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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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  3. My son is a Boy Scout now!

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    • Instead of popcorn, our Council sponsors a Camp Card fundraiser. The Camp Cards sell better than popcorn, with less overhead. These are cards with tear-off coupons for local merchants which the kids sell for $5. They change each year, but this year our cards offer a $5 off coupon at the grocery store and a $10 off coupon at a popular drug/hardware/electronics/etc. store, as well as various smaller discounts at a number of other merchants. People like to buy them. This is a great idea if you can get your local organization to help get something going for multiple packs.  Maybe a community fundraising meal would work for something your pack can do on its own. Around here, pancake breakfasts or spaghetti dinners seem to be all the rage, due to very low production cost and very high popularity (almost everyone likes pancakes or spaghetti!). Scouts can wait tables and do set-up and clean-up and be very actively involved, and gain valuable skills. 
    • You and Matt have very wise insight. A scout doesn’t have to be mean or stubborn to be challenging, they can have significant mental challenges or be physical handicaps. I remember having one such discussion as the patrols were setting up camp. A new Patrol Leader who just receive a mentally retarded scout was finding the scout challenging. He was concerned, so we both sat down and came up with ideas together. Truth was the new scout was a new challenge for all of us. So were were all in the dark. I could tell when we separated, the PL was going to make it work. But I think what gave him the most confidence wasn’t so much our ideas, but that he and the SM were going into this as a team to make it work. He wasn’t alone.  I can think of a dozen scouts over the years who significantly challenged their patrols. One of the ways we handled it was by reminding the PLC that they were a team. If one of them needed help in any way, ask the nearby youth leader for advice or help. But, more importantly, if you see a youth leader struggling, walk over before he even ask for the help to show support. I especially reminded the older scout of this expectation. Scouts learn the most by observing; as the young scouts observe these actions over the years, the troop culture matures in its habits and expectations. What I found as our troop matured was that we adults heard less of behavior challenges.  As Cambridge is pointing out, the scouts have developed the skills to deal with all kinds of behavior and nipped the possible problem situations in the bud before they escalated into a problem. That doesn’t happen overnight, but cultural maturity grows faster than you would think.  Of course mature troops can have their own problems, like what are the adults supposed to do when the scouts are smarter than them?😳 Barry
    • I see this all the time at school. They like to team up the special ed. kids with our high performing students. They are basically using our best students as unpaid teacher's aides to get the test scores up. This is very unfair. If students complain about it, they get lectured about not being discriminatory and unkind towards the special ed. kids. The only way to get out of it is to let their own grades/behavior drop to a point where they won't get selected anymore.  
    • In the summer of 1950, when I was 6 years old, there was a series of floods close to my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. The disaster killed 23 people and destroyed 60,000 acres of land. Some adults thought it would be good experience for the Boy Scouts to help out by delivering food and clothing to victims. I was a Cub Scout and went along. I remember sitting in the bus staring out at waters that lined the highway as we entered a small town with our packages. When we left to head back to Lincoln, a river of water was flowing across the highway blocking our way. I was terrified, even though our driver managed to get through to safety. Now and again, I still have dreams of being stranded by a flood, cut off from all means of escape with only the hope that the water will recede on its own. In time the water does recede. The terror subsides, and people return to normal. But what will “normal” be when a changing climate drives the weather that produces new floods? by Bob Kerrey, Democrat, is a former governor and U.S. senator from Nebraska. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2019/mar/23/bob-kerrey-midwests-floods-are-catastrophic-is-thi/
    • Finally took a look at the requirement as GBB wrote it (BSHB, 9th Ed, Camping skill award, 3.a.): Whip the ends of a rope. What!? No fusing? And we didn't have to show anybody. We could come to our leader with one rope -- ends neatly bound -- and say, "See, I whipped it. Whipped it good." [Cue Devo] Then for fun I could go find some strike-anywhere matches, light them off my teeth, and melt me some of that new-fangled nylon rope. Advancement was so much easier back in the day ... at least I didn't have as much legalese to parse!
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