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Everything posted by MattR

  1. MattR

    Good morning/New to the Forum.....

    Welcome to the forum, @logistician24
  2. MattR

    Eagle Scout Shown Leniency

    That brings up another thread in this topic. Scout spirit or good character is one of those things that is best described as an ideal one always reaches for but never accomplishes. It's a paradox. The humility of never quite making it keeps one humble enough to keep trying. The rank of eagle, on the other hand, is a title bestowed by the BSA. Once an eagle always an eagle. One and done when you get right down to it. A bright, capable 16 year old that's told he's an eagle for life, that he's achieved the highest honor that the BSA can hand out - just might not have the humility or maturity to recognize that he's not infallible, that his hormones could cause him to make some bad decisions around a cute, drunk girl. Well, no 16 year old has that but all the pomp and circumstance that goes with eagle might confuse a kid. So, to answer your question, maybe some of the whom is all of us that help bestow titles. I'm not making excuses for this kid but the eagle mystique is something we should take with a grain of salt. A lot of eagle scouts are great. However, the rank is neither necessary nor sufficient to prove good character.
  3. MattR

    Has anyone seen C.W. Fetter?

    Welcome to the forum, @SearchFetter. I Googled "troop 32 akron ohio" and got the following: http://troop32akron.scoutlander.com/publicsite/unitcustom.aspx?UID=2488&CUSTOMID=7769. The troop was formed in 1920 and is still active. Troop 32 meets at Family of Faith UMC at 800 East Market Street, Akron Ohio. Just as an addition, if anyone knows about this scout you can send a personal message to SearchFetter.
  4. MattR

    OA election nights

    Oh man I give up. Pl and SPL elections.
  5. MattR

    OA election nights

    I thought he meant troop elections.
  6. MattR

    OA election nights

    Welcome to the forum, @SM101. What exactly is the problem you're trying to resolve? At first it sounds like you're deciding whether the scout is eligible for the the OA but at the very end you state this has to do with elections. The OA has specific requirements that you must follow but, as for elections, you own those. You can make any requirements you like.
  7. MattR

    Scoutmaster annoyed son on camp staff

    Welcome to the forum, @2275. Camp staff is usually really good training in leading with a good attitude. I always encouraged scouts to work at camp.
  8. MattR

    Balanced Advancement Timeline Goals

    I'm starting to see another view of advancement. Rather than FCFY I'd suggest thinking about how FC can help meet the goals of scouting. Advancement is, after all, considered a method in the BSA. It's just one of several tools to help reach a goal. So first of all it would help to define what your goal is. If it's to get eagle then sure, do it as fast as possible. If it's to develop character then it gets more complicated. @astrila, maybe your question should be changed from when to advance to why and how to advance. This leads to other questions: Who teaches the skills, how are they taught, how are they checked, how much responsibility does the scout and teacher have at each rank, whose character is being developed, how does this relate to adult participation, patrol method, and the outdoor methods, how is this made fun? Too bad there aren't answers to these questions on my.scouting. I really wish they had been around when my son joined a troop.
  9. Yeah, I had my butt kicked in private (and, to repeat, I needed it) In principal I really agree, but a challenge for one scout might look like an impossible wall to climb for another. One of the scouts on my recent trek said he wished he'd done a lot more high adventure trips, he now appreciates the challenge. He grew up. But previously he spent a lot of time finding excuses not to try. I'm not sure I was so different. Part of this is doing a better job of teaching scouts how to fail with grace. Some scouts have no problem with it. "Well huh, I just screwed up, time to try plan B." Most scouts, from peer pressure or whatever, are really afraid of screwing up. And maybe this gets back to aims and methods. Failing with grace, learning to dust yourself off after falling, or whatever you want to call it, is a really good skill that promotes scouts to do rather than sit back and do nothing. But the BSA is afraid it will drive scouts away. That comes close to the aims of scouting. And maybe things like advancement can be used to teach that. For Scout just hand feed them and get them a rank as fast as possible. For Tenderfoot, use it to teach them the process of advancement and let them pick the dates. For Second class, a couple of failures at sign off is not a bad thing. For First Class, they should know it. Tell them ahead of time what the expectations are and follow through. I bring this up because the lower ranks are done all at the same time and there's really not much difference between any of them. They should get harder and harder. I mean, I still don't understand why knife and axe skills are now in Tenderfoot. What tenderfoot scout can actually sharpen a dull knife? Or an axe for that matter. Most 11 year olds don't have the strength and fine motor skill to file an axe blade or take the nicks out of a beat up knife. And using an axe to split wood? They just aren't strong enough. Anyway, knife and axe skills seem rather difficult and yet they're in the Tenderfoot rank. So how is there growth and increasing challenge?
  10. MattR


