Jump to content


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/02/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I have no problem with vintage headwear. Our troop has adopted the garrison hat. It took no arm-twisting from me - the boys proudly wear it because it sets them apart. Everyone at camp recognizes immediately who we are.
  2. 2 points
    If your unit has been keeping him on the rolls for 3 years, then I would say yes. A scout unit doesn't have to keep registering an inactive scout any more that a sports team has to keep an inactive player on the team roster. If a scout isn't active, the unit can drop him. There is no rule against a unit dropping an inactive scout. But if a unit chooses to keep an inactive scout registered with the unit, I think they need to treat him like an active scout. It would be unfair to treat a currently registered scout any other way.
  3. 2 points
    People sure like to dump on the 1970's era Scouting - they love to call it disastrous too, and like to blame it for so many of Scouting ills. Then to prove the point, they quote Wikipedia which certainly is an unbiased and 100% accurate source of information Many of us who went through the 1970's program tend to remember things differently. In fact, you can find threads on this very board that discusses Skill Awards and most of those commenting are pretty positive about them. Some people like to claim that there was a de-emphasis on the outdoor program but that wasn't the case at all. The 1970's program as never about eliminating the outdoors emphasis for Troops that wanted to emphasize the outdoors, it was about broadening the appeal to include people for whom the outdoors might as well have been outer space. If you had an outdoor emphasis in your Troop in 1970, you probably still had an outdoor emphasis in your Troop in 1975. And the rank/awards/scouting program still supported it. What it was also trying to support were units in big cities where access to the outdoors was very limited - the program was designed so that big city scouts could be successful too. You should also note that rank requirements actually got tougher during the 1970's. Sure, some Eagle-required Merit Badges were dropped, and some became optional in a choose one of two or one of three manner - but you had to earn 3 more Merit badges. You had to earn Merit Badges for T/SC/FC - never had to do that before. And that much-maligned "Personal Growth Agreement" conference? We call it a Scoutmaster's Conference today - and it's watered down today too. Part of the Personal Growth Agreement conference was coming up with goals to work on for the next rank. Scoutmaster's held you to them too. I think that should be brought back. What I truly take exception to though is this notion that somehow the great and revered William "Green Bar Bill" Harcourt somehow reversed the "disastrous" membership declines by re-writing the Scout Handbook to emphasize a more "traditional" Scouting program. The numbers just don't bear this out. Folks who make this claim point to the increase in membership numbers after 1980. What they don't point out, and giving the benefit of the doubt, it may be because they don't know the breakouts among the different programs within Scouting, is that the bulk of the membership increases in the first part of the 1980's was in the Exploring program and in the second part of the 1980's was in the Cub Scout program. Green Bar Bill rewrote the Boy Scout Handbook. He wasn't really involved much in Exploring and Cub Scouting. So how well did the re-write of the Boy Scout Handbook, which is used by Boy Scouts in Troops, affect the membership numbers? Not much at all. In 1970, there were 1.916M Boy Scouts (just Boy Scouts - in Troops - not adult leaders, not Cub Scouts, not Explorers - just Boy Scouts). In 1975, there were 1.503M Boy Scouts. in 1980, there were 1.064M Boy Scouts. Then came Green Bar Bill's famous Boy Scout saving handbook. in 1981, Boy Scout numbers increased to 1.101M. That's a gain of about 37K Scouts. in 1982, up to 1.126M. That's another 25K Scouts. In 1983? Uh oh - down to 1.116M Scouts - a loss of 10K Scouts. It went down again in 1984. In 1985, Boy Scout numbers had dropped down to 1.063M Scouts. 1990? 1.011M Scouts. 1995? .981M Scouts. Green Bar Bill's new Boy Scout Handbook, if that is what is to be credited for the numbers going up again, resulted in a net gain of about 62K Scouts - all of whom were lost, by 1985. So much for the turn-around effect of Green Bar Bills revamping of the Boy Scout Handbook. And about those Cub Scout numbers? In 1980, there were 1.696M Cub Scouts. In 1985, down to 1.499M Cub Scouts. in 1990, Up to 1.821M Cub Scouts -isn't that great! But 1991 - a real disaster struck Cub Scout numbers plunged by 859K Cubs to .962M Cub Scouts. In the "disastrous" 1970's, you can just about track the year-by-year birth rate decline of the 1960's (most Scouts in the 1970's were born in the 1960's). But there is no birth rate decline to help explain the 1991 loss of membership.
  4. 1 point
    I didn't know that. I thought under-the-collar was just a personal style preference on my part. I think most of the rest of my troop is in violation though. (Actually up until a few years ago it was never an issue for me. For most of my youth as a Boy Scout, my shirt had no collar, and when I became an adult leader (with a collared shirt) I always opted for a bolo tie, since I absolutely hate wearing a neckerchief. However, a few years ago my troop adopted a new custom neckerchief designed by the boys, and I got one and started wearing it in the interests of, um, uniformity. So to speak. It's an acceptable color and a good design, so I hate it a little less than usual.)
