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Everything posted by gcnphkr

  1. OGE: I've been the Scoutmaster for 18 months now. It wasn't until last summer at PTC that I realized there was a problem and I've been trying to correct it ever since. But the veterans don't see it as an issue. They look at our Eagle rate and ask why should we mess with what is working. FScouter: Well thanks, that was helpful. Good to know that I'm derelict because I didn't personally conduct all 64 conferences in the last year. I'll certainly make a point to handle the 80-100 that should occur this next year. Considering that the Committee will insist that I continue to do them the same way, at least having them at my house, that's only a couple of extra hours a week. I'm sure my daughter won't mind. Are you suggesting that I should tell the COR, CC and the Committee that it is my way or the highway? Will a new scoutmaster that agrees with the status quo improve things for the troop or help the scouts?
  2. I'm looking over the advancement report and I have about 20 scouts needing scoutmaster conferences (not counting two Eagle SMCs I need to do by the 28th). The problem is the way our troop does SMC. Keep in mind I've tried to change this, but they've been doing this for years and are not willing to change. Somewhere in troop history it was decided that the SM would only do the Eagle conference, other conferences are done by ASMs (And ASMs cannot do two conferences with the same scout). They also make the SMC a big production. Despite my continued objections, they retest the scouts. They call it a review to help remind them of what they learned, but it's a retest. One poor Tenderfoot recently spent 1.5 hours on his 2C SMC. This is the process that the scouts have to go through: Talk to the SMC coordinator and be assigned an ASM Call (not speak to at a meeting) the ASM and make an appointment In full uniform, go to the ASM's house for the conference (and bring rope, sticks to lash, compass, etc) Spend an hour or two being retested Get back with the ASM at the next meeting to go back over the things that you missed Have the ASM sign of on your conference I've not made any inroads on getting this changed. Maybe with some of the newer ASMs who have only known me. But the old guard, including the COR, CC, and veteran ASMs want it to stay the same. They say that the scouts just were not retaining things when they did not do it this way. But it is such a big production that some of the scouts take months to get it done. I had one scout take over a year on his Tenderfoot. Finally, at a troop meeting, I introduced him to an ASM and had them do the conference during the meeting. I know we need to change this, but I just don't know how. I'm about ready to do what I did with that one scout with all of them. There are generally 8-10 ASM at a meeting, that would at least take care of the T-2 conferences.
  3. There is a proper position for that patch but most don't read the Insignia Guide. Midway between the top of the shoulder and the top of the pocket or the top row of knots.That said, in ten years, I've never worn the purple patch. I've never understood why they can pre-sew the flag, Boy Scout of America strip but not the purple patch.
  4. My problem has been just the opposite. I've only been a scoutmaster for 18 months. I still get scouts coming to me to sign a card after they have finished the merit badge. I've spoken to various MB counselors about not starting without it, but so far with mixed results. There is a part of me that wants to tell the scout, "I'm sorry, you needed this signature before you started. You will have to do it over again." But then why punish the boy for the failings of the adults. I do encourage the scouts to finish their T-2-1 first aid requirements before they do the First Aid MB. I know many allow the MB to cover those, but I think it is better if they have been through them before. But, even then I would sign the card if they insisted. There are a few others that might fall into the same category, Lifesaving without Swimming. Emergency Preparedness without First Aid (First Aid is a requirement for the completion of EP, not for starting).
  5. Things I would have taken if I had only known: A phone card. Unless Verizon has added a tower, diving to the top of the hill to get a weak signal gets old. A fan. That tent can sure get hot. A bit of carpet for the floor. More field uniforms. I was clueless and only had one An extra book. After spending all day talking scouting it was nice to read something that had nothing to do with scouts. Unfortunately I finished, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on Tuesday and I ended up driving to Taos on Wednesday afternoon to get another book to read. But then my family didn't come with me, so it was a bit lonely. Plenty of DEET.
  6. Of course the girl in the Scout office insists that one be turned in "or else", but what does she know? If only is was the girl. At the last Eagle Packet training we had at Roundtable we were told the scout would need to file a tour permit for the project.
  7. I'm not disagreeing with you about the project not being a scout event. What I am saying is that it does expose the scout to a level of liability that he is likely unaware of. Based in this, the scout should be instructed not to wear his uniform. There may be some other implications as well. It certainly changes the way the project is handled. For example, some businesses require a letter before they donate materials. The letter should be from the organization and not the troop. Although this is implied by "Donors to projects must be made aware of what entity is benefiting from the project, and that it clearly is not the Boy Scouts of America", it is not explicit, and I'll wager that most of these letters end up on troop letterhead. Now, and correct me if this is wrong, the unit can participate in the project as a unit, just as it might participate in a parade. The parade itself is not a unit activity, but scouts would be taking part in a unit activity, that is going as a group to march in the parade. That would mean that if the scout wants the troop to help, he should present the request to the PLC (something we've been missing) which could then authorize him to organize the troop for their part in the project. If he is just going to ask some friends, who just happen to be scouts, for help then there would be no need for him to talk with the PLC. Of course, this has other implications. For example, a Tenderfoot that comes to help him on his project would not receive credit for participating in a troop/patrol activity, but the same scout going as a part of a patrol that had decided to help with the project would. I hope your son is having a great time at NAYLE. I met his SPL and Scoutmaster last week, they are very impressive. Good to know and thanks. I'm sure he is having a wonderful time. It has been a tough Summer for mom and dad. He just turned 15, spent 7 weeks on staff at the council camp, then flying alone to Philmont for NAYLE. He gets back on Saturday in time to do laundry, repack and then off to be a Troop Guide for NYLT. I'm not sure I'm going to recognize him.
