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Posts posted by MattR

  1. How about a section with ideas for helping patrols? I have yet to see a scout oriented site that has anything like that. So, just like menus and activity ideas are concrete examples that scouts can try out, how about specific examples of making duty rosters or solving people problems or just being afraid of screwing up as a new pl. Call it Patrol Life.

    • Like 1
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  2. 1 hour ago, ParkMan said:

    I think it's easy to assume it's all about the money - but I think it's a lot more complicated than that.  Many who get involved in Scouting do so to have a great Scouting experience - not run a charity.  Again, I think we just need to reconcile that as a movement.  Are we a charity or are we not?

    You're right that the BSA is not a charity, and yet it still needs donations to operate. That's a conflict that I can't see ending well. Fewer donations and fewer volunteers will lead to councils having to charge more than their current costs of $500-$1000/scout/year. This will be a very "elite" organization. For me, I can't volunteer for an organization that isn't set up to take everyone. It's why I'm starting to volunteer at my son's old middle school. Besides, what does it say of the aims regarding citizenship if not all citizens can afford the program?

    If the BSA had the mindset that they were going to take all kids then they would not be in the financial situation they find themselves.Rather than a hammer looking for nails mindset it would require more asking and listening. Personally, I think it would be much stronger and attract a lot more kids.

    But I'm mostly just a clueless old SM with fond memories of watching a lot of kids have fun and grow up.

  3. 17 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    I've almost broken down and started just using a bear canister on every trip. I hate the weight and bulk, but the more I've backpacked, the more I hate hanging bear bags. That seems to be the conclusion Skurka has already come to. 

    I came to this conclusion a long time ago. Pine trees make lousy bear bag trees and that's what I hike near. One problem with canisters is they don't work well with packs unless the pack is huge. 

    I'm not sure how accurate this is, but the only times I've had bears in my camp is when I camp in well established sites. Bears make rounds. So I try to stay out of their rotation.

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  4. 13 hours ago, Nathan1001001 said:

    I think that this app would provide a better learning experience for the scout rather than the scout book or pamphlet.

    How? That seems to be the crux of the app. If you can make that work, inexpensively, then you'll have an impressive app. Heck, put in a module for explaining how to do the patrol method well and there'd be more interest.

    However, I think it's a hard problem to solve. To me this is less a software problem than a content problem.  Good content is hard to create.

    Rather than talk about it I'd suggest making a prototype for one merit badge, say first aid, and show that to people. The software doesn't really need to be very well written. But the content needs to be engaging.

    Good luck.

    • Like 2
  5. @TAHAWK, it worked for me.

    If I just tap the " button above the editor, between the link button and the <> button, I get



    And I can paste into it. Or, I can paste some stuff, hilight it, and then press the " button


    Now is the time for all brave men to come to the aid of their country.

    Does that help? I'm not sure what you did but I fixed your post.

  6. 1 hour ago, John-in-KC said:

    The IP depends on folks to write and maintain it.  I don’t care if we are talking training content or the software. Who will do this, and how will they be compensated?


    1 hour ago, John-in-KC said:

    I ask this question in all seriousness. 

    Oh, sorry.

    But, to answer seriously, I suspect that if it's a phone company style breakup then the councils will have to agree on any changes. It will be bureaucratic to some extent but the bigger councils may end up with more say. Some councils might just split off. They might want to adapt it so different councils can make changes.

    • Haha 2
  7. On 9/8/2020 at 5:42 PM, yknot said:

    That's my point. From the comments on this board, its clear we were all raised that way. I was free range. I roamed the neighborhood and local woods with a large pod of kids. We had drama, crises, fights, danger, you name it. We worked it out among ourselves. No parent involved.


    On 9/9/2020 at 9:09 AM, Eagledad said:

    From my years of working with and training Scouters, I found the biggest hurdle for adults to get over with the Patrol Method is simply trusting that it works. The idea that scouts learning to make better decisions simply by making bad decisions is a lot for todays adults  grasp.

