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Alabama Scouter

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Everything posted by Alabama Scouter

  1. The dirtiest look I ever got at a camping trip was from a fellow adult (untrained). The adults had set up their fly and gear, and this dad's sons patrol was behind schedule because they put up personal gear first, then played, then started on their fly, after the rain had started. I was sitting in a chair working on something, and Mr. XXXX made a point of being seen going to help these boys erect the fly. It was a tense weekend after that, and I made a point to have a Thorns and Roses before we left, to clear the air. Never do anything a boy can do (or what a
  2. I agree with two cub, but for different reasoning. BSA is not Jr. ROTC, not the Army Reserve, not a paramilitary force. Yes, we need to teach how to do a proper flag ceremony, flag retirement, and flag etiquette, but no, we don't need to be teaching marching drills.
  3. My troop is getting ready for the Annual Program Planning Conference. We'll review what trips we made this last year, and review trips we had done in the past. We'll offer up suggestions for new trips, locations, venues, program that is not site specific. The PLC will make the selections, with review of me (SM), and I'll forward it on the the CC/TC for their blessing. I've been asking each patrol member to make their suggestions to their PL, so they have a voice in the process. I am the only adult in the room while the PLC is making their choices, as often times th
  4. We are pretty well geared up for camping. Patrols and individuals can check out troop tents and dutch ovens, and have to return them clean and dry. We have 5 nice tents, and the newer boys use them, the older scouts preferring to purchase their own [lighter] [larger] [single] fill in the blank type of tent. The troop QM is responsible for these, propane bottles, lanterns, tarps and the trailer. Patrol QM's are responsible for their patrol footlockers and the gear/food stuff, patrol cooking gear, skillets, plates, etc. that is in them. We've not had any abuse of gear, oth
  5. I think it may be an age thing. At the OA campfire this year at camp, the crowd was as well behaved as I have seen. It was nice. The callout was respectfully done, and the speakers explained as much as they could to the audience. If the boys are laughing and carrying on, it may just be that they are not ready for such an event. Setting up the stage for them may not quell the ants in their pants. I wonder if your OA event should be only with Boy Scouts?
  6. I wonder about this. "Best Practice" is a term that has entered industry, and now government agencies are making someones "best practice" everyone else's requirement. I wonder if someones "best practice" for their troop might not be the best idea for the next troop. With everyone on this forum in complete agreement about everything related to Boy Scouting, perhaps it won't be the problem I imagine!!
  7. SSScout; My troops food cost per meal is $3.00. I'm thinking about suggesting that they go to $2.00 for breakfast and lunch, and $3.00 for dinner. Why? Because at the last two or three camping trips, they have coolers and boxes FULL of unopened, untouched food. Boys don't need or want to eat as well as the Old Goat Patrol, whose food cost is more like $6.00 per meal. I abhor Mountain House. Good product, no knock on that at all. But for the camping that we do, the dried food isle at Target can supply everything we need and more. Transfer dried food into freezer zip lock bags
  8. WoundedFox; It has been my experience that the 3 merit badges which have the 90 day reporting requirement are the hard ones. Scouts don't like to write, and doing a task for 90 days and writing about it tears at their soul. Person Fitness, Personal Managment, Family Life.
  9. Should our answers to questions be the same, regardless who asks them? I think not. I was in the scout shop one day, and the gal working there was venting. A new scout parent/mom had just left, exasperated, with $110.00 in shirt and patches. She had to come back to the shop to find out where the patches went. She had asked the SM where the patches all go, and (I'm told) his reply was "Has your son asked his patrol leader?" He could have directed her to the inside of the handbook, to a mother of an older scout, or just answered her questions. What do you think this
  10. I just bought 3. Perhaps they are getting restocked faster than they thought.
  11. IMO, changing troops at this late date would be a mistake, unless things just go nuclear. Given the rocky history with the new SM's son, is an apology in order to either the son or the father, or both? Would this clean the slate and give you a re-set with this SM? Going over the SM may aggravate the situation. While going over him to the CC, COR, or Advancement Coordinator is the correct course of escalation, dealing with the issues up front and personal may be the best way to clear the air. If this does not work, I would advise changing troops. Keep working on your Pa
  12. Before I took over as SM, the CC and SM had agreed that the costs of camp outs would meet the lowest common denominator, in that if a scout could only afford a $10.00 camp out, that's all we did. This really limited where we went, how far we went, what we ate, etc. I always thought that was unfair to the balance of the troop, and deprived them of some good scouting opportunities. Since I've been SM, I've really pushed "earning their own way". If a scout hasn't sold popcorn, hasn't participated in other fund raisers we have, and he can't get his folks to pony up, he may not get to go!
