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  2. bsaggcmom

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Our council banned this skit a few years back citing that it glorified bullying and hazing both of which are not allowed in scouts. My guys (cubs and scouts) used to loved JC Penney and centa-peed. They can't do them anymore. It's ashame adults have to ruin kids fun. Kids think bodily functions are hilarious, too bad the up tight PC adults won't let kids be kids. We're raising a generation of hypersensitive kids, I'm scared of the thought of these soon to be adults running the world in my old and grey days.
  3. Cburkhardt

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    We are in the midst of a start-up of a major nationwide roll-out of a new youth organization. Fortunately we do not need to master a new program or operating techniques. What we do need to do is use our wits and negotiating skills with fellow volunteers on these basic implementation matters. Our discussion regarding equipment is a great illustration and is easier to deal with than some of the other issues because it deals with easily understood "hard objects". Because this is a start-up, and because there are infinitely different fact variations (boy troops with a lot of assets, boy troops with no resources, girl troops with nothing, girl troops comprised largely of members who have brothers in the boy troop and all are close friends, girl troops with a financial backer, etc.), there are and cannot be any standard rules of how to approach things. I believe the best approach is to convent a good meeting with the policymakers at the CO and the Troop leadership. I would not put this into the hands of a broad parent group. Folks like Ranman who have not yet fully sorted-out their personal views on the welcome to girls into our program are good people who might prefer hard rules, but know that we just have to do our best at being open people of good faith in this circumstance. If we are open and approach these decisions with a generous spirit, we will get through this start-up in fine shape. With some exception, Troop equipment is not really expensive. So, this is really a matter of understanding how to manage and respect our assets. We do need to be prepared to approach those who are not yet supporters with a generous spirit. They reasonably want to protect and well-manage Troop property. When they see girl Troops treat these items with respect and girl Troop Committees joining in to maintain funding and provide volunteer service, they will have reason to look favorably on girls in Scouts BSA.
  4. Chadamus

    Hello From North Cackalacky

    @Onslow, welcome to scouter dot com!
  5. Chadamus

    Skit in Underwear - JCPenny

    Agreed. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a speaking event with Dr. Kevin Elko. He spoke to how our culture has morphed into one where people get irrationally offended at the drop of a hat. Let the kids have some fun.
  6. A "troop supply room" is definitely a painful way to handle gear. Take this as me not trying to tell you how to do your job, but how make your job work for both you and the troop's QM(s) ... Assign things to patrols, not troops. I understand the temptation to use "pink" vs. "blue", but that will last until you have a boy leader whose favorite color is pink and a girl leader whose favorite color is blue and they compare notes one evening after overhearing adults carping about stuff. Your QM must tag assets with something durable. (I think there's an old thread somewhere about how to do this with d/o's.) And those tags should reflect patrols. (E.g., Wolfs get gear on the alpha shelf with alpha tags, Cobras get beta, etc ... If a scout can make an assignment board for you, that would be gravy.) The QM is not to scavenge kits for his/her pet patrol. Such a QM would be dropped in a day by any PLC that I've known. If alpha patrol needs more than its allotment of d/o's, it can ask beta patrol for a loaner. If it comes back wet, it goes to beta patrol to clean and season. Which scout actually does that is between the two PL's, and if they don't resolve it, the PLC will. You could have one troop or five sharing a space. It doesn't matter. From a QM perspective the gear is managed by patrols. If he tells the SPL that the equipment room is disheveled, the SPL(s) arranges for the PLC to have a clean-up day. In that process, the QM goes over with the PLs how gear is inspected allocated and shelved. The result in our troop has been sets of patrol gear and bins of spare parts. All must be returned cleaned. Note that I didn't mention QM form troop 1 and QM from troop 2. I'm not against that sort of thing if the two QMs actually work well together. But more often then not there's only one scout in 50 who is really passionate about polished gear. Nobody wants that person in a tug-of-war in a small room with someone who isn't as rigorous. And I guess that's where the rubber hits the road for a linked troop. It's all fine and good making space for boys to develop in positions of responsibilities as easily as girls. But in real life, two librarians, two historians, two QMs, etc ... under the same roof could do more harm than good. (Two buglers? That's actually kind of nice.)
  7. WisMom, congrats on WB.. Most folks think it worth the time and pelf, but some have qualms and regrets, there ya go. Again, a lot depends on the Staff folks, which change with each course. It is what it is. (Guitar riff intro...…) I study camping and hiking, And all my Wood Badge classes, I got a crazy Scoutmaster, he wears dark glasses. Patrols are doing GREAT, there’s nothing to trade , . Scout future’s so BRIGHT, I gotta wear shades…. I gotta wear shades. I gotta work my tickets, beads and thong are waitin’. Benefit the Scouts, not a lot of louts. Ticket’s going great, and they’re only getting better. Antelopes and Bears, Owls , my friends are made. The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. I gotta wear shades… With Scouting we are blessed, our kids can realize They gain by going camping, making Dutch Oven Pies. Our Packs are doing GREAT, and the Troops are getting better. Our Scouts can sharpen right, Totin’ Chip blades, The future’s so bright, we better wear shades, We better wear shades…..
  8. SSScout

