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  1. 3 points
    I've got a request for the moderators: How about a subforum on "Practical advice for launching a girls Scouts BSA troop" under the "Open Discussion - Program" forum. We've currently got a couple of good discussions going: this one ("Linked Troop Mission Statement") and also "New Scout Troop" that would fit there already. And I imagine there will be more in the upcoming months. And it would help people looking for advice be able to find this good advice more easily.
  2. 3 points
    It's not just a BSA problem, it's a societal problem. Our over arching desire to protect children is actually damaging them, mentally and physically. Lukianoff and Haidt talk about it in their article, and now book, "The Coddling of the American Mind." It's the basis of Leonore Skenazy's Free Range Kids movement. You're right, the BSA should absolutely be fighting against the trend. But, it's risky business to say "Let your kid join our movement! They're going to be challenged emotionally and physically. They'll hear things they disagree with. They'll get into arguments. They'll take risks and they might get hurt. One weekend a month you'll say goodbye on Friday night and not hear from your child again until Sunday morning!" It's a lot easier to say Family Scouting and give in to the zeitgeist.
  3. 3 points
    We teach our scouts that leadership is not only about making good decisions, but taking responsibility, reflecting, and accepting the consequences from our bad ones. The scout in the first case, appears to be applying those leadership lessons, while the scout in the second case does not. Was it is his marijuana? And if so, he had it either to smoke or sell? If I gave a SM conference to the first scout, the discussion would be long and focused on what he has learned in scouting about being a man and a father. If I gave a SM conference to the second scout, the discussion be about the Scout Oath and Law. Both scouts need our kind and helpful support. My $0.02,
  4. 2 points
    Well, sexual abuse and two-deep, digital etc are related; one is the problem and the others are ways to reduce the occurrence of the problem. But generally I agree with you. There is too much time spent telling us what the problems are and why they are a problem, and too little time discussing the "solutions," i.e. the barriers to abuse (2-deep, no 1-on-1 etc.) It may be that I am a little jaded about this, because I have either taken or "facilitated" (back when it was an in-person-only course) the various versions of YPT going back to 1999, probably 25 times or so. For awhile the district had me on their regular "teaching" rotation. So I kind of feel like I don't really need to sit through yet another recitation of how much child abuse there is and why it's bad. I know already.
  5. 2 points
    The other constructive way that you can handle this suspension time is getting to know the other scout families better, one at a time. Invite a family in your boy's patrol over for dessert or go out for ice cream. Maybe even start with the family of the boy who your son hit. Explain that it's your way of making up to them, but also a way of teaching your son to think better of people so he can respond with kindness and courtesy instead of anger when he's stressed. This doesn't have to consume much time -- maybe a half hour -- unless the boys have something in common like a game they want to play. But maybe this will give your son an idea that he isn't just in a holding pattern, but that he's working on things that will make being in the troop more fun when he returns.
  6. 2 points
    What strikes me is that you're assuming both an extreme lack of knowledge on the part of the parents and an extreme level of complexity for youth running a program. How would you be doing this if you were starting a new troop for boys --- as has been going on for 100+ years? There could be some value in the girls observing how the boys run their troop for a few weeks, but mostly I think what you need to do is get the girls to jump in and start putting together THEIR program. Get your troop together, see who wants to be the leaders, have them work with the their fellow scouts to plan a campout --- where do they want to go, what do they want to do, how are they going to feed themselves. You can help them find equipment, but see what they think they know already and what they think they'll need. Skip the joint opening, closing, and game; Troop 123 isn't a subset of Troop 456, it's Troop 123, they know how to say the Pledge, they'll learn how to say the Oath and Law, they're as capable of deciding how to organize and enjoy themselves as any other troop. Once they get back from the first campout, great, what did we do well, what do we want to do differently. Now plan a couple more trips and start thinking about other things like advancement, if they're interested in that they'll read the handbook and start planning how to knock out requirememts. But what they probably want to do most is what all youth want to do: get together, get outside, and have some fun. Some of the other things you mention could be helpful, like having the parents of the new scouts observe how a current troop operates, however, maybe I'm wrong, but I would guess that many of the parents of girls joining the program are going to be the parents of sons already in the program. The essence of scouting is a group of youth being empowered to develop their own outdoor program. Focus on that and the rest of the stuff will follow.
