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    • Charging people to attend B&G?!?  We have always had very lovely B&G events, but they have never been so expensive as to require additional costs from the family. For example, in our pack, the committee buys a dozen big lasagnas from Costco, and the leaders and a few willing parents each take one or two to cook and bring to the venue just before the dinner. A few bags of rolls and some easily thrown-together salads complete a filling, pleasant, affordable meal that boys this age enjoy as much as their parents do. Decorations are simple - blue and yellow tablecloths and eating ware, boy-made centerpieces, some pictures on the walls, etc. The entire cost to feed about 130 people last night was under $200, well within our modest budget without needing to charge families. If you can find any way to cut costs and make it easier for all of your families to attend, I recommend it with all my heart. The point of the Blue and Gold is to celebrate the history and purpose of Scouting, not just to put on a show. Make your presentations meaningful and your program relevant, and even the humblest meal can be better than a feast for the families who enjoy it.
    • I think this is a separate issue, however. A unit doesn’t have to supply two-deep leadership for a broader activity like an MBU that allows individual Scout registration. (See also: den chief training, OA events.) So that doesn’t affect your 16yo Scout. To be open to female Scouts, the event organizers would just have to make sure there is an adult female 21+ registered leader present and all the other YP rules are being followed.
    • Far too often these days, I see troops and adult leaders who are really only conscious of one method:  Advancement.  Advancement as one of the eight Methods is the concept of youth gaining skill and confidence by overcoming progressively more difficult challenges.  But for many, understanding the theoretical underpinnings for the Scouting program set out in the eight Methods is largely unnecessary because all the Methods are represented in specific rank and merit badge requirements and advancement procedures.  Advancement is now understood by many to be a single complete, practical checklist for achieving the Scouting outcomes of citizenship, character, and fitness.   The problem is that the specific rank requirements, many of which are "one and done," merely offer examples of what the eight Methods seek to teach.  Advancement requirements do not provide the complete Scouting education, which only comes through the conscious week-by-week application of those Methods by leaders who understand the big picture.
    • I’d never heard of charging to attend a B&G, to be honest. My experience has always been a giant potluck in a donated hall with donated placemats; dens do centerpieces and nut/mint cups; pack covers plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. Making it a moneymaker would leave a bad taste in my mouth, frankly. If you need to charge, cover your costs and leave it at that.
    • This is MY rank order... The Ideals The patrol method The outdoors Leadership development  Personal growth Association with adults Advancement The uniform
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