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Posts posted by dScouter15

  1. I''d encourage everyone to take a look at a lecture given by a computer science professor, who is dying of cancer. In his lecture, he gives a very down-to-earth, meaningful and inspirational talk on following your dreams. A video clip can be found here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5700431505846055184&q=randy+pausch&total=19&start=10&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=6


    In his speech, he lists his childhood dreams, and talks about how he''s tried to achieve them. Some he''s been able to achieve, others, he hasn''t. The point he makes is that its the process of not just wanting something, but wanting it so badly that you overcome incredible obstacles to get it. The video is kind of long - his speech is maybe an hour and 15 minutes, but perhaps you can extract key parts to show to and discuss with your scouts.

  2. Brent -


    I understand what you're saying, but the point that I was trying to make was that its questionable how BW made up his list, and whether it actually is traits found in "successful" unit, or a scorecard of how well a unit follows the BSA program. I don't think that one necessarily implies the other. So, is BW's list really a list of characteristics of successful units? For instance, if you show me 100 "successful units", will the majority of them meet the majority of BW's very specific criteria? I think BW's list goes the other way around, like saying, "If you want to have a successful unit, you must have these thing..." I realize I'm probably splitting hairs here, and I apologize, but I just wanted to clarify my point.


    Of course, I've been wrong before...

  3. I would agree with the comments calling Bob White's list condescending and unrealistic. Personally, I don't miss Bob's contributions to this forum, as it seems that, when confronted with friendly conversation, Bob would jump in and start splitting hairs, make harsh, condescending posts, and repeat the same mantra about following the BSA program word-for-word. The reason I've lurked so long without posting was fear of getting put down for asking a question that Bob felt should have been covered in a training course that I may or may not have taken. Granted, Bob is definitely a very knowledgeable Scouter, and I'm sure that he's a great asset to the units, districts and councils he has served.


    I think the biggest problem with this list is that it does not give any kind of metric for defining what success actually is. For instance, did Bob compile this list by observing several troops that were successful, and noting that they shared many of these characteristics? Or, is he defining a successful troop as one that follows these rules? In the first case, there may be some validity to this list, but I really doubt Bob actually did an objective study to get those kind of results. The second case is a circular argument. It seems much more likely that Bob made a list of rules, and defines a successful troop as one which follows them. Thus, they are not "traits" of a successful troop, but rather components of his definition of "success."


    So, for my definition of success: A successful troop operates a fun, safe program that is tailored to the needs and interests of their scouts. The operate using the aims and methods of Scouting as guidelines. The scouts are having fun, and enjoy attending meetings and activities. The adult leaders care for the scouts, and there is mutual respect between Scout and Scouter. The scouts are given a safe, fun and education environment to grow and develop ethics, outdoor skills, leadership skills, and friendship.


    So, what how does a troop facilitate this? In my opinion, what differentiates a successful troop from an unsuccessful is the overall process the troop continually goes through. It can be measured in short, objective criteria such as "They use the patrol method for everything." Rather, a successful troop strives to use the patrol method as much as possible, and continually works to strengthen each patrol. A successful troop is not necessarily 100% uniformed 100% of the time, but continually works with each scout to encourage proper uniforming. A successful troop doesn't have each scout reach 1st class within one year, but continually strives to provide advancement opportunities specific to the needs of each scout. A successful troop continually works to recruit new scouts and strong leaders, etc.


    So, as some have pointed out, this kind of metric is not some kind of Bob White-esque checklist that you can run down in a few minutes, but what's the point of that? It seems Bob would like to separate troops into "By The Book" and "Not By The Book," and this check list is the best way to do it. However, if we're looking at identifying and creating successful troops, we need to recognize that the process is everything. Its not just something that you decide to do one day... If you want a successful troop, its a continuous effort to always improve, not just to meet a couple guidelines.


