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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/02/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Off topic a bit, but the scoutmaster I've been mentoring this last year, puts so much emphasis on updating advancement online, she completely forgets to update the scout's handbooks. I guess my "old" is showing, but I thought the idea was for the scouts to read and study their handbooks as they are teaching and/or learning scouting skills pertaining to advancement. EDGE works, but all scouts should be taught to refer to their scout handbooks for ideas and info. I think they should always be able to refer to the back of their handbooks to review their "sign-offs" , and be able to know what their advancement status is, and where they want to go. It's a young troop, so adult leaders and the one older scout (SPL) do the advancement sign-offs. So, I've had to get her to print out each scout's records monthly, so I can update their handbooks. Now scouts, and certainly their parent(s) can visually see how their scouting adventures impact their advancement. I guess the scout and parents could view all of this online...…………………………………………………….but then why have a section for advancement sign-offs in the scout handbook at all. Am I wrong? Go ahead. I can take it. sst3rd
  2. 3 points
    Not sure if anyone is interested, but I would like to give an update and also thank you for supporting me and giving me guidance. In March, I signed my then 12-year-old up in another troop and have been personally keeping a tap on him. Although he has been in scouting half of his life, he was not sure about it at the beginning and fought against my decision. I guess he was worried if the leaders in the new troop were aware of his behavior from the previous troop since both were in the same district. Anyway, once again, I had to fight my lone battle with him. I made sure he attended all the troop meeting and camp out. After 3 months, he finally felt comfortable with other scouts and even looked forward to the camp out. He even went to the week long summer camp without any problem this year, had many signoffs as well as merit badges. He also got his tenderfoot in May, and now he said he should get his 2nd class in September. He plans to get his 1st class by next spring. I can't wait for him to obtain his 1st class so he can go on a high adventure trip with the other boys during the summer. Thanks again for your reading, support and guidance.
  3. 2 points
    I provide a yearly Leatherworking "workshop" for the letherworking MB for my troop. We only make 1 item which is a leather stool. This takes between 6 and 9 hours worth of work and is usually spread over 3 or 4 weekends.Heres is how we do it. Weekend 1: We go on a trip to the Tandy store 30 minutes away. They have a huge selection of everything. The scout get to see all different types of tools, hundreds of different leathers (snake, skate, lamb, goat, chrome tan, veg tan). As we are looking at different leathers we talk about how the idfferent leathers are made. I just ask questions knowing a few of the scouts will have read the LW book. I then give them the list of things we need and send them of to a scavenger hunt for stain, sinew, needles and tribolts for the legs. I usually wait for a sale a few weeks before this and buy a side of veg tan 4 to 5oz works well. We then head back to our meeting place and I give them each a piece of paper and we dicuss briefly why planning things is important and the each design what they will put on their stool i,e, stamps, name dates and BSA design they are going to carve, Then I send them home. The following weekend I do what I call a workshop. I open the doors at our meeting room from 8 - 1PM and let them know the next step takes 2 hours and that they can come and go as the need to due to sports and all other commitments. When they get there that day I hand them the giant piece of leather, a triangle cardboard templet and a razor knife. The quickly figure what the need to do cut the triangle and then when I get 2 or 3 finished we will wet the leather, While waiting the scouts answer questions regarding the injuries that may occur and othe MB questions. The we stamp and carve based on the plan the did the previous week. The next week weekend workshop we sew the corners on, stain and add the legs which takes between 1 and 3 hours. We could do something much easier and be done in a day but the scouts seem to like doing it this way and its the 5th year in a row they have asked for this. They do bring their stools to most campouts and some bring them onbackpacking trips.
  4. 2 points
    I agree, but my view is slightly different. Paper scout handbook is for the scouts. It's the best way for them to track, drive and own their advancement. Online tools such as internet advancement or the online scoutbook web site is for the adults and parents. The online scoutbook.com the best way for them to see BSA's official records. When the SM signs off a rank or receives a MB card, it should be entered by an adult into BSA's official records ... as soon as possible. BUT, it should be fully recorded in the paper scout handbook too.
