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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. ParkMan

    Boys Life

    I think BL really needs to be in the same category as Scouting. If you register you get a copy. Most boys (especially Cub Scouts) only exposure to scouting is through their home unit. BL helps the realize they are part of something much, much bigger. We make it optional our pack. When I look at the records of who gets it and who does not, it's interesting that it's usually the most engaged scouts are the ones that get it. I know that they probably get BL because they are already excited. The don't become excited simply from reading BL. However every little bit helps.
  2. I feel for Terry, I really do. As a labor of love, he could not have envisioned this. Here's hoping for a change really soon! Good luck Terry!
  3. ParkMan

    Leader Knots? (Changes to policy)

    Hi Joe, That was me for the first year. I was there to help, but never was more than extra pair of hands. Over time, the CM found something that he didn't have the cycles for and gave me responsibility for it. It grew to be a pretty major focus for the pack. Now, as CM myself, I would love for an ACM to come to me looking to own something. Since you're friendly with the CM, my suggestion - grab a friendly beverage and spend some time brainstorming on what your role could be.
  4. ParkMan

    Pack Jackets

    If you, your scouts, and parents like the idea - go for it. There will be many reasons not to do this - cost, changes in size, etc... But, at the end of the day, if your group likes the idea and is excited by it, why not? One possible alternative suggestion would be fleece vests. I've seen those a few times and they look pretty cool.
  5. ParkMan

    When exactly can a scout earn his rank badge?

    As a CM and former Assistant CM, I give you props for your initiative and energy. I think you're asking great questions. I'd start using all the program elements - such as Progress Towards ranks. If the boys loose the beads, buy more. Or perhaps replace the strings that the uses. If it's out there for our boys, use them. Award the rank awards as soon as they are earned. Personally I think that holding them all until the B&G discourages boys from working on them independently. If all 6 kids in the den earn them at the same time, they seem like participation awards. Graduate the boys on June 1.
  6. ParkMan

    Leader Knots? (Changes to policy)

    BTW - for your other question about the AOL. You should just be able to purchase it. I've never needed any paperwork for it.
  7. ParkMan

    Leader Knots? (Changes to policy)

    Not sure I'd use the phrase "only an assistant den leader and assistant cubmaster" - They're both important jobs! The award for either role is the Scout Leader's Training Award. If you've been in the role for a couple of years now, you might be retroactively eligible for the Cub Scouter Award.
  8. There's a discussion going on in my son's Troop about adult leaders doing light hearted teasing of scouts. On the surface, it doesn't appear malicious. Mostly it seems fairly benign, but it can drift into areas like hight, size (i.e. refering to someone as a small guy) or stuff like being a geek. Most people laugh it off as nothing more than just harmless teasing from the leaders. The leaders are all deicated folks who devote a lot of time and energy to scouting. It really doesn't appear to be leader's favoring certain kids, picking favorites, or picking on certain boys. It seems to just be a style thing. Most families are quite happy with the leaders, but there are a few that are concerned. Anyone been down this path before? I did a Guide to Safe Scouting search, but the closest I find is: "Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout’s membership in the unit." This seems a bit harsher than what I've seen going on.
  9. ParkMan

    Heard of Unit Key Three?

    We've been using the term here for years. Perhaps it's silliy consistency, but if you've got an active COR who wants to represent the CO's program goals in leadership decisions, why not?
  10. As he's rebuilding, any suggestions on how to keep the younger boys who he's grooming (excited, energetic) from turing into the older boys (unethusiastic) when they get to 14 or 15?
  11. ParkMan

    Is Scouting Becoming Irrelevant?

    I see many boys who really enjoy it. There are just so many more options now for boys outside of scouting. It's natural fewer will be involved. Somewhere in the past 50 years, adults got the impression that they can and should try to manage/fix everything. It's undoubtedly made it harder for some boys to develop responsibility. All the more reason for scouting to exist.
  12. ParkMan

    ?? behavior - how common?

    I imagine this is a very small percentage of the Eagle Scouts in your area. When you get enough folks doing anything, including become Eagle Scouts, things are going to happen. Does it make it right, no, but it's going to happen. I suspect the things you list happen are done much less frequently by Eagle Scouts than by non Eagle Scouts, or even non Scouts in general. If these things are all happening in one Troop, perhaps it's just a bad Troop. Since I don't know your specific cases, I can't hazard a guess as to whether there is something more going on.
  13. No one says that because National makes this policy change your Pack/Troop/Crew needs to make any kind of statement. If you're CO makes a policy change, then fine. I'd just do what you're doing until someone pushes the issue and you need a decision. No one says that all of a sudden all packs/troops/crews need to become either pro-gay or anti-gay.
  14. ParkMan

