Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by fotoscout

  1. I actually think that all this emphasis on the "Webelos to Scout Transition" is turning a mole hill into a mountain. Here in our Council they have started talking about it with such a frenzy, with so much rhetoric, so much paper and in so many meetings, that I believe people are beginning to get scared. It's almost as if they are rolling out a new, high level, very complex program.


    From a Webelos Leaders perspective all you need to do is to continue doing a good job.....

    Continue to hold regular meetings

    Go Camping

    Attend your Webeloree

    Visit a few troops

    Teach the boys the Boy Scout Oath and Law so that they'll be comfortable when moving to a troop.


    I believe firmly that the most important part of this process has little to do with the Webelos Leader. The most important piece of this process resides with the Boys and Leaders in the Boy Scout Troops. Not so much during the 'Webelos Visit", but after they join the troop. If these young boys aren't treated properly, they will leave, regardless of any fancy "transition" program.

    (This message has been edited by fotoscout)


    It really is a shame that we no longer live in the shadow of Ozzie and Harriet. Instead we live in the shadow of Virginia Tech and Columbine. I am quite sure that everyone wants to give this kid the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, we are all too aware of the world we live in!



  3. Tough call !!


    My response would be governed by how much I knew of the boy. If it's a kid you know from his Tiger days and recognize this as part of his warped sense of humor, you probably want to sit down with the boy and his parents to discuss it.


    If there is anything questionable about the boy, then I agree 100% with Gold Winger, you have to go the professionals.


    You know there is a thought that if it wouldn't fly in school, then it shouldn't fly in scouting. Certainly if a teacher received the same note, the authorities would be brought into the picture.(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

  4. This happens to be a hot topic in our community right now.


    My thoughts go both ways on this, BUT, there needs to be an end point for those without boys in the troop. Certainly there is something to say about being objective. However, as the years go on most people lose contact with the current crop of young people. In our case the SM and CC have not had boys in the program for about close to 15-20 years. Neither have grandchildren, and neither have any scouting age youth in the area. They are wholly and completely out of touch with the todays boys AND todays parenting challenges.


    They don't even realize the depth and breath of what youth protection means in todays world. They fail to recognize that scouting is competing for boys and that the program has to be exciting in order to keep the boys interested.


    So, although having people in the troop that do not have boys in the program can be good (in part because of the experience that it can bring), it can become a HUGE detriment when they fail to realize that their time has passed and need to get out.

  5. You know I have the hardest time understanding why people constantly sing the praises of Yawgoog. Are so many people so superficial that they can't see the forest through the trees?


    As others have noted, one of the first things that make a good camp is the staff. Yawgoog's staff is simply arrogant, and not at all interactive with the scouts. Most scouts don't even know their MB counselors name at the end of the week heck, a significant number of scouts bailout on MB classes and are never missed because the classes are so big. Sure the PCs are nice enough, but lets not loose site of the fact that they are individually selected to interface with the adult leaders, but they have nothing to do with the youth.


    There is nothing for the older scouts except COPE, and not everyone likes COPE. One or two oddball MB's limited by age does not make a program for older boys. How unfair to the boys that stay with the troop as they get older. No new experiences, no real outdoor challenges, nothing new to look forward to except more of the same.


    A mass swim test that is hazardous to the younger weak swimmers in the troop.


    Then there's the food, or shall I say dog food! Now don't get me wrong, no one expects 5 star food at scout camp, but this stuff is pitiful. I am embarrassed to sit the boys down at the table knowing what is about to be served. Their parents expect better of us!! Oh yeah, and how about the no meal on Sunday....... where is the hospitality? While I'm at it, let's not forget the dining hall program that must have been designed by the US Army Physiological Operations Division. If you've ever been exposed to or studied brainwashing techniques and thought conditioning drills, you'll know what I'm talking about! Sure some degree of camp spirit is a part of any dining hall program, but this is way out of line. How about being able to sit with your scouts and discuss the days activity? Isn't that whats supposed to happen at the table. Most camps really do allow you sit through your meal, and then the dinning hall program starts up.


    No program on Sunday night, Monday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning (except for the self serving death march in 90-100 degree temperatures). What's going on here? Where is the respect for my time? The boys get nothing out of all this down time, while those of us that spend a great deal of time away from home engaged in scouting activities are taken advantage of. Most, almost all camps run on a Sunday Saturday program, with camp activities beginning Sunday afternoon and of course dinner on Sunday night followed by the opening campfire.


    I could probably go on for another page but Im sure you get the point. I am thankful that I am not the one making the decision to go there, but neither are our scouts. Unfortunately its being made for them.


