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About allangr1024

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  1. allangr1024

    Female youth meeting with District Eagle Chair

    In our district the scout meets with an Eagle project approval committee of three adult volunteer scouters. Youth protection is not a problem.
  2. allangr1024

    Troop office expectations

    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?
  3. allangr1024

    New Scout Troop

    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.
  4. allangr1024

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  5. allangr1024

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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/
  6. allangr1024

    Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

    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.
  7. 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.
  8. allangr1024

    What is the future of Training?

    I have found that training is OK up to a point. I have been doing Scout Leader training since 1999, from fundamentals through Wood badge. Formal training can give you an understanding of the form of the organization, rules of the BSA, and familiarity of the scouting program. But when a man takes up the role of adult leadership, the training does not offer much. The leader really needs to read extensively ask advice of more experienced leaders in the district. And he needs to heed the lessons of experience. When I became a Scout leader, and later a Scoutmaster, I had been to the Leader Specific training of the day, Woodbadge, and other classes done by the district. But I also read the Scoutmaster Handbook, then the Patrol Leader Handbook, SPL handbook, and began to research how scouting was done in the past. I found the writings of William Hillcourt, and books by British Scouters about camping, the Patrol Method, and youth development. From these I got some insights into the purpose of Scouting and the goals these men were trying to achieve. I did not get these valuable insights from the District level training. The early Scout Leaders seemed to have an experimental frame of mind when they built their programs. Baden-Powell was always trying new things to build a program, with the attitude that says, "Lets try this and see what it does." Hillcourt became scoutmaster of a troop in New Jersey where he tried stuff out to see if it benefited his scouts. I did not get any sense from the scout training that this kind of experimenting was even allowed. (Well, in Woodbadge we made additions to the uniform on the patrol level. Uniform Daniel Boone hats or bird feather decorations, and stuff like that.) I think Scouting is more organic than what I saw in the training I took. The idea is to do all kinds of things and see what works. I am trained, but I am also experienced.
  9. allangr1024

    BSA Scout Spirit Boards

    You could say that the Spirit Board is a tool for helping sign off on the Scout Spirit requirement for all ranks, and that involving the scouts in a decision making process is a worthy undertaking, but not if it can affect any scouts advancement. As @HelpfulTracks has pointed out, advancement is meant to be in the hands of the SM and ASM's, to be confirmed by a board of review made up of committee members. Any Scout Spirit issues that arise should be caught by these adult Scouters. As a committee member, I have had to address the behavior of scouts if it went against the Scout Oath and Law. As a SM I have dealt with these issues in Scoutmaster Conferences. The machinery to deal with Scout Spirit issues is already there, and should not be added to, especially with the rank advancement of peers. Scouts leading patrols deal with decisions about camping, cooking, hiking, and the like. When they make decisions of judgement over others, that is an area they are not trained in, and need heavy oversight in. I could see it as valid in recommending to the SM that the scout be signed off for Scout Spirit requirements, with the SM making final decisions, BUT, it can easily slide into moral judgement of behavior. That is a bad idea.
  10. I think you will have to define the terms "requirement" and "Advancement Program". I do not see this as being a specifically redefined requirement. I do not hear the SM saying, "I require you to go on 3 10 mile hikes and build a lookout tower out of lashings before I will pass you off. " He is not even denying the scout a conference. He said "Come, I will be here." (BTW, I would not set this up this way, as there will always be exceptions to the circumstances this guy is envisioning.) Holding a conference may fall under the admonition to recognize advancement quickly, but that is not quantified (must be in 2 weeks of the requirements be done), and hard to be held accountable for. And, if I am reading Hawkin's posts correctly, the scout has not brought the issue of being unavailable for two camp outs up to the SM. Has he refused to do anything else to get the scout to a conference? I think this SM has a worthy goal of getting the older scouts to go on camp outs, which they may not be attending. But he would be unwise in being inflexible on this kind of stuff, since these scouts could vote with their feet and find something else to do all together. The scout needs to follow the chain of command. Talk to the SM, then the CC, then the COR. Scouting is set up to have power spread out to the local units in local matters. I don't see the district level professionals or volunteers doing much but making an appeal to the unit.
  11. I do not see this as a problem of the official scout program, or of scouting policy. This is a matter of scheduling (even if it is bad scheduling). The SM is offering scoutmaster conferences, only at a place and time of his own choosing. In our troop scouts meet with a specific person (SM), at a specific time (last monday of the month) and at a specific place (church meeting hall). This SM can say he is exercising his prerogative in how he implements the scout program. As far as the Unit Commissioner and the District Advancement Chair are concerned, these men are support personnel, and have no direct line authority to the SM. If you want to go over the head of this guy, you go to the CC or the COR to make your case. These are the persons who can dismiss a SM. I have heard the argument that making scouts go on campouts is unfair because they have to pay money for their review. But the BSA does the same thing, by saying that only registered scouts can have scout advancement, and that costs a charter or recharter fee.
  12. allangr1024

