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kb6jra

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Everything posted by kb6jra

  1. kb6jra

    World Crest with Wood Badge beads patch!

    Well said Jessica, well said.
  2. When I was a kid, we referred to the adults as Mr. and Mrs. (we had a mom as our Committee Chair for a time, which was quite unusual then). When I was not at a meeting, my ASM, who became my Scoutmaster, was a great friend and mentor, so he was Jim to me. We're still great friends to this day. Now in my troop I insist that the boys use the formal Mr. or Mrs. to address adults, as a sign of respect, but I will allow the older boys to call me by my first name when not at the meetings, and they do...
  3. kb6jra

    World Crest with Wood Badge beads patch!

    Regarding the reason why WB training is not scout specific, I think I understand why that is. It seems to me that the Blanchard / Covey materials (and all the others) used are not industry specific, scout specific, organization specific. They're just good management techniques and practices, and they happen to fit well with what we as adult leaders do. Communications is important regardless if you're talking in front of a board of directors, a troop committee, a church session...they're all important and the skill set is the same. Team building takes place on a daily basis in a boy scout troop, and it's important that we know what is happening and what can be done to ensure success in that process (or at least how to recognize when success is not on the horizon). Conflict resolution, project planning, ethics in action...all important in our work and play. I believe the thinking in why the course was changed from a purley scouting based skills course to a management skills course was so that it would appeal to a broader audience. There was a tendency to see WB trained leaders poo poo'ing units that did not lash thier furniture together, use service patrol implements, wear shorts, knee socks and campaign hats as a required uniform... I could be all wet on that, I've not spoken to anyone who was in that decision tree, so it's pure speculation. I do know that the WB21 is a great course and produces some great results in the people that use the skills to deliver a dynomite program. I also know that those folks I've met who took the last iteration of the course are awesome leaders as well and are not WB Lords, in fact most of them like the new course better than the last for what it does teach. Oh, and I still like the patch, it's good looking even though it's not official. Cheers
  4. kb6jra

    new Centennial Ring Emblem...

    The Centennial Ring is to be worn around the World Crest to show off the BSA's 100th Anniversary. I bought several dozen and gave them to my scouts and adult leaders. I also gave one to each of my 100th Anniversary committee members at my last council meeting. They're awesome I think. The "Year of celebration" patches are a sqare white patch that is worn as a temporary patch over right pocket. The patch itself has no requirments to purchase for $1.99, but the ribbons do. That program launches 9/1/09 and continues through 2010. I'm buying each of my scouts and adults one of the Year of Celebration patches also, they are quite a unique item with those ribbons hanging from the bottom.
  5. kb6jra

    What Would make you Increasse Your FOS?

    I'm pretty generous when it comes to FOS, but if I wasn't in tune to what it was actually used for I'd say... I would be impressed with something tangible and something I could get my dollars and sense around. I'd want to see some improvements at our summer camp property. I know FOS $ are not for that purpose, they are meant for general operating cash flow, but by and large the rank n file member of the council want to see something, touch something that they can correlate value with, and camp property works well for that.
  6. Awesome, and congrats again. I've been doing Regalia presentations a lot lately, I'll be staffing my 3rd course in 3 years in a couple of weeks, and in our council any staffer from any course is asked to help out with beadings from courses they weren't on. I did one last night. I took my kudu (I'll be the SPL for our upcoming course WE4-45-1-09) and summoned the presentation to order. A friend who staffed the participants course and I did the presentations. This was at a troop CoH and this gentleman was the ONLY member of the unit who had attended WB. Now there are 8 more from that unit signed up for our Fall course. Awesome. Maybe next time there will be enough of us critters there to sing the song. I have noticed a resistance lately to having presentations of the Wood Badge at Roundtables. One or two a year is great. One a month gets on the nerves of the RT commissioners I've found. While we as Wood Badge Staffers like to appeal to the greatest audience, we need to make sure we're also not alienating those we're there to serve. Locally we've taken to convincing our participants to have their regalia presented at unit meetings and training activities. We still have one or two Roundtable presentations a year, but we're getting the message out to a broader audience.
  7. kb6jra

    National committee reorganization

    I think one of the biggest difference between the BSA and GSA (not from experience, but from it being explained to me by others) is that the BSA charters independent organization with ownership of the local program, who in turn charter local units with ownership in the program... Girl Scouts are centralized and ownership remains with the national council and is licensed to local "neighborhoods" or councils and in turn troops. This is a fundamental organizational difference and produces or necessitates a different communications matrix.
  8. kb6jra

