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About Lauwit

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  1. The Troop just had 6 boys cross over and we now have 10 to 12 Scouts in the troop. Assuming all 6 new Scouts are active we should have 9-10 boys at meetings. I have two questions for y'all. I'm planning on recommending the boys form 2 patrols of 4 or 5 with a SPL and ASPL and a Troop Guide. I'm thinking of keeping the new scouts together in one patrol and the older boys in their own patrol. Does this sound like a good plan or am I going down the wrong path? Thanks for the advice. Lauwit
  2. I agree that a troop of 6 is not in good shape at all. I will say that 4 of the 6 boys are very excited about scouts. 2 are pulled in many different directions by family and other activities. Being in a very small rural community with the nearest troop about 30 miles away I'm not worried about the boys leaving for bigger troops. We do have a good feeder pack that should add between 5 and 8 boys this coming spring. There wasn't a Weblos 2 den to cross over this year however. 6 boys makes keeping meetings boy run a challenge. The troop has made huge strides towards being boy led. It was a old kid den meeting when I joined the troop. I'm well aware that my situation is less than ideal... I also know that no troop is much less than ideal for the 4 to 6 scouts who are in the troop/patrol. I'm trying to do what I can, with what I have available.
  3. I'm a newly minted SM for a troop that has historically met on the first and third Sunday of the month. They take most of June and July off of meeting completely. In the past if they happen to camp on a weekend that a meeting is scheduled the meeting gets cancelled. The troop has about 4-6 active scouts. My question is can you actually have a successful program meeting so little? The troop does camp 10 months of the year. But, it takes about 2 years for a scout to reach 1st Class. What do you all think? What should I do? Should I do anything to change this meeting schedule?
  4. Lauwit

    switchbacks on sale 2 for 1

    I took advantage of the 2 for 1 deal from Scout Stuff. After getting my Visa bill I was billed full price! After a call with a very pleasant representative from Supply they credited me back the difference. She did say that early on their billing software wasn't recognizing the promotion. So if you ordered the Switchbacks from BSA make sure you look at your credit card bill. Lauwit.
  5. Heres my situation Ive been an ASM for a small troop (6 boys 1 Life, 5 boys all Second Class or lower ranks) for less than a year. I travel a lot for work so Ive missed several meetings and activities over the last 5 months. I volunteered with the troop because the previous SM said they werent able to go camping much because they didnt have enough adults. The SM in the troop has been in the position for about 3 months. As far as I know they havent been trained. I also havent been trained but, Im planning on attending the next available training in May. The troop is adult led. They meet every other week. There are no functioning patrols (with only 6 boys this would be pretty hard I think), The campouts are limited to basically summer camp and any council organized events (Klondike, Camp-o-ree, etc.) The troop committee decides the program and activities. No meeting plans are used. The boys lead only during the opening and closing ceremonies. Merit badges are taught in the meetings. Basically from what I know and what Ive read the troop really isnt functioning as a troop but more like a Den. The question I have for you all What is the best way for me to help move the troop towards a stronger and better program? I watch the boys as the meetings go on and I can see their eyes glaze over. I was talking with the Life Scout the other day and he said he was going to get out of scouts as soon as he earned his eagle. Not because he wants to quit but because he doesnt like where the troop is or where he sees it heading and every attempt hes made to help change it has fallen on deaf ears. Since he joined the troop it has gone from about 21 Scouts to six and has had 4 different SMs. I don't see the trend stopping any time soon if something doesn't change. Thanks for your advise. Lauwit
  6. Lauwit

    The Uniform Method...

    I've been an avid reader of this forum for quite a while now. I've learned a lot and I appreciate the responses I recieved for the questions I've posted. One thing that I've noticed since I've started reading is that some topics generate a lot more responses than others. Topics on Uniforms in particuar are some of the best to fire up the keyboards. It got me thinking... It seems to me that we sometimes put much more emphasis on the uniform method than we maybe should. I agree that uniforms are important and I'm proud to wear my full and complete uniform. It occured to me that of all of the 8 Methods the Uniform Method is probably the lowest on the totem pole but, generates the most debate... Heck this forum picked apart uniforms in an entire issue of "Scouting" magazine! and talked about the new switchbacks for months on end! Could it be that the Uniform Method is the easiest to judge our success? I certainly don't believe that a troop that is in full uniform is automatically better at using the other methods. They look sharp and are squared away. But, are they doing a better job of delivering the Aims of the Scouting program than the troop next door that is only wearing BSA Shirts? Are they making better campers, leaders, men because they wear the complete uniform? Are we putting so much emphasis on the uniform because it is so important or because others can observe how our units look at the next camporee? If it's the former great... if it's the latter couldn't our energies be better spent worrying more about how to use the other 7 methods better and less on what other people think because of how we look? Just my thought, Lauwit
  7. Lauwit

