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About NeilLup

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  1. Hello, Emb is exactly right. At one time, the award of 3 or 4 beads was a "badge of office." This meant that one wore those beads only as long as one held the office which was during the course and for 2 years after while people completed their work. However, that was honored pretty much in the breach. Very, very few people stopped wearing their 3 or 4 beads. The 4 beads for Course Directors became permanent in 1973. I'm not sure of the date for 3 beads but believe that it was during the '90s. It is now considered both a badge of office and a recognition.
  2. Did you sent a note to the Chief Scout Executive (Bob Mazzucca) thanking Janice?
  3. On the BSA National Website, there is now a Beta Test of an interactive spreadsheet for the Venturing Crew standards for Journey to Excellence. It is available for all leaders to use, play with and comment. The write-up asks that Cub Scout and Boy Scout leaders check it out and comment as the same format is planned for Cub Scout and Boy Scout spreadsheets also. The request is for comments to JtE@Scouting.org as soon as possible but by March 14th, 2011. Comments to the list are great but I would imagine that making a real difference would require the comment to go JtE@Scouting.org To find the new spreadsheet, to go www.scouting.org then Volunteers>> Journey to Excellence and there it will be for download. Thanks for your review and comments. Best wishes, Neil Lupton
  4. 1) One of the wisest senior Scouters I have known said "We say that Scouting is a youth program, and indeed it is. But truly successful Scouting is an adult program run for the benefit of youth. If the adults are having a good time, and enjoying themselves and each other and having fun and it is clear that good things are happening, the youth will come." 2) I regard Scouting for adults as something like an emotional bank in this area. When we have a good experience and have fun or are rewarded, it puts "chits" in our personal emotional Scouting bank. When we have a negative experience, it takes "chits" out of the bank. Over time, "chits" can get old and stale and need to be refreshed. When our personal emotional bank bank balance is nice and positive, we stay around and are active Scouters. But if the balance gets close to being negative, then we start to ask "Why am I doing this?" and consider quitting. 3) Ordinarily a new Philmont Training Center (PTC) course takes years to get going and fill up. But the most successful new PTC course in recent years is the "Philmont Leadership Challenge" which is essentially the National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (an experiential fun course) run for adults. It is adults acting and experiencing youth like activities for a week with no youth involved. The course was first announced in October, filled by January and has continued to be very popular. It does teach adults how this kind of experiential learning works for youth. If adults don't have fun and enjoy themselves and aren't rewarded and don't feel good about themselves, why volunteer to be unhappy? "Doing good work" and grim sense of duty only can go so far and for so long.
  5. This thread reminds me of a thread from a few years ago discussing a 16 year old young man who was receiving his Eagle Scout award and wanted his girlfriend and son to attend. As with many such things in our society, there is no one, uniform, consistent answer. The posted answers range from "throw the harlot out" to "provide continuous, welcoming support." I suspect that in any reasonably diverse group, those sentiments would be present. To me, the attitude of the young woman would be of significance. a) Is it "I made a mistake and I'm going to do my best for the child that I will have" or is it "Oh, boy, oh boy, isn't it wonderful that I'm pregnant and going to have a baby" or is it "La, la, la, la, I can't hear you, nothing has changed." The attitude that she takes might significantly influence what I believe should happen in the Crew. What attitude and leadership will she bring to the crew. If the lesson is that having a baby is a big thing and that consequently, sex is a big thing, that isn't necessarily bad at all. b) Does she appreciate the physical changes that will be occurring. Initially, no big thing but certainly as the pregnancy proceeds, they are. That could impact high adventure if it is a high adventure Crew. Again, what is her attitude. She is getting a crash course in being an adult. Ideally, she would be the one making the decision about what her relationship with the Crew should be and it would be a reasonable, adult like decision. Isn't encouraging and enabling and empowering young people to become adults and make adult decisions what Venturing (and indeed Scouting) is all about. This is certainly a place where that can happen. No easy answer. That's why we leaders get paid the big bucks.
  6. Congratulations to your son and to you. Neil Lupton Eagle 1959
  7. I would only add one thing to CalicoPenn's good suggestions. If one Scout attacked another, particularly a 17year old almost adult Scout, that isn't just a matter for the institution and the unit, it is also a matter for Scouting. It is a youth protection issue. This matter should be brought to the attention of the Scout Executive of your local council. I would suggest contacting the Scout Executive and stating that you would like to talk about a youth protection matter. Then give the full facts as best you know them. The Scout Executive will make a full and fair investigation and take appropriate action. We read about and at times on these message boards honk about Scouting failing to take appropriate action to protect youth. But Scouting and the Scout Executive can't take action if the don't know that something has happened. And if the investigation shows that something did happen and the unit leaders swept it under the rug, that's not at all a good thing. Give the Scouting system a chance to do its job.