    Handbook preference

    For Boy Scout Books the spiral bound books are much better and seem more durable, as long as the boys don't rip the pages out. We try to get the boys to make them last the 7 years they're in the troop. The cub books however are ok with the standard binding as they are used for only one year (more or less) then traded up. I wouldn't spend the extra money on the spiral cub books unless you're using them on an extended basis. Note about the standard bound scout handbook. My son's first scout handbook started to fall apart within a year of joining the troop and receiving his first book. The rank advancement section 'fell out' and was eventually lost. This was a huge pain in the back side as we needed to replace all of those dates and sigs... We ended up retreiving the official record and guessing at who signed what. Part of the cool thing about scout books is seeing who signed a kid off and when through his years in the troop.
  9. kb6jra

    still waiting to hear anything

    Lisa, Our main fundraiser for our Jambo Bound boys is our annual Popcorn sale. The boys can make up to 40% or so on commish which goes toward their payments. One of my boys from my troop earned 1/3 of his Jamboree fees this year already. The council loves this idea as well because they also make a percentage. My Jambo troop is looking at selling first aid kits / earthquake preparedness kits (California, go figure), and recycling electronics as cash generators as well. When my son attended in 05, his troop sold Christmas trees, pumpkins, patches, did car washes, just to make it easier. some kids participated some didn't. One boy participated in most fund raisers and paid for his Jamboree experience 100% and had $800 in spending money on top. He spent about $150 at the Jambo and kept the rest. Your son's going to have an incredible time.
  10. Pack meeting and troop courts of honor are always good bets. It's important to the boys to see their leaders earning recognition as well, gives them the sense that "we're all in this together" when it comes to rank advancement and special training awards. You do Wood Badge a service when having your beading in such a public way as well. The next course will benefit from your ceremony by possibly enlisting some of the other adults in your unit to attend. Congrats on completing your ticket and earning your Wood Badge.
  11. kb6jra

    World Crest with Wood Badge beads patch!

    When I attended Wood Badge in 03 the entire staff had those patches on, with 3 beads. I thought it was pretty cool honestly. I love the patch, but it is not an "official" patch, so I won't put it on my uniform. I will add them (2 beader, 3 beader) to my patch collection. someday when I grow up I'm going to do something with all those patches...haha.
  12. kb6jra

    still waiting to hear anything

    Holy Cow, $3800...I thought our costs were high at $2800. Sure want to see your tour itinerary. Our council just filled our 4th troop, which makes me happy. We'll start regular monthly meetings starting in August with a couple from now till then. very exciting.
  13. kb6jra

    Need ideas for Eagle Recognition

    Wow, awesome. Thanks for the pictures. That will definitely be a very special way to honor your Eagles. Great work on that.
  14. kb6jra

    Need ideas for Eagle Recognition

    nice. if you host the picture somewhere else you could post the link to it here. I'd love to see it.
  15. kb6jra

    Derby Double Elimination

    We used a 3 lane track, each car per category (tiger, wolf, bear, webelos, siblings and adults) were laid out in order of entry, each car ran three times, once in each lane, results recorded (1 for first, 2 for second and 3 for third). The top three cars with the lowest scores were 1, 2 and 3 respectively. all of those that placed in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in the scout classes raced each other in the same fashion. Then we had an overall 1st second and 3rd. Easy to deal with, no room for argument, everyone could participate and have fun, and we never had any hurt feelings.
  16. I can ask about this if you like, Joe's son, the one you've already contacted, is my ASM for Jamboree. I can see if he's heard anything from the brother.
  17. kb6jra

    Update

    do the Drop Kick Murphy's qualify as a celtic group? lol
  18. kb6jra

    Bullying

    Don, I "inherited" a family of bullies when I took over my troop. I knew about them as I had been an ASM for a couple of years before. I say "family" because both mom and dad considered their two boys to be infallible and "just kids". No matter how many times the boys were caught up in a bad situation, mom and dad just wanted it explained as being "just kids". It came down to me to expel them from the troop the year I took over, and it's wasn't pretty. The troop was much better off without them in it. My predecessor let the problem fester, and it cost the troop. Don't let that happen to you and your boys. Get it handled right away for your own good. Good Luck
  19. Joe's son will be my 1st ASM for the 2010 Jamboree. I've emailed you his contact info. Good luck Matt
  20. kb6jra

