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Posts posted by dScouter15

  1. Yeah, that age requirement is pretty tricky. In the past, we have tried waiving it for specific scouts who asked to attend, even though they were too young by about a year. In EACH case, the scout had left mid-week due to homesickness. Its tricky...

  2. It seems appropriate to mention today's events at Virginia Tech, and to remember the more than 30 people who were killed. Its hard to imagine the fear that the members of the community must be experiencing, and the grief of the family of the victims.


    Not to sound flippant, but the only thing I can think is: what the heck is happening to this world??

  3. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience staffing a council NYLT course. In my council, we are having difficulty recruiting scout participants to attend the course. Each year we seem to receive less, and, as a result, our staff is decreasing in number as well. A few years ago, the course ran three troops simultaneously. For a couple years now, we've been down to two, and it looks like we might be down to one in another year or two, if the trend continues. We one of the largest councils in the nation, so it seems like we should have greater representation.


    Our recruiting consists of a letter sent to each SM/CC explaining the course. Adult staff also speak at each district's roundtable to address specific questions, etc. However, enrollment continues to decrease.


    I'd like to think we run a good course - we changed over the the "new" syllabus (by now a couple years old) without much more than a hiccup, so I don't think that's the problem. We consistently recruit excellent adult support staff. We try to schedule the course for a week in the early summer, before summer camp/high adventure season gets into full-swing. I've never heard/evesdropped on a truly negative review of the course - some "neutral" reviews, but mostly good reviews. So, its hard to figure out why troops just aren't sending participants.


    Any thoughts?

  4. First, a quick disclaimer: I didn't intend to beat a dead horse, or open a can of worms, or *insert other negative metaphor here* so I hope no one's offended.


    Secondly, thanks for the responses - they mostly echo what I've seen within my own troop, and other highly-functional units. It always surprises me when some units seem a little too strict, with leaders making scouts run laps, do push-ups, etc for relatively minor infractions. I guess some boys may actually respond positively to that type of disciple, but I have always thought there was a better way, and the responses have confirmed that, at least, I'm not alone in my thinking.


    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. I have a question - this isn't related to any specific issue that may have occurred, I'm just interested in how various troops address behavior problems. Frequently, all it takes is a private, quiet conference with the SPL and/or the SM (keeping youth protection guidelines in mind, of course). Sometimes, though, this just doesn't work, and something more drastic must be done.


    So - in what ways does your troop address more serious behavior problems, or scouts who are "repeat offenders?" In my troop, at summer camp one year, our SM came up with what I think is a good idea: the "Dice of Doom!" The SM brought a pair of dice up, and if scouts had continued behavior problems, they would roll the dice. Each number corresponded with a specific punishment, which included cleaning the Kybo, cleaning up around the cooking area, straightening out the troop trailer, etc - nothing too strenuous, but ultimately very useful for the troop. Also, if the dice were needed, it was conducted in private - we didn't make a spectacle of it. Fortunately, we only needed the nice a handful of times over the past several years - guess we just have a pretty good group of scouts!


    Anyway, how does your troop address these issues?

  6. In my troop, we found that the fundraisers work best when the ideas originate with the scouts. Last year, the PLC and Troop Committee felt that it would be beneficial for the troop ton try to subsidize some of the summer camp fee - we wanted to have a coach bus transport the troop to camp. The troop's main fundraiser had been popcorn sales, which the scouts have never really gotten into, but it generates enough to keep the council happy and cover most of the troop's operating expenses. The troop also does a few other fundraisers periodically, with most of the proceeds going into the scouts' individual accounts.


    So, the PLC was charged with coming up with a fundraiser that the scouts in the troop would commit to. At the PLC meeting, several ideas were discussed, and several were discarded. The one that had the most support and seemed to be the most feasible was the idea of running a dunk tank at our town's weekend fair. The SM was skeptical that the scouts would actually want to follow through with this, so suggested that the PL's go back to their patrols and gauge support and commitment. The report was that the scouts thought this was a great idea, and would run with it. So, the committee set up reserving a spot at the fair, and renting a dunk tank - and that was the extent of direct adult involvement!


    The PLC came up with a great plan to assign each patrol to a 2-hour slot for working the tank. The duties would rotate - one patrol member would be on the "hot seat", one or two would handle collecting money and the balls for the target, and the rest were responsible for "advertisement" - trying to get as many people to pay the $1 for three chances. The patrols made signs, costumes, cheers, etc to use for their advertising. Whichever patrol made the most money would win a pizza party, which a couple of the adults agreed to pay for. To sweeten the pot, if the troop was able to raise enough to cover the cost of the bus, the SPL and ASPL would volunteer to get dunked in their full uniforms (the scouts, by the way, wore their troop T-Shirts and jeans or shorts when working this).


    The event was incredibly successful, and we're planning on doing it next year. We raised about $1100 (more than enough for the bus) - not bad for two days! The scouts really had a blast with the competition thing, and there were no problems with getting enough scouts to work each shift. Also, there were just a few scouts who didn't want to go in the dunk tank, but were able to participate by collecting money or other "dry" activities. The circumstances were also working in our favor - we had excellent weather, and the fair was very busy - a good chunk of the money we earned came from friends the scouts had from school or church, or from the scouts (and their families) dunking one another.


    What's even better about this is that adult involvement was a minimum - the committee handled renting the tank, collecting permission slips for all the scouts (we thought it would be a good idea if they would be in a dunk tank), and adults rotated supervising the scouts in the tank. Believe it or not, the fundraiser also help boost patrol unity - an all-around benefit, and the scouts are already talking about it for this summer.

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