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KL Wisconsin

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Everything posted by KL Wisconsin

  1. Our troop is relatively new and just got large enough to really make a patrol system work in the last year or so. We have been reconfiguring patrols every 6 months when new SPL and ASPL are elected. Up to now, we've had patrols of mixed ages of scouts plus one New Scout patrol. This time the Scoutmaster made up 4 patrols of scouts divided by their longevity in scouting: 1st year scouts, 2nd year, 3rd year and a new Venture Patrol of 4th year and above, in effect the High school-aged scouts. I commented that this seemed like a continuation of Cub Scouting to me with Wolf, Bear, etc, age group divisions. These patrols each have 5 - 6 scouts in them. I think the patrols are too small, in practice the scouts cannot always attend meetings and if the patrol leader and asst. patrol leaders and only one or two others from the patrol attend a meeting, it's all chiefs and no indians. I'd like to hear how other troops handle patrol configurations. Thanks.
  2. KL Wisconsin

    Pros/Cons of Women/Girls in Boy Scouting

    My experience includes being a leader in Cub Scouting, and Girl Scouting, Boy Scouting and now in Venturing as well as several years of being a Coach/Advisor in Odyssey of the Mind (a coed program.) What I am finding in the coed programming of Venturing in the USA is that the female youth are dominating in the executive and leadership roles. This is occuring both within my crew and at our councilwide Venturing and Exploring forum. The male youth are very comfortable with taking direction from the female youth leader and working cooperatively with them. I see a marked contrast to the GOBs that exist in the adult scouter network. The one problem area we have experienced is the aggressiveness of some few youth who want to make everything a dating situation and refuse to give up when rebuffed. We have had to handle sexual harrassment of males by female youth. While this is a challenge, maybe correcting such behavior within the framework of a program like scouting will help these kids development in other life situations. I don't know if this is the kind of information you are looking for, but please contact me off this list if you want further data.
  3. KL Wisconsin

    Name Badge Supply Sources?

    We have them made at a local sign and pin shop. They use a plastic material and engrave the letters. So the letters are white on a black background (like the name signs on someone's office desk) and the Boy Scout emblem is stamped in silver. There was a small, one time charge for making a Boy Scout emblem stamp. Now the name badges cost us around $2 a badge.
  4. KL Wisconsin

    Rationale behind the rules?

    Okay, evmori, I give,what does PADBALLS stand for?
  5. KL Wisconsin

    What do you tell the boys?

    Some excellent comments have been posted here and in the thread regarding the foul mouthed (rotten) Eagle. Let me just add that Boy Scouts has a good video available that discusses sexual abuse and how to handle situations. I think this video or one like it, should be shown to all the scouts annually. I personally viewed it at a scout meeting where all the parents were told in advance that the video would be shown and were very much encouraged to attend the meeting themselves. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the video, but one of the scenes showed a group of young boys who are flattered by the attention of an older youth, then enticed by the older boy into nude wrestling, which the older teen was videotaping all under the guise of a special club. One boy "recruit" leaves and tries to tell his father his concerns, but dad only half listens and starts reminiscing about his own fraternity and the fun he had, etc. The boy finally goes to his mother for help. It showed several plausible situations and some of the steps in resolving them. I hope someone else can tell us the name of that video and if it is viewed in their troop meetings.
  6. KL Wisconsin

    Patrols grouped by age - Pros/Cons

    We have changed to using age specific patrols. New scout patrol, second year scout patrol, third year patrol,and a Venture Patrol made up of all the high school age scouts. IMHO, it seems a lot like a continuation of Cub scouting, just that these patrols aren't named Wolf, Bear, etc. I feel we are losing a lot of the natural mentoring and leadership opportunities that occurs in mixed age patrols. Formerly, we changed patrol makeup every six months, also not an ideal situation. The troop is roughly 35 boys, so given this configuration, if the scout isn't comfortable in a patrol with his peers he has no other options, put up or drop out. The Venture Patrol does nothing different than the other patrols, it is just the oldest boys patrol. I've questioned the change and been told the PLC chose to do it that way because the boys wanted to be with their friends.
  7. KL Wisconsin

    Far East Council CSP

    My son has Potawatomi Council 2001 National Jamboree patches and regular CSP to trade. We are from southeastern Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee. If anyone is interested in trading, please give a email address to reach you off this board and we can exchange addresses. He is not interested in selling patches, just one for one trades.
  8. KL Wisconsin

    Name that age group...

