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Everything posted by clemlaw

  1. Come to think of it, I'm too cheap to buy new tabs, so I'll just keep the current ones. 🙂
  2. Our council has (or had, anyway) an event called Wali-Ga-Zu, which is a competition between patrols in different troops in various scout skills, such as lashing something together, first aid (adults from another troop serve as victim), knot tying, etc. There are a number of "academic" parts, such as identifying map symbols. Each year, one different subject is added, and troops are given that information beforehand to identify on flashcards. One year it will be constellations, one year it will be leaf identification, etc. I believe there are about eight events that they rotate through, and
  3. I agree with you 100%. When I was a Scout, probably about half my merit badges were done through someone in the troop or at camp, which makes sense for ones like camping, cooking, etc. But the other half were with a counselor who had no apparent connection to scouting, and making a phone call to an adult to set up an appointment was an important skill. And there probably wasn't anyone in the troop qualified to counsel Atomic Energy, Coin Collecting, or a few of the other arcane ones I earned. I'm a counselor for Law merit badge, and if a scout wanted to earn that one (and I've been wa
  4. Until about 7 days ago, I was registered as ASM of my son's troop. But he'll be aging out this year, I haven't been very active for the last year, and it didn't make a lot of sense to renew. So as of September 1, I no longer have any troop position. My registration as merit badge counselor, however, remains, and there are a few occasions when wearing a uniform would be appropriate. So if there are any members of the merit badge police, here's my plan: I'll remove the troop number and ASM patch. Since MBC is a district position, I'll replace the shoulder loops with silver. An
  5. Bump! I've been counseling Citizenship in the Nation by telephone conference call, and I'll be signing off the first batch of blue cards next week. If anyone has scouts who need this badge, I'd be happy to add them to my next session. Or if you want to do it locally, my website will give some inspiration: http://richardclem.com/citizenshipnationonline.html The next session starts on May 19.
  6. In my area, there are hundreds of places that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so almost 100% of Scouts will have been to one recently. Some are pretty mundane, such as bridges, park buildings, libraries, etc. Normally, I would ask a Scout to just go see a new one for purposes of the merit badge, but under these circumstances, they could pick one out that they've been to recently and find out more information. So that takes care of requirement 2(a). Requirement 2(d) (national monuments) specifically does not require a personal visit, so that can be done online, even
  7. I posted above about making masks for hospitals. For those of us (like me) who don't know how to use a sewing machine, I noticed that one local group was asking for volunteers to help by doing the prep work, such as cutting the fabric. Also, if you have any elastic or fabric left over from your Cub Scout craft projects, they can probably use it. My wife's Girl Scout group is in kind of a holding pattern as they wait to get the elastic that someone ordered. So if any Scouts are looking for a service opportunity, I would encourage them to check the websites of local hospitals and s
  8. I don't like the idea of "classes" or "teaching" merit badges, but I think I could meaningfully counsel all of the requirements for Citizenship in the Nation or Scouting Heritage. Citizenship in the Nation requires at least one in-person visit to a historic place. But the list of possible sites is so broad that, chances are, the scout has visited on recently. Under normal circumstances, I would ask them to go to a new one, but I think it would be OK. Also, many of those are outdoor spots, so if their family is OK with it, they could do that requirement. Or maybe that's the one require
  9. Some of our local hospitals are asking for people to make surgical masks. They're providing detailed instructions. I don't qualify, because I would probably hurt myself if I tried to use a sewing machine. But if any of your scouts can sew, this would be a real way to help. My wife's girl scout group will probably start on this (in their own homes, of course) very soon.
  10. You have me beat by 2. 🙂 I've asked other counselors whether their phone has ever rung from a scout outside their unit, and the answer is almost always no. The exception was someone who counseled a required badge that generated a lot of partials at summer camp. He said he got calls occasionally for that one.
  11. Hmmm. That sounds like a good way to get a free tower. 🙂 We did JOTA at the North Star Scouting Museum in Minnesota, http://www.nssm.org as K0BSA. The management of the museum has recently undergone some changes, and I think that's why the program didn't get very well publicized this year, so the turnout was very low. On a positive note, though, we have a permanent antenna at the museum now, which should streamline future JOTA's and other events. In previous years, I've counseled Radio merit badge. This year, for a change of pace, I decided to do Signs, Signals, and Codes, inste
  12. I forget which requirement it was for, but when I was a Tiger Cub leader, I had a Cub Scout from 1941 visit the meeting. He wasn't from the same pack, but it was still a big hit with the kids. And later, when chatting with someone at Roundtable, I learned that he had been a member of the pack, and I'm sure he would have been happy to come back and tell about what it was like back in the day. For a Boy Scout troop, I would encourage one or more of the scouts to work on Scouting Heritage Merit Badge. One of the requirements is to prepare a history of the unit, and this would be a good t
  13. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned three important points: 1. If any scouts are working on Wilderness Survival MB, they should head over to the health tent and pick up some of the free emergency water storage containers. 2. In accordance with the G2SS, I hope someone reminds the scouts that they should not attempt to use these as water balloons and throw them at other people. 3. In accordance with Leave No Trace principles, if any scouts violate #2, they should be reminded to thoroughly clean up all residue after the water balloon fight.
  14. My uniforms from 1973 (when I bought new ones for the Jamboree) until 1978 (when I got one that fit for the ECOH) also said "Scout BSA." It's the one thing about the "improved" scouting program that I actually think they got right. I always recall a remark I overheard my Scoutmaster make. My dad was talking to him, and he mentioned something about "that little boy," referring to one of the new scouts. My scoutmaster corrected him, saying, "they're not boys--they're scouts." IMHO, the whole point of what we're doing is turning out adults. They might start out as boys, but if we'
  15. Our local GSUSA council just sent out a broadcast e-mail, which is also on their website: https://www.girlscoutsrv.org/en/about-girl-scouts/news/2018/girls_center.html Among the allegations: I suspect that #1, if it happened, was the result of the school employee misunderstanding some correct information that was provided. Rumor #3 doesn't make any sense, since there's no mechanism for a local council of the GSUSA to "merge" with the BSA. And I suspect that #2 is absolutely true. Some BSA volunteer asked some GSUSA volunteer to help create a good youth program. Last y
  16. I'm not sure if we're allowed to say cookie. :-)
  17. I didn't get all of the details, and it sounds like they were short on details. But when my wife got back from Girl Scout® roundtable (it's not called that, but you get the idea), she was told that they were "not allowed to do anything with the Boy Scouts." The ostensible reason for this was that some Boy Scout literature somewhere used GSUSA® logos or names or something without permission. Supposedly because the Boy Scouts did this, it suddenly became impossible for any GSUSA® unit anywhere in the country to "do anything with" the Boy Scouts. The exact reason for this impossibili
  18. She probably a distant relative. My dad was from Indiana.
  19. 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 s
  20. 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 teache
  21. 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 Wino
  22. 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!
  23. 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 walki
  24. 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.
  25. 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 h
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