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Everything posted by DanKroh

  1. There is a big difference between Mom or Dad setting up a range (either archery or bb) in their backyard and taking their son to a commercial range where there are NAA or NRA certified instructors running it, very likely to more strict safety standards than I have seen on any BSA range (in my experience). Someone brought up liability. Personally, I think there is a lot more chance for injury to a cub going to a commercial ski slope to earn his snow sports beltloop and pin than at a commercially run shooting range. But they don't restrict that beltloop to council/district events only.
  2. Here's what I would propose for archery, that the rule *should* be, the archery belt loop and pin can only be earned at a BSA council event, or at a range run by a NAA certified instructor. I don't know if there is a corresponding national certification program for BBs, but if there is, then similar wording for BBs. Now this is a prime example of a situation that doesn't make sense. My younger son, currently a Bear, shoots archery on a regular basis at a commercially run range near our house. He participates in the Junior Olympic Archery Development program, and has shot in national
  3. DenZero, While I probably would have said it a little more gently, I agree in principle with John. The B&G is supposed to be a birthday party for scouting, and should take place in February. If you want to have your main advancement ceremony in June, that's one thing, but I don't think you should call it a B&G. Now, the bigger issue seems to me to be the boys not finishing rank advancement until June. Personally, I think that's a bad call. I think if you set the expectation that they should finish by February, they can and will. If you set the expectation that they won't
  4. Does anyone know of an instance where someone has started a scout unit within a detention facility for youth offenders? It seems to me that the scout program would be a great addition to try to help some of these kids straightened out. While I agree that having a kid who is actively treading on the wrong side of the law in a regular unit would seem like a recipe for disaster, I would think that a unit made up entirely of troubled kids, led by people who had the professional background to help them, would be a boon. Has such a thing been tried?
  5. SctDad, For the first time in recent memory, our pack is also in the position of awarding Tiger Badges in June. We normally try to get all the boys done with rank advancement by the Blue & Gold banquet in February, so that they can receive their badge as part of a very nice ceremony. However, this year, mostly because of the change requiring the boys to earn Bobcat *before* Tiger, our Tigers weren't ready in February. I am planning on doing something a little special for them at the pack meeting, since they "missed out" at the B&G. I was thinking of the "Scout Spirit" ce
  6. "Maybe you went deeper into Google than I did ("wiccan OR wiccans scout OR scouts OR bsa") or have knowledge otherwise, but while I found several references to wiccans being denied unit charters, not one reference had a who, what, when, or where -- much less a why. Perhaps you can share details if you know or have access to them." Actually, most of what I know is from direct discussions with other Pagans who tried to become chartering partners, who were told that their group "does not represent the values of Scouting", without further explanation of how they don't represent the values of
  7. Correction, it was the Aquarian Tabernacle that started Spiral Scouts, not Correllian Nativist Church. My bad.
  8. Tahawk, "'There is no national Wiccan organization,' Shields said. 'So, that's why there is no religious award for Wiccans.'" There is a national Wiccan organization, Covenant of the Goddess. They even developed curricula for both Cub Scout and Boy Scout level awards. There is no religious award approved by the BSA for Wiccans because after CoG jumped through all the hoops that *were* there, the BSA created another hoop they couldn't jump through, the rule that they had to have 25 units chartered. "He encouraged any Wiccan group that would like to charter a troop in their commun
  9. " "The other group accepts the membership policies but wants the BSA to abide by the laws governing them as a 'private religious organization'. " What are some of the laws that BSA does not abide by?" I think you would have to ask someone who belonged to the aforementioned group. But I believe their major point of contention is the BSA continuing to both solicite and accept government support that they are not allowed to get as a private organization that discriminates against federally-defined protected groups.
  10. I think there are two distinct camps for "critics" of the BSA. One group that wants the BSA to change their membership policies. The other group accepts the membership policies but wants the BSA to abide by the laws governing them as a "private religious organization". There may, of course, be overlap between the two groups. While I can understand the desire to have the former go off and start other groups instead, for who belong to the latter group, no number of alternative groups is going to change the fact that government support (in any form) of a private, discriminating religious gro
  11. During my stint as den leader, I didn't do den dues, but I did have an "activity fee" if we did an activity that had a significant cost attached to it. For example, when we built birdhouses as Wolves, or toolboxes as Bears, or even making a nifty "family photo album" as Tigers. The rest of the time, I either brought stuff from home that I had anyway (paper, coloring stuff, etc.), or rotated between parents as to who was responsible for bringing what supplies for each meeting. My son's current den leader has everyone put up some money up front at the begining of the year (I think we starte
  12. SctDad, We usually do most of the chores at a campout on a volunteer basis. "Boys! We need some water put into these fire buckets before we can get our fire going. Who'd like to go over to the pump (about 50 yards away) and fill them up for us? Remember, you need to take a buddy...." There are usually at least 3 or 4 hands in the air pretty quick. I will admit that I usually oversee the cooking duties myself (I'm the Cubmaster, Baloo trained, and I love camp cooking), but try to involve the boys to help with as much of the prep as possible. "Ok, who's got their whittling chip? G