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Q: (Qwazse) Oh, I think you and I are more on the same page than you might care to admit. "Happy go lucky " indeed... As has been noted, and not just by me, kids won't, don't join Scouting because of methods or aims. Those are for the adults, the parents. They join and stay because of what I call "safe adventure". Kids climb trees because the trees are tall and it is a challenge to their physical prowess and they COULD fall, and it gets a rise out of their mothers (if not their fathers ?). Same sort of attraction to Scouting, at least the "traditional " kind of program. There's that word again, program . What 12 year old is going to ask his folks "what kind of program do they have?" This providential tike is gong to say (I hope) "I want to go hiking/play soccer/join the chess club/be in the school band", whatever, because she/he sees fun and some adventure and challenge in it. Or.... they may just want to lay on the couch and play Minecraft all day.... Much then, depends on the previous years of encouragement ("wow, look how high you are!") or guidance (" hold on to that branch !") or opportunity ( "Want to build a tree house?") or limitation ("if you fall out of the tree, don't blame me, young man !") the parent has given.... So maybe the adults need the rationale, the definition of what has worked, what has gone before more than the kids. Some things become obvious (if everyone takes a turn at the camp chores, they get done quicker and no one person does all the work) but other things come as a result (cooperation gains friends and doing stuff gains pride). I think another movie that ought to be shown at Scout events (WB? ) might be Captains Courageous. Freddie Bartholomew and Spencer Tracy .
  9. I have not yet persuaded our boys troop SM and SPL to address the fact that we now have a girls troop under the same roof, to the boys troop. (I actually think this is going to end up being a festering source of problems, as the boys are inventing their own dialog regarding the purpose, relationship/etc of the girls troop to the boys troop, and in the echo-chamber of their own fantasies and paranoia, quite a lot of things are "becoming fact" that just ain't so.) Unfortunately I think this is one of those "the perfect is the enemy of the good" situations, and our boys troop SM is cogitating on the best way to have the discussion. I'm a bit more bull-in-a-china-closet myself, but in a support role, I'm limited to lubricating certain paths and periodic nudges. Oh boy do I know it. I personally am in the challenging situation of being the person in the girls troop best equipped to make this stop, but also being the person with the largest need to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Oh woe is me... Meh, we'll figure it out. So far, the girls haven't noticed that there's a problem, and so long as I can keep it that way, we'll do ok in the end.
  10. Ranman328

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    I guess my question would be regarding the equipment issue is what would a new Troop have done say three years ago if they were just starting out? My Troop donated stoves, tents, pots, pans, utensils, water jugs, chairs, coolers, propane tanks to the local girl troop in our area. I personally don't know what would have happened a few years ago if it was a boy Troop. I would assume that other Troops in the area would try to help out. While I am not completely on board with the girl Troop issue, I do want them be successful. I think it could have been handled better.
  11. Cburkhardt

    Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops

    Ultimately the capability and advisability of the new girl linked Troops to use existing equipment stores and benefit from the bank accounts that have been built-up by historic and linked boy troops is a matter of sensitivity that can only be properly handled by the CO and unit leadership having appropriate conversations in good faith -- and up front.. If I were in one of those conversations and I was a leader of the all-girl linked Troop, I would want to offer complete and enthusiastic participation on the part of the parents of girls to join in the overall effort to raise, funds, etc. Of course, a number of these parents of girls are also going to be parents of boys, because that is one of the reasons for linking in the first place. If you have expressly anti-girl volunteers in the boy Troop, that is really a different matter that will have to be handled directly. If the CO has made a policy determination that the CO will offer a girl Troop, they actually have the upper hand in guiding the group to a reasonable way to operate. The above comment that it is good to deal with difficult volunteers would be applicable here.
  12. Today
  13. If I were there, I'd use this as a reason to discuss resources. "You're sharing a storage location. You are anticipating acquiring some for the new troop. Since you'll now have two troops sharing similar equipment in the same space, there are bound to be unintended issues. People using the wrong gear, people returning that wrong gear in a less than clean state, etc. You want to respect their equipment and get ahead of any issues here." That sounds like a great premise for a meeting to me. I know I'm answering this backwards. We scouters seem to love to jump through hoops to get around dealing with difficult volunteers. To me, I think you've got to fix this issue. When you get cases like this, people are not on the same page and conflcits start to happen. In the end - adults get in the way of good program. I don't know how to solve this, but I think you've got to try.
  14. With the exception of the fact that we've got linked troops, this is the direction we are going - I think, perhaps, unfortunately quickly, and in a fashion that is going to cause us some unnecessary challenges (we have one adult who is, shall we say, exceptionally dedicated to tearing the troops apart as quickly as possible, which I personally believe is completely irresponsible). One of the resources-based challenges to that, is that - and maybe this is actually the crux of the matter - we have a single equipment storage location. As a result, there is "a pile of dutch ovens". If the girls buy additional dutch ovens for their patrols, they're just going to go into the pile, and when the boys use and return them (as they did after this last campout, with 2" of water and leftover food in them), the girls are going to be furious. Maybe as equipment coordinator, I should just start spray-painting everything pink and blue... I've been trying to figure out how to improve several things about our (boy's troop) use of the patrol method, and instituting some way of having distinct/protected patrol resources seems to be one of the unsolved issues that would help. Maybe what this is trying to teach me is that having a "troop supply room" is the wrong approach.
  15. qwazse

    When was 4th Aim added?

    'schiff, I'm having a hard time finding your exact quote in the reference you cite. The closest I can find is three pages in ... More telling is what's missing in 21 pages of encouragement to commissioners: the word "Aims" the word "fitness" (note its absence in the quote above). I take the gist of this to mean that "attractive, effective program" sits beside the aims (by any other name), and that scouters should focus their day-to-day activities on those bells and whistles that "attract ... and provide the opportunity for [youth] to have fun." I personally disagree. I think youth are attracted to boots-on-the-ground adults who care if they grow up strong and good. In fact, the Aims could be two: "strong" and "good" and our scouters would be just as successful. But, if some marketer comes along and says "nobody's buying strong and good, the buzzword is leadership (or whatever the new buzzword is). I'll nod politely. And, if I never get the memo, I'll be as happy-go-lucky as @SSScout for mostly the reasons he describes.
  16. Eagledad

    When was 4th Aim added?

