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Everything posted by Momleader

  1. Momleader

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    Sorry, but National cannot blame volunteers for this and the current financial mess the organization is in, they can blame certain volunteers with a predilection and drive to molest the youth entrusted to them and they can blame their predecessors for not being more proactive in eliminating those individuals from the roles of volunteers. They can blame those who were spending the money at the National level for properties like SBR. They can take a long hard look in the salaries at the top level of national and the council execs (who should NOT be earning more that schools superintendents in their region) Since the announcement of the new National fees and this Philmont Mortgage there has been lots of unhappy grumbling in my district. Our council charges a ‘Program Fee’ per youth or adult registered. When pressed over the past years as to what portion of program it covers they finally came clean and said the council offices and salaries. They were offended at the suggestion it be called a Council Membership Fee or Council Joining Fee like National does. When they were pressed about what kind of cub programs (day/weekend events) they will offer, the answer was “depends on what the volunteers want to plan, organize and then we will help them figure a budget and an attendance fee”. No staffers available to come help with the event. Sorry but I’m a little skeptical about the future. We go to Roundtable and get finger wagged about about all the things we could/should be doing to make things better for the organization and a lot of the smaller units want to make things better for the kiddos they are serving first. Show me one adult volunteer who wants to be told by council about all the stuff they aren’t doing right or enough of and here is more paperwork/online training that you need to do so we have data on the program. Case in point: this month the report was how the cub camp at council camps have declining numbers for resident and day camp. This is because, strangely a lot of the packs in our district are opting to hold Weekend Pack Campouts because it’s less $$ for families and program can be tailored to the group. BSA should decide if they want to use camping as a money maker or skills/leader maker. To blame volunteers for the financial problems is wrong. The people at the top control the purse not the volunteers
  2. Momleader

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    Ive never made it to Philmont. My husband and kids went twice together and husband went as a scout. We’ve all been to the ‘Summit’ twice. They said they will never go back to WVA. There is absolutely no comparison and it isn’t the ‘summit’ experience you would expect it to be - they felt the Jambos were an exercise in hurry peace and wait. Hubby had been to one at AP Hill. I wasn’t all that impressed with what I saw of the ‘Summit’ either - but I was working 10hr days with 2 half days off in the merit badge area. Seemed like a giant summer camp week
  3. Momleader

    Burnout - Its Hit Me

    I’ve been at this leader gig what feels like a long time. Over 12 years. I totally understand burnout. I would say, first and foremost focus on your child and families happiness before the ‘good of the group’. It sounds selfish, but if your child isn’t having fun and you’re stressed out from wearing to many hats then they could start resenting the program and the other kids. I’ve seen it happen - in our pack and in others. Our own Kids can be fickle creatures some days - happy you’re involved but green eyed & jealous when they feel others are getting all the attention - even if it’s not the case - it’s all perception. Sometimes just stepping back to a fun role is helpful. I would try that and maybe ask if your Woodbadge fee could be credit it’s toward another course In the future.
  4. As we wrap up one Cub Scout school year we are planning next fall’s recruitment event. This past year we barely squeaked by and parents have said they aren’t going to pay more than the dues we charge. Our town’s merchants group cancelled a big event where our main fundraiser has always been held last year and next year. The PTOs and high school fundraise the hell out of the community - like something every couple weeks - it’s awful. Does anyone know if the fees for National are going up? If so what the rumbling? Anyone hear a number? Asked at the council offices but got no reply. We heard at Roundtable our council fees will probably go up but they will wait until August to announce it - since the council fee is almost the same as Nationals we are worried. What’s the scoop??
  5. Momleader

    What are the BSA priorities??

    Bring back the pioneering and Native American skills and games that were in the old Cub Program. Let them play games that they can get filthy dirty in. Our fall hike was based on the old Bear leaf ID elective and the kids had a blast stomping around to identify them with an arborist dad. One Grampa in the group found paw prints near the water and the cubs were trying to ID them back at the luncheon with the old stalking/tracking MB books the troop in town keeps on hand. parents need to let the youth fail - fail at making a fire, or a meal or having their tent set up so it doesn’t leak. It’s not like they’re being sent into the woods solo to fail - there are friends and adults there so it doesn’t get dangerous. STEM/STEAM is good but they get that at school. What about letting the kids make the connection from ‘old’ skills to the STEMy stuff themselves.
  6. Momleader

    Where would you go?

    Actually they are voting today I believe, announcement tomorrow if the They includes scout execs I know ours will vote for more $$. He has to protect his well over $200k every year (yes it’s that high. Saw & read the annual report). He actually makes more than a few superintendents of schools in the council area. no matter how large and well funded a unit is. The increase in fees will have a negative impact on the program that can be delivered at the local level. Something that seems to have been lost on the bombardiers of this latest adventure.
  7. Momleader

    Where would you go?

