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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/16/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    That's ridiculous. I run recruiting for my Pack and I'd quit the job in an instant if my district wanted that much control over how we recruit. Guess I'm lucky. My DE showed up at our last recruiting night and the only time he talked to me was to just say that he was impressed with what we were doing. Beyond that he watched from the sidelines and that's exactly where a district rep belongs at a recruitment event.
  2. 3 points
    """Yes, the OA is a service organization. But there was a camaraderie in the work. Sometimes that "cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." resulted in turning it to fun or even turning the task into a joke to make it more bearable. Sadly that is missing. When I was CA 10+ years ago. I suggested promoting the fun stuff as well as doing our own. We sent folks to fellowship and conclave. We had fun meetings and even did some special trips. Our work load didn't decrease, in fact we did a few extra community service projects. OA was getting back on track for a while in my neckof the woods. Eagle94-A1""" This isn't just OA, this is Patrol Method. I took this quote from the OA discussion, but Eagle94 is really hitting the idealism of the brothers in the patrol as well. The objective of the patrol is for the scouts Practice struggling, and come together with ideas so often that they can eventually read each others mind. They reach a place that being in the patrol isn't about scouting together, camping together, cooking together or even competing together, it's about being together. One poster commented that Arrowmen in his area didn't enjoy the program because it service wasn't fun. But that means they haven't come together as brothers. They were simply doing a task they were assigned. When the scouts start organizing activities to serve together, then the weighted task are easy, even fun. The 4 Steps of Team Development are Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. The key step there is Storming because that is where the team members (Patrol Members) start to hold each other accountable for doing their part. It's called Storming because the members push back and forth until actions of humility bring balance. Humility is not a natural human action of young males because it exposes them to harm. Pride is their natural reaction because it's raises a barrier that protects them. The barrier also prevents the clay shaping bonding that forms a productive team. The members of a productive team develop a trust with the other members where they can let their guard down. Human instinct is to hold your weaknesses close to you. Once you build the trust with the other members of the team, a relationship builds where the members not only enjoy being with the team, but also liking themselves more as well. Team members use your best skills, and that feel pretty cool. So, how do we get the patrols to push to and through Storming part of the patrol method. Well, the more they struggle, they more they have to rely on the team the relieve the struggle. Competition is a really good method of applying stress into a team. But any struggle works. I found High Adventure Crews typically go through the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing steps in just a few days because the trek is compact with struggles. Most High Adventures are both physically and mentally stressful through most of each day. There is very little relief until after the evening meal. Takes about 3 days to reach storming, then the rest of the trek to reach Performing. Crews are pretty bonded by the end of a trek. The natural leaders will stand out and the rest of the team does their part to support the goals and vision of the team. Most scouts of a crew never loose that bond even after they break up after the trek. I believe that preparing meals is the most stressful activity of a patrol on a normal monthly campout. Many troops like to make meals as easy as possible because there is so much stress. Pop Tarts for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and canned spaghetti for dinner with the adults cooking Sunday breakfast as the scouts break camp. Instead, encourage the patrols cooks healthy hearty breakfasts, hot lunches and complex hot dinners. Not only should they cook Sunday breakfast, but prepare lunch as well. Why are troops in so much of a hurry Sunday? Building teams takes time, troops should be using as much time as they can get. I also encourage competition as much as possible. Inspections are a wonderful application of stress because they forces the scouts to keep a neat campsite. While two scouts are cooking, the rest of the team has the task of cleaning up the campsite. A tent mate may have to role up his partners sleeping bag because he is busy with KP. Time is the Scoutmasters best tool for creating stress. When a patrol has less than an hour to get up, cook, clean up and get camp ready for inspection, they will generally come to troop assembly late until the come together as a team. I love "Time". I used it a lot. To build a team, the adults must push a program that forces the members of the team to function together. But most important, the program should apply enough stress and struggle to force the team to hold each other accountable. Once the members start lowering their guard with humility and accepting accountability, then they start to bond through trust. I enjoy watching mature patrols because their is no limits to their goals and abilities. Like the mature OA team, mature patrols are naturally servant oriented because they outwardly act toward the rest of the troop they way the act toward each other. No wonder new young scouts are naturally attracted to them. These patrols not only make hard work look easy, they also make it look fun. It's hard for the adults at first to push a program that challenges scouts to the point of storming because they believe the hostile actions toward each other are bad behavior. Truth is the Scout Law guides how to behave in stressful situations. Adults want scouts to feel that stress often so they can learn how to control their actions. As the adults guide the scouts to use humility in their behavior, they will quickly cross the line to Norming. And then it gets fun from there. I know, but I was bored with all the other discussions. So, I started one on a subject that is fun for me. Not that they aren't good discussions, they are. I'm just adding a little variety. Hope you don't mind. Barry
  3. 3 points
    You're going to need about 50 scouts to do this over the course of the year. With 40 scouts between the pack & troop, you'll probably want to ask each scout to sign up for 1 or 2 spots. That's not an awful burden to help fund the pack. But, I think my real question would be - do you want to do this? As I see it, your CO is basically asking you all to be more involved in the CO's success. We as Scouters are often commenting how uninvolved the COs are in our units. This strikes me as an opportunity to be more engaged with the CO. That can be a very good thing. My recommendation would be that you think of this as an opportunity to do regular service for your CO. Discuss with your leaders if they want to have an ongoing service project with the CO. Make it less about the money and more about the service and about being part of the CO's community. If you all decide to do it, I'd have an honest discussion with the head of the CO. Basically, explain to him/her how doing something like this monthly will become a significant task for you. Make sure he/she realizes that it will take some hard work on everyone's part to mobilize families (most of who are not members of the CO) to volunteer like this. Make sure that this is what he/she really wants you to do. I've found that sometimes these things seem better on paper that in reality and that often once people understand the real cost - they change their mind.
