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Everything posted by drhink

  1. Jay K said: 2. You can buy one that was made by a company, and is the exact same thing! 3. Alcohol IS dangerous: it is very hard to see the flame in conditions of direct sunlight. I've always felt that that fact is balanced by how easy it is to extinguish an alcohol fire with water. --- Regarding #2, that is true, HOWEVER, it is also possible to make an alcohol stove that is basically an open can of burning alcohol and not resemble any commercially made stove. Which directly relates to #3. By the time a Scout realizes the tuna can full of alcohol he knocked over in bright daylight w
  2. "It might be a fine line, but it's definitely there and it's a big difference." Sure Fred, there's a lot of running around in a dark room with loud music and smoke effects, and that certainly adds to the "fun" of laser tag. But your ultimate objective is aiming "a gun" at a person's vital zone and pulling the trigger. Fred, as an adult, I have no doubt the distinction between laser tag and firearm shooting is clear to you. But I wouldn't be very confident that 100% of 7-18 year old boys could explain what's different. Not trying to sound too harsh, but not everyone believes in t
  3. Fred, while you have strong personal feelings that the GSS ban on laser tag is misguided, as a long time firearms instructor, I respectfully disagree. Military and LE personnel often train with laser based firearm simulators. It provides excellent training with instant feedback on aim and muzzle control, especially while moving. Recreational laser tag is essentially the same except you can be "killed" repeatably after some short penalty time where your gun is disabled. It is a game that simulates shooting other people, period. And that is why the GSS bans it. If that makes my IQ lower th
  4. If you ask me, any plunger-style water pump/shooter/"gun" that doesn't resemble a firearm should be acceptable for scouts to use at camp. Going back to 1992, first there was the "Dip Stik" -- a big syringe made out of PVC pipe. They are still used today on river trips as bailing pumps and there are numerous plans the Internet on how to make something like them. A few years later in 1994, the straight handle was replaced with a more ergonomic angled handle as is still being sold today as the "Stream Machine Hydrobolic Water Launcher". Works as both a bilge pump and a water gun that can shoo
  5. Getting back to the OP's question, I think the best answers about what needs to be done were those that said it depends on the CO's policies. The whole thing stinks even though it doesn't sound like there was technically a BSA rule violated. The rule specifically says "at any activity", and the word "at" seems to imply some physical proximity. Unless of course the vehicle driver was listed on the tour permit as a driver. If something had happened on their little side trip, it was in connection with the scout camp activity, so there's potentially a real can of worms with your CO's and the B
  6. A few folks mentioned the Scout BSA dark green shirt was dropped in 1979. I know my memory isn't what it used to be, but I'm positive our summer camp staffs at BCMSR (Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation in Maryland) were wearing the dark green shirts through the early 80's as the standard staff uniform, and I don't remember anyone every saying they had trouble getting them (with the Scout BSA strip). Maybe the Baltimore Area Council just happened to have a bunch of left over inventory they sold to camp staff? Granted, only newer staff members would have been buying them, but a staff phot
  7. Our troop has a 37 page Troop Guidelines document. I'd say 50% of the content is geared toward the new parents and explains things like when we meet, when money is due, the types of gear recommended, etc. We do an bi-annual review to make sure there isn't anything inconsistent with the BSA publications. Or I should say, the scouts review it. Each of the four patrols gets 9 or so pages to review and provide any updates for the next year. I know it's a little sneaky, but each patrol's section get's an Easter egg inserted somewhere in the content. It's not all that sneaky because they know t
  8. I used to think if some of the adults drank alcohol but I didn't know about it or it was kept out of sight, then it wasn't a big deal. As eisely said, "I want to be sure that adults are fully capable of responding to any emergency". A funny thing about emergencies: they don't always give you much advanced warning. Once you've had to do an evacuation at 2:30 AM due to sudden severe weather that's ripping trees apart in your campsite, you realize you need every adult on deck and 100% functional. I will not take a chance on someone that cannot put the potential needs of the group abo
  9. It seems bugling at scout events has gone the way of the sock garter. I still have my nickle plated Rexcraft "Official BSA" bugle along with a Rexcraft brass army "beater" I carried on camp outs as a youth. I don't play them very often any longer, but I won't part with them. Too much sentimental value. There always seem to be scout and army bugles for sale on EBay, so if you can get one in decent shape for say under $50, maybe invest in one for your troop and see if there's any takers to borrow it. I'd avoid some of the newer cheap bugles from China and India - I've heard nothing but bad
  10. Instead of whining about what you can't do, figure out what you can do. Just get a little creative. Ever play soccer with water guns and a beach ball? Works in a pool, in a field, or a parking lot, and shooting water at an inflatable ball is not contrary to GSS. And everybody gets wet, intentional or not. Just make sure you have some rules in place so nobody gets hurt. In the time it takes to read this entire thread, most of you could have invented at least a half dozen games involving water guns where the primary target isn't another person and the probability of staying dry is zero.
  11. OGE - "Time to dump the uniform, wear a neckerchief and be done with it" I think if you go around wearing just a neckerchief it would be pretty drafty, not to mention the unwanted attention you'd get from law enforcement...
  12. ScoutMomma wrote, "I bet it's the parents who either don't have the funds or don't see the point." I think it's more of the latter. I hear some of these families complain about spending money on a scout uniform yet we know they think nothing of plunking down $ 50 - 100 bucks PER SEASON for football or baseball uniforms and gear. Not to mention what we hear is spent on the kid's cell phone, XBox with tons of $50 games for it, ipod, etc. It's all relative. I think that was the part gnawing at the back of my mind when I created this thread: How do you get the parents "on board" and make
  13. Eagle92 - our store is at council headquarters, run by BSA national employees (yellow loopers), so I'm not sure if that answers your question. I was assured that the red jac-shirts are not going away, but they did transition from the old product numbers to new ones to reflect the new XS thru 5XL sizing. It's possible that someone assumed they were being discontinued when the old product numbers got whacked and re-orders were disabled on them in the supply order system. In this case, there are new product numbers taking there place, but not one-for-one, since there used to be more granular s
  14. Hi - new to the forum, but not new to scouting. Also been involved w/ ARC health & safety instruction with some bouts of aquatics safety as well over the past 20 years. Currently I'm an ASM with my son's troop. I tend to run on the old-school side of things, as you'll see from my posts. I've adopted the ARC philosophy of "Teach to the standard, measure to the objective". I seem to encounter a lot of scouts and scouters that get lost pursuing standards but don't seem to really know the program objectives. I figure if just one person gains some insight from something I say, then my time
  15. NJCubScouter asked: "does anyone actually have any BSA literature that says the Troop Committee CANNOT require a uniform?" Yes. "No council, district, troop, or individual has the authority to add to or subtract from any advancement requirement." (Troop Committee Guidebook) I recall it's also in the advancement policies, but someone 'borrowed' my copy a while ago. The rank requirement simply says "Complete a Board of Review". In the scout handbook, a scout is advised a board of review is simply a "talk" and "review" that he has met the requirements. Throwing in a specific de
  16. Old_OX_Eagle83 - let me clarify what I meant. As the text you quoted from the Special Regulations says, the red jac-shirt is designated "official jacket" only by the OA. There's a reason the jac-shirt is under the "Apparel" category on the scout shop and not under the "Uniform" category. Our scout shop sells a variety of jackets, and any that don't already have a scout emblem on the left chest pocket area can have one sewn on to make it acceptable for wear with the uniform under the Special Regulations. At one point years ago (but nobody I've asked seems to know exactly when), the red
  17. (Spun off from the thread on "half uniforming"): When a unit has condoned lax uniforming for a period of time, it can be a real uphill battle to get it back on track. Even after showing pictures and video from a national jamboree, you find people (generally parents) that resist full uniforms as the norm. If you have managed to overcome this resistance to wearing full uniforms at meetings and unit activities, I'd love to hear the things you did that worked (and maybe what didn't).
  18. Wasn't this post about half uniforms? Maybe it's time to spin off a new thread about hand salutes and handshakes... I think the thread title says it all: "half uniform[]". Seems pretty clear by definition what it is or isn't. Just a scout shirt or just scout pants doesn't make a full uniform. Personally, I'd prefer to see a scout come to a meeting in half a uniform instead of no uniform, and full uniform over half a uniform. If I see a scout wear his scout shirt with his baseball pants knowing he came directly from his game, it shows the kind of effort we all hope for. But a unit s
  19. There's a separate thread about the red jackets, so you might want to read it. They are not being discontinued, but the sizing has been "simplified" to replace the old even numbered chest sizing to make inventory simpler to maintain. Only a couple of the old sizes are still available at a closeout price online. Our scout shop sells a flannel-lined red nylon windbreaker for $10 (like an athletic coach type jacket), so even with the cost for a universal emblem patch to add to it, it's an economical alternative if the course director says "you must have a red jacket". Perhaps not as warm
  20. drhink

