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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/11/18 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    IMO, every scout a swimmer should be program. Fix the problem, get it done (yes it is hard), and done right. My younger son nearly drowned at a pool (not BSA). He was underwater in the unmarked deep end of a new pool when rescued. I wasn't there for him (Dad wasn't there). Years of anxiety therapy ($$$) were needed before he would go near the water to just fish. He would take a bath but not a shower as he became terrified if his face got wet. We tried private swim instruction - myself, his older brother who was on a swim team, BSA, Red Cross, and the Y swim instructors without success. He was terrified. Finally, I found Angelfish which teaches swimming to special needs. It took them months just to build his confidence to float face down (eyes closed) and over a year to finally pass the BSA swim test, however he would not attempt Swimming merit badge. I would rather he earned Swimming MB than Eagle (if he does). He is on an outing this week which includes canoing and rafting, a first for him. I hope he can relax and enjoy the experience. I understand that some adults desire sheltered, unadventurous lives for their kids where they never need to swim, tie a bowline, hike uphill, camp in the rain, do CPR, secure a tourniquet, etc and will want a pass on learning such never-needed skills. That is not what the Scouting program is about. My $0.02,
  2. 5 points
    UPDATE: Guideline has been rescinded. BB Guns memo from A. Lambert 8-11-18.pdf Text is following August 11, 2018 Colleagues, It has come to our attention that a recent program change is causing some distress in the field. You are aware that this past May, a joint group of well-meaning volunteers and professionals recommended a change to the age-appropriate guidelines for shooting sports related to Tigers in Cub Scouts. Prior to this change, the use of BB guns was approved for use by councils or districts at their discretion, starting with Tigers. The change shifted the guidelines to allow the use of BB guns to begin with the Wolves and Bears. While we appreciate the spirit that brought this team to their recommendation, we are withdrawing the change effective immediately. The safe use of BB guns will remain at the discretion of the Council and for use in council and district program for Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos. We encourage Councils to work with parents, staff, partners and Scouts to ensure that these programs are safe for our Scouts and that they have the necessary help and support to make our shooting sports programs successful and fun. You’ll see further information in next week’s Scout Executive packet. Please let me know if you have any questions. The program teams at the National Service Center stand ready to help. Al Lambert Assistant Chief Scout Executive National Director of Outdoor Adventures Boy Scouts of America
  3. 4 points
    @oldbuzzard If your troop and pack are determined to ignore BSA rules about girl membership, why not just buy a bunch of Eagle Scout awards on eBay and hand them out to any girl who wants them? Who cares if the girls meet the requirements - just do whatever you want (sounds like that's how you roll anyway, right?).
  4. 3 points
    My scoutmaster always said if your scout book did not fall apart you were not reading it enough.
  5. 2 points
    I was talking with some friends last night and one recounted a story of a near drowning on a Girl Scout outing. I am sharing this only to emphasize why the BSA's (is that still the right abbreviation?) Safe Swim Defense guidelines are important and useful. Girl Scout overnighter at a campground, note, not a scout camp Most parents not on trip Pool with no lifeguards No one really supervising No swim test Do you see where this is going? My friend who is a lifeguard and swim instructor decided to rent a cabin at the campground and take the rest of her family. Her daughter in GSUSA tent camped with her troop. My friend was hanging out and drinking / relaxing. My friend was not in charge of this trip, not the leader, not the planner, just a parent who decided to come along for the ride. She was a little inebriated and talking to another adult when she noticed "grabby hands" in the pool and went over to tell the girls it's not safe, when she saw the terror in the girls' eyes. About 4 kids in the fray. One not a strong swimmer, pulling on the other kids. My friend tried a reach but could not reach, entered the pool, holding one side of the pool, grabbed two kids and got them out of the pool, the other adult helped pull the two girls out of the pool. I was kind of shocked hearing how this event was (not) planned, knowing at least some of the conditions for a BSA safe swim area. I am thankful for BSA's safety rules. Note -- Parents should ask questions about swimming safety, lifeguards and conditions on outings. Leaders, don't roll your eyes at that one.
