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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/14/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    You might be surprised to learn that I think the desire by the girls is even less than "not that great". Based from my experience of life, I believe most of the Eagle push here is the adults. I don't have the experience of working with girls in advancement, but I have worked with them in competitive sports and their motivation to participate was more about fun than winning. The difference isn't obvious when the girls played girls, but quite obvious when they played the boys. Barry
  2. 2 points
    A one legged Scouter at our Council Scout Show had a wooden leg loaded with unit brands, countless signatures, and many clever quotes burned in the wood. Pretty cool really, but I often wondered if that leg led to scouts getting patrol and troop tattoos. Barry Side note: My oldest son once mentioned an interest in a tattoo. I told him it was his decision, but it better say "Mother" if he hoped to ever eat dinner at our house again. Still no tattoo 15 years later.
  3. 2 points
    A woggle is a woggle. Part of the attitude of those adults that you had to deal with is part of what I have issue with woodbadge. Some people make such a big deal about Wood Badge that people that take the course are better scouters than others. Wood Badge is a good course, I know many people that have taken wood badge that take every short cut possible, and I know people that didn't that do more for scouting that is above and beyond what is expected. IMHO, the course has nothing to do about ones character and work ethic, it may just enhance the ethic on the good and bad side. I have recently stopped wearing my WB necker because of this attitude.
  4. 1 point
    Our soccer girls were vicious competitors. (Half my job as crew advisor was talking them out of wanting to finish the season with a red card.) But they also conditioned in the off-season with the boys, so that may have influenced their attitude. That said, I tried to pitch awards and recognition to the lot -- because many weren't pursuing a GS award -- and it fell on deaf ears. The same went for the boys who weren't already scouts. There is a down-side to that lack of interest. It translates into a lack of commitment to organizing activities. But, it doesn't help when parents "take up the slack" and do the organization on the kids' behalf. I mean, the unit has fun -- for a while -- but leadership deficits go unnoticed. You can't develop if you don't know what you're lacking.
  5. 1 point
    Organizations', plural: decades of GS/USA leaders who thought they knew what was best for all girls (and it wasn't Golden Eaglet or First Class) and BSA leaders who thought their girl-facing counterparts were right. That all leadership training (detached from the outdoors and patriotism) was leadership training and the youth would never know the difference. Bill Hillcourt pulled BSA away from that brink, but their was nobody to do the same for GS/USA. Thus was generated the vacuum that parents and empathetic scouters (and girls themselves) asked us to fill. But what I find quite surprising in the two Scouts BSA girl troops who I've met: the rush to Eagle is not that great. They just want to hike and camp and maybe fish. They want the chance to be nationally recognized, but I don't think any of them have earned 1st class yet. The leaders aren't high-speed low-drag people. They just got sick of the "tailored for girls" organization telling them "no, just sell those cookies" at every turn.
  6. 1 point
    As a Scoutmaster and an attorney practicing commercial litigation, these are risks I have considered. I too confirmed my umbrella liability covered the activity. In most negligence cases, the biggest issue is determining whether a defendant violated the standard of care (driving too fast for the conditions, running a soccer practice in dangerous weather conditions, maintaining property, etc.) There can be a lot of gray area in defining the standard of care for those examples. The standard of care is the care and attention a reasonable person would exercise under similar circumstances. Within the context of Scouting, however, I think a good case can be made the standard of care is far clearer: the BSA rules and guidelines. Ignorance, or disregard of those guidelines, whether it is YPT, ensuring trained leaders for specific trips (first aid, water-related activities) could be the basis for a negligence claim. I cannot say I give much thought to my potential liability while I am out on trips with our Troop. My primary focus is on providing a safe scouting environment for our Troop, which is a byproduct of understanding the guidelines, having trained adult leaders who are similarly committed to understanding and abiding by those rules and making sure Scouts are at least cognizant of those risks in advance. I feel an obligation to make sure that everyone on an outing, whether my son or those Scouts I am entrusted with on a trip, have the benefit of trained leaders who try to adhere to established policies and guidelines Fortunately, the guidelines and training support both safe scouting and the satisfaction of the standard of care we owe to all scouts and leaders. At the same time, we undertake activities that have risk, which cannot be completely eliminated. I find that strict adherence to the guidelines, even when it makes you a kill joy in the eyes of your troop, is a far preferable policy. I took over a Troop that was rather lax in many respects, particularly as to the older Troop members. Two weeks ago, I had to reason with an older Scout that his hammock, hung a good 6-8 feet off the ground, over a rather steep, rocky ravine, instead of the flat campsite available to him, might not be a good idea. As a parent, I intuitively have concerns that is not a good idea, but being able to refer to the BSA rules on a take it or leave it basis (either: lower the hammock, sleep in a tent or arrange for a lift home) helped diffuse the issue. Several of the posts above referenced dehydration, and far lesser instances of it than the tragic death of a Scout on a hike. Similar to posts above, this is a constant issue for our Troop, despite our warnings on every trip, and instructions to hydrate on breaks. Many of them do not get that their water intake needs to vary with their activity levels, and that they might need more water when outside for 2 days than they drink on an ordinary day involving a school bus, a day in an air conditioned school, and then home to sit in front of a video game for several hours.
  7. 1 point
    I've scouting in other countries and even picked up a few turk's head woggles made of different material, from yute to leather. My two cents is the WB woggle should only be worn with the WB neckerchief. If any youth can make a turk's head, go scout! I've seen many with paracord of colors to signify patrols too. I believe the initial WB woggle leather is related to the tread powered sewing machine cord, about the same stuff. I did have to come the rescue of one new adult that made a woggle while at summer camp. She was so proud until some WB'er told her she couldn't wear any woggle. We had an interesting discussion with this WB'er. Like so many other scouts, I think this scout saw a cool item like a woggle and got one too. We've seen this throughout scouting where the scouts emulate what scouters do. Hiking staffs, camping gear, uniform items, and menus come to mind.