    Standing by for the rebuttal... :-)(This message has been edited by dScouter15)

  4. One more thought I'd like to throw in to this mess:


    One of the greatest things about scouting, in my opinion, is that avoiding failure is not as important as learning for our mistakes. Sometimes our scouts will burn their dinner, be late coming back to camp, sleep in a little too long, get into fights, etc. This happens, and is part of growing up. A good troop leader will see these types of instances as opportunities to help the scouts grow, learning from their mistakes.


    I've been led to believe that for a Board of Review to fail someone, they had to provide a reason why the scout was failed, as well as instructions on how to remedy the situation. For instance, the board may determine that a scout lacks scout spirit, and initially fail the scout on advancement. However, the board would offer to see the scout again next month, and re-evaluate his scout spirit. Again, guiding the scout towards growth is the key.


    So, what happens if we can confirm that the the scout's a daddy, and he's not married to the mommy? What can the scout do to grow? In my opinion, the most important thing he can do is put the child's needs first. This may mean having the child be raised by its grandparents or put it up for adoption. Maybe the scout is able to care for the child well himself, and provide the necessary financial support. And, quite honestly, is the scout can't see to it that his child is well cared for, he probably doesn't have time to be tying knots, going camping, and attending troop meetings. So, if the child is being taken care of, what has the scout learned?


    Yes, an unplanned pregnancy is a much much bigger "mistake" than breaking curfew, and should be addressed with this in mind. However, I believe that the methods of Scouting can scale to address such an issue. I don't see ANY offense being bad enough to automatically freeze advancement. The WHOLE POINT is to help scouts grow, and if a scout recognizes what he's done wrong, and is taking appropriate actions to deal with his mistakes, I don't think advancement should be out of the question.

  5. I think it needs to work both ways. The council supports units by providing insurance coverage, legal standards, camping properties, summer camp, training opportunities, record keeping (how effectively is another story...), and other services. However, the money and other resources needed to do this don't come out of nowhere! Units help support the council by fundraising and participating in council activities. Individual scouters also contribute by, for example, staffing training and camp events, or providing maintenance work for the council properties. For the relationship to work, both sides need to contribute to get any benefit. Its also worth noting that you and your scouts are MEMBERS of your council - its not just the professional staff, or the "super-scouters" on all the high-falootin' committees!


    As far as the specific issue of whether or not attending out of council summer camps is a problem... I don't think so. However, you might consider WHY your troop chose to not attend your council's facility. Some reasons might be able to be fixed (eg, "Camp XYZ has more modern facilities, or more high adventure opportunities, or a higher quality MB program). Perhaps concerned scouters such as yourself could work with the council staff in correcting some of these issues. Other issues (eg, Camp XYZ's location allows us to participate in some specialized programs or trips) can't be fixed, and the council just has to work around that.

  6. FScouter -


    I see your point, but I think you also need to consider how society as a whole views certain words and behaviors. Society just does not regard "butt" as a "bad word." Granted, you have to take context and the situation into account, but I would say that an overwhelming majority of people (of all age groups) don't think "butt" is too bad. In this case, it seems silly for punishing scouts for using a word that most consider OK. Especially the type of punishment that this lady allegedly dealt out - it definitely doesn't fit the alleged offense. Also, if scouts had used this type of language around other adults, or even in conversation with other adults, the public apology just seems silly.


    Now, because a scout is courteous, it would make sense for these scouts to say to themselves, "selves, Mrs. Jones doesn't like this type of language, so lets not use it around her." However, I'd still argue that this lady is maybe being a little too sensitive, and trying to impose an unnecessarily strict set of guidelines onto her scouts.

  7. I have a nice Timberline A-Frame tent that normally keeps me pretty dry. But, here in the great plains, a good storm with high winds can cause some leaking inside the tent. What seems to happen the most is that the rain is blown under the rain fly, or the soaked rain fly is blown into contact with the side of the tent, where it then sticks, allowing water to seep through. What I've found is best is to try to minimize the damage and discomfort that the water will do. First, make sure you put an additional tarp underneath your tent. Make sure that the edges don't stick out, as they will collect water. Then, when you arrange your tent, keep stuff away from the edges as much as possible. I put my cot right in the middle of the tent, and my pack underneath it. The most important stuff (dry clothes, a book, etc) stay in the middle of the tent, and less important stuff (water bottle, mess kit, etc) get pushed towards the edges. That way, if water does seep through the walls, none of my important stuff gets wet (oh yeah, make sure you put anything REALLY important in plastic bags). I've woken up after a good storm to find puddles of water around the perimeter of my tent, but me and my clothes were still dry. Then, just open the windows on your tent the next day, and it will dry out nicely.


