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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/09/17 in all areas

  1. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  2. 9 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.
  3. 8 points
    Boy did I ever derail this thread. Back on topic, my daughter earned her Bobcat last night.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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*
  7. 7 points
    One of the grandkids explained it to me tonight. She always has dinner with us before going to Religious Education on Wednesday evenings. She doesn't play with "Magic" cards, but she knows about them. She has a completely different take on the issue. She thinks that those of us who are opposed to having girls in boy scouting should embrace the idea of boys playing nerdy fantasy card games at scout campouts. Nothing could be more effective at keeping the girls out.
  8. 7 points
    ::Putting on moderator hat combat helmet:: This discussion of who (if anyone) is "dishonest" is over. Now. The discussion of who or what is a "terrorist" or "terrorist organization," at least in the context of people and groups who have not been convicted of such an offense, is also over. Also Now. Thank you all for your cooperation. @RememberSchiff @LeCastor
  9. 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.
  10. 6 points
    As Tolkien wisely wrote, "he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." The reason the advancement program is so vital to what Scouting is comes from the fact that, at it's core, it teaches boys how to make, and accomplish, worthwhile goals, in a manner which boys can understand. They learn planning, work, and preparation. When they fail or don't quite meet the requirements, they look back and learn from their initial attempt and keep trying till they succeed. It gives focus to their inborn energies and desires to achieve by giving healthy, stimulating and enlightening goals that let them stretch themselves in constructive, meaningful, and exciting ways. It replaces mindless entertainment with the more robust exhilaration of adventure and exploration, both geographical and cerebral. And when he earns the token signifying he has met the requirements for whatever badge or rank he has worked towards, well, what to some might seem just another "silly patch" (oh the naive innocence of the over-experienced!) is, to that boy who truly worked for it, a sign that he has learned how to develop certain skills or knowledge that he didn't have before, but in which he has now gained a proficiency. He wears on his sleeve what he feels in his heart - dignity and self-respect. With each merit badge he feels he has dipped his toes in a potential new interest, hobby, even career. With each rank he feels he has grown more in character and capacity and self-reliance. And while the Scout may not be able to articulate that sentiment, the emblems he sews on after each award are cues that help him turn those esoteric ideals into the reality of his character. Sure, the lazy, detached or burnt-out leader might brush it all off as useless bling, but I find these people have forgotten what it is like to be a young person just beginning to see what kind of man he can become, while for the boys and burgeoning young men who are Scouting itself, the colorful badges and ribbons and medals actually let them visualize what might otherwise be intangible concepts - accomplishment, inner strength, maturity, self-mastery, and self-respect. I believe it is only the inability to clearly see the vision of what Scouting should be that impedes us from appreciating the magnitude of Baden-Powell's genius and profound grasp of what growing boys want AND need. His simple methods - uniforms, the outdoors, the advancement program, all of them - they are all one needs to change lives. But cynical, tired skeptics who aren't seeing their own vision of Scouting try to place the blame any place they can to assuage the frustration they feel when they cannot get their program going - they will say boys are different these days, or that they can't run the program right because the committee/council/national/tooth fairy/parents make it impossible, or that the program has deteriorated, or whatever. And so they suggest - change the program! Lose advancement! Ditch uniforms! Toss the committee! To that I say, you are looking the wrong way. Don't tear it down, but build it back up - with the very materials we have always had. Outdoor learning. Patrol method. Advancement. Uniforms. Boy led. If you can get the boys to FEEL what you want them to LEARN, they will make their own program flourish, as it is supposed to happen. But to suggest shedding core elements of the program is simply giving up on the hope that it will work. In which case, beware lest your skepticism taint the minds of those under your guardianship as a Scout leader or parent. If the advancement program's purpose has been distorted or inflated by those who cannot see what it truly should be, do not fault the system, but those who abuse and misuse it for warped ambitions such as status, reputation, prestige or gain. They are the problem, not the program. My rule is never to tell a boy that Eagle Scout looks good on a college application or a resume. Only that it shows him what he is capable of doing, who he has been able to become, and what he will prove to give back in his future. Am I defensive of the advancement program? Of course, as I am of all the ideals at the core of Scouting. Though the world slides downward faster each year, I hold that the methods are just as effective and crucial now as they were on Brownsea over a century ago. And I mean that as much for the boys coming into the program now as for our more chronologically-enhanced Scouters, many of whom seem to have coldly given up on the future while looking towards a past that has passed them by, and because they fail to see the potential of the present, they have forgotten that, yes, one person can make a difference - and that person needs to be you. If the program isn't what it could and should be, don't start by looking for who or what is to blame. Start by making a change in yourself, and how YOU are going to make the difference.