    HIgh school age Girl Scouts are Senior scouts
  9. KL Wisconsin

    The Great Popcorn Debate

    Your area is providing the troops with a higher percentage than we get. Here the fall sale gives troops 30% if they participate in incentive gifts and 32% if they don't take the premiums for sales milestones. Spring sale has no premiums except the over $1000 sales one provided by the popcorn manufacturer and the troop gets 31%. And there is a $5 item available from Trail's End. It is a 6-pack of microwave popcorn. Most councils do not offer it for sale because of the very idea someone stated earlier, people look over the order form and search for the least expensive item to order. But you can talk to your council and ask them to start including the $5 items on your sales forms and/or have them for Show and Sell sales.
  10. KL Wisconsin

    Old Patrols to New Patrols

    How about having your older scout patrol mentor the new scout patrol? Have them start by participating in some way at the Blue and Gold crossover then take some ownership in helping the new scouts learn their skills? Or conversely, make their patrol a Venture Patrol and let them plan a super-activity for just their Venture patrol?
  11. KL Wisconsin

    We've been blessed...God Help us!!

    Weekender, your stations idea sounds good, but I too caution against "the race" idea. And perhaps more variety in the stations. More than one knot station, less memorization to make it seem less like school-type memorizing stuff. Maybe a station on knife handling safety or fire building instead. Or first aid or a compass station or how to set up a tent. Things that they would not have had in Cubs, if they were Cubs, or a combo of think stations and action stations. Or how about a real "trick questions" station...pull a paper out of hat and do what it says...name the scoutmaster?, the SPL?, state what an SPL is?, name the next rank in scouting?, when is our next campout? etc. Remember, they are just 11 yrs. max., keep it fun and mix it up a lot. Think like an 11 year old. He didn't join scouts for homework type memorization, but to get his hands on a tent, a knife, a compass and to make a fire and go do stuff. I just listened to a scoutmaster have a meeting with the new scouts and their parents. He had a great power point presentation with graphics explaining the scout aims, merit badge program, upcoming trips like Philmont and summer camp. It was beautiful, from an adult perspective. But as soon as the boys could ask questions, not a one asked anything about what he'd just presented. The new scouts questions were all about how soon they could go camping, and use a knife and what the troop's tents looked like, etc. Good luck with your new Scouts.
  12. KL Wisconsin

    Fundraising Ideas Needed

    Our troop also works for an entertainment venue, Miller Park home of the Milwaukee Brewers. We get 10% of the revenue generated that night at the booth. It averages $600 a night, and remember when you are talking about hourly rates, these are tax-free dollars. The downside of this fundraiser is that the minimum age is 16, therefore our younger scouts cannot participate. We also sell popcorn. Lots of it. We do Spring Show and Sell to give funds to our new scouts for camp. Our most successful fundraisers, however, are selling spring bedding plants and hanging baskets. We sell the bedding plants using order forms. We buy the plants by the full flat and sell in half flats. We offer any odd half-flats left over to the parents at a discount. We sell the hanging baskets in front of local stores from the back of a truck on the day before Mother's Day. We have been doing this for years and the community looks forward to buying these ready-made Mother's Day presents. We buy them from a local nursery on a consignment basis. We have a concession stand at our community festival, too. The boys made the stand, determined the menu, and determine the quantity of food to purchase, etc. They deal with the health inspectors, suppliers, festival committee, etc. It is a great learning experience for them. Any leftover food is donated to a nearby shelter.
  13. KL Wisconsin

    Troop Policy??

    Our Council has a policy of limiting a merit badge counsellor to a maximum of 7 different merit badges, no more than three of the 7 being Eagle required merit badges. I think this kind of restriction does help insure the scout is working with different counsellors as he moves up the ranks.
  14. KL Wisconsin

    How sould the Patrol Method solve this?

    >It would appear that this no dues resolution does not follow the ideal Scouting program. Is there a way that the patrol method could change this?< Wait a minute. With all due respect, the patrol method did work on your dues question. They decided on sweat equity as their way of funding the program. They didn't just say everybody's parents should just write a check. They determined that they would work together for the common goal of funding their scouting experience. What makes that inferior to doing chores independently and bringing in the money to a meeting? This is supposed to be fun with a purpose. And teamwork and working toward common goal all goes into it. So they voted to do their "dues collection" through group labor. Sounds like the patrol system works again.
  15. KL Wisconsin

