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  1. 13 points
    After years of watching her 3 brothers have all the fun, my daughter has decided she wants to join Scouts BSA. My wife and I (both WB trained) have marshaled enough support in our community to start a non-linked Scouts BSA troop for her and her friends... We turn in all of our charter paperwork on Thursday, and I will officially be the Scoutmaster of Troop 19. Wish me / us luck! -DK
  2. 4 points
    My doctors say I have made a complete recovery, and I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Excited to start a new chapter in my Scouting career!
  3. 4 points
    Update: Council approved my workbook and it is now time to schedule my EBOR. Again, thanks to everyone who gave me advice on here.
  4. 4 points
    This is where Sydney starts to loose my support. This is one push too far. BSA has now given her the opportunity that she has been asking for, too be able to earn Eagle Scout even though she will turn 18, and now she wants her Eagle now. I understand the frustration she (and a number of Venturers I know) have about not being able to count camping and activity they have already done. But the fact remains that she didn't complete ALL the requirements, which include signatures from council, and being a member of a BSA troop. Webelos do not get credit for camp outs or activity they do before they join a troop either. Sydney should thank BSA for giving her the opportunity to EARN Eagle, and then work on it next to the thousands of other girls starting today.
  5. 4 points
    Marguerite de Beaument (who was one of the original Girl Scouts who showed up at the Crystal Palace rally) wrote a biography of Baden-Powell (The Wolf That Never Sleeps, 1944), intended to be read by the girl guides, in which she wrote: (p. 45-46)
  6. 4 points
    I largely agree with @sst3rd. My letter would be something like: Best of luck!
  7. 4 points
    A Scout is thrifty! Sounds like a great plan. You will want to read (edit - RS) about the two requirements where I noticed changes since she will have to use those updated requirements when ranking up. I have the new book in my hands because the Scout Shops are now selling them, which is a bit earlier than I had hoped. A quick rundown of the changes: All images of Scouts were updated to be girls. Several other photos containing people were changed to use females or are simply different. They still all have the same theme and often very similar poses. Colors behind headers, like section headings, have changed. The white text is more readable because the backgrounds are darker. Boy Scouts, when referring to the program, now typically says Scouts BSA. When referring to the individual, it is now Scout. The youth protection booklet in the front has more content. Likewise the safety chapter has much more about sexual abuse, plus the topics were slightly rearranged. Two pages were added here about dangers, warning signs, and what to do. I could find no updated hygiene section. Everything there looked the same. The instructions for tying a necktie are still in the book too. Structurally the books are identical up to chapter 13. That means each page in the 13th edition looks identical to the 14th edition. As mentioned earlier, there is more content in chapter 13, so chapter 14 starts on page 412 instead of 410, and we are back to nearly identical content. If you refer to any page before 396, those page number references, paragraphs and sentences are still spot-on. The only changes I noticed in the rank requirements were for Second Class 1b and First Class 1a. They seem to have relaxed the requirement a tiny bit, though I suspect the boys edition will have the same wording. Second Class 1b: "Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. (See pages 260 and 276-277.)" First Class 1a has 10 activities, six outdoors and three overnight camping. The rest is the same Oh that brings up another change. The requirements all now have page numbers listed for relevant information. I may have missed some stuff, but I did page through it for the past two hours and that was everything I saw. Overall I am very pleased with this book.