  11. 6 points
    @.40AET, please do not leave the board or even the discussion. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, as is @CalicoPenn In my opinion, one of the major problems with our society is the urgency with which we settle into a position, and how entrenched we become, during (or even prior to) a discussion. Too often we weaponize debate and there is no real chance to have a discussion that might help solve a problem. If you are for gun control legislation you are for tyranny and against individual rights if you are against gun control legislation you are for murdering children and against public safety. We are all to blame for where we are. The politicians stake out hardline partisan positions and hold on to them doggedly in order to get reelected because not solving a problem gives them something to rail against, but nothing to be accountable for. The media promotes the partisan conflict and 30 second sound bites because conflict sells and they want to gain viewers/readers.subscribers. Or worse, depending on the media outlet, they have staked out their own positions and rather than report, they lobby. And "we the people" reward them by continuing to send the same buffoons back to DC, even though 80+ percent of us disapprove of the job they are doing.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 6 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.)
  16. 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 ....
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 6 points
    Whether this belongs here or scouting round the world I thought I'd swing by and show off our troop review of the year on Youtube here. Seemed to go down well with the troop tonight! A very happy and peaceful Christmas to you all
  21. 6 points
    I think we need to remember a couple of things here: 1. The BSA, as far as I know, has not responded to Ms. Ireland's request. Therefore, any comments along the line about how National has devalued the Eagle, made it worthless, cheated previous recipients, etc. etc., are incorrect, because National has not done anything on this subject. Personally I think National is going to reject her request for all of the reasons that have been discussed in this forum. But whatever may happen, it hasn't happened yet and we shouldn't treat it as if it has. 2. Let's please remember that this is a 16-year-old girl we are talking about, and not just some hypothetical 16-year-old girl, but a specific named 16-year-old girl. She is not some evil monster. She is an ambitious person, and she is asking for something that almost everybody agrees she shouldn't get, but it does not make her a bad person. I admire what she has done, at least up to this point, even though I disagree with some of what she has said and I disagree with her recent request.
  22. 5 points
    The first camp out for our new class of crossovers was on a very dark and very rainy March evening. After we reached camp, the new SPL was just repeating the routine that he had observed and assisted over the years of him and the Patrol Leaders taking a hike to locate all the patrol camp sites. Each patrol tries to get as far from each other as they can, so it can take a few minutes. Mean while all the patrol QMs start to instruct the rest of the scouts in unloading the gear from the cars and trailer. It's raining pretty hard as I watched the troop in action. The new scouts are disoriented, it's dark, it's raining and they have never done anything like this before in their life. The SPL walks back with the patrol leaders and feels very temped to help the new scouts just standing there watching, but steps back as the TGs gets their attention leads the new scouts to their new camp site. They look lost, but they are smiling as they walk into thru the rain into the dark. Thank goodness they brought rain gear. I always like to watch new SPLs on their first camp out. First thing I teach the SPL after election is delegation. It is such a hard skill to practice because up to this point, their previous responsibilities have been more of doing in their climb to the SPL position. This SPL, like those before him, finds a place where can stand and watch. This is what the SM does, waiting to serve is the goal of the SPL. But he is temped to help the scout who is searching for the missing tent poles. He throws out a suggestion and the scout waves a thanks. The new scouts are following the TGs around like baby ducks following their mother as they set up tents. The SPL walks over to show one newby how to drive a tent stake. However at the same time, a PL approaches with a problem. I don't hear the problem, but the SPL starts to follow and is just as quickly stopped by another PL with a question. The SPL looks up at the dark sky and says, "is the rain coming down harder". Not really a question, but more of a pause in the beginnings of the chaos. I take a few steps out of the trees and quietly throw out "delegate". The SPL looks at me, then the area around him. I watch his gears turn, he turns and walks over to the ASPL helping the TGs and ask him to assist the PL with the problem. Then he listens to the second PL and gives a satisfying answer. I smile a well done to the SPL, turn and go to the car to get my gear. It is never planned this way, but SPL and SM are always last to find their tent spot. The SPL approached me with a big smile the next morning as I'm drinking my coffee to say that he has never been more challenged, more scared, and more exhilarated in his scouting experience. He can't wait for the day to start. I asked him how the new scouts are doing, he laughed and said he could hear them giggling in their tents all night long. It's always that way and I'm thankful that the adult camp is so far away. I asked him if anybody got soaked. Nope, all is well in the beginings of a beautiful sunning morning. We try to make each scout's scouting experience more challenging than the day before so that he not only continues to grow, but continues to be excited. This SPL is only 15. How can he be challenged more. Well, the SM has to step back some more from some of his responsibilities. The SM has to grow as well so that the SPL and the troop to grow. If your 15 year olds aren't getting these kinds of experiences, then I think you are doing it wrong. The measure of a quality for a troop should be the experiences of the oldest scout. Not the youngest. Barry
  23. 5 points
    I respect all scouts I just want the option for all boy Troops for similar reasons many females want GSUSA to stay female only, I just do not think it will be a real option. I do not think national can pull off what they say. Boys are being neglected in our society. However it seems that is an opinion that is not allowed to be uttered on this board.
