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Eagle76

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About Eagle76

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    Newark, California
  1. Committee meetings are held during troop meetings, so I tend to keep an eye on the Scouts, while the SM attends. My understanding of the plan was for the SM and SPL to present the calendar, but I'm not sure if the SPL was there. The SM expressed his opinion, but the committee members expressed their opinions (obviously negative in the majority), took their vote, and overrode the SM.
  2. Here's the story, as short as possible. The troop calendar was put together by the PLC, with guidance from the SM and myself, the ASM. Historically, our troop, which meets on Monday nights, didn't meet on any holiday. But the SM and I had discussed how there was no reason not to meet on the "minor" holidays, like Columbus Day, MLK's birthday, and President's Day. So the calendar presented to the troop committee showed troop meetings on those days. The troop committee (which includes any parents who wish to attend) discussed the calendar at length. They took a vote, and decided they didn't want to meet on the Mondays mentioned. They issued a revised calendar, announcing this was the calendar approved by the committee, and that for the most part, the troop will not meet on the Monday night of a 3 day weekend. Did the committee exceed their authority? If so, what steps would you suggest? Or did the SM and I exceed our authority?
  3. I address this to the original post: "...I do want to know to what benefit it will be to the troop and not my personal gain. Elaborations and experiences would be appreciated. " I base this on my personal experience. Unless you are incredibly blessed, your troop in not perfect; there is room for improvement. I will assume from your question that you are interested in helping your troop improve. You probably even have some specific ideas on what you would like to see improved. You are not interested in the response "You'll have fun", because if your goal were to have fun there's no shortage of ways to have it, without going to Wood Badge. To complete your Wood Badge ticket, you will need to carry out 5 projects. You can/should tailor these to the specific areas you would like to see improved in your troop. As my patrol-mate summarized it "Find a hole, and fill it." Only you can judge specifically where your troop can stand to benefit. Because you must clearly define your goals, make plans to reach those goals, and then carry out the plans in a timely matter, you will achieve these goals, and thus bring improvement in the troop more quickly and efficiently than you would otherwise. When you hit an obstacle, through Wood Badge you will have acquired tools and methods to help you overcome them, and you will have met people who can provide you with advice and assistance, and whose own experiences they can share with you to help you and support you. Without the discipline imposed on you by the Wood Badge ticket, you are more likely to spend a lot of time standing around, jawboning with your compatriots about how the troop should do such-and-such or not do so-and-so. Maybe occasionally you'll find something specific, but relatively insignificant, to do on the spur of the moment. Maybe you'll start some bigger project, but something will come up to divert your attention, and the project will go unfinished. And when a year or a year and a half has passed, you'll have have accomplished less than if you had taken on the challenge of Wood Badge.
  4. Eagle76

    Which "evil" to choose?

    I'm going to chime in, but there are a few things to bear in mind that certainly affect me, and probably other posters here: 1. The filter of our personal experience affects how we interpret the questions/statements of others. This especially pertains to the terms "adult-led" and "boy-led". Without specific examples these terms will conjure different images to each of us. 2. Our thoughts are given without many supporting facts you (the OP) possess 3. We are more cavalier in our opinions, because we will not bear the consequences of a decision Regarding Troop 1, could it be that they are less boy-led because they are younger? If that is the case, and the adults are well trained (a conclusion I may be leaping to based on the statement that they are active at the district and council level), is it possible that greater responsibilty will be given to the boys as they become capable of carrying it? Even if the answer to these questions is no, I would hope that a knowledgeable new leader like yourself would be able to gently steer them back on course by asking leading questions. Regarding the bullying (which of course should be halted ASAP), without more data I would tend to think it is more likely an isolated occurrence than an institutional practice. Regarding Troop 2, maybe it's boy led in the sense that they are picking the paintball, amusement parks, etc, but is it really a Scout program? To me, the description given smacks of untrained leaders (which raises all the questions Lisabob poses) who are basically providing a play-time program for the boys. To me, it's a danger sign if amusement parks, etc, are too dominant a part of the program. My concern would be that leaders who have not already taken it upon themselves to get trained are not going be persuaded they need training. That would make it harder to "straighten out" Troop 2 than Troop 1. Finally, I'm going to quibble with ASM59 a little. I don't share his deduction that Troop 1's program is geared for older Scouts. Without more data, I would assume "spelunking" to involve no more than participating commercial cave tours, since anything more would indeed violate G2SS. Thus I would assume younger Scouts can still participate. As for backpacking (Warning: this is a personal sore spot!) I disagree most strenuously that it is too difficult for younger boys. In fact, this belief has left the troop I currently serve in what I would term a crippled state. The troop used to do nothing but car camping, because the adults believed it was too hard for younger Scouts. The older, Philmont-capable Scouts have now aged out, and our 15 & 16 year olds have never carried a backpack, and don't want to, because they have absorbed the lesson well that it's "too hard". To counter this belief I have led several backpacking trips for our youngest and smallest Scouts, because I believe this is a vital skill for a young Scout to learn. Granted, these trips ranged from only 1.5 to 3 miles. As a result, they are living proof against the belief backpacking is not too difficult for young Scouts. (Edited to add: the OP's latest post appeared while I was composing, addressing some of my points. The needs of individual boys may certainly call for different decisions for different boys, but I see fewer (or smaller) "strikes" against Troop 1, and think it is closer to the mark overall.(This message has been edited by Eagle76)(This message has been edited by Eagle76) (Forever fixing typos)(This message has been edited by Eagle76)
  5. Eagle76

