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Everything posted by gcnphkr

  1. http://www.woodbadge.org/images/Back%20to%20Gilwell.jpg
  2. The thing that surprises me is that you can get a principal to give you time during the school day. The best we can get is to set up a table/booth in the gym during back to School Night.
  3. Another troop's CC and SM approached me at round table. The troop they serve is very small, just 5-6 scouts, just enough to recharter. They have almost no adult leaders so activities are very difficult to manage. There are 3 younger scouts under First Class and the rest are older Life scouts ready to finish their Eagle and age out. Their "feeder" pack shut down a year ago and they've not developed relationships with other packs. They have discussed with the scouts the possibility of transferring to another troop. Some of the scouts want to, others do not, some want to go to a large troop some want to go to another small troop. The one thing they do know is that they want to stay together. They are going to come visit our next meeting and we will likely invite them to camp with us in January. I also told them of the other troops near by that they should talk with. My guess is that if they do end up joining our troop it will be some time later in the spring, but I want to get ahead of this if I can. My question is, has anyone had any experience with something like this? How did it go and do you have any recommendations? If they joined I would think they would want to be their own patrol, at least until they get to know the other scouts. The troop cultures have got to be very different. Going from 6 to 60 is a big change. "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile."
  4. It is possible to successfully teach scouts skills with a NSP. But is it not a setting to teach leadership. That requires a different environment. That might be a mixed age patrol or a patrol of all the same age. But it comes after, in part as a result of, learning what they need to do as scouts. Once that get that then they can start passing that ability on to others and start developing leadership. "Being in a mixed patrol means those boys would not have an opportunity to try out any leadership until they were well into the program and the older boys aged out leaving leadership voids." Why? He might need to wait for a SPL, ASPL, TG or PL position but other than that there are lots of opportunities to lead. Shoot, I have a just turned 13, 7th grader who is leading a mixed age patrol with 6th - 9th graders. He is in that position because he does a good job leading. He broke his collar bone wrestling and did not go camping this last weekend. One of the other young scouts stepped up and took his place. The patrol did fine, not because this young man was trained to be a leader (he has not even been to TLT yet) but because he knew what needed to be done and made sure that the patrol had it all covered.
  5. If you have an older scout as the PL why have a TG?
  6. When you rotate every month the PL does not learn to lead, only to boss. Leadership requires trust and that takes time. Rotating a good way to cause a scout to fail. The other scouts will likely react to any unpopular direction from the PL with a, "Whatever, short-timer, I'll be in charge next month". What really happens in the TG or more likely the ASM is really running everything and the scouts learn that the PL is really a powerless figurehead that will be replaced soon. If you use a NSP you should at least allow the PL to be a real Patrol Leader and develop as such. Let the TG be an adviser to the PL but let the PL lead.
  7. I do not mean to discount the young man for completing it in 25 months. More to show that the time it takes in not the important thing. My guess is that if this scout was 12 instead of 18 there might be a different set of opinions. Each scout is different, and each can be proud of what they accomplish. Even the ones that spend all seven years and never earn Eagle.
  8. Dealing with the same thing here. This last year we did not look like we were going to have many cross over, so as a scouts would join we would have them join an existing patrol. By the time is was all over we ended up with 13 scouts joining. We also ended up losing half of these by the end of summer (in the past we would lose only 1 or 2). I'm not sure if this was because we did not use a new scout patrol or if something else was in play. Those that have stuck around seem to like being with older scouts, and the 12-14 year-olds are enjoying it as well. The oldest scouts, not so much; but we give the "Venture" patrol a pass on taking young scouts. This next cross over will be interesting. One Webelos den has their meetings during our troop meeting so they are already getting to know the scouts in the troop. We will likely do some sort of NSP until for April and May and then have them move to permanent patrols over the summer. Long term I would like to see patrols where the patrol leaders have all been around for 3-4 years and are patrol leader because they are the real leader in the patrol, not because it is their turn for the 4-6 month POR requirement.
  9. I sat on an Eagle Board the other night for a scout that earned his Eagle in 25 months. He said the hardest merit badge was Camping as it was a challenge to get all the camping done. He joined Boy Scouts when he was 15 and 11 months. For part of his camping requirements he went on the Philmont Rayado. He is also his AFJROTC Unit Commander. It is a wonder he found time to do both.
  10. Having set on several EBORs for LDS scouts I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as Varsity or Venturing in LDS units. When asked what program they are in they will answer "Boy Scouts" even though their uniform has blaze loops and the application says Crew. I met one that had earned his Varsity letter, and none that knew about the Denali Award or the Bronze/Gold/Silver or Ranger Awards for Venturing.
