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Posts posted by MattR

  1. I would like to be prepared for the change that might come down the pipe if national says each unit is to decide for itself what it's stance is on gay scouts and adults. I live in a swing county of a swing state and I do not see an easy road for my troop. My goal is to find a good fit for every scout in my troop so they and their families are comfortable with their troop. There are assumptions and issues and I'd like to understand what they are and have some idea of how to steer my troop through this possible change.


    What I don't want to do is use this thread to change someone's opinion about what is the right thing for the BSA to do regarding gays. There are numerous (thousands?) of other threads that you can use for that. I'm just trying to do my job and play the cards I've been dealt.


    So, assumptions and issues, in no particular order (I want to know if there are things I'm missing, or how you might handle this):


    Assumption: Changing parents opinions. It's not going to happen. Some people are adamant about this issue. Everyone has an opinion but I'm not sure how many people are passionate about it.


    Issue: Civility. The problem I see is the same problem I sometimes see on this website, namely people getting uncivil. I think any discussion needs to be preceded by talking about our common goals for the boys, why we believe in scouts, and mention that anger and trying to change people is not permitted. Let's be civil while we go through whatever change is needed.


    Issue: "Everyone in the troop has the same opinion as I do." I know for a fact that my troop is spread across the spectrum. Many people I'm not sure about. Whether or not they are active in their place of worship has little to do with it. But I think there's going to be some surprise when people find out where everyone stands.


    Issue: Finding out where everyone in the troop stands on the issue. Eventually we need to ask, don't we? How do we ask while keeping things civil. If we ask in a big room it could easily get ugly. Everyone believes in what scouting can do and that's what holds us together. What happens when everyone finds out where everyone stands on these issues?


    Issue: Moving on. If we're going to split I want everyone to end up where they're comfortable and their boys can still get the best out of scouting. I assume it really depends on what parents want for their sons before we figure out where it might lead. It could be that the split mirrors national opinion (roughly 50/50) and we split the troop. It could be a 90/10 split and I need to find a home for the 10 (of which I might be a part).


    Issue: Parents in the middle. What if parents haven't really thought about it and are happy with the way things are now, don't really mind gays, but are uncomfortable with how an openly gay person might influence their sons. Change is hard, what is a way that might help that change?


    Issue: The CO's opinion and relationship with the unit. In some cases the CO runs the troop and owns the gear. So their opinion is important. In some cases, like mine, the CO only provides space. So if there were unanimous agreement within the troop but they don't agree with the CO then the troop has to find another CO.


    Issue: Tenting. Scouts can't be on their own. If boys and girls can't tent together in crews, can gay scouts tent together? Can a gay and straight scout tent together? I'm sure they don't care, but what will the parents say? Do we need permission from parents for who can tent with whom? This is a nightmare.


    Issue: Sexuality. I've always had the opinion that sex, at any level or type, is not appropriate in scouts. I don't care about orientation. If a parent starts bragging about his conquests I'll shut it down. There's enough crap on tv. Scouting should be free from it. Is this a reasonable approach?


    The bottom line is what's a process that will help this change while keeping everyone civil and doing the best for the boys?

  2. Moosetracker, good idea about spinning a new thread. But what forum? There needs to be a new category: Working with Parents. In the meantime I replied to the newspaper that it was too early to talk, and asked if they would they be interested in joining us on our winter campout this weekend to learn what scouts is mostly about. I didn't get a response. I just blew my 15 minutes.

  3. I've used this forum to help me learn how to be a better scoutmaster and I appreciate it. The changes mentioned, if they happen the way everyone is guessing, might be one I need help with. I've never worried about gays before. I don't think sex of any variety or level is appropriate in a troop. It just has never been very related to motivating scouts to be better patrol leaders or take on a challenge. So things are fine now.