    Troop open house - game

    Aha! (light bulb comes on) I forgot that part. The Scoutmaster brought a large plastic bag filled with those individual size bags of potato chips, Fritos, Doritos, etc. Apparently these were left over from a recent Scout activity; Webelos Woods or something. I believe these were distributed as "prizes" for demonstrating bandages, and everyone ended up with some, including the Webelos, of course. As Scouter&mom says "maybe it was just that food always wins boys."
  6. Eagle76

    Troop open house - game

    This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but... Last night our troop meeting was unexpectedly visited by a local Webelos den. (I think there was some communication at the adult level, but I don't think the Scouts were briefed.) The plan had been to work on first aid bandages, then do a bandaging relay. So, the Webelos Scouts were provided the same instruction as our younger Scouts, by the older Scouts. I'm not sure if the bandaging relay ever came off, but for the last 15 or 20 minutes the boys played Steal the Bacon. The Scouts were divided into 2 teams, and the visiting Webelos were distributed among the 2 teams, paired off against each other. By all appearances, a good time was had by all. My son, a normally cynical 14 year old, reported afterwards that the Webelos were a good group. Apparently, word is that of the 6 visitors, 5 or 6 will definitely be joining us next spring, and my son, who will be Troop Guide, is pleased with these "prospects." I think that the moral is, just include the Webelos, make them feel like they're part of the troop already.
  7. Eagle76

    Finally

    Congratulations, purcelce! It's a nice feeling, eh? The "tradition" in our council is to urge us to try to get our ticket completed in one year, and then come back for a big beading ceremony in front of the next year's Wood Badge participants, so that's where I was Saturday night. Out of 28 2006 participants, 14 of us got beaded Saturday at the end of the 2007 Wood Badge course's participant's campfire, along with 3 participants from 2005. (At our campfire last year, there was a much larger contingent of 2005'ers getting beaded.) 5 of us were Bears, the only patrol there in full force. (I kept telling everyone we had the best patrol!) We were asked to each say a few words of encouragement to this years participants. I think the best comment was from a fellow Bear: "Find a hole, and fill it." Eagle76 WE3-28-06 I used to be a Bear
  8. Maybe this will work better than resurrecting my old thread... I haven't been reading or posting to this forum much lately, as I've been spending my lunch hours working on ticket items instead. Now, looking back over the last year, I think the most important thing Wood Badge has done for me is captured by this quote from Lisabob: "It also offers you an opportunity to develop your vision for the unit and come up with a comprehensive strategy for achieving that vision." In a nutshell, it made me focus, and it made me set goals, which I think made me more productive than I would have been otherwise. So I've been working on TLT training materials, aids to assist the PLC in annual program planning, and encouraging more emphasis on scheduling and carrying out activities which provide advancement opportunities for the newer Scouts. I think the troop has benefited from my efforts, but there's still a lot of work to do. I repeat my thanks to SueM, NeilLup, and Lisabob, as well as OldGreyEagle, Eagledad, and the rest, for your earlier encouragement, interest and advice. Oh, and I and the rest of my Bear patrol will be getting beaded on Oct. 13. Thanks again.(This message has been edited by Eagle76)(This message has been edited by Eagle76)
  9. Eagle76

    patrol identity/honor patrols

    I really like this idea of a monthly competition. The variations and possibilities are endless. Since your stated goal is to strengthen patrol identity, here are a couple thoughts off the top of my head: - Points for having the patrol flag at every troop meeting - Points for performing the patrol yell at every troop meeting - Patrol competitions for points: knot relay, compass course, etc. And maybe it's not very original or creative, but for a name, how about "Patrol of the Month"?(This message has been edited by Eagle76)
  10. Eagle76

