Jump to content

Leaderboard


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/23/19 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    After years of watching her 3 brothers have all the fun, my daughter has decided she wants to join Scouts BSA. My wife and I (both WB trained) have marshaled enough support in our community to start a non-linked Scouts BSA troop for her and her friends... We turn in all of our charter paperwork on Thursday, and I will officially be the Scoutmaster of Troop 19. Wish me / us luck! -DK
  2. 10 points
    (Long true story, stay to the end) Surreal lunch today for me. It brought bake memories that had slowly faded from my memory. In September of 2016, I was on a bike ride with my loving wife and a group of riders passed us. Moments later, there was an accident, a horrible accident. The rider in front had a blowout and crashed, next thing we see is a rider fly over the barrier on the bridge and fall 50 feet onto limestone. Most were in shock, and my co-worker got down to him to help him. I called 911, started directing traffic and someone called for someone who knew CPR. I raced down thinking the worst. (I was surprised I was the only one trained in CPR and First Aid) When I got down there, the rider was lying in a crumpled ball. Bones exposed through his skin, blood, helmet crushed, glasses crushed. He was alive somehow, in incredible pain and not making a lot of sense. My friend is holding him still and talking with him. He remains incredibly calm. It was horrible, he didn't need CPR but it was amazing he was still alive. How could this really be happening.....Paramedics finally show up after what felt like forever. I meet them at the top of the hill and help carry bags to the victim. The paramedic is shocked he is still alive (told the victim John later that he thought he was going to see a dead body). They take his BP and there is no BP. It is bad, really bad. Lung collapses and they re-inflate it as they carry him off. After what seems like forever the helicopter arrives and takes him away...... We think the worst. My co-worker checks in with him a few days later and he is living. No way he will ride again, no way he will never walk again..... Major head injuries, no clue what happened. Well, 2.5 years later, my co-worker and I have lunch with him today. John walks in and looks amazing. You would never know he was in an accident. He is fit, just ran 6 miles at a 9 minute pace. Hiked 56 miles in the Grand Canyon this last summer. Mentally sharp, just blows us away. He asks us to tell him what happened. We tell him and he is shocked to hear us tell him. He really has no idea what happened to him. We hear about his recovery and it is just inspiring. He shows us a picture of him standing with his xrays in front of him. His xrays look like the terminator. Rods and pins throughout his body (One rod in his femur from his knee to hip, ankle, wrists, hip, elbow). He fell so hard that it tore his aorta, so that had to be patched up as well. He tells us how this changed his life in such a positive way. He was not in a great place when the accident happened, recently divorced after 18 years. His son was 11(same age as my son) Separated from his kids, busy working a lot. He says it has changed his perspective on life. He appreciates everything everyone has done for him. He tells us you never know when it is your day. Live life to the fullest, enjoy time with your family. If I ever complain about something being hard, I have zero excuse. John's story is just amazing... wow. People live life for today, don't put off life until tomorrow. So when people ask me why I am so involved in his scouting experience and would camp in the snow or canoe 50+ miles, this is why.
  3. 8 points
    I am Scoutmaster for a 22-member all-girl Troop that is "stand-alone" and not linked to an existing unit. In fact, we are the only youth program at the church that serves as our CO. I'm a 30-year Scouter and have done it all. I will observe that the girls attracted to our group represent a normal cross-section of girls in our city in terms of income, race and interests. 8 crossed-over from an all-girl Webelos den at anther CO, which they just loved. 5 came over from GSUSA for a variety of reasons. Two remain dual-registered. We have had four troop meetings, one day hike and go on our first camp out this weekend. We have a very full program outlined for the next 20 months. We have attracted a 15-person Troop committee and have a Scoutmaster staff of 7. I am here to tell you that even at this early stage I sense this is going to be a very successful move for the BSA. First, the Boy Scout program is working perfectly with the girls. They love it and as an earlier commenter forecast, they really like to "do stuff". Second, the parents are thrilled with BSA-style organization and program implementation for an all-girl program. The welcome from our community has been crazy-approving. Third, our district volunteer Scouters and fellow Scoutmasters of nearby all-boy Troops are thrilled to the point where they went out of their way to entirely outfit five of our girls from under-resourced families with gently-used uniforms, sleeping bags, packpacks, the works. The naysayers with the nasty blog comments have not in any manner impacted popular and supportive opinion in our local Scouting movement or city. The folks who departed after the membership policy changes are not taking people away because of the move to include girls. My experience is so counter to the things those folks have been writing over the past year that I am starting to conclude many must not be actual active Scouters -- I just have not experienced negativity and I would have noticed it. I believe that as long as the generally-smaller linked girl troops scale up quickly and the BSA does a better PR job when the financial restructuring is announced, we will be looking at significant growth that can reverse our recent membership losses. These conclusions are based on my experience in planning, organizing and now operating a best-practices Scouts BSA Troop for girls. We should do at least as good as the girl Cub Scout numbers.
