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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/01/18 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    The scene where the Scouts go camping by themselves and they rescue themselves is very timely for your discussion. Also when they take on the army to get their SM out of the stockade during war games shows a good level of personal initiative
  2. 2 points
    BSA's highest dropout rate is with first year Troop scouts. And from my studies, those actually are in the first six months. In other words, if the new scouts are around after six months (after summer camp) they will likely stay with the troop several years. We found the number driver one of dropouts is the sudden jump from an adult culture to a self-independence patrol method culture. The drop out rate isn't something new, I found it a problem as far back as I could find records, 1960s. The problem is boys lack of maturity for the confidence of making a lot of decisions about their environment. They are simply scared of the dark. We helped our situation by assigning a new scout ASM with the new scouts. Since new scouts aren't used to boys nearly their age taking care of the their basic needs like food, sleep, and PROTECTION, they find themselves terrified of the troop program. The ASM is an adult who eases them into the boy run culture. When the new scout wants to ask an adult a question because they don't trust the boy leaders, they ASM helps them (and their parents) by taking them to the boy leaders and letting them answer the questions. As the new scouts grow to trust the boy leaders won't let them die from bear attacks at night, the new scouts get more comfortable with the program. They start making decisions like how to pack for campouts and how to wear the uniform. Small stuff in the big picture, but big decisions for new scouts. Summer camp is important for new scouts because the week long outdoor program is where they develop the routine of boy scouting and patrol method. It's also where new scouts can learn to enjoy their independence by going about their day without being told by adults what to do. New scouts should have almost NO guidance or help from adults by they time they get to summer camp. If new scouts leave camp feeling comfortable about camping outdoors and the general order of patrol method, they usually stick around. Parents often tell us their son came back from camp a much more mature person than the one that left. Boys like activities that makes them feel good about themselves and that is what drives them to stay in scouts. We found the key to fewer dropouts is access to an ASM (adult) until the scouts get used to boys running the program safely. About six months. Barry
  3. 2 points
    Most every UL pack setup these days is based on Jardine's Ray-Way pack. I haven't checked here for awhile because I was off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year. My base pack weight was around 10 pounds. I used two different Ray-Way packs that I sewed myself. One was ~39 liters and the other was ~44 liters so a bear can would fit in it when I went through the Sierra, both weigh only 10oz each. One really doesn't need much gear, especially when you're out there to hike, not sit around in camp. To keep this scouting related, here's my vlog for the day I summitted Mt. Baden Powell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x84J8Pp4JZk
  4. 1 point
    Well, helicopters (and their friends, the lawnmowers) make things hard sometimes. I don't think there is a video, because troop expectations are so different. I do think that the SM (or New Scout/Parent coordinator) should take all of the new parents aside in the first week or two after crossover, and have a meeting to both explain how the Troop (and BSA) works, and to answer any questions they have. Some things that have to be addressed: How camping is done should be explicit (i.e. that the scouts camp by patrols, that the adults camp away from them, that permission is required (under normal, not emergency situations) for either group to enter the other group's area), also, the normal logistics of a campout--i.e. that one member of a patrol (or the whole patrol) will have to do the grocery shopping, the time we usually leave for a campout, expectations for food on that first night, etc. (Our troop meets at 5 pm Friday night and plans to pull out of the parking lot at 6 pm (usually later, but that's the goal). We expect the Scouts to either have eaten before then, or to bring food with them (no stopping for fast food, etc.) for Friday night supper. The SPL is in charge, and the parents should ASK the SPL/ASPL first (again, unless an emergency situation) before doing anything with the troop. The general advancement structure should be taught to them (especially emphasizing that advancement is the Scout's responsibility, and until the Scout has tried to deal with a problem, the parent should leave things alone, also that advancement is not a group thing, but an individual one). Money issues. (which are very specific to the troop).
  5. 1 point
    Wow. IMHO, if I was a DE and got a note saying that the scouts were leading, and not the parents, I'd be congratulating the troop.
  6. 1 point
    Great idea, although I might amend that. I would say that the former cub leaders should be committee members, but shouldn't be working with the boys as ASMs or SMs.
