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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/17/20 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Wow,wow,wow!!! I couldn't agree more. Scouting is not a classroom and is not done is a classroom setting. Your observations are spot on. Merit badges provide kids with an introduction to a wide world of subjects taught by subject matter experts. These experts don't need the latest technological teaching aids. The mb councilor covers the requirements and ensures that the scout has completed the requirements, no more and no less. Merit badges used to require a scout to locate a councilor, call him/her and make an appointment, go to the appointment, and complete the merit badge. Youth protection guidelines make this a little challenging, but that's not the subject here. This actually helped prepare the scout for real life where these skills can be applied to job applications, interviews, and presenting material to people they may not know. Somewhere some committee has skewed and reversed this process and has focused on the teaching aspect rather then the learning. I don't think that one required merit badge should be offered at a merit badge university because the groups are too big and each scout can not possibly complete every requirement. Often times a badge is awarded just for showing up. For a personal example, kids who show up with a budget earn personal management in one or two one hour sessions because the requirements are just reviewed and briefly mentioned. I deliberately would not allow my grandson to complete this merit badge in this way. I drove him 50 miles to a reputable councilor who had him come back 4 times, was that was 4 100mile round trips, that's 400 miles. He EARNED that badge. I even heard one ASM make the statement "why bother, my son gen get all the required merit badges at merit badge university". I also agree that PLs, ASPLs, SPLs, Troop Guides, and Instructors should be "signing the books" and they should be using the well publicized EDGE method to do it! We need to put the outdoor world back into Scouting, get out of the classroom, and let our troop leaders LEAD and not just wear a patch.
  2. 3 points
    The way I expressed my feelings to my committee members and SM- these should be considered for helping the kid who is in the middle of working on a rank, but we shouldn't be pumping kids to start working on their next rank using these. It may be a few more weeks or months until we can have overnights, but no one should feel a rush.
  3. 2 points
    Pearson Education markets expensive (time sensitive license) interactive (blackboards, chat rooms, quizzes, tests) online learning packages (multi-platform with a lot of bell and whistles) to schools and colleges. But we are NOT schools and colleges. We have a Patrol Leader, not a Dashboard. Our Scouts are Scout taught, in-person, six feet apart, or via Skype or Zoom - Show, Tell, Do. We simply wanted scout documentation online across platforms. Free would be great, but maybe a paid BSA library card (scout or unit) to cover online library expenses. Thrifty, My $0.02, Disclaimer: I did not say anything negative, in this wayward post, about Pearson Education or EDGE or the BSA for going away from the Patrol Method and Adult Association in teaching.
  4. 2 points
    if Any summer camp is to happen I could see the following requirments 1. limit the number of camper to 1/4 Camp normal capacity (bases on last years attendence) 2. Test camper for fever at check in 3. Test staff daily 4. Have isolation areas set up 5. Limit the number of weeks (possible skip weeks for cleaning) 6. Decrease the days to five (for cleaning) 7. one scout per tent 8. No foreign scouts or scouters 9. no out of state scouts 10 decrease size of any merit badge class to 10 or less Just my ramblings , still having a hard time believing any summer camps will happen, praying they do, Offering to help out as health office for free at my local camp Fr. John
  5. 2 points
    Yes. I even bought one or two to see if they were useful and how they worked. They were okay. The biggest problem was it was a profit center and we had to pay. http://ocscouting.com/blog/20-interactive-digital-merit-badge-pamphlets-including-every-eagle-required-badge-now-available/ Now, I see merit badges are PDFs at least for cover, requirements and a referenced materials page. Looking through Scouting.Org, I was pleasantly surprised that many DOCS are now PDFs. That's really nice to see. BSA has made huge progress. It's great to see. REALLY NICE TO SEE. https://www.scouting.org/programs/scouts-bsa/adults/publications/ These should be fully online too as very few adult leaders know the material. Troop leader guidebook (vol 1 & 2) Troop committee guidebook ... I'd bet 1 in 200 committee members have read this. It needs to be easily available. Program Features ... to be "scout run", scouts need this when they need it. It can't sit in a troop closet or with the previous youth leader. The Conservation Handbook ... Yeah, who's bought this? It should be online and easily available. Let BSA make money selling the Boy Scout Handbook, shirts, patches, etc. But why would we block easy access to key materials needed to run a good program.
  6. 1 point
    That is a root problem. Confusion is often willful too. Many don't really care about the goal as much as the certificate. At some point, I think Eagle would be better reflected by 125+ nights of troop camping and a variety of experiences.
