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Everything posted by IM_Kathy

  1. I will first say I don't know the policies on all of this. But in my opinion... once all is signed as done, turned in, and a board is done then obviously everything is done. Now the whole hypotheticals of age, school, and whatever.... the boy knew what his deadline was, he needed to work that in. If there was no "time" worry to get eagle and was just for say weather then I can see someone floating a loan, work gets done, and then continue fundraising. But only until all fundraising is done does paperwork get signed off and project is considered done.
  2. IM_Kathy

    how long to hear back from national?

    not heard yet, but only been a week and a half and still have plenty of time. But I did get a little scare this week.... Normally I as SM get the big envelope of approval mailed to me and I notify and congratulate the scout and hand over the packet to our advancement chair. The other day I grabbed the mail and there is a small envelope from BSA addressed to my son and I'm like "that's weird" he went from school straight to work and I had things going on that night so I didn't know when it would get opened and the "what the heck is this" was driving me nuts.... so I broke the law LOL and opened it only to find that it was just his card for approval as a merit badge councilor LOL oh the stress LOL I'm just glad I did open it and didn't stress and wonder all day and night about what could have gone wrong LOL
  3. IM_Kathy

    Didn't Do Fundraising Application?

    we had this happen to a boy a couple of years ago. He even had a fundraising event (pancake breakfast). The boy had a coach, but the coach volunteered before realizing it was all going on during their busy family travel time... and yep it got missed. SO... we called in the our district person that handles our eagle stuff. Seeing as he followed all the rules and it was just an oops of not filling out a form she did agree to have him fill out the form even after it was done. So basically I would say check with the person from the district that handles your eagle paperwork and boards. Because I'm not sure if this is something that would need a fundraising form for or just a write up in the work book of how funds will be raised and handled (as there is a spot for that as well)
  4. IM_Kathy

    Lost book

    if the scout can't tell me how he did something then he must not have done it well enough to have learned it and does it again. If he can tell me well enough then I'd sign it. The only boys that sign off in books for us are Junior Assistant Scoutmasters - scouts teach, scouts watch, scouts say go do it for "___adult or junior asm_____" While I would love to have patrol leaders or say a 1st class or above sign off, but that isn't the way the troop was when we joined and I can only see more headaches from it than benefits. I don't want a boy getting signed off that really doesn't know his stuff because he's good friends. I don't want a boy not getting signed off because a boy is being a jerk and going above requirements. Our JASM are 16+, life scout, and sat down with SM or ASM to go over basic rules (same thing we sit in a room for hours for to get that "wonderful" trained strip)
  5. IM_Kathy


    my boy scouts still love this stuff. About every 4 months we do a "first aid challenge". Sometimes it's relay of treating different things. Once we staged a car accident in the church parking lot (no cars damaged in the process just parked like they had hit) Ketchup packets make for good enough blood although the boys got to see real squirting blood when one of our adults passed out and smashed open his head one meeting. we have patrol award ribbons that are home-made that go on patrol flags just like troop/pack flags and first aid challenge is one of them.
  6. IM_Kathy

    Weebelos Woods Weekend - Bad!!

