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  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. 7 points
    While I firmly oppose BSA's girl decision, I strongly support kindness and sensitivity in personal interactions. Even though their Cub Scout Pack is at fault for breaking fundamental rules about mixed-gender Dens, a kind approach is still merited as the situation gets resolved. A Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind, and nobody should be made to feel like an outcast. First, I'd explain in the friendliest way possible to the girl and her parents that we are excited for her interest in Scouting. Then I'd also explain in the friendliest way possible that because we are a boy-only troop, we are not structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her the Scouting experience that BSA has designed for girls (providing as many or as few supporting details as they like). Finally, I'd offer assistance to help her find a girl-only troop or a linked troop in the area that *is* structured with the right organization and leadership to provide her that great Scouting experience (with an explanation about the rollout beginning in February 2019). If these good-faith gestures made in friendliness are rejected, it would seem clear to me that this girl and her family are not looking for a solution - they are looking for a fight.
  4. 6 points
    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?
  5. 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.
  6. 5 points
    Two grandsons new in a cub pack. There are (horrors!) girls. No one seems to notice. They do stuff together. It's almost as if it's not unnatural.
  7. 5 points
    Goodness, if only there had been some advance notice of this deadline...
  8. 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?
  9. 4 points
  10. 4 points
    I agree with Peter Thiel 's statement in the posted video that reformation of college education will come from the outside. IMO, outside from education consumers, parents and students, in high schools. My younger son is not attending high school, he is taking courses at a local community college - better teachers, better courses. He has friends doing the same, other friends attending charter or private schools , others being home-schooled, and still others though physically in a public school are taking Virtual High School classes from Stanford or BYU. If grassroot's educational consumerism can prevail over the state DOE and teacher union, reformation of college education will follow. My $0.02,
  11. 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.
  12. 3 points
    I have to admit that I was completely surprised when my son (an Eagle) who now lives in a location where Scouting is not very visible...announced that #1 grandson was joining the Cubs. So I dragged out my old uniform and stuff and started thinking about how I could help. This boy is a perfect match for Scouts and I'm hoping he'll stick with it. A lot depends on those first experiences and, of course, some kind of instant gratification, lol. He lusts after the status of being allowed to own and use a pocketknife and eager to master the skill and responsibility that comes with it. Game on! Anyway, it looks like I'm back after I thought it was over (quite literally, due to a close call with a heart surgeon). The Forums have evolved since I became inactive and since I feel like I'm entering for the first time, I decided to break the news here. See you 'round. Packsaddle
  13. 3 points
    Our older scout who is the Instructor for wood tools uses the term circle of death.
  14. 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.
  15. 3 points
    I do propose moving to the language of “Cubbing” and “scouting” to refer to the different programs.
  16. 3 points
    Please note that the Whitlin' Chip and Totin Chip have no specific requirements. There is no BSA list of "do this this way", not like tying knots or cooking or fire building. The teaching of "safe handling" and "good tool useage" is a ultimately a local culture thing. If you are fortunate to have a skilled craftsman to teach your Cubs and Scouts, count yourself lucky. Kids will want to "experiment" . I was at a B&G banquet one evening, helping to hand out the PopCorn Prizes. One young Cub, sold umpteen dollars worth of Popcorn, was awarded a multi blade pocket knife. As the event went on, I saw him pry open ALL the blades, and Presto ! An X-Wing Fighter began zooming around his table ! I paused the festivities, went to his table, asked him directly, "Wow, that's a neat knife. May I see it? " The Cub put the knife down, I picked it up and carefully showed him how to close it , open palm, and then handed it to the dad sitting next to the Cub, saying, "perhaps this can wait until you earn the Whitlin' Chip, eh?" and then went back to the podium and more prizes....
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 3 points
    I'm not sure I like the words "redundant or dumb" but there are just a lot of words in these policies. No slight to the lawyers among us but when things start getting into that much detail it sounds like there's just no trust between the SM and the scouts. Much of it is already in the GTA so maybe that's what DuctTape means by redundant. Also, so much of it just begs for more complex answers. It says there will be a uniform inspection at least once a month. What if there isn't? So what if there is? If a scout shows up in blue jeans then what? Is this really a policy or is it what the troop usually does? If it's not policy then remove it. The scoutmaster can remove a scout from a POR if he doesn't fulfill his position's requirements and there have been two meetings. And those requirements are specified where? It says the scout should ask for a conference at the start of the meeting for the lower ranks. Does this imply he'll get one? What if it's the week before a COH right after summer camp and 10 scouts ask for a conference? The SM is going to do all of them? What if the meeting is a bike ride to DQ? Is the SM still going to do all of them? Rather, I'd suggest writing a document that just describes how things work. Don't call it policy. Explain how the scout or a parent can get things clarified. As long as the SM and committee treat all the scouts the same and there are no surprises then nobody will complain. My troop has been around for 20 years and we have few policies. We do have a document that describes how things are done. To me it sounds like the real problem here is a lack of trust.
  20. 3 points
    It was interesting to see the thread about misconceptions as I had deliberately logged on to post something. yesterday I spent 40 minutes on the phone and my Group Scout Leader (my manager, don’t think you have an equivalent) had spent 2 hours on the phone with the mum of a scout who was having a bit of a moan. She had various things to say but they all stemmed from the fact that her daughter has not made PL or APL yet. Her daughter is disappointed. She’s not the first and won’t be the last and in herself is not a problem. The problem is that her mum does not accept how scouts operates. Both myself and the GSL have tried explaining that our job is not to make all the decisions of the scouts for them. We advise them, we explain what they should consider, we will give our opinion if asked. If there is a safety or discipline issue or other very good reason to do so we will over ride youth decisions. What we won’t do is simply over rule them because they chose differently to what we would have chosen. In this case this scout would make a perfectly good APL. She’s enthusiastic, well behaved, polite etc. And yes she could probably do a better job than at least two of my current crop of APLs. Fact remains though that at this stage the PLC chose them and not her. And mum does not accept that. Ive explained to mum that’s if I over rule every decision I disagree with there’s no point having PLs or a PLC as they wouldn’t be making decisions, it would just be me demanding that they do it my way. What would be the point? And Mum does not accept that. I know that BSA put more emphasis than we do on the youth led process. Do you ever get problems with parents wanting you to over rule the PLC? How do you tend to handle it?
  21. 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."
  22. 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.
  23. 3 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!
  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.
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