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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/08/18 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    Follow-up: Assembly was this last weekend. My son went through Ordeal and did great IMHO. The old SM was there but didn't interact with him at all so that was perfect. Best thing of all, my son came home super jazzed about OA and Scouting. So it was a great outcome.
  2. 6 points
    Focus on the first meeting, the first month and the first camp out. Everything will seem clearer after that. Start by focusing on the first meeting. Get the PL Handbook and SPL Handbook to plan the meeting. Basic meeting is Opening, Patrol Corners, Program and Closing. I typically ask the SM to play the part of the SPL (or PL if you wish) for the first meeting only to set an example and get the momentum started. Opening- SPL delegates scouts to run a very basic opening. Pledge, Oath, Law, Prayer, and quick Announcements. Patrol Corners - PL runs through a basic agenda of old business and new business. Since you don't have old business with your first meeting, your new business is announcing first camp out details; when, where, theme. Very basic. Program - Practice a skills for the camp out: setting up and taking down tents. Pretty much it for the first meeting. Game - Typically something that requires them to run and move around. Closing - retire the flag. A few announcements by the SPL, SM minute (practice this so you can get close to a minute) and dismissed. Of course the meeting will get more complex, but we are just trying to get the troop moving. Spend the next 2 or 3 meetings getting ready for the camp out; packing, food, clothing. Don't worry about advancement skills, they will come in time. Learn how to set up and break camp. Learn how to light a stove and set up washing tubs for KP. First camp out is basically the same thing. For program, teach skills they will need for camping and use those skills that weekend, like learning to start fires. Give the scouts the SPL and PL Handbooks and ask them to use them for the next meeting, camp out and other activities. Plan a planning meeting about three weeks in the future to plan the themes for the next three months of meetings and camping. Planning can get very complicated, so keep it simple, simple, simple and specific. Month two can be something like hiking and using the meetings to teach basic navigation, first-aid and proper hiking clothes. Then camp at a park where the scouts can do about a five mile hike with a lunch break in the middle. Simple program, but a lot for a new troop. Yet, it is very scouting. Make sure the troop meetings have at least 20 minutes of a FUN game. The campouts should have at least two hours of free time on Saturday. Don't rush Sunday, get up and cook a meal, church service (10 mins), an hour of advancement, a game, and break camp. Try to get home around or after 1:00 PM. Many troops hurry Sunday to get home early. I don't know way, but it hurrys the camp out and takes the fun out of Sunday. I advise new troops to elect the SPL and PL about every four months because it's a lot of work and burns out young scouts fast. Scouts this age don't enjoy leadership, so I let them do it only long enough to develop the program. I'm not a fan of cycling scouts through leadership for the experience because it is more often than not a negative experience. Leadership is for the maturity of older scouts. Many don't agree, but that is my experience. However, new troops don't have older scouts and need to develop a program for scouts to follow. The key is the adults taking up only enough of the slack to keep the scouts from burning out. And then stepping back as the scouts mature. Scouts will be mature by the next meeting and next camp out, so step back and let them do it. The adults aren't really leaders, they are mentors and guides. They should practice patience and waiting for the scouts to approach them. One way to understand that idea is for the adults is never to raise their sign up to quiet the scouts. Adults wait for the scouts to initiat the sign. If an adult has the floor for announcements or training and they need the scouts' attention, the adult asked the senior scout or leader to get the groups attention for the adult. That tends to remind the adults their place in a scout run troop. Ok, that is a lot to start. Barry
  3. 4 points
    A Note, from a Moderator i still remember my Mom being my Den Mother. I remember a ton of old magazines we had in our hall closet, to support activities. I still remember The Law of the Pack, and later I remember learning the Scout Law. I remember being told as a Boy Scout the Scout Law was a positive description of who I should be. Boys like clubs. Boys like “no girls allowed” clubs. 8 year old boys aren’t always ready to mix with eight year old girls. Sometimes, a boy will get, shall we say, boisterous in telling that to a girl. may I submit a good path to deal with this kind of boisterousness is to simply ask the boy to recite the Scout Law, and then ask him if he was being friendly, courteous and kind? 99+ % of the time, he won’t be able to hold eye contact as he says yes. We don’t always need the big guns of youth protection. Sometimes, we need to remember Akela is there to show the way. YIS, ICS, IFAW, John
