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Posts posted by EagleJCS

  1. Re: ISA’s

    As far as I know, troops keeping track of their scouts’ individual fund-raising is not against the rules, but that may have changed. I haven’t been active with my troop due to my work schedule. I think part of the objection is the use of the word ‘account’. To some people, an ‘account’ would be a checking/savings/investment account, with a specific number, and rules by which each type is governed. For most units, an individual scout “account†is simply as you have described – a means of tracking each scouts’ fund-raising proceeds.


    My troop has one checking account into which all fund-raising proceeds go. The troop treasurer is kind enough to keep track of each scout’s individual fund-raising efforts and this is their ‘ISA’, to be applied against summer camp, uniform and other troop/scouting related expenses. The only fund-raising function whose proceeds go directly into the troop’s general fund is what the troop earns for cleaning up after our CO’s annual picnic. Any funds that remain in a scout’s ‘ISA’ after he leaves the troop (e.g. by reaching Eagle, aging out, or simply dropping out) are put into the troop’s general fund for troop equipment, etc. Sometimes arrangements have been made to transfer the funds to another unit if the scout is moving (e.g. out of district or out of council). Those are handled on an individual basis.


    Re: Participation

    This is where communication comes in. Set the expectation at the start that anything turned in past a deadline (I would say at least 1 week before the pack meeting/award ceremony) would have to wait until the next time to be recognized.


    At the troop level, when I was SM, I expected my PL’s to get in touch with the guys in their patrol that hadn’t been to a meeting in a while (2-3 weeks). e.g.: “Hey, we haven’t seen you, wanted to let you know what’s been going on/ what’s coming up/ see if you’ve made progress on that mb we were working on the last time you were here, etc.†With the pack level, I would think it would be the den leader doing that kind of communication, at least once a month. i.e.: “I haven’t seen little Jimmy for the last couple of den meetings. I was wondering if he’s gotten any requirements done towards his next rank? Could we get together so I can update his record?â€Â


    Re: extravagance

    That seems to be the trend in a lot of different areas, not just Scouting. “My wedding’s gotta be the biggest everâ€Â, “My house/car/mouth has to have the most blingâ€Â, etc., etc. ad nauseum. Why not suggest a simple theme that the boys would enjoy being a part of creating? A B&G should not be expected to be dining at ‘Chez Imperiale’ but what it is – a banquet for 6 to 10-year-olds to celebrate Scouting’s birthday and present some special awards generally not seen at any other time (e.g. the thank-you’s for the adult leaders, etc.).


    Re: Boy Scouts

    As has been mentioned, some units are a bit insular (“OBCâ€Â) and don’t like change. Other units are much more open and dynamic. Shop around and find one you (and your scout) like that appears to be more receptive.

  2. something needs to be done about that NYLT example. I cant see any reason that should have happened, example or not. Clearly the staff (and the advisor) do not understand how to teach leadership, probably as a result of being taught poorly themselves. By teaching that "method" they are spreading that bad behavior back to the units and possibly other locations like schools. And by telling the participants not to tell anyone about it, it shows they know its wrong. I shake my head as to how that was allowed to go on for 3 minutes, let alone 3 days
    My first reaction would be to get that NYLT course director at a council function and do the same thing to him/her, then hand them a letter barring them from any future council activities. That sort of 'example' is wrong from the get-go.
  3. Funny thing is, we have a similar issue in our troop, but it isn't the SM, it's the BOYS! They don't want any part of OA. The adults do NOT speak ill of the OA either, but the boys won't openly tell us in BORs why they don't want to go to the ordeal when they are elected. A few years ago, at a Pack event, I chatted with some of the Lodge officers who wondered why elected boys from our Troop don't attend the ordeals, or otherwise show any interest in the OA. Eventually the SM told me that the some of the boys, once elected and inducted, would attend chapter and lodge meetings and basically be ignored; would sign up for committees and never be called, etc. It's the BOYS in our troop who don't want the OA, which is what I told the Lodge folks. Naturally, I got "yes sir"ed to death. The boys talk to each other, and there is an overall ill will toward the Order! The OA Lodge has a serious Public Relations problem with our scouts and THEY need to fix it!! They've made no attempt to do so in the past few years. None. So, the SM goes through the charade of letting them hold elections each time (when they bother to show up), no boys attend Ordeals, and the Lodge is apparently happy with that. Fine and dandy. They have their signed papers as another notch in their belts for "Quality Lodge" or whatever. Did I mention that one of our scouts is also the Lodge Chief? The past two OA Representatives appointed by the SPL have done nothing to promote the OA because the boys don't want to hear it. I do feel that the thirty minutes of Troop time could be better spent, though.


