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Everything posted by bbender

  1. "the leader has enough to do without loading up with other peoples' kids" ===> Amen brother! Many times I'd be asked, and the answer was always: "no". I usually ended up asking another Dad to keep an eye on my kids!! And FWIW, whether it's policy or not, we've also always said that for Pack Overnighters only Webelos can camp without a Parent or other guardian -- so we just took that option off the table for Wolves and Bears. This felt right to us even before we heard the "all scouting is local" mantra: even Webelos can have a rough time without Mom or Dad, and after all we do want
  2. And with respect to "The parents were going to let another Dad be the Cub's adult for the campout . . . ", I'd always double-double check to be sure that this "another Dad" really understands that HE's got the responsibility to look after Scout for the weekend just like his own Son (but with the distance/privacy that YPT requires). Ya just hate it when the "another Dad" shows up and says "I'm supposed to watch over who??". Or worse . . . doesn't show up!
  3. The several instances noted of Packs extending advancement deadlines through the summer only to find that folks didn't catch up after all is consistent with what we've seen in the (few) instances where an otherwise active Scout didn't complete his rank: if they cared to complete it, they'd be done by the end of the year. Not that we'd turn someone away who came in during the summer or during fall roundup with a change of heart and tune, wanting to get Johnny signed off, but we don't waste breath or bandwidth advertising it or asking if they're done. For some, I suspect that the redemptio
  4. We've got 3 Citizen Den Meeting Plans in the Webelos Meeting Plans at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/node/1005, including a link to a Jeopardy Citizen Website from another pack, plus a set of Jeopardy Answers and Questions written out and completed in multiple categories to help you with that part (you could also do it as a straight "Scholar Quiz" type of game show). The arc of the meetings is basically (1) intro and prep (including an optional exercise to "make up the laws on an island"), with Flag Work, (2) a Community Leader Visit (many will come to you if you ask, and can be very inter
  5. Absolutely agreed they are a Den, with a Den Leader who is an adult. However, of course, concepts like "Denner" (the youth leader assistant to the adult Den Leader) do get incorporated into the Cub Scout program even before Webelos level, so there is some youth leadership there. And a den is, for many, the first community where they can exercise some self-determined governance: for example, if (as we've done successfully) the adult Den Leader guides them to develop a code of conduct . . . the laws for how the den will operate, the Scouts feel that they have created their own rules.
  6. Possible links of use to your planning: -- The NASA "Space Place", at http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/cubscouts/index.shtml -- A NASA and Scouting site (with various links) at http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/informal/features/F_NASA_and_Scouting.html -- Space Camp (Huntsville, Alabama), at http://www.spacecamp.com/ -- A Scouting the Net Page with "space" search results (showing lots of past "monthly themes" used for Cubs, Baloo's Bugles for those months, etc.), at http://www.scoutingthenet.com/scouting/Training/Roundtable/Handouts/00/05/ -- Unofficial Site with spac
  7. Sadly (warning: unofficial stuff being linked here), the patchtown folks (see http://www.patchtown.com/boyscoutpatr.html) don't have a "Spy" patrol (though I imagine they could take the old Mad Magazine Spy v. Spy image pretty easy), but there is an "eyes" emblem (see http://www.patchtown.com/eyespatrol.html), and also a "secret agent" emblem (but since it's just the words, that's a bit lame; see http://www.patchtown.com/secretagents.html). Of course, don't let them see the whole gallery, or they'll want to be Vampire Teddy Bears or Gangsta' Frogs or Gnomes or something . . .
