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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. ParkMan

    Adding Girls to Pack

    I'd make sure you know the BSA YPT rules here. But as you're den leader for a den of just your daughter, maybe those rules are a bit different. Me - I'd focus on figuring out how to build a den around your daughter. I'm worried your den of one will turn into a troop of one in a year. If you need to jump packs, rally more help on recruiting, or something else - I think you need to be asking those questions. My goal would be a patrol of 10 girls your daughters age in a year.
  2. ParkMan

    Family Scouting Update

    It's not a topic for a troop meeting, but us male Scouters probably ought to get used to hearing about it. It's just a normal part of life. I do imagine the girls would be more comfortable talking with a female, but we should be careful to not make them feel awkward about it. Interesting take on the skorts though - never thought about that. I'm 100% behind uniform updates that are thought out and practical. With that in mind skorts with pockets now make sense to me. I'm curious to see what the 11-18 year old uniform updates will bring.
  3. ParkMan

    Family Scouting Update

    I'm all for tailoring the uniforms so they for better - but things like skorts, no pockets, and capri pants just seem odd.
  4. ParkMan

    Is BSA Sustainable?

    Thank you. I think someone ought to capture more stories that for SM training. Our troop is a fair bit off from that. But - that's a topic for another day. What you describe here is a very good example of how Scouting develops the character and leadership qualities of youth. My son could have benefited from that. Goodness - I could have benefited as a Scout. Though he would have grown from that, I doubt that leading other scouts would have kept his interest. My son never showed any interest in leading within the troop. He liked the camping & camaraderie. The rest all seemed like work to him. So, for those kids who are like my son - didn't want to be the SPL, Quartermaster, whatever, what keeps them challenged and engaged after they turn14? Our troop is good, but far from perfect - so I may just be missing it. This is my wonder for the BSA's program. I don't doubt that Scouting will continue. But, as the BSA works to compete in an ever more competitive youth activity space - how does it distinguish itself?
  5. I've got two daughters - a Brownie and a Cadette. Each started as Daisy. My son was in the BSA from Tigers until age 14. I really liked the GSUSA camps. I've been very impressed with them. It always seem to me that the BSA camps are generally bigger. I liked the GSUSA camps because they felt smaller. Camp conditions in my neck of the woods are comparable. It depends more on the age of the camp than on whether it's a BSA or a GSUSA camp. I had the same reaction to the tents. Much better at the GSUSA camps. Bigger, newer, had screens. My understanding is that in the GSUSA, they do not have a shooting program. So the girls cannot do BB's, rifle, & shotgun. They can of course do archery. Paddle boating must be a thing in the Girl Scouts. All the Girl Scout camps I've been to have paddle boats. The waterfronts did seem a bit smaller than in the BSA camps, but I gathered it was because they were smaller camps. They felt similar to me. That said - our BSA camp doesn't have a very tricked out waterfront either. I'm not aware of any GS troops that do a summer camp like the BSA troops do. Even for my older daughter, summer camp attendance is an individual thing.
  6. ParkMan

    Family Scouting Update

    Thank you for all you have done for the Scouts and for Scouting. For the little it's worth - I don't think National was trying to disrespect us. I think they just handled it poorly.
  7. ParkMan

    Is BSA Sustainable?

    I see your point. The difficulty I see though is the challenge in Scouting is elusive. If I think through some areas: - camping & the outdoors - What we tend to do in Boy Scouts & Venturing peaks at around 1st class. After that the challenge turns into refining one's skills. - high adventure - There are the occasional high adventure trips, but they are not that frequent - advancement/scouting skills - Again, you learn most things by first class. Yes - I think there is ongoing challenge on the leadership side - but I'm wondering - is that really enough to keep kids interested?
  8. ParkMan

    Adding Girls to Pack

    Thanks - that makes sense. I didn't think about the rank advancement. I'm sure it's important to them!
  9. ParkMan

    Requirements for Swimming MB Counselor

    From the BSA aquatics staff guide: To qualify as a merit badge counselor, a volunteer must: • Register annually with the Boy Scouts of America. • Be at least 18 years old. • Be of good character. • Be proficient in the merit badge subject by vocation, avocation, or special training. • Be able to work with Scout-age youth. I think that's about it.
  10. ParkMan

    Requirements for Swimming MB Counselor

    I expect the answer is probably: - be a registered MBC - be able to teach the material Have you found a document that states you need more?
  11. ParkMan

    Adding Girls to Pack

    Out of curiosity - why are you shutting down registration? I thought as an early adopter pack you could keep registering girls & boys passed the March 15 date. If the council is pushing this, it seems like an odd restriction.
  12. ParkMan

    Linked Troops - What are these?

    Huh? Adding girls is not going to force the program into a pale shadow of its former self.
  13. ParkMan

    Is BSA Sustainable?

