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About allangr1024

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  1. I am glad to hear of this direction. I do not think that these MB events serve anyone very much, except in the case of earning a small badge, like finger printing, which can normally be done in one sitting anyway. Certainly Eagle Required badges should require effort, accomplishment, and skill or knowledge acquiring. When I see thirty scouts come out of a First Aid badge class with a signed blue card at the end of the day, I am pretty sure they will not know a lot about first aid by the next camp out. But they will receive a badge at the next COH. And I have seen scouts learn to "work the system" in order to get badges by using the least amount of effort. I have seen indications that the scouts find out who will pass a requirement by sitting in a class and who will make the scout literally do the requirements. Two of the most important reasons to do merit badges is to find a life long interest, and for the scout to have healthy relationships with caring adults. I am not sure that the MB event format contributes to either of these things. So I am glad that BSA is tightening up these events.
  2. Some of the tents at our council camp do not have the straps to tie up the tent flaps any more. The tent straps tore away long ago and we will not see them again until the tent is replaced with a new one with buckles.
  3. It is all about the gear. You should know that you have to insulate your underside, and equip yourself to do so. I have been using a hammock as an adult leader since 2007, and I have missed few camp outs, either winter or summer. For years I used my ground pad inside the hammock for insulation, with my 20 degree sleeping bag zipped open and draped over me. This year I started using a DIY under quilt attached to the outside bottom of the hammock, and that keeps me warm down to the 30's. I had to conclude back then that my tired old body could not handle being a ground dweller any longer, and the options for getting off the ground; cot or air mattress, were just too heavy and only suitable to car camping. Then I found this article by a Scoutmaster from the state of Maine (https://mormonsite.wordpress.com/camping-in-a-hammock/), and tried out a similar system. I have not been on the ground since. It can be as cheap or as pricey as you like. You can spend hundreds on a backpacking tent, and hundreds on a high end hammock. But the difference is stark. You have to try it.
  4. I went to Philmont in 2005, and my pack started out at 35 pounds. Then they added 15 pounds of food and water. You are looking at a base weight of 20. Not hard to do these days, but you have to plan carefully and look at the gear you want to carry.
  5. I really see the Scouting movement splintering, with each of the splinter groups going off and creating their own Scouting organizations. We saw this happen with Trail Life five years ago, and now we see the LDS groups going off to do their own program. That is already three Scouting groups out there, and the programs will be similar because the people who leave the BSA will still implement a program that they are familiar with. Who will be next? The Catholics? I hear that they have a program in the planning just waiting for an impetus to launch. What will that be? Further changes to BSA membership policies? How about Muslim or Jewish splinter groups. Is there anything that the BSA is doing that are objectionable to these groups? mmm..... The main thing the BSA has going for it is that control is still dispersed to the local level. Units can make most of the decisions, and districts and councils do things at a local level. If these two want to buck the National organization, they can do stuff quietly and not be noticed. The other thing the BSA has is the Eagle Scout award, which still is something valuable in the minds of the public. It is a big selling point, and the best marketing tool in the BSA toolbox. Among Scouters I know, the big problem BSA has in all is the perception that they are in it for the money. We changed membership policies so we could garner corporate donations. We tweek the guide to safe scouting and OA traditions and practice to avoid lawsuits. Of the Trail Life folks I know, this attitude, and not gay acceptance, has driven the break away attitude. National needs to shake off this perception, but I don't know how it will happen.
  6. You know, even though the BSA has been trying to get us to stop using the term "Class A uniforms" and "Class B uniforms", and instead use terms like "Field Uniform", I rarely hear the sanctioned terms, and much more often hear about Class A's or Class B's. If there is such reluctance to change the usage of terms to refer to clothing, how much more so will there be resistance to talking about people and groups in terms that have been in use for generations. You are not going to find this change occurring unless the Scouts BSA enforcement division steps in and starts revoking peoples membership for infractions of the naming conventions. They will do it fairly, giving offenders a certain number of chances to get it right. Something like: 3 strikes and you'r out.
