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Life-Scout-Ldr

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Everything posted by Life-Scout-Ldr

  1. Life-Scout-Ldr

    Need a mascot?

    Okay, maybe it is just me, but the obvious animal mascot choice for the BSA would be an American Bald Eagle. That is highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts and in Venturing it still fits with the Silver Eagle award. Perhaps have him with an arrow of light at all times. I think the mascot should be the ideal of striving for the highest achievements, and if he is used then he should also embody what it means to have made those achievemnets. If we want to include the Quartermaster award for sea scouting then an anchor needs to be somewhere, maybe as a necklace or something like that. Cub scouts have mascots for each level until they reach webelos. Webelos however can choose a patrol mascot like boy scouts, and of course boy scouts have patrol mascots. OA lodges often have mascots. Several troops I have been a part of have a troop mascot. I don't know about venturing, but they could develop a mascot as well. Essentially I think a mascot should embody the ideas of what a group is about. What do you all think about the BSA mascot? We could call him Eddie.
  2. Life-Scout-Ldr

    half uniforming

    @bigbovine. I understand your delima here. As leasders of Scouting we want to see our youth represent their scouting. The truth is most kids outside of scouting think scouts are dorks, and nerds, and whatever other cruel names they can come up with. Our youth may here that, or even see the uniforms we have as not being very cool. So how do we make the uniform cool? The only thing units really have control over the look of is the Activity shirt. I spent a year trying to convince our troop leaders that they needed a new look and a cooler shirt. The boys had a hand in the design, and I found the best place to get them (mostly because it wouldn't have gotten done otherwise). The design looks really awesome and the boys like it. You can get an idea for some designs at Classb.com which is where I started. A new design was developed and it was taken to a local screenprinter. The design had no copyrighted BSA logos on it so the screenprinter didn't need to request, and pay for licensing through BSA to make the shirts. We have done the same thing with our Pack Activity shirts as well. The point is we need to get our youth on board and in the decision making process. Most troops I have been a part of we wore full or waist up uniform to most meetings, and one meeting a month we wore the activity shirt. The current troop I am in is the opposite. We only wear the waist up uniform once a month, at court of honors, and while traveling to events and outings. Otherwise it is activity shirts. The boys made this decision with the adults consent. The boys have t-shirt with a full front design on it. The adults have polo activity shirts with right breast logos vs whole front logos like the boys, but it is cool. The troop boys have 2 different color shirts, and the adults have one color. the design is the same except for slight color variations for visibility on the shirts. As for the pack we all have the pack activity T-shirt adult and youth, but we did something else cool we got hoodies with the design on them (one person decided she didn't want a hood so she has a sweatshirt, but that is okay). The hoodies are awesome and people wear them everywhere (mostly in the colder months of course). Those are all one color (navy blue) with one color design (yellow, or cub scout gold). Be creative, put some interest back into the unit, and uniforms can be fun too. If we can get them to wear the activity ones then we can get them to wear the formal ones for more formal occasions. When it comes down to it the boys are happy the adults are happy and we have representation of scouting the boys can be proud of. I have even heard talk that some of the boys wear these new shirts to school, which was unheard of before, as they would have been too afraid of the ridicule. Pick your battles. The program is important, uniforming is important, but make decisions to keep people interested in coming back instead of causing problems that make people uncomfrotable to be in your unit, or to be a part of souting at all. Respectfully, Life-Scout-Ldr(This message has been edited by Life-Scout-Ldr)(This message has been edited by Life-Scout-Ldr)
  3. Life-Scout-Ldr