    This might change next week or next month and I'd like to be prepared. The problem that I see is how to have a civil discussion about this issue and make any changes needed with the least impact on the scouts. The passion shown on this website is just an example of what many troops will have to deal with. I'm sure there are troops where the decision has already been made one way or another and I wish mine was one of them, but I don't think that's my troop. We have the full spectrum of feelings about this. I can see the parents coming up to the CC and me and turning this into a huge argument if they don't hear exactly what they want to hear. Helicopter parents are bad enough.


    The bottom line for me has always been the scouts. How do I keep it that way?


  4. I'm not sure how to spin off a new thread, but this comes the from UK training thread.


    One of my pet peeves is scoutmaster training. It's very basic, which is great for newbies, but considering that scoutmaster is one of the most important positions in the BSA, shouldn't there be a lot more opportunity to improve? Why not have training for "turning an adult led troop into a boy led troop" with case studies on what really works with a concrete set of tasks that will likely succeed? Or training for working with scouts at different ages, or different abilities, or how to motivate scouts? The training that exists may cover these things but it's usually so vague as to be worthless.


    I took woodbadge and was disappointed. Not that the skills weren't useful, but that the skills weren't specific to the problems I need to deal with. One example is the storming ... performing thing with all the arrows. I asked the guy teaching it what to do when you have BBs instead of arrows (arrows are people moving that need to all move in the same direction, BBs are people that don't move). With scouts the bigger issues is getting the scouts moving more than getting them all to agree to move in the same direction.


    If a troop has the culture then the training that exists is fine, but if a troop doesn't, then the scoutmaster needs a lot more help than what is provided. Eventually people learn but it takes too much time, time that people have less of. Now I have an answer to the BB problem but I'd sure like to help someone else with the same problem I know they're running into.


    Taking all the knowledge on this website and boiling them down to a book or series of lessons would be a huge resource for a lot of scouters.


  5. Different for different kids, but this is what I see.


    Age 11-13: Squirelly phase. Goofy. Fun. In one ear and out the other. Honest. Can't see more than 30 seconds into the future. Can easily let go and be in the moment.


    Age 13-15: Slacker phase. Peer pressure. Unsure of what and who they are. Will respond with coolness when in fact they are unsure of themselves. Afraid to ask for help. Making friends in the troop at this phase is crucial to getting them to stick through the whole program. Starting to like a challenge where failure is possible.


    Age 15-17.5: Coalescing phase. Sometime in here they start becoming happy with themselves. Maturing. Becoming more dependable and responsible. Fun to work with. Fun to be with. Great for the troop.


    Age 17.5-18: They get it. And then they're gone.

  6. I haven't had any families drop because of the policy. I have had several non-scouting families tell me, very politely, that they didn't like the policy although they did like the rest of the program. So maybe the drop is coming before anyone enters scouting.


    At the same time there are those that say they will leave a unit if the policy is changed. What all this says to me is there are a number of people on both sides of the policy that think more about the policy than the rest of the program. That's what bothers me the most.


    I'd like to see an honest survey of non LDS scouters to see what they think about the policy. For, against, or don't care.

  7. "That was the best thing I've ever done in my life." A scout after a high adventure trip.


    "I love my dad dearly, but he's done nothing compared to the adults in this troop." An Eagle scout.


    "You're going to stay on as Scoutmaster until my son gets Eagle, won't you?" From a mom, at her husband's memorial service.


    "Thank you." From a scout, when it comes from his heart.

  8. It's "you're tired" not "your tired". Sorry, I spend a lot of time working with scouts on writing.


    I'd say the boys want a change because pretty much after 2 or 3 years the scouts don't like going to summer camp because they'd rather do high adventure trips, they already have the merit badges, and to be honest a lot of merit badge classes are boring and taught by scouts that don't really know the material. I asked the scouts at the end of their last summer camp what they wanted and they said climbing, shooting, swimming, gps, canoeing, build a monkey bridge, fish, sleep in hammocks, etc. They got excited about that. Nobody said there should be more merit badges offered. While many of those activities are at camp in the form of merit badges they don't actually get to do much climbing or canoeing for example.


