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Everything posted by hotdesk

  1. hotdesk

    For The Youth ONLY

    In terms of earning the rank of Eagle, BSA does a great job of indentifing the role that parents and mentors play, by providing a father/mother pin and a mentor pin. Those that were involved in the process all get recognized during an ECOH! In our pack, we make sure the scouts, parents, and other kids all have fun. All are welcomed to participate in our pack meetings and activities. We have an adult Christmas Party and we also do an Adult Pinewood Derby the night before the actual derby. Our Annual Planning Conference is done at a restraunt. We go out as a group after Roundtable. There's plenty of ways for adults to have fun!
  2. hotdesk

    Questions about what is appropriate

    As a young adult leader (still in my 20's) I find this crazy and probably unacceptable. I would never put myself in a position like that to have allegations made that I did something inappropriate. This guy should be a lot more transparent with the parents. He's putting himself, the Venture Crew, and scouting in a lot of jeporady. Even though I'm not a parent, I think I would ask my son a few hard questions about what happend this weekend. I would probably ask my Chartered Organization what the heck was going on and if they were aware of the situtation.
  3. hotdesk

    Troop Email and Calendar

    We use SOAR as well. While it's more money than I'd like to spend it offers a few great things... 1) Weekly Email Blast 2) Calendar and Event Registration Capabilities 3) The ability for leaders to send out email blasts on their own If you're looking for the ability for a site to send out text messages, if you do a facebook organization page, people can sign up for text message updates.
  4. hotdesk

    Expectations of a Scoutmaster

    As Committee Chairman of a Cub Scout Pack here's what I expect from my Cubmaster, and a coorlation between the expectations of that position and Scoutmaster. 1. Build a relationship of mutual respect with Den Leaders and Assistant Den Leaders. Support and guide them to ensure that the pack meets parents'/scouts' expectations (where the youth leaders would replace the Den Leaders.) 2. Build a good working relationship with the Committee Chairman and committee members. Trust them to help with Advancements, Fundraising, Activities, etc. Make sure that they understand your expectations and how best to help you. 3. Build a good relationship with the families in the unit. Make sure that you communicate effectively and their problems/concerns are addressed quickly. 4. Work with your assistants so they understand what you're looking for. Communicate with your lead assistant when you can't be there to make sure that there's a replacement. I would much rather go with the person who can communicate, build relationships, and has experience than someone who can be at all the outings/meetings, but lacks in communication and relationship building.
  5. hotdesk

    Ideas for Adult Pinewood

    I ran an Adult Pinewood Derby this year. We followed the same rules for the cars as the kids. We had prizes for 1st ($30 Auto Zone GC), 2nd ($10 movie theater gc), and 3rd (more a gag gift). We also added a white elephant gift exchange and share some adult beverages as well. We encourage people to bring some small dish to pass. BE PREPARED HAVE FUN
  6. hotdesk

    What do I do now?

    I would continue to do a few things; 1) Find that organized, even mannered, Assistant Cubmaster. Quickly indentify that person and aggressively court them. 2) Make sure that you have an active Commmittee. Give your Cubmaster assistance by filling the positions of Activities, Fundraising, and Public Relations. This will give him someone to help plan and coordinate pack events, fundraisers, and service projects. It will create 2 people responsible for that carolling that went bad. 3) Make sure that the program staff and committee understand what you expect from the different positions. I know that the responsiblities can be found on the web, but prepare a list and talior that to your individual unit and expectations. 4) Meeting monthly, prior to your Pack Meeting, as a Leadership team. Have a written agenda. Have your Cubmaster share the plan for the meeting (who will be doing skit, flags, clean-up/set-up and what the purpose will be.)
  7. hotdesk

