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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/11/18 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    Hello Everyone... Sorry to bring an old post back to life, but I wanted to share an update, and maybe crow a bit. It started out as a slog, but our 2017-2018 program year wound up great. We did lose scouts when we decided to raise dues. I expected that, but I think it was okay. It cleaned out a lot of the people who were really using us as a babysitting service. I feel a little bad to say it, but people find tome and money for the things that are important to them. And scouting just wasn't important to the families that left. But most families, when they saw a budget and a breakdown of what we spend per scout each year, and where it goes... and how it still leaves us short if we only ran on dues, were more than receptive. We had great turn outs and effort for all our fundraising this year. So much so that we are gifting an AED to our local camp, buy the next years neckerchief slide for all scouts, cover the fee for all the adult volunteers going to resident camp this summer, AND, we almost have enough for a new PWD Track. It was amazing to watch the remaining parents go from disinterested to engaged as the year progressed. I stopped all the blah blah at meeting starts... Instead we did a few quick jokes or a skit and then broke into dens. Including the pledge, Oath, Law, and a joke or two, we'd be into dens meetings in 5-10 minutes max. Kids LOVED it. We did have some snafu's as parents had to retrain themselves a bit. All info went out via the facebook page and scoutbook. But eventually it was all good. Now when people say they missed something, they also tell me 'I forgot to check my email'. Awesome. I know you guys said not to worry about JTE, but it turns out that if you focus on running an engaging and active pack... JTE takes care of itself anyway. We hit gold without even thinking about it. And I was kind of amazed. I sat down one morning with lots of coffee and one of my ACMs. We were prepared to take all day to fill out the paperwork. Hah! I'm not sure what was so hard about it... we were done in an hour. We actually had to wait a while for council to get its ducks in a row to finish it. Even with the big drop in membership, getting our leaders trained, and getting kids to more activities more than off set it. I've got a whole list of great stuff we managed to do. And I have to thank you all again here for the great advice. I didn't take all of it, but I took most of it, and it worked... It worked so well, that I'm actually stepping down and leaving the pack! One of the ACMs and myself are restarting a pack that went defunct several years ago in our own town. We'll pull a few kids and leaders with us, but everyone is on board. We've had more parents step up and take on various leadership roles so we won't be leaving gaping holes. They have great systems and people in place now, and even though there's always more that can be done... it's a strong, committed team with supportive engaged parents! So I'm headed to a new pack with my sons and their friends. I'm excited that we'll be doing service projects and activities in our town, for their friends, families, and neighbors. And the town is super excited too. The masonic lodge is sponsoring us. The American Legion has already asked us to march in their parades and help place flags around town and on local graves next year. The town manager wants us to march in the fall festival and sell popcorn and meat sticks afterwards. The Masons are giving us the entire 3rd floor of their building. The principal at the elementary school, the town, the legion, and the fire department have all offered space as well. I look around and see near endless opportunities for service projects. And I'm really hoping that by having a pack right in town again, more would be scouts will be able to join us. What started off as a mountain of problems has become an embarrassment of riches, LOL. Now we'll have two solid packs in our district! Even better... I'm just going to be the ACM in my new pack, and my former ACM is taking over as cubmaster. And 2 of the other leaders coming with us are also joining us us for some more training: We're all 'headed back to Gillwill' this summer! Scouter life is good! Thank you thank you thank you all for your advice and encouragement!
  2. 6 points
    BSA should abandon the new idea of Linked Troops before it gets embedded or distributed further. It's just not going to work and will confuse everyone. Limited resources means linked troops will share resources. Many will want to share schedule, camping, equipment and leaders (as possible). Similar, parents will not want to want to support separate camping, separate meetings, etc. It's the whole idea of "family scouting" is the family can have all their kids in the same scouting unit. Even BSA says linked troops can share troop committees and resources. I'd expect ASMs will be registered in both units too. So, then many linked troops will be setup to have the same schedule, same equipment, same meeting location. The failure point is trying to have 2 SPLs, 2 PLCs and 2 SMs. It won't work. The only way linked troops would succeed is if only one of the troops bows down while the other takes the lead. Example: For the March campout, the girls troop SM will be the lead. The boys troop SM will be teaching MBs. Example: Jan-Jun, the boys troop supplies the SPL and Jul-Dec the girls troop supplies the SPL. Instead, BSA should apply the Cub Scout approach to Boy Scouts. Charter orgs can choose whether to have a co-ed troop or single gender troops. Let the charter orgs have two units if they want single gender troops and a troop for both genders. Patrols could be single gender ... same as the current cub scout model. I fear "linked troops" is just a short term transitional concept that will cause frustration and confusion for everyone. Conversations and planning will be much more simple if we apply the same change to troops that was applied to packs.
