Advice

Dear Dr. Beast,
What are the main risks and dangers to leading a group of mixed ability children
on an activity like the Tentors?
   Signed
   Dan

Dear Dan:
Leading children (and adults) of mixed abilities is always a challenge, with a variety of risks
and dangers. The Ten Tors challenge is new to me, as it is to many of my readers. Information about the
Ten tors challenge can be found at http://zsplash.8m.com/TenTors/info.htm.

According to that page, The Ten Tors challenge is open to 400 teams of 6 from schools,
Youth organisations, such as the Scouts, Guides and Youth Clubs and Service cadets.
An organisation may apply to enter up to 3 teams in total on the 35, 45 and 55
mile courses.
The task of the route designer is not easy. A total of 19 Tors have to be selected for
use as Checkpoints and link up to produce twelve 35 mile routes, ten 45 mile routes and
four 55 mile routes. It's no mean task to ensure that all of the routes have the same degree
of challenge and that no more than 2 or 3 routes use the same leg at the same time.
Each team must have a manager who is responsible for ensuring that their team is
adequately equipped and trained. The team manager must attend a special weekend that is
usually held in February at the start of the training season. lectures are given to all
aspects of Dartmoor and the Ten Tors Challenge and those attending undertake a 10 mile
hike on the moor and visit the Dartmoor Rescue Group centre at Okehampton.
The main event begins at Okehampton Camp at 7am on the Saturday and to qualify
for an award teams must return to Okehampton Camp by 5 pm on the Sunday.
Although the main event is not a race some teams are faster than others but all
have to make camp for the night. Those teams on the 35 mile courses have to stop
at one of the first 8 Tors on their route by 8pm on Saturday. Teams on the 45
and 55 mile courses may camp where they like, other than in No camping areas or closer
than 400 yards from a house or pub. By Sunday many of the teams are tired and if a
team arrives at one of the later Tors Checkpoints so far behind schedual that it
has no chance of finish at Okehampton Camp by 5pm it will be 'Crashed out'.
For safety's sake the Checkpoint will not stamp the route card and will tell the team
that it can go no futher. the team then enters the 'fall out' system and returns to
Okehampton Camp by road. Teams that complete the challenge receive a certificate
and each member that finishes will receive a Ten Tors medal: Bronze for the 35 mile
courses, Silver for the 45 mile courses and Gold for the 55 mile courses.

The more challenging an activity, the greater the impact of physical and mental
disparities among participants. On the side of the less able participants, there
is a danger of pushing too far and being injured. There is also the possibility of
being stigmatized as "soft" or not strong. It is also possible for the more able
participants to have problems, including resentment of their less able team members,
pushing too hard and trying to do too much. From what I can see, this is a very
challenging exercise and those running it have a great burden of responsibilities.
I suspect that a lot of preparation and foresight needs to go into developing teams and
educating particpants about having realistic expectations for themselves and their
team mates. If handled properly, this can be an excellent learning experience. If not
handled properly, there can be real problems, both physically and emotionally.

We deal with some of these issues at Winter Camp, where we have a variety of activites and
the whole gamut of participants, with a pretty wide range in physical and mental abilities.
We try to build teams that are reasonably even,and generally work to have at least a few
adults in each groups. Obviously, some adults work better with kids than others, so we watch that
pretty carefully. We also work very hard to cultivate a spirit in which "winning" is not the goal of
the activity per se. It is always fun to win, but if a gme is designed right and played with the proper spirit,
the whole issue of "winners and losers" becomes a moot point. I hope that Ten Tors works in a similar fashion.
Challenging activites teach participants a lot about themselves and about their fellow participants. There will
always be physical and emotional risks, but those can be minimized with proper planning. In some cases where they
persist, they can be a part of life and it is just as well is participants learn these lessons early in life
while they are still flexible, as opposed to later in life when they are cemented in their ways.

The short answer is that there are risks and dangers to this type of challenge, but the value of the
experience makes it worth taking most of those risks, particularly if proper traning is in place to mitigate
the risks.

