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Everything posted by MattR

  1. @BetterWithCheddar, I think that's about the same age my son got fed up with cub scouts. We took 2 years off and came back in time to do webelos and then join a troop. Kids in that midrange of cubs can be so far apart in maturity. Anyway, for us that break really helped. BTW, my son now has his own, so this was a long time ago.
  2. If the only patrol activity is eating then that raises a question. What is going on the rest of the time? Is it fun, challenging or in some way memorable? If so, then do them by patrol. If not, then it certainly explains why few scouts are going. Another challenge is whether or not there are scout leaders. I'm not talking about someone with a position of responsibility patch. I'm talking about the scout everyone wants to hang out with because they create fun. Those people need the patrol leader patch and support from the adults to put on a good program. Here's an idea for you to try
  3. I think better relief is a wet, cotton t-shirt. Or a wet bandana wrapped around your head or neck. We got some fantastic neck wrap things at a volunteer thing. They weren't cotton but they were wonderful. I guess this only works if the humidity is low but that's where I live.
  4. I don't know the answer but if you looked in the guide to safe scouting and can't find anything then they likely don't care. Your other option is call the camp and ask. They're usually quite helpful. Good luck and have fun. It's a good summer to be in the water.
  5. If you're using an off brand web browser, say Firefox for example, try something more mainstream, such as Chrome. I've had all sorts of problems with user interfaces on Firefox by companies that probably only tested their sw on one or two browsers. This is nothing but a hunch.
  6. @qwazse, I beg to differ. I would not make a good cse. I'm not sure how much emphasis UK scouts puts on school work type advancement or King's scout vs fun and adventure, but Grylls certainly belonged to the later. I had never heard of him before your post so I googled him. While some people focus on his being super competitive, sucking up the pain, etc, what he writes seems a lot more balanced. Eg: competition is good but too much will ruin your life. Face it, Grylls used to hollow out a yak and sleep in it to stay warm.
  7. Think of how many scouts knew nobody else. Add to that that the scouts knew who the chief scout was and that's an impressive tenure. I wish him the best, and that the BSA could find such a person
  8. The page is blank. I once camped in a US graveyard in France as a scout. I went to Normandy with my parents but that would have been a great scout trip.
  9. Fewer people read a local paper anymore, where news about scouting used to be. Bad experience/ didn't like the unit is why what percentage left scouts? If they had said no time, not interested, etc then it's an issue of other activities crowding out scouts but a negative experience is a big red flag to me. What's worse is the "people don't know they can be in any unit." I read that as whoever asked the questions is blaming the unit leaders. "Don't like the unit? Find another, problem solved." Yes. My experience was being a den leader is the toughest job because neither the scou
  10. Unfortunately that doesn't encourage them to join scouting. I mean, if so many people know the benefits then why aren't they involved? Thats an important paradox to understand. It's just my hunch but maybe people are just parroting what they've heard and really have no idea what Scouting is about. Most scouts, when asked if they are trustworthy, cheerful, friendly, etc, will say yes because the scout law says "a scout is ..." so they must be. I've come to the conclusion that I'm none of those things. I certainly try but I'll never live up to that standard. It's easy when everything
  11. Beauty and expensive are in the eye of the beholder, so I'll leave that be. Momentum? The membership in 1995 was about 1M scouts (so not cubs or anything else). Right before covid that number had dropped about 25% to 750k. Covid has cut that number another 40%. Time will tell if the BSA withstood or fell to a thousand cuts. I wish the BSA would focus on those first two sentences. I would add that it also helps learn about working with others. Yesterday a scout called me up asking about some volunteering info. Well, he was my first scout that joined when I became SM some 20
  12. This is going sideways fast. I don't want to lock this thread, so please, don't let this website ruin your day. In the meantime ... Doesn't it make anyone else wonder that if we're arguing over advancement that isn't being done and the scouts don't mind and don't care, that this is really just a huge waste of effort? It seems the adults care about the advancement a lot more than the scouts do. Just maybe that means advancement isn't doing what it was intended to do. Aren't all the methods supposed to be ways to motivate the scouts to participate and interact with each other so they l
  13. I hope they make it work. They will be forced to figure out how to do it without merit badges. That could be a good learning experience for other camps. I wonder what kind of program they'd put on for scout units. My old troop has gone to Bear Lake, which also has little to do with the BSA anymore, and the scouts really liked it.
