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Posts posted by lrsap

  1. ScoutDaddy,


    Like others have stated, a little detail would be very helpful about this one.


    But taking your post at face value, it reads that he wasn't denied a BOR because of the missing patch but a SMC. Not sure how others here feel about that, but it would make a difference to me. It's one thing to not get a job interview because you showed up in jeans and a t-shirt. It's another to have a job where your boss won't talk to you because of your wrinkled khakis.


    But to say again, a little detail could go a long way with this one.


    P.S. Beavah, not arguing balls & strikes with a LL Ump, whether he is right or wrong? Thank you again for another great phrase I plan to borrow in the near future. :)

  2. Better late than never we are getting our SC plans together. We are looking at Camp Shands in Hawthorne, FL. The guys got interested when they saw the pictures of the tree houses, and they are still available the week we want to go.


    Anyone been there recently that can give me a heads up on their program? One thing I noticed is their 1st Year camper program is actually split into three groups, TF, 2nd and 1st that don't take up their whole day. While I'm not a big fan of 1st year programs, that aspect sounded at least different if not intriguing.

  3. Another thing that doesn't help is the fact that event innocent friendships with fellow Scouters of the opposite sex can cause strife. Coming home with stories about the great time I spent over the weekend with Sally, Sue or Mary is sure different than talking about time spent with Bob, Joe or Sam.

  4. I found myself in the stereotypical burn out place a couple of years ago. The people you need to watch are those like me. I had no history in Scouting personally until I went to sign my kid up for Tigers and came home with a New Leader Kit. At the beginning, it is all so much fun "I wish I had done this sooner!"


    Next thing you know, you keep saying yes to everything because "It's just so much fun and a worthwhile thing to do". I started my Scouter career thinking those that stood at RT intros and read the 13 positions they had as role models. These are the same people that told me "Sure, you can be Den Leader and Cubmaster".


    All that is to say I am still working my way back into my wife liking the idea of Scouting again. After stepping way back and letting the fire re-ignite helped me, but the over-volunteering I did may have irreparably affected my lovely wife's attitude towards the program.

  5. My son was just voted in as SPL of the troop. He has quite a few ideas on troop improvement, and I am happy to let him go and lead.


    Now, hold me back as he told me he saw an old picture of some Boy Scouts and really (I mean REALLY) liked the........berets.



  6. The boys have troop elections coming up next week. This will be our first election since becoming a much larger troop, and I would like for it to be a special event.


    Anybody have any good tips, and maybe what not to do, for a fun and productive election night?

  7. Not quite sure how to put it other than this.


    My son and his best friend met in Tiger Cubs.


    We have become best friends with his parents.


    God forbid, if anything happens to either of us as couples, the other couple will assume custody and raise the late couples son as their own.


    We love them and their son, and the best thing Scouting has done for my life is bring these two families together.


    If I am wrong in giving this child a ride, I am quiting Scouting and the six of us will have fun camping. I love it, but I really don't need it that much.

  8. Honestly, to me it sounds like you have the start of a program that keeps boys interest for a couple of years, then they hand for a while and leave. These great 11-13 year olds are going to be the same age as the 15 year olds you seem so willing to discard because they are dropping the ball.


    The job of a Scoutmaster is to oversee a program that appeals to boys from 11-17. Nobody said it would be easy. The problems with your troop's program are not of your making, but by accepting the job they are your responsibility.


    If you had one older boy out of six with an issue, I would say it is his problem. With multiple older boys in the same boat, I say (from of course, the non-seeing perspective of an anonymous internet forum) look at the program first. A few questions you may ask are:


    *These trips they blow off, are they to the same place they have been 5 or 6 years in a row?

    *Are the camp-o-ree programs enjoyable, or do they have a history of being duds?

    *When they do make the trips, is there fun for them in addition to responsibility, or is it three days of lead this, train newbies on that, with no time for them to stretch out on their own?


    I hope I didn't come off too jerky, because that wasn't my intent. You are doing a great service stepping up and taking point of this troop. Just don't make the mistake of missing the subtle signs boys give when they feel the program isn't their cup of tea anymore. Basically, they stop playing the game when it isn't fun anymore.

