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About allangr1024

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  1. Scoutmaster Clark Green

    He said that he was traveling a lot this summer. I think he said he was going on a trek to Canada, and I bet he is leading a tour or two to the Scouting facility in Switzerland, Kanderstag. I would have expected him back by now, but yea, not active online.
  2. Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    The leave at 15 and return at 17 to finish Eagle requirements happened to my son. I was an ASM, and committed to the program. But my son just did not want to go to meetings any more, and went on few outings. I asked him "What gives?" He said that when he looks around at the troop meetings, all he sees are the little kids (11 and 12 year olds) and that doing Merit Badges as a life scout is just not fun. As a 16 year old life scout, he had "been there, done that", and it did not interest him any more. I can see that. The advancement program is geared for a 13 year old. It is challenging enough for the younger scouts, but becomes drudgery for an older scout, especially with the more bookish Eagle required merit badges (Environmental Science, Citizenship in the Community and in the World) How in the world can you make these badges fun? He came back and did finish his Eagle required badges and project, and got his Eagle application in the day before his 18th birthday. It was a pattern well practiced in that troop. And it was the case over the tenure of several Scoutmasters for a number of years. Were our Scoutmasters poorly trained? Badly equipped, un-supervised? I think we did as well as most of the troops in the council.
  3. Scoutmaster Transition

    When we got a new scoutmaster, I bought the two volume set of the 1940 Scoutmasters Handbook, written by Green Bar Bill. I told him that a lot of the program had changed, but the stuff in the first volume, especially the four chapters on the Patrol Method, were golden. I considered a good foundation in the philosophy of the Patrol Method to be invaluable to any SM. Otherwise, I don't think the current literature would give him the appreciation of this almost unique feature of the Scouting program. Our new SM got this, and has mentioned in planning meetings how old time troops from the past centered around the patrols. He instituted a policy of having the patrols do patrol camping trips one time per year, with the PL's having to do all of the planning and organizing. I think our SM got it. Look on EBAY and purchase at least the first volume of this handbook from the 1930's and 1940's. The SM handbooks from the 1950's were abbreviated versions of the former handbooks. Green Bar Bill, being Swedish, spoke and wrote at a teenagers level, and that helped simplify his explanations of the material. Highly recommended.
  4. Earning Cooking MB without doing any cooking.

    From what I understand, the SM did not want anyone to take this badge at camp, since he wants the scouts to actually learn to cook. The SM lead a high adventure trip this summer, so an ASM lead up the normal summer camp trip. The scout got one of the adults to change his class list. The camp generates a blue card on their computer for each badge earned and sends them as a packet with the adult leader. Are you suggesting that the scout has not earned the badge because he did not follow the normal blue card procedure? if he did not get SM approval, does the MB have to be awarded? The GTO seems to tell us that in the case above, upon conferring with the scout, and agreeing that the requirements are not met, the SM can determine that "merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement. The unit leader then offers the name of at least one other merit badge counselor through whom any incomplete requirements may be finished." So we can treat this as an incomplete badge. That would work.
  5. Ok, this one is a puzzler. A first class scout goes to summer camp where the merit badge Cooking is offered. After five days of instruction, he is awarded the badge by the camp. The camp has a computer generated blue card that shows all the requirements checked off. The card is given to the troop advancement coordinator, who enters the earned merit badge into the Troopmaster software. The badge is earned, right? The Scoutmaster sees the merit badge earned on a list from summer camp, and realizes that there is no way the scout did the cooking requirements described in the book. He asked the scout how much cooking the scout did at summer camp. The scout says he has not done any cooking to get the badge. He has none of the paperwork or planning materials he should have produced, and cannot tell the scoutmaster much about the classes. The Scoutmaster wants him to take the merit badge again, with a regular councilor. I am both a Troop ASM and a cooking MB councilor. I can only think that the camp councilor went through the MB planning and cooking requirements and asked if the scout had done patrol cooking on a camp out, and then marked the requirements as done. But since camp is all over, the councilors have dispersed to their colleges for the start of the fall semester. The camp only has the records they submitted to us. I know that technically speaking, the scout has earned the badge, even though the scout has not really done anything much to complete the requirements. As a councilor, I cannot depend on the fact that the scout has done cooking on a camp out, since the requirements specifically state that cooking for other rank and MB requirements cannot be counted for the Cooking MB requirements. And I would not want to do that anyway, since I want the scout to get more experience cooking anyway. What do we do? The Scoutmaster either wants the scout to take the badge over, or informally do all the requirements for the badge again. I want make sure the scouts actually do the requirements as stated in the book. I will allow older scouts to use prior patrol cooking duties as long as they are well documented and the scout can thoroughly discuss each event with me. I also want the troop to not allow the scouts to sign up for stuff like this again. What do you think?
  6. BSA policies regarding withholding advancement

