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ParkMan last won the day on March 11

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About ParkMan

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  1. ParkMan

    Women and siblings on campouts

    I went back and re-read the OP. Was struck that now the 10 year old daughter who was interested in attending with the mother could today join a Pack and be a Scout herself in a year or so.
  2. ParkMan

    Privacy of Health Forms

    I fully expect that we'll find cases like yours where the information was beneficial and I'm sure even life saving. It's pretty much an indefensible argument to make that we should take the precaution to collect a healt from. But, there are lots of places I visit with some freqency where something could happen and a health information form would be useful - church, work, my children's school just to name a few. Yet, none of those ask me for a health form. In an era where we have limited adult volunteers and we're working hard to get parents engaged I just wonder if it's worth the effort for unit leaders to deal with this administration for adults - particularly non-registered adults. I suppose if it saves one life the answer if yes, it's worth it. But, I do wonder.
  3. ParkMan

    Webelos - Participation as Den After the Cross

    Hi @PackALder, I agree with Thunderbird - the crossed over Scouts can participate, but participation is the call of the pack leadership. You could decide yes, you could decide no. Either answer is fine. I would add though that I would discourage you from spending a lot of effort to invite the newly crossed over Scouts to come back to pack events. Those Scouts have crossed over and it's good for them to focus on getting settled into the troop. We had a year where the pack had a few events that conflicted with events specifically for the New Scouts. Because Scouts were getting invities to attend the pack activities, many skipped the new troop activities in favor of going back to events where they had lot of friends and were the older folks. In the end it was fine, but it slowed several Scouts as there were getting going.
  4. ParkMan

    Privacy of Health Forms

    The more I read this topic, the more I'm coming to the same conclusion. I understand why we want to know if a Scout has asthma. For youth we really should know a lot more because of the simple fact that as leaders we are responsible for them while they are away from their family. We, as leaders, probably have limited knowledge about some very important health issues. if we relied on everyone to voluntarily share them, we'd get a wide vareity of information and may truely not be prepared to adequately supervise them. But, in the case of adults, there is realtively little we need to know outside of significant backcountry excursions. The Philmont health staff ought to know if you have a cardiac condition. For a typical adult on a pack or troop camping trip a health form is probably excessive. Once you get to the level of registered adults at summer camp, it begins to make more sense - but even there it's probably unneccesary as well.
  5. ParkMan

    Leadership Disagreements

    Hi @EastCst, Here's what I've found works for me. The person who makes the decision is the person most responsible for the decision. i.e., if it's a membership question - it's the membership chair. if it's a pack meeting question, it's the Cubmaster. I found people really appreciated it when you empowered them to make decisions that were relevant to what they do. When a minor decision came upin a committee meeting and there wasn't a clear person who was organizationally appropriate to decide, I'd generally throw if out for quick input: "hey folks, anyone have a recommendation on whether we want blue streamers or yellow streamers?". But, as Committee Chair, I was prepared to decide in the absence of a clear choice. Outside of meetings, I tended to be pretty quick to decide things. Having the leaders or committee discuss every little thing just bogs down the pack. Don't hesitate to be a decision maker. When there were important decisions I'd ask the committee for input. Hi all, the Cubmaster would like us to replace the Pinewood Derby track - what do you all think? I learned the importance years ago of pack legacy. Leaders are generally pretty proud of their pack or troop. So, you've got to give some deferance to that. What I'd so is look at decisions to do something new and ask "Is there a clear benefit to changing this?" If so, then change it. if not, then go with the old way. One trick I learned when trying to change behavior like this at a Committee meeting is to simply be up front about it. Tell everyone at the start of the meeting that you're making an increased effort to keep to the agenda and to do that you've reserved time at the end for new topics. Then, as they come up simply tell folks - thanks, got it noted for the new topics section of the meeting.
  6. ParkMan

    Privacy of Health Forms

    Thanks @RichardB. I regreft that I didn't know about this. This looks like exactly what I was hoping would exist. I very much appreciate you highlighting this.
  7. ParkMan

    Privacy of Health Forms

    I'd agree. The BSA really should ask a team of volunteers in their health and safety team to put togther a list of best practices for handling health & safety forms. It doesn't have to be onerous, but some basic guidance really should exist. I may be placing too fine a point on it, but most people who handle health forms are not "the BSA" in the form of national or council profressionals or volunteers. Most people who handle health forms are unit volunteers. Most of use have about 0 experience in how to handle them beyond common sense. Providing us as volunteers some guidance on how to store health forms is a good idea. For example, once I thought about scanning them to make it easier for the Scoutmaster and then realized that once that happened, they would be impossible to track. So I discarded that as a bad idea. But, I'm sure others have come to a different conclusion.
  8. ParkMan

    NATIONAL POLICY: AOL and Crossover Ceremonies

    That's what I'm thinking. Create a ceremony that doesn't include the NA references. You could even take a script from one of the existing ceremonies and rework it so that it's done in a way that doesn't make the NA references.
  9. ParkMan

