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Everything posted by clemlaw

  1. 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.) :-)
  2. 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.
  3. 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 j
  4. 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 co
  5. 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.
  6. 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 avail
  7. 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/
  8. On my first camporee, I was also sent looking for a smoke sifter (and, as everyone knows, it's a sifter, and not a shifter). I made my way to several troops, each one telling me that they didn't have one, but they were pretty sure some other troop had one and pointed me in the right direction. At the last site I got to, the kindly scoutmaster asked if I was a new scout, asked me how many other troops I had visited, and finally told me, "I think they're pulling your leg." He gave me a cookie and sent me back to my troop. I made sure I was still eating the cookie when I got back so that ever
  9. Our council's camp has an excellent family camp with RV sites (and cabins): http://manypoint.org/content/family-camp It's very isolated from where the scouts are, so there's not really a problem with helicopter parents. The programming is mostly geared toward younger kids, and is excellent. It was originally intended for families of scouts at camp, and they have priority. But it's open to anyone registered in the BSA. They do not have any programs geared toward "workcampers." In fact, it wouldn't work particularly well for a MBC, since it's so far away from where the scouts are
  10. I had already learned the version from a merit badge book before being introduced to the more common version. Better be right or your great big venture goes west.
  11. In the pack we were in, the Tigers did not compete for the various "best of" categories. Instead, all of them got a "participation trophy," kind of award. Normally, I'm not a big fan of participation trophies, but it worked out well, since they were just first graders, probably wouldn't have won a real award, and they got to go home with something. Occasionally, one of them had a car that actually won the race, so they also got that trophy. And they all seemed to understand that they could get a trophy the next year by having a really cool car, etc. The side effect of this, though, was
  12. That's basically the way I saw it. But as I told the scout, the easiest way to solve the problem would be to send me a new card on which I dutifully wrote the numbers 1 through 9. Chances are, the complainer doesn't even know how many requirements there are. (If he's really on the ball, then he'll ask whether the scout did 9(a) or 9(b)). In fairness to that troop, maybe the card got more scrutiny than normal because it was over a year old. But the scout seemed to be pretty conscientious when he contacted me, so it wouldn't surprise me if he handed it in in time and they sat on it f
  13. I hate to be the one to put a damper on things, but.... If I were the scoutmaster, and they couldn't find PFD's, I think I would have told them they can't do it. Maybe I would relent if some or all of the following were true: They had something else that floated, the water was known to be less than 3 feet deep, they had rope with them. But getting a scared dog into a canoe seems to me to have a risk of someone falling into the water. If it was warm water, then I might consider it enough of an emergency to ignore the rules. But it looks like it's far enough from shore that I wouldn'
  14. I don't have a complete blue card in front of me right now, but it was my understanding that the section listing the individual requirements was for the scout's and counselor's use to keep track of which requirements they had finished. In this case, he did them all in one day. The front of the card contains my signature that he had completed all requirements. In some cases, I remember that I have just written "all" and put the date an initials one time. Maybe I'll just keep doing that. This particular card was blank. And RememberSchiff, yes, I've wondered that, too. In one case, a sc
  15. I mentioned in a post above that I had never received a phone call from a scout. Well, that changed, although it was kind of a strange call. It was from a scout who I had counseled at a museum event over a year ago, and already signed off. He told me that his troop advancement chair didn't accept the blue card because I hadn't filled out the back listing the individual requirements. So I told the scout that the easiest way to handle it would be to just ask his scoutmaster for a new blue card and send it to me. A few days later, he sent me the new blue card, along with the old blue c
  16. If you look in the phone book (or electronic equivalent) for Boy Scouts of America, it should have the number of the local council. Or, you can just Google "Boy Scouts of America" and your city and state, and you'll probably get the name and contact information of the council who covers the area. If you call them with the pack number, they should be able to tell you the name of the Committee Chair (the person who is supposed to be in charge of the pack) and/or the Cubmaster (the person who is supposed to be in charge of the activities for the scouts). If you don't hear back from them, ca
  17. Back about a hundred years ago when I was a scout, my scoutmaster replaced the hip belt on his backpack with a car seat belt. I assume he got it at a junkyard. It looked kind of ridiculous, and maybe it weighed more than the original equipment, but it worked a lot better than what anyone else had, and it was a lot easier to put on and off.
  18. Perhaps my council is thinking of improving things. As I mentioned above, one of the district leaders (I think he's District Chair) is in our troop, and I know that he has a copy of The List if anyone needs to see it. Coincidentally, I just received an e-mail from Scoutbook stating that I am being given an account because I'm a MBC. Currently, there doesn't seem to be anything on that site that's of much use to me, but it does have my merit badges correctly listed. So I'll go on the assumption that they're trying to figure out some way to look up counselors. Here's the e-mail I re
  19. I am not running for President of the United States, and I would decline the nomination if offered. I would only consider the position if the Boy Scouts of America agreed to provide me with a uniform reflecting my position as Honorary President. (However, I would insist that they make a position patch that reads "President of the United States." Technically, my position in the BSA would be honorary president, but I'm afraid the press would have a field day if I was wearing a uniform that said "Honorary President.") A special neckerchief would be nice, but that's not absolutely necessary
  20. When my son started Cub Scouts, I went to a "University of Scouting" event. One of the classes was Merit Badge Counselor training. I signed up for it. The first thing they did was to have everyone introduce themselves, and everyone went around and gave their name and what troop they were with. They also talked about merit badge experiences in their troop. When they got to me, I told them I wasn't with any troop, and that I planned to sign up as a counselor for the whole district or council. For most of the people in the room, that was the first they had ever heard of such a thing. Th
  21. I thought it was something like flagpole sitting. Scouts sit in the tree stand for X hours in exchange for pledges. I thought maybe the Scout Executive was demanding to sit there instead of the scouts. :-)
  22. We brought our camper one time to a Cub Scout "family camp" weekend. Almost everyone else (the ones who stayed overnight) were staying in the cabin. I don't mind sleeping in my own tent, but I really don't enjoy sleeping on an old mattress in a cabin (especially if it's advertised as "camping"). So we set up the camper in the parking lot, which seemed like the best option. Before the purists jump in, I'll point out that like Stosh, the main function of our camper is as a portable hotel room to save money on hotels and food. As they say, a Scout is Cheap--er, I mean Thrifty.
  23. I've never been to Philmont, but if I were within 100 miles, I'd probably make a point to visit the museum. On the other hand, I have been in Dallas a few times in the last few years, and until I saw this thread, it never occurred to me to visit the museum.
  24. Actually, I learned a couple of them that were not bolded in scouting. I'm sure I would have picked it up somewhere else, but when I was a young scout, another scout (my patrol leader) for some reason gave a demonstration on how to replace an electrical plug at a troop meeting. I think it was some requirement for a merit badge. I don't think I learned how to bake bread in scouts, but I did learn how to cook. Actually, what I really learned is that cooking is possible, and the main thing you need to do is find the instructions and follow them. So at some point as an adult, I decide
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