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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/29/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    What an awful disgrace from the adult organizers here. I would have some blunt feedback for the District Chair after this. The people organizing this Camporee need some better guidance going forward. One thing that particularly saddens me is that this kind of behavior always backfires. There are lots of Scouters out there who are apprehensive about the impact of girls entering the program. We've seen several instances of that in just this topic alone. It only serves to further feed that apprehension when nonsense like this occurs. Volunteers have to approach troops for girls and troops for boys on a level playing field. No special exceptions either way. It's better for the girls that way, it's better for the boys that way.
  2. 3 points
  3. 2 points
    I like that setup. I will have to show that to my SPL
  4. 2 points
    Look, I get what your saying, but the fact is that putting a single webelos girl in a den with a lion and tiger would be a poor experience for that girl. Honestly all of the kids are blind to these higher level pack structure discussions anyhow. They do their requirements and don't give much of a second thought to who they do it with. Other then one cub at the beginning of the year who said 'cub scouts is for boys only!' at the first meeting (he was a tiger, and was quickly corrected) the girls in are pack have been part of the family. Also, rote following of the rules can be troublesome too. I, personally, want to instill in my kids the ability to value justice and the values set forth in scouts and if there are rules that go contrary to those or to other values, then sometimes those rules need to be broken. Without civil disobedience our country wouldn't exist. It wasn't exactly legal to throw tea in boston harbor, or to engage in armed rebellion against England. It wasn't legal for rosa parks to not give up her seat on a bus, or for MLK, jr. to do a lot of what he did. We whisper it, because at the end of the day, we want the kids to learn and have a good time. It only becomes any sort of issue at district level or regional events where the girls would not be allowed to participate with the rest of their 'den', and that's perhaps once a year. Either way, I hope the official guidance is soon changed.
  5. 2 points
    As a district volunteer, I'd be floored if the council key three had an inkling of how Camporee planners were scoring events. The council key three should have significantly bigger fish to fry. In fact, I doubt our district key three know how Camporee events are scored. My recommendation is to ask some of the planners how they decided on the format. Explore it with them. Then, I'd recruit a couple of experienced troop adults to join the Camporee committee.
  6. 1 point
    @chief027 You are getting a lot of good advice on the what/what not to bring stuff. And you will learn more about that with experience specific to your camp and accomodations. In my opinion you are working in a super fun and super important position on the waterfront. Your full attention will be required at all times, and it may sometimes get a bit tedious. An added bonus is that you should end up with a fairly nice suntan. We called the guys that worked the pool and lakefront at my camp, "bronze gods."😂 Every Scout that attends your camp will be at your program area at some point or another. You have the best opportunity in the whole place to influence and inspire the younger Scouts who will be looking up to you. Devote yourself to that opportunity! One of the coolest things from my experience on the camp staff in my area was that I made many lifelong friends. Guys I met and served with on staff for 6 years are still my trusted buddies to this day (and that staff time was 40 years ago). Most of us returned to the same camp with our kids and served as unit leaders. Many of us still volunteer a bunch of time to help the camp during season and off-season in a variety of roles. Your time on camp staff will greatly equip you for future non-scouting jobs, and will also form a solid foundation for any future duties you may take on as a Scouter or volunteer in another organization. Have a great summer!!
  7. 1 point
    It's too bad that as Scouters, some pretend to go by the rules (on paper), when in reality, so many dance around the rules that are set in place. And then we wonder why our youth take it upon themselves to decide which rules to follow and which ones are ok to just pretend that we follow. Either we have co-ed dens, or we don't. If co-ed Dens are what BSA wants, then why do we have to whisper it? If co-ed Dens are not what BSA wants, then why do we pretend to follow the rules, on paper, but really openly go against it?
  8. 1 point
    I have one of these https://www.mydogtag.com/military/army-medical-warning-tag hanging with a normal dogtag/silencer My name, DOB, emergency contact is on the normal with more medical information on the medical tag. The red medical tag has more space (19char/line, 6 lines) than a normal sized dog tag. As far as I am concerned it has all the medical information needed in an emergency situation. I wear them when ever I am in the wild. My suggestion is to summarize the important info on one or two tags. The point about my epilepsy is that it doesn't change appropriate seizure first aid. You don't need to know that I have a history of seizures to provide first aid. Your example actually supports my point a little. Without that information you would have overreacted. That isn't great but it certainly isn't as bad as under-reacting.
  9. 1 point
    I think the critical question is why the older scouts don't care. If they have grown past the " gotta have more bling" stage and care more about having fun and teaching the younger scouts then yes that's a good thing. Bur we had a district camporee that the same troops patrols" won" year after year. Even when it was very clear that they didn't. Somehow the numbers always got tweaked just enough for them to win. After a while the older scouts just stopped competing. Sometimes they are smarter than we think.
