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Everything posted by Eagle74

  1. Eagle74


    Check with your local FD to see if they offer a fire-safety program that is or can be tailored to fire-safety as related to Boy Scouts. Another source is a Dept. of Natural Resources (or whatever it's called in your locale) ranger. Speaking from my fire/emergency services background, ask for details about the program before you accept. Many have a canned program that will not relate well to boys in Scouts - safe and proper campfire setup, safe fire starting, etc. I would steer away from a program that emphasizes the "fear factor" to extremes or includes live demos of things like lighting hair spray, bug spray, etc. Being a Scouter I have the advantage of knowing what is applicable. My "class" includes proper use of matches & lighters, proper site preparation, how to build a fire, how to extinguish a fire, proper use of propane stoves, a demo on the dangers of liquid and gaseous fuels, safety precautions, emergency procedures, and hands-on practicals for each youth in the class. KoreaScouter is right on the mark. This should start with the advancement requirements and FireManChit (spelling?). The key is for them to learn that fire is a tool; and tools require knowledge of proper use, knowledge of safety precautions, practice in use, and what to do if something goes wrong.
  2. Leadership is not about teaching. Leaders do teach but teaching is not the essence of leadership. OK The essence of leadership is to command. The essence of leadership is to lead. The essence of being a commander is to command. A commander is not necessarily a leader. This means that you don't have a clue on what leadership is. Pot calling the kettle black?
  3. Thanks for the input and suggestions.
  4. Second Class: 8. Participate in a school, community, or troop program on the dangers of using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, and other practices that could be harmful to your health. Discuss your participation in the program with your family. The boys attending our public school system meet this requirement by participation in the D.A.R.E. progam through the schools. Our troop membership includes a significant number of home-schooled boys. There is currently no "program" of this type in which they participate. At my suggestion, one of the home-school parents had spoken with the school DARE officer about running a DARE program for the home-school group and the officer was more than willing to do so. Problems arose with the content of the DARE program and the home-school group has decided that is not the way they wish to go. I'm looking for directions to steer the group; suggestions for alternatives to the DARE program that they could look into. We are approaching this with open minds, simply needing to balance a need for the boys to complete the requirement, do so in a way that meets the intent of the requirement, yet be done in a manner acceptable to the parents. The parent I'm working with on this is willing to do the leg work, organize the effort, and follow it through to completion. For those of you whose childeren are home-schooled or who have home-schooled boys in your troops, what alternatives to the DARE program do you use? How has this requirement been handled by others in similar situations?
  5. Last summer was our troop's first at Crooked Creek. Before deciding on CCC, my wife, younger son and I checked out CCC and McKee. McKee was in the middle of a major renovation project, but most of the aging facilities still existed. We decided that CCC was the better bet of the two. For the previous six years or so we went to Chief Logan in southeast Ohio. As a scout I went to Camp Friedlander (original) on the east side of Cincinnati. As an ASM in the late 70's, early 80's took in a couple of others. We have not been to summer camp at the new Camp Friedlander, but are very familiar with it since it is literally in our backyard. Every camp has it's own personality, just like different troops have different personalities. While we were there, Chief Logan ran an "open program" - while some things were on a set schedule, most areas were open for scouts to walk in at any time to work on advancements or hang with the staff. It was a very friendly, very upbeat setting and our troop always had a good time (too much singing for my taste, but that's a personal thing). The beauty of it was a very visible, approachable, friendly staff and the boys liked that it wasn't just like going to school. The dining hall is small and poorly ventilated, making for a crowded, sometimes miserably hot mealtime. Tents are set up each week by the incoming troop and taken down before leaving. The last couple of years things seemed to be going downhill in the services dept. like food and facilities, and organizationally things seemed to be running less smoothly. I'll second many of the observations made about CCC, above. Good facilities, well arranged, big lake, decent overall program. The "scheduled program" is good for cranking out advancements, but very much like being in school. The offerings for experienced scouts are good. I also was not particularly enamoured by the Dan Boone program for new scouts; too much emphasis on getting lots of requirements signed off; too little emphasis on quality. I think the staff needs to be more approachable (for scouts), a little more friendly, and a little more visible. A scout would see some staff members for an hour for class and then never really be able to interact with them any other time because they retreated into staff world. Some of our scouts would really have liked to be able to get back to a skill area for more time working on projects, etc., but the area would only be "open" during limited times each day for specified classes. If I could take the best of Logan (like the upbeat atmosphere, very friendly staff, and at least a semi-open program) and put it together with the best of CCC (great facilities, wider range of opportunities for advancements, activities for seasoned scouts), that would be the icing on the cake.
