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  1. 8 points
    Follow-up: Assembly was this last weekend. My son went through Ordeal and did great IMHO. The old SM was there but didn't interact with him at all so that was perfect. Best thing of all, my son came home super jazzed about OA and Scouting. So it was a great outcome.
  2. 7 points
    I have never really considered myself overly religious, but do consider myself to be quite reverent. I rarely attend church now, I have attended regularly in spurts over the years, but not now. I work with people of several faiths and beliefs and respect their customs. I am not closed to their thoughts or actions. I respect their needs to pray, say grace before meals, attend services,etc. I participate in such activities when I am with them but not usually at home with family. It was not the way I was raised or my husband. The Scout Law says be reverent not be religious. There really is a difference. I know several religious folks, very religious folks that aren't the least bit reverent. They have no use for anyone that isn't their religion, and they mock others for their beliefs. I'd rather be reverent than religious any day. The world needs way more reverence and maybe a little less religion. Or at least we need religions to teach its okay to be reverent.
  3. 7 points
    While I firmly oppose BSA's girl decision, I strongly support kindness and sensitivity in personal interactions. Even though their Cub Scout Pack is at fault for breaking fundamental rules about mixed-gender Dens, a kind approach is still merited as the situation gets resolved. A Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind, and nobody should be made to feel like an outcast. First, I'd explain in the friendliest way possible to the girl and her parents that we are excited for her interest in Scouting. Then I'd also explain in the friendliest way possible that because we are a boy-only troop, we are not structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her the Scouting experience that BSA has designed for girls (providing as many or as few supporting details as they like). Finally, I'd offer assistance to help her find a girl-only troop or a linked troop in the area that *is* structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her that great Scouting experience (with an explanation about the rollout beginning in February 2019). If these good-faith gestures made in friendliness are rejected, it would seem clear to me that this girl and her family are not looking for a solution - they are looking for a fight.
  4. 6 points
    Focus on the first meeting, the first month and the first camp out. Everything will seem clearer after that. Start by focusing on the first meeting. Get the PL Handbook and SPL Handbook to plan the meeting. Basic meeting is Opening, Patrol Corners, Program and Closing. I typically ask the SM to play the part of the SPL (or PL if you wish) for the first meeting only to set an example and get the momentum started. Opening- SPL delegates scouts to run a very basic opening. Pledge, Oath, Law, Prayer, and quick Announcements. Patrol Corners - PL runs through a basic agenda of old business and new business. Since you don't have old business with your first meeting, your new business is announcing first camp out details; when, where, theme. Very basic. Program - Practice a skills for the camp out: setting up and taking down tents. Pretty much it for the first meeting. Game - Typically something that requires them to run and move around. Closing - retire the flag. A few announcements by the SPL, SM minute (practice this so you can get close to a minute) and dismissed. Of course the meeting will get more complex, but we are just trying to get the troop moving. Spend the next 2 or 3 meetings getting ready for the camp out; packing, food, clothing. Don't worry about advancement skills, they will come in time. Learn how to set up and break camp. Learn how to light a stove and set up washing tubs for KP. First camp out is basically the same thing. For program, teach skills they will need for camping and use those skills that weekend, like learning to start fires. Give the scouts the SPL and PL Handbooks and ask them to use them for the next meeting, camp out and other activities. Plan a planning meeting about three weeks in the future to plan the themes for the next three months of meetings and camping. Planning can get very complicated, so keep it simple, simple, simple and specific. Month two can be something like hiking and using the meetings to teach basic navigation, first-aid and proper hiking clothes. Then camp at a park where the scouts can do about a five mile hike with a lunch break in the middle. Simple program, but a lot for a new troop. Yet, it is very scouting. Make sure the troop meetings have at least 20 minutes of a FUN game. The campouts should have at least two hours of free time on Saturday. Don't rush Sunday, get up and cook a meal, church service (10 mins), an hour of advancement, a game, and break camp. Try to get home around or after 1:00 PM. Many troops hurry Sunday to get home early. I don't know way, but it hurrys the camp out and takes the fun out of Sunday. I advise new troops to elect the SPL and PL about every four months because it's a lot of work and burns out young scouts fast. Scouts this age don't enjoy leadership, so I let them do it only long enough to develop the program. I'm not a fan of cycling scouts through leadership for the experience because it is more often than not a