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  2. And we were told that the standards would not be changed. Regarding membership losses, I can only go by what is happening locally. With all the membership changes in the past 7 years, Scouting is dying. We went from 5 packs in city limits to 3, and one of those is LDS so they will be gone by the end of the year. While the troops remain, they are smaller than ever. Troop I am currently in had over 30 Scouts 7 years ago, and now we are down to 11. Ditto all of the other troops save 1. And that troop's CO uses the program as an outreach for the CO. They are extremely active with biweekely and weekly activities in addition to meetings. A lot of resources are dedicated to the troop.
  3. Ranman328

    Trailer Recommendation

    Agree. Our Troop is in the process of buying a new trailer. Our current 1996 6x12 trailer is too heavy for everyone but me and my vehicle to pull. We are looking to sell it and use some of the money to buy a new one. They are so much lighter and easier to pull. I have been eating the cost to rent a trailer for our recent campouts. The easier you make it for volunteers to help, the more volunteers will help.
  4. Case in point. I just received this email with this news letter advertisement. Decisions like this are the reason boys and families are leaving the program. They are making exceptions for allowing girls to go to the World Scout Jamboree but not the boys. I understand wanting to get the most participation but you can't make exceptions for one group and not allow the other the same exception. This will open the door for questions to be asked and other exceptions to be made elsewhere and then where does it stop. There's a lot happening in mid-April 2019! Share your favorites with your Scouting network! World Scout Jamboree Registration Is Still Open! The 24th World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, July 21 - August 2, 2019. Some 50,000 Scouts from 170 countries will take part in this once in a lifetime experience. Troops and Crews are doing unit shakedowns in April-May; many Scouts BSA Troops for girls will gather in Charlotte, NC a couple days before the start of the WSJ to conduct the shakedown with other members from across the country, before traveling to the WSJ as a group. Scouts must be between 14 and 17 years of age at the start of WSJ. To encourage participation by new Scouts BSA troops for girls, the 1st Class requirement has been waved for these units. For more information, contact Jay Eidson, NCAC International Representative and BSA North East Region Commissioner.
  5. fred8033