  6. Eagle74


    It's a deal. I'll buy :-).
  7. Eagle74


    Our troop will be there the week of July 11, but I'll not be making the trip this year. As the ASM for the NSPs and since my son decided to go to Crooked Creek this year, I'll be doing Crooked Creek the week of June 29. It was also a little too much for me to get two different weeks off work two weeks apart; plus I plan to be in the middle of a major home remodeling project during that time. I think I'd rather be going to Haliburton, but being the martyr !!!??? I'll take the hit this time around. We have given serious thought to either having the entire troop go to Haliburton next year or switching between Haliburton and Crooked Creek (or another camp) from year to year. After last year's summer camp, we thought we'd give Haliburton a spin before including the new scouts. For one reason or another, last year's summer camp experience was a challenge. I'm not sure if it was just the particular group of new scouts last year or if it's a sign of changing times, but we had a notable amount of "homesickness". It was the first time we have ever experienced this. We've had maybe a couple of "sad scouts" over the years, but I can't remember the last time a scout wasn't over it by the middle of the week. This year it was like six - with a couple persisting throughout the week (nobody went home though). It was a trying experience, especially for me since I was the only adult that spent the whole week at camp. At the risk of spinning this thread off into another topic, we have spent hours discussing how many of the boys and parents seem to have changed alot within the past two to three years - especially the parents. It seems for lack of a better phrase "a different breed". Much more intimately involved in every detail of what the boy does, much more apt to do for them instead of letting them do for themselves, much more apt to not "let go", much more apt to wish they could be there for their boys at every moment, but oddly at the same time much less apt to be in tune with what's going on in the troop. At first we thought it might just be last year's group, but we're starting to see the same with the group that just bridged a couple of weeks ago. One interesting observation by one of the other ASMs was "if we could work with just the boys, away from the parents (if they would just let go), I think they would all probably be just fine." As I mentioned above, it made for a new, challenging, and somewhat bewildering summer camp experience. In all honesty, even though overall it was a good year at summer camp for most of the troop, I was kinda relieved when the week was over.
  8. Eagle74


    Thanks mk9750. The seed was planted a couple of years back by one of our former committee members who had been to Haliburton with one of his previous troops. He and former troop had nothing but good things to say about the experience. This is the year we make it happen, as the PLC decided last August that there were enough boys interested in putting forth the extra effort needed to make the trip. We are blessed with a number of adults who are well qualified as merit badge counselors. But, as BobWhite mentions in one of the other threads, our aim with Haliburton is more to take in the experience than earn merit badges. NWScouter - One of the reasons we are doing a split program this year is that the older Scouts are burned out on the "typical" summer camp experience. They (and we adult leaders) wanted a week of something new and a little more challenging. Quite a few of them are also attending camp at Crooked Creek. We will have eight to twelve brand new scouts (bridging over the next couple of months) along with about a dozen scouts that will have just over one year of experience (last year's NSP). As you can gather from mk9750's post, Haliburton is a little "less developed" in the comforts dept. than the typical summer camp we have been attending - we had some concern about throwing new scouts into this experience; as did their parents. Nevertheless, we want all boys in the troop to have a summer camp experience available to them every year. We also like the idea of first year and second year scouts having something to look forward to; something to work towards.
