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    • I don't see this being different that the multiple Baden-Powell versions of scouting that exist already today.  I would be surprised if a brand program would be created.  I don't have experience in people in the Baden-Powell Scouting program or traillife to see how it works.  But with such a large group behind this one, I expect it to be consistant with the program they have been already running for a long time.  It is already run differently for LDS units now(not judging, just stating a fact) so I expect that this will be consistent with those long standing practices.
    • Go to a local sign shop - they can do custom designs in vinyl.  BE AWARE HOWEVER - the sign shop must be licensed by the BSA if they use any of the BSA's protected logos or phrases.  Info about licensing is here http://licensingbsa.org/  - the shop will go to the "Apply" then "License Types" and look at the "Local Council Product License" Here are some pics of what our shop did for us.
    • Proposal ready! I would love some feedback before I send it to the subcommittee. Sections to be changed are one color, quoted GtoA is another, and my response is another. Policies of Troop XXX These polices have been developed and approved by the Troop Committee to insure fair and equal treatment of all Scouts. These policies are to inform parents and Scouts of the policies of the Troop.  1.    Troop Policy and Organization 1.1     Attendance a.  It is recommended that the Scout attends as many meetings as possible to gain the most benefit of the resources available to him. b.  Advance notice of missing a meeting to his respective leader would be an appreciated courtesy. c.  Continued absences will need to be discussed with the Scoutmaster since "active" participation in the Troop is a BSA requirement for Rank advancement. d.  It is the Scouts responsibility to find out what he has missed during any absences. 1.2     Dues a.  Yearly Troop dues are $135.00.  We will collect $100 in November prior to rechartering and the remaining in Q1 of the following year.  If you have multiple scouts in the Troop or new to the troop, the dues are just $100. b.  The dues cover the following Troop expenses: patches, programs aids, adult and Scout training and some operating expenses. c.  Dues also include annual registration ($24.00) and insurance $ 1.00), and Scout magazine. In cases of multiple boys from the same family, each boy will receive their own copy of the magazine. d.  A scout will not be re-chartered if past year’s dues are unpaid. 1.3     All patrol names, flags, insignia, mascots, etc. must be approved by the Scoutmaster prior to use. 1.4     Uniform a.  Proper uniform must be worn to all Scout Functions. b.  Proper Class A uniform consists of:  Approved BSA shirt, pants or shorts, socks or knee socks, belt, and sash. c.  For Rank Board of Reviews, the Scout must be in the following minimum uniform: (a)  -- Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class    BSA shirt with all badges and patches applied. (b)  -- 1st Class                                     BSA shirt with all badges and patches applied. (c)  -- Star, Life and Eagle                   All items listed in 1.4.b above d.  Alternate Troop tee shirt may be worn when approved by the Scoutmaster. e.  There will be a uniform inspection at least once a month. 1.5     In case of serious discipline problems, parents must be willing to pick up their son from meetings, events/outings. 1.6     The Scoutmaster reserves the right to remove a Scout from elected or appointed office after two counseling sessions when said Scout is not performing the requirements of that position. 1.7     All parents or guardians may voice their opinion or concerns at a committee meeting. 1.8     All registered Scouts and adult leaders will be provided the required patches showing their: Troop position, Troop number, Quality unit, Crossroads of America Council, merit badge(s) and Rank. 1.9     The Troop will have a Court-of-Honor, at least semi-annually, if any Scout Rank advancement has been achieved. 1.10  No sheath knives or personal axes are allowed at a Scout function, unless being used by an adult for training. 1.11  All Scouts must have a Totem Chip in order to carry or use pocket knives or other wood tools. 1.12  Any purchase for the Troop's use may be reimbursed upon the approval of the Scoutmaster and the Troop committee. 1.13  Scout’s Troop Account a.  Each Scout will have an account in the Troop. b.  There will be no minimum required in the Scout's Troop account. c.  The Scout's account balance may be used for anything Troop related, such as; dues, camp fees, registration, etc. d.  A balance sheet showing all account activity for each Scout will be provided to Scout's Parent at each Parent's meeting. e.  Any balance in a Scout's account will revert back to the Troop general account if he leaves the Troop. The only exception for this is when the Scout transfers to another Troop; we will transfer the money directly to the new Troop upon request of the Scout after 30 days of being active in the new Troop. 1.14  Fund Raisers a.  Fund raising events will be held in order to purchase equipment for the Troop and offset the operating costs of the Troop. b.  The Troop Committee will decide the allocation of Troop income and fund raiser moneys. c.  All income and fund raiser moneys will be credited to the following Troop accounts: Troop general account, Troop designated account, or Scout’s account. d.  The Scout will be told prior to the fund raiser, the percent or amount that will be credited to their Troop account if they participate in the fund raiser. 1.15  Eagle Projects a.  