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

  1. 3 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.
  2. 2 points
    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone outside of scouting would think this but a cub leader.. that is just sad. I would think everyone would want their kids to learn gun safety and proper operation in combination with the Scout Oath and Law.
  3. 2 points
    Not sure if mom or dad who doesn't have the camping experience. I have had a near equal measure of both. As to the 49% figure, one of the things in my area that impacts this rate are "select" or competitive sports. Right at 11 (or 6th grade), soccer and baseball select sports kick in. Practices are several times a week with a game at least once a week, usually on weekends. Since every parent thinks their kid is the next Messi or A-Rod, those on the fence about Scouting tend to lean toward sports...further pushed that direction by dad or mom (dad usually). The next decision point is high school (age 14) because they want to make JV or Varsity. The non-sporting kids -- the ones Scouting used to be able to get with little effort -- are in to choir, band or orchestra or some other school team. These groups used to have one busy season, but now it is all the time, all year. So now even the geeky kids are stepping away from Scouting. I don't think there's an easy culprit to pin the 49% number on.
  4. 2 points
    Unless you're next to a screaming toddler on a Lufthansa flight. THEN it is all about the destination and not the journey! https://metro.co.uk/video/video-demonic-child-screams-eight-hour-flight-1628342/?ito=vjs-link
  5. 2 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.
  6. 1 point
    Everybody knows that the official socks are the plushiest, most delightful socks in the world, and that it's the ONE part of the uniform that's worth every penny of the cost. And this from a Californian who prefers to wear sandals whenever humanly possible!
  7. 1 point
    Our pack has simplified the PWD as much as humanly possible, and it has turned out GREAT for us. Here are some of the changes we made that have made things easier AND much more fun: 1. We don't have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd - instead, every boy received a participation medal, but then there are extra medals that encourage effort and success of all kinds. Our categories are Fastest Car, Slowest Car (what we call the "Marathon Winner"), Most Creative Car, Scout's Choice Award (the boys all vote on this one), and two other awards that change from year to year. This way, some cars are given prizes based on performance, others by specially chosen judges for effort put into them, and of course a car that the boys themselves get to choose as their favorite. Everybody gets a prize, but there is still the incentive to work hard for whichever award catches a boy's interest. 2. We have totally eliminated all electronics from our PWD. We simply bring in three "Celebrity Judges" (usually from our CO leadership, which is nice to get them involved), and their final choice for each round is considered ABSOLUTELY FINAL. We make this expressly clear beforehand. And after each race they have only 60 seconds to decide who won that round (I have a Den Chief with a timer sitting right by them). This way we don't waste time deliberating over the winner, and we move through each round very quickly. 3. Our track has 4 lanes, so for each round of 4 cars, we have them race 4 times. We know that sometimes the speed of the car depends on which lane it runs on, so by running each set of 4 cars 4 times, switching lanes each time, we get the best idea which car from that set is the fastest. We go through the whole Pack by simply starting them all off in brackets of 4, and then racing the fastest cars from each group in sets of 4 in a simple process of elimination that eventually brings us to the final 4, out of which the Fastest Car is declared. We ALSO take the slowest cars from each set, and race them in rounds to determine who is our slowest, "Marathon Winner" (the only stipulation for these is that it has to make it all the way to the finish line to count - many of our boys consider this category even more desirable than the Fastest Car!). 4. Before the races even begin, we have a short talk about sportsmanship - with the parents! I like to talk about all the worst parents I have seen at these events, exaggerating their antics and then, of course, letting them know that naturally I know THEY would NEVER act so childishly, and that SURELY our parents will be good sports and not contest the decisions made, since of course that would be RIDICULOUS and a TERRIBLE example to our judges (sure it's passive-aggressive, but they get the point). Hopefully some of these ideas will help make your next PWD a better event for you. Until then take advantage of the lessons your Scout can learn from this kind of an experience, and don't let it get you down!
  8. 1 point
    I think those skorts are too short of those religions.
  9. 1 point
    Thanks for this. Having just taken over as Webelos/Arrow of Light Den Leader (we only have one AOL boy and no leader for him, and our regular den leader's son has been in and out of the hospital), things like this are good to know. I've done my YPT, but haven't looked at the den leader training yet. For this first couple weeks I've just been duplicating what my older son's den leader did with the boys, and have been focused on making sure the AOL boy can earn his rank before crossing over. My older son joined the Troop at the end of April last year. He and the other new boys were all advanced to Scout at the Court of Honor in September, and most (I think all but three) just advanced to Tenderfoot at the beginning of this month. One of those who didn't was also the only boy who didn't go to camp over the summer. As someone mentioned above, we're struggling with the physical fitness requirements right now. He's in between fall and spring sports, and has Health this quarter, rather than Phys Ed. Our Troop generally does advancements only at three Court of Honors, one fall, one winter and one spring. There are exceptions, but given that's the way it's usually done, most of our boys will rank up from Tenderfoot to Second Class at the fall COH - roughly 17 months after crossing over/joining. For those who go to camp, they might make First Class. Our Troop doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get the boys to Eagle. We have one 15 year old working on his project now, but most who reach Eagle are doing so at 17.
