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Everything posted by MattR

  1. I thought we were trying to play down the whole shooting thing.
  2. MattR

    Attending Events Solo

    Welcome to the forum, @octo. Assuming you have time to be both SPL and join the OA, then go for it. I would assume many scouts go to OA events solo. Are you active in your chapter activities? You can meet other scouts there that might be interested in going to lodge events.
  3. I'm not convinced the 11 year olds should be pulled from the scout program. But 3 years would give that age range more time in a program of it's own. I believe most of the UK Scouts age ranges are 3 years. They also have more flexibility as to when scouts move up to the next level. Maybe that would be better. I tell you what, since the ink isn't dry on this change let the 11 year olds decide what they want to do. They can stay with the Webelos or move up to scouts. Let them bridge over when they're mature enough.
  4. As long as we're dreaming about changing national, here's another option for cub scout burnout: Take webelos out of the cub program. The first year of scouts could be mixed in with it as well. The idea is to have an intermediate stage between cubs and scouts. The only purpose would be to develop teamwork and start doing a consistent outdoor program. Adult led patrols would be fine. The mantra would be "as soon as you get to scouts you'll do this on your own, so learn." Before anyone says that's what webelos is supposed to be, I agree, but for the simple reason that a webelos den looks a lot like a cub den under the same committee with the same cub master, there's no push to differentiate the two. UK Scouts has 4 age ranges where we have 2. I don't think 4 is right for us, but 3 might be worth considering.
  5. MattR

    How the Inuit work with kids...

    My approach has evolved as well. I don't know that I've ever shouted at scouts other than when they were in a safety situation, so my comment was more about getting angry with the scouts. There were certainly those scouts that got under my skin and it was usually because they were extremely self centered. A few of them grew up and all was forgiven. I had a few apologize. I've never gotten angry at scouts that at least tried (well, there were a couple of safety situations, like almost burning down a historical building). I slowly came to realize that the anger comes from the conflict between my expectations and reality. My expectations have tempered. The anger can still show up but now it's a big red flag that tells me to stand back and think about it. For the most part, the only time I get angry now has to do with communicating with scouts outside of meetings (well, not being able to communicate outside of meetings). The good news is I have plenty of time to get over it. At meetings or campouts pretty much anything can happen and I've likely seen something similar before. Sometimes I show disappointment. Usually it's roses and thorns. The roses are "wow, that's great, how did it go for you?" and the thorns are just matter of fact - "this is what I saw, what did you see?" and then the important part "why?" Last night the why resulted in the scout telling me his secret email address that he checks at least daily, as opposed to the one that the troop has that is never looked at. I suspect this has something to do with mom reading all his email. I'll just call for now on. Back to the expectations vs reality. The major source of my grief was wrapped up in advancement. For all the reasons we've beaten to death I used to fight against them all. Now, advancement is as important to me as the uniform. I like it. When it's done right it's great, but it's hard to do right so I'll just do my best and ignore the rest. To me, watching a scout take ownership or responsibility is a much more worthwhile endeavor. Many scouts will do this. Nearly every scout that sticks around till they're 18 will get there. As for the OP, umm, I just told a story? Actually, stories are a very time proven method for teaching subjective matter. The Bible, the arts, history, case studies in law. Unlike science and math, where there are definitive, provable rules, much of life's lessons are subjective and examples are a better way to get across an idea than making a generic statement of supposed fact.
  6. MattR

    How the Inuit work with kids...