   Signed
   Dr. Beast


Dear Dr. Beast,
What is the average temperature in Maine in the winter? Also where is the best place to retire in Maine, that is reasonable?
   Signed
   Carolyn Narcy

Dear I hope you like blueberries:
As Tolkien (and the back of Milon's jeep) says "Not all who wander are lost". One way you can answer this question is to wander the Internet.
I would suggest that you take a look at www.mainetourism.com/climate.html which will give you some idea of the climate and the different zones in Maine.
After the weather question is resolved, the affordability/cost of living question is a slam dunk. Since I do not know where you are located, it is difficult to give you a relative indication of affordability. Your best bet is to go to www.money.com/money/bestplaces/col/compare.html, which provides a calculation on the relative affordability of any two towns in the USA. You can compare Bangor and Portland to your current home, and then to each other. Once you know the numbers, you can go to www.gatewaytomaine.org, which will provide access to all of Maine's Chamber of Commerce web sites.
If you end up deciding on the Bangor area, take a look at www.bangorregion.com/relocate.htm, which provides a relocation guide. If you think Portland is a better fit, take a look at www.remaxbythebay-maine.com/sites.html, which offers links to many local sites.
I am afraid that I can not help you with the accent. You will have to learn to say "Yep" all by yourself.

   Signed
   Dr. Beast


Dear Dr. Beast,
Which state is better to build a camp Michigan or Wisconsin
it has to have big land lots of lakes and large forset enough land for lots of cabins?


   Signed
   MCED RIDERS

Dear MCED Riders:
The answer really depends on the location of the main group of users. Both states have plentiful
natural resources and large amounts of land with lakes. My understanding is that Wisconsin has seen
a rapid increase in land prices, particularly in the areas north of Chicago. It may be possible to find
attractively priced tracts in either state (if you find the right spot), so the availability of land is not really your key decision
point. You need to focus on the nature of the use, the users, and the proximity to complementary functions.
If this is a commercial study, then market analysis would probably be your best bet, looking at demographic and economic forces
prevailing in the two states and making market assesments based on travel distances, road conditions, infrastructural availability and
geographic or cultural amenities. If that does not work for you, remember the Yooper's Lyrics "We'll party in Milwaukee cause the beer tastes
better there."

   Signed
   Dr. Beast


Dear Dr. Beast,
I may have recently signed up for a job that makes wintercamp look like a weekend at camp.
It probably involves long, long hours and people bitching at me constantly. Why did I do this to myself?


   Signed
   YoSucka

Dear I'm Going to Get ...:
I'm working my way through the logic of your question. You say that the job makes Winter
Camp (an awesome premiere camping experience) look like a weekend at camp (generally a less satisfying
Camping experience). logically, this suggests that your new job is so awesome that the delights of
Winter Camp pale in comparison. I have my doubts, but if the job is that cool, you certainly will not
suffer by taking it. On the serious side, I am not aware of any jobs (excluding those with name tags
and paper hats) that do not involve long hours and people bitching at you. If they don't, they are probably
not all that important. So, I use my normal response, life's hard, wear a helmet and get a pair..
you. My a

   Signed
   Dr. Beast


Dear Dr. Beast,
I was wondering what one could do to prepare for a career in the Real Estate speculation field?
Is this a career that one must plan for years to join or can you simply show up the last day and see what's available?



   Signed
    Unemployed but Optomistic

Dear Unemployed but Optimistic:
Sadly, the answer is that most real estate speculators do little to prepare for their careers. You do not need to plan for years, but
you would be a lot better off if you showed up the FIRST day and saw what was available. The stuff that is available the last
day is available for a reason.

   Signed
   Dr. Beast


Dear Dr. Beast,
What can you do for a really sore throat?

   Steve Clark

Dear Silent Scout:
As many long time Winter Campers may recall, the legendary Dan Bollman was once treated for laryngitis by having his mouth taped shut. Rumors that his brothers paid the attending "physician" for this remedy have never been substantiated.
Barring such draconian measures, I would suggest hot tea with honey, gargling with salt water (don't swallow it!), or, if you were female, I'd probably provide you with a soothing protein balm the recipe for which has been handed down in my family for generations. This, you could swallow.


