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Everything posted by christineka

  1. My son "earned" the cooking merit badge at camp last year and then it was awarded. I had no idea, until recently what this badge entailed. I didn't go to camp. I didn't see what he did. I highly doubt he actually earned that award, but it's done with now. He got signed off and awarded the badge.
  2. Learning to play a brass instrument is hard. It's not like clarinet, where you just have to figure out the embouchure and then you can play- at least the basic set of notes. (I'm not a clarinetist- my husband is. He claims the instrument is hard, but his brand new students can play Mary had a little lamb right off the bat- it just sounds airy.) With a brass instrument, you have to build muscles in the face to play the notes. Most of the bugle calls have at least one high "g" in them and that requires quite a bit of muscle building. I encouraged my son to join band as a cornet player. He did and practiced daily. He was able to pass off all the bugle calls after a year. Playing bugle is not like playing a recorder or a piano. It requires time and daily practice. Using a bugle in the key of G will help, since the notes are lower than a bugle in b-flat. One caution is that the Rexcraft bugle in G cannot play the lowest note, required in "Call to Quarters"
  3. The more I look into requirements of what my son has supposedly accomplished, as well as what a counselor has told him is "all" he needs to do to earn a badge, I see the pencil whipping going on. What is my son supposed to do about it? If he was a really awesome scout, he should look into the requirements and insist upon doing them, but he's a boy, with all those other boys around him and he wants the same as them- to be awarded badges and move up through the ranks, so he goes along with it. When he was a cub scout, this kind of stuff went on and I had the influence to get him to refuse unearned badges. He would later earn them and accept, but the other boys (the same ones he's with now) would accept the unearned badge and their parents had no problems with it either. They've all moved to boy scouts now and I'm just in the background. I don't feel like I can do anything about this other than steer my son for whatever he does at home. (The Physical Fitness counselor described what son had to do to earn the badge and it's a whole lot watered down than what the requirements say. I could direct son to go to the counselor listed on his blue card instead, though I have no clue whether that guy requires all the requirements listed or not- and why does my kid want to do the "harder version", when he could get away with the "easy version" the other boys did to be awarded the badge?) What do you do about this pencil whipping? I do believe it is more the adults' fault than the boys. The boys- or at least the ones I've seen are not begging to have the requirements watered down. I think in many cases they don't even know what the requirements are, just do what the counselor says, and rejoice when the card is signed. The adult has the power to not sign. Why are they doing it, if the badge wasn't earned?
  4. The instructions for LDS units is different for traditional scouts. We have been instructed to just bring in the new program and as long as the boys are actively participating during the year, they earn their badge on the birthday. We also have very limited funds (which have become even more limited with this more expensive program), so paying shipping is not possible.
  5. Our local scout shop (Run out of someone's house) has been ordered to send all old awards to Salt Lake September 1st, so the only option for doing the old program is to have the parent purchase their kid's awards. The leaders, understandably, do not want to drive to Salt Lake for awards.
  6. Those camping records are in the book, too. (They were required for some rank.) We would not even have thought of that! As for this election into OA, I'm not sure how it could have happened. My dad went to camp with my son last year. My dad was the only adult in the group (between the troop leaders and him), who was in OA, so he accompanied the only boy in the troop, who was in OA and I didn't think he went to camp this year. I thought he went and aged out of scouts. Or maybe it was the younger brother, who did go to camp and that boy elected all the youngest boys?
  7. Probably not, but hey, I don't know. Maybe there are campouts every month only we're not told about any of them? Son has 5 nights from last year's camp and 1 for the one in March in his records. I don't know why his 3 campouts from 11 year old patrol aren't in the system. I assume they count, since he was camping with scouts. One of the 3 boys is a month older than my son. The other two turned 12 in June and yesterday. (So he was actually 11 at camp.) The 11 year old has been double-timing scouts for the past year, since his dad's a leader and he's was allowed to do everything with the older scouts. I only paid attention to their scout trips recently. I know they went ice fishing in winter before my son turned 12. That boy might actually have 15 nights of camping with boy scouts.
  8. When I went to pick son up at the meeting place, the three boys were wearing OA sashes. I don't know what's involved to get those, other than they did the day of silence thing. Son reported that they "did" oa the day he was getting in extra rifle practice.
  9. I'm glad my son was too busy with rifle shooting to go along with his comrades. He doesn't have time for Order of the Arrow! (Now that I know what it is they're supposed to be doing.) I'm really curious if there are campouts happening that my family isn't being told about. In the meantime, however, I am again looking into the other community troops. Perhaps we can make one work. Son will have to visit and make the decision whether or not to join, if I approve the time/day of meetings. Maybe he'd get this real boy scout experience that you all write about. It sounds fantastic to me.
  10. I had no idea about this, so I finally asked my husband, who went through lds scouts. He confirmed that this is true. When he turned 14, he changed his red epaulets for orange epaulets. Everything else in his scouting, remained the same. That is how it is in my son's troop as well, though there is only one, active 14 year old scout. (The program is slowly improving, which meant they lost most boys that are older than 14.)
  11. Looks boring to me, too. I only looked up the requirements because I'd never seen a boy so young get into the Order of the Arrow. I am not very knowledgeable about this boy scout stuff. I googled the OA and looks like there's some sort of initiation process. I just wanna know how these boys are getting all those boy scout campouts in, so my son can camp with them.
  12. Part of me wants to ask the parents about the "secret" boy scout campouts their boys have been going on, so maybe my son can be invited.
