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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/01/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    From going through various forums and blog: The Don't worry be happy..."we have a benefactor who is paying the 2000 increase.....nothing to see here" The ones getting a council bail out or assistance vs the crickets The OMG...we are out of business. thanks BSA The WTH...how incompetent is national announcing this just before recharters. No Transparency with the risk analysis. A lot of folks concurring with this one. The look down the nosers ...It's only $5 a month or two cups of coffee, suck it up not knowing the individual financial situation of others or volunteering to pay it for them. The "it's a bargain" compared to sports ..of course never actually calculating the total annual cost of scouting and comparing apples to oranges. Probably a few others.
  2. 3 points
    The issue is what services does National provide that we are paying to receive. National does not provide facilities for meetings, any of the District or Council paid staff, most camps any scout goes to, etc. National provides the program outline (actual program materials comes with extra cost), insurance (but not the insurance that councils provide for injuries at outings), IT systems, and administrative overhead. The actual program is put on by units, districts and councils. The correct comparison is GSUSA, Trail Life, 4H, etc. who’s National fees are much less than BSA. My disappointment is not necessarily the increase, but the lack of any transparency on what they did to ensure their financial house gets back in order.
  3. 3 points
    My troop as a Scout was founded in 1908 in Santa Ana, California. BSA showed up after the troop had been in operation eighteen years and had, at least on paper, 61 members. They "figured" they were the forty-third Peace Scout troop in California when formed in 1908 from two preexisting patrols. I Scouted twenty-five years with a Cleveland-area troop formed in 1908. There were ninety-nine troops in the area when BSA appeared in 1912 (five claiming to be the first), not counting independent patrols, that could register as such for the next fifty years. We owe BSA for many thing, but especially giving Bill Hillcourt the opportunity to become the most influential person in Scouting, but BSA, who hailed him as such, has forgotten most of his lessons about the centrality of the Patrol Method and the Outdoor Program. Program builds and sustains membership, which, in turn, relieves financial problems, but program is seldom the focus of BSA, especially patrol program. I have met some very fine Scouters who were employees, friends for decades even when they escaped this area for Scouting jobs elsewhere. I assume that all "professionals" I deal with mean well and should be treated with respect, even when they are not respectful to some volunteers and are focused on whether I have "done my duty to Scouting in my estate planning." Areas like NE Ohio are a tough stage on which to perform. I have seen membership, with a few trivial exceptions in the late 80s, fall in this area for twenty-eight years. History, eventually, will reach a consensus on the whys and wherefores. I do wish we would try, if only experimentally, what worked before it was abandoned as obsolete when membership was at historic highs, only to see steady declines since - Scouting. There is hope. We have a few unusual units that have clung to the old ways. One took 67 Scouts to their own summer camp in PA a couple of years ago. The next year they bicycled around Lake Erie [clockwise] except for being ferried through Detroit for safety reasons (Asleep at 8:00PM the day I met up with them back in Ohio to observe for District and take pictures). Fifty-nine Scouts finished the trip, and the leaders (Scouts) decided afterwards that they had underestimated the effort required. They had six patrols at their last COH that I attended this Spring, plus troop staff. They tent camp every month as a troop but with separate patrol sites, plus patrol campouts and hikes. I regret that at my age a 90-mile round trip in the dark every week is not practicable, especially in Winter, or I would sign up. In this work, they receive no recognition from Council, Area, Region, or National. They do not lead in percentage "advancing," but I have counseled some on Wilderness Survival, and they are remarkably ready. Philmont next year! Isle Royal the next - if First Class and Swimming MB. I am jealous. Perfect? No. But they know where they are trying to go. Yogi would be impressed: ""You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there."
  4. 2 points
    @PACAN you forgot the suggestion to just get in gear and sell more popcorn to make up the difference.
