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Everything posted by MattR

  1. MomToEli, I saw it in the "So, does this change the discussion?" thread from Lodge 489 on page 2.
  2. The 70% in favor of a local option here matches that of the polled number from the councils. With 70 samples here and 294 council samples (364 total), and 1,039,825 adults in the bsa (from wikipedia), the margin of error is just over 5%. This assumes the poll is random. Still, this is a surprising number to me. Maybe the silver lining of the way this has been handled is that it will start the conversation within the boy scouts. That could make 16 weeks waiting a good thing in the long term.
  3. I think you need to login before you can vote.
  4. Here we sit like birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness. Here we sit like birds in the wilderness, waiting for National to make a decision. Time for some Cheerful. There are two underlying scenarios. The first is they knew they had the vote before hand. The second is they really didn't know the vote. Given the first, this is just a way for the shock to be accepted with the minimum fallout. Some people are upset to the point of making rash decsions. Given the second scenario, this is what they said it is, namely they want to ask more questions. So, I
  5. I don't think I'm over analyzing this. My methods usually work; ask a lot questions and listen. I do appreciate everyone's comments. My plan is starting to gel, even though it will likely change. It is going to be a slow process. I'll start by talking to the CC as the two of us really are the wise men. I'm fairly sure we agree and it is nuanced. Next, we should ask those that do the most work in the troop. They're the ones that have the boys interest in mind and believe the most about what scouting is about. If we get some consensus then great. If I'm in the minority then I have my exit p
  6. 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 a
  7. 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.
  8. Would appreciate some guidance to my previous post. I'm already getting calls from the local paper.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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. Some
  12. 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 se
  13. "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.
  14. Thanks Guy. That's what I was looking for. I'll forward that link to my council.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 mornin
  18. 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
  19. "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 ar
  20. "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.
  21. 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 d
  22. 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 wo
  23. 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
  24. 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 hard
  25. 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.
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