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Everything posted by bbender

  1. We actually (almost) had the most terrific pre-crossover/goodbye to our Webelos II a year ago: the B&G was on a Friday of the Troop's "Welcome Webelos" campout. The Webelos had done extra Troop visits to prepare for the campout, and the plan was for them to have their packs at the front of the room, and after they got the Arrow of Light, we'd have a goodbye . . . literally, as they put on their packs and hiked out with the Boy Scouts. Unfortunately, the threat of really really bad T-Storms coupled with our next to the river campsite where the Ranger told us not to come caused the c
  2. For that matter, there's no reason why you "have" to do your Blue & Gold Banquet in February, especially if you're doing it to recognize those who earned rank advancement. Our Pack has alternated between very late February, or early or even very late March, depending on where our school's spring break hits (normally early to mid March) and/or other school events. Yeah, yeah, February is Scouting's birthday, but . . . hey, sometimes better late than never. For those who do earn rank by B&G, and want more, the good news is there's more stuff you can earn during the rest of the spr
  3. Perhaps you recognize them not for the end, but the new beginning, and have an investiture ceremony for your new Assistant Scoutmasters?
  4. Let me circle back to the concept of flexibility in the Cub Scout program. There was the note about whether "the new program will be more flexible than the pilot", as it was also noted that the Scouting Magazine article stated that "Rank advancement is based on activities laid out for the entire school year, a clearly sign-posted path that discourages alteration in the curriculum." And, yep, the magazine article says that, which sounds like a "thou shalt not deviate from the guide" message. -- But . . . note that the very next sentence calls the guide "it's a place to start" (it says
  5. On MooseTrackers notes about combining Webelos Traveler Badge Activity with Forestry (or Naturalist, which is how it is paired in the Fast Tracks pilot), some thoughts: I'd bet that there is not a meeting plan that dictates "Take a bus out of state.. (Planning & mapping included).. to go look at the trees". And I hope there never will be, for the sake of those in central Texas or anywhere in Alaska! ;^) However, I suspect that (and this is based on looking at the Fast Tracks pilot plan), the concept is to work on these two elements of Traveler: "2. Use a timetable to plan a
  6. Interesting. On the comments raised my MooseTracker: As to "from what I was told, the den leader must now sign the books, not the parents. So even if the family works on advancement at home, they will need to start coming to the den leader, and the scout must tell them what they did, then the den leader will do the sign off." ===> oh dear, I hope that's not the absolute practice, nor the directive issued. Though, for what it's worth, currently in nearly every case I would suspect that the parent and/or cub ALREADY comes to the Den Leader (if only to hand over the book for review and
  7. . . . on the other hand (and not at all to disagree with the idea that there needs to be more "family involvement", not less -- which is why we have our Pack's "every parent leads" requirement for den meetings), there are elements of the idea of the new program that can increase parental involvement -- because it will make it easier (a) for Den Leaders to plan and run the meetings (as the program has been announced, there will be full meeting plans tied to advancement elements, but with more clarity and fun options than were seen in the "Fast Tracks" pilot plans), and (b) for Den Leaders to re
  8. I believe that the program (and the patches in the Scout Shops across our land, and databases like Packmaster) are set up so that each Den has a unique number. If you have 5 Dens, you have Dens 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Now, the first year, there can be numeric sense to it: you can have Den 1 be Tigers, 2 = Wolves, etc. (or go in the other order, with Web IIs paramount as Den 1, Web I = Den 2). Then it gets all bollixed up when the Web IIs cross and a new crop of Tigers come in and either take over that number or become Den 6, as, if you are keeping Dens together (as in this example). Si
  9. The best way is . . . whatever is the most fun for you and your Scouts and Families. Stickers? Sure! Marbles? All right . . . and have a marbles game station too if you like. Ideas we've put into the "fun and flexible fast tracks" meeting plans for our Dens include: -- Consider themes like carnival, circus, track meet. -- Maybe have an MC or Announcer for each event. -- Maybe someone with a Video Recorder (Flip, phone) can team up with a Sideline Reporter to get interviews with the contestants. -- When they have events like Wolf 1f (See how high you can jump), don't
  10. "since Dad was actually there in the end, I guess "Family" (and Cub Scouting) wins out!" ===> great result, Reaper! When we train Cub Leaders, one of the things we try to emphasize in our "Every Parent Leads" sharing of jobs and meeting roles is that when a Parent does "step up" and participate -- and get recognized for it -- that Parent becomes a "hero" to the Scout and the Den or Pack. At least in their offspring's eyes . . . ("that's my dad!"). And it makes lad and dad want to do more . . .
  11. No worries bear dad. Yeah, I'm gonna have thoughts about it (but I'm gonna keep them to myself since they're not gonna be useful for anyone). But for the boy, we're gonna be kind and all and just work on him learning it right and getting it done now for T-foot . . . whether or not he was just signed off on AoL without doing it right, we're gonna make sure he gets it right from here on. And then we're sending him back as a Den Chief in a couple years to get it done right for those who follow!! ;^)
  12. Thanks BearDad. What I mean is that since the topic is about "new Scout in your Troop, proudly wearing his Arrow of Light patch, and he can't say the Oath or Law": -- the "then" was when he was in Cubs, to earn the Arrow of Light. We hope he earned it and has simply forgotten it since or has stage fright now or whatever, but there's no going back. -- but the "now" is: let's earn Tenderfoot, and let's be sure they can "Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan". Working on that is where they are now . . . Yeah, should com
  13. We've got Readyman spread over three Den Meetings in our "Fun & Flexible Fast Tracks" Den Meeting Plans at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/node/1005. You'll find them in Meetings A8, A9 and A10, but of course it could be combined in your Webelos Day event (we fleshed out the "pilot" fast tracks which just suggested finding a workshop, which is great if you can get it . . . and for a large event, you might be able to get Red Cross or EMT help). There's some ideas in there about games and relay races and making it look realistic (e.g. gross) and such, with many of those ideas probably pull
  14. Doing a bit of a search, I found http://www.youthonline.ca/crafts/, which includes some Pirate Themed crafts. Found it from http://moorecountyboyscouts.org/scoutingresources/scoutcrafts.html. Like a lot of things tied to a theme, sometimes you can retool for the theme. For example, if they make coin purses or wallets, those are Pirate Treasure Wallets now! For more ideas, see See also http://www.e-scoutcraft.com/, and from across the water, see http://akelascubs.blogspot.com/2009/03/kontiki-pirates-of-caribbean-2009.html.