Dear Dr. Beast,
I run a game for some of my friends and we have a pretty set bi-weekly schedule;
the game is run on every other Sunday. This week, I was swamped with other
responsibilities - I wanted to update my non-gaming web page and to work on a
newsletter for another organization I'm involved with. Reluctantly, I canceled the game.
Since then, I've gotten a phone call berating me for my lack of commitment to
the game and for letting my friends down. One of them suggested that the game
was more important than the Lodge newsletter.
What should I have done?


Signed,
Gamemaster

Dear Game Master??:
That depends on whether you are the game master or the game is your master. The role of game master is
an irksome task and a weighty responsibility. My reading of Steve's Basement suggests that the participants
strive, insofar as in their power lies, to be unswerivng in their dedication to the welfare of themselves.
Seriously, each person needs to establish priorities and decide what matters to them. The lodge newsletter
may be more important to some than others, and the game may be more important to some than others. Personally,
when faced with conflicting responsibilities, I tend to look at the alternatives if either activity is deleted.
For example, would someone else do the newsletter? Is there some other game that could be played. Normally, most
of your associates are scouts (Eagle Scouts at that) and they would understand the importance of living up to your
commitments to Scouting. I assume the complaint must have come from someone who does not understand that priority.
I think that you should make your decision as soon as you can and let people know what
you are going to do as soon as is practicable. Knowing you, you probably watied until the last
minute in the hopes of crammimng it all in. Misplaced optimism is not a crime, but it can be inconvenient.
My suggestion is that you think it over for thw while, no one benefits from hasty words spoken in a childish fit
of rage (trust me, I have been there many times). Explain the situation and your decision and if people can not live with that
they should find their own game or create their own game. Additionally, remind tham if they have on occaision let the group down.
It happens, and most of you guys are good enough friends and sensible enough people not to blow it out of proportion. Remember,
it is just a game. It's not whether you win or lose, it's if the DM renders you DF.

Dear Dr. Beast,
I understand you have exceptional knowledge in the matters of financial investment.
I have a few questions which you may be able to aid me in my direction:

1) Can you suggest a Low(/No-)Load Fund Broker on the internet which is
somewhat user-friendly. (Some that I have vsited are sighltly more technical
than I care to deal with.)

2) Are there any Mutual Funds which you feel may be more appealing than others? why?

3) What mix of domestic/international stocks do you prefer and in what areas?

4) What site do you use to check your daily stock performance?




Signed,
Thrifty

Dear Thrifty:
I do most of my investing directly, rather than through mutual funds. In essence,
I run private mutual funds for institutional investors.

1. For direct investing, I tend to favor the DLJ (Donaldson, Lufkin, and Jenrette) site, which a colleague who trades a
great deal swears by. I also understand that Scwab runs a pretty good shop on-line.
I understand that on the mutual fund side, Fidelity has a fairly user-friendly site,
although I have not used it much.

2. I like the Oak Associates funds out of Akron, Ohio. I know the fund manager (Jim Oelschlager) and
his White Oak fund is one of the top 10 in the nation over the long haul. You might also look into some of his
other funds, as I understand there is a new fund that you could get in on pretty cheaply. These funds are priamrily
technology plays. You may also want ot try a real estate play, either with a solid individual company or with one of
the many REIT funds. I can answer more specifically in person or via email.

3. I tend to invest mainly in real estate-related stocks because I understand the economic markets and
forces that drive those markets. I do not know what drives international property markets, so I stay away.
A recent survey of major institutional investors suggests that they tend to target the following breakdowns:
U.S. Stocks 41%
foreign Equities 15%
Money Market/Cash 1%
High Grade Bonds 25%
Junk Bonds 1%
Venture Capital 4%
Real Estate 7%
Other 6%
Other Investments 6%

Obviously, these investors have a very different perspective from you. They are more risk averse,
and are dealing with immense capital flows that allow them to diversify more completely. In your
case, the size of investments is likely to be lumpy, in that your initial portfolio
will not be large enough to permit investments in all sectors. Index funds (funds that match the
distribution of the market in a specific sector) may be a way to go.

4. I check my performance at http://fast.quote.com/fq/briefing/quote. If you have an online brokerage
account, most will give you some type of portfolio monitoring ability.