  9. As a fellow Scouter, thank you for upholding the values of Scouting in the face of, well, an idiot.


    We had a circumstance happen like that a few years ago, except our pack was the one that had permission that turned out to be invalid and the troop that day had the proper permissions. There were a lot of confused faces for a moment and then the SM and I walked off to the side to figure it out like adults. Once we realized they were the ones who should rightfully be there, we said no problem, we would go and find another place. The SM then told us to set up at one of the doors and we can share the business until we got something lined up. We made a few bucks, found an alternate locale and it turns out both units had a great day of sales. Our new place did even better than the place we originally wanted.


    As far as this situation goes, I have been the District Popcorn Chair for five years now. Easy gig for 361 days out of the year. The situation described is exactly where I would be sticking my nose into and telling the SM he needs to get over himself and behave according to the Oath and Law his Scouts recite at every meeting. Afterward I'm sure I will hear about how he knows so and so, has sold millions in popcorn for council and he will never sell again. At that point it's a win-win for me because he is either blowing smoke and sells again next year or I have one less headache to deal with.


    BS-87, I like your possible scenario as far as how the initial conflict took place. Here is a guy who, in a somewhat Scouting environment is the only Scouter there and he is trying to exercise some authority to people who could care less about his title. It's funny when reality strikes some people in the head. What we do is important work in the lives of young men. But just because you are a Good Ol whatever from class such and such means you have about as much authority to tell an adult you don't know what to do as an end table. He's lucky he didn't try that with some Scout parents I've known over the years. He could have wound up with a black eye and a story to tell.


    And the moral of the story about our mix-up? I was a Tiger leader that year. Five years later four of my Webelos ended up crossing over into his troop instead of the troop of our CO. Sow your seeds wisely.

  10. Could it be the 800 lbs gorilla in the room nobody seems to want to talk about much?


    If you could make a list of people who, if honest, would say "I want this Scout to advance to the rank of Eagle".


    The Scout's parents


    (figured I would get these out of they way first since they get the most heat in these forums)

    The Scout

    The Scoutmaster

    The Troop Committee






    With all these people having a desire to see a Scout reach Eagle it's time to introduce the gorilla, or gorillas:


    Personal Management

    Citizenship in the Community

    Citizenship in the Nation

    Citizenship in the World



    The theory behind Eagle required merit badges is a worthy one. The skills and experiences acquired through these merit badges, when done properly, are valuable. But what has happened is the highest rank that is possible to earn in a program based on getting outside is contingent on work done that would be considered classroom oriented. If we were to rename these merit badges as a teenage boy sees them, they might look something like this:



    Social Studies

    Social Studies

    Social Studies

    Language Arts


    I'm not sure I've have yet to meet a Scout that says he joined Scouting because he just can't get enough school.


    Because of all this, the list of well-meaning people who all want a Scout to advance to Eagle can change their thinking from, "How can we offer a program the boys will embrace and enthusiastically strive to reach the highest rank possible" to, "How can we convince these boys to do these merit badges they hate so we can get them to Eagle".


    If you look at the list of people and positions, you can fill in any of them in the blanks of the statement "_______ is putting pressure on _______ to get this boy to Eagle". All this causes the school-type ERMB (Hey, just made a new acronym!) to be cheapened just to get them done. Enter the Merit Badge Academies, Badge-a-palooza, or whatever you want to call them.


    We get 20 kids in a room, talk about George Washington, set pre-reqs that are never checked to see if they are done, and here is your ERMB. Not only does Scouting require school-type merit badges for the highest rank of an outdoor program, these merit badges are treating as an annoyance, leaving them not only boring for the boys but ultimately useless.


    Let me ask you, instead of the list of ERMB I gave, your instead saw silver linings around:








    Would you not think that young man has earned the highest rank of an outdoor program?

  11. As far as the "two finger salute" he gave me, I simply raised my eyebrows almost to the back of my head and walked away. He got the message because the next thing out of his mouth was "Excuse me".


    And I hope I didn't give an impression of the boy being a hellion. He's not necessarily bad, but he is most definitely the center of his own universe.

  12. Thank you all very much for your input. I hope my comments didn't come off as being negative towards home schooling Scouts, but I can definitely realize how they can sound that way. Like I said, I don'y have much experience with a home schooled boy, so I just want to see if there is something specific out there I need to know.