  5. 1 point
    The only reason I returned to Woodbadge after the first session was because it was required in order to be SM for the Jamboree contingent.
  6. 1 point
    Are you guys trying to tell me that you have never taken a college course, attended a professional seminar, or done boy scout leadership training/YPT just to fulfill a requirement? I've done lots of that stuff. I have wasted thousands of hours of my time and spent many thousands of dollars of my money on things that meant nothing to me. As a matter of fact, I have another one coming up this summer. Paper chasing is a normal part of college and professional life. It is an absolute requirement for being a scouter. We all do it. I would be a hypocrite if I criticized a boy for paper chasing. That said, I do think it is kinda sad that young people are being coached to become so jaded and cynical at such an early age. I would rather that scouting be a time of childhood innocence and fun. The adult stuff should come later.
  7. 1 point
    off topic, but to a new SM...when I read this book a couple years back, I thought it should be required reading for all new SM's it's a work of fiction, and a quick read..... but thought provoking I think https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24872995-so-far-so-good Another really good one, in a different way was https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2711721-rocks-in-my-backpack?from_search=true
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    I'm late to this, but wanted to add the flavor that for the most part, these are not awards, but advancements earned. These could be presented by anyone - the Cubmaster or Den Leader does it so that out feels more special. The BSA structure encourages this. From the BSA's Pack Committee description: "Every pack is under the supervision of a pack committee,...". "The pack committee chair leads the pack committee and thus is responsible for the administration, oversight, and support of the pack program." It may not be appreciated - and indeed is something a CC needs to do infrequently, but if he/she thinks a Cubmaster is going in the wrong direction it's his/her job to say so.
  10. 1 point
    Home repairs MB ... not a bad thing for boys to learn. It's also a lesson in "The more you own, the more it owns you!"
  11. 1 point
    We have about one of these per year. They were active 5th - 8th, attained Life rank, were active for those 6 months, then High School comes along. They come back in during 11th grade and try to wrap it up. It may be the minimum, but that is all that is required. I really like the Eagles and older scouts that are active for the full time available, but then I like many things I cannot always have
  12. 1 point
    I wear the white NESA neckerchief at all Eagle Courts of Honor. Kind of like a brotherhood thing. Hopefully it inspires younger scouts.
  13. 1 point
    So you responded "You go girl!" and walked away laughing maniacally?
  14. 1 point
    I believe the 300 foot gap was Baden-Powell's advice. I don't know how, but I would discourage any scout from regularly sleeping in their parent's tent UNLESS there is some disability (mental or physical) involved. The Scout isn't growing much if that's the case. The umbilical cord needs to be cut sometime. About the only time that happened in our troop is 1) backpacking and 2) if the scout and parent showed up late, after the troop had already set up tents, but it was never allowed as a regular practice. I never slept in a tent with my sons after Cub Scouts. It's hard for a scout to have a buddy in another tent, and I don't believe in a mixed adult/scout buddy system.
  15. 1 point
    How does he plan to add them when troops have to be separate?
  16. 1 point
    Thought I would post a few updates. We have added 12 Scouts since January (8 girls and 4 boys). One of the boys joined with his sister and another joined when the parents learned of us adding girls (that boy’s sisters will join in the fall as they have too many conflicts now). We have 1 more Girl Tiger registration in progress and a couple more possible but we are looking to stop new registrations soon and restart in the fall. Note we did decide to have the Girl Tiger den meeting during the same time/place as the boys. We have separate leaders so they can be segregated. We will monitor to see how this goes vs our other girl only den meeting. By making this change a couple of fraternal twin girls (who were already attending the Boy Tiger den meeting) can join. During our recent B&G all of the girls attended. We do FOS during B&G and our girls den picture was in the council FOS pitch. The Scoutmaster for the Troop we feed was also there (talking about Klondike awards) and gave an enthusiastic speech about why it is great to have girls officially in Scouts. He stated that the Troop plans to add them as soon as possible. All of the families and scouts applauded the new girls after the speech so it seemed to be a great welcome for them. So far, no boy parents have complained or expressed any concern. I’m sure there are some, but they have been silent and have kept their sons in the Pack. PBS may be working on a story regarding girls in Cub Scouts. We are in discussions about having them film a den meeting. We will see if it goes forward. I’m starting to hear negative feedback regarding keeping the girls in separate dens. This is coming from various parents and a few boy den leaders. Not too many yet, but seeing boys and girls segregated is not typical within any local organization in our community and there have been a few comments about “separate but equal”. Other than the slightly mixed Tiger den (same bat time and same bat channel but segregated) we are planning on keeping them separate for the rest of the year. The parents accepted that answer. I see this as a debate over the summer. GSUSA Troops in our school will lose members and leaders. That part is getting a bit ugly. One of the Troop leaders agreed to finish the year but informed GSUSA she was resigning from the Troop along with her daughter and a few other girls. I’ve heard from many other parents who plan to sign up girls this fall, based on rough estimates we think our Pack will be 20-30% girls. Only time will tell. Those are the major updates at this point.
