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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. I seem to recall that we've seen a the concept from national of "we don't penalize Scouts for the mistakes of adults." I wonder how that translates to a case like this?
  2. ParkMan

    Leadership Challenge

    Thanks a lot for the course info. I've been intrigued by it for a while now. It's good to get a bit more context. Sadly the Summit course conflicts with the families summer vacation.
  3. DId you approve that this person was to be the MBC before work began? Sorry if you already answered this - but I missed it. I'm not sure the technical reason about why an unregistered MBC cannot sign off on merit badges. I agree that having someone not qualified to sign off make absolutely no sense - but I'm not aware if there is really any check on this. If there were, I have to imagine that many Eagle applications would be returned due to all the council mistakes about getting folks registered.
  4. You and I agree here. I'm not suggesting more rules. The BSA rules are more than enough. I'm just stating that the SM be clear that he/she is enforcing rules. We have a tendency in Scouting to let rules side. We do this for lots of reasons - but the net effect in many units it that the rules are not followed. If you've not been enforcing rules, it's a little much so that that paragraph 4 of section 3.2 of the guide to advancement says something. So, before you're going to start pulling out rule books, you've got to be clear that this is the standard.
  5. ParkMan

    Grants?

    This is an excellent point I had not even considered. You most likely cannot give the grant money to council anyways due the this fact.
  6. Since you're new to the role, I think you have to ask yourself - "is what the Scout did in line with how things are typically done?" DId the prior SM require signatures ahead of time? Did the prior SM question the qualifications of the counselor? Did the prior SM review the dates and progress on the MB? Did the prior SM permit family members as MB counselors? If the prior SM was the laid back type and if you have not changed the process, then you have to recognize that the Scout and family probably thought this was all fine. If the prior SM was a by the rules type, then this Scout and family may be taking advantage of your newness here. I would encourage you to be consistent in the rules you apply on retroactive work. It should be the rules in place when the Scout was doing the work. Given the size of the what was just turned in, it is most probably outside the bounds of what has been done before. So, you have the right to question. If a Scout walked in with 100 merit badges signed off we'd all question it. While 9 is not 100, it still a lot. It is certainly open to some questioning. It's part of the personal development and adult association methods of Scouting. Now, @David CO makes a very good point. This may come back again when others look at it. So, even if you are comfortable with everything till now - you still need to do some due diligence with the Scout. To me, the bigger question is - "Is this how you want to run things as SM?" While you may have to let something like this go, you have every ability to establish how you will do things going forward. Requiring that all Blue Cards to be signed prior to work starting is a good practice. Let your Scouts know that they need to use approved MBC and that their names need to be recorded on the Blue Cards prior to you approving. You can certainly let the Scouts know there is a new Sheriff in town. I'm a big fan of being firm, clear, fair, and compassionate. Let the Scouts know you'll enforce the rules Make the rules clear If the Scouts follow the rules, then don't look for reasons to "fail" them. Understand this is life and it's a youth program. Stuff will happen and so exceptions are OK. But, they need to be that - exceptions.
  7. ParkMan

    Grants?

    Agree with others. If you qualified for the grant, you keep it. BTW - this is different than in the Girl Scouts. In the Girl Scouts, units are owned by the GSUSA - so if they say turn over the money, then you have to. In the BSA, you are simply paying the BSA a fee and agreeing to follow some basic rules in order to utilize program and name. In the BSA you are a separate entity and so money you obtain like this belongs to your unit and your chartering organization. If you ask enough council/national people - someone will tell you that soliciting funds and applying for a grant are the same thing. But, they are really not.
  8. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    Interestingly enough, I contacted the support line at national with a YPT policy question. It was a pretty technical question where the G2SS and YPT training was not descriptive enough. The response I got from national was that it's up to each SE to decide how they interpret YPT policy. So, for something cut and dry it's pretty clear what a council is to do. But, when you get into the grey areas like this one, different councils can apparently do different things. So, I don't know that I'd get too hung up on the peculiarities in this case.
  9. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    Sure - that's true. We cannot mandate anything really. In almost all cases we can simply to tell people what we expect and to tell them when they are not welcome and ask them to leave. I suppose that one could get into situations and discuss calling the police to forcibly remove people from the premises - but I hope that never happens. But, really, I think these are all technicalities. In most cases, folks want to do the right thing.
  10. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    My understanding matches @T2Eagle & @Sentinel947. When you're at an event organized as a Scouting event, BSA YPT rules apply. Of course a CO can impose even more restrictive rules, but they cannot waive any BSA YPT rules. If a participant decides that they don't want to follow the BSA YPT rules, then they can leave the event. It's a free society and no-one can compel anyone to attend the Scouting event. But, while there, we do require that those present follow the rules.
  11. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    I'm not quite sure what we're discussing here. At a Scouting event non-leaders need to follow the YPT rules. However, it's not their job to implement them or to report on them. The YPT rules are designed to be administered and overseen by registered adults. That's why the rules all require at least one registered adult at pretty much all times. So, while awareness in the non-leader community is important, it's not required because placing non-leaders and scouts together unsupervised should not happen.
  12. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    Gotcha. Yeah - it's too bad the BSA infrastructure makes this kind of thing so hard. I can see that the BSA online version has been carefully constructed such that it conveys lots of information. I further recognize that the key concern is that a volunteer trainer will omit important information which could then result in serious mistakes. I know our volunteer trainers can be successful here - it just requires a little elbow grease and some faith in the system from national.
  13. ParkMan

