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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/15/18 in all areas

  1. 5 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.
  2. 3 points
    Actually it’s 50% of ballots cast. So if you have 51 scouts show and only 40 submit ballots your magic number is 21. So it’s not scouts in the room but ballots cast.
  3. 2 points
    Remember it's the kind of thing that beds in though. I think you're seeing it from the perspective of a den/pack going from as is to six (I'll call it that to distinguish from a full on patrol) If you are in a situation where from the moment they walk through the door aged 6 they are introduced to the idea of working in a six and that for various things someone may be asked to be in charge (obviously the complexity increasing from age 6 to 10/11) then that will be accepted. Young children are extremely impressionable and if introduced to something as being the way it is at a young age they will accept that as being the way it is.
  4. 2 points
    If the Webelos leaders have been doing their job, you can cut another month off of that time frame - the requirements for the Scouting Adventure adventure are almost identical to those for Scout rank, so ideally they should be able to pass off that rank after their first meeting. That's always my goal with my Webelos Scouts; I prep them in the weeks leading up to their advancement to Boy Scouts so that they are prepared to meet with their Scoutmaster and pass things off at that first Patrol gathering. But it does take careful planning on the Webelos leaders' part, and close coordination with the Troop leadership as well.
  5. 2 points
    LOL. Don't get me wrong, that sounds like a cute idea and it would be great for school or a family council or something - but not for Cub Scouts, where we have enough requirements to complete already!
  6. 2 points
    Yes & No. I'm suggesting a second, alternative course in addition/as an alternative to Wood Badge. In fact, I'm fine with Wood Badge as the leadership course. To me, Wood Badge is the leadership course for Committee Chairs, Cubmasters, Scoutmasters, etc... I think it does a fine job at that. I've been a staffer twice and really like Wood Badge - but I see it for what it is and is not. Wood Badge is clearly not a course on how to be a Scoutmaster. How to mentor the SPL, how to organize patrols, how to organize campouts, how to promote boy led, etc... I could go on and on. I can recite the Stages of Team development in my sleep, but I can't tell you how to make patrols work in my troop. In my council, Wood Badge is done very well. At the heart of it is a staff that are all very professional about their roles. More importantly, each member of the staff really, really works hard to do a great job. For Wood Badge, being a Scoutmaster really doesn't matter - so the staff selection here doesn't really focus on that. The staffs end up being a mix of positions and programs. If anything, the staffs are generally composed of very good leaders who really strive to deliver an outstanding training. The one thing we do have is a very methodical process for finding good staff. Existing staff all share insights on participants. This is then used to help find the new 1/3 of the staff every year. In my mind, the separate Scoutmaster course I'm suggesting would be different and would be staffed with the best Scoutmasters. I could see much the same process. Some key people put together a Scoutmaster curriculum, great Scoutmasters are recruited to review it, refine it, and teach it. You make it a worthwhile course, so staff are willing to continue year to year. You rotate in some new staff so that there is a development process that continues to challenge & grow the staff. Come up with some kind of mentoring program after the fact new Scoutmasters have someone to talk to as they grow in their own positions.
  7. 2 points
    Ours is still tap outs... For youth fairly firm, for the adults they really pound hard....
  8. 1 point
    In our pack its been kinda decided the Webelos are going to adopt the patrol method and start learning the real skills they need before joining the troop. Its also been suggested that the lower dens are going to act as patrols. Instead of one person cooking for everyone each den (DL) will cook for themselves. Our. Campout for this weekend was cancelled because its supposed to be wet and cold and seems like everyone has been sick. So we are going to just do a Beaver Day work day at the local camp. I was planning on taking a 10x10 popup canopy to cook under and a place for people to get out if the rain if needed. I never felt good about it but it would have been the best option. I want to propose to my leadership we put together a real dining fly or two. Webelos should be able to or learn quickly to set one up. I would like for my Tigers to be introduced now to the idea. Its something they can help with unlike cooking or anything with fire at this point. Start at the very least seeing what different knots are used for, start working as a team to complete a task. By the time these Tigers are Webelos they would be able to show up at camp and setup quickly without thinking about it. Also think a nice dining fly setup would be awesome during out city festivals. Would be a more impressive display than a popup canopy and a table.