  6. Let's hand out beads for New Leader Essentials too!!


    I've done both, staffed WB, and staffed NYLT, and I don't believe that there is any comparison. Although I'd agree that NYLT is a lot of work, it requires nowhere near the same level of commitment and effort than that required for WB. When you earn your beads as a WB staffer, you have really done something above and beyond that truly warrants the recognition.


    To me this sounds like a really big mistake.

  7. I am a bit late on this thread, but I'll put in my two cents anyway!


    I think the Outdoor Experience (second weekend) has to be re-tooled. Since we are not teaching any outdoor skills in this course, why on earth do we put the participants through the physical rigors of "camping". In our camp, it is a physical endeavor for the participants. The land is hilly, distances between the campsites and presentation areas are not short. Equipment has to be humped in and out, up hill both ways. Even though we transport most of the gear to the campsites, they still have to hump the gear a considerable distance. There are the constant trips back to the campsites for meals and other misc. reasons. Then there are the "second tier" bathrooms that are just not the same as the bathrooms in the main part of camp, and of course there is the considerable hike to the showers. I think it all detracts from the course, and makes it very uncomfortable for the participants, many of whom are not young or in great shape.


    My second thought is about the pace and intensity of the program. When I look around the room and see a good portion of the staff and participants either asleep or nodding in and out, I have to wonder about he effectiveness of the program. Please understand that these people were just plain worn out, they were not nodding because the presenters were boring. The very long days without much downtime, intense pace, and very high demands (expectations) all come together to create what might might be considered a numbing pace. A pace that most people just can't keep up with.


    I am quite sure that many of you have had the same expierance.


    So that's my two cents.

  8. Its Me,


    I am curious to hear about your Powderhorn experience?


    Mine was a letdown. It was long and drawn out. Too much droning on by the "consultants", some of which knew less about their subject than I did.


    Then there was the foolishness of our big overnighter. Boy that really ticked off a bunch of people. So I am really curious to hear what someone else has to say.



  9. One of the most difficult events to run has to be the Space Derby. I have never seen anyone setup and run a Space Derby with the same organization, reliability and repeatability as with the Pinewood Derby. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong. The spaceships don''t always travel down the line and very often break in mid flight. That''s if you can get them to fly at all.


    Since you''re doing this outside of Cub Scouts, my suggestion would be for you to pick something that has a greater potential for overall success.


    That''s not to say that the Space Derby isn''t a great event, it is. But if your going to show-off some of the terrific CS activities, I''d just pick one that had a really high quotient for success.

  10. This is not an issue that the boys should have any say in. They've made their position known and that is enough. Coupled with the information that you and the other adults have, you can simply say, "I'm sorry but you would be better served in another unit".


    Don't kid yourself, the parents of those boys know what kind of trouble their kids created. They are not naive.


    Perhaps you want to be a nice guy and turn this into a positive for them. You could inquire about why they want to leave the last troop. I suspect the answer will be something like...'we want a troop with more discipline'. Tell them that since the boys have a history with some of your scouts they would be better to join a troop where they don''t know anyone. It would be more productive for them.


    Foto(This message has been edited by fotoscout)

  11. There is a syllabus and suggested courses for Com. College. Individual Councils have, to some extent, the ability to add or change the course offering.


    You should be able to get the listing of the specific courses being offered from your council service center.


    There is usually some great information presented at Com. College. Much of it I liken to the Trivia and Minutia of Scouting....great stuff, if your into some of the how''s and whys of what the program is about.

  12. Fred...


    I suspect that you may be hard pressed to find the type of BSA camp that you''re looking for. Certainly the boys who are not doing MB classes can hike the reservation at any time, but beyond this, the resources of most camps are 100% engaged in providing MB classes.


    Boy Scout camps are not very flexible. They offer a fixed program that is designed around MB classes. Take swimming for example, all the camps I know of, have one, maybe two 30-45 minute free swim periods per day. My troop went to camp with 25 boys this past summer, 19 of the boys did not take Swimming MB. Not one of those boys was available during either of the free swim periods. Consequently, we spent a week in 90 degree weather and only a very few of our boys got into the water, except for their swim test.


    Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and sailboats, all available but only late in the afternoon after MB classes have finished for the day.


    I do think that the leather working area was available to anyone who wanted to use the tools.


    Frisbee, basketball, horseshoes, a service project, or just hanging out in the campsite are about the only things available to the boys that are not engaged in MB classes


    Having said all that, some camps do offer off site trips/treks for older scouts. Check for the camps in your area that have a "High Adventure Base" attached to them, this might be your best bet.



