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  2. SSScout

    Description of each rank

    Cub Rank Activities Descriptions: Lion: Have fun, make friends. Tiger: Have Fun, make things, take short hikes, make more friends. Wolf: Have fun, make useful things, go places with friends, take longer hikes, learn about nature and life. Bear: Have fun, make useful and decorative things, go further with friends,, think about life, find out what mom and dad do, maybe camp out in a tent?. Webelos : Have fun, make bigger useful attractive things, go further and higher with friends, learn camp skills, get ready to say "thanks, mom and dad, but I can do this myself now."
  3. Today
  4. Buggie

    Trailer Recommendation

    My son's troop has a small trailer. That along with a pickup for when needed ensures they have everything they need. I'm all on board the idea of small trailers. My troop (different from my son's) had their trailer stolen a few years ago. There was a rash of trailers being stolen in the region (which I share with another poster here), and a lot of scout troops were suddenly missing not only their trailer, but they also stored all their gear in them. My troop has a storage room, so most of their gear was in there. Unfortunately, they had also recently returned from a camping trip, so not all their gear was saved. Long post in short bullets. 1) If you have a trailer, practice unloading it after camping trips and reloading it before then. 2) Do your best to secure it. We have a chain and bolt sealed in concrete. If you aren't aware of it, boom goes the axle if you try to haul it away. 3) What you can haul sets the tone for your camping like Eagledad said. Adults are really lazy folks, as we like our comforts so we're willing to carry everything. 4) Big trailers mean you're required to have something to haul it. If you don't have the ability, you're in trouble. Usually not a problem for us, but now we're down to two folks with the trucks capable of doing the hauling. 5) There's a summer camp in the state that has a huge grade going down into the camp and coming out. I've not been there, but my SM talks about how many folks tend to ruin their transmissions because of it. 6) After our trailer was stolen, it of course made big news in the region. And a company stepped forward and supplied a new trailer with custom paint job etc. It's a beautiful trailer with shelves and everything.
  5. 110% agree. My troop growing up never had "patrol advisers," or "patrol counselors." Instead we had the ASPL, Leadership Corps (older Scouts who had served in leadership positions previously) and the SPL. When PL's had issues or needed advice, we went to them. When a Scout was given an assignment to do and he had questions, we went to them. We weren't perfect, but we had a heck of a good troop. Bill Hillcourt would have been proud. I've served in troops that assigned patrol counselors, and in troops that did not. I do not like the concept as it takes away growth opportunities from the older Scouts. Whereas in troop that utilize their older Scouts have better retention and involvement, because they are not used to guide and mentor the younger Scouts, they tend to not be as active, be involved in the troop, and not really care about anything. Sadly I saw this especially in my last troop. Also the Scouts tend to rely on the adults to solve their problems instead of figuring it out for themselves. Best example of this was a patrol making a menu. The patrol could not figure out a menu everyone could agree upon, and as time was running out, the patrol counselor ended up making the menu and duty roster for them. Further I have seen too many patrol counselors end up acting like den leaders and treating their Scouts as Webelos 3s. The last example does just that. Another example is the patrol counselor jumping in and taking over from the Patrol Leader instruction on KP to new Scouts. Whenever I had to be a patrol counselor, I stayed out of the way as much as possible, and asked leading questions on what they were doing and whether it was efficient or not. Sometimes they got it. Sometimes they didn't, and sometimes their was was actually better than mine. I first encountered the patrol counselor or patrol adviser concept when I went through Brownsea 22, which has morphed over the years to NYLT today. My understanding is that the concept is more of a training position than an actual unit position. When you get Scouts and Scouters from multiple units, and use to doing things multiple ways, you sometimes need an outside source to resolve matters in the limited time of training. Even then, our Troop Guides, which at BA22 were youth who had already gone through the course, were the ones to guide and mentor. Only twice did a patrol counselor get involved with patrol matters, one behavioral and one first aid related.
  6. Personal experience: I work in HR. I've done work for 2 Fortune 500 companies and a regional hospital network mostly hiring entry level or recent graduate positions. I've never interviewed a candidate because they were an Eagle Scout. If a candidate is qualified but has their Eagle, I'll talk to them, but if I do I don't typically ask about their Eagle unless they bring it up. The process of earning Eagle makes a young man a better person, but the holding the award itself isn't a magic bullet. Being a Scout and the things I did in my troop while earning Eagle are things I'm proud of, but I did it for me, not for what other people think of me. Too many parents, encouraged by the BSA, think of Eagle as a college/job checklist item. As an HR professional, I value it roughly equivalent to a high school sports team captain, drum major, student body president or lead role in theatre.
  7. Eagle1993

