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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. I like the GSUSA, but I've never understood this. In the BSA we bend over backwards to have female leaders. Yet, in my daughter's troop - all women. Never even once have they even suggested that fathers could help. It's really a shame that they overlook the fathers who would love to help out.
  2. I was quite surprised to see that quote. I can definitely see the struggle here. I do know that in our local GSUSA has several very good outdoor camps. Some of our local Girl Scout troops are as outdoor focused as Boy Scout troops. My daughters both started attending an outdoor focused week long away summer camp before my son did. In fact, I think my daughters have continue along in Scouting longer than my son because the have both had very good summer camp experiences.
  3. Our prior SM took a year off from the troop. He came back and helped with summer camp and the new scout program. But for the first year, he stayed away from the troop. I know of another Scoutmaster in a similar scenario who came back and coached scouts on organizing Eagle Courts of Honor. Me - I'd encourage becoming a Commissioner or joining the district camping committee. Our districts need more experienced Scouters to help coach units or to make our district programs stronger.
  4. Why would you have a preliminary board though? I don't know the number, but I've got to guess something like 95% or greater pass their EBOR. I get that from time to time an EBOR runs into some weird case where the board feels they need to reject a scout. But, if that rejection is something that that could have been mitigated by a practice board, that seems incorrect. Sure, the board can have some aire of formality because of the importance of the board. But, once the board starts thinking that they might need to reject a candidate, I would sure hope the board members switch gears and do their best to get to the truth of the matter. They should be looking for reasons in these instances to pass the Scout - not reject him. If a board is rejecting a Scout because he wasn't prepared enough for the board, or his answers to questions were not polished enough, or couldn't explain something - that doesn't seem correct. I'm drawn by the statement above:
  5. I like to think of the adult leaders in my troop as a team. We're all in it together to bring Scouting to the youth in our troop. If some of the leaders in our troop are uncomfortable with certain language, I'd hope they'd say so. Generally, I try to keep our meetings fairly professional - so I tend to shy away from any kind of adult language. Not so much because it's a Scout setting - but because I wouldn't do it at work, church, etc... But, if something we do say or how we say it is bothering some members of our team, I'd really hope they would tell us. I'd encourage you to bring it up at the beginning of a meeting one day. Simply tell everyone that you're not comfortable with some of the adult language and negativity. Don't single anyone out or give examples unless asked. Simply ask the group to tone down the language. If you did that in our troop, everyone would spend the next few minutes acting sheepishly and feeling bad they'd made you feel uncomfortable. Maybe there's someone you have to talk to offline - but I'm guessing if you keep it positive and make the ask folks will get the message. I like doing it at the start of a meeting so that you're not correcting something from this meeting - but setting the tone for how you'd hope we act going forward.
  6. HI @desertrat77 & @69RoadRunner, I fully acknowledge that there are lots of Scouters who get their beads and then walk around like self appointed experts. There are many, many more who do not. Scouters come from a wide array of backgrounds and there are numerous archetypes. I try not to make fun on them in my posts. I just seems to me like it's considered good sport for some reason to make fun of the WB'ers - so much so, that it's considered the "thing to do" to make fun of the WBers. It's like they're the OK group to kick around. Feels like folks do to them the exact same kind of thing you all accuse them of doing. Again - I mean no disrespect by it and don't want to hijack the topic on the point. I just mention it because I really just think that it's considered so OK to make fun of them that I don't even think folks give it a second thought.
  7. I think part of the discussion here is whether there really is a place for Scouters to reject a Scout for Eagle rank. While I know we all hold the rank in very high esteem - it appears that the BSA doesn't want us to do that. Short of the scout spirit requirement, I couldn't find anything in the Guide to Advancement that says we should reject Eagle candidates because of an action like this. So - perhaps there's an unwritten code here - but, it seems likely to be a question of wide opinions.
  8. Kudos on the great camporee. I've found in our district that they are begging for people to lead camporee planning. I know our district camping committee would welcome a camporee just like you describe. Huge props for organizing it. Nice story and good point. I most respectfully just wonder why the need to keep make it at the expense of WB folks. There's 10 posts around here critical of people who have taken WB for every one supportive of it.
  9. I don't see why we need to disambiguate Scout here. If you are a Scout leader and are having a conversation about Scouting, I think you just simply say "we'd like you to visit our Scout troop" or to the parent "I'd like your daughter to visit our Scout troop." Once you get beyond which set of program materials you use (BSA or GSUSA), it's really about why your troop's program is great anyways. If some parent is confused about what kind of Scout troop you have, I think you can launch into the 30 second explanation about how your troop is based on the program of the Boy Scouts of America and what makes that a great program.
