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Double Eagle

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  1. Double Eagle

    Religious Letter for Eagle Rank written by a parent

    This is a touchy issue with me as two brother scouts in the 70s, that recruited me, never made eagle as they didn't go to church. They were the best scouts around that I knew of. One even helped me when I broke my leg in three places...longer story for another thread. They had all the skills, BSA gear, summer camps, and OA participation. That one active attendance "duty to god" piece kept them out. It was disheartening to see them scout from 12-18 yrs old, earn all the good stuff, and turned away. No leader or adult came to their aid. That was the late 70s, but times change or do they?
  2. Double Eagle

    First Aid Kit Gadget: Tick Remover

    Tick keys work around here. Almost as essential as well...the essentials. Its like a knife, ask a group of scouts to raise their hand if they have one, and all hands go up.
  3. Double Eagle

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    In the south, mosquitos were out even in January. Mild temperatures allow for easy winters and hearty bugs. While regular sprays work mostly, we used to put Avon "skin so soft" on and it worked great. I don't know if it is even around any more. While at a stationary site, a Thermacell is now the going option. Most campers and hunters in L.A (Lower Alabama) carry these and consider them an essential. Permethrin is sprayed on clothes for ticks and chiggers. Chiggers are the worst. This yankee growing up in Michigan didn't know what a tick or chigger did until entering Alabama. For those without this critter, chiggers are the number one evil. Seed ticks follow, and big old wood/dog ticks are easy. As for buying permethrin, as described above, getting it at a tractor supply type store in 16 or 32 oz and mixing it is the way to go. I have a 3 gallon sprayer that makes it easy.
  4. Double Eagle

    Religious Letter for Eagle Rank written by a parent

    This is going to be touchy issue. My first response is for a parent/grandparent/guardian not to write the religious letter for their child. You already support the child and it shows if they made it this far. Whether an "active" church goer, or not, there are other ways duty to god can be displayed. One of the most generic in a troop could be the troop chaplain position. Used correctly, that could be the only duty done. We never asked denomination or attendance records of the troop chaplain. Level of devotion and duty is measured differently in everyone. Some showboats have to show and tell everyone what they do and when. I know some quiet professionals that are the best at their craft, as others always tell of their skills and efforts. You don't have to be in the first pew to believe. Some of the most religious people I've seen have been the most quiet and humble. It all comes down to what that scout believes and does. Their view of religion will grow, morph, and can change with age, life, and experience. What and how they deliver duty will change from time to time. No easy right or wrong in this topic, except for recommending the parent/grandparent/guardian seek assistance from a religious leader.
  5. As I was browsing the scout shop on line today looking to uniform my new Tiger granddaughter, it came to me what goofed up Cub Scout uniforms we have. Each Cub rank specific hat is $15, rank specific belt buckles are $7, specific slides are $6, and socks are $6. Why the heck are Cubs getting a new batch of uniform items each year? How about just changing the neckerchief and letting it go with that. That item is only $10. Early 90s, all Tigers wore were the orange tiger shirt with earned paw prints, as they were just trying out scouts. We nickel and dime (really $5 and $10) our adults each year needlessly. How about Scouts BSA get one cub hat, belt, socks, and slide, to wear during their tenure as a cob, much like the troops. How about cubs wearing out a uniform rather than just getting a new one each year. BSA does some really questionable stuff and the cub uniform is just one that gets me shaking my head. If national wants to see the real deal on uniforms, they should take a hard look at the Webelo and why they wear non-fitting shirts that will carry them through Scouts. They may be Webelo first years, but often wear a youth medium. Adults just don't want to hand out money like that... a scout is thrifty, but hard to say that when everything is so highly priced. With today's prices on scouting, I would never been able to scout back when I started. Cubs had the blue uniform and hat throughout. Scouting had the olive green uniforms that were handed down or traded, gear was homemade, neckerchief slides were made, lower income families could scout without feeling lower income. As a lower income scout, I thought my tin can mess kit, spoon from home, and hand-me-down uniform was great. It was about the activities and not where or how much your gear cost.
  6. Double Eagle

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    This takes me back to boy scout sheath knives and hatchet on belts. We had similar issues back then. Although different and uses differ, my weathered experience tends to lean toward allowing them. The best thing I suggest is educate, enforce, and praise limited use of phones and electronics. I've seen units set aside 15 minutes of call times when parents and scouts were available. We have parents as "separated" and needing the contact as the scout. Phones are not going away, better to fnd a way to work positive into our programs.
  7. Double Eagle

    Why are Cub Scout uniforms and universal clothing items?