  5. 2 points
    Darn it Steve, you made me laugh so hard that I spewed coffee all over my keyboard and monitor! I kinda feel guilty being critical of any youth's decisions about how to wear his uniform, but I gotta agree with you. That mess really puts the UGH into UGLY.
  6. 2 points
    Well that's a complete nightmare. 😵
  7. 1 point
    So for good news from this weekend. We are a small, one patrol troop. The SM had some serious concerns about the patrol as they were your typical Scouts: having fun, not focused on practicing for the events, etc. But he followed Green Bar Bill's adage: "Train 'em. Trust 'em. LET THEM LEAD!" Over the past 2 months as they prepped, he had some major concerns, and thought he was setting them up to fail. Took all of his self control not to step in. And to his credit he did not interfere. At camporee, our Scouts had no adults following them around events. In fact we saw them only at 2 events the entire weekend: the event our adults were running, and the one right next to us. The success or failure of the weekend was all on them. They came in 3rd overall. And that was with one event they were DQed from for safety issues. They built a catapult at camp, using a shovel as part of the arm instead of some type of basket end. Scouts will surprise you , if you let them.
  8. 1 point
    Last week's news was full of articles about the passing of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, an upstanding, ethical, highly respected legislator. Although I couldn't avoid seeing all the clips about his body lying in state in the US Capitol, or about the myriad accolades extolling his virtues, I did miss any mention of the fact that he was a former scout and a long-time advocate for BSA. That perspective is in a recent Bryan on Scouting post... https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2019/10/29/remembering-rep-elijah-cummings-a-passionate-advocate-for-inner-city-scouting/ Now I feel sad. Scouting needs all the champions it can get these days...
  9. 1 point
    @ParkMan These are all things that have been said on the forums/blogs. Instead of quoting those folks Individually I just wanted to show the wide range of reactions to the fee increase. Clearly the WTH one has the most hits.
  10. 1 point
    A part of me feels like I should be insulted here. I don't see why this list characterizes anyone who isn't appalled by the increase so negatively. I guess by your terms, I'm in the "The look down the nosers ...It's only $5 a month or two cups of coffee, suck it up not knowing the individual financial situation of others or volunteering to pay it for them." As a Cubmaster, Pack Committee Chair, and Troop Committee Chair, I'd literally spend an hour every time it was discussed whether it was too much of a hardship to raise our annual dues by $5. I'm remarkably aware that many families struggle to pay for lots of things. We'd tighten the belt at every turn in Scouting. I don't want to pay more for things than I have to, but I recognize that the BSA needs the money to pay for the insurance. I'm sure if they could reduce it they would. So, what am I to do? Ranting about it isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. All it really does it get everyone riled up about this. This whole thing often feels a lot like: Yesterday I paid $54 to fill up my gas tank. The yearbook my daughter just bought at her high school cost $70. I spent $7 on lunch at the drive through today. So, yeah - I find it hard to declare in increase of $2.25 a month the end of the world.
  11. 1 point
    Troop I grew up in made their own shirts. We had a silk screen made, and used it every year. Each year was a different color shirt and ink. Got them at the Christmas COH/ party. It was way cheaper making your own.
  12. 1 point
    @5thGenTexan, though it may look a bit odd, I hit the "thanks" button to show my gratitude and respect for all you're doing for scouting. As a rural scouter myself, I believe there are more leaders in circumstances similar to yours than the BSA recognizes. Especially in rural areas, where there are limited numbers of adults who could or should work with scouts. Often the rural leaders do double and triple duty, and must put up with long-term dysfunctional circumstances simply because there are no other options. This can be very draining on a number of levels. My recommendation is a frank talk with all of the adults. Here's what I'm observing/experiencing, here's the impact it's having on the unit and me personally, and close with an "I" message (your expectations going forward, your plans to possibly step down, etc.). If the others can't or won't respect that, then stepping down may be the best thing for you and your family. "Is the juice worth the squeeze?" My personal experience: I've stayed the course and "never say die" many times during my professional life and volunteer experiences. But there is a line. I've crossed that line several times to the detriment of my family and myself. You'll know when and where that line is. Again, my respects and thanks to you! Best wishes and please let us know how it goes.