negative experience. Leadership is for the maturity of older scouts. Many don't agree, but that is my experience. However, new troops don't have older scouts and need to develop a program for scouts to follow. The key is the adults taking up only enough of the slack to keep the scouts from burning out. And then stepping back as the scouts mature. Scouts will be mature by the next meeting and next camp out, so step back and let them do it. The adults aren't really leaders, they are mentors and guides. They should practice patience and waiting for the scouts to approach them. One way to understand that idea is for the adults is never to raise their sign up to quiet the scouts. Adults wait for the scouts to initiat the sign. If an adult has the floor for announcements or training and they need the scouts' attention, the adult asked the senior scout or leader to get the groups attention for the adult. That tends to remind the adults their place in a scout run troop. Ok, that is a lot to start. Barry
  5. 6 points
    Ian is absolutely right. There is reason girls come to us rather than girl guides, because they are getting something that they are not getting there. This is one of my favourite photos of this year, some of my girls in the Scottish Highlands back in April. Do these look like girls that want a watered down program?
  6. 6 points
    Barry, Gender dysphoriais an emotional and psychological condition experienced when a person's gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. It is a recognized condition. So to not support a youth with gender dysphoria will harm that youth. There have been some people who believe that some youth are being diagnosed as gender dysphoria who might not actually have the condition. One must be an expert to determine what is the appropriate diagnosis - something that adult volunteers are not able to do unless they are a child psychiatrist or psychologist. So to best support youth, we as adult volunteers should leave such determinations to true experts and support their conclusions. As to morality, I agree with others - whose moral standards do you use? The BSA does not prefer any religion and is, thus, non-denominational. As a Christian, I am not aware of a scriptural reference to people with gender identity issues. The BSA's stance seems well reasoned and the correct course for this time in history. In the future, there could be research that modifies what is best for a youth with gender dysphoria. At that time, the new policy might need adjustment. I doubt that will be the case but it is possible.
  7. 5 points
    We teach our scouts that leadership is not only about making good decisions, but taking responsibility, reflecting, and accepting the consequences from our bad ones. The scout in the first case, appears to be applying those leadership lessons, while the scout in the second case does not. Was it is his marijuana? And if so, he had it either to smoke or sell? If I gave a SM conference to the first scout, the discussion would be long and focused on what he has learned in scouting about being a man and a father. If I gave a SM conference to the second scout, the discussion be about the Scout Oath and Law. Both scouts need our kind and helpful support. My $0.02,
  8. 5 points
    Hey all, I attended a Course Directors Conference recently. I'm a backup course director for a NYLT course in 2019. One of the Pros from Irving was there so I was able to ask some of our favorite topics of conversation. I've figured we mostly had answers to these questions, but it's good to hear it straight out of the horses mouth so to speak. I've summarized his answers below. I was impressed by him. I was surprised National sent a pro from Irving out to Midwest on a Saturday, and he was at the event all day, and being available for 1 on 1 face-time. He had some real enthusiasm and energy. He was unapologetic about the changes to include girls, which was mostly preaching to the choir at a NYLT/Wood Badge CDC at this point. He said there have been about 40,000 girls into Cub Scouts this year. I'm not sure how that lines up with other numbers being reported. He also mentioned the program as "Scouts BSA" a few times, so I'm not sure when that nomenclature is going to take over. Q1. Asked about how the BSA decided on the two year separation rule in the recently updated YPT. 1 a.: Said the rule was created based on data provided by law enforcement, schools, incident reports from councils and information collected during calls to the Scouts First Hotline. I figured that was the case, so I'm glad there's some statistical backing to it. Q2. Changes to Wood Badge Syllabus, will those of us who took WB21 be expected to retake the new course? 2a. No. The changes are an update to the WB21 course, not a total rewrite. The material in the current WB is still useful and valid training, they're just tweaking it a bit. Other interesting tidbit is that there is an updated version of the "Time to Tell" videos in the works. I remember watching those back in 2005. He stressed to us that the next big focus of YPT is preventing Peer to Peer abuse between Scouts. National is pretty concerned about it. Most of our training and discussion about YPT focused on that peer to peer abuse aspect (maybe because we've had over a decade to figure out the whole adult to youth protection aspects of YPT.) Overall, the CDC was well done, and since it was my first one, I found it informative and helpful. I'm not sure I'll feel the same if I have to keep going to more of them in the future.
