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About lone77wulf

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  1. Back on page 7, I posted a list of stories about things I experienced and heard about AHG during my time working next to them. I've been contacted off-board and had a discussion with a leader in the organization, who has explained much about their programs and operations. Her messages have reminded me we're all in the game together regardless of team. I'd like to ask the members of this board to ignore the things I said in the post, it was based on misunderstandings. These e-mails back a forth show that their program is self-sufficent, which I implied wasn't true, and that I works towards developing well rounded women. I also realize that some of what I said could be misconstrued, because on forum things I see as minor details seem much bigger. I have asked the forum staff to delete the message, because it doesn't add to the conversation, and in fact detracts from a valid discussion. As I said in that post, I do whole heartedly agree with and defend AHG's right to exist. Anyone who choses to help kids become better adults is doing right in my book.
  2. I was going to stay out of this thread, but since the BSA's signing of the MOU has me about an inch from resigning my positions, I'll share some stories here. Back when I worked in a National Supply shop, I worked at a satellite store in a strip mall. The council had the next unit over, with a secretary there for registrations and the like. The Council executive gave AHG's National Office a free lease to that space, since the council secretary only used a fraction of it. So, I got to witness a lot of things first hand. First, Management from the NDC had to get involved with telling them in no uncertain terms that they could not buy restricted items (mainly merit badges) and were to stop copying program materials to pass off as their own. They were finally told that they could only buy unit numbers in terms of uniform items. From comments here, I see that their practice of copying is still happening, while other groups who attempt a non-BSA Boy Scouting are threatens with legal action. Secondly, there were many times that the BSA secretary would be talking with a volunteer about something related to their daughters, and the AHG staff would jump into the conversation and start pushing AHG. There was an impression pushed by them they were a BSA partner, which at the time they were very much not (this is all pre-2004). There was a big push by AHG to get a congressional charter, because they were convinced that it meant they would get funding. I know they sent a video in, but no clue what happened after that, but I don't think that they progressed past that in the process. When AHG first started, they stated they were "Judeo-Christian". After one of their summer camps, a mother called their office demanding her money back due to her daughter feeling very uncomfortable at the camp due to her Jewish faith. They took out a lot of the "Judeo-Christian" references after that. One of their National Staff members told a volunteer that too many girls were focused on college and career, and not enough on family, and that was something AHG was addressing. AHG has every right to exist, as does the BSA and GSUSA. my issue is the BSA's blurring of the lines between the two organizations and the idea that units should do a lot together. The BSA is running a week of AHG training at PTC this summer, and promotes council's offering their camps and staff for AHG weeks at camp, something that hasn't been offered to other organizations before. With how non-transparent the BSA is with money, I wonder how subsidized these programs are. As a program locally, it may be a good fit for some, but just as with any organization, you've got to look at it as a whole. The BSA seems to be taking a stance of "we dont care what you think" as part of the CSE's idea of making the BSA self-sufficient. That's a turn I don't like, and I think the AHG MOU is part of that concept.
  3. In the Wood Badge Administrative Manual it says: "Staff costs are not to be passed on to the participants. Staff members must pay their own way. The staff fee should include all costs directly associated with the staff (meals, daily charges for insurance, beads, certificates,staff guide, etc.)" Not sure about Powderhorn, but I'm guessing its the same.
