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fred johnson

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fred johnson last won the day on April 15

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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

    Linked troops won't work

    The difference is the rule / direction / guidance versus reality. Reality, things will be co-ed. Thus why I'm arguing there will be confusion. The rule / direction / guidance is two separate troops; one for each gender.
  2. fred johnson

    Linked troops won't work

    "Linked troops" is not co-ed, it's two single gender troops under the same charter org. Before, a charter org could have one troop. Now the plan is two if they are single gender troops. Thus the term "Linked Troops". When reality sets in, it may be viewed as co-ed because many troops will have significant overlap to make it work.
  3. fred johnson

    Linked troops won't work

    I'm not saying Charter Orgs can't succeed with single gender troops. I'm saying BSA will create a mess forcing the "Linked Troop" model. For our charter org, they don't have enough calendar nights free or separate space to support a second scouting unit. From our current sense, we "think" we won't have enough interest to have a strong separate program. We think a combined unit with single gender patrols (our choice) would strengthen the existing unit and give new opportunities to girls. We also have multiple adult leaders in the unit that have young girls that would like to try scouts.
  4. fred johnson

    Linked troops won't work

    I agree with you. It "can" work. It needs more coordination. I tried my best to use "many linked troops", but probably failed in places and left in a few absolutes. It can work so that's why I suggest BSA should let charter orgs choose how they want to structure. COs choose single gender troops or mixed gender. COs choose one troop or two troops. etc etc. This would allow your CO to have two completely separate single gender troops ... if that is how your CO wants to run it. The issue is when you have imbalances or want to share schedules, camps, leaders, etc. It can be done, but for many charter orgs it just won't work. They don't have the space or available nights or enough separate adults. I was recently at a scout meeting where we were discussing how to make it work. The discussion because very uncomfortable when a very reputable and capable adult leader who is a minority pointed out that "separate but equal" isn't such a good idea. None of us wanted to be on the other side of the discussion.
  5. fred johnson

    Linked troops won't work

    Agreed. BSA would do best by letting units structure was they can make it work. BSA could suggestion single gender patrols are a possible choice. It helps address different maturity levels. But it's not required, especially if it means a scout is left out because there are not enough members of their gender. BSA could suggest single gender troops would be an option if it servers your charter org best. I just fear requiring it either leaves people out or forces a lot of extra work and extra confusion.
  6. fred johnson

    Linked troops won't work

    The concept will keep evolving, but I'm trying to work through how to make it work based on what I've heard so far. QM ... Missed that one. One set of equipment. Which QM is responsible for the equipment? Or does a church need two troop trailers? etc etc ?
  7. BSA should abandon the new idea of Linked Troops before it gets embedded or distributed further. It's just not going to work and will confuse everyone. Limited resources means linked troops will share resources. Many will want to share schedule, camping, equipment and leaders (as possible). Similar, parents will not want to want to support separate camping, separate meetings, etc. It's the whole idea of "family scouting" is the family can have all their kids in the same scouting unit. Even BSA says linked troops can share troop committees and resources. I'd expect ASMs will be registered in both units too. So, then many linked troops will be setup to have the same schedule, same equipment, same meeting location. The failure point is trying to have 2 SPLs, 2 PLCs and 2 SMs. It won't work. The only way linked troops would succeed is if only one of the troops bows down while the other takes the lead. Example: For the March campout, the girls troop SM will be the lead. The boys troop SM will be teaching MBs. Example: Jan-Jun, the boys troop supplies the SPL and Jul-Dec the girls troop supplies the SPL. Instead, BSA should apply the Cub Scout approach to Boy Scouts. Charter orgs can choose whether to have a co-ed troop or single gender troops. Let the charter orgs have two units if they want single gender troops and a troop for both genders. Patrols could be single gender ... same as the current cub scout model. I fear "linked troops" is just a short term transitional concept that will cause frustration and confusion for everyone. Conversations and planning will be much more simple if we apply the same change to troops that was applied to packs.
  8. fred johnson

    When is a Scout "Recognized"?

    Yeah, but you have to show up at the scout shop. If you have 25+ meetings a year, that's a lot of driving to and from the scout shop. Four COHs are manageable. 25+ will never happen. It's why I recommend stockpiling in advance.
  9. fred johnson

    When is a Scout "Recognized"?

