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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/21/17 in Posts

  1. 11 points
    Three generations of Eagle Scouts happened tonight.
  2. 8 points
    I think we're way off topic at this point, but on the subject of advancement... It kind of seems like no matter what pace a kid takes, it will bother someone. Go too fast and you're missing out on the journey. Go too slow and earn eagle in the 11th hour before turning 18 and they didn't take it seriously, didn't plan ahead, procrastinated, etc., etc., etc. My feeling is if this is supposed to be about the journey, let it be a journey that fits each scout. No two journeys end up being the same. The kids have their list of requirements, but even within that there is a lot of choice and different angles of approach. We want them to become leaders but we don't want then to lead on their own advancement trail? If we're going to say this is still a youth-led program, we should let up on the criticism of how they approach their own advancement. If the benefits of the program are so heavily dependent on time spent in the program, then we should have a requirement on the books that puts more time between ranks. Unless/until that happens, the boys should decide their own pace, whatever works for them, even if that means fast-tracking.
  3. 8 points
    Update: of 17 Tigers 10 will be awarded the rank. 4 never showed up after recruitment and 3 didn't show up but a couple of times. AND I can call em all by name too.
  4. 8 points
    Well, our 83 year old Pack just had our first girl den meeting... and I believe the Earth is still rotating. No media present but we did have some pictures taken of the girls. Most were in uniform and no skorts. Overall it was a lot calmer than a boy den meeting. We have 3 den leaders working the 3 separate age groups present. All of us we experienced in the Pack and we remarked that we need to prepare more as the girls got through the material more quickly than we planned. That could be due to smaller groups, but they were also a bit more focused. Several of the girls were talking about getting friends to join, so we will see if this grows before the fall. The skit I planned to work with them on was a failure (it dealt with fake spitting into buckets but the young ones didn’t quite pull off the fake part and and kept spitting on me). There may me some media (all optional) later in the week as we are one of a few Packs in the area doing the early adopter program. I’m greatful that our council let us run a standard den meeting without pushing for media access and the TV cameras I’ve seen in other markets. They were very hands off and simply thanked us for taking this on.
  5. 8 points
    The same reporter broke the news of the Girl Scout letter back to the BSA. She has a source. What I learned is that BSa leadership are clearly struggling with how to create a Boy Scout level parallel program and read scouter.com. *whistles quietly* *opens profile* *changes location to Alaska*
  6. 7 points
    But no one says a thing when girls don't want boys in their club house. Then it is a safe space and empowering.
  7. 6 points
    (BTW I do not think girls showing up in my Troop is the same DEFCON level as war with Korea) I think now the decision is made individuals can either live with or not. I feel sad if we really are losing something and sad for boys and scouters who may leave--on that we shall see.' I think speculation is fair given how many holes in the announced-so-far policy by National is at the scout level. I cannot figure if they are being stupid, intellectually lazy, or sneaky. I do not think they have a very workable plan and will make us figure it all out. I am not hearing much organizational wisdom trickling down to the Council and District level...at least around here. I do hear some genuine hurt feelings from long time folks who are not planning to make a fuss. Last night I was on a BOR (I know, I know as an ASM I am not supposed to be on it but they were short a person). The lad was going up for Star at 12. Fast tracking to Eagle but does everything he is asked (though pretty much the minimal on camping and patrol activities--you know when Mom asks when she can drop off and pick up at the campsite so he still gets credit for one night of camping) so he was gonna pass. A mom sat in on the BOR and didn't say much and was pretty tense. I respect this woman's opinion (she is also active service member single mom) so I asked if anything was wrong. She expressed her frustration over how the Troop and BSA in general has so enabled scouts to get Eagle so fast (the boy in particular attended two summer camps to load up on Merit Badges) that they are missing the point of developing leadership in scouts by going so fast and what is the point of Eagle if it is just an academic exercise. She makes her son 'do it the right way' and he is mad at her because he sees boys 2-3 years younger the same rank but less active in the Troop. She said the interference of the parents, mostly "remote control moms" were making it easier on their sons but ruining scouting. It is the same arguments we talk about here but it was refreshing hearing from a parent. (she also said she would welcome 'hiker girls' if in exchange we could just ban all the adults but a couple men). So...I reiterate the bigger threat to the program is the move away from the traditional program youth-led, mixed-age, patrol based outdoor program.
