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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/13/20 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    As a start...hire @Sentinel947 to pilot this at a district of his choice AND listen to his advice for growth to other districts. Perhaps establish coop relationships with colleges which offer outdoor related majors . Some juniors and seniors are over 20, though IMHO National should recognize 18yr olds as adults. Right next door to Summit,: https://admissions.wvutech.edu/academics/majors/adventure-recreation-management Maine: https://www.unity.edu/academics/certifications/recreation/ Minnesota: https://cehsp.d.umn.edu/departments-centers/center-environmental-education/undergraduate-degrees/environmental-outdoor-ed Another $0.02,
  2. 4 points
    Sounds right. So how do we get Scoutmasters to influence the Scouts towards exciting program? The answer used to be training, but the training materials seem less oriented towards adventure, less and less time is allocated to training, and little is done to encourage exciting program or to discourage unexciting program. E.g.: a weekend "lock-in" indoors to watch movies is a "weekend campout" for scoring Journey to Mediocrity," a principle tool, we are told, to promote "good program." 😍
  3. 4 points
    I stand by my point. Americans are getting out doors plenty. The people who are interested in getting out in nature and doing fun things are there. The average BSA Troop doesn't execute an exciting or compelling outdoor program most of the time. Some of that is the Guide to Safe Scouting, but I'd say more of it falls on the leaders of those troops. My Troop isn't all that special, but we do plenty of adventurous outdoor stuff: backpacking, canoeing, rock climbing, caving, shooting sports. All that stuff does cost money, and even the fairly well off families in my unit can't afford 8-12 expensive weekend outings a year, especially across multiple kids. So we always do a few local, close, low cost activities each year as well.
  4. 3 points
    The 2019 Guide to Awards and insignia version (page 13) says: "when engaged in scouting activities, members may wear the neckerchief with appropriate nonuniform clothing to identify them as scouts". So, looks like the we will see more worn like those world jamboree photos.
  5. 3 points
    Agree some Scoutmasters need help with this. What if District had two or more experienced, enthusiastic, fit , young adult outdoor guides available to units at no cost? Maybe members of a local college outdoor club, former Philmont rangers and other super scouts, REI employees, graduates from college outdoor education programs, Maine Guides, ... Like a Council Philmont visit, they would visit a troop , talk about their adventures, answer questions, hope scouts and adults take hook....Ok lets start planning this trek...and help provide two deep leadership for weekend trek. My $0.01,
  6. 3 points
    I disagree with the top down approach to scouting. Anyone who takes a top down approach, I disagree with. Let's start at the beginning. A group of boys want to go camping. They belong to an organization. So, that organization charters a boy scout troop. Members of the Chartered Organization volunteer their time to the troop because they love and support the kids. This is good. Let's look at something else. A council employee gets evaluated based on the number of kids who sign up. His job depends on numbers. So, he pushes to charter new troops and new scouts. Many of the scouts and scout leaders don't really want to go camping. They have other motives for joining. But they boost the employee's numbers, so he's fine with it. He even encourages it. This is bad. I am one of the people who love and support the kids. I don't care about the numbers. I have no great desire to promote scouting. I want to help the kids to go camping and have fun. A game with a purpose. No other motive here.
  7. 2 points
    I lived in Europe for a while as a kid. When we (GSUSA scouts) wore our completely unofficiial, home-made, neckerchiefs with our ordinary clothing, we were immediately recognized as being some variety of Scout or Guide. (There were mulitple scouting/guiding organizations within what, to an American, is a fairly small geographical region.) When we wore our GSUSA uniforms we not nearly recognizable as scouts/guides. I much prefer the neckerchief to the "class b" shirt for being identifiable as scouts when out of uniform. It is readily recognizable from the distance. With a group of kids in matching t-shirts you need to get close enough to read the printing before you know what kind of organization or club it is.
  8. 2 points
    I don't even think it has to be a paid role. This is something a great UC could do, but I'd never be a UC because I don't give a rip about chartering paperwork or JTE. Which is more of the job than helping troops grow fun outdoor programs.
