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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/23/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Finally took a look at the requirement as GBB wrote it (BSHB, 9th Ed, Camping skill award, 3.a.): Whip the ends of a rope. What!? No fusing? And we didn't have to show anybody. We could come to our leader with one rope -- ends neatly bound -- and say, "See, I whipped it. Whipped it good." [Cue Devo] Then for fun I could go find some strike-anywhere matches, light them off my teeth, and melt me some of that new-fangled nylon rope. Advancement was so much easier back in the day ... at least I didn't have as much legalese to parse!
  2. 2 points
    Sometimes you can help a kid. Sometimes you can't. I always cringe when I read or hear someone say just pair them with a good scout. As the parent of a couple of good scouts who always seem to be paired with a "that kid" who had severe issues, I can say over time this is exceedingly stressful and unfair. If adults can't handle the kid, we shouldn't expect another scout to be able to do so except in short doses. I would also point out that this is also a strategy that schools use, so a mature, capable kind kid like this is frequently stuck with a scout buddy or study buddy who is unpleasant and emotionally draining a lot of the time. Scouts of course should be kind and willing to help out, but we shouldn't turn any scout's experience into drudgery. Adults really need to carefully manage this situation and not abuse the good kids to help the problem kids. No kid's scout experience should be more important than another's. We as adults have to balance that and sometimes that means you may have to say goodbye.
  3. 1 point
    I cringe when I hear someone pre-judging a boy who hasn't even joined the troop yet. It makes me think of Father Edward Flanagan, founder of Boys Town... Father Flanagan's most famous quote: “There are no bad boys. There is only bad environment, bad training, bad example, bad thinking.” Father Flanagan gives you some ideas for ways to handle the situation: - Environment: maybe put "that kid" with an older patrol who won't be intimidated by his more confident (or aggressive) style - Training: maybe have a discussion with the PL, SPL, Guide, ASMs, etc. and find ways to work with the youth and channel his energy - Example: pair up "that kid" with a very strong, experienced "buddy" to help him learn the scouting way - Thinking: stop stereotyping and give the kid a chance, look for the positive and praise him when you see him growing as a young man
  4. 1 point
    We have started saying, "You are no longer a Cub Scout. Welcome to our organization which is in no way affiliated with the Girl Scouts of America. Here is your neckerchief. Do you have a preferred pronoun you would like us to use when addressing you?"
  5. 1 point
    Posted March 21, 2019 Boy Scouts made rosaries during a Scout retreat sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Committee on Scouting. The theme of the day-long retreat was “Champions of Christ: Military Saints and Chaplains.” More details and photos at source link http://catholicphilly.com/2019/03/news/people-and-events/scouts-on-retreat-make-rosaries-for-u-s-military/
  6. 1 point
    @EastCst, welcome to the forums! I don't have much to add, except this ... Son #1's cubmaster (of about 10 years ago) was laid to rest yesterday. He was a stand-up guy. But there were moments of contention. I thought, "What was so important that everyone had to dig their heels in?" Time is short. For some, way shorter than anyone thinks. Remind everyone of that. Move on.
  7. 1 point
    Absolutely. There will be Scouts (and some adults) set up on every free piece of grass, picnic table and open spot you can think of doing trading. Trading is quite brisk in the camping areas, too, but of course that's off limits to visitors. Scouts would haul out their cots and set up on the service roads along the campsites to do their trading. Check out the lower portion of the Consol Energy Bridge, where there were good spots for trading during the '13 and '17 NSJs. A lot of trading also took place at the Scott Summit Center, but there were areas there where trading was not allowed to take place, to give people an opportunity to sit and relax without the barrage of patch trading. Trading will likely be different than at the NSJs, since trading in countries outside the U.S. tend to trade a lot more neckerchiefs and uniforms than they do patches. That's not to say there won't be lots of patch trading, just that the internationals do a lot more with neckers and uniforms. We've advised our Scouts to not bring a uniform with anything on it that they wouldn't want to part with in a trade. In other words, don't bring your everyday field uniform, because you might end up trading it.
