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  2. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Excellent point, I hadn't considered that. There was a time when camps had boats, a swim area, a nature area, archery range, rifle range, a handicraft area, and a trading post. Maybe a dining hall. Many still had patrols cooking all week. Wall tents were the standard for both campers and staff. And it seemed like the best place in the entire world. Today? Much more infrastructure. Computer labs. Artificial ski slopes. Etc. The dynamic is indeed different.
  3. ParkMan

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    I'm not a wizard on council finances - but I can only imagine that councils are being forced to pay more for upkeep and perhaps leases than years ago. It would seem to me that with the age of most of our councils, the council camps would all have been long paid for. Money would just go to pay for staff, upkeep, and future improvements. Yet, I know that even in my pretty big council summer camp fees don't pay for that. Maybe when we were kids the level of expectation for a camp was much less and the councils had to sink less money into the,. Not sure.
  4. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    It must be challenging to keep the camps viable. More so than in the past. It's been many a moon ago, but I am thinking of the small council camp in Alaska where I staffed as a scout. We'd make the journey to the camp several times a year, but only for outdoor-oriented activities. Summer camp, winter camp out with the troop, OA conclave, ordeal, etc. All of the sedentary stuff took place in town. Even after 4 years as a scout in that council, I always enjoyed driving through the front gate of the camp.
  5. ParkMan

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    I do feel the plight of these small councils as I know it's getting harder and harder to keep paying for these camps. But, they've got to find a way here that doesn't involve burning out their members.
  6. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Very true. Folks know when they've been fenced in. And yes indeed, camps can get lazy. An additional drawback to the "let's all gather at Camp ABC yet again" is the burnout factor. Years ago when I was stationed in the deep South, the small council I was in held every event they could at the council camp. Monthly district meetings and roundtables, WB, other training courses, conferences, you name it. The camp wasn't very special after a certain point. Instead of "hurrah I'm back" it was "here we go again." I concur, building bridges is just what the BSA needs right now. More than ever!
  7. ParkMan

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    These councils are not doing themselves any favours. They think that they are protecting their facilities by forcing people to use them. But, in turn, all they are doing is eroding the perceived value that units derive from council support. Councils need to get units to their camp on the merits of their camps - not by making it the only option. I agree - at this point in the history of Scouting councils need to learn to partner with the units - not try to control the units. Build bridges to the units, don't put up more obstacles.
  8. Today
  9. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Me too. Sometimes I think of all of the challenges the BSA is facing. It would seem that this would be the very moment in our organization's history where councils and National would make a concerted effort to embrace the ideas of the volunteer scouters. At least entertain suggestions and even if disapproved, provide some sort of meaningful dialogue. After all, we're the ones in the field, sticking by the BSA through thick and thin. But no. With a couple of hiatuses, I've been a scouter since '85, and I've never seen an era in the BSA where council and National staffs have been more tone deaf and resistant to input from adult volunteers as now. Individually there are some great pros that listen to the folks in the field and work from a position of mutual respect. But collectively the pros have never been more distant and disconnected.
  10. ParkMan

