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About dwightc

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  1. Well, this is quite a long thread, full of very interesting opinions and far too much vitriol for my tastes, but I thought I'd throw in my two cents worth... First, we have to take a few things for granted (as we only have one side of this, which I currently have no reason to find dishonest): * The troop has several fundraisers, one of which is designated to maintain troop resources, the remainder devoted to building "accounts" for boys' Scouting-related needs * Past practice has allowed Scouts to take funds with them when moving to other Scouting units, with drop-outs' funds reverting to the troop treasury (apparently when the boy reaches 18, with funds until that date held in escrow) * The troop has experienced changes which the Scout in question found not conducive to his Scouting experience - he attempted to change what he considered wrong from the inside, deciding to move to another troop that better fulfilled his needs when his attempts failed * His parents backed him in his decision, and did not attempt to unduly sway him one way or the other * The troop appears to be moving away from the ideals of Scouting as espoused by the BSA (run by the Scouts with assistance and guidance by the adults) * Adult leaders, at many levels, have been less than helpful in working with the boy and/or his parents to date in working out the various problems Given the above, I have some real problems with what many of you are saying. It is NOT wrong for a boy to move to another unit that works better for him than the one he is in - the only alternative is for the boy to leave Scouts altogether...is that what anybody wants? We're not talking about somebody upset because he didn't get to perform a flag ceremony or something, we're talking about a troop failing to give the boy what he feel he needs to further himself as a Scout. Add to that the distinct possibility that the troop may be failing to adhere to its own charter. Perhaps there are a few misunderstandings comingled here, but if the SMs wife is performing duties not within her - or any other adult's - scope (is she even registered as a leader?), that would be an indication of some real problems. I've noted other problems as well... There are also several assumptions that the parents and/or Scout were informed of a change in procedure regarding the handling of accounts in the event of a transfer, but chose not to listen or flat-out ignored the message. Folks, that's assuming a lot, and it presumes that the family involved is dishonest in some way or another. Everyone here knows that there are folks that are self-serving and will stop at nothing to further their own cause, but I have read nothing here that would make me assume such in this case. Here is a boy that has been a Scout since he was in the 1st grade and wants to continue and grow - I see absolutely nothing wrong in that, do you? Families leave Scouting far too often, and sometimes it's because of things that can't be helped by anybody outside of those families. But when it involves something that is caused by Scouting itself, we need to fix it. I would hope that wouldn't include lawsuits, protests or bad press, as that will, in the long run, only cause harder feelings with all involved, and the likely outcome would be a dark cloud hanging over the Scout, deserved or not. Perhaps the first step (assuming failure at the unit level) should have been contact with the Unit Commissioner to try to iron things out - this should have been the first suggestion made by anybody at district and/or council. As it seemingly now stands, I would have to assume that the Scout will not get his money. That's a shame, if it is indeed owed him, but it should be a learning experience for everyone. The troop should learn that they need to make everything clear to everyone just what their policies are and stick to those policies - if there are no written policies, they must adhere to any precedence that has been set until such time as a written policy, changing such handling and known to all, is set. The boy should learn that everything is not always as it seems, and that sometimes things won't work out as one might hope - I would hope that distrust is not one of the lessons, but it might be hard to avoid in this case. I would also hope that the parents would learn to be even more involved that they may be - while it sounds as though these folks were doing their utmost, perhaps even that wasn't enough... Sorry to be so long-winded - I just find this whole situation to be sad and hope that we all learn from it.
  2. Hmmm, sounds like you may have lots to do... First of all, forming committees should really be the job of the Pack Committee, although you're likely to need to assist in the recruitment effort (always a challenge, but make it fun for both you and the prospective members). Moving on, get all the training you can, as that can make all the difference in how well you understand and perform your job. If possible, get trained in all aspects of Cub Scouting so you have a full understanding - barring that, read up using the current materials (there have been several changes lately). I guess that one of the most important things is to try not to do too much, although it may be tempting. If you get carried away you're likely to suffer from burn-out, not to mention the distinct possibility of upsetting some of the other adults in the pack. As a matter of fact, delegate whenever possible - it will help you keep your sanity and assist in building a core of adults that you can later call on for other slots in the leadership that your pack may need to fill. As far as a Web site goes, try to find a free site that you can get donated from a Web hosting service. Many will do this for you, and you can avoid the use of "free" sites that are full of pop-up and banner advertising. Often, these ads are inappropriate for Scouting, annoy your users, and, importantly, are against BSA policies. It might be a good idea to review the policies before creating your site, which covers such things as URLs, name usage, the above mentioned advertising, etc. Oh, and Good Luck!
  3. I agree with the original poster about the names being posted. I would be OK to have the boys' first names and last initials OR photo(s), but not both together, as it is an invite for problems. I believe this is actually addressed in the BSA guidelines for Scouting Web sites. Nice site...wouldn't mind some feeback on my pack site as well (http://www.scoutworld.org/pack198/) if anybody gets a chance, as well as my district site (http://www.chippewadistrict.org/). Thanks, everybody!
  4. dwightc


    Sometimes it seems like it's been at LEAST 80 years...
  5. It is my understanding that camo is not merely discouraged but is actually against BSA standards, as are any military-type uniform pieces. The official uniform pieces often look military enough without adding flight jackets and combat boots. If is probably very important to keep in mind that whether the Scout, Scouter or even parent thinks that such wear is "cool" (or whatever the vernacular may be these days...), the BSA has no intent to represent itself as a paramilitary organization. Yes, it (or its British parent)possibily had its beginnings somewhat in that direction, but the appearance of such is frowned upon in many parts of our country. Of course, if you can get your hands on a full uniform from the 20s using the jodhpur pants and all (BSA policy allows the wearing of any age official uniform, as long as it is in full, i.e., not with 60s pants and 70s shirt, et al), that should provide a military look, albeit a rather dated one. By the way, I'm a veteran, and I've worn enough military uniforms... I just wish the official stuff fit better and was a bit lower in price.
  6. dwightc


    Actually, at least for Cub Scouts, it is probably a good idea to sew the rank patches (or temporary insignia on the right pocket) all the way through the shirt. This keeps the shirt hanging nicely and prevents the boys from cramming things in their pockets which would tend to detract from their appearance, not to mention the longevity of the shirt itself. After all, who knows what a boy will try to fit into their shirt pockets. By the way, I've been sewing, machine and hand, since I was a Tenderfoot...that was back when Wilson was presiden, if I recall correctly.
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