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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/27/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    So after all of the debating and back and forth with the new scout parents... we show up and the oldest, most experienced scout was there in shorts along with his leader parents in shorts 🙃 I dont think I ever saw a group of scouts unzip their convertible pants so fast 🤣. Thanks everyone!
  2. 1 point
    So? Must pick and choose, I guess. Go to the Scoutshop, buy some extras, put a mix on your "extra" Scout shirt. Or on your Campfire Blanket..... I have two uni shirts, slightly different patches on each. My pride in awards/accomplishments need not be so important to the Scout I pass on the trail, only the stories I can tell around the campfire.....
  3. 1 point
    That's what I meant. Same age patrols can have growth through shared comraderie. A group of mates working together to solve challenges that they run into. I'm not arguing that same age patrols are better. Most point is really just - if leaders understand the purpose and goals of patrol method then could they accomplish the same with mixed age patrols? Could you develop a strong program for older youth by leveraging roles like Troop Guide? I could envision a model where Scouts work together in their same age patrol. They grow together as they mature and their patrol strengthens. As their learning opportunities begin to run out at the patrol level, they then take on roles like Troop Guide, SPL, ASPL, Quarter Master, etc. The Scouts grow in responsibilty and challenge as they mature. I think you make a very compelling argument that an older youth program is the key to a strong troop. MIxed age patrols are one path to providing meaning for older Scouts. But, I wonder if it's the only path. Couldn't you accomplish much the same by utilzing same age patrols as I decribe above?
  4. 1 point
    If it starts to flare up again, consider getting a Strassburg Sock to take with you. It's a lightweight version of a "night splint". Keeping the achilles tendon stretched out during the night makes a huge difference for me on whether or not I have pain during the day.
  5. 1 point
    Odd question. My parents never had first class skills. A couple of my brothers did, but they were off starting families/careers. I learned my skills from: The handbook My PL and SPL The SM Camp Staff A WAC vet who ran the county pool as if our lives depended on knowing how to swim. So, I don't expect parents to be able to teach my scouts 1st class skills. I have no idea why anyone would.
  6. 1 point
    Sure, why not 🙂 Competition is good, and probably more importantly, an informed notion of what various people and units might think are reasonable expectations, wouldn't be a bad thing. I'll start. Our Girls' Troop first campout was last month, and they wanted to focus on outdoor cooking skills, so we threw them an assortment of interpatrol cooking challenges. Now before you say "they're girls, of course they're good at cooking!", I'd like to point out that A) My son, at 10-12, on pure skills, could probably cook circles around any of the girls in our Girls' Troop, indoors or outdoors. But, if it's not a prime cut of meat, something bizarre that he thinks is amusing to cook with, or something with exotic spices, he just can't be bothered. His patrol will probably be eating dry oatmeal out of packets and walking-tacos at their troop's upcoming competition campout. And B) a large fraction of the girls in our troop have never cooked with anything other than a microwave. The girls got a practice session during one troop meeting a couple weeks before the campout, where some of our Boys' Troop scouts showed them how to set up a stove, light charcoal and use a dutch oven, etc. I didn't get photos of all the meals, but here's a sampling of what they did (and no, the adults present didn't help them at all with any of this. @Kudu would be proud, we had 100-yard separation between the patrols, and the adults stayed out of their campsites except when they needed emergency help with things like putting out flaming frying pans they forgot on the stove 🙂 Best use of the color Red in a meal: Lunch was a Mystery Meal, based on a surprise bag of ingredients including Lettuce, Tomatoes, Bread, Cheese, Ham, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Celery, and a few optional "pick 2 out of the pantry" ingredients: That was a bit traditional - the other patrol... Broke the bread up and toasted it in a pan to made croutons, cubed and cooked the ham and potatoes, then melted the cheese in left-over milk from breakfast and made freakin cheesy-ham-and-potato soup, and a salad bar... For dinner, one of the patrols made crescent-roll calzones: I unfortunately didn't get a photo of what the other patrol did for dinner, or remember what it was, but I do know that the girls invited the PLC from our Boys' Troop (which was also camping at the same council camp that weekend) to judge their dinners, and after the dinner the Boys' SPL went back to their scoutmaster and, if I'm quoting him correctly, told the SM "We went over expecting to judge some hobo stew or something, and they served us an appetizer, and an entre, and a main dish, and a side salad, and a dessert! Now I understand why we suck". So, I'll stand by my belief that they did a decent job too. So... Who else wants to show off what their cross-over patrol(s) do for cooking, with no senior scouts or adult help, on their first campout, and first time cooking outdoors?
  7. 1 point
    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.
  8. 1 point
    You know what's hard for morale? Girls finding out that you unnecessarily gave them a pass. What's good for morale? Girls knowing you won't skimp on requirements -- theirs or yours.
  9. 1 point
    The B.S.A. has not trained adults or youth in the Patrol Method in a remotely coherent way for decades. Yet, to earn "Scout,' a youth member must explain the Patrol Method. ("3a. Explain the patrol method [sic]. Describe the types of patrols that are used in your troop.") A troop is a collection of patrols, not a group of scouts and scouters. According to BSA back when it coherently defined the Patrol Method, a scout was to primarily spend his ("his" then) time in a patrol context. This hint is still there if one recognizes it: “Scouting happens in the context of a patrol.” B.S.A., Scoutmaster Position Specific Training, 2019 (current syllabus) Or this: "“Patrols will sometimes join with other patrols to learn skills and complete advancement requirements.” B.S.A., Scouting.org (2018)[emphasis added]. So the bulk of a troop meeting is to be devoted to patrol activity, such as learning Scoutcraft as patrols or preparing as patrols for future activities in the patrol, with other patrols, or in the troop - competitions, hikes, campouts. Do allow some time for "troop corners." The Patrol Method provides that a patrol is a team, with each member having a job, and that the patrol activities are planned democratically by the members of the patrol. There is no exception for members who do not plan to participate, but the benefits of compulsory participation in democracy are not obvious. One might ask why a member of a team is disinterested in having input into its activities - activities that are is supposed to constitute most of his (or her) time in Scouting. Have they figured out that it is time wasted? (Prize for mest new idea for ______ ?) The Patrol Method provides that troop activities are planned by the Patrol Leaders' Council, chaired by the Senior Patrol Leader and with the patrol leaders representing their respective patrol members. The Scoutmaster has no vote. He typically has influence. The objective - the Scouters' objective - is training the youth in citizenship and leadership by doing, not fantastic program. Safety aside, the youth will, and are allowed to, make what adults may think are mistakes and to learn from those mistakes. “Adults understand that their role is to create a safe place where boys can learn and grow and explore and play and take on responsibilities—and fail, and get up and try again. B.S.A., Orientation for New Scout Parents (2019) “Never do for a Scout what he can do for himself.” "To what standard?" "Why to a boy's standard." Bill Then there is this other thing going on.
  10. 1 point
    Dry ice. Don't pack Friday's COH ice cream in dry ice. You will have concrete and not be able to eat it. Bicycle. Scout disassembled and had each of his friends pack a piece of it in their gear. Then it was reassembled at camp. Hard to hide.
  11. 1 point
    I welcome first year parents to attend some or all of summer camp, I view it as the best opportunity for me to train them. I'm explicit in my training, both in the run up to camp and after arrival: here's how things work, here's the hierarchy, here is the very limited role we as adults play in this process, and I'm not afraid to step in to counsel or correct behavior that doesn't fit what we discussed. It's no different from all the many times I've had adults at work that I needed to train and lead