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Eagledad

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Eagledad last won the day on January 15

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About Eagledad

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  1. Eagledad

    Eagle Board of Review (Appeal)

    Funny, I just finished posting on a different subject about this very thing. It's hard for the average unit volunteer to grasp the idea of incompetent adults being put in positions of responsibility. But, in volunteer organizations, it's closer to normal than you want to know. Just ask any church leader. Once you see it from the District and council levels, you start to have empathy for the paid scouters who spend much of their time cleaning up after these volunteers. Many DEs burnout because they would rather do the work for the volunteer instead of worrying if the work was getting done. Barry
  2. Yes, there are all kinds of adults in volunteer positions. For that particular post, I was referring to adults who jump into a volunteer position purely for the stature of the title. It makes them feel good about themselves. You can find them in all positions in volunteer organizations. We talk about them a lot here on the forum in the CM, SM and CC positions because the level of responsibility is so high and important. But there are plenty of volunteers like this under the ASM and committee member titles. They likely don't have the skills for the responsibility, but don't really care because what they wanted was the title. They will try to perform to the best of their ability, but their skills fall well short. If left alone, they often do more harm than good. These are the volunteers that district committees seem to attract, I don't know why. I found they can do a lot of good when they are given step-by-step instructions. I was close to a situation where a district committee chairman was awarded the the Silver Beaver for bringing a complicated district program online. We all knew she was just a puppet for someone who'd rather stay in the shadows of recognition, but she did work very hard none-the-less. The Silver Beaver is the highlight of her life. Barry
  3. Thanks, that fills in the picture pretty good. Some adults aren't cut out for the responsibilities of a Scoutmaster. And some of them just don't see it. I have worked with several Scoutmasters who believe, with all their heart, that the independence of making decisions in a patrol environment is the best kind of experience a boy can have for his future as a man. But, they don't have a picture of what that independence looks like for scouts this age. In many cases, narcissism drives them to some degree. While they nobly take the responsibility to better the lives of these young men, their egos drive them to force the scouts to perform to their vision of the ideal boy scout. Since narcissists generally believe they are always right, they aren't usually open to suggestions. They truly believe their way is the best way and will drive the scouts to think and do it that way. I personally believe it is mild form of mental illness. On the positive side, many of these leaders are good at marketing their vision and tend to build large units. Typically adult run Eagle mills, which makes sense. But successful none the less. Barry
  4. Everyone here is ready to take this guy out to the woodshed, but I'm wondering about the rest of his Scoutmastering style. Do the scouts like him? Is he as controlling with the patrols as he is with service projects? Do the adults like him? Does he get along with the committee or does he run it? I'm just being nosy, I know. But we have been pulled into this drama to the point of testing our scout-like patience. What does the bigger picture look like? Barry
  5. I have concluded that 50 percent of leaders volunteer for this reason. This is why I have so much sympathy for the DEs. Barry
  6. Hmm, is anyone surprised that litigation is killing youth programs? Barry
  7. Eagledad

    Troop office expectations

    Your troop is in a rut and needs a little outside shaking up. It's normal because the male human mammal is by nature...lazy. It's ok, that is our nature, I hear male lions are even worse. Lucky beast. But, the good news is we males are also attracted to adventure. Adventure can mean anything really; a troop doesn't have to hike the Grand Canyon for adventure. I have no problem with adults adding a little boost to the program when they do it passively. First off, change the troop meetings around for a couple of weeks. Meet somewhere else. In better weather, I like to push the scouts to plan something at a local park. Orienteering is really good because it makes the scouts hike off on their own looking using the compass to find the end goal. Which could be a treat. But this time of year, I might suggest a bowling ally or skating rink. Sure, why not. OK, you said the camp outs are boring. It's not that the adults don't have creative ideas, it's that you aren't sure how to push the PLC to try a few ideas. Call the SPL and ask him to allow you 15 minutes of their time. Don't tell him you brought a guest who is an expert in fly fishing, shot gun sports, rappelling, competitive archery, or even building hot rods. Then, go out and find that expert and come up with some kind of weekend activity that the troop can do two or three troop meetings to prepare for. We did this with Rappelling. We found a couple of rappelling experts who helped us train the scout for two troop meetings, then worked with us for a full Saturday at a state park where we camped. But you could do it with shooting experts or fishing experts, or whatever you come up with. Have your expert give a 15 minute presentation for the PLC and then suggest they kick around ideas for using your expert for a FUN campout. You can do this with anything really, but the objective is to shake up things to get the PLC out of their rut. Barry
  8. Eagledad