  4. 3 points
    I was a Cub Scout earning AOL and a Boy Scout briefly in the early to mid 80s. We didnt have siblings tagging along nor did we have sisters doing the same stuff we were but not getting credit. So the girls have always been there reasoning has not been a convincing factor for me. I was against girls in Cub Scouts and Boy... Uhhh Scouts BSA. What's the logically next step for someone with my views on the subject?? Yep, I had a lenghtly discussion with my CM about laying groundwork for a female Troop in our area. My daughter is a 5th grader this year and a member in another national scouting organization. The have been working on their drawing badge. <eye roll> My daughter and one other girl want to camp and do outdoor things but no one else in the Troop wants to do those activities. So, they make posters and stuff at their meetings. With my training and experience I almost feel obligated to create the opportunity for my daughter and what I assume are other interested girls to have the scout experience they want.
  5. 3 points
    This June will be my 50th year as an Arrowman. When I was elected there was a formula based on the number of active scouts in a troop. If you had 5 scouts you could potentially elect 1 person; 6 - 14 could elect 2; 15 - 24 would allow up to 3 to be elected; 25 - 34 meant up to 4, and so on. This meant that a troop with 40 active scouts and 10 of those scouts met the requirement for election could only elect a maximum of 5 scouts. Those who met the requirements, including SM approval, would be listed alphabetically, and each scout would number his ballot 1 - 5 and list up to 5 names in order of preference. The election team would then tally the ballots, giving scouts 5 points for each ballot they were listed number one on, 4 for second, and on down the line. The 5 scouts with the highest point totals were elected, the other 5 on the ballot were not. Fifty years ago the First Class requirement also had just a little bit of flex to it, in that a scout could be Second Class at the time of election, but must achieve First Class rank within 6 months and prior to Ordeal. There was also a method for electing Eagle Scouts without it affecting the unit quota. I would have no issue at all seeing the Order reinstitute a quota system, rather than everyone who is eligible and gets at least half the votes is elected. I think we would see more interest at the troop level in becoming a member if it was tougher to be elected. Yes, we do frequently see OA members working; service is a core part of our identity after all. We all need to do a better job of letting scouts know about all the fun things that take place at conclaves, NOAC, and yes, even on service weekends.
  6. 2 points
    Much harder for all scouts period. I'm always surprised by the major difference of difficulty of the eagle merit badges. Some are significant work. Some are almost automatic.
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    I wore this patch on my uniform as a youth from probably 93-97, only taking it off to put on the JLT patch. Over those years I had pretty constant requests to trade it or sell it. To this day I think it's the coolest patch I've ever seen, although my opinion may be slightly biased. 😁 I check eBay for these periodically, and there are plenty of Allamuchy patches up for sale, but never this one. If anyone has one or ever sees one up for sale, I'd be interested in picking up an extra.
  9. 2 points
    My dad was an ASM and went to summer camp my first two years. I saw him at mealtimes and sometimes not even then. He had to have been anxious as heck when skinny shrimpy me did the mile swim and the Wilderness Survival overnight, but never showed it!
  10. 2 points
    So, if I understand that statement, any Sea Scout can earn a merit badge as long as they have First Class rank. They do not need to be part of a Scouts, BSA troop.
  11. 2 points
    From the back page of the Brotherhood Ceremony 1949. Song of the Scouts. by Edwin Markham We are the boys of the helping hand.Banded together for the good of all; We cheer the steps of the ones that stand,And we lift the ones that fall. Our feet are willing, our hearts are light,And we take the road with a cherry song; For we are the friends of every right,And the foes of every wrong . Soldiers are we of the nobler warsThat great souls fight for the common good; We follow the call of the morning stars,In a knightly brotherhood.
  12. 2 points
    Yes, the OA is a service organization. But there was a camaraderie in the work. Sometimes that "cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." resulted in turning it to fun or even turning the task into a joke to make it more bearable. Sadly that is missing. When I was CA 10+ years ago. I suggested promoting the fun stuff as well as doing our own. We sent folks to fellowship and conclave. We had fun meetings and even did some special trips. Our work load didn't decrease, in fact we did a few extra community service projects. OA was getting back on track for a while in my neckof the woods.