  10. 1 point
    Our Scoutmaster, who builds fires with the stick and string and sleeps outdoors on every single trip, claims he was never outdoorsy. I didn't know him when he was Cubmaster, but he (a Brit) says he was influenced by Bear Grylls, and he started getting really into survival stuff when he became Scoutmaster. At the same time, he keeps baking us treacle tarts in the cardboard oven, lol.
  11. 1 point
    Overnight, Tony Williams, public information officer for the Rawlinsville Volunteer Fire Company : gaining access little by little, but it is a slow process. teen is conscious and communicating with rescuers rescuers greatest concern at this time is the possibility of the teen getting hypothermia Update: Resued after 7 hours. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/video/category/news/3812709-15-year-old-boy-rescued-from-lancaster-cave/
  12. 1 point
    Yes Sir. I failed to use quotes when citing a news source. @CalicoPennsent me a nice note last night. The sun is shining brightly on the new fallen snow this morning and I have a new perspective. I generally stay out of politics and accidentally followed a feed into the forum.
  13. 1 point
    I don't have a complete answer, but I like it when families come to a cub scout family weekend hosted by Council. It is a weekend of easy, supported camping. Venturing camp staff will meet you at your group site and offer to help you if you need help setting up. Meals are all in the dining hall, but the kids run around outside all weekend and it's great. Our Pack weekend campouts are also good. It's a cabin camping weekend with dining hall food and outdoor activities planned by the den leaders, and a lot of advancement stuff related to the outdoors. Parents can come along, or if they don't come, they can have their kids in a supervised outdoor overnight activity.
  14. 1 point
    I think we all have a pretty clear idea of what "school shooting" means in this country today. So if someone says there was a "school shooting" and you come to find that a guy shot himself in a school parking lot when no children were present, or it was a gun fired in a parking lot at a college basketball game after class hours, that seems dishonest to me. I get that they disclose their parameters to define "school shooting", but it doesn't matter if their definition is contrary to what the vast majority of Americans think of when someone says "school shooting."
  15. 1 point
    Crap, I fell for it. After some searching, it seems as though there have been 6. Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control advocacy group responsible for spreading this bogus statistic, should be ashamed of its blatant dishonesty.
  16. 1 point
    You might want to change your obligatory upvote then.
  17. 1 point
    I did 6 years as a DL, and was burned out. While the first 2 groups were a joy to be with as I had parents interested in helping their kids, so they stayed around and had fun too. Youngest son's Tiger den was a challenge. No one was willing to step up and help out. The parents there stayed glued to their phones. Grandparents there either had health issues, or also stayed glued to their phone.
  18. 1 point
    We do this every year when we have new parents come in to the troop. We walk them through everything and even invite them to attend our plc meeting and the annual planning. They love to see us at work and I think it really shows them what the older scouts can do.
  19. 1 point
    Consider involving the Scouts. The Quartermaster can give a "tour" of the Troop trailer and chuck-boxes. Scouts can explain and demonstrate how the lanterns/stoves/etc work. Have different types and styles of tents, backpacks and sleeping bags on-hand. The parents will pick up on the passion and enthusiasm of the boys. Excitement is contagious!
  20. 1 point
    Our Pack is currently : AOL - male, Webelos - male, Bear - female, Wolf - male Tiger - male Lions - our female CC leads the Lions Our CC is a female that is the daughter of a Montana forest ranger, very experienced in the outdoors Our COR is a non camper mom Our Assistant CM is a male military recruiter Tiger dad, he will be CM in the 2019 school year and could have been CM this year but was concerned about deployment. I'm filling in a year while he gets more familiar with Scouting. Den leader burnout is a thing. I honestly think it is a thankless and taken for granted job, and last year I made a point to give PayDay candy bars, service star pins (and flowers to the ladies who are mostly non-uniformed) to all the den leaders, committee members and volunteers from our Pack at a Pack meeting to show some appreciation. Hopefully little boosts like that keep people going a bit. I know I wished for more appreciation when I was a DL and so did my husband. I was lucky that the parents in my den were very good but sometimes parents can be unhelpful or unappreciative and that's rough on a den leader. Behavior and absenteeism can also wear down den leaders pretty quick.
