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Its Me

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Everything posted by Its Me

  1. New guys have better posts. Less jaded
  2. Albert it sounds like you handled the "post incident" well. Better than I did when it happened to me. On our second tiger camp out my son and I hooked up with another pack. Theirs camped our pack did not. The booze flowed like water and the loud campfire talk lasted well past 1:00 AM. I was shocked but said nothing nor did we join or participate with that pack again.
  3. At the risk of just piling on I will add the following. Its clear (to me anyway) that the bullying is a manifestation of the boys not being in control. The lack of boy lead and the bullying are linked and as long at your troop operates as an adult run troop style the bullying will continue. In a weird way the adults leaders may believe that the bullying is a form of boys leading boys. Its creating order. The BSA program is itself part of the blame. We call ourselves a boy lead patrol system but it really doesn't look that way in organizational structure. The patrols meet at the troop, camp with the troop and little in the way of program structure is there room for a patrol to be independent of the troop. I honestly believe that the den system of cub scouts offers more patrol identity than the BS troop meeting. The patrol is the building block and the PL is the core to this element. OK, let's look at how much latitude the PL has. Second guessing his every decision is the PLC and the SPL. Above them is the Scoutmasters and the committee. Finally the Charter organization has all final say in the matters. Holy-cow! Where is it in this hierarchical system where the PL leads? Troops fall into the adult lead troop systems not because the leaders are not motivated or even trained. The program is itself causing this. To look elsewhere and constantly blame the volunteer leader is misplaced blame. (this is sure to bring BW out of Exile) Finally, I think that frequent forum readers fall into a trap of believing that there are all these wonderful high performing troops out there. No doubt there are many great troops out there but often we forum readers may use an ideal troop from a composite of all the troops read about. We then measure this composite troop against our own.
  4. If you get 9 applications the first night of sign-up a drawing could be used to choose who goes and who will be an alternate. IMHO the attending leader's kids should get automatic spots. But you didn't ask this so it must already be wroked out.
  5. I wouldn't put too many qualifiers on the sign-up. And making a legacy list from last year seems overtly bias. Also, I will guess that the aging-out scouts won't be as interested as you might expect. Requirements: Age, Skill (prior canoe experience and or canoe MB) Deposit Those that wanted to go last year will be the first to sign-up this year. I will suggest that you announce the trip and the criteria two weeks prior to open registration. That way all scouts will have had the opportunity to ask their parents before open enrollment.
  6. Your meeting place and storage unit are more important to your troop than an absentee CO. Meeting at the elementary school is worth a lot, maybe 10-20% more scouts and certainly a lot more more looks. I will recommend that you divide your focus. Set one group in motion to find a new charter. Get the second group focused on keeping the meeting place at the school. A monthly use fee may be the results of this. Swap the storage fee for yard work and clean-up at the school. Build good relations with the principal and suggest why scouting is a positive influence on his school. Fore instance, it gets parents at the school a little more involved. Some parents may have never entered the school cafeteria until scouts. Who knows the principal may not be the biggest fans of the PTA either.
  7. Please post the questions you plan to include on your "form". Here's one you can use. At the campfire how close do you the hoochie-mommie plan to sit next to the scoutmaster(please check one) A His butt will be touching mine. B Six inches will seperate our bodies ar all time C One - three feet D He smells like smoke and I will sit far away and up wind.
  8. When we had our long drawn out conversation on the donation thread I did the google thing and this little diddy popped up. Although its a description for tax purposes on how units are at an arms length from national it is curious on the terminology of how BSA sees itself and a unit. "They are chartered to partner organizations of the BSA such as churches, PTAs and civic groups. Since a unit is owned by its chartering organization, each unit takes its tax status from that organization. Units are NOT subordinate organizations of the Boy Scouts of America." Link to full document. http://www.bsa-gwrc.org/forms/bsa_unit_policy_update_2006.pdf
  9. This seems like the don't ask don't tell policy. So the scouts need to earn their way says infoscouter. No donations accepted at his troop! BW writes, that you can take a donation but you can't ask. Would asking my company for some money for troop tents be a violation of the don't ask no donation policy? If I ask for a discount for a trip or for rental equipment is that a donation? So in this game of don't ask, no donation policy comes down to the legal definition of who talks first. But if I show up in uniform am I announcing I am a scouter? Did I speak first in that situation? But its ok if the donation jar is hidden behind the counter. It can be pulled out when the other guy first mentions the word donation.
