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evilleramsfan

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About evilleramsfan

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  1. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Final Chapter: He was removed from the position by the CO and the DC agreed. Came to find out that he was yelling at boys at summer camp and was trying to boss his way around the ASM's who were in charge at the camp. I didn't hear about this until recently. He has always had a problem with women leaders in our troop and this time took it to extremes (one of my primary ASM's is female and she does a fabulous job of preparing for and organizing summer camps....as a result, I have learned to step back and let her handle things because she knows how to get it done). It is to the point, the council is considering yanking his adult membership. It is sad, because the guy did have some good contributions, but he was like the proverbial bull in a china shop....
  2. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Like I said, we had nearly all of our tents collapse and those that stayed up were because people stood up inside and held them up. It was an unusual storm...
  3. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Calico... He is a good scouting friend, but I would not go to the point of saying he is a "good buddy" and he has the experience and knowledge to know what is correct in scouting and what is not. Quite frankly, I'd rather have no battles whatsoever. The crux of the matter is this: the CC believes his way is the only way and came into the position thinking he was in charge and could dictate to me how to run the troop. He has little knowledge or experience with scouting but to his credit, he has attended all trainings as well as SM training. I have a much longer scouting background, however, I am always open to other points of view. I have told the committee that program is my area and will run it in the manner the PLC, my ASM's, and I see to be the best manner. I will take suggestions from the committee under advisement, but it will ultimately be left to the program side to make the decision. That did not sit well with him. Every single time there is a little hiccup in the program, he shuffles off to some corner and tries to pull others in to discuss with them what is going wrong with the troop. I am a friendly and outgoing person in scouts and I tell everyone that if they have a problem or a question, they only need to come to me to talk. I can take criticism. However, with this CC, I almost feel like I have to watch my back at any given moment. Fortunately, I have strong and widespread support in the troop as well as with the CO. He is my 4th CC during my tenure as either ASM or SM. I had a great relationship with the first 3. Not 2 months into this CC's term, he was already making waves and making blanket statements that the troop was in danger of folding. We had lost a large body of boys who had simply aged out and had some lean years on recruiting. Our active troop size was around 20 (down from about 35). Our prior CC, this CC, and I agreed to meet and go over a few things to try to get on the same page. He let off his steam and things calmed down for a bit. Six months ago, I got word that he and one other committee member were going to ask for my resignation because they didn't like the way the troop was being run. The CO got wind of it and the COR and IH met to discuss the matter. The COR then went to the next committee meeting and proceeded to tell all there that they have complete and total confidence in the scoutmaster corps and its methods and that any petty politics were to cease immediately. Everything calmed down until this week. Quite frankly, I think he is a poor excuse for a scouting leader. I can not trust him to not be out trying to undermine me or the program that the boys want. He is not loyal. He is not helpful...he constantly criticizes and nearly ridicules those who he disagrees with. He is not very friendly...he has a very abrasive personality and I am constantly having to apologize or give excuses for his actions. He is not courteous in that if he has a problem, he doesn't come to us about it but chooses to create policy from the committee side. Several adult leaders have seen him being critical of boys when they are trying to do something. He usually starts out with something along the lines of "That isn't going to work. Go back and do it again." I prefer to let them fail and then constructively point out other ideas that might work. He is especially hard on his own son, who in my opinion is a wonderful scout despite his dad's criticisms. We do have a QM and just recently purchased a few troop tents to be used by any who wish to do so. We do not have a policy in place governing their use and if you look at my response, I agree that some sort of procedure or policy needs to be follows on their use and return. I do believe we need to make sure the boys and parents realize that if their scout destroys our property, it will be up to them to replace it. I believe the best place to establish tenting procedure is on the outing or just before it takes place. Different outings require different types of accommodations. A large tent on one campout might be out of place on another. I dropped an exercise on our boys at one campout a year ago this spring. They got to the park and said "Let's get our tents set up!". I told the SPL, "Hold on a second....the boy's tents were all destroyed and all we have is what is in the trailer (except the tents)." I had made sure there were plenty of tarps, poles, and ropes in the trailer. I told them each patrol (there were 2) had to make a shelter for themselves and spend the night in it. The boys still talk about that outing. As far as the boy camping with the parent is concerned: there is mainly one boy (another has camped with other boys before, but has a strong preference to be with his dad). This boy has every bit of knowledge that is required. He is quiet and reserved, but he leads by example and is well liked. However, he has a very strong fear of going camping (actually going out of the house anywhere to spend the night). What do I do with him? If I tell him he can't stay with his parent, he will not go. Period. It not only deprives him of a great experience, but it deprives the others of his company and the positive role he plays in the troop. With his parents, he has amassed enough camping time to qualify for OA and was elected by his peers. I had my doubts that he would follow through on it because of the solo camping during the ordeal. His mom, however, has told me that he is determined to do this because he was humbled that his peers elected him to it despite having his issue. I hope he does and it goes well (it is this weekend). If he can do this, then just perhaps he will realize that he can do it again with different circumstances. He is facing some inner demons and is doing the best he can. I am proud of him. This CC doesn't care about what a kid is facing along these lines...he has a preconceived notion of what it is supposed to be and if it doesn't fit the mold, then it is wrong. I had originally put that policy out to get feedback on what others thought of it at face value. I hadn't planned on this to go into a gripe-fest about the CC that I currently have, but it has. There has been some more things happen that I will expand upon once things become official.....
