Jump to content

All Activity

This stream auto-updates     

  1. Yesterday
  2. David CO

    Hello from Columbus

    There is a very simple answer for that. They don't have do merit badges if they don't want to. The advancement program is completely voluntary.
  3. We always have: Fastest Car, Marathon Winner (the slowest car (which has to make it past the finish line to count)), Most Creative, Best Craftsmanship, and Scout's Choice. Every boy who enters a car receives a participation medal as well. Of all the awards, the most coveted is easily the Marathon Winner, and we actually have two set of brackets to accommodate the competition for both the fastest and slowest cars. It's become easy to figure out how to make a car fast, but to make it slower than every other car while still making it all the way down the track? THAT can be just as tricky. And the nice thing is, there is no one "winner" of the evening. There are many, but of differing kinds, which I think makes the whole day much less stressful.
  4. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    Thanks all - I am looking for insights anyone might be able to share working with urban poor youth. My unit is located in a regentrifying neighborhood - if you are north on one side of a street - $650k home if you are south of that same street $100k homes (if that much). There is a big discrepancy there and the urban affluent are just having kids and the urban poor have younger and older kids. Any insights on how to approach an 11 year old boy about joining Scouts? It's a tough putt... I often see this kids without their parents, had one boy join Scouts and his mom signed him right up. I said I look forward to meeting your family. A campout came out and the mom had no idea she signed him up for Boy Scouts (despite the application saying Boy Scouts of America, that sometimes gives it away). He has not been back. I troll a neighborhood community center and the boys seem to have interest but their parents are never around to understand what the boys might be getting into. I have met some really great kids who were enthused about adventuring, camping, hiking, canoeing, but worried that when it comes to Merit Badges the enthusiasm drops. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated and thanks for the warm welcome!
  5. Sentinel947

    Hello from Columbus

    @scoutmaster759 Welcome to good luck to you!
  6. I definitely agree with this advice. Aim for 10+ campouts per year. Maybe 2 per month during the summer when Scouts don't have to deal with homework, conflicting extracurricular events (sports, band, clubs, etc.).
  7. This is no different from many boy troops that have started over the past. All this information is in the rank advancement portion of the scout manual. I work with boys and girls in troops and tell them the same thing. "Read your manual" It really has everything they need for the ranks up to 1st class. You seem very focused on getting the girls to Eagle rank, that is no different from just about every new scout parent I have worked with in the past. Advancement is only one of the methods of scouting. Nobody here is telling you that the girls shouldn't get Eagle or have a plan. What everyone is saying is that your position is no different from what people have gone through in the past. There has been great advice given here that it seems that you have dismissed. My advice: I recommend you start attending your district round tables and networking with other leaders in your district. Do some activities with another troop or crew or ship to help get through the initial obstacles. Go camping every month not just seven. Read the BSA leader guides especially volume #1 Talk to your unit commissioner on a regular basis.
  8. qwazse

    Hello from Columbus

    @scoutmaster759, welcome to the forums and thanks in advance all you'll do for the youth.
  9. Attending multiple summer camp weeks can also be expensive. Summer camps in my area run around $300-$450 per week. A motivated and focused Scout can earn 6+ merit badges in one week of summer camp, which could take care of a few of the Eagle-required merit badges, plus many of the electives. The quality of instruction at summer camp can also be hit or miss. If there are merit badges that a Scout is interested in that can't easily be done elsewhere (Climbing, Kayaking, etc.) then summer camp is the place that I would recommend doing them. I wouldn't recommend doing a merit badge like Cooking or Camping at summer camp, where most of it can't be done in a group setting anyway. We have some local pools that have merit badge counselors for Swimming and Lifesaving. Earning Swimming prior to summer camp would be good preparation for the swim test at camp and would free up a class slot for something else that the Scout might want to do.
  10. Thunderbird

    Belt loop resource repository

    Most Cub Scout awards: https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/what-cub-scouts-earn/other-youth-awards/ Cub Scout Nova & Supernova awards: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/cub-scout/
  11. RememberSchiff