    Considering tomorrow is the date we have been told we would hear by....every council is doing a good job keeping mum about it if they know yet. as to pack’s budgeting for this - it’s hard to budget for something like this when we were told NO New Increases. Then we get told as school starts, there’s an increase to insurance fees, and we might be raising the council fees now .... then the day after recruiting night ‘guess what?! National is raising the rates!!’ It’s a moving target and makes you dizzy trying to follow it after the dust settles if our pack doesn’t have to refund all the parents the fees paid for this year (19-20) I will probably stick around and keep finding adult training like Baloo/owls for the pack leaders even going out of Council when need arises and planning kid friendly stuff for the remaining cubs to do
  8. Momleader

    Court of Honor

    Let the girls who are working on communication merit badge know if they plan and emcee the COH it counts as a requirement #8 I believe
  9. Momleader

    What Summertime Activities Does Your Pack Do?

    Also if your town/area communities have a small gauge RR with RR car bikes that can be tons of fun for cub families. (Workout for the parents) but really a neat free/low cost thing to do
  10. Momleader

    First Campout...

    Double Eagle: Stop Running / No running is acceptable. Especially in our council camps - when my boys were cubs we had a summer camp week where the ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) child was told stop running in camp several times and it was explained daily why no running in camp - until he ran in camp, tripped on a rock or tree root and broke his hand. Safety doesn’t always need gentle reminders this weekend we had a cub Activity day with picnic & s’mores after. One cub family left early because their child wanted to eat s’mores while everyone was eating lunch (everyone was told those would be made after everyone ate lunch). Parents told the child - to eat their lunch or sit quietly and “if your going to have a tantrum over the rules-we go home” and they did. 👏👏👏
  11. Momleader

    Council lost application

    At Roundtable yesterday - heard our council lost a packet of Cub Applications with a leader application from a pack the next town over. And I know of a couple Eagle Applications that were misplaced for months, presumed lost and found after parents of Eagles raised heck. how do other councils handle this handing over of information? Do they sign for it or give a receipt? sadly this is nothing new in our council (most of us scan and keep a copy just in case) but in the event of leader apps there are SSNs on there. Shouldn’t they be more careful to protect that information?
  12. Momleader

    Cub Scout Fishing Derby

    What about best selfie with catch. Parents will probably be taking photos
  13. Momleader

    possible fee increase coming

    At Roundtable yesterday our interim DE (6 months) said they’ve heard nothing about what the national fees might be, other than substantial (probably more than $5-10/registeree). When he was pressed if the council fee would stay the same or increase also, answered the board will decide after National makes an announcement what the council fee will be based on membership numbers. But they want our Charters returned and paid for on 12/2/19 for processing. 🤦‍♀️ 7 business days out from national’s communicated date and no leaks or rumblings - hmmm. not sure what anyone else is hearing but that’s what we have heard in our state
  14. Momleader

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    I see 2 HUGE flaws with their way of thinking on this one.... My pack’s CO (we have to follow safe church and BSA YPT) requires if cubs are camping a parent/guardian attends while cub is on campout regardless of rank and we have had NO problems. When they cross to the Troop the kids are excited to finally camp without a parent present 😂. first flaw - site rental at the council run camps in our state - you book for the weekend. And they are minimum hour drive away. Following this rule of national councils should reduce the rate we pay so we only pay for the time in camp it will be a cold day in hades before that will ever happen. We have to rent the site and pay a per person surcharge ($3). second flaw - what happens on a pack family campout when a parent comes with 2 siblings (Tiger and Bear or Above). “Sorry but little Joey has to go home after one night but little Johnny can stay?” How is that family friendly BSA? Kids here know that our pack is Year round outdoors activity related. We’ve had more kids join because of this and a few quit because they don’t like the outdoor activities much. I held my fist Lion/Tiger den meeting this week every child was asked what was the one thing they wanted to do before the Blue & Gold awards ceremony In spring as a Cub Scout? #1 Sleep in the woods in a tent with a fire, #2 catch lots of fish (we have a large state forest in town - good fishing). We have den goals posters every year the kids make up...bears want to earn whittling chip and get a knife and camp.
  15. Momleader

    Webelos Camporee (Webelosree)

    Tried to attend one of these when my own kid was a Webelos. It was in a different district in our council - those running it weren’t very welcoming when we asked if we could attend (we had never heard of one before). what kind of activities/achievements were worked on?
  16. The squirrels have run through. I think folks heads are still trying to absorb the idea of increases in fees and looming bankruptcy announcements while trying to run a decent program for the kids.
  17. Momleader

    patrol and den flags

    We’re bringing back the den flags this year! Going to Walmart getting some white cloth and a packet of grommets (have the install tool). Each den gets one with the rank name on it for the kids to decorate with fabric markers.
  18. Momleader