  8. 6 points
    I would slightly differ in that view. BSA National and pretty much every interview CSE has had emphasized and at times over emphasized family. He talks about families doing things together, that families want programs they can do together, and that scouting can be the program they can do together. The surveys tell them family is key and they want to do things. As a family. One can infer that if the new families that come into Cubs with the family transition to Scouts, the expectation is the family will come along. Those of us that are dinosaur troops, all male leaders on outings, using patrol methods, scouts off by themselves, referring scouts to their SPL for questions, will be (I assume) be expected to welcome the families. Even if we are all male and the Scouts potentially crossing over are male, this family focus will be a challenge.
  9. 6 points
    You keep asking that question and we answering it. The program changed a lot with the admittance of women leaders. There didn't appear to be a lot of changes from the outside, but it was obvious from the inside. As I've said several times (I believe to you, but I could be wrong), the massive training course changes in 2000 were largely a result of bringing women into the troop. Not because they were women, but because they had no Boy Scouting experienced. The BSA was so overwhelmed with un-experienced adult leaders that they had to rethink how to train them. And I think most of us who were leading Troop programs back then would say that Patrol Method has suffered greatly. Adults today don't get patrol method because training doesn't teach it well and there aren't enough experienced leaders to encourage it at Council or district level. Bringing in girls will increase the number of un-experienced unit adult leaders. If there was any hope that the program 10 years from now resembled today's program, calling it a family program killed it. Calling it a family program will add more confusion between leadership and parents. It will eventually sort itself out if scouting survives, but it won't be the same program. Barry
  10. 6 points
    The only thing that can doom Scouting is people who allow themselves to believe that Scouting is doomed. If we embrace the pessimistic idea that Scouting's days are numbered, then sure, it won't last long. But while I may not be able to rescue the perceptions of cynics and fatalists, I can certainly save Scouting in the eyes of the boys in my Den or Troop. I can instill in them the ideals and aims of Scouting, and lead them to believe in the power of this movement, however it may be distorted or warped by reactionaries and so-called 'progressives.' I can motivate them to live the Scout Oath and Law, and learn the lessons and skills embodied in the Scouting movement since the beginning. Scouting is only dead if you let it die. But so long as it lives in me, and in those who believe in it, it can never truly go away. So why give up hope, when you can instead labor to instill hope in the boys you work with? You fear the end of Scouting as you watch the top come crumbling down? Then counteract the collapse by establishing a foundation of bulwarks from the bottom up - build it up in the boys, and they will hold it up in the future. I refuse to subscribe to fatalist ideologies that simply wait to claim "I saw it coming!" when they end comes. Poor fools; they just end up waiting and waiting forever ....
  11. 6 points
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455874/toxic-masculinity-myth-fuels-culture-wars Yah, I change the title just a bit. But the article described, at least to me, exactly what has been going on in the BSA for the last 15 years. For many of us, Boy Scouts is where a boy becomes a man of character. A man proud to be a husband, father, civic leader and a moral role model. It wasn't a boys club where male boys huddled together conspiring to bring out the worst of humanism, just as some here still believe. Scouting is a culture that challenges the masculinity of young men so that they can learn how to shape themselves into citizens of character and leaders of integrity. Scouting is a culture where young adult males find the limits of their character without the interference of guilt to prevent the lesson of learning their role in the community. Scouting was a safe place where a boy could face the limitations of maleness in a complex world without feeling guilty. It's not an anti female culture. Quite the contrary, the scout program is a pro equal culture program. It just does it by taking out out the static of multi-humanist biases and opinions until each scout can sort our their deficiencies in practicing the Scout Law and Oath, and then make a conscious change to better themselves for their future in the community. I am a full believer in building ethical and moral decision makers. I've been in the middle of the BSA cultural discussions about as long as they have been on Scouter.com. So, I know the debates. I laugh because I remember when 90 percent of the discussions on Scouter.com were in the "Patrol Method", "Cub Scouts", "Advancement", "Camping", and "Open Discussion" forums. Those were the good ol days of discussing scouting stuff. We haven't seen that in a while. I think this article describes the Scouting Cultural divide very well. I don't expect anything to change. But I think the article helps explains why some of us scouters believe the traditional program has a more positive influence on the community than this new program that is just turning into another after school youth program. Enjoy. Barry
  12. 6 points
