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Everything posted by NIscouter

  1. NIscouter

    Pack dues....

    My son has just joined a pack where the dues ($50) pay for the recharter ($17), Boys Life, and the balance to the pack for unspecified items. No necker or books, just the awards from the pack (I think). The pack has been a slow starter in the past few years and has little to no fundraisers. We didn't even have the round up until late October or a pack meeting until November sigh). This pack has been up to 100 scouts when my oldest was a Cub with at least 3 dens per age level and is now down only one with no 2nd yr Webelos for the lsat 2 years. Still, I want my youngest to be in scouts as my oldest has really benefitted from the experience. A question - should I look to another pack in our area that does not have our school in it? Interestingly enough, our church is the COR and has no scouts in the pack.
  2. NIscouter

    Looking for a camp in Michigan for 2008

    I would be remiss if I did not chime in and note Camp Tamarack, on the Wood Lake Scout Reservation near Jones Michigan, is a good choice. This camp is ran by the LaSalle Council based in South Bend, IN and has excellent facilities, a great lake for swimming and other water related activities, a great wooded location, and a great staff. The price isn't too high, at least the last time I looked.(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  3. Since we do not have an oven in the meeting room, it would have to be a dutch oven pie. It would be a challange as I am learning to use dutch ovens myself and have never baked a pie in one! Great replies - this is the type of stuff I was hoping to get. Too bad I can't pour that next cup of coffee for you guys around the fire.
  4. I am the ASM "responsible" for our troops older scouts and our virtual venture group. We bring the older scouts together (13 and 1st Class) in this group to "plan" for the high adventure. My dilemma is that none of the scouts seem interested doing any of the the heavy lifting involved to planning for next summers high adventure (not at a BSA facility, unfortunately). I am being pressured from the committee to do most, if not all, of the planning myself. Not something I want to do as we strive to be boy run. It appears that I may have to do the bulk of the planning if we want to do anything unless I come up with a different strategy to address this situation. And yes, I have the scout lit on high adventure. Now my questions - what would you do, if anything, to better motivate the scouts to be involved in the planning process? Is it unusual to have this type of reaction by the scouts? What part of the high adventure planning is appropriate for the adults to do?
  5. Eamonn - one question. What are the "7 Steps"? I feel I should know these, but I have always felt the only dumb question is the one not asked.(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  6. I talked with another one of our ASMs and discussed using methods espoused in this thread - his response was "Excellent, now we have a plan". A plan to teach how to plan. I agree with Barry that we need to look at this situation as training the scouts to develop a plan and then working the plan. Heh, that could be a great concept for a book :>
  7. If it were only 13 yr olds. We have a number of 14, 15, and 16 yr olds. A bit of history, the adults planned a High Adventure this summer to provide an experience for the scouts and only got 4. A good size, I found, as they really enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately, these scouts are now tied up in sports and not actively involved for a few months. I will use the suggestions provided to try to move this forward. I was really stuck for ideas - something that happens as you get older, I'm afraid. I will report back and let you all know how well the "theories" presented here worked in practice.
  8. My intent is to set these boys up to suceed. I have gave them print outs on locations and places in SD, we have discussed options in the last few months), and I have asked them to identify where they want to go and what they want to do - nothing. I know we can always use the nuclear option (ie no high adventure) but that is the last thing we want to do. We have struggled to find a way to keep the older boys interested and they do not have any history or troop tradition to help pull them through this. All of the other high adventures appear to have been adult planned, so we are plowing new ground here.
  9. Yes, they have selected "South Dakota" as the destination, but are still trying to figure out what to do or where to do it - other than visit Mount Rushmore.
  10. I am looking for some suggestions to take to our Venture group for High Adventure in SD. We (I mean the boys) are planning to go next summer and the boys are excited about the opportunity to see Mount Rushmore. Now they need to decide on what the trip will really be about. I have found a few things on the web, but thought this group could help a bit more with some reality based suggestions. Any opinions or experiences to share out there?
  11. NIscouter

    BOR Questions - Reviewing or Retesting?