    There are a few threads currently about developing leadership and the importance of teamwork and I'm wondering how summer camp can improve that and make camp more fun at the same time. What if, say, afternoons are set aside for patrol challenge events. The patrol could go canoeing for a few hours and just have fun with it. Or go climbing as a patrol, or make a signal tower. Every afternoon they could do something different. They could still do merit badges in the morning but a week of challenging patrol activities would do a lot for building camaraderie.

  9. On another thread GKlose mentioned a summer camp that was "patrol oriented." I'm really curious. We've done patrol cooking but are there other activities that help patrol teamwork? Other than cooking we could be one giant mob and camp would provide nothing to encourage patrol teamwork.


    I'm also tired of merit badge factory summer camps and would rather see scouts spend their afternoons hiking, climbing, shooting, etc. I think these issues are related.

  10. There have been a couple of good discussions on this forum lately and this has been more useful than SM training, woodbadge, and roundtable. Thanks everyone.


    One thing that has helped me a lot is clarifying what I should and shouldn't do. I don't buy anyone's food or tell them what to cook, but I have been waking scouts up in the morning and generally urging them to follow their own schedule. So it's not their problem, it's mine, and that has to change. The 300' rule will help a lot. But that's still too vague. I just want to set clear expectations. Have your patrol at flags in the morning. Everything else is their problem, including who's in their patrol. In fact my definition of boy led is who solves the problems.


    One expectation I will set is attitude. If a PL wants to remove someone from his patrol because he's tried for 3 months to get him to help out and he won't and the PL tried talking to his parents and everyone is frustrated then I guess it's a reasonable request. Not only that but I can now be the good guy and maybe that scout will listen to me. On the other hand if they want to remove a scout because they need room for someone else that's more fun, then I do have a problem with that. But I don't think that will be much of an issue after the PLs start picking their own patrols.



  11. I like what you guys are coming up with. Here's my 2 cents. Reqs for PL are 1st class, active in the troop, and trained. Jungle sign up where every scout chooses the PL they want. If PL doesn't get at least 5 members he's not a PL. The PLs have a PLC meeting with their lists of who wants to be in their patrol. First they talk about what is best for the troop. Then they hash out patrols. It's the servant leadership that will pick the patrols and the SPL should ensure it's done right. I like Beavah's guidelines. I don't know that it has to be mixed age so much as for the first two years a scout should be in a patrol with older kids. I pick 2 years because that's where scouts typically mature. After the hash session they should be able to explain why they're making patrols the way they are. If the reason is "Johny's a dork" then it should be sent back to the PLC. They talk to all scouts that don't get their pick and let them know why. Servant leadership based peer pressure would do more good than anything the adults could say.


    I'm also wondering about expectations for PLs and members. The PLC should set expectations and there should be consequences for not meeting them. It could be participation, or helping out, or whatever the PLC thinks is reasonable (within boundaries set by the SM). I just know right now I'm the judge and jury when it comes to expectations, that makes me responsible for a big part of the problems, and that doesn't say much about boy led. I sure would like the scouts to take more ownership. At the same time, the expectations should be based on the right thing.


    Maybe what this is all getting down to is with the right attitude the boys should make the decisions. Our job is to ensure they have the right attitude when they make those decisions. It's servant leadership vs lord of the flies.



  12. "Patrol spirit comes from facin' challenges together and bonding as a group."


    No doubt. Competition, things that go awry, and SM created challenges are the things I can think of. I'd like to hear more examples of SM created challenges. Broken ankles and lost scouts are good. What about organizing events? Troop meeting, teaching younger scouts a skill, that sort of thing?