  4. 4 points
    Hey all, I attended a Course Directors Conference recently. I'm a backup course director for a NYLT course in 2019. One of the Pros from Irving was there so I was able to ask some of our favorite topics of conversation. I've figured we mostly had answers to these questions, but it's good to hear it straight out of the horses mouth so to speak. I've summarized his answers below. I was impressed by him. I was surprised National sent a pro from Irving out to Midwest on a Saturday, and he was at the event all day, and being available for 1 on 1 face-time. He had some real enthusiasm and energy. He was unapologetic about the changes to include girls, which was mostly preaching to the choir at a NYLT/Wood Badge CDC at this point. He said there have been about 40,000 girls into Cub Scouts this year. I'm not sure how that lines up with other numbers being reported. He also mentioned the program as "Scouts BSA" a few times, so I'm not sure when that nomenclature is going to take over. Q1. Asked about how the BSA decided on the two year separation rule in the recently updated YPT. 1 a.: Said the rule was created based on data provided by law enforcement, schools, incident reports from councils and information collected during calls to the Scouts First Hotline. I figured that was the case, so I'm glad there's some statistical backing to it. Q2. Changes to Wood Badge Syllabus, will those of us who took WB21 be expected to retake the new course? 2a. No. The changes are an update to the WB21 course, not a total rewrite. The material in the current WB is still useful and valid training, they're just tweaking it a bit. Other interesting tidbit is that there is an updated version of the "Time to Tell" videos in the works. I remember watching those back in 2005. He stressed to us that the next big focus of YPT is preventing Peer to Peer abuse between Scouts. National is pretty concerned about it. Most of our training and discussion about YPT focused on that peer to peer abuse aspect (maybe because we've had over a decade to figure out the whole adult to youth protection aspects of YPT.) Overall, the CDC was well done, and since it was my first one, I found it informative and helpful. I'm not sure I'll feel the same if I have to keep going to more of them in the future.
  5. 3 points
    Tough love time (Hawk's already heard this pep talk) ... We parents and unit and district and council scouters can beat drums for these one or two girls here and there and never find a finger-hold to get a BSA4G troop up and running. The responsibility for starting a patrol then a troop, rests squarely with the youth. These girls need to dig really deep and ask other girls if they'd like to hike and camp together every month. This probably means talking to strangers ... every girl in their class ... every sister of a boy scout ... even if she is a couple of years older. Once they have their gang of five, they need to list all of the potential sponsors in their community (every church, every fire hall, every knitting group) and knock on a lot of doors, until they find someone with the brains to realize that their good name would benefit from underwriting such girls. Then, they go down the list of adults of highest integrity who they know and trust, approach them and say, "Have we got an offer for you -- forty hours a month for the time of your life. " They keep asking until they have at least two -- at least one being female-- of SM material and a few committee. They may fail -- in some districts failure will be inevitable. But, if they fail, they will know it was not for lack of trying. If they succeed, they will have so much to be proud of, down to the first CoH where they hand out those Scout ranks. Parents, put away your lawnmowers. It's time for these 11 year old girls to shine.
  6. 3 points
    Nothing stopping said parents from making that plan and putting it into action.
  7. 3 points
    Hi @shortridge. I was a scoutmaster for 12 years. The real question here, if I may be so bold, is will your wife be okay with all the hours? Scoutmaster conferences, eagle projects, packing for said trips, going to blue and golds, training, just spending time figuring out how to crack some nut. Those are some of the things you've forgotten. I'm sure there are more. Some of this has to do with the size of your troop as well as how many adults will actually help. We estimated 1 hour per month per scout in the troop is what all of the adults put in together. How much of that will people help with? How good are you at convincing others to help out. I didn't do so well at that but a bunch of adults did step up. However, there seem to be fewer helping out. And yet, I am really glad I did it. BTW, I didn't answer your question. I didn't really want to know.
