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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/26/19 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    You are dead on right. An 11 year old is not the audience for the theory of learning. Rank and MB requirements should not say EDGE. Instead, say "Teach a scout" or "Show a new scout". As scouts mature and age, then NYLT can reveal that BSA's preferred teaching method is EDGE and here's how it works. Learning is a continuum. (leadership, teaching, etc). At the earlier levels, learning starts with doing. This matches Baden-Powell saying that advancement is the natural result of being active. So, learning EDGE should be a natural result of helping each others. At those earlier levels, we encourage confidence in their new knowledge and confidence in reaching out to help others. ... Plus, teaching EDGE makes the learning too dry and boring for the scouts. I think there is a corollary with teaching leadership. Troops would be more successful teaching leadership if they stopped staying they are teaching leadership. I cringe when I hear it. Plus, It kills the buzz and is clumsy and inconsistent at best. Rather, units should focus on a quality program. Then advanced leader training can explain the meta-learning objectives and methods such as leadership.
  2. 5 points
    There are no BSA class B uniforms; there are, however, activity shirts. As much as I admire scouts who do all of their outdoor activities in ther field uniform, I've never found this a hill to die on. I've also never been thrilled with BSA's marketing material, so there's that.
  3. 5 points
    What is an activity? In our troop, it is anything other than the scheduled troop / patrol meetings. It has to be in some form of scouting context. It can even be the patrol hanging out in a scout's basement on a Friday night. Is service an activity? Yes. I'd ask it this way --> What is your objective with the requirement? IMHO, it's to promote the positive. We want scouts involved. We absolutely want the scouts involved with service projects. So why wouldn't you let the scout count it as an activity. The opposite would be scouts avoiding service projects because of the negative that happened when they tried to use them for a list of activities. Keeping a log of activities? It's nice to promote good habits, but it's the 10 activities that are required. The LOG is NOT required. It's an important difference. We are promoting being active scout. We are not promoting bureaucratic overhead. IMHO, if the scout wants that 10 activity requirement signed off, he needs to answer the question to the SM (or designated signer). If he has a log, great ! It helps. Otherwise, he can receipt them and count on his fingers. It's the activities that are required. Not the paperwork. Online Troopmaster recording? That's for the benefit of the troop. In no way does it "significantly" help the scout. ... We stopped recording detailed advancement in Troopmaster a decade ago and have never missed it. ... My experience is keep the scouting infrastructure simple. It promotes better experiences. Paper scout handbook recording? That's exactly why the handbook exists as it is. It has sign off pages. It has checklists. It has logging pages (if the scout wants to use them). It exists to help the scout. The scout can carry it with him everywhere he goes. The most important reason to use the paper handbook ... It gives the scout responsibility to control and manage his own records. It eliminate him having to beg for printouts or have online records be updated and then be at the whim of others for his own records.
  4. 4 points
    The correct answer is none of the above. The Patrol Leaders Council should be discussing, approving, and planning all activities. The SM's job is to guide that process to ensure the activities are feasible and safe. The CC's job is to fund it and monitor against the CO's goals for its youth program.
  5. 4 points
    Our Meeting made almost ten dollars the first day this was installed.... Easy to build, DIY , perhaps an Eagle Service Project for your church?
  6. 4 points
    It feels like the BSA is missing the key problem - the world has changed and district/pack/troop/crew leaders just don't know how to adjust to the new challenges. Packs & troops that know how to recruit do just fine. They run traditional programs and have plenty of members. Yet, we have plenty of units that have no clue how to recruit and so don't bother. The complain when they don't have enough scouts or volunteers - but yet do little to fix it. Districts have a very similar problem. They are running a program that was appropriate 20 years ago. Training - BSA sends us the slides and we present them. Program - we'll get together a few times, come up with some events, and call it a day. Membership - does everyone has a roundup night planned? Time and time I see the same thing. The quality of what we do matters. Focus on program quality matters. Focus on building up volunteers and units matters. Unit and district quality matters. In short, the BSA doesn't have a program content problem, it has a program delivery program. This will never be fixed by tinkering with the program. Charging more only makes things worse. They need to fix the problems that are leading to weak packs/troops/crews and districts. But, they are not doing this. As a result, we continue to see a slow, steady decline.
  7. 4 points
    So after all of the debating and back and forth with the new scout parents... we show up and the oldest, most experienced scout was there in shorts along with his leader parents in shorts 🙃 I dont think I ever saw a group of scouts unzip their convertible pants so fast 🤣. Thanks everyone!
  8. 4 points
    We had one very eager to rank up. He was looking for a BOR and I asked about troop activities. He said he went on the raft trip, went climbing with the troop, did the five mile hike, and took a hike to an outpost, and had been to summer camp. I had to explain him that as all the list of activities; raft trip, climbing, five mile hike, and hike to an outpost; took place while at summer camp, that was only one troop activity...summer camp. Each thing he did while at summer camp was not in fact a separate activity. We discussed that the intent of the requirement was to have scouts be involved in the troop. He questions my interpretation and wanted to know if I was a lawyer. Told him I was not.
