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fred johnson

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Everything posted by fred johnson

  1. Will you poach our crew's women?

    How about redesigning venturing into a young adult program? Overlap it with college ages. Overlap it with college service fraternities. Put certain boundaries on it (no drinking, etc). It's about service and adventure. I often think about this as we had multiple scouts age out and become 18-20. They hang around in a pseudo fashion. They just don't have the time and commitment to become a fully trained and committed ASM, but they are not really a youth either. It would be nice to have a program to serve them. And, I'd be okay calling it Scouting Young Adults. Gotta check the acronym though. SYA? A too close to CYA. Also sounds like something Patty Hearst would join.
  2. So, how will your Pack handle recruiting girls?

    I agree. It has to happen. But it's also interesting how the CC is often treated as absent and then critical again. Most CO's just have no clue what their units are doing day by day or year by year. For example, I think most COs would be less concerned about including girls and more concerned on whether you are conducting safe camping trips and meaningful events and if you represent the CO well. But if they really don't ask those questions, I'm not sure you will get useful input from the CO on including girls. If anything, you could be asking for more trouble than it's worth. But it's still a discussion that should happen.
  3. I tend to agree. But at the same time, it is explicitly intended and stated that scouts are given wide latitude in what type of project is acceptable. We don't to put too many limits on the scout or the country will be buried under the weight of a million picnic tables. From what I've seen, the projects that do have trouble at their eagle board of review are as above. The scout heavily depends on one person or an external resource or essentially gives up control of their project. Perhaps that should be an evaluation criteria? Will the scout be in control of his own project? Will the scout have the understanding and involvement such that he's influencing the detailed execution of the project. If he's not, it could be argued it's not his project or that he's just contracting out the project. We just don't want that.
  4. A few random comments Inch thick workbook - there is no need for a thick workbook. That is why the workbook was re-designed in 2011. The redesign was to move the focus from paperwork to execution. From paperwork to doing. These days you just don't need an inch thick workbook. In fact, it's a sign of heavy handed troops. Or of families that had older sons that did eagle projects before the 2011 redesign. It's 100% okay to do pre-work. The scout has the option to do lots of work or just a little The requirement is to plan, develop and lead a project. As long as he shows leadership of others, he can do lots on the project if he wants. Or he can be the overseer and just direct. There is no right or wrong here as long as he develops, plans and leads. From what I get here is ... a well meaning adult said he'd help ... then that offer grew to be disproportionate with what was originally intended. IMHO, the adult should simply state his feelings with the scout. It's the scout's project. The scout should handle things like this. And a volunteer should be comfortable saying things like that.
  5. Your view is not the same as mine. I won't argue BSA is perfect, but BSA had a tracking system in place for decades before the public acknowledged or knew about abuse. BSA staff worked to document and track / record. It wasn't perfect, but from what I've seen it was far ahead of what was being done in schools and communities at the same time. If anything, it's BSA's own keeping documents that caused trouble. It would have been better served if it shredded the documents after a 20 years.
  6. Adding Girls to Pack

    Absolutely. Reality trumps rules ... ewww ... somehow I just don't feel right these days using the verb "trump".
  7. Adding Girls to Pack

    Not den. Rank. During recharter you make sure everyone is in the correct rank. BSA has no idea who's in which den.
  8. Adding Girls to Pack

    Agreed. It's a forced unneeded and problematic idea. Now if you have enough boys and girls in a rank to keep them separate and they want to do that, fine. Absolutely fine. But if you don't have the numbers and don't have the volunteers, how the heck would you make it work. Forcing it would just diminish the scouting experience.
  9. Does anyone have an announced date that BSA online advancement is being turned off? I'm asking as I want to learn when our troop needs to start using ScoutBook. We'd like to like to start using ScoutBook for advancement at least a month before BSA ScoutNet Online Advancement interface is turned off.
  10. Date of BSA online advancement tool being turned off

    We can argue and debate about good or bad aspects of communication and ScoutBook. I have a more basic need. Does our existing advancement person have to learn a new system just before we try to find someone new to take the role? Or can we delay until the next person steps in? We can't plan until we know a turn-off date for BSA Internet Advancement web page. In the unit I'm referring too, ScoutBook is a read only utility. It's not used to record advancement. So the March 1st warning saying we can't approve advancement is meaningless as it's telling us we won't be able to use something that we already don't use.
  11. Date of BSA online advancement tool being turned off

    3/1/18 is 1st quarter. BSA other announcement says ScoutBook Lite available 2nd quarter. I assume units will not be left without a system to use. So I'm just hesitant to trust dates yet.
  12. Date of BSA online advancement tool being turned off

    That just says existing ScoutBook units need to activate the automatic sync by March 1st. No statement about ScoutBook Lite. No statement about when BSA internet advancement goes away. I'm being asked by an advancement coordinator how long he has until he has to switch. I think he's asking as his son is aging out and he's stepping away when the scout ages out.
  13. Date of BSA online advancement tool being turned off

    No date. ScoutBook lite released 2nd quarter 2018 ... which means to me 2018. .... the article says the existing platform will be retired. I assume it's not the exact same day. So is BSA Internet Advancement to be turned off same day, same week, same month, same year?
  14. Troopwebhost vs Scoutbook