  9. 5 points
    Sadly, I've heard your view from scouts too. Add also discussions from them on why many different types of laws need to change. Laws on everything from liability to the oldest profession laws. ... I've always been amazed what we can overhear as adult leaders when you are good at blending into the background.
  10. 5 points
    I have been married going on 44 years. My wife once asked me "if something happens to me, would you find someone else?" My immediate response now would be "hell no!" She has some "liberal feminist" friends who behave worse than any of my horndog male buddies ever did but are staunchly in favor of hanging Kavanaugh out to dry. Why would I risk subjecting myself to that? Ladies, I'm afraid you've "screwed the pooch" this time...so take your pink hats and leave me alone.
  11. 5 points
    Two grandsons new in a cub pack. There are (horrors!) girls. No one seems to notice. They do stuff together. It's almost as if it's not unnatural.
  12. 5 points
    Goodness, if only there had been some advance notice of this deadline...
  13. 4 points
    A Note, from a Moderator i still remember my Mom being my Den Mother. I remember a ton of old magazines we had in our hall closet, to support activities. I still remember The Law of the Pack, and later I remember learning the Scout Law. I remember being told as a Boy Scout the Scout Law was a positive description of who I should be. Boys like clubs. Boys like “no girls allowed” clubs. 8 year old boys aren’t always ready to mix with eight year old girls. Sometimes, a boy will get, shall we say, boisterous in telling that to a girl. may I submit a good path to deal with this kind of boisterousness is to simply ask the boy to recite the Scout Law, and then ask him if he was being friendly, courteous and kind? 99+ % of the time, he won’t be able to hold eye contact as he says yes. We don’t always need the big guns of youth protection. Sometimes, we need to remember Akela is there to show the way. YIS, ICS, IFAW, John
  14. 4 points
    Scramble like heck. Call your caouncil venturing committee. Let your DE know. Community college APO, church youth leaders. And ... GS/USA commissioners. You might get your leader, you might not. But you'll feel better trying.
  15. 4 points
    Most of the commentary seems to be on the wisdom or stupidity of the extension- but mostly how it affects an individual Scout. Either way, it does provide potentially a strong program gain. The new troops starting up will have a much better chance of success if they have a few "senior" girls in them. Always tough for leadership development when a new troop is formed from a den of Webelos. To get those girls, there would be opportunity particularly with current Venturers. While not every 17 year old girl will want to work towards Eagle, it does make sense that some of them would- and the troop will get some immediate needed leadership.
  16. 4 points
    Have fun. If the scouts are not having fun, they will vote with their feet. Keep the helicopter parents in the back and out of the way. Let the youth (with guidance and mentoring) select and be involved with activities that are engaging to them. If the program becomes more school and classwork to get to the vaunted Eagle rank, you will lose many of them Have fun, go outdoors and DO STUFF. Not for advancement sake, not to get this merit badge or that merit badge, because it is fun, challenging, and engaging. The advancement can be a byproduct of what is done, not the main purpose. Go hiking, go climbing, go canoeing, go boating, go through a gorge, go biking, play a wide game, do a lock-in with overnight video games and gym games. Did I mention facilitate HAVING FUN?