  6. 2 points
    It is the Chartered Org. Rep's job to "hire and fire" adult leaders in a unit (pack, troop, etc). If there is a problem with the Committee Chair, and you've already tried talking to her about it, then the next step would be to talk to the Chartered Org. Rep. The unit "belongs" to the charter organization.
  7. 2 points
    Just a quick note on a conservation idea that's super easy. Mason Bees are very important pollinators and making little houses or Bee Hotels can be quick, easy, and fun even for Lion Dens. You can make them out of old bird houses falling apart, scrap lumbar, or a cleaned up tin can, some rolled up scrap paper, or old garden bamboo canes. The links below give good basic info on why and on how to do it but there are many more ideas on Pinterest. Painting is always the funnest part for the kids. https://baynature.org/article/backyard-boarding-house/ https://www.turningclockback.com/diy-mason-bee-house /
  8. 2 points
    Not only as a former lifeguard and lifeguard instructor, but also as a drowning survivor, I AM APPALLED BY THE WAY THIS TROOP IS HANDLING THE SITUATION! I drowned as a kid and had was resuscitated. I was terrified of swimming for years after that. Scouting is what forced me to face my fears, and overcome them. I was 12 years old before I was finally able to pass a swim test and earn First Class. And I am so glad I did. Not only was I able to advance, I was able to do some great adventures. All three of my 50 milers have been afloat, either canoe or sailboat. I developed a love of the water that led me to get a job as a lifeguard and eventually instructor. And I find it insulting to those who follow the requirements to the letter. Forget me for a moment. I had a scout who mastered basic Scouting skills while a Webelos. This guy had a shelter built, fire going, and chilling out cooking his lunch before I even had my shelter 1/2 way completed when working on Castaway. I would take him anywhere except for one thing; he could not swim. He has been in the troop 20 months, and has been Tenderfoot for 17 of those months. He's taken Instructional Swim the past two summer at camp, and I just completed 3 weeks of working with him. He finally passed Beginner test and earned Second Class last month. He just passed the Swimmer test last week, and is now ready for a First Class BOR. Once he passes that, it's 4 months in a POR for Star. As other stated, Swimming is a life skill, and an extremely important one. Sadly, you are correct. BSA has removed the term "Master the skill...." that was in previous handbooks, guides, and training literature that many of us old fogeys grew up under and were first Scouters under. They also removed the replacement phrase, 'The badge represents what a Scout can do, not what he has done." from guides and training materials.
  9. 2 points
    Knowing how to swim is integral to advancement, it is also about providing a safe aquatics environment. Yes, you should say something, kids are being put at risk if they are doing other aquatics activities without knowing their abilities. A safety moment on why it's important to do aquatics in Scouting following safety afloat and safe swim defense: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-055(17)_Aquatics_WEB.pdf Incidents that really happened: Swimming- https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-056.pdf Boating and Paddling - https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-056_Boating.pdf https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-056_RiverPaddling.pdf RichardB
  10. 2 points
    Correct, as the point many (oh so many) miss, it is not the destination, but the journey that makes the Scouting program valuable. Just looking at swimming; there is the practical side and then the growth side. On the practical side, if you look at deaths among teenagers, about 50% are unintentional injuries. Of those about 73% are vehicle, but drownings are 5% of those. There is a real value in knowing how to swim, you may not drown. Also in swimming MB and sessions a youth may actually get some knowledge on how to swim safely, maybe help a friend at some point On the growth side, swimming may take some youth out of their comfort zone, actually challenge them to accomplish a hard personal goal. Again, part of the journey
  11. 2 points
    I would argue that you didn't invest spend money for a requirement. You invested in your scout learning to swim. This is also a break-down of the patrol method. The PL, with guidance of leaders in the troop should have made it a priority to help their buddy master those skills. But back to the OP ... it astounds me that someone thinks it's more important to placate parents by saying falsely that his scouts are first class. There's no shame in having a troop full of tenderfoot scouts. @ScoutTrainer, get in touch with your district advancement chair. I disagree with @walk in the woods. It is demoralizing to boys in neighboring troops (and they will get to know one another) when they hear that other scouts are skating by. Word should make it to the SM that future Eagle boards of review will be held at a local pool.