    P.S. The scout in our troop who is the Lodge Chief? We rarely ever see him. It's been that way for about 2 years.

    When I was inducted into the local lodge as a scout, I put my name on the list for several areas in the lodge requesting help. Never got a call or a letter (this was in the pre-internet days) to follow up. Most of the lodge officers and active members were from one or two districts in the council, just not the district my troop was in. (This was before the concept of chapters was introduced).


    Fast forward 15 years, and a council and lodge merger, and the same was still true. After becoming an adult leader, I decided to try volunteering with the OA lodge again (thinking that maybe with the merger, things would be more open), and sought to seal my Brotherhood. Imagine my surprise when there were still only a couple of districts – one of them the same as years before - providing most of the lodge leadership (youth and adults). Apparently since I was an unknown in the lodge, I was once again not asked for my assistance for helping with the lodge or the chapter, even though I was active on my district’s training team. I guess you could say I have since become one of the ‘sash and dash’, choosing to provide my service at the unit level.


    In the 1990's, one of our scouts actually became Lodge Chief. A couple of years later, we had a Troop OA Rep, then no one entered the OA for several years. When I was SM (10 years ago), I tried to get the lodge to do unit elections, but couldn't get anyone to follow up my attempts at contact. I finally had to contact the Field Director at the council office to get the lodge unit election coordinator to respond. We finally got elections a couple of years ago - 5 years after my initial attempt. I try to encourage the Scouts in my unit to consider having elections again, but they don't see any reason to.

  4. Another couple of bugs while I was browsing this thread and then attempting to post this comment...

    1. When I clicked on the ‘go to first new post’ on the sub-forum page, I was taken to the first post in the thread. (I waited to be sure the thread was finished loading.)
    2. The first page shows only 16 pages of thread posts, but the last page shows there are 17.
    3. After logging in, when I was trying to type in the quick post field to note the two bugs above, my quick post Auto-saved, then what I was had just typed disappeared and I was unable to bring it back up. (I have resorted to typing this up in Word then doing cut-and-paste to post it.)
    4. The whole reason I browsed this thread was to see the latest comments/posts. The front page indicated there was a post by SRBeaver in the thread from yesterday (8/6/2013), but I don't see it anywhere.
    5. Another bug came up when I posted. My post was put in position 241 at the bottom of page 16 when I clicked on Post Reply, but when I came back into the thread to edit (to add this bug), it is in the prper location (post 242) on page 17 - which can still only be reached by going to page 16 from page 1, then on to page 17.

  5. The uniform is only required for arrival, the big arena shows and departure. So where is the security in that.
    OK. Suppose you're working security on arrival day. You see a group of kids and/or adults walking around in civvies and/or partial Scout uniforms - maybe just their BSA uniform shirts and a mix of jeans, shorts and greenish slacks. They don't have their Jamboree identifiers yet because it's arrival day. Do you stop them and keep them there until their identities check out, or do you let them continue to wander around?


    On one of the big arena show days, even though the camp will be closed to the public (i.e. no visitors), same thing. No Jambo identifiers readily seen. Do you stop them or let them continue to wander around? At the 2010 Jambo, we had a subcamp staff member stopped by security on an arena day prior to the arena event until he could produce his Jambo ID – he was in a plain-colored t-shirt and green shorts (not BSA shorts, but a similar color). His Jambo ID was in his pocket because he had been toting something in his arms and he forgot to put it back on.


    A few years back, we had a group of local kids wanting to trash the place and/or cause trouble with some actual participants at our local summer camp on arrival day. Fortunately they were stopped by one of the assistant camp rangers before they got down to main camp. (They didn’t know just how far back the main road they had to go to get to the summer camp area.) A Jambo can be a potentially larger target and garner a national audience for groups with an agenda if they want to cause a ruckus. That’s one reason why it’s important for all participants to be wearing the uniform for easier recognition, at least on the days requested.

