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About altabill

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  1. I am seeking advise on Scouting software. I have found several on the market (troopmaster, pack n' file, scoutmate, etc.) that track advancement, finances, membership, etc... I am looking for something that is a good tool while being a good value at the same time. Can anyone offer some opinions what they use or have used? Thanks.
  2. We have tried to sit down and talk about how it works. That didn't work. We gave him a role as an ASM for a patrol. Instead of mentoring the PL, he was running the show. Asked him to be Chaplain and assist the Aide. He did all the planning and took over Scout's Own (left the Aide basically standing there). Has volunteered in committee for jobs but not finished any of them. I don't like pushing people away but I am running out of ideas.(This message has been edited by altabill)
  3. One more important fact I left out. The Scout transferred to us about 9 months ago from another troop. He came to us as a Star Scout. He is thirteen years old.
  4. The committee chair and the Scoutmasters (SM & ASs) are having a bit of a disagreement. Allow me to set up the background. Last weekend our troop went camping. At the outing, a dad (not one of the Scoutmasters) approached the SPL. He informed the SPL (in the for of a question, sort of..."This is okay, right?") that he and his son would be riding their bikes instead of doing the planned troop activity. There were conversations with the boy and his father. However, the father still took his son bike riding while the others did the troop event. This is one incident. There are others. On campouts, dad repeatedly takes his son from his patrol to do dad and lad things (eating in a nearby restaurant, playing cards in their vehicle, secretly giving him food, etc.). Family background. Two-parent household...Scout is home schooled...dad has completed Scoutmaster training (classroom part only)...Dad gives lad very little room to mature. We (the Scoutmasters...Scoutmaster and assistants) have grown tired of dads interference. The latest issue was the straw that broke the camels back. We asked our committee chair for assistance. We first asked for dad to be barred from campouts until he changed his point of view. We softened our approach and suggested that dad be informed of the troops philosophy regarding the patrol method and purpose of the outdoor program. Dad would be permitted to camp if he wished. However, if he decided to interfere with the boy leadership or continue his dad/lad excursions, he would be asked to stop camping. The committee chair said no. She admits that dad may be over involved but she feels the benefits to his son outweigh his over involvement. She is willing to speak with him but says that parents are NEVER (NEVER?) prohibited from camping with the troop. She wants to let him continue his behavior since it involved only a father and his son. She is missing the interference with the SPL part. The Scoutmasters' contention is that he can go camping but he needs to disassociate himself from the patrols. Are we out of line here? Does the boys limited benefit outweigh his fathers disruptions? How do your troops handle parents that dont follow your program? Hopefully I have given you enough background.
  5. Bob, One boy is okay with the placement. The other is not (or at least his mom is not). The SPL did not decide but it was a collaborative decision by the patrol leader's council (including the flaming arrows patrol). They discussed it and moved the boys, together, to a place where they thought the boys and the troop would benefit most. I don't think any patrol would overwhelmingly "want" either of these boys. Some boys would like to have them in their patrol while others would oppose their joining. I guess my questions come down to these... #1: In this instance, do we support the PLC's decision or do we cater to the boy and mom? #2: What should we be doing in the future? Letting the individual boy decide where he goes (brings up new issue of a patrol not wanting him) or let the PLC decide? My vote is to support the PLC even if it means some ruffled feathers.(This message has been edited by altabill)
  6. I have looked through the various posts but can't seem to find the answer to this question. Forgive me if it has been asked and answered already. Our troop has about 24 boys in five patrols. One of our patrols, we'll call it the Flaming Arrows, was strong. Its members crossed over last year and were doing well. For reasons that really dont matter here, the Flaming Arrows went down in flames (forgive the pun). Yesterday they lost two boys and are now down to only two boys. Both of these boys are 12 years old (almost 13). They are both 1st Class. There is a patrol at their same age level (6th grade boys), one NSP (just crossed over), and two older patrols. One older patrol is made up of boys in the 7th/8th grade. The other consists of high schoolers (9th and 10th grade). Our PLC recognized that two Scouts don't make a patrol. They decided to merge the Flaming Arrows patrol with the other 6th grade patrol. This will take effect at our next election. That way they will elect a new leader to represent them collectively. I thought this was a pretty good solution and had seen it used in our troop before (when patrols dwindled to low numbers). I am curious what other units do in similar situations. One of the moms is upset (mildly put). She wants her boy in with the high schoolers. If not there, she wants him with the slightly older boys. I know this is a tough question to answer given the limited facts butwhat would you do?
  7. We have had the same problem...Scouts volunteering for leadership positions and then not fulfilling their responsibilities. Even with reminders from the SPL and counseling from the SM, they still do not do their jobs. One thing our boys we have done is determine a heirarchy of leadership positions. Our PLC determined that some leadership positions were more critical than others. They decided that they would fill the SPL, ASPL, Scribe, Quartermaster, Librarian, and Chaplain's Aide first (in that order). Once these positions were filled, they address the other positions. Some positions don't get filled. However, we don't see that being any different than filling the position with a boy who does nothing. You're right when you say that you can't force these boys to take leadership positions. However, these boys probably want to advance. Their parents probably also want them to advance. As higher ranking Scouts, they need leadership to advance. Letting them, and their parents, know that advancement requires "fulfilled" leadership may spur these boys into taking action. The boys that you have in leadership doing nothing need to be reminded that their rank advancement depends in part on leadership. Our SPL and SM get together and discuss those in leadership. Should a Scout not be fulfilling his responsibilities, he is reminded/counseled about his role. Should he continue to be lax, he will not receive leadership credit for his time in office. Should he start working, he gets partial credit. We have not pulled a Scout from a leadership role...yet. It has been talked though. Personally, I don't think you would be out of line in replacing a "non performing" leader. However, he needs to know that he is not performing and given the chance to change or risk being replaced.
  8. "Teach them. Train them"...I believe we already do that. This boy is almost 15-years old. He earned his Totin' Chit when he was twelve. He knows what a knife is and how it is supposed to be used. Not being taught is is not an excuse for the behavior Timm describes. I agree that zero tolerance rules can sometimes backfire (as pointed out in the case of the boy with the GI Joe gun or accidently having a kitchen knife in a school lunch). However, the incident described is was not a "mistake". You bet it was stupid. However, it was intentional. This kid took a tool, used it as a weapon, and intentionally threatened another. In Washington state, that constitutes a felony. It does not matter what the intentions of the older Scout are. What matters is the preception of the younger boy. If he felt threatened at the time (not in hindsight), you have a very serious offense. Kick him out...maybe. Suspend him for a long time...for sure. If policy exists within the council/district, no question. Follow the policy. This older Scout needs to understand that his behavior was wrong, dangerous, and criminal. Maybe this will keep him from doing somthing like this again in a venue where the stakes would be much higher.(This message has been edited by altabill)(This message has been edited by altabill)
  9. I have been searching the web for an award that recognizes an individual Scout for milestones in camping. All I can find is unit awards. Does the BSA offer awards (patches) for individual achievement?
  10. I am having trouble with Scouts in my unit canceling at the last minute. Over the past few months several Scouts have decided just prior to a campout departure not to attend. This is putting extra work on patrol leaders who have to re-plan supplies, duty rosters, etc. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments on what other units do in these situations?
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