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About clydesdale115

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  1. Our Council offers WB once every OTHER year, in the spring, 2-weekend format. We let the current group have their 18 months, then we're ready to recruit for the next one. I doubt we would have the support or demand to offer it more frequently than that. For the past 2 courses, we have been full (48-50 participants) but it was slim-pickin's before then. clyde
  2. We visited the county's 911 Call Center - VERY fascinating, and they were glad to have us. Our boys (and parents!) were mesmerized at all the video monitors, phone operators with headsets, screens, computers everywhere, lights were turned low - it was way cool! And while we were there, some child actually made a prank call into the center - uh-oh! clyde
  3. Our SM is completely against referring any Scouts to MBCs outside our troop. He says he likes "having them here so I can keep an eye on things and make sure they are doing the right thing." As a result, whenever we come home from summer camp and the boys have a stack of partials, our SM makes an All-Call to the parents to find MBCs for these MBs so the boys can finish up. * sigh * We have encouraged our son to contact other MBCs (who are willing to work with boys outside their own troops) and get things done or finished. I have the MBC list for our district, which, BTW, is 130+ pages printed. The only names the SM will give them is someone in the troop (and even then, it's not contact information, it's just "maybe Mr. MBC will be here next week at the troop meeting and you can ask him"). So it takes the boys FOREVER to get anything completed. It means meeting with Mr. MBC for 15 minutes after the troop meeting, when he can make it, when he gets around to offering it, so the boys STILL have a stack of partials. It's just AWFUL. It's one thing to be a "gateway" - it's quite another to be a "roadblock." clyde
  4. (old thread alert!) My son is a newly-elected PL and he is excited to work with his patrol to earn the NHP award. In 2-1/2 years in the troop, they have not earned it. He has given copies of the reqs. to his patrol members and they seem excited along with him. We do have "patrol corner" time at each troop meeting, so he is using that has his patrol meetings, although they may have to meet outside occasionally. He is following the Patrol Meeting Planner and has a written agenda, even though they don't have a whole lot of time for their meeting. (By the looks of things, our troop doesn't even use the Troop Meeting Planner, so I thought his efforts to be organized were great!) They already have their first service project idea to bring before the PLC and they came up with a few ideas to choose from for their patrol activity. The record-keeping is going to be challenge for him (as it is for most 13-year-olds) but if they can get off on the right foot, they can have everything done in time for their September COH. I do like the idea of having some recognition for their patrol flag - maybe I'll drop the hint to the SM about buying one extra star to sew on their flag. clyde
  5. Our Council has not operated a summer camp in about 5 years. Attendance had been dropping for some time before that. Our camp just couldn't compete with the amenities at other Council camps. This past December we held our first-ever (and expected first-annual) 3-night/4-day winter camp. It was a success, with more than 50 Scouts and 20 staff. Maybe LONG-term (WAY long-term) this will kick start having summer camp again, but that likely won't happen until some major capital improvement occurs. Until then, hopefully winter camp will grow and at least get boys back to our camp. clyde
  6. So it sounds like the other ASM is the registered MBC and he has asked for your help with it? Or are you going to be the registered MBC and he's going to help you? E-Sci is one of those that you have to do a little something in a bunch of categories. Since you will be basically "teaching" it, you could certainly pick the experiments / activites you feel most comfortable with, or that seem the most do-able in the short class period times you have. Some of them can be really fun and interesting. For one of them, my son did something about oil spilled into a pan of water and different ways to "gather" or clean it up (paper towel, string, detergent, etc). He also did an experiment comparing regular packing peanuts (dissolving them with fingernail polish remover / acetone) and comparing with those "Nuudles" which are made of corn starch and dissolve in water. These are certainly experiments you can do in a short time but get the boys doing hands-on things. A matching game is easy for the definitions. Go over the defintions together. Then, since you will be in a group setting, try taping the terms all along the wall, then have the definitions typed out onto strips. Have team relay race to see who can tape the correct definitions with the terms. Active learning. Google "environmental impact statement" to see what needs to be included there - it doesn't have to be complicated, just thoughtful. My son did his on a new animal shelter that was being built in our county. He used the EIS sample and wrote about environmental factors HE thought needed to be considered in building the shelter. Don't try to tackle too much at a time with this MB - take your time - it's an important one and not feeling rushed will be better for everyone :-) clyde