    They also don't reference the Scoutmaster Handbook, the committee handbook, the Scout Handbook, PL Handbook, SPL Handbook...... and on and on. Let's not get confused between the principles and foundation that has kept our scout program unique and exceptional for generations; and the supporting structure of process that holds it's members on a path toward a successful program. Because the program has been following the same basic plan of building character for generations, we have come to believe that it is strong as iron and will withstand the fire of ignorance. However, not too long ago a member of this forum attracted a following through his charismatic dialogues for building men from boys. He seemed at first to talked the talk of scouting's values, and yet the more he talked, the more his extreme bitter anti-scouting diatribes leached into his posts. His elegant style fooled a lot of members who almost believed he was the 2nd coming of Badon Powell himself. And yet, three troops failed under his leadership in the short time he was a member of this forum. How many dozens of boys were driven away from scouting as a result of his self-serving narcissistic ideals of turning boys into men? The ideals of scouting aren't made of iron, they are fragile and can shaped and bent to the wills of any ignorant or self-serving adult. Aims and methods are important because they are a rigid framework intended for building character. That forum member spoke many times against Vision, mission, Aims and methods because he felt they prevented adults from giving boys the total freedom of just going out in the woods and camping. He hated BSA training because the context usually ran counter to his way of raising boys. He ranted against adults coaching, mentoring , guiding and even teaching. I always wondered if he saw the irony of his anti-BSA fundamentals being the cause of his unsafe reckless approach to boys learning from their experiences, and the reason parents pulled their sons out of his troops. His example of ignoring the basic principles is the very reason to have a solid structure for holding adults with good intentions on a fixed direction. Just how does a scout become a citizen of character and a leader of integrity when adults skip the steps between the Mission and the Scout Law? Is just going camping really all an adult needs to know? We have seen in countless discussions that adults aren't very good at just letting scouts make decisions in their scouting activities. Imagine if we just let all the adults go at it any way they want like the forum member I mentioned? I have to laugh; there was another forum member years ago who was also just as narcissistic as the member above, only in the opposite direction. He would blame just about all problems discussed here to adults not following the program. And, then he would list the documents and wording to prove his point. He believed every problems was caused by not following directions. While I believe his rigidness caused him to blow a gasket and get thrown off the forum, he was right most of the time. In most of our discussions, there is guidance for the adults in most situations. Adding "Leadership" to the Aims weakens the generations old structure of the program, but the greater harm is that it shows lack of faith by the professionals who have the responsibility to guard the program. There is nobody at the helm. Barry
  17. SSScout

