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    • It can also be the other way around - if your patrol members attend different schools, then you expand your friendship circle and have more social support. Half of my troop attended my school, the other half attended another. My friendship group in my patrol mostly came from the other school, friends I wouldn't have made without scouts.
    • Our Webelos invited a councilperson to a pack meeting for this adventure last year. They did not complete YPT.  We also invited city workers to give an outreach presentation about recycling. They also didn't do YPT. Our council invites police officers to summer camp every year. Don't think they've done YPT, either. All of these interactions are also incredibly public and one-off. The councilperson spoke from a stage, the workers also would have, and the police officers kind of did too. They couldn't find the scouts again even if they tried. The risk is incredibly low for these kinds of interactions with non-scouters. It makes sense to not need YPT for them.
    • The National Council for Mental Wellbeing Mental Health First Aid course  https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/take-a-course/what-you-learn/ is being offered at the 2023 National Outdoor Conference (Philmont) this weekend. "Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. For details on this course, click here to visit the Mental Health First Aid training webpage. Any adult who support youth and other adults in Scouting should plan to attend. Note there is an additional $100 certification fee plus the preconference fee. "
    • From the Norwich & Winsford Guardian (UK) The 1st Davenham Scouts Group, founded in 1930, has never had its own facility before and was most recently based at St Wilfreds Parish Church Hall. However, in 2010 the group was unable to renew its lease and members have since been meeting outdoors at Peckmill Scout Wood. Members have had to use temporary facilities such as portable toilets and a shipping container for storage. The group then bought the 2.4-acre site in June 2019. and was granted permission to build a hut. Now, they have announced a beer festival and a Christmas tree sale to raise the necessary funds. A selection of 12 beers and ciders will be on offer, as well as hot food and a raffle. More at source: https://www.northwichguardian.co.uk/news/23819716.beer-festival-christmas-trees-help-fund-new-scout-hut/ Maybe unit-owned "scout huts" will make a comeback here in the states? Years ago, we had two scout land properties in town which were sold as CO's were assumed to provide meeting space into the future.  Now we compete and pay for community center bookings without storage,    
    • OP: The OA is an honor society for Scouts, much like NHS is for high school students. A scout must be elected by their troop and then perform a day of service as a sort of initiation (referred to as an "Ordeal"). If your son's troop does not hold a regular OA election, your troop leadership must arrange for one to be held. If they are unsure of where to start, I suggest someone reach out to your local professional (probably a "District Executive") or your Unit Commissioner (an experienced volunteer who acts as a liaison between troops and the District). OA is not intended to replace your son's troop experience. Rather, it's more of an add-on that will allow him to connect with older scouts and enrich his time in Scouting. My own experience with OA as a youth was mainly positive ~ I appreciated the recognition and enjoyed connecting with other older scouts year-round (many of whom I served with on the local council camp staff). Like many Scouting programs, I'm sure his OA experience will greatly depend on 1) the quality of volunteers running the local program and 2) the quality of the Scout families in your area with youth participating in the OA.
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