  4. 8 points
    I was a Cub Scout earning AOL and a Boy Scout briefly in the early to mid 80s. We didnt have siblings tagging along nor did we have sisters doing the same stuff we were but not getting credit. So the girls have always been there reasoning has not been a convincing factor for me. I was against girls in Cub Scouts and Boy... Uhhh Scouts BSA. What's the logically next step for someone with my views on the subject?? Yep, I had a lenghtly discussion with my CM about laying groundwork for a female Troop in our area. My daughter is a 5th grader this year and a member in another national scouting organization. The have been working on their drawing badge. <eye roll> My daughter and one other girl want to camp and do outdoor things but no one else in the Troop wants to do those activities. So, they make posters and stuff at their meetings. With my training and experience I almost feel obligated to create the opportunity for my daughter and what I assume are other interested girls to have the scout experience they want.
  5. 7 points
    It’s almost official! My EBOR went fantastic, the scouter from the district was amazing. We talked for almost 2 hours about all different kinds of stuff and it was great! Thanks to everyone who answered my questions on here. My scouting journey has only just started. Now the final thing to do is to drop off the application at council to get sent to national.
  6. 7 points
    "You are no longer a Cub, you are now a Scout."
  7. 6 points
    JTE is definitely a corporate Lean type site measurement that was brought it. We typically get Gold status, but not sure it's something we focus on, but moving on... In JTE measurement the challenge I have is that Budget for the unit has the same equivalency as Short Term camping. A troop can be a Gold unit and in a year do only 4 short term campouts and going to summer camp. The JTE certainly does hopefully move units to do certain things, but clearly (IMHO) any unit that is "GOLD" should be camping 9 -12 times per year as short term, some of those campouts should be backpacking or hike in, they should be somewhat physically challenging and involve some HA type activity (kayaking, climbing, etc), and some of these should be 2 night activities. Rather than outdoor be only max of 20% (400 points max for #6 and #7, out of 2,000 max for the 11 items) that should be a much much larger component. Have a robust outdoor program or a unit is not "Gold". That simple. This is what can and should differentiate Scouting in the marketplace. On Mondays at school when a 7th grader is talking to friends rather than "I played 2 soccer games on Saturday", maybe a kid is telling how he went "hiking down in some gorge and was sliding on rocks into a pool of water and it was great!". That is what sells the program, not budgets, etc.
  8. 5 points
    I wouldn't say I'm disturbed, but a bit disappointed. National sometimes has challenges getting the verbiage crystal clear on the first roll out. When the changes to the tenting rules and YPT were made in 2019, that language was updated to: "Youth sharing tents must be no more than two years apart in age." Which is clear, concise, and decisive. It leaves no room for interpretation. YPT is important and shouldn't have grey areas and interpretive "wiggle room" in it. I get it. National doesn't really have that much staff. Less than volunteers would think there are. Those folks are underpaid and overworked, and they aren't doing the work to become rich, but because they love and care about Scouting. I think it's important for both the pros and the volunteers to recognize in each other that we both love and care about this program, and that requires an extra dose of patience, some honest discussion and disagreement. Consider this, if the members of this forum, who are likely some of the most engaged and active Scouters in the country, are having these discussions and confusion regarding the rules, what does that mean for the typical unit?