  24. 5 points
    @Tampa Turtle Thank you. I am actually not walking away from BSA - BSA walked away from me. I have stayed the same - Scouting has changed. I am not leaving in protest and anger. Rather I am leaving in sadness for what has been lost. I have a lifetime of good Scouting memories, and I'm especially grateful my son was able to experience it before BSA lost its way. It has been a wonderful ride. To be clear - these membership changes are rooted in financial desperation. It won't work. As BSA adds girls it will lose even more boys, and thus the membership declines will continue. When girls are not attracted in sufficient numbers, BSA will implement additional changes to make Scouting more girl-friendly all while the boys continue to walk away. I can't bear to watch the downfall of something I have dearly loved, so it's time for me to leave.
  25. 5 points
  26. 5 points
    ...or BSA wants to collect a second chartering fee?
  27. 5 points
    My scouts here in the UK are 10-14 and I don't really see it. Sometimes they seem to drift into single sex groups. We went punting back in June. We told them to sort themselves into boat groups and they ended up single sex. A few weeks earlier we'd been sailing and they naturally sorted themselves into mixed sex boat groups. It just depends on what we are up to. Our actual patrols, where most chores are done, are mixed and there's certainly no gender based division there. They simply get stuck into it together. Maybe it's the sort of girls that come to scouts rather than girl guides simply not standing for any having to do the cleaning nonsense but it certainly doesn't happen. This is what coed chores typically look like. I think that is a harsh way of describing it. As an outsider looking in, while BSA top brass have made a hash of implementing it, I get why they have gone for this structure. The USA is one of the most diverse countries on the planet. Any solution had to allow for staying strictly same sex or allowing things to blur because of that diversity. And yes I can see that in practice those that want to will blur it. They are treading an extremely thin tight rope and I think this is as good a solution as any.
  28. 5 points
    Thought I would post a few updates. We have added 12 Scouts since January (8 girls and 4 boys). One of the boys joined with his sister and another joined when the parents learned of us adding girls (that boy’s sisters will join in the fall as they have too many conflicts now). We have 1 more Girl Tiger registration in progress and a couple more possible but we are looking to stop new registrations soon and restart in the fall. Note we did decide to have the Girl Tiger den meeting during the same time/place as the boys. We have separate leaders so they can be segregated. We will monitor to see how this goes vs our other girl only den meeting. By making this change a couple of fraternal twin girls (who were already attending the Boy Tiger den meeting) can join. During our recent B&G all of the girls attended. We do FOS during B&G and our girls den picture was in the council FOS pitch. The Scoutmaster for the Troop we feed was also there (talking about Klondike awards) and gave an enthusiastic speech about why it is great to have girls officially in Scouts. He stated that the Troop plans to add them as soon as possible. All of the families and scouts applauded the new girls after the speech so it seemed to be a great welcome for them. So far, no boy parents have complained or expressed any concern. I’m sure there are some, but they have been silent and have kept their sons in the Pack. PBS may be working on a story regarding girls in Cub Scouts. We are in discussions about having them film a den meeting. We will see if it goes forward. I’m starting to hear negative feedback regarding keeping the girls in separate dens. This is coming from various parents and a few boy den leaders. Not too many yet, but seeing boys and girls segregated is not typical within any local organization in our community and there have been a few comments about “separate but equal”. Other than the slightly mixed Tiger den (same bat time and same bat channel but segregated) we are planning on keeping them separate for the rest of the year. The parents accepted that answer. I see this as a debate over the summer. GSUSA Troops in our school will lose members and leaders. That part is getting a bit ugly. One of the Troop leaders agreed to finish the year but informed GSUSA she was resigning from the Troop along with her daughter and a few other girls. I’ve heard from many other parents who plan to sign up girls this fall, based on rough estimates we think our Pack will be 20-30% girls. Only time will tell. Those are the major updates at this point.