    Trailer Recommendation

    I'll add a few that I think are key Weight when empty - Gear only adds more weight. Our trailer is 6x12 or 7x12 and must be 1500+ pounds empty. So even empty, vehicles are affected by the trailer. On one camp out, we rented a low profile UHaul aluminum trailer. We had that thing packed tight and you could still not feel it behind the car. Wind drag - How high and what shape is the trailer? Some trailers will pull easier than others just because of shape and height. Steel or aluminum - This directly goes to weight but also affects cost. But, a light weight trailer will save the volunteers money replacing their transmissions. Seriously. I've been in multiple troops due to having too many sons. For one troop, I regularly pulled their trailer. In the other troop, I refused to pull the trailer as it was a beast filled to the brim with cast iron and heavy chuck boxes and stuff. I would easily advocate for a troop to spend a few extra thousand to get a good light weight trailer. It's a matter of being kind and considerate to your current and future volunteers.
  6. I completely agree with you. I have two young men that earned their Eagle Badges and one aged out in December and the other in January and a third that will age out in June. The two Eagles no longer attend meetings and have no interest in Scouts due to not being able to serve in a meaningful position. Both served me well teaching Scouts and were respected by the Scouts and I am losing a great wealth of knowledge due to this new policy. Funny how they are mature enough to serve in the military but not to be an ASM with BSA. Sad times. Sadly, I do not see BSA Membership increasing. I don't think the girls will outpace the losses of the boys. I know in my District alone, we are still at a loss in numbers. Come December, we will lose 17 LDS troops alone. I don't think we will ever recover from that.
  7. Depends on the youth. For a very long time being in scouting wasn't cool. Adults can't change that, in fact if they try they'll just make it worse. If there are social media influencing youth that take a positive, pro scouting attitude to their 250,000- 1M followers....if older youth that younger kids respect are visibly enjoying scouting...if youth start live streaming their scouting adventures.... The potential for a unifying cultural experience is there, and there's not much left that everyone can do and talk about together. Prediction. When LDS leaves those numbers will be the floor for male membership. Three years out I wouldn't be surprised if a third of all Scouts, BSA members were female. Cub scouts is trickier because the GSUSA at that level is popular, but if there were 1.2 M cub scouts in 2017 and Oct 2018 numbers of 40,000 girls in cub scouts...I would bet 200,000 female cub scouts.
  8. Today
  9. I would have at their age too. I only stepped into ASM because I was needed and had experience to offer. There's much better things to do at 18-20 than to be an duplicate, unnecessary chaperone.
  10. I know of boys young men who no longer have an interest in serving Scouting who are in the 18-20 year old range because the BSA no longer trusts them due to their age. We spent years mentoring and advising them. They have more knowledge, skills, abilities, and EXPERIENCE than some of the new Scouters coming aboard, but they cannot be utilized. Heck, they can no longer be MBCs except at a summer camp or merit badge college. All because of their age an the new YP rules.
  11. This. Heaven help me I wish I had the gaming talent. Some kind of small-group competition combining geocaching, Fortnite, and Pokemon-go would be a winner and right up our alley. Alas, my crystal ball goes dark beyond that.
  12. ASM patrol advisors...a horrible concept. For both scout and scouter. As I look back, I value my patrol leader experience (Stampeding Antelopes) because the adults gave me plenty of leeway to succeed or fail. And I failed quite a bit early on, sometimes in a blaze of glory. When I needed anything, the SPL was the one who chatted with me. This made me a better patrol leader and then a more squared away SPL down the road. ASMs? They were mysterious adults who camped with us and took care of stuff like driving, things we scouts couldn't do. They kept their distance, and on rare occasions, providing a joke, an encouraging word, or a kick in the pants as appropriate. The SPL and PLs taught scout skills, signed off requirements up to First Class, conducted boards of review up to FC (with no adult in the room), planned/ran meetings, etc. The scouts will never learn leadership with an adult hovering around. And no disrespect to NYLT et al, leadership can't be fully developed in a training course. It can only happen on that rainy weekend when everything goes wrong. And the 13 year old PL has to figure out how to salvage a burnt dinner, fix the leaking tents, settle a dispute between PL members, and keep morale high. The PL won't learn a darn thing with an ASM advisor hovering about.
  13. TMSM

    Trailer Recommendation

    A trailer is a pretty simple design so I am not sure if the brand will make much difference. Here are some things to consider: Doors - how many and how do they open. We like a side and 2 back doors that swing open - not the ramp kind of door. Its easy to get what you want, easy to load etc. A ramp may be hard for scouts to open and may need clearance in back to open. Axels - the more you have the bigger the trailer which means bigger vehicles to pull. Hieght - we currently have 2 trailers The one that is 7 foot tall is easy to organize and load but not great to tow. The other trailer is lower 5' and requires crawling if you need to organize but it tows like there is nothing behind you. Tires - make sure to get good tires rated to go the speed you plan to go. Tounge/hitch - I prefer a wheel on the front end vs a foot. This allows you to maneuver the trailer easier when it is not hooked up. Wrap vs paint - wraps will fade much faster than paint. Shelves/storage - lots of good ideas online, try Pintrest
  14. It seems that 200K girls ages 6 to 18 is reasonable over the next four years. A lot depends on on the young women currently being granted an extension to make rank. Will many be willing to become SM's/ASM's in undeserved areas? Or, will the bitterness of being a marginalized keep them from committing to scouting for decades? Of boys and parents with boys: Based on the last disposal of "cultural war baggage," BSA can expect another loss of 1/2 to 1 million male members over the same period. TL/USA will successfully serve 200K of those, LDS another 200K, and -- as long as grants are being doled out for climbing walls and Maker activities -- public schools and secular clubs will serve another 200K. The internet -- especially 5G and 6G -- will make it possible for the remaining 400K boys and girls who are interested to execute the patrol method (by some other name) absent any governing organization. BSA will remain the largest boy-serving organization, but, like England, it will not recoup its male membership for decades. To do so will require a sea-change in the maximum remuneration to abuse victims, a return to formal recognition of unchaperoned activities at appropriate ages, and a careful analysis of what is and is-not working in other scout organizations around the world.
  15. 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."
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Eagle1993