    "Like I said, I'd tend to go with a higher limit. But I think if yeh really have some boys that only go on 2 campouts per year that your Patrol Leaders are goin' to tell yeh that they don't really think those boys are scouts or patrol members. That's the point the PL and the SM sit down with a lad and help him to make a choice about whether he's goin' to commit to Scoutin' or go do somethin' else. If a lad showed up for only 2 games a season he wouldn't be on any team that I know of, eh? "


    Exactly. And that's the rub I'm up against right now. I don't want to run those scouts out of the troop but I want them out of the way of those that want to be active. It's just setting expectations. I like the pick your own patrol approach because peers telling a scout he's not participating/helping out will be a much stronger message than anything I can say. And as long as that picking is done from a servant leadership view it would be good.


    Off to a campout....

  13. "It was quite remarkable of all the different options the boys selected to handle their specific problems."


    That's nice. I told my troop, after a meeting completely fell through, that my definition of boy led was when the boys solved their own problems, which they hadn't done.


    Speaking of solving problems, did you create any intentionally? I was thinking of the NSP. It could easily be the case that nobody needs or wants a POR and the NSP has no PL. I could see telling all the PLs that every new scout has an older patrol leader for the first year and let them figure out the details.

  14. JBlake, I'm really curious because I've wondered about doing something similar. A couple of questions:


    What did the PL do if, say, a couple of members stopped participating? With a limit of 6-8 and a few only go on 2 campouts a year that PL might want a different mix. It sounds like if a PL takes on a scout the PL has him for the duration. What's that duration?


    What happens to scouts that don't or rarely participate?


    What happens to scouts that are not wanted because they never help out? Some kids get a reputation. Hopefully this is a way to teach them something so I'd like to do this.


    What happens to scouts that are not wanted because they're socially awkward? If a scout doesn't have friends then it may be hard for him to get into a patrol.


    Does the PL need to come up with some sort of plan or goal for his patrol before he goes recruiting?



  15. My guess is you're in reasonably good shape. Five good scouts makes for a core you can build on. If you have five leaders and another five or so that will at least participate there are events they can run.


    I haven't run an OA anything but I'm guessing it has similarities to a troop, so here's my suggestions. It is based on my experience with my OA chapter, it might not have anything to do with yours.


    The first thing is recruitment. Recruitment to my chapter consists of adults berating scoutmasters to send scouts to OA meetings. How does your chapter do recruitment? Sending scouts would be fine if, when they got to a meeting, they were encouraged to join in, participate, and make new friends. At my chapter I had some scouts go and they were mostly ignored. Guess how many more meetings they went to. For most people, when they go to a new situation they are going to be a bit apprehensive. It doesn't matter if they're adults, webelos or new ordeal members. If they aren't welcomed they won't come back. What can you do to make a better connection with the scouts? Teenagers don't understand how cliquey they can get unless they're on the outside looking in. One more thing is that recruitment should be a constant activity. If you don't recruit every year you get bubbles in the leadership pipe.


    Friendship is the basis of everything. I have two troop guides per new scout patrol, and they pick each other, just so they have a friend there with them. If a scout has friends in his troop but doesn't make friends at OA then he won't stick around. If he makes friends he'll do anything and the worse it is the more he'll laugh about it with his friends. How do you promote teamwork and friendship? And service?


    The next thing is helping the scouts figure out what they can and want to do. Do you have a list of everything that the scouts should be doing? Do you know what's reasonable for each scout to do? Don't burn out the scouts you have. If you have 20 scouts worth of stuff to do and 5 scouts, what do you do? How do you get scouts to buy into this? The usual approach is having them decide what they want to do given a boundary set by you.


    I asked about adults working with scouts because scouting is all about on the job training. You implied you'd be the "point man" for mentoring scouts. My experience is that you can do that for three or four scouts but any more than that and you need more mentors. I have one per patrol leader in my troop. It's amazing how much time it takes an adult to keep a 13 year old focused. I'm constantly surprised at how much they can forget in two days. At the same time, when they are kept in roughly the right direction, they come up with great ideas and generate great experiences. It takes a lot of patience. Do you and a couple of more adults have that?