  21. 1 point
    @Urbanredneck Welcome! Try these links: http://usscouts.org/mb/proposals.asp https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2013/08/12/how-to-suggest-a-new-merit-badge/
  22. 1 point
    Violent crime is still at historic and record lows, the lowest in recorded human history. One could argue that this is a direct or indirect result of boys being outcast in society. Masculinity not being focused, tempered and honed to be production and protective of society, but instead vilified and called toxic, you're evil because you're male. It's why the BSA should have doubled down on boys and figured out how to reach the boys left out in the cold, instead they opted to forget boys and target getting girls, who are already thriving in society. It's a damn shame. "There are thousands of boys being wasted daily to our country through being left to become characterless, and, therefore, useless wasters, a misery to themselves and an eyesore and a danger to the nation. They could be saved if only the right surroundings or environment were given to them at the receptive time of their lives." - Baden Powell
  23. 1 point
    Hey, way to blame moms for BSA's numbers. 100% of my scouts crossed over, only 4 of 6 are still in scouts one year later. One left for sports, the other for disinterest. In some families the crossover seems to be about the parents -- and especially -- families and boys who choose sports over Scouting, and parents who think Boy Scouting is uncool for their children's social status.
  24. 1 point
    Overburdened?? You just have to get on the membership train, more stuff is BETTER Used to be 3 years of Cubs then one got to Scouts (waaay back in the day) Let's make it School year so they all advance at the same pace Let's go camping Let's all go camping as a family Let's add a year of Webelos so we can lower the entrance age Let's add Tigers so we can lower the entrance age again Let's add popcorn sales Let's add camp card sales Let's add Girl Dens / Boy Dens / Coed Packs Let's add kindergartners so we can lower the entrance age again Let's do Cub Scouts for 6 FUN FILLED YEARS!!!
  25. 1 point
    Probably because the more time you spend in disney world the more fun you have. No one likes to come home early from vacation so that’s why people equate the length of time spent with quality.
  26. 1 point
    Why does anyone assume that a longer journey is a higher-quality journey? In much of my Scouting experience I find that when a Scout slow-walks through the ranks, it is because he is only partially engaged in Scouting and only shows up sporadically. That half-commitment is of course reflected in the speed of his advancement, too. Where in that equation does anyone derive that he is having a higher-quality Scouting journey? I see quite the opposite, in fact.
  27. 1 point
    When I offer Den Leader Training courses for new Cub leaders in my council, that's actually a large part of what I try to convey. As a Webelos Den Leader, I think it's important to be aware of the local Boy Scout program so that I can sufficiently prepare my boys, not only for the program, but for the leaders and Troops up to which they will be advancing. My den feeds in to the Troop sponsored by our shared CO, so I always make it a point to attend their committee meetings and to know the SM and his assistants personally. That way I can give them information about the boys moving up soon, any special needs, et cetera, and I in turn can prepare my boys for the program and group they will be entering and the leaders with whom they will be working. I view the WDL as a bridging character between the world of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, so I try to be deeply invested in both programs so that I can provide the best Webelos program I can now, while making sure my boys move up to a solid Boy Scout program later. I don't have any kids of my own - I am not even married yet - so I don't know if I will ever be asked to serve as a leader in the Boy Scout Troop. But any Webelos Leader worth his salt will have Boy Scout preparation foremost in his mind as he prepares his activities and works with the boys under his care. This is the last year they get to enjoy to Cub program, so it should be geared towards the transition they are going to face when they move on to the boy-led programs coming up. My personal barometer of success as a Webelos Leader is this - any boy who fails to earn the rank of Scout within his first month in the Boy Scout program isn't entirely to blame. That responsibility lies with me - if I really do my job, they should have it done within the first week or two. When I first started, there were one or two boys who took a long while before making it to Scout. I took that to heart and made the necessary changes to my program and my leadership style. Since then (fingers crossed) none of my boys have taken longer than three weeks to get it done.
  28. 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.
  29. 1 point
    We see scouts get first class anywhere from 1.25 years to 3 years. Depends on the boy, some of them look at the book at are very focused on advancing, others couldn't care. Some of the slower ones we have discussions with them to see if they understand how advancement works.
  30. 1 point
    I have a hard time believing that 100% of the girls in that pack just happened to choose the exact same uniform configuration. I can't even get all of the kids in my Den to consistently wear a neckerchief slide as opposed to just tying the thing in a knot. And miraculously somehow this girls den/pack pulled that one off, too. A statistical impossibility if you ask me.
  31. 1 point
    I wouldn't have an issue with unique items for girls in the long-term. My issue with it is that this seems entirely counter to what we heard throughout the years of the effort to get girls into Cub Scouts, including from people like me. I believed what I was told and heard, that girls just wanted the chance to be in the BSA, as-is. We were told that the program didn't need to change, that girls could do exactly what the boys were doing, they could sign up and put on the same uniform and go out and be scouts just like the boys. We went out and pushed that message, and I believe it still. And then the first thing we see when the girls are finally allowed in is a girl-specific uniform. It's not that the skirt is bad at all, just that the timing of it is unfortunate. It makes it really hard for supporters of girls in the BSA to defend our stance that nothing major would have to change to allow girls into the program. Even though a skirt doesn't chaneg the program, it's just fuel on the fire for those who oppose the change to say, "Look! Skirts! Things are changing! We told you so!"