  8. Hello Brotherhood, In the previous round of webinars, we did have one at 8PM Central and attendance was exceedingly sparse. Participation was the least of any webinar we held. We perhaps could have had one that late this round but we hoped the one at 7PM Central would be acceptable. Oak Tree, concerning customer service for government organizations, I have a Scouting friend who was a reasonably high level official for the IRS. He spoke once about the problem of providing customer service for the IRS and the problem is the difference between what the IRS has to consider good customer service and what the taxpayer considers good customer service For the IRS, it is promptly and courteously giving exactly correct information on the tax laws and regulations But for the taxpayer, it is being told that they don't have to pay tax So a customer service agent can tell a taxpayer the exactly correct information and get dinged because the taxpayer doesn't like the answer while they can thrill the taxpayer by giving them a "get out of jail free" card but then the information might be totally wrong. The government doesn't have the option that banks do of giving "courtesy waivers" to make customers happy. He described it as a very tough conundrum.
  9. Hello UCEagle, If you've participated in one of the other webinars, it probably isn't worth it to participate in the Commissioner webinar unless you would be presenting that webinar to other Commissioners. This one is specifically tailored to Commissioners but probably isn't so different that you'l learn that much particularly if you're familiar with KPI and a Balanced Scorecard. Neil
  10. Hello John, That idiot would be me We held the first round of webinars: 1) during the work day 2) in the evening of the work week 3) on the weekend. The webinars during the work day had far and away the best attendance. Evenings during the work were second and weekends were very sparse. You will forgive this idiot for noting the people voting with their feet and scheduling the second round in line with attendance on the first round. All the webinars except Commissioners were recorded and are available on the National website: www.scouting.org >> volunteers >> Journey to Excellence The plan is to record the Commissioners webinar and put that up too. Idiotically yours, Neil
  11. There are now several webinars (about 1 hour or less) scheduled for Commissioners who will have the responsibility of implementing and guiding much of the Journey to excellence program. The link to sign up for the Journey to Excellence Commissioner Webinars is: http://journey-to-excellence.kintera.org/commissioners Scheduled Webinars: Thursday 12/2 1pm Central All comrs. Wednesday 12/8 2pm Central All comrs. Wednesday 12/8 7pm Central All comrs. Friday 12/10 9am Central All comrs. Friday 12/10 2pm Central All comrs. Saturday 12/11 1pm Central All comrs. Tuesday 12/14 10am Central All comrs. I would hope that all Commissioners might consider participating in one of these webinars.
  12. Hello Eagle 732, You haven't identified which is your council, so it's tough to know exactly what they do. If by skimming 30% off the top, you mean that the course is expected to pay for -the use of camp including maintenance and depreciation -the cost of the pros and administrative staff who support the course Then that's an interesting way of looking at it. I know that my council adds, where possible, a 10% contingency and does ask that camps be paid for. I know that it doesn't skim money off the top.
  13. Hello John, From what I understand of ISO 9000, it is a bit much to say that Journey to Excellence is ISO 9000 like. I also am surprised by your saying that the standards and metrics are confusing if one takes the effort to read the requirements rather than just saying "This is too complicated. I can't do this. Hate, hate, hate!!" I would respectfully suggest that the Journey to Excellence metrics for a Troop are items that any Troop should know. The Troop should know how many overnight campouts they went on during the year. The Troop should know how many service projects they did during the year. The Troop should know how many members it has. The Troop should know how many of those members advanced one rank during the year. The Troop should know if its leaders have taken training or not. The Troop should know if its members went to a long term camp during the year. This isn't complicated. As the ESPN program says "C'mon, Man!" At one time, much more complicated metrics were proposed, but they were not included precisely because of reasons of simplicity and user-friendliness for unit level leaders. I would respectfully suggest that the BSA and the local council should be concerned about any unit that doesn't know things like how many campouts they went on during the year. It certainly would be beneficial if this information were non-intrusively available from ScoutNet. That isn't the case now. I believe there is hope that ScoutNet will be upgraded in the next year or two to provide this information. But I would suggest that any unit that reads the form, looks at what is being asked and gets the information that they already have will find Journey to Excellence pretty straightforward.
