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About NHScouter

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    Salem, NH
  1. NHScouter

    Help !!

    Congrats on volunteering! You'll get out of it a lot more than you will ever be able to put in (and trust me, you can put in a LOT!) Committee Meetings: Don't do everything yourself. Delegate as much as possible to other leaders and parents. We like to start out the year by planning who will chair the different activities throughout the year. Everyone has to do something. Some will do more than their share. Make sure that there are co-chairs for activities (especially if the leader/parent's child is a Webelos and will be graduating with their son). Pack Meetings: Keep it Fun! At each Committee Meeting we plan the next Pack Meeting (at least). Each den has to do something. Setup, Opening, Skits, Songs, Closing, Cleanup. Always keep a song or something in your back pocket to add to the meeting. We don't do big ceremonies for regular awards (activity pins, Tiger beads, arrow points, etc.) but always for major rank advancements (Tiger, Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, AOL). Ceremonies: Most of the rank advancements happen at the Blue & Gold banquet in February. The Webelos II's get to pick the theme for this night as this is their big night crossing over into Boy Scouts. June was always the time when we had Tigers cross over into Cub Scouts with their square patch but since the Tigers now get a diamond patch like the other ranks and can earn their Bobcat after their Tiger rank we include the Tiger rank at the Blue & Gold and cross the Tigers into Cubs with the Bobcat in June. We usually have one or two Bobcat ceremonies at the beginning of the year for all of the new (non-Tiger) scouts in the pack. Did I mention have fun? Go to roundtables for ideas. Get ideas here and elsewhere on the web. Get the parents involved. Get as much training as you can. Get the boys outdoors as much as possible. Don't take yourself too seriously. Have fun!
  2. NHScouter

    Admirable Leadership

    It's more what he didn't do. I did not notice it at the time, but looking back on it I realize what he was doing in the process. * He didn't run everything. * He didn't control every last detail. * He didn't have a big ego. * He didn't do all the planning. * He didn't take any of the credit. ...or at least it seemed so at the time. What he did do is: * Delegated the leadership to the scouts. * He let the boys run everything. * Mentored and coached his scout leaders. * He showed us how to plan and offered constructive criticism. * He sometimes let us fail. * He took the blame when things went wrong ("It's my fault, I should have taught you ___ before the outing") while offering praise and encouragement when things went right ("You did a great job planning that outing"). * He taught us leadership * He was a leader.
  3. NHScouter

    2-Deep Leadership at Day Camp

    One suggestion that I have is not to forget about Den Chiefs. They too are considered to be leaders and I have always been appreciative of the assistance that they provide. They also enjoy the program as much as you and the boys do and gain valuable leadership experience by participating.
  4. NHScouter

    Webelos camping with Troop

    As a now-former Webelos Leader, I encouraged all of my boys to participate in the various troop sponsored outings being offered by each of the three troops in our area. Each troop has it's own 'personality' and it is best that the scouts and parents get to know what each troop is like. My own son was sure that he was going to crossover to one troop that we visited with on a campout, but by the time we attended the final troop sponsored event, he completely changed his mind. If the SM and SPL is worth their salt, they realize that it is more important that a Webelos crossover to ANY troop than necessarily just to THEIR troop and they will encourage this. Let them camp with the troop. Just be open and honest. Everyone benefits.
  5. NHScouter

    Quick Start for New Scouts

    sctmom reminded me of another possibility. Our troop did this as a Webelos recruiting activity, but it works well as a troop meeting or Saturday outing event as well. This was completely run by the older scouts and was held during a normal troop meeting. Webelos from all of the local packs were invited. They called it 'Operation Night Light'. The older scouts each paired up and setup different stations to teach Tenderfoot skills. The stations that were represented were firebuilding (really popular since this was being held outside in the month of December), cooking skills (they cooked eggs & hamburgers inside an orange peel on a grill), knot tying (including a tug-o-war), survival skills (making a stretcher, a lean-to shelter, etc.).
  6. NHScouter

    Quick Start for New Scouts

    We have 11 boys that crossed over this month too. Having them start attending the troop meetings before they even crossover is a great idea. Our boys decided on their respective troops in December and the crossover was on Feb 10th, but they all started attending the troop meetings at the beginning of January. We were lucky enough to have a council run Klondike Derby that they could all get involved with. The troop had 3 sleds, one with older boys (they took 1st place for the 4th year in a row), and the other two with the new scouts with 2 or 3 older scouts to lead the younger guys (they took 6th & 10th place -- awesome!) I'd suggest a campout as an outing in March. It will get you a chance to have them learn some of the Tenderfoot skills and what boy involved in scouts isn't excited by going camping. Seeing as these are new scouts, they probably haven't had much experience with winter camping so you might look for someplace that has cabins (depending on what part of the country you are from). Either way, March shouldn't have too extreme temperatures or weather conditions, but remember, safety first. You can have the older scouts teach them how to prepare for a winter outing as the theme of the meetings leading up to the campout.
  7. I've just moved up to Boy Scouts from being a Webelos leader. From our Pack we had 11 Webelos crossover into the troop. In getting these new Boy Scouts prepared for Tenderfoot, Second class & First class requirements, I've been tasked to come up with an interesting knot program for the scouts. Does anyone have any suggestions on what you've done in the past that has worked in your troops? It will probably span 2 troop meetings, starting with the simple knots in the 1st week and finishing with lashings, etc. at the 2nd meeting. It should cover the requirements for the new scouts but also offer the advanced skills for the older scouts. I was thinking of perhaps doing some sort of competition between the different patrols. That would add a bit of interest other than just having a dry review of the different techniques and uses of the knots. It could also build a bit of teamwork into the patrols. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  8. NHScouter

