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Everything posted by bbender

  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
  16. Interestingly, SSScout, you've hit on a bunch of items I've got in a piece I'm performing tonight called "Fifty Ways to Lure a Leader" ... but I'll post that in another thread here.
  17. As part of some notes sent and posted in December, about improving Cub Scouting through “Bobcat Activity Plansâ€, “Put All Den Adventure Plans Back Online for Freeâ€, and “Restore Camping Activity to the Requirementsâ€, I’ve been thinking with others about the elephant in the room, the problem no one function of a Council or District can solve: We Can’t Get Enough People To Be Leaders. Everyone “does their best†in their lanes or functions: Membership mentions it. Training wants to train, but isn’t tasked to recruit. Same with Commissioners. The problem in part
  18. Let me spin out another idea about how to improve Cub Scouting, about the camping elements in the Cub Scout advancement modifications released on 11/30/16. A major emphasis of the new Cub Scout program unveiled in the June 30, 2015 handbooks is increased outdoor activity, including camping. Campout activities in the required Adventures in Wolf, Bear and Arrow of Light, though there are additional optional and elective camping activities as well. In those Handbooks, this alternative: "If your chartered organization does not permit Cub Scout camping, you may substitute a family campout or a d
  19. Let me split this idea off the “Improve the Cub Scout Program†thread. With the note about the Cub Scout advancement modifications released 11/30/16, and the general concerns circling around that announcement about Cub Scout advancement, I thought that on this first day (after) Christmas I’d circulate something that might be useful next year to help dens get going, and get advancement off to a better start. One idea is something missing from the den leader guides … some adventure plans for getting the Bobcat Rank. (Yeah, while maybe late for this year, call this “early†for nex
  20. I think that they did post the actual Den Adventure activity plans from the Den Leader Guides over a year ago, and they didn't sometime around a year ago (except for a few ... see the notes below), but there is a "back door" to the plans (that may have been an oversight when most of the Den Adventure activity plans were taken down about a year ago). When you go to that page linked in your message, and then follow the "Choose your Rank" choice, you get to a page like this: https://cubscouts.org/library/welcome-to-tiger-cub-scouting/ Currently, when you click there, you get a left ha
  21. Hi David CO: In what I added earlier today, I added a note that the change can be "operationally" neutral to functioning committees, as they may choose to operate as separate subcommittees for Pack and Troop (and Crew), just cooperating on Charter matters -- effectively for them the impact would be the paperwork reduction of avoiding multiple recharter packages, new applications as youth members move from Pack to Troop, new adult applications as Pack leaders move into Troop roles (and vice versa). So if a Troop Committee doesn't want committee coordination with any Pack operations (other
  22. Thanks for the feedback ... since the One CO/One Committee concept floated at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3563 already had pros and cons like the comments above (like if everything is hunky dory and you've got liaisons, keep on keeping on like you're doing now), I've elaborated on the "cons" noted above in that page. That said, even if a Chartered Org has vibrant, functioning, cross-unit cooperating Committees, having the paperwork reduction of (1) avoiding new applications as youth members move from Pack to Troop (if the BSA went to this, I'm assuming we could designate 5th
  23. With the announcement on 11/30/16 about Cub Scout Requirement alternatives, the BSA wants to make the Cub Scout program better. So to build on that, I'm assembling a series of concepts to Improve the Cub Scout Program at http://www.southfult...g.com/node/3558. Many of these would help achieve the stated goals of the 11/30/16 alternative requirements but without just reducing the requirements and lowering the quality of program experience. Some are fairly easy to implement. Ideas include: Restoring the camping requirements, but with some alternates for issues like weather. Se
  24. Having finished several deep dives through the requirements changes, I've updated the page at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3557 to not only show exactly what got changed and what didn't change, but now also add comments intended to be a practical guide to whether you need to look at the new 11/30/16 language, and whether when those might be a useful alternative. Some of the comments after each Adventure encourage (sometimes plead) that dens avoid the “easy button†approach. Doing the June 1, 2015 handbook elements will often result in the best outcomes and experience in Cu
  25. My answer here is sheer speculation: perhaps because it was an American animal, and smaller than Wolves and (most) Bears and Lions. I don't think that the Bob Cat pin was used in England, where the Kipling lore came from. Just a hunch. Why was Bagheera not used? A black panther? Or "melanistic Indian leopard" (as wikipedia says)? I have no idea! But I can guess ... Side note ... during the 411 process as the whole advancement program was up in the air for any kind of revision, I floated the idea of retiring the "Webelos" name as a rank (since "we blows" is really a we
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