  10. 1 point
    I'm a den leader. My daughter won the pinewood derby this year. No one blinked because, well, her car was the fastest, and that's how it goes sometimes. She was surprised, tbh, and I was of course proud. I think, especially with the cubs, we have to move away from making gender a highlighted thing in general. Scouts are scouts. We judge them on their performance at events like cub games or jamborees. We are guided by the oath and law, and our training as leaders. That said, I've often though coed dens might help this, and of course it should be up to each pack. But in our case, a combined group of girls serving as a single den stands out a lot more than a mix of girls and boys in dens, and it would lessen feelings of a boy vs girl mentality at events like this. There are plenty of practical reasons a change like this might be useful (after all, venturing scout troops have been co-ed for a long time). As long as the YPT policies are followed with female and male leaders two deep, I don't see why this couldn't become more common. Some troops might not want to do that, and that's fine. Let's make it a choice. I think there will be hiccups along the way. It's incumbent upon the leaders to try and do better. We all need to do our best to avoid marginalizing the boys (intentionally or not) and we need to avoid marginalizing the girls too, especially if we want to retain scouts. It will take a little time to get over these growing pains. But I think in the end, scouting will be much richer for it. After all, throughout life, our kids will have to learn to work with people from all backgrounds and the more they get to do this in scouts, the more they can hopefully respect others. And I definitely don't want the girls to be given special treatment. My daughter bombed her outdoor code, and I wonder if she was penalized as much as a boy would have been. I didn't see all the score sheets, but I wonder. And I don't want them to wonder if their awards aren't real. It may come from a well-intentioned place, but either you know your oaths and law, or you don't. On the flip side, there were cubs chanting 'boys are stronger than girls' at the campfire, and we can't have that either. We need to be unified in the scouting family.
  11. 1 point
    I've often seen biased judging too and I rarely like camporees competitions, unless we win. But except for the physical size, I don't see much advantage by older scouts. Younger scouts often benefit from more recent teaching and being a little more focused. Older scouts have size, but have often forgot or are not as committed to the competition. My experience is few older scouts really care about the competition.
  12. 1 point
    I hope you take it up with your district committee. That had nothing to do with those girls.
  13. 1 point
    I'd love to see more *photos* of the various set-ups in the field. If I can avoid dragging a heavy framed cover thing on outings, I'd sure like to. Especially shorter outings, where it hardly seems worthwhile to drag that thing out for 24 hours or less. But the reality of our location is that outings happen in the rain or not at all, so good covers are necessary.
  14. 1 point
    You might want to actually talk to the people at your food bank to see if there's a better, more effective way to handle donations. Food banks are often FAR more effective at actually addressing hunger using cash donations than handling food that you would buy at retail prices. Events like Scouting for Food do provide some limited benefit to the community, and it's a visible effort, albeit one that's more about PR and "feel good" than it is about actual bang for the buck. Giving the cash directly to the food bank can feed 20 times more people than buying those cans from Walmart. Read more here: https://www.npr.org/2011/11/22/142661882/a-case-for-cash-donations-instead-of-cans
  15. 1 point
    So a group of girls who are all brand new to the BSA outperformed boys, many of whom presume, have been in scouts for a number of years, but the brand new girls still outperformed the more experienced boys for the top district award...interesting. I'm presuming that there was a judges meeting before the competition. Did you, as planner inform the judges beforehand that you wanted to ensure that the girls would not be judged unfairly? We have to bear in mind that judging for many camporee or klondike events is heavily subjective. Going a step further biased judging is also not uncommon. My troop had for many years attended a camporee that every year was won by a different patrol but always from the host troop; every single year. For our troop this camporee was not really about winning but more so about the experience. We always took it with a grain of salt that we knew in advance who was going to win and figured that most of the other troops had a similar approach and mindset to it.