    First of all, thank you for the link to that article @Eagledad. I found it well-written, level-headed, and much-needed voice of sense in society's ongoing war against families. As for the idea of Scouting focusing on "leadership training and character development," and those being "gender-neutral" (never one of my favorite terms) -you will find after reading through Scouting's published materials over the years that those have been pushed and emphasized far more now in the past two decades than they ever were before. Yes, they were always a part of it, but you are failing to recognize that the very idea of Scouting, the core of its foundation and the center of all its facets, was the idea that boys are different from girls, with a greater need for active, adventurous learning, and that society lacks, indeed, desperately needs, a channel through which restless boys could learn the skills and knowledge they need to become strong, intelligent, honorable men. Who would dare presume that masculinity is important to Scouting, that "making boys into men" somehow matters in our programs? Oh yes. Lieutenant-General Robert Stevenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell. Or just Old BP as the kids called 'im. If you do not understand the central place masculine development has in Scouting, and the massive importance it had to Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, William Hillcourt, Earnest Thompson Seaton, and all the early founders of Scouting, then you do not understand what Scouting was meant to accomplish. The very impetus of Scouting was the recognition that more and more boys were growing up in urban or suburban settings without opportunities to develop in ways that align with masculine development. Boys learn differently from girls, and new trends in lifestyles made it increasingly difficult for millions of boys to get the physical, intellectually stimulating and involved experiences they require to prepare themselves for life. This became painfully clear at the end of the 19th century, when tens of thousands of boys, scions of the industrial revolution, wandered the dirty and polluted streets of cities around the world looking for whatever activities might keep them busy in a world of stifling urban development and increasing poverty. They needed something to pull them out of the slums and gangs and troubles of their situation so that they could become good and honest men who could learn to work and provide for their families and contribute to their communities. They needed to be rescued. It was the general recognition of that need that caused multiple Scout-like organizations to suddenly appear all over America at the same time Baden-Powell was refining his "Scouting project" in England with one purpose in mind - not to create a leadership factory, but to help boys avoid the pitfalls and bleak futures of a continually emasculating society by creating a program that would counter the disturbing trends of the day with a program that would help active boys become strong men, help curious boys become intelligent men, help honest boys become honorable men. So effective was his model that soon all the other organizations in America adopted his program, added to it their own structure and cultural flavor, and created the Boy Scouts of America. Its immediate explosion of growth can be attributed to one single idea - boys want to become good men, and Scouting can help show them how. That was the heart of Scouting - boys could enlist in a Troop, have exciting adventure and run their own groups all while having loads of fun - and all of it was designed to help those boys become better men, by tailoring it specifically to how boys learn, what boys love, and what boys need. You cannot take that idea of "making boys into better men" out of Scouting unless you completely and utterly ignore its very raison d'etre. It is meant to help develop positive masculine virtues in boys to create better men, who then become better leaders, citizens, and family members. And the trend of the last two decades towards taking that part out of it, as can be seen in the changes to the Scouting Handbook over the past few editions, has affected the BSA in negative ways. Scouting was truly a place for boys to explore their world and channel their energies in safe and productive ways as they figured out what it meant to be a man. Now that it is slowly feels the pressure to become just another activity program to put on a resume, it is losing the very thing it tries so hard to build in its member - confidence. And the declining numbers of the past few years is reflecting that. If National would ignore the boo hoos of the far left and stick to its central purpose, of making boys into better men, it would probably surprise itself with how successful the program could be again.
  13. 6 points
    Some months back, I was tapped for taking over as our troop's Scoutmaster. The biggest top of mind I had was bringing fun back to the meetings. I happened to be in a World Market store and saw a $7 iron squirrel doorstop, and picked it up because I thought I could use it at some point as the trophy for some games we were kicking around. It has since become one of the mainstays in our troop monthly program, now dubbed the "Iron Squirrel Competition." Each month the adult leaders come up with a challenge that all the scouts participate in. These should combine some type of useful training/skill with the competition. This has become the boy's favorite monthly program piece and has heightened the fun and competition in the troop. This taught me a few things: Making sure to keep it fun. Fun covers a lot of flaws! Create something that is your own. While Iron Squirrel Competition is now a part of our Troop DNA, finding something that your troop "owns" would be fun. Not just the award, but the flavor. Go cheap and tawdry. Don't have to put a lot into this. Find something unique though that is funny. I am interested in what you other folks have done that are unique to your troop that is keeping it fun. Here is a link to our "Iron Squirrel" webpage.
  14. 6 points
    Whether this belongs here or scouting round the world I thought I'd swing by and show off our troop review of the year on Youtube here. Seemed to go down well with the troop tonight! A very happy and peaceful Christmas to you all
  15. 6 points
    I think we need to remember a couple of things here: 1. The BSA, as far as I know, has not responded to Ms. Ireland's request. Therefore, any comments along the line about how National has devalued the Eagle, made it worthless, cheated previous recipients, etc. etc., are incorrect, because National has not done anything on this subject. Personally I think National is going to reject her request for all of the reasons that have been discussed in this forum. But whatever may happen, it hasn't happened yet and we shouldn't treat it as if it has. 2. Let's please remember that this is a 16-year-old girl we are talking about, and not just some hypothetical 16-year-old girl, but a specific named 16-year-old girl. She is not some evil monster. She is an ambitious person, and she is asking for something that almost everybody agrees she shouldn't get, but it does not make her a bad person. I admire what she has done, at least up to this point, even though I disagree with some of what she has said and I disagree with her recent request.