  7. 1 point
    Unless the DL was already an ASM, they wouldn't know how. The ASM needs the skills to guide the parents as well as the new scout in the troop culture and patrol dynamics. The ASM and new scout guide work as a team with the objective that the guide will answer most of the new scout's and his parents questions. In our troop, the SM in training is the New Scout ASM. It's just how we do it. We also don't let any new adults in as leaders for at least six months so that they learn how the program works. I also learned that the new scout guides (or troop guides) needed the maturity of a 15 year old to be effective. In my experience, we never had a good TG 13 or younger, and never had one 15 or older who didn't knock my socks off. Barry
  8. 1 point
    Yes it is. We have a new scout program, ASM for that has not been involved in Cubs for many years. Our goal is to get the new Scouts to the NS campout, then the May event, then summer camp. After that we feel that gives them a good view of the troop, how it may be different from Cubs, etc. After the summer we roll them into existing patrols and off they go with the patrol ASM's working with them within the patrol framework.
  9. 1 point
    But in all seriousness. I remember what it was like as a parent. You think, once I join there's no switching. I make it clear to parents that our most fervent desire is that their child enjoys and gets the most out of their scouting experience. We want them to succeed. If that happens with our troop, that's great. And if they want to explore other troops, that's also great. The most important thing for all troops is that their scout finds a place that works for them and that it is perfectly acceptable to search for a new troop whenever the scout wishes. I remind them that every troop has a different mix, a different set of capabilities, and a different program. All of which can change over time. And if a scout has a parent that I can tell is going to be difficult, I'm happy if they choose another troop. And I'll work with what we have if they don't.
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    I love troop visit nights. You meet the AoLs. You meet Parents. Engage with scouters. And you can realize, if you are watching closely, what people think of your troop. Be sure to talk up other troops too. Like they are doing great! They haven't had any emergency room trips this year. And so far no one has received any DUIs in the past six months. If the adult presses for details get vague, mutter about how you really can't talk about it legally.
  12. 1 point
    Maybe our areas are different but there are a lot of great troops in our area and it is highly encouraged to visit multiple trips. My den split into three seperate troops and 80% of them are doing great.
  13. 1 point
    Troop recruiting is a funny business. Back when I was Cubmaster, we had a very active recruiting program. It was a lot of work, but one that I enjoyed immensely. One of my great joys was getting to know prospective families and helping them decide is Cub Scouts was for their son, and if so, whether our pack was a good fit. It would not be a stretch to say they I'd average 2-3 hours per new Cub Scout. When I moved over to the troop, it was a very different world. Our recruiting focused so much more on simply providing a good program. It was like the line from the movie Field of Dreams - "build it and they will come." But, in neither case did we ever assume that "Scouts were ours". In fact, we always saw other troops recruiting into the packs that feed us as encouragement. If a troop comes in and starts recruiting better than us, or makes their program sound stronger, then it's a sign to us that we need to work a bit harder. I mean this in the nicest way @Eagle94-A1, but if a DL decides to take his boys to a different troop - then shame on my troop. It would be unfair of my troop to blame the DL.
  14. 1 point
    While I am a big proponent of visiting multiple troops, I was not planning to organize multiple visits, but encourage individuals to visit. A little history behind the Webelos and two Troops. Back in the day, one of the pack's Webelos DLs was also an ASM with the same troop I am soon to join. Webelos started joining the troop I am about to join, and not the troop I'm leaving. In a few years, the troop died, and it was blamed on the DL. 2 adults are still involved with the troop from then, and it is a very sore point with them. When we lost an entire den to the troop, those 2 leaders were furious. It didn't matter that several Webelos were in that CO's pack when it folded and they joined us,and 2 Webelos had brothers in that troop. The 2 adults concern was a repeat of what happened. Understandable.
  15. 1 point
    Yet some troops, especially those with packs at the same CO, regard Webelos dens as “theirs” and any attempts to poach their property leads to smackdowns. It’s completely ridiculous, but that’s how people can get.
  16. 1 point
    it's a new one on me as well. I like the idea of having the tools in one place, but I'm not going to lay any of my axes, hatchets, knives, or saws on the ground. d
  17. 1 point
    It's up to the Eagle candidate. My youngest son noticed while working on his older brother's Eagle project, that after a certain number of boys, less work got done. So, when it was his turn, he didn't try to drum up as many workers. Part of leadership is choosing your team when you are able. If you know John, Mike and Joe are hard workers, and Fred, George and Mickey aren't, why wouldn't you just want John, Mike and Joe there? Also, there is a matter of skills/age/etc. More hands isn't always quicker work, when Boy Scout aged boys are involved.
