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Posts posted by clemlaw

  1. Well, as I mentioned above, I'm not a MBC for Dog Care or Pets (nor should I be), so my advice on that particular example is wrong--the footnotes make the requirement pretty clear. If they have one dog, then it will take six months to earn both MB's. But if they borrow someone else's dog for two months, then they can do both at the same time. :-)

  2. Yes, those were the kinds of examples I was thinking of.


    IMHO, those would all be perfectly acceptable, as long as the counselor for each merit badge was satisfied that the requirement for that particular badge had been met.


    As far as the swimmer test, if I were the counselor for one of those MB's (which I'm not), I would probably want to see some "official" documentation that the requirement had been met recently. If there were any doubt, I would want to see the Scout pass the test with my own eyes before engaging in any water activities.


    But in my mind, that's no so much a requirement for the MB, but more of a prerequisite.


    But if Mr. X is satisfied that Fido was cared for as a "pet" for 4 months, and Ms. Y is satisfied that Fido was cared for as a "dog" for two of those months, then I would say the Scout has completed both requirements.

  3. Well, I guess I should clarify. If the requirement says "build a whatchamacallit", then the requirement is not satisfied by merely saying, "I built one last year".


    Completion of the requirement needs to be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the counselor.


    But if the Scout is working on two merit badges that have the same requirement, then I think it would be perfectly acceptable to use the same whatchamacallit for both.

  4. Welcome!


    I think I just answered your question in the other forum about merit badge requirements.


    I just want to add one suggestion of a resource that you might not have thought of. If you need help from people with "experience with Boy Scouts", then you might want to ask your local chapter or lodge of the Order of the Arrow. (The "chapter" is at the district level, and the "lodge" is the council level.) These are older scouts who were voted into the Order by their fellow scouts.


    The reason I happen to think of this is because when I was a Scout, I remember volunteering at a camporee for Scouts with special needs. It was a very memorable experience for me, and I bet your OA chapter would be very happy to help out with camping and outdoor activities.


    In many districts, the OA chapter meets at the same time and place as Roundtable, so if you see Scouts or Scouters at Roundtable wearing a white sash with a red arrow, be sure to introduce yourself.

  5. In general, yes.


    However, there might be some cases where the requirement is not satisfied. For example, if the requirement is "build a whatchamacallit after having your plans approved by your counselor", then the requirement is not satisfied, just because the Scout built a whatchamacallit last year for another merit badge, because he's only done half the requirement.

  6. Personally, I would stay away from it for the reasons already given.


    I did just want to chime in, though, about the "15 passenger van". I would be very hesitant to consider one, because hardly a year goes by when you don't hear about a fatal accident involving one.


    They're probably not inherently unsafe, but the problem seems to be that they are often packed with too much weight behind the rear axle, either with gear behind the rear seat, or by towing a trailer.


    I suspect that they can be safe if you're always careful about how they're loaded, but it seems to me that eventually, someone is going to put all of the dutch ovens in the back, at which point it could become an accident waiting to happen.


    So if you decide to go that route, I would definitely do some homework.


    But as others have pointed out, on those rare occasions when you really need a bus, I suspect it will be a lot cheaper just to charter one. In addition to the other issues, when the bus breaks down 500 miles from home, they'll have to send out another one to get you, which won't happen if you only own one bus.

  7. Bump!


    We just got back and had a great time! The dining hall would have been about a 45 minute drive, so unfortunately, I'm not able to comment on that. And the closest hotel would have been well over an hour away, so that probably wouldn't work too well, either!


    The camp was basically comparable to a state park campground, and there was just the right amount of activities for a naturally grumpy person like myself. There were one or two crafts most days, but the main draw was the beach (including boating) which was open most of the day. We actually didn't avail ourselves of the option, but I asked whether it was OK to have the kids go to the beach by themselves, and they said it was. And since water safety is one of the things that the BSA does extraordinarily well, we knew that would be a safe option.


    There was no open field that I was able to see. :-)

  8. I've never quite understood the plunger thing for use while camping. As far as I'm concerned, the clothes are going to get dirty again anyway, so it's not necessary to get them absolutely clean. It is merely necessary to get them cleaner than they were. I just slosh them around in a bucket with any available soap, and then repeat the process to rinse. In fact, I give them a little rub with the Fels-Naptha, which was originally intended for washing clothes.


    When I was in Scouts, another Scout asked me incredulously why I was using the "poison ivy soap" to wash my clothes. It never occurred to him why they sold "poison ivy soap" in the laundry aisle.

  9. No chickens were harmed when I got Wilderness Survival in about 1975, but at least one cow was greatly inconvenienced. I got a lump of ground beef, which I believe was on the menu back at camp if I had been enjoying the regular menu that night. Nobody asked how you would find hamburger in the wilderness. It was assumed that the ground beef was taking the place of the animal that we would catch in our snare. As I recall, I made kind of a grill with green sticks and held that over the fire.


    The live chicken would have added an interesting twist. But it's not really adding to the requirements, any more than being required to make a meal of ground beef isn't adding to the requirements. That's just the material that happened to be provided to do the requirement.


