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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Sure. I've decided that's perfectly fine for them to have thoguhtful, organized, dissent. I'd much rather have some people breaking BSA rules in a safe, organized way. What I'm suggesting is really not different from groups all over the country who organize protests and directly lobby people in positions of authority. Let's be realistic too. This troop publicly pushing the edge is way more likely to result in some sort of change than a strongly worded letter to you SE or national. It's great to say - "you should make your case through official channels." But remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Finally - why do you really care if someone disobey's national. I don't report to BSA national and other than accepting my $25 and registration, they're not in a position of authority over me. Yes, I think that we should try to follow the program as best we can. Yes, the health and safety guidelines in the G2SS provide me some guidance and cover in case something happens. But, if we have a specific conscientious objection, we should make that objection heard, known, and seen. Isn't that part of being a good leader? If the BSA knows what this troop is doing and looks the other way, that's on national.
  2. So, I'm reminded that no matter what the deadline, there will always be people who push it. If national said "you can finish you tenure as an adult". Someone will start their 6 months of tenure the day after their 18th birthday. There would then be an article about the great Scout who had to complete his tenure as an adult, but was denied the rank. If you keep saying "we'll make an exception", then it will never end. It stinks, but it's reality.
  3. I went to an engeering school like RPI. I am an engineer today. There is a lot if truth to this.
  4. Yes - this. Scouting is about adventure. It's not a arts and crafts club. Sure, some are needed to support the adventure, but they don't replace it. My son's bear den leader was the grandfather of one of the boys. He held the program to a really high standard. Not in terms of expectation from the boys, but in terms of really digging into the adventure. I always remember how he taught the boys about knife safety. It took us 3 meetings each about 90 minutes. He brought in every knife imaginable. He showed the boys about knives meant for cleaning deer, knives meant for breaking bones in animals, knives meant for surgery. We had a whole meeting just on how to sharpen a knife and all the different kinds of sharpening stones. The other bear den in our pack spent one meeting and spent it all whittling soap. We had a pack camping trip. The den leader spent weeks going over how to camp cook. My son, who hadn't cooked in his life LOVED it. When we got to the camping trip, my son's den was cooking their own meals. The other den - I think the boys might have flipped pancakes. Crafts - why would we do that? There were only 25 den meetings and a lot to cover. I relate tbe experience because he taught me that: 1) time is precious 2) there is wonder all around us. We just have to embrace it. My recommendation: instead of stepping back, embrace the wonder. Spend 3 weeks teaching knife safety.
  5. Hi @Saltface & @walk in the woods, Thanks for the thoughts. I do get your points here. My personal feelings on the issue don't impact my perspective here. Truth be told, I really dislike it when Scout leaders freelance on the rules in Scouting. The Scoutmaster of my son's troop does that too much for my liking. In fact, I'm stepping down as CC because I'm just tired of fighting with Scouters who want to apply only the rules that suit their needs. Yet, I see a place for organized dissent. I get the point that Scouts should follow rules, and I really do agree. But, as long as it's done safely, I see a valid role for adults to advocate for causes that are important to their communities. I saw in the earlier posts such an organized dissent. We can certainly disagree on whether it's appropriate for a troop to openly lobby for a rules change by openly challenging the BSA. I respect your perspectives here. All the best.
  6. Thanks @qwazse! I appreciate the words and encouragement. In our Cub Scout pack we did something similar. As a result, one of the largest GSUSA troops in our area grew out of that. My daughter's first experience in Girl Scouting was in that troop. They really were a separate GSUSA troop and BSA pack. However, it reinforced for me that kids are kids. Thank you!
  7. I'm going to gather you really don't think Laser Tag, squirt guns, and paintball is the issue, but over regulation of youth. Then yes, send a letter to your DE, SE, and national telling them that the rules in the G2SS are wrong and you are planning a Laser Tag, squirt gun, and paintball event. Feel free to invite other troops and units to attend. Tell your parents why you think the G2SS is wrong and that you are planning this event in open defiance of it. Explain to your CO about your cause and added liability they may assume and get their support for it. So yes, if you want to really do that, then do it. That's the basis of my agreement above - this unit is thought out, organized about their actions, and seemingly very open about it. If there are consequences the BSA wants to pursue, they will bear them.
