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NewCubDad

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Everything posted by NewCubDad

  1. NewCubDad

    1930 kids' games and songs

    I started searching for these things to add to my Den meetings and I'm having some trouble locating much via the internet. I've got a message in to my local library. Anyone have any suggestions about where to get this information?
  2. I spent a bit of time between our pack meeting last night and now pondering this question. We ended up with a situation where a boy didn't bring his car to the weigh in at the Pack meeting. Why isn't important. What bothers me is the CM was firm in not allowing the boy to have his car measured some other day so he could be included in the races. Keep in mind that our weigh in date is 10 days before race date, so there isn't any time crunch that would preclude anyone from being able to measure another car before race day. Now I understand the need to follow the rules, but unwavering adherance to a deadline that results in the exclusion of a boy seems a bit extreme. It's not like he cheated. But what's most important? Participation or strict adherance to all the rules?
  3. NewCubDad

    pinewood derby questions

    Semper - I found a pack, but got the "Don't Leave Us" speech from a couple of the den parents. I decided to try to be a better scout and suck it up for a little while longer. Though after digging into the PWD rules & procedures (something I didn't do when I'd decided to step down) and browsing through the Scouter forums, I'm sure you can guess what I think of my decision to be a better scout - but hey, we've got a 6-lane track, so it's not all bad.
  4. NewCubDad

    pinewood derby questions

    Actually, the cars are weighed in and 'impounded' 10 days before the race. So the opportunity to cheat is the same as if the cars were weighed in the day of the race. My preference would be to have the workshops & unofficial weigh in earlier and a final weigh in the day of the race. But for some reason we've got folks who think it's easier to collect all the cars early, transport them to a holding area, store them, then transport them to the racing venue, then sort them out before the races - without damaging a single one in the process.
  5. NewCubDad

    pinewood derby questions

    EagleInKY - I agree, when I first saw 'single elimination' in the pack handout I was bothered, because it means 'one & done.' I got one of the old timers to explain what the format is & now us newbies are a bit happier. Semper - I see the pluses to having the cars handled by the officials after weigh in. But it'd sure be nice if the kids were more than observers during race day. The other point I didn't mention is our weigh in is at the monthly pack meeting, which is 10 days before the race. I think that's a bit too far in advance, but you take the hand you're dealt.
  6. NewCubDad

    pinewood derby questions

    I'm struggling with the 'elimination' descriptions myself. Our pack calls the race method 'Single Elimination,' but here are the race rules: "Each car will race once on each lane (6 lane track). So each kids car will go down the track a minimum of 6 times. When there is more than one den in a rank level, the top three racers from each den will go onto the Rank Championship. The top three racers from each rank will then go onto the pack championship." So rather than 'single elimination' it sounds a bit like a cross between a balanced racing method and an elimination method. I say a mix because if you've got 2 dens at a level, or a large den, then only the top 3 finishers in their round of 6 heats race each other. I don't know what name this might be, but I'm still stuck with the problem of at least 50% of the kids being done after their 6 heat round. Hey, I'm also curious, are the boys pretty much spectators after car inspection (adults set up and run all the heats), or are the boys responsible for their cars during race day?
  7. NewCubDad

