Jump to content

Mike F

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Mike F

  1. It's been a while since I pulled up a camp chair around this virtual campfire! We are tentatively planning to do a sailing/snorkeling adventure this summer, but have too many for one Sea Base crew and too few to afford two sail boats. (You have to pay for 8 people - even if have fewer.) The youngest guys are all 15 and they were bumped from Philmont crew last summer (age, size, readiness). Normally I give priority based on age because younger guys have more future opportunities, but really hard to tell these guys no again. I can draw straws for the limited slots. Or am considering going w
  2. Great thoughts! Another I would add is too much emphasis on advancement - especially Eagle. Don't get me wrong - I am a Distinguished Eagle and know the importance of the rank, but for a pre-teen and teenage boy, that's FAR from the top of most priority lists! I think we would keep more active and interested in the program if we would focus more on THEIR interests: Fun, Friends, and Adventure!
  3. Once is bad judgment and a learning experience for offending scout and all in attendance. A repeat offence is a trip home any time, any place, any distance.
  4. Sorry for long post.... The SM Handbook mentions that troops may establish eligibility requirements such as age or rank for positions, but specifics are up to the troop. It really depends on demographics. In the troop I serve, we have wide range of ages and ranks, so we set the bar a little higher than you might in a young troop. Per the SPL and SM Handbooks, there are only two elected positions in the troop: SPL and PL. All others are appointed - by the SPL for troop-level positions (in consultation with SM), and by the PL for positions within his patrol. There are no limitations on
  5. Bart, My biggest beef with similar programs at every camp we have attended is they don't really make sure the guys do everything as written in the requirements and seem to be in a race to get as many things signed off as possible. At the end of camp, we have a bunch of very young guys with a lot of advancement in their books, but they still don't really know how to do any of it. We have asked the camps to not sign any books, just let us know what the boys have done and we'll do our own testing and signoff. This worked sometimes, but last year they signed the books anyway. We will no
  6. Our SPL, ASPLs, and JASMs always eat with adults. They help cook and clean, but we usually take care of the planning and shopping so they can concentrate on getting troop ready to go. They do visit patrol sites during cooking and mealtime to keep an eye on things and to decide on the recipients of the coveted "Golden Spoon" on Sunday morning. They are strongly discouraged from hanging around the patrols - especially their former patrol - for any significant length of time so they don't distract from the PL's authority to run his patrol.
  7. There are plenty of messy bits in this story, but the selection process for SM must be made clear: The Scoutmaster does not work for the Troop Committee. The SM works for the Institutional Head (IH) of the Charter Organization who is represented by the Charter Organization Representative (COR). The Troop Committee Chair also works directly for the IH and the COR (as the official representative for the IH). The SM and CC are supposed to work together under the COR to deliver the Scouting program at the pleasure of the IH. The troop does not belong to the SM or the Troop Commit
  8. diogenes, Wow - many moons ago I was a youth member in your Chapter and served as a Lodge Officer. Although I no longer live in the area, I know your Lodge and Council are going through some tough times. My guess is that your young Chapter Chief has just made a fumbling attempt to do what he was told - find a way to get troops to provide an OA Rep so they have a point of contact for communication with the Chapter and Lodge. More polite requests didn't get the desired result, so he tried something different, but this one isn't likely to get the desired results, either. I doubt the Lod
  9. In an effort to boost Patrol Spirit, our PLC has designed custom patrol patches which are larger and more colorful than the standard BSA patches. This seemed like a great idea and the guys are very excited. Now I learn there is a requirement that all patrol patches must conform to BSA's standard small round template. Your thoughts?
  10. Jack, Good luck - tough situation. There are some other things out of whack, too. Like the TC seems to think you work for them and must run the program they direct. In the troops I have served, SM is responsible for program and TC figures out how to support it. SM and CC are equals - both working "for" the COR. Some give and take is expected. TC is part of the feedback loop to you via BoRs as they gain some independent insight into how your program is running. I agree with the others. Your TC and active parents definitely sound like they want an Eagle Mill troop. "Get Johnny to Ea
  11. If you put it in terms of "High Level" and "Other" (or "Dead Wood"), I would be against it, too. (I have seen the Deadwood Patrol used in a troop many years ago to collect marginally active guys. It was a bad idea then and still is - unless you have some scouts you want to push out.) Perhaps think about it as an experiment within the troop with a mixed-age patrol. I have seen troops with some patrols mixed and some single-age. Usually while in transition one way or the other, but it is certainly possible. I can't imagine wanting to stay with different models within one troop fore
  12. thrifty, Go for it! It could be the seed which changes the culture of your troop!
