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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/09/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Today was out Christmas Pack Meeting. I really needed to talk to parents today that still haven't paid fees so we can turn in recharter this week. I had all the activities for the meeting planned and took the Den Leaders to the side this afternoon and told em they had this today. I then moseyed around doing what I needed to today. I kinda liked it.
  2. 1 point
    By Larry Geiger on January 25, 2012 in Scoutmastership,The Patrol System Adult leaders often say things like; “I don’t override the boys decisions at all. ” “I asked them what they wanted to do.” “This was their decision.” What most of us fail to recognize is that many of these ‘boy led’ decisions were probably coerced, at least in part, by the presence of adults when they were discussed. It’s not that the adults shined bright lights in their eyes or twisted their arms behind their backs – it is much more subtle than that. When adults are present youth leadership – the Scouting way- is not happening. Say what? You mean when I am in the room listening and not talking I am somehow affecting the outcome of their decision making process? Yes! So I want to suggest that you lead by walking away. Let Me explain: When adults are listening, watching or talking Scouts are instinctively looking for the assent and approval of the adults. This is a result what they do at School and at home; listen to adults and seek their approval. So even if you say absolutely nothing at all your presence is somewhat coercive. It’s not that you are a bad person or anything – it’s just the way things are. So if we are not supposed to be around and not supposed to talk to them and not supposed to watch what they are doing, how do we do our jobs as adult leaders? Excellent question. We use very specific, scheduled, regular, and commonly understood opportunities to interact with youth leadership. Otherwise we leave them alone; alone enough that sometimes we cannot see them or hear them. I have found that one good opportunity to exercise this concept is when patrols go grocery shopping. The Scouts create a menu, estimate how much money they need, schedule a time and place, their parents drop them off and leave them to shop. No adult leaders or parents accompany them into the store. They work totally autonomously until they exit the store after successfully shopping and paying. Are you comfortable with doing something like that? What do you think would happen if you did? No adult is assigning, watching, checking, offering oversight or any other means of interference or intervention. Drop them off at the door and pick them up when they exit the store. Only the patrol leader works with his guys to get it done. A patrol leader given this opportunity is leading; if adults are present he is looking for their approval. In my experience his is true of all Scouts up to around age sixteen or so. Here’s a few of the times when adults and youth leaders talk with one another: 1. Occasional reflections with a senior patrol leader or patrol leader after a Scout meeting. 2. Scoutmaster Conferences. 3. Scoutmaster senior patrol leader two-minute chat before a patrol leader’s council. 4. Scoutmaster’s minute. 5. Troop Leadership Training. This is the Scoutmaster’s show. [BSA says the SPL should help lead the training .] 6. When a senior patrol leader or patrol leader walks over and asks the Scoutmaster a specific question or asks for help. [Note: "senior patrol leader" vs "Scoutmaster. How about "Senior Patrol Leader"?] Here’s times when you should refrain from interacting with youth leadership: 1. During patrol and troop meetings. 2. During patrol leader’s councils. [Even if they ask a question?] 3. During campouts. 4. During the troop annual planning conference. 5. During summer camp at meals/around the picnic table during the day/etc. 6. During patrol shopping trips. 7. During patrol and troop activities when a Scout is in charge. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to realize that when adults are physically present Scouts are looking for approval – not leading. Think about this, think about it a lot; When adults are physically present Scouts are looking for approval – not leading. Start observing how this happens and change the way you do things; I’d be interested to hear the results!
  3. 1 point
    When narwhal tusks are outlawed, only outlaws will have narwhal tusks.
