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  1. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  2. 8 points
    I think we're way off topic at this point, but on the subject of advancement... It kind of seems like no matter what pace a kid takes, it will bother someone. Go too fast and you're missing out on the journey. Go too slow and earn eagle in the 11th hour before turning 18 and they didn't take it seriously, didn't plan ahead, procrastinated, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is if this is supposed to be about the journey, let it be a journey that fits each scout. No two journeys end up being the same. The kids have their list of requirements, but even within that there is a lot of choice and different angles of approach. We want them to become leaders but we don't want then to lead on their own advancement trail? If we're going to say this is still a youth-led program, we should let up on the criticism of how they approach their own advancement. If the benefits of the program are so heavily dependent on time spent in the program, then we should have a requirement on the books that puts more time between ranks. Unless/until that happens, the boys should decide their own pace, whatever works for them, even if that means fast-tracking.
  3. 8 points
    Update: of 17 Tigers 10 will be awarded the rank. 4 never showed up after recruitment and 3 didn't show up but a couple of times. AND I can call em all by name too.
  4. 8 points
    Well, our 83 year old Pack just had our first girl den meeting... and I believe the Earth is still rotating. No media present but we did have some pictures taken of the girls. Most were in uniform and no skorts. Overall it was a lot calmer than a boy den meeting. We have 3 den leaders working the 3 separate age groups present. All of us we experienced in the Pack and we remarked that we need to prepare more as the girls got through the material more quickly than we planned. That could be due to smaller groups, but they were also a bit more focused. Several of the girls were talking about getting friends to join, so we will see if this grows before the fall. The skit I planned to work with them on was a failure (it dealt with fake spitting into buckets but the young ones didn’t quite pull off the fake part and and kept spitting on me). There may me some media (all optional) later in the week as we are one of a few Packs in the area doing the early adopter program. I’m greatful that our council let us run a standard den meeting without pushing for media access and the TV cameras I’ve seen in other markets. They were very hands off and simply thanked us for taking this on.
  5. 8 points
    The same reporter broke the news of the Girl Scout letter back to the BSA. She has a source. What I learned is that BSa leadership are clearly struggling with how to create a Boy Scout level parallel program and read scouter.com. *whistles quietly* *opens profile* *changes location to Alaska*
  6. 7 points
    But no one says a thing when girls don't want boys in their club house. Then it is a safe space and empowering.
  7. 6 points
    (BTW I do not think girls showing up in my Troop is the same DEFCON level as war with Korea) I think now the decision is made individuals can either live with or not. I feel sad if we really are losing something and sad for boys and scouters who may leave--on that we shall see.' I think speculation is fair given how many holes in the announced-so-far policy by National is at the scout level. I cannot figure if they are being stupid, intellectually lazy, or sneaky. I do not think they have a very workable plan and will make us figure it all out. I am not hearing much organizational wisdom trickling down to the Council and District level...at least around here. I do hear some genuine hurt feelings from long time folks who are not planning to make a fuss. Last night I was on a BOR (I know, I know as an ASM I am not supposed to be on it but they were short a person). The lad was going up for Star at 12. Fast tracking to Eagle but does everything he is asked (though pretty much the minimal on camping and patrol activities--you know when Mom asks when she can drop off and pick up at the campsite so he still gets credit for one night of camping) so he was gonna pass. A mom sat in on the BOR and didn't say much and was pretty tense. I respect this woman's opinion (she is also active service member single mom) so I asked if anything was wrong. She expressed her frustration over how the Troop and BSA in general has so enabled scouts to get Eagle so fast (the boy in particular attended two summer camps to load up on Merit Badges) that they are missing the point of developing leadership in scouts by going so fast and what is the point of Eagle if it is just an academic exercise. She makes her son 'do it the right way' and he is mad at her because he sees boys 2-3 years younger the same rank but less active in the Troop. She said the interference of the parents, mostly "remote control moms" were making it easier on their sons but ruining scouting. It is the same arguments we talk about here but it was refreshing hearing from a parent. (she also said she would welcome 'hiker girls' if in exchange we could just ban all the adults but a couple men). So...I reiterate the bigger threat to the program is the move away from the traditional program youth-led, mixed-age, patrol based outdoor program.
