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Issue 435 – March 3, 2015

________________________________________ Dear Andy, While at the Philmont Training Center for a week-long session on advancement a few years ago—which overall was very good—we spent part of one day talking about getting a new Scout to First Class in his first year. This topic keeps coming up. I understand that somewhere it’s written that making First […]

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Issue 434 – February 24, 2015

________________________________________ Dear Andy, Does a troop have to accept any boy who wants to join? (Name & Council Withheld) “Have to” is an interesting way to phrase your question, so let me ask… What’s the situation that’s prompting the question? In other words, what’s “the question behind the question”? It’s prompted by a current decision […]

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Issue 433 – February 17, 2015

________________________________________ In my January 13th column (No. 431), in response to a reader’s comment about “lard-butt Eagle Scouts,” I responded, “Yup, pull-ups are still required for Personal Fitness merit badge.” I was right and wrong at the same time. Our USSSP resident expert on advancement requirements, Paul Wolf, mentioned to me that “actually, that is […]

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Issue 432 – February 10, 2015

________________________________________ Thanks to you loyal readers and great Scouters for being patient with me! Yup, took a vacation. But by the time I returned I had a major client assignment in my lap, so I did the unthinkable: I let my work come before my Scouting commitment! Egad! ======================================== Dear Andy, I’m in the midst […]

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Issue 431 – January 13, 2015

________________________________________ Dear Andy, A Life Scout in my troop informed me last week that his Eagle project was complete and that he’d like to have a Scoutmaster conference with me. While I was aware that the project was in the works, I was surprised to find out it had been completed, because no one in […]

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Issue 430 – January 7, 2015

________________________________________ Happy New Year Andy, As a regular reader, I’ve been able to serve as a more effective commissioner. I got a “paycheck” last night that I want to share with you. It was at an Eagle court of honor for a Scout that had needed help navigating around some adults. I used advice you’ve […]

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Issue 429 – December 30, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, I’m the Chartered Organization Representative and Committee Chair for our troop. I’m looking for the best way to communicate with the troop, the parents, and the troop committee. We have “Scoutlander” and it’s just not user-friendly. Some want “Scout Track,” but I don’t want advancement tracking because that’s done through our council […]

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Issue 428 – December 25, 2014

________________________________________ Hi Andy, I just gotta know! When can we expect to see more of “A Winter Tale”? You’ve done a great job with the first two parts. They remind me a lot of the old fiction stories about Scouts from about the time of WWI. (Bob Elliott, Northern Star Council, MN-WI) Thanks for asking. […]

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Issue 427 – December 23, 2014

________________________________________ Here’s what a reader recently had to say about Eagle Scouts… Most last-minute Eagles think the rank will help them in the future, particularly getting into the military academies. These last-minute opportunists dilute the accomplishments of real Eagle Scouts. I remember hearing, at a troop meeting, “Who’s that guy?” Turns out he was the […]

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Issue 426 – December 16, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, In our district, registration fees for district events are paid by having checks made out to an individual. The claim for doing this is so that the district, by circumventing the council’s accounting system, can have direct and instant access to the funds. But one of the results of this process is […]

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