  6. My daughter's crew was told to wear non-denim cargo type shorts in the various colors of the uniform, or close to them, and tee shirts that cover the shoulder. Of course they would love for them to be in Scout shorts/slacks and Scout tee shirts if possible.

    That's Venturing crews. They're not under the same uniforming conventions as Boy Scout troops. Crews are allowed to choose their own uniforms (for the most part) for their regular meetings/activities and are encouraged to wear the suggested Venturing uniform (Green shirt and grey pants/shorts) for larger meet-ups (council-rees, Jambo, etc.). My troop's CO has investigated sponsoring a Venturing Crew, and I've spoken with several Venturing leaders since Venturing was introduced.
  7. The uniform is only required for arrival, the big arena shows and departure. So where is the security in that.
    If everyone were wearing their civvies, or just a partial uniform, how would you be able to tell just by looking at them whether they were supposed to be there or not?? That's all the folks running security have to go by unless they screen everyone there. The lanyards help, but having a complete uniform helps as well.
  8. I imagine part of the reason for requiring the regulation uniform is site security. It's not that difficult to get a Scout shirt from Goodwill or the Salvation Army thrift store or something similar, especially in larger urban areas (even though BSA National has asked those organizations not to sell BSA uniform items). There are a lot of odd folks out there, and there are some individuals/organizations that want to get some ‘dirt’ (whatever that happens to be in their minds) on Scouting, and they try to get into events looking like a participant. If every registered participant is wearing the regulation uniform, it's a little easier to tell them apart from someone trying to ‘weasel their way in’.

    When I attended the 2007 World Scout Jamboree and the 2010 National Jamboree, both events required every participant/staffer to wear indentification badges on lanyards (with different colors for different functions). There were only a couple of days we were requested to wear the complete uniform (or whatever consituted a complete unform for each participating country at the WSJ), but we were requested to wear at least part of the uniform (slacks/shorts) every day. If we were to see anyone that didn’t have a lanyard or other such identifier, we were asked to inform staff/security ASAP. We were also asked not to give any interviews and to refer any journalists that identified themselves as such to the media resource staff/office.

    I experienced the same lack of communication for each Jamboree I’ve attended. I signed up, then waited, and waited, and waited. Then, in the last four months for the WSJ and the last month for the National, there was a flurry of communication, and there were still a couple of questions that had yet to be answered until I got on site. (In the case of the WSJ it was where I was going to be working as International Service Team. In the case of the National, it was where I could keep some medicine that had to be refrigerated, but not frozen.)


  9. A couple of issues I’m having...


    One: After reading a page, when I click the Back button to go back to the previous page (or use my mouse ‘back’ button), I hear a few clicking sounds, then I’m right back in the on the same page – it doesn’t matter how may pages I go into a thread or sub-forum. I have to go to the upper left corner, click on the drop-down ‘previous page’, and click on the sub-forum or forum title to get out of the thread or back to the main forum page. (This was occurring with the previous forum software as well, which is why I stopped frequenting the forum. Too frustrating when you’re accustomed to clicking ‘back’ and actually going back one page. I though it might be fixed with the software upgrade, but apparently not.) When I click into a thread, I hear several clicks as well. Could there be multiple instances of each page loading in the cache?


    Two: This may tie into issue #1 above. When I’m moving around in the forum, this website uses a lot of my PC resources – much more than any other website I visit. I’ve actually gotten a ‘high usage’ warning from Norton when IE is the only app I have open and this is the only website I’m looking at. This really becomes apparent when I try to enter/edit a post. I edited this post in Word, then tried to copy/paste it into the 'Write something' box at the bottom of the page. Due to the latency in screen update, I inadvertently double-pasted my post. I then had to edit my post to remove the extra paste, then key in the last couple of sentences here. While waiting for the editing function to catch up, I expereinced a screen delay of close to three to four seconds where I could see the scrolling arrow being pushed, then three seconds, then the scroll would move. I checked my CPU usage (via Task Manager) and it was hitting 50% or better CPU and 740M memory uasge. Granted, my PC has some age, but no other website I visit uses the resources like this site.


    Running Windows XP Home SP3, Norton Internet Security (v, IE (8.0.6001.18702IC). Currently up to date on all. About 1G RAM, dual Pentium processors.

