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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/17/18 in Posts

  1. 13 points
    LOL..reminds me of the time when I was Cubmaster and a parent called to demand to know when meetings were going to start. I said, "as soon as you volunteer to become a Den Leader"...she got furious and demanded to speak to my "supervisor"...so I handed the phone to my wife.
  2. 8 points
    As with any bully, the solution is simple. Ignore her. Do not respond to any of her emails on this subject. If she confronts you in person, simply tell her kindly and calmly "the issue is already decided." Do not offer up any other explanation, do not attempt to satisfy her demands, do not engage with her on this matter at all. She has absolutely no right nor authority nor legitimate reason to make any of these demands on you nor your son, so just let her scream and holler till her voice is hoarse and she collapses in frustration. These people always tend to dig their own graves, so don't waste your time trying to help with the process. DO make sure you are not condescending nor patronizing about it though; the more polite and civil you are during this episode, the more control you will have over the discussion. And your goal is to eliminate the discussion entirely. Kill her with kindness, and don't give her an inch. Sometimes, the biggest victories are won from the battles you choose not to fight.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 6 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.
  6. 5 points
    Goodness, if only there had been some advance notice of this deadline...
  7. 5 points
    Last week I travelled to West Lafayette to see the Mizzou / Purdue football game. Along for the trip was my family and my brother's family and my sister. Well, during the tailgate I got a kick out of the fact that my boys (ages 27 and 26) used their old Patrol cooler and stove for the tail gate. My oldest was in charge of the grill - burgers for all (he had a steak!) and they cleaned up everything. Their aunts & uncles and cousins were impressed. Their Scout training came in very useful. It brought back a flood of memories of when we were all about 10 years or more younger and the numerous Scouting trips we had - memories that will last a lifetime. I can honestly say the program had a very positive affect on both of my boys - and I think me too!
  8. 5 points
    https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/ is the most up to date location moving forward for the Barriers to Abuse. A one source of truth if you will. The "72 hours rule" is All adults accompanying a Scouting unit who are present at the activity for 72 total hours or more must be registered as leaders. The 72 hours need not be consecutive." The intent of this policy is to protect participants - both youth and adults - and maintain a Safe Scouting environment. It is event centric. Examples of where this applies today in Scouting are resident camps, treks, long term camping. Sorry for any confusion. Can assure you all the member care team is now aligned. As you have bantered, there are mixed messages locally. Some councils may be requiring all folks to be registered, as are some chartered organizations. That EXCEEDS the Barriers to Abuse, and that's okay. So if you are hearing something different, might check to see what your local folks have established. You might hit the link above if you haven't this week and review some to the linked FAQ's. Yours in Scouting, RichardB
  9. 4 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 4 points
  12. 4 points
    Based on the variety of opinions expressed here, and seeing what governments and sports organizations have gone through struggling with this- it seems the BSA did something pretty rational. Just let the parents and local leaders work it out. If half- or some significant percentage of doctors and parents feel strongly either way, with no particular expertise (or business) taking sides on this, why would BSA want or need to weigh in? Actually the BSA never actually had a “policy” on this, and they never asked for the birth certificate to be presented in the past 108 years. So all they really did was say they will accept the gender the parents indicate. I think they just want to serve kids and families and frankly, it doesn’t seem to make sense to expect the BSA to be the only organization in the world to come up with a perfect solution to this one.
  13. 4 points
    Yes, I wonder why they did not use "stripper" meaning to reduce or strip layers?
  14. 3 points
    This is an exceedingly wise decision.
  15. 3 points
    Our older scout who is the Instructor for wood tools uses the term circle of death.
  16. 3 points
    Bingo! From what I've experienced in the UK, that's exactly how it works. You don't join the football team to play basketball. We get the girls that like the running around and poking fires and camping. Okay, we get a few girls that are being sent by parents because they want their kids to be more outdoorsy, but plenty of boys are sent for the same reasons.
  17. 3 points
    I do propose moving to the language of “Cubbing” and “scouting” to refer to the different programs.
  18. 3 points
    I suspect all the training folks I've worked with over the years would absolutely agree with this statement. What they and I don't agree with is National mandating training and the Council's turning that mandate into a revenue stream.