  10. We're the largest troop in our district too. Along with being the largest comes with having a lot of experienced Scouters in out ranks. I learned along the way that the best way for our district to have better camporees was for our adults to get involved and provide some input. it's not that our adults need to organize it, but it helps us to see that the camporee is an event we want to participate in if our adults are involved in setting the agenda. I realized the hard way that a district is usually more desperate for adult help than our troop is. It's actually good for us to participate. I'm guesing this was different 25 years ago when distrcits had 2x or 3x the number of troops, but today with smaller numbers of scouts we have to help out.
  11. I imagine it will linger for a number of years - perhaps decades. I wish there were a way to preserve it formally, but alas do understand why not. I really have been trying to avoid a gender label so far. i.e. "Boy Scouts for Girls". If anything, I simply refer to it as Scouting and I refer to the youth as Scouts. I've actually dropped the label boys a lot internally. Instead of saying "the boys" or "the girls", I simply say "scouts" now.
  12. Fair enough. I was thinking of this like we think of for 2 deep adult supervision while at camp. If we have 1 adult with a scout in an enclosed space, we require a second. We don't require adults at all times - just that when it there is one adult, there needs to be a second. It's not that we think there is a predator around every corner - but that if the policy is 2 deep adult leadership we ought to be in the practice of implementing that. I'm not looking to be a stickler on the required female over 21 aspect of this. Not that I want to ignore the rule, but I'm comfortable enough with the checks imposed by two deep adult supervision that having an adult female at the event would be sufficient for me. I had just interpreted it more strictly and gathered that the two deep rule meant at least 1 female in all cases where two deep was applied in the presence of female youth - but am happy to be wrong here.
  13. My read is that it would be a question of whether it's enclosed or not. A station in plain view with others around you'd be fine. An enclosed structure where two male adults are alone with female youth would be a potential concern. That's my read on why we have the female over 21 rule in the first place. I do not agree with this rule - but it's how I'd read it. I'd be happy to be told I'm wrong.
  14. Nice! I'm also saddened that we're loosing the name Boy Scouts. Along the way I realized that the BSA doesn't want to have a program for boys which girls can participate in if they want to. What they want is a program for boys & girls equally. When I realized that, I began to understand their decisions.
  15. For now the official guidance is separate tents and separate bathroom facilities for boys & girls. You should also make sure that you're staffed in a way that two-deep adult leadership scenarios include one female leader over 21 - i.e., having two male adult camporee staff alone with a patrol of female scouts from a troop is something to avoid. Beyond that, treat the troops with girls the same as troops with boys. There's no requirements to place them in different, separated camp locations. If you combine multiple troops together in a single site, you may want to consider placing the troops with girls together - but it's not required.
  16. I still think your old troop needs to learn how to develop a sense of program and own it. In my experience it's unrealistic to expect your average new parent to just "get it" about how Scouting works in a troop. They want the fun adventures of Scouting and the benefits of Scouting for their son or daughter. But, most will simply not have the frame of reference to understand how things are designed to run in a troop. My general belief is that the senior scouters in a troop need to decide how they want to implement patrol method and lead the other Scouters in making that happen. This will then propagate out to families. Our troop does that now and we have no policies to enforce it. We don't have policies because we don't need them. A new parent shows up and does something wrong, another parent or ASM will helpfully correct them. Its impossible for someone to really stir things up because we have delegated leadership and people have jobs. So someone can't come in and do something nutty with new Scouts because we have some new Scout ASMs who have already established a precedent on how things work. I feel for your old troop because I get the sense that this doesn't happen. Instead of a shared vision of how the troop works, it's a question of who speaks last or loudest.
  17. That part's very true. I often think that Scouting's a lifestyle, not an activity. On the Wood Badge point though - I hear from folks regularly - "I've wanted to go for years, but I'm so busy and can't find the time." Yet, they'll find the time to go on monthly campouts and help at all kinds of other events. I 100% respect that people have priorities in their lives and attending Wood Badge may be lower down on the list than many other things. Yet, I just sometimes think that folks hear "two- three day weekends" and think "oh my goodness, there is no way I could do that." It's just two weekends. My biggest concern was not the time - it was explaining to my wife why I wanted to go do Scouting without my son for two weekends. In further fairness - I do also get that the ticket component is a big time commitment too. I just rarely hear people say - I won't attend Wood Badge because they don't have time for the ticket.
  18. Ouch! Sorry to hear that. We don't have council program fees yet, but I expect to within 5 years.
  19. There's a pretty decent background on his Wikipedia page. While it is an honor - I don't see it that way. The WOSM is asking this guy to serve as a worldwide ambassador for Scouting. Through that work, I am sure they hope to see Scouting take on even more of an identity of as a challenging outdoor program and more kids join. He's been doing the role in the UK since 2009.
  20. Maybe it's not real - but at least they're making a push to equate Scouting with outdoor adventure. Would love to see the BSA do something similar with some well known celebs here in the US.