    half uniforming

    Well when somone says it shouldn't matter how you slice it that is an erroneous idea. It very much matters. As I pointed out a scout is recognized by the shirt at the very least. I think it should be obivous that half unifomring should be waist up period. I don't understand the push for the pants. Until recently the pants were actually optional. Currently, from what I have heard, the pants are now mandatory, but the scarf is optional. That doesn't even make sense. The only policies I have found on the uniform are outdated (yes even on the scouting.org link which was a supplied in the thread somewhere). I would really like to see the newest policies in full. Most everything I find is specific about the Cub Scout Uniform. Even so it would't change my mind about how I feel about half uniforming. I believe this push to make pants mandatory is so that BSA can sell the overstock of pants they are accumulating because more and more units are going waist-up. Do I think it should be an indicator for council that something is wrong? Sure, but I don't think they should be psuhing it without looking at thescanrio more in depth. Two ideas come to mind when I think about this scenario. One the pants aren't up with today's youth, so change the pants to suit that better (this they have done) The second thought, especially if the trend continues, is maybe the prices are too high. Bring those prices down a lot more and people are more likely to buy. If the trend still continues after doing the second thought above then maybe National isn't going to win on this one. Besides scouts, scouters, and parents are the customers here. It might be smart to find out why they don't buy the pants, or why unit leaders don't advocate wearing them. Could they make a ruling that says the following commercially bought pants are okay to buy? I can often find a bargain at a store, but the apparel and program materials for scouting are not cheap. It is a rare occasion that I leave the Scout shop paying less than $100 for stuff, and I only pciked up 3 to 5 items. The customers need to be understood and the business model for the program tailored to get the customers to want to buy pants if that is such an important goal of the BSA. My final thoughts here; A Scout is Thrifty (If you don't like the thriftiness take it out of the 12 point law.) Respectfully, Life-Scout-Ldr(This message has been edited by Life-Scout-Ldr)
  4. Life-Scout-Ldr

    half uniforming

    I have read several of these posts and both sides have valid arguments. Personally I think that the neckerchief is more important for the scouts to wear than the pants. By wearing a uniform from the waist up they are not saying they are only half A**ed scouts. Kids grow, and they are hard on clothes. The uniform shirt is easier to deal with as it can come off when activites are being done. If a scout is thrifty then why does it cost so much to uniform a kid "properly"? Are non scout green pants a better option? Is this against rules? Some people just don't have the money, and some units don't have the money or resources to outfit evey scout with pants. If a scout wears the pants with any other shirt you wouldn't think about them being scouts, but if a scout wears the shirt with any other pants they are still very recognizeable as a scout. Even though I wear a full uniform (an adult who is less likely to outgrow, or be too rough on the clothes) I will not expect my youth to wear anything but from the waist up. That means a belt which also means they need belt loops so they can wear it. I would never in a million years make any kid wear those horrible things they call scout socks either. They are impractical at the least since they are so against what it means to be thrifty as a scout. They are expensive, and who wants to wear them on an activity at that price. When I was a youth and worked summer camp staff I had what we called sock dickies. We only had so many pair of the socks and they get worn quickly. We cut off the soles and put them over socks that were affordable and no one could tell the difference. If uniforming is supposed to keep judgments out then the prices need to come down. Right now a full uniform says to me that either our whole unit has money, or that kid's parents do. In the end when it comes down to it my scouts are not any less scouts becuase they don't wear scout pants or socks. They are less scout like because the parents won't let the troop run as a boy led troop, and the leaders aren't doing anything about it except for me. I am an ASM, but I can't do anything for them while I am deployed to some foreign country. I also came up in a waist up troop as a scout in the 90's. I saw our troop do many great things as a troop, and our pattrols were very often very competitive in scout knowledge games at Camp-O-Rees. Our uniforms didn't win us those competitions, but our scout knowledge did. We had activity shirts that matched, as well as good uniform shirts. As far as who should do their best to wear the uniform in whole I would say adult leaders. Leaders are looked up to in order to provide guidance and knowledge. Being a role model is part of that uniform. I can't count how many times people have come up to me to ask a questions either about scouts, or what was going on at an event becuase I was in uniform, so it makes a leader stand out, and it is my duty to be that role. When I can I refer them to the scout that can answer that question though. I may be just rambling about it, but uniforms are important, but they are just not so important that scouting should be affected by not having scout pants. Nor should we be so hung about a uniform when it comes to providing program to the scouts. Respectfully, Life-Scout-Ldr(This message has been edited by Life-Scout-Ldr)
  5. Life-Scout-Ldr