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    Gotta admit - this frustrates me to no end. What a ridiculous abuse of the rules to control the list of approved sites so that only council approved sites are permitted. We routinely camped at state parks and they worked great. If councils are going to abuse the system like this, I really wish someone at national would in turn relax the rules.
  11. Of the newly added scouters (the parents of the girls) only one dad had been a scouter before (but with cub scouts, not boy scouts). We have a lot to learn. Sharing a committee with the boys, and learning from them, has been extremely helpful.
  12. We, and the troop we were linking with, assumed that the boys troop and the girls troop would have the same committee. When it came time to turn in the paperwork we learned from the council that the committee members of the boys troop would only be committee members of the girls troop if they turned in an additional paper form. The COR, CC, and a few boys troop committee members did so. So now we have some people on both committees, some offficially only on the boys committee, and some officially only on the girls committee. (It is a bit of a mess.) The whole committtee meets all together. I suppose if there were ever a contentious vote, it would matter who was registered on which committee. As it is, some people are more focussed on the boys, some more on the girls, and some foccussed on both.
  13. I see. Our situation is rather unusual; it's a linked troop, but the chartered organization insisted that the girl troop have its own committee. My only real point is that I just wish that they had established a committee at least a few weeks before the troop was operational, so that we could get up to speed. I still feel, almost a month in, like we're behind the 8-ball.
  14. Well, . . . we got a troop started February 1st, and the girls could start being scouts. (Highly important to the girls who were eager to start.) From that point of view it was successful. I felt like that all spring and summer. I'm just about feeling like we have caught up. I'm not really sure how we could have done it in a different order. To recruit adults to work with the troop, we first needed to recruit their daughters to want to be scouts. A non-linked troop might have been a very different situation. But we were hoping to link with one of several boy scout troops in our school district. So while we (and by "we" I mean the interested girls families) were busy recruiting more girls (and their families), we were also talking with existing boy scout troops about the possibility of helping us get started.
  15. Do you think that that worked well for you? That's roughly how we did things; we waited until we had enough girls interested in joining to find volunteers to have a Troop Committee in order to actually register the unit. That meant that I was appointed Chair at the same meeting that the Troop was formed. This has resulted in me having to scramble to put things together and get organized, while Troop meetings were ongoing, with a brand new Scoutmaster to boot. It would have been much better, in my opinion, if we had formed the Committee first, gotten organized, established an online presence, and then went about recruiting girls. At least a couple of weeks would have been very helpful. As it is, I feel that I'm always one step behind.
  16. Nope. The best way is for the already enthusiatic scouts (or scouts-to-be) to invite their friends and sisters. We started with 2 interested girls. Six more joined because they were invited by friends (the orginal two or scouts recuited by the original two). Three found us via the web (beascout or our own website). Two girls found us because the local boys' troop advertised among their families. We took part in two scouts/cubs recruiting sign-up events. ZERO SCOUTS found us through sign-up events.
  17. @Calion, we did it in a completely different order. Your points, ordered roughly as we did them, were: 1 Decide what kind of unit you want to start. This was easy. My daughter wanted a Scouts BSA troop she could join 9 Train the adult leaders. I, at least, did IOLS nearly a year before launch date 13 Recruit Scouts. The really essential item for getting a new troop started was a critical mass of scouts. Recruiting started around a year before launch date, with a couple of highly interested families and ramped up about 3-4 months before launch date. 15 Have your first troop meeting. Well, not really a troop meeting, a gathering of interested girls and parents Finally at a organizational meeting only a few weeks before launch date the decision was made which Boy Scout troop to link with, this gave us: 2 Find a chartering organization. 3 Appoint a Chartered Organization Representative. 4 Appoint a Committee Chair. (and also gave us help from the boys' troop committee members) At the same organizational meeting a few weeks before launch date, various parents volunteered to work with the troop, as SM, ASMs and a committee member, which gave us 8 Select and recruit adult leaders. These newly recruited adults then did 10 Complete Youth Protection Training. 9 Train the adult leaders. (the ones not previously trained) Then we did 14 File the paperwork 15 Have your first troop meeting. (The official one) Within the first couple of months after chartering: 21 Have fun! -- That is, start camping 18 Get the Scouts trained. -- did IOLS 19 Set the Scouts loose. About seven months after chartering: 12 Establish an online presence. 18 Get the Scouts trained. -- sent scouts to NYLT Starting about nine months after chartering: 17 Raise money. Still are working on 7 Train the Troop Committee. 6 Recruit a Troop Committee. -- we are a linked troop, and are getting help from the boys troop, but we are working on adding parents of girls to the committee
  18. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    We have some wonderful state parks that are far better than our council camps, by every measure. But by having the council-approved list limited to council camps, the packs don't have much of a choice officially. They'd love to camp at state camps but they gotta obey the rules. And I've tried to engage our council to add more non-BSA camps that more than meet BSA's criteria, but I have not gained one bit of traction.
  19. Chisos

    Help With Internet Advancement

    That's exactly it (even the part about getting the badges recorded so an Eagle app can get turned in!)
  20. Eagle94-A1

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    At least your council has an approved list. Mine does not have an official list. So many packs use the OA's WHERE TO GO Camping book to pick places to camp. That book includes a lot of state parks.
  21. malraux

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    I just don't think those pages should be considered controlling relative to other sources.
  22. swilliams

    Help With Internet Advancement

    Yes. Not only that, but I'm trying to enter a handful of merit badges for a scout so he can finish his Eagle application, and can't enter any of them. I keep getting an error message, and the forum "help" has stopped replying to my request for help. In addition, NOTHING shows up when I try to view his current badges. Nothing under 'Started'. Nothing under 'Pending Approval' and nothing under 'Approved'. And that's after waiting 15 minutes for the page to load. I will be showing up at council tomorrow with a handful of blue cards and they're going to have to enter them. Edit: I get the list of merit badges, but when I click on any of them it says "Checking Advancement Status" underneath, nothing happens for a few minutes, then above the dialog box it says "Error".
  23. Fair enough. I guess I was lumping SEs and DEs together in that comment. Still, starting new units would seem to be a major BSA priority (especially now that we've got a whole new unit type and demographic to appeal to!), and I would expect more specific guidance on how to do that. Besides the "New-Unit Organization Process" document that can only be found on the Wayback Machine (and was pretty good! WTF?), there's almost nothing out there. It's very strange. I was thinking perhaps staff have access to resources that volunteers don't, but it looks like their main resource in this regard is the Unit Performance Guide, which talks about New-Unit Commissioners, and wooing chartered organizations, and not much else.
  24. desertrat77