My best advice to you is to spend a few bucks, see a qualified personal investment advisor, and
figure out exactly what you want from investing before you take the plunge. If you are not that
patient, take the plunge in big funds that are likely to mirror the market. You will probably see some ups and
downs, but over the long haul the equity markets offer the best return. You are young, if you only invest money
that you do not need liquidity from (i.e. won't need the cash) then leaving the money in the broad market
makes a great deal of sense. Good luck, and be careful.

Dear Dr. Beast,
Big Bro asked Jeff if he could post the text of Jeff's Dictionary of One Sylablle
words. Jeff said no. Big Bro is now asking me to intercede with Jeff and convince
him to cough up the document. Given Bro's normal treatment of me, I'm not too sure
what to do. What do you think?


Signed,
Dog?

Dear Big Brother::
The simple (and smartass) answer might be "You are the bigger man." It is
accurate technically, physically, and in any number of other categories. I do not
see where Jeff is any more likely to give in to your request than Big Bro's, unless this
is part of some elaborate scheme to conceal an identity. By making the request,
you are living out the Scout Laws, being helpful and courteous, even in the face of the
opposite type of treatment. Maybe Big Bro will get the idea and remember why he joined our
order. Hard to say, but in the final analysis it is Jeff's work and he will make the decision.
Either way, asking is the right thing to do.

Dear Dr. Beast,
Being a first time home buyer, do you have suggestions or advice you could impart? Since you have some experience in this subject any help would be useful.
Signed,
Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed:
There are all kinds of books out there that tell you about being a first time home buyer. I have gone through the process recently, and also have a great deal of familiarity with the academic literature on first time home buyers. Here is some advice.
  1. Don't fall in love with any one house. You need to be able to walk away from any deal that will not work for you. Falling in love with a house makes this difficult.
  2. Don't be afraid to negotiate. Remember that the posted price is an "asking" price. With the exception of some very hot markets, houses seldom sell at "asking" price. You will probably never see the seller again, so don't be afraid to play hardball. If the deal won't work for them, they can always walk away.
  3. Do buy the worst looking house in a nice neighborhood. There is no surer road to neighborhood relations (can be important) than buying and cleaning up an eyesore. You would be amazed at the enormous improvement relatively inexpensive fixes like paint and landscaping can make to the exterior.
  4. On the inside, fresh paint makes a big difference, and so can carpeting. The problems that can get expensive include plumbing, structural problems (basement wall cracks) and HVAC. Make sure you know what you are getting into. Either hire a professional inspector, who provides a warranty for a fee, or get a good friend who REALLY knows what they are doing to take a look at the place. My father can do this, and probably would for a friend of the family.
  5. As a general rule, the real estate agent is not on your side. If they are the listing agent, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. If they are a participating agent, they are a sub-contractor of the listing broker and share the fiduciary responsibility ot the broker. As such, they are obligated to share the information you give to them. The general negotiation process is one of reservation prices. The idea is that the seller has a reservation price, which is the lowest price they will accept for the house. The buyer has a reservation price, the highest price he/she will pay for the house. Asd long as there is overlap between the two, the deal is workable. If you give away your reservation price early in the process, your chances of getting the best deal are limited. In some cases, you can hire a buyer's representative or broker, who would have a fiduciary responsibility to you. This is unusual, the norm is that no one in the process is "on your side" except you.
  6. On the financing front, your mortgage capacity is calculated based on your monthly income less any recurring expenses. Recurring expenses include car payments, credit card bills, and other debt. To maximize mortgage capacity (if that is a goal) you should payoff whole cards, rather than paying down each card a little. The idea is to minimize fixed recurring expenditures.
  7. If you get a mortgage in which your equity position (usually downpayment) is less than 20%, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance, which averages .9% X the mortgage amount yearly. In most loans, the purchase price of the house is used to calculate this ration rather than the appraised value of the house (appraised not assessed) at the outset of the loan. The result is that you may put down 10% on a great bargain and have an actual equity position of more than 20%, but still be required to pay the mortgage insurance for at least one year, until the loan is "seasoned", an industry term that reflects the fact that you have made your payments for the year. With most banks, once the loan is "seasoned", you can apply to have the mortgage insurance dropped. If you have an equity position greater than 20% (or loan to value ratio less than 80%) most banks will drop the mortgage insurance. You will generally have to prove the value through an appraiser certified or acceptable to the bank, so check with the individual bank on the process. You should probably get this process started six to eight weeks before the first anniversary of the loan, as processing takes time.
  8. Check out the neighborhood, schools, city services and taxes thoroughly. This is a very long term decision, don't make it lightly and don't be rudhed into making the decision quickly. If the deal is "too good to be true", chances are that there is something wrong that you haven't seen. The seller is required to provide disclosure of any factor materially influencing the value of the property, but that can be sort of fuzzy. The best bet is to visit the neighbors, knock on a few doors, ask people if they know the neighborhood. Visit the house several times (day, night, after a rain or snow) to see how it fares under differing conditions.
  9. Shop around, keep your eyes open for froeclosures and For Sale By Owner opportunities. Get listings from brokers and do the math. Essentially, you need to value the house and all of its features relative to other, comparable houses. In the final analysis, the decision is an emotional decision, no matter how logical the analysis. If your financial analysis and emotions both say buy, then it's probably worth it.
  10. Don't blow the deal over relatively small amounts of money. A few thousand dollars seems like a lot, but in the grand scheme of buying a house, it really does not make a big difference,
  11. Get it in writing. Oral promises to correct problems are hard to enforce. Written clauses are very easy to enforce. Don't be afraid to use problems as a negotiating tool. Either fix it or take ?? off the price is a valid strategy. If you see a problem, get an estimate from the inspector or a licensed professional. You cna often get an estimate fro free from a guy who wants the business Use the estimate to negotiate the purchase, then negotiate the repair separately.
  12. Don't be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. Many of them have been through this. I can answer questions in confidence to help out. If necessary, I can call on friends in the mortgage broker industry to help you with the mortgage. When you get closer to a buy, let me know and I can give you some hints on keeping closing costs down.
  13. Enjoy the whole deal. You don't get to buy a house very often, so don't be afraid to look at a lot of houses, even if you have a favorite. You can get good ideas for your house, and you may also enjoy the fun of looking at different homes. My wife and I looked at 50+ homes and toured 25 in three days. I think we ended up pretty well, but Steve will be able to tell you after next week's visit.

