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MattR last won the day on July 20

MattR had the most liked content!

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About MattR

  • Rank
    I try to be cheerful, it's all I'm paid

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    Scouts. Why else would I be here.
  • Biography
    Born and raised. Now old.

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  1. MattR

    Time between rank

    We do mostly outdoor meetings in the summer. It's light enough we can do most anything. Those meetings are the most fun. So, from my viewpoint not counting that time is really odd.
  2. MattR

    New girls in Scouting

    Unfortunately, the Polaris system has not been applied to that yet.
  3. I'm not sure I like the words "redundant or dumb" but there are just a lot of words in these policies. No slight to the lawyers among us but when things start getting into that much detail it sounds like there's just no trust between the SM and the scouts. Much of it is already in the GTA so maybe that's what DuctTape means by redundant. Also, so much of it just begs for more complex answers. It says there will be a uniform inspection at least once a month. What if there isn't? So what if there is? If a scout shows up in blue jeans then what? Is this really a policy or is it what the troop usually does? If it's not policy then remove it. The scoutmaster can remove a scout from a POR if he doesn't fulfill his position's requirements and there have been two meetings. And those requirements are specified where? It says the scout should ask for a conference at the start of the meeting for the lower ranks. Does this imply he'll get one? What if it's the week before a COH right after summer camp and 10 scouts ask for a conference? The SM is going to do all of them? What if the meeting is a bike ride to DQ? Is the SM still going to do all of them? Rather, I'd suggest writing a document that just describes how things work. Don't call it policy. Explain how the scout or a parent can get things clarified. As long as the SM and committee treat all the scouts the same and there are no surprises then nobody will complain. My troop has been around for 20 years and we have few policies. We do have a document that describes how things are done. To me it sounds like the real problem here is a lack of trust.
  4. MattR

    Travois competition

    Well, a 2x4 is really 1.5 x 3.5 and split is more like 1.5 x 1.7. Anyway, 2x3's are $2.50 apiece. I'll try those. Run a planer down each corner to get rid of the splinters. But you know what this means? I need to make one and jump up and down on it. That's a video I won't take because, well, it could go viral.
  5. MattR

    Scout trailer and gear

    Welcome, @Pack07. Plain white is just fine. We found someone that made us decals. They're still on their after 15 years.
  6. Sounds like a good scoutmaster minute. Thanks. Oh, and it's one more thing we can blame on the British
  7. MattR

    Travois competition

    This is only one segment of the race. But I'm still glad I'm going old school
  8. MattR


    Welcome to the forum, @TazDevil22. I'm really sorry this happened to you, but we'll try to help. There's a missing word here that could change the meaning a lot. Who did the SPL ask to calm down? I just think there has to be more going on than this. If I saw an ASM shouting at someone and this were the first time it happened I wouldn't ask someone to step down. Are there other reasons why people might want you as an ASM anymore? If you don't know, go ask the SM. There are lots of ways to appeal what happens to a scout but in all honesty what happens to an ASM is really up to the committee and SM. The Chartered Organization really has final say in any situation but usually they just follow the committee. I don't think appeal is the right approach. Fixing what's broken is probably going to work better.
  9. We're going to have a travois segment of a Coulter's run at a camporee. Has anyone done anything like this before? Hints? Here are my plans. If I have time I will go find some small lodge pole pines for poles. If not, I'm going to rip some 2x4s. There will be two long poles, a cross piece for the load at the bottom and a cross piece at the top for pushing against. The patrol lashes this together with provided rope. A scout hops onto the load pole and holds onto the long poles while the rest of the patrol picks up the push pole and pushes the scout the requisite 10 or 20 yards. I'm wondering if the push pole even needs to be lashed in. Rather, lash the other three in the shape of an A and just wedge the push pole through the top of the A.
  10. MattR

    Simply falling behind or is it more complicated?

    Sounds to me the men are making somewhat better decisions. Or just maybe they are drawn to degrees that lead to better pay.
  11. MattR

    Parents not getting it

    I've told the parents the same thing I've told the scouts. I've asked questions as to why they think they didn't get elected. I try and keep personality issues out of it. Are they participating? Are they cheerful, friendly, and helpful? Are there other leadership options they can take on to get more experience? Yes, I am avoiding the obvious question they have of why don't I just make a decree. If they push for that they get the boiler plate we're modeling our community. Then comes the talk about failure is just a bad attitude. I'm just happy when they can make a decision. But for some parents it doesn't matter what I say and I suspect this is the type of person you've run into. Forty minutes on the phone over this? You get extra ice cream for that. You call that a bit of a moan? I'd hate to see a full moan. Anyway, there are no magic words. You did the best you could. There is another situation I've seen and I don't know if this is what you ran into. There have been a couple of times the scout elected had more hat than cattle, so to say, and I just shake my head. I've also talked to the scout about how real leadership is not always the one with the patch. When the duly elected PL fails to show up or do their job, just step in. It will get noticed and the problem will eventually resolve itself.
  12. MattR

    Simply falling behind or is it more complicated?

    You need to go back to school, fred. There are 3 bullet points. To everyone else, all I can say is college was good for me, and I'm not even a girl. I think it's fair to say that college is like a lot of things, you get out of it what you put into it. (Eagle, anyone?) A lot of students have always looked at school as something to put up with. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised to see that they don't get much out of it. Then there are the people that find something they really enjoy learning about and get a lot out of college. Doesn't it always get back to one's attitude? That said, some coaching about job expectations and debt loads, up front, would be a wise thing for students to hear. To be honest, I never could stand scouts whose attitude about Eagle was just put up with it and get the piece of paper. I'm thinking I should change my approach. Some scouts have the right attitude and some don't. Kind of like college.
  13. MattR

    BSA: The POLARIS Method

    Welcome to the forum, @BillG. If you have the backstory you may as well tell all of us, as there is some doubt about whether this will work.
  14. MattR

    Scoutmaster Transition

    Welcome to the forum, @2dGenSM. It sounds like a difficult situation. Sounds like you put your heart into it and there's not much support. To be honest, if you were the longest running SM in some time at 2 1/2 years then I have a hunch something else is missing. I mean, why do SMs get burned out so quickly? Is this why you're moving on to another troop?
  15. MattR

    Fishing, BSA, and PETA

    Just as soon as trout taste bad.