    looking for 75th anniversary graphic

    Try this one http://www.trcbsa.org/anniversary/anniversary.htm
  8. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    I've ranted about the problems with my pack before, and buckled down to do what is best for the boys in my den. Patience and hard work will eventually make the hard wo I've just returned from the monthly 'committee' meeting. Where I found out that the CO doesn't have an interest in the workings of the Pack and isn't interested (so the 'leadership' says) in helping out with popcorn sales, 75th anniversary activities, or pretty much anything else. The 'leadership' is very comfortable in their rut. When I asked about interest in family camping (or even getting a gauge of interest in this from families) I was met with blank stares and the 'new guy' eye roll. I asked about 75th anniversary activities & the cubmaster didn't even know there was a national patch program for the 75th anniversary. The cubmaster & CC are not fulfilling their leadership responsibilities (we're just volunteers) and the boys are missing out on much of the 'fun' things scouts could do because of this. Basically, I've been in scouting 2 months and I don't see that staying with this pack makes much sense. The pack meetings are boring, there's no annual planning (so family camping, summer activities, winter camping, etc. are not even mentioned) and the parent involvement is zip. So after looking over the forums I see that some might view my expectations as those of a 'Type A' personality that might not fit in well with scouting or any other organization. I think I should shop around my area to see if there is a pack that has more interest in running a quality program. Any thoughts?
  9. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    I was going to let this thread die, but yesterday we received a Christmas card (don't call the PC police, we still have Christmas!) from a distant relative whom we haven't been in touch with in over a decade. Turns out they have a boy in 2nd grade & they just joined scouts this year. Here's what they had to say: "...He has joined the Cub Scouts, and he really likes it but they run it nothing like when my brothers were in it in (DELETED). Here, they only have meetings every other week and they only get their badges once a year, rather than as they earn them. It makes it hard to get him to work towards them, and it really aggravates my mom and dad. But (HE) likes it and I don't want to discourage him. We're going to try a pack in (DELETED) to see if they're a little more structured and organized because that was my main motivation in putting him in. We'll see what happens." No kidding - This relative is on my wive's side of the family and is probably a 2nd or 3rd cousin and lives 800 miles away from us. (possibly a new thread, but..) Has this type of thing always happened with scouting? or is there an increase in the number of newcomers to scouts that are surprised to find that things are 'more relaxed' or 'less organized' than what they expected?
  10. NewCubDad

    Pack budget to den level

    Yeah, I almost bit on Fscouter's sarcasm, too....
  11. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    Alright, it's a day later now. I've visited the other pack in my area and talked with the CM, CC and a couple of den leaders. I've seen a huge difference in the way this other pack is run. As I look back on the other postings, what I've determined is it comes back my 'responsibility' rant of last night. Some leaders/parents accept the responsibility and some leaders/parents do not. Top differences: Pride - Check the uniforms - 'Quality Unit' badges - I saw 2 different years displayed (on different leaders) and I was witness to a National Den Award ceremony. Volunteers - 3 parents sitting on the Popcorn/wreath sales committee & others assisting. A separate person chairing the Pinewood derby. Someone else handling membership & awards. Plus, during the Web2 awards, the CM made sure to point out that the pack would need additional volunteers when these boys leave the pack. Goals - One of the pack goals is to achieve Quality Unit status and National Den Awards for each pack. Execution - Goals are OK, but these guys sat down and planned the year to help the Pack and the dens meet the goals. They might fail, but they're making sure the opportunities for success are scheduled. Crossover - Most Webelos make the crossover into scouting. Family Camping - The pack is involved with not 1, but 2 family camping activities (spring & fall). To do this, they are working 'out of district' to be a part of their camping program. Experience - CM was an Eagle. CC was an Eagle. Community - The pack contributes to the community - last night was 'shelter sock' night. Instead of making ornaments or having a gift exchange, the pack collected toiletries for a charitable organization and the boys packaged them in felt socks. The Webelos boys will deliver them to the organization. Did I ask about the CO? No - it's a church and I am familiar with them and have fewer reservations about the relationship than I do with the CO of my current pack - though they do provide the space for the Pinewood derby and the scouts serve on Scout Sunday there. I don't think this other pack is some sort of overachieving, all-work-no-fun pack. They're trying to follow the model and they're providing a good (quality?) program. Head and shoulders above my current pack - and quite a few others if the responses to my posts are any indication.
  12. NewCubDad