    Hello from Columbus

    @scoutmaster759 welcome to scouter.com
  12. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    I am a newly minted Scoutmaster working on building a troop in an urban area predominantly split between a low income neighborhood and a high income neighborhood and working through Scouts to make a neighborhood a community.
  13. I had a scout wake up when he turned 16 and decided he wanted to get eagle. We talked. I explained to him all the tight time lines. Then I let him be. He worked his butt off. Alas, he didn;t pay attention to one of those time lines and he missed it by about a month. Had I the time and was a bit more organized I would have reminded him but I was quite busy as well. I felt bad. I know he felt bad. But he was also quite honorable about it. I was impressed. I told him if he ever needed a letter of recommendation I'd write him a glowing one. He took me up on that. I think he's in med school or something. Bright. Talented. A bit disorganized. But he'll make the world a better place. He was also one of the best SPL's we've ever had. Bottom line, give them some encouragement but let them be. They need to figure this out. They need to want it. They need to make it happen. But they don't need to get it. @Cburkhardt, I've seen plenty of people that try to solve every little problem for the scouts. Half my time spent at eagle projects was always grabbing parents aside and telling them the scouts need to find the problems and solve them because that's where the learning occurs. It's the learning that we're after. The rank is just a carrot for the scouts.
  14. Liz

    Belt loop resource repository

    http://usscouts.org/advancementTOC.asp#cub
  15. As everyone can see there are many different and valid ways to do this, and many believe strongly in their views. This is great because it confirms the importance of our chosen volunteer work. One circumstance I will note is that leaders of all-girl troops are particularly tasked to simultaneously start up a unit and provide concentrated attention to these older girls. I think utilizing the advantages of top-notch summer camp staff and programs Can be a smart way for new girl troops to go. But I recognize these other approaches as very good.
  16. RememberSchiff

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    I appreciate the courteous and wise advice given by many of our veteran members in that discussion. Thanks. Maybe in time... RS
  17. Eagledad

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    This is the silent motto for the BSA adult leaders. Thanks Saltface, it’s perfect. To bad the adult leading the discussion of fast-tracking girls to Eagle can’t get it. Barry
  18. Really? A sixteen year old can earn two or three MBs a month, meet the caring adults in her community at her convenience, use some of those learning experiences to enhance the life of her patrol and troop, be in control of her own destiny, have all the badges she needs plus a few for insta-palms by year's end ... and you think "extra summer camps" is a good idea? That's not being prepared. What if she can't go to more than one BSA camp? What if she goes, and hates it because all she has is MB classes that she doesn't care about. What if she goes and likes only one MB because that camp is ansolute best at teaching it and only wants to take that one again and again and again. What if she goes, and your venturer tells her about a really awesome two-week super activity that a crew she knows is doing next year? And, this is really important: your new adults have more to offer through their jobs and hobbies than they realize. If you endorse some stranger's MB program over their ability to provide unique opportunities for your troop, you are giving a vote of no-confidence to the people who will be keeping your program afloat for years to come. This is not a hypothetical. I've made lots of plans with older teens ... all of them were extremely diverse ... none of them involved extra weeks as participants at summer camp. They didn't all end aging out with Eagle rank, but they all achieved the aims of scouting. If after week 1, this scout really likes summer camp, let her know about additional weeks she may attend. But, don't link that with advancement.
  19. RememberSchiff

    2018 Philmont Wildfires

    Update Easter, 2019 "There's just a real sense of loss, kind of a grieving process so to speak," said Roger Hoyt, a longtime Scout leader and Philmont's general manager. "But at the end of the day, nature does renew itself and I think from the tragedy and the heartache comes this sense of renewal and opportunity." More than a half-million dollars already has been raised and the rebuilding effort is well underway with the installation of 85 new campsites and work to shore up some of the ash-covered hillsides. Crews were sidelined in January due to snow, but work has resumed in the lower elevations as the clock ticks down for the start of the summer season. And it will be a banner season with a record number of Scouts — possibly as many as 24,000 — expected to pass through Philmont, Hoyt said. Some of them initially planned to make the trek in 2018 but were derailed due to the fire and the subsequent closure of the backcountry. With nearly one-fifth of Philmont blackened, the ranch is not alone in its new mission to become more resilient as western land managers face larger and hotter wildfires fueled by overgrown forests and dry conditions. In 2018, more than 8.7 million acres (13,594 square miles) burned across the U.S., with most of that being in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center . Records were broken in California, which marked its deadliest and most destructive blaze in November as the town of Paradise was destroyed and 85 people were killed. Scientists have said the 2018 season was part of a longer trend of larger and more frequent fires in the western United States. In New Mexico, more than 382,000 acres (597 square miles) burned in 2018 and the state has seen its largest and most destructive fires on record within the last decade. Hoyt estimates Philmont Scout Ranch will spend $1 million in the next year on conservation and fire mitigation projects. That includes addressing silt that's washing down from barren slopes to clearing fuel from the forest floor, thinning trees and creating fuel breaks to keep fires from racing across other parts of the ranch. While the work is relatively low-cost, it's labor intensive, Hoyt said. In March alone, 140 volunteers spent over 6,000 hours on fire mitigation and restoration projects. Within two years, he hopes pockets of the burned area can be used as an outdoor classroom for visiting Scouts. Source: https://www.sent-trib.com/news/boy-scout-ranch-focuses-on-wildfire-recovery-as-season-nears/article_ba903786-63c6-11e9-ba06-3f0b01a7c243.html
  20. Thunderbird: Thanks for the specific “catches” on merit badges and rank requirements that have time requirements that need advance attention. This is the kind of thing we need these youth to be aware of. Qwaze: The multiple weeks of summer camp is good for merit badge completion — especially for the previously “unscouted” girl. Our 7 weekend campouts will give them plenty of chance to compile the 20 nights. Great overall thoughts. keep the ideas flowing folks. When we have covered it enough I will compile a one-page summary and post it broadly.
  21. Liz