  8. 6 points
    I would slightly differ in that view. BSA National and pretty much every interview CSE has had emphasized and at times over emphasized family. He talks about families doing things together, that families want programs they can do together, and that scouting can be the program they can do together. The surveys tell them family is key and they want to do things. As a family. One can infer that if the new families that come into Cubs with the family transition to Scouts, the expectation is the family will come along. Those of us that are dinosaur troops, all male leaders on outings, using patrol methods, scouts off by themselves, referring scouts to their SPL for questions, will be (I assume) be expected to welcome the families. Even if we are all male and the Scouts potentially crossing over are male, this family focus will be a challenge.
  9. 6 points
    You keep asking that question and we answering it. The program changed a lot with the admittance of women leaders. There didn't appear to be a lot of changes from the outside, but it was obvious from the inside. As I've said several times (I believe to you, but I could be wrong), the massive training course changes in 2000 were largely a result of bringing women into the troop. Not because they were women, but because they had no Boy Scouting experienced. The BSA was so overwhelmed with un-experienced adult leaders that they had to rethink how to train them. And I think most of us who were leading Troop programs back then would say that Patrol Method has suffered greatly. Adults today don't get patrol method because training doesn't teach it well and there aren't enough experienced leaders to encourage it at Council or district level. Bringing in girls will increase the number of un-experienced unit adult leaders. If there was any hope that the program 10 years from now resembled today's program, calling it a family program killed it. Calling it a family program will add more confusion between leadership and parents. It will eventually sort itself out if scouting survives, but it won't be the same program. Barry
  10. 6 points
    The only thing that can doom Scouting is people who allow themselves to believe that Scouting is doomed. If we embrace the pessimistic idea that Scouting's days are numbered, then sure, it won't last long. But while I may not be able to rescue the perceptions of cynics and fatalists, I can certainly save Scouting in the eyes of the boys in my Den or Troop. I can instill in them the ideals and aims of Scouting, and lead them to believe in the power of this movement, however it may be distorted or warped by reactionaries and so-called 'progressives.' I can motivate them to live the Scout Oath and Law, and learn the lessons and skills embodied in the Scouting movement since the beginning. Scouting is only dead if you let it die. But so long as it lives in me, and in those who believe in it, it can never truly go away. So why give up hope, when you can instead labor to instill hope in the boys you work with? You fear the end of Scouting as you watch the top come crumbling down? Then counteract the collapse by establishing a foundation of bulwarks from the bottom up - build it up in the boys, and they will hold it up in the future. I refuse to subscribe to fatalist ideologies that simply wait to claim "I saw it coming!" when they end comes. Poor fools; they just end up waiting and waiting forever ....
  11. 6 points
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455874/toxic-masculinity-myth-fuels-culture-wars Yah, I change the title just a bit. But the article described, at least to me, exactly what has been going on in the BSA for the last 15 years. For many of us, Boy Scouts is where a boy becomes a man of character. A man proud to be a husband, father, civic leader and a moral role model. It wasn't a boys club where male boys huddled together conspiring to bring out the worst of humanism, just as some here still believe. Scouting is a culture that challenges the masculinity of young men so that they can learn how to shape themselves into citizens of character and leaders of integrity. Scouting is a culture where young adult males find the limits of their character without the interference of guilt to prevent the lesson of learning their role in the community. Scouting was a safe place where a boy could face the limitations of maleness in a complex world without feeling guilty. It's not an anti female culture. Quite the contrary, the scout program is a pro equal culture program. It just does it by taking out out the static of multi-humanist biases and opinions until each scout can sort our their deficiencies in practicing the Scout Law and Oath, and then make a conscious change to better themselves for their future in the community. I am a full believer in building ethical and moral decision makers. I've been in the middle of the BSA cultural discussions about as long as they have been on Scouter.com. So, I know the debates. I laugh because I remember when 90 percent of the discussions on Scouter.com were in the "Patrol Method", "Cub Scouts", "Advancement", "Camping", and "Open Discussion" forums. Those were the good ol days of discussing scouting stuff. We haven't seen that in a while. I think this article describes the Scouting Cultural divide very well. I don't expect anything to change. But I think the article helps explains why some of us scouters believe the traditional program has a more positive influence on the community than this new program that is just turning into another after school youth program. Enjoy. Barry
  12. 6 points