    National looking at letting homosexuals in the BSA

    If they pass this and many CO's bolt, good for the BSA. Every year anti-gay policies are getting to be further recognized as discrimination. To me, this says the BSA is now recognizing that and standing up against discrimination. This seems like a is a good thing. If a bunch of COs bolt as a result, then at least the BSA looks like it's standing up against discrimination. That seems like a good morality lesson for our youth. However, I suspect they floated this out there because the BSA fully expects it to pass. I imagine that they've already gotten nods from the major religious groups that they are comfortable with this policy. As this decision will allow the COs to enforce whatever rules that they want, I don't see how any CO could now withdraw without looking pretty bad.
  15. I myself prefer a friendly conversation. Though we are rule focused with the boys, I find it's important to remember the big picture with adults. That doesn't mean we ignore rules with adults. However, it does mean that I do not generally go to someone and say "BSA rules say you cannot do...".
  16. My .02... As an ASM, I think you should have a private discussion with the SM & CC. Ask them to set some guidelines for contact in front of the boys. This doesn't need to by anything formal, but instead a few choice statements from the SM and/or CC to say - "This is a youth organization. Adults should act professionally in front of the scouts." Once that is done, the SM and/or CC needs to give them the opportunity to conform. If then they do not, then the SM/CC has a decision to make. Other than a friendly comment in private, I don't think you should be assembling a group of other leaders to talk to these two ASMs. That's the responsibility of the SM or CC. If a group feels a need to do something, then have them each individually approach the SM/CC so that they recognize how widespread the concern is.
  17. ParkMan

    Ugly Beading Ceremony

    ... I'm a big beliver in "all things in moderation" and I think a bit of goofyness now and then, especially with boys and especially with Cub Scout aged boys, is good. But there's also the idea of modelling adult behavior for the scouts. ... Which is where the Announcement song really falls on its face. It tries to make life into a living, breathing, Monty Python skit I'm on the same page with you here. All things in moderation. I think it's hard for many new Scout leaders, especially Cub Scout leaders, to find their identity as a leader. There's a time for seriousness, there's a time for fun, there's even a time for goofy. I think any light element (the announcement song being an example) itself is not necessarily bad, it's how it is used that's the question. You can make your whole pack meeting a Monty Python skit, or use it judiciously to add some brevity on occasion. Know how & when is though and is different based on the person. Some (many perhaps?) are not good at finding the balance and as a result go too far one way or the other.
  18. ParkMan

    Ugly Beading Ceremony

    There's nothing wrong with singing announcements at WB or NYLT. When I attended WB, I was a pretty green Cub Leader. The idea of signing announcements or being goofy in front of the boys in my pack was pretty uncomfortable. During the course, I watched a bunch of pretty experienced Scouters doing some goofy things. In it's own way, it helped me to understand that being goofy with kids is really OK. If all we'd done was had a bunch of serious meetings, then I'd have missed that example.
  19. ParkMan

    Another WB Benefit

    I've seen the same thing. I agree, as someone that likes meeting new people, I find it's a nice side benefit of Wood Badge.
  20. ParkMan

    Scoutmaster Attitude

    Having been there myself, I agree with those that say burnout. I'd trade 20 ASMs for a handful of really strong ASM who really step up and takes ownership.
  21. ParkMan

    This Bear was beaded!

    Congratulations! Well done! I used to be an Antelope, and a good ol' Antelope too....
  22. I'd be worried about a few things: 1 - introducing young kids into the Troop meeting. I'm not sure the BS want younger kids there. I'm not sure I want my younger kids around the older boys yet. 2 - accelerating Boy Scout burnout. We talk about how the CS program is too long. Now you're in a way adding 18 months on to the BS program. I'm sure you could make it work, but should you? Personally, I'm a big fan of the Webelos being Webelos - an almost separate program from the Cubs or the Boy Scouts.
  23. ParkMan

    National Summertime Pack Award

    Thanks! I had the case come up where we had a several kids do two events in June and then miss July. We'll have two events in August, so it's possible we could get some kids that do 3 or 4 events, but just miss the one in July. I want to recognize the kids who are active, but also did announce to parents at the start of the summer that they boys needed to attend an event each month. I'm just thinking through the right approach here.
  24. ParkMan

    The Girl Scouts are missing out

    They still do wear the vests. The funny thing is that the GS bling puts my son's CS bling to shame. The GS get more patches, often filling up the back of their vest. While my CS looks like a mini-general, his sister's blink even surpasses it!
  25. ParkMan

    The Girl Scouts are missing out

    I'd love them to have a more visible uniform too. However, when I think of the cub scouts so often we end up in our "class B" uniforms - a pack t-shirt and whatever shorts you want. I like that the girls start off with their class b's all the time and then have a vest they put on over that. So as much as I like uniforms, I have to admit I find merit in what the GS do.
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