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Everything posted by dScouter15

  1. Overall it looks like a step in the right direction, though with a couple technical errors (are these forms the final versions? Or still in draft form?) Personally I would have liked to have seen a higher standard for number of short-term camping trips, PLC meetings, and more emphasis on youth leader training (just looking at the Troop-level requirements), but this definitely seems like a big improvement over previous "quality unit" programs.
  2. Twocubdad - not necessarily disagreeing with anything you're saying, but its important to remember that the majority of peanut allergies are NOT as sensitive as the semi tongue-in-cheek situation you mentioned. Peanut allergies are fairly common, and thousands and families, schools, day care centers, youth groups and Scouting units all find ways to operate their program in a safe way for all participants. I think its a bit premature to talk about the possibility of the Scout troop declining to take on a scout, unless the troop leadership and the parents cannot come to a reasonable agreement
  3. You will need to talk to the parents to determine how severe his allergy is, and how careful you have to be about his proximity to peanut products. We had a scout in our troop with a severe nut allergy, and clearly he could not eat any foods containing nuts, but there wasn't a problem with storing peanut butter with the troop staples, or other scouts eating peanut products near him. But, as others have pointed out, the severity of allergies can vary greatly, hence the importance of conferencing with the scout and his parents to determine how to best ensure that scout's safety. In my experie
  4. Beavah - sure, but wouldn't it maybe be more worthwhile to also examine how and why that policy or general practice came to exist? As I've posted previously, my own opinion is that medication therapy is overused today, and that I'm skeptical benefits of medication vs. non-medication. However, in my opinion, the root of the problem is NOT that a bunch of doctors have suddenly become more eager to use their rx pad. Like anything else, doctors are responding to a need that developed. For me, it would be more worthwhile to discuss how and why that need (real or perceived) developed. T
  5. Beav - How can you look for complex, specific solutions when you don't hesitate to generalize and over-simplify the problem?
  6. Scoutfish, in your post here: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=287814&p=2#id_288175 , you said "there are great Dr's out there. But there are many more that are not!" So you did in fact argue that a majority of doctors are not up to par. This was the position that I found to be problematic, and I'm relieved that its not actually what you're arguing. So now that we're clear on where everyone stands on that issue, I guess I don't know what it has to do with the original question, which involves the benefits vs. disadvantages of psychiatric/psychologic care for chi
  7. Wow - first off, my sincere condolences for the loss sustained by the man's family, his Scouting family, and all those who love and care for him. Second off, my extreme respect and admiration for the way you and your pack handled that situation. Many of your cub scouts might not fully understand what happened, and all its implications. But, maybe some of them now know a little better about what its like to have known a real life hero. And, in another few years, some of them might realize how fortunate they were to have wise adult mentors and role models guide them through this kind of expe
  8. Scoutfish - If its true that there are "many more" poor doctors than great doctors, I would think it would be fairly easy to support some of your claims with factual evidence. "Read the papers"? "Watch the news"? In the past year, how many doctors have been exposed in the news for taking kick backs, being accused of malpractice, etc. Whatever number you come up with, what percentage of the approximately 853,000 physicians in the country does it work out to? My hypothesis is that the proportion of "bad apples" to good physicians will be comparable, if not better, than a similar study of ot
  9. There's a lot of accusations being made that apparently *can* be supported by evidence, but, on this forum anyway, have not been. Can anyone draw a correlation between "medical quackery" and incorrect medications prescribed? How are we all so certain that doctors are to blame, rather than ignorant parents, lazy parents, or the influences of a hyper-medicated society? Any substance for the accusation that the "bad" doctors greatly outnumber the "good" doctors? I admit that my role in the health care arena is not particularly comparable to that of a doctor, but, from my own experience, I
  10. Very interesting thread, with a lot of interesting points. For what its worth, let me present a couple purely anecdotal cases: When I was in the fourth grade, I wasn't what you'd call a model student. I rarely did my homework, didn't always pay attention in class, and kept my desk and locker a mess, so I usually couldn't even find the homework I never did. I did well enough on tests, and ultimately got A's and B's on my report card, and I didn't have any behavioral problems, but just wasn't really interested in a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities of a 4th grade student. So, my pa
  11. As far as the foil pack breakfast idea goes, one of our patrols came up with an idea that looked like it worked pretty good: start with some eggs, some biscuit dough, and a buffet of any other stuff you want (meats, cheese, veggies, salsa, whatever). Start by cutting the biscuit dough into small chunks. In your foil pack, put a handful of bits of biscuit dough on the bottom, and then crack and egg over the top of it. Then, layer on whatever veggies, meat, cheese, etc you want. Maybe sprinkle a couple teaspoon of milk or water on top to keep everything moist. After you securely wrap up the
  12. I would absolutely teach much of the variety of things. Though I might not phrase it as "making do" without a first aid kit/compass/etc. Instead, phrase as "another way to find direction" or "an alternate way to cook a meal," etc. As far as the whiskey issue - if your scout's find themselves in a survival situation in which they are without a compass, first aid kit, etc: what are the chances they will have a bottle of whiskey in their possession? So, is there really a need to include it in your skills instruction? I haven't seen the article, but maybe its something that can be replace
