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MattR

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Everything posted by MattR

  1. @Eagledad said, in another thread about an SM that has run amok: And @fred8033 brought up: It took a while to realize that working myself out of a job was key. Given that being an SM is an on the job learning experience, what's a good way to provide useful feedback to these leaders? The commissioners, I suppose, are somewhat in a position to do this but it's not official. I don't know if that's the right word but the commissioners I worked with were never really interested in doing anything but answer questions. Someone that knows everything will never ask. Someone that feels like they're supposed to know everything will also not ask. I don't want a bureaucracy of paperwork and testing created, but just a way for leaders to learn from their mistakes in a non threatening way. Come to think of it, isn't this exactly what the scouts should be getting for leadership training? I think I would have really liked that.
  2. MattR

    Recruiting for council training committee

    I knew there was a catch. But back to your JLT course. How did you come up with a course that, I assume, was not in compliance with the standard JLT at the time? Or was it in compliance. I always wonder about that with training. I mean, the idea of having the scouts create their own training sounds great and also not at all what the syllabus suggests. Or maybe I'm missing something.
  3. To everyone on scouter.com, Now that girls are already in the cub program and they are about to enter the scout program it's time to welcome them. That's a nice way of saying stop complaining about girls in the BSA. Every thread that is about girls entering troops has gone off the rails. There have been complaints about how the decision was made, the negative impact on boys, what's wrong with the BSA, and just a lot of anger. I understand that people want to complain in general but we can't have complaints about the decision to include girls any more. The reason is simple. No scout should feel unwelcome in this program. Any scout that abides by the Scout Oath and Law, or their parents, should never feel like they shouldn't belong. When people on this forum complain that the surveys were rigged or that girls will ruin it for the boys then the message every girl gets is that they aren't welcome and that their being in the BSA is a mistake. Now that girls are here the complaints need to stop and we have to welcome them. A scout is a friend to all. I'm not saying there can't be any griping anymore. The distinction between what I'm talking about and general frustration is simple. If a 12 year old girl reads a comment that says girls shouldn't be in the scout program of the BSA, or that the decision was a mistake, then that's what I'm talking about. For example, saying that you won't go to a summer camp or camporees where there are girls is just telling the girls they aren't welcome. Saying that your scouts have to get eagle and get out before the girls arrive is just saying girls aren't welcome. Saying that national didn't listen to everyone's opinion about girls is just saying nobody wants girls in troops. No girl in the BSA should read that on this forum. This argument is over. The BSA decided. It's time to be Obedient. For those that want to keep arguing there are a few options: 1) Accept the change. Be curious and see how this change plays out with an open heart. Girls are scouts and they're in the BSA to have fun with their friends in the outdoors. Change is always rough but it keeps happening. 2) Leave. Stand by your principles and realize it's time to move on and find another way to volunteer your time. BSA troops have changed and there's no going back. 2.1) Don't engage in these threads. For those that still want to be a part of the BSA but still aren't happy with girls: Understand that complaining about girls in the BSA has a negative impact on those girls, or their parents, that are reading these threads. Learn to let it go. 3) Fight it. You can PM me, the other moderators, or @SCOUTER-Terry if you don't like this decision. I'll be honest, we're tired of watching these threads. You can also just ignore this and keep complaining. Well, you can try but you're just going to make yourself bitter. And we'll remove your posts and ban you from this forum if you keep it up. @LeCastor, @RememberSchiff, @John-in-KC, @desertrat77, @NJCubScouter.
  4. MattR

