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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/06/18 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Boy did I ever derail this thread. Back on topic, my daughter earned her Bobcat last night.
  2. 2 points
    To this date (in my pack) those precut cars underperform at our derbies.
  3. 1 point
    I have to applaud his openness and honesty. On the other hand, I'm not at all sure that TG of a NSP is the best POR for him. My concern is that he will continue to be open and honest (with the new scouts) about his motivation for taking the position. If I were the parent of a new scout, I don't think I would be thrilled about having him mentoring my son.
  4. 1 point
    There is a PWD formula somewhere on the internet the builds a program schedule so that each car gets to race a minimum of something like seven times. The objective of the derby is for the scouts to see their car run the track. They get to see their car race some many times that most scouts get bored. The formula tells the operators which car goes on which track. It doesn't eliminate cars, it adds up points. After the minimum number of races have been run, points are added up to find the winner. The final race is a race off with the winners of each age group. We had a large pack of 100 scouts, so we raced with two tracks to get the event done in under an hour. We would allow broken cars to get a pit fix, but that doesn't happen very often because the cars are turned in the night before and inspected for the reason that some boys bring cars that aren't quite up to competitive spec. We add a little weight to some car or balance the wheels on others. The goal is to get each car to finish all the races. It's was a big family event for our pack each year with refreshments. Barry
  5. 1 point
    Maybe. I acknowledge that scouters today seem to be working with a different kind of parent generation than the parents I was working with just 15 years ago. One of the BIG differences between volunteering in a Cub Pack and a Troop use to be that scouters had to work with parents more closely in the pack because they were more hands on with their sons. I don't think that difference is as broad today as it was just 15 years ago. Troop leaders have to be better today because they have to work one on one more with the parents than past generations of scouts. I have a psychologist friend and we've had a lot of human behavior discussions over the years. Recently he said I was one of the best human behavior experts he ever knew. That was a surprise to him because I'm an engineer. I told him that nothing teaches the fundamentals of human behavior better than working with parents. My high school teacher son recently said the same thing. Barry
  6. 1 point
    With all due respect, I know of families where the father is non-existent or uninvolved. While I personally do not like the precuts, I can understand why some families will go that route. It was happening so much, that my pack decided to have one meeting dedicated to having folks work on PWD cars. Folks bring any and all their tools and help the Scouts out. That has seen a drastic reduction in the precuts. Forgot to add, I was one of those Cubs with an uninvolved dad. I had no access to any tools except a pocket knife my uncle gave me. I whittled that PWD. it took me forever to whittle, looked horrible compared to others, and wouldn't even make it across the finish line because of weights (quarters and nickles) dragging on the track. I would have loved a precut if they had them back in the day. I ams so glad sons' pack have the workshop to help those Cubs like me back in the day.
  7. 1 point
    What do you call the Law School graduate with the lowest GPA? Your Honor.
  8. 1 point
    I can understand the frustration some feel when they witness a boy completing the requirements "at the bare minimum" or "with minimal effort". I think for most it comes from the desire to want the best for the boy. Some see the a boy who completes the reqs with minimal effort as cheating himself out of what he could achieve. We are scouters because we believe in the boys and their potential, so I can understand the frustration. The boy's pride in their own achievements is typically proportional to their efforts. That said, I think all we can do is model, encourage, and mentor. The cub scouts are "to do their best" and that is the requirement. The boy scout has a minimum metric to achieve but we should still be encouragong them to do their best. Not because it is necessary for sifn-offs, but because they will feel more proud of their accomplishments. Cubs leaders can help with this by not just signing off on the best-try, but also making sure it was their best, and focusing the boy to reflect on their pride of success based on their effort.
