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About Jim6

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    West Chester, PA
  1. I think we all are faced with boys making choices. On one hand we want the scouting program to touch as many boys as possible, on the other hand being overly flexible in terms of participation tends to negatively impact the unit. Its a difficult balance. I try to communicate that Scouting is for life, is for a season. I think that there is room for both. Teaching these boys now about a Life balance between scouts, school, sports, church and home life is, to my way of thinking, a good thing. Ultimately it should be peer pressure from within the patrol along with leadership and participation requirements from the PLC that cause a boy to participate ... the same things at work in his prots team. Some boys do this well, others cannot. It is difficult to lose a boy, but sometimes that is the best result for all. Scouting is about commitment to a team and a goal as much as any sport, and like any team it cannot be successful if only half the players show up. Great thread
  2. From my perspective, the SM and his assitants have responsibility for the operational side of the Troop, the SM is analogous to the COO of a company. The committee is like the board or executive committee and exists solely to support the troop's business. Normally the SM and ASMs are not allowed to vote, they are not members of the committee; on the othet hand they are parents (usually) and have an interest in the unit. I've never heard (until now) of a Cub or Scout Committee going into executive or closed session, committee mmeetings should be public and open to all interested parties. That said, their are times when the members of the committee and/or scoutmaster corps must meet in private for specific items related to privacy, discipline or other sensitve matters. The topic you describe should, IMHO, been owned by the Scoutmaster corps not the committee as it was an operational issue. As far as votes or not, I think this is largely a style thing ... I've seen various levels of formality in the units I've been involved with, fortunately no one has pulled a copy of roberts rules out yet. The new training materials for troop committee members are worth a look, but you need to remember that BSA will supply you with nothing but guidelines, there are very few hard and fast rules regarding committee operations. In our troop, I attend the beginning of committee meetings ony as the SM and provide a SM's report that reports on what we have done, what we plan to do and what we need the committee to provide (dollars, consent, other resources). Once I've finished my bit I usually (my hour a week having expired) retire and leace the committee to their business. A previous Scoutmaster attempted to ban ASMs from committee meetings ... in reality what he was looking for was for the SM corps to speak with one voice, we acomplish that now by holding our own meeting adjacent to the PLC and though the delivery of a SM's report to the committee. Hope this helps - YIS
  3. Patrol makeup is a common topic because rarely is there a troop that does not have patrol issues of one sort or another. While I'm intriqued by the concept of patrols coming together to form a troop, in my experience this is limited to the WEBELOS to Scout transition and the formation of a new scout patrol for the first year. Our troop is fortunate enough to get 10 to 15 new boys each year, usually from a couple of packs and almost always from multiple dens from within those packs. It would be impossible for these boys to select their own patrol because of numbers, but we usually keep members from a WEBELOS den together at least for the first year. At the end of that first year we have done a number of different things, for a while we had patrols of multiple ages, the problem here was that the older boys wanted to make the younger boys do all the work and the younger boys were usually more active than the older boys. We had many problems fielding functional patrols and even tried overloading patrols to 10 or so members to we could get 6 on every camping trip. This met with limited success. Recently we tried keeping patrols together by age, this way the boys were largely clustered by age and by extension activity level. This worked great for the first year patrols as they moved forward and it worked great for second, third and even some fourth year scouts. Problem here was that some active older boys were teminally stuck in patrols that frankly did not function. We will move back to a blended approach this spring, patrol assignment has been a concern for me and will be a topic our PLC will wrestle with in the coming months. Patrols at the same time must be and cannot be cliques, they must be able to function as a team, they must leverage their relative strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day they cannot be populated by popularity alone as no member of the troop can be left out. The PLC and the Scoutmaster must resolve these issues in an on-going way, there is no right formula as the only guarantee is that the specific formula that works today may not work tomorrow. I believe that boys that can lead and teach must be distributed throughout the troop and then allowed to do so, this requires a level of interference on the part of the Scoutmaster, I'd rather call it influence, but ultimately it will yield the desired results. So, to answer your question, on its face the 'we will take you three but not him' isn't acceptable to me on its face; on the other hand merging of patrols requires a global, troop wide look, that might make scattering of the members the right answer.
  4. An ASPL is supposed to take on the role of SPL in the SPL's absence, so, its reasonable to expect the ASPL to do the job until a new SPL can be chosen. He will need to decide if he wants to be SPL or not, if he does not then I suggest to him that he needs to work with the PLC to correct the problem. Boy led isn't easy and it often isn't pretty, but it is the point of the whole thing now isn't it. So, I wouldn't go as far as Mike or K9 suggests, that is, I wouldn't elevate the ASPL, I'd just remind him what his role is in the absence of the SPL. He may decide that if he has to do the work, he migth as well have the title, or, he could jump ship too.
  5. We are taking two crews to Philmont in '04. I think we are OK with the planning of the trek itself, but we are looking for pointers/resources for pre trek and post trek activities ... We could fly into any number of places .. Albuquerque ... Denver ... What we need to think about is places to stay, things to see on the way out and the way back. When I went as a kid nearly thirty years ago, we went through Denver, stay at Fort Carson & the Koshare Kiva, visited the AF academy & Royal gorge ... any more ideas out there from more recent visitors?
  6. SctMom - your council newsletter is consistent with information our council has also recieved from national ... As I understand it two things are scheduled to happen January 1: 1 - The new local tour permit will be required. In the small print on the back side is a statement that one adult on the trip must be YPT certified. 2 - National will release an on-line version of Youth Protection Training. #1 is a reality - simply look at the Local Tour permit form available for download from national. #2 is questionable, I don't doubt it will happen but our council has not been able to acertain when it will be availabe, so, we are actively promoting & conducting the video training
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