Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


MattR last won the day on November 27

MattR had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

1222 Excellent

1 Follower

About MattR

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

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Interests
    Scouts. Why else would I be here.
  • Biography
    Born and raised. Now old.

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Those aren't brackets, they're parentheses. Those are brackets. My favorite is pigs in a blanket. We both have them but yours taste better and are made with proper pig, as opposed to various animal parts and grain.
  2. Anyone notice his full time job is a youth minister? He may be the COR. So I guess his scouting job is safe. Not sure about the other one.
  3. It sure is a good thing we're a forum where we welcome scouter's from all around the world. That way, when we don't understand how something works in a foreign culture we can ask them rather then do a Google search for useless info that confirms our ideas. @mrkstvns, maybe posting topics that just look like you're trying to get a rise out of people isn't very productive.
  4. Sounds like a great fundraiser for the scout shop! <place sarcasm emoji here>
  5. Is that your kitchen or your camping storage? Quite the collection.
  6. I have a lodge skillet and s glass top and have had no issues with scratches. There's a difference between the old and new cast iron pans in that the casting process of old was fairly crude and required sanding. The newer pans aren't sanded but are still a bit rough. The result is the old pans are much smoother. So, I borrowed an angle grinder and sanded my lodge skillet. I really like it. If you do this, be careful as an angle grinder can easily add divots. They eventually fill in from the seasoning 🤫 We got our patrols steel skillets. You treat them the same as cast iron but they weigh less and aren't brittle.
  7. MattR

    Kudos to my council - Northern Star

    Sounds like a chicken and egg scenario. We want good people more than documentation or metrics, but in order to create those good people we need a definition of a good unit. But in order to define a good unit we really need a concise description of the goals and how the big pile of methods support those goals. My guess is most everyone here has their own view of these things, mainly because it's very vague in any documentation. I'm honestly tired of trying to convince people that our main jobs, as scouters, is to work our way out of a job and have the scouts own it. Everyone says sure, that's obvious, until they see that the new scouts aren't advancing to some schedule. I could really use something, anything, that I can point to for these adults to go read. The trainers don't have it (they have trainer's edge!) The commissioners don't have it. The idea of levels of patrol method above is a great idea. But it will never become widely used . Someone could get it to work at their district and it would be great until that person left. The waves of new people would just slowly wash it away like a sandcastle on a beach. All we have is JTE, because that's what the BSA has backed. Any new scouter will be taught JTE, so it will continue. I'm not so sure it's documentation or good people. What we really need is leadership. Good, bottom up, support your people, leadership. Just like all these scouts are supposedly learning. We will never see it as long as the focus is on money and old crimes. This is just like a church or temple that has to pay for their expensive building and start worrying more about money than spirituality. We need a CSE that is more interested in the spirituality of scouting than anything else. The only way to get that is to get drastic and remove the massive debt load the BSA has. Another option is to find one council that has a strong CE and no money issues and see if they would take this on for, say, 5 years. Proof of concept. Could a district do this? I kind of doubt it. Mine is certainly too week. And my council, however, has got to be one of the worst in the nation with respect to money problems and leadership, so I'm out.
  8. MattR

    standards for Scouts

    Part of that is having mush for brains, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Everything is changing and they have no idea how they fit in. At the same time, they also think they're the only ones going through this. My guess is the slovenly attitude is just their way of saving face. I was once one of them.
  9. MattR

    Kudos to my council - Northern Star

    But let's assume there's some sort of commissioner that has the authority to make changes and the heart to help. Maybe like this neighborhood commissioner. That's a very different position than current commissioners and, with the right person, could help immensely. It gets back to leading as an example for the scouts to see. Instead, we have SMs with big egos because nobody is there to call them on mistakes. It's also a huge responsibility for the commissioner. I'd be up for it.
  10. MattR

    Changing BSA's Image

    Ahhh, now that I'm over the turkey coma... I think what you're all saying is do what you can and don't even look at things that, well, we have no control over. And you're right, but deleting all the describe and discuss requirements is just ... something stuck in my bonnet. But, back to reality. What can a half dozen people do? Something to remember is that it's highly unlikely we could fix the BSA, and yet if we could help a few troops here and there it would be worth it. I think the idea of 20 to 30 minute discussions is a great format. Round table, any scout event where the adults should be out of sight, it's easy. I always thought a wiki would be a good idea. Wow, this is really coming up with a message, the message, that national hasn't figured out. You have 5 seconds with a parent that's trying to find an activity for their kid, what are you going to say? It's like that video above, but you only have a few words. It could be backed up with a youtube video, or maybe the equivalent TedYoutube video but that initial hook is required first. I can read this too many ways. What problem is this going to help with? Scouts that go along with anything, get bored and drop out? Scouts and parents that think scouts is webelos 3? Adult led troops? As an aside, the phrase Right to Expect sounds a bit confrontational. I mean, there are expectations of the scout as well. How about a 20 minute quiz to measure how much the scouts are responsible for vs how much the adults are responsible for? Sort of a Patrol Method metric. This could be very wide and deep and bring up things like getting more volunteers to step up, finding more ideas, balancing the program for everyone, getting more scouts. Maybe it starts with the patrol method metric?
  11. MattR