  17. 3 points
    Hi @shortridge. I was a scoutmaster for 12 years. The real question here, if I may be so bold, is will your wife be okay with all the hours? Scoutmaster conferences, eagle projects, packing for said trips, going to blue and golds, training, just spending time figuring out how to crack some nut. Those are some of the things you've forgotten. I'm sure there are more. Some of this has to do with the size of your troop as well as how many adults will actually help. We estimated 1 hour per month per scout in the troop is what all of the adults put in together. How much of that will people help with? How good are you at convincing others to help out. I didn't do so well at that but a bunch of adults did step up. However, there seem to be fewer helping out. And yet, I am really glad I did it. BTW, I didn't answer your question. I didn't really want to know.
  18. 3 points
    Scouts has the advantage over public schools, in that it is an activity that the family has chosen of their own free will. In Girl Scouts, at least, anyone registering has to agree to abide by the girl scout law -- for the girls being registered by their parents, the parent agrees on their behalf. (Really -- there is a checkbox on the registration website that you have to check off, or you cannot register. ) That is one of the beauties of refering the kid back to the scout law . The adults' whims are not the standard of behaviour; the scout law is the standard of behaviour. And you know that the parent has already agreed to having the kid follow the scout law.
  19. 3 points
    I would like to ask the moderators to transfer this thread/discussion to the "Faith and Chaplaincy" Forum. Oh, wait....
  20. 3 points
    Only for the perpetual victimization crowd. The message it sends otherwise is: - Different people value different things. Some scouts value an all-male experience. It's diversity that makes us great - Voluntary association is a hallmark of free societies. - Nobody is invalidating you, you're doing it to yourselves if you let this bother you Besides, if the BSA really believes in the value of single-gender scouting (that's why we have separate gender troops in Scouts BSA), then boys-only and girls-only weeks are logical extensions of that stated goal.
  21. 3 points
    Our older scout who is the Instructor for wood tools uses the term circle of death.
  22. 3 points
    I do propose moving to the language of “Cubbing” and “scouting” to refer to the different programs.
  23. 3 points
    Please note that the Whitlin' Chip and Totin Chip have no specific requirements. There is no BSA list of "do this this way", not like tying knots or cooking or fire building. The teaching of "safe handling" and "good tool useage" is a ultimately a local culture thing. If you are fortunate to have a skilled craftsman to teach your Cubs and Scouts, count yourself lucky. Kids will want to "experiment" . I was at a B&G banquet one evening, helping to hand out the PopCorn Prizes. One young Cub, sold umpteen dollars worth of Popcorn, was awarded a multi blade pocket knife. As the event went on, I saw him pry open ALL the blades, and Presto ! An X-Wing Fighter began zooming around his table ! I paused the festivities, went to his table, asked him directly, "Wow, that's a neat knife. May I see it? " The Cub put the knife down, I picked it up and carefully showed him how to close it , open palm, and then handed it to the dad sitting next to the Cub, saying, "perhaps this can wait until you earn the Whitlin' Chip, eh?" and then went back to the podium and more prizes....
  24. 3 points
    “They have this range all set up where the boys can shoot an M4, M240, and M249. It maybe the first and last chance a lot of these guys get to shoot some of these weapons. They do have some bigger guns and they were telling them that if they want to shoot those, they have to join the Army,” said SM Murdock. What a great Scout outing. Thanks to US Army and SM Murdock. https://www.wibw.com/content/news/Boy-Scouts-shoot-Army-weapons-at-Fort-Rileys-32nd-Annual-Apple-Day--494075211.html Though I did not enter the military, Scouting ,and only Scouting, provided me some exposure to military - staying at USAF bases on Philmont trip, Air Force Academy, airshows, ship visits, range shooting...all great.
  25. 3 points
    Not a huge fan of massive troop "rules". Never had one, do not plan to have one. Once you have written "guidelines" one will need to follow them and then you get boxed into a corner. Sort of like the academic zero tolerance policies. Huge difference when a kid goes camping with dad and accidentally leaves an axe in the car as compared to kid who brings a knife to school to settle a score. One must look at intent and hopefully be able to judge and work with kids as individuals. We have a large troop and literally have only one written policy, and that concerns cell phones and it was written this year. Other than that, we try to follow the basic tenants of BSA policy. I mean Good Lord there are two huge tomes, the GTA and GTSS which are both 100+ pages each. If that is not enough for you, not sure an additional document will really help
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