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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/13/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Your descriptions describe some of the GSUSA problems also. Not just currently, but running a generation back also. Actually, an old friend from my high school girl scout troop, whose daughter did venturing, told me that, in contrast to the Boy Scout program, "Venturing . . . culture-wise, feels much more like scouting as we knew it in [Town Name]"
  2. 2 points
    Perhaps we should have , as some schools have, a separation between personal medical information and activity permission. Authorized, trained medical personnel, i.e. those rendering care beyond first aid, may have secured access to our personnel medical information, untrained such as a 14yr old CIT would not. A doctor and patient would complete both forms. The personal medical information form would have the results of the most recent exam, medical history, prescriptions, vaccinations, and insurance. This would be securely held and handled by patient and trained medical personnel. IMO in the 21st century, this info should always be with or on the patient - Medic alert flash drive, microchip, ... The activity permission form would list permitted, restricted, prohibited activities, as well as allergy, contact and pickup information. Non-medical personnel could have access to this form. My $0.02
  3. 2 points
    HIPAA (not "HIPPA") requires that a person's "PMI" (personal medical information) be safeguarded from people who are NOT authorized to view it and can be disclosed ONLY to others who are authorized (in the Law, that means medical providers, insurance companies, etc.). The info can be disclosed only with the written permission of the person (patient). I am not confidant that the BSA, Councils, Lodges, Units, etc have the capability to ensure such safeguarding even if they wanted to.
  4. 2 points
    Welcome! For my second year I will be staffing a summer camp as a first year scout instructor. I understand what you’re talking about when it comes to those special activities at camp. Counselors/instructors show the scout how to do it, but due to usually larger group sizes and time limits, it’s not possible to make sure each scout has it mastered. It should not be a problem about signing off requirements from summer camp, BUT, the scoutmaster or whoever does requirements should review and debrief what the scout learned. It makes me upset when I have scouts tell me that their leader didn’t check their ability to do the requirement since I know some did forget after learning it. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as the scouts knowledge is tested. It shouldn’t be an automatic sign off though.
  5. 2 points
    Actually, for rank requirements it is whomever the Scoutmaster gives that authority. He can assign that to Scouts, other adults, both or no one else but the SM. It is at the Scoutmasters discretion. Obviously, for Start to Eagle, there are merit badges and Eagle project that require additional sign-off. Merit Badges on the other hand, must be signed off by a registered merit badge counselor.
  6. 1 point
    Hello! I'm new to the BSA, my daughter is currently a Bear and next year my twin boys will be Lions....so I've got (hopefully) two decades of scouting ahead. I have the time and resources this year to attend our council's aquatics training weekend(s) and living in SWFL with access to year round water activities make this training particularly useful. My dilemma is which type of training do I do first, lifeguarding or aquatics supervisor (rescue and paddle craft). Both require frequent recertification. Our Weblos den leader is currently trained in both, so there isn't an immediate need for either training. Mostly looking for advice on what other people found to be the most useful training. Thanks!
  7. 1 point
    One thing I have noticed is the some Troops believe the Venturing and Sea Scouting is there to steal scouts from them. Rather than have leaders be open to how units can be cooperative, they actively fight against them which hurts both units. Our healthy Crews and Ships here all have kids that are dual registered and are active in both units.
  8. 1 point
    Our district has 0 Venturing crews left. I talked with the last leader of a crew and he said that they formed when a group of older boys and girls wanted to do more high adventure trips. When they started to age out there was no natural progression from Troops to feed their numbers. I brought up a discussion of ramping up a Venturing crew or two and there is some interest, but we don’t have enough volunteers for our current Troops or District already ... and that is a higher priority.
  9. 1 point
    What @HelpfulTracks said. And for the reasons @ItsBrian explained. Take, for example the land-navigation requirement (what many scouters mistake for "the 5-mile hike"), if twenty or more scouts are trudging along a worn camp trail, there's not much navigation going on per scout. They could be discussing with each other, learning how to take marks, identify distances, measure heights. In such a situation, I would discourage any SM from allowing camp to sign-off that requirement.
  10. 1 point
    One could adopt the HIPPA guidelines as "best practices" and not be legally bound by them.