    Join Scouts, get a free uniform via Goodwill and Council

    Glad to see that Goodwill is working with them cooperatively. I tried working with the 2 Goodwill Stores in my area and the manager says they usually toss scout uniforms out to the bins that go to the goodwill outlet (where you rummage around and pay per pound) or they wind up in the bin of Halloween costumes. I offered to bring a bin in for them to toss uniforms into but they said it wasn’t allowed. Kind of a shame because we could have recycled them into the pack and other packs in the area. I did leave a card at the kid consignment shops and smaller thrift stores for this reason though - I will buy them. One problem we have is kids join and their parents come asking for a uniform they can’t afford, if we have a uniform for them, we ask they return it for the next size or if they decide to not do scouts anymore. We NEVER get those back to pass along to another scout in need. Biggest reason I would love to see Cub Scouts move to a polo shirt uniform per rank (keeping it around $15-$20 each) - plus they would fit better.
  19. We have 2 families that signed up their 3 cub scouts and are now asking for financial aid. I emailed them to give the free/reduced lunch info from my council. And I’m waiting for them to get me that info to drop off with the applications. Not sure if either qualify for the lunch letter or not , they haven’t replied. How do your packs determine financial aid from the pack? Do you have criteria or application process? Who Makes the awards decisions so that it is fair and doesn’t look like anyone is being favored over another? Should our chartered org be in charge of this decision? The pack doesn’t have the funds to cover the kids fully or partially unless we start charging the adult leaders. We don’t sell the popcorn: sales declined in our pack drastically and then parents voted to not do it as a fundraiser (they don’t want to sell anything) and as the Committee Chair, it’s not my place to be the only one at a show and sell for it.
  20. Momleader

    possible fee increase coming

    Whoa I hope you’re wrong. $67 increase is a big pill to swallow! Does anyone else think there will be a number by the promised 10/23 date or will they push it out again?
  21. Momleader

    possible fee increase coming

    I feel duped & letdown by the organization. I opened my email last night and felt anger the council emailed leaders - this morning I opened it again and felt sick because there was more email about it all - Last night our council sent ‘the letter’ to every registered family. Our pack just sorted out how to absorb the “no fee increase - fee increase to council fees” since it was announced after we collected dues for 2019-2020. The bsa circle talk about money matters is beyond ridiculous. National knows that more kids join the program at the start of the school year than other months - the data will show that. So they know this should have been timed to have occur at least over the summer (municipal budgets start July 1) but ‘no...let’s wait until mid 4Q to announce a change in pricing’. What happens if they actually announce bankruptcy in the following 1Q or 2Q how is that trustworthy of them? I will be directing every single parent with questions to our DE and Scout Exec. They can do the explaining about how they have come at these numbers. They can come to a parent info session and give the reasons. And they can’t blame it all on lower number of kids signing up, LDS departure or decreased popcorn sales.
  22. Momleader

    Back to school night recruitment

    Things went good tonight. Couple odd questions I’ve never been asked before and I’ve been a Cub Scout leader for almost 15 years. Both my own kids are eagles. 1. Does the cost to join include the uniform. (No, never has in our pack over 50+ years) 2. What den are your kids in? One in college and one is a high school senior and JASM (Eagle). 3. So if your kids are pretty much done why are you still doing it? I wanted to give the snippy answer ‘because parents aren’t volunteering to be leaders and the kids deserve the chance to be cub scouts’. I gave the adult answer ‘ I saw how much my kids had fun in the pack and want other kiddos to have the same fun and I work with scouts up until they are Eagles’.
  23. Momleader

    Back to school night recruitment

    Oh that’s just great! Makes me really sad and kinda feel used by younger families in our area. I even wore my Uniform that has my district patches on it. Last year I helped get the lion den off the ground since parents were not stepping up to be a leader/point person for the den - some were shocked that they couldn’t just drop the kid off for the hour activity - what does that say? I get that people are especially wary and want to protect their kid given the history and the news. Our Cubmaster & some leaders wouldn’t have been able to attend 3 different schools we recruit from because they’re at one of them as a parents for their kids. I wish the people could see This is when the committee members with older kids step up and help the pack out because they want to help not because they have bad intents
  24. Momleader

    possible fee increase coming

    I wish we could eat the delta. We had a rough time the last couple years with council fees coming up and eating that delta in September. They know we announce dues/fees at the start of the school year and their financial year begins in January?
  25. Momleader

    Fundraiser shutdown

    Talking with a friend in another council (next State) over the weekend about fundraisers and different ones that were profitable. They told me their Pack & Troop was doing a badge sewing day. Shirts updated, sashes even stuff for girl scouts updated. They had some moms & sewing machines, matching threads all lined up and willing. $5 to update a shirt or buck a badge. Local council found out and pitched a fit. Because the scout store does it and the $$ goes to friends of scouting. (They charge a lot more than $5/shirt). They also said they were made to feel it was because they don’t sell popcorn (their HS football boosters sell the fancy prepopped cones of popcorn and has the market) I understand there are rules for a reason but this wasn’t going to make the group rich at all. They were hoping to use the $$ for some shared equipment (large grill and new fire pit supplies). But seems councils always need their cut - even if the offer no support of a particular event/project.