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Posts posted by MattR

  1. 10 hours ago, ValleyBoy said:

    The councils plan is that each unit must raise 250 dollars for the council for each youth that is on the unit roster as of the last day July. 

    Wow, my council only charges $200. But that was before covruptcy.

    It looks like the exact same formula we have. They can't require it. National said as much when they said councils can't charge more than national.  We heard the same threats. We do the best we can and tell them good luck. Treat it as a recommended donation.

    I stopped donating all together. I'm not sure about your council but mine is doing unethical accounting at best and likely illegal. When they get their act together I will resume donating.

    • Sad 1
    • Upvote 2
  2. JTE is a wishful concept that came out of SMART goals, which gives little guidance on running a non-profit. So scrap JTE and start over. I do not know how to run a non-profit, so talk to someone that does on the requirements for this. But here are my observations.

    Ensure the board is separate from the staff and does its job. The board is not a fundraising mechanism. It is a way to check the staff and ensure the council is serving the needs of the youth.

    Budget issues are what pollutes the motivation of the council, so ensure the budget is watched closely and it's transparent to everyone. A balanced budget doesn't imply the needs of the youth are being met.

    Leadership is important in a council, ensure there's a process for hiring and promoting good people from anywhere, ensuring there's enough money to pay them (rather than through event fees, like my council does) and that poor performers are either improved or let go. That includes the CE.

    The council's primary job is ensuring the units are successful. It is not accounting or membership. I'm not sure how to measure whether a unit is successful, but JTE style metrics is not it. Is the troop actively run by the scouts? Are the scouts having fun? Is there a pipeline of leadership and growth for all members of a unit (scouts and adults)? Do all the members of a unit understand the fundamentals - that are not described ... anywhere?



  3. One handbook per program.

    One shirt. Nothing is sewn onto the shirt that ever needs to be removed (flag, wosm, aol). No council patch, city and state is fine. In fact, transferring stuff to a larger shirt is something a scout can do in about 10 minutes.

    As for program features, training, general info, make a wiki and identify volunteer editors, that reflect the program, to make a living document.

  4. The style of ours is mainly to get the adults out of camp. Examples are do a polar plunge, go to an adult shoot, visit the canteen for coffee, do one of the hikes, do some adult meetings, go fishing and, while not getting out of camp, take a nap.

    7 hours ago, David CO said:

    No.  Our unit leaders have all reached a degree of maturity, and have achieved many adult accomplishments in their lives, so they aren't motivated by beads, pins, patches, and other childish stuff.   

    I believe there's another patch for that, the Grinch Master. 😀 I enjoyed being childish around the scouts. It's the same reason that I'd kneel down to get at their height when talking to them about something serious.

    • Haha 1
  5. 16 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

    Good report

    Now if BSA can get 6,000,000 more Scouts to attend and they can make a net profit of $125 per Scout they can break even on the 3/4 of Billion Dollar Investment made


    Assuming the scouts didn't get sick the more important idea is that a bunch of scouts had fun. If they could do this at summit they could do this at any camp. I hope the good news holds.

    • Upvote 1
  6. Nice story but it would seem better to have gotten involved in that kid's life before he became friends with the other two that were arrested.

    The real story is US incarceration rates are high. We all know that. The fact that the BSA can't get something like Boy Power to work suggests something the BSA should work on rather than put out a new MB.

  7. Let the fight begin. It would have been easier if they had started with the last sentence.

    I wonder what happens in the scenario where a council property is "hidden" by giving it to a holding company with the intent of getting it back in the future, the council is disolved and a new one replaces it. Where does that leave the property? Legal ring 6, probably.

  8. 3 hours ago, David CO said:

    I couldn't disagree with you more.

    Of course you can't! My guess is you do indeed have a lot of fun howling at the moon on campouts. I also suspect you enjoy ribbing both scouts and adults, given your penchant for sarcasm I see here. The thing is, I don't think that has anything to do with humility. I do all those things as well because it's fun and the scouts really enjoy seeing an adult that can be silly, make a joke and take ribbing as well. Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less. And yep, that's a quote. You can be loud and boisterous and still think of others.

    At the same time, humility is hard for me. It's a lot easier to decide if I'm being cheerful than humble.

    1 hour ago, David CO said:

    I was responding to MattR,  who didn't say that his views on humility were based on his religion.  They might have been.  I don't know.  I am not going to make any assumptions. 

    I don't mind talking about my religious views. I'm sure @SSScout would enjoy it. The timing is good as last week's Torah portion has a lot to do with humility. It's where Korach and his patrol confront Moses and say "you're not my boss." Moses, replies that he never asked to be SPL, and that Korach should be careful. Korach isn't, Moses begs the Great Moderator in the sky not to wipe out Korach's entire family and Moderator says okay, fine, I'm just going to smite the one patrol. This portion is full of "wait! what?" moments but, after reading some opinions reaching back 2500 years, of others far more knowledgeable than I, at least to me this is about humility. One rabbi wrote that this is about how to argue with others. Arguing is fine, but there are good arguments and bad arguments. If the goal is to win or bludgeon the other then the argument is useless and should be avoided. Rather, if the goal is to find common understanding then it's good and should continue. It doesn't mean you have to come to agreement, but if you're going to argue then do it right. That takes humility.