    All Day Webelos/AOL Activity Days

    Call a local troop and ask if they can help you. This is easy for most PLCs because they plan whole weekends of activities for the same skills. The Webs will enjoy older Scouts running the activities and the troop will look forward to new recruits. We pretty much let our scouts do it all without any adults. Barry
  9. Eagledad

    What's in a name?

    When our scouts earn their 1st class, they are eligible to sign off advancement if they take a couple of simple 5 minute training courses. One was writing a legible signature and date. Yes, that 5 minute course was a reaction. The other was a process for teaching. Basically it was: 1. Give your name, 2. Give the name of the skill you are teaching 3. Explain why and when to use the specific skill, and list the resource references. 4. Teach the skill until the student teaches it back to the teacher. I learned those 4 simple teaching guidelines at the old pre 21st Century Woodbadge course. When the Scouts were preparing for their EBOR, I usually suggested reviewing the "whys" of the skills since they couldn't be retested on demonstrating them. Barry
  10. Eagledad

    What's in a name?

    Sad to learn that because it means National lost the understanding of the structure for developing moral and ethical decision makers. Leadership is but one of many actions that develops a scout's character and selflessness. Like the GSUSA, National is actually diminishing the importance of leadership actions by focusing it into an outward personality trait. The reality is that leadership method will have lost it's importance in the development of a scout because now the position of leadership will be a higher priority than the simple actions of the whole team. The result is adults will make sure scouts are put in leadership designated positions. They won't earn the honor, they will be assigned a stature for record. Leadership actions in scouting were intended to shape and enhance character traits, not turn into a personality trait. Few realize that followship actions are just as challenging and as much of a character developer as leadership actions. The actions of Followship are required for a successful team in the patrol method, and a well rounded person with moral and ethical decision traits. What a mess. Barry
  11. Eagledad

    What's in a name?

    This is the primary place where BSA training has failed. First off, training sets the standard for the whole of the program. I used to teach District leaders that if the units are consistently doing something wrong, training is likely the cause. If a district wants to change consistent unit performance, they must do it through training. Second, modern BSA training gives a lot of what to do, but not the why. The old handbooks and training syllabuses provided a great deal of instruction that included the why. That is why you will find the best scoutmasters today generally have read and can quote from the writings of the creators of the scouting movement (Powell, Boyce, Seton and Hillcourt). Their writings provided purpose and methods to the mission. Because it's not trained, 90% of today's Scoutmasters don't understand the relationship between the BSA Mission, 3 Aims, or the 8 Methods. In fact, very few SMs can even say the 3 Aims, much less the 8 Methods. Without realizing it, Scoutmasters are the salesmen and saleswomen of the BSA, if not in their words, then in their performance. If leaders don't understand how the building blocks work toward developing ethical and moral decision makers, how can anyone outside-looking-in possibly understand. This is why Patrol Method as the primary rail to the mission of building moral and ethical decision makers is crumbling in the modern program. Nobody respects how the method gets a young person from point A to point Z. Barry
  12. Eagledad

    Irate potential cubmaster

    Excellent post AnotherDad. Good leaders have vision and a plan for driving the program toward that vision. But, a successful program includes excited parents and leaders. If the parents are happy, their sons are happy. Look at any Pack with consistent high Webelos Crossovers, and you will see a program with happy adults. When I started as a CM, our Tiger dropout rate was horrible and our Webelos crossover rate was less than 50%. Three years later, the crossover rate for both age groups was 98% . All we did was make a few changes to make the program easier and more fun for the adults, not the scouts. Barry
  13. Eagledad

    What's in a name?

