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MSB member benefit - would cost little, be worth a lot.

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Sister Wolf:
Not thinking that a PDF is a good idea.  Just sayin'.

I like the idea and concerns about OPSEC.  What about having a pre agreed to X+ encoding as Jack describes for encrypting bank accounts on bug out docs?

Also,  I would be traveling with a family and am the only one that would qualify as being proficient with arms.  How would the MSBN deal with these situations?

I would not plan on, nor expect to be welcomed with open arms if we couldn't pull our weight.  Likewise, we would welcome, within reason, well stocked and prepared families at our BOL in a SHTF condition.  There may not be room to permanently house them, but it would be more secure than a campground.  Having a few such safehouses as waypoints to a distant BOL would certainly make long journeys easier and safer.

I like the idea of a tiered qualification scheme (Prepper 1st class, 2nd class, etc),  Each meeting specific requirements,  This would not only ensure that qualifications and resources are on par with needs, but also (particularly for us early preppers) help us set and meet goals to reach each tier.  Kind of an incentive and having something laid out would help us to figure out what we still need to do.

Great to see we are all on essentially the same page - just as I had expected. 

A couple of important questions came up -
1. What about other friends or family members that will travel with us but are not going to be qualified or an MSBN?
In my opinion, the MSBN`er (henceforth shortened to MN) is there to assist, or lodge, etc. the MN and can decide whether to help out the rest. My guess is that in practice, whoever travels with an MN gets taken care of. I know I would want to be treated that way, and will plan to assist others that way. An MN is much more likely to assess who can and cannot travel with them on an operational basis - along with family commitments - and any assisting MN will benefit from these judgements. If it is a van load or bus load of tag-a-longs, the assisting MN can simply restrict assistance to the MN needing it and they have completely fulfilled their role. Anything beyond helping an MN is up to the people involved.
2. Grades of qualifications - Rifleman Levels, gardening knowledge, medical training, etc. I think this is a wonderful idea, after a basic level has been met and a person is accepted as an MN.  A basic skills and competency requirement in a few key areas once proven would be all that is needed to be allowed into the MN. From that point forward, skills advancement would be indicated by additional test or qualifications achieved. I love the idea. We can build a ladder to climb of series of prep skills so that each of us knows what a particular MN offers and can assist with. Aside from being practical for determining who is best able to assist in a particular situation, qualification tests will keep us all sharp, motivated, and learning. What's not to like about that?

Getting blunt here, for my retreat, I value the following skills-
1. Skill at arms. I have 40 acres and can see a time for round-the-clock guarding of my cattle, garden, etc. Foremost is knowing that a person who has owned guns for a long time and shot them has done so safely - supposedly - so they understand the four rules intrinsically. While this can be taught relatively quickly, I would prefer to know before hand that the MN is capable of hitting the coyote attacking my dog, rather than my dog when the time comes. Or the bandit for that matter.
2. Physically fit enough to work on a farm. Moving lumber, hay, digging, gardening, etc. This does not mean 8% body fat, but neither will 20%+ body fat work too well. Someone capable of assisting in long days if needed.
3. Has skills that we preppers talk about all the time - communications, alternative energy expertise, gardening, medical, fabricating, food storage and prep, auto repair, etc.
4. Can meet their own needs for a while - food wise. This depends on the situation they find themselves in. A slow slide into a currency crisis and food shortages means we have plenty of time for storing 3 months - 12 months + of food for every member of our clan. The L.A. riots could have sent preppers out of Dodge with only a 72 hour kit (two of my friends were in exactly that situation during the riots). Both situations are fine. On the flip side, a family that shows up with nothing during a currency crisis, and this is more difficult to accept. We probably all agree on this. QED.
5. Non proselytizing. We are all entitled to our individual beliefs. No one else`s business what we believe, or if we believe. Some may not want to be with anyone except of their faith. More power to them. I am personally ok with almost anyone`s faith or lack of, so long as they are not pushing their belief on others or treating them with disrespect. The forum rules address this and I am just mentioning per my own preferences for my retreat.

Our MN can become an important part of our planning and development as self-reliant individuals. Every now and then even the sharpest cowboy needs a posse to ride to the rescue...the MN will be our posse.

In the motorcycle adventure touring circles, most riders (particularly BMW riders) carry a copy of The Anonymous Book, published every year by BMW Owners Association. It's a pocket-sized book of phone numbers sorted by region. If a rider gets into trouble and needs tools or parts or what have you, he can pick a number out of the book and get a fellow touring rider on the phone that is committed to answering such a call for help.

Granted, what we're talking about should be approached with a bit more caution considering what we all have to lose and the circumstances under which you might get that call, but there may be some things to be learned there.


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