  4. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    No, it isn't. I am fighting this just as I have with other such attempts in the past. I have won every battle thus far, but have never encountered anything like this. Last time, the COR and IH said that they support all decisions I make as SM and that no playing around trying to undermine my authority as SM will be tolerated. I got some more news on it today, but will hold off until next week....there are rumblings afoot....
  5. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Here is his reply to my comments (I would mention that his reference to those elected to the OA are the sons of other adult leaders in the troop....I know that for one boy, just him going camping is pushing his comfort zone to the limit....The two boys, however, are determined to do the ordeal....I am hoping they accomplish it because it may open a door that maybe the two of them will be comfortable with tenting with each other....): I have not thoroughly thought thru your comments, but the meeting is the place for the open forum. Thanks for your input, but I would offer the following insight. What is the purpose of scouting? Are we supposed to be challenging young men to expand their horizons, comfort zones, minds, and provide opportunity go grow and learn critical life skills? If the answer is yes, then is allowing them to camp with their parents for extended periods of time doing a disservice to the boy? I did include a few exceptions to the parent rule, which seamed to cover most of the concerns. At some level, I am personally offended that boys, who are reluctant to camp without their parents are elected into the order of the arrow, a camping society. What message does this really send? While some decisions need to me made in the field, and their are, and should be, exceptions to all guidelines, having expectations previously set and clearly stated minimizes disruptions to the camping experience. Finally, will the addition of yet another form for the boys to use be helpful? The committee and the BSA provide may forms to help organize the troop and its activities. to my knowledge, most or all of the forms are not utilized by the troop. Would this new form be any different? I do not want to start an email war, but just wanted to try to present the reasoning behind some of the ideas in the policy. As always we will let the committee decide. See you on Monday at the Troop meeting.
  6. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Here is the original with my notes in bold that I sent back to everyone in the original send list: The purpose of troop owned tents is to ensure availability of quality tents that can service campers in three seasons and various weather conditions. Many tents on the market are not adequate or properly designed for inclement weather. Considering that our Troop camps as many as eleven months of the year, including snow and severe rain, good equipment is needed to protect primarily against leakage and also retain heat during cold weather. In accordance with the By-Laws of the Troop, boys and adults may utilize their own tents or they may use a tent owned by the troop. In the event that the scout or leader chooses to utilize a troop owned tent. The person who checks out the tent with the Quartermaster, will be required to return it to the quartermaster clean, dry, and properly folded. Any damage will be reported to the quartermaster so the tent can be repaired or replaced as needed. I have seen some check out/check in forms for the QM to use regarding tents. I think it would be a good idea to utilize this for our tents. We will need to somehow number our tents so we can figure out which is which. The check in/check out procedure and form should be part of this policy. In the event that the scout or leader choses to use a privately owned tent, the tent shall be in good condition, waterproof, and of adequate size for the people utilizing the tent. Scouts shall generally camp two scouts to a tent. No more than three scouts will be allowed in a tent, and then only if there I an odd number of scouts at the event and none are at least 14 years old and can tent by themselves. Scouts who have reached the age of 14, may tent by themselves. Provided that this does not create a situation where there are not adequate scouts to create pairing for the other scouts as needed. Scouts shall not tent with their parents, unless there are special circumstances, such as campsite space restrictions, or special need of the scout. This shall be waved for scouts who have been a scout for less than 6 months. The minimum tent size for a tent with two scouts shall be 7 feet by 7 feet. The minimum tent size for three boys shall be 7 foot by 10 foot, or equivalent (minimum 23 sq. feet per person). Adult leaders utilizing privately owned tents, or scouts 14 years of age or older tenting individually