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  1. 3 points
    After hiking in a good three miles to camp by a favorite stream, the boys took to catching crawfish, then using up my fuel to boil water. I told them it was just sinful ... to cook them without garlic and butter, which of course they didn't have. But they did have spicy pumpkin seeds! So, they boiled them first to dissolve the salt and chili powder, then added the five crawfish they had. They said they tasted great!
  2. 3 points
    I've got a request for the moderators: How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum. We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already. And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months. And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.
  3. 3 points
    It's not just a BSA problem, it's a societal problem. Our over arching desire to protect children is actually damaging them, mentally and physically. Lukianoff and Haidt talk about it in their article, and now book, "The Coddling of the American Mind." It's the basis of Leonore Skenazy's Free Range Kids movement. You're right, the BSA should absolutely be fighting against the trend. But, it's risky business to say "Let your kid join our movement! They're going to be challenged emotionally and physically. They'll hear things they disagree with. They'll get into arguments. They'll take risks and they might get hurt. One weekend a month you'll say goodbye on Friday night and not hear from your child again until Sunday morning!" It's a lot easier to say Family Scouting and give in to the zeitgeist.
  4. 3 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,
  5. 2 points
    My boys are still on the young side, 12 and 10, so I've not brought this up. It's too tempting to stick my head in the sand, rather than try to wade into the murk that is the current #metoo. It's sad to think that it's no longer enough to talk to them about treating girls with respect, but to have to add in precautions about making sure they can't be accused of inappropriate behavior. As for my daughters, one was groped in the hallway of middle school - early 2000's, plenty of witnesses. She immediately went to the school director, told him what had happened and pointed out the boy, who ended up being suspended for three days. When he came back to school, he was determined to exact revenge. Being in NYC, the school building didn't have room for the 7th and 8th grade kids to eat lunch in the cafeteria, so they were allowed out for lunch. He followed her and a group of friends to the local deli, pushed their food off the table, then shoved my daughter into the street as she was walking back to school. Luckily the oncoming car was able to brake in time. While you never want a girl to feel she can't speak up, it never occurred to her that she would end up in a far more difficult situation because of it, and she expressed frustration and some regret for having come forward. What an awful, muddled mess. Can we just separate them all until they're in their 20's?
  6. 2 points
    The theory of staring a separate girls' troop is great. The reality is that it won't happen. The troop will become coed. As more and more adults use to a coed Cub Scout program move into the troop, they will see no problem with being a "linked troop," which is national's codeword for coed. They will start promoting the concept, and their numbers grow and/or they get into key positions to implement the change, they will. The camel's nose is already under the tent flap.
  7. 2 points
    I gotta brag about Son #1. A family was in dire straits with their baby hospitalized for an extended period. So he swung by their place every week this summer and mowed their lawn. Once coming back from them he stopped and weed whacked at my place because I had injured myself the week before, and he was afraid I'd overdo it. I have a lawnmower kid!
  8. 2 points
    Well, sexual abuse and two-deep, digital etc are related; one is the problem and the others are ways to reduce the occurrence of the problem. But generally I agree with you. There is too much time spent telling us what the problems are and why they are a problem, and too little time discussing the "solutions," i.e. the barriers to abuse (2-deep, no 1-on-1 etc.) It may be that I am a little jaded about this, because I have either taken or "facilitated" (back when it was an in-person-only course) the various versions of YPT going back to 1999, probably 25 times or so. For awhile the district had me on their regular "teaching" rotation. So I kind of feel like I don't really need to sit through yet another recitation of how much child abuse there is and why it's bad. I know already.
  9. 2 points
    The other constructive way that you can handle this suspension time is getting to know the other scout families better, one at a time. Invite a family in your boy's patrol over for dessert or go out for ice cream. Maybe even start with the family of the boy who your son hit. Explain that it's your way of making up to them, but also a way of teaching your son to think better of people so he can respond with kindness and courtesy instead of anger when he's stressed. This doesn't have to consume much time -- maybe a half hour -- unless the boys have something in common like a game they want to play. But maybe this will give your son an idea that he isn't just in a holding pattern, but that he's working on things that will make being in the troop more fun when he returns.