    Just a thought - sometimes its easier just to work around the problem, rather than going crazy trying to prevent it.

  8. Pack378 - Great point, solves everyone's problems. My troop has taken a bus up to camp for the past couple years, and its been very successful. Especially nice on the ride home, when everyone would just rather sleep than focus on driving on rural roads for 6 hours. We did have some of the concerns that the SM in question had, involving being able to make trips in to town when necessary (we probably had to send someone in 2 or 3 times during the week), taking people to the hospital (we actually had to take an adult leader in for some kind of infection. Didn't really need an ambulance). We also felt safer hauling our trailer with gear up there. Overall, it was a great idea, a little bit pricey, but the scouts make up for it with fundraising.

  9. You're right, this really is a difficult topic. If the situation warrants it, I would encourage units to support their scouts with arranging for counseling, etc, from a professional social worker or counselor. Suicide can be difficult to address, for a number of reasons. There are so many cliche statements, that are perfectly logical and rational, and make perfect sense to people who are not suicidal. However, when addressing someone who IS suicidal, these cliches just bounce right off, or can even make the matter worse. I'd recommend reading this site: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/ - its worded as a message to someone who is suicidal, and does a lot to help explain the mentality of a suicidal person. That site also has links to suicide myths, and other information.


    Part of the problem is, suicide is a completely irrational behavior. It just doesn't make sense logically. The problem with that is, you can address a room full of mentally healthy scouts, and make logical arguments against suicide, and encourage them to ask for help if they need it, and all of those mentally healthy scouts will accept that. However, as soon as anyone starts to feel suicidal, all of that logic and reason is thrown out the window, and we can just pray that they remember to TALK TO SOMEONE, and get some help. Same thing with other irrational behaviors, such a victim of spousal abuse who refuses to leave the abuser, or press charges. The person usually realizes that their behavior is irrational, but won't take the first steps to improve the situation. Point is, if scouts in your troop have been exposed to a suicide through a scouting connection, I believe that the troop should provide some professional support for scouts and parents.


    And please, PLEASE, if a scout, or anyone else, comes to you, and you have even the slightest inkling that they may hurt themselves, or have already tried to hurt themselves, please get additional help. If you can get the scout to his parents, that may be the best thing (or, depending on the situation, it may not!) If you have to, call 911 and have him taken to the hospital. Unless you are a professional counselor, please don't just send the kid back to his tent, send him home, or feel that you've solved the problem yourself. Therapy for those who are suicidal needs to be handled by a professional, usually over a long period of time. YOU may be the person that needs to see to it that therapy is initiated.


    ** Editted after reading Aquila's post : yes, I wholeheartedly agree that parents should be informed of any discussion about this that would occur in a troop setting. Definitely encourage parents to participate themselves, and enable them to opt-out for their sons.(This message has been edited by dScouter15)

  10. Wondering what others would think of youth scouts serving as trainers for adults. I could see this as a big advantage, both to the youth and to adults. Youth trainers (who would be older, experienced, mature scouts) could use their role as trainers as a way to practice communicating with adults, as a way to better understand the role of adult leadership in the troop, and as an opportunity to advance their own knowledge and skill. New adult leaders would have the benefit of seeing that this really is a "youth-run" program. It may also help to show that some youth leaders are just as, if not more, knowledgeable that some adult leaders.


    I can see this being beneficial in an OLS type training. Probably less so in YP or Fast Start, but that's a possibility too. Any thoughts?