  13. This is why you don't have dual CC and COR positions. Bad juju.
  14. My first spin thread. Just back from summer camp, and many troops wore matching tee's and the Field Uniform with special neckers, at breakfast and lunch. Field uniform being only required at dinner. At the end of camp, I asked the guys if they noticed the other troops, and told them they could "be that troop" next year. I was roundly shouted down. Each troop has its personality. Ours is laid back I suppose. We are 100% uniform, but not 100% of the time at camp. What does your troop do?(This message has been edited by Alabama Scouter)
  15. I don't do tent inspections, and won't, ever. The cleanliness I'm working on is in their minds. Boys having fun can get messy, and they're pigs at times, too. Had one new scout this year come to me about the ants in his tent. Went to have a look, and trail mix is all over the place. I explained to the young boy that he had invited the ants to dinner, and they had accepted. If he didn't want them to stay, he had to remove their dinner! He learned something that night. Had I forced him to clean up that morning, he may have not gotten that lesson. I require th
  16. Twocub, you knocked it out of the park. The camp experience is about team building, game playing (yes, Kemp and BS, here, too!), cooking in camp, and having a good time with each other. I'm distressed about Eagle required badges being dismissed in 3 hours of class time. Yes, 3 hours. Summer camp is one of the most important times in a scouts short time as a scout. I encourage all of my boys to go, and will continue to do so. This thread has helped me firm up a thought that has been bouncing around in my head for a long time. Summer camp should be about fun. Leatherwork. Carv
  17. I'm interested in what they come up with, too. We're working our way through a revised policy (None, to some, sometimes). The ball is in their court right now. Post again when you know more.
  18. All adult leaders should wear the uniform correctly. It should be known that wearing the complete uniform is expected. Complement patrols and the troop when they are in 100% uniform. Require 100% uniform for BOR's, when at summer camp and high adventure bases. They will respond!
  19. Tahawk, for completed cards, yes, the troop has their third of the card. The reason we assign merit badge counselors is to even out the work load on the MBC's we have. Of course some are more approachable than others, but if the scout had each choice, we'd drive that MBC away because of overwork. We work with the number of MBC's we have volunteer for the job. Part of the program is Adult Association, and this is a great way to work this into the program. Not everyone we deal with in life is a fuzzy teddy bear.
  20. 39, one inactive and which I should take the time to purge, as he's not coming back. No limits, but the TC has discussed how to implement a cap. No good way has been figured out yet, and probably never will. 4 full patrols. We usually have 80% at meetings, except for band concert nights. We have 75% or greater at camping trips. We set the camping dates in August for the next 13 months, and we don't move dates. This helps families plan around troop dates.
  21. If they are not, they should be. I've seen parents forge them, and the resulting controversy is not pretty. Blue Cards are a great way to teach the scout responsibility. In my troop, they are the ONLY record of the merit badge work in process (except for summer camp records). If the scout looses the card with partial signed off work, he's got to start over. Adults do not HOLD cards for scouts working on merit badges. That's the SCOUTS job (or mommies job). The troop does not have the partial completion records, and does not want to. When the SM signs the card, the MBC is known,
  22. I'll tell you what's fun. Fun is getting house hiding boys out into the woods, into summer camp, into canoes, into nylon tents deep in the woods, listening to the laughter of 30 scouts huddled under a rain fly, playing card games and box games. WFA training? $30.00 and 16 hours. Cost me a weekend. Well worth it, and anyone who camps should have it, IMHO. Mandate that you have it? No, but when you take it, you'll be glad you did, and want your other adults you camp with to have it as well. Yes, the rules are there, and more every year it seems. Deal with it and get the boys
  23. We camp at least 20 nights a year. Four years ago we had 31 nights, and it was excessive for us old men. We hit our two night campouts in the winter and spring, and one nighters during football season, as 90% of the troop is in band. We hit the OA events, two or three a year with the OA boys, and summer camp. We have 2-4 boys each year go to high adventure bases. We take off December and July camping trips, so it's 10 months of camping for us. We've found that if we're not camping, we're losing interest and advancement lags. (This message has been edited by Alabama Scouter)
  24. Prarie, the answer to your question is simple. Get your troop camping. 10 times a year. Summer camp. Provide opportunities for High Adventure bases. Know other scoutmasters that your boys can go with if your troop doesn't have enough boys to go to Philmont or Boundary Waters or Sea Base. Camp. Often. Simple.
  25. Was just at a sporting goods store, and North Face has a pair of zip off's, same green color, in rip stop synthetic, side patch pockets, and zippered fanny pocket. They looks nice.
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