  9. 3 points
    Good thing scouting teaches emergency preparedness! A troop camping in the Allagash Wilderness area of Maine found out why when they suddenly found themselves needing to rescue two men whose canoes had capsized on the lake. Thanks to the scouts, both men are safe...and so is their dog, even though he nearly drowned the two men in an effort to save his own furry skin... Here's the story: https://kstp.com/national/boy-scouts-rescue-brothers-canoes-capsized-maine/5378861/ My takeaway: What we teach the boys matters.
  10. 3 points
    Looking for service project ideas? How about negotiating with terrorists to release a hostage? Or maybe tracking down cases of the deadly Ebola virus? Such things might not be approved activities in BSA, but according to this story about how scouting helps hold together the country in Central Africa, its par for the course in some parts of the world... See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/big-in-peacekeeping-boy-scouts/590614/
  11. 3 points
    A few years back I had a chance to talk to one my 13yo scouts about switching from Patrol Method cooking to dining hall and here was his replay - No way should we switch! Patrol Method cooking for a whole week teaches accountibilty and team work way better than a weekend camp out. - Why? - Because when we do a weekend campout someone in charge of cleanig a pot on a Saturday can easily just shove that pot into the patrol box and no one will know who didnt clean when it comes out of the box the following month. When we have a full week to do cooking everyone knows who is pulling their weight and their is a lot of group pressure to do your job right. This is where I findly figured out what responsibility really meant.
  12. 3 points
    You're correct on that the SM & Scouts plan the calendar. The Committee's role to do just what you describe and make sure that resources are available (people, equipment, money). The Committee should be looking to say Yes to activities - not to say no. One of the roles of the CC is to see that all functions are delegated and completed. Program is critical part of the troop, but it's still a function that needs to be delegated and completed. The important thing in all this is it isn't about power - it's about keeping things organized. So, if your CC is running around telling everyone what to do because "the CC is in charge", they are missing the point. Myself, I'd use the term conductor. Every adult in the troop plays an important role. When they all work together the troop sounds (I mean runs) great. It's the role of the CC (conductor) to make sure tasks are organized so that the right person is doing them. Every so often the CC provides some guidance to help people keep going in the right direction.
  13. 3 points
    I would revise the G2SS to eliminate as many prohibitions as possible, and may even make many of them into REQUIREMENTS. For example, G2SS says that scouts under age 18 should not use power tools. In today's world, we use power tools. A man won't be a competent family man and homeowner if he can't do basic work around the house. A scout should: Demonstrate how to safely and appropriately use 3 different power saws: such as a jigsaw, a circular saw, and a table saw Demonstrate how to safely use 3 different power tools used to maintain landscaping: such as a lawnmower, chainsaw, or hedge trimmers Show how to safely and appropriately use a power drill to: a) drill a small hole, b) use a hole cutter attachment to drill a hole large enough for a door knob or deadbolt lock, c) use a screw driver bit (standard or phillips) to build a wall frame or install drywall or fence boards
  14. 3 points
    Well, technically speaking, the Scouts should be teaching these skills.
  15. 3 points
    I think the Cub program actually gets it down to simplest terms in their marketing materials. "Build your Adventure." Pretty simple. I think that's why kids want to join. They see these posters and fliers we put out there showing pictures of kids their age camping, hiking, building PWD cars, firing off model rockets, etc. It's an adventure, that's what kids want. One of the things that frequently comes up at our committee meetings is the challenge to deliver on the promise of adventure. I actually make it a point in my presentations to the Pack on recruiting that our single greatest asset for recruiting is that promise, and our single greatest asset for retention is repeated delivery of that promise. It's also one of the hardest things to do.