    Recruiting for council training committee

    If a volunteer asked me I'd say yes. Well, wait a minute. What does the council training committee do? (and that is pretty much how I get involved in everything, jump in and then start asking questions.) I'm already on a council committee (camping) and I never go to the meetings because they're always the same night as my troop's meetings. As far as I can tell they don't really have much of an impact because they can't control any money. They create lists of things to be fixed at camp and lists of fantastic ways to spend all the money the council doesn't have.
  5. Those stories are great. I saw one about a guy that completed eagle and then promptly went off to WWII. Something like 10 years ago he finally received his medal. I've told a few scouts these stories because they think there's a time limit on that because they mostly have been fighting with time limits to get everything done in time.
  6. I see both sides of this discussion. Nobody wants to volunteer if they're going to be tested and quizzed and have to fill out reports. The other side is we have little improvement in scouters, a few that bring horror stories to this forum, and a continual erosion of the methods of scouting. There is always a tension between a teacher and student. What one wants and needs is not always the same thing. The same thing applies to SM and scout. But there's no teacher for the SM as student. (I suppose it should be the commissioner but in reality it isn't.) But maybe the teacher-student dynamic is the wrong one for a volunteer organization. How about the ideal SM-scout dynamic? It has to be fun for the scout. It has to give the scout more responsibility as he can handle it - what someone called distancing or working oneself out of a job. The scout should also be given bigger challenges so things don't get stale. The SM should also have fun and be fulfilled while working with the scout, so he wants to keep volunteering. So, how about showing the SM how to do this by putting him in the position of youth and having a mentor work with him? Keep it fun. Keep it challenging. Give the "youth" more responsibility as he's able and willing. Cheer him on. Celebrate the wins. Help them through failures. And, getting back to what @qwazse said, start with a giant carrot. (How to make round table fun?) Maybe the best way to remove the really bad apples is to worry less about them and work to improve those in the middle. Make it easier for scouts to walk to the better troops.
  7. Well, long story short, once upon a time I told someone to put the gun down. He said why, it wasn't loaded. I replied that I was taught to always assume a gun was loaded. He said, let me show you that it isn't. It was. That grumpy old RSO I had as a scout just might have prevented a disaster many years later. Knowledge is a good thing.
  8. @dkurtenbach, this is probably the closest to what I was thinking about. A bit vague but a place to start. The sad thing is I'm on the district committee and my sense is the commissioners are mostly fighting fires. Financial irregularities, people not getting recharters done in time, CO's enacting revenge on SM's. They don't have time to improve the quality of units and there aren't many of them. But I agree that there is no formal method to continuously improve quality. That's what JTE is supposed to be but it seems to miss the mark. @Chris1, while that's not the case in my district (SM's are not to be recruited for anything) I can see it happen. What is it about being an SM that can trash humility? Does every volunteer organization have this problem? Others that I'm involved in don't, but that's just my small sample. @David CO, good point, but most CO's I see know less about scouting than the SM. My guess is you are on the CO side of scouts and you're the only person I know of in that position that takes an interest in how scouts work. It seems to me that positive reinforcement for the SM would come better from someone that understands scouting. I hate to say this but for an organization that prides itself on leadership development, it doesn't really work for their own volunteers. The BSA tends to lean on training as opposed to on the job improvement. Training is one and done. Continuous improvement gets much less emphasis. Just to be clear, I have no dreams of changing anything at national but it would be nice to create a round table topic that I could get the bulk of SM's and ASM's to go to.
  9. MattR

    On making a graceful transition ...

    You have color coded tabs? In a neat organized binder? Do you have any idea how the rest of us get things done? Your scouts are going to be in great shape! Seriously, you obviously care. But now it's time to take care - of yourself.
  10. MattR

    My kids love scouts, but....

    Welcome to the forum, @RookieMom. Sorry it had to be under such circumstances. To answer your questions: Yes, and find another pack. The transfer cost is $1 and fill out a form. 13 is a really small number. I don't know where you live but if there are more packs then go check them out with your kids. If there aren't other packs then talk to the Chartered Org Rep and your committee chair. The cubmaster reports to them. If he can't control the scouts then there's an issue to be solved.
  11. MattR

    What's in a name?

    https://www.scouting.org/training/training-updates/ It took a while to find it. Kind of sad that the aims don't tend to make it on the front page of the website.
  12. MattR

    What's in a name?

    They're scouts. I doubt they'll smell sweet.
  13. MattR

    Irate potential cubmaster

    "The possession charge"? Why is he CM if he hasn't passed a background check? That's a non starter. Your posting is rather confusing so I can just assume this is really bothering you. I do understand. Yes, you need to get the council involved. If the DE doesn't respond then move it up. Call the Council Exec. If you're afraid of this meeting for your safety then cancel it. If you're afraid because of the confrontation then just talk to everyone and make sure you all agree to help each other out. Be brave. The bottom line is if the CC and CM don't get along then the pack will fail. You're the CC and you decide who the CM is.
  14. MattR

    What's in a name?