    sorry you had a bad experience. Visit multiple troops both meetings and campouts. You mentioned the adult kept saying it's boy-led, but in what you wrote I didn't actually read any form of leading. There is adult-run, boy-run, and un-lead where they say it's boy-led but none of the boys are doing any leading they're just doing and those are totally different. Was their a scout or maybe a couple that was instructing the other scouts what to take and put in the trailer? This should be the job of the quartermaster Was there a scout that was gathering other boys together and assigning tasks and over seeing and helping them out? This would be the SPL for whole troop or PL for just the patorl Our troop - webelos visiting normally do tent with their parent and depending on the number we might need extra tents for that arrangement. We do this because we do want the parents to see camping as well. If it's a full den that has our den chief they would be either be their own patrol for a campout with their chief and a guide or instructor assisting... or else split evenly among the patrols. They would be given jobs just as an patrol member dishes, assistant cook, etc, but with the patrol leader and assistant (or the chief and a guide/instructor) explaining, quick showing, and then over-seeing them. The cub parents are with the adult troop members. We will discuss how things are done with the troop: patrols, positions, rank advancement, merit badges, past camp locations, future camp locations, how meeting activities are planned and scheduled out, service projects we do yearly, other service projects we previously have done, and future service projects planned. We answer all questions they have the best we can. We discuss behavior expectations and consequences. But at bed the cubs sleep with their parent. Now that being said we have had only a couple come and they tented in 1 tent with their parents in another, but prior the boys told them the lights out rule... which is boys go to bed after our evening campfire and snack which is closed with chaplain aid's prayer and taps if we have instrument player (yes even have had it on guitar and even once a phone app LOL), adults have a little adult time by the fire while the boys start to settle, I go to the bathroom, when I return I say "good night boys" and that means it's quiet time. That said that can be harder when you are at a camporee where they put troops closer together and another troop doesn't follow quite time given by hosting group. Latest we have ever arrived, set-up, and gone to bed was I think 9:30pm arrival with 11pm quiet and those are the long distant trips which normally we don't have a webelos visit on. It has never taken our troop that long to load, unload, set-up that's just insane. And even with boy-led there is a point where adult leadership has a job in sitting down with youth leaders and doing the "what went good? what would you do differently and how?" and if needed make some suggestions. SPL always rides with me (SM) (plus other boys youth protection is followed) on the way it's "so what is planned and how do you plan on making that happen?" on the way home it's the questions I just mentioned. I like doing it right away so it's all fresh in his mind.
  7. hmmmmmm... just my opinion.... since it's been approved here's what I would suggest: a sign at the check-in saying something like: Alcohol is provided by golf club house only. If you drink please drink responsibly as Scout youth are around to help with their portion of the fundraiser. I would also suggest putting a sign by your dining area for those that go to the bar area that just says something like please confine drinking alcohol to the bar area as it is part of the club and not part of the Scout fundraiser. Just lets them know that it is there but is NOT part of your activity and may help participants keep in mind that there are youth there and help them keep their drinking more under control. Of course if do that you'd also want to make sure the club is ok with that.
  8. IM_Kathy

    Can a SM ban OA elections?

    as a SM I like to promote OA. We hold elections, we try our best to make sure a troop campout is NOT the same weekend as an OA event (but sometimes it does happen). The way I look at it if a boy is eligible, I feel is ready for the Ordeal, and the scout is willing to be put up for a vote then let's have the vote. If the boy is voted in and becomes an arrowman then leave it up to that boy what he does with the lodge. Just the same we do with troop - a boy can be a member of the troop and still decide what parts he wants to be involved with. Last year we had 4 eligible and all were elected in. This year we will for sure have 2 eligible and possibly a 3rd depending on getting first class before the election. My son just turned 18. He's still an ordeal member as conflicts in his schedule have kept him from getting to a weekend for brotherhood, but he is hoping to get it with me either on a special brotherhood weekend or at the next fall fellowship (Spring conclave falls right around graduation and he's graduating this year so that is out) And since he got his ordeal before me though he was the alangomat for my group due to my medical issues he'd like to get brotherhood at the same time as me which I think is nice. Anyway, he's not that active with OA due to his schedule, but his dues have been paid every single year since becoming an arrowman.
  9. IM_Kathy

    Keeping it inexpensive?

    oh yeah talk to the park rangers about service projects and may get free camp ground use. We have a few places that will do that. We also have a couple places that offer youth group site for free to scout unit; one of which I really like because it has a big area but also has a trail area that goes into a few patrol spots to keep them separated.
  10. IM_Kathy

    the mad rush to Eagle before 2014

    We haven't had any issues with the either the policy change or the cooking merit badge. The 2 boys that are getting finished up are right at 18 (my son passed his board last night and just turned 18 and he actually did earn cooking MB the other scout turns 18 in November) We have 1 scout finishing up by May as he will be traveling overseas with his family after that and he almost has cooking MB done he turns 18 this coming summer. I have one other scout who has completed cooking MB already and the rest of our scouts have started the merit badge because they know the requirements now and aren't sure what all the changes are going to be. It will take a while to get them all to finish it up as that's a bunch to get through and lots of different camp cooking needed so some times we may have to give favor to an older scout who needs to get it done over a younger scout that has longer to get that cooking done.
  11. IM_Kathy

    how long to hear back from national?

    Thanks everyone. My son just completed his board last night and the council person said she was turning in the paperwork today. He doesn't want a separate special eagle court of honor he just wants it to be part of a troop court of honor (troop has had both so no big deal) Next COH schedule with the troop is just over a month away so was just curious if he'd be able to do it then. He is working on writing up his portion of the ceremony and only having a couple people come for something special (mentor and eagle pledge) He just let them know that date and that once he knows for sure he's able to do it that night he will let them know. He told me if he doesn't hear in time for doing it that night he'll talk with the PLC to see if they can schedule a troop COH the next month and considering the PLC and his relationship with everyone in the troop I know it won't be an issue, but I know there won't be as many awards to hand out other than his if wait an extra month.
  12. IM_Kathy

    How to scout a new troop ?