    Maybe what this adds up to is: When we were young it was easy to use the patrol method because we had the experiences, as free range kids, to deal with people problems. And now it's much harder.

    I had luck with having a feedback mechanism for the patrols. Often, people problems would fester but having guidance to show the scouts how to bring up tough subjects in a thorns and roses session helped. It's the little things like this that aren't really described very well. Teamwork really depends on dealing with these types of problems.


    On 9/8/2020 at 10:58 PM, TAHAWK said:

    ACLU staffer fumes at University for accepting Nick Sandmann [as a student], calls it a 'stain' on the school.


    @TAHAWK, and everyone else. If anyone quotes articles then they need to do it right. We need to be able to see the reference (a link to the original article is fine - just copy and paste the url) and we need to easily distinguish what is in the article and with what the poster is adding. (This can be done by highlighting the text and hitting the quote button, or using quote marks for small sections).

    There are a couple of reasons for this: First, it's bad form to plagiarize other people's work. Next, the moderators are obligated to understand what is being posted and it would be much easier if references were done correctly. Similarly, it really helps everyone in understanding what the poster is trying to say. You may think you're clearly delineating quoted text from your own but it's not always clear to us.

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  9. All I can say is, for any camp, make the rules and consequences crystal clear up front and don't make exceptions. Understand your risk. I've seen situations where people running an event keep giving scouts a pass and then all of a sudden the scout bails and we're holding the bag. If the scout bails on a $10 camp then we don't worry about it other than an opportunity to teach a scout a lesson. But it's harder when a scout bails on a $1000 trip because the other scouts will have to cover his cost. As soon as the troop has to make a deposit the scouts owe that much (more likely a week before). If the organization you're paying can deal with late cancellations then things are much more relaxed.

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  10. @TAHAWK, I see what you mean. I fixed your post. This is what I did.

    First, I removed the double quoted post from myself. I have noticed that in order to get rid of one of those blocks there has to be regular text after it. Put the cursor in the regular text and then backspace until the block is deleted. If there are two blocks one past another, a few blank lines can be put between them by creating blank lines past the last block and then moving that block down into the middle of the extra lines. To move a block you can hover the cursor over the block and you'll see a plus sign. Drag and drop that to move the block. This is not the easiest but it's what works for me.

    Next, I got rid of the underlines. I suspect there are extra <div> sections that you can't see that have the underlines in them. If this makes no sense then ignore it. However, to fix it I copied and pasted sections of the underlined text into a new area. PLEASE NOTE: there are two ways to paste text. The default is rich text. Select plain text instead. I believe that removes the <div>s. Again, not great but html editors seem to be notoriously bad. Hope that helps.

    If you want me to make any other changes to your post let me know.

    • Thanks 1
  11. 51 minutes ago, David CO said:

    Moderators have been letting this off-topic topic go on for some time now.  Have they not noticed, or are they greatly relieved that we are no longer talking about the riots and they don't want to spoil a good thing?  :unsure:

    It's not a matter of relieved. I asked if we should act at least as well as what we expect from our scouts and nobody contradicted that idea. Now everyone is acting scout-like and after 20 some pages of people spilling their frustration we've gotten back to something more optimistic. If you want rules and boundaries I'll give them to you but I was hoping that acting scout-like was enough of a description.

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  12. @TAHAWK and @Eagledad, you make some really good points, but I'm not trying to contradict them.

    There are two ideas here. First, one of the reasons the adults glom onto eagle mills and advancement is because that's the biggest, shiniest thing around. It's well laid out and easy to follow. As Tahawk mentions, the patrol method is not very well described. So it's not seen and therefore ignored. Maybe it should be more visible. Second, one thing I like about the advancement model is that there are stages of development, or growth in Eagledad's terminology. It doesn't have to be check boxes. There is a notion that only eagle counts and I really dislike it. I'd much rather see all the ranks be more challenging and that First Class is a respectable place to stop at. Anyway, the idea of having some defined stages might really help. It might help the adults see that there's more to scouting than advancement.