  19. 3 points
    I did find this. It was our one page "flyer" version for recruitment. It has a similar one page parent info sheet of about the same length. Forgive the formatting. The original version has multiple columns, quotes and nice formatting and pictures. <big image> Boy Scout Troop ### <city>, <state> http://<web site> WHAT IS SCOUTING: Boy Scouts is a boy led program of fun outdoor activities, peer group leadership opportunities, and a personal exploration of career, hobby and special interests, all designed to achieve BSA's objectives of developing character, citizenship and personal fitness. WHAT DO WE DO: Troop ### offers a traditional scouting program of learning through fun and adventure. At troop meetings, scouts work on skills and advancements; plan camp outs and special activities; make life long friendships; and most importantly, have fun! The following are recent Troop ### camp outs. Jan – <camp and/or activity> Feb – <camp and/or activity> Mar – <camp and/or activity> Apr – <camp and/or activity> May – <camp and/or activity> Jun – <camp and/or activity> Jul – <camp and/or activity> Aug – <camp and/or activity> Sep – <camp and/or activity> Oct – <camp and/or activity> Nov – <camp and/or activity> Dec – <camp and/or activity> The troop has at least one high adventure trip every year. Past adventures have included the following. Philmont (120,000 acres in New Mexico) Florida Sea Base (near Key West) <regional high adventure> <regional high adventure> National Jamborees MEMBERSHIP: Troop ### is open to all boys ages 11 to 17. We welcome transition cub scouts, existing scouts and all boys new to scouting. Some of our scouts are home schooled. Others attend a wide variety of schools in <city>, <city>, <city>, <city>, <city> and <city>. LEADERS: Our Scoutmaster ###### started scouting in YYYY with his son ##### (Eagle Scout YYYY) and has been Scoutmaster since YYYY. Mr. ##### is an active member of the community and is a very positive influence on the scouts. Our high adventure coordinator ####### joined in YYYY with his son ###### (Eagle Scout YYYY). Mr. ####### was raised by his own father in scouting, earned his Eagle as a youth and has served Troop ### in many positions including Scoutmaster. ADVANCEMENT: Advancement has many forms. Skills, rank, leadership, independence, etc. As Troop ### wants every scout to earn the Eagle Scout rank, our program teaches skills, responsibility, leadership and supports advancement. But the real control of advancement is in the hands of each individual scout. Another form of advancement has to do with developing character, citizenship and physical fitness. Troop ### is committed to the goals as expressed in the Boy Scouts of America “mission statement”. “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” SCHOOL? CHURCH? SPORTS? Scouting won’t always be the highest priority. That’s fine. Troop ### encourages scouts to explore life and all opportunities. Scouts participate as they can and have no mandatory minimum attendance requirements. Scouts participate because it is fun and rewarding. COST: Scouts are encouraged to pay their own way using the funds they earn through the annual fall popcorn and wreath fundraisers. Annual troop dues are $##. Average weekend camp out is $##. SCHEDULE: Troop meets on Mondays at 6:45pm with the 4th Monday being a PLC meeting where the scouts in leadership positions update their plans.
  20. 3 points
    Who has time for all the record keeping and math?
  21. 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
  22. 3 points
    I appreciate the optimism. 😊 My personal observation and experience -- especially with Scouters -- is that when a local, solvable problem is identified, there are always folks with creative solutions or just stamina who are ready to jump in and try it. The "empowerment" issue is not about them -- it is about convincing the people with authority over that area to say "yes -- go for it." I have seen far too many skilled, eager volunteers give up on solving a problem because the person or group that holds the keys or writes the checks won't approve the effort, or won't decide, or won't even listen. That's where we need a "method."
  23. 3 points
    That is a good description, based on what I've read on the BSA Polaris Method website and the content of the videos. The fundamental weakness is "the expectation that those employees and volunteers are then empowered to go solve those problems." It isn't an absence of individual employee and volunteer empowerment that is preventing problems from being solved. It is that, with minor, strictly local exceptions, the problems that Scouters and units face on a daily basis arise from societal issues, demographics, program design, program policies, institutional inertia, and council budgets -- conditions that cannot be changed or corrected by employee and volunteer empowerment.
  24. 3 points
    This happens a lot with SM changes. I have helped and observed a lot of troops where the new SM wanted to change the program and I have learned that change pretty much comes from the new and younger Scouts. I now advise SMs in your situation to pacify the older Scouts with the program they want and build your new program with the new Scouts. Older Scouts (in this case 13 and older) simply don’t like change. Building new with younger Scouts is a lot less stress on everybody. It seems like two groups in one program will be a hassle, but you will find the older Scouts will pretty much take care of themselves. They will fall in for Troop assembly then go do their thing. The ones who want to advance will come to you. Ironically leaving the older Scouts to their program is the Patrol Method you are wanting anyway. They just aren’t great role models for the younger Scouts. In fact you can present the idea to them as an experiment and become the older Scouts hero. Trust me, they will love you for it. Barry
  25. 3 points
    Hammocks. Hammocks is the answer. No no, don't mention toilets and showers. To be honest, just about anything can be figured out with a bit of compassion and decency.