    Excuse me, but this kind of physical contact between the SM and the scout borders on a criminal assault, and could even be actionable in a civil court. I have heard of teachers and coaches being fired for this kind of thing. In my council they tell us to call the police or sheriff, as well as the council executive. I think you should file a charge of assault with the police, and a formal complaint of a youth protection violation against this guy. If he has done something like this with this particular scout, then I bet he has done it to others as well. I might even call National and use the words "case" and "lawyer". I bet then the local council will respond. How can this troop offer a quality program of scouting with a leader like this at the helm.
  7. WIll ZBASE (OK) become the fifth BSA HA?

    I am from this council. I thought they were raising money for a new summer camp site. Our current summer camp (Hale Scout Reservation) is used mostly by Texas troops who want to get out of the 105 degree summer heat, in favor of our 95 degree summer heat. The current Zink Ranch scout camp is used mainly by Cub Scouts and Webelos for their resident camps. The Boy Scout section has not been improved in 40 years. We use it for Wilderness Survival camp outs. There is just nothing there. I wonder if local troops will be able to use these facilities. Or will they be so expensive that the council will fear things will be broken if they are used. Our Scout Executive is mainly a fund raiser, and the skuttle butt is that if employees do not meet their quotas, they are out. I wonder what they will do with all the snakes that inhabit the area right now. It will be interesting.
  8. unfortunately we have to walk away

    There are a few discussion items here. The first is the fact that Merit Badge Councilors are chartered not by the troop but by the district or council. The are supposed to be independent from the troop, to allow the scouts to have a broader experience in interacting with adults. The SM should get a list of district vetted councilors for each MB and give the scout the name and phone number of the councilor. The scout then contacts the councilor and they set up meetings and activities to work on the MB, outside of the troop setting. It sounds like this particular scout did this. In the modern era, the reality is that this system does not work well. The need for 2 deep leadership or no one to one contact with adults, plus the attitude of modern parents about their need to protect their children, have led troops to get their adults to do MB's in the troop. It is a good way to give all the adults standing around something to do. Add to that the fact that in some councils (like mine, name withheld) the councilor lists are so badly maintained that getting a name from the councilor list is impossible. Out council summer camp offered a Com posit materials badge that the camp could not finish. I tried to find a councilor for it, and called everyone on the list, and none of the councilors had been involved in scouting for five years. Troops that run MB programs have taken up the slack, but the merit badge program was never intended to be done by the troop. There is precious little about merit badges in the early Scoutmaster handbooks. He was primarily urged to lead a good outdoor program, and to get the patrol method up and working. The scouts do advancement at their own pace, and most advancement skills were about camping. I wish we could republish the 1930's and 1940's era Scoutmaster handbooks and require them to be read by any potential Scoutmaster.
  9. Eight BORs last nite

    When backpacking I have heard the advice that you get a small backpack and fill it with just the stuff you really need. If you get the 70 gallon backpacks you will fill it with all kinds of stuff you don't need and that weight you down. It is the same thing with a meeting. Set a time that will let you get the business done, and then finish the meeting. I think for the average scout's advancement, 15 minutes is adequate. You are not testing the scout on his skills, you are trying to find out if his scout spirit is developing and you are trying to encourage him to continue on his scouting journey. In my experience, the thing that takes the longest time in a BOR is the adults trying to wax eloquent. Some of those guys can talk and talk, and some BOR chairmen do not keep the meeting on track to its desired conclusion. The BOR is there to have the scout do most of the talking so the board can tell f the troops program is succeeding.
  10. I went through Woodbadge for the 20th Century, the last one before the new curriculum. We did all this stuff as a patrol. I thought the training was brilliant, because we got to do the stuff scouts do and experience scouting on their level, while learning stuff that could help our units when we returned. It was in this setting that I learned and appreciated the Patrol Method, and was determined to bring it to our very adult lead troop.
  11. Committee overstepping their bounds

