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clemlaw last won the day on October 14 2017

clemlaw had the most liked content!

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About clemlaw

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    St. Paul, MN
  1. The Joy of a Used Uniform Item

    She probably a distant relative. My dad was from Indiana.
  2. The Joy of a Used Uniform Item

    Here I am in my youth uniform, which I wore to my scoutmaster's 95th birthday party a few years ago (I'm on the left--he's the handsome guy who is seated). Before I get any compliments about being able to fit into my youth uniform, it is a pretty tight fit, I actually got it before my Eagle Court of Honor at age 17-1/2, and I was a bit overweight at the time. I wear this uniform occasionally to show off my bona fides as an old timer. It has my 1973 Jamboree patch. In this picture, I'm also wearing the neckerchief from our council contingent at that jamboree, a vintage neckerchief slide from our council summer camp made of genuine plastic, and a temporary patch from one of our council camps with the council's pre-merger name. I think everything else was current for my position at the time.
  3. Scouts and Fixed Blades; New viewpoint

    The schools in my area do NOT have that "safe harbor" rule. However, I'm aware of one case where a student told a teacher that he accidentally had a pocket knife in his backpack. And the teacher wisely told the student to just leave it there until the end of the day. But if the teacher had decided to go by the book, the kid would have been in a lot of trouble. What I've told my kids, and what I've told other scouts to talk to their parents about is this: If they discover that they accidentally have a knife or some other contraband in their possession, then they should go to the teacher and say that they need to call their parents because it is an emergency. They should keep insisting, keep saying that it is an emergency, but not state the nature of the emergency. When they call me, they are instructed to say something along the lines of, "I'm calling about that thing you said I should call about and say it is an emergency." At that point, I would go to school and ask to speak to them privately. I would then take possession of their backpack, jacket, or whatever item was involved, and take it home myself. If I was asked what was going on, I would explain that there had been an emergency, but that it is now resolved. I believe that most teachers and administrators would exercise some common sense if they were told that a kid accidentally had a pocket knife in his jacket. But unfortunately, they are not required to do so, so I've decided to err on the side of caution.
  4. Explorers Canoe Derby Down the Mississippi?

    You would have to pay for full access, but this newspaper page seems to talk about the 1963 running: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/43695976/ The Google link contains the following snippet: "21 Scout Teams Race for Winona RED WING, Minn. - A total of 21 Explorer Boy Scout teams, including three from Winona, departed from here at 1:30 Ihis afternoon in the ninth annual 65-mile canoe derby down the Mississippi River to ." Here's more of the text from the page: "21 Scout Teams Race for Winona RED WING, Minn. - A total of 21 Explorer Boy Scout teams, including three from Winona, departed from here at 1:30 Ihis afternoon in the ninth annual 65-mile canoe derby down the Mississippi River to .Winona. The four-man teams are divided into two divisions -- Class A anil Class B. Class A teams consist of Scouts 16 and 17; Class B, 14 and 15. WINONA teams include Post 6, sponsored by Central Methodist Church Men's Club; Troop 11 sponsored by the Cathedral Holy Name Society, and Troop n, sponsored by Knights of Columbus 639. Members of the Post 6 team entered in Class A competition include Gary Schooling. Gary Mahlke, Terry Konipp and D'on Ah- rams. Members of Troop 11 (earn, also in Class A, are Daniel Nixon, Donald Dennis, Craig Zeches and mercial Club. The Class B learn includes John Tidball, Terry Kroening, Jerry Odermann and Matt Odermann ,h: The Class A team consists of Dan Standinger, Richard Deming, Dennis Jacobs and Wayne Bartz Other communities with teams competing are Austin, Rochester, Reel Wing, Pine Island and Zu- brota. THE TEAMS will step at Camp Hok-Si-La near Lake City tonight and will start the second clay of racing from that spot Saturday". By Saturday afternoon the t e a m s should reach the Minneiska pool, near the Whitman Dam, S3 miles from here. The teams will depart from "
  5. Home Repairs Merit Badge

    I would recommend having the scout ask at his school, place of worship, etc., whether they need any of those things done. And if they need one more, have them go down to the local thrift store, buy a framed picture, and reinforce the frame. Then, hang it on the wall, or just donate it back. While they're there, they can look for any broken objects made of glass, china or pottery. As a last resort, find one and break it!
  6. Citizenship in the Nation Resources