  8. Yes, the Webelos are still in Den, but the Patch and Name make it "look like" a Patrol . . . which is great, as it fires up the Webelos, distinguishes them from younger Scouts, gives them further independence. It also helps with the Webelos goal of "preparing for Boy Scouts": if the Den picks "Eagle" or some other name that is not "taken" in the Troop you're aiming to join and the Troop maintains Patrols on the basis of age (not a mix of ages), they might retain the identity and "become" the Eagle Patrol of that Troop when they cross over. So, currently they are the Eagle Den, but if th
  9. Our experience has been that form should follow function, that jobs generally fall into three categories noted below, and that gravity will constantly draw the jobs back onto the person who is driving the program overall (whether Chair, or Cubmaster, or an active Den Leader) so you've got to be vigilant to give tasks to people and keep them communicating with each other! The three areas the jobs flow from are the following (and, of course, some folks might have jobs in more than one area if that lines up with their skillsets): 1. "program" jobs: every Den with a Den Leader and Assis
  10. You betcha!! When my first son crossed over, the Scoutmaster (a real cut-up) pulled over one of our former Webelos, and asked him (in front of me): SM: "What does the Scoutmaster do?" Scout: "He does this [sits down, twiddles thumbs], and says 'ask your Patrol Leader'". SM: "What does the Cubmaster do?" Scout: "He does . . . eeeevvvverything!".
  11. How did I feel (about 3 weeks ago, when second son crossed over)? Relieved! . . . that I think my son is gonna dig the adventure/camping part (he told me 4 years ago after witnessing his first crossover and hearing that Boy Scouting was more challenging, etc. that "I'll stay in Cub Scouts to get that 'burning spear' [what he called the Arrow of Light], but I'm not going to join Boy Scouts, that sounds too hard".) And also relieved in two other ways . . . that I don't have to attend both sets of meetings and events (I'll still be Pack Trainer, to counsel those getting it
  12. On the question of how long ("minimum amount of time from Webelos to AoL is 9 months, isn't it? Three for rank and 6 months for AoL"), technically, the AoL requirement is not tied to the end of the Webelos Badge 3 month requirement. Webelos Badge tenure requirement is "Be an active member of your Webelos den for 3 months." Arrow of Light tenure requirement is "Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade (or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old), and earn the Webelos badge." So, technically, a 5th Grade new Webelos cou
  13. On the comment that "read somwhere, sorry can't cite the specific location, that the TC den format will be coming more into line with the other programs areas come May 2010", here's a link with information: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/cubscout2010/ppt/orientationpresentation1-21-2010.ppt, a good bit of which is contained in this recent "Baloo's Bugle": February 2010 Bugle. Among other things, this confirms that the Den Meeting Structure will be the same for Tigers, Wolves and Bears -- Tigers will no longer have "Search, Discover, Share" formats. As a result, this further reduces
  14. Not at all, MNBob: sounds like you're a great CC. You're working hard to get volunteers, and truth be told, getting volunteers is harder these days. I venture that the typical unit finds that getting volunteers is usually a matter of putting all of the parents in the room to see who blinks first when told that "if there's no Den Leader, there's no Den". That's one of the reasons we insist on our "Every Parent Leads", so that poor volunteer doesn't end up stuck with no help. And agreed on the propensity for criticism as well: I mean, I heard somewhere that "A Scout is Kind", right?
  15. "Cub Scouts 2010 provides a workable program that makes it easier for new parents to become leaders without feeling completely lost" ===> Bingo! That's the goal and hope. Of course, units with very deep leadership (including those who stay beyond their son's Cub Scouting tenure) have done fine under existing resources, and will continue to do fine under the new program. But many many parents, faced with the multiple resources for Den Meetings, have a hard time figuring out how to make the program happen -- a simpler Den Meeting program will make this easier for those new leaders to "
  16. We've "used" Program Helps, but not "followed" it: we use years of them like a great cookbook, flagging activities that look fun and plugging them in where it fits with what we're doing in a Den Meeting and/or Pack Activity. But we don't follow it on our calendar and/or plan our meetings based on those themes. For example, if we are going to Space Camp as a January Activity, we'll pull space elements from whatever year of Program Helps had the best elements our leaders could lead. In fact, a lot of the "best" items we liked ended up in our "Big Cub Activity Playbook", and then in the alt
  17. Thanks cubdad4. I believe the Cub Scouts 2010 site (see http://www.scouting.org/CubScouts%202010.aspx) shows the Pittsburgh Scout Executive speaking about the new program. Suffice it to say that some believe that if, as he notes, the new Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide would become the "one stop shop for the Den Leader" and "the go to tool for leaders", then putting some fun meat on the bones of the fast track plans would have value. By the way, a Webelos version of Fun and Flexible Fast Tracks is now up at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/node/1005 for anyone's use.