    First of all, thank you for the link to that article @Eagledad. I found it well-written, level-headed, and much-needed voice of sense in society's ongoing war against families. As for the idea of Scouting focusing on "leadership training and character development," and those being "gender-neutral" (never one of my favorite terms) -you will find after reading through Scouting's published materials over the years that those have been pushed and emphasized far more now in the past two decades than they ever were before. Yes, they were always a part of it, but you are failing to recognize that the very idea of Scouting, the core of its foundation and the center of all its facets, was the idea that boys are different from girls, with a greater need for active, adventurous learning, and that society lacks, indeed, desperately needs, a channel through which restless boys could learn the skills and knowledge they need to become strong, intelligent, honorable men. Who would dare presume that masculinity is important to Scouting, that "making boys into men" somehow matters in our programs? Oh yes. Lieutenant-General Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. Or just Old BP as the kids called 'im. If you do not understand the central place masculine development has in Scouting, and the massive importance it had to Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, William Hillcourt, Earnest Thompson Seaton, and all the early founders of Scouting, then you do not understand what Scouting was meant to accomplish. The very impetus of Scouting was the recognition that more and more boys were growing up in urban or suburban settings without opportunities to develop in ways that align with masculine development. Boys learn differently from girls, and new trends in lifestyles made it increasingly difficult for millions of boys to get the physical, intellectually stimulating and involved experiences they require to prepare themselves for life. This became painfully clear at the end of the 19th century, when tens of thousands of boys, scions of the industrial revolution, wandered the dirty and polluted streets of cities around the world looking for whatever activities might keep them busy in a world of stifling urban development and increasing poverty. They needed something to pull them out of the slums and gangs and troubles of their situation so that they could become good and honest men who could learn to work and provide for their families and contribute to their communities. They needed to be rescued. It was the general recognition of that need that caused multiple Scout-like organizations to suddenly appear all over America at the same time Baden-Powell was refining his "Scouting project" in England with one purpose in mind - not to create a leadership factory, but to help boys avoid the pitfalls and bleak futures of a continually emasculating society by creating a program that would counter the disturbing trends of the day with a program that would help active boys become strong men, help curious boys become intelligent men, help honest boys become honorable men. So effective was his model that soon all the other organizations in America adopted his program, added to it their own structure and cultural flavor, and created the Boy Scouts of America. Its immediate explosion of growth can be attributed to one single idea - boys want to become good men, and Scouting can help show them how. That was the heart of Scouting - boys could enlist in a Troop, have exciting adventure and run their own groups all while having loads of fun - and all of it was designed to help those boys become better men, by tailoring it specifically to how boys learn, what boys love, and what boys need. You cannot take that idea of "making boys into better men" out of Scouting unless you completely and utterly ignore its very raison d'etre. It is meant to help develop positive masculine virtues in boys to create better men, who then become better leaders, citizens, and family members. And the trend of the last two decades towards taking that part out of it, as can be seen in the changes to the Scouting Handbook over the past few editions, has affected the BSA in negative ways. Scouting was truly a place for boys to explore their world and channel their energies in safe and productive ways as they figured out what it meant to be a man. Now that it is slowly feels the pressure to become just another activity program to put on a resume, it is losing the very thing it tries so hard to build in its member - confidence. And the declining numbers of the past few years is reflecting that. If National would ignore the boo hoos of the far left and stick to its central purpose, of making boys into better men, it would probably surprise itself with how successful the program could be again.
  13. 6 points
    Some months back, I was tapped for taking over as our troop's Scoutmaster. The biggest top of mind I had was bringing fun back to the meetings. I happened to be in a World Market store and saw a $7 iron squirrel doorstop, and picked it up because I thought I could use it at some point as the trophy for some games we were kicking around. It has since become one of the mainstays in our troop monthly program, now dubbed the "Iron Squirrel Competition." Each month the adult leaders come up with a challenge that all the scouts participate in. These should combine some type of useful training/skill with the competition. This has become the boy's favorite monthly program piece and has heightened the fun and competition in the troop. This taught me a few things: Making sure to keep it fun. Fun covers a lot of flaws! Create something that is your own. While Iron Squirrel Competition is now a part of our Troop DNA, finding something that your troop "owns" would be fun. Not just the award, but the flavor. Go cheap and tawdry. Don't have to put a lot into this. Find something unique though that is funny. I am interested in what you other folks have done that are unique to your troop that is keeping it fun. Here is a link to our "Iron Squirrel" webpage.