Dear Dr. Beast,
Which Detroit Area Camp is in your opinion the better camp D-A or Cole Canoe Base? Which one should I apply to for a job for this summer? (Yes I realize the pay is less that like crap but I think it would be a good experience.) Any suggestions?
Signed,
Steve Clark

Dear Steve:
My knowledge is a bit dated, so I did a little research. My sources tell me that Cole offers a better staff, increasing your chances of learning something from your co-workers. Of course, D-A offers a chnace to be a big fish in a small pond, but I don't think that is your cup of tea. Other points: D-A leans heavily toward Cub Scouts, which would not be my choice. Cole is further away, reducing your chances of visiting your family. On the other hand, the natural environment at Cole is very attractive. You need to look at all of these factors and decide what is best for you. I worked at D-A, but that was at a time when Cole offered the chance to canoe and little else. Given that Cole now offers a full program, I think you can consider it the premier summer camp. Obviously, D-A rules in the Winter. My sources suggest that Cole would probably be the better choice, but in the final analysis, you need to make the decision. If you have not already done so, I recommend that you talk to Scout who have served on one or the other staff to see what they have to say. The money part is a real concern. I remember making $25 a week working at D-A at a time when I could have made that in a day at McDonald's. I made my choice, just as you will make yours. Good luck.

Dear Dr. Beast,
How much TV is too much TV?
Signed,
Concerned Viewer

Dear Chauncy Gardner:
I think that if television gets in the way of your life or is your life, it is too much. In other words, if it gets in the way of your normal social functions, or supplants them, then it is probably time to reassess. When I found myself watching Stihl Timbersports and repeats of Magnuss ver Magnussen dominating the World's Strongest Man when I was ignoring other responsibilites, I made a conscious decision to turn off the set. Each person has their own breaking point, and for some, it is around 24 hours a day.