  16. 1 point
    Are you saying that the normal natural talents of these girls in a patrol method program were enough to earn them the highest skills awards in the district, in just one month? Somebody was trying to prove something. Was it the girls? The list was warned about this. There is a reason single gender is preferred for growth in this age group. Not just scouts, but any area where growth is the primary objective. When one gender has an advantage to gain recognition or power over the other gender, the other gender naturally feel disheartened and belittled. The natural reaction is retreating away from the situation. In this case, the boys aren't just competing against girls, but the adults as well. If the girls really are that good, then there is no hope because I've never heard of a new scouts doing so well so fast. But, it's not really that, boys aren't stupid. The well dressed cheering adults standing next to that troop is the real advantage against boy run troops were adults are encourage to stand back. Why in the world would boys want to join an organization where girls are continually propped up as the good of scouting, and given advantages in their competition. Who wants that? We saw it on this forum for the last year. "Let the girls show the boys how to do it". Hey, if Sablanck had a boys troop leave the camporee with all the awards, would he give a big thumbs up for boys? Truth is the boys are going to have to put up with this stuff for quite awhile because women are the thing these days. It's on the news, the movies, and sports. Hey, what is the national theme this month? Meanwhile the boys are expected to keep doing their patrol method without the same kind of adult assistance for performance. And when the patrols are mixed, adults will praise the great leadership of the weaker sex as well. As I said, I observed over the years that girls are instinctively detail minded and that is an advantage over the instinctively visionary boys. Many adults will enjoy and justify the great leadership of the girls, and even how girls are more mature and better at these things. Adults can't help themselves, but at the same time, the boy run program now requires adult intervention just to kind of keep growth fair. Growth through independence will fade away and be replaced by accolades of advancement recognition and the stature of leadership. It's the times I guess. Remember your story of your daughter slapping the hand of the "Oklahoma" Boy who offered his help. Explain again why slapping away the offering of help "from a boy" was a good thing? Barry
  17. 1 point
    This has been a problem with our troop for the last few years. Our older scouts did not have this requirement and have no idea how to teach this. Typically they (first class and above) sign off on requirements and we had a few sign off on the use of a car GPS using a street address. As SM I feel that the BSA is an outdoor program and a handheld should be used in the back country or while camping for 4b. Our solution was to have a meeting with the scouts and discuss what they felt should be taught and learned in this requirement. The consensus was to learn waypoints, lat/long, working the interface on a hand held so that GPS skills would be ready for high adventure. We also talked abput maps vs GPS which was very interesting.
  18. 1 point
    Yep, definitely a great motivator to encourage more boys to join. Barry
  19. 1 point
    Too many (not on this forum) seem to think the requirements are to be done at home and then signed off when accompanied by a parent note. This is not cub scouts. First step is instruction on the GPS etc, by their Patrol Leader, Instructor, etc... This instruction should include using the gps to determine location, provide driving directions, walking directions, off road travel, etc... The instruction should not be limited to the most basic minimal "sign-off" of the requirement. Then they practice. Then they are tested. I always like to have requirements be part of the adventure as opposed to a stand-alone-I-did-it-once-now-sign-my-book. So, while the scout might have practiced with their folks in the car, with video evidence. They still need to be "tested". (assuming instruction took place). What *I* would do is acknowledge the learning and practice and then let them know that on the next Scout activity they can ride with me and use the GPS to determine their location, and plot a route to our destination and provide me with the directions as we go. I would also like to ensure that the instruction recieved was more than the basics.
  20. 1 point
    Our district (maybe even our whole council) doesn't even bother with Popcorn sales. The district fundraiser consists of Camp Cards in the spring and chocolate and meat sticks in the Fall. My daughter sells the camp cards door to door and she loves it. Last year I didn't think she was ready developmentally for booth sales, but I think she's ready to try it this year. Veering a little off topic: For chocolate and meat sticks, this fall she put on her uniform, made some signs to tape to an old baby stroller frame, and we went downtown to sell snacks to all the Pokemon Go players on two "Community Days" which, if you're not familiar with PoGo, are in-game events that get tons of people out together playing Pokemon. The second time we had to scrounge around and ask for partial unsold boxes from other members of the Pack to get sufficient candy and meat to sell... and we sold out long before the event was over. I posted in a local Pokemon Go facebook group to let people know where we'd be and a picture so they'd know who to watch for (and so they'd bring cash). Several people told us they'd seen us on Facebook and had been watching for us.
  21. 1 point
    I think it needs to be made clear that our church simply doesn't have "community bulletin boards" where people can come and post whatever events or programs they wish. So if somebody wants to recruit LDS boys into Scouting, it has to come from people acting for themselves, and in venues apart from the Church's facilities. Those who wish to remain in Scouting are perfectly welcome to go and obtain the information they need, but that is outside the parameters of Church leadership and responsibility, and it to be done outside of our properties to ensure that the separation is both amicable and unmistakable. As a new commissioner considering the idea of starting up a new unit specifically designed to continue LDS-minded Scouting (but obviously open to ANY boys who wish to participate), I understand that I need to be careful explaining that our unit will follow LDS values and ideals, but will NOT be an "LDS unit" in that it will neither be sponsored nor operated by the Church. If youth from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or from any other religious background, are interested in joining the unit, they will need to come to me or to other adults who are part of forming that unit. I cannot, nor would I wish to, use the Church or its leaders as ad-men to try and promote my unit. The Church will have its own, involving program to get off the ground, and Scouting would only be a distraction to that cause. And who knows? I may find I become so invested in the new program that I don't have time for Scouting. I can't say. But I must be guided by my duty to God first above anything, and right now there is no conflict between that duty and my duties to Scouting that I am aware of.