  16. 5 points
    @.40AET, please do not leave the board or even the discussion. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, as is @CalicoPenn In my opinion, one of the major problems with our society is the urgency with which we settle into a position, and how entrenched we become, during (or even prior to) a discussion. Too often we weaponize debate and there is no real chance to have a discussion that might help solve a problem. If you are for gun control legislation you are for tyranny and against individual rights if you are against gun control legislation you are for murdering children and against public safety. We are all to blame for where we are. The politicians stake out hardline partisan positions and hold on to them doggedly in order to get reelected because not solving a problem gives them something to rail against, but nothing to be accountable for. The media promotes the partisan conflict and 30 second sound bites because conflict sells and they want to gain viewers/readers.subscribers. Or worse, depending on the media outlet, they have staked out their own positions and rather than report, they lobby. And "we the people" reward them by continuing to send the same buffoons back to DC, even though 80+ percent of us disapprove of the job they are doing.
  17. 5 points
    I am genuinely unclear on whether this is serious or satire.
  18. 5 points
    Just came from a PLC last night where the PLC passed a "rule" that said only registered Scouts and adults could camp with the troop, and that only perspective Webelos looking to join could camp with the unit.
  19. 5 points
    But that is CUB Scout, bot BOY Scouts. (caps for emphasis). Most 11-18 year old males want to get away from their parents and younger siblings. They want to do things on their own. The families going camping is one reason why my sons and several others are not happy with the troop. They had problems with siblings, as well as adults. An example form this weekend, PL is doing his assigned job at a fundraiser, and one of the parents tells him to stop what he is doing and get back to work. Thankfully I was there and told him to ignore the parent and SPL's instructions. Agree 110% Even WB doesn't fully model the Patrol Method. And even when you do have adults who know PM and teach it at training, you still have large numbers of adults who think they know best, or do not have the patience to implement it. The Patrol Method is truly 'Organized Chaos" Another factor that women have is the natural "mother instinct" They want to nurture and protect they children. Many cannot let go. We see it today with 26 year olds being considered children under some federal laws. I do not know when the Guide to Safe Scouting first came out, But I can tell you many things I use to do as a Scout are not allowed anymore, and it has been since women were allowed to be SMs and ASMs, i.e. pioneering projects over 6 feet, smudge pots, etc.
  20. 5 points
    To you list I will add: Complaining about is problem is MUCH easier than rolling up your sleeves and working to fix it.
  21. 5 points
    There is the other side: 1) You have a boy (girl) in scouts. 2) You slowly get sucked into the myth and re-discover your inner boy. 3) Some old scouters or real boy scouts teach you some skills, you get just enough 'official' training to stay our of trouble. 4) You deliver the best program you can, make friends, and gain 100 unofficial nephews. Some inspire you, most are memorable, and a few break your heart. 6) You ignore national unless you hang around the forum or there is a press release. Look the whole world seems to be falling apart, some of us on the front lines are trying to keep the faith in our little corner. Because when you get down to it all real life us local. BSA might implode (and that is what we are mostly griping about here) but Scouting will one way or another will continue. (You know that would sound a whole lot better if Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart was saying it.)
  22. 5 points
    This is in order of likelihood a pigtail mafia member will leave a thin mint bomb in your mailbox. 1 - start with sisters of existing members 2 - have them reach out to their friends to recruit them to join 3 - standard Join Scouts Night stuff (flyers, yard signs, emails). Have something fun to do for the kids and ensure some girls that plan to join attend 4 - reach out to existing GSUSA scouts 5 - recruit existing GSUSA Troop leaders 6 - boom... your mailbox just exploded Overall, I don’t see much of a difference from recruiting boys other than making sure parents and girls see that a group of girls are joining. Once they see that, they’ll consider it more for themselves. Oh, and I don’t really recommend intentionally using 4 or 5 above... though we did end up with both (unintentionally). My hands shake a bit every time I start my car.