    E Chit

    Troop 479 apparently has come up with this idea. I use boyscouttrail.com a lot for resources. I saw it a couple of years ago. This link will provide you with what they came up with. http://www.boyscouttrail.com/docs/techchiptraining.pdf
  6. The reason why so many people look to BSA to fix or address issues like this one is because in the broad scope of things the BSA has a wonderful program that many want to be a part of. They all like it EXCEPT (put your reason here). We look to the BSA to create the programs the way we want them because in the very gist of what they offer they have a really good thing and they are established with a program, and uniforms, and symbols, etc. no one wants to re-invent the wheel. And honestly from many of the efforts I have seen in re-inventing the wheel the programs are left lacking.
  7. I believe that the BSA can and should support girls more. Below is why I think that as well as some ideas on how. Why?: Well in my opinion the BSA has the best program availbale for youth in our country, and I fully support co-ed programs such as Venturing and would like to see the female demographic benefit more from the BSA program. Even since the beginning of Boy Scouts girls have wanted to be a part of it. And why not? They want the adventure and experiences their brothers recieved as much as anyone. When I was a scout I knew several girls that wanted to do the things I was doing. And as an Adult leader I see it even more today. Most of the girls I have met that are, or were, in girl scouts say they would rather do what we are doing, and many of them seem to think that GSUSA is really only about selling cookies anymore anyway with musch pressure for girls and units to sell more and more. Perhaps parts of GSUSA forgot that the program was about the girls and not the cookies. (We aren't perfect either, we need to remember that the BSA is about the youth not the adults.) What the issue is.: I can see how Cub Scouting could easily integrate girls since it doesn't specify gender in the name. The problem comes at that critical point in transition from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting. There could be some added organization for girls, but it would include some adjustments and a new program. How? *Cub Scoutscould be made co-ed from Kindergarten through 3rd grade [Lions (this is already pilot program in existence), Tigers, Wolves, Bears] with little adjustment to the program (mostly in the way of books adding depictions of girls the way they now incorporate minorities in color. Change the faces a little add a pony tail as an idea). This program is quite family focused anyway, so why not incorporate the family by bringing in young girls to the program? *Webelosthis would still be a boys only programthe transition to Boy Scouts Webelos Equivalent (name suggestions welcome)this would be a girls' only programthe transition to Boy Scout Equivalent program (with girl specific needs) *Boy Scoutsthis would still be a boys only program (Tenderfoot through 1st class) Girl Equivalent (Lady Scouts BSA?)this would be a girls only program (either rename the ranks or keep them the same as Boy Scouts, just with some girl specific ideas that still incorporates the outing in Scouting) (I like keeping the rank names the same or quite similar for ease and less expense of chagning too many things)Also this could involve Brother and Sister Troops doing some activities together. *The older groups I believe could have a couple choices here. 1. Have top 3 ranks (Star, Life, Eagle) the same and be a co-ed unit that supports both the Boy and Girl units respectively as Leaders and Instructors while working together for more diverse experiences in scouting. 2. Have separate top 3 ranks [females could earn the Eagless (female eagle) rank as males could still keep the Eagle award while both having as much weight and connotation as the Eagle award] (I like the idea of keeping the ranks the same, but I do feel like the Eagless would be a cool definitive for girls) 3. Join venturing that can still allow them to work toward highest rank awards in their respective sides (unless they are the same) as well as Venturing awards. Personally I like 2 and 3 as this would be in line with the options for Boys at this time where older scouts can be part of a Troop and/or a Venturing Crew. In the end I think that it makes sense to have the younger scouts together, then diverge them for a couple of years until they are old enough to be of Venturing age, and then bring them back together at that time to learn together once again. Please let me know what you think about these ideas, and any naming ideas for the new groups I have proposed. I decided to put this in this forum to see if the there is interest in these ideas or if I should go to CampFireUSA to fill the niches in my community that BSA curerntly does not. Respectfully, Life-Scout-Ldr (This message has been edited by Life-Scout-Ldr)
  8. Life-Scout-Ldr

