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Eagledad

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Everything posted by Eagledad

  1. Eagledad

    Handling THAT kid joining

    You and Matt have very wise insight. A scout doesn’t have to be mean or stubborn to be challenging, they can have significant mental challenges or be physical handicaps. I remember having one such discussion as the patrols were setting up camp. A new Patrol Leader who just receive a mentally retarded scout was finding the scout challenging. He was concerned, so we both sat down and came up with ideas together. Truth was the new scout was a new challenge for all of us. So were were all in the dark. I could tell when we separated, the PL was going to make it work. But I think what gave him the most confidence wasn’t so much our ideas, but that he and the SM were going into this as a team to make it work. He wasn’t alone. I can think of a dozen scouts over the years who significantly challenged their patrols. One of the ways we handled it was by reminding the PLC that they were a team. If one of them needed help in any way, ask the nearby youth leader for advice or help. But, more importantly, if you see a youth leader struggling, walk over before he even ask for the help to show support. I especially reminded the older scout of this expectation. Scouts learn the most by observing; as the young scouts observe these actions over the years, the troop culture matures in its habits and expectations. What I found as our troop matured was that we adults heard less of behavior challenges. As Cambridge is pointing out, the scouts have developed the skills to deal with all kinds of behavior and nipped the possible problem situations in the bud before they escalated into a problem. That doesn’t happen overnight, but cultural maturity grows faster than you would think. Of course mature troops can have their own problems, like what are the adults supposed to do when the scouts are smarter than them?😳 Barry
  2. Eagledad

    Handling THAT kid joining

    Pre-judge is bit harsh, the OP is simply listening to his scouts and planning ahead. How would you have even able to provide your suggestions without a request for ideas. Barry
  3. Eagledad