  8. 1 point
    Welcome. The decision for the minor details is made by the person(s) who are running the "event". These details are not discussed or decided by the pack committee, but by those tasked with accomplishing the event. For example. The B&G banquet. There should be a sub-committee (mostly non-pack-committee) tasked with organizing and implementing. They are given a budget, and some parameters which are sometimes tradition (like location and date), and everyone else supports them. At pack committee, they are an agenda item to report on progress, and answer questions, but not to deliberate details. Those are argued at "their meeting". Pack committee should not micro-manage. Only step in if BSA protocols like GTSS are not being followed. If random topics are brought up not on the agenda, then be a bit more strict about Roberts Rules. Politely, but with authority cut them off and say, "we are on agenda item 4, and we will follow the agenda. Any other topics may be brought up under "good of the order", or added to new business at the next meeting. "
  9. 1 point
    Bit late to the discussion but a couple of things to add. Like Qwaze said, small thankyous and comments for when scouts have done things well. An example we have a new adult volunteerinng with us at the moment. She's been with us a few months. Naturally the scouts have gone through the stages they always do with a new adult. First they were a bit wary. That's been and gone. They she was their favourite. That's been and gone. Now they're pushing her boundaries a bit. Standard. Anyway last week I noticed one of our patrol leaders quite specifically being supportive and giving her advice on how to get one of our particularly gobby ones to be quiet for a moment. "keep him separated from that one." I made sure to quietly nod and smile at him and make sure he knew he'd done well. We also have a year long inter patrol competition where they rack points up throughout the year. Some of the points are for those easy to measure things. Nights on camp, badges earned etc. We also though award points for random acts of kindness, helpfulness, team work etc. An example again from just this week. We are allowed to use the playing field of a nearby school during our meetings. While out on the field one of our scouts found somebody's door key. He picked it up and rather than handing it to me he thought to hand it to his PL as he knew her mum works in the office at that school. 5 points for that patrol, both helpful and showing enough thought to deal with it competently.
  10. 1 point
    It's important to note that the definition of friendly in "your book" is entirely subjective, and there seems to be a strong suggestion from your comments that you feel that if our faith were truly "friendly," it would conform to your ideas of how a religious organization should interact with the BSA in the future - your ideas of what "friendly" means. But that would be an unfair conclusion, and it may be misleading to those who read these forums and don't understand much of the actual situation. Our Church will not sponsor Scouting in the future. So to suggest that leaders should "organize LDS sponsored units if they so choose" reflects a very large misunderstanding of how our Church operates. Local organizations are not very far removed from the central, global leadership of the Church, and no local unit is authorized to allocate its budget towards things like Scouting without approval from the central Church organization. It's simply not an option, and frankly, that's a good thing. It allows our units to focus on making the new program a success, and it reflects the imperative need of the Church to be prudent with its funds. Spending it on multiple youth activities when there will already be a large new program to roll out would be financially unwise. Friendly would mean that others who are not of our faith understand these things, and not pass judgement on how our faith chooses to serve its youth. The Church still does encourage its members to continue in Scouting if they so choose, as the latest roll-out of information makes clear. Just because they won't use our facilities or recruit in our halls does not mean we are in any way being unfriendly, unless other choose to interpret it as such. But that is the subjective view of those who are coloring these events according to their own prejudices, and I hope that as we continue to move forward with the changes in this relationship, we will be mindful of the need for courtesy, objectivity, and optimism in the face of a bold new future.
  11. 1 point
    Competitions are good for some things but a competition for doing the right thing? Competitions encourage scouts to figure out how to cut corners and be more efficient. People try to figure out how to use the rules to their advantage. That's where the phrase game the system comes from. Putting someone else's need before your own has nothing to do with this. I'd suggest not having any rules. Not a certain award. Not a fixed list of good things to do. Rather, get all of the adults involved. When they see a scout do something impressive, reward it. It could be a thank you. It could be addressing them Mr/Miss <last name>. It could be buying them an ice cream at the trading post. It could be giving them some candy. It could be nothing more than pulling them off to the side and saying they've grown a lot lately and you see it and appreciate it. As @Eagledad said, it's about growth and not a specific activity. And every scout will grow differently. One scout being Courteous might be a cause for a huge celebration where for other scouts it might just be not much more than a nod. Think about it, it's hard to measure how good a person is so how can anyone define what the recognition should be? Besides, if someone knows they'll get a Jolly Rancher if they teach a scout how to start a fire, what happens when you run out of candy? They stop helping? If so, they've learned nothing. A bit of randomness is closer to real life. Not only should all of the adults be involved, I'd suggest getting the scouts involved as well. Ask the PLC, or the older scouts, if there are other scouts that should be recognized. And encourage those scouts to do the recognition. Make it part of the culture of the troop.
