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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. The policy as written certainly has quite a few holes. For example - if we cannot have a closed group what about things like email distribution lists which by design are closed systems. We, as adults just have to use common sense as we apply it. My interpretation is that the BSA is trying to 1) avoid small group environments where it is possible to issues to occur and 2) have sufficient adult oversight so that the safety of Scouts is maintained. That's the interpretation I go with. I get the desire to give the Scouts more freedom from adults. I wish the BSA could get ahead of this stuff enough to do that. Given all the youth abuse concerns these days, I don't see how the BSA can without inviting criticism and lawsuits. Perhaps the BSA could find a way to steer the national conversation towards youth independence and away from more and more safety rules. However, I suspect it's a topic much bigger than the BSA.
  2. Please don't shoot the messenger, but I think this is the section that requires adults to monitor it. From: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a To help ensure that all communication on social media channels remains positive and safe, these channels must be public, and all communication on or through them must be public. This enables administrators to monitor all communication and help ensure there is no inappropriate communication between adult leaders and Scouts or between Scouts themselves. Therefore, no private channels (e.g., private Facebook groups or invite-only YouTube channels) are acceptable in helping to administer the Scouting program. Private channels and private communication put both the youth and you at risk. If you feel the information you seek to share via social media channels should not be shared in public, you should not share that information via social media.
  3. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    @Eagle94-A1 I'm sorry to hear about your ongoing frustrations with your troop. I think of you and your troop often when people start to talk about Family Scouting. I wish I had some wisdom from my travels - but do not. I fully understand that unless you are the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, your hands are tied to the extent upon which you can change the culture. In the absence of this, we get to try to encourage folks to share our views - but it is tough. All my best.
  4. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    I'm following your point. I do think it would be good for a Troop to apply the same standard to any member. But, I do think folks would look at behavior problems warranting a parent and physically or mentally disabled scout requiring specially trained individuals as unique cases. I don't think being a girl is an exception case like these. A "boys only" troop asking any invited, co-ed dens to provide proper supervision seems like the right way to go. So, in cases like the one in this topic - there is an easy solution with no impact on the troop. I do understand that this specific case is unique. My fundamental point is that a Scout pack or troop consists of Scouts. When we do events, we do events as a Troop. If you're a pack or troop that has both male and female members - I think you operate as one troop. It just doesn't feel right to say - "ok boys, we have enough adults for you. sorry girls, we don't have enough adults for you". You operate as a single unit. I understand that a single troop with boys & girls is not allowed yet - but some troops will act that way. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for units to find enough adults to go camping as it is now. I know that suggesting that we make it harder seems crazy. I just think that it's the job of the Troop Committee to think through the impact of operating an co-ed program. But, when those situations happen, a troop or pack should do what we normally do when we have insufficient adult YPT coverage - we cancel the event. It's disappointing to the Scouts - but it also reminds adults that their involvement is needed to operate the program. I cannot count how many times in our troop the threat of a canceled campout gets parents to sign up to attend.
  5. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    Ok - then how about we only let scouts who's parents go attend? Since when has it ever been a requirement that your parents attend? I was never advocated that the BSA had to admit girls. But now that it's happened, we've got to be fair. If a troop invites a den with girls, the troop has to make sure it has the staff to support it. If it doesn't that's the troops fault - don't blame the girl you invited. What kind of example is that?
  6. ParkMan

