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About jens3sons

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  1. eagle-pete, Most of the times that I have seen two dens combine, it has been the same rank of boys joining together. What I would caution against with two different ranks meeting together at the same time is for the boys who are Wolves this year, to make sure you have a game plan for them next year when they are Bears so that you are not presenting "old material" to them and lose even more interest. Sounds like you would make an excellent Asst. Cub master to me! You can assist the cub master where he is failing...even helping to plan those pack meetings! Our current cub master did not like to be in front of the entire pack, and so the Asst. cub master would emcee the pack meetings. Turns out he was a HUGE asset to the pack! Not only did he bring the pizazz, he brought a way of scheduling the pack meetings, by figuring out a time line for the entire night, and would allot an amount of time for each thing and had that list printed out for the cub master and myself (CC) and kept our meeting running smoothly. The cub master still gave the advancements to the boys each month, but the actual "showman" part of it we left to the Asst. Cub master. One of the things that also helped me bring around a "failing" pack, was building up that committee. I now require at least one den leader from each den to be at the committee meeting, and if they can''t be there to recruit one of their parents to be there so that the information is getting back to the leaders, and I am not doing 5-8 committee meetings a month over the phone. We found out....even though I brought the excitement and enthusiasm of what scouting "can" be, that once we started bouncing ideas off of each other, that it grew like wild fire! A couple of great meetings later, and everyone was "hooked". Bottom line....don''t go to the committee meetings ready to point the finger as to what isn''t getting done by whom, but with a lot of enthusiasm, and willingness to "roll up you sleeves" and offer your services. Good Luck! jens3sons
  2. jens3sons

    Super Den !!

    Eamonn, 12 looks like nothing right now to my twin boys'' den!!! Every year (they are Bear scouts this year) we think "oh some will drop out" and every year, those (bless their little hearts) boys recruit a few more scouts! This year it looks like their den is up to 16 boys! We as leaders didn''t even try to recruit more boys for the 3rd grade, but the boys are having such a great time, they just keep telling more and more of their friends about scouting! To hopefully prevent some of the responses on this one, yes we realize we have enough boys for 2 very full dens, we have tried over and over to get a fourth leader and have been unsuccessful (we won''t form a den without 2 deep leadership)...too many of the parents in that den already have positions in the pack. We just sit back, laugh and enjoy every minute of this den! Yours in Scouts jens3sons
  3. Our pack makes our own, a mom who sews makes enough for all the new boys who have joined. She also sews the round patch on the back of the vest for the segments to go around them. We use segments instead of totems. We gave up on the totems. Those beads fall all over the place, and we figure the boys remember better what activities they did much better given a little "picture" vs. a bead. The boys put their popcorn patches on their and their pinewood derby patches. Any sporting events that they attend through the council also goes on their vest and any camping such as camporall or any of the district or council camps they add on their vests. A friend of mine ended up having to sew an extra 6" of material to the bottom of her son''s vest because they ran out of room! The boys do like to see how many rings they can get around their "anchor" patch compared to other boys in the pack.
