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Posts posted by MattR

  1. Found on another website:



    Sheriff’s Sgt. Mitch Vetere, who has extensive experience on the Green River, said in the post that the boats had “no business being on the river,” especially because the river is currently flowing swiftly.

    It is running at 11,400 cubic feet per second as of Thursday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch. That is a level at which the river might be too high even for some experienced boaters with sturdy canoes, Vetere said in the post.


    My troop has done many parts of the Green river, in rafts. When I heard home made canoes I was thinking of something that might float. They really are quite lucky nobody got hurt. There's a lot of that river I wouldn't do in a good canoe much less Tyvek and pvc. Those canoes are just classic. I can see seams that go below the water line where the Tyvek is folded around the frame. I bet that leaks.

    One of my fears I used to explain to scouts and adults was something along the lines of, I just don't want a photo on the front page of the NYT if this goes bad, so let's make sure it won't.

    Again, really glad nobody got hurt.


    • Upvote 1

  2. Something else to think about is what you want the end result to be. The people that say let him stay see some redeemable aspects of this scout. Those that want him thrown out of scouts either don't or don't really care. When I dealt with a similar case my first question was did the scout feel bad because he got caught or because he realized he did something wrong? If the latter case then I'd have something to work with. If the former, I wanted him out immediately and I didn't want him back until he changed (for the exact reasons @fred8033 mentioned). Unfortunately he never saw the problem and I got him to leave. 

    BTW, my council wanted to give him another chance. I said fine, just not in my troop. Eventually they did throw him out of scouts. The point is, the troop knows this scout better than anyone at the council. Unless the council has dealt with something similar before, and positively, I would listen to what they have to say but I'd also take it with a grain of salt.

  3. @logistician24, I had a scout bring pot to summer camp. Long story short (because everyone else has heard it) the camp director was told, he called the sheriff, the scout was put in to the legal system (and went home that day), and eventually he was removed from scouting because he just didn't understand that he did something wrong. He knew he got caught and that was a problem, but he never understood that a 16 year old can't smoke pot. You're absolutely right to see this as a problem. And since you are the CC, you do have some say in the matter. You oversee the SM.

    This was a miserable time for me (I was the SM at the time). I also talked to the CC about this. We had a good relationship.

    Good luck.

    • Like 1

  4. 2 hours ago, SSScout said:

    From Whom Did He Learn This Behavior?

    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.

    • Upvote 3

  5. 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.

  6. 2 hours ago, SM101 said:

    this will impact our upcoming Scout Election.

    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. 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.

  8. 1 hour ago, AltadenaCraig said:

    I'll mention I don't think the two traits are mutually exclusive.

    Yeah, I had my butt kicked in private ;) (and, to repeat, I needed it)

    14 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    But, I wonder if part of the answer of how to increase participation is to acutally increase the challenge and expectations on Scouts.  i.e., don't turn anyone away, but challenge those who emerge as leaders and take on responsibilty to get more involved and grow.  Sort of like a higher level coach might.  In return, the personal growth a Scout goes through would also presumably he higher.  More challenges to overcome, more leadership development to go through, etc...

    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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 4 hours ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    They came in hoping the Boy Troop committee would be on point for the next year and a half to get things rolling.  One of them even commented that with only 5 girls they didnt see the point in putting in the time, its not worth it for that few Scouts.


    I have no issue seeking guidance from the folks in the Boy Troop, I have no issue using the resources of the DE, but I am not going to expect it to just all be done and then come to play when the hard work is done.

    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.

    • Upvote 1

  12. 4 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

    n 2016, Paige Spears, then 14, of Winslow, ME achieved Scout Canada’s Chief Scout Award. Chief Scout is the highest rank in the Scouting section of Scouts Canada, making it equivalent to Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts or Gold Award in Girl Scouts. (No word if Ms. Spears is still a BSA member  - RS)

    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.

    • Upvote 1

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • Haha 1

  15. 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.


    • Thanks 1

  16. 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.