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ParkMan last won the day on March 18 2017

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  1. YPT

    The current online courses are: SCO_3001 - Overview and policies SCO_3003 - Sexual Abuse SCO_3004 - Bullying SCO_3007 - Certification Test It strikes me that there are some gaps here in the numbers - as if they intend to add more content. Also - they have both a mandatory and helpful category. Again, seems like they have infrastructure for more.
  2. YPT

    I did - I don't recall that being covered. Looking at the course numbers, I presume that more content is coming.
  3. New around here

    Welcome! Thank you for taking on one of the absolutely best jobs in Scouting!
  4. I've seen a lot of WDL who operate a program where the AOL year is the end of the Cub Scout experience. Boy Scouts is a new, but related program for the boys to do next. I think this is why we see the biggest loss in membership when boys go from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. In my mind, it's a continuum. Just as boys go from Wolf to Bear and Bear to Webelos, so too do they take the step from AOL to Boy Scout. It's not that the WDL needs to spend all their time getting the boys ready, but they do need to make it a smooth process.
  5. Nice! We need more folks with this kind of vision. You're welcome to come be an ASM in my troop anytime!
  6. My gut says: - 15 minutes for announcements. summer camp, philmont trip, whatever. - 10 minutes for FOS or other special presentation - 15 minutes for a scout talk or two. - balance on awards. Do most of you do refreshements too?
  7. This is a great idea. It is also 100% within the description of your job (Secretary). To me this is one of those things that if you do it well it can have a tans-formative effect on a troop. A newsletter forces: - up front planning. You can't just wait until two weeks before to say - "hey, we've got a camping trip" - consistent messaging. You, as secretary, figure out length, format, etc. Parents get used to that and love it. - families rely on it. My daughter's middle school has a newsletter. When I can't remember something about a upcoming event I go back and check the latest newsletter. 9 times out of 10, it's there. My troop does not have a newsletter. We literally send of 20 emails a week about all sorts of things. Someone forgot a book - SM sends an email. A reminder to bring shoes on a camping trip - ASM sends an email. I'm convinced that if we had a newsletter our emailing would instantly drop by 75%. So instead of 20 emails, we might send 4 or 5 a week. Parents would be much more likely to actually read them. Now - it's like we're shouting above the noise. This is exactly why the just spent 45 minutes having adults make announcements at the COH. Because no one reads emails, it's the time to tell them everything you've already emailed 3 times about. Go for it!
  8. Cub Scout Patrols

    I saw that too with my son's troop. Making pancakes & hotdogs isn't all the hard for a scout to do. You can easily do it as a Webelos, if not a bear. But, when he got to Boy Scouts, the leaders took a step back and had him doing stuff he did two years earlier. I'd have been bored too. One of the things I saw in Cub Scouts was that den leaders tended to be parents. So they had a pretty good idea of what their son could do. Fast forward to Boy Scouts and the ASMs tended to be longer term volunteers who just liked Boy Scouting. They didn't know the kids that well, so they assumed the least common denominator.
  9. We talk a lot in Scouting about leadership. To me, a big part of leadership is standing up and leading. Every scout could do that, but many choose not to. We've got a kid in our troop that shows up 90% of the time, leads all kinds of events, and puts himself out there. We've got other kids that come 20% of the time, never camp, never participate, never show leadership, and in short - just don't try. We've got a lot more kids in the middle. As adults, I think we want to encourage boys to be more like the first example. Do things, try things, take chances, be a leader. Having a program like the OA which provides an incentive to lead is itself a tool to teach leadership. If a scout tries and puts his heart into it, should he get into the OA - you bet. But, I think for it to be an effective tool, there has to be a line somewhere. If there's not line, how can it be a tool to incentive boys to try & lead.
  10. @Eagledad @Eagle94-A1 I completely understand. I don't think bad of you at all for saying No - I don't have the time. I'm in the middle of my own burnout phase. Been Committee Chair for a troop of 75 boys with a Scoutmaster who has turned difficult and ungrateful into an art form. I do get it. I've said in other threads that I think the real problem behind much of this is the neglect of our district committees. Too few people left doing too many jobs. We lack a structure that develops new leaders and builds up our "community scouting" team. Camporee's suffer, Day Camp suffers, the OA suffers, the list goes on. I just think I've got a choice. I can mourn Scouting's passing, or I can be a voice in my small town that says let's do better. In fact, my plan is to say no to most everything, but instead work to find those people who will say yes. Maybe it won't work - I don't know. But it's all I can think of.
  11. Then change it. Heck, just get your OA group to simply adopt your goal: "By joining the OA, you have chosen to join an elite group. We represent the best of the best scouts. While a member you will become experts with wood tools and will become confident alone in the woods. You're expected to represent the best of the Scout Law. Here you will be given a chance to become even stronger leaders that you are today. If you're up for that, this will be an arena to expand your dreams. If not, that's OK, but this isn't the group for you" I'd start with that. If everyone quits then go recruit a new batch and build it up again. This stuff is only mediocre if we let it be.
  12. What I've been seeing is a much bigger divide between packs & troops that there should be. The WDL are definitely part of the pack culture and leadership group. I think it's just hard for them to think Boy Scout because they are so surrounded by Cub Scout culture. What I've proposed is that we have troop leaders who were once WDL teach the WDL training course in person. Teach the material from the persepctive they now hold being an ASM. Hasn't happened yet, but someday
  13. Has your troop ever gone to Disney World?

    This seems pretty easy to solve to me. The camping coordinator or Scoutmaster needs to ask a better question. Something like: Scoutmaster: Boys, we need to plan the camping trips for this year. We can do one or two large trips - like Philmont or a long road trip. We also need to do 10 weekend trips that are within a three hour drive. Please come up with a list for both groups. The camping coordinator's form can simply ask both questions. If, for the big trip, every boy puts down Disney World - then great. if they put down Disney World for the monthly trips - hand it back and say please fix it.
  14. I think of it a bit differently - your chapter, and perhaps lodge, has lost it's lustre. I'm coming to realize that it's our generation's turn to make these institutions great. Of course the boys run it, but our generation of adults needs to be behind the scenes lining things up so that it can happen. It feels to me a little like volunteerism is down, so it's making that harder these days, but it seems to be the challenge that's out there.
  15. Cub Scout Patrols

    We did something like this when I was a Cub leader. On a few campings trips, each den level was responsible for doing their own food prep. - The Webelos did most of their own cooking with active support of their parents. - The Bears worked with their parents to make food - The Wolves stirred pots, put ingredients in, etc. - The Tigers flipped pancakes. Some dens did a better job of this than others. My son's den leader was a fantastic guy who spent several den meetings teaching my son (a Bear at the time) to cut, cook on a stove, etc. Other den leader's didn't really understand how to challenge their boys, so they got less out of it. The first time we did it, it was a great experience. The second time was pretty good. The third time a disaster. By the third time, nonsense adult politics crept in. One den leader was ill prepared and kept having to borrow food from other dens. Of course scouters are friendly, but when kids started showing up at the other dens areas saying - "I'm hungry", it got a little ridiculous. The den leader who was the most organized took advantage of the fact that other den leaders didn't read emails and kinda horded the pack gear. Yet another den leader sat in his area and was sniping about the Webelos leader all weekend. That was the last time we did that