  9. 1 point
    I do believe quality is important, but it is also a slippery slope. How is it defined? Who defines it? Is it different for each Scout? I think it better to define the requirements in measurable terms. For example, "active in the troop" means X% meetings, y% of campouts, z% of service projects. To be credited with completing PoR X, the Scout is expected to do the following; A, B, C. In your example, I have no problem defining a proper painting job to include those elements IF they are needed. In fact, the Paining MB does a good job of making those part of the requirements and leaving some room for judgment. As for quality, I will go back to the Oath and Law. Did the Scout do his best? As a Scout, there were MB's I excelled at. If my work had been held as the standard of quality, it would have been unfair to others. There were MB's I struggled with. Had the quality of my work be judged on the standard of some of my peers I would not have received those MB's. Each Scout is different. The “quality” of their work will differ. Requirements should be standard and defined. They should mean something and not be arbitrary. Case in point. A real-life situation I have witnessed first-hand. Pioneering MB, two different ASM's as counselors. One was hung up on the "quality" of the fraps (among other things). The fraps had to lay just so or he would not let the Scout move on. Other than esthetics, his quality requirement added nothing to the lashing, no more strength, no better hold, it lasted no longer. The second ASM focused on the "quality" of the lashing. Did it hold? Did it last? Was it strong? The quality of the aesthetics was not a barrier for the Scout to fulfil the requirement. Most of the Scouts under the first ASM didn't finish the MB, at least not with him. They didn't have fun because they rarely were able to get past just doing lashings on two poles, they rarely built anything. With the second ASM, most Scouts finished the MB, most continued to build projects after they completed the MB. The quality of their lashings continued to improve, and they taught other Scouts. The first ASM truly believed he was teaching the MB the right way and that aesthetic quality of the frap counted. But it turned into a barrier for the Scouts to complete the work. Quality is important, but it is an arbitrary value that is in the eyes of the beholder. Requirements are far less arbitrary and give the Scout a defined goal to work towards.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 1 point
    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.
  13. 1 point
    This scenario used to bother me a lot. After a decade as SM I've come to see it differently. I've now seen several years worth of scouts I've known since they were Cubs move their way through the program;. Some of them stay enthusiastic the whole way, for some of them the enthusiasm waxes and wanes. I've had kids lose interest and then come back in exactly the scenario you describe, parental push plus some belief (frankly mistaken) that it will have some effect on their college app. Some others come back because they decided that being an Eagle Scout was something they wanted to accomplish and it meant more to them now than it did when they were 15. I also just attended the funeral of one of my Eagle scouts who's path fit a scenario somewhat in between. What I've learned is that the important thing is how strong your program is so that the time they spend in the troop has a positive effect on them. As to when they make Eagle, the trail is theirs to walk not mine; they have from whenever they start until their 18th birthday to walk it. They can sprint (I made Eagle when I was 13) or they can meander. It's not uncommon for a scout to make Life and maybe even put in the next six months in a POR by the time they hit 15. The big hurdle is always the project plus bearing down on the last few merit badges. If a scout puts their head down and keeps right on and makes Eagle when he's about 16 but then fades away, not abruptly but just getting caught up with junior and senior year, no one really thinks less of him. What's the difference between that and having that fade away come first and then return for the big push as 18 approaches. Nothing in the requirements says you have to work continuously towards Eagle. The requirements are the requirements, and it's not that hard to maintain their integrity. The linchpin for that is the POR, they have to hold it for 6 months while they're LIfe. The first six months, the last six months, or some combination of first and last. Make sure you have defined (reasonable and consistent) requirements for both what you expect and the attendance they have to have and you can always feel good that the scout did what needed to be done. There are as many trails to Eagle as there are Eagle scouts. If you have a good program, month in month out, year in year out, you'll be more proud of some of them than others, but you'll never feel bad about any of them.
  14. 1 point
    Creating new requirements has never been part of my thought process - obviously, that is out of line. And, yes - meeting the minimum requirements necessitates a "pass". These points are self-evident. I'm actually not seeking a way to "fail" this Scout - that is not why I started this thread. I'd much rather inspire him to go beyond minimal efforts so that the result has more than minimal significance. Perhaps I'll phrase it to him using those words.
  15. 1 point
    Freds right, if the scout has done what is required of him, anything else is adding requirements. Now I'm not preaching about the goods and evils of adding requirements, I personally think there are times and places for everything when it comes to growth. But, I have observed and experienced similar situations like this one and if push comes to shove all the way up the ladder to National, the scout wins every time. Actually this situation is very common with new scoutmasters because they tend to get emotionally tied up in old business trying to set their new standards on the troop program. And what makes it worse is the other adults have and opinion as well, which just adds complexity and confusion for the new SM. In reality this young man is not your scout because you weren't his mentor. I used to teach Scoutmasters that most problems like this scout don't just suddenly happen. The scout was allowed by his mentors to developed habits that has put him where he sits today. To some degree, I feel for scouts who have go through several scoutmasters because each scoutmaster his a different set of standards and expectations. In my mind, this scout should have had a few conferences before now. You are the new counscience of the program and you can work with scouts more actively as they grow and mature in the program to prevent this kinds of situations. But is it really fair to hold this scout to your new more rigid expectations now? Learn from this experience to better prepare you for the next, because there will be a next. And by the way, leave what you think about dad out of the equation. Yes, he might very well be the scout's main motivation. But adding that detail to your mix only makes you more frustrated and doesn't change the outcome at all. It's just a note in how to work with families of your future scouts. Barry
  16. 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
  17. 1 point
    If he did the work, yes. The requirements for Eagle are really not that huge. A gung-ho kid can knock them out if desired fairly quick. The key is we mentor youth through our interactions and guidance. But as for rank, that is a standard defined by BSA that is fairly clear. If the scout has done the project as approved in the proposal, it gets signed. If he has the other rank items complete, then can has earned a right to complete his Eagle rank. It might be worth a good discussion on what happened. Beyond that, it's his advancement, not ours.