    Yelling is fine, as long as you do it where nobody else can hear you. Think about it. In your eyes someone screwed up and now you're angry. The anger is real, denying that is just hiding it. Best to let it go. Getting mad is a good way to dissipate that anger before you can talk calmly. That you can do around anyone.
  7. MattR

    EBOR complete

    Congratulations! BTW, photocopy your paperwork before you submit it. You don't want to collect all those signatures again. This is your last lesson in Be Prepared.
  8. MattR

    School Newspaper

    While it's a shame they dropped it my guess is there might be some history behind the decision to not allow publicity for any outside group. Imagine the worst of groups that you'd clearly not allow. Now think of all those that you'd clearly allow. Now find the sweet spot in the middle where the school is just going to get a bunch of people angry deciding yes or no. That's likely what they don't want. They may like cub scouts just fine. How about having your son go ask the principal why they have that rule? Coach him to be respectful and that alone may just put a seed in the principal's mind to reconsider.
  9. MattR

    PW Derby Car from past year

    Welcome to the forum, @Pixie
  10. MattR

    Why was Jamboree Split in 1973

    For those of us that live in the West and really don't want to fly to the Bechtel Thingy, it would be great to have two jamboree sites.
  11. MattR

    Bear Grylls is new World Scout Ambassador

    You're right. He is a TV personality. And every parent in the UK has heard of him, and knows he's associated with UK Scouts. Ergo, every parent in the UK knows about UK Scouts. That's marketing. Add the occasional times Princess Kate does things with scouts and their marketing program is working and it's cheap. They don't need any ads. Scouting is all about people so the idea of using people to advertise it just makes sense. Compare that to the BSA. The one person in the BSA you think of is ... the CSE? and everyone knows his name, right? The only time he shows up is when some social hot potato is being bandied about. Have you ever seen him camping? Then there are all the ads the BSA puts out ...? The entire BSA marketing program consists of hoping local newspapers send photographers to pinewood derby races or scouts going door to door collecting food with their uniforms on. But most local newspapers are cutting staff. In other words, there is no marketing program and the local volunteers are expected to do the work. I agree that Grylls made a mistake and it doesn't look good, but I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.
  12. MattR

    Merit Badges of Yore...

    My impression is a bugle is a trumpet without any valves, same notes if you don't hold down any keys. Not sure what this has to do with anything. Everyone used to have metalwork but then they added some forge requirements and it got dropped. I must admit the forge would be way cool. Maybe a glass making merit badge with a big honkin kiln. I would sign up for that. I could also use cement working. My driveway is cracking and the price to replace it is nuts. If I could just do one slab at a time... or better yet, have some scouts do one slab at a time.
  13. MattR

    Scouts and UFOs

    But only in those states where it's legal.
  14. MattR

    Wilderness First Aid Pin

    It needs an "Un" rocker to put in front of the "trained" portion, to be put on after their certificate expires. It's great they are taking it. Good luck suing someone that's not making any money off of it.
  15. MattR

    Wilderness First Aid Pin

    WFA is good for 2 years, pins are forever. If you can convince your scouts to keep their training up to date, sure, get them some bling. Or, get them bling but tell them they have to return it if they let their training expire. Might be a good way to explain how it works for adults.
  16. MattR

    Methods in Scouting

    Just my two cents: Leadership is part of personal growth in scouts. It was never an aim, until recently. Maybe responsibility rather than leadership. That too could be part of personal growth. An important method that's missing is fun. No calendar works without it. In all honesty, reducing the entire program to 8 or 9 bullets is tough. What could really help would be a better way to explain them and how they are used in day to day scenarios.
  17. MattR

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    And ruthless efficiency. I knew it had to be a Monty Python quote. It took a while. Well, could it be that cookies are an easier sale than popcorn? If the BSA really wants to cross a line they should start selling cookies. Give the rack a turn.
  18. MattR

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Well, just because one service unit has a bee in their bonnet doesn't mean I still don't like those cookies. I don't buy from tables in front of stores, though. The neighbor kids that ring my doorbell get my money.
  19. This seems rather vague. Youth protection training has nothing to do with interacting with adults. It sounds like there was a youth protection issue and it was addressed. What wasn't addressed was the fact that "the parent was called out" by a scout leader. Am I right about this? If so, that's the point of this thread. To be honest, if I were "called out" and later proven right, as it seems in this case, I'd be fine with knowing I did the right thing. I'd leave it to the troop to decide what to do with the leader.
  20. MattR

    Snow Days?