  8. Why do you feel it is your responsibility to do anything at all on this? Certainly the benefiting organization has enough intelligent adults on its board to know that accidents that take place on their property falls under their insurance? Heck every home owner should know that. This is not news to anyone. This is not always the case. For starters, not all projects that benefit an organization take place on their property. Or in the project I mentioned, the scout will be renting a booth at a parade and festival hosted by the city (which is the benefiting organization). Now I'll be very surprised if the city will not require a waiver of liability to go along with that booth. Projects on public land will typically be at risk, so work on trails, park clean ups, will typically not be covered by the government agency. Even on private property it would not be unusual for the organization to assume that they will not be liable. For example, if an organization hires a company to come redecorate, do landscaping, put in cushioning in a playground, etc. the company and not the organization is responsible. So, when Johnny comes in and says, "I'm working on earning my Eagle Scout rank and I would like to rebuild your fire pit which is falling apart" it would not be unreasonable for the organization to assume that Johnny is acting as an agent of the Boy Scouts of America and that they will not be responisble for accidents. Of course this even more likely when the poor scout, who is now totally exposed, has shown up in his field uniform for the meeting. All the more as they have not read, or even heard of the Advancement Committee Policies and Procedures. If you were giving these organizations the impression that the BSA was going to take responsibility for thier insurance obligations just because the person leading the eactivity happened to be a scout then your were wrong. Considering that the only person the organization is likely to talk to is the Boy Scout, there is not telling what a fifteen year old is telling them. I'm guessing that liabilty will never come up and some, maybe not all, but some organizations will assume that the scout is not acting as their agent, but as an agent for the Boy Scouts and that therefore the liability is not their's. You do not need a lawyer, nor do you need to cancel anyones service project, what you need is additional BSA training. I may need to do all of the above. Likely "Boy Scout Advancement", which is good as I was wanting an excuse to go back to PTC next year (dad pauses to wonder how son is doing at NAYLE).
  9. fgoodwin: The job has become so popular that the SM unilaterally changed the requirement so that Scouts had to be Star working on Life to serve as a DC (i.e., First Class Scouts who needed a POR to make Star weren't allowed to serve as a DC). I guess that is a good problem to have. If I have to make such a choice I think I would tend to go the other way. I figure a 12 year old First Class Scout may be with those cubs/first years for 2-3 years. A Star or Life less than that and perhaps with less dedication.
  10. This was posted earlier. It is from FAQ. http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/FAQ.aspx Question: Can merit badge counselors coach their own sons or close relatives (for instance, a nephew)? Answer: Yes, but only if the young man is part of a group of Scouts who are all working on the same merit badge. Approved counselors may coach any Boy Scout who contacts them through the proper procedures. The way this is worded this would seem to explain how parents are discouraged from being their son's counselor. BW, you seem to dismiss this. Why is that?
  11. Well this is interesting. If what BW says is true, and I have to believe it is until there is evidence to the contrary, I'm going to have to get a lawyer to write an understanding of liability for the scouts to have the organizations sign so that they are fully aware of their exposure. I'm guessing this will reduce the number of organizations willing to have scouts do an ELSP for them. I'm certainly going to have to kill the McGruff Safe Kids ID project that one scout is working on. The good news is there is not need for the scouts to get a tour permit, which will make life much easier for them.
  12. Thank you all for your replies. Especially getting scouts involved in individual events to remind them that they enjoy working with younger scouts. Our troop OA ceremony and dance teams do 6 to 8 pack events each year and some of our scouts work Tigeree and District Pinewood Derby. We also host a camp out that we invite the cubs to and we are considering hosting an "Activity Pin Roundup" this Fall. If we watch for scouts that do well at these events we should have a good idea who to work with. We also starting a unit team of adults whose primary responsibilities are being liaisons with the packs, attending pack leader meetings to find ways for us to help and to train and work with the den chiefs. NeilLup, yes, I can see the need of making a point of praising the den chiefs. gwd-scouter: Sadly, we have Scoutmasters that rather than encourage Scouts to work as Den Chiefs actually seem to discourage it. I do not understand this mentality. 95% of our scouts come from packs. We get the occasional boy who joins that was never in Cub Scouts, but likely only 1 or 2 a year. If a Boy Scout troop is not helping the pack GO the troop will not GROW.
  13. Our troop has not done a very good job of providing Den Chiefs to our area packs. I find it difficult to motivate a scout to be a Den Chief. They tend to want to do something requiring less effort like Chaplain's Aide or Librarian. We are a large troop with 60 scouts, about half of which are First Class and above, so we should be able to supply 4 or 5 Den Chiefs. Right now we have one. We've changed our first year program this year and it looks like we will get about 80% to First Class by next year's Crossover. That should put more pressure on scouts to do this as there are only a limited number of POR in the troop. So this may correct itself with time, but I would like to get some started soon with Fall Roundups beginning. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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