    All I know is in 14 years of parenting and 7+ years of Scouting, I have NEVER seen anything like this kid.

  13. Yes, I'm about to go there.


    I have one young man in my troop that is home schooled. As a qualifier, this is the first home schooled Scout I have ever led, and actually one of the few I've ever met.


    The young man appears to have a lot to learn about social interaction. Perhaps this is why he is in Scouts. But I have never met an 11 year-old child that puts himself on equal terms as adults like this boy does. He was on his first camping trip with the troop a couple of weeks ago. Of course, his dad came along to make sure he would be ok. Some of the highlights of the weekend include:


    * A two-finger "come here" wave at me as he looked at me and said, "Hey, come here a minute".

    * Not being "hungry" during his patrols breakfast on get-away morning, but his dad needing to make "a couple of stops" one their way back home.

    * When they were ready to leave and go home, him looking at his dad and saying, "Dad get in the car. Let's go." And dad obediently following direction.


    There are some other instances, and I have been discussing the issue with my ASMs about the best way to work with the boy. I hate to use such a crude terms, but it almost seems as if we need to "break" him.


    Has anyone ever worked with a home schooled boy that lives in a world revolves around him home as this one seems to? I want to stress this is not an attack on home schooling on my part, just seeking some experienced advice on a specific situation. I know the behavior displayed by this scout can be displayed by any scout, public, private or home schooled. But I can't help but think the home schooling plays a part, or is at least a symptom, with this one.

  14. Thank you all for the replies and knowledge sharing.


    Kudu, I do still have the 16 (almost 17 year old) with us, but his schedule as he has grown older leaves him in a position that he wouldn't be around as much as I would like to effectively serve as PL. He is very dependable and is there every time he says he will. But work and other obligations make him just not there enough.


    Beav, love the comment about young teenage boys not understanding subtle. You are so right about that one.


    I had a great conversation with him last night. He agrees that he should have handled himself better during the meeting and we both seem on the same page. He will also be working together with his friend, the other one disrupting the meeting, in training the newest Scouts in menu planning and duty roster responsibility. The young man has yet to hold a leadership position, so other than the time he served as patrol cook a while ago he has never had to be responsible for the training of others. If I failed to mention, this young man just entered our troop so most of his FC Req came signed off before he got here. I had a nice chat with him when he joined and I don't have any questions about his accumulation of skills.


    While a little disappointed he did not receive his BOR last night, he left the conversation on a positive note. I'm happy to say so did I, and I will be shocked if he does not have his FC sewn on by the beginning of November.


    One more thing. Do I get bonus points for getting Kudu, fred and Beavah to agree on something? :-)

  15. A few more answers to questions:


    The PL was elected, APL appointed by PL.


    The Patrol Name was a group decision. My opinion was the boys involved saw the Webelos den of our C.O.'s new pack give themselves a Den "Patrol" Name and just got a wild hair. There never really was any other discussion to change the name before then.


    Kudu, I agree a 16 y.o. PL would be great, but you work with what you've got.


    After reading, I think I may be coming around to not necessarily holding back advancement provided the SMC is productive, and I have no reason to believe it is not. Fred, you did nail it when you said I shouldn't ambush a kid with harsh discipline during an SMC, and to not wait. The fact that we haven't met since then is a poor excuse on my part. I'm still learning here, and some of the advice I have received here has been invaluable.


    And oh yeah, Seattle? The adults are talking here. Kindly excuse yourself.







  16. To answer some questions:


    The Scouts in question are all 13 years old


    OGE, I don't believe he knows the extent of my disappointment. Part of that problem is I didn't find out about the meeting issues until after the camping trip, so next week will be our first chance to talk about it.


    I can't tell you if he knows he left his book in my car. He hasn't called and I sure won't be calling him to let him know.


    The SPL was engaged in camp prep. Our patrol meetings are his time to get together with the ASPL and work out their camp details, and he wasn't aware of the situation. But we have talked and he will be keeping a better eye on these things. I agree it was his place to say something rather than the ASM, but he wasn't there and she was.