  9. 5 points
    This reply doesn't really apply to the OP, but this is one of the few times where I disagree with malraux. At my first Blue and Gold as a CM, I went over to talk to the two Webelos dens who were crossing over that night. Most all the scouts were going to one troop. I asked the scouts why they chose that troop, and the general answer was that troop had the best game of all the troop meetings they visited. A year later I checked and 90% of those scouts had dropped out. I believe adults should have at least 50% participation in finding a troop. There should be a family discussion along with the Den Leader, but sons and parents have two different objectives for joining a troop. Both should be considered. While malraux gives a good example of why the parent needs to listen to the son, my experience is his example is generally the opposite. The Webelos doesn't see the whole program because he is focused on the few minutes of the visit. Make the choice a family decision, otherwise the risk are huge. Barry
  10. 5 points
    The BSA leadership really needs to separate out the LDS numbers. While it seems like Scouting is declining rapidly, I suspect much of that is around the LDS decision. Would be better to be more transparent here. Our district had steady membership the past two years.
  11. 5 points
    That was in fact the bet, that the girls will be a growth opportunity. All the chips for the future were put on G and the wheel was spun. Honestly the ball is still bouncing and we do not know if that bet will pay off. As was noted in the bankruptcy conversations several months back with the exposure on insurance, dwindling numbers, spending at the Summit, and unfunded pension liabilities the BSA needed more members. The registration fee went up significantly in 2017, so that was a lifeline toss. Recruiting more boys to the program has been a challenge. During his listening and speaking tours CSE Sourbaugh admitted as much, in that they were out of ideas, so heck fire, let the girls in. Possibly the program folks need to look at all the stem focus, continuing efforts by many well intentioned councils for more class focus activities (MB universities come to mind), and troops making Boy Scouts just more school and less adventure as possibly reasons for lower numbers. Adding more girls seeking outdoor adventure may nudge the organization back to it's roots, hopefully. The BSA can be great part of a well rounded youth's activities (sports, school, religious, hobbies being some others). There is a lot of outdoor adventure out there, it's where we can differentiate in a crowded marketplace for a youth's time and efforts. Rather than Scout Me In our marketing should be We Go Do Stuff. Let the program sell itself at the local level. Get away from JTE, uniform police, leaders focused on district/council and not youth and laser focus back to Scouting outdoor activities and youth (Cubs, Scouts BSA*, Ventures and Explorers) doing things. * really think changing the flagship program's name to a generic name was a monumentally bad decision...
  12. 5 points
    @ItsBrian enjoy your last day as a Life Scout! 😉
  13. 5 points
  14. 5 points
    Sorry, folks, I just found this thread, and feel I want to make a contribution with my own story. This is a story about the unseen, unknown fruits of your efforts over a very long time. But please excuse me if this seems like I am boasting, or tooting my own horn - I am typing this with tears in my (middle-aged) eyes, as this story chokes me up when I tell it (which is rarely). Bear with me, it is long: In 1978 I was a young Life Scout in my troop in Central NJ - chartered by a Catholic church in a typical NY suburb. Casting about for a suitable Eagle project, none of the "build a ____ at the park" or "raise awareness by ___" type projects resonated with me. I had already earned my Ad Altari Dei, and as part of that, my troop's advisor had us volunteer periodically at the Woodbridge (NJ ) Home for Boys in their Scout troop, working with boys who had Down's Syndrome and other handicaps. I enjoyed working with them, and felt moved to explore service to people with mental handicaps. I am not sure who brought it to my attention, but I realized that my church had a Sunday school program (called CCD- Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) for regular children, but nothing offered for mentally handicapped kids was available. So for my Eagle project I started a religious education program for these unserved kids. I advertised to families in our parish and surrounding parishes for children who could enroll, recruited volunteer teachers, obtained classroom space in the church school on Saturdays, and with the help of the John Newman society at Rutgers University came up with a curriculum and teacher training