  8. 3 points
    Scouts has the advantage over public schools, in that it is an activity that the family has chosen of their own free will. In Girl Scouts, at least, anyone registering has to agree to abide by the girl scout law -- for the girls being registered by their parents, the parent agrees on their behalf. (Really -- there is a checkbox on the registration website that you have to check off, or you cannot register. ) That is one of the beauties of refering the kid back to the scout law . The adults' whims are not the standard of behaviour; the scout law is the standard of behaviour. And you know that the parent has already agreed to having the kid follow the scout law.
  9. 2 points
    So lots of questions. How many girls? Will you have your own equipment or share with the boys unit? Will you be meeting at the same time/place or separately? Take this for what it's worth, I restarted a troop with 6 boys. It was winter so I spent the first month or two working with the boys on simple scout skills, setting up tents, setting up tents in the dark, setting up the kitchen (we mostly plop camped at that point), hooking up the stove, cooking, fire starting, woods tools, shopping lists, menu planning, etc. Plus a lot of team building games and working on patrol identify. It was adult directed at the beginning but started to work towards the boys working on their own. It was imperfect but what we had access to use. Certainly it helped us get ready for that first camping trip and for our first summer camp. Assuming you have good relationships with the boys unit, I would suggest not using the boys troop ASMs to teach scout skills, rather get the boys unit Instructors and/or older scouts to do so. That will help set the youth leadership direction. Maybe ask if your PL(s) can observe the boy unit's PLC meetings. Unless you have 15 - 20 girls joining your new unit, skip the SPLs and ASPLs. Maybe even if you have that many skip those positions. A patrol needs a Patrol Leader, but not an SPL. I'd argue two or three patrols probably don't need an SPL. As they get familiar with the equipment and structuring outings some of that will shake out. Introduce other leadership positions as the unit needs them. Dig out the Troop Program Resources for your first few months. It will build a framework around meetings for your new PL(s).
  10. 2 points
    There is no "higher honor;" the awards you mention are all nice but you should be looking for an award that fits their accomplishments, not whichever is the "most prestigious" or "higher" award. Also remember that most of these awards are offered by your local council upon meeting specific qualifications. One is not "nominated" for the awards; the candidate must meet certain criteria which are reviewed by a council officer or committee. Your Cubmaster may be qualified to earn the Unit Leader Award of Merit; you can google the application and check if he does. He may also qualify for the Scouter's Key Award or the Scouter's Training Award for Cub Scouting; again. google the applications and see if he qualifies. If he does, the form needs to be completed exactly and honestly, signed by the appropriate leaders, and then submitted to your local council office. Your Webelos Leader may qualify for the Den Leader Training Award; the requirements are very specific so go over the application carefully to make sure he meets all the terms of the award. He may also qualify for the Scouter's Training Award for Cub Scouting. In either case, you may need to talk with your leaders to verify that all conditions have been met before submitting the signed form to your council office. I am not familiar with your "District Rattler Award," but as it is clearly awarded at the district level you will have to look into it yourself to see if he qualifies. You are fortunate to have such committed leaders; hopefully some of the awards mentioned will fit the nature of their efforts. And remember, even if they don't qualify, you can always find other means to honor them that are just as meaningful. The Scout Store sells numerous lovely plaques, or you can even get a local craftsman to create something. Posters or cards signed by the Scouts and parents are always meaningful, as are nice sculptures or framed mementos. The further outside the box you look, the more meaningful your ideas may become. I hope some of this helps!