  7. Son and I attended AB100 this past weekend at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Weather was lovely, Piedmont Park was great, AB100 was ... ho-hum. We had nothing like the lines Dean Rx mentioned so that wasn't a problem. But it was clearly geared to Cub-age non-Scouts. The biggest draw was the ropes course but it was just a portable rig, not very exciting for a 13 y-o near-Life Scout who already has his Climbing MB (son did not get on it). The "passport" thingy was totally confusing, the people manning the booth didn't explain it at all. The dome was kind of a neat set-up, but the video was only 5 minutes long. You just get settled on the artificial turf and it's time to leave :-) The big 18-wheeler became a stage - there was a jazz group playing while we were there. (My son suggested they should have saved all this for Cub Scouts 100th anniversary - it would appeal to them more.) I did purchase an event patch (happy about that) - and attending AB100 does satisfy one of the requirements for the new Scouting Heritage MB. I wouldn't say it was worth the 2 hour drive, but spending a beautiful day outside with my son ... totally worth it! clyde
  8. Forestry + Genealogy = Family Tree MB
  9. I just renewed my YPT by watching the on-line video. The video was a little corny, of course, but it did try to cover a lot of "what if" scenarios, incidences such as being one-on-one with a Scout because everyone else left before Johnny's mom got there. They make a point to say that safety has to come above all else. Incidences like attending a sick child in the bathroom, checking on bug bites in unfortunate locations, that sort of thing, seem to me to fall under "safety" considerations. Great comments, Eamonn - clyde
  10. Our troop attends 2 camps each summer, one in June, one in July. One explanation for June AND July is that the church (CO) has Bible School in July so we can't use the troop meeting place that week anyway. There are probably 35-40 boys in the troop. We usually have about 15 boys at each camp. Of those, there are maybe 2 or 3 boys who attend both. For most boys, they choose which they want to attend based on several factors: how long since we've been to that particular camp, family summer obligations, facilities at the camp, and program offerings. Costs are usually comparable at the 2 camps, so that's not much of a factor. Our council does not offer summer camp at all (long story), so we have to go out of council, no matter what. Our SM decides the 2 camps, but the boys choose which they will attend (either, both, or neither). Most camps seem to offer roughly the same basic merit badges, with a few added programs to keep interest high. Our boys have generally not taken advantage of special opportunities, like high adventure jaunts for older Scouts, although that should be a real draw. They also do not participate in New Scout / T-2-1 programs that many camps offer, so that's not a consideration either. There are a couple of camps that we have returned to, after having a good experience, but with going to 2 each summer, we have a chance to visit many different camps in the South. clyde
  11. Another troop in our area has started offering these MBs based on the premilinary requirements that were posted (then dropped) from Scouting Magazine site. I got our Scouts all excited about tackling them this year, but now I'm not ready to start until we hear something definitive. We're already way behind now. Scouting Magazine's Facebook page said they were "expecting news from the officials in charge any day now" - unfortunately that was a month ago. Other councils have the (prelim) requirements posted and they are just going on as usual. Sigh here too.
  12. I'm not sure if you could make this work logistically, but how about dividing the class into 3 groups (like for req 1) - give each group a culture/ethnicity/etc. to "become." If you have access to the internet or a computer lab, let them research their cultural group to answer the first few reqs. Perhaps provide them with supplies to make an artifact or costume piece. Then all come back together for the final hour to hold a Cultural Festival, where each group can bring an example of something they've made, share their history, teach each other a dance, share a folk story, create a class culture scrapbook, that sort of thing. I think it could be a lot of fun, and the boys take ownership of the reqs. for the badge, with your guidance and direction. I worked with a fellow Scouter recently on a Cit/World class and we did something similar - it was an amazing experience - we divided the boys into countries, had them do research, trade for goods, make flags, then they all came together at the end of the day for a United Nations meeting. clyde
  13. Son will be attending Jambo in '10 - Are CSPs and OA flaps generally the only patches traded there? He wants to "be prepared" :-)
  14. RGRs are very easy to put-together. We met on Saturday morning and had all the boys make their boats (including painting them). We sat them to dry while the boys played some super-fun water games outside. After a snack break, the boats were dry and ready to race. We were completely done by lunch and had a great time.
  15. My son chose to go as shortridge said - all Eagle-reqs in a column down the middle. The rest are on either side of the Eagle ones, in the order he receives them.
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