  11. What plans does your unit have in place for dealing with severe weather while camping? Many summer camps have a system for warning campers, and designated shelter locations of varying quality, but these types of facilities normally do not exist at weekend camping sites, and even some council properties.


    Fortunately, my troop has been lucky, and there's been only one instance in the past 12 years when we've had to take action due to severe weather. Nation-wide, severe weather doesn't seem to be TOO big of an issue to scout troops, as we only hear of few injuries, mostly caused by trees falling on tents.


    This question was provoked after watching two funnel clouds form while at a council camping event. Fortunately, we only had moderate- to severe- storms in our area, but to our south, funnel clouds and a few tornadoes caused problems. So, does your unit have any type of definite plans in place? Has your unit ever had any severe weather problems? Am I over reacting? The common sense solution is to not put tents under trees, and just kind of scope out low-lying areas to take shelter in if necessary. Only had to do this once :-) .

  12. I would echo Lisabob's comments about Cole Canoe Base. I really love that place. In my experience, that staff has always been great, though I do agree that some of the MB sessions we're that great. FYI, they are going through some trouble, both financially and personnel wise, and some of the camp director and other senior staff is retiring, so that might help to explain some of the logistical problems. I would like to add that their river/high adventure program is EXCELLENT. The staff is very flexible with that program, and can put together a canoe trip of just a few hours, up to a week-long trip. The camp's property is beautiful, and is located near a couple small towns, in case you find yourself needing to run to the store or something. The food service is all troop or patrol cooking, and the food tends to be very good. Their commissary staff has always been very flexible with altering menus and food issues, sometimes on very short notice. They had different camp wide programs every night, including a cooking contest, and festivities surrounding the Ecology area, Outdoor Skills area and waterfront, and an icecream social, movie night, popcorn/pretzel sale, dance night, etc - never a dull moment. Their closing campfire on Friday night is spectacular.


    Unfortunately, their merit badge program does have some problems, and I really hope they can address that, as it does put a big black mark on an otherwise "perfect" camp, in my opinion.

  13. A few thoughts... First, its much much easier getting (younger) scouts to shower at camps that have private shower stalls with locking doors. I even like it a little bit better myself. Of course, some scouts still won't want to shower, and I think its mostly an effort thing - its much easier just to sit in camp, warm and dry talking with your friends, than heading off to take a shower. Also, at nights at camp when its cold and rainy, I'd have a hard time forcing a kid to go shower. That said, my troop doesn't really have a big problem with it, and the adult leadership has never really felt a need to make proclamations about requiring showers, or mandatory troop shower time, etc. Instead, we find that peer pressure is very effective, and on the few occasions that warrant it, some one-on-one counseling with an adult or the SPL is all that it takes. When all else fails, an impromptu water balloon fight might work ;-) . Or, one year at camp, it started raining REALLY hard about Thursday afternoon. It was one of those summer storms that dumped heavy rain for about 1/2 hour, and then cleared up nicely for the rest of the week (and the temperature dropped!) Some of the older scouts changed into their swim suits, got out their shampoo and started "showering" out in the middle of the campsite, or using the runoff from the dining flys. Soon enough, almost the whole troop was off getting clean.


    The camps that don't have private showers are a little bit more of a challenge. Sending scouts with their swimsuits is a good idea. One thing we tried for the new scout patrol was trying to designate a shower time just for them. We took them down while the troops were preparing dinner, and these scouts just ate a little bit later. That way, the showers were empty, and they felt a little more comfortable. Can't guarantee that will work, though.


    As far as tooth brushing goes, we had a scoutmaster once that had received some complaints that kids weren't brushing their teeth at camp, so he decided to make Wednesday after breakfast a mandatory tooth brushing day. Each patrol lined up with their tooth brush, and brushed their teeth for a few minutes, while the SM took pictures to "prove" to the parents that their scouts brushed their teeth.

