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Questions and answers for parents and leaders new to Scouting.

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  1. merit badge counselor

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  2. How much?

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  3. Two Deep Leadership

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    • 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. 
    • I've been reading about the "Patrol Method" here.  I always thought that we did the "Patrol Method" back when I was in Scouts, as we had patrols.  But, there were always adults around, too.  It seems the actual "Patrol Method" is extremely hands off.  I'm not sure I completely agree with that.  For example, a few weekends ago I went on a Weblos invite Boy Scout campout with my son.  They were attempting to teach the Weblos how to start a fire, and failing miserably.  Mindful of the "Scout Lead" philosophy, I bit my tongue for as long as I could, but finally went and brought them some tissue paper and said, if you would like some advice, I'd recommend a big wad of tinder and a lot more kindling then you currently have.  Soon a fire was going. I get the "hands off", self-sufficient mindset, but I also think that the Guidance part of Edge is useful.  I understand the idea of letting kids fail, but I also think that after you watch floundering for a while stepping in with guidance is a good thing, too.  I think, perhaps, ideally the guidance should happen before the need arises to put skills into practice, but guidance should be available at any time.  So I don't see it as the end of the world or the end of the Patrol Method to have 2 trained adults at Scouting functions.  Having 2 trained adults "supervising" doesn't have to mean micromanaging.  It should just mean observing and keeping things safe.  The biggest problem to me is simply getting more YPT trained adults. 
    • In my lodge growing up, "A clean sash is a sign of a lazy Arrowman." Kinda got in trouble for saying that when I told an individual who beligerently questioned my muddied, wet appearance at an Ordeal while he was in a spotless uniform and looked like brand new sash. He was the council president.
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