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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/06/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    We had four zip lines coming in from the cardinal points. Dads on ladders with multiple arrows per zip line (12 kids, 4 lines, 3 arrows each). Name called, arrow let fly. Oh, one dad was able to rig a small blower in the back of the fire place. When the arrow made contact with the fire the blower let out a little "puff" which, aimed upward, cause the fire to roar. Cheap special effect but it was pretty cool.
  2. 3 points
    I can't recall if you said the SM was complicit in this or if he just didn't care that he (and his youth leaders) kept getting mowed over by this ASM. But as a former SM I would want to know this situation AND how my youth leaders felt. It sounds like these adults are not likely to step aside and let the boys lead, so taking this head-on as a youth leader is tilting at a windmill IMHO. Looking for a new troop is totally up to the individual because only they will know their mind. If my son were in this situation, I would encourage him (and his friends who feel the same way) to have a heart-to-heart with the SM and really lay out their issues. I would advise them to link their grievances to the Aims and Methods of Scouting and the BSA Mission Statement. It may not change any minds and it may cause waves, but they will have the satisfaction of petitioning their unit leader with their grievances and learn a lesson on standing up for themselves.
  3. 2 points
  4. 2 points
    We had a similar situation. Long long story short, we asked the church to look into the matter instead of just blaming our scouts for all the damages they where finding. The committee was upset because the ceiling tiles were being pushed out of place in their 40 foot tall meeting center. I understood their problem, it was a difficult task to find a ladder tall enough to replace the tiles. Turns out the teen Sunday School class boys would compete in slamming balls on the floor hard enough to see if they could bounce them to the ceiling. The other problem was the mystery of ceiling tiles and lights getting torn up in another room. Mystery solved, the Girls Scouts where scrapping the ceiling with their flag poles during opening and closing ceremonies. The church committee was quite embarrassed and never bothered us again, even when our scouts might have been responsible for damage. Barry
  5. 2 points
    In our church the youth groups leave the common areas a shambles. When I was spl we got blamed a lot before I took over. We started taking before and after pictures of the meeting rooms and common areas just to show how clean we leave it. We sent them to the office manager to show her how well we were doing. Not one word of thanks. The youth groups were never told to be better either. This lasted the whole year. Half way through my term I also sent the reports to the head pastor. The committee chair didn’t like it but my sm supported me. The head pastor came to my last coh as spl to thank the troop and me for doing what we do. It didn’t change how the office staff treated us but we knew at least he appreciated our efforts. To this day the spls still send him the monthly pictures.
  6. 2 points
    We call it a weather stone , our daycamp has one at scout craft.
  7. 2 points
    Oh, that's all great. Trombone was my first instrument too. Let him have fun, give him some Tommy Dorsey and Glen Miller, if not Slide Hampton . Play in the Band: like Scouts, it will get you places and opportunities the other kids won't (can't!) have. Even if you do not become a "music major", the school band /orchestra is a neat place to be (Purdue Marching Band, Rank Captain, Rosebowl 1967). A real Bugle? Look for an OLD one, they will be a heavier caliber metal and sound stronger. Replace the original thin mouth piece with a Bach 12C, expensive perhaps but much better embrouchure and comfort. Look for "Captain Gallant of the French Foreign Legion". They used the bugle a lot in that show, learn the "Tatoo" from it. If you get tired of the American "Call to the Colors" you can always play the French , And "Boots and Saddles" old TV shows, but neat bugling....
  8. 2 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.
  9. 2 points
    Here's a good tool for anyone who has to share pictures or doc-pics. You can take pictures or "scan" any picture or doc. You can do one or a batch of them. When done just save as a pdf file and send or post. We've used this at the unit level to instantly scan receipts to send to our Treasurer. Sharing docs and pics is a lot faster this way too.
  10. 1 point
    A brilliant young Girl Scout from San Diego sold more than 300 boxes of Tagalongs, Thin Mints and other munchie-friendly snacks after setting up her wares near a marijuana dispensary over the weekend. The 9-year-old girl’s father, who was not identified either, confirmed to San Diego’s KGTV that she ended up selling a total of 312 boxes over the course of about six hours, presumably to customers of the Urbn Leaf dispensary. The dispensary, too, advertised that the girl would be appearing outside the facility in a post shared to the shop’s Instagram page. http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2018/02/06/girl-scout-sells-312-boxes-cookies-outside-pot-dispensary.html http://fox43.com/2018/02/06/enterprising-girl-scout-sells-cookies-outside-san-diego-marijuana-dispensary/
  11. 1 point
    There’s a knot for giving money? What message does that send to scouts.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    Can anybody explain to me what is actually wrong with what this girl did?