    Privacy of Health Forms

    Forgot about that one... yep, that would be a nice add as well!
  8. @Onslow, your job is to assist the SM (it's on the patch). Telling him everything that he's missing is likely going to cause him to tune you out. So, any progress that you make on that front will be in little nudges. Pick one of those things to work on. Offer to provide it for the SM. Recently, I focused on 1) giving the SPL his leaders handbook and sharing with him some useful web links and 2) sitting in on weekly PLC meetings. (These are short meetings, mostly after action review.) Mostly, I'm a fly on the wall. BTW, I've found the ASM patrol advisor scheme to be a next to useless division of labor. It's better to train the SPL, APL, guides, and instructors on what to look for. When you have your own crew that can help, as VLSC overlaps with ILSC quite well.
  9. The patrol method is covered in considerable detail in the Troop Leader Guidebook Vol. I. Unfortunately, very few adult leaders read the Troop Leader Guidebook. The Troop I currently participate in recently has recently experienced a succession. The former SM valued the youth led concept, but failed to facilitate the fruition of a youth led Troop because of the following processes were not practiced. No ILST training for 6 years No annual or semi annual planning conference with the PLC ever. No ASMs assigned as patrol advisors to hold youth leadership accountable, e.g., making sure DRs and menu plans are made, executed properly, and notes taken as to who ducked assigned tasks. This causes headaches on the advancement side. The new SM seems to be intent on spoon feeding the youth content and completely dismantling any meaningful youth leadership opportunities. This is partly due to the fact he has a scout son that is TF rank. Parents/adult leaders of younger scouts tend to care very little about the needs of Scouts Star rank and up, and seem to be more fixated on their own child's advancement and experience over the needs of the unit, or the overarching goal, personal growth.
  10. T2Eagle

    Privacy of Health Forms

    Unless things have changed since last year, you can't use electronic enrollment for crossing over Webelos to Scouts, which for our troop is the bulk of our new members. How are you not using paper applications.
  11. chief027

    Boys-only weeks at camp

    A few camps that are in my area offer regular weeks for boys troop and designate 1 or 2 as a Co-Ed week, other camps have no gender segregation
  12. chief027

    Trailer Recommendation

    Our troop has a Tru-Trailers 2 axle trailer and we love it; It can be pulled by a light truck or SUV (Chevy Colorado, or similar) but it is generally pulled by a F-150 or Silverado 1500.
  13. Eagle1993

    Privacy of Health Forms

    To be clear, I agree this is not a major issue. However, IT infrastructure is the 21st century storefront of many businesses and organizations. I would expect the BSA to create the IT software for councils and units to run efficiently. If the fee is $5, it must be covered by $25 annual fee we pay GSUSA or the camp charge (which is competitive with BSA). That said, I understand financial priorities have to me made and agree health forms are not the top priority. BSA has made some good progress on their IT investments over the last few years. I never deal with paper youth applications anymore and the process has been great over the last 12 months. We’ve been using Scoutbook, and while it can improve, the advancement sync is working flawlessly (I was pleasantly surprised the sync with ScoutNet seemed to be almost immediate and it saved extra paperwork and a drive to the scout center). I would love to see future improvements in charter renewals, health forms and adult applications. They should continue to see why Troops or Packs are using other IT packages than Scoutbook and help address the perceived gaps. All are possible (and again, the BSA is making progress) and it would help improve the storefront while maximizing volunteer hours on activities instead of paper.
  14. ParkMan