  14. 5 points
    I am genuinely unclear on whether this is serious or satire.
  15. 5 points
    Just came from a PLC last night where the PLC passed a "rule" that said only registered Scouts and adults could camp with the troop, and that only perspective Webelos looking to join could camp with the unit.
  16. 5 points
    But that is CUB Scout, bot BOY Scouts. (caps for emphasis). Most 11-18 year old males want to get away from their parents and younger siblings. They want to do things on their own. The families going camping is one reason why my sons and several others are not happy with the troop. They had problems with siblings, as well as adults. An example form this weekend, PL is doing his assigned job at a fundraiser, and one of the parents tells him to stop what he is doing and get back to work. Thankfully I was there and told him to ignore the parent and SPL's instructions. Agree 110% Even WB doesn't fully model the Patrol Method. And even when you do have adults who know PM and teach it at training, you still have large numbers of adults who think they know best, or do not have the patience to implement it. The Patrol Method is truly 'Organized Chaos" Another factor that women have is the natural "mother instinct" They want to nurture and protect they children. Many cannot let go. We see it today with 26 year olds being considered children under some federal laws. I do not know when the Guide to Safe Scouting first came out, But I can tell you many things I use to do as a Scout are not allowed anymore, and it has been since women were allowed to be SMs and ASMs, i.e. pioneering projects over 6 feet, smudge pots, etc.
  17. 5 points
    To you list I will add: Complaining about is problem is MUCH easier than rolling up your sleeves and working to fix it.
  18. 5 points
    There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you some skills, you get just enough 'official' training to stay our of trouble. 4) You deliver the best program you can, make friends, and gain 100 unofficial nephews. Some inspire you, most are memorable, and a few break your heart. 6) You ignore national unless you hang around the forum or there is a press release. Look the whole world seems to be falling apart, some of us on the front lines are trying to keep the faith in our little corner. Because when you get down to it all real life us local. BSA might implode (and that is what we are mostly griping about here) but Scouting will one way or another will continue. (You know that would sound a whole lot better if Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart was saying it.)
  19. 5 points
    This is in order of likelihood a pigtail mafia member will leave a thin mint bomb in your mailbox. 1 - start with sisters of existing members 2 - have them reach out to their friends to recruit them to join 3 - standard Join Scouts Night stuff (flyers, yard signs, emails). Have something fun to do for the kids and ensure some girls that plan to join attend 4 - reach out to existing GSUSA scouts 5 - recruit existing GSUSA Troop leaders 6 - boom... your mailbox just exploded Overall, I don’t see much of a difference from recruiting boys other than making sure parents and girls see that a group of girls are joining. Once they see that, they’ll consider it more for themselves. Oh, and I don’t really recommend intentionally using 4 or 5 above... though we did end up with both (unintentionally). My hands shake a bit every time I start my car.
  20. 5 points
    I think this whole thread illustrates why National is interested in membership numbers. The number of scouts is going down and the overhead is not. The result is economic stress and thus everything mentioned in this thread. The long term solution is getting more kids having fun camping with their friends. This is one of those "It's the economy, stupid" messages that should be part of National's letter head. "It's kids having fun, stupid." I don't think the solution is going to come from focusing on what is preventing kids from having fun. It's going to come from focusing on ensuring that kids are having fun. We've been through all the usual problems. Parents are busy. Parents don't like the outdoors. Parents don't volunteer. Kids are doing more. Kids must participate in all these other activities. Girls. Moms. Dads. Single parents. .... Here's another thought. Focus on making it so much fun, rewarding and challenging that most kids will honestly decide that they're more interested in scouts than a second, or third sport, or doing anything else. It's not that I don't want kids doing anything else, I just want scouting to compare favorably. Right now the only support that national provides is getting Eagle. Eagle may be a challenge but it's not fun. It's not enough to keep an 11 year old that likes soccer, football, and baseball to stick around. Eagle is not the fundamental attraction for a kid to stay in scouts. It may be for the parents but for a kid it has to be fun. All the fun stuff, the stuff that scouting is really about, is up to the SM to figure out (not to mention selling this idea to those parents that only see Eagle). But getting back to the OP. The question every council and national employee should be asking them self every day is whether what they're doing helps each CM and SM deliver fun and adventure. If all they come up with is it's important that every scout memorize the USDA My Plate diagram then they're failing and adding no value. Come up with some honestly fun activities that a unit leader can use out of the box and then there's value added. If all these parts were supporting the CMs and SMs then the money problems would fix themselves.