    Handling THAT kid joining

    Badon Powell used this concept as well, and I had one scout who fit this this model. But I agree with qwazse, you don’t know until you try. We had one terrier of a scout that changed his ways when he realized we weren’t taking anymore of his crap and assigned an adult to be at his side every moment of his scouting experience. When he realized we wanted him out, he changed. I still remember the very moment the lightbulb turned on in his head. What we learned later was he was adopted and his parents realized they didn’t want him. We were babysitters to give the parents alone time and this scout knew it. He was rebelling and trying to get negative attention from his parents. But when he realized the troop had reached its limits, he didn’t want to loose scouting. He may have been rebelling, but he liked the program. He is now an Eagle. You just don’t know. The hard part is getting the scouts to except him as part of the patrol. I also had scouts that wouldn’t (couldn’t?) change and eventually quit. Scouting is hard. No two scouts are alike. Throw in a few problem parents and you find yourself loosing sleep. Barry
  4. Great Question because so few troops look at their program in this way. They have expectations but don't really analyze why the scouts aren't meeting them. Instead of stepping back, reflecting and trying something new, they react by intruding and pushing. Now, I'm not saying adults should never provide input to boost the program, scouts simply run out of ideas. But, when a scout has to be continually told to wear his uniform properly, something is a miss. Scouts need self motivation to grow, not the threat of adult intimidation. The reason I rather used mixed age patrols instead of same age patrols is that we used both of them and the growth of scouts in same age patrols was unquestionably slower. We didn't care which style we used, we just wanted productive growth. We were able to observe the two types of patrols side-by-side and the growth of young scouts with continued older scout role models excelled over the new scouts who waited for Troop Guides and adults to push them along. So, we made a change to our program, a big change. We mixed the new scouts into the existing patrols as fast as possible. But we tried to evaluate every little part of our program like that. What worked and what didn't work. Maybe we were obsessive about it, I don't know. But we were doing something right, the troop grew from 15 scouts to 100 scouts in five years and we didn't even go looking for new scouts. And that was after loosing 50% of our new scouts the first couple years when we were learning. Yes, we live in different times. Youth today aren't used to disciplined structure that we were raised in, so they need A LOT more or different motivation to reach expectations. And frankly, different expectations. When I was a scout, my SM was a pilot. He challenged all the patrols to complete against each other in inspections, skills competitions, and living by the Oath and Law. The patrol with the most points in six months would get a plane ride. That was some motivation. As a pilot myself, I made the same challenge as my mentor, and while the patrols put in some effort, it basically fell flat. It's not that they scouts weren't willing to compete, they just weren't into the same challenges. For one thing, youth today are used to instant gratification. Six months turned them off from the start. Also, skills are boring. When I was a youth, knots supported everything from tents to camp gadgets. Today everything is held together with bungie cords. Yet, when the PLC came up with the idea of a Triathlon campout of hiking, biking and canoeing, through 16 different skills stations, ALL the scouts were all in. There was no plane ride for motivation, the pure fun of hiking biking and canoeing, (mostly biking) drew them to compete. That was not the adults idea, that was all scout. There is a quote somewhere by Badon Powell where he talks about the Scoutmaster being the older brother of the patrols. I think that is what he meant. Adults and older brothers think differently, have different motivations and different visions of adventure. The adults have to change hats and become big brothers to find the expectations that motivate today's scouts. I know that sounds simplistic, but if the adults don't find their motivation, the troop will struggle or become adult run. Side note: I got a call from the Pack of 30 Webelos that wanted to camp with us to see our troop in action. We knew nothing of this pack, but I told them about the Triathlon campout we were doing this weekend. However she would have to call the SPL because the PLC would only have 4 days to prepare for 30 Webelos and their parents to camp with us. I didn't know what the SPL would say, but he was up for it. The Webelos and their parents were so tired from Saturday's activities that they skipped Sunday breakfast to go home. We honestly weren't sure if they felt our troop was a bit too much and would join another troop. Silly us, all 30 scouts joined. I think the best answer is to keep trying. Find motivations that appeal to the scouts. I mentioned how our scout learned how to work together in breaking camp in one hour. The motivation was stopping for some junk food on the way home. It is as simple as that. But as I said, they not only broke the one hour goal, they got better and better to where 80 scouts broke camp in 30 minutes. Once they got inertia to work better as a team, they kept going. Not