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Scoutmaster Minutes

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Inspirational stories and meaningful remarks to share

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  1. Camp Toquam 1970-75

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  2. Gene Cernan

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    • When JTE first came out I remember being told that they would tighten up the requirements every year to slowly improve all the troops. I'm not sure what happened to that idea. One of the problems with JTE is that it is entirely based on easily measured concepts. The number of meetings held, number of campouts, number of advancements, etc. This is straight out of SMART goals. It is entirely based on the methods of scouting with no room for the aims of scouting because character, the oath, and law can't be measured. I could see a problem with with measuring improved growth of scouts and silly arguments between the districts and scoutmasters as they try to decide who deserves gold.  However, character has never been a simple idea to measure. If it were, the bible would be a very simple algorithm to measure people's character so they could see whether they were good or bad. Instead, there are lots of stories about struggling with good and bad. If the PL doesn't know what his patrol is then, sure, that's a huge red flag. Can you imagine the list of rules for trying to measure how well a troop uses the patrol method? What a nightmare. I'd much rather see the SM and ASM's sit down with a knowledgeable facilitator to evaluate their aims. Rather than a ranking make it a win/win way to help develop units. It would be great to see that in Rogue Scouts as well. I think I'll go back to my woodworking shop. I'm trying something new. There was a huge wind that took down some trees at my mother-in-law's farm and a cherry tree got knocked down. I'm hoping to get a local sawyer to come and slice it up for me. I have a spot all ready to create a stack to dry the wood.
    • Our Pack has done "Pack Pride Day" in the spring, wearing Class B t-shirts to school, but mostly as a recruitment tool. I could see this being done in Class Bs, but wearing the full uniform to school can be tough for kids. I know they should be proud to be scouts, and most are, but wearing the uniform in school rarely has the intended effect. Unfortunately it invites more criticism than compliments. I wouldn't even ask my son to do it. But ClassB he's ok with. 
    • Anyone have a good resource for someone who knows zero sign language to learn a few Scout-related phrases? Most importantly, how to sign "Be Prepared", but any others would be a nice bonus for me to know.  I've done some googling but I'm not knowledgable enough with ASL to know what the proper sign is, ASL vs. standard sign language, etc., and I don't want to get the wrong signs.  I made the classic scout leader move of volunteering to teach this and will now go about figuring out how to do it so I can teach it. 😄
    • Not much between here and the Steel City. Maybe Athens. 🤣 As much as the news can be dire or frustrating regarding the BSA. I'm all in for at least 2020. If I'm out after that, it'll be because of life circumstances vs something that the BSA does or something that happens in the news. 
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