    Tips to a great pack - feedback wanted

    Good slide show. A few things that I would say would help lead towards a great pack... 1) You are selling a product. Your customers are the scouts and parents. If they aren't happy, you won't be either. 2) Formally survey scouts, parents, and leaders at least once a year. Determine what they need to make the product better from their perspective. Ask them their thoughts on activities, fundraisers, den and pack meetings. Change things if you see a consistent theme or problem. 3) Have a working plan that explains how you will split dens. Make sure that you don't let them get too large. 4) Encourage attendance at Roundtables. This is a way of reaching those "experienced" leaders and to bring new things back to your back. 5) Make sure that leaders feel comfortable working with each other. Our pack has adult gatherings. We meet, at a restaurant, after roundtable. We have a winter gathering. We go ahead and do an adult pinewood derby the night before the pack pinewood. Do your best to create an environment where leaders work with each other and know the back round of the other leaders. 6) Build your committee. Make sure that there is plenty of help for the program staff. Have people there to support you with fundraising, activities, advancement, recruitment, training,etc. 7) HAVE FUN!!! Make sure that the key unit leaders look out for burnout amongst themselves and other pack leaders. Take a break when you need it. Don't be afraid to delegate tasks. Don't worry when someone makes a mistake, even if its yourself. Do what you can, when you can, and the best that you can.
  8. Engineer, I don't know how you can be so jaded. Just as I can't say that all older adults are safe to be around, you can't possibly to say that all those are 30 are dangerous to be around. Packs, around the country, have plenty of leaders under 30 who are doing a great job as a parent and role model. To draw the picture, that you have drawn, shows a great lack of the understanding of individuality and the morals and values that I would install in the kids I work with. I will admit, that there are others my age I wouldn't sign an application for. However, I also know that there are adults over 60 that shouldn't be volunteering. As a BSA Committee Chairman and Executive Vice President, for a local little league, I know that it comes down to each board/committee to do its due diligence and check the references and background of all volunteers. It then has a responsibility to ensure that each of those volunteers are trained on their policies and also have a sense for doing what is right.
  9. I'm 24 years old. Since turning 18, I've served as a scout leader for all but 12 months. I have served as a Membership Coordinator (2006-2008), New Scout Assistant Scoutmaster (2006-2008), Spaghetti Dinner Coordinator (2008), Chartered Organization Rep (2008-2010), Den Leader (2008-2010 and 2011), and Cub Scout Committee Chairman (2011). I have served for three different units, which have been at the leisure of those units and at my desire. I have done this for many similar reasons to Eagle1992. I enjoy giving back, enjoying help kids become strong, and the relationships I have built with adult leaders.
  10. I'm 24 years old. Since turning 18, I've served as a scout leader for all but 12 months. I have served as a Membership Coordinator (2006-2008), New Scout Assistant Scoutmaster (2006-2008), Spaghetti Dinner Coordinator (2008), Chartered Organization Rep (2008-2010), Den Leader (2008-2010 and 2011), and Cub Scout Committee Chairman (2011). I have served for three different units, which have been at the leisure of those units and at my desire. I have done this for many similar reasons to Eagle1992. I enjoy giving back, enjoying help kids become strong, and the relationships I have built with adult leaders.
  11. hotdesk

    DE VS Unit

    The same thing happened to us last year with our new scout applications. Needless to say, we took the same approach this year that you did. We will not and cannot front money for scouts that 1. won't pay/won't approach us about not being able to pay and 2. may never be seen again. However, we haven't had the same problems that you seem to have had with your DE. In terms of FOS, we had a big discussion at our last committee meeting about the importance of doing one. I told the committee that we would continue and that those families wanting to make a donation could, while those that didn't weren't obligated to do so. It's seems that maybe national has changed its approach on where it wants presentations done as our district is also looking for a Blue and Gold.
  12. hotdesk

    On a campout? Really?

    Kinda confused as to why your Committee Chair would develop a plan for your campfire. As a fellow CC, there's absolutely no way I would get involved in planning a camp fire program, pack meeting, etc without the direct request of the Cubmaster.
  13. Just curious...what positions do you have in your unit? Also interested in seeing where people "double up" Our committee includes; Committee Chairman Vice Committee Chairman---used to be CM/Interim CC so there for previous experience Treasurer Secretary Advancement Coordinator Events Coordinator Fundraising Coordinator Pack Trainer Membership Coordinator Recycling Coordinator---coordinates our recycling fundraisers (pop tabs and cartridges) Our "Program Staff" includes 2 Leaders for Tiger Program 2 Leaders for Wolf Program 2 Leaders for Bear Program 4 Leaders for Webelos Program Cubmaster and Assistant Cubmaster In our unit, the Vice Chairman is also an Assistant Webelos Leader, the Advancement Coordinator is also the Wolf Den Leader, the Treasurer is one of two Webelos Leaders, and the Committee Chairman is the Bear Den leader. So out of the 20 positions, 12 of the positions are filled with leaders where that is there only focus.
  14. hotdesk

    What positions in your Unit?

