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Everything posted by codger

  1. I love this sentiment. A harbor Freight blue tarp is about all the shelter we need, a mess kit can cook a 3 course meal, and a pocket knife and a spoon the only utensils. When did we feel we needed a trailer????? My troop is guilty of this gear creep disease.
  2. Frankly, I am very frustrated that the "natural" response from 90% of the commentators, Scouts, victims and Scouting volunteers is to automatically assert that the natural remedy to heinous crimes of abuse committed by, in some cases, people that are dead or long since removed from their positions within Scouting, is to take money from todays' innocent children and volunteers and give it to the victims. There is nothing moral about taking from the innocents of today, and the future, to give to victims of the past. Nothing moral at all. I get anger on the part of the victims, and a desire to
  3. It has horrified me how prevalent this problem of young person suicide has become in America. in our small town of 8000 people, there have been a number of suicides over the past couple of decades. About 5 years ago a friend's son aged about 14-15 got hold of his gun, and shot himself at home, after school. His mother, a school nurse in our district, found him alive when she came home from work, but he died of his wound a short time later. Truly gut wrenching to hear about that. And last spring, my son, a freshman in college, awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of his roommate t
  4. If you are now cubmaster, why not promulgate a set of "when to wear the Class A...Class B..." uniform policies and circulate that to the den leaders and families? Then, if the adult in question is not following an established policy, it is easier to question him about not supporting Pack guidelines. It is also easier to get the other volunteers to back you up. Make it a group policy, not your policy, and you might just get other volunteers to shame him into compliance.
  5. Sadly, it is even hard to buy road maps online. We had an old map of New England that we used for trip planning for years. After many efforts to retape the seams, it fell apart. I tried to find an equivalent map in stores, online, etc. The best I could do was one printed in the 1980's which was from an "old" map dealer. I ordered it and a couple of others, and they were packaged in a paper envelope, mailed by the dealer via UPS, which left them in the rain on my porch without ringing the bell.... oh well.
  6. This really should be a top 5... machined aluminum waterproof match safe Shrade Walden - era sheath knife for longer trips ($8 at flea market in the 1970's) OR Shrade folding lockback pocket knife for overnights microlight nylon hammock candle lantern lightweight nylon fly or tarp - 8' by 8' With those items plus some kind of food, I am good indefinitely
  7. Sorry, folks, I just found this thread, and feel I want to make a contribution with my own story. This is a story about the unseen, unknown fruits of your efforts over a very long time. But please excuse me if this seems like I am boasting, or tooting my own horn - I am typing this with tears in my (middle-aged) eyes, as this story chokes me up when I tell it (which is rarely). Bear with me, it is long: In 1978 I was a young Life Scout in my troop in Central NJ - chartered by a Catholic church in a typical NY suburb. Casting about for a suitable Eagle project, none of the "build a _
  8. I hate to bring this up, but I would not be surprised if the real reason the CM and other committee members are cautious of your boyfriend's involvement is because of your choices, not just his. In your post, you state that A) your ex husband is a violent felon, B) Your father has run afoul of the law, C) your boyfriend of only a few months is divorced with a drug problem, and D)your boyfriend also is a convicted felon for drug possession. The problem here is simply that EVERYONE in this poor boy's life is making "bad choices" with a record of harm to others outside the family. It is clear
  9. Very nice use of Steely Dan! Tampa, godspeed...
  10. This is not a prediction, but, with the way things are developing, I believe councils and national will be under heavy financial pressures for a good generation (20+ years) until the changes settle down. So, I suggest one model of scouting might become a community-based distributed model, where Amazon or some equivalent vendor is tasked with managing advancement and equipment supplies, and Packs and Troops become islands of Scouting in their communities - without interaction with National or Council involvement. After all, Troops and Packs are now the only organization most SCOUTS NEED - run
  11. My sons are now 18 and 20, but the last year they were both in the troop, and I volunteered as ASM, participating in our troops' activities cost over $3000 for that year. How much over? I can't say. I camped about 6 times that year, and my boys 8-9 times. Summer camp was one week. NJ is expensive - summer camps within 3 hours drive run $400 - 450 per week. Our troop charges $15 per person for food on a campout, so that was $330, plus when the adult volunteers camp, we split cooking and shopping chores for the leader patrol. I cooked one trip that year, and shopping cost me about $
  12. Also by Tolkien: "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost"
  13. Interesting side note: My family was the inspiration for the article about the Simon and Kotter families of East Brunswick. When my youngest son, Matthew, earned eagle in 2017, I sent a photo and press release of My 86 year old father, who was a 2nd class Scout , myself (Eagle 1979) and two Eagle brothers, and my Life Scout eldest son and Eagle Scout middle son to the newspapers, and it was published. My high school classmate, Michael Simon, of the family in the East Brunswick article, read my writeup, and played "we can top that", which, of course, they did. We all had great memories of tw
  14. I posted these same comments in another thread, but they apply here as well: It is plain to me and many others that there is no need to speculate on whether certain changes will come to pass - that in the immediate or very near future: Packs and then Troops will become FULLY COED, forced into this by a confluence of pressure from: activists: "separate but equal is not equal" , lawyers/lawsuits, and Nationals' desire to minimize bad publicity. This is a given, and to believe otherwise flies in the face of the past 20 years of history of our organization and others. And the PROGRA
  15. Many volunteers have made the mistake of taking National at their word, when the evidence of National's untrustworthy behavior has frequently been clearly on display. Exhibit A is the survey and how it was handled. The "survey" appears to have been hastily rolled out to a select small group of Scouters to justify a previously-made decision. It is plain to me and many others that there is no need to speculate on whether certain changes will come to pass - that in the immediate or very near future: Packs and then Troops will become FULLY COED, forced into this by a confluence of pres