    Next, change takes time. Some people don't like change and others just ignore it. Just a little thing like making sure patrol boxes are clean at the end of the campout took me a year of constantly pushing it. Now it's troop culture. How much do you want to change? Can you come up with some simple, specific goals? The more you want to change at a time the more you'll need buy in from the other adults. The bigger the change, the more you'll need adults to support it. You won't be everywhere at every event, so many people have to share your ideas.


    And that brings up the last point. Assuming you need adult help, they need to have faith in your ideas. There's a huge difference in having faith in what you want to do and agreeing to what you ask for. I learned this the hard way. My approach now is to say here's the problem, this is how I'd like to solve it, what do you think? Then just control the conversation until you come up with a common set of ideas that everyone likes. That will get you the best ideas and buy in.


    At this point, are you starting to form some ideas of where you'd like to be and how to get there? To make this work you probably need to do everything in reverse of what I described. Come up with some ideas, get adult buy in, get scout buy in, make it happen, recruit.



  16. To answer one of your questions about approach, my approach would be to put as much effort as possible into getting the scouts to take over and run everything, but I recognize the challenges and wouldn't expect it to happen all at once.


    But here are some questions for you.


    Do you want to take this on and how much time and effort do you want to put into it?


    Given that you have 20-30 adults that get things done (a really great resource, by the way), do you think they'd be willing to change the way they do things? Would they listen to you? Could you get them together to brainstorm ideas?


    How many of these adults work well with scouts? I ask because some people that are great at organizing events are really lousy working with kids. I also ask because the way to get scouts motivated is going to require a lot of mentoring and success.


    How many scouts are there that you'd call leaders? Self motivated, dedicated, confident, team players?


    Roughly speaking, the goal is to get more scouts to see what the OA scouts are doing and say to themselves "I'd like to do that." Do you have ideas that you know will work to achieve that? Can you keep the scouts around for, say, at least 4 or 5 meetings?


    Can you simplify what the OA is responsible for down to the point where the scouts you have can be successful without burnout?


  17. All of this is so subjective I can't see a simple process for evaluating whether a scout deserves the next rank. In the OP, it looks, sounds, and quacks like a duck, so there it is. The discussion of who can sign off, must sign off, appeal process, etc is a set of objective rules applied to a subjective problem.


    I don't follow the guidelines because I will work with a scout until he knows the material. Yes, it's incorrect procedure and yes, I'd rather be the good guy that the scout can open up to when he has a bigger problem rather than be the bad guy that says no. And I am trying my hardest to ensure that every scout knows the material before he comes to see me. But lets face it, having been poorly taught how to tie a splint for 10 minutes at summer camp one year isn't going to soak in and stay for the next 7 years. The EDGE process is iterative for the same reason I have to renew my CPR training every other year. If the board's job is to ensure the SM is doing his job, why not let the SM do his job and hold scouts accountable?


    Example #1) a month or so ago I had a scout that didn't know shock from hypothermia. He didn't care. He was more interested in playing video games. He told me he didn't think he needed to know the material after the rank was completed. So I said no, go home, learn the material, and come back. Usually once is enough but I had to say this again. I know, this does not follow regulations, but I got his attention and he finally got serious and learned it. About 2 weeks after he completed his rank he most likely saved his sister's life and he credited it entirely with what he learned in scouts. The point is failure is not a bad thing. It depends on how you fail. Or in this case how the scoutmaster and the scout together treat failure. A lot of it has to do with our attitudes. If the scout trusts that I am looking out for his best interest and I want to see him reach the expectations then it's not failure so much as an opportunity to do a better job. If I can teach a boy that failure just means try try again then that's worth something.