    @ SeattlePioneer As Committee Chairman it is my job to recruit leaders. Generally, we indentify where we need help and recruit the best adult for that position.
  15. hotdesk

    How long are your weekly troop meetings?

    During my last tenure as SPL (2006) we met for 90 minutes. The meeting was broke down like this... 10 minutes---Open Ceremonies and Overview of Meeting 20 minutes---Patrol Time to Focus on Upcoming Camp Out, Skits for COH, Etc 20 minutes---Advancement, Merit Badge, Skills Instruction 20 minutes---Patrol Competition 5 minutes---SM Minute 5 minutes---Announcements and Closing
  16. hotdesk

    SPL and Troop Committee

    Many of you have used your SPL to report on the happenings of the PLC. I would agree that some meetings are appropriate for the SPL, and others aren't. I would let the Scoutmaster serve as a liason between the committee and the PLC.
  17. hotdesk

    Discipline problem

    One of the things you may want to consider, if you're going to do the "widget" route, is not taking, but giving. Every time you see a scout being "helpful, friendly, etc."...basically being scout-like, give the boy a widget. This way they have to earn, instead of being punished. Put a positive spin on your behavior modification program.
  18. When I first read the post, no one else had responded yet. I felt, at the time and still do, that the reaction was over the top. As an Eagle Scout, former Chartered Organization Rep., and current Committee Chairman and having served as Co-Director of an After-School program for "at-risk" youth, I would have issues if my Cubmaster or Scoutmaster handled the situation the way it was. First and foremost, I understand the Scout Law. However, I feel that each action needs an appropriate reaction/consequence. From the scout's prespective, how are you going to act if they did something serious and needed your help? What if they did really steal something from another person, got caught at school with tobacco, or something along those lines? I would want my scouts to be able to talk to their Unit Leader. Your reaction to two missing pop cans almost certainly destroys any possiblity of that happening. Not once were the scouts given an opportunity to actually explain the situation to you. You expected them to admit it in front of their peers, that won't happen. Allow for some time for them to come to you, one-on-one, before the next step is taken. Give it an hour, put the cooking of the first desert on hold. Let them know that you'll continue with the night's activity after someone comes to you to let you know what occured. Before you send them away, explain, in simple terms, why your upset. Explain that you take the Scout Law serious. During the hour that your waiting for the scout to admit what he did, let the boys do their own thing. Set some boundaries on this before you end your original discussion. Whatever they do should be quite and calm (read a book, take a hike, etc.). If no one comes forward, at the end of the hour pull your scouts together. Tell them that your ashamed that someone wasn't trustworthy and now hasn't been curtous. Tell them that you won't be cooking the desert and that they should think about what the Scout Law means to them. Perhaps have each scout take a point of the Scout Law and expalin it, in their own terms, what it means. After that, leave the situation alone. Let them continue their quite activities.
  19. hotdesk

    Missing popcorn money...

    I don't know, now I have a hard time with this one. You (the Pack) has the popcorn. You're out money. In our units we have turned in the order sheet, so that popcorn is returned, and then we get that back with the popcorn. Do you know who ordered the popcorn from the scout? If you do, I have a hard time not giving them the popcorn that they did actually pay for. I think it's important to protect BSA's public image and turning the popcorn over to those that purchased it would be ideal!
  20. hotdesk

    Keeping Focused

    I would agree with the last two posters. We have a GREAT district committee. Our Membership Committee looks like this: VICE CHAIR OF MEMBERSHIP Cub Scout-Fall Roundup Cub Scout-Spring Recruitment Webelos to Scout Transition Boy Scout Open House They completely handle (with a few application pick-up exceptions) the district's part in Membership. They make announcements at roundtable (to keep us informed of the district's progress towards its goal), work with units to schedule open houses and recruitment events, and have pioneered some great programs. I would also say that the true membership recruitment drive isn't going to be lead or directed by adults. It's going to ultimately come down to the scouts themselves. When packs visit troops, they Boy Scouts need to shine and need to know what's expected by the Cub Scout scouts, parents, and leaders. These are the ones that any great program needs to work with!
  21. hotdesk