  13. Our cost is $230, or, $210 if paid before the early payment deadline which was three months before the course date.


    We had no problem filling the course and even had a wait list. Yes, I think it''s not cheap. But I do think that they get their money''s worth. The program is presented VERY well. Certainly it''s in a different league than our routine training programs, and comparable to any professionally given program that I''ve attended, maybe even better.


    They get all the regular course stuff....tee shirts, pens, binders, mugs, etc... and we feed them very well. No routine camp food. Everything is upscaled to some extent. If you forget the fact that this is being done in a scout camp, and that the participant''s are sleeping in tents, I think our course is very comparable to similar programs given at a corporate conference center. It is polished and professionally delivered by our volunteers.


    I''m very pleased with the product we provide as WB training, and proud to be staffer this year.



  14. I beg to differ.....


    With respect to outdoor skills, BSA training is woefully inadequate. I will repeat a comment that I have previously written about BALOO Training in this forum..... How dare we give someone just enough training to go out and purchase a ballroom size tent, then pronounce him (or her) qualified (and responsible) to lead an overnight experience for Cub Scouts.


    The organization relies too heavily on the individual leaders ability to recognize when he is in over his head. For many of us, there is a lifetimes worth of experience and learning that gives us the skill and confidence to go off into the woods with other peoples children. For others there is an ignorance and a false sense of confidence that all too often leads to problems.


    When was the last time BSA offered a program like "Hug a Tree". When was the last time you sat through a class that taught the skills you need to teach your boys if they were ever to get lost in the woods? Our council has never offered such a course. When was the last time you sat thought a course about lightening?


    BSA does need to be more open with the "safety" numbers. It's very easy to say that, "considering the number of boys involved in Scouting our safety statistics are very good", but without proof too much is left unanswered.


    So to answer the question.....Is BSA training sufficient? My answer is NO.



  15. I have heard that National is searching for a new Jambo site for post 2010 Jambo's. It appears that Fort AP Hill will host the 2010 Jambo, however, plans for the base include development of some of the land that is currently used to host the Jambo. Consequently there will not be enough land for the Jambo.


    Of course this is only a rumor that I've heard, heaven forbid National should keep the membership informed.

  16. Come late....leave early, be your own island in the sea of scouting. So many people today don't really want to "join" the program, they want to do their own thing without being a part of the group dynamic that is so much a part of belonging to any organization.


    Certainly there are legitimate reasons for having to leave camp early. Family emergencies are the first that come to mind. Other than that, all early departures are planned AND consequently can be effectively handled. One thought is to schedule the boys who are leaving early for more chores during the week. Everyone has to do their share of the work, and leaving early is no excuse for getting out of it!

  17. mrclark,


    I beg to differ with your assessment of the National Camp Visitation program. Certainly there is a focus on issues that can get a camp or council into trouble (liability issues). However, it is much more than that. As team members tour a camp they are expected to evaluate program, staff, and campers.


    How's the food? Where's your buddy? What are you doing there son? How was your swim test? Each Visitation Specialist has his/her own questions, but questions like these questions, along with some very watchful observation are also a part of the camp inspection program.


    In the critique that follows the walk thru, visitation specialists (camp inspectors) discus their findings relative not only to the National Camp Standards, but also relative to programmatic and operational issues that were noticed during the inspection.


    So, in fact the Visitation Team actually doesn't check that the lake water is safe, they check that the camp has had the water quality tested, and that it is certified OK for swimming by the local authorities. As for canoeing, certainly we would observe the scouts in the canoes, and the canoes and paddles themselves. Are there adequate numbers, are the paddles splintered, are the boys getting instruction or does the class look like a free-for-all?


    Good camp inspectors uphold the standards, but also act as a friend to the camp. They are another set of experienced eyes that sometimes see opportunities in areas where the camp staff has long since become complacent.





  18. Most of us know that the national guideline is now "1st Class, 1st Year", meaning that a boy should make 1st class sometime near his 1 year anniversary after joining the troop. I think that this is bit ambitious, but doable for scouts that actively participate in the program.


    In our troop the time to 1st Class can vary dramatically. Some have made it in 12 months, others have taken 18 months and longer. It all depends on how active the boy is. For example, if the boy misses his an opportunity to do his 1st class cooking requirement on an outing, or if he misses the outing or troop meeting where we do first aid, then the boy needs to wait until the next opportunity comes around.


    Tenderfoot is the same, but most make it after their first summer camp. The more motivated boys make Tenderfoot within 3 months of joining the troop.

  • Create New...