    As for the "silent swim", I did ask my MBC what the practical application of this was. He said, very earnestly, that the only one he could think of was "escaping from enemy prison camp during time of war." I had independently come to the same conclusion before I asked him.


    IIRC, this was the only time that the Dog Paddle was an approved stroke, since it can be done relatively quietly.

  10. Today in I parade, one troop had a tower. They mounted it on a frame with casters on each corner, and they were pushing it down the (mostly level) street. They had one person on each corner, and a couple more holding ropes.


    At the end of the parade, they took it off the frame and set it up in a park.


    It was pretty impressive seeing a 20-ish foot tower rolling down the street.

  11. I'm in the Northern Star Council, and as far as I know, I'm the only Lion parent on this forum. My son was a Lion Cub in Kindergarten. For reasons mostly involving meeting night conflicts, we switched packs for his Tiger year, and our current Pack (of which I'm now the CM) is not doing the Lion program.


    I haven't pushed it, because the new Pack has a different dynamic, and it probably wouldn't work quite as well. But I'm glad it was available to us. With so many activities available these days, you need to get 'em when they're young. It's just a program that's available to keep their interest. Most importantly, they get to see the older kids doing fun things, and my son, for one, is definitely hooked.


    Our old Pack had Lion den meetings almost every week, and frankly, that was a little bit much. In fact, the Den meetings really didn't amount to much. He got the most out of being able to see the Pack meetings, and participate in some activities, including many council events.


    The program was still run for the older kids. And as far as I could tell, it didn't detract from the program having a few Kindergartners tag along.


    In fact, the reason why it worked particularly well at the old pack is because there were a large number of siblings who came along to Pack meetings anyway. Most of the parents were involved in some way, so attending meetings meant that the whole family came along. Having a program for younger brothers seemed like kind of a no-brainer.



  12. I'm not sure about Cub Scouts, but I remember working on Swimming Merit Badge in Boy Scouts. One of the requirements was the "silent swim". I asked the instructor what the practical application of this skill was. He confirmed my suspicions when he matter of factly said, "escaping from enemy prison camp during time of war".


    I don't remember whether it was in Cub Scouts when I learned how to make invisible ink, but from the linked article, it looks like our recipe (lemon juice) was more advanced than what the CIA is using.

  13. The following is a serious question, because even though this subject is generally beat to death, I realize that I don't know the answer.


    Is the EDGE method called by that name by anyone outside the BSA? I suspect that it's not, but I really don't know for sure.


    That's kind of why it grates on my a little bit. If a Scout ties a "square knot", then presumably he has done something that the rest of the world recognizes, because people realize what a "square knot" is. It generally works well to join two pieces of rope, which is why Scouts are supposed to learn it. But they learn it by the name by which it is known to the rest of the world.


    Like the EDGE method, a square knot is not always absolutely necessary. In many cases, the dreaded granny knot might work just as well. But it's reasonable to expect Scouts to do things the right way, so it's reasonable to have them learn to tie square knots, and not just granny knots. But it would be silly if the BSA gave the square knot a new name, and somehow suggested that the name was an important attribute. For example, if the BSA insisted on calling it the GRANDPA knot (to distinguish it from the granny knot), then when the Scout goes out in the real world and wants to tie two pieces of rope together, he would have to call it by the silly made up name.


    Similarly, Scouts learn how to start "fires". Again, everyone knows what a "fire" is. If the BSA started calling them "Caloric Output Lumber Designs" (COLD for short), then the Scout would look silly out in the real world when he tells people that he knows how to build a COLD.


    Well, it seems to me that no matter how well the EDGE method works, it's just not right to give it a name that, from a perusal of the requirements, seems to be of equal standing with other terminology, such as "square knot" or "fire". When he gets on the job and tells his boss that he can teach something to his co-workers using the EDGE method, he's probably going to get a perplexed stare. Because unlike "square knots" and "fires", I doubt if anybody else has ever heard of the EDGE method.

  14. According to the First Edition of the Scout Handbook, the thing that looks exactly like a fleur-de-lis is not a fleur-de-lis.


    "The scout badge is not intended to represent the fleur-de-lis, or an arrowhead. It is a modified form of the sign of the north on the mariner's compass, which is as old as the history of navigation. The Chinese claim its use among them as early as 2634 B.C., and we have definite information that it was used at sea by them as early as 300 A.D."


    (Page 12)

  15. I guess I didn't pay too much attention to the cover, but I was kind of surprised about the contents of the article.


    I've been away from Scouting for about 30 years, and I don't recall ever being stressed out by having to take a swimming test. In fact, the actual tests were apparently so non-memorable that I have absolutely no recollection of ever taking one. I do remember my buddy tags, the first one or two of which were only half colored in, and the later ones were all colored in. So I must have taken the test, but I honestly don't remember it being a big deal.


    And I was a nerdy, totally non-athletic kid who absolutely hated gym class. So you would think that if someone hated taking the test on the first day of summer camp, it would be me.


    Maybe I was just in the world's kindest gentlest troop, but did it seem to others like they were making a big deal out of nothing?


    For example, it never even occurred to me that the fish might want to bite me, but apparently that is one of the stress-provoking aspects, according to the article.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

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