  10. You could be describing our district. The chair quit, the R/T chair was asked to quit then to not quit. "To be named" appears next to many positions in the district. For some reason the district re-organization of a few years ago went horribly wrong. We even had one of the professional scouters get "released" last month. Other districts in our council appear stronger with many volunteers, their own web sites, regular news letters and so forth. For some reason our district has run dry. We could use you. Want to move to Florida? (This message has been edited by Its Me)
  11. If the Methods are the building blocks in which to build our programs and improve our abilities at achieving the Aims of scouting then we (scouters) need to address all of them and not just the more interesting one for adults. I believe these four in particular get shorted on these forums: 1. Ideals 2. Personal growth 6. Adult association 7. Leadership development Personal growth is especially shorted. I will argue that the scout will need self reliance skills in the years immediately proceeding scouting more than he will need leadership skills. Yet there seems to be little discussion on particulars of this method of development. Will dedicated forums improve discussion in these areas? Would these discussions lead to improved knowledge and better programs for forum users? I say Yes to both.
  12. I recommend a separate forum for each method of scouting. We have some but not all. The Eight Methods of Scouting 1. Ideals 2. Patrols 3. Outdoors 4. Advancement 5. Personal growth 6. Adult association 7. Leadership development 8. Uniform
  13. I wouldn't touch the old uniform. Not even for free. Sometime between now and the end of the year I will retire my current uniform and switch to the new. *This topic belongs in the uniform forum.
  14. ursus snorous roarus I have done your first part. I started about a month ago dropping to my ASM's that I didn't think we were using the patrol method nearly as well as we should. That a patrol reorganization may be needed. Last week the SM's voted on changing the patrols. The CO a retired Marine Corps Lt Colonel sat in on our meeting. He voiced that we need to re-org the patrols. I then phoned the CC and mentioned the results of the SM's meeting. He agreed. So from the adults standpoint a re-org would serve the troop. The trouble is that this spooked the SPL and several of the older scouts. Your second point about sitting down with the SPL is valid. I have provided training. Three JLT programs over the last nine months. A day long intense training within a month of the current SPL taking his position. Obviously my training failed at least with this scout to demonstrate the value of the Patrol method. Really all the "training" is useless unless put into practice. Like I said this SPL was never a PL or in a POR. He had never been in a troop that used the patrol method. A power point presentation and a controlled game won't replace a real meal planning event or a campsite selection or any other patrol leader responsibilities. This must be experienced first hand.
  15. The other issue buried in all this and may even be the root cause, is that I have a SPL who refuses to recognize the patrol method. I have made numerous attempts to get him to use his patrol leaders, to consults with his patrol leaders that it his responsibility to develop a strong patrol leaders council. He, at every attempt has ignored these pleas. On several occasions his words and actions have matched, he wants to do away with the patrol method. Do away with the PLC and have all report to him. So I have eared in my program in developing a SPL with a strong sense of the patrol method. No amount of death by power point, SPL manual reviews, one-on-ones will change this scout's opinion that the Patrol method is a flawed method. He is a transferred scout who entered my program 8 months ago as a tenderfoot at age 14 with no PL or POR experience. I am tempted to ask for a contact at his old unit to see if they actually did disband the patrol method. I am also temted to just sit tight through his tenor and see if the next SPL has a better appreciation for the patrol method.
