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  1. 9 points
    One thing I learned as a scoutmaster: get all the information before having an opinion. We don't have all the information. We can guess but won't help. Something else that has helped my sanity; realizing that eagle is nothing but a bauble at the end of a list of check boxes. While most scouts get what we'd like them to get out of it there are those that just see it as one big check box. I have a lot more respect for those scouts that volunteer to be SPL or PL because they know it's a job that needs to be done than an eagle scout that only held a POR long enough to get the check box signed off. I'm not saying just give in to the scout's desires and sign everything off as quick as they'd like. Rather, use eagle as a tool. Each scout is different and requires different tools to motivate them to do their best. I used to treat eagle like, well, how the BSA sells it. Consequently I would seek those scouts that would cut corners and make them go back and do it again. While a lot of scouts thanked me I also broke some rules in the process. I'm not sure it was worth it. The adult's job is to motivate scouts to do their best. The eagle bauble is just one tool to do that. It may have been better to spend more time developing other tools, such as teamwork within patrols, or having fun activities that develop outdoor skills. There's a lot of tension in this thread and it's just like all the other threads about advancement. Did the girl cheat? Did the leaders or parents grease the skids? Or was this just a really motivated scout? We really don't know. But the tension is going to do a lot more damage than the good that might come from making sure scouts don't cut corners.
  2. 9 points
    It may be encouraging to remember that while 2 years may sound like a tight squeeze, it's not impossible. Scouts have been doing just that for a century - starting at 11 or 12 and earning it at 13 or 14. If they can do it at such tender ages, I'm sure these young women will be even more capable of making it happen, what with their advantages of maturity, desire, and resources. I will express, however, that if a young lady joins a unit with the driving goal of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, she may have already misunderstood the purpose of Scouting. The goal of a Scout should never be "to earn one's Eagle." This overlooks the vast and myriad spectrum of opportunities which Scouting affords our youth, the real goals which are represented by the rank of Eagle Scout, but not beholden to it. Learning how to camp, learning how to vote, learning how to treat a wound. Learning first aid, and communication skills, and crafts and sciences and cultures, becoming invested in the world around them, and using what they learn to help others. Discovering for themselves the possibilities - and responsibilities - of the world around them. Above all, becoming, truly, trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Those are the true goals of Scouting. So, if you want to give these girls the most that Scouting has to offer, make this focus on personal development your top priority, using the Path to Eagle as a means of organizing, focusing and measuring their personal progress towards becoming better people, but never sacrificing the structure and integrity of its requirements for the sake of "pushing through it." It's a tool towards preparing young people with the vital life skills and knowledge they will need to be effective and honorable adults, and if a Scout follows the advancement program faithfully and diligently, with the goal of absorbing all that they can from the program, then they will have achieved the real achievement of Scouting - becoming a good, moral, contributing part of their families and communities. So, I opine that the single best approach, FOR ALL SCOUTS, is simply to follow the program faithfully, intentionally, and sincerely, using advancement as a tool to help you organize your activities and measure your progress as you work to learn all you can in the time allotted you, but not allowing it to become the reason you Scout. Those early ranks teach the core principles and skills of Scouting. They are not designed for "young Scouts." They are meant for new Scouts, of any age, and they are intentionally designed to create the essential foundation of skills and knowledge espoused by this program. I have more respect for the First Class Scout who has truly invested himself in mastering the requirements of his rank than for the Eagle Scout who brushed through them just to get started on his leadership tenures. For these new Scouts, it's FAR more important that you focus on ensuring the early ranks are passed thoroughly than it is to "skip to the higher ranks." Besides, success at those levels inherently depends on whether or not the Scout has truly demonstrated his competence in the requirements leading up to First Class. It's wonderful that these girls are driven and willing to work. Your job is make sure that they are in Scouting to become Scouts, in the deeper sense of that expression. Working carefully, not hastily, towards Eagle will help them to get the most out of their experience. And even if they don't make it that far, such an approach will ensure they still reap the true benefits of the program for the rest of their lives. Good luck!