materials. We started in September with a dozen students and a 1-1 teacher ratio. I was one of the teachers. by the end of the year in June, we had about 20 students, of which half earned their first communion, and one was confirmed. You see, no one had made the effort to teach these children before. At the end of the year, I wrote that up for my Eagle project, and earned my Eagle rank a year later. I arranged for the nuns who ran the regular CCD program to maintain the program for handicapped children after I left for college. Payoff number one: In 1981 I graduated from high school, and went to college. I wrote my college admission essay about my CCD program. I was accepted to an Ivy-League school, and was placed in a class taught by the president of the college. I found out later that year that I had been admitted (despite only ranking in the top fifth of my high school class) largely on the strength of the CCD program and my essay - when he bragged about me in a letter he sent to our 10,000 alumni. Unexpected dividend! Payoff number two: About ten years later I go to a funeral of a family from church, and one of the parents of a student in my program comes over to my parents and relates how grateful their family was that I started the program (their daughter received her communion in the program). More dividends! Payoff number three: And why I have tears in my eyes as I type this: A long time passes. I go to work at one career, get married, have kids, switch careers, and find myself working back in my home town in 1997. I get introduced around to the new co-workers, nearly all of which are a good deal older than me. None of them do I recognize, nor do they know me. I sit down on a coffee break with a woman in her early sixties who somehow gets on the topic of the Catholic Church and it's shortcomings. She goes on and on, not even asking if I am a churchgoer or Catholic or anything, but then stops, and reconsiders. And she starts telling me that the only thing her church has ever done for her and her family was that many years earlier they started a CCD program for handicapped children - and her son could finally get religious instruction and not feel left out or shunned. Literally, that was the ONLY thing she thought her religion had done for her and she was quite adamant about it. She had no idea that I was the 16 year old kid that did that for her. I was floored, and still am, that something I did in Scouting had an effect on generations to come, and was thought of so warmly over so many years. Big time payoff number three! And a lesson I have never forgot about the power of Scouting to change lives. Thanks for listening.
  15. 5 points
    That's ridiculous. I run recruiting for my Pack and I'd quit the job in an instant if my district wanted that much control over how we recruit. Guess I'm lucky. My DE showed up at our last recruiting night and the only time he talked to me was to just say that he was impressed with what we were doing. Beyond that he watched from the sidelines and that's exactly where a district rep belongs at a recruitment event.
  16. 5 points
    Since it is a survey by BSA National Office, can they save time by going ahead and publishing the results now? Would save a lot of time and money to go ahead and tell the minions in the trenches what they want us to know. Your example of the First Class First Year is spot on. The real challenge is that it is NOT rocket science to keep Scouts active. But to justify the headquarters jobs and spend the money, they've got to do something that appears helpful. The secret?? Have a FUN program. Go camping, Go outside, Go do stuff. Now the problem is how to get that implemented at every troop, many troops take themselves waaay to seriously, 75 page troop manuals, and basically make Scouting just more school. Scouts show up looking for fun, fire, and knives. They get cyber chip, comparing the cost of items at three locations, and having to explain utilities to their house. Not bad stuff, but not exactly fun, fire, and knives.
  17. 5 points
    This is where Sydney starts to loose my support. This is one push too far. BSA has now given her the opportunity that she has been asking for, too be able to earn Eagle Scout even though she will turn 18, and now she wants her Eagle now. I understand the frustration she (and a number of Venturers I know) have about not being able to count camping and activity they have already done. But the fact remains that she didn't complete ALL the requirements, which include signatures from council, and being a member of a BSA troop. Webelos do not get credit for camp outs or activity they do before they join a troop either. Sydney should thank BSA for giving her the opportunity to EARN Eagle, and then work on it next to the thousands of other girls starting today.