  14. 1 point
    Heck yeah, and probably a few merit badges as well.
  15. 1 point
    They can use whatever they want. The question is should they? if they do should it be counted towards camping nights? (and I am sure there are a few more questions). I would say if they are going to be 3 days in a state park, they should pitch tents unless there are extenuating circumstances as to why not. I would add, that I would not count that towards camping nights. I can see some situations where I would be in favor of a camper. For example, a group traveling across country to Philmont. If they are pushing very long days driving in order to get there, I can see a camper (we used gyms from hosting troops.) It makes more sense logistically. But not for an extended stay in the a State Park
  16. 1 point
  17. 1 point
    This might just work! Adding details like this can make a relatively simple action quite impressive and highly memorable - and what soon-to-be Boy Scout isn't going to love fire raging at the sound of his name!
  18. 1 point
    convicted or conflicted? LOL. This one and the bringing in food were my two biggest pet peeves as a DL. Kid coming in with a slurpee and seriously, slurping during a presentation -- doh! For talking parents should be social but they have to keep their voices down or go in the hall so the kids can hear the meeting without distraction.
  19. 1 point
    Looks real good. I'd maybe make the families section a little more concise. I feel convicted about the chatting.
  20. 1 point
    I know how to sew on patches!!! Lookee here.... Son #1 (first patch Mammal Study) and Son #2 (first patch Nuclear Science, really!) Now I need to teach the boys how, but when I was an early teen I did stuff like counted cross stitch. I'm not sure how to teach them to sew. Maybe that's s Dad job. Side note, I am learning to knit... Yes, I'm showing off my kids's sashes! I'm a proud Scout momma.
  21. 1 point
    That's a big brush. In my own small way, in my own small corner of the BSA universe I'm trying to make a difference. I'm the new district camping chair. I put the kabosh on a change the last guy did as nobody ever asked the SMs what they wanted. I'm pushing hard to get scout input for what the camporees should include. At klondike last weekend I had said the scouts want more patrol vs patrol competition and I was told that was a bad idea as it's hard to match patrols for equal sizes, ages, abilities. So rather than fight it I said let's have an experiment. In the morning we'll do the old model of patrols competing against themselves and in the afternoon it will be patrol vs patrol. The scouts loved it. They were hollering and screaming and practicing. I gave them ribbons for scout spirit, teamwork, and scoring in the morning events. For the patrol vs patrol the winner got bragging rights only. They had fun and one parent, that couldn't go, called me Sunday night and thanked me. I also know nobody is going to complain enough to fire me as nobody else is around to take the job. Maybe your council has enough volunteers to form some hard cliques but we will take anyone.
  22. 1 point
    This looks good to me. We also have energetic Scouts and a few tips that helped us: Parents discouraged from attending den meetings after Tiger. After Tiger they are just in the way and can distract the scouts. Having keep busy activities available for the time before Pack meeting starts. In some cases bins of legos, others Holiday card making, etc. Something to keep them occupied. Den Meeting whistle. Some may frown but Iit works. I had a den leader forget his whistle one day and it looked as if he had PTSD after the meeting.
  23. 1 point
    Who authorized the ASM to spend $2,500 of the Troop money? Sounds like a much larger issue. If we’re a Scout, I doubt I would be doing any further fundraising for the troop.
  24. 1 point
    ...or he is telling you what he thinks you want to hear. Who knows? When the adults are squabbling amongst each other, it is hard for the boys to express their own opinions. Boys will often feel like they have to take their parent's side in the ongoing debate, and the PLC become proxy voters for their parent's positions. When this happens, it is time for the CO to step in and set things right.
  25. 1 point
    Wow. What next? Bars, smoke shops, strip clubs?
  26. 1 point
    I agree with everything you said, except the charitable giving part. Buying bling isn't the same as charitable giving.
  27. 1 point
    No offense taken. In fact I limit my knots to one row on one shirt that I only wear indoors. Enough to start a conversation if someone is interested.
  28. 1 point
    One should ask the question why good Scouters would seek recognition for charitable giving. Scouts only get service hours for their charitable work. Many volunteer Scouters and parents give generously of their time and money regularly and get nothing but a thank you in return. I would really like to see less adult recognition in the form of knots, trophies and such UNLESS it is for something very significant (e.g., retiring unit leader, cherished volunteer, etc.). This "do this and get that" culture BSA has for adults only reinforces that same notion with the youth. Talk about (purchased) participation trophies. (Note: @MattR, this is nothing against your gesture. It is more against BSA even having this in the first place.)