    I definitely appreciate the advice and comments, and would gladly welcome more (Beavah, I would love to hear from you. You too fred. And anyone seen Kudu lately?)


    I really like the "reputation" approach. It's not one I had thought of. I'm still not sure he deserves the chance at a BOR before he has the opportunity to show improvement. But I wouldn't anticipate more than a 4 week delay in what he is expecting.

  17. Next week I get the pleasure of having a SM Conference with a young man that needs a little bit of direction. The matter is not respecting the direction or position of his PL, APL or one of my ASMs.


    Basically during a Patrol Meeting where the PL (then the APL when PL was called out of the room for a few minutes) was trying to discuss finalized menu, duty roster and tent assignments for an upcoming camping trip this young man (along with another I will be speaking with) started their own conversation about trying to change the Patrol Name, something the PL had already said wasn't going to happen and to drop it.


    It got to the point that when the APL was trying to run the meeting he kept getting frustrated and raising his voice to try and get them to stop. This only spurred them on, and they started intentionally ignoring their APL. At this point my ASM told them they needed to cut it out and pay attention to the task at hand and listen to their APL. They finally did.....for about 60 seconds. Then they start up again and the ASM says the same thing again. Same result. Brief quiet followed by more disrespect.


    This was followed up by some more instances of disrespect for PL, such as ignoring where the PL wanted his tent.


    Unfortunately I did not hear about the Patrol Meeting incident until after the trip. I was all ready to chalk up the camping trip as guys together for the first time camping working things out. But now I have different people telling me stories that all end with the same name.


    This Scout is a SM Conference, Scout Spirit req and BOR from 1st Class. He is actually expecting an SM Conference before our meeting this week, but the general "Tell me how you like the troop.....favorite Merit Badge" type questions.


    My plan is this: Hand him his BS Handbook he left in my car after the camping trip and ask him open ended questions such as "So, how did the Patrol Meeting before out camping trip go?" and "What do you think about your PL and APL?" Then move towards "Can you tell me about this whole 'new patrol name' thing?" and "What do you think you should be doing during that time".


    Somewhere after this I am going to get my most direct when addressing the lack of respect shown the ASM. This is where I am going to inform him his BOR is going to have to wait until after the next camping trip at the earliest, but more likely a month or so because I will not be signing his Scout Spirit requirement. My hope is to address only the behavior, and not make this seem like a personal attack to him.


    I will want to end positively, telling him I know he can do this.


    Sorry to drone on so much, but if you would please let me know your thoughts of my plan, and any advice you may have for this type of talk I am about to have with the young man.



  18. Thank you BD. I don't think I could have said it any better myself. When I think about the energy I have spent trying to keep kids in that don't want to bother, energy that should have been spent on boys that truly want to be there and deserve the attention, it gets to me sometimes and I think, "What was I doing?"

  19. Eagledad,


    Not sure if the mention of a dining fly being good safety gear was in response to my post, but I want to say that I agree with you 100%. A good patrol fly is definitely good practice. My only rant (I guess a rant :) ) was when bigbovine said one of the excuses....er, reasons... the old guard adults in his troop gave for the troop method mega-fly was "safety concerns".


    But if I just read into something that really had nothing to do with me, mea culpa.


    And I do have one good use for EZ up tarps. Anyone selling popcorn outside a store front soon?

  20. "SAFETY CONCERNS"???????


    What exactly are these boys cooking with, gasoline and machetes? I feel your pain, because I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be. But to be honest, I think "safety concerns" is just a crutch to keep with the status quo. One thing you may be able to bring up is, if it's the case, there is no difference between boys cooking on their own side-by-side under the big top with no adult telling them what to do and them doing it 100'-300' from one another.


    But if the boys under the big top are under the continual overseeing eye of adults, well there are bigger fish to fry than 1 tarp or 3.


    Good luck, and don't give up the good work.

  21. I think I can see what you believe to be the right answer, and I believe I agree with you 100%. I'll put it this way. If there was a fly that the adults were going to use 95% of the time and the boys 5%, would it be right for the boys to do all the work? Since it's shared benefit, I see no problem with shared work.


    Kind of like an adult throwing trash on the ground and expecting a boy to pick it up because "policing the campsite is their job".

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