  3. 9 points
    Dear Friends, including Moderators: I agree with those who think we should mainstream discussion of Scouts BSA all-girl troops. Pigeon-holing us into a politics chapter continues a negative cast on a decision that, while not supported by all of our members, is actually working out quite well. We should not have to defend against negativism when what we really want to do is discuss how the program is best working in the new units. Please make the change. I've been the senior volunteer at the Unit, District, Council (major metropolitan) and Area levels, and served on national and council committees for over 30 years. I've formed over 20 units in my time. I "retired" from all of that and am now a Scoutmaster of a 25-member all-girl troop in an urban area with a committee of 15. I thought I had seen it all until we added these all-girl Scouts BSA units. In my opinion this is the best enhancement to our ability to serve young people over the last 20 years. I was on camp staff for a few years in my youth, and the kind of cutting and unrelenting negativism from those who do not appear to be on the front lines of this development sound like a Scoutmaster named Igor we saw during first period each year. He could never be satisfied with anything the camp staff did because "national" and the "council" had "ruined" the Scouting program of his 1940/50's youth. We had - gasp - propane in the patrol kitchens, were shifting to "ugly" tan shirts, and somewhere at some other chartered organization there were now girls doing things in Exploring. Yes, even though he had no obligation to involve himself with a female Explorer Post, the knowledge that a BSA group out there included young women had indeed ruined his experience of operating his all-boy Troop. Folks, there are always changes to our program and there will always be people who claim that those changes have ruined what was better or perfect before. In the 50's it was the - gasp - welcoming of African-American Scouts into Troops. Imagine that -- Scouting "ruined" way back then. These people will always be with us and there is nothing we can do about that. But there is one thing I have learned about this through my years as a Scout and my 30 years as a unit/council/national Scouter. It is the optimists and cheerleaders who make Scouting happen and will always be the future and leaders of our movement. I urge the moderators to begin a program thread on Scouts BSA implementation for girl troops and prohibit political discussions on that thread. Let's get on with helping the 1,800 new Scoutmasters, Troop Committee Chairs and Troop Committees out there. When was the last time we actually had 1,800 new Troops in this movement? Yes, it was back in Igor's youth -- in the 40s and 50s. I believe the good times are returning because now everyone is welcome..
  4. 9 points
    Barry: My effort is to create a positive, encouraging thread that highlights positive program activities about all-girl troops. Under the rules of this blog it is proper that off-topic postings are removed from a focused thread, and that is what happened here (and not at my request). Nothing aggressive about that. I look for the better side of people, like the overwhelming majority of bloggers here. My scouting bio includes AOL, Eagle, sea Scout QM, camp staff, vigil, unit leader, district Chair, Council President and Area President. Now I am focusing only on being a Scoutmaster. I have a child in our program, as do my three Eagle brothers. i fully support that the BSA is fully welcoming and my personal engagement has shown me that the decision on girls was the right one.
  5. 7 points
    This discussion is exactly what many experienced scouters on this forum predicted would happen. The non scouting public identifies Scouting only by the Eagle. And by golly the girls parents are going to get it for them. Greenbar who? Barry
  6. 7 points
    I think this is a grave disservice to any of your girls, or any Scout for that matter, to create a 2 year plan for them in order to earn Eagle. THEY ARE THE ONES WHO NEED TO CREATE THEIR OWN PLAN AS EACH INDIVIDUAL IS DIFFERENT ( major emphasis). Part of the journey to Eagle is the Scout deciding their own path, the Scout deciding what they want to do, the Scout deciding how they are going to achieve their goals. What have they learned if you hand them a plan?
  7. 7 points
    Five years, and I am still trying to sort out how leadership is in any way distinct from character development, citizenship, and mental and physical fitness.
