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  2. Can you believe a youth leader with a some youth help, built a castle for his group? During WW1, Harry Delos Andrews was stationed as an hospital administrator in Chateau de la Roche in southern France. The posting left a lasting impression. "In the 1920s, one of Andrews’ projects was his Boy Scout-esque troop, which he named the Knights of the Golden Trail (KOGT). The group often camped along the shore of the Little Miami River, which bisects Loveland. The two plots where the group stayed were donated by families of the scouts, who obtained the land through a subscription promotion held by the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. The KOGT spent so much time on the site that they began to leave their camping gear there, leading Andrews to want to build two stone structures as shelters. Of course, the combination of knights and stone abodes led Andrews to decide that a castle needed to be built." The Knights of the Golden Trail were said to be like a boy scout troop but based on the Ten Commandments and a Knights Code of Chivalry. Andrews refused to sell castle to Elvis Presley, and ultimately willed the castle and its ground to the Knights of the Golden Trail, who maintain it to this day. "Nothing that God ever made on the earth is more awe inspiring and heart warming than the sight of a noble youth just budding into manhood, Any man of high ideals who wishes to help save civilization is invited to become a member of the Knights of the Golden Trail." - Harry Andrews More at sources: http://mentalfloss.com/article/68755/ohios-loveland-castle-was-hand-built-midwestern-medievalist http://www.weirdus.com/states/ohio/personalized_properties/loveland_castle/index.php https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9795 I could find no current contact information for the Knights of the Golden Trail.
  3. I would not put it into the by-laws. I would, as the GTA states, designate persons who you know are trained and understand advancement as a method and have embraced your vision of the troop. In other words, no blanket "prohibitions" instead use specific designations. Utilize your ASM corps, and PLC as the field to which you designate. A brand new scout parent who is a first year ASM is likely not to be designated by me as someone who could sign off any scout requirement. It is vital the adult understands the advancement method and knows the expectations of it. IMO, to be designated by the SM : 1. the adult learns, 2. the adult is tested, 3. the adult is designated 4. the adults may sign off.
  4. Ranman328

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    In our Troop we allow First Class and above Scouts to sign off on First Class and below Scouts Rank Advancement. We feel it helps with Leadership. We do have a discussion with all new First Class Scouts to ensure they follow the "Describe", "Show", "Demonstrate" instructions for making certain the Scouts completed the requirement.
  5. mrkstvns

    Merit badge sash

    Agreed. Even though the rules state that only 1 merit badge sash should be worn at a time, the double-wide approach really looks dorky compared to the scouts who blow off the rule and just wear 2 sashes, bandolier style. It's over the top, but at least it kind of looks symmetrical instead of looking like a blanket.
  6. Ranman328

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    I think when it is all done, you will be glad you did. You also get to experience those campouts and events all over again. I know I would have regretted not doing it. Just enjoy the moment.
  7. First I've heard about something like this.....sounds like a cool (and profitable) idea! https://buckrail.com/boy-scouts-antler-auction-rakes-in-big-money-for-racks/
  8. mrkstvns

    Best comfort items & traditions for summer camp

    I think it depends on the terrain where your camp is located. If I were in a mountainous region, or very rocky terrain, I would definitely prefer the boots, but if I was in a softer, flatter, or forested area (like maybe Northern Tier), then I would prefer something lighter --- like maybe your Nikes.
  9. mrkstvns

    Baloo Training

    Agree with jjlash. BALOO and IOLS are not necessarily one and the same. When I did BALOO, it was a few hours, mostly classroom, and definitely centered on family camping. IOLS was centered around the outdoor skills that a scout needs for Tenderfoot through First Class advancement: knots, first aid, map and compass, knife and axe, cooking ---- basically everything that a SM or ASM will be asked to sign off for a scout over his first year or two in a troop. The IOLS was practical camp skills taught in a camp setting. A much better class than BALOO... (Besides, even if some material might be repeated, a little reinforcement never hurts...)
  10. No disrespect intended, Carlos, but you would benefit greatly from reading and embracing the "Guide to Advancement". Any time you create a policy of any kind, type, or form, you make things harder on your scouts and create unnecessary problems for your scouters. Take qwayze's suggestions to heart and you'll be a wiser leader who enables his scouts to succeed.
  11. an_old_DC

