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Eagledad

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Eagledad last won the day on December 3

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About Eagledad

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  1. Eagledad

    Committee voting

    That is how it is typically done in functioning troops, but I remember when we started our troop, expert resources were thin. Starting with the procedure that you want to continue with the for years down the road is the right way to go. But, if you have a tent expert on the Committee, certainly consider all your resources while developing procedure for a scout run program. I hope I'm not saying something that breaks the Scoutmaster image, but I didn't know everything when I was scoutmaster. There, I said it. No earthquakes yet. Delegate and watch. Barry
  2. Eagledad

    Committee voting

    That's quite an assumption there. I'm going to assume that you haven't camped much in Oklahoma. Barry
  3. Eagledad

    Committee voting

    Yes, sounds like to many cooks in the kitchen. I agree with empowering the smart people, or person. Look for the expert to ask the right questions for considering the right selection. Budget may be one of those questions, but you don't need a whole committee to make that point. And keep the PLC in the discussion. As for the tent itself, I agree that the Timberline is a fine tent for scouting in general, but it doesn't hold well in the Oklahoma winds. They tumble away really well, which is why dome tents are more popular here. Just an example of why you need to ask the right questions, and other troops would be a great start. Barry
  4. Eagledad

    standards for Scouts

    I agree fully. I've told this story many times, but it seems to apply a lot; after the scouts went to their activities on a campout, I was walking a trail with an ASM that had joined 6 months earlier. He had also been on 6 camp outs so far. I asked him what he thought of our troop after six months, he said, "I'm surprise to learn that even though the adults try to keep a measurable out-of-sight distance away from the scouts, their behavior very much mimics the adults'. Role modeling is very powerful and their attitudes of everything will eventually be seen through the scouts. Even if the adults detest the uniform, but force themselves to wear it, their scouts will eventually express (or expose) the adults hypocrisy. Which is why I agree with ParkMan's other point, "As Scoutmaster you want adult support for transformative decisions.". The more successful troops recruit adult staffs who agree with the Scoutmaster's program. All in, or not welcome, is the unmentioned rule of successful units because while Scoutmasters can verbally direct scouts to act like scouts, a cohesive scout culture intuitively builds the scouts naturally. I learned over the years of observing troops that the two most challenging methods for both the adults and scouts is "Uniforming" and "Advancement". Ironically the reason those methods are a challenge is because each group have apposing priorities for using the methods in their scouting experiences. Adults typically want uniforming and advancement for their vanity of showing off the idealistic scout. Uniforming and advancement are just bothersome actions that get in the way of the adventure youth want from the scouting program. The purity of role modeling is the middle ground where the two groups come together, even they don't see it. So, the more pure the program goals are for the scouts, the more pure the adults will role model the program. And the more authentic the scouting experience will be for the scouts. Barry
  5. Eagledad

    standards for Scouts

    Interestingly there are management concepts for this; once a person goes through puberty, they by nature don't like change. I'm sure there is some primal reason for the resistance, but the solution is to first sell the new idea or change, once there is desire for the change, then there has to be process of teaching the actions for the change along with a positive experience. Most Scoutmasters are pretty good salesmen, I think the hiccup comes with teaching and experience. If the SM is trying something new, the change has not been perfected enough for teaching and positive experience. Even knowing all that, my experience was older scouts were happiest with minimal change. Barry
  6. Eagledad

    Advice for a new wood badger

    Excellent advice. When asked to think about it, seems like most Wood Badge participants find they wear several hats. While on staff, I guided the participants to do exactly as ParkMan advised, pick the one position that intrigues you the most and focus on doing that one thing very well. It's good advice. One CM was also the Webelos leader and Tiger leader. I showed her the skills of delegating and recruiting. As just a CM, her pack doubled in size. One really good Pack CC realized his skills would benefit hundreds more boys at the district level. I really don't think what Parkman is saying is profound, I think it's what most of us want but are afraid to do. Barry
  7. Eagledad

    standards for Scouts

    I tell every new Scoutmaster with plans for changing the current culture to support two programs. The young scout program where your change will come from, and the older scout program that basically continues the same program. The human nature of youth 14 and older DON"T LIKE CHANGE" and I have yet to meet a Scoutmaster who successfully converted their older scouts to the new program. Bend a little maybe. Push as much as your willing to tolerate, but don't let the frustration interrupt working the younger scouts. Don't die on this hill, it's not worth it. Help them with their Eagle as much as they ask, but step back otherwise. Barry
  8. Interesting that you think the BSA will survive. I'm not so sure. They certainly don't have the resources of the church. If the BSA does survive, the program won't be recognizable as the traditional youth camping program of the past. I guess it's more a matter of what level of sacrifice is satisfactory justice. Barry
  9. Eagledad

