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Posts posted by clemlaw

  1. The Tiger Cub handbook contains a footnote with a stern admonition saying that it's a violation of BSA policy to physically turn kids upside down while awarding their Bobcat badge.


    It doesn't state what the penalty is for doing so. But even so, I have thus far refrained from physically turning Cub Scouts upside down while awarding their Bobcat badge. It never would have occurred to me to do so in the first place, although I think when I was a Cub Scout, the _badge_ was pinned onto me upside down, even though I remained right side up.


    If someone else suggested that it would be a good idea to turn Cub Scouts upside down, I would probably point out that footnote.


    As a matter of fact, I have never turned a Cub Scout upside down, even on occasions other than awarding the Bobcat badge. Presumably, according to that footnote, it would be OK to do so when awarding other badges. But I still don't do it.


    On the other hand, there are other things in the Tiger book that it says I'm supposed to do, but I didn't do! I'm sometimes a little bit lax about handing out those beads, even though the book tells me exactly when I'm supposed to do it.


    In other words, when it comes to the Tiger book, I sometimes deviate from what the book says, if my common sense tells me to do so.


    And when it comes to the G2SS, common sense might sometimes call for deviations, although those situations would be less common than in the case of the Tiger book.


    I just signed up to counsel stamp collecting merit badge. I didn't know this, but according to the G2SS, carbon tetrachloride can be used to reveal stamp watermarks, so I'll be sure to demonstrate that to the Scouts. I bet it works great, which is why they had to put it in the G2SS. And I've also recently learned that a good way to look for gas leaks is to use a lighted match, so maybe I should sign up to counsel Safety merit badge, so I can share that piece of wisdom. And as far as I can tell, the G2SS doesn't even prohibit it, which means that this practice has the BSA seal of approval. :)

  2. I missed the original posts before they got deleted, but I am intrigued by the following comment, and if he's still around, I have some advice for our young friend.


    >>>>the scout oath and law are to simplistic and idealistic. sometimes you have to violate theses ideas to get to your goals


  3. >>>>this boy maybe has never been separated from his overly-protective family. Trying to reason with him may not work because the conceptual model of "apartness" may not even exist in his mind. Setting up a tent in the rain with no complaint?

  4. I wouldn't know where to start with building an oven, but one thing you might want to try is baking bread in a Dutch oven. I've only done it once myself, but it came out pretty well, if I do say so myself.


    We have a bread machine at home, which I used to make the dough. I made the dough at home, and then froze it. I forget the exact procedure, but IIRC, I stored the frozen dough in the cooler for a couple of days, and it seemed to be thawed. I let it rise first in a separate container, and then in the Dutch oven. I used (mumble) charcoal briquettes, and let it cook for (mumble) minutes.

  5. Thanks for the reminder. I need to go visit my old scoutmaster, who also happens to be "Mr. S." I recently found his son on Facebook, and (sooner rather than later), I ought to go say hello, and maybe introduce my Tiger Cub.


    So thanks for the reminder.

  6. >>>>>Wow. I did not even realize that they will be Wolves on June 1. I had made plans to keep working on just badges and belt loops over the summer! I'm the Den leader.oops. How come we would start working on Wolf requirements now when there is a good chance we will get more scouts after recruitment in Sept.?

  7. I'm still a little bit amused that the Arrow of Light knot exists, but I proudly wear it anyway. I figure National Supply probably needed the $1.49, and perhaps it might serve as a miniscule incentive to my Tiger Cubs. But still, it amounts to something I did when I was 10 years old, and truth be told, I only have it because my parents decided 40 years ago that Cub Scouts was a good thing for me to be doing.


    So if anyone really wants a First Class knot, I would be willing to share some of my glory. There could be three slightly different versions of the Arrow of Light knot (just like there are two versions of the Eagle knot). Discerning viewers of the uniform could get out their magnifying glass and determine my exact scouting history. One version would be for AOL. The second version would be for First Class. The third version would be for those who were both AOL and FC.


    Those like me who would need to upgrade to the combined knot would be an additional source of revenue, as we would all line up with our additional $1.49.


    This is a win-win situation. Former youth members who weren't in Cub Scouts, and who didn't make Eagle (a fairly large group) will get a knot showing that they've been around since their youth. People like me don't get their uniform cluttered up with knots for every single youth accomplishment. And knot afficionados get a couple new ones for their collection.

  8. John in KC, I'm not sure if you were responding to me, but if you were, you might have misunderstood the question. I realize the value of Eagle, and that professor was obviously not too impressed by the fact that your son had a particular badge in his collection, but by the fact that your son had earned that particular badge.