only did they break camp faster, they complained less and helped each other more. You have no idea how much the influences younger scouts. For the older scout to just walk over to help you fold a tent and them move on means so much to them. Those young scouts grow up to be older scouts helping younger scouts. Role modeling really works. I still am amazed by it. I didn't realize how big a deal the habits developed from breaking camp was until a trail guide we had on a backpacking trip commented that our crews were the fastest boy scout crews he had ever seen for breaking camp. He said the average crew took two hours where our took 20 minutes. He said our crews could sleep in a little the rest of the trip if we wanted because he would have to adjust his normal schedule. Using that reward was a shot in the dark. Yes, stopping for junk food became a bit of a tradition, but it gave us so many benefits that we didn't mind. I'm sure I will come up with a lot of other things we learned along the way. But, if you can start tuning into your scouts world and find what gets them excited, I think you are clever enough to use that leverage to your advantage. One other example, our scouts were pretty good at annual planning. Annual planning was one of the first action items for the PLC after elections. Well, these things always took about 8 hours because scouts loose focus. I don't remember who thought of it, but we decided to combine a lock-in where after the planning is done, the scouts do all-night video games with all the pizza they could eat. Wow!, we finished our annul planning "IN 3 HOURS". And they got better each time after. Imagine 12 months of planning in 2 HOURS. Did we adults see that coming, NOOOO! Not only did the PLC Annual Planning Lock-in motivate the scouts to be more efficient with planning, the PLC was the envy of all the scouts. Scouts ran for office just for Annual Planning night. Of course they learned that PLC works very hard and the lock-in was more of a reward than a carrot. I challenge any troop to run a better annual planning session. My advice is don't be satisfied with low performance. Keep trying new ideas. Some ideas stick, some don't. And respect your PLC as mature adults. If you respect them, they will work like the dickens for you. One example of that respect was a time I wanted to change our six month elections to one year elections. Every troop I visited with one year elections had very mature PLCs because the SPL had a year to lead. I learned through our own troop that the SPL needs about four months just to get his feet under him. That only gave us about 2 months with a productive SPL. Why not eight months instead. It made complete since to me. I proposed the idea to our PLC. I'm a pretty good sales man and can usually get what I want. But after laughing, they put the brakes on that idea. OK, another time. I spoiled my PLCs. Our PLCs averaged over 50 PLC meetings every six months, so I always had special treats waiting for them like cokes, chips, pizza. I respected their hard work, and they respected me by giving their best. If I look back at my scoutmastering experience as successful, it was only because of luck. I tripped over most of our good ideas. Barry
  5. This discussion went so far off in the weeds that I'm not even going to look for the ball. Trust Game? Patrol Method is the trust game. It is the game for the purpose. Adults don't see it so much today because they don't allow the scouts to push it to the stress of scouts challenging each other. The four stages of team building are forming, storming, norming and performing. Forming is easy, throw a bunch of guys into a patrol. Storming is simply the stage where the members fall into agreement for their responsibility to the team for reaching the goal, or goals within the expected time fame. The goals should be strenuous enough to force members to understand the need of each member taking a responsibility. Done correctly, the scouts find themselves challenged with using the Scout Law because in most cases, pride has to take a back seat to accept the responsibility. Replacing pride with humility can be a struggle. Nothing beat "expectations" and "time" for pushing scouts outside of their behavior comfort zone. Expectations and time became my favorite goto techniques to push scouts in growth. It was how learned. One example is in the old days, patrols were used to daily inspections. Those inspections require continued camp custodial actions. All tents are neat and tidy with all sleeping bags rolled and clothing put away in packs. Does anybody realize the challenge of that one task for this age group. We used to have reveille, which was early enough to make getting out of the sleeping bag hard, but a must because that meant the patrol had a very limited time to their cooking, kp, and tidy up each tent campsite required a full effort for the team. Failure meant a bad inspection score and maybe even dirty dishes for lunch. I didn't realize it then, but scouting taught me how to be organized, or suffer from pressure from my patrol mates. My kids laugh that I have a reason for when and how I do the simplist tasks just to be more efficient. I like a discussion of ideas to amplify growth, but I think we need to keep it within of the normal troop program. Competition and building team trust are more difficult today because the culture today identifies stress of growth as a form of abuse. So, making this stuff fun is even more of a requirement. But it's worth the discovery. Barry
  6. Eagledad