  9. 1 point
    The current Boy Scout Handbook says First Class within about 12-18 months. Scouts in my son's troop are taking longer (than they were previously) to make First Class primarily because they have trouble tracking their fitness activities at home for TF/FC/SC.
  10. 1 point
    No, not talking about cutting them loose and do it on their own. Its my understanding each den will have its own cookbox. The campout that isn't going to happen this time we were going to cook breakfast and dinner at the den level. Tigers do Tiger Bites so they have (at least mine do) an understanding of what is healthy and what isn't. I see no reason they can't help plan the menu. They can't cook but in instances they can sure help prepare. Foil pack meals come to mind. If each den had its own dining fly to set up.... Tigers can help unfold the tarp, they can help straighten lines, etc. They cant drive stakes or set poles upright. They can start seeing how a particular knot is used. Start learning to work as a team with a tangible goal. It didn't happen this year but next year I fully intend on Denner elections on a regular basis for their Wolf year. I think there is a lot that can be done that is age appropriate while preparing for the eventual crossover to the troop. I do not believe making "sit upons" does anything to achieve that goal. Yes, I saw this week on FB of big plans to have a den decorate a bucket and make a cushion seat with pretty fabric.
  11. 1 point
    Yep - like many things in Scouting, I think the OA has lost it's luster because the people in it have stopped giving it luster. One can't be entrusted with the OA in your district, phone it in, and expect it to be a great program. I think many havn't gotten that message.
  12. 1 point
    When you say "acting as patrols," do you mean in regards to camping only, or through the whole program in general? I will be frank - as a Webelos leader and an child educator I am not in favor of this idea. The patrol method is, specifically, allowing the boys to manage their own affairs, and leaving them to their own devices when it comes to activities, cooking, etc. Boys of Cub Scout age are too young for this practice to work. There is solid educational, pedagogical support for the leaders guiding activities for boys this young. They need to have solid, positive modeling for how activities are supposed to work in the first place, and they don't have the self-discipline, knowledge or skills they need at this age to do that on their own. As a Child Development Specialist, I would intervene immediately if I knew a Pack near me was attempting to fully implement the patrol method. The Webelos program is where preparation for the Patrol Method begins - they practice it for a month, and then spend time talking about it and how it succeeds (or fails) based on their experience. They do NOT implement it fully; the purpose of the adventure is to prepare them for Boy Scouts by giving them a sample of what the program will be like - it is not the program itself, nor should it be. Jump-starting the Boy Scout program by pushing it in Webelos is not age-appropriate, nor is it wise - the programs are different for a reason, and the boys are being short-changed out of the wonderful Webelos program that is in place by skipping forward to the Boy Scout methods without giving them the full Webelos/Arrow of Light experience. What surprises me is that the scaffolding of skills and knowledge clearly delineated from rank to rank seems to be largely ignored by this move. Each Cub rank's adventure are specifically designed to gradually move boys towards Patrol practices, but by setting the example through attentive adult leadership appropriate to their ages. Tigers especially need hands-on support from their leaders and parents, not just to get things done safely and correctly, but emotionally as well - remember, these are still children, and they deserve to be treated as such. Once they are old enough for Boy Scouts, you can loosen the tether on them more safely. Now, as far as cooking and setting up at camp activities - sure, let them help out, and PLEASE make them a part of the fun. But DON'T expect them to be self-sufficient at this age, and don't treat them like patrols. The Den System is designed for boys this age - don't move them up before they are ready, don't cheat them out of the Cub Program by skipping ahead, and let them be children with loving, involved leaders who help and guide them so that, when they are finally old enough for Boy Scouts, they are truly prepared for the program. *** Despite all this, a nice dining fly set-up is always nice, and looks great at festivals and events.