  4. JeffD, My pack is the one that gives away the boom box. Let me clarify please. First off, the boom box costs the pack approximately $25-$30 dollars...a little different than the cost of a play station or a bike. Second, the boom box is NOT awarded to the top seller, it is raffled off. For every $25.00 the scout sells, he gets 1 raffle ticket. It is stated to the boys that the more they sell, (obviously) the more chances they have to win. In my experience with all of this, it has never been awarded to the absolute top seller in the pack, but usually to the kid who has sold btw. $200-$500 dollars of popcorn. This was all designed as an incentive for the boys to get out there and sell during a time when parents are overwhelmed as it is with the start of school, and all the fund raisers (PTA, marching band, football, cheer leading etc.) that takes place at this time of year. It also gives the boys a little hope that maybe they can win it this year, because even the leaders have a really good idea as to who will be the top sellers for the year, as we know which parents have the best opportunity to sell to co-workers etc., so we know which 3 boys will be considered the "top sellers" for the year. This gives every boy a chance to DO THEIR BEST and even the top sellers like to get out there and sell door to door, or make the phone calls to family members. The boys who are the 3 top sellers for the year are verbally recognized in front of the entire pack and that is it. A few times we have let the top seller draw the winning ticket from that hat, but like I said, never has that boy won the boom box. I hope this clarifies things. jens3sons
  5. Hi Kurt, Just so you know, I am in the same council as you are. We usually use the theme from the Program Helps to work with for our Blue & Gold..it keeps each year special and unique for the boys who are earning their Arrow of Light that night. We budget approx. $300.00 for the entertainment. Last year''s theme was Aloha Cub Scouts! We had Hawaiian dancers come and show the kids some dances, and even had the kids do some of them...the big kick was when they brought some of the leaders up and tied skirts (cut up, plastic table clothes) and they had to do the more difficult dance (lots of laughs and good times on that!). This year''s theme is Chinese New Year. The Webelos 2''s are very excited about this one as their patrol is the Dragons, and their DL actually travels to China multiple times a year. We will be trying to find a Chinese restaurant to cater the meal (one that doesn''t use peanut based products or oil) as our school district will not allow a "pot luck" dinner and we are required to have all food brought in be by a vendor. Our preliminary thoughts for entertainment this year is to bring in a martial arts group to do a demonstration or to look for Chinese acrobats. Another good source for some ideas for Blue and Gold would be found at the TFC Training Academy (in November), and some vendors come and advertise in the midway offering their services for B & G banquets.
  6. I fully agree with you. Nothing ticks me off more, than seeing all the separate pens, flashlights, sweatshirts etc. that are orange. They are Cub Scouts, working on Tiger rank, not Tiger Scouts working to be Cub Scouts! Not to mention how I can NOT stand those beads! As a pack we finally got rid of buying the instant recognition kits and just get them segments instead (the boys like competing with each other to get more segments on their vests). My personal opinion is that at least the segment has a visual reminder of what they did to get it anyways! Sorry for my little rant, but I think the arrow points for Tigers is a great idea.
  7. JeffD, It is a little more work for our popcorn kernel, but we also do a raffle of a boom box (in the past we look for a cheap one, about $25.00-$30.00, that looks cool). The boys still earn their prizes that are given by Trail''s End, but for every $25.00 that they sell they get another "ticket" in the hat. The more they sell, the more chances they have to win the boom box. There was talk of changing out the raffle prize this year, and the committee shot it down, as the boys so want that boom box! We have the boom box bought prior to the September pack meeting and we show it to the boys at that meeting, and then again for the October one. When the Trail''s End prizes are handed out in either November or December (depending on when we get the prizes from Trail''s End) that is the last order of business for giving out the prizes.
  8. WDWNUT, I have a son who was just diagnosed with ADHD this summer. I thought I would try and explain what it is like to have ADHD the way my son''s therapist described it to me. It is like walking (through life) as quickly as you can, only able to see 3 feet ahead of you...oh, and you have blinders on, so you are only able to see right in front of your feet and are unable to see the "big" picture. With all this in mind and some family history we have made an informed decision to put our son on natural supplements formulated for ADHD (a lot of amino acids)and my son sees a behavior therapist once a week. I too, probably a lot like this mother, gave up on my son for a time, as it just seemed as nothing worked, and quite frankly I was exhausted. Conventional parenting goes right out the window when it comes to children with ADHD. I needed to be reminded that I was the one in control, and I was the one with the "power", and the everything and anything can be a privilege and can be taken away(including scouting, although I would not want that to happen, but I have to stand firm). So maybe when this mom is talked to, these little tidbits can help with the conversation. As far as what might help right NOW for the den and the pack here is a little suggestion. Keep in mind that a reward system works so much better than a punishment. One thing we have done with my son to help him behave in church or in a restaurant is this. We have so many white plastic poker chips and his goal is to earn 1 red one. We figure out how long we will be at a location (an hour=12 possible earned chips), and then we figure out how many he needs to earn to get the "Red" chip (so lets say he has to earn 9 white chips the first time...as he gets better at this little "game" the next time he might have to earn 10 of them). Someone has to be sitting there making sure to watch their watch and to definitely follow through with all of it. Have a little baggie for him to put the chips in as he earns them. When he earns the red chip have a little treasure chest or some different choices for him, that he can then choose something as his reward for the good behavior, and make sure to echo the praises with him, even when handing him the white chips....Anything can work though, I forgot the chips one day, and I used nickels and a quarter out of my change in the van, as the chips and his reward was that he got to keep the change. It really will seem like you are praising a 3 year old, every time you hand him a chip, but for some quirky reason it works! Let me echo one more thing...keep the meetings moving. Children with moderate-severe ADHD only have (if you are lucky) a five minute attention span. Good luck!