  3. 5 points
    So, you believe we should point some blame at the original poster. Might I ask what that will accomplish? I am sure they have enough problems to worry about at the moment without needing anybody to remind them of mistakes that may have been made in the past (the which we can only surmise based on suspicion). Right now, the focus is on how to help the child, not where to place the blame. That is what the OP both wants and needs. I think the most honorable thing to do would be to concentrate on suggestions that will help the family, not expose them. If it's counsel they want, compassion will serve far better than calumny. A scout is helpful, and courteous, and kind. I fail to see what your suggestions are meant to achieve, but I hope they are intended to provide resources for the family and not unearth anything untoward which we have no right to pursue.
  4. 5 points
    My troop went to this camp in PA last year ( I was working at a day Camp) and decided to go this year. My mom is handling summer camp and got a email saying they still need staff. So I was like sure, it’s only two hours away. So 1 week of enjoying Camp has turned into ~8 weeks working at Camp. I will be working in the first year Scout program! I was luckily enough hired the same day we contacted the director.
  5. 5 points
    Ha! This is exactly what happened to me during my Brotherhood ordeal last weekend; I am a Webelos Den Leader, and as it turned out I was the only Cub leader at the entire event, so "Blue Loops" quickly became my common nickname for the duration. And you know what? I felt might happy that I was able to represent the Cub program there! I am the only leader promoting the OA to our CO's Troop, despite the fact that my time is spent with the Cubs as a Webelos Den Leader, so I have plenty of opportunities to support the lodge/chapter by encouraging unit elections, exciting the boys for the program, and attending OA events with them. As for incorporating the OA into my role as a den leader, well, since my Webelos are always asking (then forgetting, then asking again x 100) what all my patches are for, I have many chances to talk about my OA flap and what the organization both means and does. It's something I encourage them to look for and look forward to as I prepare them to become Boy Scouts and animate them towards increasing their "Scout Spirit." When they move up to Boy Scouts, it's something they already know about and are anxious to join. It's never too early; it's never too late! And mind you - I am still single, so I don't have children that I "follow" up through the programs. I am in Scouts because I love young people and will take any opportunity I have to advocate their safe and loving development. So as far as my OA membership goes, it's plainly something that can benefit the curious Scouts with whom I work, at all levels, so I think it's better to simply move forward with it rather than wait for the "right time." The right time is whenever you decide to be better today than you were yesterday!
  6. 4 points
    Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out Get out There is NOTHING to excuse the behavior of abusive leadership, and your FIRST priority is getting your child away from them. The fun activities he may miss, the cost of the trip for which you paid - none of that matters more than his security. Discontinue your relationship with that troop immediately upon his return. I am grateful you know of other troops nearby; many families don't have that easy an option. But that troop is a TRAINWRECK. Uniforms cannot be required at Boards of Review. No leader has a right to justify foul language to children. No adult has any right to degrade, insult, or demean a child, nor his parents for that matter. The catastrophe that is that troop needs to end immediately. Make the calls, take action, and get your son out. Learning from our trials is essential, but learning how to get out of them when we can is just as important.
  7. 4 points
    Wood badge, as with any training, is dependent on the following: 1) The curriculum. Is it a "school" that teaches what it says it teaches? Scouting, values, yes. Camp skills, not so much. Spirit and devotion, yes. People management, maybe. Activities ideas, yes. 2) the Teachers/staff. You may get Baden Powell in carnate, you may get Bozo Clown . Can't predict. Sometimes, the staff are experienced in their topic, sometimes could be better. Depend on the idea that everyone is dedicated and "Doing their Best". 3) The attitude of the Attendees. If you have already had some (a lot?) of management training, you may be bored stiff. If it is all new, you may have the time of your life. Go with an open mind and the idea that "any excuse to go camping is good", and you will not go half wrong. Have fun. Ask questions. 4) Classwork and Homework . Get it done. Work together. Reach out to your Patrolmates. 5) In Wood Badge, you will be asked to design your own "Homework" , your Tickets. Be prepared (!) to name some possible projects in YOUR OWN REGISTERED AREA. This was a surprise to me, as I was then registered as an ASM in my son's Troop, but I helped a lot in Cub Scout Day Camp. Can't do Cub things ! So, I ended up registering as a Commissioner. Commissioners can work in ANY Scout area !. Good luck and have fun..... See you on the trail.