  21. 5 points
    That article ends What we owe all people, including women, is to listen to them and to respect them and to take them seriously. But we don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief. “Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy. Sounds fair.
  22. 5 points
    Has any boy of the scout age ever felt they needed more character? Scouting is an adult program designed to develop boys into men of character (A game with a purpose). The attraction for boys is the adventure. The exhilaration of experiencing the independence for making responsible decisions is what keeps them in the program after the exhilaration of adventure becomes balanced with normality. Barry
  23. 5 points
    This summarizes perfectly the trust problem with BSA National. Unfortunately, it extends far beyond trustworthiness. I believe their lack of transparency is rooted in basic ineptitude. Their actions are shielded to avoid visibility into their incompetency. How did this noble organization of the Boy Scouts of America end up with executives who are so divorced from the founding principles of Scouting? A Scout is trustworthy, yet they have repeatedly displayed examples of dishonest, deceitful, manipulative, and opportunistic leadership. The first qualification for the job should be that you actually believe in the movement. I am truly embarrassed to have this bungling group of mismanagers at our head, and I am immensely sad for all that has been lost under their misdirection. I am one of their casualties who will exit Scouting at the end of this year.
  24. 5 points
    and that is a primary fear for introducing family scouting, holding the boys back, or worse, forgetting about the boys in lieu of the girls. Boys have enough major challenges their facing down statistically (lower college graduation rates, higher HS drop out rates, higher suicide, higher and younger drug abuse, etc) in this country at the moment.
  25. 4 points
    Unless you're next to a screaming toddler on a Lufthansa flight. THEN it is all about the destination and not the journey! https://metro.co.uk/video/video-demonic-child-screams-eight-hour-flight-1628342/?ito=vjs-link
  26. 4 points
    Thank you for your service. I too have some experience with Scoutmaster training and Wood Badge, both starting in 1959. Start with this: understanding the Patrol Method is not even a learning objective of Scoutmaster basic training per the current syllabus. It should be THE objective. To avoid a wall of text comparing BSA training syllabus contents to more authoritative BSA statements on the Patrol Method over the years and today, please consider this: for fourteen years, until late Summer 2014, the section of the Scoutmaster Specific syllabus entitled "Working with Youth, the Patrol Method" lacked a single sentence correctly describing the Patrol Method. In fact, the word "patrol," appeared exactly once. Staff, then sworn to present the message BSA "intends," might have compensated. I surely did. (I am always happy to learn more if you could cite language to the contrary.) Now, we are sworn as trainers to "use" the syllabus. ("For what," one asks. )The current syllabus, sadly, is only fractionally better than what it replaced because it reinforces the incorrect idea that the troop is where everything of worth happens. The syllabus does say, "Scouting happens in the context of a patrol,” then contradicts that defining concept in almost everything else it says. Just look at the model troop meeting plan - a few minutes for a patrol "business" meeting and the vast bulk of time "troop," "troop," "troop." Even Scoutcraft instruction is shown on the troop level. Compare that to these words: "[The patrol is] the place where boys learn skills together, take on leadership responsibilities, perhaps for the first time . . . . ” B.S.A. Scouting.org., (2018) “Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements.” B.S.A., Scouting.org (2018)[emphasis added] Does the syllabus even mention that Scouts, not adults, are to be the primary Scoutcraft teachers? No. And where is the training on planning patrol program, where "scouting happens"? ZIp. Nada. Zero.v Troop, troop, troop. The present syllabus falls FAR short of coherently presenting a correct view of BSA's statements since 1929 and to this date to the effect that Boy Scouting is patrol scouting, not troop Scouting. "A patrol is that small group of boys and friends under their own leadership who plan and carry out troop and patrol meetings and activities. It is the basic organizational unit of a Scout troop. Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster Handbook, 1998 ed., 2010 printing, Chapter 4, "The Boy-Led Patrol" "Unless the patrol method is in operation, you don’t really have a Boy Scout troop.” Scoutingmagazine.org (citing Baden-Powell) (September, 2015 and still posted today - this very minute) https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/09/05/patrol-method/ The legend is that Coach Vince Lombardi began every training season with, "Gentlemen, this is a football." Gentlemen, this is Boy Scouting. Yogi Berra on why SMs need to know what the Patrol Method is: "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." NOTE: site is supplying it's own underlining. Thanks, I guess.
