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Everything posted by MattR

  1. The track is really cool. (Hope they have a big place to store it.) I also really liked that they had a build day. Every scout can at least have a reasonable car and it's no more than a few hours. That brings back the fun.
  2. For one, we talk to each other. While they're showing you no interest might not be bad, communication can head of surprises. One thing you don't want with your CO is a surprise. We also did service projects for our CO or just helped with their projects. Again, that's part of the communication.
  3. Just ask. I fixed the not now typo
  4. I think this is the wrong way to look at the problem and is the source of a lot of angst here. Rather than ask for a specific failure rate that is acceptable, after which everyone can say there is no longer a problem, it would be better to use methods that continually drive down failure rates. Look at air travel. Back in the 70's there were enough crashes that all the parties involved (manufacturers, airlines, regulators) got together and decided that air travel was both important and dangerous. They started measuring death rates in deaths per billion passenger miles traveled. I think it start
  5. Rather than give any money to the council I'd suggest going to one of the camps, ask them what they need that's worth about $250 and go buy it for them. They will be thankful. Do not give them the money and do not give it to the council saying it's for the camp as the camp will never see it. This is my experience. In the meantime, tell the guy that told you the 40% fable that the deal is off the table because they lied to you. Nobody pays 40%, not even for popcorn - that has a built in 33% that goes to the council. <end of rant>
  6. I'll add my 2 cents about camping. One reason scouts say no about anything is they don't have a fun idea to grab onto. If someone asks if they want to go camping they could easily say no but if they're asked if they want to go on a campout, spend the morning playing a new game that covers a few acres, have a Dutch oven dessert competition and hang out with their friends, they might be more interested. It is boy led, but also adult encouraged. They may need help coming up with good ideas.
  7. I was going to send you a PM but the image, that had nothing to do with the topic, was the problem as we've posted that images that are more sarcasm than useful commentary will be removed. I would have just removed the image but that's all there was. All these images do is raise the temperature without adding to the conversation.
  8. Dad is shouting at the scouts about how to vote and the son doesn't get the votes needed. I suspect this is a case of the acorn not falling far from the tree. When I asked scouts why someone didn't get in the common response was "that scout is a very different person when no adults are around." Just a hunch but maybe the son also yells at the other scouts.
  9. That's not very specific. That is. I agree with the SM, and the program in this case. Something tells me this is getting closer to the problem at hand. Can you give us a bit more information? This sounds like new parents that don't like how the troop is run. Could it be they still like the cub scout model and don't understand the scout model? If so, this is a common problem.
  10. This seems to be a common problem throughout the BSA - how to explain the fundamentals succinctly. I hate to admit it but as SM it seemed to me that the primary purpose of the OA was to propagate the OA and get summer camp ready. If I were a better leader I might enjoy rebuilding my chapter to be a place to help scouts take useful skills back to their troops. I've just never seen it done this way.
  11. Hi and welcome to the forum, @OaklandAndy.
  12. It's still a great project. At 16 it was gear to grow food. At 22 it was that plus teaching people how to grow food. Clearly not a typical scout.
  13. As we all are. Election doesn't make you an OA member, completing the ordeal does. As said before the term election isn't very accurate.
  14. I like the nomination process because it worked in my troop. Scouts knew the other scouts better than the adults in my troop. It was never a popularity contest in my troop. Every time I disagreed with the scout vote and started asking questions I was corrected. The biggest problem was that the scouts had long memories. If you were a butt it would take a few years to change that perception.
  15. Welcome to the forum, @DocDeVivo . Any uniform is acceptable, no matter how old.
  16. I've always thought before that having a wider age range in scouts helped promote the magic of older scouts working with young. To me that magic was what scouting was about. And yet I can see how splitting that age group could help the scouts see the transition from younger scout to older. I had a lot of conversations with scouts along the lines of you're no longer the young scouts, it's time to start helping out. Something about the UK group system could also help that as well. The BSA also struggles with the transition between age ranges because they're separate units. If the same lead
  17. I think I might hijack this thread again. The topic of trailers is a type of hot button issue for me. It's not the trailer so much as the mindset it creates. I'm fine with a trailer to make it easier for more scouts to get in fewer cars. What I dislike is the attitude of "we have a trailer, just bring all the gear we could possibly need." I'd talk about Thrifty and it just never resonated with anyone. What people want vs what they need. When I did a lot of backpacking I got really good at knowing the difference. I forced the troop to dump the huge patrol boxes that did take four adults to
  18. I can only tell you what my troop does. Decades ago we wrote a document explaining the process of selecting a new SM or CC. We've followed that ever since. If that doesn't exist take this as a learning experience. Since there seems to be only one person willing to take the job, as seems to be typical anymore, most of this is moot. However, if the new guy is not acceptable to enough people then the committee should have a discussion about how to go forward. This all said, the behind the scenes talking to people to figure who is interested is the unofficial part that's going to happen.
  19. My observation: Nobody enjoys cleaning. So everyone should help. The scout in charge doesn't actually clean anything. Instead, he or she is responsible for finding tasks and delegating them, making sure they get done. Next observation: a patrol that understands teamwork has no problem with cleaning or anything else. A patrol that has poor teamwork won't be helped by a duty roster or even a fairly good PL. It takes a rare leader that can create good teamwork from bad.
  20. We need a watermaster as we have to bring our own water. Either way, it's typically hard to cook without water. To me, the whole point of the duty roster is to get the scouts out of the idea of "we just do it all together". It's a tool for the PL to learn how to delegate - grubmaster, cleanup, eventmaster ... Maybe it would help to sit down with the plc and have them make one with some adult questioning.
  21. But if we had one then we couldn't place bets on the next time you'd remind us we didn't have it.
  22. Depends on each individual. Some will, some won't. I'm not sure how this is really different than asking about any alumni. They should and will likely do what best motivates them. Again, depends on each individual. Depends on how whole they are. My father, who left Germany in 1939 when he was 12, never became whole. He never forgave German society for what it did to him. He wasn't too keen with Christian society either. Individual Germans and Christians he would like but as a whole, he was always guarded. Trauma can run deep. But there were many holocaust survivors that did fin
  23. This thread has been locked until tomorrow morning. I asked nicely for people to get back on topic. As court is not in session, there's nothing to talk about so this shouldn't be a problem. If this makes no sense to you then please read my previous post.
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