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Perhaps this is another example of the adults messing things up for the kids, the Scouts. Waaaay back when, I was a Scout.... (yes, I was. Scoutson spoke up once, and said "Dad, school was much easier for you than it is for me. You had a lot less history to learn...."). All I knew or cared about was the "Handbook for Boys" (that was it's title. Not limited to ONLY green shirted people....) and the "Scout Fieldbook". I still have those tucked away. I copied pages out of the Fieldbook for IOLS instruction. The skills, outdoor knowledge were the important things. Learning to work together, to help organize efforts on camp trips came gradually. I even learned to get thru the times when the idiot rich kid said "no" when it was his time to wash dishes.... Our Patrol worked around him.... I had no idea that there were "methods" or "aims" . My "goal" was to live outdoors for awhile and see how far I could hike with a pack. I learned (experimentally !) how to pick out a boot, which socks were better, how to strap loads to a packframe and NOT touch a canvas tent when it was raining. "Handbook for BOYS" not just registered, dues paid scouts... How would we title it now? "Handbook for Youth"? Why did the title change? What is the change? Why the need to define EVERYTHING that is done as meeting an "aim" or using a "method"? It is part and parcel for humans to teach and pass on to our youth that which we have learned so they won't have to discover it all over again. Lighting a fire, weaving cloth, blueberry muffins.... That is how we come to have Airbus A380's.... All true, it does not explain how we keep finding new ways to kill each other. But why do we seek to define and delimit everything that comes along? WHY do we do Scouting the way Mr. B-P laid it out and not some other way? The BSA way is very similar to the South African Scout Association way . Do they also have "aims" and "methods" ? Leadership? The techniques can be taught, yes. But like many other things, some folks have an innate talent, and some others allow those folks to lead (sometimes when they shouldn't be allowed to, but that's another discussion). The motto on my RoundTable News reads "The Work Is Done By Whoever Shows Up.". This is the essence of Leadership. Not who is ASSIGNED to do something, but who is WILLING to do something. Oh, sure, you can be co-erced into Leading (pay, Military authority, etc.), but right down to the Cub Scout Den of 8 eager kids whose parents refuse to step up and "lead" , it really comes to WHO is willing to DO IT. If no one shows up.... Mr. Surbaugh, are you there?
  18. We are running into some complications, but at least at this point everyone seems willing to work through them amicably. I'm expecting the drama to increase as our girls troop ramps up their camping, and inevitable squabbles over patrol equipment/maintenance/etc break out. Scout-led is wonderful, but sometimes, like when the troop quartermaster feels empowered to scavenge all of the patrols' equipment kits to pull together the best equipment to give to his old patrol, we have "interesting" learning moments, and since the girls aren't "part of the gang", I expect they're going to react to this with a bit less charity than the other boys who have known the quartermaster for years. (sadly) doubly so, if it ever goes in the other direction. I'm curious about your "girl troop parents should be obligated" comment - Do you feel this way purely in the context of a "completely independent" girls troop, or do you think that's appropriate for "Linked" troops, which are effectively a legal fiction created by BSA National to avoid having girls and boys in the "same" unit. Would you feel the same way about the "parents of the girls' patrols" if BSA National had instead said "separate girls' patrols and boys' patrols in the same troop"? Serious question - I'm really not sure how I would feel in that case. I'm doubly curious because I'm a member of a Linked Troop committee, and I find it peculiar that we do seem to have an undercurrent of "the girls' parents should help acquire equipment for the girls' needs", but we absolutely do not have this expectation for the parents of the "new boys" patrols. I it interesting, and currently can't explain, why we seem to feel that acquiring equipment for the dozen new boy weblos crossovers is a committee responsibility, while we seem to feel that acquiring equipment for the dozen new girls is a parents' responsibility. (I should also couch this in an understanding that our longstanding boys' troop yearly fundraiser is a gigantic community garage sale, and a large fraction of the girls who joined the girls' troop, have been participating in the garage sale as volunteers beside their brothers for years, so arguably, a big chunk of the boys' troop fundraising effort has historically been donated by our girls)
  19. I really see the Scouting movement splintering, with each of the splinter groups going off and creating their own Scouting organizations. We saw this happen with Trail Life five years ago, and now we see the LDS groups going off to do their own program. That is already three Scouting groups out there, and the programs will be similar because the people who leave the BSA will still implement a program that they are familiar with. Who will be next? The Catholics? I hear that they have a program in the planning just waiting for an impetus to launch. What will that be? Further changes to BSA membership policies? How about Muslim or Jewish splinter groups. Is there anything that the BSA is doing that are objectionable to these groups? mmm..... The main thing the BSA has going for it is that control is still dispersed to the local level. Units can make most of the decisions, and districts and councils do things at a local level. If these two want to buck the National organization, they can do stuff quietly and not be noticed. The other thing the BSA has is the Eagle Scout award, which still is something valuable in the minds of the public. It is a big selling point, and the best marketing tool in the BSA toolbox. Among Scouters I know, the big problem BSA has in all is the perception that they are in it for the money. We changed membership policies so we could garner corporate donations. We tweek the guide to safe scouting and OA traditions and practice to avoid lawsuits. Of the Trail Life folks I know, this attitude, and not gay acceptance, has driven the break away attitude. National needs to shake off this perception, but I don't know how it will happen.
  20. PinkPajamas

    Great Examples of Girl Troop Successes

    Our pack crosses AOLs over in January so about 18 months out. There are no girl troops, that I am aware of, currently up and running in our immediate area, from chatting with people it seems like everyone is waiting for the first batch of Weblos/AOL to cross over in Jan. 2020 to start the troops. In our case the AOL den leader is a heavily involved scouter with leadership positions in both the pack, boy troop, council, and a personal relationship with several of the girls in the den. Our COR has talked about "when we get the girl troop up and running". And casual conversations with troop leadership where phrases like "we're absolutely going to have a linked troop" were tossed around. All the girls in both the Weblos/AOL dens have parents in registered leadership positions either in the pack or boys' troop, so I feel confident it will happen. But even if it falls through, no matter where these girls go, it's going to be a "new" troop. Knowing that some areas are having an easier time recruiting at the Weblos rank and that the girls who are joining are from the same friend group is incredibly helpful information.
  21. If the troop committee of both troops is the same (as you say it i here), then the committee is going to have to figure out how to get access to resources for the girls troop. After a little while, they may come around to the idea that sharing is inherently good. Or, they may come around to the idea that they just need to purchase new equipment and acquire new funds. In our case, they have establshed a non-linked troop at our CO. The girls troop has a different committee - but it is composed of several experienced adults from the boys troop. The girls troop has really taken on their own sense of "we want to build up our own equipment and be self sufficient". They want to stand on their own. I think people are generally impressed with that ethic and as a result are willing to help out as much as possible.
  22. I continue to think this is the key point for the BSA. I think recent changes will help with the first part (parent time) - families will be more invested in the BSA and willing to volunteer because they have both daughters & sons involved. The second (competing activities) I still see as a challenge for the BSA. I still think that to fix that, the BSA needs to focus more on unit program quality. Pushing for higher quality district activities, more an increased focus on unit leader development would be two good steps. That said - I'm optomistic like @Cburkhardt. I see a 200,000 number for girls in the BSA in Nov 2022. I think there will be slight growth in boy numbers compared to Jan 1, 2020 - but not compared to Dec. 2018. I could see a return for 2018 numbers for boys in 2025.
  23. RememberSchiff

    When was 4th Aim added?

    Sure you can do that, but the Aims are there. In training we are told without the "...program Scouting cannot accomplish its mission or fulfill its vision." The objectives of the program are the Aims of Scouting. Change the Aims or their interpretation and the Program changes. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/newsletter/2019_winter/522-033(W-19)_CommNL_WEB.pdf Another $0.02,
  24. Both are good, but yeah, finding a way to stabilize membership is way more important than temporarily boosting numbers.
  25. “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future” That said.... I predict a bankruptcy filing in 2020 to help spread the blame a bit to the loss of LDS scouts instead of primarily due to loss of total members and sex abuse court cases. I don’t know if larger membership numbers should be the ultimate goal, sustainable and stable numbers should be. I see paths to massive increases in total membership but some could sacrifice the program. Outside of a massive shift to a family recreation/day care program (we shouldn’t do this) or figuring out how to grow in urban/immigrant areas (we should do this) I see our numbers continuing to decline. Parents seem to have less time to volunteer, kids have more and more activities and entertainment options, and both see scouting as solving 20th century problems. Dean Kamen maybe the 21st century Baden-Powell. I do see BSA as a fun and important program for our youth... but I don’t see the majority of our society aligned with that mindset.
  26. qwazse

    When was 4th Aim added?