  4. 1 point
    Christmas/Holiday wreaths . . . . Troop 759 (male!) and 7592 (female!) will be offering their last stock (sold the heck out of THAT semi load) of their Holiday Décor at the Olney Maryland Farm and Artist Market, TODAY, Sunday, 8 December starting at 11am.... Some BIG fancy wreaths, more sedate styles, and small plantable shrub table top evergreens (Norway Spruce?) available. Come on out . . . The market also features farm produce (seasonal) and lovely craft/art material... The website sez they close at 1pm, but it will be open past that time...... Near the MedStar Montgomery Hospital, On Maryland Route 108 between Maryland Route 650 (New Hampshire Ave) and Maryland Route 97 (Georgia Ave.) https://www.olneyfarmersmarket.com/
  5. 1 point
    Hi @KeystoneCubmaster, I'm a big believer that forcing a senior leader transition in a pack or troop is fraught with problems. It leads to hurt feelings and politics - never a good thing. I'm also a big believer that you have to look for the good in volunteers - even a COR. I'd try to handle this by developing an open working relationship between the key 3. Do you all meet regularly as a group? In that forum do you all speak honestly with each other? I'd use that forum to work out differences of approach. There, be brutally honest with each other. But, outside that forum - have each other's back. On the specific issues you mentioned: - stickler for rules - embrace this. Yeah, no one likes rules, but they become accustomed to them. - taking over at Pack meetings - in that key 3 meeting, I'd be honest with him. "Hey Joe - showing those presentations at Pack meetings is really boring. We shouldn't do that. Also - you jumping in undermines my leadership as Cubmaster. If you want the floor, let's arrange it ahead of time." - fighting with parents at the PWD - "Hey Joe - Tom is our PWD chair. It's his call on rules. It confuses things that you jump in on decisions. We really need to empower him to be in charge. You shouldn't engage with parents on that. Instead, please refer questions to Tom." As Cubmaster, I had some real difficult conversations with our COR. Because we were honest and direct with each other n private, yet supported each other in public - we left the roles great friends.
  6. 1 point
    File this under "Be careful what you wish for." The only folks who can select a different COR is the CO. So, yes, the institution head (IH) can, on behalf of the CO replace him. However, your denomination might order its churches differently than you are assuming ... 1) The pastor may not be the IH. In our CO, a Presbyterian church, the clerk of session (chairman of the board) is the IH, and he/she is obliged to the seated elders of the church (the board) of which the Pastor is the moderator. 2) Even in churches where the pastor signs as IH, he/she may still be obligated to work with the congregation to select a new COR. 3) Many churches do not have a vast depth of volunteers.* Without a volunteer pool, you might get saddled with a COR who does your successor no favors. In other words, things can get messy fast. So, before you go that route, that coffee & cobbler is a really, really good idea. *My church realized this about itself, and began herding young adults to classes on churchman-ship (my word, not theirs) and talking-to-strangers (again, my word) instead of the usual comfy self-absorbing (again my description) disciplines of tithing, fasting, prayer, devotion, and suffering. Still, I'm not entirely sure that it would be able to call forth a COR if it sponsored a BSA unit.
  7. 1 point
    Well, maybe not "move on", just take on the real COR responsibilities. and... Maybe to start a ScoutsBSA Troop? Female? Council chair for the XYZ committee? District Camporee organizer? District eNews writer/composer/editor?
  8. 1 point
    Typically the COR is not directly involved with the unit operations as a COR. Seems this COR wants to be the CM or CC, he may want to be large and in charge because that's what he wants to do and NOT what you need or want him to do. The Chartered Organization Representative (COR) is the direct contact between the unit and the Chartered Organization. This individual is also the organization's contact with the District Committee and the Local Council. ... If the chartered organization has more than one unit, one representative serves them all. Nothing in that involves direct unit operations / program There is a pretty good guide - https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/04-113.pdf Below is sort of what they are supposed to do, run program is not really one of these. ❑ Serve as a member of the unit Key 3 team and meet together several times a year. ❑ Serve as a liaison between your units, your organization, and the council structure. ❑ Encourage unit leaders and committee members to take advantage of training opportunities and to regularly attend district roundtables. ❑ Promote well-planned unit programs. ❑ Organize units to serve the youth needs of your organization and the community. ❑ Promote the recruitment of new members. ❑ See that youth participants and adult volunteers advance from one program phase to the next. ❑ Assist with annual unit charter renewal. ❑ Suggest unit Good Turns for your organization. ❑ Encourage unit committee meetings. ❑ Encourage the pursuit of Journey to Excellence performance. ❑ inform and engage organization leaders and members. ❑ Encourage active outdoor unit programs. ❑ Emphasize advancement and recognition. ❑ Secure district help when needed. ❑ Use approved unit finance policies. ❑ Encourage recognition of leaders. ❑ Cultivate resources to support your organization’s units. ❑ Represent your organization on the council and district levels. ❑ Serve on your council’s relationship committees when asked