using privately owned tents, may use any size tent at their discretion. Maximum allowed tent sizes may be restricted on certain events due to campsite space restrictions. The scoutmaster or outing leader may, at his discretion, require the scout to utilize a troop owned tent, if in his unchallenged opinion the privately owned tent is not in a serviceable condition. It is my opinion that this has no place in our policy. Outing decisions are at the discretion of the scoutmaster or outing leader and it is not proper for us to set a policy for these things when they are better determined in the field. Policy preventing boys from tenting with parents is not advisable. While I do urge scouts to tent with other scouts, I realize that this may not work with all boys. Especially in middle school, boys are very self-conscious of themselves and may not want to be in a situation of staying with another scout in a tent. There are some boys who would elect to not go camping if they had to stay with another scout. These items are best dealt with by the parents and myself if there is an issue. We do not want to set a policy in this regard because if a boy has a psychological need to stay with a parent, we do not want to have to explain why he is doing so when it is “against policyâ€Â. The appropriate number to a tent is based on the size of the tent, the size of the boys, the type of campout, as well as other factors. I have tented with an entire patrol (it was a great experience and one I would like to see the troop try some time), and have been on campouts where everyone had their own personal tent. I have no problem with letting certain scouts stay by themselves, but prefer for safety purposes to at least pair them up. I have had scouts get sick or have asthma attacks and am glad they had a tent mate who came to get me. I can see where some may have issues with some of the tents used at [camp]. The storm that hit and collapsed some of the tents was unlike anything I have seen in all my scouting and camping experience. There were some solid tents that collapsed in that wind and others that would have collapsed if not for people physically holding them up from the inside. While it was an inconvenience to dry everyone out and some boys had to stay in the health lodge for the night, it was an experience that all will not forget and hopefully it taught a few lessons on the way. Troop xxxx is NOT responsible for damage to privately owned tents. Troop xxxx does not guarantee availability of troop owned tents. Troop xxxx does not guarantee that troop owned tents are waterproof. Troop xxxx is not responsible for any damage to equipment due to tent leakage or other issues involving Troop owned, or privately owned tents. I don’t think it hurts to place some disclaimers like this so people know they are taking chances if they send their personal equipment out.
  7. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    BTW, the author of the proposed policy is an engineer and not a lawyer....
  8. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Although I do not agree with the tenting solo policy, I can think of certain instances where it could be done. OA does it to some degree with the ordeal. I think that if you have two buddies in adjoining tents and they have to let one another know if they wish to leave the campsite. The distance traveled would determine if they have to be accompanied. I have had boys come to inform me in the middle of the night if their buddy is sick, having an asthma attack, or has some other type of problem. This is the importance of the buddy system, because the one afflicted may not be able to easily come to my tent to notify me of what is going on.
  9. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    CO is a good scouting friend of mine and a Woodbadge Instructor. IH is an Eagle Scout. This is our 3rd run-in like this in the year and a half of this CC. The last time, the COR and IH stated in the Committee meeting that as SM, I have the full support and endorsement of the CO and petty games were to stop.
  10. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    BTW- some of my fondest memories were of our old troop tents as a youth. It was like a nylon quonset hut with large fiberglass poles for the frames. We could easily sleep a patrol of 8 for a week of camp in it.
  11. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    It was a first draft, so don't sweat the grammatical errors. He was talking about bring this up at committee meeting for discussion. I want to get more input here first, then I'll post my reply.....so I can get more feedback. FYI, twice before he had to be taken to task because he was trying to dictate program to me. I have been through too much before him and have the battle scars to show and won't let him push me. (Actually, my 3 prior CC's were all great!) Program is my domain.