  9. Generally, I also find that some summer camp merit badge sessions suffer from a race to finish in a week or lack of focus on the individual scout's knowledge/skills/abilities due to the group teaching approach. Several of our Scouts have started various merit badges at summer camp and gained partials, only to have the local merit badge counselors who they go to to complete the requirements find that them lacking because they did not really complete requirements or exhibited poor (or no) knowledge. Some summer camp merit badge counselors do an excellant job, others leave much to be desired. I agree with FOG that there are merit badges that lend themselves well to the summer camp setting such as swimming, lifesaving, boating, shooting, archery, and many of the outdoor skill mbs. I would disagree with FOG in that some of the craft-type merit badges also work well in the summer camp setting. Where I have real heartburn is summer camp offerings of merit badges such as Citizenships, Communications, and the like. Venture scout - I applaud your effort to use the broad range of available counselors. All too often scouts will take the easy road of earning merit badges only through summer camp and/or through counselors within the troop. The positive experiences you gained are what we try to emphasize with the scouts in our troop. In BORs our scouts are asked about where and from whom they earned merit badges, along with asking them to relate what they learned - not a rehash of the requirements, but life experiences, people they met, new things learned, and so on.
  10. Eagle74


    Our troop will be doing two summer camp experiences for the boys this year. All troop members will be able to attend camp at Crooked Creek in KY. 1st Class and 13 y.o. can attend camp at Haliburton in Canada (either; or; or both). Anyone been to Haliburton? Pros? Cons? Likes? Dislikes? Advice? It sounds like a great place for camp, but we have no prior experience and limited references.
  11. Congrats also, from the Eagle Class of '74. You should be rightfully proud of your successful completion of the Trail to Eagle. Reflect now upon what it took to get there and the support and help you received along the way. Then begin the Eagle Trail, a trail of service to others, a trail where you give more than you received. You are at a pinnacle from which you will jump and soar high; high where others will look up to you. Your new trail follows the sun, moon, and stars. The Eagle Trail is the one you will follow for the rest of your life, facing new challenges with courage, compassion, and integrity. Good Luck and Godspeed!
  12. My apologies mk9750. I just had time to reread your post thoroughly. It would actually be just the opposite. "If the person to be lead has no need to be taught, coached or convinced that the leader should be the leader, or that that task must be done, directing can be an expediant way of accomplishing the task." This would indicate any of the styles other than directing. The simple way to think of it is that directing is a task-level, hands-on, instructional approach. In your example, you would take a "here's the goal/objective, make it so, let me know how it goes" approach. "If the person to be led doesn't know how to complete a task, doesn't want to do it, doesn't understand the reson behind it, or doesn't accept the authority (I'd like to have used a different word here), then one of the other styles of leadership is better. In any of these cases, Directing may still be the expediant way to accomplish the task, but there is no value other than task completion." In this case directing or supporting would be best. Remembering that directing is usually task-level, if they don't have the knowledge or skills, directing is the best and most expedient approach. If they have the knowledge and skills, but not the motivation, supporting (motivation) is the better approach. I hope this clarifies rather than adds confusion. Take a look at the following link and it may be more clear. It has a short, but pretty good description of Situational Leadership. http://www.peak.ca/articles/situational.html (This message has been edited by Eagle74)
  13. OK craneace, I answered your first question even though I saw no compelling reason to do so. As for your second set; goodbye and good luck, for I too question your (unannounced) agenda. BW, I liked that; that was good.