    Pack budget to den level

    It seems to all come back to the quality & imagination of the pack leaders. Of course, as den leaders, it's up to us to either reign in our extravagant plans or share them with the committee and ask for financial help - either with ideas to make them happen with less money or with actual dollars.
  13. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    Yes, I'm beginning to understand that the CO is mostly a 'requirement' that has few enforced obligations. I imagine that most go through a 'testing the limits' phase as the boys do, and found that they can get away with doing very little and that's worked out fine for them. Assuming the pack has decent leadership, I don't see that a pack would be hurt too badly by an inactive CO. Do I expect a CO to spoon feed me a program? Not at all. I've got plenty of program help available to me. I generally expect that people and organizations live up to their responsibilities. When a CO takes responsibility for a Pack, I would expect no less of them. I expect the boys to take thier responsibilities seriously, I take mine seriously, why should I expect less of the CO? (I can already hear the 'Where's the fun?' posts being typed)
  14. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    I have sympathy for fotoscout's POV, but I struggle with the ever increasing likelihood that I'll end up 'doing it all' in the pack because the entrenched leadership as well as the CO have not shown much interest in changing things. So instead of having a Pack structure that supports the dens, it'll be a den making things available for the rest of the pack. Burnout, here I come!! Plus, if the other pack leaders are happy with the way things are, aren't I just being a big pain to them by pushing for changes that they don't feel are necessary? I'd think that there could be some sort of modified darwinism that would take place if more people at least looked at other packs. Poor packs would shrink, good packs would grow & eventually the poor packs would disappear and the good packs would split - presumably with some people who have an idea of how a well-run pack should run and fill the void left by the dead pack. Seems more humane than locking families who don't know any different into a relationship with a poor pack/CO. RE: CO popcorn - we actually completed popcorn sales prior to my initiation to scout leadership - at the time I wasn't aware that a CO even existed, much less what thier responsibilities might be. PS - I have no illusions about being a 'awesome scouter' I'm just a guy trying to find a good fit & a good program.
  15. NewCubDad

    Pack budget to den level

    The Leader Book assumes a pack budget that is funded, in part, by the den dues. The den dues are transferred to the Pack & then the dens would request funds from the Pack Treasurer up to an amount that was agreed upon during the Pack Budgeting process. The Leader Book makes no specific mention of collecting dues for den level crafts or activities - it seems to assume that these items are included in the Pack budget. Hmm. I like the idea of budgeting for Pack activities, doing the fundraising and any amount above the fundraising target (or after a 'cushion' of a few hundred dollars is funded) could be available to the dens for crafts or other things.
  16. NewCubDad

    Pack budget to den level

    How's this - not only do we pay pack dues of $60/yr and sell popcorn, but the den dues are $2/wk. No money comes from the pack.
  17. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    Well, I was working under the assumption that the CO provides support, financial and otherwise to the Pack. So I was surprised that someone, either an enterprising young scout or a pack leader, had not contacted the CO to set up a popcorn sale stand or at least to post a flyer at the fire station to sell some popcorn. Why wouldn't a pack make such arrangements? I would think the CO would normally be happy to let the scouts solicit their employees or patrons and be proud to be associated with the boys. What am I missing?
  18. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    Well, I've contacted another pack (they actually have a membership/leadership committee person who called me back the same day!) and am going to visit their pack meeting this week and talk with the cubmaster. I also got in touch with the DE to see what feedback he might provide regarding my experience (if I'm expecting too much or if there are other packs in the area with better programs). I'm also encouraged because the cubmaster and his wife are from Georgia and have experience with scouting back east. Sometimes us people in the Northwest are a bit too laid back (said the WA native who lived in CA for a decade)- they have experience with a large pack that was well organized and have scheduled out a lot more activities than my current cubmaster is willing to even consider. Regarding burnout - I feel like I'd be less inclined to burnout in a better run pack than I would carrying the load in the pack I'm with now. Rather than being forced to do everything because the CM won't rally the troops, I'll get a chance to assist within a well run pack and hopefully learn something so the pack will continue on strong when the current cubmaster moves on to a scout troop. So I'll see how things go this week and see what the other parents in the den want to do after I make my decision (who knows, I might end up staying put after all). So far they're not aware of my frustrations & rants - they love the program & have even said things like 'was born to be a cub leader.' Hopefully they'll be open to switching packs....
  19. NewCubDad

    Getting the rank books to den meetings

    ScoutNut - I liked your idea about the beads I quickly added some strings to the Den flag the kids were finishing up Friday night at the den meeting. Instead of beads, we're adding bells. It'll get louder as bells are added for each achievement completed. Left the chart at home.... Krip - It may seem like schoolwork to show the kids (and their parent's) what the Wolf requirements are and demonstrate how some of them are very simple to complete, but gosh, I had parents come up to me after the meeting and say they didn't realize how simple some of them were, they planned to go through the books with their boys and get a bunch of stuff knocked out over the holidays. Fun is the goal, and flipping through a book isn't fun. But I wouldn't equate showing the boys the requirements to 'schoolwork.' More like explaining the rules of a game to the kids before handing them a ball and telling them to play.
  20. NewCubDad

    1930 kids' games and songs

    Yeah, I came up with "Happy Days are Here Again," "Puttin' on the Ritz" was a new one, though. Still drawing a blank on kid's songs, though. If 'yo-yo' is a game, I guess that might count - seems it was quite the fad in 1929-1930. Nice newsletter, Laurie. SemperParatus - I got about 50 notification e-mails when your response posted. That's a first for me (all of 17 posts) any idea if this is a recurring phenomenon?
  21. NewCubDad

    I need some help. Volunteer recognition?