  8. 3 points
    Well ... over the holiday break I spent the better part of two weeks in the hospital's intensive care wing after a severe illness and other incidents left me unconscious for five days. I survived the ordeal, and I feel much better now thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, but it did leave me in a seriously weakened condition, and for a few months I will be dealing with a rather delicate constitution as I work towards restoring my health to what it was before the sickness. After much prayer and consideration, it was decided that I should let go of my duties as Webelos Den Leader for a time so that I can fully recover. I have been filling this role for three and a half years, so I've had a good long run of it, but still, it's a saddening change for me. I will be volunteering as Pack Trainer for a few months so that I can still play a role in pack activities, but I am basically taking a few months' hiatus to ensure a complete and proper recovery. I have been sorting all my materials to make the transition as smooth as possible. The new leader will get a progress record for every boy detailing every requirement for every adventure he has completed, clear and easy-to-read charts and records showing the progress of the den as a whole, family talent surveys with notes on each boy and his family circumstances, and copies of important documents, all sorted by colored tabs in a neat, organized binder. I have contact information for key leaders at the pack and district level, a calendar with all the important events for the year, and a list of activities we have traditionally enjoyed at various seasons. I have his new patches and loops (he was an Assistant Scoutmaster until now), his Den Leader Guide, some posters, and other useful items to ensure that nothing is lost through the cracks as the boys transition from one leader to another. I have sent letters to the families expressing my love and optimism for the new year's changes, and I have personally spoken to every boy to let them know that while I may not be their den leader, I will always be their friend, and they can always come to me with Scouting questions or stories of what they have accomplished. I want to make the transition quiet and unobtrusive so that I don't step on the new leader's toes as he assumes the mantle for this position; it's his show now, and I want to respect that by avoiding any undue attention directed towards me so that he can escape the annoyance of people saying "well, our last leader did things this way ..." I will announce the changes at Pack Meeting tonight, and it's a little heart-breaking just thinking about it already. So ... it's a hard change for me. I have always been 100% driven as a leader, and I had all kinds of plans for this year (the last year our Church will be involved in Scouting). I don't want to cling too hard to the past, but I also want to find ways to stay connected to the boys in the pack. Pack Trainer will be a good position for the time being, since I have been training for the district and council for the past few years already and it's not a taxing job for me, but how much distance should I keep so that the new leader can make his own mark while still finding ways to stay involved with the pack? And what else can I do to make sure the transition is successful? Obviously, I have a lot of emotions to deal with, and I feel deeply for the boys who have to deal with such a big change in their lives, but I appreciate any thoughts and comments that might help me as I make my first major transition as a Scout leader. My thanks to anybody who can share something that might help me deal with my very tender feelings.
  9. 3 points
    I was part of a polled group when National was writing NYLT. Very little of the results I saw are in the course. I'm very skeptical because my observation is that National interprets data to fit in their predetermined plan instead of using it to question the present program. Take for example First Class in the First Year commitment. National found in their study that scouts who earn a first class rank in one year tend to stay in the troop for at least three years. So, they encouraged units to get scouts to first class in one year, even putting that promise in writing in all the Scout Handbooks. You can guess where that went. The program switched from one of adventure where scouts can also advance, to a program of advancement and, ... well keep advancing. One of the most common Wood Badge ticket items after that promised commitment was getting all new scouts to first class quickly. However, we found from research in our area that scouts who just stayed in the program at least one year, regardless of rank, likely stayed in the troop for at least 3 years. In fact, we found that if a scout was still active after their first summer camp, odds were they were committed for several years. We also found that the troops with higher numbers of scouts who stay in after a year had the more active fun outdoor programs. They were the better performing overall programs in our area. Scouts in those troops tended to advance to 1st Class within 14 months. Add one other statistic that the highest drop out rate in the BSA is the first year scouts. Hmmmm. So, how should a responsible district advise troops knowing all that data? By the way, when we looked at the numbers of first year drop out rates at a National level 20 years AFTER National instigated First Class in the First Year program along with Troop guides and age based patrols, we found that the first year drop out rates were the same. In fact, I was told that the rate was about the same since the 60s, although I have no idea where they got those results. That attacked the wrong part of the troop program, so they ended up with the same results. So, while I'm glad National is trying to use real time data to improve the program, they have never shown me that the data results preceeded the agenda. Yes, I know that my earned skepticism is a downer in this discussion, but consider it a warning for keeping an open mind. Of course National could surprise me. Barry
  10. 3 points
    People are over-analyzing this. IF the scout is going for the "Deutsch" strip, as I did, hand him something he has never seen before, such as a magazine, book or newspaper written in German and ask him to translate it. Do the requirement. Nothing more, nothing less.
  11. 3 points
    I would agree with @HashTagScouts that the Venturing's organizers were playing the "have your cake and eat it too" tune. Their intent was clearly to cajole former boy scouts to pick up where they left off in rank advancement. (This, if I understand scouting history correctly, was a play inherited from the Explorer book.) One side-effect, as some troops began to micromanage every aspect of a scout's career, was that this policy could be used to entice dual-registered scouts in a troop to forget accountability to their troop-method SM's. This did not happen in my crew (my venturers kind of got the idea that I'd be the more demanding of skill mastery), but SMs made it quite clear to me that they were afraid it would. Venturers of years past had a pretty clear understanding that they could not earn merit badges if they were never in a troop. However, this caused confusion as well. I had one of my crew try to check out a sailboat at a council camporee only to be told she had to have earned Small Boat Sailing MB. She was an expert member of a sailing club! I happened to be walking by and was able to stick up for her and her Boy Scout buddy. Multiply that by 50K and you have a lot of venturers who were slighted for the lack of one little round medallion or another. However, the fact still remains that no rank (let alone 1st Class) was ever a qualification to earn any merit badge. So, without further clarification, this is one more place where somebody somewhere is going to manage to push applications through. Frankly, I wouldn't like it, but if I had a class of venturers who were obsessed with MB's and wanted to earn them all with no concern for rank advancement, I'd find a way to make it work for them. Then when they were adults, I'd lean on them to register as counselors for whichever one became their career/hobby.