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    The BSA allows for in-person YPT courses. Our council does them. There is a printed syllabus, trainers are certified, and they are required to teach the curriculum "as is". The presentation has to be up to the level of the online training. Since you're the district training chair I'd encourage a conversation with the council training chair and YPT champion.
  14. ParkMan

    Standing up to adults

    I pulled out the Handbook on my shelf (12th edition). It had this definition of Obedient: Later, there was a quote on a Scout being Chivalrous. It had this passage which was a quote from the 1914 handbook: There are other quotes around obey that I could find - mostly having to do with either obeying the Scout Oath & Law or obeying laws. My take away is that even our printed materials don't make the case that a Scout should obey all adults. He should respect those who are "superior" - but that's as far as it goes. If an adult comes along and tells the Scout to do something different on first aid, the Scout needs to show that he/she respectfully considered it, but made a different decision. This is the lesson I think we teach - we need to respect adults - but not necessarily obey them.
  15. ParkMan

    Standing up to adults

    Strikes me that this is part of the natural process of development for kids/young adults. When you're very young, you tend to have few places where you serve as a leader or an owner of a task. At 6, you're mostly playing, having fun, doing a few chores. By 10, you start to take on tasks - some of them with responsibility. By 15 the tasks are more complex, and you're starting to own projects where you have to interact with adults. By 18, you're taking on adult roles. As you progress, you're going to hit this natural conflict of "youth do as adults direct" vs. "people who own and are responsible for tasks have to interact professionally with adults" I think most 13/14 year olds would have a hard time with this. But, I do see that generally as Scouts grow older the become more confident in owning the task and interacting with adults. Some of the best Scout youth leaders I've seen have no problems respectfully telling an adult no.
  16. Thanks a lot for the comments @fred8033. I very much see what you're saying. I'm sorry if my own comments came off as "too bad, so sad - you should have joined a big troop." It was not my intent to make this a big vs. small discussion. At the core of what I've seen in our larger troop experience is a sense of "let's make sure the Scouts we serve are provided opportunities to enjoy and learn from Scouting." It's been my experience that our ASMs, Troop Committee Members, and Merit Badge Counselors work to make sure they do their job - provide the infrastructure so that Scouts can run their own program. So, as you run down the list of needed infrastructure, what you see in our larger troop is effort is expended to make sure the support is there. MBC is a good example of that. It's not that we're trying to keep our MBC to ourselves - not at all. In fact, we proposed to the district that we establish a network of MB coordinators in larger troops to help build up the list of MBC. (That offer was declined.) It's that we looked at what our Scouts were requesting and said - hey, we've got 100 parents, let's see if we can put something together to support what our scouts are asking for. In our trips and activities, we routinely have friends from other troops join us. We routinely lend out gear and supplies. We routinely hold joint trips with other units. We don't try to cut corners on advancement. Not at all. No-one is making our MBC soft sell requirements. Scouts earn their merit badges with us. We just don't believe in having a ton of hoops to go line up a MBC. We have someone who will make sure you don't have to go find a guy four towns over who will counsel you on First Aid. There's nothing we do that a smaller troop cannot do - nothing. Further, we'd bend over backwards to help smaller troops. But, the small troops rarely ask. In fact, most of the support we lend outside the troop is to other big troops.
  17. ParkMan