Dear Dr. Beast,
Is it wrong for me to go over to a fellow scouts house and help him get like four or five first class requrements done this weekend (if he can get them done), because I think he'd make a good Order of the Arrow member and we are having an election in two weeks in my troop?
Signed,
Steve Clark

Dear a Scout who's Helpful:
That depends on your approach. If you're going to help him complete the requirements, then it's a good thing. If you're doing the work, or just signing off on things he hasn't really done, then it's a bad thing. Knowing you, I'm sure it's a good thing. It would be nice to have another good Belleville Scout to counteract some of the dead weight we've been recruiting from other cities, like say, Taylor.


Dear Dr. Beast,
I'm sure that someone with your vast intellect must find that there are constant demands on his time from lesser beings. While not on your scale, I find myself in a similar position; how do you handle the stress?
Signed,
Looking for a gun

Dear Lesser Being:
I have a lot of demands on my time, but I also have some control over my time. I do not know your situation, but in mine, I am generally the most demanding person. I expect more from myself than others do. I suspect you have a similar problem. I look at it as a problem of establishing prioirities. I tend to favor eating, wearing clothes, and living under shelter, so I tend to prioritize income-earning activities. Therefore, I do my work and then whatever else I can (want) to do with the time left. It probably isn't the best solution from a mental health perspective, but it works for me.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Doc, What's your prognostic on the way that Winter Camp is shaping up for this year?
Signed,
Steve Clark

Dear Steve::
Things are looking pretty good. I think that curling will be okay even though Big Bro will let us down. I also think discs of Tron will be an awesome unplanned activity. The key to getting these prognostications right is timing.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Hey, any secrets for becoming a potential Jeopardy contestant?
Signed,
Dr. Plumber

Dear Architect, Ph.D.:
Squander your life reading fantasy books, watching cheesy movies, and going to school way too long. It may not work for everyone, but it worked for me.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Dear Doc: I just bought a 1961 International Scout, and it does not have seatbelts. Am I legally required to install them?
Signed,
occasional visitor

Dear OV:
If you are talknig about a Boy Scout from another country, then you probably don't need seatbelts. If you are talking about a car or truck, the answer varies by state. If you are in Michigan, I believe the answer is no. You may want to check that with the State Police or the Department of Motor Vehicles, but I am fairly confident of the answer.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Why do you think you're the only one who updated his bio? After all, nearly everyone said they'd use it.
Signed,
Frustrated

Dear Webmaster:
The only thing I can think of is that you gave me an opportunity to talk about my favorite subject.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Okay, lets say you bought a fridge for your department. About a year later, you leave some food in it. Someone decides that the fridge is trashed out because there's some rotten food in it. He announces a clean-up and puts a note on the fridge saying "Hey, I'm pitching things Friday morning". He then pitches them including your tupperware dish of spaghetti, which has been there a few days, and your fork. You don't remember being asked and you don't use the fridge often enough to have seen the note (which was put up on Wednesday). 1) Is he wrong to throw away your tupperware or tupperware in general? 2) Should he apologize if he did throw it out? 3) Should you take your fridge back? 4) Would it be acceptable for you to remove the laces from his golf shoes and toss them out the window while he drives you and several co-workers to lunch? 5) Are you being a big baby if you decide not to go to lunch because one of the guys in the car just lobbed your shoelaces into the street? 6) Are you being a big baby if you decide not to go to lunch because the other guy didn't think it was right for you to toss his laces out the window? 7) If you find two shoelaces of the same length but slightly different material within 25' of each other on that road within 20 minutes of the lace-tossing incident, is it safe to assume that they were the shoelaces that were pitched? 8) If you recover the shoelaces from the road and the tupperware from the dumpster, should someone say thank you? 9) Do you think we could get Arnold Schwarzenegger in here to straighten things out? He did a pretty good job in "Kindergarten Cop"
Signed,
Concerned Co-worker