  12. 3 points
    Trying to ignore the whole "Scout Me In; Family Scouting is the BEST; the attitude that the last 109 years was subpar or somehow as the Boy Scouts did not allow girls; and the fact that as long as we're at it let's toss out the name Boy Scouts and become Scouts BSA. The name change of the program for the youth ages 11 -17; hey Girls let's join the Boy Scouts...BSA, wait we're gonna change the name now... I trust the Girl troops work out well. Just want to continue to run the troop, go camping, build self reliant Boy Scouts. While it's neat that Girls are joining, let's not forget the vast number of Boys that are already members.
  13. 3 points
    I'm neither "pro" nor "anti" girls in scouting....but I AM tired of all the bickering and conjecture and am very eager to see what happens (and hopeful that it will benefit all the kids involved).
  14. 3 points
    Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. His viewpoint isn't patently ridiculous, so I think it's wiser to chalk it up as a judgment call and to just go about your business. Definitely a bad move to argue about it with the big local non-profit and a worse move to escalate to the DE. It's honestly not that big a deal, and certainly NOT worth making an enemy of your fellow scouters in other troops nor with non-profit volunteers in your community. IMHO, building bridges is a wiser course of action than burning them...
  15. 3 points
    Not to nitpick old friend, but it's CO (carbonmonoxide) that is the poisonous hazard. I do remember a little of chem 101. Canvas tents are permeable and the gaps in the doors are more than sufficient to let in enough fresh air for a candle or two. If there is wet snow stuck on the tent then yes it might be a problem. As to the tepee I could go on at some length about proper set up, liners, smoke flaps, etc. But I suspect you already know everything that I do. I suppose since the old curmudgeons like me won't be around anymore to show the newbies how to do what the plains Indian tribes did safely for centuries it is perhaps best that they stick to their newfangled LEDs. Sigh. Go n-eirghidh an bothar libh, a chairde
  16. 3 points
    Hi everyone, There was another request for a sub forum today and I'd like to suggest another way of doing this. The problem with sub forums is it's slower than you might think to set them up (mainly because the moderators can't set them up). Further, while there are several sub forums many are not used very often. At the same time, the advantage of sub forums is that you can quickly find threads that you're interested in. Here's a suggestion on how to get nearly the same benefit as a sub forum with little help from the moderators. Any thread can have tags added to it (and moderators can retroactively add tags to any of them). Not only that but you can create searches of threads based on tags. Also, there are things called Activity Streams that can help. An activity stream is just a way to search all the threads. The unread content button just invokes an activity stream that searches for posts that you haven't read yet. What's nice is you can create your own and you can create them to search for threads with tags. For example, you can go to Feed -> My Activity Streams -> Create New Stream and create a stream that searches for new content having the tag "linked troop" in it and takes you to the first unread post when clicking on the title. Once you create it you can find it under the Feed->My Activity Streams. You can also make it your default stream (go to it and click the check mark next to the title.) If you want to edit or delete an activity stream that you created, go to it and then click the trash can or pencil next to the title. If you think a past thread should have some tags added to it then let us know, we can do that. If we're suddenly feeling like we're adding the same tags over and over again it will be much easier to get a sub forum created. If you want to give it a try I'm willing to help. @RememberSchiff, @John-in-KC, @desertrat77, @NJCubScouter, @LeCastor
  17. 3 points
    Wow! Some of the last few post are kind of scary. To answer your question, call the SM first to learn exactly where the troop is with your son. Then you can discuss better the future. Barry
  18. 3 points
    There's hostility on every forum. Towards every conceivable demographic and category. This forum is very civil and polite vs most forums that I've been on. There are a few members that like to stir up hostilities, but thankfully they aren't regular contributors. Now I'm on my soapbox, so feel free to just skip the rest of my post. There has always been In group- out group status in people. The last couple decades have really stirred up "identity politics." This case from DC over the weekend is just the next chapter. The initial report was reported as a cut and dry case of racism, and harassment. When I first saw the first articles and the pictures, that's really what it looked like. As others involved made their statements and more videos turned up, the situation became much more murky and hard to define. Both sides of the political spectrum have taken the situation and blown it up as a chance to rally the wagons and stir up people's passions. There are folks dredging up stories from former alumni with axes to grind to try to paint the whole school as racist. Taking pictures from a basketball game as a sign of racism. Bomb threats against the school. There are celebrities and journalists who either don't like the Pro-Life movement or don't