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Issue 438 – April 1, 2015

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STUMPERS!  Did you ever get asked a question that you’re just not sure how to answer? I’ve had a few, so I thought I’d share them with you. Maybe you can come up with an answer. Here we go…

Dear Andy,

I’ve heard that a new merit badge—Hunting—will require bagging small game and migratory birds, and then cooking them. Can the cooking also count for Cooking merit badge? (Hal Facre, Missouri Breaks Council, MT)

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Dear Andy,

Our troop is traveling to northern Norway—“The Land of the Midnight Sun”—this summer for a week of camping at an international Scouting event. Several of our Scouts are very worried about completing Camping merit badge req. 9(a), which specifically says “Camp a total of at least 20 nights…” because, during our stay in northern Norway, the sun doesn’t actually set, so that there aren’t any “nights.” What do they do? Does this mean that this camping trip can’t be counted toward this requirement? (Ben Messin, Georgia Peach Council, GA)

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Hi Andy,

My Scoutmaster caught me chopping a live tree with my hatchet and told me to hand him my Totin’ Chip because he was going to cut a corner off of it. But when he tried to do this, his knife blade was dull and he slipped and cut the end of his left thumb off. Should I have asked him for his own Totin’ Chip and cut a corner off of his… After I handed him a Band Aid (TM) I mean? (Fred Fragilhoof, First Class Scout)

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Dear Andy,

Our daughter, Jamie, is a real tomboy. So, when she said she wanted to be a Boy Scout, we said okay. The troop was cool with this and everything’s been going fine for the past two years. Then last week they elected her to the Order of the Arrow, and we’ve heard that during the Ordeal weekend Scouts run around wearing just breechcloths or loincloths. Jamie’s all for it and ready to go, but we’re not so sure. What do we do? (Happy Scout Parents—until now—in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ)

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Dear Andy,

My son’s Den Leader is an excellent outdoorsman and avid hunter. A new game he taught our son and his den-mates is a shotgun shell re-loading relay. Is this a BSA-approved activity? (Maude Lin, Buckshot Alley Township, PA)

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Dear Andy,

While on a camping trip two weeks ago, my son and his patrol saved their Scoutmaster’s life. It seems he was a tad “under the influence” when Snake (he likes the boys to call him “Snake”) drove his pickup truck off a dirt road and rolled it down an embankment, where it ended “wheels up” in a deep stream. The patrol dropped their gear, jumped into the stream, and dragged him out of the truck’s crushed cab before it filled with water. When we reported this to our council, to see if maybe there’s a “heroism” award for these boys, we were told we needed corroboration by an adult. But the Scoutmaster was the only adult present and he is claiming that, because he was stone drunk, he doesn’t remember anything. Is there any recourse? It would be a shame if these kids weren’t recognized for their bravery. We think the council’s being unreasonable because of the other incident on this camping trip, but the Scouts have already explained that they had nothing to do with all those tents burning down. (Scout Dad, Nascar Area Council, AL)

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Dear Andy,

Our son is afraid of stars, which is why he’ll only go on day hikes with his troop; never overnight camp-outs and definitely no summer camp because he can’t sleep, and is sometimes even subject to panic attacks, unless there’s a solid roof over his head. But he needs Camping merit badge to make Eagle. So, is it okay if he sets up his tent on our basement and sleeps there? Would that count? (Name & Galaxy Withheld)

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Dear Andy,

My son’s Scoutmaster is a really great guy, extra friendly, and all the Scouts really like him, especially since he doesn’t like to be called by his last name, like “Mister Jones” or “Mister Smith.” He thinks this is way too formal for a good Scoutmaster-to-Scout relationship. He prefers the Scouts call him “Mister” and his first name, which is William. Okay so far, except that he prefers his nickname, which is Willie. Something just seems “off” here, or is it me? (Concerned Scout Mom)

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So there you have it, folks… My Stumpers for 2015. Any ideas? If you’d like to help out, just write back!

Happy Scouting!

Andy

Have a question? Facing a dilemma? Wondering where to find a BSA policy or guideline? Write to askandybsa@yahoo.com. Please include your name and council. (If you’d prefer to be anonymous, if published, let me know and that’s what we’ll do.)

[No. 438 – 4/1/2015 – Copyright © Andy McCommish 2015]

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About AskAndy

Andy is a Board Member of the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

Andy has just received notification by his council Scout Executive that he is to be recognized as a National Distinguished Eagle Scout. He is currently serving as a Unit Commissioner and his council's International Representative. He has previously served in a number of other Scouting roles including Assistant Council Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Den Leader, and--as a Scout--Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader, and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. His awards include: Kashafa Iraqi Scouting Service Award, Distinguished Commissioner, Doctor of Commissioner Science, International Scouter Award, District Award of Merit (2), Scoutmaster Award of Merit, Scouter's Key (3), Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award, Cliff Dochterman Rotarian Scouter Award, James E. West Fellow (2), Wood Badge & Sea Badge, and Eagle Scout & Explorer Silver Award.

Read Andy's full biography

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