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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/21/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Thanks David. I guess I've become somewhat of an accidental participant this time. I got a message out of the blue and I was curious. But then I discovered this thread. Interesting. I actually teach ecology courses, among others. While I agree that there are what I term, 'true believers' who call themselves 'ecologists' and probably quite a few who claim to teach (preach) it, the ones I know and with whom I interact are probably more skeptical about their own field of study than most of the forum members here. The 'true believers' can claim to be whatever they want to but I will suggest that as long as they do not carefully cast a critical eye at their own field of study, they are not 'scientists', at least not very good ones. This is a source of frustration to me because I do interact with good scientists who are climate change skeptics. They are mostly skeptical about proposed 'solutions' and about those persons who think they know what the consequences will be. But what I find so disappointing is that objective discourse about this and so many other issues that strongly depend on scientific evidence seems to be totally absent from public forums. I do not find our public discussions to be a source of abundant optimism.
  2. 1 point
    Each troop has its own flavor; spiced with the experiences and maturity and knowledge levels of both the boys and leaders. I have seen troops that are run with military precision and discipline. I have seen troops that lean a bit more to "Lord of the Flies." I think the hope would be to accept and learn from both sides of the spectrum. I think it is more difficult for a more precision oriented troop to accept the more "slack" troops you sometimes find. For example, our troop uses its own mess kits, but not standardized or anything. Also, we don't have any problem leaving way late. (I am not in any rush to get back to the grind after the fun of camping! . I think asking the boys to keep an eye out and see what they can learn from the other troop is a good idea as well, and have them report back during a gathering time. It not only shifts the focus from "we're right and they're wrong" but gets them thinking about what they are doing and how they can do it better. It is tough though, when alternating something like latrine duty at summer camp and the other troop did not do their day, making it harder on my troop. But a friendly word to the Scoutmaster was all that was needed. He was embarrassed for his boys and started to get fired up and was going to give them a chewing out, but I let him know it would probably happen with my troop at some point during the week so he should not sweat it. I let him know to just pass it along to the SPL and step back and see what happened, good or bad. That same troop, btw, had a really good idea for fulfilling the lashing requirements. There was some bamboo poles lying around. A couple of scouts lashed them to make a fishing rod rack for all the rods the boys brought. I had not seen that before and thought it was a pretty good idea. So we learned from them on that piece.
  3. 1 point
    It is a common spelling mystique.
  4. 1 point
    Okay, first of all, everyone ... vocabulary It's a mystique (fascinating aura about someone or something). If you have that, don't give it up. If any of you have a mystic in your lodge, refer him to the monastery.
  5. 1 point
    The girls are in separate dens in family packs, correct? If your son's den is ready to crossover to a troop in December, why should they be held back if the girl's program (whatever it's going to be called) isn't ready by then? Just let the boy's den crossover when it's ready, and the girl's den might crossover later. A lot of girl's dens will probably need more time anyway, especially if most 5th grade girls don't join until August-September. They wouldn't meet the 6-month tenure requirement until February-March.
  6. 1 point
    Teaching scouts how to run productive meetings is one of the most common weaknesses I have observed of troop leaders over the years. The SPL Handbook gives an example of how to conduct a meeting, but very few troops use the handbook. The problem with district and council JLT courses is, if the troop adults don’t know what the courses teach, rarely do the scouts bring anything back to the program. It’s not that the adults don’t support their scout’s training, they just don’t know how to let the scout mix what he just learned into the program. I really believe the best way to get the most impact from Junior Leadership courses is send the adults through them. Barry
  7. 1 point
    There's a lot of time for that, and even when they become Boy Scouts, they'll still have lots of time to learn Boy Scouting things. I understand the desire to prepare boys for Troop life, but emphasizing it this early I think could actually have a detrimental effect on their interest in Scouting long-term. If a scout joins as a Tiger and sticks with it to earn Eagle, they'll have been in Scouting for nearly a decade in many cases, sometimes longer. If Tigers learn absolutely nothing about camping, cooking, woods skills, etc., in their Tiger year, I think that's of absolutely zero consequence. On the other hand, I think a Tiger (or even a Wolf or Bear in some cases) being asked to sit through skills lessons that are more appropriate for Webelos or Boy Scouts could negatively impact their willingness to stay with the program. Scouting is a long road. Don't burn them out early. The Tiger year should be 100% fun above all else.
  8. 1 point
    Aren't we? When we make up fake characters and legends, aren't we lampooning the culture?
  9. 1 point
    If the allowance for doing requirements for future ranks out of order was eliminated as well as double dipping, then scouts would have more experience and have real opportunities for growth in those areas as they progressed through ranks. This would remove some of the need for the legalese IMO.
  10. 1 point
    I suggest talking to your CO and asking if you can help them. I’m sure they always need something done. example: Our CO is a American Legion Post, and whenever they go to veteran homes we always come and aide. So 4 times a year x 4 hours about each = 16 hours not including our other projects. Its so simple to find community service projects, but I don’t believe that a new scout should need the responbility of finding hours right now.
  11. 1 point
    I am in the OA and personally, the real meanings of OA don't have to be tied to regalia and ceremonies. There are loads of ceremony themes that could be adopted and be awesome. The ceremonies and regalia doesn't define my heart for service and brotherhood.
  12. 1 point
    So another Johnson "Gillwell" drifted into my sights and has a new home.