like white people, or don't like Trump, or got triggered by the boys expression. Lawsuits are definitely going to be filed by Mr. Sandmann and his family. On the right wing all sorts of stuff is coming out about Mr. Phillips and his legal record, his background, his military service. I'm seeing articles about "How the media and the liberals are out to destroy the Catholic Church." It's all a chance to again, rally the wagons, us vs them. Hate "the other" and donate lots of money to the "team." We all have to take a side, or we're racist conservatives, or evil communists. Even the President of the United States is commenting on a public situation that decades ago would never have been reported on. 20 years ago, before social media, this maybe wouldn't have even been written about in local DC papers let alone international news media. Mr. Phillips shouldn't have entered the group of teenagers. The teenagers shouldn't have been jumped, whooped and made hand chopping motions at Mr. Phillips and his group. The Black Israelite's were maybe the worst offenders of the whole thing, shouting some pretty terrible stuff at the students and the Native American group but in particular one of the students who is African American. Part of this falls on the impact of media organizations rushing to publish "scoops" before cross interviewing, verifying information. For them it's just about making money, and outrage sells. Then there are social media networks, which are held to an even lower standard of journalistic integrity, where most things posted are basically made up. Add in celebrities and politicians who see stuff that is useful to them, and then crap is out in the public discourse, making everybody angry and lowering all of our IQ's in the process. I don't really know how much longer society can continue with this constant outrage, the hate and the counter hate. It's not about disagreement anymore, it's about destroying an "enemy". It's not about understanding the other, its about scoring points. It's about flashing our partisan bona-fides so we fit in to our in group. Societal politics have become blood-sport, and we're all going to be less happy, less safe and less prosperous for it. A ship that sinks takes with it all of it's passengers. Or maybe I'm just a pessimist and need to spend less time on the internet. Relating it all back to Scouting. Scouting is part of the antidote to some of this. Scouting's values of brotherhood and friendship to all is even more necessary today than it has been in many decades.
  19. 3 points
    Even shorter than @ParkMan's, I would say ... This is definitely one of those "less is more" situations.
  20. 3 points
    You never have to lie or mis-represent, but neither do you need to explain things in detail. The best separations are short and gracious. AND, even more so if you are upset with each other. If you feel the need to share, do it face-to-face. Use it as a chance to heal and to re-build a connection with the other person. But if your intention is to not heal and re-connect, then just don't do it.
  21. 3 points
    Eagle94-A1, If you send it to her, I think she will read it, get fired up and retaliate. Maybe she'll just continue to mess things up in your old troop, but she'll find a way to respond. If writing the letter brings closure, then close it. I know you won't, but it was a thought. Your letter was eloquent, detailed, and masterful. But you still won't let it go. For the sake of your sanity, put all of your scouting time into the new troop. They really do need that passion that you show for scouting. Don't shortchange your new troop. sst3rd
  22. 3 points
    I had a rough drive to work this morning, thanks for bringing me calm. I believe Kimberlee's article is profound for scouting. Independence is the path to confidence. Confidence leads to initiating actions and making decisions toward set goals. I am amazed with the number of boys who join our troop that lack the confidence to step forward with any decisions. Scouting develops self-confidence through the path of independence. We watch it everyday. Adults today understand how independence leads to self-confidence, but they don't trust it. They put independence off until they feel their scouts are more mature. Ironic because that is putting the cart before the horse. The McCafferty story is intriguing because Kimberlee sees how the tiny independent actions in the 8 Methods are actually the big steps toward confidence of stepping forward in life's challenges. Give the naive shy new scout a quick guide for cold calling adult strangers in the MB process, and he learns the big skill of communicating with strangers. Oh, the parents may need to practice the guide before the call, but the true independent actions change the scout forever, if only just a little. In our minds, learning the skill and building the confidence of communicating with strangers is far more valuable for an 11 year old than the MB skills he is taking. We found that 3 MBs was all most scouts needed for the confidence of calling strangers. That same scout will be calling strangers for scouting events the rest of his scouting career. And even learning the basic scout skills develops the habits toward independence and confidence. We don't sit new scouts down and teach them knots, we get them to set a goal for initiating the process for learning the knots and completing that goal. The goal for the first knot is very simple like learning the square knot in the next hour. Most important however, is the big step of independence