    Boys-only weeks at camp

    if the schedule were something like: week 1: co-ed week 2: boys only week 3: girls only week 4: co-ed week 5: co-ed It would seem fair. But, something like: week 1: boys only week 2: boys only week 3: ce-ed week 4: co-ed week 5: boys only Does not.
  7. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    I'm not trying to force you to cancel. I think you're doing a great thing by trying to someone to attend to make it possible for her to go. Since you feel hamstrung by the threat from your Scouts, let me lay out my thinking: Here we've got a case where a troop has invited a Webelos den to go camporee with you. You are now faced with the prospect of having to tell a member of that den she cannot attend simply because she is a girl. If I recall correctly you've got something like 30 scouts in your troop. That's 20+ moms and/or wives who could attend. But, they choose not to. I'm a big believer in the idea that we succeed as a troop and we fail as a troop. If the troop members want to go, this seems like a solvable problem. That they have not stepped up is a choice of the troop. So, here we have a case where the Troop could do the right thing if it wanted to. If the Troop wanted to do the right thing someone would step up. But, the Troop is choosing not to. This is not a case of @Eagle94-A1 forcing the cancellation. This is a case of the Troop forcing the cancellation. In my mind it's a question of "doing the right thing" or avoiding the potential backlash. I just think as Scouters, we should do the right thing.
  8. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    I'd definitely get the pack leadership & COR & perhaps church leadership involved here. I agree to with @qwaze - start running through the list of other Scouting groups that might be able to help. You are trying to do the right thing here by making it possible for her to participate as an equal member. I'm not going to continue to beat the drum of cancel. But, some food for thought from my travels. Because we always want to provide our Scouts the best experience possible, we often perceive things as worse than they are. Yes, it's camporee - but you don't have to go. If you tell the DE and camporee chair you're pulling out because you don't have a female leader - you've just made your problem their problem too. You might just get an email from an experienced Scouter willing to go. Not sure how big your troop is - but I'm guessing you get a pretty good participation in camporee. I imagine that most of the Scouts in the troop have a mother. Some of the mothers probably even were Girl Scouts at one point. When the Scouts start complaining to their parents about how they can't go, there's a good chance a mother will send you an email. Yes, your scouts said they'd quit - but somehow I don't think a bunch of Scouts who have spent years invested in your troop are going to quit because of one camporee. Hypothetically, say you did cancel. You get some ticked off Scouts & leaders. You then go to the next Committee meeting and have a frank discussion. "Folks, we had to cancel this trip because we didn't have any female adults." There would be some discussion - perhaps some even pretty tense. But, I bet that it would set some things in motion. I expect you'd start to see a few female adults start to show up at meetings and trips. In these instances, I'm reminded of the book "Profiles in Courage". Sometimes you have to do the right thing - regardless of the perceived outcome. The funny thing is that when we've made similar hard choices to do the right thing, it almost always ends up being a very well received decision.
  9. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    Yes - the last part (about the new normal) was sarcasm. It was late here and that completely wasn't obvious. I agree with @Eagle94-A1 that the BSA should have allowed adults of whatever gender take Scouts of whatever gender camping. It's ridiculous that in this day and age they added such an old school rule. They missed a golden opportunity to be a leader here. But, due to the rules we have now, I was serious about canceling. The quickest way to start making girls feel like less welcome members is to have the boys go on a trip but say the girls cannot because you don't have a female leader. I do think we have to say - we all go or none of us go. Guess I'm just old school here, but part of the troop committee's job is to provide for enough adults for events. Don't have enough ASMs, they need to find more or at the very least make sure committee membera fill the gap for camping. The troop committee is generally composed of parents. So, if your troop has an event requiring a female adult to be present and there is not one, the Troop Committee needs to fix that. If they don't, the boys simply don't have enough adults for the trip and it doesn't happen. I do realize this is unfair to the existing boy members- but I also think it sends a strong message about the importance of everyone in the group. As a big part of Scouting is about leadership development and also about adult association, I believe that how we handle this and the message it sends to the Scouts is important.
  10. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    Agreed - see if her parent can get registered. Pay for the registration for her. But, if not and you can't find one - cancel the campout. A troop camps together. If you don't have sufficient adults for a troop member to go (even a prospective troop member), you don't go. It's not her fault, it's the fault of the adults in the troop. Welcome to the new normal.
  11. ParkMan

    Whittling chip policy - dealing with infractions

    Blood circle sounds way cooler. I get that it's not what we want to encourage, but my scouts were much more impressed when we said blood circle. I'd have filed & forgotten safety circle. Blood circle - that I'd remember.
  12. ParkMan

    Pre-season Pinewood Derby drama

    Three things that come to mind. 1) Hold a pack workday or two. At the workday have help for designing cars and have sufficient tools on hand for cutting out cars and doing some basic sanding. That will help level out access to tools. 2) Have a conversation about what you expect parents to do and what you expect Scouts to do. In the age of bandsaws we saw most parents use one to cut out the car. Then, once cut out, the Scout did the sanding and finishing. The band saw is the right tool for the job - but there is no way you're going to have a Cub Scout operate it. 3) Knowledge imparted from parent to Scout here makes a huge difference. For example, my son's car always had a good - but not great paint job. If was pretty good because we sanded the car, primed the car, sanded the primer, added a second coat of primer where needed, sanded again, added a layer of paint, sanded that, etc... When a parent asked me about it once and I started talking about the process they were shocked. It wasn't anything fancy - we just took our time. One of the other parents owns a business with a paint shop. Their finish was like glass. Did that parents do not it - probably not. Dad can just instruct better and has way better equipment than we did.
  13. ParkMan