    Blue & Gold cost

    We did pot luck at both B&G and COHs. No cost with good food. The troop has done pizza for COHs and that went very well as well. If there is some cost, but not a lot, a donation jar tends to bring a balance. Barry
  7. Eagledad

    BACKPACKING: Dinner

    Well that explains it, my specialty was knots and I was never invited to cook. What SSS's post describes it the technique of sumping (I think that is spelled right). Our troop learned it's back county techniques from an old timer who had canoed and backpacked all around the world. We didn't know any other way until the Phimont Guides asked us what we doing. They weren't impressed. Sumping is not really that hard UNTIL THE MEAL IS BURNED. Ohhh! Maybe that is why they kept me at knots. Barry
  8. I don't know, at some point the scouts have to be left on their own to ponder the dreams of adventure. Adults inducing more structure can overwhelm the natural learning from the patrol method. Competition among boys is natural, so it's really more about the adults not getting in the way. Adults can and should encourage more opportunities of competition, but I found, more often than not, that the adult suggestions didn't appeal to the scouts. Adults have to learn more and faster than the scouts just to keep up. Adults have learn how to work with the nature of youth this age. Like and older brother, adults have to blend guidance and mentoring in with the intuitive nature of the scout, not the self-serving desires of the adult. We have to remember that Scouting is game with a purpose. But purpose and game do require balance. All that being said, for adults to learn what works, they have to try change. However, wisdom is the fruit of humility. I used to teach in adult leaders courses that I did things wrong more than I did right. But, we tried all the time, and a lot and that is why are program matured. Another way of saying game with a purpose is the 8 Methods are the game and the 3 Aims are the purpose. As we seek to enhance and magnify the purpose, let's remember that the game must stay in balance. In its idealistic design, if the scouts do their part with the 8 Methods, they will practice the values of scouting. Just doing the 8 Methods might be the adults biggest challenge. How does the saying go, "The first rule of doing something is do no harm". Barry
  9. What you are talking about Competition. Competition is how troops have been intensifying Patrol Method and living the Scout Law since the beginning. That hasn't changed. What has changed is how scouts want to be rewarded for their success. Ribbons were very popular when I was a scout, but scouts today don't even like patrol flags. You have the right idea, you just need to find the rewards that motivate competition. Our troop used to do the Golden Spoon competition at each camp out. The Scoutmaster would sample Saturday Night Patrol meal and judge the best. The Golden Spoon was handed over each camp out. Anyway, done correctly, competition forces team work and team work forces each patrol member to be responsible, or the team fails. That expectation causes stress and stress is where scouts start making decisions without thought of the Scout Law. That is when storming starts and that is where scout discover the limits of making decisions based from the Scout Law. Unfortunately the BSA doesn't do a good job helping adults handle these situations. Adults tend to over-react by telling the scouts they are being bad and to CUT-IT-OUT! In reality, this is where the Scoutmaster should shine. The Scoutmaster listens to the scouts and ask questions to get the them thinking why they acted the way they did and the other possible actions or decisions they could have chosen, base from the Scout Law. It takes practice to recognize these opportunities, and even more practice in quietly listening and asking questions without getting emotionally directive. I know it using stress to drive scouts to learn from their decisions sounds backwards, but stress is the best teacher and a clever Scoutmaster finds struggle where ever they can. It doesn't take much either. Just following the camp agenda forces the patrol to work as a team to get the objective completed on time. Cooks have to get the meals cooked in a limited time, KP has to be completed in limited time and campsite clean up has to be completed in limited time. "Time" is the Scoutmasters friend, the shorter the better (more stress). Scouts don't like stress, so it causes them to re-evaluate themselves and seek solutions. One example I can think of is breaking camp. Our Troop used to take 2.5 hours to break camp and cause us a lot of frustrations with the parents and the COR. So, we came up with an idea. If the scouts could break camp in one hour, the adult drivers would make a junk food stop on the way home. It took them a few campouts, but they did it. Then, they got it down to 45 minutes, eventually the troop only took 30 minutes to break camp. I challenge any troop to do that. I'm off track. Whatever motivation you are looking for, look for reward in growth. The patrol leader who lost his cool the last campout needs another chance to lead the team to success. Loosing their cool under stressful situations is basically forgetting to be friendly, courteous and kind. How does he do that, well teach him to slow down the situation down, delegate more or remove the problem scout. Don't yell, simply ask for them to help or comply. Same goes with the scout who struggles with the request of the PL. That scout is not only not being friendly, courteous and kind, they are also not being trustworthy or loyal. Sometimes learning to serve the leader is harder than the leader learning to serve the team. I think you are on the right track and we can all learns some good ideas here. The goal is for scouts to make wrong decisions so they can contemplate a right decision. I remember a tent of 4 excited new scouts jabbering up a storm the first night of summer until 2:00 at night. The SPL had to warn them several times, but they jsut couldn't help themselves. I got up and asked them to go on a hike we me. At first they were terrified they were in a lot of trouble, but it was a gorgeous night and the stars were brit. I stopped about every five minutes to talk about the stars, or night hiking techniques or anything to get them to relax. After about a mile, we stopped to talk about anything, and then I asked them why we went on the hike. I didn't say they were in trouble, but they assumed that. I told them they just needed to walk off a little energy. Then we talked about what they should have done. The hike was out of place and unusual, so the scouts felt stressed enough to think about their choices. It's really wasn't hard for them to figure out their wrong choices. They never caused the SPL to get up past lights-out ever again. Your are on the right track, push the scouts to recognize good and bad habits, and encourage each other to develop good habits. There must be a 1000 ways to do this. Barry