  9. 1 point
    I tell every new Scoutmaster with plans for changing the current culture to support two programs. The young scout program where your change will come from, and the older scout program that basically continues the same program. The human nature of youth 14 and older DON"T LIKE CHANGE" and I have yet to meet a Scoutmaster who successfully converted their older scouts to the new program. Bend a little maybe. Push as much as your willing to tolerate, but don't let the frustration interrupt working the younger scouts. Don't die on this hill, it's not worth it. Help them with their Eagle as much as they ask, but step back otherwise. Barry
  10. 1 point
    While to a Webelos it may be "backpacking," I do not think it is. I remember my old council having a mega event where people had a choice of either carrying their gear 1 mile or more from the parking lot to their campsite, or using the "4th Marine Division Delivery Service" to drop off their gear at some point at their campsite. We had a number of families carry things in. So I have seen Cubs carrying their own gear a mile or more to a campsite. I know when my youngest was a Webelos, he was ticked off that his older 2 brothers were going to go backpacking on the AT, and he could not go. To prove his point that he was capable of backpacking with his brothers, on a pack camp out that included hiking, he wore his pack and carried everything but his hammock and tarp. He did about 6-7 miles that day. And the only reason he didn't carry the hammock and tarp was good trees to hang in were few and far between. I would make sure that the campground is approved by your council for Cub Scouts, if they even have a list. I know my council does not have one, and packs in my district use the OA's WHERE TO GO CAMPING BOOK as their guide on whether the campground is approved or not. Sadly I have met a few council level Scouters who have stated, "Cubs don't need to camp."
  11. 1 point
    Don't take that for granted. Troops don't need any council approval for camping locations.
  12. 1 point
    Day Hikes are age appropriate. What you propose is most likely not age appropriate, unless you have council designation of the site. Otherwise this is prohibited.
  13. 1 point
    I wasn't trying to say that you or your kids are lying or that people buying it are being lied to. I was only saying that calling it a "product sale" really isn't accurate anymore (it was once) and that it's ironic for an organization with written rules mandating that troop fundraisers must sell products in line with their value to exempt itself from it's own rules. (I'm also not arguing that they don't have the right to exempt themselves from their own rule) That's why when National Public Radio does it's seasonal fundraiser it doesn't talk about how people can "Call now to purchase this NPR Coffee mug for $120"; they solicit a $120 donation and offer the coffee mug as a gift.
  14. 1 point
    Generally elections would involve every Scout in the troop, so elections at the PLC doesn't seem right. Discussion of the Plc and SM to create the new patrol rosters would have seemed appropriate, so that elections could take place at the next troop meeting. The ASM spending all that time at the white board tells me all I need to know- this is an adult run troop. Adults, and I include the SM, should speak only when spoken to or are asked a question in a youth-led PLC. Ideally, all the youth should be at the table and adults sitting on the outside. Appropriate that the SPL would give the SM a moment or two to speak at the outset and give some general outline of what he/she was hoping for them to accomplish at this meeting, but the SPL needs to run the meeting. Just because it isn't going as productive as the adults would hope, or even if it is an absolute disaster, we have to let the youth figure it out. OK to give advice, but not OK to have the voice of adults all that anyone hears. Camping together, cooking together, and getting the work done together as a patrol, yes. Depending on how patrols are created, you can have a few youth of the same age within each patrol, and those are youth that hang together at school, play on the same sports team, etc. so they are going to socialize and gravitate together at times. Don't assume patrol members are going to be the best of friends and do everything 100% together. But, keep being vigilant is my advice- but also recognize you may been the lone voice in a crowd on this, and it can take quite a while to see change, or change may never come.