    Some things gotta go........

    The following information is taken from the United States Code, Title 4 (Flag and Seal, Seat of Government, and the States), Chapter 1 (The Flag), Sec. 8(j), (Respect for Flag): "However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations." Furthermore, Title 36 (Patriotic and National Organizations), Subtitle II (Patriotic and National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations), Part B (Organizations), Chapter 309 specifically designates the Boy Scouts of America as one of the qualifying patriotic organizations given the right to wear the flag on their uniform. Why are we even wasting time discussing this? The flag stays!
  9. I have two additional suggestions to make the PWD fairer and more fun for the Scouts. First, we added a distance race to the night. The finalists in the speed races are not elegible for the distance race. After the cars are eliminated from the speed race, they race for distance and the top 3 winners get a medal (we have trophies for the speed race). One thing to note is that the hight at the beginning of the track should be lowered to about the height of the seat on a folding chair (some of these cars go on forever). Also they will quickly run out of track and there should be a long enough floor area to run out. Mark the best 3 on the floor wit a piece of masking tape. To make the playing field more level, last year we required that all Dens make the PWD cars in the Dens and the leaders would bring the cars to the meetings. Parents were encourage to help out their sons -- but in the den meetings. Yes, it was a lot more work for the den leaders. Yes, we had a lot of complaints from some parents (and we knew which parents would complain the most when we decided to do this). I also saw some dads in my meetings that I don't see all year long. It was also sad to see that one boy who has been consistently in the top 3 every year, who HAD made his car with everyone else in his den, did NOT participate because his dad make his car for him. The big point is that ALL of the boys that participated had fun, and were prouder of a car that they made themselves and lost than a car that dad made and won. It was a good night. The PWD is the one event that I am usually disappointed in the way that lessons are taught to the boys. Some parents do NOT set a good example on PWD night.
  10. NHScouter

    Pinewood Derby Fun

    Our Pack has had a parent and sibling race for some time now. I'm a woodworker and the temptation to 'help out' my sons would have been too great had I not been working on my own car (during my oldest son's early years) or helping his younger brothers when they were pre-Scouts. A side advantage is that these pre-Scouts get a chance to get involved and it's a great recruiting method to get them involved as Tigers as soon as they hit school!
  11. NHScouter

    New Merit Badges - Again

    I like the idea of breaking the Engineering into multiple disapplines. Also, jmcquillan has a good point. How can we best encourage a Scout who has a natural proficiency or inclination toward a particular subject. Would it be possible to have an Independent Study Merit Badge? It would have to be based on either an existing MB or some other subject approved by Council. The requirements would have to be approved by the MB Councilor (assumably a domain expert) and the Scoutmaster, Troop Committee, Council, or whoever... Is this worth pursuing?
  12. NHScouter

    When to advance?

    My first comment to Chippewa29 is that you are truly to be congratulated for seeking advice here rather than let this challenging scout get left by the wayside. This one boy probably needs scouting more than most. My oldest son is currently crossing over into Boy Scouts. He has be diagnosed as ADHD, and has at times been a challenge to his mother and myself, but is extremely bright, none the less. I have also been a Cub Scout Den Leader for my oldest son and, as challenging as he can sometimes be, I also have several scouts in my den that have much more pronounced ADHD symptoms (six of my eight boys are ADHD). A seventh scout in my den is mildly Autistic. He makes the other scouts seem mild by comparison. Our Cubmaster, who has a den with his son - the same age as mine, likes to take the 'good' kids for himself. I don't mind, because I have seen how much these kids need scouting, and their parents, God bless them, need the break too. Yes, there have been den meetings which are chaos, but I'm a patient person. I'd like to forward a comment that the parents of my most challenging scout sent to me: "We just thought you might like to know that at Tim's school we had his annual parent/teacher assessment meeting and everyone commented on how Scouting has been such a positive part of Tim's life. He is so proud to come in and tell about the projects he has done and the places he has been. Thank you!" The scouts and the parents may not say thank you often enough, but trust me, it is the most difficult boys that get the most out of the scouting program and the parents, scouts, and teachers can really tell that your efforts are not in vain.