    My mother-in-law is in Dubuque, IA. They are adding a half hour a day to make up the lost time. Sounds like a gimmick to me but it won't mess up calendars too bad (except for all the sports and other after school activities). They should have just assigned homework to be done during the snow storm. Kind of like working from home. I guess you could call it homework.
  21. MattR

    Weighty responsibilities bond patrols

    Great subject, @Eagledad. Thank you. There's another aspect of this I'd like to hear more about. It's about motivation. For the scouts that are internally motivated it's best to get out of their way. But many scouts don't have that. They need to be externally motivated. The question is how to get them to the point where they're internally motivated? Some scouts are motivated by competition, by shiny new things, their imagination. The 4-ings (forming, ....) all depend on everyone being motivated to accept the challenge. I made a challenge for my district to build sleds for klondike. Most patrols had them so it worked, but in the case of one patrol in my troop the PL was super excited about it but just had the worst time getting some of the other scouts interested. They did get it built and had a lot of fun with it and so I hope next time they're a bit more interested. Anyway, it seems like there might be some art to creating those challenges. We do cooking competitions all the time and when we do the level of food is amazing. But when we don't do it the food is back to the same old thing. One problem is some scouts are just not motivated by the usual competition or, say, climbing a mountain. How many scouts are self motivated? Do you create a challenge like this for every campout? I had a campout years ago that was a teamwork training event. I crammed it full of challenges, time was of the essence. The rewards were big. Consequences were also big. The scouts went all out. In the end they said they really liked it because they had so much spare time (!?). I was rather shocked. I explained to the scouts how much they did and how their unusually good teamwork was what gave them the extra time. They said oh, that's cool. And went straight back to their old ways on the next campout. I guess the big question is how long does it take them to internalize the motivation?
  22. MattR

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    I'm actually agreeing with you. Sorry if it didn't read that way.
  23. MattR

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    You could have mentioned that no fire is required to whip a rope. And besides, go outside and fuse the rope. Yep. I'd say it's better to get everything else signed off and then ask the scouts what they want to do about the ropes. Again, not sure how the commissioner should best affect things.
  24. MattR

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    I wonder if changing the rules of nomination will change much. My troop is brutal when it comes to nominations. Someone says pick the best so they do. The top 2 or 3 make it, no matter how many are eligible. And yet my troop doesn't show up at any OA events or meetings any more than any other troop. I really really hate to say this but these scouts don't see why they should join. Being the best at something is similar to going on an adventure to some degree (you have to push yourself) and we see fewer scouts interested in that as well. That's not just my troop but my district. There was a group of scouts that joined my troop 7 years ago and it struck me that this group was mostly not interested in adventure. They wanted eagle and that's it. Their motivation is mostly external and they have little internal motivation. Most never grew up like the 16-17 year olds usually do. Now, there are a few of them that are interested in adventure and they are also the best leaders, the best at helping out, and the most reliable in the troop. Their personalities are all over the map but they're the ones that will accept a challenge. It has little to do with their parent's interest in the outdoors. I'm not even sure it has anything to do with video games either. None of them are super busy with sports or other activities but most do some other activities and it's a reasonable mix. If it were just my troop I'd know where the problem was but it's every troop I talk to. So, when you get the OA fixed I think there's a lot more where you can apply your solution.
  25. MattR

    I Was Against Girls in Scouts.... But

    I think the best way to keep your sanity is to do it for the kids you're working with. If you didn't have siblings tagging along with you when you were a scout then ask these new scouts if they, too, don't want siblings tagging along. Keep them away from the boys if that's what they want. Do it for them, not for anyone else. My council is a wreck, numbers are down, parents struggle to volunteer, there are all sorts of reasons to walk away. But there is one reason to keep at it. The scouts I work with. So have fun with these new scouts.