  18. From a number of sources, The Emergency Broadcast System: -- The Den Lines up, facing the Audience. -- Den Leader or another announcer says: "This is a test of the Pack 123 emergency broadcast system. This is only a Test." -- Everyone in the Den hums a very high pitched note (a Beeeeeeeeeeep sound, similar to the tone on the radio just before an emergency broadcast is given). -- Stop when the leader raises his hand. -- When the humming stops, the announcer then says: "This has been a test of the Pack 123 emergency broadcast system. This has been only a Test. If this had
  19. Let me provide an update. We've put "beta" versions of the "Fun n Flexible Fast Tracks" outlines for Tiger, Wolf and Bear on our site at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/node/1005, with additional meeting options. With those additions, the ones required for the Bagdge are now called "Core" meetings, and the other couple dozen that you can pick and choose from are now called "Bonus" meetings. These updates contain some streamlining and additional ideas pulled from surfing the web in places like these Forums, plus McScouter, Insane Scouter, Bill Smith, various yahoo type lists, and others.
  20. Like the last Poster, I was someone who "did it all" where others didn't step up (not that I minded while helping the Pack start up and develop a program and template for future success, as I wanted to be sure if it was done, it was done as best we could). But we quickly realized that to avoid burnout on the part of Den Leaders (and me), we needed an "Every Parent Helps" rule (now called "Every Parent Leads", since just saying "uh, I'll help when/if I show up" doesn't do much for sharing the coordination burden). Every Parent has to help lead two Den Meetings, and take on a Pack Administrati
  21. On the concept of "interested in what was in the Den Files, but alas access is denied", well, trust me: the good stuff is "out there" on the "Den Meeting Playbook (and Fun Fast Tracks)" page. Thanks for the feedback. Been a fun 6 years -- though transition of leadership is for spin-off into another thread about our MJOKAC Program (pronounced "muh-jo-kak") that aims to distribute the "Many Jobs Once Known As Cubmaster"!
  22. Let me chime in on the commentaries over the last year about "Fast Tracks" and now Cub Scouts 2010, which (based on the Sneak Peak of the Resource Guide) will evidently install Fast Tracks meeting plans as the way to do Den Meetings. And forgive the cross posts, as I want to offer a constructive suggestion and a resource (found at http://atlanta631.mypack.us/node/1005) that many might be able to use. Background: I became a Tiger DL in the 03-04 year for a startup Pack, and wrote a 1 or 2 page set of notes about what we were doing each meeting (for myself and to hand to other parents atte
  23. We use SOAR (http://atlanta631.mypack.us/) and have embraced PayPal for the convenience factor (despite the "scalp" PayPal takes on charges). We've decided that for minor event costs (campouts, baseball tickets) the convenience of pulling the funds directly beats the volunteer time wasted trying to collect $15 checks. For more costly items (Webelos Camp), we collect directly. For annual dues, we give the option, but the OnLine payment option "grosses up" the actual number so that the Family pays the convenience charge, not the Pack.
  24. Hello Kent, let me give my insights on some of your comments: "I wish the SOAR site had a way to automatically stay in sync with TroopMaster, rather than requiring ongoing importing of data." ===> While not automatic (that is, you have to do something), it is fast. The export from TM is instant, and the upload into the SOAR Website takes a few seconds. "The formatting of the home page messages seems archaic . . . assume it is using HTML. In other parts . . . they provide rich text-like input . . . seems odd." ===> Not knowing what is in the "stock" items that come with the for
  25. Pack and Troop 631, South Fulton District, Atlanta Area Council: http://atlanta631.mypack.us/ http://atlanta631.mytroop.us/
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