  11. So how do you customize your pin?
  12. I've come to the conclusion that it is a battle that is just not worth fighting. I just can't come up with a reason good enough to make the effort of enforcing a ban worthwhile. Phones are often the only time piece a scout owns any more. For the most part the scouts use them responsibly. They also understand that when they lose it that I am not expending one calorie looking for it and cries of "someone stole my phone" are just not tolerated at all. Most just leave them in the car because they know the battery will be dead before they get back and Mr. Jet526 won't let them charge them.
  13. Our adults do this now an then. Last time I brought some small spring paper clamps. Clamps the bag to a skewer to hang into the middle of the pan. This spread the bags out and they cooked faster. Honestly, this takes longer than breaking out the griddle, but might be faster than cooking 10 individual omelets. We do the breakfast in a paper bag on our troop summer camp, along with muffins in an orange peel half. Mostly to show how creative you can be with cooking. Some of our patrol have learns that instead of heating their ravioli or stew in a pan that they can just pierce the can and put it into a pan of boiling water to heat. Just because a scout uses a mess kit and can clean it in the sand, doesn't mean that they shouldn't do things to minimize clean-up. A scout is thrifty with more than just money.
  14. Our council has asked that the file a tour permit just so they know that there are scouts out. In the section that the leader information goes they have them write "Patrol Activity".
  15. "I'd suggest JROTC or something of that nature" Funny, my son was on NJROTC while he was working on his Eagle. After going to NAYLE and staffing NYLT he decided he did not want to be in NJROTC anymore. He said, "It just teaches people how to boss not to lead".
  16. When I wear my field uniform in public I am invariably either thanked for what my service and told how much scouting meant to them, or I am asked what their son needs to do to join scouts. Neither has ever occurred when I wear my activity uniform.
  17. Does anyone think that national will pass up an opportunity to sell something?
  18. One of my ASMs is a District Roundtable Commissioner. He was telling me at the camp-out this weekend that the SE was at the last district committee meeting and told those attending that there had been complaints that this was going to be too difficult. So, the council would be implementing a different program. Only one group out here has that kind of pull. But they certainly could not be the group that complained. I have in on the best authority that their program is just the same as everyone else.
  19. Pack overnighters are always in the context of families. Under Family Camping: "Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children". Webelos dens can do overnighters apart form the pack. Under Age Guidelines: "In most cases the Webelos Scout will be under the supervisor of his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of a parent-approved adult. Joint Webelos Den-troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged to strengthen the ties between pack and troop. Den leaders, pack leaders and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips." There is no 5:1 ration for pack campouts.
  20. "It still seems as if people in the thread consider the LDS church a cult" I spent some 15 years in a cult. There are many wonderful, loving and generous people in cults. Heck, I like most cult members that I've met--both in my cult and others. Everyone of them will loudly declare that they are not in a cult. Just ask any member of the Church of Scientology, the Unification Church or the International Churches of Christ. Even after leaving they will have a hard time admitting they were in a cult. Typically they will say that the group had certain cult-like characteristics. What makes the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons "legitimate" is size and age. Once the cult gets over about a half-million members and 75 - 100 years old, it becomes difficult to call them a cult. Nothing else has changed, but now they are big and have been around for so long that they must not be a cult. I'm sure Gary and others will howl. I really don't care if they are a cult or not. If they do scouting right then great. If not then shame on them for not doing it right.
  21. That seems to be an odd interpretation of that requirement. "Show improvement in the activities listed in requirement 10a after practicing for 30 days." The requirement can certainly be interpreted the way that the Scoutmaster is doing it. It might not be the most reasonable interpretation but you are not likely to get him to change his mind. The boys can train to do a pull up, but it takes work. The simplest method is to have them do assisted pull ups until they can do it on their own. This can be done by a person or by using surgical tubing/bungee cords to stand on while doing pull ups. This latter technique is used by climbers when they train, not only does it allow them to do more reps but it minimizes tendon strain. Now you might be able to convince the Scoutmaster that at the beginning of the 30 days that the scout was able to do 10 pull ups while standing on a bungee cord and could do 20 pull ups while standing on the bungee cord after practicing for 30 days. It is worth a shot anyway. Have they finished everything else through First Class?
  22. It is that time of year again and once again I am a very proud SM. This was a district camporee this year and for some reason we managed to win the Spirit Award again. I've no idea how because at least one of the patrols spent a good deal of their time storming away. I guess they kept the storming at home and remembered to behave when in company. The campsite arrangement was the best I've seen at a camporee since I was a lad. While it was in a camp ground, it was big enough that each of the patrols had a separate site. While not 300', 75' is sure a lot better than 0'. We've given up on the campsite awards, they were always based on gates that served no purpose, camp gadgets that no one used and axe yards when we were not allowed to have fires. This year they even scored on having the tour permit and G2SS out. When we saw our score we had the attitude of "Whatever" and proceeded to have fun the rest of the day. Awards time came and they gave us the Presidential award for the campsite. Evidently the sites were so clean, well organized and yet clearly patrols, that they decided to give it to us anyway.
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