  15. 1 point
    I'm not up to date on official positions on this matter but when I did my project back in the day National had made a point of preference. They preferred the projects be of service, implying work, so that no one could make the claim that a boys family bought him his Eagle. Yes realistically you have to raise funds for supplies at times but similar to OA the project should be about service to the community. If your prospective Eagle needs money because he can't find suppliers that will donate materials then you are left with finding funds to purchase what is needed. And it's my understanding that begrudgingly National says it's ok. But the focus still needs to be on the SERVICE project. How the scouts raise funds and the frustration of working within parameters set by others is just part of the learning. If the local council or district or troop leadership want to put limits on how the project gel's done, well that's unfortunate but the process of going around them or fighting them is going to be at least as consuming as trying to find alternate means of accumulating donations in the first place. I guess it comes down to what lessons the scouts need to learn. As far as crowd funding, when laws and fiances are being dealt with responsibly, there really shouldn't be a problem.
  16. 1 point
    Weather satellites have more than paid for the entire space program in lives and dollars saved. The space program is a net gain, not a net loss.
  17. 1 point
    Methinks someone needs to do a little research into the benefits of manned spaceflight, past, present and future. Eagle92 has it right, and he only mentions 2 of the trickle down benefits we see in our outdoor adventures. I'm not an engineer, but I do have a subscription to NASA Tech Briefs. You'd be surprised at the technology that NASA develops that then becomes available for use in non-space related fields. A quick google search found this page for me, which has a decent list of advances based on NASA technology... http://www.thespaceplace.com/nasa/spinoffs.html I have no idea the source, but I have seen it claimed in multiple places that for every $1 spent on the space program, we see $7-8 in U.S. economic benefit. If true, that's not a bad ROI. Most government programs are money down the drain.
  18. 1 point
    Challenge is that a lot of what NASA pioneered has trickled down to everyday use. And I don't mean just Tang either. Fabrics that were created for insulating spacesuits are now used to make lightweight but ultrawarm sleeping bags and camping clothing. Food used in space are now staples in the REI, and other outdoor store (MMM beef stoganoff with noodles, just got some today for next weekend.) And it goes on and on.
  19. 1 point
    A year ago I was lucky enough to trek Phlmont with a great bunch of guys. Most of the fellows on the trek were from our own troop and you probably know who they were. Maybe you don't know that we also hosted two fellows from another troop on the east side of town. These two fellows were sorta poor and they didn't have a lot of fancy gear. Their troop didn't camp as much as we do and in fact they had not been backpacking much at all. Some of the fellows in our troop didn't think much of their Scout skills. These two fellows were slow on the trail, they had trouble rigging their tents, they couldn't seem to dry their gear after a rainstorm. Basic stuff. Some kind of Scouts, huh? Last week one of these fellows was awarded the Medal of Merit by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He had used his Scout first aid skills to save someone's life after a car accident. This guy may never be best hiker. But it doesn't matter; he had saved a life. Because he was a Scout and he was prepared. Think about it.
  20. 1 point
    This is based on something that happened to me about 6 months ago. I wrote it up and used it as a SM minute. Though some of the specifics apply to our troop, and my situation, feel free to insert your own experiences: I was in the break room at work the other day when I ran into one of the managers who is a friend of mine. He was a member of Troop 3 and is, in fact, in the Eagles nest, right over there. He earned his Eagle in 1975, and I was telling him about our recent 100th Eagle Scout on that board. Keith was suitably impressed, but what he really wanted to know was to what patrol did he belong? You see scouting is really not about troops, it is about patrols. All of his most important memories were centered around activities which he did as a member of his patrol. He was in the Warrior patrol, by the way. And you could almost detect a bit of disappointment in his voice when he heard there was no longer a Warrior patrol in the troop. To what patrol does each of you belong? (Wait for reply) Your patrol is your family, your brotherhood. Keith left scouting 30 years ago, but he still has pride in his patrol. In the year 2040, will you remember so vividly which patrol you were in? And what you did as a patrol? Will you recall who the other members of your patrol were? When I was a scout, I was in the Beaver patrol, and I still remember all the members of my patrol: Rick, Gil, Steve, Phillip, Jim and Ty. We all lived within a few blocks of each other, and we used to all carpool together to the meetings. We won top patrol at the council encampment the year I was patrol leader, as well as at the camporee the year before I was PL and the year after. Lets vow to renew our patrol spirit. I want you to work hard to be the best member of you patrol that you can. Thirty years from now, I want you to be proud to say you were a member ofwhat patrol?