  9. There are a lot of comments on here, so I will try to stick to new ones! 1. As for how warm the pants are in the winter time: I think the warmth of the pants will depend on if you associate warmth with weight. If you need heaviness to "feel" warm, then you are going to freeze. However, the pants will dry dry extremely fast, which would be good for being in the snow/rain/sleet etc. I believe if you got a good "roomy" fit pair you could end up putting a pair of fleece pants underneath them or long underwear to feel warmer. 2. I am an employee of a local council shop, and we have had a problem with keeping them in stock, we have re -ordered about 6 times, plus some sizes are on back-order (what seems like forever!). They are selling like hot cakes, so certain sizes you might just have to be patient getting them. I would suggest pre-paying for a size and having them call you when they come in, and then trying them on before you leave the store, to save yourself a trip. 3. We have had everyone try them on, as they do fit differently with the gusset. 4. I have noticed women having the hardest time getting a good fit in the pants. They put way too much fabric in the wrong areas for women in the women's sizes (almost like you could do without the gusset on the women's pants), and they are too tight where the zippers are. Also, the women's pants are too short for me (they only come in a 29" length and a 33" length) and I am 5'6" and not over weight at all! So I wait and wait for the men's small-30" length to come in, and hope those will fit me right. 5. I am curious to find out how everyone feels about the pants after they are washed. I have heard the zipper on the legs ends up "buckling" and then does not feel very comfortable. 6. The swithchbacks ARE official uniform pants. BSA does carry a field shirt that is made with similiar material, however that is considered an activity shirt, not official uniform shirt. Jens3sons
  10. If your pack participates in the brag vests and segments, there is a segment for denners. Jens3sons
  11. Two Sirius, You have already been given some great advice, so I won't echo it all over again, however, I will mention 2 things that I didn't see mentioned. 1. Don't forget to retain your receipts for your uniform etc. You may claim them on your taxes. 2. Most importantly, please look at this not as something scary, you can always find answers through someone, whether on here, or through the already established pack leadership, and if they can't find it, they should know who to ask, but look at all of this as great scheduled time with your son! I only have sons, and I love the fact that I can be so involved in such a character building program with them!!! Someday when he is grown, he will so appreciate that in your very busy life you took the time to be his den's ADL. You will be so grateful that you had the opportunity to be as well. Lots of great advice on this post! Jens3sons
  12. Split them up! Let me repeat that....Split them up! My twins are currently in a den of 14 boys...it is caotic!!!Plus I We have had numerous injuries from them running around etc. Typically when their den formed last year it would've been into two dens, however our pack strongly believes in the two-deep leadership, and we were not able to get a fourth leader, so we had to keep them one den. The other aspect of this, which I think is a really good one, is that the den leaders really don't get the chance to know the boys the way that they should. The den leaders become the "teachers" instead of the mentors. One way we have used to divide up boys is by location. Those south of this side of the street or West of this street form one den and the ones North and east form the other. This way they are still with other boys that they normally would play with on their free time. Good luck Jens3sons
  13. Remember...The Cub Master is responsible to the boys. It is up to him to make sure the boys are advancing in rank, and in doing that sets the direction of the pack. It is up to the CC to help the CM carry out his ideas and suggestions. Another thing to remember, is that everyone on the committee will have great ideas from time to time (a broken clock is right 2x's a day) and he/she might be able to come up with great ideas. Even though your pack may be strong in numbers, it is easy to get caught in the trap of "this is the way we have always done it", and he might have some great new ideas to "spruce" things up a bit. I came from a pack, that almost certain we wouldn't be a pack now had I not taken the initiative. My first year as CC I had many "hats". 