  14. Geez - parents sound a little psycho. As an EMT though, I'd like to shed some "professional" insight into the whole CPR/Seizure thing. Firstly, if someone has a full tonic-clonic seizure (aka a "grand mal" seizure) they WILL stop breathing. In fact, that's one of the ways to tell if someone is actually have a seizure, or is faking it looking for a drug fix. So yes, real seizure = no breathing. They will likely (almost definitely) still have a pulse during the time that they are actively seizing, at least. That's part of why its so important for someone to be immediately transported by ambulance to the ER if they suffer a seizure for the first time - to assess any damage done due to dyspnea, and also in case another seizure occurs. (As an aside, vaccines can cause seizures - as other have mentioned, it doesn't have terribly often, but it is a well known side effect. Also, seizures are relatively common side effects of many medications).


    So, if we assume that the kid's not breathing, chest compressions would not have been ideal, unless he was also pulseless or gave other indications of inadequate circulation. Rescue breathing would have been more beneficial, and less traumatic for the body. Now, if CPR was preformed by EMTs in the ambulance, I'd really think that they assessed some basic vital signs (like, does this dude have a pulse? What's the 12-lead look like, etc)? Its also entirely possible for someone to be discharged from the hospital shortly after a seizure, but less so after CPR, do to the damage inflicted to the thorax. Unless, CPR was preformed by the parents ineffectively (as it would be if they kept the kid on his bed... if you feel the need to do CPR, NEVER do it when the patients on a bed. You'll compress the mattress, rather than the heart!)


    Moral of my story is, lets trust that the EMS and hospital staff did their jobs well, and lets try not to second guess them based on second-hand information posted to a message board. To me, as an EMT, everything Gonzo posted sounds possible. Perhaps not likely, but in emergency medicine you often see very unlikely, but very real events play out all the time.


    Not trying to get up on my soap box, but just trying to offer some more information on seizures and CPR to offer a rebuttal to those who would say that inappropriate treatment was rendered. Point is, its very dangerous to make that claim, unless you've actually witnessed the treatment being performed...

  15. Question to any of you who are certified/licensed healthcare providers (EMTs, medics, nurses) who have volunteered at district or council resident camps as the "first aid person": What kind of protocols, if any, do you operate under? Does anyone have any kind of "medical control" or other formal working relationship with a doctor or hospital, which would provide some type of operating protocols? Or, do you mostly just provide basic first aid, and not really do anything that would fall under your special training?


    Just curious - of course, basic first aid (bandaids, drinking water, ice packs, etc) cover about 95% of average summer camp medical problems, but there have been occasions when I would have liked to have been able to get a blood sugar reading, use NS flushes for eye wash/wound cleaning (which may actually be OK), and some other BLS-type stuff, which, under fall under my protocols while at work.


    So, just wondering - does anyone have any protocols they follow, or is it basically just first aid, and wait for the ambulance/hospital to do anything beyond that.

  16. First, I'm thinking this thread might be better placed in the "Issues & Politics" section.


    Secondly, I doubt there would ever be such a national directive. Its really not the BSA's position to be involved with the sexual history of any scout or scouter. You may personally feel that sex before marriage, or children out of wedlock is a morally bad thing. Others will disagree. Therefore, I think that it is important for each situation to be looked at individually - that is purpose of the Board of Review, to look at each individual scout's progress and qualifications for advancement. Some situations may show that a scout who has fathered a child is not deserving of advancement, based on the Scout Oath and Law. Other situations may show that the scout is indeed qualified to advance. I don't think that you, I, the BSA, or anyone else has any business making blanket one-size-fits-all judgments on these types of situations.

  17. Not to stir everything up again, but after reading this thread I think that we need to acknowledge the difference between pranks and hazing/initiation. Pranks, by definition, I think are mostly harmless. From my own experience:


    1) Wrapping some of the yellow "Crime Scene" plastic ribbon around an ASM's car a couple times.

    2) For the older scouts who can't get out of bed on time in the morning, sending the bugler over to play reville with the horn of the trumpet directly in front of the tent door.