    FOS

    I am sure it has been addressed, but I think that the Freinds of Scouting should solicit more to those Friends, and not the Scouters/volunteers that are already pouring their time, sweat, emotions, passion, and hard earned money from their own wallets in order to bring the program to the boys (and girls in Venturing). The program is about the youth, and that is all we are trying to do as people that have regular jobs or take care of kids all day, and then spend our time as volunteers for scout units. We do it because it is important to us. Our unit families already pay a lot for uniforms, and dues and program fees. These are not the people to ask for money. They are already giving themselves and their money to Scouting. If they still wish to donate then I think that is awesome, but don't expect it. As I stated the focus should be on those "Friends" of Scouting. The organizations in the district/council areas. Campaigns and breakfasts are great if they are effective. Get the word out and get the donations from corporations and folks who have charity money to give. My charity donation is often in time, leadership, and money to the units I am a part of. One thing I always think about when I see the FOS and how much they want, beg, and plead for us to give, and how much uniforms cost as well as other program materials; A Scout is Thrifty. If that is the case then why are we spending so much? I didn't read a Scout is thrifty except when it comes to providing and paying for program for the youth. None of my families want to go to Summer Camps, or resident day camps. the reason is always the cost. I understand that there are costs involved, but I can offer merit badges at a 4 day event for a unit or 2 for a fraction of the cost that camp has. I know what the Summer camp experience is like and I am greatful that my parents paid for me to go. I had a blast, I learned alot, and I even worked for the Summer camp I went to as a youth. I think they are great, but too much money for low middle class families keeps us from going, and out fund raisers do pay for many things for us, but not the FOS. Even if the price was dropped by 50% they won't pay for it. I think the prices are reasonable for Boy Scout summer camp considering the duration, and amennities that are offered, but perhaps summer camps can make more money through the year by offering more programs, or opting to allow public campers in during non summer camp seasons. I don't know for sure if that is feasable or not. As for Cub resident camps, what cost must there be other than a place to do it? Can we solicit for more volunteers? can we solicit for more donations from companies? why does it have to cost so much? make them provide their own lunch, or make the lunches simple instead of eleaborate. Perhaps have certain events have a specific cost if the parents want their son to participate in them. Those are my ideas to help, but the FOS doesn't seem like a smart organization if they are hitting up scouting families for more than $5 or $10 dollars in some areas. and even then I still consider it rude to try and guilt, or persuade more of them at all. I say yes give your presentation if you wish, but perhaps tailor it to getting extended family to donate, grandparents, friends, and see if an online way to donate is better for that forum. I would be more willing to ask friends and family of scouters to donate than the scouters themselves. Please let me know what you think about these ideas. Respectfully, Life-Scout-Ldr
  9. I want to thank you Terry. It is all to often we get caught up in the little annoying things we see in scouting today as volunteers trying to bring the values of Scouting to today's youth. Sometimes we need a story just like this one to bring us back to center and remember why we're doing this, and where it came from. I never new this legend of a man, but the stories must be shared at campfires across Scouting the world over. I will invoke the name of Gray Bar Bill in honor of such a great man who gave so much to scouting. And when people ask me who he was I hope I can answer with great confidence on any knowledge I may learn of him. And still know that he had much more to give. Thank you Terry. I know Mr. Hillcourt must have put great expectations on you, and I hope that you can fill his role when needed. (IMHO I think you are needed now to bring scouts back to its core principles. To help us remember what scouting is really about.)
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