  18. 4 points
    I don't have anywhere near the wisdom or experience of the people who have already replied on this thread (and I think you've had some GREAT advice) - but I do have a couple of thoughts. Give me a moment to tell you where we are and what we're doing, and then I have a few ideas for you as well. We have moved to a different Council entirely since my older kids were Scout age (my first two kids are adults now). So we started over entirely last year when my then 7 year old daughter joined a Wolf den. We signed up with what at the time was the only Family Pack in the area and it didn't work out due to major leadership conflicts mainly among the CC, the COR, and the CM. Earlier this Scouting year my daughter's entire den and the CM withdrew from the pack that we started with and convinced another small local Pack to open up a girl den for our (now Bear) girls; the boys in our pack just joined the existing den. The CM became ACM and that's where we are now. The now-ACM also has a daughter who is in Webelos. She's the only one in her girl den and I think there might be one or two in a boy den now that we've changed packs. I'm not sure exactly what they are doing with the Webelos program but her husband is the Boy Bear Den Leader and I'm the Girl Bear Den Leader and a Committee Member. What we are seeing is that there aren't any girl troops forming in our area of town other than the one we had major conflicts with in our former Pack. So even though neither of us has girls who are ready to join Scouts BSA yet, we are actively recruiting like-minded leadership and girls and are negotiating with a couple of possible COs to start a new girl troop. We are more than open to starting a tethered troop with a new CO, or join a CO that already has a boy troop, or start with just girls - but right now we have about half a dozen girls and a full committee ready to hit the ground running as soon as we have a CO. Personally, my goal in being involved at this level right now is to have a troop up and running with some experienced youth leaders already in place by the time my daughter crosses over in a couple of years. I also have a 4 year old daughter so I expect I'm going to have kids in Scouting for the next 14 years... maybe longer if they move on to Venturing like my oldest did when she (long story) aged out of Boy Scouts. So here's my thought for you - don't limit your discussions in your Pack to just "what troop should we be moving towards" but also "what can we as adult leaders do to create a successful program for our Bears to cross over into." Talk to the Troop's committee and point out that the SM really needs to be COR, remind them how important that job is, but also less critical that the COR attend all the camping trips and things, and see if you can nudge the current SM into the position he really ought to be holding and get new SMs in place for both boys and girls - possibly out of your active and enthusiastic Cub Scout leadership pool. See if you can recruit some more parents of Cub Scouts to step up and help pick up the slack in the Pack to free up some of your more experienced leadership to spend time with the Troops. Remind them that the goal of this is to create an exciting program for the kids to move into. Get them thinking forward. Oh, and make sure EVERYONE gets trained!! And if that doesn't work, either due to lack of volunteers or due to immovability on the part of the current Troop leadership, propose that you talk to other Troops in the area about a merger, and if that doesn't fly either, just take your family to a Troop where they are running a good program - and get involved there. If your COR at your current troop won't work to make a successful program now for the boys, don't expect them to do any better for the girls; better to get another organization with experience at running a *successful* Troop to charter one for your girls. Kids should never feel like Scouting is a drag. If your son is feeling that way, he needs to be in a better troop. You either create that for him where he is, or you move him to somewhere that it's already happening. Sorry that was so long!
  19. 4 points
    Your understanding of YPT is correct. However, she could save the $33 and register as a Merit Badge Counselor.
  20. 4 points
    One might go even further. Simply holding 9 - 12 camping trips a year might be insufficient if only say 10-20% of scouts are attending. Some percentage of scout-nights-camped would be a better pure metric to track.
  21. 4 points
    One of the tenants of Catholicism is that each of us has an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday unless grave circumstances would prevent it. Going camping does not typically constitute grave circumstances, but Clergy can provide dispensation to miss mass. (Which is how practicing Catholics attend Philmont). Plenty of Catholics don't attend mass every Sunday, but it's a requirement of our faith and teaching of our Church. So it's less of the CO in that particular case trying to be "Imperial" and more of the CO and Troop Leadership making sure that the Catholic Scouts meet their duty to God. Maybe I'm biased, but I don't see why that's a bad thing. My own CO is a Lutheran Church. The leadership by and large hasn't been members of the CO. The church leadership views the benefit of hosting the Scout troop is that we'll provide them service, and hopefully through contact with their church, Scouts and their families will have a stronger appreciation for the Lutheran Faith and might consider joining. As a Catholic, there are parishes in my area that offer mass on Sunday afternoons, so being involved with the Lutheran Troop and still making Sunday mass was never a problem. I definitely have a better appreciation and respect for Lutherans and their church, even though I never converted. There's a difference between influence and proselytizing. Even in the case @qwazse cited, I don't think the Catholic Troop with a Jewish Scout stopping to attend Catholic mass is by itself an attempt to forcibly convert someone. Whether he sits quietly during the mass or sits outside on the front steps is fine. In my opinion that's not proselytizing. Proselytizing would involve me as an adult attempting to convince a Scout that my religion is correct and why they should believe what I believe. CO's have a lot of rights as far as religious practice in their units, but I don't think even @David CO is saying that the CO should be hunting to proselytize and convert Scouts from other denominations, but if a non Catholic Scout or family decides to be Catholic because of their relationship with the Church through @David CO Troop? I'd say that's fair game. The Troop should let all prospective members know about those religious practices. "Because we are Catholic, if we can't make it back home in time for mass, we'll stop along the way." "Because we are LDS, we only accept LDS members." "Because we are Muslim, we have designated times every day to pray."