  8. . Not sure how I get a downvote for that. As I said - seemed like the troop was making a thought out attempt to advocate for their cause. It's not a bunch of folks just winging it. Further, they did it in full visibility to the participants and council. You or I may not agree with their cause- but if someone is going to practice the Scout version of civil disobedience, this seems the way to do it. Just my .02
  9. Thanks - sounds like a fantastic course. I enjoyed mine, but it does make me wish I could attend such a high caliber course!
  10. I agree. Trying to force the COR isn't a winning strategy. If it's that bad, I'd do: - find adults to volunteer to take on committee roles - advancement chair, activities chair, membership chair, etc. Get them to officially take those roles. - once they have those roles, have them meet monthly with the CC. If the CC doesn't call a meeting, just have them do their job anyways. A committee meeting is really just a place for committee members to provide reports and status. If you don't have a meeting these folks can still do their jobs.
  11. Must be 9,995 of the outside my district. Of course, that's 200 per state - so maybe that matches what I'm seeing.
  12. I'm generally pretty opposed to troops freelancing on the rules. There are too many troops who decide to ignore key program rules because they are confident they know better. I.e. "patrols? Nah, we don't need those." This seems to be different to me. What I see here is a faithful (I hope) deployment of the program with a reasoned exception for the inclusion of girls - which is coming anyways. It is troops like this that will help push national in the direction of co-ed troops. Someone has to push the issue. Sounds like this is the kind of place to do it. They may succeed or they may fail- but I'm okay that they are trying.
  13. Maybe. I think the troop needs to be talking with the institutional head of the church- the pastor. You might want the church to say - Scouting is good, please meet here all you want. But, that's a pretty big ask. The church pays for the facilities and the utilities. It is supported by the donations of its members and what it can augment. If encourage the troop to think about the value it brings to the church beyond free labor - such as providing programming to the churches members or bringing new members to the church. That's a conversation for the pastor - not the finance chair. Good luck!
  14. There's no interest yet in our area. We've discussed it as an adult team and are supportive of a linked troop. We're just set an expectation that we need a few core adults as well as girls who are interested to materialize. But, when that happens we'll do it.
  15. Just curious what you mean here. What are you doing to get ready for family scouting? Thanks!
  16. Hi @Eagledad, Not quite. I'm a huge fan of boys being in charge. I think adults should generally stay out of the way. I think you misunderstand my motivation here. I'm not trying to blame anyone. I'm simply suggesting that there could very well be another way of looking at this situation. Some of the earlier comments in the thread led me to think that there's a perception among the troop adults that this is a binary issue. Cheers!
  17. I agree that there has to be limits to compromise. I see a difference between acquiescing to the first challenge and learning from a pattern of behavior. A patrol getting frustrated was some scouts and telling them to go sleep with their dad is different than a new scout repeatedly sneaking out to sleep with his dad. It's our job as adult leaders to make those sort of calls. I'm not here to second guess the troop leaders. They know the details of the situation much better than I do. Sorry if it's taken the wrong way. Perhaps the leaders don't see it as forcing the scout, but at some point, repeatedly putting the Scout in the position where he feels his only recourse is to sneak out seems a bit strong to me. Maybe once of twice - sure. But 7 trips and two summer camps? I do get that folks guard the quality of their program. I tend to think about the long term in these kind of situations. Is it really worth making a big deal over this situation when it will almost certainly resolve itself over time. I cannot imagine that when this scout gets to 15 or 16 he'll really want to share a tent with dad. In the end, whether some kid tents with his dad for a year or two is nothing more than a footnote is a Scouts career.
  18. Now you're getting silly. I'm not advocating family camping. I'm just saying sometimes you have to compromise.
  19. I'm not looking to have a debate on the merits of camping and parental involvement. Of course camping with other Scouts is preferred. My point is simply that Scouting, like everything else with raising kids, is sometimes messy and doesn't fit our desired structure. We don't want to throw out our ideals at the first challenge, but sometimes you have to compromise for the longer term payoff. When I was a Scout, we attended a Camporee. There was a patrol competition involving splitting wood. I'd never used an axe in my life. The Scoutmaster insisted that I do it. Said it would be good for me. It was awful. I was embarrassed and mortified because I had no idea what I was doing. I never competed in a patrol competition again.