Dear Inquisitor General,:
You have posed some important and valuable questions. Let's see if I can cover the all. #1. I think that it was wrong to throw away the tupperware, which could have been left out for the day without smelling up the joint. Beside, if someone is in a cleaning frenzy, why not be a mensch and do the dishes too. Or, just dump the stuff and leave the tupperware out. If it was one of those disposable glad containers, no biggy. In the grand scheme of things, no one was going to eat the spaghetti anyways. #2. It might be appropriate to do so, it depends on then ature of the relationship. If it is two guys and they get along, a simple "Sorry dude, but your tupperware has burped its last" might be okay. If a woman (or an effeminate guy) is involved, it will take a little more, because she probably had to sit through one of those stupid parties to get the f***ing thing. #3. No Native American Exchangers need apply. If you are going to take your ball and go home, eventually none of the other kids will play with you. #4. I think that removing the spikes (they unscrew) might be more entertaining. Picture the rotation on the first tee. #5. I think I remember going out for a fine lunch with my brother after I lobbed his glasses out the window at 40 miles an hour, so I am probably not the best judge. If you are that anal retentive about your shoelaces, chances are you would have cried about something else before you sat down. #6. Everyone I have heard about in this question is a big baby. The better choice would be to even out the matter in some other manner. Don't get mad, get even. Whining forfeits the right to revenge. Only one act of childishness per grievance. #7. IT doesn't really matter, as long as they are the same length and are adequate for tying up the shoes. Besides, if you use them and your game sucks, you have a built-in scapegoat, and that sure sounds like that is this guy's cup of tea. #8. I suppose I should if it stops these questions. Once again, the answer depends on your rela tionship to the incident. For example, I have a friend, let's call him Frosty, who would wait for everyone to calm down and then go hunt down the items to fan the flames. Some guys are like that. Other guys just do it to make the whiners shut up. They probably wouldn't miss hearing thank you or anything else from those involved in the incident. They just want it to STOP. #9. In this situation, I think Louise Woodward might be a better nanny.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Hey, you advised someone that you thought the best advice was "to be a man". What do you think it takes to make someone a man? (Don't bother with an anatomy lesson; I'm not in the DHQX).
Signed,
Rite of Passage

Dear Rites of Passage:
The answer probably should have read be a man/woman, but it's an all male page (for the most part) For me, the key is taking responsibility for your actions decisions and life. If you want to do silly things, fine, go ahead, but you should always be prepared and willing to accept the consequences of your actions. Other people may use different definitions, but that is the answer for me.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Who are your influences in writing your column? Which other advice columnists do you looke to as role models? Do you have any tips for someone trying to break into the business?
Signed,
Aspiring Advisor

Dear Aspiring Advisor:
It s strange you should ask about my influences. I am well known for my disdain for reading about OPP (other people's problems) In fact, I used to start each morning by harassing my brother when he read those columns. The long and short of it is that I seldom read any column or listen to advice-giving radio personalities. I occaisionally listen to Jagger (love Phones), who is a true butthead and extremely insensitive. I guess that is the kind of rep I want. As for getting into the business, I recommend you ask someone who actually gets paid, listened to, or read for good advice. You might try the other Doctor Donohue, he makes a fortune prescribing Viagra and Rogaine to insecure weenies. YOu could also read some pop psychology. The gist of it is that whatever goes wrong, it is not the caller's fault, society is to blame. My general advice is something like Don Vito Corleone (always an inspiration) says to Johnny Fontaine about his troubles in getting a role in a movie. "What c an I do Godfather",, "You can BE A MAN" Take responsibility for your actions and act like you have got a pair. It's a lot harder than whining and blaming other people, but the right thing is usually harder.


Dear Dr. Beast,
I'm not really a big wrestling fan and I'm curious: what do you think I should do to prepare for matches at Winter Camp?
Signed,
Steve

Dear Steve::
Wrestling is largely formulaic in nature. Indeed, social scientists have often described wrestling as a cultural play. Therefore, you should follow current events, pick out America's most visible issue, identify a trendy name for someone from that country and develop an accent. On the bad guy side (the fun side) it worked for the Iron Sheik during the Iran crisis, the Nation of Domination during the million man march and Bret Hart after the release of Canadian Bacon. On the good guy side, flag waving and jingoistic nationalism has worked for Seargant Slaughter Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Hulk Hogan. Pick an important social issue or group that has legitimate concerns, then create a characature that trivializes that person or issue. Trust me, the crowd will lap it up. Alternatively, go with a Buffy theme.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Why do you think people spend so much time on things which are not Cold Time Camp when they call here? Don't you think they should turn their thoughts to how to make Cold Time Camp more than it has been?
Signed,
Big Bro (or not)

Dear Or Not:
The answer is that they have lives and time pressures outside of Winter Camp (just as Big Bro does) They do signon to the system to talk about Winter Camp, but they also need a venue to discuss those other pressures. They also engage in Fellowship building. They should give more consideration to how to make camp better, but that can not and should not be their only interest. The Scout Law has twelve points, the Oath three major parts and the induction to our Order numerous breakdowns. Scouting is designed to develop well rounded young men to serve as leaders. Over specialization and tunnel vision are the greatest threats to progress, whether in the arts. sciences, politics or in one's personal life. That's why we assign hobbies.