  13. 1 point
    Wait a minute! You are telling me that this scout did nothing in the way of service in all of 2017? What kind of scout does no service approvable by an SM for an entire year? A one-minute good turn per day would net 6 hours in 12 months! I'm hoping you mistyped the year of service. If this was a service half-day that the scout did in October, he was awarded Tenderfoot in November, and mastered his Second Class skills in December, I'd count what you have on the books. If not, I'd look a little more deeply as to what the scout's been doing and see if there were contributions that really would have counted, but the boy just didn't think to keep track of them. The reason that so few hours of service are asked for is that the general expectation is that these ranks don't take a lot of time. <insert standard rant about the general moral depravity of counting service hours>
  14. 1 point
    I started reading this thread again. I keep twinging every time I read the rank requirements. They are just way way too long. Too many words. Turns off scouts. National really needs to focus on shortening the number of words. It's just out of control. The number of words in the requirements have doubled since 2005. The words the scouts see need to be simple and straight forward.
  15. 1 point
    To that I'd add that your troop needs to have a defined program. Our troop is far from perfect. But, one thing we have is a sense of what our program is and how we work as a troop. The SM has a plan for what he's doing. As CC, I have a plan for where we're taking the troop. If some adults start showing up at committee meetings, troop meetings, or camping trips and starting problems, we'd all look at them and collectively say "what are you doing?". I think the key to that is the core group of troop volunteers coming up with a shared vision for who you are as a troop and then going in that direction. It may sound like I'm advocating adult led - I am not. When I say "defined program", I mean things like - are you boy led, do you use patrols, what is the relationship of adults to scouts, etc. The boys should be planning the troops operating activities and program. What I'm suggesting is that higher level of who are you as a troop. The other thing I'd advocate is for you and others to spend a lot of time explaining why you do things. If a parent wants to clean his son's dishes, it's one thing to say "HEY, don't do that, we're a boy led troop". It's another to have a conversation with that adult about how letting the scout do it himself is a step down the path of self reliance, confidence, and developing leadership skills.
  16. 1 point
    Admittedly, they have announced many times that there won't be any official information on the girls' program (including its name) until 2019 - they still have the better part of a year to figure it out. But even if this article had never come out, the fact is that there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what's going to happen with it. A year is still not a lot of time to create a whole new program that is at once tailored towards girl's development and yet meets the same criteria required to earn them their Eagles in a manner that's legitimately "equal but different.' They haven't given themselves enough time for trial and error, and I foresee that coming back to bite them hard. I have watched all of Surbaugh's web presentations and "town hall" meeting clips that I could find, and they have acted almost entirely on what they assume people want based on surveys and samples - it's extremely sketchy reasoning, from both a statistical and a logical point of view. I can't say I fully support him, as I have most of our past leaders. Just because he's a volunteer doesn't mean I have to hold him up to some lesser standard. In his elevated position, I actually expect much better.
  17. 1 point
    Somewhere a member of the G2SS police is losing their mind.
  18. 1 point
    Free is my thought too - because they are already giving their time, plus certainly spending their own money supporting their unit. It is not the BSA doing this. National has created the online modules. And we promote them but we still offer in-person training several times a year. Hm - maybe I need to approach it as the small cost of in-person training being a better use of time. Take the online training to "check the box". Take an in-person session to meet some new people, ask questions, get answers, get info beyond the bare essentials and have a snack.
  19. 1 point
    They already have this, IMO they just do a good job of promoting it. There is a ton of material, just not being promoted well. If you go to my.scouting.org and click on My Dashboard, then My Training, and finally on Training Center you will be given Training Courses by Program. Clicking on the program levels you will be given a list of available training. Clicking on the trainings will take you to the BSA Learning Center. Here is what's available, in addition to YPT: Cub Scouts: Boy Scouts: Venturing: Sea Scouts: Exploring: Other:
  20. 1 point
    Really? Sitting around watching the adults cook is a fun program for Tigers? For me that would rank right up there with watching paint dry. When they're done eating, do they get to watch the adults clean up? When I taught Webelos overnight training for DL"s it was always interesting how just two people could lead the class and somehow breakfast just appeared, then lunch and then dinner. While one of us taught, the other did behind the scenes camp chores and we had an extensive discussion on this very topic. How, with just two people, one could maintain the attention and interest of the participants and still get the camp chores done. Even the adults hadn't noticed and one can even more easily apply this to Tigers. The whole idea of that demonstration was to show the importance of keeping the kids busy with some really fun stuff and still being able to get the "adult" stuff done behind the scenes. @5thGenTexan one needs to focus on the boys having a great time outdoors. For the most part outdoors to them is walking down city streets or maybe going to a city park for a picnic with the folks. Nawww! This has to be an adventure, walking trails into the woods, looking at trees, listening to birds, finding squirrels, picking berries, and anything else that they have either never experienced or never noticed before. Throw out an old hula hoop on the ground in a meadow and have the boys find all the fun stuff inside. Then do it in the woods. Stop and find tadpoles in the creek. Hear a bullfrog, try to find him. You might come across a turtle sunning themselves on a log. Hear a woodpecker, go find him. Heck, boys go bananas over finding bunny poop. I took my granddaughter out on one of these nature adventures and we went into a swamp area where there were tons of birds, muskrats, beavers and sure 'nuff we come across a dead racoon. For at least a week, that's all she could talk about. It was the last thing before going to bed and the first thing in the morning. My daughter still hasn't forgiven me for "breaking her child." Now when I go over there and invite her to a great adventure, her eyes light up and she runs for her coat. My daughter gives me the death-ray stare, and off we go. This is the wonderment one has at this age after all. I might have been only 4 years old at the time, but I remember my dad bringing home the new camper that became my second home for many years. It was the catalyst for opening a world of camping and being outside. If one can do that for a Tiger, then they are well on their way to being a great Boy Scout. Please, please, please, don't sit the boys down on a log to watch the adults do anything.
  21. -1 points
    Truly, a ton of material - much of it mediocre at best.