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Issue 403 – July 1, 2014

________________________________________ Independence Day is just three days away so let’s consider what Benjamin Franklin had to say about democracy and liberty… “DEMOCRACY is two wolves and a lamb deciding the lunch menu; LIBERTY is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” ========== Dear Andy, Can an Assistant Scoutmaster sign off on a merit badge requirement if [...]

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Issue 402 – June 25, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, Does a Boy Scout troop have to accept all boys who want to join? I’m asking because we’re a troop in a small town. There were a couple of parents who didn’t like the way the troop was being run, even though two Unit Commissioners and a council professional say we’re doing [...]

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Issue 401 – June 18, 2014

________________________________________ Hello Andy, I’m the camping coordinator for a BSA troop based in England. We’d planned on attending British camp this summer, but the camp isn’t going to open this year due to low sign-ups and funding problems. Consequently, we and a neighboring troop have decided to put together a program for our Scouts as [...]

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Issue 400 – June 10, 2014

________________________________________ The universe is composed of three things: matter, emptiness, and opinions. Unfortunately, the latter two are often confused with one another. ================================================================ Hi Andy, Our troop and district have always told Scouts that they can’t use pressure treated lumber for Eagle service projects and such. But I can’t find anything online stating why, and [...]

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Issue 399 – June 3, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, For the National Outdoor Badge—Camping Segment, if a Scout spends the summer as a camp counselor at his local Scout camp, and stays in the same kind of tent that he would have were he a camper at summer camp, do all those days/nights of camping count toward this badge/segment? (Bob Fales, [...]

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Issue 398 – May 27, 2014

________________________________________ Have you ever noticed that, when somebody misreads or misinterprets an advancement requirement, it somehow never favors the Scout? Here’s yet another case in point… Hi Andy, My son’s a First Class Scout. He’s just completed all requirements for Star including a total of eight merit badges to date. All eight of his merit [...]

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Issue 397 – May 20, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, We have an 11 year-old Scout who just recently crossed over into our troop. While starting work on his Tenderfoot fitness requirement (10a), he couldn’t do a single pull-up. After 30 days (for 10b) he still couldn’t do a single one. Neither can most of the other new Scouts. In my opinion, [...]

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Issue 396 – May 6, 2014

________________________________________ Here’s something different… a bona fide SUCCESS STORY! If you’re a regular reader, you already know that I advocate having the Scouts themselves decide what patrols they want to be in (meaning: which friends in the troop they want to hang with). Here’s a letter from Scoutmaster Jeff Freeman on what happens when you’re [...]

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Issue 395 – April 29, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, In the BSA’s JTE (“Journey to Excellence”) program, the color order is Bronze-Silver-Gold. This looks weird. I thought it was supposed to be Bronze-Gold-Silver. What’s the deal here? (H. Sprockette, SM) Yup, that’s the order for JTE: Bronze-Silver-Gold. Even though the BSA has, since 1910, employed Bronze-Gold-Silver (as in Eagle palms, regional [...]

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Issue 394 – April 22, 2014

________________________________________ Dear Andy, Our troop committee members, together with a district advancement representative, recently conducted an Eagle Scout board of review. We declined the candidate. The vote was unanimous. In the course of the conversation, we touched on the Scout Oath and Law. When it came to reverence, the Scout responded that he had no [...]

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