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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. I know this situation is OBE at this point but I side with those who say don't sign. I have seen scouts literally decide to NOT finish out as Eagles because they'd seen guys like this get passed through the ranks to the point that the Eagle rank no longer meant anything to them. Letting someone like that through just cheapens the rank for the rest of us.
  2. I just took the new ARC course Wed night and you DO care about AED training because it's a part of the new curriculum. It's not hard -- just be aware of what type of machine you have and listen to its instructions -- but it is now part of the four-step critical process.
  3. Is your troop having to pay the $80 to the church to have them conduct the fingerprinting or is that the estimate cost just to have it done? When I was in FL (about 8-10 years ago), you could get the fingerprinting done at the local sheriff's office or police station for about $10.
  4. I don't think EDGE is poppycock, I just don't think it's some magic formula or really anything new. Like so many fads before it, it does have some elements of truth and the mnemonic is a decent way to remember steps of instruction if you need the memory jogger. The concepts of giving someone the context of why they're learning something (Explain), showing them how to do it (Demonstrate), taking them through the process of doing it themselves (Guide) and then freeing them to do it themselves (Enable) is a pretty solid teaching method that goes beyond motor skills. The methodology worked for me in Calculus, First Aid, Marksmanship, etc. long before I ever heard of "EDGE". The only thing that annoyed me is the way it's sometimes taught as something revolutionary -- or the only "approved" method of instruction. Forget the scholarly articles that come up with pseudo-formalism and try to make instruction or education seem like quantum physics. As far as the Dept of Education goes, they've done a sterling job for the American education system since their inception (sarcasm intended).
  5. I don't mind the existence of a Guide to Safe Scouting -- in fact, I like it. Waht I don't like is that it has evolved to be so risk-averse as to be limiting. I am really torqued by the elimination of adult-less patrol outings. Some of the best campouts and hikes I took as a Scout were Just Scouts.
  6. HICO_Eagle

    Uniform (rant)

    Honestly? It wouldn't even have occurred to me that an OA team would show up in less than complete uniform -- and our troop uses the "waist up" policy for most cases. We have a uniform bank and I have personally purchased two sets of pants for the bank when we needed FULL uniform for a very public flag ceremony. The lodge in question may have different standards and I'm certainly not going to argue if they have a cogent reasonable explanation of why they would send a team in less than complete uniform -- but they should have a cogent reasonable explanation. I have some Scouts in my troop who have parents that have been out of work for 3 years; I get the cost issue. At the same time, the Scouts I've seen who talked the most about not being able to afford pants/shorts also went to concerts, bought CDs or DVDs, etc. fairly frequently. I think the first SM handled it well, the former SM should have kept his yap shut and I appreciate the patience displayed by the acccompanying parent/adult. I find it hard to imagine how this situation would arise if I were Lodge Advisor but I'm not going to pass judgment because I don't think I have enough information to do so.
  7. I've always seen them called hurricane lanterns. I thought smudge pots were small pots (almost like canned heat) that created a small flame and a lot of smoke.
  8. Don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against professional scouters. We need them and we have a great bunch of them in my council. Having said that, being "professionals" doesn't necessarily make them more qualified on Scouting training. It's not like being a doctor or a pilot or a dentist and quite a lot of management "education" is faddism (anyone remember TQM/TQL? or Demings? or Seven Habits?).
  9. The analogies aren't apt due to both depth (10 years of rigorous academic and practical work) of study and relevance of the material. If you want to do surgery then of course you need to study biology, physiology, technique, etc. After 20+ years of academic training and practical experience, I'm not convinced you can say the same of the kind of management education that is being pushed. "BSA has a training program developed by professional scouters" ... and your point is? What makes the training program developed by the professional scouters worth anything much less better than the experience of the volunteers implementing it? I took TDC -- about as big a waste of 8 hours of my time as anything else I can recall except I paid for the privilege of missing a hike and wasting a day of my time to take it. The whole "let's build a paper car and race it on a felt board" thing was childish. Want me to stop resenting the mandatory training? Quit making useless garbage mandatory.