  8. 7 points
    Well, then if the "Barriers to Abuse" are to stand and be considered rules, they should change to FAQ to read: Yes, 2 registered adults over the age of 21 are required at ALL activities. A stupid rule that is consistent is better than a stupid rule that's inconsistent with arbitrary exceptions. And at least with a consistent rule people can stop arguing about what the rule means, and start just deciding when they are going to obey it, and when the stupidity of it means that it will get ignored. The unfortunate thing about the stupidity of issuing rules that can't be obeyed is that all it really does is erode the credibility of the remaining rules along with the authority of the national organization to decide them.
  9. 6 points
    Welcome, @EagleDad79, to scouter. If you are the IH or COR, it’s easy. Find a new CM, train him, then have a big retirement party for the old guy, thanking him for dedicated and passionate service to the Pack. If you’re the Committee Chair, it’s time to have a business cup of coffee with the COR. Anyone else, and you bring your concerns to the Committee Chair.
  10. 6 points
    I ran into the same frustration. My logical engineering mind couldn’t understand how to explain the budget of a youth program dynamic of activities we couldn’t predict would occur. I took it personally. But it wasn’t personal at all. My CPA wife explained that the church has to account for all their assets and activities. The budget is a baseline to keep track of their performance. As far as they are concerned, your troop is just asset “D” on the budget list. They can’t even guess asset D’s cost to the church, so they are asking the operators of asset D. Your basic answer is Ds operation will take in this much and spend this much. It will show no cost to the church. The church will move on to asset “E”. Barry
  11. 6 points
    There are no BSA class B uniforms; there are, however, activity shirts. As much as I admire scouts who do all of their outdoor activities in ther field uniform, I've never found this a hill to die on. I've also never been thrilled with BSA's marketing material, so there's that.
  12. 6 points
    You are dead on right. An 11 year old is not the audience for the theory of learning. Rank and MB requirements should not say EDGE. Instead, say "Teach a scout" or "Show a new scout". As scouts mature and age, then NYLT can reveal that BSA's preferred teaching method is EDGE and here's how it works. Learning is a continuum. (leadership, teaching, etc). At the earlier levels, learning starts with doing. This matches Baden-Powell saying that advancement is the natural result of being active. So, learning EDGE should be a natural result of helping each others. At those earlier levels, we encourage confidence in their new knowledge and confidence in reaching out to help others. ... Plus, teaching EDGE makes the learning too dry and boring for the scouts. I think there is a corollary with teaching leadership. Troops would be more successful teaching leadership if they stopped staying they are teaching leadership. I cringe when I hear it. Plus, It kills the buzz and is clumsy and inconsistent at best. Rather, units should focus on a quality program. Then advanced leader training can explain the meta-learning objectives and methods such as leadership.
  13. 6 points
    I started backpacking in the '70s. There were plenty of funky, loud backpacks and tents. And the clothes! Remember the stars and stripes/red/white/blue external frame packs? I've always wanted one of those. But I digress. When I was backpacking as a scout back then and encountered other folks on the trail, be they earthy Ecology types, hippies, or Joe or Jane Citizen, not once, not ever, was there an issue about bright colors. There was always a sense of mutual respect and camaraderie, even for just a couple seconds in passing, or we might stop and visit a spell. Scouts, "squares" or the amazing hippies, we were all in the outdoors, enjoying life. So what has changed? As beneficial as LNT is, there are times I think some of the philosophies border on outdoor elitism. Humans and the Earth are more resilient than we give credit for.