  11. 1 point
    My son got motivated to arrow out early after he saw a boy in his old pack arrow out. (It was a case of negative emotion turned positive. The other boy always picked on my son and when my son saw him arrow out on time my son decided he could to it too.) In short, my son was 10.5 yrs old, been with the scouts for more than 6 months (since first grade) AND completed all of the AOL requirements. His troop has embraced him despite being young. (It is important to find the right troop too). He has about 1 year in with his troop and he already has 11 nights of camping and loves it. The moral of the story is: It should be the scout's decision, not the parent's. Scotty
  12. 1 point
    Well I guess that is a problem of itself. Every state has plenty of backpacking, so Philmont should not be the got-to for Scout Backpacking.
  13. 1 point
    I've been to a GSUSA event where the adults were required to bring their medical forms, but in a sealed envelope. The envelope was handed over to the event organizers and then handed back at the end of the weekend. The organizers were trusting us that we actually had a medical form in that envelope -- which was only to be open if the need arose. (Most of the attendees were GSUSA troop leaders who were quite familiar with the GSUSA medical forms.)
  14. 1 point
    Actually the BSA Aquatics Supervision courses are valid for 15+ year olds as well. The reason why I recommend BSA Lifeguard to youth and young Scouters is that there is a demand for lifeguards, especially at college pools. I know once I finished my Work Study Hours, instead of being layed off until next semester, I kept working, and getting to keep my pay. Another reason for 15-17 year olds to get BSA Lifeguard is that under some federal OSHA laws, you got to be 18+ to work waterfronts. I am told that is one reason why many Scout camps are building pools. It also explains why basic lifeguard certifications no longer deal with waterfronts, and you have to take the Waterfront Aquatics advance cert courses. Talking to someone who was on the national aquatics committee, I was told the Aquatics Supervision courses were created so that units had folks with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to take their units on the water since BSA Lifeguard is more pool/ formal swim area oriented.
  15. 1 point
    The dissonance comes from a deep understanding that the newly imposed "minimum leader requirements" directly clash with what the majority of us were led to believe was "age- and program- appropriate supervision" required for an average patrol meeting/activity. When I was a scout, the appropriate supervision for a meeting was a patrol leader and an assistant. That continues to be the case, on some visceral level, for the majority of 11-18 year old boys in this country, and they will find ways to form their "patrols" outside of the auspices of the BSA. This is the crux of the problem. The core program at its best will ensure that adults don't need to be present at a gathering of Scouts or Venturers. The youth will maybe invite us join them for some brief opening, then we adults could literally go on an hour hike (most of us should) and come back for closing then get a re-cap from the officers regarding plans, questions, etc ... But, that ideal program butts up against the tragedy of a perverse and litigious society -- one which is setting a moving target as to how to defend against its worst actors.
  16. 1 point
    Thanks for the update. It's not surprising that the background check came back with problems. It was hard to imagine he wasn't avoiding it, with so much time having gone by and it was still not done. Hard to imagine someone isn't trying hard to avoid a background check when they act like that. This still seems like a massive failure at the district and council level to adequately support the Pack in this. You essentially had an unregistered, non-background-checked adult pretending to be a CM. And seemingly refusing to allow a background check. That should have been a huge red flag for everyone, all the way up the chain. And yet it took this long to finally resolve the matter, and only really because of what happened in the guy's personal life. While it is generally true that DEs tend to be slow to action with Pack affairs, preferring to let units and COs resolve these matters, in this case I would think that this would be the kind of thing that just had to be dealt with immediately. That a Pack was operating with a rogue CM, who clearly was causing chaos among the committee and Pack operations, with known past legal issues and refusing to take a background check, how they managed to let it go on this long is baffling. For all of the emphasis we get these days on YPT, that something like this was allowed to go on for so long just defies all logic. I still think someone (probably the DE in question) should be removed from their post for failing to adequately address this and protect the scouts in this Pack.
  17. 1 point
    Your understanding of YPT is correct. However, she could save the $33 and register as a Merit Badge Counselor.
  18. 1 point
    We are dense here, east central NJ. We have the only troop in town, but there is a boy troop in the 3 towns around us. 2 are less than 10min from our CO and the 3rd is less than 15min. The female troop is linked to our boy troop (shared equipment), but we will be active with another female troop in 1 of our bordering towns.
  19. 1 point
    Sounds like you have a passion for scouting but you should focus on the boys for now - If your son wants to go to a troop with fun activities let him, volunteer to be ASM for 2 years at your sons troop, recruit everyone of his friends out of the old troop. Just because the troop has been around for a while doesnt mean it deserves a charter. After 2 years take skills learned back to the girls troop which is the best way you can help your daughter.