    Northern Tier Training in DC Area

    I would just call district first, and then council to ask for contacts with a lot of Northern Tier experience. Then go from there. We did all our training with someone that has 30 years of Northern Tier experience and some of that wasn't even near the water, like how to pack a canoe correctly or how to lift a canoe over your head. You might learn of more contacts who have access to canoes from the first contacts. All that is good, but unlike rivers with a current, wind is the big driver of fatigue on large lakes. I don't understand the science, but it doesn't matter what direction your paddling, you always have a headwind. What should take one hour to cross on a calm day could take two or even three hours in a head wind. Unlike hiking, if you stop to take a break, you loose ground, so stopping isn't really an option. The exercises with the most benefit is moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes or more. Even a 3 mile fast walk 3 times a week that gets the heart rate up would be fine. Or interval training (HIIT). Interval training can be done with any exercise, but lets use walking as an example; warm up for 5 minutes with moderate walk, then a very fast walk for 1 minute with a moderate rest walk for 2 minutes. Do that five times and you will feel the burn. I suggest something like that because most scouts don't go to gyms to get in better shape. Truth is most youth are in pretty good shape, it's the adults who need to get in shape. But, if you ask the scouts to do a couple of 3 miles runs a week, they don 't seem to mind. As for carrying gear, smaller scouts carried smaller loads, while the larger scouts carried heavy backs and canoes. The advantage of portaging is that you can, and will, go back for second loads. Hopefully you don't need to go back for the 3rd. Barry
  10. Eagledad

    Northern Tier Training in DC Area

    Training is a very good idea. We had one adult who seem to always have an excuse for not making practice, and he regretted it the whole trip. He expressed once at the evening meal how he couldn't wait to reach portage to rest is aching paddling muscles only to hate the work of portage itself. It was a cycle that made him dread getting up every morning. But I always felt sorry the most for his son who had to defend his dads constant whining. Looking back, I believe learning and practicing to load and unload a canoe at portages is the most important skills for first time Northern Tier crews. Yes, practicing strokes is good too, but when you have 6 or 8 canoes waiting at a portage entry for YOU to load or unload your canoe, you start to respect your ability to unload heavy packs and lift a canoe over your head while standing on slippery uneven rocks. It's a team sprint and the better each member understand their role when the canoe comes to a stop, the faster the crew gets on the water or portage trail and out of the way of the other crews. I remember our crew of 4 canoes holding at a small portage entry in the water for over an hour waiting for two crews of girls scouts (8 canoes) to unload their canoes. Some on the portage entries only allow one canoe at a time. Not blaming the girls at all, it was just bad luck that two crews reached the single canoe entry at the same time. But, it does emphasis the importance of skills for getting in and out in a timely manner. If every member of the crew can learn and practice the technique of lifting gear out of the canoe and lifting canoe out of the water over their head, they will be way ahead of the learning curve. As much as inexperienced crews anticipate padding that first lake, it's the first portage that exposes their hard skills. Second on my list of skills is using the map and compass. All islands and hills look a like from the middle of lakes. Barry
  11. Eagledad

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    It's a great idea, and one I would try again if I were back in scouting. I've created a lot of new programs through the years and I've learned a lot from them. One, is don't make the program with a vision so complicated that it couldn't be handed over to the average volunteer. The problem with idealistic visions is that generally the gatekeeper of the vision is the creator. And when the creator is gone, the vision changes leaving the program at the whim of whatever. The perfect example of that is Wood Badge. It was designed for the most experience Scoutmasters who were respected for their experience, not their beads. The course lost respect when it expanded to lesser experienced scouters. Still, your suggestion is good and worth trying. Barry
  12. Eagledad

    On a positive note (Thanks Giving)

    Thanks, I'm looking forward to their comments. I hope I'm not being self serving because I am cooking the turkey. They better like it.😎 Barry
  13. Eagledad

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    I agree, but often this is where idealism crashes into realism. The best DE in our district was first a well respected SM of 25 years. He did more good for our district than and other person I can remember. However, he quit after just a few years because he found the challenge of filling the District positions competent volunteers too stressful. On the other side, the DE who replaced him was a young lad relying heavily on his training because he didn't have any troop scouting experience as a youth. Ironically, he was driven out in one year by the district volunteers for his incompetence. I don't really have a point, but I thought this was an interesting story to the idealism of the BSA structure. Barry
  14. Eagledad

    No hugs, Aunt Sarah, we're GIRL SCOUTS!

    Right? Isn't that dictated by the parents. The GSUSA is sending a message to their scouts to fear their families. If anything, the GSUSA is adding confusion because they are ejecting fears into personal intimate family situation. Parents are the social teachers of our youth, not some cold impersonal national organization that paints the world under one color. I grow tired of institutions thinking they are at parenting than parents. On a side note, my psychology friends told a a long time ago that the brain feeds on the simple touch more than any other sense. That is why babies who are held a lot seem to have better social skills as adults. Now, I know that social dynamics is a lot more complicated that that one definition, but I did observe that a simple touch calmed excited youth faster than words, especially ADHD youth. Barry
  15. My sister is sponsoring an international high school student from Germany and he is excited to experience the American Thanks Giving holiday. In fact, his family back in Germany have expressed that they are also excited for him as well and can't wait to get a report. Another family in her neighborhood is also sponsoring an international high school student from Norway. Since the two students have become close, my sister has enjoyed getting close to both of them. Turns out the parents of the student from Norway are here visiting their daughter, and had no plans for Thanks Giving. When my sister learned they had no plans, she invited them to join our family as well and they are also very overjoyed to experience the American holiday. It's refreshing to meet families that want to experience a tradition that many American families seem to take for granted. Barry
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