  11. 2 points
    @dbautista5, welcome to the forums. As a former Crew Advisor, I can tell you that venturing is not the lead to follow. I only say that because they come in all over the map with a vague vision of where to go. So the interest survey that we give those late teens is more of a Chinese menu of take it or leave it. Here's how I lay this all out from comparing my scouting experience with that of friends and strangers (including present company): A troop forms with a built-in vision: the pinnacle experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates. Achieving that vision needs someone to qualify to take their mates hiking and camping: the first class scout. That person needs mates : a patrol. And those mates need to see that person as their leader. The patrol needs to master skills that will make them first class scouts. The skills need to be laid out in an organize fashion with benchmarks for mastery ... that's the advancement method. The skills need to be applied: the outdoors method. So, the most important leadership position -- especially in a new troop of just one or two patrols -- is the patrol leader. As the troop accumulates gear that patrols will share, it will need a quartermaster, as it accumulates patrols, it will need patrol leaders. As they have a bunch of first class scouts who want to continue rank advancement but thriftily share literature, the troop will need a librarian ... but for now focus on building a vision for the scouts coming through your door. Do they know who they want to be their mates? Do they have an idea of who's closest to qualifying to take their troop hiking and camping? Your advantage is that well-trained girl scouts understand getting organized and making plans. They also know a lot of songs, how to have fun. So chances are, these kids can pull themselves together. What you need, IMHO, are places for them to go. Locations to hike to. Community leaders to visit. People to serve. Nice camping spots. And, adult leaders to fall in line with the options your giving these scouts.
  12. 2 points
    Patrol method is where Scouts grow from the practice of making ethical and moral decisions. Growth comes from values learned by applying the the Scout Law and Oath in their decisions and the results of their decisions. That only works if the Scouts are given the independence to fail. How will adults give the Scouts the independence to fail if they aren’t willing to accept failure as a requirement for learning? They can’t even decide if bad behavior should be reported. Bad behavior is an opportunity, not a dilemma. Barry
  13. 2 points
    Sadly, I've heard your view from scouts too. Add also discussions from them on why many different types of laws need to change. Laws on everything from liability to the oldest profession laws. ... I've always been amazed what we can overhear as adult leaders when you are good at blending into the background.
  14. 2 points
    I have never really considered myself overly religious, but do consider myself to be quite reverent. I rarely attend church now, I have attended regularly in spurts over the years, but not now. I work with people of several faiths and beliefs and respect their customs. I am not closed to their thoughts or actions. I respect their needs to pray, say grace before meals, attend services,etc. I participate in such activities when I am with them but not usually at home with family. It was not the way I was raised or my husband. The Scout Law says be reverent not be religious. There really is a difference. I know several religious folks, very religious folks that aren't the least bit reverent. They have no use for anyone that isn't their religion, and they mock others for their beliefs. I'd rather be reverent than religious any day. The world needs way more reverence and maybe a little less religion. Or at least we need religions to teach its okay to be reverent.
  15. 2 points
    This is an exceedingly wise decision.
  16. 2 points
    I actually found this solution to be much better than what was being asked. There was pressure to shorten the time period between ranks or even give credit for work done before joining Scouts. They are offering to this to boys as well and are not changing requirements (other than max age)... plus you have to earn this within 24 months so it is not for those who want to abuse this exception. I would have been completely happy with no modifications and I’m surprised they are allowing the exception, but at least they didn’t follow some of the suggestions that would have weakened the rank.
  17. 1 point
    Hello Scouters! I am positioned to be the new Scoutmaster for our girls youth Troop starting next year and am honored to have been approached by our Committee to fill this role! I'm trying to wrap my head around getting program started for these new youth. As much as I want the Troop to be youth lead, I also realize that the youth will be starting with little to no scouting experience. I believe a couple of the girls have been with GSA, most have not, and have only experienced Scouting through their brothers. We will be sharing a Charter, Committee and ASMs. I should be able to leverage most of our existing ASMs to help teach Scout skills to the new youth (EDGE method) but ultimately I want to get to the point where the girls are doing this for themselves, similar to the boy's Troop. My questions are related to experiences with starting brand new Troops. How did you initially plan program? Did you just arbitrarily plan out the first few months and then let the youth start planning thereafter? What youth leadership positions do you consider absolutely necessary? Obviously SPL and PL. Troop Guide / Instructor ?? Do we have to have an ASPL? I'm sure I'll have more questions as we get closer to launching. We're having our first recruiting event in a couple of weeks so I'm sure these questions and more will come up. Thank you all for any insight you can provide! Yours in Scouting, Denise Bautista
  18. 1 point
    Regardless of religion, they’ll be able to transfer over the same as @fred johnson described. Just let them know what documentation you accept as authoritative for their advancement records. They should also know what your dues are (LDS troops don’t have them).