  10. Point taken, skeptic.


    As an amateur genealogist, I understand the need for primary sources. I don't know how many people would be interested in seeing the hardcopy of some old advancement records 100 years from now (though I would like to see my father’s, but I don’t know which troop he was in). The docs themselves would have to be stored much more carefully than they are likely to be now, and by then would have to be handled carefully (cotton gloves, etc.). That’s why I suggested simply scanning the docs and saving the images. A high-quality scan of the original is the next best thing. There are efforts underway now to scan rare documents in order to make them more available to the general public. (There was a documentary on PBS a few years back about one such project in Italy.)


  11. Make it a project for the Troop Historian to digitize all of the records - maybe allow some service hours for volunteers to assist. Either create a database (Computers MB requirement 6h or 7a?) and do data entry or just scan the original docs and save them as JPEGs on a flash drive (all of the records) or CD-ROM (by year). Be sure to put some sort of descriptive file name as to what the image is. (e.g. '2013 Summer Camp attendees.jpg' instead of 'DSC45001.JPG'). Then you can get rid of the hardcopy.

  12. In response to Beavah,

    I wasn't suggesting a lecture about the consequences, etc. at the time of the interruption/infraction. All of that was written out as background/explanation for the folks reading it here. What I would tell the Scouts in the example I described is simply "We don't leave until it gets done". It's during the travel time to the event/activity or at another time that I would explain to the Scouts the whys and wherefores about actions and consequences, or maybe do it on a one-on-one basis (keeping to the rules of Youth Protection, etc.) with the ones that complain.


    The negative consequences I described *may* come from the Scouts' peers, the SPL or PL, depending on the circumstances and severity of the infraction.

  13. One thing that may or may not work: explain to them that there are consequences for their (in)action/(mis)behavior. Positive outcomes may be rewarded (extra free time, a special treat, exemption from KP, whatever the reward may be) and negative outcomes are often their own punishment, though extra duties may be assigned (missing an activity, extra KP, exclusion from a treat for those that did perform, etc.).


    For example: if theyre asked to do something on a camping trip before the group leaves the campsite to go do an activity and they dont do it, then explain that the group wont go to the activity until the job is done. If that means everyone misses out on the activity because they didnt do what they were asked to do, so be it. It only took once in my troop (granted, it was many, many moons ago and kids seem to be more sophisticated these days), but that solved the problem until the next group of smart-alecs came along, and they got the same treatment.


    This is especially useful if the activity that is missed is something highly anticipated and/or the main reason for going on the trip. Their peers will give them a much harder time for causing them to miss out on something fun than the adults ever could. When the boys get home, explaining to mom/dad why they didnt do what they went to do could also be an eye-opener. It can also teach the boys about the value of pitching in, even if its not my job.



    For the example you cited, maybe having a basket at the door of the meeting room for everyone to drop their electronic devices in (they can retrieve them when the meeting is over), or having everyone show that the device is off before the meeting starts will work. If they argue that Mom/Dad may need to contact them, Mom/Dad should know their son is at the meeting and probably won't be interrupting with texts/calls. If its a real emergency, they can call one of the adults.

  14. When my troop bought 5 new tents this year, I used a laundry marker instead of a Sharpie (Sharpies tend to fade/wash out over time) and marked all of the fabric bits with the same number. (Tent, fly, tent bag, pole bag, stake bag.)

  15. I told the committee to find someone else to do the job by the end of the year. They did, bought him a new SM patch, and the "new" guy (he'd been an ASM for 3-4 years) took over the first meeting of the new year. I took some time off from attending for about a year or so (only went on a couple of campouts), then gradually started back in.

  16. Mr. Boyce, is it really necessary to disparage someone's preference of attire simply because you don't care for it? That's considered a subtle form of bullying in some circles.


    I wear a kilt from time to time, though usually not as part of my BSA uniform. The few times I do wear it with my uniform shirt, I'm playing my Great Highland pipes for a ceremony of some sort. (I've played for a couple of Scouter's funerals, a couple of Eagle Scout Courts of Honor, and at Summer Camp at the closing campfire. I've also played reveille on my pipes on several campouts and summer camps, but don't usually wear my kilt/uniform for that.) I've been told by a couple of higher-ups at my council office that it's OK for me to wear my kilt with my uniform shirt when piping, as there's a context for wearing it. Otherwise, leave the kilt at home.