    So, while teaching of outdoor skills can be improved, the teaching of leadership skills can be improved even more. Related to this is teaching adult skills. In all of these I think having levels of skills to master would be much better than the one and done model promoted by BSA.


    24 minutes ago, yknot said:

    Kids today are not taught to work in a team or in a subordinate position to anyone else, they are taught and raised to do what they want and what works for them.

    I always thought mastering teamwork was the first step to developing leadership. Having a new PL try and lead a patrol with little teamwork skills is just a recipe for frustration.


  13. 4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    The Topic Drift Police may arrive directly.

    Could be, but this seems to be more optimistic. I mean, right now it is raining ash in my town and it's supposed to snow tonight. The tomatoes are history.

    4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    WASHINGTON – The National Park Service (NPS) today announced 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017 – almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared to 2016.

    I guess you're saying people do, in fact, enjoy the outdoors. That and the fact that the BSA is hurting is quite a paradox. My neighbor has scout aged kids and they go camping every few weeks in the summer. And yet they have zero interest in scouts.

    4 hours ago, TAHAWK said:

    BSA, as a bureaucracy, has done almost nothing  in decades to encourage use of The Patrol Method and nothing to discourage ignoring that method. Conclusion: ignorance or lack of interest. 

    While I agree, I'm starting to think there's more to it.

    6 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    im not a fan of Eagle Mills, but they do have a better average for new scouts staying because the adults are still so hands on.

    Is it possible they're so hands on because the advancement side of the program is so well defined? There are requirements and stages and a sequence that is clearly described in the scout handbook that explains how to develop an eagle scout. It's easy for the adults to follow that, so they do. It becomes the program because there's nothing else described. There is no such program for developing an independent patrol. No equivalent to tenderfoot through eagle for a patrol or a troop. There is a vague description of patrol method but even if it were given to everyone it certainly doesn't have a 3 to 5 year sequence of more challenging levels to conquer. No requirements for improving teamwork like there is for sharpening a knife. No requirements to organize so many events as a patrol like there are requirements for numbers of nights camping for a merit badge. There's a lot of bling for skill advancement and barely anything for patrol advancement.

    I think that's the type of idea that a troop could just do on their own. It would be interesting to see what it might look like, though.

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  14. Several people have said something along the lines of if you can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen. Except there are a few problems with that. First, the moderators have to stay in the kitchen and keep things civil. Second, if anyone thinks things are better here than on other forums because we're all scouters, you're just wrong. Things don't go completely off the rails because of the moderators. I've seen plenty of moderated political forums that are a lot more scout like than this one. Third, these could be useful topics. I can see why people want to hear both sides, I certainly do. But when someone gets angry and just starts spewing fury it ruins the topic for everyone. Finally, and most importantly, this is a scouting forum. When I put on a scout uniform I hold myself to a higher standard. It seems to me that everyone on this forum should hold themselves to a higher standard. For scout related subjects we do. So why not for all sub forums? We have to follow the ideals of scouting when we're doing scouting stuff but we can use the excuse that "everyone else does it" when we talk about politics? If that's our reasoning then it's just proof that the Scout Oath and Law are a sham. The moderators shouldn't have to remind people it's time to let things go. Instead, we get comments that are just people venting without thinking. Now, I completely understand that times are difficult and people are stressed out. But what do we tell scouts when they have a rough time? We certainly don't tell them it's okay to vent their anger on other people. Why can't we hold ourselves to the same standard we expect from a kid trying to earn eagle?

    I am curious as to what other people, moderators included, think about this.

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  15. Welcome to the forum, @SWOKlahoma

    The numbers you mention are local, not national. The charter organization is who owns the unit. The unit also resides in a council. Those two groups can have fees, one of which you should have some say. The $250 can't be a council fee for reasons that are too complicated to explain.

    The real question is why won't your district help you set things up?

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