  23. 5 points
    I think this whole thread illustrates why National is interested in membership numbers. The number of scouts is going down and the overhead is not. The result is economic stress and thus everything mentioned in this thread. The long term solution is getting more kids having fun camping with their friends. This is one of those "It's the economy, stupid" messages that should be part of National's letter head. "It's kids having fun, stupid." I don't think the solution is going to come from focusing on what is preventing kids from having fun. It's going to come from focusing on ensuring that kids are having fun. We've been through all the usual problems. Parents are busy. Parents don't like the outdoors. Parents don't volunteer. Kids are doing more. Kids must participate in all these other activities. Girls. Moms. Dads. Single parents. .... Here's another thought. Focus on making it so much fun, rewarding and challenging that most kids will honestly decide that they're more interested in scouts than a second, or third sport, or doing anything else. It's not that I don't want kids doing anything else, I just want scouting to compare favorably. Right now the only support that national provides is getting Eagle. Eagle may be a challenge but it's not fun. It's not enough to keep an 11 year old that likes soccer, football, and baseball to stick around. Eagle is not the fundamental attraction for a kid to stay in scouts. It may be for the parents but for a kid it has to be fun. All the fun stuff, the stuff that scouting is really about, is up to the SM to figure out (not to mention selling this idea to those parents that only see Eagle). But getting back to the OP. The question every council and national employee should be asking them self every day is whether what they're doing helps each CM and SM deliver fun and adventure. If all they come up with is it's important that every scout memorize the USDA My Plate diagram then they're failing and adding no value. Come up with some honestly fun activities that a unit leader can use out of the box and then there's value added. If all these parts were supporting the CMs and SMs then the money problems would fix themselves.
  24. 5 points
    That article ends What we owe all people, including women, is to listen to them and to respect them and to take them seriously. But we don’t owe anyone our unthinking belief. “Trust but verify” may not have the same ring as “believe all women.” But it’s a far better policy. Sounds fair.
  25. 5 points
    Has any boy of the scout age ever felt they needed more character? Scouting is an adult program designed to develop boys into men of character (A game with a purpose). The attraction for boys is the adventure. The exhilaration of experiencing the independence for making responsible decisions is what keeps them in the program after the exhilaration of adventure becomes balanced with normality. Barry
  26. 5 points
    This summarizes perfectly the trust problem with BSA National. Unfortunately, it extends far beyond trustworthiness. I believe their lack of transparency is rooted in basic ineptitude. Their actions are shielded to avoid visibility into their incompetency. How did this noble organization of the Boy Scouts of America end up with executives who are so divorced from the founding principles of Scouting? A Scout is trustworthy, yet they have repeatedly displayed examples of dishonest, deceitful, manipulative, and opportunistic leadership. The first qualification for the job should be that you actually believe in the movement. I am truly embarrassed to have this bungling group of mismanagers at our head, and I am immensely sad for all that has been lost under their misdirection. I am one of their casualties who will exit Scouting at the end of this year.
  27. 5 points
    and that is a primary fear for introducing family scouting, holding the boys back, or worse, forgetting about the boys in lieu of the girls. Boys have enough major challenges their facing down statistically (lower college graduation rates, higher HS drop out rates, higher suicide, higher and younger drug abuse, etc) in this country at the moment.
  28. 5 points
    He has earned Tiger as of last Sunday. We found out half way through Kindergarten that he has a vision problem. So he is still kinda playing catch up, while everyone is moving forward. So the problems at school aren't transferring over to scouts. I never considered him repeating the Tiger year as someone suggested. I figured if he was not going to be able to advance to Wolf then he would just be finished all together. Not repeating Tiger and waiting a year to go on the Wolf track wouldn't work out either. I talked with our CC and he is telling me its based on age OR grade, so I don't think there is any reason he cant move on with the rest of the den.
  29. 5 points
    THis is exactly my concern. On the one hand training needs to break even. On the other hand training needs to get more leaders trained. I anticipate folks to respond with "why would I pay for that when I can take it for free online". My answer is "then why havnt you taken it online already?" Yep - every group is expected to break even. I do not get charged for using the conference room at the service center. But I do get charged for using a building at camp. And the cost (even as another "department" of the council) is higher than what it would cost for me to rent a building at a nearby county park. BALOO held at camp is very often the first time Cub parents-become-leaders have been to our camp. We want them to come to camp. We want that first experience to be in one of the nicer buildings. But I need to charge $30-$40 each to cover the cost of the building instead of approx $10 each to cover copies and lunch. That argument has gotten me nowhere towards reducing my costs for camp rental.