    3) Stacking the plastic bins the troop uses to store equipment, along with other large items, into a wall around the SM's tent

    4) Adding a couple pinches of salt into a friends water bottle

    5) Suspending the SPL's cot from the trees

    6) When I was a youth, and SPL (not too long ago) one summer camp we went to, on Friday had some games for the troops to compete in - stuff like relay races, scavenger hunts, etc. One thing they had was the "SPL Splash". They had this contraption, with a big plastic tank on top. They'd fill the tank with water, and had a way to rotate them so they'd spill all over whoever was sitting underneath the if a target was pressed. Well, as you may have guessed, the idea of the game was for each troop's SPL (or other youth leader) to sit underneath this thing, and let the troop try to soak them. Some may call this hazing (and some did call this hazing and inappropriate) but participation was voluntary, and a different youth leader could stand in for the SPL if the SPL didn't want to participate. Also, we were told in advance, so we didn't come wearing our last set of clean, dry clothes. Personally, I as the "victim" of the prank, thought it was a great idea, and kind of a reward for the scouts who I sometimes had to put in line during the week. (I also convinced my ASPL to participate too). So, though this activity was humiliating, I don't think it was a bad thing because all the victims agreed to it, and were prepared for what was coming.

    7) Hanging a rubber spider from the top of the tent


    Some not-so-great pranks:

    1) Zip-tying tent doors shut - SEVERE safety issue

    2) The snipe hunt/camp canon/shoreline/smokeshifter routine

    3) One year while boating on the lake at summer camp, there was an adult leader who would go around tipping scouts out of their boats - bad idea: safety issue, and some of the scouts were wearing their clothes, and shoes and socks - just really disrespectful. The staff responded appropriately, and stood up to the guy and banned him from the waterfront.

    4) Anything that results in the destruction of property, or causes injury

    5) One that sticks out to me - one year at summer camp, the camp we were at had their own firetruck. One afternoon they had the truck parked next to the lake, and were shooting the hose into the lake. Some scouts who were out in canoes and kayaks would paddle under the water - it looked like fun. Until the guy manning the thing turned it on some younger scouts who were sitting nearby talking and playing cards. The scouts were completely drenched, and it was Friday so they were probably on to their last set of relatively "clean" clothes, which were now soaking wet. Again, just stupid and disrespectful - not a very good camp staffer.

    6) Stealing and hiding personal property - eg, troop flags or totems


    Maybe my perspective is skewed, as I was a youth in the program until just a few years ago, but I think that those who are saying that all pranks are bad need to lighten up a little. A group of good friends can aggravate each other to some extent, and I say that if a patrol or troop can pull pranks on each other, and come out with everyone laughing, that's a sign of a strong unit. Now, of course, its possible to cross the line, and actually physically or emotionally injure someone, destroy or damage property, etc. But, learning where that line is is a part of growing friendships. So, basically, I come preaching moderation ;-)

  18. Two things come to mind -


    1) Has anyone ever done/seen the NYLT split up over several weekends. That seems like a good way to schedule it for maximum participants, and around adult and youth staff work schedules. But, to me, I think splitting the course up would be a net negative.


    2) I remember reading in Scouting magazine a few months ago about a council out west that ran their youth leader training, woodbadge, and a family camp simultaneously. Have any other councils looked at this possibility? It seems like a good idea, but at the same time it would be a logistical nightmare, and perhaps require resources in terms of staff, coordination, camp facilities, etc that many, if not most councils would not be able to accomidate.

  19. LongHaul -


    That is not necessarily the case. Councils can (in practice anyway) setup units which they charter themselves. Its common for summer camp staffs to be organized into Venturing Crews without officially filling out registration paperwork. Councils, I'm told, do this for insurance reasons, so that the staff may have a common uniform, and, from a cynical perspective, to boost their # of units. So, yes, you may be part of a Venturing crew just because you are on staff somewhere. (In my council, many scouts don't realize that they're part of these units until they request a ScoutNet printout from the council office). And, in practice, it does not necessarily fall on the officers of such a crew to decide what the uniform will be - in the case of camp staff, that is usually set by the SE or Camp Director. Perhaps this isn't the way its supposed to work, but it does indeed occur.

