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desertrat77 last won the day on October 28 2017

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About desertrat77

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  1. Boy Scout Handbook, Seventh Edition, Seventh Printing, January 1971, page 39: "A Scout is TRUSTWORTHY" "A Scout's honor is to be trusted. If he were to violate his honor by telling a lie or by cheating or by not doing exactly a given task, when trusted on his honor, he may be directed to hand over his Scout badge." Well, you can imagine how society would react today if a scout was directed to turn in his scout badge. For any reason. For some, lectures and encouraging words don't have much impact. Stronger consequences are sometimes needed to change behavior. Cutting off that corner, or, back in the day, turning in a badge--that might be the day the scout reconsiders his actions. And changes his life for the better.
  2. District meetings - what's the point?

    Excellent news, and congratulations! Not only for your leadership and troop's success, but the good fortune of having a properly functioning RT staff. Unfortunately, in the several districts I've been in over the years, I've rarely seen a RT operate the way it's supposed to. Common practices: 1. Someone reading announcements word for word. 2. Pitches for financial contributions. 3. Same old rants from the same old guys/gals. 4. Sullen silence if you ask a question and you aren't part of the in-crowd. 5. Bone-weary unit volunteers who attend because its expected of them, despite a long day at work, hunger, family needs, etc. 6. Long winded commissioners and execs who love to wax eloquent, winding and unwinding the thread of their discourse. As I mentioned earlier, we don't have RTs in my present district. Instead we have one short district meeting a month, combining district staff and unit scouters. It matches pretty close with the positive aspects of your RTs.
  3. Separate. The second I self reported.
  4. So I had two corners cut off my totenchip when I was a scout. I wasn't traumatized. A little embarrassed, yes. I learned my lesson and pressed forward, somehow managing to become a functioning, productive citizen. What's different in 2018?
  5. Troop 50 Tomfoolery at Pound Ridge, NY. 1969

    This story was posted in '06, but it's too good to languish in the archives. Brian only made two posts, both gems!
  6. Camp Toquam 1970-75

    After reflection.... I'm sorry I didn't catch Brian's (OP) stories back in '06. I would have sent him a note encouraging more. (For those interested, Brian has one other post, another great camping story.) Both of Brian's posts are pure gold to me, for a variety of reasons. Primarily, he makes a great point: scouting isn't always a neat, picture-perfect experience. Lots of errors. Grime. Half cooked meals. Half baked leaders. Eccentric personalities. Etc. Rarely does it match the Norman Rockwell paintings I respect so much. Many of us stayed in scouting in spite of it. As OldScout mentioned, change the names and locations, and Brian's experiences still ring true (for me, it was '74 onward). Even when things aren't going right, scouts still get something out of the program--if they stick with it. And I'm not speaking of rank or resume filling type events. Those who endure the challenges learn a variety of lessons that will pay dividends for a lifetime. I've got several camporee, freezeree, and summer camp patches that still make me smile. Not because they were well organized, positive experiences. Definitely not because I was such an outstanding scout. Quite the contrary! I value what they symbolize. What I experienced. And learned. A toast to Mr. Brian Maher! With my deepest respect.
  7. Our Council's New Gender Inclusive Branding

    Agreed! Once they cross over, put them in a regular patrol. Yes, there will be bumps, bruises, growing pains, confusion and mistakes. But that's how we grow. And at the end of the day, the best memories! Long ago (before the NSP concept), my first patrol was a regular group of scouts who adopted me as one of their own. At the age of 11, I was finally a Boy Scout and not a "little kid." I felt 10 feet tall. Family moved shortly thereafter. New troop, all the newbies are dumped in the Eagle patrol. It was demoralizing. We didn't learn a darn thing and we were treated like little kids.
  8. Our Council's New Gender Inclusive Branding

    Fred, you are spot on. I think an example of the over-focus on advancement is the constant hype concerning the Eagle rank (Eagle94 mentioned this earlier). "X Eagle Scouts are in the Olympics" and "Y Eagle Scouts are playing in the Super Bowl." I think it would be more impressive--and scout-like--to report the total number of scouts participating, instead of just the number of Eagles.
  9. District meetings - what's the point?

    We don't have roundtables in our small, rural district. All of our district staff, except for our exec, also serves in a role (or two) in a local unit. We have a district meeting once a month. Unit scouters not on the staff are invited as well. Sometimes the turn out is good, sometimes not. We cover topics that are particular to both traditional district staff meetings and RTs. It works for us. RTs are a great idea. But when it comes to actually executing them...not so much. Most people are busy and usually it's just another meeting, despite good intentions.
  10. Camp Toquam 1970-75

    I was thinking the same thing.
  11. Agreed. Let me amend my sentence: " But much of the old stuff will still work--if need be." Old stuff, be it procedure or gear. Or people - Example: trek poles. I've had several people tell me with a straight faced that I must use trek poles. Yes, the science is in their favor. And the personal testimony is impeccable. But "must?" I'm all for better choices. But I still can't resist thinking about the old time scouts that went to Philmont before us--with Yucca packs (on homemade wooden frames), canvas Explorer tents, etc. My stuff in '77 was positively modern by comparison.
  12. GR, I'm reading your gear link as we speak, and learning from/enjoying it. Perhaps I should clarify. My comments were for the gear discussion in general and the official Philmont gear list specifically. And I'm not advocating taking blue jeans on the trail, for example. I just find interesting how past practices and procedures are viewed today.
  13. I always enjoy gear discussions (no sarcasm), truly. However, I'm still wrapping my brain around the Philmont gear list as I prep for a trek this summer. And the rationale behind it all. Sometimes this ranges from "darn good idea" to a dire "you must carry X or you will die." Good intentions, no doubt, but I still return mentally to my trek in '77. - Backpack cover: never used one as a scout. Everything in the pack was in ziplocks or a trashbag. Pack got wet--didn't effect me at all. - Poncho: carried a heavy green poncho from Yellow Front, solid rubber. Worked okay. If I got wet, I eventually dried. - Microfibers/fleece/stocking cap/etc: if memory serves, my clothing list comprised 2 cotton tshirts, 1 official scout shirt, 1 sweat shirt, 1 pair blue jeans. Sure, I was uncomfortable/wet/cold at times but I made it. - Two 1-quart GI canteens. - Heavy sleeping bag, six lbs at least. - Boots: official GI issue. At $17 dollars for a new pair, they worked quite well. Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying many of the new innovations. But much of the old stuff will still work.
  14. OA and the aboriginal cultures

    Okay, I'll be specific in this post. How is the OA disrespectful when some Native American nations approve of certain OA lodges using their traditions, garb, and ceremonies?
  15. Origin of the Eagle Pledge and Eagle Charges

    Re the Eagle's nest, asking all Eagles to stand, etc: Maybe it's just me, but as the years slip by, I have become increasingly uncomfortable when I'm recognized for something I earned 40 years ago. There is no need to congratulate me, or pat me on the back. The new Eagle, other Eagles in his family, Eagles he climbed the trail with--great, put the spotlight on them. But random old dude like me? No thanks.