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Everything posted by fred8033

  1. fred8033

    Cub Scout takes knee during pledge

    This issue is less about the scout and his leaders and more about our country and the strong political divide. Then, add in the online news in-your-face approach. I like the comment earlier about not making a battle of this. IMHO, things like this should be treated just like many other situations in scouting. It's an opportunity to interact with the scout. An opportunity to create a reflection and a lesson. A good scout leader should be able to turn this into a friendly, positive, constructive conversation.
  2. fred8033

    Eagle Scout Extension for new 2019 Scouts

    I fully agree. If she gets to automatically count her unregistered time as official time, then we need to go back and retroactively see who else to credit? All venturers? All siblings that showed up at cub scout and boy scout events? IMHO, at earliest, she can earn eagle in 14 to 17 months. But she needs to do the positions and complete the requirements while registered as a scout in a troop. Anything else is just wrong. On a personal note, I did not mind her wearing the scout uniform if she is now registered as a scout. That's fine. Wearing it at a very political event is questionable, but let's leave that as celebrating a huge achievement and a big change. Fine. BUT at best, she should be wearing the scout rank patch. Wearing the life patch was wrong. Period. It's a proud thing to advocate for change. It's right to celebrate when you succeed. A similar case is that I'd also be greatly disappointed in a scout wearing an Eagle rank patch before his EBOR. I fear her troop has misled her. She should not be wearing the patch or have been pretending to go through advancement in her troop. Now, the troop could pencil whip her through rank and just let time pass. But, I'd hope she honestly does the work, earns the rank just like all the new scouts that are newly joining. Give her Silver Beaver. IMHO, she's earned it. Even as a kid I think you could justify her earning it. But not eagle until she completes the requirements as written while being a scout
  3. fred8033

    When/How to Award ranks with new troop

    You are right and I understand your reasoning. It's just sad troops can't have an inventory from which they can recognize quickly.
  4. fred8033

    When/How to Award ranks with new troop

    This is my preferred method. Give them the cloth patch immediately after BOR. Give them the paper card and parent pin at the COH. I'd extend this to merit badges too. A troop that I was involved in had a large cache of MB cloth patches too. IMHO, it's sad that a registered scoutmaster or advancement chair can't build up a stockpile of cloth awards without circumventing BSA purchasing methods. Maybe, BSA should have a rule that a troop can buy some amount in advance. For example, each year able to buy a quantity (25% of their troop population) in any merit badge before receiving the advancement report. It would require tracking a running quantity of MBs, but that's very possible these days.
  5. fred8033

    Who signs off partial MBs?

    A registered MB counselor needs to sign them off. The goal is to have the scout pursue and drive his own advancement. I fully believe this is how it is to be done. With that said, sometimes MB counselors will coordinate with the troop and say something like ... If the scout shows you this, sign it off. I've had that before where the MBC works with the scout and the scout has one or two things left. Then, the MBC lets me know that if the scout shows XXX, then sign off the badge. Overall, we're trying to broaden the scout's experiences and we want the scout to have a good experience. As such, sometimes flexibility is taken. But the idea is a registered MBC is the signer of the badge.
  6. fred8033

    PW Derby Car from past year

    I like your approach. So often we create rules that ... if we enforce, we upset the people and they quit ... or if we don't enforce we're not fair to others. I like your current approach because it reflects natural consequences. For example, size. Here is the size we can do. If it's beyond that, it won't fit on the track.
  7. fred8033

    Keeping Older Scouts

    Dead on right. Give them space. Listen to what they really want to do. Then, let them do it. It might mean they want a patrol based ski weekend. Fine. It might mean they want a trip out west. Great. Often, they want to do something that sounds cool to their friends and that they can brag about. I'm not one for fixed or mixed age patrols. IMHO, the key thing is that a patrol is a group of friends that want to do things together. Our success with older scouts is to keep them active doing things they really want to do. And it usually means adventures and fellowship.
  8. fred8033


    Your write-up is more succinct, but I doubt it would be received well. I fear it would further burn bridges.
  9. fred8033