  12. 2 points
    I was there at the spring pilot course at Philmont, as a student. Here is what I recall: B & G + crossover at Lunch Day 1 I was told more topics taught by troop guide Ticket ideas due Day 2 EOD (9PM), Completed tickets turned in Day 3 EOD, Approved tickets returned Day 4. No other homework or late-nighters. Patrol Project was a 7-10 minute on what we got out the course. No PPTs. Day 5 in AM. It took us about 45 minutes to put it together taking and white boarding. Students politely challenged the lectures on occasions for the better. 5-hr outdoor segment run by local NYLT grads. Newton-car project replaced game of life. Nothing terribly stupid or silly. Did not overdue the patrol identity thing like you see from local wood badge grads. No Kudu horn blowing or axe-n-log displays. High caliber group of students and nat'l -level instructors Only brief movie clips to compliment presentations. No mention of folks having to retake the course...not a huge curriculum changes. Perhaps more info on evolution of teams and the leaderships styles best suited for various stages of development and situations. The program kind of assumed you knew about the history of scouting before, as well as the patrol method. One, patrol cooked dinner. Chow hall or sack meals rest of time. Slept indoors. Plenty of in-class patrol assignments & presentations. No artificially induced "stressing" events. Ton of valuable class participation by students. The five day straight, out of town, schedule worked the best for my work calendar. I was also strongly turned off by cliquish nature of my council's wood badge cult, and felt a higher-profile course had to be better than the local options. The added cost was well worth the valuable contacts and friendships I made at BSA-18-2.
  13. 2 points
    As a family of lifeguards and swim teachers, I am very concerned about aquatics safety. Does the committee chair know about this? If he does and doesn't care, I would call the District Commissioner and express your concerns.
  14. 2 points
    Clueless is am understatement. 16 for Venturing? 10 months to earn Eagle? Segregated patrols instead of troops (oops I forgot "Linked Troops"). And if members were so for it, WHY DON'T THEY PUBLISH THE ACTUAL TOWN HALL MEMBERSHIP SURVEY RESULTS? (emphasis)
  15. 2 points
    If I am not mistaken, the new rollout of girls in Troops does not start until 2019. This is not a good example to be setting for these girls wanting to become part of this program. It appears that from the top down in your Troop, you are telling these girls that if you don't like the rules or policies they don't have to follow them. Just make up your own. That is a very dangerous road to go down. What are you going to do when the first girl gets injured or files a complaint? They are not a registered Scouter. I am not sure the Charter Organization would like to hear that they are being put out there for potential lawsuits. Scary times these are.
  16. 2 points
    I have mixed feelings about bringing in girls early and going coed. I think that following the rules of separate troops and dens is good. I think giving girls experiences is also good. When you decide to skip the rules it gets a little confusing to go on your own. I think it's interesting that this CO said, "push the boundaries". I wonder what kind of CO would do that? I guessed this was in California, but it's in Minnesota, which is too close to home for me! If I had daughters, I think I would want my daughters in a troop that follows the program. Because if a CO is winging it, do they lack discipline across the entire program? Do they follow YPT and the guide to safe scouting? How do you know what program you are getting if the organization is making stuff up as they go?
  17. 1 point
    Thanks @Longhaired_Mac! Some machinations from my spin factory: Stay friends with those larger scouts who might have a spare sash or two. Out of deference to uniform purists, I no longer call them belts (from which one should not hang a sash). I call them sash-racks. Steeler's country ... we don't countenance duplicity... the pastor may take the pulpit in suit and tie if he wears his suit to his game. (E.g., I was brought up that it was disrespectful to wear a jersey unless you were on the team.) Otherwise, the plate might be a little light if gives a sermon without the jersey, especially if afterwards he's dashing to the mustard palace for a home game. Of course there's a price to pay. Our city has been nominated worst dressed! So, if you're pleasing national, uniform precisely. If you want to tell me what kind of scout or arrowman you are, improvise a little. Love the bead graphic! Thanks for digging it up!