    Hmm. Maybe a name change is due because what you lace all your posts with is not skepticism. I will skip most of your reply and go directly to the root of your ranting. and it's not just you, but a few others here also. It's the part where you express frustration of those who resist moving on into the new direction. Shesh, ever since you joined this forum, your angry posts have the appearance of an immature 25 year old without any of life's experiences. And that is who I send my replies. You could Knock me over with a feather when I learned you are probably older than this grandfather. Your frustration reflects snowflakes preaching Safe-places. Safe-places is code for "restricting free speech". Snowflakes would rather restrict speech than patiently listen and absorb because they don't have life experiences to have a dialoge with reason and logic. They simply lack the maturity to sit, listen, and seek a cohesive resolution. I've read several articles all suggesting this behavior is the result of the Smartphone. But you were weaned off of the old Bell dial phones. Not all change is good. From what I can see, nobility isn't motivating National's policy changes. Indications are the ONLY reason National changed direction is simply to survive. Not political correctness or to give girls a chance to an outdoor program or any other noble vision. The BSA is simply trying to survive by attaining more funds through a new demographic source of members. Can survival be a noble motivation? That would be an interesting discussion that might change hearts. OK, girls in the Troops fits your dreams, but surly you can understand why it's not the dream for many who through experience are married to ideals of a program that successfully survived for the last 100 years. Whatever successes you have observed outside of the program, how could they trump my successes inside the program? You should be empathetic to the resistance because change is hard and calm only comes from quiet voices of hope. I'm told by my kids that old men are set in their ways. But maybe not. In my religion, God teaches man humility, not pride. Hope is a fruit of humility. Maybe we can change simply by changing what we preach. Girls are here. Just relish in that change and set an example of quiet observance. If you have an antidote to offer some hope, give it without judging those who aren't of the same mind. And while you are calmly working hope into the hearts of the hurting, also remember in your quiet humility, you could be wrong. Barry
  14. Eagledad

    What's in a name?

    Since skeptic started his juvenile post with a condescending opinion, I am curious to hear his evidence of inter-gender activities that he says challenges boys with more success. A mature response would have started with evidence and skipped the unscoutlike postering. Barry
  15. Eagledad

    Multiple Bobcat Ceremonies

    First and last meeting were campfires at the local park by the lake. The first meeting campfire was for the Bobcat ceremony and the last meeting campfire was for graduating each den to the next year rank. The last meeting campfire was on a Friday so the New just graduated Webelos could spend the night with the new Webelos IIs. January was AOL ceremony, February was Blue and Gold and Pinewood. The snake guy came in April when the awards agenda was light. They always like the snake guy. A little of both I guess. The Webelos led all the Opening and closing flag ceremonies. One Bear or Wolf Den was part of the opening and closing. The Webelos showed them how and where to carry the flag. The Webelos (called CM helpers) were expected to perform at least one skit, and several walk-on skits, with a Bear/Wolf den also performing a skit. Often the adult leaders did a skit....because everyone wants to be part of the fun. Many of the Award ceremonies were participation with the whole pack doing a cheer, yell or even a dance as the scout received their award. We got the parents as involved as we could. I found by accident that scouts love to watch their parents sing silly songs. I generally recruited a parent to lead the songs. Only silly songs worked for this age. Boys of this age don't sit and watch very well, so my goal was to get them on their feet yelling as much as possible through chants, cheers and jumping until the neckerchief hits the floor type stuff. I told a lot of jokes. But that ,believe it or not, was more to entertain parents. Turns out parents like to participate also. Of course little brother and sister like the jumping yelling stuff. As I said, the key to a short meeting is moving from one agenda item to the next with a little pause as possible. And the key to that is everyone knowing when do their part. I learned the younger the scouts, the more the den leaders have to participate. Tigers pretty much require the Den leader to stand holding the their hands. The Webelos need no help or guidance from their leader. The only time the sign was raised to get the groups attention was by the Webelos to start the flag ceremony. The rest of the meeting flowed too fast to loose a scout's attention. That was the goal anyway. Each meeting was a little different. The Webelos II den came 45 minutes early to set up the chairs and we never set them up the same. Sometimes the awards ceremony was done at the first part of the meeting, sometimes it was done toward the end. It sounds complicated, but actually each meeting had the same parts (skits, song, and awards), they were just moved around so the scouts never knew what was coming, which helped keep their attention. This was around 22 years ago, so I'm forgetting a lot. Barry
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