  29. 1 point
    I don't mean to be critical, but I tried to sing along to your version and I couldn't make it scan at all. Ian (also an REM fan)
  30. 1 point
    I have a James E West knot and I have no idea who donated the money for it. I put it on my uniform as a way to say thank you to the donor. So please don't assume it's someone that wants to buy recognition.
  31. 1 point
    On the one hand it is a PITA and I now I have to tell some of our new younger ASM's and MBC (the just aged out scouts) that they will need to take it again when they thought they were good for 2 years. Was hard enough to get them to do it the first time. Other the hand after looking through the material posted in this thread I thought it was a much more thorough and serious presentation. I was glad they talked about the possibility of older scouts preying on the younger scouts. That was a blind spot for me. It seems like an improvement and the greater good seems served my a deeper presentation even at the risk of losing a few folks by the greater demand on their time. (But then I am a little biased as when I was in elementary school me and another kid got molested by our coach. If that happened today when I finally reported it maybe something would have happened. {To my father's credit he did not kill the man but I do believe the threat was sincerely made}.)
  32. 1 point
    Last weekend it was close to 2 hours - there were some performance problems. National is aware and are working to resolve them. It is supposed to take about 1 hour. The bigger difference is that you can't just let the video run and answer questions once in a while.
  33. 1 point
    Totally agree. I wish that was the case. It might make many of our current problems easier to deal with.
  34. 1 point
    I think all CO's should see scouting as an extension of their youth ministry/youth program.
  35. 1 point
    I was also the staffer (ASM) at Woodbadge who approved ticket items. You need to have a clear explanation of when each ticket item is finished. Like the end of the first course. Or 3 courses. Or whatever. The shorter, the better.
  36. 1 point
    I think "Catholic units" have it a bit harder in this regard. For Protestants, my Scouter friends seem to be more successful in selling the inclusion of non-church members joining the unit. The thought is that maybe they will join the church anyway...assuming they are Christians and Protestants. Most Catholic units I know want the members to be Catholic. A few have it as Catholic only whereas with others it is just a suggestion. Ironically our strongest advocate for the unit is Jewish. Loves the troop, the church, the CO and is always volunteering to help. The COR said, "If only several of our Catholic members were that energetic."
  37. 1 point
    A committee member in our troop was frustrated by the counselor misinformation throughout the district, so she created a course for counselors the scouts in our troop were using. The course was so successful that district asked her to teach one course each year. Well they wanted more courses, she said only one. She started the course teaching the Aims, Methods and Mission before moving on to the rest of the training. She would answer many of the participants questions by referring to the Aims, Methods and Mission so that they would not get side tracked on advancement as the primary goal. That was 15 years ago, so I don't know what District is doing now. But I would say it's a worth while ticket item depending on how you plan to repeat the course. What would you consider to be the completion of the ticket item? Barry
  38. 1 point
    I am not sure how this would work. You've just created a new product that has the goal of getting Scouting's highest award which typically takes boys from 11-15 (or longer). So I am not confident girls are going to jump to Venturing, but rather spend their 14-16 year old years working toward Eagle. Not to mention older girls who may want to get Eagle and will forego Venturing. Maybe long term -- and we are talking several years -- you might see some older girls wanting to join Venturing much like older boys join it now. But the big appeal of Venturing was that it offered stuff GSUSA didn't, so they joined us to get that "Boy Scout" experience. You've now given them all that at an earlier age, so what's the draw of Venturing?
  39. 1 point
    I took the new YPT2 this weekend - though the rules are the same the material in the training is MUCH more detailed. Lots of focus on bullying and on the bad guys being people known to the kids/families. Several people telling (a version of) their story. IMHO neither the content nor the presentation are suitable for kids. The material I received from the office (Im council training chair) said that resources for group-presentation of the training will be available in June and the youth version of the training will be available in 2019. No other info regarding how the youth version might be organized re: different ages or programs.
  40. 1 point
    This book specifically, and many others from earlier times are easily available on the NET, particularly through book dealers such as Amazon, or through a search here: http://www.bookfinder.com/. This link is good for a very broad search for almost any subject or specific title or author. The breadth of responses can be overwhelming for common stuff, and the BSA books from the early days are fairly common, especially from the peak period, now that so many are popping up from estates or attic/basement cleansings of "parental stuff" by children and grandchildren. EBay of course does have it too, though there are still people posting them that seem to think they are rare, which they are not. Now, as with any of these things, the best copies or ones that are signed will be premium, but sometimes not as bad as you might think if you look a little. Good searching.
  41. 1 point
    Not terribly related to the topic, but I was given this by one of the parents in the Troop.
  42. 1 point
    It also matters to me that "Though Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor" is a Commandment. That makes it a biggie in my way of thinking.
