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fred johnson

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fred johnson last won the day on April 15

fred johnson had the most liked content!

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About fred johnson

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    Fred Johnson

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    Software Engineer
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    Scouting. Family. Exercise.

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  1. fred johnson

    Committee Meetings

    Then don't call it a committee meeting. If you coordinate camping, email all the other parents that are part of the committee (or broader if you need fresh help) and say "Hello Troop Committee members, we have a campout coming up next month. I need to make camp commitments and put an agenda in place. Your help and suggestions are very welcome. If you want to help .... Let's meet." It's not a committee meeting as an immediate coming events planning. Share the <time>, <date>, <place ... some coffee places work well ... or libraries or ....> Then invite them to bring their topics if they have anything to discuss or share. Key point ... Avoid the politics and just get the work done you need to get done.
  2. fred johnson

    Committee Meetings

    CC is not elected. He's appointed by the COR. Your vote would only be a statement of who you support and could be very divisive.
  3. fred johnson

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    Easily understood. Your words were very understandable. I'm just sensitive to the point.
  4. fred johnson

    GSUSA Near Drowning

    Interesting ... Alcohol ... Just says not in presence of the scouts. So adult leaders could have beer or heavy liquor in their tent or away from the scouts. So "slightly inebriated" may be valid.
  5. fred johnson

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    Your job is to focus on your scouts in your unit(s). It is not your place to fix another troop. Even the district advancement committee doesn't have much power in these situations. The only power is really approving MB instructors and training. If you wanted to influence change, get to know and build a friendship with the scoutmaster. Also, feel free to chat hear in these forums about it, but be careful to not express or infer too much when in or among other scouters. Unit leaders making comments about each other's troops happens way too much and does not reflect good scout spirit. BSA advancement is not about mastery and we need to be careful using the term mastery. BSA advancement is about demonstrating and discussing, but "mastery" infers a higher level than found in BSA requirements. Swimming is the closest to mastery when it says demonstrate swimming in a "strong" manner. Cooking is a good example on the other end of the spectrum. Lots of cooking, but little requirement that the food tastes good.
  6. fred johnson

    Swimming Requirements for Rank

    I have a similar history. My first sons took a long time to earn the swimming MB. It was not a great experience. With my last sons, we spent six months with one and a fully year with the younger to pass the BSA swim test. It was weekly pool visits and working on little things. Putting head under water. Laying face down. Lots of getting comfortable. IMHO, taking my sons to the pool weekly and making small progress swimming was one of my best experiences as a father. I'm very proud of that time and my sons and I grew much closer during that time. I often had to hold my tongue as I could not understand why they would not put their head under the water. But one day they would put part of their ear under. Then one full ear on one side of their head. Then .... Each little achievement was exciting to see. BUT ... while I think the swimming MB is a critical one that really needs to be fully earned, I can sympathize with the quoted SM. So many parents inject themselves heavily such that it's just not worth it. I often see MBs and advancement as more negative with the scouts than positive. I've often seen it kill scout excitement. It's why I focus more on getting the scouts together and doing things and I focus much less on advancement. I make sure we help and our program covers all the elements needed for advancement. I also make sure we have chances to talk with the scouts about advancement. BUT, our focus is on being an active and outgoing troop and much less on an advancement oriented troop.
  7. fred johnson

    Membership Removal Procedures Booklet

    Oh. I'd fully recommend working with your registrar, your district exec or a member of our district committee. If you are dealing with a situation that needs detailed specifics and rules for removing a person, you need person-to-person advice. If you really want a document, I'd look at a few of the key documents open to everyone. BSA Rules and Regulations ... https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/BSA_Rules_and_Regulations.pdf BSA District Committee operation ... Tells you about the district committee and who does what ... https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/pdf/34739.pdf BSA Pack committee ... roles and responsibilities ... https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/leaders/about/the-pack/pcomm/ I wish I could find more, but BSA has been changing their scouting.org web site. It looks good for marketing, but it's unusable for dedicated volunteers who want to navigate quick to what they need. It's good for the first time to show everything a novice might want to know exists. It's lousy for finding exactly what you know exists and you need.
  8. fred johnson