    That is great news and the right direction. As we look at back-to-school nights, the worst question is how much will everything cost. The sooner the better on this change. Just another example, the wood badge woggle is cheaper than the boy scout metal and cub scout neckerchief slides...hhmmm? The embroidered neckerchiefs online are the same price as silk screen printed ones. You gotta wonder.
  8. Double Eagle

    Scouts Make $$ Auctioning Elk Antlers

    I got to see this in action in 2005. This is a great win for everyone. How cool it would be to run the refuge and gather antlers. So much for popcorn. This district has the right way to go about getting funded with a renewable source each year. In addition to elk antlers, there are a lot of other things available to find. There are skeletal parts from winter kills, deer antlers, and all kinds of things to keep scouts bug eyed. I applaud the refuge directors and scouts in getting this continued. If only more districts and councils could do things similar. One council that comes to mind that could do this is the "last frontier" council in Oklahoma. They have the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in their backyard. It has elk and buffalo. Visitors are not allowed to remove anything from the refuge, but I've seen buffalo and elk skeletons near some of the hiking paths. They have a free range longhorn cattle herd that is pretty big too. If scouts worked a deal with the refuge to gather items like in Jackson, it may benefit both organizations. I could also see scouts in Michigan and the northwest working with the DNR for salmon run processing each year. Michigan DNR used to filet salmon if you donated the eggs. I would pay a fee for them and scouts to filet salmon.
  9. Double Eagle

    Flat Council Support fee coming to your unit?

    Ok, I'm stone axe dumb on what is being stressed. First, I don't want to get started on how scouting is turning into a rich scouts game. So much is being stressed over fund raising that no emphasis is placed on the program to deliver. Most scouters are tired of pushing popcorn and rightly so. Our council does a fund raising card in addition to popcorn. I met a new cub parent at the local scout office and they were in sticker shock after buying her cub a uniform. As a scout, I had to sell "Scout-o-Rama" tickets and that was it. We rarely ever went camping outside the one council camp. Just as we grow with girls and the program, we start dipping into pockets for even more money. I'd hate to see what a family with 2 or 3 scouts pays for one year of scouting. If we in scouting continue to just raise prices without any checks and balance, we will lose our program. I'd hate to start selling cookies.
  10. Double Eagle

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Agree about getting the adults to understand and even create an adult patrol. An old goat patrol may be fun. Have the adults do everything like a patrol would do, especially on an outing. They can have an adult patrol leader and positions per se. The patrol emphasis has way more contact and interpersonal communication and interaction with the individual scout. Depending on the ages and/or rank of the troop, you have a lot of options on how to structure events. While stressing patrol methods, I've seen where ranks like star, life, or eagle have troop level activities. We pulled all star scouts to set up the ice cream social, life scouts can stay up with a fire until midnight, etc. These rank associated events are not to take away from any patrol method, as a patrol can be assigned the same task. The only afford a unit a time to bring those ranked scouts out of the patrols for troop support and another opportunity for leadership development. Patrol flags, cheers, and events only stress the use of patrols. For any negatives about woodbadge, the patrols and patrol methods are strongly followed and stressed.
  11. Double Eagle

    Snake bites victimize parents as much as campers

    I hope there is a special final resting place for those that prey on the masses. The price markup by big pharm companies is criminal. It just goes to show the tyranny of benefitting from another's misfortune. Kind of like how the elderly cannot afford insulin and other drugs on their limited income. Now that is one thing I do believe needs overhauled and fixed by working class types, not wealthy politicians claiming everything should be given.
  12. Double Eagle

    Interesting observation - rank advancement

    I've scouting in other countries and even picked up a few turk's head woggles made of different material, from yute to leather. My two cents is the WB woggle should only be worn with the WB neckerchief. If any youth can make a turk's head, go scout! I've seen many with paracord of colors to signify patrols too. I believe the initial WB woggle leather is related to the tread powered sewing machine cord, about the same stuff. I did have to come the rescue of one new adult that made a woggle while at summer camp. She was so proud until some WB'er told her she couldn't wear any woggle. We had an interesting discussion with this WB'er. Like so many other scouts, I think this scout saw a cool item like a woggle and got one too. We've seen this throughout scouting where the scouts emulate what scouters do. Hiking staffs, camping gear, uniform items, and menus come to mind.
  13. Double Eagle