  29. 5 points
    I am genuinely unclear on whether this is serious or satire.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 5 points
    Of course, it was staged. It is a national TV program. Take the positive vibe and work with it, rather than look for reasons to lessen its possible impact and forward moving hope. Each unit, as they accept the challenge, will have a lot to work through. We do not need a constant drum-roll of negative "chicken littles".
  35. 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.
  36. 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
  37. 5 points
    It's gonna be a free for all. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave!.... dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
  38. 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.
  39. 5 points
    He has earned Tiger as of last Sunday. We found out half way through Kindergarten that he has a vision problem. So he is still kinda playing catch up, while everyone is moving forward. So the problems at school aren't transferring over to scouts. I never considered him repeating the Tiger year as someone suggested. I figured if he was not going to be able to advance to Wolf then he would just be finished all together. Not repeating Tiger and waiting a year to go on the Wolf track wouldn't work out either. I talked with our CC and he is telling me its based on age OR grade, so I don't think there is any reason he cant move on with the rest of the den.
  40. 5 points
    THis is exactly my concern. On the one hand training needs to break even. On the other hand training needs to get more leaders trained. I anticipate folks to respond with "why would I pay for that when I can take it for free online". My answer is "then why havnt you taken it online already?" Yep - every group is expected to break even. I do not get charged for using the conference room at the service center. But I do get charged for using a building at camp. And the cost (even as another "department" of the council) is higher than what it would cost for me to rent a building at a nearby county park. BALOO held at camp is very often the first time Cub parents-become-leaders have been to our camp. We want them to come to camp. We want that first experience to be in one of the nicer buildings. But I need to charge $30-$40 each to cover the cost of the building instead of approx $10 each to cover copies and lunch. That argument has gotten me nowhere towards reducing my costs for camp rental.
  41. 5 points
    I don't know where this idea came from (probably the BSA.) But it does harm to people and to the program. Eagle Scout is not some silver bullet for teenagers. If your grades suck, Eagle Scout won't get you into college. If you bomb your interview, Eagle Scout will not get you the job. As a corporate recruiter myself, I don't look for Eagle Scouts, I look for candidates who are qualified to do the job, and if they happen to be Eagle Scouts, then we chat about that after the serious stuff is out of the way. Eagle Scout is valuable not because it will cause other people to think better of the Eagle Scout, but because of the personal journey of growth being in a Troop for 2-6 years can have. Can it help you in an interview or college admissions? Possibly, but you have to be qualified already. Just like "Go to college so you can get a good job" sets young people up to have a useless degree, tons of debt, disappointment and a minimum wage job. "Eagle will get you places in life" means parents will help their sons get Eagle at any cost, and the cost is what we actually want our Scouts to learn: life skills, leadership, teamwork, ethical decisionmaking, love of country, and respect for creation. It too will lead to disappointment, when the young man realizes he spent all that time for something that isn't the promised "Cheat code." I wonder if Gary is an Eagle Scout and what benefits he perceives he's received by earning it.
  42. 5 points
    Hmmm, I have a gal that got fired up about doing a recent service project that she organized a group of elderly ladies, acquired the materials and had everyone pitch in and make lap blankets for all the residents of the local nursing home for Christmas. Sound like an Eagle project? Nope, the gal part gave that away. Did she say she had fun? Nope, not that either. Did she get any credit for it? Nope, but she did put in a public notice of thanks to everyone that helped her. I asked her a couple of Sunday's ago at church coffee fellowship about her "project". She was kinda surprised because she said I was the one that had suggested it. I didn't remember it at all, but it would seem I mentioned it as something the kids in the youth group could do as a service project. They didn't pick up on it as a group and I forgot all about it. She didn't. I had kinda lost track of the kids this fall because I was away on 4 different Disaster Relief Operations for the Red Cross. My curiosity got the best of me finally and I said, if the other kids didn't want to do it, why did she do it anyway. She said that because I do so much for the Red Cross, and Scouts, and Salvation Army, and the Scatter Garden Memorial at the local cemetery, she wanted to know what I knew that she didn't. I asked if she found out. And she said yes. She began a whole litany of things. She felt excited about the project, she made new friends in a group of people 50 years older than her, she learned to use a sewing machine, she was amazed at the generosity of people's donations of fabric and batting for the blankets, and amazed the ladies would stop their regular sewing projects for the church just to help her. Then she said getting to hand out the lap blankets to the residents made her cry. ??? Because the residents were crying when she tucked the blankets in and around some of them. So, where's her Life to Eagle booklet? Didn't do one. Proposal? didn't have one. Plan? Did use one. Advisor/mentor? Didn't get one Signatures? Didn't need any. Did she get any credit for any of this? Not at all. But she did tell me she found out what I know that she didn't know before.