  16. We have about 22 scouts in our troop. About half came from the same pack but these scouts are on the young side, 12 years and below. The rest are from various other troops with a large contingent from a single troop that folded. The four patrols are all by age: Patrol 1 (15-16 years old) seven scouts Patrol 2 (13 years old) three scouts Patrol 3 (12 years old)seven scouts Patrol 4 (11 years old)five scouts The scoutmasters have observed strong cliquish behavior. The older patrol pretty much calls all other scouts "the little one". When the duties are dived up the older patrol seems to get the trash pick up in the shade while the younger scouts get latrine cleaning. The scoutmasters have taken a look at this and have decided to push for patrol realignment with mixed age patrols. The notion is that we have some of our most talented and experienced scouts, even some with recently minted NYLT just sort of sitting around, while the younger scouts struggle or worse have to rely on adults (parents) to assist with scout skills. So I approached the PLC last night about realigning the patrols into mixed aged patrols. It was not well received! The SPL told me he wants to do away with the patrol system. He used the troop method at his last troop and it worked much better. His old troop tried the patrol method and it didn't work. They all identified that the patrol with only 3 scouts is not good. And that the NPS should be moved into the other patrols. If left completely to itself it could develop into a two patrol troop with one patrol all young and from the same pack and another the older patrol mostly from the same former troop. What I want to say say is look the mixed aged patrol is where we need to be and we need to get on with this. But the resistance to this was greater than I had perceived it would be. The older scouts only want to be with older scouts.
  17. Stosh I couldn't agree more. Too often the replies are over simplified "go talk to your CC, COR...". Gee don't you think they would have tried the obvious if it were open to them. When a five post user name comes up and they ask how do I change this in my unit, sending them to page 29 in the manual is of so little value that it will likely just frustrates them even more. Most of the replies on these forms are really good. This forum is a great service to the scouting community.
  18. Bob you didn't post a procedure. You posted to facts about the program and then made a comment. Our collect forum response to the newbie poster should have been. "There is no written procedures for removing a SM. However, this is an approach you could take...." I think what gets me about your post is that your reply was reckless and curt to what is likely a big issue for the original poster's troop. Hardly a thread can found without at one and sometimes many Bob's matter of fact replies.
  19. They must not read scouter magazine as troops have crossed the US on bikes and done other extraordinary events. Your rim to rim sounds more doable than many of the celebrated events in scouter magazine.
  20. Your two statements aren't completely true. This Statement: As an ASM you have no say in the matter. And this statement: But determining who the Scoutmaster is is not your role or responsibility. Don't entirely match this statement: You are welcome to give your opinion to the Charter organization representative and the Committee Chair. You were wrong because if he has no say-so and as an adult leader and has no responsibility for the program than he shouldn't even talk to the committee or CO. You were wrong when you said: "you have NO; authority". Bob even you would recognize that not all authority is derived my the scoutmaster's handbook. As an ASM you would have applied authority to question the conduct of a SM who is harming the unit. Or any adult leader involved in the program. You were wrong when you said: "you have no responsibility." The ASM certainly has the responsibility to discuss issues of concern regarding a SM's conduct with the committee the CO and even District. You were wrong to give the bad and empty advice by telling an ASM to go pound sand regarding a scoutmasters conduct. You didn't even care what the issue was. Finally, the poster's original post was only to know what are the procedures. Prowling for a fight, you picked up on BrotherHood's post and just wanted to thump you chest on your knowledge of the handbook. That's wrong too. You were right on one thing. Some dumb posters (me) would take your bait and get sucked into a flame war with you regarding an irrelevant issue.
  21. Here is where BW is wrong. BW Wrote: As an ASM you have no say in the matter. You are welcome to give your opinion to the Charter organization representative and the Committee Chair. But determining who the Scoutmaster is is not your role or responsibility. This is an extremely harsh language and a very black and white approach to scouting. The posters is all at one a consumer of the BSA program, a volunteer supporter and a youth leader. To put this person in a box as if a paid professional in a divisional labor force is an overly simplistic view of the volunteer youth organizations. BW Wrote District personal have no authority in the matter either, you do best to keep this at the unit level. What don't call district? A little touchy there Bob? Why not call district for matters of unit operation either as a concerned parent a unit leader or whatever. They would likely get good solid advice. Although NeiLup has a quality reply.