  10. I think the most I would do at this stage is the suggestion to record the results (not the proceedings) of the Scout's BOR. I'm not even sure I would put in the bit about Council considering removing him for life -- the fact he failed a BOR should give the new troop pause for consideration without prejudicing his future in the troop. Remember that most other Scouters should (will?) be looking at the "new" boy with an eye toward the safety of the other boys in the troop as well. We need to balance the Scout's need for a fair shake and ability to change with the duty to the other Scouts to provide a safe and enjoyable environment. For what it's worth, I almost always ask the parents and the Scout pretty detailed questions about why they are transferring from a local troop or when there's been a long break at a critical point like Life. I WILL always watch the Scout very closely at first to see if there was any reason to be concerned. We had one Scout that transferred in as a senior Life Scout. The parents were quite open about having some friction with other committee members but I still watched the Scout at regular meetings and on a trek to Philmont. At Philmont, I found his conduct to be unsuitable for a future Eagle Scout -- I told him so in the private post-trek feedback session we held with each Scout on the trek and we also held a SM Conference at his parents' house with myself, the TCC, COR and parents. I explained very carefully what I saw and that while it wasn't a permanent block to his road to Eagle, I wouldn't recommend a BOR in the next six months. His parents were fully supportive and I heard later (I had a military PCS a couple months later) from the TCC who succeeded me as SM that he completely turned his game around and not only did he make Eagle but he stayed on after making Eagle to continue contributing to the troop. In fact, I heard very good things about him when I returned to the troop years later. My point is, I didn't need any potentially prejudicial material. I would have wanted to know the facts of safety or disciplinary issues just to the point of knowing that they were observed and/or taken care of -- then let me as SM, ASM, TCC or COR deal with the situation as it exists in my troop.
  11. Ridiculous. Does anyone in Irving actually think or get unit-level feedback before issuing these changes?
  12. I was going to say get a new patch and send me your old beaten-up one
  13. I have the Barnes & Noble Nook Color myself. It's great to have an entire reference library (G2SS, camp leader's guide, merit badge info, etc.) at hand and the whole thing slips into my thigh pocket. I like the Nook because it reads both PDF and EPUB and the color version means I can open up color pictures as visual aids. I'd love to get Boy's Life and Scouting magazines in PDF or EPUB format and save a few trees ...
  14. I have a big issue with the general comments about being no reason to not take a well-prepared troop winter camping. I hope smug comments like that boosted your epeen but the reality is that we have a wide variety of troops and the experience level within the troop can vary over time. A good SM knows his or her boys and their capabilities. There is a big difference between taking them into general winter camping with snow shelters and such versus a full out winter storm with high winds or icy rain. I think Engineer61 got it right -- the SM deserves kudos for realizing the Scouts' abilities and the developing conditions were incompatible and making a difficult last minute call.
  15. "If you are goig the embroidered route, red on tan IMHO" I agree completely but shouldn't that be green on tan for the new Visine uniform?
  16. I still think the new new new form stinks. The Talent Release doesn't belong on Side B and I dispute the use of BMI tables that were drafted as a guideline to healthy living rather than as any kind of guideline for outdoor activity. I prefer the old approach where the physician certifies the individual is cleared for specific types of activities -- or indicates which ones s/he won't certify.
  17. "So, you have no interest in learning about troop meetings, PLC meetings, patrol meetings, team formation, team development, team leadership, communication, diversity, project planning, chaplain aides, Leave No Trace, problem solving, managing conflict, coaching and mentoring, self-assessment and overall Scouting vision and enthusiasm nor see much use for above?" I have already learned plenty about troop meetings, PLC meetings, patrol meetings, team leadership, etc. in the past 30+ years. There's always more to learn but I don't believe the "Everybody Wins" game is going to provide much of it. I've already had more than I want of the pap that passes for management training in recurring fads. You can ask my Scouts whether I gave them Scouting vision and enthusiasm or helped them with coaching, mentoring and problem solving. This is precisely the problem I have with the WB21C attitude: so many people think it's the only (or best) source for learning about these subjects. I learned far more about being a SM by talking with other SMs over coffee than I ever did from SMF or UoS. It reminds me of when the military went nuts over TQM/TQL.