    You never have to lie or mis-represent, but neither do you need to explain things in detail. The best separations are short and gracious. AND, even more so if you are upset with each other. If you feel the need to share, do it face-to-face. Use it as a chance to heal and to re-build a connection with the other person. But if your intention is to not heal and re-connect, then just don't do it.
  10. You are absolutely correct. That is a concern with many of the COs that we currently have. They are not involved though BSA pretends they have strong control and oversight. My comment is for this specific situation. The original poster has a hard situation. Though the original poster should be slightly concerned about the CO situation, it's really not really a direct cause. It's a complexity and a resource he won't have to leverage. But the original poster's CO situation is fairly common and I'd bet many units in his district / council are in a similar situation.
  11. The CO issue is not really surprising or at fault. And, it's far from unique. Most COs operate at arms length. Some COs equate to nothing more than the parents in the troop. It's rare to have an active, involved CO. I say this as I don't think there is anything unique for scout parents to notice or for the district/council to be concerned about. Is it ideal? Absolutely not. Is it unusual or immediately concerning? No.
  12. fred8033

    Troopwebhost vs Scoutbook

    I'm not at all against ScoutBook. I used BSA online advancement for years, and ScoutBook is a good replacement. I'm glad adult leaders can use ScoutBook to directly enter into BSA's official records. I'm glad parents to can see reports from it. I use the Individual Advancement Report all the time. I am against my son using it as a regular tool for his advancement. I want his experience to be a face-to-face, social interaction. Learning how to interact and accomplish goals when dealing with people and their quirks. ScoutBook has turned out fine for adult leaders and parents. I question it's use with the scouts though. With them, I'd strongly encourage the book and paper and a pencil and a pen.
  13. I fear using the analogy of managers and subordinates in scouts. I fear trying to create the perfect troop or perfect scout hierarchy. Of course, help them work in small groups with their PL as their representative. Help their SPL representative the whole troop. We need to coach leaders to focus on the fun. Get the scouts outside. Encourage activities and camping and adventures. Within that context, scout leaders have plenty of opportunities to set examples and coach our scouts.
  14. I tend to avoid commenting on political channels like this. But I have always taken sad view of arguments pitting class against class. I can't criticize the wealthy trying to become more wealthy. If it is a valid argument, then we should criticize everyone who quits a good job to take another job that pays more or has a title boost. We should criticize everyone who tries to develop a career or climb the corporate ladder. Anyone manager level or above must obviously be of dubious character. A man has a right to earn money. It doesn't matter if they are poor, middle class or wealthy. Obviously, we want things to be fair. But a man has a right to make deals. IMHO, if his company holds leases and mining rights ... with due oversight and safety ... we either need to grant the mining or purchase the leases as we have taken away his right to use the land under the terms and purposes the leases were originally granted. I'm not sure what is fair economic exchange, but I'm sure it's in the high millions or billions.
  15. I recently chatted with a new scoutmaster. He talked about all his 2019 summer camp plans, how he'd coordinate everything, campfire songs to sing, skits to teach the scouts, etc. I felt he was planning to insert himself significantly into the scout's experience. My coaching to him was that his plans were nice and sounded fun, but may not be the right venue. I usurped Galadriel's quote from Lord Of The Rings and suggested he remember that our job is to diminish and let the scouts come into their own. It's their camp, their experiences, etc. We are to support, enable and protect, but our job is to mainly sit in the shadows, have a nice coffee and play cards. I think this is the hardest job for adult leader's to learn. Our main job is to diminish.
  16. I often think that such scoutmasters behave as such to justify their own existence and show their own importance.
  17. This was the old normal. In 2011, BSA created the new Eagle Service Project Workbook and updated the Guide To Advancement. The whole intention of that 2011 re-design was to reign in out-of-control expectations and create a clear consistent set of expectations for all scouts. Too often the emphasis was put on the paperwork and making the scout jump hoops to advance their project. The paperwork became more difficult than the execution. Bureaucracy was valued over service to others. After 2011, the proposal signatures are to reflect concepts, general plans and would such a project fulfill BSA project requirements. Further, a reviewer should also consider whether you will succeed and have a good experience. Reviewers should NEVER expect exact work days, detail meal plans, itemized materials or an architectural diagram. Those can help the reviewer get confidence the scout will succeed, but it's not required at all. The SM is using old habits and he is in conflict with the current defined process. My question to you. Can your scout survive this and move on? Can he find a way past these things? Or, is this a deal breaker causing him to switch troops or give up on Eagle ?
  18. fred8033

    My kids love scouts, but....

    I agree. IMHO, scouts should cross over directly from cubs to the lined up boy scout troop. And be provided resources and channels at all levels (Tiger --> Eagle) to easily find and switch units.
  19. fred8033

    My kids love scouts, but....