  7. 2 points
    I share your sentiment and agree. The BSA is doing this things because it's the obvious path given the rest of our society. As a Scout leader, what I've seen is that relatively few folks actually want us to coddle their kids. It's just it's what parents think is the right way to do things because it's what they see everywhere else. However, when we present them with another way and explain why, they generally agree. Setting up a tent is the classic, albeit simplistic, example. Parents will often go on the first campout with their son after crossing over. They'll see their son struggle to setup a tent and start to go help. I'll pull them aside and explain that he will learn more and have a stronger sense of accomplishment by going through the steps to learn how to solve the problem himself. They'll think about it for a minute and may agree or not. But in almost all cases they'll come back later and say "you're right". I just think the BSA needs to take this principle and apply it in a more structured way across the program. In the process, they need to train the local troop leader to really understand and be able to explain why. This is important so that when adults who don't understand start showing up at Troop Committee meetings pushing for family campouts - the troop leaders are equipped to deal with it. The same is true with the silly G2SS rules. We can train scouts responsible use of knives, guns, and fire but we cannot teach how to use a wheel barrow? We're a values based organizatoin, but yet we can't have squirt guns because we can't figure out how to teach Scouts they shouldn't shoot at people? These things seem contradictory. To me it feels like the BSA has one heck of an opportunity here to be a leading voice in youth development. I don't know why we're not doing that.
  8. 2 points
    I agree with @Eagledad. I've seen a variety of terms used in planning like this. But, they generally break down into "goals" and "steps you'll take". When folks add a Mission Statement, it's usually a little more general. Most of the rest of what you wrote sound like the short term steps you'll take to get going. What I feel like is missing here is details about where you want to get to and some times and durations. The question I normally get with this is - "this seems to formal for a Scout troop - isn't it obvious we want to do these things? I've found that even in Scouting, having defined dates & goals helps focus all scouts & adults on the team. When our troop has left these kinds of goals blank, then folks start inserting their own beliefs. All of a sudden you find out that the SM thinks you'll need to have equipment in 6 months, but the Adult Quartermaster is thinking 3 years. Next thing you know you spend a Committee meeting discussing it anyways. Were I writing the same, I might do something like the below. Mission Statement: Troop 123 will be an independent Scouts BSA troop for girls, led by the Scouts, and following the Aims and Methods of the BSA. We will serve the five towns of: <insert towns> Goals: - Have a fully filled, independent Troop committee consisting of (CC, Advancement Chair, ???) by <insert date> - Have a SM and enough trained ASMs to support the program by <insert date> - Have an independent program planned & run by the PLC by <insert date>. - Acquire our enough of our own Troop equipment by <insert date> Actions to achieve goals: -Meeting place sharing (Troop uses the fellowship hall at the church, the Girls unit will go into the Chorus room) -Sharing Opening, Game, and Closing (I feel this is only if the Boys PLC agree to this) - over time, this will be moved to our space and done by our girls -Sharing equipment. We are going to recruit and pull from 5 surrounding towns, and plan to approach all 5 troops with an Equipment usage waiver in hopes they will assist as needed. At least until we start to grow our own. -Sharing Committee. We have some ideas on CC, Advancement and Treasurer, but would like them to shadow the troops members. The troop has been around for 85 years, and the current CC and Advancement Chair are probably the best in the area to model after. -Female Troop leadership with sit on Board of Reviews and Scoutmaster conferences to learn first hand experience on how to do their own. Once the girls are ready for advancement themselves, the Boys Troop SM and CC with assist the new Female leadership to conduct their own. -Sharing COH. Until we grow in size, this might be suggested. Or still to small COH to celebrate separately. -We plan to have 2 registered females at all Troop meetings, therefore not pulling any extra requirements from the Boy troop leadership. -We will not push for jointed camp-outs, however, we would appreciate Older boy support on our first couple shakedown runs. We will reach out to all 5 troops on this one. -If both Troop PLCs decided to have a jointed camp-out, that will ok, with the correct YPT rules. 