    Shirt sizes

    If you are debating between the 14-16 Large Youth shirt and the Extra-Large youth size, then I've got a suggestion for you. The very experienced,wise lady at our scout shop recommends you purchase him an Adult Small instead. She explained that the Adult Small is cut much narrower than the Youth Extra-Large and really fits normal to slim boys better. She only recommends the Extra-Large Youth for Husky (full-figured) fellas. Put the shirts together side to side and you will see what she means, neck, waist shoulders, etc. are smaller on Adult Small than on the Youth Extra Large.
  16. KL Wisconsin

    Scout "trivia"

    - Can girls join Boy Scouts? (Yes, in Venturing crews and Sea Scout Ships) - What Boy Scout leadership position works with non-Boy Scouts? (Den Chief to a Cub Scout den) - Scout Sunday occurs in what month? - How long do you have to be in Scouting to earn your First Class rank? same for other ranks? - What should you be able to do at an extinguished fire to know the fire is totally out? - Name at least one famous Eagle Scout. (You might want to give a few examples as part of your introduction to the badge. I think President Ford was an Eagle, for an example that ties into Citizenship badges) - What knot would you use to attach two ropes that are not the same thickness? - What knot is easy to untie even when the rope is wet? -
  17. KL Wisconsin

    Eagle Scout Ring

    Our local scout shop is a National Scout Shop. They told me it is no longer a stock item available in the catalog, but is available by special order. The one tha looks just like the paperweight is called the "Academy-Style Ring". In 2001 catalog it was avail in berylium for $92.00, or in Sterling Silver for $147, or 10K gold for $749.95 (2001 prices). There is also an "Eagle Scout High School Class Ring" with the Eagle rbbon on one side and school mascot on the other name of school around the center stone, etc., for 137.50 in valadium, $331.25 in 10K Gold, and 331.25 in 10K White Gold (2001 prices). That one has a choice of color stones and the Eagle logo under the stone. Please tell us what luck you hve if you try to special order these rings.
  18. KL Wisconsin

    Webelos Retention

    After AOL/crossover, is your SPL or ASPL contacting the new scouts directly to remind them of the meeting day and time? Often the troop meeting schedule is entirely different from what the Webelos had in the past. We have Webelos who only meet 1-2 times a month, while the troop meets weekly and on a different day of the week. A youth, not the SM, calling the new scout does much to help the new boy feel welcome. Emailing the new scouts also helps, anything that reaches out to them and makes them know you are really interested in his presence. Are you providing the new scout and his parents with a calendar so they know what is coming up and can make plans? Another thing we do is early in the spring we work on a fundraiser to help the new scouts pay for camp. Preferably a group fundraiser, like a car wash or something. In our area, one of the grocery stores helps groups by letting them hold a cookout in front of the store on a Sat. morning (we just purchase all the supplies from them). The boys keep all the money earned in their personal trust account based on hours worked. This kind of fundraising serves two purposes. One, the parents see that their son can attend scout events like camp without a major outlay of expense. And second, working together for a common goal helps to build bonds between the boys and makes the new scouts feel very important and grown-up. We make a point of telling the boys and parents about these events when they come to look at the troop, sort of Tom Sawyer style "If you become a BS, then you get to work at our annual cookout, etc, etc" Invariably one of the older scouts, says something like "oh, no, first he has to put soda into the cooler chest or grill the hamburgers." Since most 10 1/2 year olds never are allowed to do the grilling themselves, this in itself has appeal. Another help for retention is to help the boys earn merit badge soon after joinng. In Webelos they are quickly earning pins. At that age, they still need some of that quick gratification/reward. In this area there is an Electricity merit badge clinic sponsored by the electric company each spring. We try hard to make sure interested boys attend it. There is also a Coin Collecting MB clinc in conjunction with a local coin collectors convention. The boys are treated like royalty by the conventioneers when they walk around there with their new uniforms, they learn a lot about coin collecting and get that first MB for their sash.
  19. KL Wisconsin

    Webelos Retention

    You've received some excellent suggestions here already. I believe one of the best win/win methods to developing contacts and dialog with Webelos leaders and Packs is through having your scouts become Den Chiefs. While a Webelos leader may not respond to a phone call about what is going to happen to his/her boys 1-2 years down the line, few don't respond to the offer of an extra trained helper in the form of a Boy Scout Den Chief to come to their den meetings and be an extra set of hands. Our troop has seen great growth in interest from Packs since we have many Den Chiefs working with dens at all levels of Cub Scouts. The Den Chiefs get a chance to show off their skills and accomplishments and the Cubs are wow'd. The DC's help out at the Pack meetings, too, esp. when there are special events like pinewood derby. They are very visible at the pack meetings for parents to see what a Boy Scout is like. Our boys usually wear their sash for den and pack meetings, a great conversation starter for the Cubs and parents. We also send extra scouts to help out at the pinewood derby and similar events. We also try to get the opportunity to have someone from our troop assigned as a unit commissioner to a pack. Again, we're there helping where the pack needs the help. Working on these relationships really helps communication with the packs and helps the pack people to see what scouting offers their sons.
  20. KL Wisconsin