    ScoutXing has some award ideas, too. I didn't see anything specifically related to floats, but here's their site: http://www.scoutxing.com/awards/awardsdefault.htm
  22. NewCubDad

    Uniform inspection for new cubs

    I've got a new den (3 months) and the families have gotten the boys their shirts and have gotten most of the patches sewn/glued onto them. I've noticed a few patches are in the wrong location. I've politely mentioned this to the boys and their parents, but they haven't adjusted the patches. Can you recommend a low-stress inspection method that would encourage the parents to adjust the boys' uniforms?
  23. NewCubDad

    Getting the rank books to den meetings

    Ah yes, the infamous Pack 215 virtual handbook tools. I've got them, too! Though there is a summary progress chart at the back of the handbooks. If the scout is 'coloring' the paw prints as he completes each activity, then you could just transfer that information to your spreadsheet instead of flipping through each page. pack330, if the handbook is considered a part of the uniform, how about a uniform inspection at the beginning of a meeting or two to stress that point? I wouldn't punish those not 'in uniform,' just praise those who have a complete uniform. I hadn't planned on bringing the progress chart to the pack meeting - the progress towards rank beads will convey the progress the boys have/havn't made. We've got one other wolf den & I'm sort of hoping for a friendly rivalry to start up - even though we're at a disadvantage because all of them were Tigers last year & none of my boys were. ScoutNut & Eagledad make good points for the older boys. For 7-8 yr olds new to scouting I'm going to make this extra effort to get them to learn the expectations. If they're having the same problems in 2 years, then I'd have to question my consistency in enforcing the rules and helping them to learn to abide by them.
  24. NewCubDad

    Getting the rank books to den meetings

    I'm struggling with the same issue as Pack330 with my wolf den. As a new den, we've got families that aren't fully 'trained' about what the book represents. At each meeting I try to talk to the parents and the boys and reinforce the need to do the activities in the book as a family (we even send home suggestions of things they can do together at home after each meeting.) So far we're having little success (only 3 'real' meetings so far) but I'm going to devote some extra time at the next meeting to address this. First, I went and bought the progress chart ($1.25 at the scout store) Towards the end of the meeting I will unveil the chart and quickly go through a handbook with the boys and their parents. (focusing on the really easy achievement steps and encouraging parents to sign the books) We'll end with the 'Feats of Skill' and stage some bear, crab & elephant walk races as well as playing catch. (we don't have a safe place for them to do somersaults, so I'll encourage them to show their parents how well they can do them at home). And since I know of at least one boy who has 3 achievements (my son) I'll fill in the chart for him (and the other boys who've completed achievements) and award the first progress bead. My hope is that at the first den meeting in January the boys will not only have their books, but they will have completed (and gotten Akela's OK) at least 3 achievements. Hopefully this will show both the boys and the parents how easy it is to progress down the trail and increase their perceived 'value' of bringing the books with them to the meetings - which would mean fewer 'forgotten' books.
  25. NewCubDad

    Looking for a new pack

    Jeez - if being a cubmaster is typically doing what my pack's cubmaster is doing, it's far less work than DL. Though I'm adding on to my own outlined responsibilities because I basically did my own orientation and went to training on my own - where I discovered people who are interested in scouting and saw what scouting could offer, beyond den meetings, pack meetings and uniforms. The COR is MIA(mostly) and I have no idea what an IH is. As I was informed last night, the CO is a 'CO of convenience.' Apparently the pack was 'self chartered' (friends of pack ###) and got some grief from the council. As a result they found this CO. (a fire district) But apparently no one has developed much of a relationship with the CO so the interaction between the CO and the pack is almost nil (though I did see the COR when she was pulling together the charter information at the last pack meeting.) You should have seen their faces when I asked how much popcorn the CO purchased. Complete shock. Onward & upward. Again, you folks have helped me keep things in perspective. Thanks
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