  5. 1 point
    OK, this past year I have done quite a few Leatherwork Merit Badge Classes (LWMB) in our Council and I've had a few problems. The main one has to do with time management. The classes have been 3 hours long and it seems that a high percentage of students don't get their project completed. So, I mark on their blue card that they have to complete the project and show the Scoutmaster. I do spend what I think is an appropriate amount of time on the discussion part of the class, but there is never enough time at the end to do everything. So I have come up with some ideas that I think might help others with their classes. 1 - I convinced the MB Coordinator to make the classes 4 hours long. That will solve most of the problems. 2 - Use the LWMB kits for the classes. BSA puts out 2 kits for the LWMB and they're about 13.00 each. They both include the 5 leather samples, the plastic lace and clasp to braid a lanyard (there is enough lace to make about 8" of braiding), a neckerchief slide project and one additional project. Either a pocket knife belt case or a wallet. I used to get half and half and let the kids choose but now only get the knife case. The reasons are: Having to explain 2 different projects and having to re-explain them over and over wastes a lot of time. And, the knife case is sewn as opposed to laced. Hand sewing is much faster than lacing. 3 - Give them fairly strict guideline on how they are to stamp the leather. The reason for this, is that given the choice, a high percentage of them try to fit every stamp image on their projects as possible. This, of course, looks like crap and whatever the project, it will end up on their floor at home in the back of the closet or just thrown away. I explain to them that these projects, done at an official BSA event, can be officially part of your uniform. Plus their parents are actually impressed with their projects. So I give them strict instructions for the 2 leather projects. For the neckerchief slide, I allow them 1 main image and possibly a border. They may also put their troop number and name above or below the main image. For the knife kit, There is room for 1 large 3d stamp on the flap and 1 on the front. Then I have them stamp their name and troop# either on the back or front (in case they lose it at summer camp). They can also do a border. Then we dye them. While they are drying I have them work on the lanyard. As soon as the dye is dry enough, I get them started on the sewing of the project. Item 1 above doesn't start until the next LWMB classes in October. But I followed 2 and 3 and all projects were completed. Although the kids had to stay after while I signed the blue cards. The best thing was that almost all the scouts were wearing their projects when they left. Here are a few more things I wanted to mention: I only had 2 of the 1/4" alphabet and number sets (T8137) so there was a lot of time wasted waiting for letters. It would be best to have one of these sets for every 3 to 4 scouts. In the room we were in, the tables could fit 3 scouts, so I would need 7 sets and then I could place them on their tables. Each Scout is given 1 poundo board, 1 wood mallet, 1 large tool handle and 1 small tool handle. The rest of the stamps I spread out on 1 large table up front. This worked really well as I have a wide variety of stamps that I bring when I do a LWMB class. I don't use the councils tools because I want to give them a lot of options for stamps. This however may also cause some slowdown due to the kids having to look over hundreds of stamps for that "perfect" one. I've seen MB Counselors put stamps on every table before, but then the Scouts get up and look at the other table's stamps anyways. I bring lots of display items that they can look at for ideas and to show them what can be done. I also have about 2 dozen small leather samples from different animals. I don't bring any swivel knives to the classes. There is not enough time to teach them how to use it. Bring an assistant. I was supposed to have an assistant at the last couple of classes that didn't show. That would have been really helpful. That way you have 2 trainers. My biggest issue is there isn't enough time for the leather to dry before dying and also waiting enough time for the dye to dry before assembly. But we have to work within our time limit. Getting that extra hour will help with that. I'm sure there's a lot more I could add but it's 4am so I'm going to sleep now. please add your own ideas to this post or ask any questions about the LWMB classes. Thanks, Dale
  6. 1 point
  7. 1 point
    I like the sign-offs in their handbooks -- not only can they see what they have completed, it also puts the record keeping responsibility on the scout. I'd also like to keep personal electronic devices from intruding too much on outings. Sign offs in scout handbooks don't require getting out someones cell phone. I have seen that not everyone has the same opinion I have.
  8. 1 point
    Thanks for the good news!
  9. 1 point
    I have the same doubts and would liked them to be unfounded.
  10. 1 point
    Maybe I am a pessimist, but why would they listen to the Scouts and Venturers on anything, when they do not even listen to the Scouters who volunteer their time and treasure to the program? Don't believe me, well there is the "Instapalm" survey of 2015 in which 94% were either against (18%) or strongly against (76%) the idea, and they did it anyway.
  11. 1 point
    I talked to someone a few years ago that ran an optional program for older scouts: 24 hours in the woods, tending a fire, no talking, only water to drink. I thought it would be great to do for older scouts. I talked to a few adults and they were not supportive. I think the scouts would have really gotten a lot out of it.
  12. 1 point
    This is my "Cheat Sheet" for IA2.0. It seems to work. This is for only reporting completions, not tracking partials or individual rank requirements or anything like that. You have to be a "Key 3" to have access; if you are not, one of your Key 3 can give you Key 3 Delegate access then it should work. 1. Go to scoutbook.scouting.org . 2. Log on using my.scouting.org login/password (same one used for Youth Protection Training). 3. Check the box next to a scout’s name. 4. Click on “Record Advancement”. 5. Put in the date, type and item. 6. If you need to put in another item for that scout, click on “Save and Approve Another”. If that’s the last one for that scout, click on “Approve and Finish.” 7. Select the next scout, and repeat the process. 8. When you are done, make sure no scouts are checked, and click on “Run Report” then “Advancement Report” 9. Print the advancement report, and take it to the Scout Shop to buy awards.