  14. 6 points
    Posted on my Council FB page today.... Today the National Council held a press conference call to address the inaccuracies and mischaracterizations that were made in yesterday’s press conferences held in New York and New Jersey. Below is the transcript for your review. Prepared Remarks of Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America I am here today to correct inaccuracies and mischaracterizations about our organization and the efforts we have taken to protect youth, which has been and continues to be our absolute top priority. First, I want to reiterate our steadfast support for victims of abuse. ▪ We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children. ▪ We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. ▪ We believe victims, we support them, and we pay for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice and we encourage them to come forward. In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in our Scouting programs at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs. We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse. Experts note that among the general US population, one in six men have experienced sexual abuse or assault at some point in their lives. This is an unacceptable public health problem that must be addressed, and we seek to be part of the solution along with all other youth-serving organizations. Our volunteer screening database is a mechanism for keeping kids safe. Let me share with you the facts: ▪ ALL instances of suspected abuse are reported to law enforcement. We do not keep any reports of suspected abuse secret or hidden from the proper authorities. ▪ Long before there were smart phones, email, the internet, criminal databases, or other modern methods available to identify or track predators, the BSA took a vital step to help protect children from bad people by creating what is known as the Ineligible Volunteer Files, or the IV Files. Its purpose was to ensure that anyone seen as unfit to be a leader – even those not charged or convicted of any crime, would be removed and banned forever from our program. ▪ The creation of those files was just the first step in the BSA’s development of a comprehensive set of strategies designed to provide the best possible youth protection system. Today, record- keeping or databases such as ours are recommended by experts, including the CDC, as an important step in protecting children. ▪ While it has often been misunderstood and criticized, time and time again the IV Files, now called our Volunteer Screening Database, have successfully prevented potential predators from re- joining our organization and gaining access to youth. That is precisely why we have been maintaining these records since the 1920s. ▪ We have a very low threshold for removing someone from our scouting programs. Individuals are added to our Volunteer Screening Database based on suspected or known violations of our policies. They don’t need to have been arrested or convicted of a crime to be added to the database. This is because our priority is to protect kids, first and foremost, above all else. It is an ongoing tool the BSA uses to keep youth safe from potential perpetrators. I’d now like to introduce you to Dr. Janet Warren, a professor from the University of Virginia and a researcher and expert in sexual crimes against children. Dr. Warren has spent her career analyzing and profiling sexual offenders and serves as the University of Virginia liaison to the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit. The BSA engaged Dr. Warren in 2011 to review the files maintained in our Volunteer Screening Database and analyze ways that the BSA could further improve its youth protection efforts. The BSA publicly released Dr. Warren’s first report in 2012. In our efforts to continually be on the forefront of youth protection, the BSA asked Dr. Warren to continue her work and evaluation of our database and barriers to abuse. She is in the final stages of that report. Dr. Warren has reached a number of conclusions as the work has progressed and we’ve asked her to be here today to speak to her work with us. Prepared Remarks of Dr. Janet Warren, Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences (PNBS) at the University of Virginia • Good afternoon. I’d like to speak about the body of work I have done for the BSA since my initial report in 2012 and provide context to some of the figures presented in the media. I reviewed full, complete and unredacted files from the BSA that have been commonly referred to as the confidential files, perversion files or, as the BSA now refers to them, the Volunteer Screening Database. My team of researchers analyzed the data to see what attributes, patterns or profiles could be gleaned from the incidents. We made several key observations and we are in the process of finalizing our work. • I’d like to share with you some of the most salient findings today. I anticipate being able to present the work in a comprehensive manner sometime this summer. • First, one of the key observations we made is that the data demonstrated that the Scouting program is safe and the BSA’s use of a database to prevent unsuitable adults from accessing children was cutting edge and it worked. Even through the years when there were no computers, the BSA’s efforts were effective in keeping unsuitable volunteers from gaining access to youth in the Scouting program. • The rate of incidence of reported abuse in BSA programs was far less than the rate of incidence in society as a whole. And the data shows that the BSA’s youth protection efforts since the 1980’s have been highly effective in preventing abuse. • Second, there is no evidence of a coverup by the Boy Scouts of America. • 100% of all cases reported over the last 50 years were reported to law enforcement. • Additionally, as