    The ideal is to recognize as soon as possible. Position patches should be given as soon as possible so the scout has the patch during his tenure in the position. Another example is rank patches. Hand them out ASAP otherwise the scouts will often never wear that rank patch as they may receive multiple at a COH. But all of this gets complicated by an ugly issue. Paperwork. Unless troops "game" the system, they can't get merit badges or rank patches in advance of having proof the scout earned the rank. A good troop will build up a tackle box of patches, badges, rank cards, MB cards, blue cards, etc. They will find a way to stockpile extra. More importantly, they will anticipate what they need to make sure it's on hand. Example: If you are having elections Monday night, the troop should have a stockpile of new position patches on hand ready to go. A troop playing by the letter of the law faces delays and are taught procedures by store staff that effectively delays recognizing the scout. Volunteers don't want to drive to the store every week. So, building up a stockpile of to-be-awarded MBs is what normally happens ... and then they get delayed until the COH. My preference is to build up that tackle box of advancements for on-the-spot use. Then, use appropriately. The only thing that frustrates me in this discussion is the contradiction between the BSA GTA instructions to recognize ASAP and the BSA scout shops not selling advancements without paperwork indicating the scout earned it. It's a contradiction that causes the months and months of delay for wearing rank patches and recognizing scouts quickly.
  10. fred johnson

    Summer Camp First Year Scouts

    I'm not big on Brownsea / T21 programs. IMHO, those skills should be taught one-on-one and are great opportunities for both senior scouts and adult leaders to have direct interactions with the scouts. Work those requirements into the natural result of camping and being active. The key is get the scouts doing activities that are fun and new. Inspire these kids to want to be scouts. Sometimes the Brownsea / T21 programs are just about checking off requirements and forget about having fun. If done well, it's "ok". Very rarely great. Done poorly, you've potentially lost a scout.
  11. fred johnson

    Deterring thoughts of discrimination w/girls?

    I agree with Eagle94-A1 in his comments. I'm not at all against girls in scouts. But the issue Terasec points out is not to do with girls. It is with reducing the program. We need to keep our scouts safe. We need to help them have a good experience. BUT, we don't save them from every issue and absolutely not from every challenge. I don't like calling it the "mommy and me" approach, but there is something to this. Scouting's value is teaching the scouts independence, responsibility and that they can handle way more than they think they can. If the parent or another adult keeps saving the scout, the value of the program is lost.
  12. fred johnson

    Challenging Scout and his dad

    Here are a few axioms I do believe in. It's the scout's responsibility (and their families) to be involved. We can't save the scout from themselves or their parents. Scouts need to be self-supporting (to some degree). We can help, but we can't be there at each and every moment. We're volunteers. Communication - My opinion may differ from others. Scout - Face-to-face Adults - Email, web site, calendar, Facebook If scouts can't track the details from the meeting, help him. If he still gets stuck, let him know that his parents should also have the details from the above sources.
  13. fred johnson

    What is the protocol?

    I've seen something similar recently in another unit. A minor incident was blown way out of proportion by the spiteful vengeance of a mother. None of the kids involved were 100% innocent, but it was about as minor of an incident as I've ever seen. And one kid is paying the price. In my view, the mother sees the other kid as defective and wanted him out of scouts and out of her son's scouting experience. She's made scouts a royal hell for that poor kid. My sympathies go out to him as he's about as normal of a kid as you can get. I've seen multiple other scouts get away with much worse without incident reports. This is a hard life lesson. If you can get your son back in scouts and he wants to be in, great. (... if you do get in, change troops...) ... If not, there are other activities. In the long run,scouting is just not that important. Your son is the number one priority. Find something he can own and grow in and benefit from.
  14. My experience is that adults want their phones because they want their phones. It's more similar to youth and their reasoning then you would ever believe. Youth want to be able to text family and friends just like adults want to be able to text family and friends. I always find it interesting that we allow adults to use them because we want the adults help, but we are comfortable telling the scouts no ... as if the scouts won't avoid coming and won't hide from us because they want to use them.
  15. I'm good with that as long as the adults follow the same rules.