    What a great topic. You should start one and see where it goes.

    @Eagledad, I put it here for a reason. The term Scoutmaster is denigrated because somehow all masters are deemed bad. But it's worse than that. All leaders, bosses and even knowledgeable people are considered highly suspect these days. That's a problem. There is not enough humility. And in another thread about how to sell scouting to parents, trying to sell leadership skills to people that don't even understand what good leadership means, that don't even trust leadership, doesn't seem to be productive. I agree that there are other problems that are more tractable for us to argue about.

    • Like 1
  9. It's a hundred year old program with hundred year old titles, oath and law. What's more, I first got into it just about 50 years ago. So, that makes me old and I've never really thought about the titles. I honestly don't care whether the titles change or not. If it works for new scouts and parents then we should do that, as it's for them anyway. I'm not sure they would care so who knows.

    While we're here I would like to add a 13th point to the scout law, however. I think Humble would be a good one. Maybe the assumption is that in order to be all of those other things like courteous and helpful, one has to be humble so there's no need to explicitly say it. It would just be easier to talk to some scouts, that are too full of themselves and starting to annoy everyone around them, that humility is a good thing. But that's a different topic.

    • Upvote 2
  10. 9 hours ago, Treflienne said:

    Note to moderators:  this is in the wrong category.  Scouts BSA for girls is not "Girl Scouting"

    Good catch. It's now in Open Discussion.

    While friends are currently the best way to get new members, @Snowball makes a good point in that there's not a good sell of why scouting is good, primarily aimed at the parents. In other words, just because friends is the current best method doesn't mean that's good enough. As the numbers go down there are fewer friends and hence, fewer new scouts. We ask the scouts in our troop to bring freinds and that's a small number of kids that show up. Of the ones that get in the door, many join, but we don't see many friends.

    Scouting is a weird mix and it's not at all obvious why it's a good program unless you've seen it. That's a problem. Everyone understands what sports is about so teams don't need to sell the why, scouting does need to sell the why. So let's try here. Give a few words that describe the benefits of scouting, directed towards the parents, that do not come from the law or oath.

    I'd say responsible, confident, and caring. Anyone else?

  11. 48 minutes ago, yknot said:


    I know. But it's becoming pretty obvious that protests, bars, and tattoos have not been a great idea. 

    My understanding is indoor crowds (bars and tattoo parlors) are much worse than outdoor crowds. A fair amount of analysis has gone into this. I'm cautiously optimistic those scouts have a fun safe trip. That would be wonderful news. 

    69roadrunner, keep us informed till a few weeks after they get back.

  12. I don't. But I suspect a critical mass of girls having fun doing scoutish things would really help. Campfire, s'mores, girl scout songs along with cheerful, friendly and kind. All new scouts are looking for the same thing: will I be welcome here? The worst thing I've seen is a program for new scouts that the old scouts don't care for. The new scouts get some lip service about how great the troop is and then the new scouts are mostly ignored for the rest of the night. The new scouts read right through it.

    But that.doesn't answer the question of how to get them in the door.

    • Upvote 1
  13. Not sure if this is considered legal, given all the lack of clarity, but our take was that scouts had accounts and any money earned could be used to defer expenses that pertained only to scouting. So, paying for summer camp or uniforms was okay but buying gear that could be used outside of scouting was not. After the scout left the troop the remainder of the account went to the general fund. So, the money was used in the context of scouting and the scout gained experience at earning money and managing it, both of which are skills we want them to learn. It didn't bother any of the CPA's in the troop and they were much happier that scouts couldn't use the money to buy skis or bikes. They were extremely happy that we wouldn't write a check for the balance once scouts turned 18, which is what was going on before I was SM.

    Pick your battles.

  14. On 6/27/2020 at 12:33 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:



    Sorry I couldn't resist.

    Just an FYI,  we've been removing media that does not pertain to the topic. I'm tired of being the school marm with the ruler smacking knuckles. Consider your knuckles spared :)

    • Haha 1
  15. @mashmaster, I always tell scouts that email is not effective. If the scout wants others to show up he should talk to them. Phone will work but going up and asking them, personally, is the way to do it. Since it's such a cool project, he could also tell them there will be pizza and a chance to use the trail afterwards.

  16. Is a McDonald's franchise considered a separate legal entity from the corporation?

    Maybe it's time for someone with legal expertise to help us understand the relationship between councils and the BSA. Just a hunch, but since the courts haven't thrown out the idea that councils are part of the BSA, it's not simple.

  17. 1 hour ago, Thunderbird said:

    I guess I'm not following you, because the rank requirements specifically say that Assistant Patrol Leader is not an approved position of responsibility for the Star, Life, or Eagle rank.  :confused:  The leadership project is an alternative way to fulfill this requirement, as long as it is Scoutmaster-approved and helps the troop.

    Looks like you're right. Once upon a time I thought it was.

  18. What does it take to sew canvas or typical tent fabric? Canvas seems way to thick for a standard sewing machine. Can it be done by hand?

    I think it would be a great scout project. Make a patrol tent composed of a single pole and  segments, one for each patrol member, that zips, ties or snaps together. </wistful thinking about camping>

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