    Lawnmower Parents

    Understood. It brings me back to the conclusion that the right remedy here is to drive for quality at the district and council level. Both in terms of things like merit badge colleges and also in things like training. The challenge I don't know how to address yet is how to get the really high quality unit level volunteers to help.
  14. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    I do volunteer at the district level. I know it's a very big challenge. I'll admit to being fairly daunted by the enormity of the task. It just seems like in topic after topic, we come back to there is a problem at the district/council level. I agree - we won't make much headway if we don't try.
  15. ParkMan

    Lawnmower Parents

    Sure - taking a Merit Badge in a class setting like this reduces and perhaps even eliminates the benefit from the adult interaction. If every merit badge earned at an event like this was replaced by a one-on-one experience with a counsellor I'd full agree with you. However, I'd expect that for the preponderance of Scouts the lack of programs like these would instead result in fewer merit badges attempted and earned. The net result would be fewer experiences for the Scouts. So - instead of not doing these, should we instead push to do these with better quality? I know you tried and were rebuked - but i think we keep trying. Of course - the other angle is that individual troops need to have a program that involves more than attending colleges. I suspect you underscore that in your trainings - but I'm not sure how many others do.
  16. ParkMan

    YPT2 deadline

    This is the problem with these things. Half the folks make this out to be a hard deadline- the other half say "no big deal if it's not done." As a movement, we undermine ourselves to the point where many simply do what they want.
  17. ParkMan

    Lawnmower Parents

    That's my biggest concern with this format of merit badges - quality of learning by the Scouts and engagement with the counselor. I just think this is bad delivery by the staff of these events when it happens. I know it's very hard to recruit counsellors/instructors for these. I suspect that in many cases - they get the best instructors they can and hope it works out.
  18. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    I suspect national saw the same reports we all did. Direct contact leader training numbers were very low. I watched our district training team try - but it was like pushing rope. So, national came up with the "solution" of online training. I value live training, so I don't think I'd have made the same decision- but at least they tried something. I still think the thing to address is changing the culture in the units to one where training is required by the Scoutmasters and Cubmasters. Not sure how to do that though. In the interim, the district folks need to focus on training quality. Create the reputation that the trainings are events not to be missed and are far superior to the online versions.
  19. ParkMan

    Lawnmower Parents

    On the topic of troop size, I'd ask a very different question. question: What limitation do you feel you face in your troop? follow up to others: How do you address the kind of limitation in your troop. On the topic of size - we all see size differently. Rather than saying 30 is too big, too small, or just right, I think I'd be most interested in learning of ways different troops addressed the challenge. BTW - We attend local merit badge colleges. AdvanceCamp sounds like a really big MBC. If we had something similar locally, we'd probably send a group. If a Scout if going to earn 40-50 merit badges in his time in Scouting, I think II'd be OK having a few show up and get it opportunities.
  20. ParkMan

    Council Merger

    69,000 scouts - that's one big council
  21. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    That's a shame. Around here, no-one would confuse round table for a clique. I greatly appreciate that despite all that history, you are still willing to not have the bad eggs not taint the overall program. All my best and I hope that things turn around. If not, we'd love to have your experience in our council. All the best!
  22. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    There must be some really awful Wood Badge folks out there. In my council, they've all be very friendly and accommodating. They're at times prone to songs, critter talk, and trying to recruit for the next course - but that's about as far as I've seen it go. I've never once heard someone with their beads look down on someone who did not. I guess we're just lucky on our council. It saddens me to no end that there are awful Wood Badgers out there. Sorry
  23. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    I'm not partial to the format - I'd have no objection to either being the venue for the training. In terms of content, I was thinking of something more in depth than a 1 hour UoS course or a 30 minute Roundtable session.
  24. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    Right. Spelling error. I'd like the ASM training to focus on the nuts and bolts of being an ASM. Outdoor skills, advancement, working with youth, basic troop operations, etc. I'd like the SM trainging to start from there and build. Working the SPL, guiding the scouts towards an exciting program, high adventure, making boy led work, developing older youth leaders, in depth patrol method, etc. It's not that I don't want the ASMs to know this. It's a recognition that 1) they probably don't need it at the same depth and 2) that being Scoutmaster brings new challenges. Of course, an ASM could certainly attend both.
  25. ParkMan

    What is the future of Training?

    Sigh... Scout skills would be covered in spades: 2) In depth position training for each position. Seperate ASM training from SM training. In depth means in depth. T-2-1 would certainly be covered 3) Mentoring program for new leaders. Team experienced Scouters up with new Scouters. New does not mean new to Scouting. It means new to your role. Hey Tom - you're a new ASM and have never been camping - why don't you come along on our troop's trip so we can walk you through things. 4) Ongoing specialty trainings for experienced Scouters. Backpacking, winter camping, wilderness first aid, etc... You know - specialty trainings.
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