  7. TLUSA, It is good to hear from you. In my area there are only 3 real TL troops, and they have been set up as either extensions of or replacements for the church youth ministry. The adults involved that I have met were part of a Cub Scout pack or were new BSA dads when the cut occurred, and don't seem to be as familiar with the BSA program as I would have thought. The area point man is a quiet guy who is the head of a troop at his local church, but is not that familiar youth leadership principles or the Patrol Method. I would expect there to be more TL troops in our area, as we in Eastern Oklahoma have a strong tradition in Scouting, and a lot of BSA volunteers are shaking their heads and saying, "What is going on?" To be fair, when TL started, a TL troop leader started going around to BSA troops in our city trying to recruit adults and their sons into the TL organization. They would go into BSA troop meetings and spread a bit of decent ion among the ranks. The district Pro's found out about it and started a pro active campaign to fight this by having the unit commissioners visit each troop and warn them about the TL "Plot" to tear the the BSA troops apart. TL got the rap for it, and I don't think the bad blood will vanish soon, though most current volunteers do not know the history or the accusations hearled by each side against the other. I for one am a strong believer in the Patrol Method as defined by "Green Bar Bill" Hilcourt in his Scoutmaster handbook of the 1930's. In this he shows how giving decision making authority to patrol leaders, who are elected by their patrols, brings about growing character in the scouts, as well as a sense of ownership by the scouts. I am not sure how this has come over to your organization, as the example I saw divides the scouts by age along the age of 14, with patrol leaders either appointed by adults from the older age group, or perhaps younger trailmen being able to select patrol leaders from the older group. I admit I have not read the TL handbook, and may be seeing untrained adults trying to figure it out. It seems that there is more "Troop Method" adult led stuff going on. You will have to set me straight. Thanks.
  8. For all its hundred years of experience, the BSA seems to know almost nothing about marketing. We heard rumors since 2010 that soon there would be girls in the Boy Scouts. The folks at BSA headquarters have been thinking about fashioning the BSA after the English Scouting Association for some time. That means no membership limit due to sexual orientation, that means co-ed troops, that means Scouting groups for all the ages sub-grouped by age, that might mean more national control at the local level. But the marketing campaign was about "Family Scouting", implying that a parent could bring all the children to a meeting on a given night and put the 8 year old in an appropriately aged unit, the 12 year old male into his own appropriately aged unit, and the female 16 year old into her appropriately aged unit. I don't recall anyone doing any market research in our council about the preference for this kind of organization until about a week before the national board of directors voted to start "Scouts BSA". Even the name is confusing, and leaves many shaking their heads. I think that Trail Life USA has a closer model to Family Scouting than the BSA. Maybe the BSA just knows that the changes they want to make need to be spaced out so that the old timers can be dealt with. The people who really dislike the changes will leave, new parents who did not know the old organization will come in and be properly "trained" in the Scouts BSA methods, and the scouts can still get the Eagle Scout award. With each change, some will leave, some will stay, the past will eventually be forgotten, and the Progressive thinking will endure. What could the BSA have done better? If they wanted boys troops and girls troops, they could have just left the "Boy Scouts of America" program and organization alone, and added the female program "Scouts USA" for girls. Both could work on requirements for Eagle Scout, but they should definitely be separated by gender. But I fear that the goal is co-ed units all across the board. And whereas the Scouting professionals of 1910 chose to disseminate control to the local level as much as possible, today's scouting professionals will seek to reel in control from the local units. I don't know what to do. I like working with young men, and really like the "helping boys grow into men" idea. I expect that to disappear soon. I think Scouting will go co-ed at some point. It could be in a few years, or next month. There are scouting alternatives popping up, largely along religious lines, but they are not big in my area right now. I am serving where I am right now (ASM in a local troop), but like the BSA, that could change.
  9. In our district the scout meets with an Eagle project approval committee of three adult volunteer scouters. Youth protection is not a problem.
  10. So here is a question we the adult scouters are throwing around right now. We are seeing that our older scouts are coming to fewer camping trips. Some have expressed to me (ASM) that they have done everything on camping trips there is to do, and they are boring. We do mostly car camping at local scout camps and at state parks in the area. I know that varying the types of camping trip will help, with doing some backpacking and water based traveling (canoes). But the PLC does not choose these kinds of things. So the Scoutmaster wants to require that all scouts holding an elected office or an appointed position be required to go on 50% of the camping trips. He reasons that this will increase attendance for our life scouts, most of whom have been around for three years and hold the most POR's. Since all scouts in the upper ranks must serve in order to advance in rank, we are wondering if this troop requirement in effect adds to the requirements as stated in the handbook. Or are the two concepts effectively separated so there need be no concern. I know that keeping older scouts active in the troop has been a problem that goes back almost the hundred years of Scouting in America. Are we reasoning correctly that a troop can set such policies on serving in POR's in this way, or are we way overboard. Should we override the PLC and put more high adventure trips on the schedule? I could foresee the SM going in to the annual planning meeting and telling the PLC to include backpacking on the schedule somewhere. Or is there another way?