  32. 1 point
    Play the video below for the parents. Someone will be touched by it and want more of the outdoors. Philmont- A love Letter
  33. 1 point
    Our Scoutmaster always has hot coffee ready for the adults at the time of the wake-up call. That always makes me more willing to go camping. As mentioned by others, at our last Court of Honor, there was a slide show of some of the camping trips the boys had been on, and it really did have parents saying how fun it looked.
  34. 1 point
    The last thing you want is a Boy Scout parent who has never camped at least once because they will have a lot of misconceptions, fear, and embarrassment of an area they know little. It often influences the boy. I think this is where some Cub Scout packs make a mistake by doing almost no Family camping at all. As a slightly older parent of my peers I found a whole generation of parents who had never really camped at all and were quite skittish about it. We did a lot of 'introductory' cub and parent games (set up a tent, sleeping bag packing competitions, candy fire instruction, packing list skits) that were aimed at the parents as much as the kids. Tried to get the fear factor down. I also organized the older Webelos and some Boy Scouts to be on the look out for families that might need help setting up. Since I had never camped until my Tiger Cubs made me do it (I am naturally a bit of a bookworm) I was introduced to outdoor adventure late (fortunately some scouters took me under their wing) so I tried to translate between the two worlds. (That is why I always end up being the new parent instructor in the Troop.) I think @Cambridgeskip's pictures are brilliant. Not only do they convey that the kids are having fun but that the parents feel more involved. I knew a troop where a dad was a professional photographer...not much of a camper...but his big contribution was taking a lot of candid action shots from a distance. They are some of my favorites of my son. I have tried to recruit a parent to do that at campouts but a big fail is they never upload the photos in a timely manner. Likewise I wish I could make this a primary role of the Troop historian...seems a natural fit doesn't it? On Scout Sundays our Troop used to set up a 'sample campsite' complete with lashed bamboo gateway and 1920's canvas tent with a fire and dutch oven troop at our Sponsoring church. Naturally the older parishioners loved it which went a long way in smoothing over the latest damage we had inflicted in the church BUT an unseen benefit was some of our scout parents saw it and really started digging the outdoor method. Sometimes it was enough to 'satisfy' the more potentially disruptive over-protective parents from coming out to inspect a trip and got some of the younger new scouts excited about camping. It was a win-win. I think that after a while the younger parents have an appreciation for exposing their boys to the 'big trips' (Appalachian Trail week long section hikes, Seabase, Philmont) when they see those pictures but the monthly campouts are a tougher sell. Sometimes we have turned a parent around by trying to link campout skills to things a boy can do it at home....a boy that suddenly starts cooking at home, using a knot to solve a problem, or knows how to pack for an over nighter and says he learned it in scouts can spark that outdoor program enthusiasm. I guess when in doubt throw in that "unplug the electronics and get in touch with the real world" speech. My 5 cents.
  35. 1 point
    Yes! There is no better way of promoting scouting than lots of photos of kids doing fun stuff with sniles on their faces. It won't work for all parents but show them what their childre are doing an they'll more likely want to get involved.
  36. 1 point
    What has worked best for me (both as a Scoutmaster and an LNT Advocate) is speaking to the benefits of getting a scout involved in the outdoors and contrasting it will some of the problems we are currently facing with youth being disconnected from nature. Letting them know that a huge part of Scouting is being in the outdoors and that we are counting on them to help reinforce it at home, whether or not they participate. There are a ton of great resources online to help with the argument. Here is a search link and an article I like about it: https://www.google.com/search?q=reasons+to+get+kids+outdoors&oq=reasons+to+get+kids+outdoors https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-21017/7-sciencebacked-reasons-to-get-your-kids-outside.html Richard Louv tags the current lack of kids as Nature Deficit Disorder. While I am not a fan of everything getting tagged as a "syndrome" or "disorder," his book Last Child in the Woods is a really good read. Having said all that, sometimes hard to get parents to sit still. Having a new parent session to go over how to save them $$$ on camping gear and what to buy is a good opportunity to share the "why" with them and not just the "how."
  37. 1 point
    Yes, I think they would prefer the term "retreat" over "training". IMO, it should be "Fun with a Purpose" , i.e., they see the value at conclusion. Something was built - a tower, a meal, summit hike, friendships,... some anxieties reduced - bugs, bathrooms, ... My $0.02,