    I agree paperbook is not a good backup. But he has a zippered cover with zippered pockets on the cover where he stores his incomplete MB cards. For backup, sure let an adult enter in the data. Or use the online system to show the complete list of MBs. It's just that I want to encourage my son to be accustomed to working off line. Even at 10 years old, these scouts are very comfortable online and using online systems. I want him to benefit in scouting from using the paper copy and learning to stay organized and to work interactively with people. the last thing I want his him to mark something completed on a web site and then wait until someone mysteriously in the cloud checks it off as "approved". IMHO, that the process you want a parent to do, but not the scout.
  15. Troopwebhost vs Scoutbook

    Ya know ... I always pride myself on being technically current and usually ahead of the game. In fact, that's how I make my living. ... BUT ... I have zero interest in having my son track his advancement online. If he wants to look and see it fine. But as much as possible, I want them face-to-face. They will easy enough learn computers and moving forms about. IMHO, scouting is about that interaction. Encouraging scouts to update data in ScoutBook defeats alot of scouting's benefit. As long as I can, I'll encourage my son to use his paper scout handbook to track advancement. Please note that I as a leader and adult want everything online. Advancement. Leader manuals. Trip plans. It all makes my life easier. But for my son and his friends, I really hope they stay with paper as long as possible.
  16. Dividing a Pack

    Bigger units usually have more resources and can provide a better program. As such, if you don't want to split, don't. Your unit leaders helped drive the success and probably know what's best for the unit. BUT ... Would your pack do better having gym for say K-2 or K-3 to meet and a cafeteria for 4-5 or 3-5 to meet? I do like the idea of keeping the pack as one pack. If you are doing well now, don't split. The issue is K & 1 is just too young for most things that serve 4th and 5th graders well. And 4th and 5th graders don't want to socialize generally with K and 1. Could you keep one big pack that meets maybe once or twice a year at big things? And then monthly pack meetings are age based sub groups?
  17. What would you do (if you were me) in this situation?

    "Interpersonal skills" is the number one thing scouts learn. We can talk leadership and skills, but dealing with people is where scouts shines. But I do love the canoe trips.
  18. Girls still want to be girl scouts

    Yeah, neither BSA or GSUSA have been fully clean. Each behaves more like a cordial neighbor than helpful friends.
  19. Aviation Merit Badge Help

    You don't have to be a pilot, but you should have the skill and knowledge. The key is that you are registered with BSA as a counselor. That makes it legit. From there, if it's an "event", you could build teams and to make sure everything is covered. The MB idea is "interaction". So if it says perform or explain, usually it means person-to-person and/or actively involved. Writing a report or fill out a workbook does not replace "perform" or "explain". When workbooks are "REQUIRED" (... quoted because you can't require them ...) it's because the counselor wants evidence the scout did it even though the counselor doesn't have time to cover it himself. IMHO ... Make sure you have a registered counselor. Make sure you have people with expertise the scouts will enjoy. Beyond that, focus more on giving the scout a good and inspiring experience. Worry less about the legalism except what is explicitly written.
  20. Camping vs. Sleeping in a Cabin

    What about cabin tents? Some of us like to get comfortable when long term camping.
  21. What would you do (if you were me) in this situation?

    So so true. I question the value of IEPs ... except that parents need to make sure they get listed in the IEP accomodations they want. If it's not in the IEP, it's no where.
  22. What would you do (if you were me) in this situation?

    My apologies if this seems flippant, but I've got sons with IEPs. I swear schools use IEPs to manage the number one disease that schools can't handle anymore: being a boy. There is huge maturity differences in those two / three years. Jobs. Cars. Dating. I'd hope those kids would want to include your son, but I can also understand their wanting their own time. SIDE DISCUSSION - Pray I don't take us off topic. It's why I don't like mixed age patrols. Mixed age patrols work well in many ways, but I'd rather see scouts initially grouped by age or when they join. THEN, let them stick together or switch patrols to be with friends. I just don't see the purpose of a patrol if a scout has to go visit other patrols when he wants to do something. The best experiences my sons have had is when they had scouts in their patrol that were good friends because then patrol meetings actually planned things they wanted to do and the patrol actually went out together and did things. RECOMMENDATION - When he goes on a camp out, make sure he has a football, game, book or other that he can use to fill time and/or play with other scouts. If they won't include him, then set him up such that other scouts want to join him.
  23. More Advancement Revisions...

    I started reading this thread again. I keep twinging every time I read the rank requirements. They are just way way too long. Too many words. Turns off scouts. National really needs to focus on shortening the number of words. It's just out of control. The number of words in the requirements have doubled since 2005. The words the scouts see need to be simple and straight forward.
  24. OA and the aboriginal cultures

    Absolutely. Like "Why OA?" ... It should be about more than elections and ceremonies.
  25. OA and the aboriginal cultures

    IMHO the debate on "should it be a sensitive topic" is separate. It's too late. There are groups waiting to pick fights. OA members (new and old) already cringe thinking "is this in bad taste?" "Will I be accused of being a bigot?" I think it's best if OA drops the Indian mystic. It can offend people and it is a sensitive topic. Plus scouts are elected because of their example. Inserting them into a different folklore is a distraction. IMHO, it's best to stick to be heart of the idea. We serve. We help others. We share fellowship. The rest is a distraction. Sadly, I do think ceremony is important. I do think tradition is important. Sadly, I also think we damage our understanding the past as we separate ourselves more and more from using the past. But so be it. That's modern day politics.