  16. By the way, Sentinel - that article you referenced was so misleading as to be criminal. $24 ? that's a joke.
  17. I can say that my experience with the cost of participation in BSA is similar to that of your marching band example. Our troop charges $35 per scout and scouter per year registration - so far so good. But we have two boys and myself (ASM) that is $105. Plus popcorn $150, plus wreath sale $60 plus trips. We camp 10x per year, and if my boys go on a total of 14 of them (average year is 7 each) plus me on 6 of them that is 20 trips at $12 per for food, or $240, plus two summer camps at $350 each. So far, $1235. Now, I tow the troop trailer on almost all the trips I go on, at an average cost
  18. This question came up in my (now disbanded) council last fall - we had approximately 20 boys and 4 adults transfer from their old troop to ours when the old troop was disbanded by their CO (their church). I wanted to have council do one form with the roster of buys transferring, but we were required to get all new applications. Royal pain in the butt. No good reason to do the individual apps there, when we could have had our CC and COR sign a simple list of transferees. I'm with the original poster on this one.
  19. Respectfully, qwazse, didn't see any comment worthy of the soap-in-mouth cure. And gsdad, perhaps you might think again about your comparisons - in this case, the scouts and scouters of these districts are being jettisoned by their Council leadership, not voluntarily electing to affiliate with a new council. Even the thickest skinned Scouters might just get a little riled up when told, in effect, "we're shipping you off to some new hierarchy that is in another state, whom you don't know, likely has different customs, traditions and practices, and likely is taking you on reluctantly". That
  20. To add insult to injury, the best option for Matameechen District and Joyce Kilmer District (both southern/eastern geographically) was to join Monmouth Council which adjoins our districts. Unfortunately, Monmouth Council has refused to accept our districts, calling them "not financially viable". My Troop and Pack have one of the highest youth particpation rates in the communties we serve, but our district is not "viable". We may become orphans soon..... and I have been in this district since 1968!
  21. I think the movement could perform best if we treat the Scout Law as aspirational - that we strive to live a person that is trustworthy......etc. This thread alarms me because I see that the Scout law is being used to punish, ban or remove those among us who have failed in this aspiration. Refusing to award an Eagle rank simply because a boy has fathered a child is punitive behavior, which is contrary to the goals of the movement. If you removed all the boys who took a smoke of a cigarette, a drink of alcohol or a kissed another person from the program, the crickets would be the only sound
  22. One thing that occurred to me - the "armed student" must have known that he or she was really unarmed. After all, they were shown they had paint type ammunition, not real ammunition in their guns. I don't believe any of that video was a reasonable facsimile of real life, because in order to approximate a real life style drill, you would have needed to convince the student they had real ammunition, such as rounds with no primer and powder. In fact, none of the kids could reasonably believe they were actually armed at all. I would have just ducked and never drawn either in that scenario. Th
  23. Honestly, folks, the BALOO and GTSS rules make things too complicated. Our Pack follows the "overnight at the museum" model of cabin camping - when we stay in a cabin, we stay in a single room lodge with latrines in a separate building. All attendees, men and women leaders, and all children, scouts and siblings, are welcome on a first-come first-served basis until we fill the cabin. All attendees sleep in the one room in cots/bunks. All attendees change clothes (if desired) in the separate latrine facilities. No one disrobes in the cabin, and there are usually 20-30 pairs of eyes watchin
  24. Hello - We are implementing the New Delivery Method beginning Sept. 1, and would like some of the cub packs that did the pilot program to comment on what they did with awarding recognitions at den meetings? The Resource Guides implies that many of the recognitions are awarded immediately upon completing the requirement. My questions are: How do you inventory enough recognition items ahead of time when you don't know how many boys will earn that award? Seems like we will need to keep surplus recognitions in stock? At Pack night, then we are not handing out the pins or loops, so
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