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fred8033

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fred8033 last won the day on May 5

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About fred8033

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    Fred Johnson 2

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    Software Engineer

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  1. fred8033

    Merit badge sash

    Rules and procedures never can address all cases though back of the sash is a reasonable solution and explicitly stated. From all the uniforming violations I've seen, I think the best answer is make it look sharp and clean. Sashes have been sewed double wide and lengthened. Or use the back. As long as it looks sharp and respectable, no one should complain.
  2. fred8033

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Rough idea ... stop troop camping. Maybe troop summer camp and a troop district camporee. Beyond that, patrols should function as patrols. Choose their activities and schedule. Find their own camps. If you really want patrols to function as patrols, minimize the troop focus. I say this as a rough idea because every troop calendar I've seen has a monthly troop focus with some sporadic higher adventure activity. I never see an annual calendar for the patrols. Maybe asking the patrols to have one or two months each year where they focus on creating the coolest patrol campout or activity. One patrol goes caving. Another does a canoe trip. Another does a state park. Maybe another does a bike trip.
  3. I think SM signing son's rank requirements is absolutely directly analogous to MBC singing MB requirements, both per situation and per GTA. The key point I may have missed saying ... I'm very glad I got to had the honor to work with my sons on a few MBs. It was a very special and memorable time. If I had done many MBs, then I think my son would have missed out on growth opportunities. IMHO, the best advancement is varied. Some through troop. Some elsewhere. Some with parent. Some with other adults. Some with external MB fairs. Some where the scout picks up the phone and calls the adult.
  4. Don't 100% avoid working with your son. It can be a very meaningful and grow your bond with him. As it applies to my sons ... I think MBC is an analogous role. For each of my sons, I've only mentored one Eagle MB. For the non-Eagle MBs, I've done one or two further. But then again, those extra MBs are more unique opportunities I don't think would be offered other ways. Motor boating for example.
  5. As people said above ... You absolutely have the right to do it. You should not be embarrassed to sign off for them. They should not be penalized because you are the scoutmaster. The main reasons to NOT do it ... Perception. Avoid perception of favoritism or your son had it easier. Growth. Your son will grow more by working with people other than their parent. So ... if you can have someone else work with your son, great. BUT, don't penalize him. If there is no one else and your son would be penalized, I'd sign off
  6. fred8033

    As an adult, what about my ideas?

    Random comments Fresh energy and new ideas can re-invigorate a program. They should always be welcome. Bull in a china shop. You run the risk of alienating other adults. Watch your relationships with the other adults and other scouts. Sometimes you need to build your investment in the troop before others are open to your ideas. I'm not saying that's your situation. I'm just saying many a parent has been ostracized for not getting building solid relationships with other adult leaders. Scouting is a subtle program. You might want to observe to see if there is method in the madness. Often it's not about the number of MBs that a scout earns. It's about the growth of the scout. There are other ways to promote your ideas. Example is my last son took many years to get even tenderfoot. His personality and how the troop leaders worked did not lend itself to him advancing or even accomplishing anything at all. So, we found MB fairs and district activities and other. He would participate and be on his own. I just looked for other opportunities to keep him involved. Maybe have your son offer to his PL leader / PL that you could coordinate a flower learning hike. Or a MB. Or .... Just be careful to not step on the program other adults are running. Have fun. Scouting is a great program. My personal view is worry less about the perfect program or the perfect troop and focus more on getting the scouts out doing things.
  7. fred8033

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Fully agree. It's not gender specific. People want to spend their time in a meaningful way. Advancement for advancement sake is not meaningful. Hiking. Camping. Fishing. ... "ing" is meaningful especially when it's a new experience. I agree. Parents invest and drive their kids to things. They want to see a measure that the investment is worthwhile. They see it in the rank. I see it every time there is a slight bit more maturity in my kid after a scouting activity or event.
  8. I'm betting 90% are paired with a pre-existing troop for equipment, committee and probably also a scheduled of activities and events.
  9. fred8033