    Yes, Requirement 2 shouldn't be too difficult, no matter where the Scout happens to be. IIRC, the "fedreral facility" requires a "tour," so just going to the post office and buying a stamp probably wouldn't qualify. But if the postmaster is willing to show them around, then it's probably OK. The "national monument" (requirement 2d) doesn't require a personal visit, so they only need to actually visit one location. The easiest, at least where I live, is the "historic landmark" category, since there are over a hundred in one county. They include a number of bridges, so just walking over the bridge would qualify, although I'd probably recommend something a little more interesting. But if the Scout is into bridges, then I'd say go for it!
  7. At my website, I have some information for scouts working on Citizenship in the Nation: http://w0is.com/scouting/CitizNation.html I have explanations of my expectations for the requirements, and also some resources for working on it. I have information on local sites that can be used for requirement 2 (historic sites). Obviously, most of those are only relevant in my area. I'll probably tweak this after I've counseled the merit badge a few times, but if anyone finds it useful, feel free to make use of it. And, of course, constructive criticism is always welcome.
  8. The original question wasn't about the swimmer test. It was about the beginner's test. And if I recall correctly, I don't think the beginner's test gives him any more boating privileges than if he were a non-swimmer. Personally, I think that any kind of a mask is a hindrance to swimming. But if some kid thinks he needs a mask to take the test to advance to "beginner," then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Learning to swim is the most important thing, and he's going to be able to do that only after he becomes a beginner. Whether or not he advances past Tenderfoot, at some point in his life, he's going to be on a boat, walk on a dock, or be in some position where he might unexpectedly find himself in the water. And the way that scouting will help him is by teaching him how to swim. As a practical matter, the BSA beginner test means that he'll be able to go out in 3 feet of water, rather than water up to his knees with the non-swimmers. And he'll have a lot more opportunities to learn how to swim if he has access to the 3 foot deep water. Again, I would encourage him to take off the goggles. But if that's what it takes to get him out in the 3-foot section, then I would make it happen. (I should add that at our council camps, the staff are very zealous that to go into the "beginner" section, you're not allowed to touch the rope, and you have to get your head wet and swim under the rope. They won't even let old codgers like me get away with lifting the rope. So if he's going to make use of his new "beginner" privileges, he's going to have to get his head wet anyway, which means that the problem is self-correcting. After a couple of times of putting on his mask just to go under the rope, he'll discover that it's a lot easier just to hold his breath and do it.)
  9. I was just going by what others said before me. My point is that, IMHO, holding your nose and holding your breath works better than any mask I've ever used. And I don't see how anyone could object to doing that (other than that it makes you look silly, which hasn't stopped me.) :-)
  10. 1942 Homemade Canoe