  7. 1 point
    Sadly that is not the case everywhere. I was working with a group on Citizenship in the Nation MB. All of the Scouts had Civics in School. I also had a 5th grade Webelos with me, my son, who had a US History class that went over the Constitution as part of the class. NONE OF THE SCOUTS COULD DO THAT PART OF THE MB! (emphasis). The Webelos knew it well. When I asked the Scouts what they learned in school, they told me the teacher told them to use their laptops, and didn't really do anything.
  8. 1 point
    The underlying issue seems, to me at least, that "learning a skill" is ithe end goal. Rather than that, "using the skill" would encourage more participation, less school, and fix all the other things we don't like about merit badges. I suppose this applies to all advancement. Anyway, taking a merit badge should be the first step in doing something scoutish and not a goal in itself. I'd much rather see a patrol say "let's make a giant 8 person bike - let's take welding MB" then the usual "I gotta sign up for something at mbu and cit nation is required so I'll do that one." Making learning skills a tool to help patrols have fun would be much better. Again, there's confusion about what the goal of scouting is, especially among the scouts.
  9. 1 point
    I hate to say this, but if I ran the camp, I wouldn't allow someone with a high risk condition to attend. It's not worth the risk. And I hate that it's the case.
  10. 1 point
    Many scouts roll their eyes at the MB program. Scouts see it as an overlapping and a shallow dive into topics already deeply covered at school and covered better. Scouting should NOT be about sitting in meetings. MBs should not be class room based. Scouting should NOT be about adults holding the hands of the scouts. . It hurts when troop leaders or parents arrange MB events and makes it so that scouts need to just show up. If adults make the arrangements, the MB event should be special and memorable. For example, scouts scheduling a canoe trip. I think it's okay for adults to make sure a canoeing MB counselor is registered on the trip. Scouts could then talk to the counselor. If scouts want to weld and metal work, I think it's okay for a troop to arrange a welding event ... if it's special.
  11. 1 point
    Mergers and combining councils is the responsibility of the individual councils executive board and a national committee has no business discussing, promoting, or encouraging these actions.
  12. 1 point
    How about ... no staff that has recently traveled out of state ... or staff must quarantine at home for three weeks after traveling out of state before arriving at camp
  13. 1 point
    I wish you the best. I'm trying to make just a simple decision for summer camp ... if summer camp is offered. My last son has a medical condition that makes him vulnerable and there is no chance of a vaccine by July. So do I wait until I have to put money out? Or do I cancel now? Our local camp is asking for deposits, but they have been fairly good at waiting for full payment. My gut says there is no way I'll send my kid even if the camp is open. But, I'm leaving options open for now. I just can't see how any summer camp will happen right now. This will take a year and a vaccine to solve. I'd hate to be the camp directories and councils this year. How do you budget, staff and purchase materials with such huge unknowns ? I'm better there are tons of parents holding off saying no, but that when the final decision comes they will NOT send their kids to camp this summer.
  14. 1 point
    My daughter took a flight this week. Six passengers on each leg. I'm pretty sure the airlines will be ready to take your $$s. IMHO, the right call to make is have a plan A, B, and C. Be open to your committee helping you decide to drop plan A now. Some people find keeping options on the table too stressful, and you've already mentioned why that might be the case. But, if the you all come out of that meeting willing to keep everything on the table until next month, and even the month after that, roll with it. In these situations we learn a lot about our teams.
  15. 1 point
    I'm editing in order to deccentuate the negative .... I want to quietly make one modest evaluation: That is one awesome group of scouts! @TMSM, there is only one thing you should strike from your list: I am thinking of bragging to my troop about your troop. But if you throw in the towel now, the scouts who know which forums I browse will get wind of it and say, "Serves you right for listening to strangers on the internet." Don't let National freak you out. If your scouts and their families are letting you keep channels open, spend time on those channels. We work for smiles. I agree about not making these online sessions feel like school. Troop meetings should be shorter and more like roll-call and reports from PLs. Screen time should involve boys posting their accomplishments. Provide that structure. The scout/family who really needs you or has something unique to offer will reach out.
  16. 1 point
    Our trek is end of July. If it's going to be cancelled, I'd rather know now. I want to go. I want the scouts to enjoy it. I fully understand BSA not being able to give definitive answers. Right now, I have little respect for people who claim to be certain of what the right call to make is for late July. We have a committee meeting (virtual) next week to discuss this.