    Trailer Recommendation

    We've had a few trailers over the years. Off the top of my head, I can't think of the brands. Looking around online, they look alot like the ones made by Haulmark. The pack had a single axel trailer with a side door. I really liked the side door as it allowed us access to gear without having to open and close the rear door. The troop has two. One is a small single axel - kind of like a small uhaul trailer The other is a larger double axel - again with the side door. We switch back and forth based on need. We utilize trailers more than family cars because we also have access to a small bus. This lets us load us the bus with Scouts & a few adults. All gear fits in the trailer. So, usually a trip is just the bus and a car or two. This model has simplified our transportation coordination quite a bit. I second the comment about having some budget to put in shelving. For the first few years the pack trailer had no shelves. They stored all their gear in the trailer and as a result, it was constantly a mess. Shelves were a good upgrade. The troop trailers don't have much organization, but we use them more for need driven carrying of equipment and gear and so that contents are constantly changing. The troop doesn't permanently store any gear in the trailer - we utilize storage at the CO for equipment. The pack mitigated the theft concern by first buying a wheel lock. Later we moved the trailer to a fenced in storage area where people stored boats and trailers. Cost us a few hundred dollars a year - but it was well worth the peace of mind.
  15. thrifty

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    I was at a wake tonight. It was very informal, I was probably the only person in a suit and maybe one of eight that had a tie on. Most were in t-shirts and jeans because that's what they own and no one expected anything else. The wife and son told me later that someone actually wore pajama pants. The three of us agreed that maybe that was crossing a line even for this easy going family situation. But at least she came to honor the deceased and that is more important. I hate the JC Penny sketch just because I've seen it more than any other skit. There have been scouts in underwear and shorts but I thought the best solution was the scout that held a bath towel around his waist. I could imagine the other scouts taking his clothes while he was swimming or showering.
  16. David CO

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    We had a similar discussion at our meeting just last week. It has become a common practice in some places to wear pajama-like clothing in public. In my day, this would have been just as unacceptable as going out in public in your underwear.
  17. Yesterday
  18. Chadamus

    Trailer Recommendation

    I cannot recommend a specific trailer, but I can vouch for the effectiveness of an old school bus modified for Scouting.
  19. I'm going to put the Church of Jesus Christ retention rate at 10%. I see an increasing amount of apathy towards BSA involvement, even among those who have been quite enthusiastic about the program in the past. On the adult side, my council reorganized into LDS and community districts last year after the announcement. Every month since, the attendance at roundtable has continuously and visibly dropped. I don't think there were 50 people present this month. Volunteers that three months ago were planning to form a few new troops have since scrapped the idea. As for the youth, many of the Varsity and Venturing-aged boys I was certain were going to finish off their Eagle have since cooled off. The new program still has all the things that interested them in Scouts so why do both? My prediction is a 2-7% decline each year after 2020 as I see no reason for it to change. @allangr1024 I don't feel that being an Eagle Scout has quite the cachet with the general public as it did in the past. I don't have any real polling data but the resumes sub-Reddit has a fair number of posters asking about the value of their Eagle in obtaining a job (https://www.reddit.com/r/resumes/search?q=eagle&restrict_sr=1).
  20. AltadenaCraig

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Well, I'm happy to strongly agree with you on that. I've been thinking hard about why I'm so worked-up about this. @qwazse pointed out the Mission of the BSA hasn't changed, so what's the big deal? That reminded me of what set me off in the first place: The 2019 Guide to Advancement. On the facing page to page one, in large bold print, are two statements: the Mission and the (now four) Aims. Both printed in the same large-bold font, and only these two statements so featured, tells me the BSA places the same value on both. Well then, either the Aims should't be proclaimed so prominently or they shouldn't be trifled-with. And with "Leadership" so close to the "Leadership Development", and by burying the Methods among several paragraphs on GTA p. 11, it raised my doubts about National's commitment to Methods as well. @Eagledad's tale of two Scoutmaster's is cautionary. Our Aims & Methods are what help us identify true-north Scouters from charismatic posers who are simply winging-it.
  21. JosephMD

    Voting discrepancy

    When we do elections, the youth arrowmen on the elections team count the votes. If there is only 1 youth, the adult adviser does a second count. It gets a little crazy. We usually have pre-printed ballots with a place to mark y/n. It is like Florida in the 2000 election some times. Our standard is, if there is any mark that is not clearly an N or the word No in the box, that is not clearly an unintentional extension of the vote above or below, it counts as a yes. The unit doesn't know the vote counts. If I'm the adult adviser for an election, if a scout gets a really low number of votes compared to his peers, I might mention it to the unit leader because it could be a sign of other issues. But I don't tell them, Johnny got 10 votes and Billy got 11, just the names of the scouts who were elected.
  22. qwazse