  30. 5 points
    I don't know where this idea came from (probably the BSA.) But it does harm to people and to the program. Eagle Scout is not some silver bullet for teenagers. If your grades suck, Eagle Scout won't get you into college. If you bomb your interview, Eagle Scout will not get you the job. As a corporate recruiter myself, I don't look for Eagle Scouts, I look for candidates who are qualified to do the job, and if they happen to be Eagle Scouts, then we chat about that after the serious stuff is out of the way. Eagle Scout is valuable not because it will cause other people to think better of the Eagle Scout, but because of the personal journey of growth being in a Troop for 2-6 years can have. Can it help you in an interview or college admissions? Possibly, but you have to be qualified already. Just like "Go to college so you can get a good job" sets young people up to have a useless degree, tons of debt, disappointment and a minimum wage job. "Eagle will get you places in life" means parents will help their sons get Eagle at any cost, and the cost is what we actually want our Scouts to learn: life skills, leadership, teamwork, ethical decisionmaking, love of country, and respect for creation. It too will lead to disappointment, when the young man realizes he spent all that time for something that isn't the promised "Cheat code." I wonder if Gary is an Eagle Scout and what benefits he perceives he's received by earning it.
  31. 5 points
    We use one cabin for a winter camp-in that has only one large room, probably holding 50 people. There are no accommodations for separate adult and youth. We do keep the adults in one corner. I can't see a YPT violation since there was no one on one contact, no tent situation. I'd be careful about reporting this and possibly ruining the adult's reputation and future for an innocent situation.
  32. 5 points
  33. 5 points
    We haven't heard enough from them this year?
  34. 5 points
    I wouldn't ever consider not getting Eagle a failure. I was 2nd Class, and yet the mantra I live by is "help other people at all times". 6000+ hours, 6 Red Cross disaster relief operations averaging 3-4 weeks at a time. Last Monday I went out at 3:00 am, to help an elderly couple struggle through the loss of their home due to a fire. Tomorrow night I work with my church youth group serving Advent dinner between services. Last week I dropped off about 300# of squash from my garden at the Salvation Army kitchen. Not getting Eagle made no affect on my life. What Scouting taught did.
  35. 5 points
    I fear the eagle has already been lightened up significantly. I have seen many scouts come back from a merit badge colleges (a one day event) with 2 completed merit badges that should take, at minimum, several days if not longer. something simple like basket weaving maybe but no communications, Law, public health, personal management etc.. I'm not eve going to go into the eagle mills. We do our scouts a disservice when we given them credit where it has not been properly earned.
  36. 5 points
    The schools in my area do NOT have that "safe harbor" rule. However, I'm aware of one case where a student told a teacher that he accidentally had a pocket knife in his backpack. And the teacher wisely told the student to just leave it there until the end of the day. But if the teacher had decided to go by the book, the kid would have been in a lot of trouble. What I've told my kids, and what I've told other scouts to talk to their parents about is this: If they discover that they accidentally have a knife or some other contraband in their possession, then they should go to the teacher and say that they need to call their parents because it is an emergency. They should keep insisting, keep saying that it is an emergency, but not state the nature of the emergency. When they call me, they are instructed to say something along the lines of, "I'm calling about that thing you said I should call about and say it is an emergency." At that point, I would go to school and ask to speak to them privately. I would then take possession of their backpack, jacket, or whatever item was involved, and take it home myself. If I was asked what was going on, I would explain that there had been an emergency, but that it is now resolved. I believe that most teachers and administrators would exercise some common sense if they were told that a kid accidentally had a pocket knife in his jacket. But unfortunately, they are not required to do so, so I've decided to err on the side of caution.
  37. 5 points
    Over the years I have been involved in a lot of "political" hassles in many different organizations and the dynamics are always the same. The simple explanation for this situation is: this parent enjoys the conflict and the perpetuation of it. It's a game to her. She doesn't really want the game to end because then all the fun will go away. So, the rest of the group has to decide to take it to the next level of conflict which is labeled "Divorce" and remove this woman and the game will go away, or take the conflict down to level of basic problem identification and solving. At this level where the woman is at is never going to agree to that because that would mean the game would be over. Well it's going to be over one way or another. The odds of it being resolved gracefully just isn't in the cards. The only solution would be to have her not be part of the processes of the unit. You will probably lose a good scout in the process, make sure he knows that none of this is his fault and encourage him to stay in scouting wherever he moves on to. Just keep it in mind that with this game that is going on, nothing in the rules points to "for the boys". And yet, in the interest of the boys, the game has got to change, one way or the other.
