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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/24/18 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    LDS scouter here. Report this to your District Commissioner, District/Council Advancement chairs. This shouldn't be happening regardless of unit. It's unfortunate that BSA doesn't have a verification system in place for merit badges and counselors signing off for blue cards, because then parents, random adults and basically anyone else who can hold a pen can print merit badges for boys like they're monopoly money. In our unit, I produce a blue card each time the boy is wanting to work on a merit badge, and I provide them with the contact information for MB counselors using the district and council lists that I request from our district. I then say "you have to contact them, set up appointments, do the work, etc. Don't come back to me until you're done or unless you need a new counselor" (like if the one I gave them won't return calls/follow up/isn't interested in meeting). I am quite glad for the 14+ change in the church's youth programs because at that age we lose most of the young men anyway due to people not implementing the program as directed by both BSA and the Church. I flat out told the parents and scouts numerous times this past year that it is "opt-in" and that only those with a real desire to work consistently towards Eagle will get there. It's not our job as leaders to give them an award that they didn't earn because it cheapens its worth and teaches the lesson to the scout and family that they can get through life that way. It's things like this that give LDS--or any other chartered org--a bad name in scouting. It's a shame that people forget that it's the climb towards Eagle, not the award itself, that makes these boys into men.
  2. 2 points
    Still, we're going to give it a go for my daughter.
  3. 2 points
    BSA recently addressed situations like this. First of all, I assume the issue is in the "proposal" as the plan is not approved. BSA wrote Nov-Dec 2017 Advancement News an article about "Jumping The Gun". https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/advancement_news/2017_Nov-Dec.pdf A few key statements... Proposal approval is to be a "benefit" to the scout to avoid later issues. It is not meant as a legalistic hoop to jump through. Completing project without prior approval is counter to project requirements. BSA also wrote ... "However, if circumstances are compelling, the proposal or project can be approved after the fact if (1) it appears that the project was well led, (2) completed to the beneficiary's satisfaction, and (3) would probably have been approved in advance if the Scout had followed proper procedures." "When considering which of these options is appropriate in a specific case, everyone involved in the decision should keep in mind that write-ups and signatures, though important, are simply supportive. It is the project that we require. Ultimately, it is up to the Scout's board of review to determine if the project itself met the requirement. Boards of review should use common sense when reviewing the following: Did the project meet the requirements or not? Was there planning and development? Was there leadership of others? This is consistent with BSA Guide To Advancement 2017, PDF page 70. "From time to time Scouts will “jump the gun” and begin fundraising efforts—or even work on the project itself— before a proposal is approved. This is counter to the requirements and well covered in multiple documents, but still it happens. Normally then, a Scout should select a different project. If circumstances are compelling, however—indicating leniency can be extended and a lesson learned without significant detriment to fulfilling the project’s purpose—the Scout may be allowed to carry on and have his proposal or project approved after the fact." With all that said from BSA and their advancement team, it's all really just confusing. But EBORs have discretion and scouts can advance even without pre-approval of their Eagle project. So in another words, talk to the district advancement team. Let them know what's going on. Let them know about BSA's clarification. See what can be done. Support the scout as appropriate to the situation.
  4. 1 point
    Saw this on another scouting list: The 2017 link is in the quote. The 2016 document I could find is linked at https://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/key-topics/report-to-the-nation/
  5. 1 point
    They always to seem to find something ... Hang out and give sage advice to younger scouts. Talk with adults around campfire after taps about how to solve the problems of the world. Master a specialty like BSA Guard, Medicine, Shooting Sports, Climbing, Snorkeling, ... Ask the camp director for a service project. Retake a favorite merit badge, helping out the counselor in the process. Walk around the lake (it's a 5 mile hike) with some younger scouts trying to master land navigation. Walk around the lake and chat up the girls running the trading post at cub camp. (I later conveyed my troops apologies for that one.) Build a giant hamster wheel out of lashings and sticks for a scoutcraft competition. Convert a tarp named Bruce to a coracle named Kaitlin for an anything-that-floats competition. Use up my bailer twine to rig a lakeside bivouac in the trees. (Think basket weaving, but beds instead of seats.)
  6. 1 point
    Or, if you're okay with using computers, just go back to packmaster until scoutbook is in better shape. They have good software. Tell the cubmaster you've got it, as she has more important things to do than deal with computers. Scoutbook has become a third rail item at roundtable.