  20. Then have him setup the tent that he shares with his dad. Problem solved. Just seems to me that trying to force him to tent with other Scouts isn't working and is only making everyone frustrated.
  21. Hi @Eagle94-A1, Thanks a lot for the description of what's going on. You articulate it very nicely. First - one Scouter to another - you've got my support. At the end of the day, you've got to run the program that makes sense for your troop. It definitely sounds like the father is less than respectful in how he's dealing with you guys. It's most certainly not cool that he's running off to hotels and not telling anyone. That alone would be a reason for me to let the family leave without an attempt to change their minds. If I take the Scout's situation at face value - I'm less concerned about what he's doing. Yes - without doubt, I'd like him to tent with his fellow Scouts. But, if you guys have honestly tried that and met resistance from him, I wouldn't be concerned about making an accommodation. Let me think through what you list above. I offer this simply as food for thought. Sounds like a pretty active Scout to me. 7 campouts and 2 summer camps. Nice. I think I'd have cried uncle after the second attempt. If the kid is sneaking out to be with his family, what is the benefit by trying to force him that much? The Scout doesn't like it, the family doesn't like it, you all are frustrated. So he doesn't tent with another Scout - I can think of worse things. Seems to me that the Dad just doesn't agree with you guys. He and their family just see this differently. What didn't he earn? The requirements are: Tenderfoot: 1b. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch. Second Class: 1a. Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. First Class: 1a. Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee. The patrol or troop campout is the event, not the act of sharing a tent with another scout. All this scout has to do is sleep outdoors in the tent he pitched. As long as he does that, he's completed the requirement. There's nothing about tenting with other Scouts in the requirement. We've had kids sleep in their own tent from time to time. Most of our older scouts sleep in their own 2 person tent. To me, this is the real issue caused by the family. This is inexcusable.
  22. I'm playing a little devil's advocate here - so please bear with me... Looking at it differently. Here we have a Scout who is clearly not interested in sleeping in a tent without his father (parents?). I'm sure this is largely a result of how the parents are raising him. Our "big purpose" as Scouters is to develop these young adults. The "game" we play to accomplish that is Scouting. We deal with all kinds of mistakes from Scouts because we're going after the big goal of developing these kids. If Scouts can't make mistakes in Scouting, then where? Here you all know this kid has an issue with tenting. So, after you give it the good college try, then perhaps it's worth giving the kid a year or two to mature and be ready for it. You could continue to make it a big issue, tick off the parents, and get them to go to another troop. Or, give it some time, let the kid mature, and move past it. I tend to think long term about these kind of things. What is the long term impact to this kid because of these decisions. What is the long term impact to the troop because of these decisions. Perhaps with that in mind, then yes - pushing the family so much that they leave the troop might be the right thing. Me, I think I'd let it ride for a year.
  23. Just wondering though... What's the benefit to the Scout by so angering the family that they leave? Is getting the Scout go tent with other Scouts an issue important enough to have a separation over?
  24. I always thought they were separate events too. I'd have Scouts receive the AOL as soon as they earned it. The crossover was at a fixed time later in the year. I just read the crossover script. It was a bit hokey for me, but that's just my style. But, I think you still have them attend and conduct it. In my mind, the OA are still the group of senior, distinguished scouts - an impressive bunch. They would seem the best group to encourage Scouts when they cross over.
  25. If we're honest - training really isn't necessary at all. Scout troops will continue to exist and kids will get the experience of being a Scout. We have training for anything to provide the opportunity to learn so that we can perhaps do a better job at what we do. Training doesn't guarantee that. Hopefully it does give you a few tools you can use. Personally, I think trainong is a good thing. Howevet, if someone isn't open to training or is confident enough in their own abilities already, then they shouldn't go. I find the negative Wood Badge comments curious. Yes, I agree - if attending the class is unlikely to lead to you learning something new- then don't go. However, I have not run into anyone who has taken the course and criticizes someone else for not going. Honestly, I hear way more negative comments directed towards Wood Badge and those who take it than anything else. Five years after my original posts here, I still think Wood Badge is a great course and encourage Cub leaders to attend. I learned a lot as a new leader taking it and remember the lessons frequently. But, I'm someone who sees a course like Wood Badge as a way to become a stronger Scouter.
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