    I bet the prof's reaction would have been different if your son had said, "and I got this Eagle thingie because my parents made me go to Merit Badge classes every weekend."


    I guess my question was in response to the comment that some parents thought that there was a more or less automatic pool of money ($500 - $5000) that materialized upon completion of Eagle.


    I kind of doubt if that is true. But I'm wondering if there really is such a perception.

  9. My son is wearing a patch which says, among other things, "100% Boys' Life". Ironically, he's the only one in the unit who didn't get Boys' Life at the time the award was earned*. :)


    We're in a different Pack this year, and the current Pack doesn't seem to have an interest in that particular patch. So I'll probably recommend that he takes it off next year. But for the time being, I guess I'm teaching him some of my contrarian skills.


    (*-Before anyone complains, yes, a Scout is Trustworthy, but this was a very unusual situation and was 100% proper.)

  10. And yet another discovery.


    I also did a search for my area code and phone number. For example, for 651-555-1212, I did a search for 651555*. I got a list of myself and 59 other Eagle Scouts, most of whom appear to live or work in my general neighborhood.


    Then, I did a search for my street name and zip code. Turns out there's another Eagle Scout just a couple of doors down. Hmmmm.... I could use an extra den leader. Maybe I'll need to go knock on his door.


    I'd say my $25 was a pretty good investment, strictly from the selfish point of view of what's in it for me.(This message has been edited by clemlaw)

  11. Oops--I gave some bad advice above, based upon not reading the directions (that even BSA is able to provide).


    It turns out I didn't find 20 Eagle Scouts in my zip code, after all.


    I actually found 195 of them. You need to put an asterisk after the zip code, and not an exclamation mark.


    So 54321* will give you every Eagle Scout with a zip code of 54321 or 54321-1234. It will also include listings with phone numbers such as 543-213-1234, but those will be very rare.

  12. Well, I recently joined. There's probably not a whole lot in it for me, but I really wish I had joined 30 years ago. I'm now old enough that, actuarially, I'm probably better off just sending them a check once every five years.


    Twocub, they do send out a quarterly magazine, so you should be getting that if you're a member. So I suspect that there's a clerical error somewhere. As shocking as this might sound, the BSA is sometimes prone to making clerical errors. :)


    The reason why I would encourage new Eagles to sign up is so that they will get that magazine about four times per year. It's not a particularly great magazine, although most of them seem to have one fairly good article. But at least something will keep showing up in their mailbox from the BSA, long after they drift away from scouting in their 20's. If I had been getting that magazine, I suspect at some point that I would have been spurred into volunteering for something, such as being a MBC. But Scouting was off my radar screen, and nobody called me about scouting for about 30 years, not even to ask for money.


    Should I have come forward on my own? Yes. But I didn't, and I suspect that getting a little magazine four times per year would have encouraged me to do so.


    They finally did call after about 30 years, to sell the directory, which was at least a good start. By then, I did have a son in Cub Scouts, so the call wasn't really necessary in my case. But if I had received that call 10 or 15 years ago, it probably would have led to me becoming a volunteer in some capacity.


    So for this reason, I really do encourage new Eagles to be given a life membership. It's not that expensive, and it will probably pay off in future leaders.


    If you are currently a leader, then there's probably not a whole lot in it for you, with one exception. It could be beneficial for your unit or your district. As a member, you have access to the NESA database, which includes all Eagles from the beginning of time. It includes thier name and address, unit in which they made Eagle, date they made eagle, and possibly a little more information. Supposedly, you have the capability to send them an e-mail, although I have had very little luck with that feature. But as far as I can tell, the addresses and phone numbers do mostly seem to be accurate. They created this database a few years ago to sell the directories, and for most of the people I have checked out, the information is accurate. In a few cases, I had a hunch that someone was an Eagle, and I used the database to confirm my hunch. In a couple of cases, I found out that so-and-so never made Eagle, after all.


    This database is a treasure trove for units and districts, and I'm shocked that it's completely underused. First of all, as far as I know, it's not used at all for FOS solicitations. I'm sure that 99% of the names on the list are good for a $20 donation, just for the asking. But they have never been asked.


    But more importantly, this list is an incredible source for finding unit and district volunteers. It takes a little bit of finesse to search the database (after all, it's a BSA website, so you can't really expect it to work perfectly). But it is quite easy to search for Eagle Scouts in a particular zip code or city. From the year they made Eagle, you will know their approximate age. The 21 year old Eagles are probably still busy with college. The 99 year old Eagles are probably deceased. The 40 year old Eagles might have already drifted back into Scouting with their sons. (But, on the other hand, if they don't have sons, then they probably didn't drift back.)


