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Posts posted by clemlaw

  1. Come to think of it, I first learned the word "redneck" in Scouts. I had never heard that word before, but one of the older Scouts was doing some work in the hot sun (building a shelter for Wilderness Survival MB, IIRC), and he was joking around something about us being rednecks (becuase our necks were, indeed, turning red).


    So I guess Scouting is full of bigots, after all. But we're a bunch of anti-Redneck bigots. :)

  2. IMHO, the reason why "two deep" leadership is required is so that there will still be a leader present if one adult has to go to the bathroom.


    If they really wanted to have two adults present at every moment, then they would have required "three deep" leadership, so that the three adults could still take turns going to the bathroom.


    Since the COR was there, walking the halls of the building, he would have qualified as one of the two, IMHO, even if this was a "trip or outing". There is no requirement that they be in the same room at all times.


    As others have pointed out, there is a completely separate rule against "one on one" contact. But as long as there are at least three people in the room--youth or adult--that rule is satisfied.

  3. Was I one of the people "adding ethnic slurs"?


    If anything, we all unfairly ganged up on the original poster and accused him of being an "intolerant, red neck, unfriendly, unkind, and unhelpful ethnocentric bigot."


    I really don't see this thread as evidence of the Scouting world being "full of" said bigots.


    (And no, I don't think the original poster is an "intolerant, red neck, unfriendly, unkind, and unhelpful ethnocentric bigot". But perhaps it seemed that way after he had to read through all of these responses to a perhaps inartfully worded question.)

  4. When I was a Scout about a hundred years ago, about 99% of the Scouts at meetings were in full uniform, including shirt, pants, belt, cap, and neckerchief. I'm not positive about the socks, but I always wore my one pair of official BSA socks for one-day events. The only exceptions I can think of were when someone came to the meeting late and was wearing his sports uniform. I'm sure there were other exceptions, but they didn't occur very often.


    But miraculously, this all seemed to happen without Uniform Police, Uniform Inspections, etc. As far as I know, there was no published "Insignia Guide", other than what fit inside the back cover of the Scout Handbook. Nobody harped about it, and on the rare occasions when a Scout was not in uniform, nobody made a big deal out of it. The adult leaders simply wore a uniform, the older scouts wore a uniform, and the younger scouts naturally took the cue.


    Also, at the time, despite nobody making a big deal out of it, the uniforms were all more or less uniform. As far as I can remember, the only variation was long sleeve or short sleeve. We didn't have a bewildering array of different styles and fabrics. Today, even if the Uniform Police enforce their edicts perfectly, the uniforms that result aren't necessarily very uniform.


    IMHO, you need pants anyway, so if you're wearing a BSA shirt, you may as well wear BSA pants. IMHO, jeans don't look very good with a Boy Scout shirt (although they look OK with a Cub Scout shirt), and they're not good for many outdoor activities (although they are good for some). So my personal preference is to avoid jeans, although somewhat matching pants would be less objectionable.


    But if some other unit wants to do something else, as long as they have an otherwise good program, I don't really think it's a big deal. If you really want them to wear a full uniform, then you're going to have the most success by simply doing the same thing yourself and let them follow your lead, as happened back in my day. Harping about it, or encouraging "inspections" doesn't seem to have a very good track record.

  5. In my neighborhood, Poles* weren't quite the majority, but they were probably the single largest ethnic group. "Pollack" was a derogatory term, but in a good-natured way. I told Polish jokes to my Polish friends, and they told Swede jokes back to me in return (generally, the same jokes, with only the nationality changed).


    Interestingly, in Spanish, the word "Polish" is translated as "Polaco", which is pronounced exactly the same way as "Pollack", but with an "o" at the end. I was kind of surprised the first time I heard that word in polite company, but that is indeed the only word, adjective or noun, to describe something or someone from Poland.


    Several years ago, I travelled to Ukraine by way of Warsaw. Upon my return to Warsaw, I realized what an amazing job the Poles* had done rebuilding the country from communism.


    When I got home, I talked to a Polish friend and told him that I hereby retracted every Polish joke that I had ever told. :)


    * - If anyone believes that "Pole" is a derrogatory term, then please let me know the correct plural noun. :)

  6. As noted above, it depends somewhat on whether it is Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. My current experience is in Cub Scouts, since it's been a long time since I was a Boy Scout.



    $15 (or possibly a couple dollars more in some councils)


    Some units will have "dues". Most expect that the scouts will engage in some fundraising activities. In some cases, this means becoming a full-time employee in the popcorn industry. Many units will be a lot more laid back. In our Pack, each family is expected to sell about a half dozen Christmas wreaths, which is pretty easy.