  22. 4 points
    My doctors say I have made a complete recovery, and I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Excited to start a new chapter in my Scouting career!
  23. 4 points
    So, first of all - I LOVE Laurel and Hardy, and reading your post @SSScout made me go back and watch a bunch of their old films again - thanks for the idea! Secondly, I have just been made a Unit Commissioner! Specifically, my District Commissioner wants me to help with training Cub Scout leaders in the area both at roundtable and at their committee meetings. My health is almost totally recovered, and I have gained back all the weight I lost, so I am ready to get back into things with a position that will let me stay involved without needing to over-strain myself with weekly den meetings and germ-ridden kiddos or anything like that. So I am super excited! My mom was a commissioner for over a decade, so I already have the uniform items I need, and there is a HUGE area-wide commissioner college for all of Southern California happening up north in LA next month, so I'll be able to start my Bachelor's in Commissioner Science work right away! I am reading through all the training materials now, and I am excited for this new chapter in my Scouting career. Thanks all for your kind thoughts and generous wisdom; to those who sent me PM's, I am working on answering all those too. The doctors have given me a clean bill of health, so it's all systems go now!
  24. 4 points
    Reading the article, and some others, possibly the dad encouraged him to do the protest. Certainly the young man and his family have every right to protest in whatever way they care to and wherever they might feel the urge. They have that right as a US citizen. The First amendment is in fact the first for a reason. I many not agree with his protest, but he does have the right to protest. The problem is that the Cub is in fact representing not only his pack, but his Charted organization, his district, his council, and the BSA in general. If he wants to protest the pledge of allegiance, show up as a citizen at the city council meeting, and kneel away. He chose to come to the event and lead the pledge as a member of an organization that basically works to help youth learn about and develop their duty to God, duty to country, duty to self. When representing that organization it is no longer just his protest, he is taking advantage of a spotlight not for him, but for the organization he is supposed to represent.
  25. 4 points
    A Scout is thrifty! Sounds like a great plan. You will want to read (edit - RS) about the two requirements where I noticed changes since she will have to use those updated requirements when ranking up. I have the new book in my hands because the Scout Shops are now selling them, which is a bit earlier than I had hoped. A quick rundown of the changes: All images of Scouts were updated to be girls. Several other photos containing people were changed to use females or are simply different. They still all have the same theme and often very similar poses. Colors behind headers, like section headings, have changed. The white text is more readable because the backgrounds are darker. Boy Scouts, when referring to the program, now typically says Scouts BSA. When referring to the individual, it is now Scout. The youth protection booklet in the front has more content. Likewise the safety chapter has much more about sexual abuse, plus the topics were slightly rearranged. Two pages were added here about dangers, warning signs, and what to do. I could find no updated hygiene section. Everything there looked the same. The instructions for tying a necktie are still in the book too. Structurally the books are identical up to chapter 13. That means each page in the 13th edition looks identical to the 14th edition. As mentioned earlier, there is more content in chapter 13, so chapter 14 starts on page 412 instead of 410, and we are back to nearly identical content. If you refer to any page before 396, those page number references, paragraphs and sentences are still spot-on. The only changes I noticed in the rank requirements were for Second Class 1b and First Class 1a. They seem to have relaxed the requirement a tiny bit, though I suspect the boys edition will have the same wording. Second Class 1b: "Since joining Scouts BSA, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. (See pages 260 and 276-277.)" First Class 1a has 10 activities, six outdoors and three overnight camping. The rest is the same Oh that brings up another change. The requirements all now have page numbers listed for relevant information. I may have missed some stuff, but I did page through it for the past two hours and that was everything I saw. Overall I am very pleased with this book.
×