    NATIONAL POLICY: AOL and Crossover Ceremonies

    I understand the directive to no longer have Native American references. Given how ridiculous the new script is, I'd be inclined to write my own. I'd follow the sprit of the rule, but not the letter. Has anyone with an OA ceremony team here tried writing their own script that does not use Native American references?
  10. @HashTagScouts Thank you - much appreciated. I do understand the history of how Scouting has worked for the LDS church. I am glad that the LDS church is now defining their own youth program. As they grow internationally, I think this is a good thing for them. I just thought this statement from the LDS leadership and the way that they will not charter Scouting units, not allow Scouting activities on their faciliaties, nor faciliate the seemless transition of youth to non LDS units is turning a pretty cold shoulder to Scouting. More broadly - just because it's no longer their youth program doesn't mean that they need to kick it out of the building. They have smart members and I'm sure people would adapt perfectly well if the local leaders had said "On, January 1, 2020, you need to start attending our new youth program. If you want to continue in Scouting, it is your choice and is optional. Those meetings will be on Thursday nights at 7:30pm." This works fine for all other kinds of denominations around the country. But, they didn't do that, and they are in essence saying "On January 1, 2020, Scouting ends. If you want to continue Scouting you need to go do it somewhere else." Ouch! That there are so many outstanding Scouts & Scouters who are members of the LDS faith is another great reason for the LDS church to be willing to charter units like just about every other religious group in the US. Given how central the church is to many LDS members, I would have to imagine it would be a popular option for a local LDS church to sponsor a Scouting unit. I expect that it would only serve to further strengthen the community of their congregation to have yet another activity their youth and adults can do together.
  11. It may be true that the youth that are members in the LDS church will be treated like any other Scout in the future. However, the LDS church is not acting like other church with respect to it's relationship with Scouting. It's not just how the LDS leadership permits Scouting to interact with it's members, but also how the LDS leadership acts towards Scouting that is important. If I read the above LDS statement and extract that restrictions they are placing, I see: The Church (including individual stakes, wards, or branches) will not be a sponsor for any newly formed packs or troops Church leaders should not refer adults or recruit adults or youth at any time; neither should Church leaders distribute materials to those who might be interested in remaining in Scouting. Church buildings or grounds should not be used for any form of recruiting for community packs and troops. After December 31, 2019, the Church will no longer be an official charter partner with the BSA, and Church meetinghouses and properties should no longer be used for Scout meetings or activities I fully, completely, and without hesitation respect the right of the LDS leadership to make decisions about how it engages with community organizations. If the LDS leadership believes these steps are appropriate to further their ministry, then good for them. However, appropriate and friendly are not neccessarily the same thing. Friendly in my book would mean that the LDS leadership would encourage local leaders to help Scouts to organize LDS sponsored units if they so choose. Friendly would mean that local LDS leaders would be guided to hold meetings and encourage members interested in continuing in Scouting to do so. This statement sounds more like one company severing a business relationship with another than it does a religion interacting with an activity for youth.
  12. ParkMan

    Troop alumni

    Hi @Cambridgeskip, Our scout group is just a young on at about 40 years. But, we've considered much the same. Even if it were just a quarterly newsletter or something I'm sure that folks would be interested in hearing what is going on in their former troop. I'm sad to report though that we've not yet pursued it either. For us, I think we just need a champion to get it going. One of those things that people think is a good idea for someone else to do I suppose! Here I would approach it in an invite system. Bascially we'd develop a master list of prior scouts, contact them through email and invite them to join. If they joined, then great. We'd leverage this group to keep filling out the network until we found everyone. I'm intrigued to hear how you make out!
  13. Maybe it's just me, but this policy sounds remarkably unfriendly to me. Other religious denomiations I know of seem to have no problem with fliers being up in the church and leaving it to local churches to decide if they want to sponsor a Scouting unit. Not sure I see the need to be so unfriendly to Scouting.
  14. Hi @Mom2Scout, I think that's just their interpretation. It seems like a more protective interpretation of the actual text. The text doesn't say anything about line of sight - just that they need to be present at the activity.
  15. ParkMan

    BSA definition of the Patrol Method

    I fully appreciate what you're saying here. Based on years and year of experience, recent decisions by the BSA appear to make it much harder to implement patrol method. That creates a lot of angst and even apprehension about what the BSA is doing. This leads to concerns that the BSA is trying to move away from the patrol method. I suspect that nothing has changed with respect to the desire of the BSA leadership to feature the patrol method in the program. However, I do believe that the same BSA leadership is being forced to deal with new realities that were not present at other points in our past. For example, I think the recent two deep leadership rule changes were all about dealing with insurance companies and the threat of litigiation from abuse. In addition, our society has changed to be one where it is expected that if a precaution could have been taken, that it should have been taken. Since one of the growing concerns is that of youth on youth abuse, the BSA leadership is now compelled to deal with that. So, the BSA leadership said: "We have to address our insurance needs. What's the best way to do that in the context of our program?" So, they arrived on the new G2SS rules that they did. Does it mean that they want to get rid of Patrol Method? No, it does not. Does it make it harder to implement? Yes, most certainly. In this, is our society damaging institutions like the BSA? Most certainly it is. Has the BSA leadership made the right choices here to support their insurance (or whatever else) needs? Probably not. But, I don't think the decisions by the BSA leadership are nefarious. At most I'd call them shortsighted. I'd argue that this is where we need really seasoned Scouters to develop the next wave of leaders. We need Scouters who can find ways to make this work and impart that knowledge to the next generation. I see it as a personal challenge in my own Scouting to take a program that I love, understand the challenges of today, and find the way to end up with a stronger program when I'm done.