  18. I think 5 to a tall can is about right. Side story: I challenged the boys in our troop to pass a uniform inspection at summer camp (we were having issues getting complete uniforms). The Polish exchange Scout on staff who conducted the inspection gave them a pass so I took it like a Scout -- we scheduled the pie toss for flag ceremony on the last morning of camp and I wore my spare set of class As for the toss. Well, the camp didn't have whipped cream so they substituted a huge can of chocolate pudding. A few observations: 1) The increased weight of the pudding made it much easier for the boys to throw. 2) Chocolate pudding is a pain to get out of your uniform. 3) Everyone concerned enjoyed themselves -- the boys passed their inspection, boys from other units learned a thing or two about sportsmanship and other adults learned another technique for motivating their boys. Pudding is a good cheap alternative but get vanilla.
  19. "Our knowledge of leadership, what works, how it works is always being worked on. B-P never knew about concepts like situational leadership, tead development, servant leadership, etc. Its nothing about the old being 'bad', but that we have learned so much about what works & doesn't work." I think Green Bar Bill and B-P both knew about situational leadership and the like, they just didn't bother creating fancy terms for it. I have been singularly unimpressed by most "leadership training" I've taken in the military or Boy Scouts -- much of it seems to have been put together by academics needing to publish something. The situational leadership lessons using "Twelve O'Clock High" are interesting but too my mind more formalism than is really needed and Maslow's Hierarchy and the like are just so much bovine excrement to me. So far, I have seen nothing in any of the descriptions of WB21C that interests me much less suggests it's a good use of 8 hours (and yes, I know the course is much more than 8 hours). On the other hand, I've seen smatterings of GBB's original course that I would gladly spend a week or so on.
  20. I think the BEST hot chocolate is homemade with real milk and cocoa powder but as far as instant mixes go, I like either Ghiradelli or Land o' Lakes. Can't use it on Scout outings but a little Bailey's or Kahlua help make the hot chocolate so smoooooth.
  21. Luckily, the Colorado Scout Camps form is based off the 2007 edition and is still being used in Colorado. I e-mailed the committee with a general complaint about the form. This thing is ridiculous! Why doesn't National do what the Internet or government staffs do and put major revisions out for comment before implementation? I'd have given them all kinds of (constructive) feedback on the 11th edition of the Scout Handbook, the current edition of the Scoutmaster Handbook and this form.
  22. "Why did I know that Kudu would think the idea of what is considered by National as having the patrol method incorporated in the training is lame??.." Maybe because it is? I'm with TNScoutTroop on this issue. This whole thread astounds me. First, I think the proposed test-out is way above and beyond the course requirement but that just points out the idiocy of making this course mandatory rather than highly encouraged. What exactly is the point of requiring qualified people waste time taking or teaching a redundant course? Second, I'm amazed at the number of posts saying "we couldn't find Scouters qualified to administer the test." In my troop, any Scout past the rank of First Class darn well better be able to administer much less test out the requirements listed. If we get ASMs who CAN'T pass a course like that we would darn well instruct him or her ourselves or recommend this course so I again don't see the point of making this mandatory and thereby dissuade adults from volunteering. As an aside, I grew up with SMs who couldn't have passed these tests -- we had two ASMs who were Eagles that saw to our instruction in traditional Scout skills -- but somehow the dozen or so Eagles from our small troop managed. What was important to us was that someone was willing to put in the time to organize a program, work with the committee and see to the paperwork. We got the skills instruction we needed from camp, older Scouts and the ASMs who had been Scouts. I wonder a bit about the deleterious effect this "Every Scout deserves a trained leader" movement will have on our corps of adult volunteers.