experts in this area agree, there is no profile of an offender that can be discerned from the data. The research underscores the importance of moving beyond simplistic and overly inclusive explanations of child sexual abuse. • Finally, the research underscores the need for a national database to track persons unsuitable to work with youth, similar to the one the BSA has used for almost 100 years. Criminal records checks and sexual offender registries based upon criminal convictions are inadequate to protect against offenders who have never been arrested or convicted. Prepared Remarks of Erin Eisner, Chief Strategy Officer for the Boy Scouts of America ▪ My name is Erin Eisner, and I’m the BSA’s Chief Strategy Officer for Culture and People. I am also a mom of two Scouts. My son joined as a Cub Scout, and my daughter and I are thrilled that she is now a member of Scouts BSA. ▪ I’d like to pick up where Dr. Warren left off to discuss what we are doing to help keep kids safe, both inside and outside of Scouting. While our database has served to keep millions of children safe in our Scouting programs, we have learned a lot over the years, and we want to share that with other youth servicing organizations. We know that our policies and barriers to abuse can help prevent child sex abuse throughout our communities and across all organizations. ▪ Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to prevent predators from having access to children is to track data on those individuals who have violated youth protection policies or have even been suspected of violating those policies. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control looked at the issue of keeping kids safe in youth serving organizations in 2007 and noted that databases such as the one BSA uses are a recognized method of protecting children from predators. As you’ve heard today, the BSA has employed this practice since virtually the inception of our organization. ▪ We are eager to share the information contained in our database with other youth serving organizations. That is why we’ve advocated for and will continue to push for the creation of a national database to serve as a clearing house for all youth serving organizations. Our vision, and one shared by others working hard in this space to protect youth, is that all youth serving organizations would be required to track and document those adults who have harmed children or have been suspected of harming children and report this information into a national registry. Similar to the National Sex Offender Public Website maintained by the Department of Justice, our goal is the creation of a registry for those who seek to work with children. This would reduce the risk that potential abusers could gain access to children by moving or going to another youth-serving organization after being removed. We are working with other groups and organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the CDC to see how we can assist in this critical development. We’ve also called on Congress to partner in these efforts and to develop legislative mechanisms to facilitate this national database into a reality. ▪ We are optimistic about these efforts because we know they will make a difference – we have seen firsthand the impact they’ve had on our own organization’s steps to protect children. ▪ Children in our Scouting programs are safe today. Millions of children participate in and benefit from the character building and leadership activities in our programs – without incident. Parents can be confident in our program today and be proud of our efforts to protect children while they learn, have fun and experience Scouting as it was intended. I am confident in this. ▪ I am an Executive with the BSA but first and foremost, I am a mother. And my heart breaks for any child that has experienced the tragedy and trauma of abuse. If I felt, for a second, that Scouting was unsafe, I would not be associated with nor advocate for the BSA. To the contrary, I am confident in our program and confident in our efforts to protect children. My own daughter and son are both members of Scouts BSA and participate in Scouting locally in a dynamic and safe troop here in Dallas. I have no reservations about their participation and am excited to see more and more children, across the country, including record numbers of young women, be introduced to the Scouting program. +++
  15. 6 points
    I met an Eagle Scout a few months back. Talked to him for a bit coming out of the hospital. He was 20 years old, about to marry his high school sweet heart and was enrolling in college. He wants to be a biomedical engineer. He lost both legs below the knees and part of his hand in Afghanistan. I assume from IED, he didn't say and I didn't pry. He did say he was an E4 and a squad leader over there. I couldn't imagine telling him he was not ANYTHING enough to be a full fledged Scout leader if he chose. Yet I have met fifty-something year old Scouters I wouldn't let walk my dog let alone depend on them to get my children back home safely from an camp out.
  16. 6 points
    This happens from time to time. Somebody not being allowed to hold their talking stick when and where they want to. @SSF Why don't you start your own topic of Abysmal Examples of Scouts BSA for Girls? That way you can have the moderators ding everyone who posts something positive. Then those folks can claim foul about being manipulated by elites. @Cburkhardt, you have gone to some lengths to reply to everyone who hasn't proffered the responses that you'd like to see. That's nice. But I will note that it only intends to invite equally long off-topic aggrieved retorts. It kind of defeats your purpose. We can still enjoy opposing views on this forum. But, going around raining on someone's parade is not the way to do it.
