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Everything posted by bbender

  1. As to the term "Arrow of Light Scouts", I actually don't think that exact phrase appears in that page on the PowerPoint -- but the term "Arrow of Light Den" does appear. Same result in the new Training syllabus (I haven't checked to see if it appears in the on line version released yesterday). So the term "Arrow of Light Den" does appear a lot, to refer to the Webelos Scouts who are formerly informally (say THAT three times fast) known as Web IIs and will probably continue to be informally called Web IIs. Now, there is one reference in the new Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide to an Arr
  2. Some thoughts about den signups, how to get volunteers, splitting dens on the original concept of "this will put every den at over 10 kids. Any advice on how to get additional den leaders? How to split dens in 2?": -- every year we have about a 15-20% drop-out between "signup" (on the list or survey when school starts) and actual commitment (applications and dues), as folks finally get it together about what they've scheduled their kids to do, or realize the BSA doesn't mean "Baby Sitters of America". So when I see 12 "sign up", experience says that is going to be 8-10. More below for
  3. Let me offer my $0.02. We do encourage immediate recognition and presentation at the Den Meeting of all but the Rank Badges. To do that, our Pack does stock an "advancement box" located in our Chartered Org school that Den Leaders can access in order to, say, have a sufficient stock of Belt Loops or Webelos Activity Badges or the like so that at the conclusion of a Den Meeting, they can give immediate recognition by awarding the item. -- We find that this works great. -- Instead a Scout of wondering later "why did I get this? I forget what this was for?", they know they did t
  4. Our primary communication tool is our website, from which weekly "eBlasts" launch automatically to let families know what is upcoming in the next week and next 30 days, what is "open to signups", and what parts of the website got updated in the last week, with new Announcements highlighted in that eBlast email. -- Thank you Soar! -- This cuts down on the ping-ping-ping of different emails about different things zip-zip-zipping around the inbox, leaving those for items that are emergency or need more emphasis. -- Then, if folks need the detail, they find it on the website, in one pl
  5. Agreed . . . no rule against it (see parellel thread), and can be fun if the kids pick a name that helps develop identity. WereWolves Den Yell much more fun that "yea den 3".
  6. For what it's worth, I think that letting the Scouts in the Den develop their own identity is a great civics and character building lesson, so we always let them (encourage them) to pick a name for themselves. Tiger Sharks or Sabre Tooth Tigers is (a) lots more fun than "We're Den 10", (b) easier to bring to life on the Den Flag or Doodle they might design, and © lots more fun to work into a Den Yell. That doesn't mean that they get a "Patrol Patch" like a Webelos Den might get when they select a Den Name. And, for what it's worth, never did anyone ask to do that or act like "sinc
  7. Not only that, but that guy named "Vacant" is someone I see on a lot of Pack Organization Charts. He (or she, not sure which) must be really really busy. Sometimes I'll see "Vacant" handling multiple jobs like "Treasurer", "Den Leader", "Activities Coordinator", "Assistant Cubmaster" and more, all in one Pack! ;^) Seriously, since our Pack Website is on Soar and generates a Roster from Troopmaster, we have a couple of "dummy" names, like one with the last name of "You Can", first name of "Do This", so that the name appears in the Roster as "You Can, Do This" (in whichever roles are vac
  8. On the question of Pinewood Derby Car Building Den Meeting Plans, and their location among the "Supplemental" Meetings (Tiger, Wolf, Bear) and/or "after" the Badge is earned (Webelos), some thoughts: This may be a recognition that it might be a tad bit more difficult for every Den to make a Den Meeting out of the Pinewood Derby Car Work. -- For some Den Leaders, they may not have the tools to do this effectively. -- For others, they might have a Pack or District tradition of "weekend event" Car Prep (at a local hardware store or other location, or on site when Dads bring in too
  9. This requirement was definitely a topic of conversation this afternoon in Dallas after the news broke . . . not discussion as in "why", more in "how" to implement, plus record-keeping issues, etc. And speaking of "is it official or not" -- here's good news revealed today -- a new feature of (or alongside) the monthly training updates on scouting.org will be a "rumor control" element, to quash those pesky BSA training myths and confirm what is really out there! -- Of course, a month is like 7.5 rumor cycles last I checked, but this is a great start! ;^)
  10. As to the source, while it didn't hot link in the gaucho post, here it is again: http://www.doubleknot.com/openrosters/DocDownload.aspx?id=78969. As to not much advance warning, yeah, though the "trip ups" right now would be new leader applications that are coming in next week (or impending recharters) . . . for most who re-charter on a calendar year, it seems like this is effectively 6+ months advance notice. Definately a topic of concern is new leader signup (e.g. new Cub Leaders at School Nights for Scouting) and what, exactly, one is gonna need to "connect the dots" between Leade
  11. On the referenced DE's note that "there is 'more' material in the printed guide (or DVD that can be purchased) than what can be downloaded but he wasn't specific as to what that included", let me offer two points: 1) As far as has been seen or announced, there is no DVD that goes with the new Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide. -- There will be one for Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training, DVD to be released in July. The assumption is that the DVD will replicate the "on line" version of Cub Scout Leader Position-Specific Training that is to be on www.myscouting.org as of Ju
  12. Back from the Atlanta "Campout of the Century", so catching up on this thread . . . On the concept that "there [are] 16 meeting plans and assumed that the rank was completed with the 16th meeting, not earlier", yeah, that's the case in most, if not all. Essentially, if you look at it objectively, those "elective" meetings are just as "supplemental" as the Tiger, Wolf and Bear "Supplemental" meetings, as they are not essential to earn the Rank. -- So do what is most fun for you and your Den. -- And do things that either you, or a willing volunteer, find easy to lead that will be fu