  9. 2 points
    Came across this article while I was scrolling through my LinkedIn today. https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/this-rarely-seen-leadership-practice-is-now-linked-to-happier-workplaces-motivated-employees-says-research.html I think it nicely supports a good deal of what we try to teach our Scouts about being kind to others and servant leadership.
  10. 2 points
    @Zebra132, not sure if grumpy is the right word, but I'm certainly old. There are lots of discussions on this forum about what an Eagle scout should be. It's mostly about character. There are also lots of discussions about not adding requirements. Unfortunately, these two ideas create a lot of tension because what we think an eagle scout should be has little to do with the requirements. The requirements are very concrete whereas character is not. Courteous and kind and putting the needs of others is very subjective whereas 20 nights camping only brings up conflict when the idea of sleeping in a cabin or a lock in is brought up. I once said a scout had to be active in my troop to advance. There was a very clear description of what active meant. One scout didn't care for it and mom took it to council. I was, after all, adding requirements. They gave him his eagle. They said he only needed to be active for 6 months. So, in your case, has this boy's girl friend not been pregnant for 6 months while he was a life scout? I know, it sounds insanely stupid to phrase it that way but that's what eagle is. It certainly sounds a lot better to say a scoutmaster conference can not include retesting a scout on skills but it's essentially the same thing. It's a simple algorithm with little room for interpretation. And I kind of get it. I see stories where others were unreasonable about how they interpreted the rules. I was always reasonable . Rules rarely leave room for interpretation and character is rarely black and white. A recent example I've run into is where I had to disqualify a "patrol" for cheating on a competition at the camporee. The 2 previous SPL's along with the current one and a couple of other older scouts took the place of one of the regular patrols at the final competition (where the overall wining patrol was decided). That alone would be nothing but an opportunity to teach some scouts about playing fair. What bothered me was that when 4 adults talked to them they just didn't see how what they did could be considered cheating. For a half hour we tried to explain this and they didn't get it. They said all the troops did this. So I went and talked to the other troops and, in fact, none of them cheated. They still didn't accept it. I have never run into this type of situation where a group of scouts, all of which will soon be eagle, just couldn't grasp what most cub scouts understand. So I really have to ask myself what eagle is worth. If your scout does right by his baby and is otherwise a good scout in the troop then I'd take him over the scouts in my troop. We won't know for some time, though. A friend of mine kept reminding me that we're playing a long game. We hope they get it figured out in 10 or 20 years from now. Will the scouts in my troop come back in 1, 5, or 10 years from now and realize they were cheating? If so, I won. If not, I wasted my time. Either way, it has little to do with that patch with the bird on it.
  11. 2 points
    Aye, in both cases some sort of overcoat would have been advisable.
  12. 1 point
    It's the new paradym that parents have to be trained, registered leaders to help - follow along a hike, participate in a service project, staff a popcorn table that is not being accepted. There is no argument about requiring adult leaders to be registered and trained.
  13. 1 point
    We asked all the moms, at the beginning of each year, to register and do the background check so that they would be available to volunteer occasionally. Most did. (And some dads did also.) No one complained about the cost. Of couse, if it is a long-running policy then people are used to it and it is not a surprise. Also, the GSUSA background check only required filling out a short form so a CORI check could be done --- there was no hour-long YPT class required.
  14. 1 point
    I'm never a fan of worksheets. It robs scouts of any age of a piece of creativity. Writing one's requirement on a page of a field notebook by oneself is empowering.