    I have to say that the question of reviewing or retesting rests in the definition. A "review" means that you do not sit back and wait on the scout to answer all of your questions - you feel free to prompt a bit, talk about some of the reasons and uses of the area under consideration, and get a feel for the way be scout understands the area under review. All areas are open for review! My favorite - if a snake bites my leg, what would you do? A test is where you ask and wait for the scout to answer, and decide if they get it right or wrong. No assistance to or discussion with the scout, and a very bright line, pass or fail. I have always looked at BORs as a way to help the scout see behind the specifics of the requirements and understand what they mean, a time to pass on the Vision of scouting. Lets' not forget that the BOR for all of the ranks up to Eagle is a way for us to help the scout to learn to express themselves past the lame "uh, ya" that is common in for Tenderfoot to a good exposition on one of the 12 points of the Scout laws means in their life at the Life scout BOR. We have a responsibility in each BOR to prepare the scout, in a step wise fashion, for their Eagle BOR. Would you expect your child to pass a calculus test without a knowledge of geometry? The BOR is a partnership with the adults that make up the BOR and the scout - an extension of the "Adult Association" method and a real chance for the scout to tell us what the troop can and should be.
  12. NIscouter

    So what do you do for a living?

    I am an EHS manager for a large manufacturing group responsible for 13 plants (as of now). My company has even let our troop use a woods on one of our properties for camping and pioneering projects. I have to ask this question since I cannot answer it - who was Dsteele and what happened to him? He seemed to be very active at the time this thread was started, but now there is nothing listed in his profile. The last post I found of his was in April of 2004
  13. I have read this thread with a mix of emotions - some of surprise that some seem to think that one way will work for all situations and admiration at the way some of our group has found unique ways to "play" the game of scouts. I respect what the by the book people are saying, but as with most things in life, it don't always work that way when reality comes crashing in. We all need to be open to new ideas, even experiment if necessary, and try to make the Boy Scout program work for the group of boys and the adults we have. I have taken a number of great ideas from this thread to be used in our adaptation of the mixed patrols/NSP idea, including using a troop guide to assist our new scouts in the "mixed" patrols. I think to play any game well, you have to be able to look outside of the box and understand the intent of the rules, the intent of what the methods are meant to achieve. That, in my mind, is what we should be striving for. I will now step off my soap box. Thank you and to all keep up the great debates!
  14. We are experimenting with using temporary "Super" patrols (more than 8 or 10 for a short time) instead of a NSP this year. Mainly because our PLC wanted it that way and due to the complete failure of our NSP last year to retain any new boys. It is anticipated that the "Super" patrols will be a place for the newcomers to learn about the patrol method and get good training in scoutcraft from the older boys. We expect for the patrols to get back to normal size around June, after our new kids get some experience and decide if they want thier own patrols. Should be an interesting experiment. If it works, I'll report back :>
  15. NIscouter

    Use of private lands to camp

    Just a follow up on this topic. I called our council about liability for private landowners and they OFFERED to send a certificate of insurance naming the private landowner. I didn't even get a chance to ask for one. They offered to give this out to any private landowner who offered us the chance to camp on their land. Good call, Fscouter! Now, the trick is to get that travel permit in on time every time :>
  16. I have been looking into using private property for camping with our troop. One of the landowners asked me about liability protection. I have looked a bit, searched this forum, and have come up with no info. Is there anything that I can use or point to to help us in this matter?(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  17. NIscouter

    Use of private lands to camp

    EagleinKY - I don't thik it is the scouts they are worried about, it is thier parents and associated lawyers. Thanks all for the ideas and info.
  18. I reviewed the cost of the various popcorn items and can not beliwnve my eyes. Where is the low cost item? Why do we have an 18 pack of microwave that costs $15? My troop had a number of run in with the "It is too expensive this year and I can't afford it" last year, and now we see new increases. I was not impressed with the statement "your troop percentage stays the same". We have moved way past the line of being a way to support the scouts. I think our troop may set out this year and sell Christmas wreaths instead.
  19. NIscouter

    What would you do?