    Boys Life??

    $12. Optional, but a good bargain, IMHO.


    Scout Uniform?

    I assume a Boy Scout youth uniform will set you back about the same as my complete adult leader uniform, which came to about $100 by the time I had all the various patches and was talked into buying the official BSA socks. Used uniforms can be scrounged up without much difficulty, so this could get down to almost free.


    IIRC, the Cub Scout shirt, pants, and other accessories came to a bit over $50. IMHO (and others will disagree), a regular pair of dark blue pants will work just fine for Cub Scouts, although most of the Cubs in my pack seem to have the "official" pants. Used shirts seem to go for about $10-$15 on eBay, although you'll also need to spend an additional $5-10 for the correct council patch and numbers.


    Summer Camp?

    Others will have to answer for Boy Scouts. In our council, the Cub Scout 3-day, 2-night summer camp is $90 for Cubs, and $90 for adults, which means that it's probably $180 per family, which is too high, IMHO.


    District Events?

    Council Events?


    This tends to vary. In our Pack, expect to pay about $100 per year for various events that come up. However, in those Packs where the Cub Scouts are employed as junior popcorn salesmen, the funds raised from that will typically cover these expenses, so they'll be zero. In case you haven't noticed, my preference is just to get the checkbook out occasionally.


    Camping equipment for the weekend? Scout camp?


    Others can probably give you a better answer. But in general, whatever they say, divide it in half. :) I've noticed that a lot of people tend to buy special "camping" versions of various items, but in most cases, the version of that item found at home will work just fine. So you probably don't need a special camping cup, if you already have cups at home, etc. This applies especially to clothing. When I'm dressed for the outdoors, admittedly, I sometimes look foolish, since I'm sometimes wearing old dress clothes (such as wool pants from an old suit, synthetic shirt, etc.) But they seem to work as well as the L.L. Bean version that costs ten times as much. But again, the people wearing the L.L. Bean stuff don't look quite as silly as me, so maybe it's worth paying extra. :)


    When I was in Scouts, it was almost the accepted practice for the newest Scout to show up at his first camp with all of his stuff in a suitcase. As long as the campout is near the car, that works just fine. So the necessary equipment can generally be purchased slowly, rather than all at once.

  7. Just out of curiosity, when does an event cease being a "den meeting" or "pack meeting" and become a "day camp"?


    Before my son started kindergarten, they had a "day camp" for new kindergarteners. He was a little bit apprehensive about it, and we didn't know why. When my wife brought him there, he told her that they forgot his sleeping bag. :)


    So, IMHO, if anyone tells you that you can't have your "day camp", then you should just cancel the "day camp" and hold a den or pack meeting at the same time and location.

  8. I look at it this way:


    Most Scouts who qualify for OA have probably done the required amount of camping within the past year. But they _allow_ it to be within the past two years, in case the Scout missed one or two campouts this year. It gives a little bit of extra leaway.


    It also accounts for unusual situations such as the election being held prior to summer camp, and last year's summer camp was more than 12 months ago.


    If someone camped 15 nights within the last month, then they qualified, because those 15 nights were within the last two years. The Scout who camped 15 nights 23 months ago squeaks in just under the wire, even if he hasn't gone camping since.

  9. I knew that I was in the system when the following two things happened:


    1. Scouting magazine showed up in mailbox. In fact, I think I got two issues the same day.


    2. When I was poking around scouting.org, I clicked on the link for "Tour Permits" (which is still there, but you're not supposed to use, if I understand correctly). When I clicked on that, it showed my Pack number.


    It was a few months later that the CC handed me my membership card.

  10. I'll be taking it in a few weeks, so I hope it's fun.


    I'm really not sure just what to expect. If we sit around discussing the difference between various BSA definitions, then I probably won't be too pleased.


    If we spend most of the time outside learning how to do things that Cub Scouts will enjoy, then I'll probably be satisfied with the experience. I'll probably learn a couple of things I didn't know before.


    If that part is done fairly well, then I'll probably be willing to sit inside and listen to a few definitions.

  11. In my council, it took a couple of months before a class I took at University of Scouting showed up in my record, but it eventually did.


    To view all of your training (not just the online courses) online, after you log in, click on "Training Validation" on the left side of the screen.


    A new window will open. Click the button for "All Training", and then enter your scouting.org Username (or membership number), and it will show you a list of all of your courses. If it's been a few months, the live classes should be listed there. If not, your council will need to add them.

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