  10. Interesting the timing of this thread. I went to pick of a Diet Coke for my wifes usual morning pick-me-up at the corner Quick-Mart. The young lady ( 25 or so) turned around and saw me standing there holding the coke and told me that it was on her and to have a great day. Not that I was having a bad day, but she was the beginning of a really good day. My experience is that the newness of new things wears off pretty quick with scouts. So, the Fireballs (or whatever) will turn into the Troops theme or motto of showing appreciation of special acts, not just rewards. The scouts are pretty smart about these things and they will get it. Of course, they will want a little sweet now for themselves and grab a Fireball. But that day the SPL observes a scout from a different patrol helping a scout start a fire, he will be glad for the fireballs because he wants to show off that scout's special act. What a great way to express his heart outwardly of living the Scout Law. However, habits change with will. Units struggle today because adults in general are too close for scouts to feel comfortable making decisions based on their own personal principles. Scouts this age don't want to be lectured, so if they feel they will be judged, their actions are more to appease the judges than to appease himself. A scout needs freedom to discover his natural processing of reason and conclude for himself any advantages of change. Then, a scout must practice consistent actions until the actions become a habit. I remember talking to a scout about changing habits and he said he was focused on making all good choices. I gave an example of how a few small bad choices by all of us make that a harder process. I asked him if showing up to a meeting without scout pants was a right or wrong decision. He understood exactly what I meant by small bad choices interrupting a pattern of right decisions. I told him that bad habits are often developed through consistent small bad choices, not a couple of big bad choices. Of course we don't harp on every wrong decision. But, we do like to remind scouts how to develop patterns of good choices. That is what your idea of Fireballs represents. Fireballs are a small reminder of good choices. But what is most important for a scout is knowing what the Scoutmaster considers "consistent acceptable (really more unacceptable) behavior so that they have a consistent direction to work toward. A compass, so to speak. That's what Fireball and Tootsie Pops give the scouts. I didn't understand how important that consistent vision of measure was until a scout joined us who had no adult guidance or support in his life. Two of the traits of Love defined in the bible are "hope and protection". He had none of either in his life. This scout was my first real introduction to the true harms of neglect. He was so thirsty for direction and boundaries that he relished defined expectations and guidance. We saw habits of behavior change with him occur faster with him than any other scout. I believe for him change was survival. Anyway, I think you have some great ideas and thoughts here. I'm excited to see how they form out in this thread. Barry
  11. That’s a good idea. Just leave a box of Fireballs in the middle of camp for any scout to grab when they see a good deed. Still, let’s not get confused here, Scouts (youth) learn most from observing. The best way to change a habit is to continually set the example of living that habit. We don’t use fireballs to change behavior, we used them as a fun reminder of how good it feels to serve others. After all, Living the Scout Law and Oath is simply serving others. A Fireball is a treat, a Thank-you is a habit. Barry
  12. Scoutmaster minute: I was at a donuts shop the other day enjoying coffee and reading the newspaper. I looked up to noticed a teenage boy near me eating a donut while deep in thought. I went back to reading the paper, but over heard him dial is talk his phone. He asked the person on the other end if they needed stock person. He said he was hard working and trustworthy. I could tell by the way he thanked the person he called that they didn’t need anyone. After he hung up, I felt the need to console the young man, so I said there are plenty of other places looking for hard working employees. He looked at me with a smile and proudly said, “Oh, I don’t need a job, that was my boss. I was just checking up on myself”. How are you doing with the Scout Law? Have you checked on yourself? Have you asked your Scoutmaster? How about the SPL? Or even your Patrol Leader. But living the Scout law is a full time job, it’s not just a scout thing. So, have you checked on yourself with your teacher? What about the big check, your parents? And don’t forget your brother or sister? What would they say. Great meeting, see you next week. This a really good subject. The adults need reminders now and then of why we are here. We get so wrapped up in the weeds of the program that we could use reminders now and then. i use to take a bag of the cinnamon candy “Fireballs” and a box of “Tootsie Pop” suckers to all our camp outs. I kept a few Fireballs in my pockets to handout when I saw a good deed or actions of the Scout law. I didn’t even have to say anything, a Fireball and a smile said it all. I even gave em to adults. I gave the box of Tootsie Pops to the SPL to place in the middle of camp. He told the scouts they could have as many as they wanted if they followed two requirements, only one at a time and no liter. If either requiremwas broken, the box would be given back to the SM. The box was given back to the SM only after a few minutes the first time. But it only took a couple camp outs for it last long enough to be emptied. We did a few other things to remind scouts of the law, but this post is running long. Great talk. Barry
  13. Eagledad