  43. 5 points
    We use one cabin for a winter camp-in that has only one large room, probably holding 50 people. There are no accommodations for separate adult and youth. We do keep the adults in one corner. I can't see a YPT violation since there was no one on one contact, no tent situation. I'd be careful about reporting this and possibly ruining the adult's reputation and future for an innocent situation.
  44. 5 points
    Week T-1 Update We now have 5 girls interested in joining our Pack. 4 are current GSUSA members and 3 have brothers in the Pack. We have not pushed recruiting at all and do not plan to so I expect our early adopter numbers to be low. So far, 2 Lions, 1 Wolf and 2 Bears. Two of the girls would bring a new family to the Pack. Their father is an Eagle Scout and former scout leader (he doesn’t have sons so he hasn’t been involved with our Pack). Next week... committee meeting, meeting with DE.
  45. 5 points
  46. 5 points
    We haven't heard enough from them this year?
  47. 5 points
    I wouldn't ever consider not getting Eagle a failure. I was 2nd Class, and yet the mantra I live by is "help other people at all times". 6000+ hours, 6 Red Cross disaster relief operations averaging 3-4 weeks at a time. Last Monday I went out at 3:00 am, to help an elderly couple struggle through the loss of their home due to a fire. Tomorrow night I work with my church youth group serving Advent dinner between services. Last week I dropped off about 300# of squash from my garden at the Salvation Army kitchen. Not getting Eagle made no affect on my life. What Scouting taught did.
  48. 5 points
    The schools in my area do NOT have that "safe harbor" rule. However, I'm aware of one case where a student told a teacher that he accidentally had a pocket knife in his backpack. And the teacher wisely told the student to just leave it there until the end of the day. But if the teacher had decided to go by the book, the kid would have been in a lot of trouble. What I've told my kids, and what I've told other scouts to talk to their parents about is this: If they discover that they accidentally have a knife or some other contraband in their possession, then they should go to the teacher and say that they need to call their parents because it is an emergency. They should keep insisting, keep saying that it is an emergency, but not state the nature of the emergency. When they call me, they are instructed to say something along the lines of, "I'm calling about that thing you said I should call about and say it is an emergency." At that point, I would go to school and ask to speak to them privately. I would then take possession of their backpack, jacket, or whatever item was involved, and take it home myself. If I was asked what was going on, I would explain that there had been an emergency, but that it is now resolved. I believe that most teachers and administrators would exercise some common sense if they were told that a kid accidentally had a pocket knife in his jacket. But unfortunately, they are not required to do so, so I've decided to err on the side of caution.
  49. 5 points
    Over the years I have been involved in a lot of "political" hassles in many different organizations and the dynamics are always the same. The simple explanation for this situation is: this parent enjoys the conflict and the perpetuation of it. It's a game to her. She doesn't really want the game to end because then all the fun will go away. So, the rest of the group has to decide to take it to the next level of conflict which is labeled "Divorce" and remove this woman and the game will go away, or take the conflict down to level of basic problem identification and solving. At this level where the woman is at is never going to agree to that because that would mean the game would be over. Well it's going to be over one way or another. The odds of it being resolved gracefully just isn't in the cards. The only solution would be to have her not be part of the processes of the unit. You will probably lose a good scout in the process, make sure he knows that none of this is his fault and encourage him to stay in scouting wherever he moves on to. Just keep it in mind that with this game that is going on, nothing in the rules points to "for the boys". And yet, in the interest of the boys, the game has got to change, one way or the other.
  50. 5 points
    The Turtles are happy to announce the birth of their 5' -11" 120 pound Eagle Scout. Gave great interview I hear. Survived despite leaving 'gag patches' on his uniform ("I Speak English" and a Klingon Interpreter Strip). Likes to live dangerously--when questioned about if that was his attitude toward a serious interview--he said "I am a Scout and a Scout is all about having fun. If I can't have some fun with my uniform I should join the military". He was having a pretty good time. Came out wanting to plan some high adventure outings for the guys still in the Troop; I am most pleased that 'he gets it".