    Privacy of Health Forms

    Forgot about that one... yep, that would be a nice add as well!
  20. @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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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    • And we were told that the standards would not be changed.   Regarding membership losses, I can only go by what is happening locally. With all the membership changes in the past 7 years, Scouting is dying. We went from 5 packs in city limits to 3, and one of those is LDS so they will be gone by the end of the year. While the troops remain, they are smaller than ever. Troop I am currently in had over 30 Scouts 7 years ago, and now we are down to 11.  Ditto all of the other troops save 1. And that troop's CO uses the program as an outreach for the CO. They are extremely active with biweekely and weekly activities in addition to  meetings. A lot of resources are dedicated to the troop.
    • Agree.  Our Troop is in the process of buying a new trailer.  Our current 1996 6x12 trailer is too heavy for everyone but me and my vehicle to pull.  We are looking to sell it and use some of the money to buy a new one.  They are so much lighter and easier to pull.  I have been eating the cost to rent a trailer for our recent campouts.  The easier you make it for volunteers to help, the more volunteers will help.
    • Case in point.  I just received this email with this news letter advertisement.  Decisions like this are the reason boys and families are leaving the program.  They are making exceptions for allowing girls to go to the World Scout Jamboree but not the boys.  I understand wanting to get the most participation but you can't make exceptions for one group and not allow the other the same exception.  This will open the door for questions to be asked and other exceptions to be made elsewhere and then where does it stop. There's a lot happening in mid-April 2019! Share your favorites with your Scouting network! World Scout Jamboree Registration Is Still Open! The 24th World Scout Jamboree (WSJ) will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia, July 21 - August 2, 2019. Some 50,000 Scouts from 170 countries will take part in this once in a lifetime experience. Troops and Crews are doing unit shakedowns in April-May; many Scouts BSA Troops for girls will gather in Charlotte, NC a couple days before the start of the WSJ to conduct the shakedown with other members from across the country, before traveling to the WSJ as a group. Scouts must be between 14 and 17 years of age at the start of WSJ. To encourage participation by new Scouts BSA troops for girls, the 1st Class requirement has been waved for these units. For more information, contact Jay Eidson, NCAC International Representative and BSA North East Region Commissioner.
    • I'll add a few that I think are key Weight when empty - Gear only adds more weight.  Our trailer is 6x12 or 7x12 and must be 1500+ pounds empty.  So even empty, vehicles are affected by the trailer.  On one camp out, we rented a low profile UHaul aluminum trailer.  We had that thing packed tight and you could still not feel it behind the car.   Wind drag - How high and what shape is the trailer?  Some trailers will pull easier than  others just because of shape and height. Steel or aluminum - This directly goes to weight but also affects cost.  But, a light weight trailer will save the volunteers money replacing their transmissions.  Seriously.  I've been in multiple troops due to having too many sons.  For one troop, I regularly pulled their trailer.  In the other troop, I refused to pull the trailer as it was a beast filled to the brim with cast iron and heavy chuck boxes and stuff.   I would easily advocate for a troop to spend a few extra thousand to get a good light weight trailer.  It's a matter of being kind and considerate to your current and future volunteers.  
    • I completely agree with you.  I have two young men that earned their Eagle Badges and one aged out in December and the other in January and a third that will age out in June.  The two Eagles no longer attend meetings and have no interest in Scouts due to not being able to serve in a meaningful position.  Both served me well teaching Scouts and were respected by the Scouts and I am losing a great wealth of knowledge due to this new policy.  Funny how they are mature enough to serve in the military but not to be an ASM with BSA.  Sad times.  Sadly, I do not see BSA Membership increasing.  I don't think the girls will outpace the losses of the boys.  I know in my District alone, we are still at a loss in numbers.  Come December, we will lose 17 LDS troops alone.  I don't think we will ever recover from that.
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