  12. 1 point
    A CAUTIONARY TALE I remember when I was in Scouts, just after I became a Life Scout, we got a new Scoutmaster. And this new Scoutmaster came up with the idea of "Scout bucks," a system by which boys could earn little paper 'dollars' (somewhat akin to Monopoly money) by meeting various expectations or when caught acting "Scout-like." If your uniform was perfect, you got a buck. If you had your book, you got another book. A merit badge earned you another, and a rank advancement earned you bucks in increments of 5 (Tenderfoot = $5, 2nd Class = $10, et cetera, but Eagle earned you $50). At first the system worked well enough. My fellow Scouts started uniforming better, and there were some improvements in behavior here and there. But after a while, the system stagnated and its inherent flaws were made manifest. First of all, the same kids kept winning all the dollars because they were quiet goody-two-shoes(-es? -ers?) who didn't have to try particularly hard to behave in the first place and were already moving forward in their advancement. Then the ones who weren't earning much started giving up on the idea since they knew they would never have the dough to win the good prizes anyway. THEN after a year of this we found out that the prizes were extravagantly over the top - including a brand-new computer, a campaign hat, really high-value knives, et cetera. But since this was after a year of the system going, it was too late for the apathetic Scouts to change their act and have a go at the good prizes, which should have been the point of the whole idea in the first place. AND THEN the poor sweet sucker who actually had enough of this made-up moolah to get the computer (he, of course, being me) got picked on MORE THAN EVER because he/I basically got a new computer for college without even trying, which made things harder for him/me during my last year of Scouting and built up deep resentment among the other boys who never cared much for Scouting before, and now had a serious vendetta against it after they discovered they had been swindled by a poorly thought-out, poorly executed plan. So the good kids got bullied even more, and the troubled ones became more frustrated and angry with Scouting than ever. So be careful! The idea of recognition and advancement is already built in to the very fabric of Scouting, and there's no need to go beyond the system that is already in place. Do Scouting right, and it becomes its own reward. The tale of the Unknown Scout is perhaps the greatest example of how we should serve - quietly, helpfully, and without reward or recognition - because we are Scouts, and we don't need, accept nor expect rewards for doing what we already know is right. That kind of service is the most fulfilling of all. And if you simply MUST do something to unload your heart that's overflowing with pride and admiration for these Scouts, what's the best kind of recognition? Simple - GRATITUDE. A heartfelt compliment, meaningful expressions of thanks, a note or a message or just kind comments to the parents/guardians. Words that make him know beyond any doubt that he is LOVED and ESTEEMED by his leaders. Nothing fills a boy with greater self-worth than the kind and sincere praise of the adults he respects. That's greater than any prize or reward could ever be, and it will shape his character without stuffing his coffers. Be open and obvious with your praise. Heaven knows these Scouts deserve it.
  13. 1 point
    Interesting concept. In fact, they are under my stewardship for just a little while. But then they become these men and women who come around and touch base from time to time.
  14. 0 points
    Badon Powell used this concept as well, and I had one scout who fit this this model. But I agree with qwazse, you don’t know until you try. We had one terrier of a scout that changed his ways when he realized we weren’t taking anymore of his crap and assigned an adult to be at his side every moment of his scouting experience. When he realized we wanted him out, he changed. I still remember the very moment the lightbulb turned on in his head. What we learned later was he was adopted and his parents realized they didn’t want him. We were babysitters to give the parents alone time and this scout knew it. He was rebelling and trying to get negative attention from his parents. But when he realized the troop had reached its limits, he didn’t want to loose scouting. He may have been rebelling, but he liked the program. He is now an Eagle. You just don’t know. The hard part is getting the scouts to except him as part of the patrol. I also had scouts that wouldn’t (couldn’t?) change and eventually quit. Scouting is hard. No two scouts are alike. Throw in a few problem parents and you find yourself loosing sleep. Barry
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