    How tight are your scouts?

    I was just kidding, the adults wore bolos in our troop.
  14. Eagledad

    How tight are your scouts?

    Unless they don't make the collarless shirts he wore as a scout anymore. Then he peaks through the zipper of his tent to see what the SPL is doing. Barry
  15. Eagledad

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    I think Badon Powell said it or something, I don't really remember. But it's one of many little sayings or philosophies to keep our program on course toward the vision. Goes along with "raise the scouts so the program wouldn't change if the adults didn't show up", or "put the adults out of business". It's easier than explaining that a scout's self driven decision requires that the adults are out-of-site and out-of-mind. Scouts can only discover or their true character when there is no adult intimidation to leverage a decision. Where did all that come from? Experience I guess. Push the program outside the envelope of fear often enough, a base of confidence and wisdom develops. Barry
  16. Eagledad

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    Human nature will find a "way", but I think the "way" will be foreign to seasoned scouters. So, I think you are wrong, seasoned scouters is the problem. Not that that seasoned scouters don't like a challenges, but are they willing to put an effort into something they don't like? My experience of watching many units work toward a change is that the old guard needs to move on and make room for fresh imaginative visionaries who don't have the obstacles of doing it the old ways. I was directly involved in a very successful boy run program that grew from 14 to 100 scouts in five years. I was trying to imagine the other day how I could have that same success with just one patrol under the resources and restrictions of today. I couldn't see it. It's not that I'm unimaginative, it's that I can't see reaching the goal any other way. Expectations of goals and methods for reaching those goals need to change for a plan of success. Maybe a family program at all levels is exactly what is needed for future success. Not my cup of tea, but look where the YMCA ended up. Barry
  17. Eagledad

    Webelos - Participation as Den After the Cross Over

    There are no standard policies for those things, so they are usually left up to unit leaders. Generally, the unit doesn't pay for scouts not registered with them, but if say the families gave money for those events when their son was registered with them, I could see some expectations. Barry
  18. Eagledad

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    I see what you are saying, but my angst is that while "Patrol Method" isn't being changed in the general text, it is being minimalized by unrelated program changes. For example, our troop lived by the 300 feet separation guideline between patrols and adults. Is that guideline legal now with the recent youth protection changes. Even more important, is the idealistic goal (independent thought) of that guideline realistic in today's program? You don't see it now because your troop is following a habit of policies and procedures that satisfactory reach your goals. But what about the next generation of leaders and their interpretations? The Patrol Method my sons experienced were pretty close to the Patrol Method my dad experienced in the 1940s. Will your grandkids experience your Patrol Method experience? My Eagle son doesn't think so. When I asked him if he was considering his kids in the BSA, he said probably not, it is a different program. We don't talk about specifics of the BSA's changes. So, what makes him think the program has changed? Barry
  19. Eagledad