    I read lots of things. As someone who went through a troop change with my son it is important that the scout likes the troop more than the adult liking (unless it's a safety issue) After reading I would suggest when going with a troop on a campout to see how the troop functions that a camporee might not be the best view. Many camporees are way to organized by the hosting troop whether it's merit badges or competitions. Also depending on where it is being held and how the hosts set up where troops set up really affect how a troop operates. The camporees we've been to last while have been so over scheduled by the hosts that adults will do all the cooking so that the boys have some free time. Seriously the schedules barely give them a moment to just relax or get a game of football going with another troop. A regular troop campout you will better see how they operate in my opinion. But since your son's current troop isn't going it would still be good to go especially if he's not been to a camporee. I'm just saying this as a head's up when judging a troop
  13. IM_Kathy

    Keeping Track of Merit Badges

    my son used a 3 ring binder. Front was calendar. Next was tracking campouts and positions and such. Then merit badges.... printed out workbook even if he didn't use the workbook for every part of the badge. If didn't use workbook for that part he'd write done on that part. He had a pencil pouch at that part of the binder and would put the blue cards in there. Once completed he'd turn in his blue cards. in the back is all of his rank and mb cards kept in a ball card sheet. He has the ranks from Tigers all the way up and is waiting to hear on his eagle. Then his mb cards with the completed blue card that he got back behind it all in order of earned. While I got him the stuff and made suggestions as this was done when from the get-go he made it his own. He's even had to get a new binder once because it got beat up and wasn't closing right. With the 2nd binder he got one that zipped closed so he could put his book in there too
  14. IM_Kathy

    Keeping it inexpensive?

    our campouts base price is $20/youth and free for adults. This covers food, campground fee if there is one, and gas bonus for truck pulling the trailer (other drivers don't get gas money) For special events such as skiing, canoeing, and camporees then the event fee or rental fee is covered by all youth and adults. Although we do try to get canoes donated for use, but can't always manage to get enough. Our treasurer keeps a good budget, a couple campouts we will lose money mainly because it's a longer drive so paying for pulling trailer costs more but then we'll have a couple campouts where we make enough to cover those that went over. For summer camp the boys pay the fee and the troop covers the adults fee. We have a few fundraisers through the year that help a lot. Plus we have our own scout assistance fund for any active scout needing help to make it on any campout or summer camp.
  15. IM_Kathy

    Pull-ups for Tenderfoot

    I have had scouts that breezed through the pull-ups - I was amazed at how many they could do. And then I have a few that go from 0 to 1/2. Two of the boys that are very close to 17-18 year eagles were in the 0 to 1/2 set. And those two still can't do a pull-up. One of them has been a great youth leader, an SPL more than once, a troop guide back when we were age based, and while never an official instructor he has taught numerous skills many times. It would really be sad if this boy didn't get eagle because he never could do a single pull-up!
  16. IM_Kathy

    Removing summer camp focus from merit badges

    Our troop likes our summer camp except for the dining hall. They offer a good balance of older and younger scout programs. Lake Front badges, climbing, shooting. They allow a max of 4 badges for the week and have plenty of free time with open areas. They just built it's own welding shop this past year and offered the welding mb as a week long program for older boys and brought in a special instructor for the season for it. Even brought it professionals trained in search and rescue to lead that program. But our troop has a mix between the high adventure lovers and the just hang and have fun boys. So our camp allows this for both. I would be against a full patrol being required to do the exact same things all week. We don't use age based patrols so while they do have their patrol time each day they also have their own time to do what they prefer to do.
  17. I like what's been said so far. With the list you have of mb you'll be doing I would only add that when I work with a boy on family life I like to talk with them about their family project as a mini-test run of leading a project such as an eagle project. That they are in charge NOT mom, dad, guardian, whoever... that means they pick the project, look at their families abilities, and assign the best job for the person for the project. While I agree with the don't add to requirements you can still teach them more than is required. There are badges that there are things I know that are above what is required to learn and I will teach that or I will talk about it - they aren't required to demonstrate it or know it ahead of time, but sometimes just adding to the discussions makes it more fun.
  18. IM_Kathy