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    Why would you propose adding something to troop bylaws that is in direct contradiction to the Guide to Advancement?
  12. I would not put into by-laws anything about advancement except that you all will comply with BSA's Guide to Advancement and maximize the opportunities for youth leaders to sign off on requirements under the direction of the Scoutmaster. You could add that any counselor failing to teach the entire content of an MB's requirements and review each scouts completion of those requirements on an individual basis will be black-listed from the troop and never again recommended to counsel any other scouts in the troop, district, or counsel. Don't worry about the 'semblance of evil when what matters is evil personified.
  13. Thanks all. Am inclined to not allow Adult Leaders to check off their kid's requirements except for perhaps service hours. Will get feedback from Troop Committee and put into bylaws. I think its important to have this sort of policy in the troop bylaws, but I suppose that is another topic.
  14. Son #2 asked me to be his Eagle Project advisor. Aside from that, I didn't sign-off with Sons and Daughter because -- although I knew that I was best at many of the requirements -- I fondly go through my old book from time to time, and cherish those PL signatures. I wanted them to have that same sense of a panoply of leaders that I had as a scout. So, my thinking: If someone else is the better expert, send your son to him. If he is almost as good, but you think you think that person deserves a significant role in your son's life, send your son to him. If your son knows your the best at that requirement, and asks you to help him with it, dive in. As other's said, you wont regret it.
  15. qwazse

    Adult led and youth led

    A friend's daughter created her LP as a "do something club" that was entirely service oriented. It lasted until her peers started worrying about college, and she got a job as a barista to save up for books, etc ... On one slow day at the shop after she had served my iced-coffee, we caught up on her plans for the future, and her reflections on high school. She said, "I really wish we had done more exciting stuff, like backpacking." Before my drink started to boil in my hand, she said that she knew that I was always "there" for her. I guess what LPs can gain from a troop is inspiration to commit to a panoply of adventure.
  16. perdidochas

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    The general rule in my boys' troop (I was one of the ASMs) is that parents didn't sign off anything unless they were the only people permitted to sign it, or it was a matter of troop records on the online system (number of outings, campouts, etc.). By only person permitted to sign, I mean things like if we had one Environmental Science counselor, then he could sign off on his sons' advancement, etc. Our SM's sons had their SM conferences with one of the ASMs.
  17. MattR

    Adult led and youth led

    The pros of this is anything that you want to do you'll get the backing of the parents. This is huge in today's world. I'd take a "troop" of these kids in a heartbeat. This is not very well defined. Due to your Free Range Kids activity, I'll assume this has nothing to do with the BSA (although I wish this mindset would infect the BSA) and is really about offering some scouty things to the FRK community. The pros are the kids want to, and have to, take ownership. Since they've been encouraged to do this from a young age they will be more accepting of it. This is really big. A con is those children that come in to this late. The kid that has been taught to cross busy streets when they were 7 knows how to take care of him/herself, but might not know how to deal with the new kid that's not paying attention to the walk lights. Ranks in the BSA used to handle this. A First Class scout could take care of himself in the outdoors. Not so much now. So you'll have to figure this out. If this indeed is more based on FRK then one pro is that advancement really is just a method. If a kid wants to advance then they figure out how to do that. It's not front and center. Adult association is both a pro and a con in scouts. Teaching the youth the skills they need to safely engage in the adventures they want is a big pro. Reinforcing scout ideals is also important. Helping the scouts come up with ideas for adventure is also beneficial. Beyond that it's likely a con. Institutional knowledge (outdoor skills, regular outings) is created with the typical troop's existing calendars. Without that there can be a loss of knowledge to the youth. There might be a lot less service, but there could be more if the youth enjoyed it. Things like camporees and merit badge fairs would likely fade away. (mostly a pro) Summer camp would be about fun. (huge pro). The outdoors might get a lot less interest but maybe the youth would find something else, such as music or a sport. That could drive some youth out. So, you can't do what the GSUSA did and drop the outdoors. Camping is still fun. Sounds interesting. Keep us informed.
  18. qwazse