  13. ThriftyScout, A few thoughts: First, as others have said, if there are at least 2 scouts, they should camp as a patrol. Menu will be simple and they might need some help, but they are a patrol. My other thoughts are more along the line of increasing attendance. - Conflicts. There are always conflicts. Boys are pulled in many directions and they make conscious or unconscious value choices for the best use of their time and energy. - It is possible a program review would be appropriate. -- Are the campouts in a rut same places, same things? -- Whats the overall sp
  14. Barry - another blue ribbon post. I hope you're writing your book!
  15. KC John, Although I've seen this before, I confess to never really paying attention to the meaning, so it took me a minute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law Insightful point!
  16. OneHour, We need to get together over a cup of coffee. I've been down this path, too. Very good advice from Beavah and Eagledad/Barry. I especially liked the idea of phasing it in and allowing it as an option for older scouts. When I helped work the change from single-age to mixed-age patrols in a 135-member troop about 8 years ago, it was really hard on the older guys. I would say neither model is "wrong", but it is different. If the only thing you've known is a patrol full of equal peers, the mixed age patrol is very different and it seems wrong. We took a lot of time working with
  17. Some of the green talk gets a bit carried away, but I'm 100% behind your line of thinking here!
  18. BDPT00 - You're out of line equating a camo colored troop t-shirt with clear Boy Scout markings with something almost-universally hateful like a swastika. I did get an opinion from Council to not do it, but researched the language and realized while there is a ban on incorporating uniform items, there is no ban on colors. "Stupid rules are meant to be broken." - Col Sherman T. Potter, 4077th MASH We'll see you on down the trail. You'll know it's us.
  19. Our PLC decided a few years ago to use a camo pattern for the troop t-shirt. I had been warned about this issue and took it to Council. They told me to not allow camo. (It wasn't BDUs or other real/former/replica military uniform item - just cheap camo t's from t-shirt shop.) After thinking about it a bit, I sided with PLC and we have some awesome camo shirts the boys are proud to wear with troop logo on the front and troop motto on the back. Since we got the camo t-shirts, I always wear specific black t-shirts under my Scout uniform while the boys are in public (camporees, etc) wear
  20. CJames - I'm not sure what you are suggesting, but I think I disagree. As the father of a daughter and sons, I cheer for the success of Girl Scouts, White Stag, and coed Venture Crews (for which I have been an Advisor). And I'll continue to put any energy and resources required to keep Boy Scout Troops for the boys. Most of the boys I serve in the troop have plenty of involvement with girls in school, dating, and other activities. "They (girls?) are needed. Like it or not." I must assume you are talking about youth women (girls), not adult female volunteers and BSA professio
  21. This family is never going to be happy. TT was disruptive and out of control in his previous patrol, so he was moved to where older boys could better control him and help him develop. Now they threaten to quit if you don't move him back to where he was a major disruption? If you don't let this one go, the boys you really want to keep will start walking out the back door. Adios, TT.
  22. thriftyscout asked, "What do you do with the Scouts that don't have enough of their patrol going on a campout?" If we have two boys from a patrol going on a campout, they are a patrol of 2. It's more work for them and we might give them a little help, but there's no way in the world I could disrupt their patrol identity by having them mixed in with another patrol. Back when I served a troop with about 135 boys, they would combine patrols on every campout to get 7-8 boys in each "patrol." This well-intentioned idea about killed the troop as patrol membership lost all meaning. We would
  23. E732, Right on! This is our dream - to help them develop the confidence to stand up when it's time. I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from this young man in the next 2-3 years. One of my best Gold Star moments was about 3 years ago. SPL (also 2nd term) would see visitors walk in the door and push me out of the way to introduce himself and let them know HE was in charge, then procede to show them around and assign the Webe to a patrol for the evening. When he got done with the parents, he brought them over and introduced them to me. Not all boys reach that point, but those Gold
  24. I strongly agree with Shortridge on this one. Under the assumption you want to save the troop, first priority is recharter. If you need the scouts from the problem families, so be it. Recharter and you have a year to work it. Don't take any other strong actions until this is complete. Next, take charge of the committee and provide top cover for the SM. If some don't like it, hear them out and decide if their services are still required on the committee. "Thanks. I hear you, but I'm the CC and this is the way we're going to do it. By the way, this is the way it's spelled out in t
  25. Our guys love it so much they get grumpy if can't camp 300' from nearest patrol when space is limited and it definitely drives our options for weekend campouts. Two cautionary notes: 1. Keep patrols separate. If two or more patrols camp close together away from SPL/Adults, problems will often escalate. 2. Leaders should do some walking about. If we either observe or have reported some significant un-Scout-like activities in the remote camps (language is always first), the PL gets some immediate quality time with SPL (with SM observing) and that patrol may lose their privilege to camp
  • Create New...