  18. 1 point
    Yes. As much as anyone else. You might not like his path, but yes he is and he has every right to use the rank name.
  19. 1 point
    This is quite good. I believe God's reflections of anger in the whole First Testament are examples of using anger specifically for teaching. However, I also found that disappointment was my best tool for showing a scout how I felt about his performance. Maybe because body language is honest and sincere, but I rarely had to add words for impact. It worked well in our troop because we discouraged yelling (raised voices) as a form of motivating action. I'm not sure if this style of reflecting to scouts requires practice and maturity, but I had to grow into it. Again well said. We each have a different style for influencing scouts. Consistency is very powerful because the scouts will quickly learn your leadership style and count on it. MattR says to let everyone know before hand, but I found that when leadership actions are consistent, reputation and integrity will eventually lead the way. Words rarely trump consistent actions. For outsiders looking in, the leadership and role modeling style of the dominant leader (usually the SM) will become the obvious character of the whole troop. So put humility on the top of your list of practicing traits, because nobody gets it right the first time. Barry
  20. 1 point
    Yes - consistency is on my mind. I remind myself that I can't/shouldn't set a special hurdle for him that I do not impose on everyone else in the troop. I know this boy has had some past struggles in his personal life. His dad views Eagle as a way to lift the kid's self-esteem and instill a sense of accomplishment. However, if the boy is not doing quality work, his court of honor will be more of a shrug than a high-five.
  21. 1 point
    Yep - I’m trying, but it’s a struggle in this situation. He deserves a positive - not pessimistic - response from his Scoutmaster.
  22. 1 point
    The Scout (and his father) have requested a meeting to discuss his POR requirement. We could definitely use a Troop Guide for our New Scout Patrol. I’d be satisfied if he showed up to help at their weekly meetings once a month. And teach them specific skills (not just be a warm body in the room). We’ll see how he responds to that idea.
  23. 1 point
    This is a google maps screencapture of my old scout hut. It was there many years before I was there, and it's still there. No idea when it was built but I'm guessing the 50's. It looks boarded up now but in the 70's and 80's I had such a great time there. I wonder if my picture is still hanging on the wall in there.
  24. 1 point
    My daughter will be attending her first Cub Scout meeting in a few weeks. She is currently a Girl Scout and plans to remain active in both. She is so geeked to be a Cub Scout that she has been using her tablet (we don't have any of the books yet) to research Bobcat requirements and she has asked her older Boy Scout brother to help her study so that she can earn her Bobcat at her first meeting. On an unrelated tangent, my son built his improvised natural shelter over the weekend for his Wilderness Survival Merit Badge. He plans to sleep in it next weekend. <-Proud papa.
  25. 1 point
    I've been lurking for a little while, trying to learn a little about the differences between BSA and GSUSA culture, but I guess I'll jump in and speak up now. I have a 6th grade daughter, who after hearing the BSA plans to admit girls in 2019, and after reading an old Boy Scout handbook, tells me she wants to become a Boy Scout as soon as the program is available to girls her age. So we are thinking about crossing the Tiber. A couple of comments on the differences: BSA has camping and outdoor skills built into the rank advancement. GSUSA does not: outdoor stuff is completely optional. Combine that with "girl led" which often means "majority rule", then if the majority of girls in a troop don't want to camp, then the troop does not camp (and the majoriy of the girls in the troop are happy with that situation). But some of the minority of want-to-go-outside-and-get-muddy girls may find BSA attractive. Other families seem to be perfectly happy with the GSUSA program as is.