Dear Dr. Beast,
I'm very concerned because I've accepted a summer job as a lifeguard at Jack Lord Beach and now I hear all these terrible things about it. What should I do?
Signed,
Future's So Bright

Dear You Gotta Wear Shades:
Two choices. You can apply for a transfer to Trout Lake or you can meet Big Bro and help him plant trees.


Dear Dr. Beast,
It seems no one likes the things I have to say. You seem to hear me while the rest just sense that I speak. Why do you think all the rest are so scared of the thoughts I post? Do you think I am right at all, or is this some sort of game? I need to know, since I feel like I'm not as in the group now as I once was.
Signed,
Big Bro

Dear Big Bro:
I'm not sure that I am as much a part of the group either. I think part of the problem is that Web banter, at least as far as I have seen it, is not as civil as it could be. I also think that some people were looking for a page to talk "smack" about their fellows. In my mind, the questions are legitimate. The problem is that many of those who are most unhappy with you realize that there are problems, and feel guilt that their lack of motivation and effort may be helping to cause them. They are also pissed off because they can't figure out your identity. I think that the guessing has livened things up, although I would like to know if my guess is correct. However, that's not important. My suggestion is that we figure out a way to tap the youth, preferably without placing the whole load on Big Daha. He pours a lot of his time and his self into Winter Camp, but there has to be some support to go forward. I seriously believe that Winter Camp might have only been 8 or 9 people in some year s without his year round efforts with the Chapter. I would personally like to do more. Once the most recent crunch at work is over with, I plan to try and work on some potential activities. I would also like to get the addresses of some of the youth that have participated in recent years and find out a little more about their Winter Camp experience. I am not sure that Winter Camp is irreperably broken. I think that it is becoming a different place, just as the group is changing. If you look at the early campers, we were lucky. We had some very bright people and some people with an incredible sense of loyalty and duty. We are still getting good people, but their roles are such that they find it more advantageous to play the goon or just keep quiet. I agree that we need an active youth leader. The problem is that the competition for time is much fiercer than I remember at that age. I think you are on the money in many respects, although we differ in our opinions of the general level of youth satisfaction with W inter Camp. If we could shift to explaining rather than telling people what to do, it might be a good start. Keep up the struggle, I think you've got some momentum going. You might consider a strategic shift to making suggestions that your fellows would see as positive steps forward. Treat the new activity process like brainstorming, no activity is too stupid to put on the list. Once we have the list, we can evaluate and develop. Remember, we have had a lot of fun acting out ideas that really sounded stupid at first.


Dear Dr. Beast,
I've noticed that no one ever gets up on time at Winter Camp. Why is this and what can we do to correct it?
Signed,
Early Bird

Dear Early Bird:
What's the point? Correct your problem by sleeping late like the rest of us.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Dear Mr. Beast, I'm playing Diplomacy against your brother. Do you have any advice?
Signed,
Hopelessly Lost

Dear Hopelessly Lost:
Yeah, idiots like you should not try to play games of wit, as you are unarmed.


Dear Dr. Beast,
Why are you the only Winter-Camper that has his own question and answer column?
Signed,
I wanna know

Dear I Wanna Know:
Maybe because I am the only Winter-Camper with the sensitivity and compassion to help others with difficult personal problems, plus I threatened to beat up the editor (and the webmaster).

 


Check out what Dr. Beast has to say about:

Ask Dr. Beast


Divider Line

Home Index
Sitemap Apply for Award
Top of Page Search Site
Mail Help

Divider Line

The design and content of this page Copyright (C) 1997-2000 by Steve Donohue for the Winter Camp Future Society
If you believe we are using copyrighted material, please contact the webmaster
All rights reserved