  21. This matches my understanding top. The troop is doing a diligent job of following the rules as described above. If not, of course that's a problem - while there are many "shoulds" in Scouting, the adult supervision requirements as "must" rules. I get the sense that they are following the rules as required. I too think the primary issue here is an adult who would be difficult for anyone to manage. With this kind of person, perhaps an older Scoutmaster might make the adult less likely to push his agenda - but again, perhaps not. We've seen countless topics about similar adults in other settings. I think I'd encourage a few things here. 1) be a strong leader. Make decisions and stick to them. I've seen this work with adults with strong personalities. They'll push if they can. 2) have a plan for your role. Make decisions that advance your plan. Adults respect adults with a thought out plan. Sometimes adults like this do what they do because they think it's needed. Likewise they'll back off once they realize there's a bigger plan in play. 3) be prepared t explain "why". Hey Bob, I respect that you're trying to help the Scouts get ready, but part of being a Scout led troop is the boys working as a patrol to solve problems together. When we clear the way for them, they are less likely to need to solver problems and learn.
  22. I think you have to separate membership in a troop vs. membership in the Boy Scouts of America. A troop is not a subdivision of the BSA. The troop is owned by the chartered organization. As long as membership decisions are not discriminatory, a unit can pretty much ask anyone to leave that they want to. If they feel a Scout isn't someone who they think should remain in the troop, they can ask him to leave. The council may push back, but it's not their call. The only person "up the chain" from the Troop Committee is the Chartered Organization Rep and then the Institutional Head. As long as they are in support, you're good to go. The question of whether to revoke membership in the BSA is another question entirely. It also isn't something that probably ought to matter to the unit itself. Revoking membership in the BSA is up to the Council & National. If they want someone who has been accused of using and distributing drugs in school to continue in the Boy Scouts of America, that's their decision. But, they'll have to help the kid find another unit to continue in. To me, a unit that removes a scout for this reason is setting a pretty clear line for personal responsibility. However, letting the youth continue, but trying to bar him from advancing seems like a much less clear statement.
  23. As long as Grandpa really serving as "Supervising Scoutmaster", this seems legit to me. I gather that Grandpa is checking on decisions and making sure YPT rules are being followed. It strikes me that this is a reason the BSA has the 21 and older rule. So, as long as Grandpa is fulfilling those functions - this seems legit to me. However, to @David CO's point - I do hope the IH, COR, and CC are all on board with this. In terms of dealing with other adults, I'd want a clear statement of how this works. Asking a 30+ year old adult to follow the direction of a younger adult is fine - it happens all the time in life. However, there cannot be any ambiguity here. If some adults think @CodyMiller351 isn't really in charge it creates a very difficult situation that is ultimately unfair to @CodyMiller351,
  24. Wood Badge, like all training, simply provides the opportunity to learn more about being a leader in the BSA. There are many leaders who have never taken it that do a fantastic job. Take Wood Badge because you find it interesting, are hoping to learn some new skills, or simply just want to. Don't ever think you have to. If you want to attend - attend. If you don't want to attend - don't. It's a fun experience and in the grand scheme of things is only two weekends. It's not like you're attending college and signing away years of your life.
  25. As Scouters, I don't think recourse here isn't to deny the kid a Scoutmaster conference. The BSA rules seem pretty clear that we as leaders cannot do that. If a Scout conducts himself outside of Scouting so poorly that his character and fitness to achieve the rank of Eagle is called into question, then I think the troop needs to ask the Scout to leave the troop. If the troop continues to allow a youth to participate in Scouting who the Scoutmaster does not believe is worthy of achieving a rank, that seems unfair to the Scout and his family. We'll allow you to participate, camp with us, hold positions of leadership, pay dues, etc. but not achieve a rank? Honestly - I think you all meet as a troop committee and decide whether the youth continues or not. If you allow him to continue, then I think you continue to guide him as he progresses towards Eagle. If you find him of enough character to continue, but still find his actions distasteful - tell him that. But, don't penalize him. The puts you as leaders in a difficult position where you now have to arbitrate worthiness for the rank. Didn't I read that some Scouts want to return their Eagles because they don't think he should get one? Marijuana is bad, but consuming alcohol is OK? Or, maybe marijuana is OK, but just not at school? Or maybe marijuana at school is OK, but not if he gives or sells it to friends. These seems like dangerous waters and ones that lead to politics and internal hurt. I've got no problem if you say - "a youth who brings drugs to school with intent to distribute" can no longer be trusted around the other youth in the troop That's a very appropriate response. Not everyone will agree - but that's a fair question of policy for a Scoutmaster or troop committee to decide. After all, the Scoutmaster has to sign the youth applications indicating his willingness to accept the Scout into the unit. If the Scoutmaster no longer has confidence in the youth - then ask him to leave.
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