    Example #2) about 6 months ago a scout shows up after not being seen for about 6 months and says he wants he Eagle SMC. We talk for awhile and it's real clear that something is lacking. So I ask him why he wants to be an Eagle Scout and he says he doesn't care, his parents want him to get it, there's pressure from relatives, etc. So I tell him it's time to take control of your life and tell everyone you don't want it. I told him I'd back him up and start calling people right there to get them to back off. And besides, if he doesn't want it then I don't want to sign for it. That was a 2 hour discussion and we were thrown out of the building. I invited him to finish the conversation the next day and, after thinking about it, he said he did want Eagle. But he just didn't think too highly of it. He didn't really like leadership because he's seen too much abuse (he reads the papers, what can I say). He was not proud of his Eagle project. I said ok, but there's something missing. So I told him I'd sign off if he did one thing for me. I asked him to run scouting for food and I asked him to go big. We covered 3 times the area, included 2 packs, and also collected clothing and toiletries for the homeless. I made sure he was successful and it was wildly successful. We took the gear to the homeless shelter and they were so happy they almost cried. A few weeks later we had the SMC and the first thing I did was sign his application. Then we talked. Eventually I asked him about the whole process of agony I put him through and this is what he said. I hit him very hard by telling him I wouldn't sign his application at our first meeting. He was not happy with me but as soon as he realized I wasn't giving up on him he figured just go with it. When we dropped the gear off he saw the people that were going to use it and that, too, had a huge impact. He said he now appreciates what he has, what service is all about and that leadership can be a good thing. He also thanked me. He said he had lost the spark and I helped him find it again.


    I'm not saying this is perfect or that others won't abuse this style, and I certainly won't say it's easy on me, but when we're dealing with something as fundamental and subjective as motivation, how can we expect a simple set of rules to work reliably? Scouts know what the minimum expectations are and that's what most shoot for. Having them do their best requires a big change. And my experience is that when you show them that their best is more than they thought possible, they learn something much more important than anything they got signed off on.

  18. Our food bank can buy ten times the amount of food for the same dollar than we can, so next year we're going to ask for monetary donations, too. This year we also asked for toiletries and extra winter clothing for the homeless. It took the same amount of time and we collected a lot more stuff that people could use. We had to sort toothpaste from peanut butter but the scouts had fun.

  19. What we do: planning session starts with "why are you in scouts? what do you want?" I mostly know what they will say but I want them to hear it themselves. Friends, fun, skills, adventure, Eagle. Anyway, I then have them set goals that match what they like. How many fun easy campouts, how many challenging campouts. That sort of thing. This is where I will nudge them to challenge themselves, otherwise they might pick a lazy calendar. When it comes to picking campouts we assign patrol leaders to each month and the patrol leader makes all the decisions along with his patrol for the month. This is new for us but so far I have much more enthusiastic patrol leaders. We didn't go to Spring Camporee last year because it fell on the weekend of the prom for most of our older scouts. We did our own campout a week later. This was all the scouts' doing and it worked great.


    This isn't to say I don't have any input. I encourage one campout, because it's a real challenge, but if they came up with a similar challenge I'd be happy with it. If they said they want to do a lock in every month and do no camping I'd say no. I have standards but I want to keep it at a high level.


    I am constantly pushing my scouts to take ownership of the troop. That means leading, and organizing, and communicating, but mostly it means showing up, doing, and making decisions. Once they get there, I can't imagine telling them what campouts to do. When they get stuck for ideas and ask, though, I have plenty ready.


    that's what works for me.

  20. I asked my Rabbi, who was a chaplain in the Air Force, how he would answer a 13 year old if he asked "Why should I be reverent to God?" This is his response:


    "Good question. In fact the most important questions often come from the mouths of babes and suckingly ( a biblical quote). Now to the question. When we look at the meaning of the word reverent if can mean respectful so we can say a scout should be respectful to God. OK now to God. Without going into too much theology we think of God as representing the sum total of humanity's highest aspirations. After all, where did we learn these high hopes? So being respectful of God can mean we are respectful and work toward the application of our highest moral and ethical standards to be put into place on a daily level. We speak of God because otherwise we run the risk of making relative all that we hold dear. If morality is human in origin then it can be shifted to meet the needs of those in power and adjusted to fit the needs of the powerful. Such as slavery became a moral and ethical benefit according to the slaveholders. We know that ultimately the absolute God- given right of freedom triumphed. So we need a power and force outside and above human beings to give us ultimate and eternal truths. Therefore we are respectful of God because we have hope for humanity."