  13. Just curious if requirements have changed (I found them for 2009) or where one can find the real requirements. My husband looked at wikipedia, thinking that would be most up to date. What I read said the boy must have 15 boy scout camp day/nights, 6 of which can be consecutive. Wikepedia just said 15 nights. Which is right? Curious because 3 of the 12 year old boys in son's troop did Order of the Arrow at camp. They've had 3-9 boy scout camp nights. (My boy was too busy practicing his rifle shooting to go for Order of the Arrow. I told him that was fine- he can do that later, whenever or if he wants.)
  14. I asked about that last night and that is correct. I do not mind at all. Those arrow points were hard to sew even more difficult to remove. (Little boy has a few arrow points on his shirt because the only way I could figure to get them off was to cut them out and didn't want holes in his shirt.)
  15. Both. Webelos leader was lamenting that she was going to have to do 3 days of den meetings, rather than the 2 they have been doing AND boys were going to have to do a lot at home. She's going to do all required badges and change up the additionals needed. My older son earned all 20 activity badges when he was a webelos, but now there are more "loops" for webelos and more work. I doubt my little boy will earn anything more than what's required.
  16. CERT (community emergency response team) should hold drills once a month. I'd contact them to see if the scouts could come participate. BTW, the minimum age for cert training is 14, so some boys can take the training to be on the team. (A lot of the training would cover the merit badge.)
  17. Tonight I looked over at the Webelos' new leader manual. I was so confused, seeing all the activity loops the Webelos earn in the new program. I was really confused because I read that they would still keep their colors and be earning pins. Webelos leader turned a page and sure enough they're pins, but called "loops". That reminded me that they used to be called "badges", but still pins. Why the heck can't Webelos just earn "pins"? Why do they have to be called something other than what they are? It's very confusing, though I guess it will be less so, now that there is no more sports and academic program with pins that are actually called "pins".
  18. My son has to read and discuss 3 stories about people, who've made a difference in the environment. Do you know of any short stories? Son's braille reading level is kindergarten. His jumbo sized print reading level is higher, but his eyes get tired. The stories I'd found before were really long.
  19. Yeah, we're lds, so son has until his 9th birthday to earn wolf. He really doesn't need to do a whole lot either.
  20. Thanks! I have been reading what I'd found on the new program, but I didn't seem to see awards- just what they had to do to earn them. Is the rank patch any different? The reason I ask is that I was told my son has till the end of August to get his wolf (the former version), otherwise I've got to go to the store, buy the patch, and save it for when he actually earns it.
  21. Is it correct that now the boys just earn rank belt loops and no more badge?
  22. When a person is called to a position in the LDS church, the person feels a lot of pressure to accept. They are asked to fulfill the calling, not required. You are welcome to go home, pray about it, and tell the bishop no, if that's what you feel is right. I, honestly think a lot of people say "yes" because they have good intentions or because they feel pressured to do so. We also believe in "magnifying our callings", which is basically- give it your all, do your best, etc. There was a time when I felt I couldn't do that. I had sunk into depression, attempting to teach several special needs 4 year olds with no help. I finally told the bishop I couldn't do it any more. I needed to not be depressed. He let me out of all of my callings and I wholly believe that was the right decision. As for scout leaders, I know there are some great ones. My father in law is both lds and a scouter. He got into it when he was called the first time and probably because he's so awesome, he keeps getting scout callings, no matter where he lives. My son's music composition teacher is another of those guys. He's a huge scouter and lds. My congregation, however has had some difficulties over the years. While in Utah it's normal to have huge congregations (the other that meet in my building are even huge), ours is small. There's a high percentage of not active people, too. There are not so many active boys. The scouting program has floundered over the years. (Cub scouting, too.) Things get better with some leaders and worse with others. Still not really very good at all. Also, we have trainings in our area about every 2-3 months, yet very few of our leaders attend. The trainings aren't announced and if you don't go looking for them, you don't know about them. It's hard for the program to run how it should, when the leaders don't know much about what they're supposed to be doing.
  23. As far as I know, 11 year olds are kept separate because the are still primary age. Primary is for kids 3-11. At 12 they move on to young women's or young men's. Primary aged kids aren't allowed to go on overnight campouts without a parent or relative. Also, 11 year olds don't go to mutual night. I really don't mind. When they are 11 they have scouts every week. Turn 12 and it's twice a month. The other weeks are spent doing activities with the girls or working on their duty to God. (Not sure if it actually has anything to do with the religious award. I actually had to buy my son a Duty to God book, when it should have been given to him.) I had no idea that they were required to move up to a Varsity Team at 14. I don't think the boys in my ward do. There aren't very many of them.
  24. Son started talking about eagle tonight at dinner. I asked him if he knew what he needed to do to earn it. He said he did, but didn't know anything other than "earn a bunch of merit badges", so he looked up the requirements. At least he has a better idea of what he's planning to do now.
  25. My dad was a scout leader when I was a kid. He worked a full time job and still managed to go to scout meetings every week, frequent campouts (I didn't keep track of how often), and counseled boys with merit badges. I don't know when he retired from being a leader, but when he did, he still remained a counselor and would go to scout camps to cook and run merit badge classes. He retired sometime after I married and after my youngest sibling had been in college. I was quit certain that traditional packs and troops had guys like my dad. I just thought it was a crazy comment from an lds mom and apparently wife of a "voluntold" leader. Perhaps those who choose to be in scouts can more easily figure out how to put it into their schedules than those who are "voluntold"? I was a den leader for awhile and I believe wholeheartedly that I should do my best at whatever I'm told to do at church. I managed to carve out time, even with my 6 kids, whom I homeschool.
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