech when I present the Eagle staff at the Eagles Court of Honor, but you get the idea. I'd love to help you if I can. http://diamondwillow.homestead.com
  14. My Troop is in the process of replacing our tents, so I'll give you my opinions as we've just spent a fair amount of time hunting for tents. The first batch of tents the troop had when I became SM was a mix and they all leaked. It rains on nearly every campout (hence the name Chief Thundercloud) so a really good rain fly is essential. We replaced all those cruddy tents with the Coleman knockoff of the Eureka Timberline tent. They were about $50 each and served us well for 5 years. I have had a few ripped floors (some of my scouts do use cots) but other than some pine sap I got on my own tent zipper, I never had a zipper problem with 12 tents. As these tents have matured, the bags abused and ripped, the shock cords stretched, the parts starting to become misplaced, etc. we decided to invest in new tents this year. The older Scouts were encouraged to purchase their own back pack tent. The younger Scouts are expected to use the Troop Tents. Each Patrol has specific tents assigned to them. We bought Eureka Timberline 4 tents this year. They're bg enough to fit 3 kids comfortably (on mats) and 2 not quite as comfortably (on cots). I like both the Eureka Timberline and Coleman knockoff. They both have a great rain fly and are both easy to set up.
  15. My Troop stayed at the Great Lakes Naval Base in northern Illinois several years ago. One of my ASMs was an instructor on base and handled all the arrangements. I don't remember all the procedures for getting approval to camp there, but I do remember it being very detailed. We camped in the gymnasium (along with several other units) in the winter. We used their pool to work on some swimming requirements, toured the museum on base, toured the classrooms, shot simulated guns (including simulated ship-mounted machine guns), went to the base bowling alley, caught a movie at the base movie theatre and took in Sunday church service at the base church. The military folk were very accomodating and were great role models for my Scouts. I look forward to doing it again. One word of advice...the United States Military is NOT flexible, so be on time and obey the rules.
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