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Scoutmaster Minutes

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Inspirational stories and meaningful remarks to share

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  1. Bosses

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  2. Paycheck or payback? You decide.

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  3. Perspective

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    • The only tag along siblings I have are other leaders kids.  I kinda have to deal with it I guess.  One sibling is a Lion.  Two others are not even old enough for that.    Our recruiting sucked this year.  The DE went to some Join Scout Nights, and another district committee member went to other.  We (the Pack) we not allowed to speak, just smile and wave.  District representative did all the talking.  They took their $11 for national.  So, the next week we lost a lot when they finally got to hear about our program and oh there are dues.  This year we are going to have an event for the community before JSN to pretty much show off and let people see what we do.  
    • Forty two years ago.... We mostly worked.  As @MikeS72 well said, it was still fun, even the work weekends.  Conclaves and the '79 NOAC were enjoyable. Looking back, I think the prime motivator for me was OA camaraderie, rather than an emphasis on fun.  Quiet pride.  To make the cut at the troop level, complete a difficult ordeal, and associate with like-minded honor campers whose outlook was "give the us the tough jobs", that to me was more important than fun.  To be around those types of scouts and scouters made me strive to be a better camper and leader.  Taking on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do became a habit that helped me quite a bit in adult life.... "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...."  It's amazing how often I still remind myself of these words. The OA could readopt the old criteria.  If it wanted to.
    • "This is the generation of mediocrity."  As aptly stated, this is a problem not just in Scouting.  In relation to this discussion, there are fewer and fewer of us that even remember the "old" OA and how it had special mystique and actual Honor.  Today, due to the "mediocrity" or dare we say it, tendency to overly "protect" them, our youth are being shortchanged.  The meaning of WWW is known by most members, as it is told to them and they theoretically actually have review their handbook.  The idea that kids would not choose to join because all they do is work, is hopefully a misunderstanding, though it is not as far fetched as it might be.     But, as has been tossed back and forth in other discussions, it is a world where for some reason actually challenging a youth is looking on with suspicion or judged to be too harsh.  Grades often are no longer actually given for quality of work, but just for doing something.  The once dependable bell curve for grades is pretty much a thing of the past.  Honors and AP classes somehow seem to automatically require A's and B's, rather than real weighted distribution.  We give those "participation" trophies.     As far as OA is concerned, if we went back to policing the ordeals "fairly" to avoid black balling, but actually held the candidates accountable, we might have a stronger Order.  And while certainly allowing parents to understand the purpose and normal activity, removing the mystique has taken the heart out of it if you ask me.     But what do I know as I often state?  I am one of those old "red jackets" from an outdated time.
    • This June will be my 50th year as an Arrowman. When I was elected there was a formula based on the number of active scouts in a troop.  If you had 5 scouts you could potentially elect 1 person; 6 - 14 could elect 2; 15 - 24 would allow up to 3 to be elected; 25 - 34 meant up to 4, and so on.  This meant that a troop with 40 active scouts and 10 of those scouts met the requirement for election could only elect a maximum of 5 scouts.  Those who met the requirements, including SM approval, would be listed alphabetically, and each scout would number his ballot 1 - 5 and list up to 5 names in order of preference.  The election team would then tally the ballots, giving scouts 5 points for each ballot they were listed number one on, 4 for second, and on down the line.  The 5 scouts with the highest point totals were elected, the other 5 on the ballot were not. Fifty years ago the First Class requirement also had just a little bit of flex to it, in that a scout could be Second Class at the time of election, but must achieve First Class rank within 6 months and prior to Ordeal.  There was also a method for electing Eagle Scouts without it affecting the unit quota. I would have no issue at all seeing the Order reinstitute a quota system, rather than everyone who is eligible and gets at least half the votes is elected.  I think we would see more interest at the troop level in becoming a member if it was tougher to be elected. Yes, we do frequently see OA members working; service is a core part of our identity after all.  We all need to do a better job of letting scouts know about all the fun things that take place at conclaves, NOAC, and yes, even on service weekends.
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