  8. 1 point
    When my financial advisor found out I was a Scouter, he strongly suggested an Umbrella Liability Policy. State Farm wrote one which I have bundled with all my other insurance. Costs a coupla hundred bucks a year. I don't trust the BSA or anyone else to cover my backside.
  9. 1 point
    I went from being a 17 year old JASM to an 18 year old ASM in 1971. At that time I was old enough to be drafted and go to Vietnam. I was old enough to vote in my first presidential election the following year. I was old enough to be invited to attend Woodbadge, when the age dropped from 21 to 18 the following year I was old enough at 20 to be invited to serve on Woodbadge staff. At 20 you are old enough to vote, to serve in the military, to do anything any other adult in the country can do (other than be president, but who wants that), but as of last year you do not count as part of 2 deep until you are 21. We have had 18 - 20 year old ASM's as long as I can remember, and they were no different than any other leader. To me, and most of the scouters I know, there is no realistic or logical reason for that to have changed.
  10. 1 point
    All the math in this topic encouraged me to look back through our troop records. We don't track any of this stuff, but since we've been good at keeping advancement records online the info was all there. Also - we're a farily large troop (about 75 active scouts) and have had a pretty stable program for many years. This means lots of records to through On average over the past 20 years we've averaged: 20 new scouts per year 12 1st class Scouts per year 7 Eagle Scouts per year Average troop size has been about what we are now - 75 scouts. Every year about 15% of the scouts reach first class. About 10% reach Eagle. Over the entire period, 59% of the scouts reached 1st class and 28% reached Eagle. We're definitly not an Eagle mill troop. What I see is that the troop adults are trying to foster success in as many of the eight methods as possible. It's not a concious plan, it just happens. The troop adults encourage youth leadership & the patrol method, provide lots of support for an active outdoor program, have plenty of high adventure trips, encourage quality adults to volunteer, do their part to have advancement opportunities for Scouts who show interest. But again, we don't have an organized program to push rank advancement. We provde opportunities - especially in the first year. But, we never teach merit badges at meetings. Advancement campouts are limited to that first year as Scouts are learning skills - they're really skills campouts. We do have an Eagle Co-ordinator who mildly nudges older Scouts. But, the nudging is more of a "hey Tom, have you thought about a project yet? No? Well, you might want to start thinkign about that - you'll be 17 soon." But what happens is that because we have a pretty well rounded program run by the Scouts, we tend to see Scouts stay engaged longer. I saw that about half of our attrition each year is from Scouts who simply aged out. Here's another interesting set of statistics I calculated from the records. Average time to achieve rank: Scout - 3 months Tenderfoot - 6 months Second Class - 12 months First Class - 16 months Star - 2.5 years Life - 3.2 years Eagle - 5.5 years So, because Scouts stay active - rank advancement just tends to happen. 5.5 years is not quick for anyone to achieve Eagle. Our average Eagle Scout is 16.8 years old. If we didn't have retention and active older Scouts, there's no way we'd have seen 28% of our scouts reach Eagle. My conclusion from all this? Focus on having a great, well rounded program that keeps Scouts engaged throughout the years. The rest happens naturally.
  11. 1 point
    Thank you. I always think I know everything. I'm corrected and appreciate the information. It was once explained to me as a measurement of the whole scouting journey Tiger to Eagle. How many join and how many finish. The number seems much more reasonable then. I trust the number of Eagle is fairly steady (maybe growing), but the expectations are better defined and youth have many more resources. Then add that the number of members has drastically dropped resulting in those that are in the program are probably from families that really value scouting. And, thus want their kid to earn Eagle.
  12. 1 point
    Actually, I started holding regular uniform inspections with my Webelos den during the last few years I was with them, and the results were dramatic and successful. I taught the boys why we wear uniforms over and over again, and I held myself to the same standards as they - we were all expected to look our best, as a team, and with a few very small incentives (a special ribbon for the den flag, or perhaps a treat after a few weeks of consistently good scores), we eventually had a den of boys whose uniforms we ALMOST ALWAYS perfect, from the socks to the necker to the hat. And this eventually affected the other dens and patrols that met in the same building - soon my Webelos Scouts challenged all the older patrols and the younger dens to a massive uniform challenge based on the average weekly score of each patrol/den over a period of three months, and after the first few weeks ALL the Scouts in the whole building were looking FANTASTIC! Naturally, my den crushed the competition. I will say though, it really wasn't difficult to get the boys motivated. And my inspections are pretty strict too; I don't let misplaced patches fly, and every Scout was expected to be 100% current on his rank and position Nothing out of place, that's my motto. My assistant never even fully passed an inspection! But I made it fun, and I always reminded them that, in the end, I didn't actually care if they forgot their socks or lost their neckerchief, but that I was just happy to see the effort they put into it and ALWAYS thrilled when a boy did his best, whatever the results. And that, I know, changed the results over time. I think it helped them WANT to look their best, and all my boys that are now Star and Life Scouts still put a lot more thought into how they present themselves in uniform than most other Scouts in our district. I like to think they've learned something beyond just proper uniforming - hopefully they realize that they way they look affects the way they feel, which affects the way the act. It also has a great influence on the way others will interact with them. And in the end, it had a massive influence on the boys' behavior as well. The effect their appearance had on their maturity, cooperation, obedience, and Scout spirit was palpable - the uniforms, in their small but highly visible way, did indeed help make them better people! Our entire congregation noticed it; soon the boys were dressing better for church too, and for school, and for - well, life! Uniforms make more difference than we give them credit for sometimes.