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  1. Our middle child is very inquisitive as to how things work. Other kids want to make things go, he is driven to figure out how things go. So inevitably any toys you buy him - trucks, farm toys, etc. - get taken apart in order to figure out how they work. My parents are horrified by this. My mother is sure that he is being "destructive" and needs to work at a demolition junkyard someday. I think not. My parents even went so far to say that they are not going to buy him any gifts for Christmas "because he just destroys things." Granted, any new toy is played with for a few hours and then is slowly taken apart. But he is utterly fascinated in figuring out how things work. I hate to deny him that learning experience. We don't buy him more or less toys than we would if he didn't do that - he simply has fewer toys because he takes them apart and eventually they get trashed because they don't work anymore and are nothing more than a pile of random pieces. The natural consequence of taking something apart is that it may not work anymore and thus you won't be able to play with it. Yes, he has Legos and other such toys. But he is far more interested in figuring out how things work than he is in building things. He does some building. He had a couple corn cobs he found after riding in the combine and he took the corn off them and made a series of grain bins and used his tractor and wagon to haul the corn around. Eventually the corn was all "lost" (or picked up and thrown away as to not attract mice when it was left out). But here is my question - if what he enjoys about having a truck or remote controlled car or toy combine is taking it apart and figuring how all the parts work and he genuinely enjoys doing that, does it matter that the toy no longer works and ends up being thrown away? If you build things, you use up materials. I knit, and when a ball of yarn is gone, I get another one. Yes, I do enjoy using my handknits, but I knit more because I love knitting than because I love my handknits. What if you pay for sports? What does a child have to show for that other than spent time with his friends and gotten physical exercise? You pay x dollars for him to play a certain sport, and when the season is over, its over. You don't have anything to show for it, other than possibly a trophy that sits on a shelf. If you go to a movie or read a book, you spend time enjoying it, but you don't have anything to "show for it" when you are done other than the knowledge you gained while seeing or reading it. Does every toy you are ever given have to be in perfect working condition after you are grown in order for somebody to not have wasted their money buying it for you? My husband and I still have many of our childhood toys, but neither of us were obsessed with figuring out how they worked like our son is. So if a new toy only lasts one day but is played with intensely for the entire day, was it a waste of money? Should you lecture the child and refuse to buy them toys? It's not that he doesn't spend his time doing other things. It's that if you buy him a truck or a remote controlled car or anything that can be taken apart, he will take it apart in order to figure out how it works because that is far more interesting to him than simply using it. Once it is gone, he has to find other fun things to do - like riding his bike and catching every sort of living bug that ever enters our yard and keeping them as pets (two of his prime activities last summer).
  2. Just curious... In your pack, do the scouts wear their Class A uniforms to den meetings or Class B (or something else)? How do you decide (or what is the general trend) for Class A vs Class B? Just curious what other packs are doing and why. Thanks!
  3. At the Webelos camp last year, they sent me a picture of the boys wearing their Class A shirts and scarves, etc. with their swimming trunks! I just about swooned! I will definitely ask about the uniforms, too.
  4. He is no more in it just for himself than he is in it just for the pack. Leaving a group because of personal reasons such as a family relocation is completely different from leaving a group because it is part of the scouting path. I am very happy to donate my time and energy to making scouting great for all of the boys in the pack, not just my own. I did not realize they had to wear Class A from head to toe for Boy Scouts. It is just optional in Cub Scouts, but that would be a great way to spend the money. After all, the more he sells, the more the pack benefits even though they are giving him a part of the profits. That would be a great way to benefit both.
  5. Great questions to ask when looking at troops - Thanks! We do have dozens of troops within a half hour so there are lots of options. This is my oldest so it is my first shot at this and I am still learning the ropes, despite being involved in the pack and attending committee meetings. We are still finishing up the Webelos badge, but looking at the arrow of light, I think I might of gotten the two-troop impression from #4 where you have to "visit at least one Boy Scout troop meeting and one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity." I guess that could both be with the same troop, as could #6.