  14. In a nutshell that's pretty much it. Just realize that the goal (usually) of directing is to move the learner (or subordinate) to the next level of development which allows the leader to move on to a higher - less directly engaged and usually more efficient - level of leadership. Unfortunately, some followers/learners never move forward in their developmental level - they always need to approached with a directing style of leadership. And conversely, some leaders never move out of the directing style - they are often called micromanagers. Also, the style of leadership usually needs to change as a leader "moves up" the leadership position ladder. His mentors will initially deal with the NS Patrol Leader at a directing level. As the Patrol Leader comes to understand his leadership role and is trained to understand expectations, his mentors change their leadership style. The New Scout Patrol Leader is typically dealing with Scouts at a low development task level. As the New Scouts learn the tasks/learn the system, the Patrol Leader switches tracks to a coaching or supportive style. This is why junior leader training, early on, is crucial. As the Patrol Leader moves on to ASPL or SPL, he would hope to be leading in a supporting or delegating style because his Patrol Leaders are functioning at a higher developmental level. Adjustment of leadership styles sometimes occur over time, but sometimes need to occur in an instant. In my example above, the mentor appropriately changed from directing style to delegating style within the course of say 30 minutes (example 1 to example 2). Leadership style needs to be fluid - constantly adjusting to the circumstances and the developmental level of the follower. The importance of matching leadership style not just to the circumstance, but also to the developmental level of the learner cannot be overemphasized. Think about the last time someone read a PowerPoint presentation to you word for word, covering a topic that the audience already has extensive knowledge of. This is an example of using a directing style of leadership (teacher (leader) vs student (follower)) in an inappropriate manner. Both sides suffer - the teacher looses control or interest of the students, and the students pay no attention to the teacher. And ultimately the goals are not met.
  15. Ok, Ok. Slaphappiness aside: Baptized Catholic, raised Lutheran, attending United Methodist church on a less than regular basis at the UMC that is our troop's CO, but still consider myself Lutheran at heart.
  16. Close. Do I detect a disdain for Cincinnati Chili? How about "Sliders" or "Belly Bombers"? That was my close second. (That would be White Castle hamburgers for those of lesser cuisinary experience.) Cuisinary - is that a word? lasteagle83, would that be a directing or coaching style of leadership? Have we totally destroyed this thread yet?
  17. OGE, right on the mark! Was that a veiled shot at me?! I'm appalled! I throw down my neckerchief - scout knives at 20 paces! Or better yet - wood badge woggles at 50 paces. Cincinnati-style Chili. I know, I know. What in the world is "Cincinnati Chili"?
  18. Sorry, I have no idea what happened to the description of #4 in my post above - maybe a directing or coaching style of leadership from someone would be appropriate! Here is what it was supposed to be: #4 The Scout knows knots and lashings, has built a towel rack before and is good at pioneering. "We need one at each of three wash stations. How about it?" "Mr. Patrol Leader, have somebody else do them, I want to go fishing." "Our campsite inspection is in 30 minutes and nobody else is available right now to do it; they're all busy doing other things. Can you help me out?" "Only if I have to, I've been busy all day, I want to go fishing." Task Knowledge - High Transferable Skills - High Motivation - Low Confidence - High Developmental Level - high 3, maybe low 4 Appropriate Leadership Style - Supporting (low direction, high support(motivating))
  19. Situational Leadership - Four Examples, the first of which is Directive: "Follower" - First year Scout, very new, no previous Scouting experience. Task - Build a (lashed) Towel Rack Task Knowledge - Low, has never seen one before, has never built one before, has never seen anyone else build one. Transferable Skills - Low, can do square knot and tautline hitch, but hasn't yet learned clove hitch or lashings. Motivation Level - High, wants to do it, willing to learn anything. Confidence - High, "I can do this". Developmental Level of Scout (based on evaluation of the four criteria above) - Developmental level at 1 or low 2 on a scale of 1 to 4. Appropriate Leadership Style (based on developmental level of Scout and criteria above) - Directing Directing Style of Leadership High in Directive Leadership (task-based leadership) "First we need three sticks about this long. We lay the sticks out like this. At the two spots where the sticks intersect, we start with a clove