  13. 1 point
    Another reason, IMHO, that the Order has lost its interest. When it truly was not simply something you could get into by becoming First Class and doing a bit of camping, while staying on the good side of the adults, it actually was an honor. Now the mystique is gone, and it is simply something else to take up your time in too many lodges, and participation is generally sash and gone for the majority. There are still some lodges that have managed to keep some of the deeper interest, but not in our area. Ceremonies are not only no longer really semi-secret, but most of them are read from scripts, often obviously not even pre-read, and regalia is minimal. For the past few years, I have spoken to all the technically eligible scouts and point blank asked them if they really care to elected, and if so will actually go to the Ordeal and give it a try afterward. There is no point in calling them out if they are not going to follow through. But we still do elections, and have a few members occasionally get more involved for a time.
  14. 1 point
    The BSA's fundamental flaw in training is that they assume basic training is sufficient. It is not. The fundamental problem with all of this is that the program is too complex to be understood in a basic training. Look how much time we spend around here talking about patrol method and boy led. It's ridiculous that every troop does this a different way. For the BSA to really fix this, they need to either: - reduce the complexity of the program - develop a real Scoutmaster training. To go to SM training, you should have been an ASM for a while and understand the basics well. Like Wood Badge (I duck as I write this), the staff needs to be pulled from those Scoutmasters that really understand the program. This should be followed up by a mentoring program. Take those experienced Scoutmasters and have them mentor the new Scoutmasters.
  15. 1 point
    I'll let someone else spin this about something like who's got any news about WSJ acceptances ... @FireStone, don't get me wrong. I want boys to master first class skills ASAP. Girls too ... my crew, when active, goes for wilderness, and we only go as deep as skills allow. The sooner those skills are mastered, the sooner we can make better hike plans, do better service projects, build honor guards, support civic ceremony, cook really good meals, etc ... But, I'm in no hurry to put a patch on a scout who hasn't mastered the skills in those requirements. And for all but disabled boys that is met, not by time spent in the program, but rather time spent on the program. A boy spending 5 hours a week and an overnight a month working on advancement will rank up right quick ... an hour a week and camping once a quarter will take a good couple or five years.
  16. 1 point
    In the true spirit of political correc........ I mean safety, it is now called Call Out, and no contact is allowed.
  17. 1 point
    I posted this before, but I think it's pertinent here I had two sons two years apart both joined scouting when they turned11 and stayed till they were 18. both had in their own words a blast. both were elected Patrol leader, senior patrol leader, to rhe OA,and both count the time they spent in scouts as some of the best times of their life. One of the made eagle, the other managed to get to first class after five years. Different people, but both success stories.
  18. 1 point
    It’s a big reason we do our own because no one wanted to sit through 2-3 hours of scouts and adults being called out. Instead we do ours before camporee and then hang out on Saturday night and do our own special camp fire.
  19. 1 point
    Our troop let’s each candidate stand up and be recognized so guys know who they’re voting for. We also announce their service hours and camping night. Our SM introduced this idea and the plc kept it because it really helped make it less of a popularity contest.
  20. 1 point
    I don't really see the night as a hindrance at all.... we did it at night in the cub scouts....although that was a very simple level.... Still, I think the darkness reduces the chances of sneaking with the eyeball to find a small waypoint marker. When i was searching for it back for the cubs, I found lots of really great ideas for scavenger hunt type things using a compass..... the clues for the next waypoint would be hidden at the waypoint you're trying to find like in a baloon....but there would be lots of decoy balloons with bad clues inside so you couldn't just find it by eye. For the cubs, I believe we just used a small marker, like a coin I think.... Lots of great ideas out there.