    Troop Meeting Spaces

    In your case, the Moose Lodge signed the charter and committed to provide space. The church did not. I also know many churches are financially hurting right now. I'm surprised this is not happening way more often. We had a very similar issue and it resulted in our moving our charter. For us, one member of the church chartered the troop with the church. The church never really felt we were part of them. Rather they felt we were a community outreach / support effort by the church. Essentially, good will to the community. The church did not ask us for money. For us, we kept getting bounced around. The priority was with their internal groups first. Second were their initiatives and their directly supported programs. We were just a community good will program that received what was left. Our solution was moving the charter under the local school PTO. We rented space from the school district. Our cost though was $4 per hour. Sometimes we had to pay $12 to $16 per hour to get multiple gyms and a cafeteria. Our total space cost per year for school space was less than $300 per year. We just put it in our budget. The only hard part for us was making sure the boys did not bring pocket knives onto school property. We did not want our scouts expelled.
  9. That's an issue between the scout and the MB counselor. The SM should have no influence on how it affects the badge. BC should have been immediately issued. The early SM signature is not about filtering or choosing the right counselor or doing some type of quality checks. The signature exists so that the scout regularly talks with his scoutmaster and so the scoutmaster knows about the scout's current activities. It is not meant to be a blocking step.
  10. Maybe the white card is different, but I doubt it. The BSA Guide To Advancement only documents the BSA blue card version and says it's the only official version. Beyond that, I think we are saying the same thing. The only difference is where you say the "SM can" hand back, I'm saying the process and blue card are designed so that the scout keeps his section after the scoutmaster signs it. There is no "SM can" as the scout should be controlling his advancement and keeping track of things.
  11. I'm confused. When done ... The MB counselor keeps his part and the scout receives two parts back, his part and the troop's part. When the scout gives it to the troop to record, the scout should only give the troop's part. The scout should always maintain control of his part. He should never give up that part as it's his proof he completed it. It protects him from troop screw ups. The troop still has their part to use to record advancement.
  12. Refer to BSA GTA Limited Recourse for Unearned Merit Badges To make sure we are saying the same thing, the scoutmaster does NOT to ask the scout to demonstrate a MB skill before accepting the badge. If the scoutmaster has a concern, it's address through friendly discussion with the scout, but not discussion such as "show me how to ..." or "how would you handle ...". It's discussion more such as "How did the MB counselor cover this requirement?" ... "I don't see how the MB counselor covered the meal planning requirement for the camping merit badge. Where was that covered in the summer camp course?" Qwazse's statement is clear when using "exceptional" ... i.e. rare. If we find ourselves too often wondering this, then we are off base with our roles and our emphasis on badges and ranks. Badges and ranks are the tool to create a positive outlook toward trying new things and growing skills. If we find ourselves wondering too often about did the scout really earn it, then we are creating a system that will poison scouts on the scouting program.
  13. The 2nd signature is not about "PREVENTING" anything. It's about allowing the scout to have a signature to show he really turned it in. It's like a carnival ticket where the customer gets one part and the sales booth as the second part. It's an accounting thing. IMHO, it's a broken process when the scout turns in his part of the blue card with the expectation he will get his part back at the court of honor. Rather, the scout should walk away with his part signed by the scoutmaster or designee as proof he handed it in. THE ISSUE IS ... what if it's lost in between when the scout hands it in and the court of honor? That's the reason for the scoutmaster signature. It's to have proof the scoutmaster really signed it to protect the scout against an adult losing it. When the scout hands in the badge, it should be signed at that moment by the scoutmaster/designee and the scout should be able to keep his stub.
  14. fred johnson

    Troop mascots

    I have a bag I bring with to summer camp that contains "decorations" for around my tent. Every day I put another one out. Slowly over the week, these decorations are appropriated by some of the more brave scouts and I find them in front of their tents. Not really mascots. More just fun silliness.
  15. fred johnson

    Denied a court of honor.

    We've done close to his scenario several times. We never lower the lights, but we often add a candle lighting or similar. Sometimes it reflects the three parts of the scout oath. The biggest benefit is the whole troops is there and I think that's the biggest benefit. Too many ECOHs have low attendance because of bad timing or yet another meeting for the week. I think there is nothing better than doing the MBs, then the lower ranks and then a special recognition for the new Eagle scout. All relatively fast and clean. Plus, all our COHs are pot-luck meals with the spring COH having the troop buy meat and grill outside for the potluck main course.