by initiating that goal by simply asking to learn the knot. Of course as the skills get harder and more complicated, setting a goal of learning the skill and developing a plan becomes more complicated. So, we guide scouts to write down the goals in their books. That way they can review and remind themselves of their goals. The SM can review their goals at a SM Conference. But, the simple skill of learning to initiate a process to a goal leads to a proficient 14 year old Scout planning a weekend camp out for his Patrol. I've watch that process repeat itself hundreds of times. Older Scouts who joined our troop without those developed skills are often intimidated with the expectations and responsibilities of our scouts the same age. Developing the confidence to step out of a comfort zone starts simply by giving the scouts the independence to practice initiating the tiny decisions. Maturity is the result of the confidence gained by the little decisions, not the mastery of the skills. Developing maturity is the result of a program the adults develop for practicing independence. It's not easy for the adults, but the efforts are rewarding. Good article. Barry
  23. 3 points
    As a swimming and first aid MBC I have a couple of reservations with scouts taking these badges in their first summer camp. First, can they actually swim and will they be successful in the swimming MB. Many parents/scouts/SM think swimming is blow off badge and are disappointed when Junior doesn't complete the class. Liking the water and playing Marco Polo, aren't the same as actually being able to swim well enough to pass the required distances. Also, will they swim in a lake if that is where the MB takes place. It's amazing how many good swimmers freak out about being in a lake with fish, bird poop, turtles, etc. I watched a swim team member freak out about no googles, and seeing a fish swim by him as he jumped in so bad that he had to rescued by the lifeguard doing swim checks. He couldn't bring himself to retry the swim test in the lake. Because of his freak out he had to change three MBs (canoeing, swimming, and kayaking) to land based MBs. Camp only had a lake to swim in. Second concern centers on scouts taking T-2-1 class and also taking first aid class. The requirements for FA state that the scout has completed the T-2-1 requirements before taking doing the MB. If they didn't do them at home before camp and are just learning them in T-2-1 then they really haven't done a prerequisites. The scouts will also probably be bored out of their gourds if they do FA in T-2-1 and then go do it again in FA class. SMs aren't doing their scouts any favors if they sign off on the T-2-1 skills that haven't really been learned so a scout can take the FA badge at camp. I've had dozens of SMs sign off the prerequisites so a scout could take class because it was a timing issue. It just puts the scout at a disadvantage. Finally, swimming and FA can be matters of life and death. I teach both topics for Red Cross as a paid professional, so I don't underestimate their value. Do you want your scout to get good and competent instruction in these topics or are you looking to tick a box? Summer camp staff members are more times than not are not experts or even well versed in these fields and usually only have a minimal working understanding of the topics. There are some great summer camp staff members, but usually they are just at a station because they have an interest in the topic or the camp couldn't find an appropriate instructor for the topic. Quality of instruction needs to be a consideration when deciding what merit badges to take. Misinformation from a poorly skilled leatherwork counselor is one thing, misinformation from a FA instructor could kill someone. Scouts should take what they want provided they meet the prerequisites, have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Swim, hike, stir up the muck at the edge of lake to see what they see, watch the clouds go by. What they shouldn't do is take classes from dawn to dark and have no free time.
  24. 3 points
    Which merit badge courses should he take? Easy - the ones he wants to take. This is how Scouting works. A boy looks for activities he finds interesting, and invests his time in making them happen. If he wants to work on advancement, he'll want to work on required merit badges. If he wants to focus on activities only offered at camp, he'll take those courses. But if he just wants to do merit badges that he finds fun or interesting, he doesn't need to do anything else. Too often we as adults want to steer a Scout's schedule towards what we think they need, and we don't really trust them to figure that out on their own. But boys of this age, even 11 year-olds, are more responsible and eager to progress than we may sometimes think, and we need to allow them the liberty to prove that on their own.
  25. 3 points
    I had a similar problem, but it involved adults. My sons expressed their opinions on the problem adults to me, the SM, and the oldest to his BOR ( middle son had both problem makers on his BORs) Other Scouts complained about the behavior.. Problems got worse and worse. I finally had enough, and left the troop. BEST. DECISION.I. MADE! ( caps, underline, and bold for major emphasis). I admit, I miss my Scouts and my Scouter friends in the other troop, but the decision to leave was the best one. The attitudes my sons have towards the new trrop are a 180 degree turn around. Instead of dreading camp outs, they are now looking forward to them.