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fred8033 last won the day on January 3

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About fred8033

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    Fred Johnson 2

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  1. Bigger troops are not the issue. My ideal troop size is 35 to 50. Baden-Powell said 32, but corrected for society changes, I think larger troops of 75 to 100 are okay. One great benefit is to do more campouts / activities and a greater variety of campouts / activities. The issues are ... Not recognizing long-term existing BSA policies, etc. MBC is not a troop position and has never been a troop position. MBC has always been a council approved position. MBC app allows to say what troops to mentor, but also has bold stating counselors are encouraged to work beyond their troop. Troops encouraging parents in troop to council for their child's troop lessons the MBC availability for everyone else. It develops a mentality of Trump's "troop first". Discussion attitude reflects "too bad, so sad". Sort of like well maybe you should have joined a large troop then. Everyone else is out of luck. If large troops can take advantage of having a large pool of MBCs, maybe smaller troops then should also subvert MB program by allowing their adults to register for 10 to 20 MBs each. That way they have coverage too. IMHO ... the whole value of the program is getting the scouts out of their comfort zone and learning to reach out. Some knowledge benefit, but I see it more as about scouts taking control of their advancement. We are already have too many scouts that see MBs has jumping hoops without much benefit. We already have too many adults offering MB cards like they are hoops without much benefit. If troops maintain their own MB counselors, I really begin to question the value of the program. If I do have an issue with larger troops ... Large troops add bureaucracy to enable the size of the troop. I often see this as subverting the program. An example of this is I've often heard larger troop scoutmasters say they don't have time to work their own scouts. Or SMCs get delayed or scheduled because of the 80 to 100 rank advancements each year. Procedures get created for how to advance. Or an advancement chair begins to own the MB program instead of a friendly conversation with the SM. I often wonder if advancement should be majorly changed. Rank reflects number of camp outs / activities. Example --> First class scout requires 30 nights of camping. Eagle scouts should have 100+ nights of boy scout camping. MBs are fully troop sponsored. Example --> Canoeing MB is a canoing campout of 30 miles and two overnights ? Biking is a biking camp out with 50 miles and two overnights plus three pre-campout practice runs. MBs could reflect the program planning guides that suggest troop activities. No need for special MBCs for most MBs. Or troop can bring in special skilled adults and the troop adults have the registration / sign off. I've mostly mentored within my own troop too, but I've also bent over backwards, driven many miles and spent weekends helping other scouts with the same MBs.
  2. Silence falls on the scouts as the brave young girl launches an arrow true, spearing the large troop, custom-wrapped, double-axle trailer. Hushed tones carry her name ... mocking jay.
  3. This MB discussion is very disheartening.
  4. No. I meant that exact situation. Scout's should be reaching out to MBCs, not handed to them on a silver plate. It subverts the program. Scouts should be experiencing MB programs in many different environments and styles. At some point, I question the MB program and wonder if troops should fully focus on skills at each rank ... plus nights of camping ... and plus leadership. Maybe every 5 more nights of camping could replace one MB.
  5. Troop MBCs make me question the value of the merit badge program. I'm okay with the troop having some MBCs and such. But when a troop has an inventory of MBCs for key badges, ... imho ... it really hurts the value of the MBC program. The MBC program is about getting the scout out of his comfort zone and learning something new ... AND working with someone new. When the scout mostly works with troop MBCs, the MBC program really changes from an individual scout focus into a troop run program. IMHO, it fully subverts the program.
  6. I hope that's not the future, but I understand the fear.
  7. District camporees are only going away in name only. Camporees will still exist. It's just that council activities team will host camporees. IMHO, this is better because camporees were never well coordinated between districts and some districts did not do them well. IMHO, this is also good as you will ... hopefully ... get better attended camporees and a larger mix of camporees from which to select. Also, this might better leverage council camps. For example, our council has six camps. Three local. Two within reasonable drive. One that is three to four hour drive. Instead of each district reserving part of the local camps and running separate camporees, the whole camp could be leveraged for a camporee. Instead of a strong inference that you attend your district's camporee that happens once a year on a specific weekend and usually at the same place, you can now select the right location and right weekend that would be a better fit.
  8. I disagree. Much of the district structure has been broken and broken for a long long time. People expect quality and it's not there. Today, you can one chance. Maybe two. Then, people move on. I often think about why I attend round table. I really do it to see my friends. Beyond that, there is no reason to attend. In fact, I have several reasons to NOT attend. One main reason is it can be a monotonous, re-hashing of the same content. ... Years ago ... 18+ years ago or so ... I did anything I could to avoid going to cub break outs. They were bad. Bad created poor attendance. Poor attendance meant if I left the room, 25% to 50% of the audience would be leaving ... in a district with 20+ packs. What some may call a power grab, I see as addressing quality failures. ... in fact ... the most important district role is done the worst: unit commissioner. Eighteen years as a unit leader (in different roles) and we've never had a unit commissioner visit. Maybe a slight interaction, but absolutely zero useful. IMHO, districts should be relieved because for far too long districts have looked for warm bodies to staff roles, training, activities, advancement, etc. IMHO, that was just wrong. We need to look for quality or re-engineer to create structures that promote quality. From what I see, districts are not going away. It's just that everything in the district will be targeted at direct unit support. aka commissioner service. http://www.northernstar.org/Portals/2/Documents/2019-11_Putting-Units-First-Presentation.pdf
  9. fred8033


    Post deleted. It was started days ago and is now out-of-sync with the thread.
  10. fred8033

    Headline news again...

    Post deleted.
  11. It's the first required reference on the Eagle app. Plus, parents spend more time than anyone else with the scout. They often can provide useful insight.
  12. As a parent of four sons, I can very much understand the urge to not write a reference letter ... at times. Sadly, I've seen this too. Often, it's a parent who really wants the kid to earn Eagle and exceed and pursue every goal. It damages the relationship between kid and parent. IMHO, parents are much more happy with their kids when the parent backs off and lets the kid find his own path.
  13. fred8033

    Advancement Charts for Scouts

    Our patrols have periodically sampled remaining electives to help individuals advance, but it's always been by reviewing the scout handbooks.
  14. fred8033

    Advancement Charts for Scouts

    I used the cub scout advancement poster-boards multiple times. It worked well ... or as well as the den-leader worked. For troops, advancement is personal. Individual. I would not encourage sharing detailed progress. Advancement is not competitive. ... Leave the detailed progress to the scout and his scout book. ... BUT ... our troop does have an advancement board. During Courts of Honor, scouts move their own name to the next rank as part of receiving their recognition. This is NOT our board, but we have something very similar. Ours was a family wood working project and is more portable, but also uses the large patches sold in the scout store. Our troop name, city and numbers were hand-cut by a scout using a jig saw. ( ... ummmm ... Wood was cut by hand with a jig saw ... not the scout's hand cut by the jig saw....) ... Our board also keeps a name tag on for all our recent Eagle alums. Scouts really liked moving their names. Adults leaders really took pride in all the scouts and where they were on their journeys.
  15. fred8033

    Eagle Project Proposal to Committee

    Great phrasing. Expect a higher bar, but don't turn the bar into a wall.