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About bbender

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 03/01/1958

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    Atlanta, GA
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    Outdoors, Service, Training, Program Development, Unit Service (helpful), Efficiency in Program Delivery (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun ... not Keep It Complicated, Make Everything Hard, or KICMEH)
  • Biography
    Cub in Bethel Park, PA; Scout in StL (OA, S-F Ranch Staff); Tiger DL 03-04 in ATL; CM starting in 05; Trainer and writer of Den Program ideas starting in 06; support to PCC 2009-2010; 411 Task Force, 2011-2015

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  1. I think that's the key, and for those Packs without a current production staff able to put on really super pack meetings that families really like, I wonder: why struggle to put on pack meetings when you get more fun (for less production effort) out of hands on fun activities with families -- maybe even just weekend activities that more family can attend. More thoughts about that are in this thought piece posted at a page called "Why Pack Meetings?", or "Minimize Meetings, Accentuate Activities". Now, for those who say "but we do pack meetings and everyone likes them", that's great! K
  2. FYI, those plans don't change currently announced Requirements ... and they actually help reflect some of the nuance (and maddening number changes) of the 11/30/16 revisions to requirements, so they're a bit more in sync with "current" than what's in the Guides. Of course, as The Latin Scot notes, one need not use the Guides at all, and that's cool.
  3. True that, and this optional resource doesn't mean a den can't do the three meetings in the Guide or more. That said, for some busy families, the options of either (a) do the three meetings in the guide, or (b) pick up the 2017 addenda and use the Handbooks to make up a meeting or activity, are, for some, challenging. FYI, that site has options: on that site are also annotated versions of the plans that "tag" the Guide's three meetings to (1) flag what's changed as of 11/30/16, and (2) confirm (where not evident) what you can do if you want if you don't want to do the Guide act
  4. Super ideas and observations there ... On that, yeah, if you don't use the Leader Guides to guide how to do meetings for the Adventures, you're probably not going to need to look at this either. But, if the reason why you don't use the Guide is either that there too much fluff and filler (and you know how to add your own) or they are out of sync with the revised requirements, then this might be useful. Again, the primary emphasis of this is for a model to have extended time on weekends, an afternoon/evening for Cub Family experience, not "get it done in an hour".
  5. Thanks for your note ... because this is really geared to working in Adventure advancement work when a Den gets out and about (camping, hiking, field trips with family), my belief is that it isn't "check the box", but it is a way to get the Advancement method done with more fun and with greater clarity than the current "three meeting model" of the Guides -- guides that had extra items already, and are out of sync with current requirements. And what I've heard from Dens who have come up with this on their own is that this sort of program works for them, is more fun, more memorable to Sc
  6. Long months since last post, but let me share something that might be useful for for the following Packs: (1) those that are Early Adopters for girl packs and dens this spring, but struggle when they look at doing 18 to 20 Den Leader Guide meetings between now and the end of the school year (program year) to earn a Rank – including some fired up dens who are probably willing to get together on weekends, but will find the “three meeting model” of the Guides hard to adapt; and (2) other dens that are just struggling to earn a Rank this year, whether due to late start or the norma
  7. Whether I posted it here or just on Scouts-L, I've long decried the fact that KISMIF seems to be given lip service, while KICMEH (Keep It Complicated, Make Everything Hard), pronounced "Kick Me", becomes the way the program is handed down to be run. To that end, because I'm always concerned when I witness how hard it is to get leaders, but then I get more concerned when I hear the District Exec or Pack Leader or Commissioner (or BSA materials) say to a new recruit that dens meet every week, packs meet once a month, plus you have a pack planning meeting and an activity and don't forget rou
  8. My view is that RT is an anachronism ... a throwback to olden days when announcements had to be made in person or with handouts, since nobody wanted to put fliers in the mail. I see it as an agrarian model, where everyone came to market once a month to get the news, swap stories and then go back out to the farm. When I came along, RT was usually just a flyer dump and platform announcement du jour for DEs, sometimes with a Cub RT persons saying "this is what you need to do next month because it's in the 'Program Helps' book". (Me: "no, thanks, I've got a plan already"). What I still
  9. Post Away Sherry ... and credit goes to people like you and posters here and elsewhere, 'cause I just gather ideas along the trail ...
  10. Uh, on "is it a rank" or "is it an award" ... well, uh, actually: it is a Rank. Though "generically" a "Rank" is also an "award" ... but it is a Rank. To support that, see this page: https://cubscouts.org/library/welcome-to-bear-cub-scouting/, which sadly also has a stray reference to "Wolf" at "a Bear must first earn his Bobcat rank. After completing the requirements for Bobcat he may go on to complete the requirements for the Wolf rank and the many electives that are offered for his rank", likely copied, and missed by the proofreaders. And when a Bear level Scout opens up the Bea
  11. My $0.02: On "1. Would the new scout be expected to complete all of the past requirements in order to earn the rank badge?" === > To earn the rank badge, yeah, gotta complete the requirements. Either the handbook ones or the 11/30/16 version, or mix and match as ya like. The 11/30/16 versions will be easier, mostly. Of course, advancement is just a "method", not a requirement. He can still be a Cub Scout and just have fun / do activities / get loops. No need for anxiety here. On "2. If yes, who's responsibility is it to catch the scout up? the parent? the den leader?" === >
  12. On "How well have 'meet the teacher' events worked", the answers are: sometimes great, sometimes so so, sort of like all methods. Factors that make it great are: it's the very first day of the school year, so you're more likely not to have parents already committed to other after school signups. you can do "one on one" chats with parents, so that you connect with what they care about (e.g., if you get the sense the parent or kid is into the outdoors, play up those parts of your program; if they seem to be worried about that, play up less worrisome activities, like museum trips or pine
  13. I agree with the DuctTape advice of "Focus on your den", since the kids there are the number one priority. If you are ambitious and want to change the Pack leadership, yes, there are ways, but ... you will be taking on more. Sometimes it's really worth it ... as to whether it is, the question would probably include whether you have a group of other families shut out who want to engage in a shared leadership open pack. If so, there are ways to look into it, though it might or might not be: Roundtable (depends on quality and approach of participants -- some might have a "stay in yo
  14. Since this popped up, I'll share our Recruiting Tools page, at www.southfultonscouting.com/node/2518, which has a page on Sign Up Events. And then I'll circle back to harvest ideas from this thread ... Over time I'd seen the huge emphasis on Sign Up Nights as (in the minds of some) the alpha and omega (beginning and end) of Recruiting, and I've tried to put that event into context ... As noted on that main page, "Recruiting Needs to be Much More than School Sign Up Nights and Buzz Ups. Successful and Sustainable Recruiting is a Process ... the Pack Leader's Guide to Recruiting desc
  15. In another thread about Lightening Leader Loads and (essentially) asking "Pack Meetings? How is this still a Thing?", SSScout noted some issues in recruiting help, which is right on point with an RT presentation I'm making tonight. Fifty Ways to Lure a Leader (apologies to Paul Simon) There must be fifty ways To lure a leader You ask the whole Pack, Jack Every woman and man, Stan You don't need to be coy, Roy Not just one, two or three … Every new one’s a plus, Gus At Pack meetings, don’t discuss much Do a â€one on one†plea, Lee Every new leader is key I've attached the piec
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