  22. Wow! what a great learning experience for the scouts to watch one set of moms and dads sue their SM or CO for dismissal of the SM. The scouts could go to court meet lawyers, give depositions, "yes sir, he yelled at me in front of other scouts (sniff) for throwing an empty water bottle into the fire, I believe I am damaged for life". They could look up precedence, Biloxi Church of Christ Vs Samuel Gibson Scoutmaster 1979, failure to properly train the boys in the art of pioneering skills. And we reached "its a liability issue" by post 18. No record but pretty darn good. BW is wrong. This is very post is proof why its better to go talk to your local council for counsel on these matter than to post a short description on an Internet forum. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy scouter.com and read it every day. But this thread went astray faster than usual. (This message has been edited by Its Me)
  23. July 26, 2008 Dear Parents: Please Relax, Its Just Camp By TINA KELLEY HONESDALE, Pa. A dozen 9-year-old girls in jelly-bean-colored bathing suits were learning the crawl at Lake Bryn Mawr Camp one recent morning as older girls in yellow and green camp uniforms practiced soccer, fused glass in the art studio or tried out the climbing wall. Their parents, meanwhile, were bombarding the camp with calls: one wanted help arranging private guitar lessons for her daughter, another did not like the sound of her childs voice during a recent conversation, and a third needed to know preferably today which of her daughters four varieties of vitamins had run out. All before lunch. Answering these and other urgent queries was Karin Miller, 43, a stay-at-home mother during the school year with a doctorate in psychology, who is redefining the role of camp counselor. She counsels parents, spending her days from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. printing out reams of e-mail messages to deliver to Bryn Mawrs 372 female campers and leaving voice mail messages for their parents that always begin, Nothings wrong, Im just returning your call. Jill Tipograph, a camp consultant, said most high-end sleep-away camps in the Northeast now employ full-time parent liaisons like Ms. Miller, who earns $6,000 plus a waiver of the camps $10,000 tuition for each of her two daughters. Ms. Tipograph describes the job as almost like a hotel concierge listening to a clients needs. The liaisons are emblematic of what sleep-away camp experts say is an increasing emphasis on catering to increasingly high-maintenance parents, including those who make unsolicited bunk placement requests, flagrantly flout a camps ban on cellphones and junk food, and consider summer an ideal time to give their offspring a secret vacation from Ritalin. One camp psychologist said she used to spend half her time on parental issues; now its 80 percent. Dan Kagan, co-director of Bryn Mawr, has started visiting every new familys home in the spring and calling those parents on the first or second day of camp to reassure them. And while the camp schedule once was sacrosanct, parents are now pulling kids out to act in commercials, compete in gymnastics meets or fill choice seats at baseballs All-Star Game. Accommodating parents makes sense, since without happy parents, there would be no campers at all, happy or otherwise. But, treading carefully, some in the camping industry privately worry that meddlesome mothers and fathers seem to have forgotten that one main point of overnight camp is to give children a chance to solve problems without parental assistance. Starting about seven years ago, camps tried to satiate parents need to know by uploading pictures of kids at play daily to password-protected Web sites, a one-way communication tool that seemed to respect the sleep-away tradition of maintaining distance. But such real-time glimpses often aggravate the problem, as the obsessed become obsessed with what they are seeing or not seeing. I have parents calling and saying they saw their child in the background of a picture of other children and he didnt look happy, or his face looked red, has he been putting on enough suntan lotion, or I havent seen my child and I have seen a lot of other children, is my child so depressed he doesnt want to be in a picture, said Jay Jacobs, who has run Timber Lake Camp in Shandaken, N.Y., since 1980. In previous years, parents would understand that we were out in the field with children, and wed get back to you after dinner when we had freer time, said Mr. Jacobs, who has fielded inquiries from parents about what day the water trampoline would be fixed and whether a particular child still loved his mother after a promised package failed to arrive. Now a parent calling at 11 will be off the charts if they dont have a response by 1 or 1:30. Norman E. Friedman, a consultant who conducts training at 44 camps, said parents also take up valuable camp resources by breaking the rules they have tacitly agreed to. Theyll give their child two cellphones, so if they get caught with the first one, Just give it up and youll have the second one to talk to me, he said. Thats widespread, not isolated. I call it fading parental morality. What theyre doing is entering into delinquent behaviors with their children. And what kind of statement is that to a child? He and others said parents also frequently send children away without packing their prescribed medication for attention deficits or psychological problems and without letting camp staff know. They keep it as a secret, that the kid was on those medications, so the kid comes to camp and starts acting out in ways directors dont understand, Mr. Friedman explained. Oftentimes they get very aberrant behaviors, and have to hospitalize children. Only then does the parent mention the underlying issues and unused medication, he said. Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist in Massachusetts who consults with residential camps, said they can be among the best places for children to develop social skills and resilience if only parents allow it. If your child doesnt get the bunk they want or youre worried that he didnt get the right camp counselor, if you convey that kind of response Oh my God, thats awful, let me call them, its so unfair thats the worst possible response a parent could have, she said. But more of that is happening. Marla Coleman, a past president of the American Camp Association who has served as a parent liaison at Camp Echo, a sleep-away camp in the Catskills, pointed out that with the proper amount of hand-holding, camp can be as much a declaration of independence for parents as it is for children. Nobody goes to school for how to send your child away from you, she said. We help the parents become independent. And especially post-9/11 in todays society, thats definitely a heightened need. In explaining parental yearning for frequent contact with their children and reassurances about their safety, Ms. Coleman, whose family owns a day camp where she now works as a parent liaison, quotes Mary Pipher, an anthropologist and the author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (1994). Ms. Pipher once told her, It used to be the job of parents to expose their children to the outside world; today, it is their job to protect their children from the outside world. Ms. Coleman describes the role of parent liaison as part coach, part advocate, part partner and part medium, channeling a childs sometimes shaky emotional state to parents. When a parent knows theres a responsible adult who represents all the other adults there, they can relax more and help us do our job more, she said. Almost always theres a huge thank you and learning experience from the parent. Theyve experienced this along with the child, and theyve grown too. Theyve learned how to separate a little bit better. Lake Bryn Mawr Camp has added a second visiting day, designed for children with divorced or divorcing parents, or families with children in more than one camp. To prepare, Ms. Miller sent parents combinations of different letters: one for girls with a bunkmate who has a peanut allergy, one for first-time campers and some that included permission slips for those who wanted to take their daughters off campus. Stationed at the gate, she would greet each family, have campers paged over the public-address system, then preside over the often-tearful reunions. Sometimes the kids dont know which parents are coming, Ms. Miller said of the second visiting day. Becky and Drew Picon, who live in Livingston, N.J., spent the day playing basketball and visiting the stables with their 15-year-old daughter, Jaime, who is in her seventh summer at Bryn Mawr. The Picons acknowledged that they are demanding parents, having called camp staff over the years to request a special cereal for Jaime, who rarely ate breakfast before this year; to ask for extra phone calls when she was in the infirmary; to take her off campus one visiting day when they had a scheduling conflict; and to seek advice about problems their son was having at another camp. And there they were on the phone last week with an 11th-hour plea to come on Sunday, instead of Saturday, when they would be visiting the aforementioned son (they each thought the other had already called). Mr. Picon, who owns several auto dealerships, remembered calling Mr. Kagan, the Bryn Mawr director, on Jaimes very first day of camp back in 2001. I called the camp at 7 a.m. and Dan answered the phone, Mr. Picon said. He said, Jaimes fine. And are you going to call me every morning? Anticipating a lecture, Mr. Picon said, I think I am. To which Mr. Kagan, himself the father of three daughters, warmly replied: Well, do it at this time of day, its when I have some free time. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/26/nyregion/26camp.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&sq=summer%20camp&st=cse&scp=5 $10,000 for camp? HOLY BUNK BEDS Batman!
  24. Last year our Pack lost a lot of tigers. One proposal was to help develop the den leaders by encouraging training and using a one night a month for 2-3 tiger dens to meet. The idea is to encourage Boy scouts to take den chief positions and offer to the new tiger leaders to hold a combined tiger den meeting at the Charter hall. Go-see-it'S could be coordinated or held independently. Anyone have experience with type of arrangement.
  25. Funny I was thinking at the last RT how it would be better if my district were smaller. I would rather sit down and coordinate some events with the four or five troops within 15 miles of my charter. Instead the district is gerrymandered just like a political district so that it stretches far north and south to capture the right demographic make-up. When cub camporees are held either the south or the north siders complain that its too far. I don't know maybe a Council wide Round Table will be better than the lame things we have now.
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