  13. "Any thoughts?" Not really... I guess I don't see the purported conflict, though I admit I don't fully understand some of the effects of having a congressional charter. Can someone maybe clear up some of my confusion: 1) Is the BSA, as a private organization, bound in any way to keep its mission or program in line with any stipulations in its congressional charter? What consequences would there be for deviating? 2) When's the last time its been updated? 1916? 3) What effect, if any, does it have on "competing" or other scouting organizations in the USA. For instance, the GS
  14. If I understand things correctly, the committee chair, chartered organization and council all share responsibility for approving unit-level leaders. I've always kind of assumed that background checks and checking of references were mainly the prerogative of the council, rather than the unit. While I'm sure you'd be within your rights to check a person's references, the information you gather might not be particularly helpful. For example, people who are effective in their day jobs, or who are popular with their friends, may not make good Scouters and role models. My suggestion on how to be
  15. We recently asked our scouts to make a short list of things they wouldn't have experienced had it not been for their involvement in Scouting. We intend to use some of their responses in our post-summer camp court of honor program. The answers ranged from silly to serious to profound to inside jokes to insightful to well, not insightful. Here were some of the better responses: Camped and hiked through 72 hours of non-stop rain Met my best friend Camped out in the snow Started a fire in a downpour Seen a moose Cooked in a Dutch oven Splashed down into a dunk tank Learned ho
  16. Now what's the problem with zero tolerance policies. I personally have zero tolerance for certain behaviors - fighting, bullying, hazing, use of addicting and dangerous illegal drugs by minors - I cannot think of a situation where I will tolerate any of these behaviors on a Scouting activity or function. All of the Scouts I work with are aware of this, and I will ensure that any of these behaviors that do occur are addressed. Rarely does my response to a situation involve sending a scout home or calling the police (though, for me anyway, both are options that are on the table for certain si
  17. Beavah - I feel like I'm getting to a point where I'm repeating myself, so I guess this will be my last post on the topic. Asking for acknowledgement of receipt of important information is NOT the same as a contract. If its the signature thing that's causing a problem, fine - send me an email or give me a phone call instead. I would just like to be reasonably certain that important information gets into the hands of a scout's parents. Also, like I said, its not a matter of "agreeing" to anything, as it is in a contract. There are some rules related to safety that are simply non-negoti
  18. I guess we need to define "meaningless." As leaders, what are our goal and reasons for guiding scouts towards conducting a "Scout's Own" service? I don't think our goals are or should be identical to the goals of many organized religions. For example, I myself am Catholic, and can tell you that officially, attending a Scout's Own service doesn't "count" for my weekly obligation to attend Mass. However, that doesn't mean that I feel that attending or requiring a Scouts Own service is meaningless. To me, the goal in conducting Scout's Own services is not to substitute for the practices
  19. I'd like to point out that sending out a memo reminding scouts of health and safety considerations in the context of a high adventure trip is NOT the same as a "behavioral contract." Asking for such a document to be signed is not an indication of a contractual agreement, but rather just a means to ensure that the communication has reached both the scout and his parent. Its the same reason we ask both the scout and a parent to sign a permission slip - to verify that the parent has read and understands the information conveyed through the scout. Seriously, how could this be a "contract" - the
  20. Yeah, I think calling it a game of chance or a raffle is a bit of a stretch. It was never intended to make a lot of money - we actually made a bit more than we anticipated. We only asked the scouts to donate their spare change, or maybe a couple dollars. I think a good chunk of the money actually came from some of the adults, particularly the parents of some of the "volunteer victims" who may have tried to influence the standings one way or another ;-) Point is, we never really intended for it to be a major fundraiser, but more of a fun way for the troop to raise a little bit of "petty cas
  21. eolesen - Glad to hear that things are settling down, and reasonable actions are being taken. It sounds like you're making the right decisions. Beavah - I agree that memos and contracts are "silly" and a bit wishy-washy. However, so are anonymous tips, which seems to be all we have to go off of in this situation. Fight silliness with silliness, if you will. As far as I understand it, the OP doesn't know for sure whether there is a problem he needs to confront, and I feel that a gentle way of communicating to both scouts and parents that the leadership is aware of and prepared to deal
  22. Thanks everyone for the insights. I agree that its not so much of a problem to be asking scouts to make a monetary donation, but I still feel that the situation as a whole was a bit off. I feel that passing the plate around created an atmosphere too much like a "real" church. I think many of the scouts did not really understand how much an appropriate donation would be, but knew that their parents put a couple bucks in the offering at church, and did the same. Maybe the chaplain should have given some more guidance - "please consider donating your loose change" or "if everyone contributes
  23. My troop recently returned from summer camp, and we had one experience that I had never encountered before, and I can't decide if I should be bothered by it or not. On the Sunday night at camp, the staff conducted an interfaith worship service which was attended by my entire troop. The service itself was OK, but I was a bit surprised, when, towards the end of the service, the adult chaplain addressed everyone and asked for monetary donations. He stated that the donations would go towards producing various "prayer cards" that were freely available to campers - laminated card stock the size o
  24. A couple of our troop's scouts came to the PLC with this fundraising idea. I guess they picked it up from something their school did. Its a game where the stakes are a pie in the face for a few volunteers. Basically, some volunteers that agree to run the risk of getting a pie in the face are announced to the troop. A bucket is then created for each of the volunteers. The bucket has that person's name on it, and it used to collect monetary donations. The way that the monetary donations work is that each cent put in the bucket represents a "point". At the end of the contest, the idea is t
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