    Adult led and youth led

    Hi @Kudu, thanks for coming back to stir the pot! I've meet a few such lone patrols (LP). Thanks to a relative's cabin or farm and a generally free-and-open city and state park system, Western PA is rife with youth going hiking and camping independently with their mates. The recently instituted requirements for, and legalistic definitions of, adult supervision, make BSA a very hard sell for an LP. But, absent those here's my observation: The Pro's of of a (LP) joining a troop: Metrics: the LP may now have an objective rating of their performance through competition and sharing of reports. Ethics: the LP may now acquire a common set of ideals with which to challenge themselves and other patrols. Association: the LP may now access their community's most dedicated adults and get constructive feedback on any plans and designs. Materials: the LP now has access to more/better materials through bulk purchases and shared maintenance. Fellowship: members of LP can feel isolated. It may turn out that their LP stinks -- or he/she stinks in the opinion of that patrol. In a troop, the observant LP member can request transfer to another patrol. The Con's: Abdication of Real leadership. In an LP, if you don't serve your mates well, they'll invest their time elsewhere -- there's an immediate cost to failing to lead. Joining a troop provides the temptation to pass on real leadership. The former LP may bank on the troop to take up slack, and repeatedly drawing on those reserves will leave the LP with nothing of distinction. Clumsiness. Free-range patrols drive their parents nuts because they make plans quickly as soon as they see openings in schedules. Troops demand that patrols stop and think about their next move. The other patrols might have expectations. At the very least the LP will have to seriously consider meeting those expectations. More often, that is not a question of "if", but "how." Infrastructure burden. All LP members can quickly agree to use one media platform. E.g., they may meet at a particular park bench every morning. To offset clumsiness, a troop needs to maintain a more permanent presence, and the LP must now contribute to that maintenance by providing QMs, TGs, JASMs, Scribes, Librarians, Buglers, etc ...
  19. Eagledad

    Adult led and youth led

    Pros are faster bonding and more growth from individual decisions. Con is the challenge for continued growth and maturing as scouts get older and more experienced. Barry
  20. willray

    Adult led and youth led

    You pose such interesting questions. I'll be interested to see what others think, and to see whether my thinking changes as I puzzle about this more. I have the feeling that there's something here I can use to shine light on some problems I observed between my two troops this weekend. I'll make a first proposition that the cons are almost completely circumscribed by the observation that joining a troop creates more opportunities for damaging loss of autonomy and conflict. Even in a troop composed of similarly free-range patrols, the more cooks there are, the more chance for spoiling the soup. Yes, that can be a learning experience, but if one assumes that free-range patrols have more internally-consistent "personalities" across the patrol than patrols constructed by adult fiat, then it's possible for those personalities to come into conflict in such a way that it passes beyond a learning experience and enters the realm of destructive. I would assume that the natural tendency in a free-range troop would be for such mutually-incompatible patrols to simply dissociate themselves, but, human beings are not well-known for making the wisest decisions, and quite a lot of damage can be done before wisdom is earned. There would appear to be quite a range of pros, from mundane better access to resources or expertise, to improving patrol cohesiveness because human teams tend to function better when there is an "other" against which to compete or measure themselves.
  21. Samuel

    Merit badge sash

    Thank you very much everyone for your response and time.
  22. qwazse

    A tale of two scouts

    Scout #1. Tell her to not think of it as "telling" so much as asking firmly. In fact here's an approach that I found worked for some scouts: For scout stuff, get into the habit of addressing each member of your patrol formally, with titles. E.g. Mister/Miss Surname. Each "command" begins with "Please" and ends with "Thank You". E.g., "Please get the fire started while Miss is getting our supplies. Thank you." In other words, she needs a culturally appropriate language that frees her from worrying about things like pushing her friends around. Make clear that you expect to see her demonstrate progress immediately, and emphasis your confidence that he can succeed if he tries. Scout #2. You must arrange a brief conference with him. Tell him that you observed particularly unhealthy behavior. A scout is helpful. Ask him if he wants to be a scout? Ask if he treats his parents this way. (I bet on some levels, he does.) Chances are he'll Tell him that if he wants to continue to be a scout, he'll to be helpful to his patrol ... both the one assigned by the troop, and the one assigned by the Almighty (i.e., his family). Make clear that you expect to see him demonstrate progress immediately, and emphasis your confidence that he can succeed if he tries. We'll worry about what happens to those scouts if they don't improve in short order.
  23. Treflienne

    A tale of two scouts

    I agree. It's not nearly so hard for her to say "Have you checked the duty roster?" as it is for her to say "Please do X". If the other scouts are good-natured about helping when needed, but simply not paying attention to when they need to do something, the PL making and posting a duty roster that fairly distributes the jobs might help.
  24. fred8033