  14. But after 13 years of pushing this the membership numbers are still going down. What bad assumptions are they making? Maybe it's a bad assumption that just having scads of documents around will make it easy for parents to pick this up and do well. Have you ever wondered why so few parents are willing to volunteer for scouts? Is it really all their fault because they're lazy or is it too complicated on top of the fact that their work life is already insane. If summer camps can't get parents to show up unless they have wifi for checking into work then that's a hint there's a problem. I coac
  15. To be honest, I think the program is too easy to get wrong and consequently scouts are not joining or are leaving because they're not having fun when they're younger or not being challenged when they're older. It's just that simple. Add to that the economy and work environment (always on) and the parents aren't having fun either. The program is confusing, contradictory and looks like it's been evolving over a hundred years in high level committee meetings. @Jameson76's comment that the BSA needs to focus on what the program is really rings true to me. If it's teamwork/ patrol method and
  16. Another aspect of this is that today's 11 year old is less mature than those of 20 years ago. Whether it's cell phones, social media, games, helicopter parents or whatever, kids have less ability at dealing with hard, challenging stuff.
  17. Fascinating graph. It explains a lot. The rise in scouts was tied to the baby boom a lot more than I realized. I joined in 1971, which was both about the peak and near the end of the baby boom. I don't know what happened in 86 but there was a big bump in cub scouts but no change boy scouts. The other thing I noticed is the connection to the family savings rate and this graph. Nobody even measured it before 1950 because it was so low, but then there was a huge surge in the 60's and a drop off mid to late 70's that has been going down since. Maybe I'm seeing what I want but the lesson to me
  18. The key point here is that fewer scouts (and likely their parents) want to camp ... ... as illustrated here Barry, I used to see that but not anymore. The parents I'm seeing aren't interested. One example is an eagle scout who worked at a high adventure base as a youth. When I said great, we can't wait to have you come on our next campout, he hemmed and hawed and said he doesn't do cold weather. We can take his kid but he won't come on that trip. I used to not worry about what the BSA did because I figured the parents would take up the slack and do scouting, one way or the
  19. Does this mean the BSA has joined with Scouts Mexico and Scouts Canada to form Scouts America? That would be fun. Oh wait, what about South America?
  20. Welcome to the forum, @Eloisefig. That's certainly no fun. It sounds like you've already made up your mind and I can't blame you. Good luck. But I'm not sure how much better luck you're going to have elsewhere. It seems to me that every troop I know of is struggling. Anyway, I few observations: In your meeting with the SPL and ASPL you dumped a whole lot of new ideas on them that they likely don't understand if they've never seen it before. Babies don't take smaller steps then older children, they stumble around and crash a lot. Sometimes they need to be caught before they crack the
  21. I don't see the BSA ever having to deal with this problem because there doesn't seem to be a benefactor that could sign off on such a project. Nobody in the school district. It's great that this scout wants to unban books, but it's not a service project that helps specific people. Something about working with others to solve a problem rather than just working on it alone sounds better to me. And yet it does make me want to read Slaughterhouse Five. I don't know how I missed that one. I went and found a synopsis and think it would be a great read.
  22. @ramanous , the most important one for me is whether the older scouts are looking out for the younger scouts. If the younger scouts don't look up to the older scouts then the troop will develop all sorts of problems from lack of participation, young SPLs that struggle while older scouts stay home, a lack of team work and just a real self centered attitude. The term scout led really is too vague. What most adults think of scout led is scouts making plans. But leadership, good leadership, is all the little things like including the shy scouts and encouraging those that are struggling. It's
  23. @Maboot38 , you seem to recognize a problem and aren't willing, or more likely, know how to deal with it. You have an adult that is driving off scouts. This has nothing to do with titles. This is a people problem. Something needs to change, which you recognize. The options are he backs off on his own or you back him off. You're the SM. He's messing up your program. You have a vision of how this should work (and it sounds good from what you've implied) and he's hindering that. You need to decide whether the time it will take to change him is worth it. If so, great. If not, he needs to go.
  24. I'm hoping you're wrong. Last night I found out our council has only 2400 youth registered. Our district, ten years ago, was larger than this. We used to have a pack in every elementary school (15 or 20?). We're down to 3 or 4. I think the packs are done folding but the troops are in serious decline at the moment. Our troop, which has always been considered strong compared to neighboring troops, is in serious trouble while 2 other troops have folded. If it weren't for a half dozen adults in our troop that no longer have kids in the troop, ours would fold. The common thread in all of this
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