  7. 1 point
    I worked with statistics through most of my professional life, and looking at the numbers given my main impression is that they are not very useful for any kind of analysis. The numbers are too general for any valid comparisons to be made with previous years. The numbers for each group needs to be broken down to show more specific details. Once again examples have already been brought up by other forum members: Cubs: What percentage of the total numbers is composed of the new "Lion" program. Scouts: How much of the 12K increase was do to LDS Venturing Crews reverting to Scout troops. Venturing: How much of the decline was caused by LDS crews leaving the program, and will be a one time loss. From a strictly financial standpoint the question arises, how much membership is required to support the BSA's current infrastructure and fixed costs. In future reports, it would be interesting to see what the number of girls who join the various programs will be. The current report seems to me to be more for PR than for analysis and management. Thank you PS Being a "Numbers Geek" is not easy.
  8. 1 point
    Camp Meriwether in Oregon has already published their plan for the 2019 camping season. See https://www.cpcbsa.org/meriwether Out of 8 weeks, only two will be set aside as "Boys Only". It seems to me they have it backwards - perhaps only two weeks should be open to girls. The tail is wagging the dog.
  9. 1 point
    If anything, that would (or should) be incorporated with the existing Skating Merit Badge. Just add a 4th option to the existing list of three (ice, roller, in-line).
  10. 1 point
    I have been hearing about this program more often from parents. Is the government promoting its own youth program? It has more participants than Trail Life or Scouts Canada. The Congressional Award is the United States Congress’ award for young Americans. It is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. The program is open to all youth regardless of ability, circumstance, or socioeconomic status. Participants earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold Certificates and Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals. Each level involves setting goals in four program areas; Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Earning the Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you’d like to try for the first time. You move at your own pace, on your own or with your friends. This is not an award for past accomplishments. Instead, you are honored for achieving your own challenging goals. Regardless of your situation, you can earn The Congressional Award. The Congressional Award has no minimum grade point average requirements. It accommodates young people with special needs or disabilities who are willing to take the challenge. http://congressionalaward.org/about/
  11. 1 point
    I think venturing is the canary in the coal mine for boy scouts. Venturing has it much tougher than scouts. The 14 age limit is hard because kids have a harder time making friends after that age, most girls that join don't have outdoor experience, and worst of all, that's the age where kids start pulling away from their parents. The result is parents are less involved and nobody is around to pass it on to. SMs pass a troop onto the next SM. I never see a crew advisor pass things on to another. It's also hard to recruit because the age is past where a group of kids will easily join. The result is that crews fail, just like girl scout troops, after the adult that started it is done. This is because the adult is typically the real leader. They aren't the advisor. This would all not be an issue if the kids that joined venturing had good leadership skills and they could sustain it. Or maybe even if venturing had a good method of teaching leadership it could work. Let's just assume the BSA really worked on that and got it going. It would also do a ton of good for the boy scout program. The problem is the boy scout program can run with adult leadership. It may not be great but it is sustainable. Last week I was visiting another troop and they also have a crew. I watched that meeting and it is exactly what I described. The adult was running everything. There was zero indication of youth leadership. There was only one adult. It will collapse. My daughter wanted to join a crew years ago, the adults wouldn't let her lead, she walked. After years of the same couple of adults leading they finally folded.
  12. 1 point
    ::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
  13. 1 point
    This is LDS. Their program differs slightly due to their CO placing additional restrictions/ rules. Example of the all the 11 year olds in their separate patrol with a TG and 11 year old ASM (unique POR for LDS units) citef above, and how they get to First Class in a year led to the NSP program back in 1989. Sadly these issues appear to be ingrained in some, not all, LDS units. Talking to several experienced, long time LDS Scouts, part of the challenge is that being a Scouter is a "calling" and you are appointed to the position, whether you want it or not. I've seen major issues in those LDS units with Scouters who are called and do not want to be there really. On the other hand, you got LDS units with experienced Scouters who are not only called, but are willing to do the job. Those units tend to do a heck of a lot better. The other challenge according to one LDS Scouter is that " the further away from Salt Lake City a troop is, the more likely the differences in program."
  14. 1 point
    Here's the rub with LDS units pushing their 14 year olds to Eagle: Most LDS units that manage their Scout-to-First Class boys have ZERO clue on how to manage Star-to-Eagle. Why? Because S-to-FC is one distinct LDS unit type with leaders trained in managing that segment. The Star-to-Eagle guys are managed by a different set of leaders who know the whole Eagle process. Unless the LDS units send those leaders experienced in navigating the road to Eagle, those leaders who don't have the experience will make things up as they go along. We have gotten a few transfers from LDS units over recent years. Once they spent time with our unit, each kid said their old units literally just signed off on stuff. Maybe my unit was just lucky enough to get those few LDS Scouts who were not well trained or managed. Or, just maybe, it is a larger issue. I suspect the latter given my interactions with other unit leaders over the years.
  15. 0 points
    Wow... Venturing is dieing. Down over 50% in last 4 years and now under 100k. With some of those girls moving on to BS4G I don’t see it lasting much longer without some sort of revamp. I hope these numbers fully reflect LDS exit.