  20. JerseyJohn - I like that idea!


    My troop includes the cost of the food in with the cost of transportation, reserving the camp ground, etc - total cost usually comes out to about $15 for a weekend campout. One scout from each patrol buys that patrol's food, and turns the receipts in to the treasurer for reimbursement. The general rule is $2.50 per person per meal - usually comes out to be more than enough. If a patrol goes a little over that, an ASM and patrol leader review the rules, and encourage better adherence. Some patrols will knowingly go over, and pitch in to make up what the troop won't cover (like for when they want steak 3 meals a day... whatever...)


    As far as time requirements... yes, buying food for a camping trip can be a lengthy process. A scout has to try to get the most food for the least money, plan a balanced menu, think about food storage/refrigeration, available cooking utensils, etc - a little bit more complex than shopping for home, especially for an 11 year old. Eventually, scouts won't be taking that long, as they gain more experience, and plan ahead well.

  21. My troop only uses the hatchet, camp saw and pocket knives. For cooking, we just use regular kitchen knives stored in a cardboard sheath. For injuries, if we exclude pocket-knife related mishaps, the only wood tool related injuries I've seen involved the hatchet becoming embedded in their lower leg muscles - happened three times that I've seen (fortunately, never in my troop.) If we include pocket-knife injuries, a scout in my troop once amputated the tip of his forefinger (don't worry, it fully healed), but he, considering himself a "knife enthusiast," knowingly was using an unsafe knife in an unsafe manner.

  22. eagle97_78,


    I'm sorry to sound harsh, but your condescending tone, and general vagueness won't help to relate to many folks here offering advice, and certainly not with the audience you wish to "reach out" to.


    In reading your posts, I haven't really seen you describe any defined ideas as to what you wish to actually do. You keep using the term "reach out," but never really explain what you mean. Perhaps presenting a more clear picture of your situation, and your ideas, will draw more support from the community here.


    Many have replied to your posts, offering friendly advice based on their own experiences "reaching out." Many have cautioned you, trying to make sure you understand the nature of your target audience, the advantages and disadvantages of Scouting used in this way, and some of their own personal experience trying to do what you are talking about. You reply, calling their attitude "selfish," but never responding to any of the concrete advice they offer.


    I echo others responses, in that Scouting cannot hope to reach everyone, and that Scouting's primary purpose is not for gang prevention/crime fighting/etc. I'd also add that you shouldn't write off the scouts in your own unit(s) - they may not be on the brink of a life a crime, but how might you "reach out" to them, as they grow up? They joined YOUR unit - why sell short your role of helping them cope.


    Bottom line, I think you need to be more specific about what you're trying to do. If you can do that, then many of the "wise ones" on this form (those who are much more wiser than myself ;-) ) might be able to offer more constructive responses.

  23. Yeah, the age requirement is really controversial - it comes up for discussion every year in planning our council's course, and there are a lot of strong feelings and good points on all sides. I, myself, have mixed feelings, because I see where scottteng is coming is from... but... over the past several years, the overwhelming majority of homesickness problems have come from those for whom we've waived the age requirement. The quality of the program may be a factor, but we very rarely have trouble with the older scouts - they seem to buy into it much more. Perhaps some of it is over the head of your average twelve year old, but within the grasp of your average 13-14 year old. That may just be the nature of the material, rather than its presentation. This has just been my own perspective on my one council's course - your mileage may vary.

  24. I also do not remember there being a "ticket" component to the JLTC program - I think it might be a good idea, but I don't believe it was in the syllabus. There was a "Leadership Commitment" ceremony in the JLTC, which has been replaced with a more generic Closing Campfire Ceremony in the NYLT course.


    From what I've gathered, the new curriculum is being received well by participants - even if they can't turn their troops into fully boy-led, it is still easy for the scouts to see how they can apply most of the skills in any type of leadership situation. Of course, there are many elements of the new program that don't seem very well thought-out, but that's an entirely separate discussion.

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