    Hiking Staff

    Check out ebay. Put either "hiking staff", or "hiking stick" or "walking stick" or "walking staff" in the search box. Right now there is an owl hiking stick #1062707264 for auction. Otherwise, if you see some workmanship on a carved stick with a different carving on the top, you can send a message to the seller asking if he/she carves owls too and commission a staff for yourself. Good luck, hope this helps.
  21. KL Wisconsin

    Badge of Office

    Need some suggestions here. Our troop changes SPL and all PL position every 6 months. But many of the scouts never remove the badge of office from their shirts after they are no longer SPL or ASPL, etc. I personally think it is disrespectful to the scout who is crrently holding that leadership position, but I've heard excuses ranging from, "Oh, I keep it on my shirt 'cause I'll probably be SPL again next term" to "we used some fabric glue behind the stitching and it will show a big glue mark if I take it off" to "I might rip the shirt trying to take off the stitches." I would really like to see these rank badges replaced with some cords similiar to the Den Chief cords, so that when the term is ended, the cords are passed to the new leader (ala Miss America's crown). I think cords would be much more visible and in our troop, eliminate this problem. In the meantime, any suggestions? How is this handled in your troops?
  22. KL Wisconsin

    Uniform Inspections

    Chippewa, Why not try introducinguniform inspections in a very low key way. Get the inspection sheets from council and give them out to the boys. Have them pair off and inspect each other. Then let them take the official sheets home and say "we'll do another review of the uniforms in two weeks. I'm sure all of you can have any mistakes corrected by then." Or quietly take a boy aside who has his patch on the wrong side or something, ask him if he knows it's missewn and can he work on getting it fixed. We had one boy who had his patches all reversed. When asked about it, he was apologetic but said his mom said she'd put them on once and wasn't about to do it again. Period.
  23. KL Wisconsin

    Great Troop Traditions

    Similar to WEEKENDER's plaque, I've seen a placque/progress chart that took up less wall space where space was at a premium in the meeting area but was very impressive. The top of it was a Scout emblem. Attached below using ropes with decoratve knots was a small board with the troop number on it. Below it was a roughly two and one/half foot long board with "Road To Eagle" on it. Hanging from the Road to Eagle board were small plaques with each of the rank emblems on them. Below the appropriate rank was each boy's name on his individual 1 inch by five inch (roughly) nameplate. Each nameplate had two holes in the top and two on bottom. The names were attached in a chain using s-type rings thru the holes. When I looked closer, I realized the nameplates were actually made at a sign shop and were just larger versions of a nametag like you'd use on a uniform shirt Or sometimes on the doorways of an office or cubicle. The plastic was woodgrain and the letters were black. They told me the sign maker only charged about $2.00 per nameplate, engraved. There, too, moving your nameplate up thru the ranks was part of the Court of Honor ceremony. I brought a sketch of it back to our troop and we're planning to start the same wall of honor.
  24. KL Wisconsin

    BSA finance rules????

    By compensated, do you mean the troop pays the adults' train fare, air fare or camp fees, or do you mean compensation in the form of a "salary" or per diem or something? I could see the troop possibly covering cost of airfare or camp fees, but that would be it. As others have pointed out, the adults are volunteers. If compensated for their time, these wages would be subject to income tax, social security taxes, etc. The IRS has very strong feelings on that subject.
  25. KL Wisconsin

    Women in Scouts Policy?

    sctmom Thanks for being there for your scouts. In addition to your local laws, The Guide to Safe Scouting also requires that Scouts wear bike helmets at all times. And it waives the ban on scouts riding on the back of a truck only for parade routes and hayrides, and then only if they have something to hang on to and they are not allowed to have their legs hanging off the end. In other words, the scouts could board the back of the truck at the start of the parade route, but are not to be transported to or from their meeting place to the parade kickoff area in the back of the truck. Tell any nay say'rs who object to bike helmts that these kids have good brains and you want to keep them that way. Let the rest be implied....