    I have open on my desk a book from the BSA called "Troop Committee Guidebook", printed 2006 (If this has been updated, I can find out.) On Page 13 the book lists the troop committee organization and responsibilities. There are 12 points of responsibility, and they all talk about filling a support role. They are to support the scoutmaster in working with inidividual boys and problems that may affect the overall troop program. Not a word about writing troop bylaws or requirements. The committee "Ensures that quality adult leadership is recruited and trained. In case the Scoutmaster is absent, a qualified assistant Socutmaster is assigned. If the Scoutmaster is unable to serve, a replacement is recruited." So they can have input to for and support the adults, but not the youth leadership. NOT their jobs. I think you can listen to their "suggestions", and then say "Thanks, I will take it under advisement."
  12. Two Troops with the Same Chartered Organization

    I met a scouter once at Fort Levensworth, KS, whose troop was chartered by some sort of officers club. When that troop got too big, they chartered another separate troop and sent half the boys there. They needed the other troop due to the number of soldiers boys who wanted to join scouting. Of course, an army base is like a small town, so several units makes sense in that setting.
  13. New camp each year or same camp each year

    At our annual planning meeting in August a few years ago, our boys were telling us they did not want to go to summer camp the next year. When I asked why, they said that they had been to our council camp every year for years, and they had done everything the camp had to offer, and they did not want to go again. I asked them if it would be different if they went to a different camp for the next year. A gleam came to the older boys eyes, and they said "mayby....". So I asked where they wanted to go. They conferred, and told me they wanted to go to Colorado for summer camp (two states away.) We gave the job of finding a camp to a committee member, and he found camp Ben Delatour near Ft. Collins, CO. The boys loved it in the mountains, although there was not much in the way of water sports. But that is not what we went there for. So the next planning meeting we had, I asked where they wanted to go. The older boys said that the mountains were great, but this year they wanted to be somewhere with a great aquatic program. Again we searched, and found Camp Constantine, situated on a huge reservoir west of Fort Worth, TX. We got a campsite right on the water, and set up our own swimming area with ropes and lifeguards and everything al la safety afloat. Another great trip. After that, younger scouts said that they had not been to our council camp, and wanted to go there. Who would have thought.
  14. Counslers refusing to taking MB Worksheets

    I think you need to read the "Guide to Advancement, 2013 edition". It says that identifying at least one counselor is the responsibility of the unit leader. " The Scout, the Blue Card, and the Unit Leader A few merit badges have certain restrictions, but otherwise any registered Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or qualified Venturer or Sea Scout may work on any of them at any time. Before he begins working with a merit badge counselor, however, he is to have a discussion with his unit leader. That a discussion has been held is indicated by the unit leader’s signature on the Application for Merit Badge, No. 34124, commonly called the “blue card.†Although it is the unit leader’s responsibility to see that at least one merit badge counselor is identified from those approved and made available, the Scout may have one in mind with whom he would like to work. The unit leader and Scout should come to agreement as to who the counselor will be. Lacking agreement, the Scout must be allowed to work with the counselor of his choice, so long as the counselor is registered and has been approved by the council advancement committee. However, see “Counselor Approvals and Limitations,†, for circumstances when a unit leader may place limits on the number of merit badges that may be earned from one counselor."
  15. Can a scout tent alone?

    At this past summer camp, we had five scouts, and did not know how to decide on who should tent alone. (cabin tents designed for two cots.) (Yes, very small troop, sigh.) The boys came up with the unique solution of moving two tents together and tying the openings up so that it was a long cabin tent. Three boys in that, and two in a standard cabin tent. I liked it. We had plenty of unused tents in our campsite. The boys had it set up before I knew they had solved the problem. Boy led solutions are good for me.