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Everything posted by Stosh

  1. We've fought this battle for the entire 15 years I have been with the Troop as ASM. We call them "Mothers". We go over and take equipment out of their hands and hand it to the nearest scout. We bring chairs for them to sit in and then gently insist they sit in them, and recently we have been training our youth to use the phrase, "With all due respect Mr./Mrs. _________, I believe this is my job, may I have the opportunity to do it?" The real test of this is when the SPL says that to the SM. EVERY adult that comes into our troop as a leader or chaperone for the weekend get's a heads-u
  2. Stosh


    If the boys are preferring the broad brimmed hats, why not go with the BSA brimmed hats like the Expedition ($30+), Stetson ($50+) Rover ($40+) or Campaign ($80+) styles? They can be kinda pricy, but the Campaign style can be gotten in knock-off for less than $30 if you hunt around. Put the BSA band on it and you're good to go. As long as the headgear is similar, it is uniform. If BSA will accept a baseball style with Troop design on it, they surely can't complain about a Campaign hat knock off at $30 for the boys. Put the 1" First Class medallion on it and you're all set to go with a hat
  3. Stosh


    My troop has no official headgear. I do have one patrol that has chosen to have it's own headgear. It is a combination of both official and non-scouting items to make it unique. The option is pricy ($50.00), but not as pricy as the BSA campaign hat. We started out with the basic expedition wool felt hat. To that we added the shiny brass Boy Scout First Class 1" medallion for the members of the patrol. This is not the normal pewter circle medallion that normally is ordered for the hat. The PL is also the SPL of the troop and instead of the First Class 1" medallion, he has the
  4. There is a requirement for each rank that involves Scout Spirit. There are boys who simply don't advance because of this. I do think there are a lot of SM's out there that really don't take this requirement at it's face value and is basically a gimmie. As far as SM kicking a boy out? When one has to unarm one boy to reduce the threat to another, it's time to say good-bye. The SM might be seen as "kicking him out", but in fact, for the safety of the Troop, the SM is only protecting the others. The boy wielding the weapon kicked himself out. It's all part of the un-Politically Correct
  5. Since when is it the fault of the SM? When does the boy mature and take responsibility for himself? I've always believed that that is part of what scouting used to be. We've kicked kids out for theft, threatening other scouts with weapons, and lying. They know the rules from the beginning and pledge an oath on their honor to uphold it. We take seriously those words and those promises. Not everyone does and the decision to expell a youth isn't taken lightly. But it does happen. I have demoted youth in our venturing crew and the boy stepped up to the plate and earned back the
  6. Build a good program and the numbers will take care of themselves. Sometimes a crew that spends all of it's time recruiting will never have time left over to do their program. If you have 8 boys/girls that are interested, let them concentrate on the program and forget the recruiting. Once the program gets off the ground, others will find out about it an join up. There is nothing in the world more boring than sitting around thinking up ways to get other people interested in your boring recruiting program.
  7. FYI "HANDBOOK FOR BOYS", copyright 1911, reprinted 1976 page 15, "The following laws which relate to the Boy Scouts of America, are the latest and most up to date. These laws a boy promises to obey when he takes his scout oath. 1. A scout is trustworthy. A scout's honor is to be trusted. If he were to violate his honor by telling a lie, or by cheating, or by not doing exactly a given task, when trusted on his honor, he may be directed to hand over his scout badge." It may no longer be part of the scouting program today, but it once was back when the Scout Law wa
  8. Ever notice how most of the discussion on Venturing revolves around numbers of units, memberships, quotas, and very little about quality of programming? Is a paper unit of 50 people more important or more significant that a solid well run unit of 8-10? Stosh
  9. Ok, try this one on for size. I have been operational for 9 years. During that time no venturing commissioner (didn't know they existed) ever made contact with me. I've never met the DE in person, but have talked on the phone. My rechartering packet has always been available to be picked up at the scout office at my convenience. My SE and DE has been invited numerous times to come to one of our activities and have never showed up. Does this sound like a council that really takes Venturing serious? 30 years ago I was asked to work part time (work-study program
  10. And this dovetails into the point I was making... Cubbing may be an extension for Boy Scouting, BUT Venturing is not an extension of Boy Scouting. If all a venturing crew is going to do is the same old stuff the boys were leaving scouting for, it's going to fail! If the older boys won't stick around for scouting, why would they stick around for same old thing venturing? Don't people over 21 see this logic? Council wide venturing events are nothing more than glorified camporees. Maybe they're at the YMCA pool with pizza instead of a campground, but the same old, same old stuff
  11. You make the most important point in your post that answers all your questions. You identify all those things a venturing crew is not supposed to be but people try anyway and fail. The scouting program never defines what a crew could be, only what it should be. It's proposed as a one-size, fits-all unit that answers the needs only those those certain crews that seem to be failing right and left. The crews that seem to succeed are those that have a clear vision of what they want to do and then avoid all those distractions that seek to keep them from their vision. What happens i
  12. How about an iPod Crew? How about an XBox Crew? How about a cell phone Crew? How about a gamer Crew? Know your audience and remember not everyone is ever going to be a candidate for a legitimate scout group, whether it be cubbing, boy or venturing. Help the few that you could possibly help and don't worry about the rest. Stosh
  13. I had an interesting experience last night. Normally I attend roundtable in the district where I am an assistant scoutmaster. For a change up, I went to another district roundtable for the first time where I'm a venturing advisor. They wanted me to sign in but only had signup sheets for cubbing and scouting. When I said I was venturing, they continued to ask me whether that was under the cubbing program or the boy scouting program. I said it was under a program of it's own. They had no idea what I was talking about. We've come a long way baby!
  14. As I said before the key to this program, just like any other, is finding the right combinations for the people at hand. If everyone is just going to lock-step into an established program and make all the members conform to it's principles and expectations, you are going to lose members when they figure out it's going nowhere. On the other hand, when the program becomes a catalyst for opportunities, is flexible enough to accomodate new ideas and challenges, then maybe you've hit upon something worthwhile and the kids will stick around. If, like a scout troop, you wish your venturing c
  15. Like most paper units out there, we cover the bases. Having officers to make quality unit only involves a vote. That takes up about 5 minutes once a year. Having trained officers only means one shows up for the training. Those that get the training are those who were voted into positions because they could get the time off for the training. Functioning on the other hand is a totally different animal. As far as membership is concerned, our numbers remain small because normally our people age out and new boys come in on a pretty equal basis. I have 3 leaders that are charter member boy
  16. Stosh