  4. Congrats! Got mine earlier in the month at roundtable. As I told the people in attendance, my 3 longer-term projects are still going to continue, the Ticket just kicked them off. Ted I used to be a Beaver...... C-18-10
  5. Unfortunately many have given up the value of earning an award for the ability to say "look at all our Eagles". Back in 95 I went to OA NLS, where a question was asked to Clyde Mayer, the National OA Director about testing people, because many Lodges were under the idea that no one could fail. His response shocked them when he said "of course you can test, just like EARNING Tenderfoot, Arrowmen should EARN Brotherhood" Wish more people thought like that. I'm a trainer at work, and I teach courses that lead to certification from professional organizations or the Federal Government. In obtaining my instructor certification, it was stressed over and over that by my signing off that a student had done X,Y and Z that I became personal liable if they later went on to make a mistake and said "I was never taught that". While I realize that a merit badge isn't on that level, I take the same seriousness to signing a blue card. If I sign that a scout did everything on the list, then he did. May take multiple tries with lots of teaching, but that scout can say with pride he did that requirement, not "oh yeah, at camp we talked about how to make a shelter"
  6. Just to hit on a few points here as a former camp program director. When I went to NCS (1998), it was made very very apparent by our instructor that: A)Requirements were to be followed to the letter (do means do, show means show) B)Program area directors were the real MBCs, even if younger staff taught, they had to sign due to the the need for an adult C)As program directors, we were ultimately responsible for every signed off blue card. If a parent/SM/etc questioned it, we'd be the first asked. Now, I took that seriously, but I still know there were people who got "gimmes" because the counselor didn't do their job right,but I policed as best I could. But, in the same vein, in my 6 years at camp, we kept toying with open versus closed program. What happened was the areas like Handicraft and Nature, which had a large number of badges offered was a situation in which a staff of 3-4 had 6 badges to worry about. So, the boys coming in would get a little instruction, and then set about their projects or papers. This meant that on average, the quality of anything they did was low, because there wasn't any of the mentoring that goes on in a true merit badge environment, even as a class. No matter how hard I fought the open program model, the council wanted to keep it, because it meant that Johnny could come home with 8-10 merit badges, including a bunch of Eagle ones. I told them time and time again that as a camper, I took 1-2 merit badges a year and went to different program areas to sample their programs. Yeah, I got my Eagle at 17, but I had fun at camp, which became a long time summer job. I see more and more mills coming along in scouting since I was a youth, and have declined invitiations to teach at Merit Badge colleges because when I told the coordinators that no scout could complete the badge in 3 classes they said to "make it work". That became a fun chat with the council advacement chair, yet it wasn't changed. And to steal (and butcher a quote); What do you call an Eagle Scout with just 21 merit badges? Eagle Scout
  7. "How many units are you and your solo ADC trying to take care of? " Well, that all depends on how you cut the district up. We have 52 units, with 2 new ones coming on line. But, of those only 9 are "traditional", as in volunteer led. The other 45 are under program managers. So, basically, between the 2 of us, I'm working with 4, he's working with 5. I work with the 5 program managers, but they really don't get Commissioner Service in the traditional sense, because of their status as employees. The ultimate goal is to get them commissioners, but they're behind the other 9 priority-wise. "Now I have to clean my keyboard and display." Hey, its the mantra now , but then again, look at my district's breakdown. Program managers aren't professionals, but they're still paid. Our FD is pushing HARD for those units to be on their own within 2 years, but we'll see.
  8. "And while the other 18 'don't count' -- they count for the unit ... and that is what truly matters!" That's why the concensus is that we the metric will be addressed. While unit visits are nice, helping units is the ultimate goal. "How many units does each UC in your district have?" My district is the odd one out in the council. It's me and an ADC, and that's after 13 months of me attempting to recruit everyone I can think of. I've gotten 3 to volunteer, but for the committee. So my loss, but the scout's gain. I'm one of those Eagledad hints at, really not the best fit for the job, but when I went to the DE to offer services as a UC, they had zero commissioner staff. Council-wise, the other districts are at about a 5:1 ratio. Those districts are all well on the way to Gold standard.
  9. "Then they are not entering the data into UVTS correctly!" They're entering correctly, and getting credit for all 24, but when the gold standard is 6 visits to 50% of your units, the 18 additional don't "count". That's where the discrepancy lies, and where we hope a change is made. Not because the 6/50% is unreachable, but because those visits may fall by the wayside if a UC has a major issue in one unit. We're getting some UCs to retroactively enter the "other" contacts, so I doubt we'll not reach gold, but it seems that metric needs some adjustment. The tracking is fine, we just feel the goal isnt the best measure.
  10. fred8033, What you propose, on the training level, is related to what I'm working towards as a Commissioner. As we bring on trainers or commissioners, our goal is to cross-train them. So, while a Unit Commissioner is visiting for a training "check-up", they can observe the unit as well. And if they're there on a unit visit, they can discuss trainings in the future and roundtables (which most councils don't use as the training opportunity they are), From the thread, it sounds like the quality of the Commissioner service is hugely varied around the country. In our council, there's a fair amount of resentment for the new J2E commissioner requirements, because they focus only on unit visits. So a commissioner who visits his units 6 times a year is doing what J2E wants, but is not focused on the charge of the commissioner service to help units. So the commissioner who steps in for unit lifesaving and helps keep a pack afloat gets credit for only one unit, even though he visited 24 times. This hopefully will be addressed next year when the requirements are released. If National is truly focused on the new "Volunteer led, professionally advised" idea that came out of the National Meeting, there will have to be a heavy duty return to the original focus of the Commissioner Service. Those who want to be commissioners to drink coffee and hang around aren't going to help with this focus, and will have to be guided to the correct path, or to the door.