  14. Hello Eagle, Thank you for your thorough review of the Journey to Excellence program and consideration how it applies to your small unit. I believe that the interests of small units and large units were considered in putting together the program. If I may suggest, let's consider each of the requirements as they pertain to a small, one patrol unit, 10 boy unit. a) Advancement - at the Bronze level, a 2% increase would mean that one more boy advances than did last year. However, achieving Gold would only mean that either 7 boys advance one rank or else if advancement was poor last year, 6 boys advance one rank. In a small unit, each boy can be well known to the Troop leadership. One would hope that plenty of opportunity for advancement is given. Gold should be achievable. That's 300 points b) Retention - If retention was poor last year, you only need to retain one more than last year to meet the Bronze standard. If you are doing well, then you need to retain 8 of 10 to meet both Bronze and Silver. By the way, average retention of all Boy Scouts last year was 78%, so the Journey to Excellence standard is realistic in terms of what, on average, is being achieved. If you're doing well, I would hope you could retain 8 of 10. If not, perhaps not. If you did, that's 150 points for silver. If not, then no points. c) Building Boy Scouting - The average Troop size in the BSA is 14 Boy Scouts, so you're below average. However, you meet Bronze by adding just one member over last year. And in a unit of 10 boys, that's also a 10% increase, so that also meets the Gold standard. So either you made Gold for 300 points or you got no points. d) Training - This is an area where a small unit has a big advantage over a large unit. But let me make sure that I understand. Your Committee is putting in that much effort in support of your Troop but isn't willing to put in about 2 hours on-line at their convenience to participate in Fast Start and This is Scouting on-line to learn what their job is. Something seems to be wrong with this picture. One would hope that at least the Bronze level could be met for 75 points. But maybe not and that's zero points. e) Short Term Campouts - I would hope that you have at least 4 short term campouts during the year for Bronze. That's 50 points. Perhaps you do 8 short term campouts for Silver but that can be tough for a small unit. f) Long Term Campouts - If you have ONE BOY who goes to BSA summer camp (including provisional), or NYLT, or Philmont, or on a high adventure campout, you meet Bronze for 50 points. For our small unit, 6 boys going would be Silver and 7 boys would be Gold. In a small unit with strong program and good spirit, 7 boys out of 10 going to summer camp is very realistic. By the way, I believe that average performance across all Boy Scout Troops is in the 55-60% level. But let's say Silver for 100 points. g) Patrol method - From what you're saying with your active PLC, Silver should be a slam dunk for 100 points. I grant that having a boy go to NYLT to meet the Gold requirement might be tough. However in many councils, there are camperships for NYLT for those boys that really need the help, particularly for small units. Have you asked for that kind of help? h) Service Projects - This can be a bit tougher for a small unit just in terms of numbers. But one service project per calendar quarter sounds pretty reasonable. This can be done as part of a campout i.e. doing some service for the organization that owns the land. That's Bronze for 50 points i) Webelos to Scout Transition - Holding two joint activities in a year seems pretty reasonable if your unit really does want to maintain or increase membership. That's Bronze for 50 points. Granted that recruiting two or five Webelos Scouts might be tough although not impossible if you really want to do it. j) Budget - Here again, your small unit has an advantage. It should be pretty easy to get the Committee, plus PLC together to put together your annual budget and have it approved by May 31. That's Gold for 100 points. k) Courts of Honor - Don't know how many Courts of Honor you have, but in a small unit, putting together a Court of Honor is pretty easy and doesn't involve the logistics of a larger unit. If there is one after the summer, one before Christmas and one in the spring, that's Silver for 50 points l & m) Reregister on time and fill out the Journey to Excellence Form - A pretty easy 100 points. So, unless I miss something, if you're reasonably active, you get 1425 points and that's a very solid Silver in Journey to Excellence. Of course, if you don't have advancement, you don't do short term or long term camping, your Committee doesn't plan a budget and you don't recruit or retain Scouts, then you could have as few as 350 points and that doesn't even meet Bronze. But isn't that an accurate reflection of the program and performance of that Troop. I hope this next comment isn't offensive to you and I apologize if it is. However, I have seen two reasons that Troops are small -- smaller than the 14 boy average Troop. In some cases, it is because they believe that they want to be small and the logistics and arrangements of outstanding program are easier with a small unit. A unit like that would have no problem in Journey to Excellence. For example, if they hold their own long-term camp or high adventure camp, that would count for the long term camping requirement. But the other reason is that for whatever reason -- demographics of the area where they are located, willingness of Troop leadership to commit the time and interest, leaders who are tired and are going through the motions, failure to recruit younger Scouts and having older boys who have other interests, a Committee and Scoutmaster's staff which has become a "club" and chases away new members -- the unit is small because program is weak and because they are unwilling and/or unable to recruit. In those cases, an assessment and evaluation program like Journey to Excellence program will suggest that the unit is weak and it will be correct. You are correct that Journey to Excellence is voluntary. You don't have to participate. However, hopefully, it is a good way to plan for the year and then assess how you are doing. If your assessment is that you won't do well on Journey to Excellence, does that provide any helpful guidance to you?
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