    I know this is an odd title, but I am in a spot that I am not sure if I am on a sane course of action. My son, who with minimal prompting from me, has progressed to up to Star by 13 1/2. He is in a patrol which has one scout (lets say "Ralph") who has little to no motivation to be a scout or in our troop, it appears, but continues to come none the less. Well, "Ralph" has made it his "mission" to make my son miserable in many ways. This came out in the recent Patrol elections when my son ran for PL, was the only scout at the election meeting who wanted to be PL, and "Ralph" basically talked the patrol into electing a scout who was not at the meeting and had been a poor PL just 3 months ago. My son took this all very hard, it has obviously soured him a bit with Boy Scouts, and I fear he is starting look to leave the troop. Well, this has been a tough spot for me, as I am very active in the troop, in the midst of completing my ticket for WB, and am very conflictd over being a dad or a scouter. I have meantioned this to the ASMs and SM, who I do work well with, but always talk from the point of view of a Dad and I have, to my surprise, avoided getting involved in this situation as a scouter. Should I change my tactics, or continue to hope this "Ralph" doesn't sour my sons experience to the point that he wants to leave scouting? Of course, there is more to this story, but I don't want this to be overly long. So, what would you do? Signed, Conflicted Scouter/Dad(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  20. NIscouter

    Got my beads

    SWScouter - Congratulations on completing yout ticket. I am in the midst of mine with two down, three to go. Hunting Wolf - My course appears on have been about 1 year after your C-11-05. And I used to be an Eagle. Hmm, strange things to ponder late in the evening :>(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  21. NIscouter

    What would you do?

    My intent with this thread (this is my fisrt chance back) was to open a discusstion about this around our "fire" without telling you what I was doing and try to see if I missed seeing something in all this. My tactic as a parent has been to discuss it with my son (who is only 12 1/2, my mistake) and advise him to try to accept what has happened and be patient, his time will come. I also noted that he should be enjoy being a scout and not worry about being an eagle in the next few years. I have felt that he is moving a bit too fast in the advancement and may be missing the all important experience that the journey gives you. It is sure hard to complain about this to him when he is so darn self-motivated. Bullying - while that may be happening to a degree, I think all boys can be a bully at one time or another. From what I see, it is not excessive and not past the point where serious intervention is needed. Madkins007 - I wish that your observation that a budding teenager should have the facilities to handle this type of stuff was true - I struggle with it myself at the age of, well, older than my son! And part of the problem is the my son has not had enough leadership experience or training within the troop to help him. I am working on the training as part of my ticket, but that is like planting an acorn (yes, a WB reference), a long term pay back. And yes, Ralph is a smooth talker - a politico in the making. If he had done this to get himself in the job, that would be a different story. I do not feel that jumping troops will change much for us - I have read about the experience that CNYscouter is having in this regard. It's like changing jobs - the names and faces change but the bull**** is the same or worse. As a scouter, I have went to great lengths to avoid having this bleed over in my actions with the troop. I feel we are moving the right direction and will see pay offs in the long run, which I want to be around to see.(This message has been edited by NIscouter)
  22. NIscouter

    MB Counselors???

    In our council, we have to register every year with a seperate membership application with the council office. They have a commmittee that approves/disapproves the MB counselor. Our district does have a council wide list, but one that you can opt out of if you want. Do other councils require yearly registration/membership apps and place approval at this level?
  23. NIscouter

    What patrol--------------

    I used to be an Eagle .."Soar, Soar, Soar!!" - C-11-05 But I am most proud of being a member of Troop 1 that includes all of you great scouters!
  24. NIscouter

    Class A uniform vs Class B uniform

    If the troop votes to make the expedition hat part of the troop uniform, is it then considered a part of the "approved" uniform for that troop? We have done this in our troop, and I have been told it is OK to keep it on during Flag Ceremonies as I am in uniform. What say yea, oh wise ones in the ways of the uniform :>
  25. VictoriaG - I think you might get more response if you did a few things to establish your "bona fides" - such as fill out all of your member info to give us a better understanding of who you are and have an e-mail address and/or references that directly connect you and identify the Scouting magazine. Not saying you are trying to pull anything, but from my limited view right now, I would not offer myself or recommend that anyone else interview at this point.(This message has been edited by NIscouter)