  10. 2 points
    What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents and an extreme level of complexity for youth running a program. How would you be doing this if you were starting a new troop for boys --- as has been going on for 100+ years? There could be some value in the girls observing how the boys run their troop for a few weeks, but mostly I think what you need to do is get the girls to jump in and start putting together THEIR program. Get your troop together, see who wants to be the leaders, have them work with the their fellow scouts to plan a campout --- where do they want to go, what do they want to do, how are they going to feed themselves. You can help them find equipment, but see what they think they know already and what they think they'll need. Skip the joint opening, closing, and game; Troop 123 isn't a subset of Troop 456, it's Troop 123, they know how to say the Pledge, they'll learn how to say the Oath and Law, they're as capable of deciding how to organize and enjoy themselves as any other troop. Once they get back from the first campout, great, what did we do well, what do we want to do differently. Now plan a couple more trips and start thinking about other things like advancement, if they're interested in that they'll read the handbook and start planning how to knock out requirememts. But what they probably want to do most is what all youth want to do: get together, get outside, and have some fun. Some of the other things you mention could be helpful, like having the parents of the new scouts observe how a current troop operates, however, maybe I'm wrong, but I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program. The essence of scouting is a group of youth being empowered to develop their own outdoor program. Focus on that and the rest of the stuff will follow.
  11. 2 points
    I share your sentiment and agree. The BSA is doing this things because it's the obvious path given the rest of our society. As a Scout leader, what I've seen is that relatively few folks actually want us to coddle their kids. It's just it's what parents think is the right way to do things because it's what they see everywhere else. However, when we present them with another way and explain why, they generally agree. Setting up a tent is the classic, albeit simplistic, example. Parents will often go on the first campout with their son after crossing over. They'll see their son struggle to setup a tent and start to go help. I'll pull them aside and explain that he will learn more and have a stronger sense of accomplishment by going through the steps to learn how to solve the problem himself. They'll think about it for a minute and may agree or not. But in almost all cases they'll come back later and say "you're right". I just think the BSA needs to take this principle and apply it in a more structured way across the program. In the process, they need to train the local troop leader to really understand and be able to explain why. This is important so that when adults who don't understand start showing up at Troop Committee meetings pushing for family campouts - the troop leaders are equipped to deal with it. The same is true with the silly G2SS rules. We can train scouts responsible use of knives, guns, and fire but we cannot teach how to use a wheel barrow? We're a values based organizatoin, but yet we can't have squirt guns because we can't figure out how to teach Scouts they shouldn't shoot at people? These things seem contradictory. To me it feels like the BSA has one heck of an opportunity here to be a leading voice in youth development. I don't know why we're not doing that.
  12. 2 points
    I agree with @Eagledad. I've seen a variety of terms used in planning like this. But, they generally break down into "goals" and "steps you'll take". When folks add a Mission Statement, it's usually a little more general. Most of the rest of what you wrote sound like the short term steps you'll take to get going. What I feel like is missing here is details about where you want to get to and some times and durations. The question I normally get with this is - "this seems to formal for a Scout troop - isn't it obvious we want to do these things? I've found that even in Scouting, having defined dates & goals helps focus all scouts & adults on the team. When our troop has left these kinds of goals blank, then folks start inserting their own beliefs. All of a sudden you find out that the SM thinks you'll need to have equipment in 6 months, but the Adult Quartermaster is thinking 3 years. Next thing you know you spend a Committee meeting discussing it anyways. Were I writing the same, I might do something like the below. Mission Statement: Troop 123 will be an independent Scouts BSA troop for girls, led by the Scouts, and following the Aims and Methods of the BSA. We will serve the five towns of: <insert towns> Goals: - Have a fully filled, independent Troop committee consisting of (CC, Advancement Chair, ???) by <insert date> - Have a SM and enough trained ASMs to support the program by <insert