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    Interesting discussion. I'm just curious, though, where else have people built statues to generals that have lost? I'm not talking about rewriting history, just who wants to recognize the guy that lost? I'm not sure I've ever seen this anywhere other in the US. I've seen plenty of memorials to those that have died, and those are worthy for everyone to learn from, but not to losing generals. I'm not saying there should be statues to winning generals, either. If anything, statues of winning generals is a bit close to glorifying the wrong thing, in my opinion. But statues of the losing generals seems way over the line. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm open to different interpretations.
  12. I sort of doubt that "middle schoolers" are interested in "Jump Up, Kids Gym, etc." They're interested in getting away from mom. That's why they're hanging out at "Mickey Dees."
  13. MattR

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    I certainly understand where you're coming from. No harping at all. And yet, a few points (while I wait on the potatoes). First, I just threw this out. I'm open to other ideas. My main point is that the BSA does not follow the model it professes. Consequently their training is hard to believe or get behind. It bothers me when companies don't use the products they sell. The BSA is selling servant leadership. They talk about it, yet they don't really mention how to teach it. They certainly don't model it, not at the national level, not at council (at least not mine), and while our district tries they have little guidance on how to do that. Next, @yknot is one person that could really benefit from this. He (I assume) is also new, inexperienced, and eager to help out. That's the volunteer the program should be set up for. You've also mentioned that there are fewer volunteers with outdoor skills and I agree, but the BSA has to adapt. The old model, since at least the 50's, of assuming volunteers come pre trained has to change. As for SM's with big egos, I agree with you. And yet, the worst of those people, that I know, have the worst programs. Finally, as for having yet one more meeting and wasting time, I agree with you. Anything done would have to be value added. Of course, current round tables are anything but value added, so shaking that up might help. Again, I'm not sure how, I just see a problem.
  14. MattR

    Font for Unit Numbers

    Or, find something close and never mention it to anyone. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will be looking for that. My guess is the uniform description manual, or whatever it's called, does not specify fonts. So anything is good. Use comic-sans, or something else fun. Great way to start a conversation.
  15. MattR

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    I think this is getting closer to the crux of the problem. There is training and there is coaching mentoring and encouragement. The troops use both. In fact, it's heavily weighted towards the latter. The councils barely use training. For other than safety related training, the model is one and done. So, how to run a scout troop? It's based on the lowest common denominator and one and done. Outdoor skills? One and done. Everyone here says one needs to seek further on one's own to improve. This doesn't match the problem of having fewer parents with outdoor skills. They don't know what they don't know, just like the scouts. Everyone here knows that when working with scouts and developing their leadership skills it is anything but one and done. So why does anyone expect treating the volunteers the way we would never treat the scouts expect this to work? Also, maybe this is why one and done is considered acceptable in the guide to advancement. Can't retest. Say that to the wilderness first aid people. And when you look at this issue in the larger context of how national works with councils and councils work with units, it's worse. The definition of a good unit is based on JTE. JTE is based on SMART goals from the one and done woodbadge training (simple, measurable goals). And yet, when we work with youth it's much more of a relationship than a form to fill out. What are their goals? What would they like to accomplish? What do they think should be done? How can we help facilitate that? We push for a mixture of bottom up with a humble, wise use of top down. Look at how that matches with the top down approach that defines the BSA. No wonder people say it has to be more than training. In a way, it does. Someone needs to grow the volunteers the same way we try to grow the youth leaders. What a novel concept, the council will work with the volunteers the way they want the volunteers to work with the scouts. Wouldn't that be a great way to learn the program? The usual explanation is that's what round table and commissioners are for. But that doesn't work, because it's not central to the program. You can run a troop without ever going to round table. In fact, most SM's don't because they're too busy as it is. And that round table is usually just a bunch of announcements. As for a lack of volunteers, at least in my council we have lost a good 75% of the best, bleed green, will continue long past their sons, volunteers over the past 10 years because of the idiocy of the CE. Consequently, all we ever hear from our DE's are sell more popcorn, make a bigger donation, and get your numbers up (and this is coming from the CE). Just imagine that approach between the SM and the PLC. Would you call it servant leadership or adult led? So, I'm not saying I know the answer. I just see a problem. Some leadership would be greatly appreciated. I don't think the BSA needs to do much with the methods or aims. However, they should focus on how the methods achieve the aims and, particularly, they should hold up everything they do against that metric and do a massive start, stop, continue, with a lot of input from the volunteers. Just one idea: within a district, make patrols out of the SM's. 6-8 in a patrol (all from different troops or packs) with a patrol leader. They're in it together to help each other out. Round table is the "troop" meeting and it includes plenty of time for patrol meetings. They talk about what they want to do and accomplish. If they want to do their own camporee then great! They trade ideas. Offer help. It helps the units. It also teaches patrol method. Another idea: Make ranks for scouters, or at least ways to recognize and develop scouters based on their interests. In depth outdoor skills? In depth patrol method? Well, in depth anything that the usual training covers. Just two ideas that came from looking at how the methods lead to the aims and applying that to district unit interactions.