  20. 1 point
    Thanks malraux. I needed that reminder. T2Eagle, I am not concerned about the female troop for my daughter yet because she is only a Bear Cub. Although council wants it to start now, of course & understandably. I realized the lack of camping/outdoor program was a real issue when I was at a training course about first class requirements. When I asked how we could get them there with only 3 trips a year at most the room fell silent and jaws dropped... it was discussed weather the troop should even exist any longer. Also, I do understand about advancement not being the focus, but when the scouts are upset & unhappy themselves about it then there is a problem.
  21. 1 point
    The choice of which troop to cross over into should be the choice of the youth, not the parent (though parents can guide that choice). If your son really wants to go to a different troop, then it isn't your job to change his mind. If the other troop is doing fun things with lots of youth, then it isn't your job to tell him to go with the boring troop.
  22. 1 point
    Everybody has to be realistic about the limits of their resources including time and talent. If you cannot effectively be a leader for two troops than you should pick one and give it your all. If there are other good troops for your son but not for your daughters than that probably would lead you to enrolling your son in the other troop and putting your efforts into standing up your daughters' troop. Considerations like "other people will think we're the bad guys" or "scouting will die in our town" are probably not true, and at any rate beyond your control. Frankly, a troop with less than 10 scouts, or really any number of scouts, that's only camping three times a year should be consolidated into another troop that is more active and is strengthened by the addition of more scouts and families. Troops that don't camp are doing a disservice to their scouts --- and it's the scouts' well being, not tradition, not what council wants, not what will make other adults feel good, that should be the focus of every adult in scouting. ETA Advancement shouldn't be the main focus of your meeting, having a robust outdoors program should be. Advancement isn't the point of scouting, it is just one of eight methods to get to the point, without a good outdoor program you won't be able to use Advancement or any other method to achieve scouting's real goals.
  23. 1 point
    @PinkPajamas, welcome to the forums and thanks in advance for all you will do for the youth! All the cool kids have BSA Guard. Yes re-certifying requires a commitment. Especially the older you get (or is it the younger the instructors get?) and the harder it is to complete those sprints. At our boy scout camp, both can be earned in the same week. But, my time has become spread so thin, that I'm having difficulty freeing up a week to do it. If you can't do both in one fell swoop, I'd recommend you get BSA Guard first, then add the other one at a later date. Then, and this is the crux of the matter, find time to assist at aquatics areas. That's how you stay fresh. If this isn't practical because someone else can't watch your kids, then focus on them. They are priority #1. Get them trained. There is no greater peace of mind than knowing that your kids can get themselves out of a rip current. Swimming 100 yards in a strong manner in the right direction solves lots of problems. As they mature, keep challenging them and in the process sharpen your skills. Then if the dark day comes when forestalling death is in your hands, the odds will tilt in your favor if the four of you are competent.
  24. 1 point
    Short answer regarding Eagle app: no. Worst case scenario he's a camping maniac, meets requirements at age 11.4 and someone doing the math tells him to wait six months for his BoR. meanwhile he keeps earning MBs and racks up instapalms. Not pretty, but not calamitous. But if he's anything like the one scout in Son #1's den who started a little early, he'll take his good old time, and that gun-jump will be of no consequence. You all sound a little harsh. I'd tell the scout that if he completes his Webeols badge, he can start attending the AoL, then next year he could be a denner for his buddies in his grade and help them to AoL quickly and move on to more fun things. As soon as he meets the age/grade requirements for crossover, he can do so. Talk directly to the scout. If he's mature enough to read, then he's mature enough to know what is required for crossover. Don't make this a committee decision. Read the book, do what it says, flex where you can.
  25. 1 point
    "Sorry, Johnny. I know you worked very hard to earn these badges. You helped the community by doing scouting for food and got a really cool patch from the council. You went to summer camp and got a patch for being a chaplain's assistant. You built a pinewood derby car, rocket, and boat and got patches for doing your best in all those activities. And your parents bought you a vest where you can proudly display these patches. But you see, at this very important event, you can't wear your vest and patches, because as it turns out they're really not 'official.' Hope you understand. Keep working on that badge handbook and be sure to sell lots of popcorn!" Good grief! What an idiotic decision. Let 'em wear it. We should be doing everything we can to encourage boys to be interested in and proud of their accomplishments in the program. It's an "offical" vest even if it isn't on the inspection sheet. And it's covered by patches the cub has received from participating in Scouting activities. The fact that someone would try to prohibit this, makes me question who they are in the program for--themselves or the boys.