  17. 5 points
    That may very well work for you, but to my Libertarian views it smacks of building irrational fear to justify encroaching on personal liberties. "Don't worry, we'll keep you safe from them; all you have to give up is just a few of your Rights."
  18. 5 points
    What is an activity? In our troop, it is anything other than the scheduled troop / patrol meetings. It has to be in some form of scouting context. It can even be the patrol hanging out in a scout's basement on a Friday night. Is service an activity? Yes. I'd ask it this way --> What is your objective with the requirement? IMHO, it's to promote the positive. We want scouts involved. We absolutely want the scouts involved with service projects. So why wouldn't you let the scout count it as an activity. The opposite would be scouts avoiding service projects because of the negative that happened when they tried to use them for a list of activities. Keeping a log of activities? It's nice to promote good habits, but it's the 10 activities that are required. The LOG is NOT required. It's an important difference. We are promoting being active scout. We are not promoting bureaucratic overhead. IMHO, if the scout wants that 10 activity requirement signed off, he needs to answer the question to the SM (or designated signer). If he has a log, great ! It helps. Otherwise, he can receipt them and count on his fingers. It's the activities that are required. Not the paperwork. Online Troopmaster recording? That's for the benefit of the troop. In no way does it "significantly" help the scout. ... We stopped recording detailed advancement in Troopmaster a decade ago and have never missed it. ... My experience is keep the scouting infrastructure simple. It promotes better experiences. Paper scout handbook recording? That's exactly why the handbook exists as it is. It has sign off pages. It has checklists. It has logging pages (if the scout wants to use them). It exists to help the scout. The scout can carry it with him everywhere he goes. The most important reason to use the paper handbook ... It gives the scout responsibility to control and manage his own records. It eliminate him having to beg for printouts or have online records be updated and then be at the whim of others for his own records.
  19. 5 points
    Thanks to @RememberSchiff @Sentinel947 @Eagle94-A1 @desertrat77 @willray and @DuctTapefor the warm welcome back. 😎 This summer I do hope to participate in a few threads like this, but with the goal of learning how to make short "explainer" graphs and videos for Free Range kids. What would be the pros and cons of joining a "Troop," if you are a Lone Patrol of kids encouraged by your parents to seek adventure on your own? Thanks again! Yours at 300 feet, Kudu Kudu.Net
  20. 5 points
    Always time for good news: I had a great time at our camporee. The weather was great. The theme was Alien Space Crash. We worked into it some novel team work problem solving, first aid, a mile map and compass course, an old BP game (sneaking up on the blind folded scout), semaphores, first aid, some search and rescue, shooting tennis balls with a water balloon launcher, and a relay race through the woods (everything had an alien theme). That, and I got to make fun of myself channeling my inner Dan Akroyd with an aluminum foil cone head hat. The best part was that I saw a lot of smiles this weekend. I also stepped down as camping chair and may have found an organized replacement. The deal is they'll handle the mundane details and the asinine council if I keep helping with the fun ideas. How great is that?
  21. 5 points
    Camp song "Linger" Hmmm, I want to linger. Hmmm, A little longer. Hmmm, A little longer, Here with you. Hmmm, It's such a perfect night. Hmmm, It doesn't seem quite right. Hmmm, That this should be, My last with you. Hmmm, And come September, Hmmm, I will remember, Hmmm, Our Scouting days, Of friendships true. Hmmm, And as the years go by, Hmmm, I'll think of you and sigh. Hmmm, This is good night And not good bye. Hmmm I want to linger. Hmmm A little longer. Hmmm A little longer, Here with you.