    Fake Uniform

    I meant right pocket... but when I look at YOUR shirt, it's left ;-)
  21. drhink

    Fake Uniform

    I don't think trying to make a generic tan shirt into a scout uniform shirt would be worth the trouble unless it already had epaulets, and even then there's still the issue of getting a BSA strip to go above the left pocket - which would require a "donor" official shirt so you still need to get an official shirt, right? There are lots of good condition used uniforms floating around, so even in cases of financial hardship, getting an official shirt shouldn't be an excuse for "making" one. If it's a question of simply not liking the official shirt, keep in mind there are 3 different offici
  22. The size chart on the web site is completely wrong in the Jac-Shirt table. The older "sized" jackets on clearance in 38-L and 42-L are what they say they are. The table is meant for the current S-M-L type sizing, and is incorrect. A staff person at my local scout store was aware the size chart is wrong, and said just go by the "General Jacket/Vests" part of the table. So if a 38-L or 42-L works for you, you are still in luck for $19.99 as of today anyway. Also, the red jackets are NOT being discontinued, according to the same store staff person. Between the WB folks and Philmont crews
  23. drhink

    Merit Badge Sash

    I just recently noticed one of our troop's scouts that took a relatively unique approach to arranging his merit badges on his sash. He placed them three across, but not in rows perpendicular to the edge of the sash. His rows were angled such that they were level when the sash is worn, and by being at such an angle, it allowed for the patches to be spaced slightly apart rather than having all the edges touching as seems to be the case when the rows are done perpendicularly. When the sash was worn, each patch was properly rotated so the top was the highest point. It looked very nice since the
  24. Scoutfish asked regarding CPR certification "Is there an adult patch or insignia available for adult leadership to wear on there uniforms?" I think I answered that in my previous post. Yes, there is a somewhat ugly patch currently still available on closeout, and it is a generic CPR patch for scouts or scouters to wear on their right shirt pocket. And there is an Emergency Preparedness pin that can be earned where CPR/AED & First Aid certification can meet one of the requirements. But no patch, pin or other insignia provides anyone "authority" in a volunteer first responder situ
  25. Desertrat: Really? You honestly believe "the more rules there are, the less any are followed." The original poster asked if there was a "proper", and the first response was correct in saying "no". There are two ways people go against the IG standards: 1. things done incorrectly with the uniform because of not knowing the correct standard, and 2. things knowingly disregarded. The latter reason for deviating from the IG has absolutely nothing to do with how many "rules" there are. When I see scouters disregard something they KNOW is part of the uniform / IG policy, I perfectly
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