  38. 5 points
    The Turtles are happy to announce the birth of their 5' -11" 120 pound Eagle Scout. Gave great interview I hear. Survived despite leaving 'gag patches' on his uniform ("I Speak English" and a Klingon Interpreter Strip). Likes to live dangerously--when questioned about if that was his attitude toward a serious interview--he said "I am a Scout and a Scout is all about having fun. If I can't have some fun with my uniform I should join the military". He was having a pretty good time. Came out wanting to plan some high adventure outings for the guys still in the Troop; I am most pleased that 'he gets it".
  39. 4 points
    @Mattosaurus, whatever you do you need to be honest. You skipped a step. No biggie but you do need to own up to it as other people have advised. The Guide to Advancement (the book Scouters are supposed to consult when they have advancement questions) allows for instances such as yours. Contact your Eagle Coach today, as well as the district rep. Let them know your issue and your project timeline. In most instances they will be happy to approve your completed form, but they will advise you on your next steps. Document your interaction with them via email and confirm both in writing and verbally. This may help you later. Above all DO NOT go forward without contacting them...and most certainly do not "back date" or "fudge" anything. Not only is that dishonest and against the Scout Law, it is not worthy of an Eagle Scout. Yes, it is a big deal. It is called integrity. Make sure your parents are in the know on this issue too. While you are the one responsible, it usually make sense to have your parents up to speed on your status. Also your unit lead (Scoutmaster). Good luck!!!
  40. 4 points
    For reference and enjoyment, this snapshot by WOSM may serve: https://issuu.com/worldscouting/docs/wsbero-membership_report_2013 What's relevant to us, is that Scouts UK had not recovered its market penetration, but compared to 2007, it had "turned the corner" and was gaining market share. It is reasonable to expect that it has continued that trend. However, it probably has a few years to gain the share of boys. On the other hand, BSA's program(s) has lost market share at an alarming rate over the same period. Anyone worried about losing boys nationwide, that ship has sailed. Anyone thinking including girls is a panacea should reconsider their position. I'm in this for smiles. Some girls want this program? Let them. Some boys want to keep to themselves? Make it work for them ... even if your troop is full-on co-ed. These things are best managed on a local level, and the sooner BSA gives scouters the latitude to do that the better.
  41. 4 points
    I plead the 5th concerning other troops/ patrols, ice cream, etc. But I did end up marrying a Camp Fire girl I met at camp 43 years ago.
  42. 4 points
    My troop (coed) is lucky enough to have a twin troop in Canada, also coed that we have done a series of exchanges with.. Obviously I can't speak for any other Canadian troops but they do no such thing. At night adults go to bed, simple as that. Same this side of the pond as well. Absolutely no need for there to be any extra stress. Young love occassionally blooms but it's never caused a problem. The boys and the girls are there to do what scouts do and it's never caused us disruption.
  43. 4 points
    #1: This isn't somebody else's program. This is your son's program. You teach highschoolers, but I assume you're familiar with elementary education. When teachers assign projects, homework or spelling lists, you have to know that kids aren't going home and doing everything by themselves. Absolutely zero science projects have been completed by 7 year olds with their parents off doing their own thing. Parental involvement and assistance is needed then just as it is in Cub Scouts. #2: Nobody is asking you or anyone to recreate the wheel, but how do you think outings to the conservancy, state park, or historical societies take place? Everyone just mysteriously knows where and when to show up to a place, and everything is ready for you? No, a volunteer has to contact the location, reserve a time and then disseminate the information to other parents. Not a big deal, or anywhere hard to do, but when 40 families look to the same 4-5 people wearing uniforms to do everything, it becomes irritating. More so, if we see that you're already doing these things with your family or volunteering at these locations. Honestly, it would be incredibly easy to put forth a little effort to "make the pack go." #3 Have you attended any parent meetings to even know if the pack is running fine? Every person's time valuable; any excuse that someone is "too busy" to help comes across as petty. Our registered volunteers are all fully-employed in professional careers.
  44. 4 points
    Paper applications are now being accepted. Most of the girls were able to register online but the. BSA payment system seems flaky after a couple of the parents spent hours using various browsers. One parent said they checked their CC bill and found the BSA had charged them 8 x $33 ($264) (once for each attempt to register). She said she is sure the BSA will refund the money ...🙄 There is an article online with our major paper and I’m working with them so they spell our Pack number correctly. The council is having the other Pack lead the media effort and I’m perfectly content. I think most members in our Pack fall into the category that adding girls is fine... but I don’t think they are looking to be the center of media attention or lead any crusade. One challenge we are now facing. We have three girls who are twin sisters of existing Pack members (all Tigers). Our Tiger den is 26 Scouts. A couple of them have been going to Pack and den meetings but are not members of the Pack. They would like to join but the parents are too busy for more den meetings (for the girls den). So we have started discussions of adding a second girl den, this one dedicated to Tiger girls that would meet same time and place as the boys. My thought is that we can actually provide more separation between the boys and girls as I’ll have another den leader attend and work with them separately. The adult partner will be there for both their kids. Nothing official yet, but we are discussing it.