date> - Have an independent program planned & run by the PLC by <insert date>. - Acquire our enough of our own Troop equipment by <insert date> Actions to achieve goals: -Meeting place sharing (Troop uses the fellowship hall at the church, the Girls unit will go into the Chorus room) -Sharing Opening, Game, and Closing (I feel this is only if the Boys PLC agree to this) - over time, this will be moved to our space and done by our girls -Sharing equipment. We are going to recruit and pull from 5 surrounding towns, and plan to approach all 5 troops with an Equipment usage waiver in hopes they will assist as needed. At least until we start to grow our own. -Sharing Committee. We have some ideas on CC, Advancement and Treasurer, but would like them to shadow the troops members. The troop has been around for 85 years, and the current CC and Advancement Chair are probably the best in the area to model after. -Female Troop leadership with sit on Board of Reviews and Scoutmaster conferences to learn first hand experience on how to do their own. Once the girls are ready for advancement themselves, the Boys Troop SM and CC with assist the new Female leadership to conduct their own. -Sharing COH. Until we grow in size, this might be suggested. Or still to small COH to celebrate separately. -We plan to have 2 registered females at all Troop meetings, therefore not pulling any extra requirements from the Boy troop leadership. -We will not push for jointed camp-outs, however, we would appreciate Older boy support on our first couple shakedown runs. We will reach out to all 5 troops on this one. -If both Troop PLCs decided to have a jointed camp-out, that will ok, with the correct YPT rules. 
  13. 2 points
    Came across this article while I was scrolling through my LinkedIn today. https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/this-rarely-seen-leadership-practice-is-now-linked-to-happier-workplaces-motivated-employees-says-research.html I think it nicely supports a good deal of what we try to teach our Scouts about being kind to others and servant leadership.
  14. 2 points
    @Zebra132, not sure if grumpy is the right word, but I'm certainly old. There are lots of discussions on this forum about what an Eagle scout should be. It's mostly about character. There are also lots of discussions about not adding requirements. Unfortunately, these two ideas create a lot of tension because what we think an eagle scout should be has little to do with the requirements. The requirements are very concrete whereas character is not. Courteous and kind and putting the needs of others is very subjective whereas 20 nights camping only brings up conflict when the idea of sleeping in a cabin or a lock in is brought up. I once said a scout had to be active in my troop to advance. There was a very clear description of what active meant. One scout didn't care for it and mom took it to council. I was, after all, adding requirements. They gave him his eagle. They said he only needed to be active for 6 months. So, in your case, has this boy's girl friend not been pregnant for 6 months while he was a life scout? I know, it sounds insanely stupid to phrase it that way but that's what eagle is. It certainly sounds a lot better to say a scoutmaster conference can not include retesting a scout on skills but it's essentially the same thing. It's a simple algorithm with little room for interpretation. And I kind of get it. I see stories where others were unreasonable about how they interpreted the rules. I was always reasonable . Rules rarely leave room for interpretation and character is rarely black and white. A recent example I've run into is where I had to disqualify a "patrol" for cheating on a competition at the camporee. The 2 previous SPL's along with the current one and a couple of other older scouts took the place of one of the regular patrols at the final competition (where the overall wining patrol was decided). That alone would be nothing but an opportunity to teach some scouts about playing fair. What bothered me was that when 4 adults talked to them they just didn't see how what they did could be considered cheating. For a half hour we tried to explain this and they didn't get it. They said all the troops did this. So I went and talked to the other troops and, in fact, none of them cheated. They still didn't accept it. I have never run into this type of situation where a group of scouts, all of which will soon be eagle, just couldn't grasp what most cub scouts understand. So I really have to ask myself what eagle is worth. If your scout does right by his baby and is otherwise a good scout in the troop then I'd take him over the scouts in my troop. We won't know for some time, though. A friend of mine kept reminding me that we're playing a long game. We hope they get it figured out in 10 or 20 years from now. Will the scouts in my troop come back in 1, 5, or 10 years from now and realize they were cheating? If so, I won. If not, I wasted my time. Either way, it has little to do with that patch with the bird on it.