    No, we agree. We should resolutely hew to the mission of the BSA https://www.scouting.org/commissioners/bsa-mission/ The section continues with Oath, Law, etc ... Then it references the federal charter. ... Then goes on to describe council and district responsibilities that commissioners need to know. Guess what's not there? Aims. What this tells me? If I hew to the mission and never learn the aims of scouting, my youth will be just fine.
  27. With the membership losses over the past couple of years, there has to be more gear than boys need out there. For decades, most of us have been sharing with GS/USA, so this will be easier than most think.
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    • Our council banned this skit a few years back citing that it glorified bullying and hazing both of which are not allowed in scouts. My guys (cubs and scouts) used to loved JC Penney and centa-peed. They can't do them anymore. It's ashame adults have to ruin kids fun. Kids think bodily functions are hilarious, too bad the up tight PC adults won't let kids be kids. We're raising a generation of hypersensitive kids, I'm scared of the thought of these soon to be adults running the world in my old and grey days. 
    • We are in the midst of a start-up of a major nationwide roll-out of a new youth organization.  Fortunately we do not need to master a new program or operating techniques.  What we do need to do is use our wits and negotiating skills with fellow volunteers on these basic implementation matters.  Our discussion regarding equipment is a great illustration and is easier to deal with than some of the other issues because it deals with easily understood "hard objects".  Because this is a start-up, and because there are infinitely different fact variations (boy troops with a lot of assets, boy troops with no resources, girl troops with nothing, girl troops comprised largely of members who have brothers in the boy troop and all are close friends, girl troops with a financial backer, etc.), there are and cannot be any standard rules of how to approach things.  I believe the best approach is to convent a good meeting with the policymakers at the CO and the Troop leadership.  I would not put this into the hands of a broad parent group. Folks like Ranman who have not yet fully sorted-out their personal views on the welcome to girls into our program are good people who might prefer hard rules, but know that we just have to do our best at being open people of good faith in this circumstance.  If we are open and approach these decisions with a generous spirit, we will get through this start-up in fine shape.  With some exception, Troop equipment is not really expensive.  So, this is really a matter of understanding how to manage and respect our assets.   We do need to be prepared to approach those who are not yet supporters with a generous spirit.  They reasonably want to protect and well-manage Troop property.  When they see girl Troops treat these items with respect and girl Troop Committees joining in to maintain funding and provide volunteer service, they will have reason to look favorably on girls in Scouts BSA.
    • @Onslow, welcome to scouter dot com!
    • Agreed. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to attend a speaking event with Dr. Kevin Elko. He spoke to how our culture has morphed into one where people get irrationally offended at the drop of a hat. Let the kids have some fun.
    • A "troop supply room" is definitely a painful way to handle gear. Take this as me not trying to tell you how to do your job, but how make your job work for both you and the troop's QM(s) ... Assign things to patrols, not troops. I understand the temptation to use "pink" vs. "blue", but that will last until you have a boy leader whose favorite color is pink and a girl leader whose favorite color is blue and they compare notes one evening after overhearing adults carping about stuff. Your QM must tag assets with something durable. (I think there's an old thread somewhere about how to do this with d/o's.) And those tags should reflect patrols. (E.g., Wolfs get gear on the alpha shelf with alpha tags, Cobras get beta, etc ... If a scout can make an assignment board for you, that would be gravy.) The QM is not to scavenge kits for his/her pet patrol. Such a QM would be dropped in a day by any PLC that I've known. If alpha patrol needs more than its allotment of d/o's, it can ask beta patrol for a loaner. If it comes back wet, it goes to beta patrol to clean and season. Which scout actually does that is between the two PL's, and if they don't resolve it, the PLC will. You could have one troop or five sharing a space. It doesn't matter. From a QM perspective the gear is managed by patrols. If he tells the SPL that the equipment room is disheveled, the SPL(s) arranges for the PLC to have a clean-up day. In that process, the QM goes over with the PLs how gear is inspected allocated and shelved. The result in our troop has been sets of patrol gear and bins of spare parts. All must be returned cleaned. Note that I didn't mention QM form troop 1 and QM from troop 2. I'm not against that sort of thing if the two QMs actually work well together. But more often then not there's only one scout in 50 who is really passionate about polished gear. Nobody wants that person in a tug-of-war in a small room with someone who isn't as rigorous. And I guess that's where the rubber hits the road for a linked troop. It's all fine and good making space for boys to develop in positions of responsibilities as easily as girls. But in real life, two librarians, two historians, two QMs, etc ... under the same roof could do more harm than good. (Two buglers? That's actually kind of nice.)
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