  43. 1 point
    I think we have already answered your question. We want all people to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  44. 1 point
    The Venturing one addresses age related stuff that doesn't match cub scout aged kids and issues to watch for.
  45. 1 point
    Wow I thought this was a joke at first ... As a den leader, I would be appalled if I wasn't invited into the monthly committee meetings. In fact all parents, den leaders, and interested parties expected to be at our committee meetings, and we have a great program going. But I would hesitate to be part of any program where the den leaders, the very core of the Cub Program, are not welcome.
  46. 1 point
    I am good friends with a GSUSA leader (and former professional) who was congratulating me on Son#2 getting his Eagle. I mentioned (bragged) a few of his highlights and she asked about what an SPL was which led to a discussion of our Troops (sometimes watered-down) youth led mixed age patrol method. She was shocked, just shocked that we trusted them enough to plan and carry out things on their own and while she could see it would be chaotic it would be much more helpful for leadership development than the GSUSA program. She then told me to quit poaching their girls.
  47. 1 point
    Wow, congratulations to Bugleson ... and to your Troop for having a Bugler - super! I'll risk being nit-picky (just because I'm bored right now) and suggest a few modifications to SSScout's wonderful post, above. Note, all of the bugle calls in the links below are required per the Bugling Merit Badge: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/Bugling.pdf 1. I like the idea of alerting the Troop with "First Call", but as it's officially a "warning that personnel will prepare to assemble for a formation", perhaps the SPL could announce the call with "Ladies & Gentlemen, please find your seats as we'll be starting in a moment". http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/firstcall.asp 2. I'm not in favor of the bugler blowing "To the Color" as the colors advance, as officially the call is to "render honors to the nation" and "commands all the same courtesies as the National Anthem." Instead, following on the "First Call" warning, I might suggest the SPL invite the audience to "Please rise for the Presentation of the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance" followed immediately by the Bugler blowing "Assembly" http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/assembly.asp 3. Upon the SPL (or Honor Patrol Leader) commanding the colors to "...Advance!" (to the front of the audience), "...Halt!" and finally, "...Present the Colors!" at which point the Honor Patrol either presents the colors at the audience front or goes directly to the flag-stands - your choice - and upon "Scouts, Salute! Guests please honor our flag." the bugler plays "To the Color" in full (the most beautiful call there is, IMHO): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/tothecolor.asp 4. "Ruffles & Flourishes" for the Scoutmaster? - first, that's not a required call; and second, we're supposed to be Scout-lead. Blowing "Attention" for the awarding of ranks might have the scouts jumping to their feet (and confuse the audience as to whether or not to stand). Instead, the SPL might use "Attention" to get everyone on their feet in preparation for Retreat (as noted, it's an exceptionally brief call): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/attention.asp 5. I agree that "Taps" is a tad melancholy and doubly agree "Retreat" is the proper call with which to end the ceremony (the next most beautiful call, after To the Color, IMHO): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/retreat.asp Hope this is helpful and once again I'll add my congratulations to Bugleson and the tip of my hat to SSScout's post - - Craig
  48. 1 point
    We no longer have Troop tents...no one took good enough care of them. We tried to pair up tent buddies right away. The first thing we used to do for newbies was to warn them to wait for a few campouts to avoid making a bad tent decision. See what the other adults and scouts bring on the campouts. We often have an older experienced scout who camps a lot go over the pros and cons of tents, tent sizes, and weights. When we left it to adults they usually went the cheapest route and sometimes got heavy tents that were fine for car camping but not if scouts had to carry them very far. In fact we caution new families to borrow or make do for gear initially--at least on the 'big 3' tent, backpacking, and sleeping-bag as their is a lot to learn. We also encourage some in-troop trading and buying as boys go off to college. One of our most experienced Scouters made up a good overview on the "big 3" and we hand that out to new parents (but not the first meeting--they are quite overwhelmed right away).
  49. 1 point
    While adults can hammock, Scouts cannot. Don't ask as I am against the policy. As for your own tents, that is allowed. It's interesting to note that those who bring their own, usually have hte most rules for those who sleep in the tent with them. Sadly we are in the middle of nowhere, and it would take an hour in either direction to get to a decent outfitter. The thing is, the Scouts do know what to look for in a tent. Especially the older ones who have their own tents, which are usually better quality than the Scout ones. And because they bought them, they take better care of them.
  50. 1 point
    Sounds like they should take a trip to the sporting goods store to talk about tents. The ASM and the Quartermaster and SM/parents. It should be scout led and adult guided if there are any questions or issues that the scouts didn't think of.
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