When a scout is ready to start planning, he should obtain the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook from the scouting.org website. b.  The scout should discuss the project with the Scoutmaster and the Troop Committee Chair before he begins the planning. c.  Eagle Projects should avoid any date conflicts with major troop fundraisers. 2.    Rank Advancement and Merit Badges 2.1     Board of Review for Rank Advancement a.  A Scout must be in good standing with the Troop. b.  The Scout must be active in the Troop, which means attending at least one Troop meeting a month and participate in some of the events/outings.  Guide to Advancement (GtoA) Active Participation The purpose of Star, Life, and Eagle Scout requirements calling for Scouts to be active for a period of months involves impact. Since we prepare young people to go forth, and essentially, make a positive difference in our American society, we judge that a member is “active” when his level of activity in Scouting, whether high or minimal, has had a sufficiently positive influence toward this end.   Use the following three sequential tests to determine whether the requirement has been met. The first and second are required, along with either the third or its alternative. 1.     The Scout is registered. 2.     The Scout is in good standing. 3.     The Scout meets the unit’s reasonable expectations; or, if not, a lesser level of activity is explained. Alternative to the third test if expectations are not met: If a young man has fallen below his unit’s activity oriented expectations, then it must be due to other positive endeavors—in or out of Scouting—or due to noteworthy circumstances that have prevented a higher level of participation. A Scout in this case is still considered “active” if a board of review can agree that Scouting values have already taken hold and have been exhibited. In light of the above, denial of a Scoutmaster conference due to the inability of a scout to attend a campout violates the Guide to Advancement as it pertains to active participation. In my scout’s case, his noteworthy circumstance was hiking 15 miles in the Smokies. The GtoA clearly suggests that scouters to take other commitments, other extra-curricular activities, into account if a scout misses a meeting or an event for worthy reason. I recommend item 2 be restated as: “A scout must be active as defined in the Guide to Advancement,”   c.  The Scout must have his dues current or a plan in place with the Troop Treasurer.   Guide to Advancement (GtoA) Boards of Review Must Be Granted When Requirements Are Met A Scout shall not be denied this opportunity. When he believes he has completed all the requirements for a rank, including a Scoutmaster conference, a board of review must be granted. Scoutmasters—or councils or districts in the case of the Eagle Scout rank—for example, do not have authority to expect a boy to request or organize one, or to “defer” him, or to ask him to perform beyond the requirements in order to be granted one. Neither can a board of review be denied or postponed due to issues such as uniforming, payment of dues, participation in fundraising activities, etc.   Denial of advancement due to non-payment of dues violates the GtoA. I recommend removal of item c.   d.  The Scout must have fulfilled the requirements of the potential Rank. e.  The Scout must have had a successful Scoutmaster's conference.   Guide to Advancement (GtoA) Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference The unit leader (Scoutmaster) conference, regardless of the rank or program, is conducted according to the guidelines in the Troop Leader Guidebook, No. 33009 (volume 1). Note that a Scout must participate or take part in one; it is not a “test.” Requirements do not say he must “pass” a conference. While it makes sense to hold one after other requirements for a rank are met, it is not required that it be the last step before the board of review.   As the SMC is not a test, the verbiage used above appears to be misleading. What would be an unsuccessful conference? Simply taking part in one defines success. I recommend the removal of Item e. A SMC is already required. No reason to list it here. Additionally, if a SMC is denied the scout, the scout may proceed to the BOR without it (as listed above).   f.   The Scout must be in proper uniform. g.  The Scout must request a Scoutmaster Conference and when ready, a Board of Review. (see sections 2.5 and 2.6). 2.2     Rank Advancement a.  A Scout will receive his new Rank patch as soon as possible. b.  The Scout will receive his Rank Advancement card and mother's pin at a Court-of Honor. c.  The Troop will hold a Court-of Honor at least semi-annually. d.  The Scout's parent or guardian is encouraged to attend the Court-of Honor. 2.3     Merit Badge a.  The Scout may work on any merit badge with the approval of the Scoutmaster. b.  The Scoutmaster must sign the merit badge card before the Scout begins the merit Badge. c.  The Scout will be responsible for having the merit badge requirement(s) signed off by an appropriate merit badge counselor. d.  Parents or Guardians may not sign requirements for their sons, unless they are an approved merit badge counselor for that merit badge. e.  A Scout must be in good standing with the Troop to receive his merit badge. f.   The Scout must be active in the Troop, which means attending at least one Troop meeting a month and participate in some of the events/outings to receive his merit badge.   There is no active requirement for Merit Badges in the GtoA. In general, the SM should not refuse to sign a card allowing the scout to start work. The GtoA states. “It is then the Scout’s decision whether or not to proceed with the merit badge.” I recommend removal of item f.   g.  The Scout must have fulfilled the merit badge requirements to receive his merit badge. h.  