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Scouting ranks, merit bades, and the advancement programs

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • Good comments so far.  Here are a few of my thoughts. It's hard to judge this sort of thing from the outside.   A 21' motor boat is a big luxury for a troop to use once or twice a year.  Depending the age and features, a $4000 repair could be 20% of the value or 120% of the value.   I strongly question continuing to hold that asset.   Broke due to misuse?   ... How?  It would help to have context ?  Boats are pretty durable generally and hard to break.  On the flip side, using boats have common accidents like running into docks, losing anchors, hitting rocks with propellers.  So it really makes me wonder what is misuse ? Lots of experience in the troop committee and what they've achieved over the years probably attracted you and your scouts.   Strictly speaking, scoutmasters and the ASMs are intentionally supposed to NOT have a vote.  That's the rule.  But, most troops allow it as most troops are run by a set of friends that work in friendly agreements.  Votes happen, but usually the votes don't happen on controversial issues where there are huge differences of opinion.  If that is normally an issue, then troops tend to fall apart because of internal differences.  My questions though are ... Do the committee members know some of the parents are upset ?  Do the committee members know that parents are chatting that this money is misused ? Is there a chance for the troop to sell the boat?  IMHO, it seems like that is the best option.  If the boat was donated to the troop, then the troop can sell it.   As for the spent money, it's in the past.  Now, you really need to make a choice of whether you can leave the issue in the past?  If not, move on. KEY POINT - The time our children have in scouts is short.  It might seem long now, but the time goes quick.  I'd focus much less on this incident and much more on providing him the best scouting experience possible.  Don't let this issue damage his (or her now) experience.  Though you might disagree with the decision of the troop committee, it roughly sounds like they followed the right procedure and came to a reasonable decision.  The "misuse" issue is a distraction.  The boat is a troop asset that requires cost to maintain and run.   If you want to make a difference, then build friendships with the committee members AND build an understanding and discussion with the committee members.  Get to know each other.  
    • The promise of Scouts BSA isn't that there are outdoorsy mom that serve as Scoutmasters.  It that it no longer matters that it's a male or female Scouter who serves as Scoutmaster.  Scouts no longer cares what your gender is.
    • Camping merit badge is still required and so is outdoor cooking (both camp and trail) for the Cooking merit badge. While some outdoor requirements have gone away since I became an Eagle  in 1999 (like thr option for the more indoor Sustainability instead of the outdoor oriented Environmental Science), Cooking, with its outdoor element, only became required in 2014.
    • I’m skeptical gentlemen, the only time I’ve seen Troop Scouts in the last 20 years  dig, umm “man-made” plumbing facilities was on high adventure trips in the wilderness. Brag all you want, but scouting hasn’t gained adventure just because the older Scouts used a trowel once a year. As for the BSA adding more adventure, I believe National figured it out. Badon Powell was wrong; scouting develops character and leadership simply by sending Scouts to Philmont once a year to backpack. That patrol method thing is a myth. Next year all troops are required spend a day at Six Flags. The Eagle is saved. Barry
    • I was worried about that, as was our troop when asked about starting a girls troop. In fact, there are a number of moms of web 1's that do a lot of outdoor stuff and are very interested. They're all younger moms, though. (When I meet parents in their 30's it really makes me feel old.) Anyway, I said I'd help start the troop assuming that there would be a mom taking over as SM after a year and wanted to do the outdoor program. We have a half year or so to figure things out. I think it will help the patrol method and I can't think of a better way to illustrate different patrols doing different things then having different SM and SPL as well as patrols with different calendars. They might drive to the campsite together (or to different campsites) but they'll be doing different activities.
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