    Growing Troop - how to change the culture?

    never had a patrol do poptarts. we have banned baby carrots as the veggie as too often they never pulled them out. We also banned making donuts because patrols were eating a few taking off and coming back to grab a couple more - no real time hanging as a patrol. boys do like to do baggie eggs when we have to bug out quicker if we are traveling a long way (this weekend they are over 6 hour drive away - I'm stuck at home with a banged up hand) we do allow ramen noodles, but not as just ramen noodles - used to make great backpacking chicken noodle soup or pepperoni pasta. to be honest we hardly have to say anything. boys know the rules. meeting before campout is patrol meeting: they break into their groups after awards and announcements and do their thing... meal planning, duty roster, pick a patrol activity to do separate from troop activity, pick a song or skit for evening campfire, and go over what requirements they need for rank or mb for PL to use as suggestions at PLC for future activities. we adults just discuss what we'd like to eat and who wants to be cook. campouts run very smooth and are a lot of fun to just go and hang at.
  19. IM_Kathy

    2014 Journey to Excellence

    I've never seen then any time before winter recharter - that's when we read over them and plan out the year. I realize that is easier for a troop that is year round than it is for a pack that is based more on the school year.
  20. IM_Kathy

    Parent pins with leader uniform?

    When my son has moved up a rank and I will therefore be getting my parent pin then I will wear my parent ribbon on my uniform for THAT court of honor. I'm not sure what I will do once he ages out. He should have his eagle done just in the nick of time and I'd love to wear the eagle parent pin for normal meetings, but doubt I'd wear it when heading out for a campout or summer camp.
  21. biggest benefits I got in being a leader and a coach... being a part of child's life and being final say on days/times so will better fit schedules. another way that I got parents involved just to help out was to have them fill out a sheet of what they can do... it really paid off when we got to webelos
  22. IM_Kathy

    Swimming exemption

    seeing as it has been granted I guess it would depend on his exact limitations. You said he can not put his head underwater so I am assuming it might be due to inner-ear issues... if that is the case and he can swim the distance without his head being under water then I would suggest having him just use the steps into the pool and then swim the required distance keeping his head out of water. If you are looking for something totally out of the water then I would suggest a hike or bike ride and set the distance you think is appropriate. If this is going to be a forever issue I would start the paperwork now for the 1st class swim test too - I personally have never managed any back stroke or float without having ears in the water (assuming that it is an ear issue)
  23. IM_Kathy

    Does service to the Pack count for service hours

    I wouldn't accept it from a boy that works as a den chief because part of his duties as a den chief is to work with the den and that includes working pack events as well. So if he is a den chief for POR I wouldn't count it as additional service hours. But then I guess that's why it's left up to each SM to decide.
  24. IM_Kathy

    Growing Troop - how to change the culture?

    When I took over we had a few older scouts that were good with the teaching of skills but the rest were really struggling with it. I sat down with each of them and had a little chat individually and found out what they were comfortable with teaching and what they needed help with to teach. If the SPL ended up getting a scout to teach a skill they were not great with I would talk with that scout and re-teach them so that they could teach it or if they still just couldn't grasp it to be able to teach I would let them know they needed to let the SPL know that. Now that I've worked with the troop for a while I know all the scouts I have that are first class or higher can teach any of the scout skills (granted a few might have to look at their book for a couple of things just to re-fresh their memory but otherwise they are good to go)
  25. IM_Kathy

    Cheap Backpacking tent

    I use my own tent rather than the troops tents. I have 3 that depending on tent-mates and the weather I will pick between. The one I take to summer camp would sleep 5 easily on a weekend trip but normally just 2 people and gear just so we are comfy. It does not have a vestibule but I always keep a cheap rag-rug by the door - this one is NOT for backpacking. My other 2 tents I could backpack depending on how many are sleeping with me and sharing the load. 1 could squeeze 4 since there is a vestibule but is best for 3 the other tent will only fit 2. In the winter months I'm usually the only female tenting so I always take my smallest for that, but wish it was a tad smaller so it would be a bit warmer, but I don't want a 4th tent LOL. There is no way I could do a hammock as I have night terrors and my body gets moving around a bit with them - not sure how swinging in a tree would do with those. All of my tents I've gotten on great sales. I think with the 3 of them I may have spent about $100 but that's because the 4/3 man tent was my most expensive on sale for $50. Out of season is a great time to buy so is father's day sales - I keep telling my kids they should just shop for me at father's day rather than mother's day!