  11. Try Crestcraft at http://www.crestcraft.com/. They do a lot of thin metal work that I've seen. A fair amount of it looks close to the old skill awards in method.
  12. lone77wulf

    No CC Knot?

    I think there's a two-fold reason for the knot program in the BSA as a whole (and because of this there's conflict over what to wear), and it reaches all the way back to the first knots. The first knots made were: The Honor Medal, Silver Buffalo, Antelope, and Beaver, Eagle Scout, Ses Scout Quartermaster, Scoutmaster's Key, and the Scouter's Training Award. So, from the very beginning, we had a mixutre of "presented" and "earned by requirement" awards. The knot program has always had these 2 faces. So, as the Cub knot program moved away from the Boy Scout knot program, the knots increased from 2 to the current batch of 6, with requirements for each one being different. I think the National Committees responsible for these awards realize there are goals that exist for each of these positions, so a leader operating the optimal program will have an experience like moosetracker had. In our district, we check at the Roundtable in November to see which leaders finished the awards for presentation at the District Dinner. Most units have leaders who earned the awards YEARS prior, because they did everything requried to benefit the boys, not realizing there was an award. I've also seen leaders who get the requirements for the various awards surrounding their positions as the enter them to see what things National has chosen as important. I'm giving each of my new UCs a copy of the requirements for Commissioner's Key, the Arrowhead award, Distinguished Commissioner and the new Excellence in Unit Service Award. Why? Because it shows them what's important in the job in the span of the National program. If they earn them, great. If they don't, still great, as long as they're delivering good service. So, in light of Plowboy's question, the question that comes to my mind is "Why doesn't National feel that the Committee Chair position has unique enough goals to warrant its own award" It could be a device on the Cub Scouter award, or on its own, but its a valid question, and one I'd wonder about as well.
  13. They're offering it at camp each week (this week is staff week). They're allowing anyone to attend the sessions, and they are apparently allowing people to attend over multiple weeks if they can't attend all in one week. From what we've seen flyer wise, they are offering IOLS testing, not sure if they'll try to offer it as a class or not. In terms of winter, our District traditionally did Youth Protection then, because it made it simple to remember you needed it by the end of an odd or even year, but that's out with the new requirement. Now we've got a couple trainers with personal laptops they take to units if there are new leaders without access from home. What shocked me on the reasons for needing that was that our units that meet in cchools are not allowed to use school computers or their wireless. I'm not sure about the calendar, but I know its not correct most times, our day camp isn't on there because we didn't use the doubleknot registration, so they didn't post it. I don't watch the calendar there too closely, but we have a physical calendar that's distrbuted that is more accurate. Unfortunately, it just lists the entire weeks of camp as having "adult training", but no specific days. So yeah, here's our summer of training, but a nebulous or non-existant schedule.
  14. Here's an interesting idea our Council is trying this year. http://www.danbeard.org/training/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=27:summer-of-training&catid=19:basic-training-information Not only is it promoting training to the untrained, but its getting people to come in and make sure their ScoutNet records are up to date, which was a major issue with YPT at recharter. When they check the records for the patch, if there are missing trainings, they're being updated on the spot. Any other councils trying this approach to getting records verified? How well has it worked?
  15. I think with the new scoutstuff.org, we're seeing a lot more old stuff they've got a few of in the warehouse. In the 2004-2005 range, the jac-shirts went from the old jacket sizes to the XS-5X we've got now. he old sizes were made 25% off as the new stock made its way to the stores. So the sizes on sale for 19.99 have been marked down from that point, and these are the bare few left. Years ago, this was known as "Discontinue when gone", so I doubt you'll see the other sizes on sale until they drop the jac-shirt completely. I've seen a few older items like that pop up on the new site when I've been looking for something.
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