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Well, here's the problem with the Aims being more than just executive summaries of other literature ... if they are more than that, you will always be left scratching your head about how your program has to change every time BSA rolls out a different version. The addition of leadership is an example. But, let's consider an omission, by taking one item from @Treflienne's quote of B-P's list: "to replace Self with Service" Is that not an an aim? Or is implicitly under character? It certainly falls in most closely with my working definition of leadership, so for me the it's now implicitly more strongly in the Aims than before. But was it ever really out? If you had a scouter who said to every family of every scout "Our aim is to replace Self with Service," would he or she be less effective of a scouter than one who said "Our aim is character, personal fitness, and citizenship?" I don't think an ability to quote the three (or four) currently promoted buzzwords will be a deciding factor. I am glad that aims are separate from methods, because methods are what we have to do with our particular groups. It's nice to know that I don't have to sweat the patrol method with venturers, or that with scouts can be developing leadership whereas venturers should be exercising leadership. It's also nice to know that outdoors isn't a method of cub scouting, but family involvement and serving the community is. When methods change significantly, I think we need to know. I think the YPT hurdles are changing the ability to implement some methods, and that's very sad. On the other hand I'm not sure what harm YPT does the aims, it's not like "make the lads individually efficient" has been explicit for quite some time.
  23. Eagledad

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Your right. For me the answer was letting the scouts make the wrong decision and then figuring out how to react to their decision, so that I could react better to their next wrong decision, and react even better to their next wrong decision. For us to develop the skills to guide our youth to making the right decisions, we have to allow them to make wrong decisions so we can also practice of the skills of guiding them into making right decisions. A teacher taught my wife and I that lesson when our kids were still very young. His point was that most adults know that youth need to experience their wrong decisions to develop good behavior, but they don't realize that the parents aren't just born with the skills to guide their kids to good behavior, they need to practice those skills to learn them. They need to practice the reactions for guiding their kids to changing their behavior. A good example is my oldest child got a few spankings to correct is bad decisions. My youngest never got one because our skills developed over time. That is why I taught new adult leaders in leadership courses to push their limits of allowing bad behavior. How can they guide scouts to make good decisions if they don't learn the skills of reacting to bad decisions. The best disciplined troops are the ones where scouts had the most freedom to screw up because the adults practiced and learned how to guide them to be accountable to their decisions. I was a troop leader at the same time I was a Webelos Den leader. In comparing Webelos summer camps with Troop summer camps, I found troop leaders don't yell near as much or near as loud a Webelos Den leaders when working with their scouts. Nothing special about troop leaders except that they have more practice with dealing with scouts' bad decisions. It's complex, I know. I'm not explaining it very well. But, I agree with you Parkman. Barry
  24. Sentinel947

    When was 4th Aim added?

    I agree with @Treflienne, @Eagledad, and @AltadenaCraig. The Aims and Methods are more than just fundraising slogans. They are a statement about how the organization works. I also believe they are helpful to orienting new adults to the program. Many new adults focus on advancement or uniforms to the detriment of personal growth and leadership. When I first learned about the Aims and Methods at 18 I found it helpful, although not world altering.
  25. ParkMan

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Ugh! We want to live the Scout Oath & Law, but we have to trust our scouts to recognize a silly skit from reality. If we can't trust Scouts to make that choice, then I don't think we've accomplished much as a program.
  26. Why not organize the supply area by patrol? ID all equipment by patrol so everything has an owner and a place? If you have a Scout QM use 1 from each troop to focus on G or B patrols. Shared gear like HA tents, pioneering supplies can be split amounst the QMS.
  27. Its better to use symbols or in our troops case colors to represent Patrols so that they can change the name of the patrol if they wish and the gear IDs will still work..
  28. Eagledad