    Recruiting in Scouts BSA Units

    Units really do need to have a plan to replace 20% of their membership every year. Cub Scouts cross over, Scouts BSA & Venture Scouts age out. Further, if you're less than 30 Scouts, you need a plan to get to 30. From reading the article, it sounds like the new SM is getting focused on that. From looking online, is appears that the troop's CO has a pack as well. If so, and those Scouts don't cross over to that troop, is there a reason? A program problem perhaps? In addition to @mrkstvns great list, I'd enocurage the SM to have an honest sitdown with the families, the remaining leaders, and the COR. This troops #1 focus needs to be program, but #2 needs to be growth. They need a defined plan to grow again.
  18. Please elaborate - why? *EDIT* Sorry, I advanced pages and see now. Would it be correct to say that you don't agree with bigger troops and how they do things?
  19. I agree with @Navybone On this topic, I would only try to bring it back to the initial line of discussion in the thread to say that I believe it's important for Councils to remember that our roles here are to deliver the Scouting program to Scouts. For most of us, we got involved with a specific unit to help there. Sure, most of us are willing to help another unit from time to time when asked. But, there are practical limits to that. I believe councils need to tread very lightly in how they conscript unit level volunteers into council level programs.
  20. Gotcha. Actually, I think we are mostly in agreement here then. I do understand the YPT concerns. But, other than that, I think we can trust that merit badge counselling can be done without a ton of process. District/Council lists, registration, mandatory training is more than we really need. I do agree that training is most often a good thing. But, making it mandatory is a bit much in my book. Create a decent 3 page flyer that explains the process for those that need the highlights and put the full training out there for those that want it. Make training optional. If you've not taken YPT and are not registered, then you need another registered adult present +mom/dad. If you are registered & have YPT, then you can fill that roll. Scoutmaster,ASM, or advancement chair is responsible for making sure the process is followed. This seems like a pretty reasonable plan to me.
  21. Ahh- gotcha! My area must be in the middle. We've got a successful troop for girls, but maybe because it's a lager area. Myself - I've got two daughters who are girl scouts and don't see that changing. I'll be selling cookies with her Saturday.
  22. I would most certainly not look at it as an either/or situation. A troop can certainly build up a MBC list from within their parents and also have outside counselors. In a different topic @Cburkhardt mentioned the value he sees in a larger troop. I'd echo the same thing here. In our troop of 75 Scouts, we've got enough adults that we've invested in things like having an adult to co-ordinate our MBC list. In our case we don't go out and solicit other local volunteers - but we could. If were were a smaller town troop and we had a bunch of Scouts who'd been asking about the automotive maintenance MB, I'm sure our MB coordinator would be thinking about where he could find such a person. Now, there's nothing that says a smaller troop cannot do the same thing - but I do recognize that there are less likely to be adults around who you could enlist to take that on. It would make perfect sense for a district volunteer to do this kind of thing. But frankly - I think the problem is too big there. A volunteer or two trying to line up enough MBC for 500-1000 Scouts would be doing this all the time. So there, I think the district MB coordinator really should be building a network with troop MB coordinators and working with them to get the list populated. This another reason why I think retrenching this to the council level doesn't make much sense. If it were too hard for a district MB coordinator to build a program for 500-1000 scouts, how will the council MB coordinator do it for 3,000 to 10,000 scouts?
  23. I'm a simple person - but gotta admit that I'm not following you here.. My daughters as GS/USA members - so if you perceive a slight in my comments, it's not intentional. What I have come to realize is that the GS/USA programs and structure are largely different from the BSA program. The GS/USA system is probably more flexible than the BSA model - but many of the GS/USA troops out there are focused differently than BSA troops. I've also witnessed first hand successful community troops for girls. It has convinced me that the best way to build up troops for girls is to start focused, community based troops. As they become successful and reach saturation point, then we can start more. But, I'd rather see 1 troop of 25-30 girls than 5 troops of 5 girls.
  24. I'm with @Cburkhardt on this. The best way to expand Scouting - whether it's for boys or girls - is to provide them solid units with great programs. Two paid members can be a stepping stone to 30 members, but it should just be that. If your community doesn't have a troop for girls yet, why not reach out to the other local packs & troops and do something at a community level?
  25. It's a whole lot easier to walk up to a parent with a kid in the troop, ask them their interests, and then get them to be a merit badge counselor. Hey, Mr. Smith I hear you are an arborist. Would you be willing to be a forestry merit badge counselor? I see that your son has been working on several merit badges already. It's free of charge and the rewards are huge. Since it is a role where you'll interact with kids directly we'll need you to fill out this application and take the online YPT class.
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