  23. Chazz -- I'd be interested in the old ORIGINAL course specifically because a lot of the outdoor material was shelved in the 70s. I've obviously done quite a bit in the outdoors since earning Eagle (in fact, more than I did as a Scout) -- learned a lot more as ASM to an old school SM and talking with other SMs at summer camp (again, old schoolers who likely took WB while it followed GBB's teachings) -- but I can see there's still much more to learn. I'm already excited about Scouting -- Scouting the way it was, the way it should be. National's direction on 21st Century Scouting excites me less and less every year as it falls prey to faddism and New Age psychobabble. The descriptions I've read of the "Everyone Wins" game just make me want to retch (as did my district's centennial camporee show that spoke of Scouting as a "world peace movement" -- there were certainly elements of BP's world brotherhood program directed toward peace but it wasn't a "world peace movement" in the modern context). I got back into Scouting after college to pay back what I'd gotten as a youth and to assist the boys, not to add junk to my uniform, boost my ego in front of other adults, etc. I'm specifically NOT interested in more management school garbage. I've taken too much of it already and think most of it isn't worth lining my pet cages with. My observation of today's Scouters is that we have far more adults with management or leadership experience than outdoor skills experience -- which is all the more reason to return Wood Badge to its original focus. I actually like elements of the White Stag program -- I just don't think it should be Wood Badge. I'd go back to GBB's 20 Tools as Kudu proposed. We have a lot of men and women now who want to be active as Scouters but weren't Scouts as youth so don't have any idea what GBB meant by the patrol method, don't know how to build a proper campfire or cook over coals. Shoot, many of the activity staff I encounter ASSUME everyone will be using propane rather than coals or white gas -- and those are staffers!
  24. Personally, I'd be okay with a "test out" option but I'm still afraid that the "mandatory" label will still turn off the additional adults we'd like to get involved in the program. Bear in mind, I've already committed to Scouting for decades -- what I'm afraid we'll lose are the new parents and young adults that want to get involved again but don't have multiple weekends to commit to mandatory training. I still think the best route is to make these courses "highly encouraged" and have the DEs make the rounds to troop committees to explain the benefits of the courses. I don't think much of training for training's sake and despise the professional educators who push it. Training should be there to educate the participant -- and a lot of BSA's current training is for box-checking, not education, IMHO.
  25. I can well believe leaders are against the new training requirement. I'm one of them -- it's hard enough getting some of the adults involved without adding more mandatory time wasters. Yes, time wasters. It's not that it's too hard -- it's that it's a waste of time that would be spent better with the boys or even reading a good book. The OP seems offended that district training numbers haven't gone up in the past two years, that adults should take these courses because the council or district has asked, pleaded and begged. Perhaps the adults didn't take the courses because they didn't see value in them? In the last 20+ years, I've seen plenty of Scouts stick around regardless of whether their parents or other volunteers got "official training". They stay (or go) because of the program you offer them, the fun they will have. I'd rather have an adult help out with the occasional activity despite lack of "training" than have them stay home because they're "unapproved". I bow to the regular YPT because of today's litigious society -- not because it helps me in any way. I took the Trainer Development Course because it was required for yet another course that I needed to take in order to continue counseling a merit badge I qualified to instruct 20 years ago. I learned very little from SMF 15 years ago and expect I would learn even less from SMST or IOLS if I wasn't grandfathered due to my past SMF course. I have had plenty of useless time-wasting training in the military but at least it was made an official part of my duties when I took it instead of sucking up yet another precious weekend. Having said all that, I have one reason to encourage the other leaders to take this training: National's iron fist regarding unit charters and advancement. (Of course, the fact they are resorting to that iron fist is yet another indicator of how little value the new training requirement provides.) By the way, I would encourage adults who I felt needed the training to take it -- what I object to is the mandatory nature.
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