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fred johnson

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Everything posted by fred johnson

  1. 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
  2. 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/
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 th
  8. 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 han
  9. 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.
  10. 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 havi
  11. If the scout has anywhere near 20 nights camping, the scout has helped a patrol setup a duty roster, create a menu plan, deal with gear, etc. It's part of scout camping. Scoutmaster's don't sign off on the camping nights. As such, why not trust a parent's word. I'd be tempted to trust it. IMHO, the counselor should be asking for a list or trust the scout. Plus, if I was the scoutmaster, I'd be sitting with the scout and asking him to tell me his camp outs to see if he's at 20 nights. There is absolutely no need to use a formal database. In fact, it's adversarial an
  12. Yeah. That sounds like the perfect ceremony. It's one I'd enjoy.
  13. I'm not against charges, but there is no official charge. The charge is whatever one wants to make it. I like the idea of another Eagle scout giving the new Eagle scout a charge: "... I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. ... " Like what you have above. On a personal note, I just have never liked the adhoc repeat-after-me pledges. It just seems a bit over-the-top. My view is that the scout oath and law are official. The Nicene Creed is official for my church. The Pledge Of Allegiance is official for our country. "for me" ... pledges are pre
  14. There are no such rules. There doesn't have to be a script. You could MC. It's just that it might look tacky if you are the MC of your son's event. It might take away from your son's experience. Similar, it probably will work better with a script. But there is no requirement to have a script. There is absolutely no formal structure that must be followed for an ECOH. The ECOH is a celebration for your son. So between his troop and you and him, find some way to recognize and acknowledge his achievement. IMHO, the best ECOHs are casual and less structured. The only structure
  15. This thread has gotten long. I've avoided commenting as I can't absorb 10 pages of content. My simple advice is hold your son's ECOH. It's your son's chance to shine. Invite or don't invite his troop. If you invite his troop, it's their choice whether to come. I've seen it done many ways. Even if it's just an open house grill out meal at your house. You could say we'll be grilling and socializing starting at 1pm with a special request that everyone is there at 2pm for a special recognition of your son earning Eagle.
  16. I'm glad to see the answers in this forum. It's the right answers. Too often advancement overshadows the other methods of scouting. I would like to say though it is a balance. Having fun and being active are the most important key points. But it is good to not fully let advancement sit. Ingraining the habits (earning MBs, doing requirements, asking for sign-offs) of advancement early is important as the scout will know what's expected. Ingraining the habits early is also important so the scout realizes the satisfaction and pride from having accomplished something sig
  17. Matt_theLife_Scout02, Are you a scout or an adult ? A few generic comments. No troop is perfect or can stay always close to perfect. The idea is to keep moving toward an "ideal", but while doing that provide great scouting experiences. Elections are key. Keeping them simple, open and fair is important. All positions including SPL are mainly about learning how to become a better leader. We adult leaders are spoiled when we have scouts in positions that they can naturally perform without help. It makes us look good. But in reality, we won't always have perfect s
  18. So true. Too much focus on creating the best scouting program. I swear 90% of the benefits of scouts is getting kids outside, camping and trying new things. There is benefit to having the perfect troop and the perfect boy-led implementation and strong advancement and good uniforming and ... but I'm not sure it out weighs the damage of over zealous adults.
  19. For now ... I'd keep your numbers as if girls were not joining. It may spin the numbers, but at least it would start off on a positive year. Plus, you really don't know how the troop level will work in detail or how many will start. You don't know how many packs will run with the program. I'd look at previous year numbers and adjust for if you added or lost packs and troops. That's really it. I would definitely NOT adjust for TAY in any way at this point.
  20. I'm split on BSA's performance for this change management, but I think they did fine. It was gutsy and right to do it quick. Co-ed is hardly a cutting edge idea. But once decided, it was best to do fast and get as much of the pain and anger in the past. IMHO, the process of announcing the decision had no path smoother than it was done. We all know this is also a membership and money issue. But it is also a desire to be more current and serve all the kids of a family instead of just some. If there was somewhere BSA could have done better, they could have been more open on just
  21. Humbled. Really? Why do I all a sudden feel so small ? Rappelling White Cliffs of Dover ? What next? Climbing the Eiffel Tower? Caving the Great Pyramids of Giza? Skiing down Mount Everest.
  22. The trouble with "Troops can plan" is then troop leaders often pressure kids to join them in the troop activities. Plus troops begin to try to fill every open spot with a troop activity so that their scouts have options to get everything in that week.
  23. Hugely agreed. I can understand some structure, but IMHO there is way too much structure. I'd like to see a return to a structure such as morning MBs but then afternoon is open activities. Grab some guys and go do it. IMHO, there is too much pressure from units to structure every moment of camp to get every possible experience into the week, etc.
  24. I think that is a huge difference where the YMCA may have scouts beat. Our troop 2018 summer camp was highly structured. Two MBs in the morning. Afternoon troop time slots where the troop leaders were pressuring the kids to participate in those activities. Troop leaders (youth and adults) trying to fit something into every time slot. IMHO, free time should be highly valued and recognized as a real part of the program. Further, the opinion and choice of the scout should be highly valued. 12:30 lunch followed by 1:30pm troop archery shoot followed by 2:30pm troop climb followed by 3:30pm
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