hitch; and the lashing is done like this. Now that the lashings are done we simply stick it in the ground and Behold! A towel rack. Good Job! you really learned that quickly. " Low in Supportive Behavior - The Scout is already motiviated and confident. We still support, but the concentration on supporting need not be as focused as if the scout is either not at all motivated or not confident is ability to complete the task. #2 Now, since the Scout knows how to build a towel rack, "We need one at each of three wash stations. How about it?" Task Knowledge - High Transferable Skills - High Motivation - High Confidence - High Developmental Level - high 3 or 4 Appropriate Leadership Style - Delegating (Low Directive, Low Supportive) #3 The Scout has been instructed on how to build a towel rack. "We need one at each of three wash stations. How about it?" "Mr. Patrol Leader, I don't understand the clove hitch and lashings. And besides, I just did one, why can't somebody else do the rest of them, I want to go fishing." Task Knowledge - High Transferable Skills - Low (still not does not have the skill set) Motivation - Low Confidence - Low Developmental Level - 3 Appropriate Leadership Style - Coaching (high directive and high supportive) #4 #3 The Scout knows knots and lashings, has seen a towel rack before. "We need one at each of three wash stations. How about it?" "Mr. Patrol Leader, why can't somebody else do the rest of them, I want to go fishing." "Our campsite inspection is in 30 minutes and nobody else is available right now to do it; they're all busy doing other things." Task Knowledge - High Transferable Skills - High Motivation - Low Confidence - High Developmental Level - high 3, maybe low 4 Appropriate Leadership Style - Supporting (low direction, high support. (motivating)) Task Knowledge - High Transferable Skills - Low (still not does not have the skill set) Motivation - Low Confidence - Low Developmental Level - 3 Appropriate Leadership Style - Coaching (high directive and high supportive) I think part of the stigma here about "Directive" style, is what it is being called. "Directive" implies "an order". More correctly it is called the "Directing" style of leadership, with the implication being task-level instructional is needed. The directing style is most properly used when both the task knowledge is low and transferable skills are low.
  20. Something to think about: If what is posted in this thread by BW (and others on that side of the fence) is true, is not the organizational chart posted in another thread upside-down?
  21. Thank you dsteele. An underlying implication here has been that the directing style of leadership is "bad". It is not. It is simply one of four styles, all of which are appropriate when applied appropriately based on the situation. Hersey and Blanchard developed their Situational Leadership principles on the basis of research that concluded that there is no one "correct" or "best" style of leadership - the most successful leader has a "style of leadership" that fluctuates and adjusts to the development level of those being led. I hope to have enough time soon to post some more on this.
  22. Positive reinforcement encourages and helps individuals along to the next level of behavioral development. Also, with further development of followers, leaders will find that they can change their style of leadership; moving from directing to coaching, coaching to supporting, and ultimately from supporting to delegating. Some pointers for positive reinforcement: - Praise immediately. Praise when the positive behavior is observed. - Be specific. Specifics show you really were paying attention. Tell them exactly what is was they did well. - Don't add more work. We often fall into this trap - you did a great job so I think I'll pile on more work. We have a tendency to keep piling more work on top of competent people - so much so that we eventually burn them out. - Forget the "but's". You did a good job, BUT next time ... - Encourage more of the same behavior. Not examples, but a few simple tips that are easy to remember.
  23. Much like you I am satisfied with and much happier with a simple "thank-you." But, I think of it the same way as I think of a funeral. Funerals are for the satisfaction of the living; it doesn't really matter to the guy in the casket whether it's a simple goodbye or a lavish affair. Somewhere along the way I learned that my gracious acceptance of a thank-you or gift often times gave as much (or more) satisfaction to the giver than the gift did to me. If your wishes are taken to heart, great! If not, smile, graciously accept, and move on. I affectionately tell my wife that at some point when it is my time to meet with the great scoutmaster of all scouts, my family will have to figure out what to do with all that stuff boxed away in the attic - and someone will buy it at a yard sale, at a good price - guaranteed!
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