    I don't see the benefit of engaging Monkeytamer. It was his first post and he implied he wants to get out of scouts before girls are allowed to join. Which is less than 3 weeks from now so I doubt he'll be around much longer. The issues being brought up on this forum do not match my experience locally. Everything I've heard from local troops are that whether they do or don't want girls they either will or will not create a girls troop. That's the end of the discussion. So I think these people that say they have to leave before girls join are not that common. What's probably more common is a mix of opinions in each troop. And those that are upset will leave. Those that stick around are going to make themselves miserable.
  15. Sounds like a great trip. The idea of a high adventure trip over winter break is great. I'm sure everyone has lots of great memories. Congratulations to whomever set it up. The only shocker to me: They spent all that effort building a quinzee and didn't sleep in it? And then they complained about how cold it was? Quinzees are nice and warm inside, probably what the scouts are used to (34, 35 degrees). As for snacking all day I've not heard that. We eat 4 big meals a day and throw in some snacks. Certainly we eat a lot, probably twice what we usually do, but we only snack when we feel like it. I mean, if you learn to listen to your body and eat when you need to it all takes care of itself.
  16. MattR

    dyslexic scout

    Welcome to the forum, @goldnloks
  17. MattR

    Words of Wisdom to Youth Chapter Leadership

    How to motivate a scout? To do service? It has to be internal motivation. Here's an idea. Google calls this intrinsic motivation. Below is the first thing that popped up on Google: (just swap scout for student, scouters for educators, and OA for education)
  18. MattR

    Mess kit cooking

    Try a steel pan for a fire. They're relatively cheap, can handle the fire, and do a great job spreading the heat. We bought some for our troop and chucked all the misc crummy pans with junky worn coatings. They should be oiled and not cleaned with soap, but a little soap is okay. They're heavier than aluminum but lighter than cast iron.
  19. I think the challenge here is to find someone that can talk to the SM calmly. This sounds more like the SM wanting to save face than any troop policy. BTW, if it is a troop policy is it stated somewhere? My guess is the reason for saying no multiple projects on the same day is that scouts shouldn't share a project. Sounds fair to me. But just ensure they really are independent.
  20. MattR

    Life to Eagle Tracking

    Welcome to the forum.
  21. No, the secret is to tear it down the binding. @Eagle94-A1, I wonder if the mystique of black robes or Native Americans is just a place holder for introspection about brotherhood and service. Isn't this really the motivation behind giving? We do it for a higher purpose, something bigger than we are. Without that motivation the service is just a job. I agree that the OA sort of morphed into cheap labor for the camps or putting on arrow of light ceremonies. It gets back to the same old thing. The scouts get a lot more out of something if they decide what it is they do. If the chapter advisor just gives the scouts a list of tasks they need to do then the mystique is gone. But if the scouts own their service, and it's at the district or council level, then I think it's a big learning opportunity. My guess is this is @LeCastor's point. It's not so much the OA as it is motivation for service. It takes brotherhood and a sense of something bigger than we are. This is something that gets lost in advancement. The guy talking in the video about doing your best and the scouts paying attention seems like such a small thing but it really brought me back to when I was tapped out. Maybe we need more discussion on how to do that.
  22. MattR

    videos of scouts cooking

    Oh, sure! I just said they'd be better because I have a fire pit in my backyard that's very efficient. Very little smoke. Little ash. Easy to start. Something similar would be good. I'm not sure what a good size would be but that one looks great. The gas stoves are a pain when they get cold or there's dirt in the hoses. Getting the scouts to cut wood for a fire would be much better all the way around.
  23. MattR

    The Scout Law; One or Twelve?

    It's really just a test of your cheerfulness. Let's face it, this is a silly thing to point out to anyone.
  24. MattR

    videos of scouts cooking

    We never had patrol boxes. We divied up the gear before the campout and everyone took their share. Other than that and fires the movie looks similar to my troop now. I tried ditching the patrol boxes to no avail. The portable wood stoves would be better than a fire pit or a gas stove.
  25. In my defense, my grandmother used to make fruit cake. It was horrible. Most likely because she had a cast iron pan that, in hindsight, was rancid. I vow to try making one next year.
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