  27. 4 points
    You know I do not want to jump to any conclusions that attacking North Korea would potentially be a bad idea. I will take a position of wait and see and wait to form my opinion after the fact.
  28. 4 points
    and that was an initial concern... when girls show up, but the numbers are small... National will change the program to "fix" that problem, and now we're no longer talking about "girls doing the same program the boys have done" as was pitched. There will be changes to the program to meet girls needs, something we were told repeatedly simply doesn't exist, that girls and boys have the same interests and are basically the same person, with the same needs. (this is of course my speculation based on my observations)
  29. 4 points
    @Mattosaurus, whatever you do you need to be honest. You skipped a step. No biggie but you do need to own up to it as other people have advised. The Guide to Advancement (the book Scouters are supposed to consult when they have advancement questions) allows for instances such as yours. Contact your Eagle Coach today, as well as the district rep. Let them know your issue and your project timeline. In most instances they will be happy to approve your completed form, but they will advise you on your next steps. Document your interaction with them via email and confirm both in writing and verbally. This may help you later. Above all DO NOT go forward without contacting them...and most certainly do not "back date" or "fudge" anything. Not only is that dishonest and against the Scout Law, it is not worthy of an Eagle Scout. Yes, it is a big deal. It is called integrity. Make sure your parents are in the know on this issue too. While you are the one responsible, it usually make sense to have your parents up to speed on your status. Also your unit lead (Scoutmaster). Good luck!!!
  30. 4 points
    As an engineer, this is data I can dig into and appreciate. I would like to see what the graphs look like minus the Indonesia influence. Why can't BSA National treat us like grown-ups and share such statistical motivations, rather than concoct manipulative surveys as a pretext for a predetermined outcome?
  31. 4 points
    For reference and enjoyment, this snapshot by WOSM may serve: https://issuu.com/worldscouting/docs/wsbero-membership_report_2013 What's relevant to us, is that Scouts UK had not recovered its market penetration, but compared to 2007, it had "turned the corner" and was gaining market share. It is reasonable to expect that it has continued that trend. However, it probably has a few years to gain the share of boys. On the other hand, BSA's program(s) has lost market share at an alarming rate over the same period. Anyone worried about losing boys nationwide, that ship has sailed. Anyone thinking including girls is a panacea should reconsider their position. I'm in this for smiles. Some girls want this program? Let them. Some boys want to keep to themselves? Make it work for them ... even if your troop is full-on co-ed. These things are best managed on a local level, and the sooner BSA gives scouters the latitude to do that the better.
  32. 4 points
    The issue with summer camps changing program... I hope so. Most camp programs are merit badge factories with youths actung as mb counselors. The boys have lost out on a real camp experience long before the idea of having girls as members. Let's not pretend that all is perfect and the change to allow girls in the program will weaken it. The loss of the patrol method, mb factories, eagle mills are well entrenched in the current paradigm. We have had a far from perfect program for many years. It wasn't the gays, girls or godless that did that.
  33. 4 points
    Why don't you ask my three daughters if I am anti-female before you start slinging that slur. I am as heavily engaged in their parenting and development as I am for my son. However, I am experienced enough to appreciate the differences between boys and girls when it comes to a unique program like Scouting. And those differences don't just disappear because of politically-correct derision.