    But that leaves a lot of names on the list, aged approximately 25-40 who are Eagle Scouts who are probably not involved in Scouting. If someone asks them, they'll probably get out the checkbook. But more importantly, if someone asks the 30 year old lawyer, he's probably eager to counsel Law MB. If someone asks the electrician, he's probably willing to counsel Electricity MB. If someone asks the accountant, he's probably willing to help out the district finance committee. If someone asks the elementary teacher with only daughters, he's probably eager to become a Cubmaster or Den Leader.


    I can tell you from experience that there are people who would be willing to help out, as long as someone asks them. But I can also tell you from experience that they won't help out unless someone does ask them.


    For whatever the cost of membership is, you will get 24/7 access to a list of such people. IMHO, that's what's "in it" for current Scouters.


    As others have noted, BSA and NESA do a poor job of communicating. That's their loss and your gain. When you get ahold of one of those potential eager volunteers, you can be almost certain that you are the first one who asked them. When they say "yes", they'll be saying it to you, not to the unit down the street. You can rest assured that the unit down the street didn't bother to ask them.

  13. Well, I think it's the _parents_ who need to be sold on the idea of camping. I'm sure that if you ask Cub Scouts if they want to spend the night in a tent, then about 99% of them will say yes. But if you ask the parents, then the percentage is probably a lot smaller.


    IMHO, one night is much better than two nights. Again, the parents need to be sold on the idea, and in many cases, this might be their first camping experience. Setting up a tent after dark is _not_ a good way to start your first camping trip. In fact, if possible, I would make sure that you have a few experienced campers around to help out the newbies, and make it a pleasant experience. But if you start on Friday night, and people have to work, then they will be setting up in the dark, which is no fun.


    Also, have a contingency plan for rain. You and I will probably do OK if it rains while we're camping. But if it's their first camping trip and they get all wet, then it will probably be their last camping trip. Basically, this probably means having a cabin available. The trip needs to be fun, even if it rains, if you want them to come back next year.


    Eating as a group is also a good idea. In fact, I don't think I would even consider having families cook for themselves, unless they have some experience camping. I'm not normally a fan of dining halls, but for Cub Scout parents who are new to camping, it might be a good idea. In fact, if someone else makes the coffee, I'll happily stumble over there myself to get my first cup in the morning, even if I would rather cook my own food.

  14. As a den leader, I would be horrified if the parents had chipped in to get me a $600 gift, especially if they essentially wasted their money on something (such as a visit to a "spa") that was of absolutely no interest to me.


    Just out of curiosity, I wouldn't be too surprised to learn that one of the parents who is promoting this gift (or a close friend or relative) is perhaps a commissioned salesperson for said spa.


    If the families in my den chipped in to buy a McDonald's gift card, I would be very happy. If they chipped in a similar amount to buy something that I particularly wanted, I would be even happier. If they chipped in to buy a $100 gift, I would be very moved. But again, much beyond that point, as a recipient, I would be horrified at their excess.


    On the other hand, if everyone at scouter.com chips in to send me $600 cash, I will gladly accept it. But please, just send the cash, and I'll pick out the spa myself. :)

  15. I'm not a card-carrying member of the Uniform Police, so I'm not sure exactly what "the book" has to say. When I was a Scout in about the same era, we only wore our sashes at OA events, although I don't really see anything wrong with wearing it at a COH.


    In fact, I think in my troop, where OA elections were held at summer camp, the arrowmen put on their sashes a few hours before the actual election. (As far as I remember, the election was conducted completely by arrowmen in the troop, and I don't think there was anyone who came specially from the lodge or chapter.)


    But I think a COH is very different, because at a Boy Scout COH, the majority of Scouts there will probably be eligible for OA membership within a year or so. So it's a reminder of an honor for which they will soon be eligible. And more importantly, they will (hopefully) be able to see that the guys who give cheerful service are the ones wearing a red arrow. So it seems like a reasonable reminder for them to keep giving cheerful service, and know that they will be recognized for it if they do.


    When my Tiger Cub son saw my sash, he said it was "cool", and I guess it is. But it's at least six years or so until he will be eligible, so it's not really a carrot that can be held out to him, unlike many other awards that he can get in the forseeable future. So it's not really an incentive, and I don't think I should wear it just because it's cool, even if it is. And besides, I already have a cool flap on my pocket, and last night to the B&G, I wore a cool temporary patch from the Fall Fellowship. I need to be careful so I don't look too cool. :)


    >>>>So Crossovers, ECOHs, Call Outs etc all Arrowman are encouraged to wear their sash.

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