    I fully agree. I hate troop shopping as a default hoop to jump through. But, if your current scouting unit is not a good match at any time, look for a better situation. There is no reason you can't change at any time.
  20. fred8033

    Investiture Ceremony?

    It was after crossing over and their first meeting with the troop. At that time, there was no "earning" scout rank. Scout was a badge reflecting membership was setup correctly.
  21. fred8033

    Irate potential cubmaster

    Great comments so far ... ... I was going to add a comment about pack camp outs and the gentleman not being able to share a tent with his girlfriend's Tiger scout son. So I re-read the G2SS. BSA documents have been getting more precise over the last 15 years. Words that are flexible are intentionally flexible and words that are more specific are more specific for a reason. The G2SS sometimes says "legal guardian" and other times just says "guardian". In the sections referring to sharing a tent, it just says "guardian". So if the mom says XXX is responsible for my son this weekend, do we consider that to be enough to establish "guardian"??? Or do we still apply "legal guardian" (a much more specific statement)? I've seen this situation in my cub pack and I've discussed occurrences with other packs. It happens all the time these days.
  22. fred8033

    Scoutbook Transition from IA

    I had some trouble. One problem was that it said I could use my email or username. When I used my email, I could not sign on. I had to use the my.scouting.org username. Then it worked with my password. It was confusing for a bit.
  23. fred8033

    Scout to Merit Badge Counselor Ratio

    I always get sad when I hear about a MB class that is an eight hour lecture. The only time I've seen class based do well is when there is something that makes it personal and connects with the scout. An eight hour lecture is not scouts and not how we do things. Filling in blanks on a worksheet is not scouting and does NOT replace the requirement to interact and fulfill the expectations. What I mean is a class is okay if it's wood working and the scouts go to a wood shop to do projects with the guidance of the MBC. Or it's photography and the scouts run around with cameras, etc. Or canoeing and they have a lake with a canoe for every two scouts. Scouting is active. Doing. Moving. Action oriented. Power point is not scouting. Doing worksheets is definitely not scouting. QUESTION - Did your scoutmaster recommend the out of council MB class? Did you promote it to your scout? I say this as parents (myself too) get almost more excited about scouting than our kids. Then we sign them up for things that we think would check-the-box or get-it-done when it might not be a good fit. KEY POINT - I've taken my sons to MB opportunities many times over the years. I've watched. If my sons ask to leave because it's dry or boring or ... , I'm okay with them leaving. Key point --> It's better to leave if it's not a good match for your son. The badge is great and getting-it-done is great. But, I'm really looking for my sons to have eye opening experiences at this point. If they are not going to get that, then the badge is not worth it. Great ... Archaeology done with a park ranger at his personal archaeology dig site was great. Brief class room with quirky college archaeology teacher added to it. Great experience. Bad ... Exploration done in a sunday school / church 2nd grade day care class room with MBC filling in without expertise clearly damaged my scout's expertise. Good ... Aviation done in a private plane hanger under the plan wing ... good. Bad ... Aviation done in a small day care class room with someone filling in ... bad Great ... Welding and metal working in a maintenance shed with tools and grime. Bad ... 60 minutes of re-reviewing first aid before every merit badge A class room with worksheets and a long lecture for a scout with dyslexia is not a good match. It's better for you and your scout to leave and go spend the day at the zoo and have a nice lunch. That class might be okay for some scouts. Some may get the badge. Many will definitely have a bad experience. IMHO, don't chase merit badges. Chase the great experiences. The merit badges will follow.
  24. fred8033

    Has Anyone Done Recent Cub Scout Training?

    Thanks. I'll try again. Hmmm..... Just tried .... Errors out. Different than it error an hour ago. But still errors out. BSA must be working on security and other upgrades. Here is what I did. https://my.scouting.org/dashboard-legacy ---> My Training ---> ---> Training Center ---> ---> Cub Scouting (click the ">") I am re-directed to BSA LMS Logon https://my.scouting.org/vim2/unifiedlogon/userservice/proxy.aspx? Method=UserLogon&PageCode=MobileTaleoSSO&ReturnCompleteURI=.... I enter my username and password for mys.scouting.org. I was getting a different error for the last few days. Now I get this. Error 500--Internal Server Error From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1: 10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.
  25. fred8033

    Has Anyone Done Recent Cub Scout Training?

    I tried to use the my.scouting.org online training recently (last night again) and it just crashes. I can't get any training courses to run.