  15. That (AoL) was then, this is now (Boy Scouts). And a requirement of the Tenderfoot Rank is "Repeat from memory and explain in your own words the Scout Oath, Law, motto, and slogan", so that's the next step that one can work on. I suspect that we've identified a reason for there being no AoL exemption from this requirement! FWIW (and yeah a super den leader will have done this so well they'd never forget), I'm sure there's lots of stuff I knew and memorized and could explain that just a few months or weeks later I couldn't remember. Now, of course, that half life has burned down
  16. Technically (and I speak both as a law talkin' guy and one who's seen lots of Law & Order), "probation" is a criminal justice term for a punishment in lieu of imprisonment, namely a supervised (and conditioned) freedom. Probably not the right term in the Scout context (since it is a criminal justice term and carries that rough edge) for this purpose, though for a very serious act it could be appropriate. If a Scout, on account of a violation, is allowed to continue to participate, I would tend to use terms like "on notice", or "warned", that another violation will result in a further imp
  17. Having come from a smallish chapter (but we still had ceremony teams twice a year!) in large lodge (hello "belayer") back in my youth, I'm now in a district where OA had been sort of a rumor (in that we thought there might be members . . . but were not really sure beyond a handful). Our Troop elected another handful last year (first election in years), and we located a few more. This year, the good news was that when no Troop stepped up to run the District Camp o Ree this past weekend, a couple of us said "let's have the OA run it", and . . . asked to help, they served (and had great i
  18. Yep, the Eagle requirements move from knowin' and memorizin' to gettin' it done: "Demonstrate that you live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life". And providing references to confirm: "List the names of individuals who know you personally and would be willing to provide a recommendation on your behalf, including parents/guardians, religious, educational, and employer references." And congrats to ASM and your Webelos Den Leader and your Scouts for doing so well. It's not supposed to be easy, and great when it's done. I'm glad that the requirements cover bot
  19. On the comment/question "They wanted to make sure they received recognition for their work. How would you recognize them?" The in-school announcement (even if the Scouts are not there) is great. As would a public thank you at the next Parent event (PTA or whatever) or dedication of the playground. Of course, for the best recognition, and for extra credit, if the School doesn't sponsor a unit, they could become a chartered organization and start one now! While the Scouts may have just be doing their good turn like that kid in the London fog 100 years ago and so don't want a
  20. As to why Cubs don't continue on, agreed (along the lines of "all Scouting is local"), with the concept of "get their contact info from your Pack, and call each one". Frankly, from a "why they didn't go on", every one may well have a different story, and some of them are just individual stories. Speculation won't work -- only hard information will. More importantly, we can often learn as much from our failures (why they didn't stay on) than our successes. And a lesson could be that if you have a bunch of young, but qualifying, AoL recipients (that is, they're old enough, even though
  21. Sounds like a terrific program idea (especially in this 100th anniverary year), especially if they can earn the belt loop on the parallel track of their own families (which no doubt could be done mostly at the day camp, plus you'll have drop off/pick up interaction with the families to be sure they know to talk "about your family heritage: its history, traditions, and culture", and give them help with the family tree. And, by getting families involved, you might be able to . . . wait for it . . . get families involved! For folks who think that day camp is a great BSA (Baby Sitters .
  22. Congratulations Jhankins, and well earned, I'm sure! Just got back from a District Camporee, and while our callout was simpler (we're a small, small District with few OA resources), I believe that our Scouts elected, and Scouters selected, too felt -- as you so aptly put it -- "that twinge of humility and honor when you hear why you've been elected and the faith people have in you". Many many comments from those called out that seemed to indicate in them a new turn on their trails as they spied new horizons not seen before . . . .
  23. On the new Cub Scout Program, we've been following this fairly closely, having always "done advancement in the den meetings" in our pack. We were intrigued by "fast tracks on the advancement trail" when we heard about it, but also found that the pilot program, as you note, was restrictive -- see, for example, the thread here: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=251353#id_251353, where we shared a revision of fast tracks that added in more fun and more flexibility. (Note: this addresses den meeting elements, not pack meetings and those theme changes). On the "new de
  24. I suspect it "should" require effort on the part of both parties noted: -- The DE "should" be working contacts at possible chartering organizations anyway at all times to determine who might be willing to sponsor units, and should also have a very strong interest in retaining these units. -- But the units have the most interest in this, since they will have the day to day working relationship (including use of space, etc.), and so their agreement to a "match" is paramount. Now, if the Unit is more active than the DE (which I infer from the "he would try to show up" comment . . . )
  25. That's the way I understand it as well in tent camping . . . in part because of the privacy issue component for changing clothes and whatnot, though (like with cabin camping and dormitory style sleeping arrangements like Aircraft Carriers) one can change in a restroom or other facility and/or create divisions within a room. And I suppose one could do the same with some of the big honkin' tents that some folks end up dragging out to camp one or two times . . . and perhaps there are tents that are big enough to accommodate both the "odd stares and looks" plus the two adults and scouts, and
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