Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by MattR

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. MattR

    Scouts and UFOs

    But only in those states where it's legal.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. MattR

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    I'm actually agreeing with you. Sorry if it didn't read that way.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. MattR

    Camporee idea?

    I just got back from klondike and at 6am I was thinking about an idea for our Spring Camporee in May. A scout I was talking to yesterday wanted to have a really big event rather than the usual go from station to station thing. The overall theme is currently a meteor collides with an alien space ship and there's debris all over camp. Debris means a problem to solve. That supports things like emergency mobilization, first aid, and wilderness survival. So, aliens that need first aid or shelter, radioactive alien space ship parts. Other ideas? The unique part of it would be to have all the patrols work together. So, there's a HQ where the SPL's are. They and all the PL's have radios. The SPL's have a big map and identify wreckage sites and track what has been searched. On Friday night there could be a big district PLC meeting where they divvy up searching. There could even be a night search for those that want some more. Just to put some numbers in to help, assume there are 30 patrols and something like 100 pieces of wreckage (this would take a while to set up!). The patrols need to find and deal with all the wreckage/problems. Most of it is obvious and out in the middle of the field. But some is hidden back in the trees. They have 3 or 4 hours to find and solve all the problems. Ideas?
  18. Okay, everyone. We're going off in a non productive direction, which is a nice way of saying Courteous is waning. The current topic of this thread (!) is how to help @Mom2Scout with the fact that her son's troop is creating a new troop. This is a concrete subject. How about we focus on that. There are good and bad ways to bring up the subject and there are likely good and bad ways of structuring the troops. My troop is talking about a linked troop but we're adamant that there will be minimal resource drain. The SM will not have anything to do with the girl's troop. We expect mom's to grow into taking over the SM and ASM positions. Gear and money is not seen as an issue because that is mostly per scout.
  19. MattR

    How do I join back into the scouts?

    Beascout.scouting.org will tell you where troops are. Yes, ask friends. Also, go visit every troop. They're all different. Any scout that takes this on by themselves would be great to have in any troop. Go for it. And let us know how it works out.
  20. I'll try. Because you're chartered by Acme you are part of Acme. Troop 123 is not an entity. So technically, writing a check to Troop 123 is the same as writing a check to Acme. But to solve your problem, how much money are you talking about per donation? If it's small then there's really no need for receipts. If it's large then have Acme write a receipt to each donor. The donors just need proof of donation for their tax purposes. Or, if donors really want to write a check to someone with a recognized 501c3 name, as you said, have the donors write it to Acme and have acme transfer the money to Troop 123.
  21. Welcome to the forum, @Cburkhardt.
  22. MattR

    Lot's of questions

    This is really the only question you asked. I think if you dig a bit deeper you can find out where some of this comes from. There are a number of issues with advancement. The ideal model is it's a byproduct of doing fun and adventure, and the scout knows it solidly by the time it's signed off, or at least by the time they age out. All the rest of the rules are based on this and they work fine if this happens. Unfortunately there are things that get in the way and cause problems. Changing the time frame, which I believe is what you're talking about, is a crutch to manage some of these problems. Take for example the idea that a scout knows the skill solidly. How many scouts tie a bowline, get it signed off, and then forget how to tie it a week later? Probably most. One way to solve it is to have the scouts tie a bowline often. Have them teach it. Have competitions. That takes a lot of effort to set up. This also conflicts with the idea that the PLC gets to decide the calendar. Maybe they don't want to do competitions. That's usually because they don't want to admit they don't know the skills. The trick here is to use SPL whisperer skills. @Eagledad is the one that mentions these. I'm not a good SPL whisperer so I only got it to work with the good SPL's, but the idea is to convince the SPL and PLC they truly owns the program and the program includes knowing all those skills. It takes an SPL with a lot of humility if they don't know the skills. What this has to do with the topic of adults changing the rules is simple. What I'm mentioning here is not really taught to SM's in any training I've seen. It's not mentioned in any round tables. And yet, a lot of SM's understand that signing off on an eagle scout that doesn't know how to tie a bowline is kind of defeating the point. So they add testing before ranks, they change the definition of active or scout spirit. I've done some of these. I've even had scouts thank me because they had seen scouts in other troops that didn't know the skills. Anyway, the SM's aren't all bad. Some are, but most aren't.
  23. MattR

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    The real subject of the thread is whether a new commissioner should step in and say something about how advancement may be happening in a very new troop. I have no idea about what commissioners are supposed to do but asking questions is a good place to start. I'm working with troop guides right now and the point of Scout is to teach the new scouts how advancement is done. It's possible the rank could be done in one meeting but if these scouts came up through cub scouts I'd be suspicious. Again, ask questions. What we don't want is the cub scout advancement model. As for "adventure, adventure, adventure," I'd think "fun, adventure, friendship" would be a bit closer. I told my troop guides that for every skill they teach, whether advancement or outdoor or patrol, they have to try to make a game of it.
  24. Must be a common theme this time of year, my troop just did this. I sat in with the older scout group. Most of it was see videos and talk about them. It worked but there's something that really helped. The adults had plenty of real stories of scammers and ways they had tried to gain someone's trust online. We didn't need to tell that many but just enough to get the scouts thinking about it. For example, all the Eastern Europeans joining this forum and trying to convince us they're really scouts. Reality is a much better teacher than bullet points. When it came time to do the project we suggested a skit so they could have fun with it. Than I said, in my best Russian accent "Me Boris, we friends, give money." They got really into it after that.
  25. MattR

    Let us never forget....

    Didn't read the article but isn't it the same for adults?