  19. 1 point
    Here's another view of @Eagledad's observation of failure. All of the YPT reporting rules are dependent on what the offender did. I think you also have to look at how the target of that offense took it. Back to the girl being picked on by the cub, if the girl was upset but an adult noticed it soon enough to talk to her and validate her concerns that what the boy said was wrong, then this doesn't need to escalate to involving the council. The girl learns some kids should be ignored. Hopefully the boy learns that he's wrong, or at least that's his last warning. Problems should be opportunities to show scouts how to solve them. I think this is what Eagledad means. As soon as the council is brought in there's not much room for anyone to learn. There won't be scouts shaking hands, apologizing, accepting that apology, and moving on. Rather, everyone learns that any infraction is a huge deal that the scouts can't be trusted to handle.
  20. 1 point
    Presumably it’s the asymmetric way that women can supervise boys but men cannot supervise girls.
  21. 1 point
    Do you have evidence this is really happening or are you just catastrophizing? I agree that scouts are scouts and should have all the same access to services regardless of gender. Any council that actually does otherwise should be called out. But creating a worst case scenario and then demanding everybody get in line is unhelpful. I don't agree that anybody is diminished if a particular camp runs boy-only, girls-only, and mixed sessions. In fact I celebrate it. The more camps we have offering options for all scouts the better off we'll be.
  22. 1 point
    A 16 year old boy who just joined knew how much time he had and if he could or could not earn Eagle in that time. It would be his choice and I don't think more than a few in the country, if any at all. The real point is that National it's allowing those who were not in the program before mostly because they were not allowed, to have 24 months to earn eagle. It is simply giving them the opportunity. There will always be those who just miss a deadline or cutoff date. In my crew there are two girls best friends that do everything together, one turns 18 in January the other mid February. So one has the opportunity to go for the extension and her Eagle while the other does not. I also know twin Eagle Scouts that missed out on getting Palms because of when their Eagle boards were even though they had plenty of merit badges but did not qualify for the retroactive Palms because they turned 18 just a couple of weeks before August 1st 2017
  23. 1 point
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian
  24. 1 point
    It exists, and we created it. Let me provide some examples. Pinewood derby - when the winning car comes from the kid whose family has the tool set at home to build the perfect racer or art object. They get the awards, while the kids who actually did it himself goes home discouraged. The next year, other parents learn the rules of the game and take over. Campsite pioneering projects - where the camp rewards the 2:00 AM dads, while the Troop of boys whose gateway is a lashed collection of random poles and lines (but with proper knots) does not place. The next year, adult leaders either take charge - or the Troop votes to not bother with that part of the contest. Eagle projects - where someone at the Council starts adding requirements until the only way to get approved is to have a parent used to running RFPs, procurement, or large-scale construction projects involved. Eagle being marketed as the most important thing in the world means that parents quickly realize the only path forward is to take control. I can give similar observations for science fair, the dreaded California Mission projects, or other ways the school issue homework that can only be completed to the teacher's satisfaction when parents become heavily involved. We can be the ones in the way, insisting on only working with the youth. BUT. We also must ensure that what we require is appropriate for the youth we are mentoring, and that we are not adding to the requirements in such a way as to make it impossible (or improbable) that a youth can complete on their own.
  25. 1 point
    I have, and is missing coed training. I called National thinking I had taken the wrong course (it also has same number as Boy Scout YPT, Y01). But that was the correct course as it now covers all programs. I don’t think there are any additional modules unless they decide the current set does serve their purpose. I was/am surprised the was such a difference between old Venturing YPT and new all encompassing version.