  45. 4 points
    I stand corrected. Allow me to rephrase We seem to have adults who think that the troop exists for their fun and benefit rather than the scouts.
  46. 4 points
    It is 10 times more expensive to cultivate NEW customers than to retain an old one. Does that mean you don't market to new customers? No, of course not. But a successful business NEVER punches their old, reliable customer base in the face, introduces a new product they know their old customers won't like, increase the price and continue doing all the things that tick off their current customers. NO ONE DOES THAT and is successful.
  47. 4 points
    I started reading this thread again. I keep twinging every time I read the rank requirements. They are just way way too long. Too many words. Turns off scouts. National really needs to focus on shortening the number of words. It's just out of control. The number of words in the requirements have doubled since 2005. The words the scouts see need to be simple and straight forward.
  48. 4 points
    Great post. Why is it so hard for parents to let their kids do all the work? I'd ask the rhetorical question if parents do the same thing for the kid's school work, but the answer I suspect it most likely affirmative. There seems to be a high correlation between the parents that hover in Scouting and those that hover for school work. This is the equivalent of cutting a kid's meat for them. @Eagle94-A1, I really feel for you and your efforts. If the SM has not fully bought in to the patrol method and boy-led approach, AND he is not afraid to act as gate keeper to keep the adults at bay, then it is truly an up hill battle.
  49. 4 points
    Wow ... I don't think I have EVER heard of shaking hands as being either "out-of-date" or problematic in any way. It can't be generational; I am barely 34 and most of my friends are much younger; shaking hands is as common as any other kind of greeting. At the university I went to (BYU), people shake hands ALL THE TIME, whether it's greeting a new person or an old friend. Now I live back home in California, and it's still just as commonplace here in South Orange County as it ever was. ALL of the boys in our Troop shake hands with leaders when they greet (and each other when they remember), and I make it a point to act shocked and appalled whenever one of my Webelos Scouts forgets to offer his hand when I welcome him to our weekly meetings. I have yet to have any parents act shocked and appalled when I have attempted the same towards them. I admit, I remember being turned upside down when I got my Bobcat badge in the early 90's. I was a pretty small and sensitive kid, and I very strongly remember disliking the whole thing, despite the fact that both of my older brothers had the same experience and LOVED it. I, however, hated being turned down in front of a big room of strangers; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing and I felt ridiculed and silly. Oh, and then I grew up and got over it. Because that's what Scouting teaches you to do! You learn from tough experiences, and you become a stronger adult! I attribute much of the ease and comfort I possess speaking to large crowds the the things I learned in Scouting. Would I ever flip any of my boys around if I had the chance? Goodness no. But neither would I be so petty, so melodramatic, that I would condemn what truly is a harmless activity. The trauma it inflicts on the boy is only the springboard from which he can learn and grow. But you have to give them the chance to do it.
  50. 4 points
    Be careful what you wish for. BSA has been known to cave to peer pressure. All it takes is for one person to complain about WB "beading" ceremonies as cultural appropriation (use of beads, beads being Native American, etc.) and there go all your beads. Think it can't happen? Ask any Scouter who was in an OA ceremony team as a youth. No more "war paint", no more bare chests, no more firing arrows to start the fire, no more "taps" at tap outs. Did BSA have stupid ceremonies that put people in danger? Sure. Using rubbing alcohol on someone's chest and lighting it was a baaaad idea. Hanging a Cub Scout upside down -- something he does 10 times during recess -- is NOT even close to being dangerous. Well, no more dangerous than allowing Cubs to do skits around a campfire, go door to door to sell popcorn to strangers, go to the restroom at night while camping or earning their whitlin' chip. If adults keep taking away from the program the kids will stop coming. As noted above, did anyone ask the KIDS what they wanted? When my son was too young for Cubs I kept telling him about Y Guides and how he could dress up like an indian and learn native crafts. He was stoked!! First meeting the leader gets up and says, "Sorry, no more dressing as indians and doing indian stuff. We are now 'Explorers'." My kid stood up and said "I'm outta here. Let's go dad." Just like that the entire "tribe" folded. 10 kids all psyched to learn and respect native culture, turned off because the adults had changed the program. BSA is already headed down this path. You wait.