  21. 0 points
    Let me re-write that for you more accurately. Our Pack of 38 Cubs will sell $65k in popcorn solicit $65,000 in donations. My son is on pace to sell $8k in popcorn collect $8,000 in donations, and will barely crack top 10 in our council of 60,000 scouts. Do people reach those levels selling meat sticks? _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The core of the problem people have with popcorn is that calling it a "product sale" is so disingenuous it's practically lying. The popcorn is SO overpriced that it's no longer a product sale, it's merely a conversation opening for scouts to solicit a donation. In fact, if a troop approached most councils with a different yet equivalently priced product, it wouldn't meet the requirements for an appropriate fundraiser.
  22. -1 points
    I think NASA does great stuff. Lots of technology came about because of NASA. But Mars exploration? Come on! Does anybody seriously expect going to Mars to be possible or practical? Even if man make it to Mars..how long will it take? How many decades? How much food would it take for just a crew of 3? How much fuel, oxygen and life support? Why even go? Is even considering putting a colony on Mars plausible? If the earth was in danger of burning out...would sending people to the moon or Mars even be an idea to bother with? Would it truely be worth considering? If people want to daydream...that's fine, but look at the budget crises America is in right now. Where does Mars really fit in on a scale of necessary things to sink billions of dollars in in a given year?
  23. -1 points
    MARS EXPLORATION! PEOPLE ON MARS! Really now... Did I not plainly say that NASA has brougght about grea stuff and has benefitted us, But NOT exploring MARS! That is stupid and totally un practical. We will never live there, could not afford to send people there and the logistics of it are insane!. Any penny spent on Mars is a joke!
  24. -1 points
    I'm in the space business. Obama turning the Orion into a life raft just gave me another year or two of work. What a joke. However, manned spaceflight is a folly. We were never destined for space. We simply cannot survive there and the possiblity of finding somewhere we can survive is way beyond our life spans. Sure it forces some technological advances that benefit our terrestrial lives. But its still a folly. We will never leave this planet permanently. We need to focus on this little ball of fuzz instead of playing Buck Rodgers. The same tech advances we get from the manned space program could be achieved through an aggressive drive to energy independence. Just think if we turned the entire manned spaceflight program dollars into renewable energy research? Force innovation. De-claw the Arab oil stronghold on our economy. Become a world power in energy again. Nope. Not exciting. Watching a rocket and waving a flag is much more interesting and keeps the politicians funding NASA.
  25. -1 points
    So I read the headline today: Associated Press Obama: US to Mars within his lifetime. WOW! Is anybody as excited as I am? What a total and complete waste of taxpayer money! Now look...I am a fan of science and I am a fan of learning. I'm also a fan of l;earning more science. But seriously...what benefit will "one day hopefully" reaching Mars provide? Right now, we know that there is a "pretty good chance" that there "used to be" water on Mars, but we don't know for sure. So lets spend a couple billion each quarter and maybe, if we spend even more..one day we MIGHT find out. But then what? Right now, we don't go to the moon. It's not practical either. Why would it be? Any of ytou plan on moving to the moon? Plan on a colony anytime soon? Nah... me either. Wouldn't be practical! Sure, NASA has put satelights for communication, weather and mapography/topography info for the world to use, as well as military uses...all great, practical, and needed. I think we need to drop the big money sucking hole of exploring Jupiter, Mars,and honestly..the moon! Yep, even the moon. Can we justify it in these economic times? What have we found out by going to the moon that actually has real practical value? Now, this is not a crack at the Obama administration by any means. I have had an issue with space exploration since I read about the expense of Hubble. Yeah, it is interesting to see what happens far far away. It did send some cool pictures. It did make for great reading. But it still wasn't practical to spend that kind of money on something that isn't making a difference to us at all. Just my rant for now.