  22. 5 points
    "Leadership" is now included among four Aims of Scouting (up from the previously clearly understood three), which are prominently displayed in boldface on the face-page, along with the BSA Mission Statement, in the 2019 Guide to Advancement. The eight Methods of Scouting, though they remain unchanged, are not so highlighted and practically buried on page 11 of the GTA. Perhaps someone on the blog, preferably a professional Scouter can speak to this? I saw where some of this was discussed elsewhere in the topic "Whats in a Name"; however, the root of this change was never discussed nor was any official BSA policy change ever highlighted. I have to say I'm stunned at the lack of communication regarding an addition to the Aims (as well as the apparent subordination of the Methods). I've been championing three Aims and eight Methods over my 15 years of scouter-ship and I actually feel foolish that I wasn't aware of this change. If Leadership is truly now one of our Aims, I think National could start by demonstrating better care and concern over our cherished values ... either they mean something, ladies & gentlemen, or they don't. I remember when AYSO - recreational youth soccer - added a sixth philosophy "player development" several years ago. That change was communicated far and wide, up and down the structure, because everybody in that organization respected and cherished the core principles. Far from being nit-picky, or trifling, everything in my professional and volunteer leadership training - which is considerable - says that capricious or slight-of-hand changes to core principles are significant red-flags in an organization. I hold the BSA so very dear, I hope someone accountable can stand up and explain the change to our Aims and its unacceptably poor communication. - - Craig
  23. 5 points
    I've reviewed and signed 300+ eagle project proposals. I've been on EBORs and helped many scouts. My personal opinion is that all the requirement "hoops" are guidance to create a quality program. Focus on the quality and the program. Opportunities for advancement can naturally occur within that structure. Get these scouts out doing things. Camping. Volunteering. Exploring opportunities. There is no "ideal" scout path except individual paths that keep the scout active. Make sure these new scouts get a big activity every year. Maybe a few big/moderate activity every year. Each month should include smaller manageable activities / programs. Most importantly, let them set their journey and decide what these activities are. PLC consider rank requirements during annual planning. I've always viewed advancement as an individual scout activity (not a troop program), but the troop annual program plans should support / consider the concept of "first class in the first year". What I mean is that it's up to the scout to take advantage of opportunities and to drive their own advancement. But the PLC should create opportunities in the annual plan for scouts to earn first class and earn merit badges. For example ... the troop doesn't have to teach the biking merit badge and have structured meetings around the biking merit badge, but the troop could offer a bike camp out each year. It would address a merit badge, selecting camp sites, using taut line knots to secure tents, etc. Most importantly, these scouts do have that tight of a time line. The scout and the scoutmaster sit down in a SMC. Draft on a piece of paper a timeline of what needs to happen when. The SM should help the scout understand their path toward Eagle. Things that take time. Challenges. How to get some things done. Then, have the scout put the paper in their scout handbook. Maybe every few months the scout and the SM can chat about progress and how the scout is doing.
  24. 5 points
    As a former CC of a large troop, my opinion has evolved on this. When I started in the role, I would have said that bylaws are a useful way to make sure that everyone has the same sets of expectations. I realized that while what we do as a Scout unit is has a lot of details, it really is about Scouts interacting with people and be consitent in your dealings. If your leaders are generally pretty consistent in their approach, are open with communications, are empowered to make decisions that are appropriate for their role, and work collaboratively to solve problems, then bylaws are not really needed. Further, I'd argue that if you think the leadership team doesn't exhibit those behaviors, then as a Scout unit, they are probably better served addressing that instead of writing bylaws. It seems like many of the discussions that arise on this forum about bylaws usually come from some sort of contentious situation that has occured because people are not working together. Just my .02.
  25. 5 points
    As per December 4, 2018 Moderator Policy in Forum Support & Announcements An Original Poster (OP) can state in that first post "Only on-topic responses, please." Off-topic responses will then be moved or deleted by moderators.  Consider so stated. Any member could have done this. If we mods miss an off-topic response, use Report Post function in upper right corner of post to bring to our attention. Only on-topic responses, please in this thread. RS @MattR , @desertrat77 , @John-in-KC , @NJCubScouter
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