    Merit badge sash

    Rules and procedures never can address all cases though back of the sash is a reasonable solution and explicitly stated. From all the uniforming violations I've seen, I think the best answer is make it look sharp and clean. Sashes have been sewed double wide and lengthened. Or use the back. As long as it looks sharp and respectable, no one should complain.
  25. MattR

    A tale of two scouts

    Scout 1). How about starting with a duty roster? Everyone needs a job so she has to decide. She should also not give herself a job unless she's short scouts. It seems to me that scouts have a lot of trouble delegating because they don't want to rock the boat. We're all friends and nobody tells anyone what to do so I can't mess that up because then I won't have friends. Talk to her about servant leadership. It's not the evil boss. There's a time to play and a time to get work done. One of her jobs is to help her patrol get the work done faster so they can play more. She's not telling others what to do so much as helping them get back to having fun. Scout 2). He did briefly pull his weight, so take that as a win even if he's looking to you for approval. Do that a couple of times and then work with his PL to take over your job. It sounds like just maybe this scout knows he's not making friends but doesn't understand how this works. As ridiculous as that sounds think of it from his view. He may never have pulled his weight before. He may only have people tell him how much he's screwed up. Some kids just don't know.
  26. Treflienne

    Adult led and youth led

    Not quite the question you are asking -- but one benefit to a kid of seeking out a troop is to find that patrol of kids with common interests -- if he hasn't already found one on his own.
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    • Can you believe a youth leader with a some youth help, built a castle for his group? During WW1, Harry Delos Andrews was stationed as an hospital administrator in Chateau de la Roche in southern France. The posting left a lasting impression. "In the 1920s, one of Andrews’ projects was his Boy Scout-esque troop, which he named the Knights of the Golden Trail (KOGT).  The group often camped along the shore of the Little Miami River, which bisects Loveland. The two plots where the group stayed were donated by families of the scouts, who obtained the land through a subscription promotion held by the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. The KOGT spent so much time on the site that they began to leave their camping gear there, leading Andrews to want to build two stone structures as shelters. Of course, the combination of knights and stone abodes led Andrews to decide that a castle needed to be built." The Knights of the Golden Trail were said to be like a boy scout troop but based on the Ten Commandments and a Knights Code of Chivalry. Andrews refused to sell castle to Elvis Presley, and ultimately willed the castle and its ground to the Knights of the Golden Trail, who maintain it to this day. "Nothing that God ever made on the earth is more awe inspiring and heart warming than the sight of a noble youth just budding into manhood, Any man of high ideals who wishes to help save civilization is invited to become a member of the Knights of the Golden Trail."  - Harry Andrews More at sources: http://mentalfloss.com/article/68755/ohios-loveland-castle-was-hand-built-midwestern-medievalist http://www.weirdus.com/states/ohio/personalized_properties/loveland_castle/index.php https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/9795 I could find no current contact information for the Knights of the Golden Trail. 
    • I would not put it into the by-laws. I would, as the GTA states, designate persons who you know are trained and understand advancement as a method and have embraced your vision of the troop. In other words, no blanket "prohibitions" instead use specific designations. Utilize your ASM corps, and PLC as the field to which you designate. A brand new scout parent who is a first year ASM is likely not to be designated by me as someone who could sign off any scout requirement. It is vital the adult understands the advancement method and knows the expectations of it. IMO, to be designated by the SM : 1. the adult learns, 2. the adult is tested, 3. the adult is designated 4. the adults may sign off.    
    • In our Troop we allow First Class and above Scouts to sign off on First Class and below Scouts Rank Advancement.  We feel it helps with Leadership.  We do have a discussion with all new First Class Scouts to ensure they follow the "Describe", "Show", "Demonstrate" instructions for making certain the Scouts completed the requirement.
    • Agreed.   Even though the rules state that only 1 merit badge sash should be worn at a time, the double-wide approach really looks dorky compared to the scouts who blow off the rule and just wear 2 sashes, bandolier style. It's over the top, but at least it kind of looks symmetrical instead of looking like a blanket.
    • I think when it is all done, you will be glad you did.  You also get to experience those campouts and events all over again.  I know I would have regretted not doing it.  Just enjoy the moment.
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