  8. 4 points
    Somebody please stop me if I'm wrong here. But, I was told back in the dark ages, that the whole point of spending all this time and effort learning woodcraft skills was so that we as scouts could go hiking and camping on our own. " but what is they get hurt,lost, or stung? What if they meet a skunk? What if it rains,snows, or hails? So we learned first aid, map and compass, the north star, how to tell poison ivy from Virginia creeper, how to light a fire in the rain, take care of our mates, tie knots in the dark, to suck it up and keep going when we hit a bump in the road. It wasn't to get badges as much as it was to be trusted to go out on our own. As boys growing into men that is what we yearned for. To have short bursts of being on our own . They gradually got longer and longer as we proved we could be trusted . Until when we said that we where going on a 5 day hike the only question the parents asked was " When and where do you need to be picked up?" They were treating us like adults because we had been acting like adults. That is what scouting was . For me, my best mates ,and my sons, but I greatly fear not my grandson. and that is what I am mourning the loss of
  9. 4 points
    I still don't think the attitude thing I was talking about is coming across in the discussion. I witnessed the adults setting the camp on fire by doing something very stupid. The scouts were participating in a different activity on the other side of camp, so they didn't see it. When the scouts learned how the fire was started, "stupid" was mumbled through the group. If the adults are around for the health and safety issues of the scouts, who is there for the adults? The health and safety justification is overused to the point of diluting the real reason adult method is even part of the program. What do you need to personally feel comfortable letting a patrol hike without the presences of adult leaders? If training adults the values of patrol method are to be effective, "safety" has to be at the bottom of list. If that is a challenge, then you aren't ready for a patrol method program. Barry
  10. 4 points
    I disagree the mere presence of adults changes a groups dynamics and how they interact everyones an angel when mom and dads around its how they act when they are not around that determines their character
  11. 4 points
    You need to understand how absurd this statement is. Ideally, we would have four patrols. Each would come with a great plan for the same weekend. One to hike North, the other South, the other East, and the other West. How could I or the SM possibly "be there for the chance that something bad could happen?" Not by limiting each plan to no more than 100 yards from the SM's camp chair and coffee. (FWIW, I don't recall my SM ever having a camp chair.) The PM tells me how: Know the skills of each patrol. That shouldn't be too hard. The cloth on their left pocket and merit badge sash should tell that. Review the plans, suggest revisions if necessary. Make sure they have specific contact information if necessary. Back in my day, thatwould be clear knowledge of every farmer's residence and every ranger's station ... plus the location of every pay-phone, and where the dimes are in each scout's emergency kit. Arrange rendezvous points to touch base with the PLs who may need some extra support (i.e. the ones who aren't quite first class scouts -- concept, not patch). Or send a chaperon if you must (e.g. SPL/ASPL/JASM). Fast forward to the age of cell phones ... this whole process should be even more manageable. In fact, SM and I have hiked to our coffee shop while the boys executed their plan knowing that we were just a phone call away. This should be the standard. The need for "minders" in the immediate vicinity should be the exception -- typically employed while a patrol is still getting its bearings. This, to me, is the quintessential definition of a great SM. Empowering boys by getting them qualified to patrol (verb: the action of traversing a district or beat ... for observation ...).
  12. 4 points
  13. 4 points
    You want teenagers to declare that they are not the center of the Universe? Good luck with that.
  14. 3 points
    This was my main concern about adding girls to the mix (something in the abstract that I support) - that given our fear driven society, the YPT and GTSS changes would be over the top and get in the way. I guess my fear is coming true. Sigh...
  15. 3 points
    Contact the Camp Director, your District Executive, and District Commissioner RIGHT NOW. Next time you talk to your son, tell him to go talk to the senior camp staff (program director, area director, or older staffer) and have him describe the issue and ask for help from the camp director and Council professionals. They SHOULD take him seriously and protect him from further abuse while higher ups deal with the adults. If they don't act that day CALL the council office and DEMAND to talk to council Exec about "Youth Protection and Abuse". Should you not get a response call the new national hotline 1-844-scouts1 (1-844-726-8871) There are SO many things wrong with what you have said it needs outside professional help right away. Good luck.
  16. 3 points
    I think I beat ya to it , @JoeBob and they want people registered so they can get money, not just be a chaperone. :)- Seriously though. @fred johnson started a thread stating what has been said in my neck of the woods since before "Linked troops" was even mentioned: "Separate but Equal" and "Linked Troops" is just a step towards coed.