  17. 1 point
    Kill things! Is that like saying knives are designed to kill things? Or the SUV that kills drivers of other cars. Go visit a shooting range and count how many things are killed. I don't know, but I feel safe in saying that 99.999 percent of the bullets shot from these guns were not intended to kill anything. And it's probably just as safe to say that 99.9999 of gun owners have never killed anything either. That includes hunters. Guns are tools for sport, just like the killer baseball bat. In fact, there is actually a number of golfers killed each years by impelling themselves with a club that somehow struck a tree. I imagine they just need better training for hitting trees with their clubs. Guns are just tools like chainsaws, power saws, drills and even the evil nail "gun". I don't know how it is now, but the tree/limb saw was the most common reported woods tools accident by scouts and scouters. I know for a fact that schools have far more injuries in the shop classes than the number of gun incidents at schools. Is the band saw designed to kill? While I'm open to practical ideas on this subject, lets keeps things in perspective. Barry
  18. 1 point
    @.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.
  19. 1 point
    Well, our 83 year old Pack just had our first girl den meeting... and I believe the Earth is still rotating. No media present but we did have some pictures taken of the girls. Most were in uniform and no skorts. Overall it was a lot calmer than a boy den meeting. We have 3 den leaders working the 3 separate age groups present. All of us we experienced in the Pack and we remarked that we need to prepare more as the girls got through the material more quickly than we planned. That could be due to smaller groups, but they were also a bit more focused. Several of the girls were talking about getting friends to join, so we will see if this grows before the fall. The skit I planned to work with them on was a failure (it dealt with fake spitting into buckets but the young ones didn’t quite pull off the fake part and and kept spitting on me). There may me some media (all optional) later in the week as we are one of a few Packs in the area doing the early adopter program. I’m greatful that our council let us run a standard den meeting without pushing for media access and the TV cameras I’ve seen in other markets. They were very hands off and simply thanked us for taking this on.
  20. 1 point
    Absolutely. Reality trumps rules ... ewww ... somehow I just don't feel right these days using the verb "trump".
  21. 1 point
    Found this video... Webelos uniforms are changing. New patches. More info on girls. https://vimeo.com/249824630 F@mily4UnitLeaders
  22. 1 point
    How ironic it will be if the largest problem that packs encounter with girls joining is membership processing via National's online software.
  23. 1 point
    Week 1 We are up to 9 girls now, 4 Lions, 1 Tiger and 4 Bears. The Troop has caused some issues with the charter renewal so we haven’t been able to sign up online yet... should be fixed by next week. We expect a few more Tigers to join as well. A couple of the parents are interested in becoming den leaders. One is a current GSUSA leader and the other an Eagle Scout and former scout leader. We have den meetings set up and several of the girls will be part of our upcoming PWD. We haven’t figured out the Be A scout flag and our DE told us not to worry about it. In our case, I definitely see a bit of pull front GSUSA. In particular the 3rd grade girls. There is a split in that Troop where some would like to do outdoor activities and others the fashion and mall stuff. The girls interested in the outdoors are now joining our Pack. I was on he fence of creating Girl dens next year but the interest shown so far makes me think we can create separate dens and have enough volunteers to cover. Several of the parents of the girls are interested in keeping it separate as well. Our current pack of Boys is 71 but is growing to 73 as new boys are coming in as well. With these new girls we will be t 82. We have not advertised at all... this is from parents discussing during drop off and pickup. Rough estimates based o word of mouth is that we could see 25-30 girls join next year. The new parents have been great so far. The fathers for the most part are the ones interested in this opportunity. Several have stated they aren’t interested in causing trouble they just want their daughters to have the same opportunity they had (or their sons had). Next up.. fixing the Troop charter and PWD with some girls.
  24. 1 point
    Thanks. I figure I would post weekly updates on progress/findings/etc.
  25. 1 point
    Week T-1 Update We now have 5 girls interested in joining our Pack. 4 are current GSUSA members and 3 have brothers in the Pack. We have not pushed recruiting at all and do not plan to so I expect our early adopter numbers to be low. So far, 2 Lions, 1 Wolf and 2 Bears. Two of the girls would bring a new family to the Pack. Their father is an Eagle Scout and former scout leader (he doesn’t have sons so he hasn’t been involved with our Pack). Next week... committee meeting, meeting with DE.