    It has to be simplified a bit for the 13 year old I'm thinking of, but I like it.

  21. Two points. First, the Scout Handbook describes the 12th point as "A scout is reverent towards God. He is faithful to his religious duties and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion." The first sentence is the important part. It's not vague and it definitely mentions God.


    Second, I'm just looking for ideas on how to explain why a scout should be reverent towards God. I've already decided how I want to handle the situation. So, if a 13 year old asked you "Why should I be reverent towards God?" what would you tell him. It's a really honest, innocent question, and we should be able to answer it. I want to approach this scout as if he had asked that question. It's positive. It encourages discussion. And if I can't answer that question then I'm not such a great scoutmaster.


    Maybe BS87 is right and this should be moved elsewhere, but for now I'll leave it here.


  22. I was in a SMC with a young scout and I asked him what reverent meant. He said he didn't know, so I told him it means you believe in God. He said "Oh, I'm atheist, I don't believe in God." Long pause. All I can think is oh boy, here we go. Good news was this conference didn't finish because it was late, and I have time to figure this out.


    At this point this won't prevent him from advancing. If he tells me this at his Eagle SMC that's a different thing, but for now I'd like to work with him. I figure a lot of scouts are a work in progress. I'll also talk to his parents to make sure it's not just a kid checking boundaries but since he knew what atheist meant but not reverent it's certainly possible this came from home. But I will check.


    I'd like to explain to him that Reverent is just as important as any other Point. Remember, this has to be free from any particular religion so "Hell ain't no picnic" can't be used.


    This is what I'm thinking: To me, the Scout Oath and Law, if I were to put it in a single word, is about being selfless. And reverent certainly speaks to being selfless. You are not the center of the universe. It's not about you. It's easy to talk about selfless but unbelievably hard to be selfless. Why should I give a dollar to the homeless guy that looks like a drowned rat? I'll never see him again. He might end up spending the money on booze. That's being selfish. Whatever his problem, he likely needs your sympathy. But where does enough sympathy come from that you'll help people like this? It doesn't come from thinking or talking about it. After our discussion you're not going to suddenly change and help every homeless guy in town. It comes from believing in something bigger than you. You'll never see it but if you try hard you might feel it. When you do it's profoundly powerful. Many people call this God. The important thing is you have to work at being selfless. You have to constantly remind yourself that something is bigger than you and you're not the center of universe. That's why a lot of people go to religious services. I think it would be great if you could feel what I'm talking about. But how are you going to get there?


    I'm not sure I'll get much of a response, but at least I'll have tried.


    So how would you explain that Reverent is important?


  23. I'd like to give this thread a push as it has everything to do with a crew my daughter is in. For those that have an active crew going, what types of events will bring in a coed group of high school kids that have no idea about Boy Scouts? And how do you advertise it? How much time does it take to get the word out? I'd really like to hear from those that have started a new crew or rebuilt a crew.


    The crew my daughter is in needs to be rebuilt. It's down to half a dozen kids, none of which are too interested in leading. I think that's because they don't see a successful program. I'm not that active but am willing to give it a try, assuming I can come up with a vision of success that my daughter and the crew adviser likes.


    I have a lot of experience with a troop but not with a crew. My idea of what a crew should be is that giving the scouts more leeway is fine by me. I'd be fine without advancement as along as the scouts are having a healthy good time with some challenges and service mixed in. My troop doesn't have to have anything to do with the crew. I don't want to be the crew adviser. I believe the crew adviser has the same idea.


    I appreciate constructive feedback.