    Trailer Recommendation

    By the way, trailers are easy theft targets. We've had three trailers stolen, and our CO would not let us use their insurance. Insurance companies told us that custom painting the trailer is the best way to deter theft. And while that seems to be working with our newest trailer so far, it doesn't stop them. The bright red custom painted troop trailer down the street was taken in broad daylight. However, I understand why the insurance company recommended custom painting because the SM called the police immediately after passing their trailer be pulled down the street. Barry
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    • Cub Rank Activities Descriptions:    Lion: Have fun, make friends. Tiger:  Have Fun, make things, take short hikes, make more friends. Wolf:  Have fun, make useful things, go places with friends, take longer hikes, learn about nature and life.  Bear: Have fun, make useful and decorative things, go further with friends,,  think about life,  find out what mom and dad do,  maybe camp out in a tent?. Webelos : Have fun,  make bigger useful attractive things, go further and higher with friends,  learn camp skills,   get ready to say "thanks, mom and dad, but I can do this myself now." 
    • My son's troop has a small trailer. That along with a pickup for when needed ensures they have everything they need. I'm all on board the idea of small trailers.  My troop (different from my son's) had their trailer stolen a few years ago. There was a rash of trailers being stolen in the region (which I share with another poster here), and a lot of scout troops were suddenly missing not only their trailer, but they also stored all their gear in them. My troop has a storage room, so most of their gear was in there. Unfortunately, they had also recently returned from a camping trip, so not all their gear was saved.  Long post in short bullets.  1) If you have a trailer, practice unloading it after camping trips and reloading it before then.  2) Do your best to secure it. We have a chain and bolt sealed in concrete. If you aren't aware of it, boom goes the axle if you try to haul it away.  3) What you can haul sets the tone for your camping like Eagledad said. Adults are really lazy folks, as we like our comforts so we're willing to carry everything.  4) Big trailers mean you're required to have something to haul it. If you don't have the ability, you're in trouble. Usually not a problem for us, but now we're down to two folks with the trucks capable of doing the hauling.  5) There's a summer camp in the state that has a huge grade going down into the camp and coming out. I've not been there, but my SM talks about how many folks tend to ruin their transmissions because of it.  6) After our trailer was stolen, it of course made big news in the region. And a company stepped forward and supplied a new trailer with custom paint job etc. It's a beautiful trailer with shelves and everything.   
    • 110% agree. My troop growing up never had "patrol advisers," or "patrol counselors." Instead  we had the ASPL, Leadership Corps (older Scouts who had served in leadership positions previously) and the SPL. When PL's had issues or needed advice, we went to them. When a Scout was given an assignment to do and he had questions, we went to them. We weren't perfect, but we had a heck of a good troop. Bill Hillcourt would have been proud. I've served in troops that assigned patrol counselors, and in troops that did not. I do not like the concept as it takes away growth opportunities from the older Scouts. Whereas in troop that utilize their older Scouts have better retention and involvement,  because they are not used to guide and mentor the younger Scouts, they tend to not be as active, be involved in the troop, and not really care about anything. Sadly I saw this especially in my last troop. Also the Scouts tend to rely on the adults to solve their problems instead of figuring it out for themselves. Best example of this was  a patrol making a menu. The patrol could not figure out a menu everyone could agree upon, and as time was running out, the patrol counselor ended up making the menu and duty roster for them. Further I have seen too many patrol counselors end up acting like den leaders and treating their Scouts as Webelos 3s. The last example does just that. Another example is the patrol counselor jumping in and taking over from the Patrol Leader instruction on KP to new Scouts. Whenever I had to be a patrol counselor, I stayed out of the way as much as possible, and asked leading questions on what they were doing and whether it was efficient or not. Sometimes they got it. Sometimes they didn't, and sometimes their was was actually better than mine.   I first encountered the patrol counselor or patrol adviser concept when I went through Brownsea 22, which has morphed over the years to NYLT today. My understanding is that the concept is more of a training position than an actual unit position. When you get Scouts and Scouters from multiple units, and use to doing things multiple ways, you sometimes need an outside source to resolve matters in the limited time of training. Even then, our Troop Guides, which at BA22 were youth who had already gone through the course, were the ones to guide and mentor. Only twice did a patrol counselor get involved with patrol matters, one behavioral and one first aid related.
    • Personal experience: I work in HR. I've done work for 2 Fortune 500 companies and a regional hospital network mostly hiring entry level or recent graduate positions. I've never interviewed a candidate because they were an Eagle Scout. If a candidate is qualified but has their Eagle, I'll talk to them, but if I do I don't typically ask about their Eagle unless they bring it up.  The process of earning Eagle makes a young man a better person, but the holding the award itself isn't a magic bullet. Being a Scout and the things I did in my troop while earning Eagle are things I'm proud of, but I did it for me, not for what other people think of me. Too many parents, encouraged by the BSA, think of Eagle as a college/job checklist item. As an HR professional, I value it roughly equivalent to a high school sports team captain, drum major, student body president or lead role in theatre. 
    • Forgot about that one... yep, that would be a nice add as well!
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