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    Tales of Scout cooks, prized techniques and yummy recipes for gathering around the fire.


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  1. When is enough enough

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    • Yep, repeating the same program over and over drives out the older scouts because even though they have achieved all the advancement requirements, they end up teaching them over and over. They want to be role models, not babysitters. Scouts want adventure and the adults want (should want) behavior growth. The 8 methods do a very good job of guiding the scouts in a fun and rewarding program. I find that while most young scouts aren't very interested in advancement, they become more ambitious as they get older. From a Eagles per Scouts perspective, our troop after five years was producing the 2nd most Eagles in the district. And the adults didn't push them. Well accept for parents. My point is that if the adults make sure the scouts are enjoying all of the program, they will stay long enough to eventually want more advancement in their experience. Balance of the 8 methods builds a solid program. The experience should be the motivator to grow with advancement, not the program directive. Barry
    • I thought @qwazse said it very well. I think you have to seperate instances where a Scout's actions have the effect of portraying Scouting in a political role from instances where the Scout is merely reflecting his personl beliefs at a Scouting function.  I thought Qwazse's earlier point was spot on - the when Scouts are merely portraying their personal beliefs, the Scoutmaster needs to react when those personal beliefs begin causing issues within the Troop.   In my part of the country, I see a different effect when people wear a MAGA hat.  Here, in my area, there is a segment of the population that has become so vitriolic towards the current President that they openly show scorn for anyone who would identify themself a supporter.  As a result, we have people (including a few Scouters I know) who see it somewhat as a badge of courage to show support for the President by wearing things like a MAGA hat or having a MAGA bumper sticker.  I think it's kinda like the earlier example of the Scouts who were trying to tweak the liberal Scoutmaster.   I'd concur - this is where the Scoutmaster has to watch things and react accordingly.  
    • Quite true.  I am hoping to bring some skill instruction to gathering time on Roundtable nights.  I was working with Cubmasters and Webelos Den Leaders last week, and while talking about how a Den Chief can be a big asset asked how many of them could tie a bowline or taught line hitch - 3 hands out of 15.  That shows later when these scouts cross over and we have to start from scratch with some of them.
    • I agree with you that balance and not putting advancement as the most important thing is the ideal scenario.  Advancement and uniforms are, sadly, the most visible thing to parents who are not in the program, and often all they fixate on.  When the adults begin to bow to that,  then it becomes the troops focus, and the outdoor program does indeed become less about adventure, and more of a grind than fun.   Advancement on a scouts terms is fine- I don't have a problem with a young teen becoming Eagle, if indeed a) they did the work for themselves the same as a 17 1/2 year old would, b) they recognize Eagle isn't an end game, and their purpose now is to give back and mentor the next crop of Eagles, and c) they had fun on the journey, and want to continue to have fun.    Most kids who drop out of Scouting will say it was because they were not having fun.  And, probe them, you will find it is because the program they were in was doing the same things over and over.  That isn't very adventurous, if you just follow the script from last year, or the year before.  It makes Scouting "workmanlike", and if it is workmanlike, they would rather be off doing something else.     
    • You are not a poor instructor. The FAA found in their research that Aviation GPS manufacturers needed to develop some commonality in their user interfaces so pilots didn't have to relearn a system every time they jumped into a different airplanes. Most pilots rent airplanes, so flying a different airplane each flight is not unusual.  Barry
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