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Agreed. ... IMHO, the scout should find pride in their journey, not just a rank. ... In my mind, I'd even argue "rank" is not a great measure of skill of a scout. I think other measures are much more telling. Number of nights in a tent. Number of nights in a tent below zero F. Number of miles on a river. Number of miles hiked. Number of high adventures. I disagree. Even fifty years ago, Eagle scout was prestigious and magazine cover art was around earning Eagle. IMHO, the higher percent of Eagles is because the bottom has fallen out. Fifty year years ago, youth asking to be in scouts because it was a great way to spend their time. To be with their friends. To camp. To do fun things. Now, scouts don't like the idea of an outhouse or "roughing it". Their idea of roughing it is sleeping in a friends basement. So the current pool of scouts has a much higher number of scouts chasing rank or being pushed by their parents. I don't think this is a BSA promotion thing. It's market dynamics. If you are in scouts, you expect a reasonable path to earning Eagle.
  10. fred8033

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Thank you. I always think I know everything. I'm corrected and appreciate the information. It was once explained to me as a measurement of the whole scouting journey Tiger to Eagle. How many join and how many finish. The number seems much more reasonable then. I trust the number of Eagle is fairly steady (maybe growing), but the expectations are better defined and youth have many more resources. Then add that the number of members has drastically dropped resulting in those that are in the program are probably from families that really value scouting. And, thus want their kid to earn Eagle.
  11. fred8033

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    Your metric isn't probably that bad as I think national's number is based on scouts joining as Lion and Tigers and all the losses that happen during Cub Scouts and before switching to the old scout programs.
  12. fred8033

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    @thrifty I don't like labels either. "Eagle factor" is a shallow snide label not worthy of a scout leader. Be specific in what is wrong wrong or what should change or don't say anything at all. ... Nothing against the original poster. It's just a term that has been thrown around too loosely for way too long. One statement in the article hit me. "“I think it’s a credit to several things but mainly the boys themselves have made the troop a fun activity within their curriculum, " ... Magical mixtures of scouts and scout leaders happen that make the program shine. In my 15+ years in troops, the most recent was the best. Scouts became best friends. Built close friendships. Kept busy with many activities. The SPL really owned his leadership and kept getting re-elected. He worked to make the troop a fellowship of fun and they did things. More than once they'd ask us when they could camp next or do specific activities. The scouts built connections that us adults had a hard time knowing when and how they were communicating and coordinating. But they were doing it. These scouts did a lot, earned MBs, helped each other and almost all earned Eagle. Plus, I'll proudly boast what they learned about leadership, responsibility, boy-led, etc against anything any adult leader tries to shove at the scouts. Some might look from the outside and call it an Eagle factory, but they'd be wrong. It's the natural result of these guys having a great time. The Eagle rank is just not that hard if you enjoy the path to get there and your friends value it too. I truly believe so many earned Eagle because they had fun ... enjoyed the fellowship ... wanted to be like their troop mates who also earned Eagle.
  13. I fully agree. And a 17 year old scout can knock off lots of requirements quickly because of maturity and the ability to focus.
  14. fred8033

    ASMs at PLCs

    Your mileage may vary ... but I've seen this done many times. My experience is this. ASMs are often not as experienced as SMs. It takes years to learn a more relaxed attitude and learn to sit on your hand to let the scouts really take charge. ASMs don't provide a consistent message from the SM. ASM attendance is far less consistent than the SM. You might have one or two dedicated ASMs, but then the rest will be hit and miss. ASMs often work agendas thru their patrol at the expense of the patrol members. ASMs look for voids to fill instead of letting the scouts work it out. I really hate the term boy-led, but I'd really ask who's program is it? My experience is kids live up to your expectations. If you expect they will need an adult present, than they will need an adult. If you let them work through it, they will blow it now and then, but they will learn.
  15. fred8033

    ASMs at PLCs

    ... some ... it can be noticed fairly quickly. SM should adjust as things are noticed. My point is this should be treated as a situation to address, teach and grow. The possibility of this happening should not be used as an excuse to insert adults into the youth program.
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