  21. 1 point
    valentine blush.bmp valentine blush.bmp
  22. 1 point
    As a former LDS New Scout Leader, I can confirm that these 11 year-old patrols do function very much like Webelos Dens, with lots of indoor and outdoor instruction. That first year is structured as a soft introduction into Boy Scouts. That is one reason why they are limited to just 3 nights of camping. Dads accompany sons on every campout during that first year (by design). There may be other weaknesses of the model, but I do not necessarily agree that learning is compromised by this approach. It is an intensive year of skill building. A variety of resources are enlisted to teach these skills in a quality way. In our troop's New Scout program, only about half the Scouts make it to First Class during that first year. Corners are not cut. The boys who do make it to First Class by age 12 typically do a fair amount of skill mastery at home and then pass off requirements to their Scout leader. The son of our current New Scout Leader just turned 12 as a Tenderfoot. He obviously didn't give his own son a free pass. Personal drive is the primary factor in who makes it to First Class by age 12. However, that milestone seems to determine whether a Scout ultimately reaches Eagle. If they slow-walk through the lower ranks, they typically never catch up by age 18 (and that's ok).
  23. 1 point
    That's all very well and good but how would you do that during an EBOR? Very few Scouters know the rules and process well enough to help in such a manner. Couple that with some overzealous district person who is full of themselves and their own "power" and you have the making for a unnecessary paperwork showdown which takes both time and effort. The silver bullet to all of this is simply filling out the form and getting the district rep to sign it at the same time he's singing off on the proposal. Done! Needless? Perhaps. But 5 minutes at this phase can save a candidate a ton of headache down the road. And if they don't have an Eagle advisor then they're not at the mercy of some egotistical district rep full of self-importance.
  24. 1 point
    Dang if I know. When my Son was SPL he kept asking the adults for some cost numbers on trips (for over a year). So he and the PLC could...you know....actually take ownership and plan trips with a budget (I know what a concept!). He got constantly stonewalled. I brought it up at committee as well. I think a lot of it was transportation costs...that has been a big cost driver, along with expensive 'group' meals (the popular "lets stop at Golden Corral on the drive home") and "we need to put the boys up at a hotel along the way". The solution is Patrol campouts. Amazing how cheap those got.
  25. 1 point
    Update: Dec 29, 2017: Two years ago, a Superior Court judge effectively ended attempts by a Hingham developer to buy Camp Richard, the Nantucket property used by generations of Boy Scouts for nature hikes, overnight excursions and campfires. Judge Gary Nickerson ruled that the 100 acres of open space between Lovers Lane and Fairgrounds Road should forever remain a “campsite for the scouts of Nantucket,” and must be transferred back to its original owner, the Nantucket Civic League, if it is used for any other purpose. The Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which controlled the property, had previously agreed to sell up to 30 acres to Atlantic Development for $5 million or more. Citing 1955, 1971 and 1972 deed restrictions, the property can only be used for scouting purposes, Nickerson said. But he also ruled – without any evidentiary hearings – that ownership of the property was to remain in a trust controlled by the off-island council, which didn’t sit very well with the island-based Camp Richard Campers Association, which has been running the camp for decades, the Nantucket Civic League and the Nantucket Land Council, which joined in the fight to save the camp. They (Camp Richard Campers Association, the Nantucket Civic League and the Nantucket Land Council) eventually appealed Nickerson’s ruling, which was heard earlier this month by a three-judge panel in Boston. http://www.ack.net/news/20171229/camp-richard-appeal-heard Jan 25, 2018: The island organization (Camp Richard Campers Association) that has run the Camp Richard Boy Scout camp for decades believes it should be the legal owner of the 100-acre property between Lovers Lane and Fairgrounds Road. It will now have another chance to make that point, after the state appeals court last week overturned a ruling granting ownership to an off-island scouting group, the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The debate stems from an agreement two years ago by the Cape & Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America to sell a portion of the property to Hingham-based Atlantic Development for $5 million, and local efforts – backed by the Nantucket Civic League (former owner of the property) and the Nantucket Land Council – to bar the sale. http://www.ack.net/news/20180125/nantucket-scouts-win-one-in-camp-richard-case