    Wood Badge Tickets

    So I''m resurrecting this thread one last time as a means of reporting my progress. I haven''t been reading or posting to this forum much lately, as I''ve been spending my lunch hours working on ticket items instead. Now, looking back over the last year, I think the most important thing Wood Badge has done for me is captured by this quote from Lisabob: "It also offers you an opportunity to develop your vision for the unit and come up with a comprehensive strategy for achieving that vision." In a nutshell, it made me focus, and it made me set goals, which I think made me more productive than I would have been otherwise. So I''ve been working on TLT training materials, aids to assist the PLC in annual program planning, and encouraging more emphasis on scheduling and carrying out activities which provide advancement opportunities for the newer Scouts. I think the troop has benefited from my efforts, but there''s still a lot of work to do. I repeat my thanks to SueM, NeilLup, and Lisabob, as well as OldGreyEagle, Eagledad, and the rest, for your earlier encouragement, interest and advice. Oh, and I and the rest of my Bear patrol will be getting beaded on Oct. 13. Thanks again.
  11. Eagle76

    Going Back

    I'm in the exact same situation at J-dawg. Our troop has gone to the same summer camp for at least 7 years in a row that I know of, possibly more. This is my 3rd year with the troop, and I'd like to encourage the boys to try someplace new. Our council has 2 camps, and I know the Scouts like the camp with the lake. Maybe in the past the adults have not given them other choices. So I've done some research, and am planning to present some options to the Scouts. They want a lake? OK, other camps have lakes. How about a lake 10 times bigger? How about a camp that offers merit badges not offered at our old camp, like Motorboating, and Waterskiing? Wish me luck, because I'm really ready to try someplace new.
  12. Eagle76

    does your troop help pay for NYLT?

    Maybe my troop is affluent, but... We budget, and pay the complete registration fee, for 2 Scouts per year to attend NYLT, (called Brownsea in my council) BUT...the Scout pays the fee up front, and is reimbursed upon completion of the course. Course completion includes coming back to the troop after the week-long training, and with the SM's participation/approval, plans and carries out 2 (or is it 3?) leadership projects in the troop. Projects must be completed by the following November to get reimbursed.
  13. Ditto to all those who said send him the trinkets and let him know you're willing to participate in the COH when it's set up. But, to repeat something from a thread not too long ago, if you find yourself in a position to talk to a Scout who is thinking about forgoing a COH because he doesn't like to be made a fuss over, or doesn't like being the center of attention, remind him that probably one of the most important parts of the COH is the opportunity for a newly-minted Eagle Scout to acknowledge and thank his parents and others who helped him along his way. In this specific case, maybe go ahead and include a letter which emphasizes these points. "The troop is looking forward to participating in your Eagle COH, and I'm sure you are anxious to have the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank your parents and others who have supported you in reaching this lofty goal..."
  14. uz2bnowl says: "Mostly we let people walk all over us and come and go whenever the hades they please" Sorry to say, there's a bit of this in my troop, but there's more to this behavior: Then we complain, but when someone suggests we do things differently, we say "That won't work, so we'll keep doing things the Way We Always Have."
  15. Eagle76

    Dad wants his boys to sleep in his tent

    I spun off what I hope will be a fun thread (Adult Patrols) and made a throw-away comment that it's bad for Scouts to sleep with their parents, and I figured I should probably elaborate and defend my statement. Although GTSS is not violated, and maybe it's not a deathknell for the Patrol Method for Scouts to sleep with parents (and I see no difference between Mom and Dad), I think by the time a boy reaches Boy Scouting, it is time to give him some independence (as always, barring any extenuating circumstances, especially medical in nature). Sleeping with a parent immediately raises the questions of "Who set up the tent?", "Who's searching through the Scout's pack to find his extra pair of socks, or his jacket?" and so on. The original question is a symptom of a deeper problem, even if, as others have noted, Its Me will have a difficult time changing things as a newcomer. Long Haul has it right in his last post: Tenting assignments should be part of the troop preparations, done by the Scouts without adults. Troop expectations should be set and communicated that adults operate separately from the Scouts as much as possible. It has to be make clear, as mentioned before, that a troop campout is not Cub Scout Family Camp. Brent Allen rightly quotes: "During troop camping trips, the patrol usually will function as a unit, establishing a campsite independent of the other patrols but not too far from the rest of the troop. Patrol tents can be grouped together, often with buddies sharing two-person tents." However, when Long Haul asks: "How many of us have each patrol sleep in a different campsite where the phrase not too for from the rest of the troop would come into play? Does this mean we are not employing the patrol method?", we should not lose sight of the overall goal. If the geography prohibits spreading out, you still do the best you can. Thus, if patrols are camped side-by-side, they operate as if they were all alone. If the adults are camped right beside, the patrols should operate as if they were not there, as much as possible.
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