  18. 1 point
    I reread, and needed to edit it. I do not blame the SM. heck I sympathize with him. I blame the parents that keep interfering. No, just worried about losing a friendship. Happened once when I didn't go to one troop. With all the blood sweat, tears, and treasure We have invested, both figuratively and literally, I owe him a face to face. And thank you for wishing well.
  19. 1 point
    Feeling hopeful for you both Hawkwin and Eagle94-1. My son had some experiences that were similar to yours, and discussions with the SM would become what I would term as "bullish". My son hates confrontation, and at the first sign that the conversation is turning to being heated, he will bow out. Personally, I would have been right there giving it back to the SM, but I appreciate my son didn't. My son stuck it out to finish off his Eagle rank in that troop, and then even ran for a term as SPL- that was his attempt to "be the guy" to try and turn things around as the senior leader. I was not hugely in favor of him going for SPL, as I saw that it was going to be a breaking point for him when he realized the SM was not going to actually give him control or change anything. Ultimately, that was what happened, and after even more frustration that every suggestion he gave at the annual planning conference for the next year was immediately critiqued (and downright shot down mostly) by the SM, my son walked away. That troop was also all about the "friends & family" plan as well, which was a disaster to my view, and my son hated it. He took the summer to talk to Scouts/Scouters he has befriended from summer camp, OA, etc. and found a troop that he is happy with, and "troop life" became fun again for him. I am hugely pleased with the fact he is happy, and that he didn't just rest on being an Eagle and walk away from Scouting. Letting your kids find themselves and being able to enjoy Scouting is key. Just instill in them to keep a cheerful attitude, and if youth/adults from the old troop engage them, just wish them well and stay positive. My son got some negative comments since he left, and I half expected that he would, but I told him that those people were the ones who didn't recognize there was a problem in the first place, so he isn't going to do himself any favors trying to change their attitudes now.
  20. 1 point
    What a roller-coaster ride these last two days were. We went from my son quitting scouts on Sunday night to him "having fun at a meeting" during a troop visit last night, and him committing to join the new troop before we even got home - all in a 48 hour period. I am an emotional wreck! Rather than continue this story in the previous thread: I thought, in light of what is in all reality a positive end result, to start a new thread that isn't burdened by all the heartache of the old thread. While we will miss the scouts of the old troop, as well as some of the scouters, I am sure we will make new friends and relationship in the new troop (or rebuild some that we used to have as some of the scouts and scouters of this troop came from my son's old pack). The SM of the new troop is also a member of the district leadership and was already aware of the problems we were having in the old troop. Both my son and I asked many questions to address our concerns and the SM seemed to clearly indicate that the new troop is about fun first, and advancement and requirements second and that the SM was more than happy to do SMCs at a meeting. As I nodded my head and grinned I could not help but blurt out, "a game with a purpose." Again, thank you to everyone that help my scout (and ME) get through this. It brought tears to my eyes last night when my son related his excitement in having a new scouting home. And a bonus! This troop will be creating a sister troop so my daughter will have a place too in February!
  21. 1 point
    I think the fitness standard should be for one to do their best. And the only way to do that is to do something one enjoys. For some reason I do not like anything with reps. I would much rather go for a bike ride or a hike. For those that like doing reps, I'm jealous.
  22. 1 point
    @malraux, I would strongly suggest against throwing babies out with bathwater. It's entirely possible that someone could be wrong about one thing and quite right about another. As to influenza vaccinations, it's true that the more people get them the better the odds of survival for the vulnerable in our communities. But, that's only to a point. @WisconsinMomma, I bet you probably are on that balancing point. The odds of you or your suffering gravely from your vaccination are likely balanced against the odds of someone around you suffering gravely from being exposed to the virus that you'll propagate. That differential becomes significant if you live/work around elderly, asthmatics, etc ... Personally, I missed a flu vaccine one year and got laid up for a week. This was before son #2 was born and had asthma. Me so achy I can't leave bed: no problem. My kid in respiratory shock: big problem. Measles, tetanus, rubella, on the other hand, have striking effects. A break-out in a camp would be demoralizing. But @RichardB, do we have incident reports of such things? P.S. - As to this just being a council camp director's prerogative, some of us find ourselves on council camping committees. So, the discussion could be on a docket that we'll read and vote on. It would be nice to know what others do when, say, a med form appears with no records of vaccination.
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