  17. 3 points
    Hey, as long as "nearby" can be at the other end of an eight mile trail, we're in agreement.
  18. 3 points
  19. 3 points
    Yes, it's about space, but not just physical distance. Patrol method "requires" an attitude of space that represents taking interference away from scouts making decisions based on their personal free thought. The intention of traditional scouting program is to give the scouts the room to make a decision without fear or thought of outside authority (outside the patrol) interfering with judgement. That is the challenge for adult leaders. And it is very challenging. Most adult leaders can't do it. Even fewer parents can do it. It's impossible with families. Barry
  20. 3 points
    I'm not sure I understand your point. Which language are you referring too? I know several scouters (some current, some past) that when looking at the DRP found themselves unable to support it because of their religious beliefs. One of which was a Protestant minister (it was the "grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings" part - and I still don't understand his objection even though he tried to explain it to me. I see nothing in the DRP that isn't compatible with Protestant theology. But I'm not a theologian. Anyone here have a clue?). Another was a Jainist that after reading the compete DRP, resigned as a den leader because the DRP was incompatible with his faith (I met him at a Scout-O-Rama several years ago. He was no longer a registered leader, but still volunteered with his pack as a parent.). I have met a few others that have said the DRP was a problem with their faith. I admit that I have a problem with the implication in the DRP that a non-believer can't really be a good citizen - my faith tells me otherwise. So much for "absolutely nonsectarian".
  21. 3 points
    What I don't get is why anyone feels it necessary to wear the Eagle rank badge as an adult, when there are plenty of opportunities to display your Eagle accomplishment in other ways. There's the square knot (and 2 varieties to choose from if you want to pony up for the NESA Life Member option), Eagle neckerchiefs (again, multiple options), You can throw in an Eagle neckerchief slide if you want to, or wear an Eagle bolo, Eagle belt buckle, if your Council has a special Eagle shoulder patch you can wear that. There are Eagle rings, necklaces, jackets patches, various other patches and emblems, hats, dog tags, walking stick medallions, pins, bumper stickers, keychains, the list goes on and on. When not in uniform you can wear an Eagle t-shirt. Or you can wear it under your uniform for even more Eagle-ness. If someone really feels the need to show off their Eagle accomplishment beyond the youth rank badge, there are more than enough ways to do it. Insisting on wearing a youth badge on an adult uniform is just unnecessary, and frankly a distraction from youth achievement. There is a reason that square knots are small and understated. This is a youth organization, and we celebrate youth accomplishments above all others. Wear your square knot and go drop a paycheck on all of the Eagle paraphernalia you want at the Scout Shop. You can literally cover yourself (and your car and your desk) with Eagle stuff.
  22. 3 points
    Yes, let’s please keep it to neckerchiefs. Not every thread needs to be turned into an ideological discussion.
  23. 2 points
    Hi folks! Please welcome @desertrat77 and @MattR as the newest members of the moderator team at SCOUTER.com! As a reminder, these moderators are volunteering their cheerful service for a quality experience around our virtual campfire. They aren't forfeiting their roles as members of the forum, they are just stepping up to help keep the area clean, and remind us all to remain Scoutlike in our interactions. Be kind, be friendly... and thankful to the full team!
  24. 2 points
    Rather then emphasis on the Cubs… recognize the Chartered Organization with a certificate or plaque presentation from the Pack or District. Do this at an already scheduled event Pack Meeting, Blue & Gold Dinner, etc rather add another event and increase the time demands on people. Be sure to arrange write up in the appropriate newsletters, bulletins and newspaper. Keep any insignia or neckerchief within BSA rules which might preclude a neckerchief for Cub Scouts. As the budget permits, a practical memento would be pack numerals with veteran bar (cost $6-$8) https://www.scoutshop.org/three-digit-custom-unit-numeral-with-veteran-bar-10413.html or the Anniversary Bar ($1.29) https://www.scoutshop.org/75-year-veteran-unit-bar-emblem-107.html.
  25. 2 points
    I still don't understand why the need for a DRP. We don't have a DCP (Declaration of Citizenship Principles) and the Oath also states Duty to Country. We don't have a DHP (Declaration of Helping Principle) and the oath states we are to help other people at all times coupled with "do a good turn daily" and "be prepared". Or we could just recognize that the DRP, DCP, DHP or any others are just redundant.
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