  13. I can follow up with more on one of my favorite topics: what is required to be done, and what is not required, and how that ties into our goal of Keep it Simple, Make it Fun. Now, as to how your Pack will determine to run itself, and whether Pack Committees can or should mandate what resources Den Leaders and Cubmasters will use to make up the program of their respective Den Meetings and Pack Meetings, I think it would be really really unusual for many Pack Committees to get too intrusive with that (especially a "vote" that might be interpreted as a ban on use of specific program resourc
  14. It seems to me that parental signoff on an Achievement isn't necessarily the same thing as the Scout didn't do it. Sometimes. Not always. Are there parents who "pencil whip" the book? Sure. Might a Den Leader? Yep. Might this one? Yep. But it is more plausible that a Den Leader has the knowledge and ability to (a) cover the achievement separately with his younger son, and/or (b) within the meeting context, supplement the Bear work with corresponding Wolf work (doesn't line up as well as Wolf and Tiger, but it can be done with enough planning, as "mixed" dens find they need to do t
  15. On the topic of "Who thinks that the course led specific training will survive the introduction of the on-line specific training?" I do. And I say that as a trainer, and at the same time I hope that everybody takes the on line training when they have a chance. But I believe that in person training will survive, and thrive by being better: -- No longer will Trainers have a monopoly where Leaders "have to sit through" a training in order to get trained, so Trainers are going to have to be better, more creative, in making those visual and participatory "muscle memory" connection
  16. Happy to help there, Snow White. Just trying to Keep it Simple, Make it Fun, and Keep 'em Safe while we Git 'er Done! ;^)
  17. Let me chime in on a theme that popped up in the thread, while noting first (1) gee whiz Hovering DL Dad, let your son go to Den Meetings, and (2) while yer at it Hovering DL Dad, come on to some more Pack events! And let me note also that, even so, I agree that "it is entirely possible that the boy worked on his Tiger and Wolf requirements with his father AT HOME, or on the side at the den meetings for his older brother". -- This is especially true for a Den Leader parent, who would have more knowledge of the program. However, the thing I wanted to comment on is whether "advancement
  18. Those folks in the National Office better get the Uniform Rangers to fix them pix on the Website (looks like young Tiger must have received big brother's "hand me down" shirt with all the rank badges still on it).
  19. On the question "For those of you who have the printed copy: Is there any differnece between it and the online .pdf files?", from a quick sample, it sure looks like "the same thing". -- The on-line pdf version shows paging consistent with the printed copy. -- For example, Webelos Meeting One is "Page 258". So far, I haven't found any piece that is missing. For example, the "Template for Sample Parent Information Letter or E-Mail" is there, and in a pdf format that -- at least with my Adobe Reader 9 -- allows you to copy the text, so that it is easier for you to tailor and com
  20. From creating a budget for our Pack, and thinking through the choices, we created a budget spreadsheet for planning purposes that addresses some of those variables, and I've recently posted a generic version of that at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/1066 (scroll down to the bottom for the spreadsheet attachment, and if ya like it, save it to yer system). Now, your mileage may vary, as besides the basic Unit, Youth and Leader Registration fees, Packs may choose to "centrally fund" certain items, or make those "family assessments" to be reimbursed or paid directly. For example:
  21. Great observations, Akdenldr. On the question of earning 12 in one year, and 8 in the next, in two meetings a month, and whether that process is "rushed, compressed, and superficial", actually . . . though it depends on a variety of factors, generally I agree. -- But that is NOT the same thing as saying that presenting the meeting plans covering 20 activity badges is wrong. Let me explain . . . It depends on what you and your Den will do, and when. Frankly, I don't expect that most Dens will do all 20 Activity Badges in Den Meetings, and certainly not on a 2x a month only d
  22. I ordered my paper version on Friday, when it first popped up, and it landed on my desk here yesterday -- regular delivery, but mine was just Charlotte to Atlanta, so YMMV.
  23. The Guide is not a "2010 only" (or 2010-2011 only) Guide. From what I can see, what got "rolled out" last August as the "Cub Scouts 2010" program has morphed on the scouting.org pages into the more generic (and not going "out of date" in 8 months!) "new Cub Scout Program" (though those references appear to be gone now) and/or the equally generic but more technical "new delivery method" (and I just googled that one, and that page now says "oops" . . . gone). I would guess that some or all of the "Cub Scouts 2010" page will likewise fall away, since it is just this now: Cub Scouts.
  24. FYI, Jamie Niss Dunn just sent around on another site the link to the Scouting.org "on line" version of the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide: http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/CubScouts/Leaders/DenLeaderResources/DenandPackMeetingResourceGuide.aspx As they used to say on Coffee Talk on SNL: discuss! Bert Bender Pack and District Trainer South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council http://atlanta631.mypack.us/
  25. Small pack? It's quality, not quantity! (Someday you may look back and think of these as "the good old days" when life was simpler than 10+ dens and over 75 boys . . . ). Keep it Simple. Make it Fun. As to fun program, you're basically a den plus, so . . . focus on fun den meetings. As to what programs to use, I've looked hard at the (awfully named) "Delivery System Manual", and . . . all due respect . . . I really think we can do better as a Scouting institution (I say this as someone who trains parapros and leaders of many smaller packs . . . frankly, our "fun n flexible fast
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