    I've seen a lot of arguments for and against making a kilt part of the official BSA uniform. The plain fact of the matter is it's not currently in the Insignia Guide (which lists other parts of the uniform and goes so far as to describe allowable headgear), is not offered as a uniform item via Scout Stuff, and is therefore not part of the current uniform. Neither is camouflage, denim, or any form of ethnic apparel. If the kilt is eventually allowed as uniform apparel, that does open the door to other types of ethnic apparel such as lederhosen, lava-lavas, hakama (Japanese wide-legged trousers usu. used in martial arts), and many others that are part of our cultural/ethnic melting-pot.


    That Venturers are allowed to choose their own Crew's uniform is understood. However, I know that Venturers are encouraged to wear the 'recommended' uniform (green shirt and grey shorts/trousers) for anything outside thier own Council - Jamborees in particular.


    What is allowed in other Scout organizations is up to them. If you'll read the UK Scout Association's guidelines for kilts carefully, it's only Scottish Scouts or Scouts with a Scottish family/background that are allowed to wear the kilt with their uniform. If I recall correctly, it's also under certain circumstances (formal uniform inspections, international events, etc.). Would it be fair to have the same kind of rule here in the U.S.? I think not. It would leave out a lot of Scouters (and Scouts) that may like to wear a kilt but don't have a Scottish heritage.(This message has been edited by EagleJCS)

  17. I was actually tagged with this nickname by a couple of the older Scouts (15-16 y.o.'s) when I became active with my home troop after college, just a couple of years after the character's debut. (I suppose because I exhibited some of the traits of the character - young, knowledgeable, somewhat shy).


    Even though I didn't know anything about the character at the time (I rarely watch SNL at all), I made it clear that it wasn't an acceptable nickname and didn't otherwise respond to it. Eventually, they got the message and started using my name (Mr. ----).


    As an aside, I'd been tagged with various derogatory nicknames nearly all through gradeschool, and wound up ignoring most of the fools who used them. Still, it was not pleasant to go through and I still resent some of those nicknames when I think back on those experiences. As a result, I don't tolerate anyone using a derogatory nickname in my presence.


    In this case, given the history of the character being referred to, just ignoring it would not be enough. It should be referred to the higher authority in charge of the staff (Camp Program Director or the Camp Director), who should make it clear to all of the staff that any form of hazing or bullying will not be tolerated.

  18. Regarding organization of the trailer:

    My troop's trailer is an older model 5'x8' trailer. It has just one small storage box (I built) to contain the wheel chocks, support jacks, lug wrench and a board for the tongue jack. The rest is open storage. In the past we've discussed adding shelving/racks/hooks, etc., but we also don't want to be puncturing the skin of the trailer (introducing additional points for leaking) or adding a lot of additional weight. It currently does not have any interior lighting.


    We don't always use the trailer for every trip. Mainly it's for summer camp - hauling all of the footlockers and some general troop supplies (flags, etc.) - and district/council events where we'll need some kind of dining fly/communal shelter setup.


    As far as sealing/maintaining:

    One of our dads' family has an auto body/collision repair business and they inspect the trailer as needed and have resealed the roof for us once (they write it off as a charitable donation). I have no idea what was used, only that they did a great job. They've also helped with fixing some of the wiring and repacked the bearings on the wheels.(This message has been edited by EagleJCS)

  19. Hi folks. Just joining in the forum from Louisville, KY.


    Part of my Scouting resume:

    I've been a Scout/Scouter since I was a Cub (Tiger Cubs wasn't available in my Pack at that time). Passed up through the ranks, earning my Arrow of Light, then later Eagle. Transitioned to an adult position with the troop as an Assistant Scoutmaster. A few years ago, I was asked to be Scoutmaster, and held that position for a little over 4 years. I then handed it over to another leader and returned to being an Assistant. (This is all with my home troop - the troop I grew up in).


    I have also been involved with my District training team and District Eagle Board of Review.


    Scout Leader's Training Award, June 1999.

    I used to be a Bear (SR-211-38, beads Oct 1999).

    Lincoln Heritage Council President's Award (for service), Jan 2003.

    District Award of Merit, Jan 2005.

    Scoutmaster's Key, Feb 2006.


    Attended the 2007 World Jamboree as an ASM2 and the 2010 US National Jamboree as a Commissary staff member.

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