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    My oldest Scout did the same. Wore a swim shirt at all swimming events including indoor pools where sunburn was not an issue. Said it was a modesty issue. I never understood... until she came out as a trans woman around age 21. Turns out she was uncomfortable showing her chest because inside she identified as and felt like a girl and it didn't feel right. I'm of course not suggesting that this is the reason for any other person, just an example that people may have a variety of "concealed" reasons for doing what they do. My 2nd Scout always wore a swim shirt outdoors for sun protection. Maybe this kid is like mine and hates the feeling of sunscreen, but doesn't want to admit it for some reason. 🤷‍♀️
  22. Saltface

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    That’s either a personal interpretation or he was concealing his true reason. I’ve never met anyone that felt that way. What I was hoping to communicate with my original response is that I would prefer to go to the Oath and Law for guidance over the GSS for a question like this. In other words, “Teach them correct principles and [let them] govern themselves.”
  23. @Cburkhardt, I think any other scout's particular written plan could send your scouts down a very wrong path -- especially if it winds up clashing with their interests. These older teens can review the requirements and plan for themselves. The venturer, especially should by now be skilled at back-dating from a target date to schedule a series of steps towards completion of an adventure. Most camp staff have similar opportunities, plus they should know how blue cards work. Scout C is a wild card. You almost certainly need to listen carefully to her interests and have her start on an MB of interest to her with a counselor you trust. Then when she comes back with her first blue card, you will have data to let her know if she needs to pick up the pace to stay on track. For mature scouts, I always suggest that they be working on an elective and required MB every month. Most scouts this age would do well with personal management, personal fitness, and family life. Weekend campouts are a must if they want to earn Camping MB in 18 months. Really, they only need to attend one summer camp so they can rack up 6 camping nights. Everything else they need for advancement they should do on weekends or evenings with their troop, patrol, or their friends. Your next few SMCs will tell a whole lot more about where to direct them than any timetable that someone claims worked for their scouts.
  24. Some things to keep in mind: Cyber Chip (rank requirement for Scout and Star): Requires Scouts to write and sign a personalized contact with a parent / guardian and also to have a discussion with parents. Fitness requirements: Tenderfoot - practice & track for 30+ days Second Class - at least 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week for 4 weeks [must be done after completing TF #6c.] First Class - at least 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week for 4 weeks [must be done after completing SC #7a.] Merit badges to watch out for: Family Life - Track chores for 90 days. Personal Fitness - Outline a fitness program and track fitness for 12 weeks. Personal Management - Track income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks. Camping - 20 nights of camping with specific requirements (cabin camping doesn't count). 6 nights at summer camp can count if the Scout sleeps under the sky or in a tent. Cooking - Not really difficult, but has some specific requirements that Scouts need to be aware of and follow. As far as leadership positions of responsibility go, there are around 15 PORs that count for purposes of the Eagle Scout rank, and some of them can be held by more than one Scout at the same time (Instructor, Den Chief, ASPL, one Patrol Leader per patrol, etc.). So, the SPL can make troop-level appointments (in consultation with the Scoutmaster) and make sure that Scouts who need PORs for a particular rank get one. Something else that can help with PORs is to have 6 month terms of office instead of 12 months.
  25. Thanks to the over 700 who have visited this posting in the last 24 hours. Understanding how to best provide advice on this is a concern shared by many. We are going to deliver on this. And, Happy Easter to everyone of you, regardless of your faith. There is a clear need to provide guidance on basic scheduling and requirements/leadership sequencing to meritorious older young men and woman who have been presented the opportunity to advance through Scouting’s ranks during this exceptional period. Thanks to those who had useful prioritization thoughts to offer. To those who seemingly think that these young people should figure out how to do this entirely on their own, let me tell you that we are going to provide Scoutmasterly advice so that those who want to have as much of the scouting experience they can — and maybe even earn Eagle — can do so in an organized manner and not be crushed by failing to catch one of our elaborate rules. I have been considering it and believe the critical timing issue is to immediately start earning the merit badges this and next summer. I believe at least three combined weeks at a first-rate council camp with a broad variety of offerings is the way to go. Our 2 girls who have gobs of experience in BSA as tag-alongside, Venturers and camp staff will each spend 2 weeks this summer at camp and probably one more next year. The “unscouted” girl will have a more gradual start, because we need to see her learn and master the basics. She will work merit badges as well and spend a week with us during our Troop visit to our council camp. Next year she will likely need to do 2 weeks at camp. For all 3 girls we will spend a lot of time to assure they are learning and exercising leadership and serve the requisite time in officerships. That some of these girls are going to college during this period presents a logistical challenge. As I noted earlier, we have one girl leaving our area. She will dual register with a troop in her college town to continue her work while away — especially her leadership roles. And, we are receiving a long-time venturer in our city who will attend college here. She and her parents are well along the way on all of this. Because our Troop meets on Saturday mornings it will work well for her school schedule. Her mother is also an experienced commissioner. Do not hesitate to have your professionals assist to find a destination college town troop for your young person. The third girl will live here and do her Scouting work with us as a junior and senior in high school. Again, if any of you and your scouts have reduced to writing a sample schedule for rank, merit badge and leadership service, please post it for others to see. I am aware that some good templates have been developed. I will share our details as we develop them.
  26. Last week
  27. So...not to do a disservice to the journey, and it is each Scout's journey, basic project management, if you have hard stop to achieve something you will need a plan. We had an older teen (15 and 8 months) join the troop a couple of years ago. Mainly he wanted to attend high adventure with friends in the troop. As he did attend one high adventure and then camp (as a "new" scout) we talked about what he wanted to do in Scouting. Long story short, we backdated a plan for when HE would need to attain various ranks. HE would have to do this, HE would need to attend our second summer camps to get enough optional merit badges, HE would need to serve in the leadership, HE would need to propose, plan, and perform a project. Fast forward, he is 18 in maybe 90 days. He has earned his 21 merit badges, served as JASM in the troop and at summer camps, went to high adventure, went to outings, and just got his project approved. Should wrap up before 18th birthday. It can be done if THEY want to earn it, see the value, and you can support the journey.
  1. Load more activity
  • Posts