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    My troop was labeled like this in the late 70s, early 80s. We didn't have 12 in a year, but had maybe 3 per year when only 1% of scouts were earning it. We had a great program as a troop, lodge, and council. Never new of a district existing. We had the Mackinac honor guard each summer and is still going on today. Had a large group go to the National Jamboree, international camping in Canada, and every other year a group from council went to Philmont. It was the norm to have troop members on summer camp staff and to see eagles awarded often. It kept us motivated, as it was obtainable. None of us every thought we wouldn't become eagles. The encouragement, resources, and structure allowed us to excel. With this said, most of our eagles obtained the rank at about the 16+ or 17yr mark. We never had an eagle under 16yrs. We weren't pushed or put in a headlock to advance, our pace and fun was stressed.
  14. Daydreaming of the past weekend with scouts, families, and the OA event, I got to thinking about all the discontinued items that I found were helpful with my two eagle scout sons. Now that I have grandchildren entering scouts, I broke out some older discontinued items I thought were great and treasure today. The first batch that comes to mind are the information bandanas like 40 knots, animal tracks, first aid, and the night sky. They are missed and were useful back in the day. Tooth of Time traders carries a couple versions, but are hard to find elsewhere. A couple other discontinued items I miss are Ulster and Camillus knives. The ones now are made in china. Victorinox makes about the best scout knife out there for scouts, glow in the dark. We miss the skill awards, scout harmonica, green jack-shirt, vittl-kit, metal box or white pocket first aid kit, fire by friction kit, boy scout hygiene kit, plumb hatchet, zebco red/white fishing reels, signal kits, and were able to buy hot pot tongs, reflector ovens, cook pots and chef kits from scout shops. Miss those days and items. Seems the hot spark has held on, but not in the plastic pouch like before. A few things went away without being missed. The late 70s red trucker cap. The metal signal mirror that was good for a summer camp and then was so scratched it made you a Picasso painting. Goofy boy scout flashlights that took D batteries, required a smack to work, and put out about 10 lumens is thankfully gone. BSA Buster Brown shoes (I had normal BB ones once as a bobcat, but I've seen the BSA types in catalogs ) that don't seem practical today. I won't miss the BSA travel tooth brush, spats, or folding garrison cap.
  15. With all the talk about the best gear, tips, and hacks to take to summer camp, I got to thinking what is the worst or most outrageous things you have seen taken to camp? We all know about the usual stuff of Rambo knives, flame throwers, fireworks, but I've seen some that made me say what the heck? From giant stuffed animals, family pets, TVs, to a week's worth of food because they didn't like the camp food, what have you seen.
  16. Double Eagle

    Worst things you seen taken to summer camp

    I must have had all the "different minded" scouts as a youth and adult. Without listing every wild thing they did, another one was bringing a huge fantasy axe like from lord of the rings. The thing was novelty and could never get an edge. The axe was almost as big as the scout and I don't think he could have swung it 10 times. Now that scout had confidence.
  17. Double Eagle

    Worst things you seen taken to summer camp

    Keep them coming. I had a scout bring iron leg traps as he said there was a lot of muskrats around the canoe pond and no one was trapping them. We had a talk about trapping seasons, scout camp, and impact of processing animals in camp. Such is scouting in the great north woods of the Adirondacks.
  18. Double Eagle


    As I revisited this thread, I was thinking about how to compromise the heritage with rules. How about making a viking or hammer patrol, there used to be a patrol patch for it. A patrol cheer with a fist hitting an open palm could signify a hammer and anvil. As the Viking is pretty popular, items for the patrol are endless.
  19. Double Eagle

