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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.

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Author Archive | AskAndy
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Issue 508 – November 29, 2016

________________________________________ HOW WORDS CAN DIRECT—OR MISDIRECT—THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS The great semanticist, S.I. Hayakawa informs us that, “of all forms of symbolism, language is the most highly developed, most subtle, and most complicated.” He correspondingly advises that “there is no necessary connection between the symbol and that which is symbolized.” Wearing a Dodgers baseball cap, he […]

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Issue 507 – November 15, 2016

________________________________________ (This should have posted automatically last Tuesday… Obviously, something went wrong.  Please help out fellow Commissioner Paul Geissler ASAP, with my thanks!) The message and request below is from fellow Commissioner Paul Geissler, of the Laurel Highlands Council in the Pittsburgh, PA area. This is a fabulous opportunity for pack, troop, and crew leaders, […]

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Issue 506 – November 11, 2016

________________________________________ VETERANS DAY The aftermath of an appendectomy gone bad, producing a lower intestinal infection that plagued me for several years, I was physically rejected by the U.S. Army on three separate attempts to enlist, which effectively eliminated any possibility of military service for me, even though I was otherwise healthy. This was at the […]

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Issue 505 – November 1, 2016

________________________________________ (Here are two letters that follow up on last week’s troop “horror story”…) Hi Andy, Thanks for sharing the letter from “Puzzled & Confused” last week. Sometimes, when I think our troop is all messed up, I open your column and when I compare ours to others, I realize we’re doing more things right […]

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Issue 503 – October 18, 2016

________________________________________ (This conversation is from early September…) Hi, Andy, I’m a Den Leader entering my second year and having a grand time. My den has grown to a good size—12 registered and about 10 showing up regularly, and continuing to receive inquiries from prospective new members, too. Problem is, I’m not eager for this den […]

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Issue 504 – October 25, 2016

________________________________________ (Nope, this isn’t a pre-Halloween horror story… It’s real.) Hi Andy, Our son joined a troop of his choosing when he crossed over as an Webelos, and my husband (an Eagle Scout, former Assistant Cubmaster, Wood Badge) and I (Pack Committee Chair, Wood Badge) followed along as Assistant Scoutmaster (my husband) and Committee Member […]

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Issue 502 – October 11, 2016

________________________________________ Dear Andy, My son is working on Camping merit badge and I’m wondering if there’s any guidance as far as what constitutes “planning and carrying out a snow camping experience.” Is the goal specifically pitching a tent and sleeping when there is an accumulation of snow on the ground? Or being prepared to handle […]

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Issue 501 – October 8, 2016

________________________________________ The rumors of my… Well, you know the rest. Been traveling out of state and out of the country for the past several weeks. Back in the saddle now, so here we go… Dear Andy, Thank you for your commitment to Scouting. I thoroughly enjoy reading your columns and the insights you share with […]

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Issue 500 – September 6, 2016

________________________________________ Today my 500th issue coincides with my very first, published 15 years ago this month. That first issue was published in the monthly newsletter of a single council. Today, these columns are regularly read in every one of the BSA’s nearly 300 councils, including the Direct, Far East, and Transatlantic. Readers also hail from […]

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Issue 499.5 – September 1, 2016

_______________________________________ This issue is an extension of my earlier column this week (No. 499—8/30/16), thanks to four dedicated Scouters who have information expanding on or fine-tuning answers to three issues in that column: Bob Elliott, Bob Firriolo, Mike Walton, and Robby Wright. Thanks for your insights, Scouters! Here are the issues, each followed by supplemental […]

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