  17. 1 point
    We did a 10 tree ID challenge that new scouts thought was fun(each scout went out by himself and took pics), Scout Jeopardy in patroll meetings was fun, broke out older scouts (Star +) and the met with the Eagle coordinator and was productive. We broke into ranks and worked on specific FA requirements. We were going to do a litter cleanup project but too many parents lost thier minds over this so we cancelled. I am thinking we could maybe deliver a troop tent to the crossovers and have their Patrol leader help them virtually to set it up. This would be a race to see which patrol could set up first. A few scouts are creating a Mine Craft flag ceremony and one of the scouts is creating a google survey to see what MBs are interesting to troop members. I had the SPL invite the TLCs (all with PORs) and they really struggled to come up with anything, We are a hands on, outside, patrol method troop so they have no experience with making virtual fun. In fact Zoom meetings are making it seem like school. We don't all live in the same town so scavenger would not work. I did invite a former Eagle Scout to do an SM minute and he talked about why the crossovers should stick it out and wait for their first campout and how how his first year changed his perspective. I will not allow virtual tour to replace tours in any of my MBs I will not sign off on Virtual Troop Campouts I will not allow sign-offs by anyone but me for scouts cooking in a family patrol I will not sign off on the Triple Crown award for scouts virtually touring 3 HA sites Right now I am thinking it would be better to close down the troop until September
  18. 1 point
    I've never been that caught up in any one "requirement" as I view the scouts need to do many things to earn each rank. And it's that journey that is important. Each individual requirement I could take or leave. Maybe swimming. I think that's very important. I've always thought the scouts would benefit in one or more ways. IMHO, the requirements were never the benefit of scouting. It was always Fellow ship of other scouts. Learning to work together. Experience new things together. Helping each other. ... Build citizenship New experiences. Stretching the comfort zone. Expanding awareness. ... Builds character Working hard. Going further than you have before. ... Builds physical fitness Working outside the family unit. Cutting the parental umbilical cord. Realizing you can find solutions on your own ... Builds independence and responsibility The new requirements stab at the heart of the program and are just wrong.
  19. 1 point
    The promised 15 April update from Philmont. Upshot: Go/No Go decision for each high adventure base will be announced on 1 May. https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/coronavirus/ High Adventure Base Update Regarding Summer of 2020 Update 4/15/20 – 8:30 AM Status of summer 2020 operations COVID-19 has brought unprecedented uncertainty, financial challenges and impact to our daily lives. The leadership of the BSA and the National High Adventure Bases (HAB’s) recognize that Scouts and leaders have been planning for many months to enjoy a life-changing High Adventure experience. The health and safety of our participants and staff is our utmost concern. At this time, the HAB’s plan to operate in the summer of 2020 if we can do so safely and within the guidelines of the CDC. On May 1st we will provide an update on the 2020 season specific to each National High Adventure Base. We understand that crews need to make travel plans. However, by applying a metered approach to the summer season, it allows the most flexibility in adjusting programs to serve participants. Refunds for summer 2020 The National Executive Committee will review the refund policy for the HAB’s and information regarding those policies will be posted on May 1st. Additional programs for summer/fall/Holiday 2020 HAB’s have added additional late summer/fall and Holiday 2020 programs and we encourage you to review those. Wilderness First Aid and other required courses We understand that courses such as Wilderness First Aid are currently unavailable. We are working with the organizations that provide those trainings to have options for Crews which will be posted on May 1st. BSA Annual Health and Medical Record We are evaluating all options while being mindful of those who have valid exams as well as those new members and adults who may have never completed a Part C exam, state and local authority requirements, and the special review required by high adventure programs. In the interim, we recommend that council health supervisors, camp staff and volunteers begin a conversation on local availability of wellness exams and alternatives that could be put in place. State “Lockdowns” or “Stay at Home Orders” We are monitoring the status of state “Lockdowns” or “Stay at Home Orders” that would interrupt travel during the time you are scheduled to attend an HAB. We will work with units to fill openings later in the summer should a state order preclude you from travel. Additional information can be found in a joint statement from the High Adventure Bases here.
  20. 1 point
    You don't need to resign. I'd hold fast with the same investment, planning, effort, growth, etc that need to happen. BSA says in the same statement ... "Even when using video conferencing, all virtual campouts and activities should consist of as many elements found on a normal outdoor campout or activity as possible. The most significant difference is that patrol or troop members are not all in the same location. All existing youth protection policies and digital safety guidelines must be followed." So ... where it says "stove" ... I'd strongly interpret that as a "camp stove" or a "fire". I would NOT accept a kitchen stove as I've only seen one troop bring a kitchen stove on a camp out. AND YES, I did take pictures.
  21. 0 points
    Here's the deal, National has already stated online outdoor training is not allowed, yet A) they are jumping into it and B) People are ecstatic about it.
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