  12. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    Some background: -I am the SM and am on my 11th year with our troop (3 as ASM, the rest as SM), Eagle Scout, total experience in scouting 15 as a youth, 15 as an adult (the adult time has usually been more fun!). -CC has been with troop just over 2 years, full stint in cubs, den leader, no youth experience with program. -We have a couple of boys who are not comfortable with staying in a tent with other youths. They are generally quiet and shy...great kids and very active. Their parents are leaders in the troop. The boys are active and knowledgeable....they just are not comfortable with sleeping in a tent with other kids. It is to the point that they probably would not even go on campouts if told they had to do so. I talk to them about it, but do not push the issue. I would rather have them there in that situation than not have them there at all. -We have had a few campouts where a boy would bring a monster tent and maybe 6 or 8 boys would all sleep in it. Generally they are cheap, but keep the bugs and usually the moisture out. We were at summer camp and the very first night had a rainstorm that I have never experienced in 30+ years of scouting. The 3 inches of rain was the easy part. We got hit in the middle of the night with a strong downburst that caved in at least 4 tents and would have done so to more if not for people standing up in the tent and keeping it from caving. Mine was one of the ones caved in. I had the foresight to put on a swimsuit and t shirt for bed because I figured I'd have to get out in the rain. I was looking at the ceiling of the tent and the next thing I knew, it was on top of me. I stood up and held it up, but heard the kids in the next tent yelling and screaming, so I opened the door, stepped out, zipped it up, and let the wind do its thing. That night we had to evacuate about 8 kids to a nearby building to spend the night because tents were drenched. The important thing was that we dried out and had a great week. Nobody was hurt and we had beautiful weather the rest of the week. I think that caused some to think we had to change our policy. The CC was not at the camp, so he is hearing about it from others.
  13. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    LOL!!!....
  14. evilleramsfan

    Tent Policy

    I'd like input from as many as possible to get their thoughts on this. I got this from our CC. I have my thoughts on it, but will keep those to myself for awhile until I get some input to see how others in scouting view it. Troop XXXX Tenting Policy It is the intent of this policy to explain the official tenting policy of Troop XXXX. The purpose of troop owned tents is to ensure availability of quality tents that can service campers in three seasons and various weather conditions. Many tents on the market are not adequate or properly designed for inclement weather. Considering that our Troop camps as many as eleven months of the year, including snow and severe rain, good equipment is needed to protect primarily against leakage and also retain heat during cold weather. In accordance with the By-Laws of the Troop, boys and adults may utilize their own tents or they may use a tent owned by the troop. In the event that the scout or leader chooses to utilize a troop owned tent. The person who checks out the tent with the Quartermaster, will be required to return it to the quartermaster clean, dry, and properly folded. Any damage will be reported to the quartermaster so the tent can be repaired or replaced as needed. In the event that the scout or leader choses to use a privately owned tent, the tent shall be in good condition, waterproof, and of adequate size for the people utilizing the tent. Scouts shall generally camp two scouts to a tent. No more than three scouts will be allowed in a tent, and then only if there I an odd number of scouts at the event and none are at least 14 years old and can tent by themselves. Scouts who have reached the age of 14, may tent by themselves. Provided that this does not create a situation where there are not adequate scouts to create pairing for the other scouts as needed. Scouts shall not tent with their parents, unless there are special circumstances, such as campsite space restrictions, or special need of the scout. This shall be waved for scouts who have been a scout for less than 6 months. The minimum tent size for a tent with two scouts shall be 7 feet by 7 feet. The minimum tent size for three boys shall be 7 foot by 10 foot, or equivalent (minimum 23 sq. feet per person). Adult leaders utilizing privately owned tents, or scouts 14 years of age or older tenting individually using privately owned tents, may use any size tent at their discretion. Maximum allowed tent sizes may be restricted on certain events due to campsite space restrictions. The scoutmaster or outing leader may, at his discretion, require the scout to utilize a troop owned tent, if in his unchallenged opinion the privately owned tent is not in a serviceable condition. Troop XXXX is NOT responsible for damage to privately owned tents. Troop XXXX does not guarantee availability of troop owned tents. Troop XXXX does not guarantee that troop owned tents are waterproof. Troop XXXX is not responsible for any damage to equipment due to tent leakage or other issues involving Troop owned, or privately owned tents.
  15. evilleramsfan

    National Outdoor Challenge

    Thanks for the reply! I got essentially the same answer from the DE. There are many merit badges that could be considered outdoor related and am glad that they allow leeway. We have a very active outdoor program, but that doesn't always equate to having a big haul of those types of merit badges each year. In our troop, we may do an introduction to a particular merit badge, but the boys don't do them as a group and it is left to them to earn them individually....so in our case, tweaking a program won't make a difference. I would say that of the merit badges listed, most of our boys have earned at least half of them. We have 29 boys in our troop and had to go over the advancement reports from this year to figure out where we were on the numbers. It made me feel food to see where we stood and what they boys had earned overall.
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