  18. 1 point
    I love this kid! Can we please clone him? When will we scouters learn that our job is provisioning lunch/tent/ignition/construction/craft/soldering/chemistry kits in the process of making good on the promise of scouting, and the scout's job is cashing in on that promise and chasing blue cards and signatures in his/her own good time?
  19. 1 point
    So, the SE called me today. He was actually very clear about next steps— he’ll meet with the ASM (along with the SM and COR) on Monday. He said if there are excuses made, or it happens again, he will pull ASMs membership. So! There we go.
  20. 1 point
    @oldbuzzard, asking for a rule violates my rule #1. But it might be necessary. Common sense suggests that the SPL or his Assistant should take sweep. When I guard a canoe trip, I do so from the rear. If a boat drifts behind without their buddy boat, we have words. We train our backpacking scouts to stop at intersections. If a scout has to fall behind (e.g. a boot is broken) a couple of SMs hike with him and the rest of the group has to leave trail signs. There have been occasions that the lead group takes the wrong trail. We don't follow-them, we wait. Or, of we think they'll get to the destination regardless, we leave our own signs in case they decide to backtrack. So many parents don't have patience for this, but to me this is what scouting is really all about.
  21. 1 point
    You think that’s great. Just wait until a three year old girl starts asking you every night at bedtime, “I can be a Cub Scout when I be bigger?” And you can smile and say “Yes.” This is my happy reality. And being able to pass that Bear Cub scarf down at Crossover that used to belong to my now-adult boys... priceless.
  22. 1 point
    The message I got from that article is that soccer numbers are dropping because parents are taking the fun out of it. Select soccer at 6? At 6 my kids met at the park and the coach was no more than the screw ball in chief. It's kind of like watching parents with kids skiing. Good ski instructors realize 6 year olds are as interested in hot chocolate and playing in the snow as actually skiing but the parents want their kids skiing the whole time. Message to scouters would be keep it fun. I just came back from talking to scouts, parents and staff at summer camp and the idea that summer camp could be more than advancement took a lot of effort to get across. They can't even imagine, at least in my council camp, that merit badges don't have to be the primary activities at camp that everything else has to be squeezed around. Troops/patrols don't do conservation projects, hikes, climbing, kayaking, shooting, or anything just for fun because the MB schedule keeps them split up for so much of the day. All of those activities are jammed into the evenings. It's about understanding that play has its own benefits. Anymore the only way for a kid to play is to use electronics. Maybe it's not the kids' fault. Fun with a purpose might also apply to other activities.
  23. 1 point
    jpstodwftexas, I know the rules. You don't need to spell them out to me. You were right regarding the made up rule, and that's fine. My question to you is this: When you find out the proper way to wear a sash, will you follow the rules, or will you cling to something you heard from whenever/wherever/whyever before? BDPT00
  24. 1 point
    "Who cares? Why don't folks just follow the rules - they are quite simple. People rob banks, spit on the sidewalk, wear OA pocket flaps without keeping up with their OA dues and all sorts of other activities that are wrong - some small and some big. Regardless, that doesn't make it right. Order of the Arrow sashes are to be worn properly or not at all. Properly consists of across the right shoulder at OA events only - period. It is that simple. " It's nice to know that another Arrowman sees it like I do. The uniforming guidelines for the OA Sash are straigtforward requiring no interpretation. Thanks for mentioning the OA pocket flap - I'm a big stickler of that one and agree that it should not be worn if you will not pay the meager annual dues.
  25. 1 point
    The best way to promote the OA is not in having OA members just wear their sashes at other events. Its by having the OA DOING stuff at those other events, and wearing the sash while they do it. Have them be staff at camporees and cub scout events and the like. Have them have a nice exhibit/activity at the Scout Show. The point I was trying to make was that only those DOING stuff as an arrowman should be wearing the sash, not everyone.