  6. They benefit as well when he gets a portion of his sales. He gets 15% and they get the rest (the amount kept by the pack from the council is a little over 30% so he is getting about half). He has to sell a baseline amount in order to get that benefit. They do not pay for uniforms, they do not pay for camp, they do not pay for go-see-its or other activities. Last year my dh was co-den leader, and I was the asst and I attended the committee meetings. This year, I am the den leader and I attend committee meetings. I've been a part of discussions regarding how the dues are spent and how the popcorn money and other funds raised are spent. The Blue & Gold "banquet" in our pack is a potluck with each family bringing a main dish and a side dish (no food whatsoever provided by the pack). He gets his patches and his book, but other than that, everything is paid for by us, not the pack. Stuff for each activity, such as the trailer and truck for the float in the 4th of July parade, is donated for that specific event. So in our pack, the money you raise selling popcorn benefits both the pack and you. Rather than being asked to make a donation if you choose not to sell popcorn, you simply have to pay for your own expenses. We are not part of a pack where everyone sells popcorn on the honor system and then everyone's expenses are covered. Last year all of the boys in his den went to camp but not all of them had help covering that expense because not all of them worked hard to sell popcorn. Each boy was rewarded according to his effort, which I think is very much in line with scout values. As Webelos leader, I've been talking to many troop leaders about their troops because one of the requirements for the boys to cross over is to visit more than one troop. Around here, it seems to be the norm that whatever the fundraising activity is, the boys benefit directly from their level of involvement. The number of hours they spend at the concession stand determines the amount of money they earn toward scouting activities. So don't try to tell me this will be a bigger issue once he is a boy scout - their expenses are more at that level but they still benefit in part for their effort rather than just working solely for the common good. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with having a split system where the scout benefits directly for the effort he makes as well as benefitting the group.
  7. No one had suggested anything like that. In our pack, popcorn sales in the fall are the ONLY fundraising opportunity. The boy scouts sell concessions as all of our events. Every year he has sold enough to pay for a significant portion of his summer camp expenses (and it gets more expensive every summer). That is the only time it has ever been mentioned that the boys could use those funds from that account. Since camp isn't until June, if he left in February and his funds did not go with him, he would lose that benefit in his last year of cub scouting. That benefit is a far bigger motivator to us than some silly toy they get for reaching a certain level of sales. I don't think my values are in conflict with scouting values and that we need to reconsider our involvement with scouting just because I don't want to leave $100 sitting on the table. I will ask and see if there are things they will allow us to spend the money on other than camp. He won't be needing a new uniform, but he could certainly buy some personal camping equipment with the money.
  8. If your child is in Cub Scouts and sells enough popcorn to get a percentage of his sales to use towards scouting expenses (camp, etc), if you scout is a Webelos II and sells in the fall and then crosses over in February, does he get to take with him the funds he earned selling popcorn to use for scouting expenses as a Boy Scout? Or does he forfeit all that money because he has "left the pack"? Furthermore, does it matter whether he crosses over to the troop that has the same chartering organization as the pack he sold the popcorn for? Our pack committee had a long discussion about this and tabled the issue. The fact that they are even discussing it is scaring me because my scout will be a Web II next year, and if his money doesn't go with him when he crosses over (regardless of which troop he joins), I can guarantee you he won't be selling a dime's worth of popcorn in the fall. I know the Webelos book requires you to check out more than one troop as part of the requirements for crossing over, so I would think it should go without saying that you are not automatically expected to join the troop that has the same chartering organization as the pack. So if your money goes with you, it shouldn't matter which troop you join. I need some voices of experience here. Thanks!
  9. Get up and move around. Often. Exercise is nice, but once a day and being a couch potato for the rest of the day doesn't do anything to help water retention. The more active I am throughout the day, the less trouble I have. If I'm starting to feel it, I know I've been too sedetary. I learned this for myself when I sat at a convention for 2 hours followed by a 15 minute break, 4 times a day for two days. I had never had water retention before during pregnancy, but boy did I have it then. The pattern has continued, long after pregnancy. So mine just seems to be baseline activity related.
  10. pageta


    Each of those tools is a whole lot easier to clean and put away. I only use my food processor when I really need it or for large volumes.
  11. This may or may not help, but I wind all the yarn into center-pull balls - aka yarn cakes - and then pull from the outside. It doesn't flop around, and it doesn't collapse on itself and get all knotted up. I recently discovered many of my friends do this as well.
  12. ...do you still bother to decorate? We are leaving on the 21st and returning the day after Christmas. Putting up the tree seems so pointless. It's just one more thing to live around and keep the kids from messing with perpetually. The thought of putting it up just tires me. Am I just being Scrooge?
  13. Adding my request to the hover feature. It's quick, painless and so very, very slick. Miss it!
  14. We have 36 weeks in each school year which breaks down to 3 weeks per month. At the beginning of each month, I look at what is going on and what days I have available and plan accordingly. For instance, in December, my husband's company shuts down completely between Christmas and New Year's so we will be finishing our 3 weeks of school before Christmas. During the month I keep track of where we are and how many days I have left that I can opt to take off. My kids do better with routine, so we do four-day weeks usually, taking one day off for errands, library, etc. But when we've needed to, we've done school 5 days a week as well. Every month my goal is to get everything done so I'm either ahead a day or two and I'm definitely not carrying over days into the next month to be done. Every month is different, but one month at a time, we get it all done.
  15. Try Ravelry. Lots of ideas there. Do you have a library? You can browse their knitting books for ideas. Or go to Barnes & Noble and look at the current knitting magazines - lots of ideas there.
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