  13. 1 point
    Honestly, who really cares if you can't spot your scouts in a crowd? If they get swapped for some other scout, you might get a better cook! All of that lettering on the back of the shirt? It gets covered by a backpack anyway. I've become a real fan of troop/patrol neckerchiefs. It's a tough sell, but frankly a lot easier to manage. Our camp produced a neckerchief with a map on it.
  14. 1 point
    It takes about a month. Most of Scout rank is for the scout to learn basic scouting things like the Law, the Motto, the Outdoor Code, the Patrol Method, etc., and to be able to explain these things. Scouts who are gung-ho can read the Scout Handbook and knock these things out in an evening (assuming they can get the attention of someone to sign him off). Two requirements seem to be speed bumps for a scout working on Scout rank: * 3b. For a new scout patrol, the patrol members need to get together and talk about who they want to be. They need to pick a patrol name, decide on an emblem (patch), come up with a yell, and make a flag. This generally does not happen immediately, though we'll try to set aside time for the boys to do it within their first month or so. * 6: There's 2 parts to this:1) the "Protecting from Abuse" pamphlet and 2) the Cyber Chip. As a troop, we do a Cyber Chip class in which we watch the NetSmartz videos, have roundtable discussions, and do a learning activitiy, so Cyber Chip isn't the speed bump in our troop. But we expect parents to help the boys complete the requirement, parents and scouts together need to look at that pamphlet, discuss how it applies in their family, mom and dad should help the scout work through the exercises, etc. As an ASM, I'll ask the boys if they looked at the pamphlet, talked to their parents, and did the activities. I will raise a couple of light questions about bullying or neighborhood safety, but just to make sure the boys do look at it and/or talk to their parents about it. It surprises me how many scouts drag their feet on getting this signed off because they haven't read the pamphlet and their parents haven't discussed the personal safety issues with them. Other troops might do it faster if they are proactive about discussing the abuse pamphlet. I'd be interested to hear experiences from others who have helped young scouts earn their Scout rank.
  15. 1 point
    Perhaps a bigger question- who in your troop signs on requirements? For us, we want any scout that is Star/Life/Eagle signing off on anything up to First Class requirements. Adults are a last resort for most requirements.
  16. 1 point
    ummmm, no. Sea Scouts started in 1912.
  17. 1 point
    Sort of the same thing our district did for the winter event. Leaders manned the events, Scouts wandered about camp going (or not) to the stations. Our troop leaders would man the event, basically describe the station, then let the various troops patrols figure it out. We never sent anyone around with the Scouts, figured they had a map, off they go. Usually they came back to the site, especially when it got dark and cold.
  18. 1 point
    I have not read all seven articles but what I have read is well researched and considered. The link below has links to those articles and the references used. https://newsmaven.io/indiancountrytoday/news/research-compiled-in-the-boy-scout-series-in-indian-country-today-jHVohLu1TEyc1jdf4jqn0A/ P.S. a scouter.com topic is one of references listed.