    Email communications

    Our troop has a free group site on Yahoo. it's a great and easy way to do mass emailing and communications. We can store troop documents online and access it anywhere. We can share pictures and files, it also has a great calendar and reminder system built in. I do know that mostly the adults use this to communciate on a unit level. For more personal communcations, it's best to use the medium that your audience uses. For instance. Most of my adults are very user friendly with the email system on yahoo and sending and receiving individual emails. They are not active on any social media sites and usually don't text on their phones. Most of my boys however are very active on social media sites (Facebook, Myspace, Youtube) and also do most of thier routine messaging via text and cell phones. If I need to contact them directly (with parents permission) I use this avenue and get a better response. One boy would only react to me if I sent him a tell in a popular online game, then of course he'd proceede to pummel my character into submission to show me who's boss. IMO if you want them to communicate with you, you'd better be prepared to use the medium they log onto every day. My boys know they can reach me on my cell phone, or via text, or via email, or via my Facebook page...and yes, sometimes via online gaming. They think it's cool that I do the same things they like to do.
  21. kb6jra

    Scouts contacting MB counselors

    Raisenemright, When we train new Scoutmasters in our district, we advise them to start off using MB Counselors they know and trust. Sometimes they're a bit aprehensive and want to use only in-unit counselors. We'd rather they use out of unit resources of course. It could just be that your current Scoutmaster is in that mode. Your son giving him the list and pointing out who he'd like to see might help him build that trust for scouters on the other side if that invisible district line. Good way to handle it IMO.
  22. kb6jra

    Who gets to vote in a merger?

    My council merged, or whatever you would like to call it, in the past 3 years. Our old council was split among two other much larger councils. we had hoped to keep the council boundaries together but it didn't work out that way. Here's what we had to do. Each council had to develop a team to negotiate the proposed merger. Each council has to seek approval from it's chartered organizations, via the COR's, before the Council's executive board can move on a merger. The regional BSA leadership would be involved in this process as well. Once all negotiations are finished, and the regional approvals have been had, the executive boards of the councils to be merged votes on the deal yea or nay. Mergers suck, but they are for a good purpose. It's been 3 years and we still have some issues where the "new" guys aren't welcomed by the "old guard". This is getting better every day, but it's sometimes a struggle. Our new council is much stronger now than both before the merger. Fund raising is up (or was until the economy tanked), membership is rising steadily, and trainings have taken on a great new err of importance. Those of us willing to work at making the new council a success are seeing great rewards as it relates to Scouting, but those that are still mired in the past are destined to fade away into irrelevance. The small council will be a thing of the past as people realize the economies of scale to be had by merging. I would think we would have less than 275 councils in the BSA within the next 10 years. I think we're at about 305 now.
  23. kb6jra

    Scoutmaster gifts to new Eagle Scouts

    I give them a letter that lets them know just how proud of them I am, and a crisp $50 on top of it. What young man doesn't like cash. Our troop provides the Eagle kit, embroidered neckerchief, pewter slide, and a campaign hat (from back in the day). If an Eagle already has a Campaign hat, we have a local jewler make a custom Eagle tie bar for them and give them an Eagle tie. It's actually very nice. Our troop also has a perpetual plaque(s) with the name and BOR date of each Eagle the troop has had. Each Eagle also has a wooden Eagle emblem with thier name and EOB date engraved on it hung in our scout house. They're pretty awesome as well. The new Eagle will invariably give some token to the Scoutmaster. Whether it be the mentor pin, a mentor plaque, or some other rememberance, the Scoutmaster usually makes out pretty good. IMO I think most Scoutmasters are very happy to receive a thank you from the boy, either in public or privately.
  24. kb6jra

    My Jamboree Stories

    I was also in the barracks at Longstreet in 05. I cant tell you by compass which one, but suffice to say by the time the Jambo was done I considered it the best accommodations any staffers had by far. Hot water in the showers, washer and drier (although lots of people using them all the time) and electricity for our personal fans...ahh luxury.
  25. kb6jra

    still waiting to hear anything

    Lisa, I think the only thing Councils that start late have to worry about is 1. not filling thier contingents prior to the deadline, thus having to give up troops to other councils with more successful recruiting. 2. not booking a tour company far enough in advance to do your contingents any good. I don't think honestly that availability of qualified adults would be an issue for this one. I do hope they get off the dime soon and at least let you folks know where you stand, it's really a drag being in limbo like that.
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