    Welcome to the forum, @SubSM. I have an eagle scout from my troop that is currently on a sub. Nobody, and I mean nobody, saw that coming. He was a great scout but wasn't exactly interested in rules and regs. I have talked to him since and let's just say he really grew up.
  11. The best scoutmaster is the one that does a great job of motivating your kid. And yet kids are different. When I was a scout I would have told you I wanted the laid back SM, but I also know in hindsight that once in a while I needed my butt kicked. My best lessons were when an adult challenged me just the right amount. Sometimes that was more than just a simple question. Lao Tzu also said: "Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." I mean, he did write a book called The Art of War. Not exactly scout stuff . What we really need is a book called The Art of Motivating Teenagers. It could be a list of Lao Tzu quotes with appropriate word changes "The supreme art of parenthood is to subdue the teenager without fighting." "If you know the teenager and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred eye rolls." Your son might not like this guy, but he might learn a lot by trying to make it work. He also might not but that's life.
  12. MattR

    First New Troop Adult Meeting

    I never see more than about 1 in 3 or 4 families really get involved and it's getting worse. So expecting all 5 families to help out is a bit impractical. Using the boys troop might not be ideal but if it' a way to get more girls involved then I think it's worth it. Five girls might look like enough but I think it needs to be much more. Two patrols at a minimum. Three would be better. So, twenty scouts. As for web 3, I think teamwork is a more important skill to learn up front. As others have said, start with an adult as PL, show them the process you want them to follow for planning and problem solving and reviews, and also model servant leadership, looking out for scouts, getting their input, etc, and make it clear that you're done and someone else will be taking over in a fixed time frame.
  13. MattR

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    I just got back from a trek run by the summer camp we were at. It wasn't so much cooking our food (more like rehydrating) but it was a challenge that we all shared. In that respect it was similar to patrol cooking. Selling this idea of shared challenge seems to be harder now than years past. The response from the scouts was great, though. This was one of the best trips I've been on as the mix of scouts was about as ideal as one could hope for. Everyone was positive even though there was some suffering. (We even got a few frost points!) The teamwork was incredible and so the leadership required was almost trivial. Our guide did tell us that we were the easiest group to work with that he's had. It was the scoutmaster's dream. The adults did nothing. I was feeling a bit guilty because I wasn't doing my share.
  14. So Paige could get eagle by not doing much more than asking for it? She could squeeze in just before Sydney. Zing! Such poetic justice. But Paige likely is a bit more humble and probably doesn't care. More poetry. To each his, or her, own.
  15. I was talking to two nearly-18 Life scouts that are busting their rears to get everything done on time. As I was talking to them it hit me that a lot of requirements really don't make you a better scout. It seems to me that when I was a scout we honestly needed to know all the first class requirements in order to be good scouts. We needed axe and fire skills if we wanted to make a fire to cook our food. We used knots because we'd cut down trees and make stuff. Map and compass, absolutely. First aid, while not used every campout, was used. The tracking probably wasn't needed and while the plant and animal identification is nice, it's not really a core skill. For the most part it was all useful and we used it most campouts. That was a big part of the motivation to get things signed off. It made you a better scout. You were more useful to your patrol if you had those skills. Now, you don't need knots or fire or an axe for most campouts. Clips and stoves have replaced them. Map and compass is useful but in many places people aren't allowed off a trail and you don't have to go for a hike other than a few requirements. First aid is still good. On the whole, it seems to be a bit obsolete. Or at least less relevant than it used to be. Rank doesn't necessarily mean more useful to your patrol. It just means you have more things signed off. I thought back to @Kudu's comment about Free Range Kids and the pros and cons of lone patrols and "troops." The FRK idea is the parents train their kids to do something on their own and then the kids go do it, on their own. Would parents that want their kids to go off and do adventures consider First Class to be useful training? What skills would make a scout more adventurous? Here's my random list: How to make or fix your own gear (i.e., Macgyver skills). Making a backpacking wood stove. Taking care of cast iron cookware. Cooking a meal for 8 on your own with no help and from only simple ingredients (and buying the food on your own). Moving all of Orienteering MB into First Class. Making a survival shelter. Taking your patrol on a campout with the requisite planning and approval. Making a fire in a down poring rain. Making fire starters. Make a knife blade from 1/8" steel plate. Kill and clean a chicken, part it and then cook it (I haven't done all of these last two but it sure would be fun to learn). Or even just how to part a whole chicken. I would think that if a First Class scout could do these types of things they would have more confidence at being adventurous and trying new things. No describe and discuss, just do things that are beyond the usual plop camping and "plop cooking" (pre made meals). The goal would no longer be skills you can learn in a year. Rather, skills that would make your patrol more independent. Granted, there's no way the requirements will change but it's just a thought. Unless someone knows how to incorporate these ideas into their troops.
  16. MattR

    Duty to God question

    @SSScout: silly rabbit, God is everywhere, as is your Faith and Chaplaincy forum
  17. MattR

    Policy on going through scout totes

    I had a scout bring marijuana to summer camp. His tent was inspected after another scout said he smelled it. It was the right thing to do but that's an extreme case. For medicines and cell phones being found I agree that it should have been clearly explained ahead of time, as none of the scouts were intending to do anything wrong. Even if it wasn't explained it would have been better to just explain it that night and give everyone the option to make things right. I'm a bit surprised the council doesn't collect prescription medicines. At the same time, telling a scout that he can't take his over the counter allergy meds without first walking across camp to get it is just going to encourage a scout to not turn it in. As usual, this sounds more like a personality problem rather than anything to do with policy. Maybe it was an adult that was getting cranky late in the week or just cranky all the time. Or maybe scouts were pushing his buttons, or maybe the whole troop was getting grumpy for some reason. I've seen a lot of it. You just need two scouts butting heads all week and the SM/SPL/random parents or scouts start getting frustrated.
  18. MattR

    On a less serious note....