    At my blog, I have plans for a 1942 canoe from Green Bar Bill's Boys' Life column: http://onetuberadio.com/2017/11/04/1942-primitive-canoe/ It might require a couple of small modifications for LNT and G2SS, but I bet most scouts would like it today.
  11. Maybe you can't use a face mask, but my method is even more effective. I close my eyes, hold my breath, plug my nose, and then jump in. No water gets in my eyes, nose, or mouth, and I just hold my breath until I bob up to the surface and start swimming. It doesn't look very stylish, but it meets the requirement. (I'm usually tempted to make some un-scoutlike comment about the water temperature, but I usually manage to avoid that.) For a scout who is afraid of jumping in, I would recommend practicing this first while standing in the shallow end, and perhaps making a couple of practice jumps into water not quite over his head. Or, if he's willing to do it with a mask, then maybe practice a few times with a mask, and then showing him that pinching your nose with your fingers works even better than the mask.
  12. I became Eagle shortly after you (1978). When I joined, the old requirements were still in place, and I earned Second Class under them. I had about half the requirements for First Class done when the change came. I don't remember the exact details, but I had to earn a bunch of belt loops to get First Class. I believe I had to start from scratch, but it wasn't particularly challenging. But strangely, not a lot changed. I never properly learned all of the lashings, but I think that's about it. I never got signed off that I knew Morse Code. But other than that, the actual program continued in our troop more or less as it always had. We went camping and did other outdoor activities. In the process, scouts earned a lot of easy belt loops. The rank advancement was easier. But except for a few minor things (such as my impaired lashing ability), we did the same stuff, and we were just about as competent at all of the skills as the scouts who earned the ranks under the old system. We did things because they were what the troop was doing, not because we needed them for a badge. I'm not positive, but I believe my assortment of merit badges would have qualified for Eagle before the change. Camping, Swimming, and Lifesaving were no longer required. But all (or at least most) of the Eagles I knew earned them. Almost everyone earned a number of others, such as Canoeing and Rowing. They were never required for Eagle, but the vast majority of Eagles I knew had earned them. They earned them because those were the kinds of activities that their troops did. For me, the hardest merit badge was Lifesaving, and I have to admit that I had toyed with the idea of skipping it, because I already had Emergency Preparedness, which was the alternate. Ironically, I had earned it before it was a required merit badge. It was a topic I was interested in. I was somewhat surprised when it became the alternate for Lifesaving. But I had already learned how to swim (one of the most important things I learned in scouting), and had started working on Lifesaving. It was one of the merit badges that all of the older scouts earned, so I also earned it. Again, it wasn't because it was required--it was just what scouts in my troop and in my area did. Overall, my take is that scouts who earn Eagle today have worked harder for it than I did. Earning the merit badges is somewhat easier, mostly because there are enough alternates that they can skip ones that they think are too hard, like I was tempted to do with Lifesaving. But the Eagle project (and the accompanying paperwork) has gotten a lot harder. When I got Eagle, the service project was almost an afterthought in most cases. In many cases, it was an almost pre-packaged project. In many cases, it was rebuilding some piece of a BSA camp. The camp needed a new campfire circle, so some prospective Eagle took on the project, recruited other scouts to help, and they went out and did the work. Even though the "improved" program of the 1970's dumbed down the advancement program to a certain extent, troops, like mine, still had the ability to continue offering a good program that was essentially identical to what they had done before. The only difference was that there was less emphasis on advancement. The advancement would happen, because if scouts were doing normal activities, they would easily meet the requirements. Honestly, I can't think of any advancement requirement that needs to be "dumbed down" to accommodate girls. Perhaps they will have different interests and strengths, but the merit badge program is already diverse enough that it will accommodate those different strengths and interests. I don't think a girl will have any more difficulty than a boy in earning what was my first merit badge--Coin Collecting. If she does, well, then she can earn Stamp Collecting instead! But most importantly, I don't think any of the Eagle-required merit badges have any requirements that have much to do with gender. For example, there is nothing in the requirements for Camping merit badge that make it any harder for a girl. Nothing needs to change. We already allow 14 year old girls to join the BSA, and engage in the full spectrum of traditional outdoor activities. As far as I can tell, they do fine in those activities. They joined because they had an interest. In fact, we should maybe stop and consider that they do OK, even though they never had the opportunity to learn all of the T-2-1 skills that most of the 14 year old boys learned in Boy Scouts. They had to learn them elsewhere, and presumably they did. If those skills are that important, then it seems to me we ought to offer a program to let 11-13 year old girls learn them. I don't know exactly what form that will take, but the Boy Scout Troop model seems to have worked well for boys. I think a similar model for girls would be a good idea. I lean toward having that be a separate program from what we offer for 11-13 year old boys, although I haven't decided for sure. But those skills have nothing to do with gender. If a girl has an interest, then she can start a fire or pitch a tent, or cook a meal just as well as a boy her age. Since we already have girls in the program, I really don't see any good reason why they shouldn't be able to earn rank advancement, just like a 14 year old male venturer would be able to. Right now, the only reason she can't is because she didn't earn First Class in a troop. I don't see why we can't give girls a program where they can do that. Maybe it will be separate from the boys, or maybe some troops will decide to be co-ed. But since we have those 14 year old girls, and they seem to be able to do the program, I don't see any reason why she can't earn the ranks to prove that she has the same skills I have. The only way she's going to lessen the value of my Eagle is when she shows that she's a lot better at lashing than I am. :-)
  13. The first thing I did after reading the announcement was ask my daughter if she would like to be an Eagle Scout. She said she probably would. She will be 13 in 2019, so I suspect she will be an Eagle some day.
  14. Merit Badge Worksheets

    When my son did Game Design merit badge, we didn't have a copy of the book and wanted to start reading it. Lo and behold, we found a bootleg PDF of it online, and he did read most of it online. We did buy a copy, but it was a matter of having time to read it. One of the ironic parts of it was that he read from a bootleg copy the importance of intellectual property. It's possible that I might have "forgotten" to go buy a copy, but reading the section about intellectual property was enough to guilt me into remembering. IMHO, the books are too expensive, and they ought to be made available online for free or a much more reasonable price. For some merit badges, the book is important. For others, I don't think there's much reason to have a scout read it. For example, I'm not sure what one would get out of reading the Swimming merit badge book.
  15. At my blog today, I have links to some other scout camps with special eclipse events. Some of these appear to be for troops and crews, but some are available for individual scouts and their families, or for the general public: http://onetuberadio.com/2017/06/24/eclipse-boy-scout-girl-scout-camping/