  11. Hi Denise, To me, the most important aspect of Scouting is THE PATROL METHOD, followed closely by THE PATROL METHOD, and of course then followed by THE PATROL METHOD. Did you catch my drift? This is the easiest thing to say, but in many respects the hardest to implement and facilitate. But going back to Baden Powell and on through Green Bar Bill, this is the most important thing. I got some good stuff from Bill Hilcourts Scoutmaster Handbook from the 1930's and 1940's. There is a section at the beginning of the book that fairly well explains the subject. How do you start? The first thing is to form the patrols. On the first night I would hold a meet and greet, with games and ice breakers. Let the scouts interact, and then at the end of the meeting, ask them to write down on a piece of paper their names, and then the names of two other scouts they would like to be grouped with. Take these home and see how many patrols can be formed, and put as many of these preferred groups of friends together as possible. At the second meeting announce the groupings, and let them meet together for the rest of the meeting. Tell them they have to choose a PL, a patrol name, flag, and yell by the end of the patrol meeting. (You can show them some examples. Examples are easy to find.) Tell the new PL's that a Patrol Leaders Council meeting will be scheduled. On the third meeting you have a formal swearing in ceremony in front of the troop for these patrol leaders. Be sure to play a lot of games, and select games that pit patrols against each other. Build the comradery among the patrol members. Everything else, like advancement and outdoor program, can be delayed until after the patrols are formed. Once they are formed, you start laying decisions before them. Camping activities and single day activities should be voted on at least by the patrol leaders. But I would put together choices to be selected from. Camp locations are not important, any council camp will do. But you ask stuff like "From the list of Fire building, or Hiking, or Map and Compass, what would you like to do on our first camping trip?" Or "From the list of Beef Stew or Chili, what would you like to learn to cook on this camping trip?" Of course, on the first few trips you will be teaching tent raising, and fire building, and proper layering of clothing, and all the practical beginning camping skills. Not many people get to start a troop from scratch. Most wish they could, but are tied by past traditions. You will look back on this time with fond memories.
  12. You know, dkurtenbach, The BSA originally set up governance of the program in a diversified manner. They looked at the original setup of the country as a guide. In our country in 1800, the idea was that the most control was at the local level, so government that touched the lives of most people was in the hands of local, county, and state officials. The Federal Government was weak by design, having only a couple of tasks that it had to do, like defense, foreign policy, interstate trade, running Federal courts. Everything else, like roads, schools, police, water and mineral rights, property rights, and a justice system, were run by the states and counties. At one time, some larger states had more employees than the federal government. The Federal Government would never have thought to interfere in a state matter. That is why we had Free states and Slave states before the civil war. State politicians thought they really could vote to leave the union. In the BSA, the power over Scouting units is almost entirely in the hands of the Chartered Organization. They appoint the adult Scouters in the unit, or fire them, they control a units budget, and can set policy for the unit. This usually happens through the Chartered Org Rep. The District and Council are there entirely for support. They own camp property, some equipment, run Scout shops, and advise troops through appointment of Unit commissioners, recruit merit badge councilors. National runs National camps like Philmont, defines and makes the uniforms, writes the handbook and other publications, creates training materials, like Woodbadge. The council can revoke BSA membership if a crime has been committed, but it cannot and never has been able to judge the quality of a unit program or the competence of a Scout leader. You are going to have to do some political miracle to pull that off, and fundamentally change Scouting forever.
  13. I just found these in a google search: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/concerned-about-the-boy-scouts-there-are-catholic-alternatives https://troopsofsaintgeorge.org/
  14. This has already been happening. Trail Life split off five years ago. The LDS church will make their own, and I bet it will follow the Trail Life model of sponsorship. I have read that the Catholics are considering putting together a Scouting type program for their constituents. The fracture has already begun.
  15. When I get temporary patches, like Camporee patches or WOW patches, I take a hot glue gun and a 3 inch piece of leather shoe lace, and glue the ends of the lace on to the back of the patch, making a loop. This will allow you to button the patch to the pocket of the shirt. The patch hangs from the button, the same way that the plastic patch holders do. It acts like the Philmont patch, which hangs off the button the same way. I can change out the temporary patches in 5 seconds as the need arises. The glue does not harm the patch, and can be removed fairly easily if need be. I have found it to be a good practical solution.
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