    Pack Membership Chair

    I have previously served as the Membership Coordinator for the troop that I was part of. My primary focus was Webelos. In February I would transition to the New Scout Patrol Advisor. As Membership Coordinator it was my responsibility to work with our scouts, mainly the Troop Recruiter and Senior Patrol Leader, to contact all Den Leaders so that they were invited to certain outings and meetings, plan said meetings, and encourage sign-up for the activities. I would be the main contact between the Packs and our Troop. When I had served in this position, I was an 18 year old adult leader. This was my first non-scout leadership role in the troop. However, I had been with the troop since the age of 11, my dad had served as Scoutmaster, and I had earned my Eagle. I believe that I had a great understanding of our troop and scouting in general.
  22. Forget policies...I'm disappointed that this guy doesn't see it as inappropriate on his own. He is suppose to be a mentor, role model, and positive leader for the boys he works with. I would be surprised, if as many already noted, a meeting between the CC and/or COR and the SM didn't take care of the issue! Again, highly disappointed in this fellow. It's a shame that the economy has gotten so bad that he feels this is necessary!
  23. hotdesk

    Troop finances

    The troop that I have been part of pays for the adult cost of trip fees, reimburses mileage at the IRS business rate, and pays for re-registration each year.
  24. So I am chairing a Spaghetti Dinner for my troop. I have recruited coordinators for; Ticket Sales, Silent Auction, and Promotion/Advertising. The dinner is December 14. I went to our local grogcery stores to secure donations for food items. I work for one and they were only willing to donate $20. Another donated $10. Super Wal-Mart won't discuss it until at least today (but should I expect much more?). Bread will be donated by Panera Bread. Scouts were issued 10 tickets at the last meeting. The price is $5 for adults, $2 for kids under 10, and $12 for families (size of 3-5). The scouts were encouraged to sell at least the 10 tickets they were issued. We also told the scouts that if they didn't return any unsold tickets that they will have to buy them for $4/ticket. We also made flyers to post in local stores at the last meeting listing a contact number for purchasing tickets. We posted some and still have some to post. We also plan to run press releases into our 2 local papers. My question is what are some keys to conducting a successful Spaghetti Dinner. We haven't done one before (which is why I, an Assistant Scoutmaster, am coordinating it).
  25. hotdesk

    Adults also have rights.

    "Plan and help carry out the Cub Scout program in the pack. This includes leading the monthly pack meeting, with the help of other leaders."---www.scouting.org "Attend all troop meetings or, when necessary, arrange for a qualified adult substitute."---www.scoutmaster.org "Conduct all activities under qualified leadership, safe conditions, and the policies of the chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America."---www.scoutmaster.org First and foremost, like I've said before, if you have conflicts, fine, so be it! Get an Assistant to cover for you. The above lines also help me do what I'm going to do next...give an interpretation... In order to operate a scout lead program they have to believe that they have the support of their adult leaders. Mainly they need to believe that they have the support of their Unit Leader. Doing this would be very hard if they see their Unit Leader not attending because they simply didn't want to. In this situation they're probably going to start questioning what there doing...no reason for this to be happening if their program is within scout guidelines. In addition, this is a poor example to be setting for the scouts. Also, like I said before, if their program isn't within scout guidelines, that's one of the things the committee should be checking for before passing the program. One of the things that we've been talking a lot about, on this forum, is how to get scouts to attend more! Kinda of a pointless discussion of we as unit leaders set the example that we're talking about in this thread. How are you going to tell Billy that he needs to attend when you're not? Furthermore, in order for a program to be carried out successfully, the image needs to be that the Unit Leader and Committee Chairman care about what's going on. In this regards putting the program above yourself is one of the very few ways of accomplishing this. As Committee Chairman, I can't honestly expect other adults to think that I care if I'm blowing something off, just for the heck of it. As Committee Chairman, if our Cubmaster or Scoutmaster started missing multiple outings in a year we'd have a discussion about that. If the opinion came across that they were not attending because it wasn't an activity that they were interested in, I'd point them in the direction of an Assistant Unit Leader position or committee position.