    HIGH cost of official BSA uniform

    I personally am just glad that the boys in my troop are scouts, even if they only wear the shirt. They are still learning and having fun even if they don't wear scout pants or shorts. I try to set the example by wearing a complete uniform 99% of the time. Having everyone wearing a full and complete uniform is a great goal. If my troop never meets that particular goal, the boys will still be having a great time and learning a bunch in their BSA shirts and jeans. I think the best hope for getting my troop and probably many others closer to a complete uniform is the Switchback pants. They're less expensive than shorts & pants and IMO they fit better too. But, if I were to rank all of the methods in order of importance/lasting value, I'd put the Uniform Method towards the bottom of the list. In fact the Uniform is listed as "Method 8" in my Scoutmaster's Handbook. I wonder if the authors agree that the uniform is important, just not as important as the other 7 methods? Lauwit
  8. Lauwit

    so how do you make a living then?

    I've been a wildlife biologist in the private sector for the last 10 years. Prior to that I was a Park Ranger at an Army Corps of Engineers resivoir. All of the MB's I earned at the Nature Area lead me into this job. Lauwit
  9. Lauwit

    Silver or Red?

    Thank you.
  10. Lauwit

    Silver or Red?

    I'm in the process of setting up a shirt for my OA Chapter Adviser position. Do I need to wear the Red or Silver shoulder loops? Thanks, Lauwit
  11. Lauwit

    Thinking out of the box

    I'll admit that I probably don't have the level of experience that many of you have. But here's the noodle I'll throw on the wall to see if it sticks. I see Councils providing: Training, Record Keeping, Permits, Scout Shops, OA Lodges, Pro Staff, and Camps and events. Some of that stuff, I know, is done on the District Level (Camporees etc.). I think instead of merging councils, allowing Units to choose councils, making smaller Councils, etc. BSA should consolidate some of the services currently being replicated by Councils (Record Keeping, Permits, some Pro Staff, and maybe Scout Shops)to a National or Regional level. I would think this would reduce the number of "support" staff needed by every council and free up funds to make better camps, events, unit services, etc. The remaining staff could spend more time developing better Unit support and a better program. The staff could concentrate on raising money for program enhancements and less on raising money for the payroll. I also think people are more apt to support BSA if they know their contributions are going to go directly to a better program. I think if Councils could help Units to deliver a better program (our product) by providing better Camps, events, training opportunities, etc. we'd have more Scouts (our customers). I'm not a huge fan of cutting jobs. But, I'm certain that BSA Councils are paying a bunch of people across the country to perform tasks that a computer and a smaller support staff could accomplish. There's my noodle. Do you think it'll stick? Lauwit
  12. Lauwit

    Chapter officer position descriptions

    I too have been recently appointed Chapter Adviser. I''m looking for some advice on how to take a non-existant chapter (No officers, meetings, etc.) and help turn it into something the Scouts and the Lodge can be proud to be a part of. Any advice from those with more experience would be great. Lauwit.
  13. Lauwit

    Troop vs. OA

    These Scouts do have an obligation to their troop over the OA and if the troop was short handed for their SFF because the Scouts went to the OA event they probably should have helped the troop instead. That being said... I think one of the best things about the OA is the involvement of the older, High School aged, Scouts. Sometimes those older Scouts will pick the OA over Troop activities. But, I would guess, OA vs. Troop conflicts are probably pretty rare. So you miss a few older Scouts for a weekend activity. It gives the younger Scouts an opportunity to step up and take the lead. In my experience as a youth, many of the High School aged Scouts in my troop would not have been nearly so active in the Troop had it not been for OA. I wouldn't come down on these guys very hard. It could be that at this point in their Scouting career they may place their involvement in OA a bit higher than some Troop activities. I'd encourage their OA activity and support it. OA may help keep more experienced Scouts involved and still active in the Troop. Just my thought, Lauwit
  14. Lauwit

    What patches to wear?

    I was very active in Scouts as a youth and for a while during and after college. I've recently volunteered with the local troop as an ASM. On my uniform, that amazingly enough I still fit into several years later, I have my Eagle and AoL knots, OA flap (I've paid my lodge dues), and '93 Jamboree patch (I attended as an ASM). My thought is that by wearing the Jamboree patch it may inspire the boys to someday go to a Jamboree. But, at the same time I don't want to be seen as braggin'. I think I'm still allowed to wear the Jambo' patch. Am I? Do you think I should, or should not, continue to wear it?
  15. Lauwit

    Must be present to be elected?

    John in KC, Wow! I'm not saying what you suggested is wrong or bad or anything like that... but Wow! The old saying "if you're going to be a bear... be a Grizzly" came to mind for some reason. Kenk, Good luck getting this figured out. When I was on an OA election team as a youth, I don't remember requiring a scout's attendance to be elected. If the SM said they were eligible they were on the ballot. Lauwit