    I see the same thing, but draw a different conclusion. My daughter is a ballet dancer. Every year gets more and more challenging. She loves it and thrives off it. She dances four afternoons a week now. Scouting morphs over the years, but I don't see the challenge grow. I suppose if you really like running meetings it does. But, for most boy scouts - it doesn't change a whole lot over time.
  14. ParkMan

    Unit Leader Award of Merit

    Not sure I follow what you mean.
  15. ParkMan

    Unit Leader Award of Merit

    I agree that an effective CC's role is to lead the unit such that it operates in the best way possible. It takes a clear vision to do that and the CC needs to be comfortable being a leader. I don't want to over do my analogy here - but indeed, some of those pre-defined roles is being a leader. I'm a CC myself - in that role, pretty much all I do is lead other adults. It's just think that we're in it together. I would be completely comfortable with any of us recognizing another. I could see in other places why that might be different, but in my area that would be fine.
  16. I agree with @Eagledad - that's very good advice. @swilliams the main question is ask you to consider is what do you want to do. CC is a big enough job that for most folks it becomes their primary Scouting role. If your heart is in being the pack's CC - that's great. If not, I'd encourage you to think about whether you want to shift focus from things that interest you. BTW - if you decide to take on the CC role - your first step should be to organize monthly committee meetings. Don't worry about getting everyone to agree you need it - just do it.
  17. ParkMan

    Unit Leader Award of Merit

    Perhaps it's a regional thing, but I'm a CC and I've never thought of anyone as subordinate. My thinking is that we're all volunteers filling pre-defined roles. I sometimes describe it that we're all just actors playing a role in Scouting.
  18. ParkMan

    Unit Leader Award of Merit

    in the "of Merit" family of awards, perhaps the District Award of Merit could apply. But, each district gets a limited number every year - so it might be tough to make that happen unless your COR has been active beyond the pack level. You could also consider the Scouter's training award. That's a bit less of a "you're doing a great job" award, but if the COR has qualified and doesn't have it, that would be a nice presentation. In the end, I'm thinking you best bet might a custom award of some sort with a small presentation attached to it.
  19. ParkMan

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    I think if you start down the path of trying to find the right electronic communication mechanism, you'll always be chasing that. You need to have a public presence for recruiting. Families who are shopping don't know your program - so you have to serve that audience. Within the troop, you have more freedom. I don't think you need multiple platforms - email, facebook, website, instagram, twitter, etc... If you have scouts that are really having fun, scouts and parents will adjust to your system. It could be just emails, paper letters, a website, whatever. The key here is just be organized and consistent. Have a system for distributing information about cancellations quickly.
  20. ParkMan

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    It's funny how regional this is. Is our neck of the woods all of the bigger troops and packs have web pages. They are mostly a combination of recruiting site, picture host, and calendar repository.
  21. ParkMan

    Why Did You Leave Scouts ?

    I always found it best to recruit an assistant den leader too. Being a den leader is so much easier when you're doing it as a team.
  22. ParkMan

    Supplemental Training for Youth Leaders

    I think if I was putting together a webmaster training I'd cover topics like: 1. the different purposes of a troop website - information for current troop members - information for prospective scouts I'd have an exercise to go over what kinds of things are important to each group. 2. I'd go over website usability - what makes a website easy to navigate. 3. I'd talk about keeping content fresh 4. I'd cover the BSA rules about what you can share online - names, pictures, etc.
  23. ParkMan

    End of Year w/out Rank complete

    When I was Cubmaster, I had a simple approach that worked pretty well. - When a Cub Scout earned his rank, he got the patch at the next pack meeting. - Blue & Gold banquet had a short celebration of den accomplishments. The den leader would bring the boys up, talk about the year so far, etc. Took a minute or two per den. - The graduation/moving up day involved face painting and awarding neckerchiefs. If you were a participant that year, you get the paint for your current year and the next year. Whether you earned rank was irrelevant. In my mind, Cub Scouts is about celebrating accomplishments. Reward those scouts individually when they accomplish things - rank advancements, awards, etc. Graduating from one level to the next has nothing to do with earning your rank - so I wouldn't link it. Celebrate the fact equally that all the boys are moving up to the next level.
  24. Sounds like a great opportunity. CC is a wonderful role.
  25. ParkMan

    Family Scouting Update

    I'm reminded that these are all just youth we're talking about here. For the most part they all just want to have fun and be accepted by the people they meet. The kids may have different backgrounds, but those backgrounds are mostly outside of their control - they come from parents, families, and communities. In other words, thr scouts may all come from different backgrounds - but when they get to camp they are just kids who want to have a good time. I fully respect and appreciate that we all want to raise our kids by the values we think important. The challenge to us as Scouters and parents is to teach our kids how to enjoy each other's company, treat all the kids with human kindness, and understand that it is okay that we all don't have the same values. Further, it's is completely okay for me to believe that my core values are correct, but still relate to all other Scouts as friends.
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