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About allangr1024

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  1. allangr1024

    Required Worksheets?

    I believe that the troop started using the worksheets in the past as a tool to help the scouts to prepare for the requirements that say "Discuss" or "Describe" or "Talk about". If you view these sheets as a tool then it makes sense. But of course, after the original visionary Scouter has retired from his role in the troop, behind him comes adult volunteers who were not privy to the reasoning behind the use of the worksheets as tools, and saw them as the fulfillment of requirements themselves. I think the attitude on the part of the adult Scouters is supposed to be "how can we help the scouts fulfill the requirements? What tools can we use?" But when it comes right down to it, the scout passes the requirement when he discusses or describes or he talks about the subject. If the requirement says to "Demonstrate", then he passes when he demonstrates. If he has to "Write a plan" then he has some sort of writing to do. A reading of the publication "Guide to Advancement" is helpful here, as this has the BSA's take on all things Advancement. I have not checked lately, but the Guide has said in the past that although the worksheets are helpful, they are not required and are totally voluntary. And there are alternate requirements in the Guide that scouts like your son may find better suited to their situations. Explore those. Use of worksheets, especially for work on Merit Badges, can be incredibly useful. But I have seen them used very badly. The people who first put them together were hoping to do a service to scouts and Scouters, but anything taken out of its context can be misused to do a disservice to the scouts.
  2. allangr1024

    Fort Worth Catholic Bishop endorses Troops of St. George

    This is not good. Scouting in the US is fragmenting into pieces. Along religious lines we will have evangelical scouting (Trail Life), catholic scouting (troops of St George), LDS scouting (whatever they are going to call it), Scouting BSA (whatever), and who knows how many other separate scouting organizations. What would it take to bring all of these divergent pieces of the old BSA back together again?
  3. allangr1024

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    LegacyLost, I am a Christian believer, but I am not prepared to say that the BSA going coed is akin to violating the law of God. Scouting has always been a tool to help boys grow into men. As such, its purpose is noble and good, and I can use it to help my sons grow into men as well. But the allowing of girls into the BSA does not concern me because it violates scripture. Rather it is unwise, as it brings both girls and boys together at a time when their sense of their distinctiveness is being learned by both sides. Boys need to be around men to learn how to be a man. And I assume that girls need to be around mature women for the same reason. Hormones being what they are, it seems to me that giving boys an environment to be boys is a wise thing, and the same with girls. I fear that as the 12 year old girls in a coed setting mature a bit faster than the boys, the girls will be preferred, and will be set up as an informal standard in behavior and manners. The boys then are told to act like the girls, and then we have what we have in schools. The masculine traits will be considered "Toxic Masculinity" and boys will be treated as second rate. That will be too bad.
  4. allangr1024

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    If memory serves, when BP found out that girls wanted to do scouting, he set up a separate organization, the Girl Guides, and had his wife run it separately from the Boy Scouts. This all girls organization is still in business, and by some accounts, is prospering more than the current Scout Association in Britain. How could BP to be so unfriendly, to forsake being a brother to every other scout. He must have been a heartless, bigoted individual who hated females and treated them like crap. I wonder what would happen if the BSA followed BP's example, and set up something like the Girl Guides in an organizational division separate from the boys organization. Both would be scouts, but they could have kept the male and female distinctions, and distinctiveness, intact.
  5. allangr1024

    From National: Official Name

    Sorry, AVTech. I have to correct you. The copy of the Scoutmasters Handbook I got when I became a Scoutmaster in 2007 (copyright 1999) had this quote in the section called "The Aims of Scouting" on page 7, "A goal of the Boy Scouts of America is to help boys develop into honorable men. Scouting's values can be incorporated into a boy's home, school, and religious community, adding to all three and, in some cases, filling in where family, school, or religious support is lacking." They started replacing the gender term "boy" with the work "youth" when they started contemplating the change. In 2012 I started hearing rumors that there would be a merger between the BSA and the GSUSA, with some type of name change like "Scouts USA". Of course everyone poo poo'd the idea, saying "it will never happen." I guess the merger did not survive the meeting of the minds between the two organizations. But here we are now.
  6. It looks like this page has been taken down. Does anyone have a copy of what it said?
  7. allangr1024

    Hammock Camping Class

    I have thought of doing this in my troop as well. We have some older boys who use hammocks in spring weather, but no one seriously camps with hammocks. I use one at every camping trip. I have thought of doing a Saturday morning seminar for whoever wants to come, and maybe use the UNofficial Hammock Camping merit badge requirements (Look on HammockForums.com) I would definitely cover the following topics: 1. Use of tree straps to protect the trees. 2. Different types of suspension, along with a demonstration of at least 3. 3. How to stay warm in a hammock (pads or underquilts). 4. Use of a bug net. 5. Coverage of a tarp. 6. Laying in a hammock at an angle. I would probably put together a good, inexpensive starter hammock, suspension and tarp combo for demonstration, and hand out the list of the equipment and the amazon.com page addresses where they can be purchased. If you can put it together for under 50 dollars then you would have something scouts and families could try out. Good luck with the class
  8. allangr1024

    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.
  9. allangr1024

    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.
  10. allangr1024

    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.
  11. allangr1024

    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.
  12. 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?
  13. allangr1024

    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.
  14. allangr1024

    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.
  15. allangr1024

    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.