  22. 1 point
    My take is National's reply is code for just relish in the new program where girls are earning Eagles. All this patrol method and youth protection stuff is noise that will eventually blend into the future of the program. All is good. One of my neighbors, who was also an ASM while I was SM, stopped by to chat while walking his dog. He brought up his son and how he takes his family camping a lot. I took that moment to asked him what he thought about the new BSA program, without giving him any of my opinions. His only comment was, "thank goodness my son and I were Boy Scouts before all these changes." The only changes he knows about are what he heard on the news. He doesn't know about all this other stuff that likely will has change the program more than the single change of bringing in girls. I know it's the times, but this program is sure a long ways from my dads troop where they met at the church on Friday and hiked out of town until they got tired. With the permission of the owner, they set up camp there for the weekend. I think National is fighting for it's life. Barry
  23. 1 point
    Forty two years ago.... We mostly worked. As @MikeS72 well said, it was still fun, even the work weekends. Conclaves and the '79 NOAC were enjoyable. Looking back, I think the prime motivator for me was OA camaraderie, rather than an emphasis on fun. Quiet pride. To make the cut at the troop level, complete a difficult ordeal, and associate with like-minded honor campers whose outlook was "give the us the tough jobs", that to me was more important than fun. To be around those types of scouts and scouters made me strive to be a better camper and leader. Taking on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do became a habit that helped me quite a bit in adult life.... "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." It's amazing how often I still remind myself of these words. The OA could readopt the old criteria. If it wanted to.
  24. 1 point
    G2SS May 2018 All Scouts registered in troops are eligible to participate in troop or patrol overnight campouts, camporees, and resident camps. Patrol Activities—A Scout patrol may participate in patrol activities. Two-deep adult leadership is required. Patrol Leaders Handbook (2010) Most patrol activities take place within the framework of the troop. However, patrols may also set out on day hikes, service projects, and overnighters independent of the troop and free of adult leadership as long as they follow two rules: • The Scoutmaster approves the patrol activity. • The patrol activity does not interfere with any troop function. So yes, the rules have changed (didn't find a 2017 Patrol Leader's Handbook on-line). Now, when I was a Scoutmaster I had the boys ask to do an outing that wasn't necessarily allowed by the G2SS. No, not rob a bank but things like laser tag or paintball. What I told the boys was that those activities were not sanctioned by the BSA but if they wanted to plan it out and even invite me, I'd be game but I made it clearly understood to them and their parents that it wasn't a Scout activity. Would I do that today for an overnight activity? Probably not. But a few years ago, I had one patrol (older boys) do a "patrol outing" of sorts where they camped out of earshot and sight line from the remainder of the troop, we were hosting Webelos Scouts, and the boys absolutely loved it. I made the mile walk around 9:30 PM to see if everything was kosher and then again around 7:30 AM just as a check. It really fostered youth leadership and they talked about that outing for years as one of their favorites. You have to know your boys and I'm a believer that the more you put trust in them, the more they will reward you for that trust. I'm sure it was a liability issue for the BSA but it's sad they took the patrol option away.
  25. 0 points
    The camporee was set up so that the adults running the events could give the ribbons to anyone they wanted to for any reason they wanted. The scoring system was things other than best time or best score. I know this because our troop went head to head with the girls in the Alligator Pit Crossing (lashing contest) our boys got a better time then the girls and were told we had the 8th best time of the day so far. So the girls had a time that was 9th best or worse. When the awards were given out we got a second place ribbon in the event that our boys feel THEY DO NOT DESERVE. The troop that did the even before us did the event in half the time as us, were younger scouts and had great scout spirit and they got nothing. The girls got a first place in the Alligator Pit Crossing and it makes zero sense to me or the boys in our troop. The 5 girl patrol won first place at lashings, first place at Frisbee, first place at knot tying, first place at soccer, first place at first aid and first place at leaky can relay they got several other ribbons as well, I can't remember them all. No other troop that I can remember got more than 2 ribbons, there was no strong second place patrol, the new 5 girls patrol skunked everyone. It was not even close. The people running the camporee made a point of saying that the girls winning best troop proves that girls belong in the BSA and that now the boys need to step up their game so that they can keep up with the girls. Sunday morning the boys in my troop were wondering out loud *IF* they ever go to another camporee that had 3 girl patrols instead of just one, would the girls automatically win first second and third in every event? The boys in my troop are not happy.
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