  9. 2 points
    The idea is good, we had someone like this help our troop. Officially he was our UC. This kind of gets back to previous discussions of recruiting the right people for the right positions. Even getting "members of a local college outdoor club, former Philmont rangers and other super scouts, REI employees, graduates from college outdoor education programs, Maine Guides" requires somebody to first find them. The District Commissioner brought up in a District Committee meeting that he couldn't find any volunteers for Unit Commissioners. He wasn't even looking for qualified volunteers, he would take anyone. I met him after the meeting and asked how many he needed. Eleven was the ideal number. I made a few calls to a few troops and 2 days later handed him a list of 11 excited Qualified volunteers. I'm not saying that the UCs should be know all and go all for unit programs, I am just suggesting that the reason we don't see more experts to help units is because nobody is looking or asking. I don't know if recruiting is a skill or it just requires an effort, but a good recruiter can find talented volunteers. Barry
  10. 2 points
    No! No! No! I was joking. The one time people agree with me here, and I was joking. Aaargh.
  11. 2 points
    Non-Scout people go outdoors to be active -- to hike, to hunt, to fish, to explore the landscape, to take photographs, to find and learn about the vegetation and the animals. All too often, Scouts go outdoors to be largely inactive in the open air (unless they have cabins or pavilions). They may do a hike or activity (geared to the younger Scouts) for a few hours during a weekend, but they spend a lot of time in their campsites working on advancement requirements, sitting by campfires, having Scoutmaster conferences (and even Boards of Review), laying in their tents or hammocks with their phones, cooking and eating, playing games, and just goofing around. Many Scout camps and campgrounds frequented by Scouts are quite tame, with campsite parking spaces (and spaces for troop trailers, too) and restrooms and water spigots and charcoal grills and benches around a concrete or metal fire ring. Oh, and leave the fallen tree branches on the ground -- you can buy cut firewood at the camp store. It is really easy to make the outdoors boring - both for the youth and the adults.
  12. 1 point
    Just saw this article on changes in ceremonies regarding regalia. https://oa-bsa.org/article/oa-ceremonial-update
  13. 1 point
    As Maxwell Smart would say, "Missed it by that much." 😄
  14. 1 point
    You just haven't seen a good one in action. But, I understand what you are saying. The expectations (or lack of expectations) of the UCs are set by the District Commissioner. My dream job after Scoutmastering was District Commissioner. But, that job was already taken, so I ended up doing other District and Council responsibilities. When the dream job was finally offered, I was burned out and declined. No regrets, but I don't think we would be stuck in today's political situation if I had taken the job because I had a plan for saving the world. 😎 Barry
  15. 1 point
    Unit Commissioners cannot escape getting entangled in all the administrative tasks, because they are the (only) folks who (theoretically) are in touch with every unit every month. So anytime there is paperwork to be collected from units or some council or district program to be promoted in units, "We'll have the UCs do it."
  16. 1 point
    I contacted a district commissioner about the possibility of a unit commisser for our troop -- and the answer was, basically, that they are lacking in volunteers. I'm thinking about talking with other local troops about whether they have any "retired" scouters would be happy to give some advice, based on their experience, to a new troop still figuring out how to get itself organized. If I find such a person, is it better to keep it as unofficial mentoring, or to suggest that this person consider signing on as a unit commissioner? (I understand that "new-unit commissioners" only need work with one troop at a time.)
  17. 1 point
    The UC position is just another example of top down leadership. How can the council/district fix the units. You should to be looking for bottom up solutions. How can the units fix the council/districts? The current model doesn't allow for grassroots initiatives to improve council/districts. It's all top down thinking. That's why BSA will never improve.
  18. 1 point
    The effort is in the looking and asking around and just talking to folks to find people with skills, experience, and other resources. The skill is picking the right ones to recruit and getting them interested.
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    Where do I sign up? But they can't be 18-20. BSA has decided those folks don't count as real adults.
