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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • I don't suspect we will get an answer to these questions until BSA makes up its mind about females in Scouting overall. How will Venturing work after Boy Scouts for Girls comes around? If past experience holds true, BSA will make changes to their program and then, months later, figure out what training is required.
    • A case from this weekend ... A couple of boys wanted to work on 1st class navigation requirements. The ranger had a binder full of headings and copies of camp maps, so I borrowed those and told the SPL I would be available before lunch for a refresher on compass parts, etc ... and after lunch to start anyone on the course. It was damp and snowy so I told the boys they could use their phones to take pictures beside each marker.  Four boys took me up on the challenge, which was fine by me. I wasn't prepared to run a full-blown timed and scored course. Two, slightly older, came to get the refresher before lunch. After lunch they found 4 of 5 markers and were able to explain what threw them off of the other two. I later learned that the one boy's compass lost its numbers from the housing (which were decals, not painted), and he and his buddy had to adjust by brute intuition. We reviewed what they did and they had a clear understanding of what went wrong. I let their PL know, and he signed off. Two first-years skipped the refresher and consequently found 2 of 5 markers. They had pictures of themselves beside 3 markers for other courses! The one scout asked if he passed the requirement. As kindly as possible, I explained: Cub Scouts try, Boy Scouts master. I did offer them another course for them to try, and they turned it down. I was available that evening to train both groups of boys on the SM's GPS. The SPL was getting increasingly vexed trying to get them to see me to complete one more requirement. I called him over and encouraged him to just put out an invite once for each opportunity that arises during a weekend. It's not his job (or mine) to force kids to do requirements. It was a bit hard for him to grasp because he came up in the spun-off troop that did a bit of pencil-whipping. In another post, I'll go over how I (hopefully) laid the groundwork for this group of scouts to improve their approach skills mastery.
    •   One of our Eagle Scouts did that as his project, about 10 years ago.  And he did have us install one of the versions of Linux.  (I say "us" because I was one of the "others", as in, give leadership to others in carrying out the project.  He typed up a list of instructions for those of us (mostly older Scouts and a couple of adults) who were installing the operating system and some software.)
    • How about we assume it's exactly half and instead talk about the large difference between cubs and scouts. There's a lot more maturity required of scouts than cubs. They have to deal with people problems because the adults won't be there to fix everything. They will have to be more self motivated. They will have to do more outdoor activities. It's harder. For a lot of scouts it's more fun. Some just want to sit in a classroom environment. I hate to say it but if you're not bored with cub scouts by the time you leave, if you're not really anxious or excited to move on, or if cubs is just really comfortable, then scouts will be a shock. My understanding is that webelos is supposed to be that bridge. I don't see it, though. The webelos program is essentially the same. Given that the adults running it likely don't understand scouts that well I'm not too surprised. I mentioned this once before but I think it might be good to have webelos dens meet regularly with a troop. If the troop's patrols really are independent then this won't impact their program at all and the webelos could get a good understanding of what scouts is about. Their parents could also learn about scouts and get a break from being a den leader. It takes more than one visit to get comfortable with a troop.
    • I don't know why they even bother saying that.  How do you know whether an applicant has that "ability," and what's really more to the point, whether they will exercise that "ability" and keep confidential information confidential?  The only way to really know for certain is after the person has leaked or misused confidential information.
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