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    @Eagle94-A1, maybe it's all strategy. Put more restrictions on autonomous pack camping, open up council-run cub camping opportunities. The council doesn't make any money or get any recognition via PPT data to National when a pack camps on its own. Plus I've noticed that at least in my council, the "cub approved" camping locations are pretty much restricted to council owned camps. And council staff doesn't entertain discussion about adding other locations to the approved list, even if they meet the requirements. So funnel everyone to council camps, and walk through the council programming, etc. Pretty soon, it will be Tiger Cubs BSA...packs, troops, crews, ships included....
  25. There; I fixed it; what do you think? Find a chartering organization. A chartered organization is the community organization that “owns” the unit. It provides leadership, meeting facilities, and other resources to the unit. Obviously nothing can happen without finding a chartering organization first. This wasn’t skipped in my unit’s case, but I could see someone trying to round up sufficient Scouts prior to finding (or establishing) a chartering organization. Of course, if the reason you’re trying to start a new unit is that you already have five eligible youth who want to join Scouting but have no unit to join, fine, but normally, recruiting youth members is one of the last steps. Detailed guidelines on how to accomplish this step are included in the Unit Performance Guide and the New-Unit Organizer Training. Work with the chartering organization to decide what kind of unit to start. BSA has five different kinds of units: Cub Scouting, Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts), Venturing, Sea Scouting, and Exploring, each serving different populations. If you’re not sure which kind would be best, consult Scouting Programs for details on each. If you wish to start a Cub Scout pack, you must decide whether it will be an all-boy pack, an all-girl pack, or a mixed, “family” pack, with both girl and boy dens. If you wish to start a Scouts BSA troop, you must decide whether it will be a girl troop or a boy troop. Since girl troops are the newest addition to the BSA, the terminology in this guide will reflect Scouts BSA troops, but, aside from that, the procedure is mostly the same for all kinds of units. Again, for specifics, explore your unit type at Scouting Programs. Remember, the Chartered Organization “owns” the unit, so ultimately, this is their decision. If you are dead set on having another kind of unit than the organization is willing to support, then you may wish to find another organization to charter your unit.
  26. Please note that any level of nit-picking is fine. I won't be upset if you criticize fine details! Also, I've deliberately made this guide rather link-heavy. If any one knows of any other good resources that should be linked in, let me know!
  27. Eagle94-A1

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    INTERESTING. I love how councils can have 3 day 2 night events per this But packs, cannot.
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  • Posts

    • Excellent point, I hadn't considered that.  There was a time when camps had boats, a swim area, a nature area, archery range, rifle range, a handicraft area, and a trading post.  Maybe a dining hall.  Many still had patrols cooking all week.  Wall tents were the standard for both campers and staff.  And it seemed like the best place in the entire world. Today?  Much more infrastructure.  Computer labs.  Artificial ski slopes.  Etc.  The dynamic is indeed different.
    • I'm not a wizard on council finances - but I can only imagine that councils are being forced to pay more for upkeep and perhaps leases than years ago.  It would seem to me that with the age of most of our councils, the council camps would all have been long paid for.  Money would just go to pay for staff, upkeep, and future improvements.  Yet, I know that even in my pretty big council summer camp fees don't pay for that.  Maybe when we were kids the level of expectation for a camp was much less and the councils had to sink less money into the,.  Not sure.
    • It must be challenging to keep the camps viable.  More so than in the past.  It's been many a moon ago, but I am thinking of the small council camp in Alaska where I staffed as a scout.  We'd make the journey to the camp several times a year, but only for outdoor-oriented activities.  Summer camp, winter camp out with the troop, OA conclave, ordeal, etc.  All of the sedentary stuff took place in town.  Even after 4 years as a scout in that council, I always enjoyed driving through the front gate of the camp.
    • I do feel the plight of these small councils as I know it's getting harder and harder to keep paying for these camps.  But, they've got to find a way here that doesn't involve burning out their members.
    • Very true.  Folks know when they've been fenced in.  And yes indeed, camps can get lazy.  An additional drawback to the "let's all gather at Camp ABC yet again" is the burnout factor.  Years ago when I was stationed in the deep South, the small council I was in held every event they could at the council camp.  Monthly district meetings and roundtables, WB, other training courses, conferences, you name it.  The camp wasn't very special after a certain point.  Instead of "hurrah I'm back" it was "here we go again." I concur, building bridges is just what the BSA needs right now.  More than ever! 
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