  19. 1 point
    My ideal camp would be for each PATROL in a troop to have the option of designing their own program. NSP gets scoutcraft, maybe makes a bridge, tower, maybe works on advancement, special training in cooking on wood fires, whatever the boys want to do. Older boys want whitewater canoeing this year, maybe rock climbing next year and shooting sports the third year or maybe they'll just fish all week. If there be a patrol of older boys that just want to come to camp to sit and enjoy the out-of-doors for a week, jaw-jack around the campfire and stay out of trouble! What's the harm? Maybe they might want to take on a camp service project if they get too bored. Dump the mess hall. All patrols are supported by a commissary and they pick their menus for the week like they pick their MB's today. If they want pancakes every morning. So be it. If they want steak every night, so be it. Cost of the meals is known when they sign up and adjusted accordingly. The price of camp varies according to the menu chosen. PORs function as PORs - SPL works with camp staff to make sure the patrols get what they need. If he needs more help, the ASPL is there. QM is the go to guy for camp equipment and commissary supplies for anything the patrols may need. Whereas it doesn't sound like much fun to be in these positions, taking on responsibility for the welfare of others isn't always fun and games. Camp staff is responsible for programming in leadership development for the PORs when they are not attending to their patrol support activities. Or maybe they, too, could be doing worthwhile camp service projects of their own choosing. Nothing against MattR, but maybe he's asking the wrong person, he needs to be asking the scouts what they want for a summer camp experience. For me personally???? I would love to be dropped off someplace in a national forest, have 5 days of goods cached around the area a day's hike apart and I need to survive from one cache to the next finally exiting at a pre-designated area. No GPS, just map and compass. I would need to record my trek with camera and journal indicating all wildlife and flora I came across. Stosh
  20. 1 point
    I like 441's approach. What can Summer Camp offer that will fill a boy's dreams until next year? Take an HA area and create 3 or 4 levels for boys to move up through. Examples: Shooting; 1- .22 rifle, 2- .223 AR 15, 3- Pistol, 4- High power scoped hunting rifle. Primitive Weapons: 1- Slingshot, 2- Recurve Bow, 3- Spear, knife and tomahawk, 4- Blackpowder rifle and pistol, 5- Trebuchet Climbing: 1- Rappelling, 2- Top-roping, 3- Leading, 4 Teaching. Build it based on "What would this boy like to do next to logically build on his adventure?" Require successful completion of the lower levels in order to participate in the higher. It may take a boy more than one summer to achieve those goals, but that keeps him wanting to come back, and talking it up to his mates!
  21. 1 point
    My unit has been selling trees for about a dozen years now. This goes into a troop fund earned by the scouts that participate. Then they can use it to offset summer camp,or ski trip, or what ever scout activity they choose. Several units in my area sell trees.
  22. 1 point
    To piggy back ontu your selling trees fundraiser why dont you offer the service of picking them up and having them recycled? Our area has done it for over 25 years now.
  23. 1 point
    Our troop has come across a great fundraiser - low cost - high profit - very low (pester the neighbors and family) annoyance factor - WATER! yup - plain old bottles of drinking water - the 16 oz size. We buy them from Sam's club (tax exempt, too!) at about $.17 each and sell them for $1 each at fairs, parades, community events. Anything we don't sell is easy to store and non-perishable. (and even if the boys drink some of the profits, it doesn't matter! - we're still way ahead!) We usually freeze about half the bottles (yup - frozen solid) because it keeps the others cold, and we've found that on a hot, humid day, people love to carry around a big ice cube! it melts really fast, and people find it cools them down - we see people walking around with these pressed against heads, inside their arms, on the back of their necks. We now have people looking for our Troop at community events. Our most recent event was a parade in town - 12 - 2:30 - we bought 24 cases for about $140 and collected over $800. - and we were sold out in the first 1 1/2 hours! hey - that's about $300 bucks an hour - I think I'm changing careers.......
  24. 1 point
    My troop has recently put together and had a cookbook published! It has over 250 recipes and is really great! If anyone is interested in purchasing one please e-mail us at troop734@aol.com. The cost is $7.00 plus $2.00 for shipping. It's really great so don't miss out! Thanks!
  25. 1 point
    Hi. We are going to ry something new this year to help us out. We have gotten together with our local mall and we are planning to help out with the taking pictures with Santa Claus. We provide the Santa (the mall lets us use a suit), the picture taker and the camera/film and we get to keep all but 10% for ourselves. We are hoping to make up some of the difference on what we dont make on popcorn sales. We have 23 boys in the pack and Popcorn doesn't do very well in our town. We also don't collect dues, so the Pack is always tight on funds.