The Scout must turn in blue Merit Badge card to the Troop Advancement Chair. 2.4     BSA Scout Book a.  The Scout will be responsible for recording their advancements and seeking appropriate signatures for their BSA Scout Handbook. b.  The Scout will be responsible for recording all appropriate service time and events/outings in their BSA Scout Handbook. c.  Before a Scout can go to a Board-of-Review, all required blanks in the BSA Scout Handbook, must be completed, initialed and dated for that potential Rank. d.  Only registered adult Troop leaders may sign the requirements in the BSA Scout Handbook. e.  Parents or Guardians may not sign advancement requirements for their sons.   2.5     Requesting a Scoutmaster Conference a.  For the ranks of Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class: (1)  The Scout requests a Scoutmaster Conference from the Scoutmaster or any Assistant Scoutmaster prior to the start of the meeting.   b.  For the ranks of Star, Life and Eagle Palms: (1)  The Scout requests a Scoutmaster Conference by emailing the Scoutmaster at least one week in advance.   When a scout requests such via the proper method what should be the scout’s expectation of a response? We should list a required time frame for a response from the SM or his delegate. As of this writing, my scout has still not received a response regarding his request for a SMC at a day and time outside of a campout.   Additionally, what if the scout does not have access to email? What did the troop do before email was widely available? Requiring a scout to request such in this method feels like it takes away from a part of the spirit of what a SMC should be.   More: Unit Leader (Scoutmaster) Conference The conference is not a retest of the requirements upon which a Scout has been signed off. It is a forum for discussing topics such as ambitions, life purpose, and goals for future achievement, for counseling, and also for obtaining feedback on the unit’s program. In some cases, work left to be completed—and perhaps why it has not been completed—may be discussed just as easily as that which is finished. Ultimately, conference timing is up to the unit. Some leaders hold more than one along the way, and the Scout must be allowed to count any of them toward the requirement.   While it is intended that the conference be conducted between the unit leader and the Scout, it may sometimes be necessary for the unit leader to designate an assistant unit leader to conduct the conference. For example, if the Scoutmaster is unavailable for an extended period of time or in larger troops where a Scout’s advancement would be delayed unnecessarily, then it would be appropriate for an assistant Scoutmaster (21 years old or older) to be designated to conduct the conference.   My son and I requested that the SMC be delegated and we were denied. Advancement is being delayed unnecessarily. I propose the following for this section: Scoutmaster will respond within one week to all requests for a SMC and schedule such to happen within the next two weeks of the initial reply. If the Scoutmaster or the scout is not available to meet at their preferred time and day due to active participation in other activities, then the Scoutmaster will delegate the conference to an assistant Scoutmaster who will coordinate with the scout to complete the conference within the next two weeks.   As an aside, I recommend that Scoutmasters actively seek out scouts to conduct SMCs and not wait for them to approach the SM. In the best case scenario, SMCs are happening more frequently than just once and only before the BOR (which means a scout could go a year or more without a conference). My scout attended summer camp with the SM as well as the recent Ordeal. Either of those times might have been very appropriate situations for the SM to seek out the scout to hold a SMC.   The larger question of the SM only offering conferences on campouts or lock-ins – nowhere in the above policy is that written. It is a rule fabricated by the SMs interpretation of what active means. If the SM wants to offer SMCs only on campouts, then the SM should be willing to delegate the SMC to an ASM if the scout is “active” but otherwise unavailable to attend that specific event.      
    • Gblotter,  the fact the church ripped off huge portions of the Venturing program does not make me feel more inclined to believe that the Church can successfully create a program out of whole cloth. Rather, the opposite. I'm glad you feel confident. I do not. I imagine the New and Shiny world wide program to look very much like the program provided to those outside the US and Canada for decades - barely conceived, poorly supported, poorly implemented. It will largely place the burden of creating and providing the program on the backs of parents and adult youth leaders, without the massive amount of support and training  previously offered by the Scouting curriculum.
    • I agree and disagree.  There are plenty of exclusive private and public universities that admit only the best high school students. They have an important place in our society.   I teach science at community college, whose mission, in part, is to provide second (or more) chances to students that did not do well in high school.  Every quarter I have one or more single mothers who are often my best students.   Most of my students are in the so-called lower middle class, supposedly the main Trump demographic.  Some of them work hard and some continue the habits that put them and their families in the socioeconomic position they are in.  We must continue to make sure that affordable post K12 education opportunities are available to our public and open on a first come basis.
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