  15. 1 point
    Advancement requirements are exactly the same. Scouts in LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) units do not pay registration fee, dues, or for most campout costs. They are only allowed one fund raiser per year, and there are restrictions on the types. It is not important to know the specifics, but you may want to clarify what the troops does. This may help ease the shock of annual registration fees and unit dues. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints troops do not camp on Sundays, therefore the leave camp Saturday night. For those who are not members of the church, the change to camping through Sunday likely won't be an issue, but it may be a problem for members. Talk to the parents Boys join the troops on their 11th birthday, and become a member on "Eleven year olds" which is basically run as a separate patrol with limited interaction with the rest of the troops. Scouts are only allowed 3 nights of camping while age 11. Eleven year olds can NOT attend summer camp. Many boys in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints troops do not have much experience with the patrol method, or youth leadership. Not many Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints troops are involved in Order of the Arrow Adult leadership in Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints troops are selected and called by the bishop (paster). This means many Scout Leaders do not have a youth in the program and did not volunteer for the position. So you may want to explain your troops needs for parent involvement. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints troops are typically quite small with only 1 or 2 patrols. So a troop of 40 or 60 or 100 Boys may be a surprise. All boys age 11 to 18 in the church are registered in Boy Scouts, this means a larger percentage are there because they HAVE TO not because they want to. So they me be surprised how engaged your scouts and parents are. So there are some differences of which to be aware, and to explain to prospective scouts and parents. But there is nothing too hard to deal with.
  16. 1 point
    The BSA mission is to prepare them to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling the values of the oath and law. This does not mean they will always make the best choices while a scout, or even after. But have they learned from poor choices and their consequences, and have they accepted the values in the oath and law as guiding principles to prepare them to make better choices in the future. They will still falter, as humans will do. The question is whether a poor choice is an anomaly or part of a pattern. As far as the boy in the OPs question, the question has been answered by the SM signing off on show scout spirit.
  17. 1 point
    She doesn't know who they are yet. She might have to ask to visit a troop during their parent night/court of honor. (I'd take her over an FOS presenter any day of the week.) Besides the troops, there are other churches, other schools, the local newspaper (here you might want to have an adult party be the contact, but the pitch should be hers), lemonade stands. And after all that, she falls short? She will have met dozens of youth and adults around her community. That will count for a lot! Like you said, there are other towns. But she has to count the cost of added commute time, etc ... My point is, when it looks like scouters will disappoint, the best people to sell scouting are scouts. It might not work. But sometimes there's more to be gained from trying and failing than from waiting for others to step up the way you think they should.
  18. 1 point
    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.
  19. 1 point
    As far as I know, my pack covers dues. Given the time and effort leaders put into the process, it seems rather unfair to ask them to pay for that privilege.
  20. 1 point
    Sounds like a problem for the Council or the District, not your troop. I would refer them to the appropriate entity. I have an AOL daughter in the same predicament and I continue to work actively with the local district to find her a troop in February. I don't harass my son's troop (or their CO) about it but I have asked them what they plan to do.
  21. 1 point
    Well, I think there is an "additional requirement" of sorts, in that the Scouts who do this will have 24 months (or less) to go from no-rank to Eagle, of which more than 16 months are time requirements, rather than having 7 years. There will be no time for pauses and probably very little or no time for sports, robotics, school plays or any other elective activity. These Scouts will basically be eating, sleeping, going to school (including college), doing homework (hopefully) and doing Scout advancement.
  22. 1 point
    "Instead, the BSA will officially recognize our Inaugural Class of Female Eagle Scouts in the fall of 2020, providing young women who join Scouts BSA the needed time to complete all requirements. This Inaugural Class will be celebrated nationally and collectively commemorated." 2020 appears to be the "inaugural year".
  23. 1 point
    Until I got to #3, I thought this was the worst decision in history. But both genders are being treated equally, so I guess it isn’t the worst decision in history. It actually seems like a Solomonic decision. I guess. On a more positive note, I think the decision not to recognize a “first female Eagle Scout”, and the stated reasoning, is perfect. That is what I was hoping they would do.
  24. 1 point
    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?
  25. 1 point
    Surely a parent that doesn't do everything for their child is just a Conditional Parent. Ian