    Now I have to ask scouter terry for a groan emoji.
  19. MattR

    Icarus dilemma

    I'm going backpacking next week with my troop. There is so much snow in the mountains that we need to bring snow shoes, and warmer clothing, and a big pack. Frost points the end of June, just what I want. Anyway, I went and borrowed a big pack. I'm thinking I'm getting too old for this. New thought: Now I'm more like the younger scouts on the hike - not quite sure if I'm going to make it. Reminds me of my first backpacking trips. I have a smaller pack that works just fine for a weekend (without snow) and a recent external frame pack that is super comfortable but doesn't hold much more than the little pack. It could hold a lot more if I just make a pack that will fit the frame (the pack that comes with it is only 2/3 the size of the frame). I may do that some day.
  20. MattR

    Extreme Anxiety at Summer Camp

    I don't think anxiety is the same as home sickness. I tend to agree with Ian, this is beyond our abilities. As they tell us in first aid training, don't try and solve problems above one's training. That doesn't mean just bring him home and give up. The goal is still to get him comfortable camping. You just have to find plan B.
  21. MattR

    Got acronyms?

    Someone recently mentioned VOA. I always thought it was Voice Of America but apparently it also has to do with the OA.
  22. MattR

    Treating injuries

    I agree with those that say don't beat yourself over this, @CarlosD. First of all, while the scout may have gone to the emergency room, it wasn't an emergency. The ER is where you go when you're in so much pain you can't fill out the insurance info, or you might die if left un attended. A swollen knee is not that. Urgent care would have been fine. Urgent care is also the place where broken arms are put in a cast. Would you be upset over a broken arm on a campout? For your first campout as SM, yeah, I guess. But you'll get used to it. I had a troop guide sledding with a new scout and he figured out how to hit the one rock on the whole hill. New scout broke his leg. It was so much work to get him camping I was sure he was never coming back. Well, he's still in the troop and he's growing up just fine. Second, nobody mentions how serious this cut really was. If this scout was cutting raw chicken with his knife before he stuck it in his knee then it could have been a slight scratch and he could have gotten an infection. You can't prevent all problems. In fact, most problems are an opportunity to teach. Does he really know how to clean a wound? Does he need to re learn how to use a knife? Don't beat up on the scout either. It's just a case of "hey, since all this happened, let's review a few things." You now have one of many good stories to tell. Enjoy the adventure.
  23. Welcome to the forum, @CarrieScouter.
  24. I suspect that you can add a tag when you create a thread but that option runs out after some amount if time, just like how long you can edit a post. The reason for these limitations is to prevent spammers from posting something respectable, waiting until after the moderators decide it's not spam, and then going back and adding links to, porn sites, ads, and all sorts of other garbage we see. Anyway, I think moderators can add tags at any time. Send us a PM and we can probably help you. I added the tag "tag test" to this thread.
  25. MattR

    Camps Where SCOUTS Cook Meals

    I think it was from a recommendation on this forum that I took my troop to a patrol cooking summer camp. I was impressed with the results. Cooking for a whole week helps the scouts get in a groove. It really did help teamwork. They did like the food better as well. And yet, my troop doesn't do patrol cooking at summer camp anymore. I think the biggest problem was the lack of support from the camps we went to. There was a stretch of 6 or 7 years where we tried every other year and it was always a disaster because the camps didn't understand what the patrols needed. Honestly, what do you do when you get a bag of frozen chicken breasts a half hour before it's time to eat? We went back to one, and I won't mention names because it's on the list in the OP, and I had to drive back home and pick up our gear because while they said they had everything they didn't. I also hear the "but we cook as patrols for every weekend campout so give us a break at summer camp so we can do more activities" comment. Well, if camp wasn't 90% about merit badges I'm not sure this would be an issue. For every other summer camp outside of scouts summer camp is about fun with friends. Granted, all these camps have dining halls (and cost a bunch) but nobody else has a class schedule. That class schedule gets in the way of a lot. I talked to some of the counselors at Camp Dieter at Peaceful Valley and it's not just patrol cooking, it's just about patrol everything. Each patrol gets a counselor and they decide what they're going to do for the week. They decide how much advancement they want to do. At the lake, at the shooting range, service projects, hikes, pioneering projects. It's all about teamwork. There are times where patrols can split up for individual merit badges but it's the exception and not the rule. I think it would be great but the adults in my troop shot it down several times.