  16. 3 points
    We have the C-130 come over and dump the DDT on us, works great after you get over the coughing spasm
  17. 3 points
    When I first heard about the Scouting Heritage merit badge, I thought it was a challenge for many scouts because it seemed like "the way" to earn it was to go to a jamboree or visit BSA's scouting museum, with merit badge classes doing a cheesy workaround to write a letter to the scouting museum asking for info. After reading RememberSchiff's interesting post in the Scouting History forum about an Eagle scout who put together an exhibit about scouting during World War I, I started googling around the web to see if there were other exhibits about scouting that could be used to meet requirement 4c. Boy was I surprised! Turns out there are many scouting museums around the country and scouting exhibits are not uncommon. A scout who wants to earn that badge (or a troop looking for a day trip activity) might easily find relevant places right in their own backyard.... Here's a list of scouting museums and exhibits that look like they would satisfy that requirement.... Scout Museums BSA National Scouting Museum, Cimarron NM https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/museums/ International Scouting Museum, Las Vegas NV http://www.worldscoutingmuseum.org/ L.L. Lee Scouting Museum, Manchester NH http://scoutingmuseum.org/ Museum of Ozarks Scouting, Springfield MO https://ozarktrailsbsa.org/about/museum-of-scouting North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting, St Paul MN http://www.nssm.org/ Otis Chidester Scout Museum, Tucson AZ http://azscoutmuseum.com/ Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum, Ottawa IL https://pickusottawail.com/attractions/scouting-museum/ Post Rock Scout Museum, Lincoln KS http://www.kansastravel.org/postrockscoutmuseum.htm Scout Heritage Museum, Milwaukee WI http://www.threeharborsscouting.org/council/scout-heritage-museum/51539 Scouting Heritage Museum, Denver CO http://www.denverboyscouts.org/scouting-heritage-museum/65659 World of Scouting Museum, Valley Forge PA http://www.worldofscoutingmuseum.org/exhibits.html Scout Exhibits The Casements, Ormond Beach FL http://thecasements.net/visit.html Museum of the American G.I., College Station TX http://americangimuseum.org/exhibits/exhibits-bsawwi/ Osage County Historical Society Museum, Pawhuska OK http://www.visittheosage.com/things-to-do/museums/0sage-county-historical-society-museum Parsons Historical Museum, Parsons KS http://www.parsonssun.com/news/article_08cf718c-4531-11e9-b934-439f5616c6a2.html
  18. 3 points
    The Yo-Yo adventure looked kind of cool. Though I imagine it has its ups and downs.
  19. 3 points
    I see your C3-P0 quote and raise you
  20. 3 points
    The problem with EDGE is that adults are taking their young scouts' time to discuss teaching. A recent study showed that more 11 year old scouts were hurt falling out of their chair asleep while listening to adults talk about EDGE than from all woods tools injuries added together. Maybe a little exaggeration. Do we really want 11 year old's know what E-D-G-E means? Does that sound like fun in the woods? No wonder the Handbook is becoming more irrelevant with each new issue? We had a Webelos visit our troop 5 times before joining. It took that long because his mom hated our boy run style troop program. She finally relented, but she was extremely skeptical until she, while sitting out of sight in her tent at summer camp, watched an older scout approach a new scout to offer help him learn first-aid. She was so impressed by the simple words, "What are you doing? Can I help?", that she recruited 30 new scouts for us next year. I'm trying to imagine if she would have been as impressed if the older scout approached the young scout and said, "Can I EDGE you with first-aid?". OK, maybe I'm a little over the top, but I think I'm just thinking the same as quazse. I believe National put EDGE in the Scout Handbook for the adults to learn, not the scouts. If a scout wants to teach a skill, they will naturally in their own way, get the information across. That being said, I think EDGE should be taught at NYLT. After all, NYLT is course for advanced skills. And if the older scouts want to pass the information down to the younger scouts, all that much better. But when a new scout walks through the door, the SM shouldn't have to say "come young scout, I want to take you away from your patrol so we can talk about EDGE.". Barry
  21. 3 points
    As importantly, the BSA system is well designed to uncover quickly and deal with abuse when it is discovered. Clearly the ideal is to not have abuse happen. But the second best is to make abuse really hard to occur, to detect it when it happen as quickly as possible, and to get cases to law enforcement and out of scouting as fast as possible.
  22. 3 points
    LOL, I've had this happen in college classes. Students are amazingly 'entitled', some of them. So what I've done is stop the lecture, announce to the offending persons that they should stop being rude to the rest of the class and to me. That usually results in a resentful acknowledgement. But a couple of times they ignored me. So I announced to the entire class a 'pop quiz' on the subject of today's lecture. Enough points to make a difference on the final course grade. Surprisingly, I have never had to repeat this tactic to the same class...perhaps they CAN be taught.
  23. 3 points
    Leave. This will go from being a passion to being day job WORK. We do this because we love it. If it’s unlovable, don’t let it suck the juices out of you.
  24. 3 points
    One of the best ways to help scouts (and adults) begin to transition to backpacking is to extend the hike in to a frontcountry campsite from the parking lot. The key is to plan and pack a backpack with gear for all trips as though it was a backpacking trip. Park, load up backpacks with gear, lock cars/trailers, and hike 50 yards to the campsite. Cars/trailer are locked until the return. No multiple trips. Next campout, hike 100 yards. It can be the same campsite, just park farther away. Keep adding distance between the cars and campsite. The scouts will have experience planning and executing a backpacking trip without the miles first. This way the only change is the mileage.
  25. 3 points
    We dont allow the scouts to have phones in camp, they stay in the car. Before we go to camp the SPl talks about the no phone policy and always mentions one of the reason why is because we don't want first years calling home. So even if the older scouts sneak a phone they know not to share it. I am really good at getting first year scouts to rat out scouits with phones, it only works the first year though
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