    LOL! My crew does about 95% drill and love it. My trooop did a little "drill" at summer camp and found the process very efficient for my leaders. When boys stand in patrols and with buddies in an organized manner, "roll" can be taken visually in a split second without having to count moving heads, and if someone is missing, their buddy should know where he is. Standing in a uniform position at flag ceremonies is also a little more efficient than single file, saluting the back of the head of the guy ahead of you. The efficiency of such things really makes life a lot easier
  17. First of all I am an advisor for a Venturing Crew with a 8 year, quality unit every one, program. We have had NO officers, NO BSA program, NO rangers or rank advancement of any kind. We have $1,000+ in our treasury and our numbers remain low. The secret is to do what the crew was designed to do and let the youth run it. It's not an older boy scout program with ranks and offices unless that's what the youth want. Do what you do best and leave the rest alone.
  18. We have found the following to be factors in our numbers: 1) Don't try and compete with other activities, you'll lose. 2) Don't try to accumulate numbers for the sake of numbers. 3) Focus on what you do best and forget the rest. 4) If you build a better mousetrap, they'll flock to your doors. 5) Keep expectations high, both for you and your scouts. 6) Recruiting should not be the main goal of your organization. 7) If the scouts are not having fun/learning/being challenged, talk with them, don't pull ideas out of the air.
  19. I've been in your shoes and it's ain't pretty. First of all, it sounds as if you are not going to get any support from the parents. That is unfortunate. My first step in dealing with the problem was to address the issue to the parent and if they wished their child to continue in the den they would have to attend with them and assist in controling their behavior from disrupting the other scouts. With only speculation on my part, it would seem that the parents in your case are only using a respite opportunity to dump their kid onto someone else for a while. Not a good sign. If
  20. I have seen a lot of crews come and go over the years. I don't know if what I do is anything special, but we're starting our 8th year this year. We have never been a large crew, 15 at the largest and 5 at the smallest. We often times have more adults that kids at events, and we have a like-minded CO. The crew is somewhat of an auxillary of the CO. The key? The program is the key, not the people. We have very few kids interested in our program because it is extremely specialized, but those we get are 110% dedicated to the group. Some of our charter members have aged out and are no
  21. I have always wondered why everyone goes to such great lengths to make sure the brim on the campaign hat is flat. All historical evidence shows differently. I wear the campaign hat with curves and the expedition hat and love them both.
  22. With the new youth leadership training routine, is there any way the youth can get "trained" without having to pay $200+ and take a week of camp to work through the curriculum? As a troop we used to take a weekend and go through the JLT material with our kids, but now it seems so expensive and complicated that none of our kids are interested in getting the training.
  23. Do what you do best. My boy hasn't been in scouts for 10 years, but I'm still doing my scout thingy. If you feel the most comfortable on the Cub level, go back and enjoy yourself. Do not allow the Peter Principle to take over. If you work best and enjoy most Cubbing, then that's for you. I did my ticket on the Webelos transition. I worked the Webelos II program and worked with the SM of the Troop to help these boys make the transition. During my tenure of that time I had all AOL boys that all crossed over and about half went on to Eagle. Do what you do best and quit w
  24. If national BSA were to see what my boys wear, they'd have a fit. As Civil War reenactors, if the military assault rifle-musket with blackpowder rolled in paper doesn't bring a gasp to the crowd, the 18" bayonet will. Then there's the variety of Bowie knives that are used for the rebel impression. We won't even go into the officer swords and sabers and side-arms that are worn by the kids.
  25. This has become an interesting thread. Yet when it all boils down to the basic core of the discussion as to whether or not a sheath knife is too big, if a locking buck is too small, whether the axe should be worn on the belt, etc. etc. it is all irrelevant. If a boy is taught to respect a big/small/light/heavy knife and to use it correctly, what's the problem? If a boy is taught to respect a hand/three quarter/full axe and to use it correctly, what's the problem? What the tool is is a mere extension of what works for the person. How they use it determines it's importance. If I wi
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