    • There is a very simple answer for that. They don't have do merit badges if they don't want to. The advancement program is completely voluntary. 
    • We always have: Fastest Car, Marathon Winner (the slowest car (which has to make it past the finish line to count)), Most Creative, Best Craftsmanship, and Scout's Choice. Every boy who enters a car receives a participation medal as well.  Of all the awards, the most coveted is easily the Marathon Winner, and we actually have two set of brackets to accommodate the competition for both the fastest and slowest cars. It's become easy to figure out how to make a car fast, but to make it slower than every other car while still making it all the way down the track? THAT can be just as tricky. And the nice thing is, there is no one "winner" of the evening. There are many, but of differing kinds, which I think makes the whole day much less stressful.
    • Thanks all - I am looking for insights anyone might be able to share working with urban poor youth.  My unit is located in a regentrifying neighborhood - if you are north on one side of a street - $650k home if you are south of that same street $100k homes (if that much).  There is a big discrepancy there and the urban affluent are just having kids and the urban poor have younger and older kids.  Any insights on how to approach an 11 year old boy about joining Scouts?  It's a tough putt... I often see this kids without their parents, had one boy join Scouts and his mom signed him right up.  I said I look forward to meeting your family. A campout came out and the mom had no idea she signed him up for Boy Scouts (despite the application saying Boy Scouts of America, that sometimes gives it away).  He has not been back.  I troll a neighborhood community center and the boys seem to have interest but their parents are never around to understand what the boys might be getting into.  I have met some really great kids who were enthused about adventuring, camping, hiking, canoeing, but worried that when it comes to Merit Badges the enthusiasm drops.

      Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated and thanks for the warm welcome!
    • @scoutmaster759 Welcome to good luck to you!
    • I definitely agree with this advice.  Aim for 10+ campouts per year.  Maybe 2 per month during the summer when Scouts don't have to deal with homework, conflicting extracurricular events (sports, band, clubs, etc.).
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Popular Contributors

×