  34. 4 points
    #1: This isn't somebody else's program. This is your son's program. You teach highschoolers, but I assume you're familiar with elementary education. When teachers assign projects, homework or spelling lists, you have to know that kids aren't going home and doing everything by themselves. Absolutely zero science projects have been completed by 7 year olds with their parents off doing their own thing. Parental involvement and assistance is needed then just as it is in Cub Scouts. #2: Nobody is asking you or anyone to recreate the wheel, but how do you think outings to the conservancy, state park, or historical societies take place? Everyone just mysteriously knows where and when to show up to a place, and everything is ready for you? No, a volunteer has to contact the location, reserve a time and then disseminate the information to other parents. Not a big deal, or anywhere hard to do, but when 40 families look to the same 4-5 people wearing uniforms to do everything, it becomes irritating. More so, if we see that you're already doing these things with your family or volunteering at these locations. Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go." #3 Have you attended any parent meetings to even know if the pack is running fine? Every person's time valuable; any excuse that someone is "too busy" to help comes across as petty. Our registered volunteers are all fully-employed in professional careers.
  35. 4 points
  36. 4 points
    Paper applications are now being accepted. Most of the girls were able to register online but the. BSA payment system seems flaky after a couple of the parents spent hours using various browsers. One parent said they checked their CC bill and found the BSA had charged them 8 x $33 ($264) (once for each attempt to register). She said she is sure the BSA will refund the money ...🙄 There is an article online with our major paper and I’m working with them so they spell our Pack number correctly. The council is having the other Pack lead the media effort and I’m perfectly content. I think most members in our Pack fall into the category that adding girls is fine... but I don’t think they are looking to be the center of media attention or lead any crusade. One challenge we are now facing. We have three girls who are twin sisters of existing Pack members (all Tigers). Our Tiger den is 26 Scouts. A couple of them have been going to Pack and den meetings but are not members of the Pack. They would like to join but the parents are too busy for more den meetings (for the girls den). So we have started discussions of adding a second girl den, this one dedicated to Tiger girls that would meet same time and place as the boys. My thought is that we can actually provide more separation between the boys and girls as I’ll have another den leader attend and work with them separately. The adult partner will be there for both their kids. Nothing official yet, but we are discussing it.
  37. 4 points
  38. 4 points
    The change at the Cub Scout level has been in place for 23 days. The details of the change at ages 11-17 have not even been announced yet. I suppose one alternative would be to wait until we see what actually happens rather than drawing all kinds of conclusions based on what any of us thinks will happen. But I realize that in this forum, that's crazy talk.
  39. 4 points
    I stand corrected. Allow me to rephrase We seem to have adults who think that the troop exists for their fun and benefit rather than the scouts.
  40. 4 points
    Let's all please call people by their correct names, and not make up nicknames. The CSE's name is Michael Surbaugh, or if one prefers, just Surbaugh, or if you want to just use his title, he's the CSE.
  41. 4 points
    Not terribly related to the topic, but I was given this by one of the parents in the Troop.
  42. 4 points
    To be fair, the complexity is jumping up on YPT and overnight requirements. I think a BSA sponsored YPT playbook armband should be coming out soon.