  13. Cheerful Eagle, Our pack has done trips near and far. AFAIK, the farthest we've gone is about 2 hours by car to the White Mountains of NH (we're about 20 miles NW of Boston as a starting reference). This winter, we did a cabin camping trip to a Boy Scout camp that was only two towns away, which ended up being a good choice as we had a fairly significant snowstorm the night before. I think 2 hours is probably a good cut-off. Farther than that, and I think families are going to balk, and cub scout age kids are going to get seriously antsy. The only factor I can think of that woul
  14. "You know, I scanned this thread, very interesting -- flaming marshmallow in the face, scarey thought -- but I missed any reference to the core princple of CUB scout camping. Cub Scouts go camping with their FAMLIES." Cheerful Eagle, perhaps it was not more explicitly called out because, this being the Cub Scout subforum, and most of us reading it being Cub Scout leaders, we took that as read. I did mention that, like all the cooking our Cubs do, we "let the boys roast marshmallows, with adult/parental supervision, and the ok of their parents." Also, what if the marshmallow roas
  15. Karen, I think the question was perfectly legitimate. I think the message coming from national on this issue is somewhat garbled (especially given that outdoor cooking is a rank achievement for Cubs), although BobWhite's explanation of the "guidelines" chart is helpful. I know that there are even Boy Scout troops who have concerns over marshmallows; my older son's former troop (he changed troops earlier this year) actually had a troop rule that marshmallow roasting was not allowed at troop events, because they had an incident in the past with a flaming marshmallow being accidently flung i
  16. Ok, the diagram says Tigers, Wolves and Bears can't cook outdoors, but Webelos can. Actually, I was hoping to see a more detailed reference on what "outdoor cooking" means, exactly. Does that mean an open fire or a stove, or either? If the "cooking" involves putting a baggie of eggs into a pot of boiling water on a propane stove, is that still prohibited? Does "cooking" also mean that they can't help in the preparation (i.e. set up their own foil packs, if they are then put on the fire by an adult)? Also, I think they could be a little more specific than "outdoor". So is it ok for c
  17. Cubs aren't allowed to cook outside? Reference please.
  18. In our pack, it has been tradition that the Webelos pick a den name and emblem when they "graduate" to their second year of Webelos in June. This is when we give the boys in each den the handbook, neckerchief and slide of the new rank they are graduating into. Since the Webelos don't get a new book, slide, or neckerchief for their second year, their den emblem patch has become what the pack gives them. We actually let them have free reign, and have had resourceful parents create interesting patches using blanks and iron-on transfers, or even one mother who had an embroidery machine. Last
  19. PalmettoScouter, welcome! As another parent of a scout on the Autism spectrum, I want to encourage you not to give up. My son has Asperger's, as well as some other neurological and physical issues, and he has really prospered in scouting. He started as a Wolf, and just reached First Class as a Boy Scout. It took him three years in Boy Scouts to reach First Class (whereas most of his peers did it in one year), but that just makes me more proud of his accomplishments. Scouting has helped him do things I didn't think he would ever do. Learning to swim (a requirement for First Class) was
  20. Here's a question regarding Totin' Chip vs. Whittling Chip: (BTW, here's a good site on Totin' Chip as well: http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/boyscout/totinchip.asp) This actually came up last weekend at my older son's troop campout. If a Boy Scout earned his Whittling Chip as a Cub, but has not yet earned his Totin' Chip as a Boy Scout (because he just crossed over, not because he had it and lost it), would you still let him use his pocket knife? Obviously, using an axe or saw on his own (not part of instruction towards the Totin' Chip) would be out, but even though Tot
  21. Our pack meets once a month (a Friday night) and has another activity about every other month (sometimes more often). We have some traditional pack meetings that have the same theme every year: Dec is some form of outside entertainment (magician, animal show, planetarium visit, etc.) Feb is Blue & Gold March is Pinewood May is a family cookout June is a campfire graduation For our other meetings, we frequently use the themes suggested by national, even if we rearrange the order of them a bit. One of my Woodbadge ticket items this year has been to increase the level
  22. This year, our pack tried something new. Our town has a country fair in early September, and we arranged to have a recruiting event in conjunction with it at the firehouse next door to the park where the fair was happening. The event was called an "Egg Drop". Basically, kids package up a raw egg anyway they want to, within certain parameters; nothing in the packaging can be sharp or likely to shatter, and the entire package has to be less than something like 20 inches in circumference at it's widest point. The firefighters took the egg packages up 60 feet on the ladder truck, and dro
  23. "The prayer in question can hardly be considered Christian. It was very open: Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen." Well, then can you name any other religion other than Christianity whose adherents would say that prayer? Jews wouldn't. Besides the fact that the prayer is not in Hebrew, and is not one of the prescribed prayers of Judaism, they usually refer to God as "Lord". I have never, ever heard any Jewish prayer use the phrase "Almighty God", even in Hebrew. Muslims wou
  24. Perception often clouds facts. Bob, I offer you these observations; ignore them, disagree with them, or take them as food for thought, doesn't really matter much to me. 1. I think the *perception* of the last word comes from your posts often sounding like you are presenting yourself as the "final authority". I often get that impression, and I think other people do to. While I would hazard to guess that's not how they are intended, that is the perception. 2. Threads started by you often come off sounding like pedantic lectures, not "discussion starters". Again, this is my percept
  25. In February of this year, there were 5 stories that hit the national press of young (under 25) people killed for their sexuality and/or gender expression. The most shocking of these was Lawrence King, a 15-year-old who was shot in the head at school by a 16-year-old classmate because he wore feminine clothing and makeup. And those five are just the ones that got national media attention. That is what Day of Silence is about.
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