  21. 1 point
    I'm curious what you see as the bigger goal of your patrol competitions. Interpatrol competition can be a fine thing as a means to an end --- maybe to foster a sense of camaraderie within the patrol, maybe as an incentive to up the skills of some individuals, maybe just as a way to showcase skills that have been mastered. But there are other ways to accomplish all those things. If the result of holding competitions turns out to be something negative rather than something positive then maybe rethinking ways to accomplish your goals is in order. Coincidentally, we have the mother of a former scout who helps run a fundraiser for us every year. Tonight she was there to talk about the fundraiser at a parent meeting that also included the parents of AOL scouts about to crossover. SM was telling the parents of the differences between Cubs and Scouts, emphasizing that each scout's journey and advancement now is his own to do and at his own pace. The mother, then stood up to talk about the fundraiser, but started by telling, unprompted, something her son said to her just as he was completing his Eagle, She said "My son is currently a doctor at Mayo clinic, and i couldn't be prouder of him. But he told me when he made Eagle 'Mom, I tried every sport there was, and I wasn't good at any of them, but I was good at scouts because I didn't have to be better than anyone else, I just had to be as good as I could be." Competition can be a great thing, but it's not one of our aims or methods, and it's not a necessary part of scouts. If it is accomplishing what you want it to accomplish, great, but if it's not ,think about other ways to get where you want to be. What happens on campouts? Does patrol B pitch their tents, get out their equipment, and feed and clean up after itself (truly special needs scout excepted)? If so, why worry about if they do it faster, slower, more efficient or less efficient than their troopmates?
  22. 1 point
    Update 2/11/2020: Opportunities, Inc. Scouts with Disabilities Troops 6101 held the first Court of Honor at Opportunities, Inc. on Tuesday, February 11th in conjunction with the Caddo Area Council, BSA. The event recognized the achievements of the troops 20 members. Family was invited to attend, as well as prominent members in the scouting community who are affiliated with the troops. The members of Troops 6101 advanced in rank to “Scout,” the first rank in the Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts received their official Scout shirts and a framed Scout rank badge to commemorate the occasion. Scout Salute, Source link: https://txktoday.com/news/opportunities-inc-scouts-with-disabilities-troops-6101-court-of-honor-ceremony/
  23. 1 point
    We no longer have districts. We have Service Areas run by Council employees with little Scouting background. Bankruptcy might be a good thing. "All hat and no cowboy."
  24. 1 point
    DE, or whatever the role is named going forward, should be 90% program focused. Their job should be to help facilitate the best program possible for units. That will help take care of membership issues. Let council development staff do the fundraising that is needed to support the council.
  25. 1 point
    After 20 years in the district having served many different committees, on train in Cubbing, Webelos, Webelos Outdoor, Scoutmaster Fundamentals and Venturing trained programs, (many of which I have gone on to lead), been unit leader in two different units, woodbadge trained (C9W-93), active outside of scouting, etc. etc. etc. and because I have never been "active" in the roundtables and chummed up to the others who vote, I won't ever receive the DAM award. Here it makes no difference what your "qualifications" are, it's who you know and who's your buddy. This past year, after being nominated for the award for the past 15 years, (I know how Susan Lucci feels!), once more I was passed up. The District Executive made a special visit to apologize for the traditional slighting. In this case, the award is given based on politics and the good-old-boy network. The lady who was a first year cubmaster and who organized the district dinner, and an Eagle Scout who's been an ASM for 3 years, were honored. Nothing wrong with these credentials, but there are a lot of other leaders who are too busy working with their boys to get such recognition. Because of this, it's value has indeed been reduced to a mere shadow of what it was intended to convey. Smooze and glad-handing is how one goes about getting the award. And as far as my smoozing is concerned, my two units are in two different districts so my efforts will always be divided. It's a good thing I do this scouting thingy for the boys and not myself, I would have quit years ago. I have resolved myself to the fact that if the district ever decides to award me the DAM award, they can come to one of our troop's COH and my SPL can make the presentation. Otherwise, forget it. Sorry for the whiney venting, but sometimes it is obvious that scouting isn't always what it says it is. Stosh