  43. 4 points
    Yes I do. Just as much as you do in fact, and your question, while rhetorical I assume, brings out an important point that must be made. It is a bit condescending to imply that, if one really knew BP's writings (as you do), he would come to different conclusions than the ones I have drawn. You imply that you must have a broader knowledge of his works than I do. However, I have also read nearly all his writings available in the US, and a few still found only in Britain, so I'm afraid your attempt to undermine my comments by labeling them as "unique interpretations" cannot be based on a greater familiarity with his writings, nor on any other evident advantage of intellect or literacy - so it can only be based on the fact that you disagree, and so you want to dismantle the conclusions of my post by trying to show a superior understanding of the Scouting program than mine, made through a suggestion that what I got out of his works really wasn't important - it's really just knights and such, nothing important. Unfortunately that is not so. I have also read every edition of the Scouting Handbook (all of which I own), all of William Hillcourts writings, decades of manuals and fieldbooks and magazines and articles - yes, I understand what Scouting was meant to accomplish every bit as much as you do. And we disagree. And - that's okay, There will always be differences of opinion. But before we can find a place of accord where we can more forward, we have to find where we agree. You did not, for example, seem to have read my post very carefully. I never said character was not important in the early days. I said that it has been emphasized far more now than it was before - and that has always been a changing feature of the program. For a few early decades the push was all about the outdoors and woodcraft (a term we never hear in Scouting anymore). Then there was a period where it seemed citizenship was the holy center of all things Scouting (oh those heady WWII years), and in the 70's there was that odd attempt to focus on skills of Scouting instead of the aims of Scouting. During all periods, the same things are taught and the same virtues are extolled, but with each new generation different aspects of Scouting seemed to capture the wants and needs of families.These days it's leadership and character development. But in the earliest days, frankly, much of it was "making boys into better men." I see I received my first downvote ever for my last post. In a way, that makes me feel like I must have said something right. Nowadays, to claim that any activity, character trait, or quality of character is inherently masculine or feminine is anathema, and considered a dated concept. But I hold to the essential idea that men and women are different in fundamental ways, and that neither can reach its full potential without the other, because each is distinct from the other. Our complementary natures make us more than the sum of our parts. Nowadays, that's going to be looked down upon as we gender-wash our programs. But the early leaders and founders would have taken those differences for granted. It's amazing that in these times, they have to be defended. Fortunately, I don't mind being unpopular for doing so.
  44. 4 points
    It is 10 times more expensive to cultivate NEW customers than to retain an old one. Does that mean you don't market to new customers? No, of course not. But a successful business NEVER punches their old, reliable customer base in the face, introduces a new product they know their old customers won't like, increase the price and continue doing all the things that tick off their current customers. NO ONE DOES THAT and is successful.
  45. 4 points
    Agreed. To me this should be the policy going forward for Cub Scouts. I understand there may Be impacts to some dens, but we should encourage dads to volunteer. I honestly have no problem with requiring an adult female present with girls... but the requirement of having an adult male present with boys should also apply.
  46. 4 points
    We give out the rank badges at the end of the meetings when the scouts complete the BOR. Scout does BOR and bam...he is recognized and goes home with the new rank patch. Neat thing is seeing them with the new rank on their uniform at the next meeting. At the COH they are awarded the card and small pin. Yes, we do pick up rank patches on occasion. One scout came up the next week and was seeing what could be done as he had lost his patch. We asked what did he do with it last week, he said put it in his pocket, as he touched his left pocket on his shirt. I asked if he checked both pockets, he said yes, then reached into his right pocket and like magic, there was the patch. He shuffled off to patrol time
  47. 4 points
    My Troop would pay the fee - and end all participation in Friends of Scouting.
  48. 4 points
    I started reading this thread again. I keep twinging every time I read the rank requirements. They are just way way too long. Too many words. Turns off scouts. National really needs to focus on shortening the number of words. It's just out of control. The number of words in the requirements have doubled since 2005. The words the scouts see need to be simple and straight forward.
  49. 4 points
    To that I'd add that your troop needs to have a defined program. Our troop is far from perfect. But, one thing we have is a sense of what our program is and how we work as a troop. The SM has a plan for what he's doing. As CC, I have a plan for where we're taking the troop. If some adults start showing up at committee meetings, troop meetings, or camping trips and starting problems, we'd all look at them and collectively say "what are you doing?". I think the key to that is the core group of troop volunteers coming up with a shared vision for who you are as a troop and then going in that direction. It may sound like I'm advocating adult led - I am not. When I say "defined program", I mean things like - are you boy led, do you use patrols, what is the relationship of adults to scouts, etc. The boys should be planning the troops operating activities and program. What I'm suggesting is that higher level of who are you as a troop. The other thing I'd advocate is for you and others to spend a lot of time explaining why you do things. If a parent wants to clean his son's dishes, it's one thing to say "HEY, don't do that, we're a boy led troop". It's another to have a conversation with that adult about how letting the scout do it himself is a step down the path of self reliance, confidence, and developing leadership skills.
  50. 4 points