3/4ths of the time I was also acting as the CM, and so it was up to me to set the direction of the pack. We have gone from painfully boring meetings to extremely fun ones, that the boys can't wait to attend. We come from a pack that never had meetings out doors or went camping...now we have about 2 meetings a year outside, and about 3 campouts a year! You should've seen the first time we had a meeting outside...I never got a shower because the phone wouldn't stop ringing because it had rained all week and was still raining that day, and are we going to still have it outside, and even if it stopped raining it was going to be all muddy (boo-hoo)...hehe...anyways, I told them all that we were scouts, not mice, wear shoes that could get muddy and take a hot shower when they got home!...Turns out it was one of the best meetings ever!!! Parents then realized I had some great ideas and were more enthusiastic about helping out and offering up some other great ideas as well...Now I have a committee of about a dozen parents where before I was lucky to have 3 show up! Don't be afraid to try some of the new ideas...what is the worst that could possibly happen?...One bad meeting? Chalk it up to experience and move forward....and have a back up plan ;-)....Good Luck!
  14. Our pack uses the program helps to help us plan our Pack Meetings...as far as using them for den meetings, I can't say any of our dens do that. We use the den meetings to focus on the boys earning their achievements, but we use our pack meetings for fun and celebrating what the boys have achieved. We don't always use the monthly theme ideas in order, we may "switch" them up a bit to accomidate other agendas, or what works best for us to get outdoors or the usage of the school etc, but I must admit, I am very happy to get my new copy of the helps each year!
  15. I come from a pack where pack meetings were tremendous snooze fests, and have been completely turned around! We have assigned each den a responsibility to perform each and EVERY pack meeting. Song, Skit, Flags, Activity, etc. We try and break up advancements/awards between each one. Usually after the den has done their "duty" for the evening is a good time to hand out their awards (less "up and down" from their seats)and the other dens don't get as bored. I also have to say our pack owes a HUGE "thank you" to our Asst. CubMaster. He has been known to show up as "Woody the cowboy" for Cub Scout Round UP (last year's September theme) and as a Chicken (a Bird theme...can't remember which month) and a Magician with a lovely assistant that amazingly called him "Dad". He has a way of disguising information that needs to be given to the parents as a conversation with the boys that keeps them interested! One of the other great and huge contributions he has made to our pack is giving us each an agenda for the evening, which has so much time designated for each thing, and he keeps us on schedule! The meetings have yet to go past the intended schedule, thus we know we will always have everyone out on time. We have also brought our pack into the 21st century with the use of technology, again thanks to his bright ideas, and a little scrounging of parents who could help make it work with equipment we are able to borrow. We use the pull down screen each meeting, and have a laptop hooked up to a projector, and we are able to project photographs and clip art etc. (talk about the advantages at pinewood derby time as well...we have a camera at the finish line, able to project standings etc...use the imagination!) Our only regrets with all of this....(1) Each meeting we successfully complete we think to ourselves "how are we going to top that one???"...but we always manage to come up with another successful one. (2) The pack is sorely going to miss our Asst. Cubmaster when his youngest son crosses over in February....(we don't really know someone else who is willing to dress up like a chicken yet! ;-) Other things our boys really, really like to do during pack meetings...(1)Relay Races, (2)Stations (each den is responsible for conducting a "hands on" type of station that the boys run from one to the next to see what the other dens have come up with that fits into the theme for the evening) (3) Believe it or not...they LOVE to make and fly paper air planes! (This year we are going to try and have them make origami boats instead since we have done the air planes the last 2 years) (4) Our boys really enjoy doing service projects...which is a great activity that doesn't really cost the pack anything, and it acclimates the boys to being helpful and thinking of others besides themselves, and I believe helps prepare them for being Boy Scouts. I hope these suggestions help...good luck in the upcoming scouting year! Jens3sons
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