  13. 2 points
    I've seen this type of comment before. Some people seem to be operating under the impression they are subservient to the DE/District reps. They are in no position to dictate how you run your Pack events, or whether you are allowed to speak. Don't invite them to JSN, problem solved.
  14. 2 points
    Forty two years ago.... We mostly worked. As @MikeS72 well said, it was still fun, even the work weekends. Conclaves and the '79 NOAC were enjoyable. Looking back, I think the prime motivator for me was OA camaraderie, rather than an emphasis on fun. Quiet pride. To make the cut at the troop level, complete a difficult ordeal, and associate with like-minded honor campers whose outlook was "give the us the tough jobs", that to me was more important than fun. To be around those types of scouts and scouters made me strive to be a better camper and leader. Taking on the dirty jobs that no one else wanted to do became a habit that helped me quite a bit in adult life.... "...seek to preserve a cheerful spirit, even the midst of irksome tasks and weighty responsibilities...." It's amazing how often I still remind myself of these words. The OA could readopt the old criteria. If it wanted to.
  15. 2 points
    Funny. The witch hunt for a 'Secret Society' has created a secret society. Inito
  16. 2 points
  17. 2 points
    Safety pin. Or look on Ebay for an pre-1979 set of DC cords. Those actually had a pin built into them since the uniform did not have epaulets yet. My cousin gave me his cords.
  18. 2 points
    You mean a Brotherhood of Scouting honor campers? Who exemplify the Oath and Law in their daily lives? What a novel idea! (Sarcasm mode off) I think there are three main ways to change the Order back to a highly esteemed organization . One change the election criteria. The main focus from the order to the troop should be " We want your best both in skills and character. " not " We accept anyone with a first class badge and one summer camp under his belt." Two. Make the Ordeal a real challenge. Have elongomats who know what the tests represent and can explain their importance to the candidates. .And if a candidate clearly refuses to abide by the rules, we need to have the ability to politely boot him out. ( Oy vey! The stories I could tell) Three. We need to do more to help scouting than set up and tear down summer camps. We need to: run local training for junior leaders, help out troops who are dying, or just starting up, staff camporees, offer some semi high adventure to the local troops (50 miler?) In short we need to be more than a group with colorful flaps who main focus is electing and indicting the maximum number of new members so that we can say " Our numbers are increasing, so everything is all right" Is it? Is it really? Oldscout. (Mikemossin Wanachk) Ps: and you are quite right National doesn't have a clue.
  19. 1 point
  20. 1 point
    At the Scouts BSA level, you need to be EXTREMELY careful with the tagalongs. I've encountered major issues with "Family Scouting." I left a troop over the issue, and the troop is reversing their 'family friendly" policy because it was causing so many problems.
  21. 1 point
  22. 1 point
    I go back over 40 years in the OA. The voting procedure before this current unlimited voting was based on how many scouts were officially on the ballot (nominated). I could be wrong, but I remember something like: if you had 2 nominated, you had 1 vote; 3 nominated, 2 votes; 4 nominated, 2 votes; 5 nominated, 3 votes; or something like that. And is it still that a scout had to have at least a simple majority to become a candidate? Still 50% plus 1? In other words, half of the votes did NOT gain you a place as a candidate. And all of the scouts voting were supposed to be "active" scouts in their troop? I also remember the scoutmaster (me in this case) saying that you didn't have to vote for anyone if that was your choice. I reminded them that they saw all of these nominated scouts in action, not me, and had more knowledge of a scout's honor. Unless it has been changed, remember that the scoutmaster has to approve these scouts before their name goes on the ballot. I think it was listed as " scoutmaster's approval." I also made sure that a scout understood what the OA was about, and he needed to approve his own nomination. I've had some scouts over the years not want their name in nomination. I've also heard of parents having to approve the scout's nomination as they knew their son's busy schedule. I never went that far. sst3rd
  23. 1 point
    Our Council Scout Shop had the new ScoutsBSA girl handbook at last weekend's University of Scouting. In addition to changing the cover (kind of glittery) and the pictures/pronouns used, there are a few things added in specific to female hygiene.
  24. 1 point
    Black Hebrew Israelites (aka Black Hebrews, African Hebrew Israelites, and Hebrew Israelites) do not think they are Jews. They think they are descendants of the Hebrews and Israelites of the Bible. Some apparently believe that they are the ONLY descendants of the Biblical people, and that the Jews of today are not. Some of them are hate groups, some are not. Obviously this group that was involved in this incident is a hate group.
  25. 1 point
    A couple of weeks ago, I ran across this great blog called Scouting Rediscovered, which is run by an Eagle Scout who has dedicated a considerable amount of time to poring over seminal writings from Scouting's past (particularly those of B-P, GBB, and John Thurman) in an effort to foster a return to the sources of Scouting. His series on "Keystones of a Scout: The Ten Virtues that Make a Scout" and "Traditional Scouting 101" are particularly exemplary. Anyway, just thought I'd pass this resource along for anyone who hasn't yet seen it, as I think his philosophy of Scouting will resonate with many who post here. The guy definitely deserves the traffic!