  15. 2 points
    Aye, in both cases some sort of overcoat would have been advisable.
  16. 1 point
    I'm a push mower parent. Not nearly as loud or obnoxious as a lawnmower parent and I can also cut the lawn at 7am on a Sunday and not bother the neighbors.
  17. 1 point
    It’s ~$33 and one hour of time. Fourteen-year-old summer camp CITs have to do the training. Why all the bellyaching? But let’s flip it around and present it constructively. Wouldn’t you like to know that all the Scouting volunteers outside of the troop that your Scout comes in contact with - running camporee activities, teaching merit badges, timing the district PWD, leading service crews on OA weekends, operating stations at the chariot race, cooking at a Cub family weekend - are all registered, screened and trained to keep our Scouts safe at the most basic level?
  18. 1 point
    Some very great points. The only thing on the committee shadowing the troop's. Our 2 females that have already agreed to step up, have no clue on how to run a troop (Positional training will happen soon), nor how to hold a SM conference and Board of Review. They are both Mom's of boys in Scouting, but haven't volunteered for anything on the troop level. The soon to be Scoutmaster has been a popcorn kernel for the pack and nothing else. The potential Committee Chair has been a Assistant den leader for two months now and has no clue on what a Committee Chair does, or how to hold Board of Reviews, etc
  19. 1 point
    A Mission Statement and Plan of Action are two different things. Typically the Plan of Action is the "how-to" for the Mission Statement. Your appear to have a good plan that is ready to move forward with action items. But I'm not clear why you want a Mission Statement. Are the BSA and Mission and Vision Statements not enough? I'm not suggesting anything, just trying to understand what you are asking for. Barry
  20. 1 point
    This underscores the younger generations' point that us older adults really do not understand digital communication and are scared of it. Imagine this scenario, on a campout a group of boys are in their tent having a conversation. BSA HQ changes guidelines to require that an adult stand outside the tent to monitor their conversation. What do you think? The word "ridicululous" comes to mind. In the current teen generation, a group chat on their phone is no different. Monitoring kids conversations whether in person or digitally is ridiculous. The mere fact the rules require the "public" (even with the most gracious interpretation of the word) demonstrates this generation is correct about the digital divide. Heck, the digital chat (even private) is better since a digital record exists. The rule is stupid. And I am being gracious here.
  21. 1 point
    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
  22. 1 point
    Tough love time (Hawk's already heard this pep talk) ... We parents and unit and district and council scouters can beat drums for these one or two girls here and there and never find a finger-hold to get a BSA4G troop up and running. The responsibility for starting a patrol then a troop, rests squarely with the youth. These girls need to dig really deep and ask other girls if they'd like to hike and camp together every month. This probably means talking to strangers ... every girl in their class ... every sister of a boy scout ... even if she is a couple of years older. Once they have their gang of five, they need to list all of the potential sponsors in their community (every church, every fire hall, every knitting group) and knock on a lot of doors, until they find someone with the brains to realize that their good name would benefit from underwriting such girls. Then, they go down the list of adults of highest integrity who they know and trust, approach them and say, "Have we got an offer for you -- forty hours a month for the time of your life. " They keep asking until they have at least two -- at least one being female-- of SM material and a few committee. They may fail -- in some districts failure will be inevitable. But, if they fail, they will know it was not for lack of trying. If they succeed, they will have so much to be proud of, down to the first CoH where they hand out those Scout ranks. Parents, put away your lawnmowers. It's time for these 11 year old girls to shine.
  23. 1 point
    Have you seen the price of good hiking socks? These are priced about the same and based on the manufacture they are real hiking socks. Those old green socks with the garter were a pain. The original red top were great until they stretched out and they didn’t stay up.
  24. 1 point
    "Instead, the BSA will officially recognize our Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts in the fall of 2020, providing young women who join Scouts BSA the needed time to complete all requirements. This Inaugural Class will be celebrated nationally and collectively commemorated." 2020 appears to be the "inaugural year".
  25. 1 point
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian