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funscout

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About funscout

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    Illinois
  1. funscout

    Eagle For Scout With Down Syndrome

    Thanks for all the responses! I called our Council office, and they don't have an "expert" on scouts with disabilities, but will send me some information. I had heard of cases where disabled scouts were able to earn Eagle after age 18, but I haven't been able to find anything from BSA that states that. Tom will be disappointed if his project gets delayed past his 18th birthday, but I'm glad that he can get more time, if needed. I have been an unofficial advocate for Tom ever since I first learned that he would be joining our troop. His parents have asked me to be his interpreter/advocate for his Eagle Board of Review, which I am glad to do. "Tom" has held a position of responsibility ever since he achieved First Class, and his favorite position is Chaplain's Aide. He is awesome at that position! I hadn't thought of some of the ideas mentioned, for showing leadership. Tom is very friendly and definitely shows the most scout spirit of anyone in our troop. Hopefully I can help the other leaders understand that Tom IS capable and deserving of Eagle. When I last spoke with the SM, I said, "I hope we aren't holding Tom to a higher standard than our other scouts." That earned me a very surprised look! The hesitant leaders are nitpicking everything about Tom's project, in a way that wasn't done with our "normal" scouts. I think they feel they need to be cautious so they aren't seen as "giving" the award just because Tom has a disability. Unfortunately, they seem to be going too far in the other direction..... I do have more hope, now, so thank you for all the advice!
  2. I am looking for advice on how to help my troop's scout leaders understand that a scout with Down Syndrome can earn Eagle. Tom (not his real name) is a 17 year old Life Scout, is nearly finished with the required merit badges, and has written up his proposal for an Eagle project. Some of the leaders don't think he can be an Eagle scout because he hasn't shown good enough leadership skills. Tom can read and write, but due to his somewhat unintelligible speech, he isn't able to "lead" the other boys as easily as those whose speech is understandable. I am a former speech-language pathologist, and can understand Tom better than the rest of the troop members. Tom has made huge improvements since he first joined the troop, but some leaders just don't see that. I try to point out to them instances where Tom has shown leadership, but they just don't think it's enough. I am afraid that our scoutmaster might not be willing to sign off on Tom's Eagle application, and would appreciate any helpful suggestions that I can use to sway our SM.
  3. Even though pistol shooting may never become a merit badge program, it has already generated renewed BSA interest in some former scouts. During my 5th-6th grade Sunday School class, a scout was telling others about the pistol program and you should have seen the eyes light up in those nonscout boys! I let the boys know that they could always join/rejoin Boy Scouts and that they, and the girls, could join Venturing when they were older. Boy Scouts are looking cooler, now, then some of those kids had realized.
  4. Basementdweller: The only gun I have ever fired is a BB gun, so I wouldn't be much help to our scouts! My husband hunts, so our sons have lots of opportunities, and one of our ASMs worked at camp as an NRA pistol instructor, so I guess our scouts do have opportunities if someone who knows guns will take them. I realized how gung-ho our scouts were about guns when I read some of their camp evaluations before turning them in. One wanted the camp to offer fully automatic pistols!, another wanted to see Air-soft gun battles, etc. They were just being funny, though, as they know these will never happen in BSA. I guess boys can dream.....
  5. funscout

    Active Scout

    Thanks for the clarifications, and sorry for posting outdated information! Fred8033's link didn't go through when I tried it, but I'm sure I can find that info. The scout I know who was denied Eagle is much older than my boys and was in a different troop, so I only found out about it years after the fact. Our troop apparently tried to help him out, but as a busy 17 year old who was working at camp, he must have felt he didn't have the time to pursue a challenge with Council. This young man has continued to be an awesome staff member at camp, so it truly is a shame that a rigid SM denied him scouting's highest honor. And back then, the information that I previously posted would have been in force. I agree with LisaBob about the fact that many kids, especially high schoolers, do have lots going on besides scouts. We've had several boys who are in sports Fall, Winter, and Spring, are involved in band/choir/theatre, jobs, and also taking AP courses. We only see them a couple times during the school year and a little more in the summer, until sports or band practice starts up again. Most of them have stayed in till they turned 18, but only a few of them made Eagle. Despite not making Eagle, I know that those boys will always remember their scouting years with fondness. They were an asset to our troop over the years, despite not being able to be as active as some of the other boys.
  6. funscout

    Active Scout

    While I understand your husband's frustration with boys who are scouts on paper only, BSA says that troops can not set a certain % of activities to be met. I found this info. on BSA FAQ (http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/RankAdvanceFAQ.aspx) It says: "The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they should remove the Scout from that position." Also: "A Scout will be considered "active" in his unit if he is: 1. Registered in his unit (registration fees are current) 2. Not dismissed from his unit for disciplinary reasons. 3. Engaged by his unit leadership on a regular basis (informed of unit activities through Scoutmaster conference or personal contact, etc.)" So, a registered Scout is an "active" scout, but, if he still needs a position of responsibility to advance in rank, then he would need to attend some (or most, depending on position) meetings and activities in order for the SM to sign off that requirement. You can also point out to the absent scouts that Scout Spirit is part of the advancement requirements, and if they consistently choose other activities (a bowling party?!) over scout activities, then that is not showing good Scout Spirit. I know of a wonderful young man who was denied Eagle by his SM due to SM's view of the Scout not being active enough. This Scout had completed ALL requirements for Eagle, but because he was away from the troop (working at SCOUT Summer Camp!) the SM would not sign off on the requirement for being an active member of the troop! He tried to switch troops, but there was not enough time for him to be active in the new troop for the 6 month requirement. I wish this young man had pushed the issue, because he IS and Always will be, an Eagle Scout in everyone's eyes except that one SM. Good luck with turning the troop around, but be careful to not add requirements above what BSA states.
  7. funscout

    #RejectedScoutBadges

    NJCubscouter: The initial post was about the topic of "rejected" merit badges being passed around on Twitter. Since I don't use Twitter, I have no idea if my ice cream merit badge idea has already been talked about. I'd go for the knot, too! As a matter of fact, I think I'll go work on some ice cream right now!
  8. shortridge: Yes, you are right, the 6 boys per time slot was due to the number of instructors, not due to lack of interest. I wasn't offended by anything you said, but I didn't appreciate my boys' interest being called "silly" by someone else. That has nothing to do with whether or not pilot programs become merit badge programs. As I tried to say in an earlier post, if Pistol shooting doesn't become a merit badge, it's okay, because any interested boy still has the chance to try pistols if he joins Venturing some day. I know it's been a while since I've posted on this forum, but who would have thought that a topic that has nothing to do with politics, religion, race, sex (am I missing any other controversial topics?) would generate a backlash towards me? Actually, I am surprised that no one commented with the obvious complaint of not liking guns at all.
  9. I reread one of my posts, and I'm wondering if some of you took offense to my encouraging scouts to join venturing. I did NOT mean INSTEAD of boy scouts, and I only meant those kids who were unable to do pistols at camp and have no other opportunity to do so. I hope this clears things up.
  10. I suspect pistol shooting was such a big deal for our guys simply because they knew ours was the only summer camp able to offer it to boy scouts. The boys thought that was pretty cool. Basementdweller: not all our boys have parents/uncles, etc. who can or will take them to a pistol range. Your kids are fortunate to have that option. Twocubdad: Belt loops are for cub scouts, but I know what you mean. No, not everything has to end in a merit badge. Our camp didn't offer the brand new Kayaking merit badge this summer, but we still had kids sign up for kayaking BSA. We also had several do C.O.P.E. (some for the 3rd time), some did the mile swim, some did the Paul Bunyan Award, and we had some kids do MicroTrek, which was for older boys and offered no merit badges. We also take part in troop swims, etc. and the boys go to open swim, shoot, boat, etc., which do not give merit badges. Most of our boys also schedule in free time so they have flexibility with their day. The camp is for them, and it's up to them to choose what they want to do. shortridge: we only had 6 boys shoot at a time, during 3 time slots, so each week at camp there were only 18 total kids in the pistol classes. Like, I said, I think the fact that it was new and hard to get into is what made it so popular. I haven't been on this forum in a long time and had forgotten that simple, innocent questions and comments get picked over and judged by people who are supposed to be courteous, kind, ...... All I really wanted to know was if others had experience with pilot merit badge programs so I could let my scouts know what to expect concerning the pistol program. Are there any moderators out there who can help keep this discussion on track? Thank you in advance, for your help.
  11. funscout

    a Scout is Clean, except at Summer Camp

    Our boys take at least 2 showers at summer camp. On Wednesday for Family Night and on Troop Swim night. If a scout chooses not to swim, he is still expected to come to the pool with us and at least take a shower. Our council camp's equipment list does not list deodorant! I made sure to add that to our troop list of summer camp equipment, and I ask the parents to stress deodorant use with their boys. I also recommend that boys bring dryer sheets for refreshing scout shirts, helping foot lockers/duffel bags smell better, and for stuffing in their shoes when not being worn. Just be sure not to wipe a "stinky shoe" dryer sheet on your scout shirt!
  12. funscout

    #RejectedScoutBadges

    I don't use Twitter, but several of our scouts would definitely earn the Ice Cream merit badge if it were offered at summer camp!
  13. funscout

    dual summer camps

    Our troop goes to our local council camp each year, and we normally get most of our boys to go. The leaders have shown them several options to try instead of the local one, but each year, the boys choose the local one. We do have kids who leave camp to attend baseball or band functions, so they like the local choice. Also, our older scouts really bond with the staff members who come back each year, so they don't want to miss out on seeing their older friends. Another troop in our town is on a 3 year rotation of local council camp, followed by 2 farther away camps. I posed the option of them sending us their younger scouts, and us sending them some of our older boys. We haven't heard anything back from them, but you could try that if you have other troops in your area that you could swap with.
  14. Since it's looking like pistol shooting will not become a merit badge in the near future, I guess I will encourage my young scouts to join Venturing when they are old enough. shortridge: If Councils talk to their local NRA groups, they might be surprised to find enough people willing to become (or already are) pistol instructors, especially those of retirement age who do not need to take time off work in order to come out to work at summer camp.
  15. I think our camp used semiautomatic Rugers, but I didn't ever make it to the new pistol range, which was quite a hike from the rest of the activities. The boys had to be 13 or older, but I would have been more comfortable with 14 and up. Camp Loud Thunder,(near Andalusia, IL) did have to add several more staff members, just for pistol shooting. Many of the NRA trained instructors were retired gentleman who had the time and were more than happy to come out to work with the boy scouts. One of the staff members said that the program took extra long because they had to teach the boys all the NRA safety rules and instructions and then the BSA safety rules and instructions, even though there was overlap between the two.
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