    Denied a court of honor.

    There is still something not being said here. Why do you think there is discrimination on the part of the committee members? Age? Gender? Political persuasion? Religious beliefs? Past behavior? Has there been ANY communication between this scout or his family and the leaders of the troop. This is not coming out of the blue. Tell us everything about the scout and the troop. There is an animosity here that is still unexplained.
  13. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    I bought this battery: https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-CPAP-Battery-Standard-Kit/dp/B01H637L82/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1531240045&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=freedom%2Bbattery&smid=APZ6KY51K4CVC&th=1 So far it has worked well. I use a Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip hammock. It is ok. If I had to look at something else, I would look into the Warbonnet hammocks. They are pricey, so I would have to go for a used one. I have also made hammocks out of tablecloths from TableclothFactory.com. They have some crinkle taffeta tablecloths that make great DIY hammocks.
  14. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    I have to use a CPAP too. I have a net suspended above my hammock with the CPAP and a battery with a 2 day charge. The hose reaches down from this net and into my hammock. I camped for years without it, due to lack of power, and sprang for the battery this March with some yearly bonus money. I had this setup at summer camp this year and slept very well. I never realized what a difference it makes. Sorry to hear about the gear failure. It happens to all of us. I went camping with a different troop a few years ago, and decided to use an extrawide Tablecloth hammock. I tied the ends into a gathered end and attached the suspension rope. I was in it for a minute when I heard a TWANGGGGG, and then landed on the ground. Fortunately I had my ground pad in the hammock for insulation, and it cushioned my fall. I was embarrassed when all the men came running to see what had happened. After that I started using whoope slings to attach the hammock to the suspension straps, and all is good. Where in OK do you live? I am originally from Louisiana, but have been here for 30 years. I had my sons in scouting, and probably had more fun doing it than they did. They are all grown and gone, and I am still making it to scout camp outs every month.
  15. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    Buggie, I live in Tulsa, so I am very familiar with the weather conditions you mentioned. And, I LOVE Trappers Rendezvous. I have been there when it was 40 degrees, and when it was 4 degrees. With little in the way of a planned program, it is amazing how many people come. I camp in a camping hammock year round. This is on troop camp outs and private trips. I found 10 years ago that I could not sleep on the ground anymore, and alternatives like air mattress and cot seemed either too heavy or too prone to failure. I would seriously consider using a hammock when you go camping. When used properly, it is comfortable, easy to set up, environmentally friendly, light weight, and perhaps a bit provocative. I cannot tell you how may people came up to me at camporee and said "you sleep in that?" As far as brand names for gear, I see a lot of Ospree packs, MSR and Kelty tents and tarps, Merrell boots, and of course, Coleman is always in someone's truck. For me, you just have to see what you can get a deal on, and decide if you care about light weight, Ultra-light, or just good enough for car camping. Good luck, and have some fun out there.