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    • There is a bit of "eye of the beholder" going on. For example, having a couple of scouters 100 yards away in an open meadow -- while the SPL/ASPL may shuttle between scouts and adults as needed -- is what I call "reasonably engaged."  But, last week we backpacked mostly first-years over moderate terrain to an idyllic, but narrow site between thickets and a stream. My dog was the only seasoned backpacker under the age of 13! So, yes, the adults were within eyesight and earshot. On the other hand, if this group keeps itself together, in 3 years, we'll be on the opposite side of the valley from them. They may even show up with a hike plan, and if I'm convinced of their training, I'll let them work it and rendezvous with them at the end of the trail. So, we bend the PM to fit the terrain.
    • Sometimes in patrol method camping we forget that we have older boys that do know how to do things. If a patrol does not know how to do something they ask the SPL, the SPL solves the problem by finding a good instructor. If the SPL does not know how or how to solve it then he asks the SM for advice. Failing, asking for help, and solving issues without the help of the sdults if the goal, not building fires or having outdoor skills.
    • Recruiting season is wrapping up this year.  We have over 90 Scouts registered, I expect several will drop and we will end up in the mid 80s.  (We have some casual scouts and we have made the change to strictly enforce advancement requirements.  Our Pack had a long history of handing our ranks and our current leadership has decided to change that... so we expect some to drop.) We currently have 18 girls in our Pack and it varies greatly by age.  Our largest pack size in the last 10+ years was 74... so we are definitely up even excluding Lions which is by far our smallest den. We are now pulling in girls and a boy from other schools who’s Packs have decided to stay boy only.  The girls are easy to explain but there was a boy as well.  The boy was best friends with a girl and they wanted to be in the same Pack.  We have received no negative feedback from parents.  There are a few that said they are “interested” in seeing how the dynamics change (if they do).   One dad said his son had threatened to quit if we added girls but now wants to keep participating.  One girl (young) actually asked why there were boys in the Pack.  Otherwise it is a non (or at least limited) issue in our Pack.  One of my leaders was talking to a parent of a girl who recently joined and explained that he was concerned that we might negatively impact GSUSA.  The parent said that without our Pack her daughter would have no scouting available as the GSUSA Troop collapsed when no parents wanted to volunteer.... and other Troops were difficult to join.  Strong GSUSA Troops will be fine in our school, but we are there for those without a scouting home. Next up recharter.  It will be interesting to see if there is more attrition than in the past. 
    • I usually only wore my OA sash at Trooping meetings when the boys voted on new members and during OA events - ordeals for new members.   As an adult OA member but not an OA advisor, I really didn't attend more than one or two OA meetings.   It was the one "honor" I was glad my older son received before his dad.   He still remembers a year later when his dad forgot the OA "password" during his Brotherhood ceremony - okay, I've said too much already.
    • I always wash my things thoroughly after outdoor activities (I am not a fan of mud or grime), so my first sash has remained pretty clean and bright through the years. A clean sash may be a sign of a lazy Arrowman, OR it may simply be a sign of a fastidious one. 
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