    Trailer Recommendation

    After reading the thread and looking back, a few things come to mind. First is whether a closed trailer is labeled or just left blank. I've seen several times full trailers stolen or broken into. These advertised the unit and chartered org. Shame on those that stole it, or broke into it. MacBrave has a blank trailer that wouldn't let out a scout troop uses it... no offense. I like the blank ones like I like the blank trucks not advertising a hunter owns it. I am all about secrecy and not advertising what we do or have. I could see a better way to advertise the unit by having car door magnet signs that go on for outings and off the rest of the time. The second thought on trailers is how have multiple trailers vs one big one. I'm inclined to think like gear in a backpack. Where we use a bag of bags, a couple small trailers create options on how they are used, where they can park or get access, and don't have to haul unnecessary gear. In the north, we used one small trailer for hauling Klondike derby sleds build from old skis and wood, 4 patrol sleds took up a small 5X8 trailer. The last thought is about just how much stuff we drag to outings. The norm of car/truck camping seems to have a giant troop awning with a pile of poles. I'm more of a minimalist I guess and like the thought of tents, packs, dining fly, and small chuck box. I try not to shake my head at a 3X4 foot gas griddle and tailgating challenge of camping, as everyone has different camping preferences. Like hammocks vs tents...that is another post for another time.
  20. Double Eagle


    Digging into the uniform guide and since it was mentioned above, I turned to the "special regulation" section about wearing multiple patched on jackets on page 11. It says only one patch on the back of jackets. But as reality sets into today's word, the red wool jacket is now the gray beard jacket. Today's youth are not interested in it. In lieu of a brag vest, hide, or blanket, if a scout wants to put them all over a jacket, so be it. There are bigger issues in scouting that need attention than busting a scouts pride. Its sometimes hard to get scouts to wear the uniform outside an event.
  21. Double Eagle


    One of my favorite topics. First, about every woodbadge bead wearer takes pride in their earned beads, neckerchief, and woggle. I've never seen anyone having a problem with that wear at any function. I do keep them available and wear them often. With that said, I have a lot of neckerchiefs going back to 1978 when I was just a tenderfoot. At long term camps I like to wear a different one daily, and change the slide daily too. I think the 30+ slides say a lot and bring up conversation as an ice breaker with new scouts. I like to wear the frying pan slide when I'm doing a dutch oven demo. Indian or arrowhead during OA events. If the unit wears a unit neckerchief, I tend to wear theirs like the unit. As a youth, we were cool when we stashed the neckerchief and started wearing bolos. I wore many a long time, but now the coolness has worn off. Mine hang for good measure or when a neckerchief may get troublesome. As a district scouter, I tend to wear the neckerchief to events. I like to refer to all the uses of it, much like the military cravat or triangle bandage use. We used to do first aid training with our neckerchiefs. Here is where I may turn everyone against me. In my youth in high school, I was wearing my uniform with neckerchief when a few high schoolers started running their mouth about BSA and me in my uniform. Long story-short: It came down to "just because I wear the boy scout uniform, doesn't mean I can't kick your *!*". That kind of settled it without going further. Oh, our youth days. Sometimes the 12 points of the scout law can conflict each other in situations like this. This case: Friendly vs. Brave. Brave won.
  22. Double Eagle

    Neckerchief Slide

    Any slide they make with a 3/4" - 1" should be great. I have a box of slides I rotate through. I tend to use the lightest slides for action activities where the banging around won't knock me out if it loosens up. The bigger and bulkier ones are more for idle time. In a pinch, I've seen a key ring used. There is no right or wrong slide unless it keeps falling off. I think slides and knives are most lost items of a scout.
  23. I would be more in favor of waiting and attending summer camp. Attending another council's WB gives them the support to continue with their program, while taking your council's need away. Without the need, your council may change and do it less frequent. I've seen some early scouters take WB and try to check the block and gather knots. They were good for a short term, but not the long haul. I managed to go to WB about 18yrs after my eagle. It is personal development that has to be done at a good time and opportunity. No pressure to go or finish a ticket in a month, self paced I guess is right. I've seen one unit that was luck enough to have volunteer leader training of all levels paid if attended within the council. It sure set a good tone to be trained as time permits. One aspect many people forget is not only do some have to pay for the course, but also the time off work may be time off without pay also, so the cost is compounded.
  24. Double Eagle

    Ideas for Wood Badge gift

    Anything with their patrol critter is great. I've seen their "ticket" framed beside their woodbadge completion certificate. Tasteful gag gifts are good too. The BSA has a myriad of WB items that would be great.
  25. Double Eagle


    You may want to contact the Kandersteg International Scout Center in Switzerland per their website. As an American, I've been there a couple of times and they host summer and winter programs with scouts from a lot of countries. They also have a neckerchief and patch trade on the side like most scouting events.