    Webelos - Participation as Den After the Cross Over

    It's not about whose activities the scouts can participate, it's about getting credit for participation. What I mean is that as far as District/council/National are concerned, the youth is a member of whatever the computer says the scout is registered. So, if the troop is willing to let the Webelos participate with the Patrol a few weeks while still registered as Webelos, that is fine. If the Pack is ok with the New Scouts participating with Pack activities while registered in the Troop, nobody is going to say otherwise. But, a new scout in the troop can't earn Cub awards and the Cubs can't earn any Troop awards. The only place I have seen anyone get upset about this is when the future Troop leader wants the Webelos to participate in the District MB College to get a head start on earning badges. If the Webelos want to register with the troop to start working toward Boy Scout recognition, those Webelos need to be warned that they can't earn anymore Cub awards. I have seen scouts miss out the Arrow of Light because the adults didn't understand the system. Barry
  20. I couldn't answer the question because the dynamics of experienced adults has been changing a lot since 1990. It changed so much so that National started all over with training in the year 2000. But with the recent membership policy changes, the dynamics are going to accelerate even more. For a lot of reasons, the program is changing enough that the present user manuals and handbooks are inadequate. Training has always assumed the scouts and adults have some knowledge of the subject. Well that assumption has to be thrown out. The vast vast majority of adults coming in don't have a clue of expectations or skills. But who can read the future enough to plan for it. Here is what I can say with a great deal of confidence, the BSA needs to cycle out the old scouters brought up in the traditional program and replace them with brand new adults starting over. The traditional program is nonfunctional in this culture and environment. I used to guide units with the same advice when they wanted to change their program. They needed to start with new scouts. It will take a few years, but the bases for the new program will rise out of the confusion and find it's way. Other than political correctness and Eagles for everyone, I honestly don't know what this generation of parents want out of a youth outdoors scouting program. Character? Maturity? Values? My teacher son even says parents of his students struggle with expectations. Scouting is going to have to re -identify itself. Barry
  21. Eagledad

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    The discussions are telling, count the number of threads in the last 6 months on the subjects of patrol method and youth protection. Which should be the harder subject for the adults? Barry
  22. Eagledad

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    My take is National's reply is code for just relish in the new program where girls are earning Eagles. All this patrol method and youth protection stuff is noise that will eventually blend into the future of the program. All is good. One of my neighbors, who was also an ASM while I was SM, stopped by to chat while walking his dog. He brought up his son and how he takes his family camping a lot. I took that moment to asked him what he thought about the new BSA program, without giving him any of my opinions. His only comment was, "thank goodness my son and I were Boy Scouts before all these changes." The only changes he knows about are what he heard on the news. He doesn't know about all this other stuff that likely will has change the program more than the single change of bringing in girls. I know it's the times, but this program is sure a long ways from my dads troop where they met at the church on Friday and hiked out of town until they got tired. With the permission of the owner, they set up camp there for the weekend. I think National is fighting for it's life. Barry
  23. Eagledad

    Potential loss of COR

    Kind of sounds like the only threat here is the keys into the building. That can be worked out. Barry
  24. Eagledad

    2018 Membership numbers are in

    I think you are trying to hard to fix a problem, that isn't necessarily a problem. Or at least a problem that would fix Venturing in general. I know of several troops (Nationally) that have very large active Venture crews connected to them, and that maintained a high level of performance for several years. What these Troop/Crews have in common is that they expect the scouts to join the crews around age 14. They expect the crew to support the troop program. And, most, but not all, of these programs are identified as Eagle Mills. In other words, they created the crew to keep the scouts around after age 14. It works well for them because they prepare the adults to move on to the crew as their sons reach that age. The Troop/Crew adults work closely together and basically they are attached in their unit activities. The Crew by it definition and nature have independence to do their own activities, but scouts from the troop can participate. That may sound ideal for you and maybe that is a good model to follow, but there are two thoughts about those troops that cause some concern. 1. They still require a very organized and visionary group of adults. Those are adults are rare. 2. Excepting for one, all of those units are very adult run. PLC is basically in name alone. Of the one unit that isn't advancement driven, the success of that unit is very much dependent on a very visionary adult who has been there for over 30 years. He has a unique vision and set of skills that makes that boy/girl run program a success. And likely that success will decline when he leaves (dies). One last thing that hashtagscouts brought to mind; most of those units that I mentioned that used to be Explorers in the 70s weren't connected to any troops. In fact, I would guess that the majority of their scouts were never in a troop program. The theme of scuba, law enforcement, medical emergency and so on, are the main attractions and recruiting poster. Barry
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