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Posts posted by ParkMan

  1. 29 minutes ago, RichardB said:

    @Eagle94-A1 was no change in policy.   More effective communication would be my analysis. 

    Et al, do you really want to have a definition of overnight in Pack Overnighters?   Asking for a friend.  Just saying, on one hand, this thread says national changes the rules,  on the other a call for more definition.    Which is it?



    Thanks @RichardB

    I think many are on edge these days.  As I'm sure you know, there is a lot of concern about erosion of program.

    I'm reaidng between the lines here and am guessing we overreacted to the term "overnighter".  If "overnighter" refers to the of sleeping overnight and doesn't mean that it's  single overnight - great.

    Personally - I don't think we need more definition, I'd just remove the term overnighter.  Camping implies sleeping overnight in the woods.  "overnighter" suggests one night.  I'd offer the terms that make the most sense to volunteers are:

    • .den camping
    • pack camping
    • council organized camping

    Now that I read this again, I realize that there is an effort to overnghter to distinguish from day camps.  I don't think it's needed.  If one said "pack camping", I think we all understand that implies spending the night.

  2. On 10/11/2019 at 8:08 PM, yknot said:

    Why is anyone making a deal over this? Just do more one night camp outs if you feel your wings are clipped.  Why do people have such a hard time understanding that scouting is not the same as what you do personally. You are part of an organization that has liability issues to consider and is in the public eye. What you do personally you cannot do while camping with scouts.

    This is a big deal because it directly contributes to weaker Cub Scout programming.  

    I served in a pack where 80% of our camping trips were two nights.  Occasionally we'd have a one nighter for some reason or another, but it was rare.  The reason to have a two night camping trip is that it allows for a single, full day at camp.  A Cub Scout wakes up at the camp, get's ready at the camp, has breakfast at the camp, does a day of activities, and so on.  When you turn that into a single overnighter, then it decreases the time available for the Scout to grow more comfortable in the outdoors.  This is why council cuborees do just this.

    In my experience, an active Cub Scout program is a great way to prepare Scouts, parents, and potential leaders for an active Scouts BSA program.  We had numerous parents who had never camped join us when their sons were Tigers.  We'd find them a tent, they'd scare up some sleeping bags, and away we'd go.  In the process, the parents also learned a lot about camping.  So, by the time their son got to Scouts BSA they'd be very comfortable outdoors.

    It also challenged us as a pack to know how to prepare for a big trip.  We'd had gear, plenty of cooking equipment, we knew how to run an all day program.  We've been around for enough years that this was built up over time.  So, when that two night camping trip came up in the fall, you can rest assured that it was very well planned and executed.  In fact our Cub leaders often go on to be BALOO trainers themselves because they learn how to run a well oiled Cub Scout camping trip.

    Maybe the BSA is really worried about Cub Scout packs who don't know how to run a two night trip.  If so, then apply the correct remedy.  Have "BALOO 2" or have some kind of district camper certify the unit.  It's not really a hard problem to solve here. 

    Frankly - the BSA needs to stop responding to all of this stuff by dumbing down the program.  Isn't that the lesson of the Improved Scouting Program of the 70s?  

    • Upvote 1

  3. 6 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

    Bingo. This right here is why I will have nothing to do with female Scouts BSA troops. As a single man in his 20's, I can only be viewed by parents as a potential predator in the making, and I have no desire to deal with that. 


    5 hours ago, Liz said:

    That's just heartbreaking to me. I understand where you're coming from entirely. But IMO, we need to practice two-deep leadership and other YPT rules like the law, because that will stop the few rotten apples from doing damage, and from there practice "A Scout is Trustworthy." 

    Yes, I'd allow my daughter to attend events without female leaders present, as long as I had faith that YPT was consistently followed in the unit. I don't worry about unit leaders preying on my daughter partly because I know they are never ever alone with her.                                       


    I have two daughters and a son.  I am very protective of all of them.  

    I think this is where YPT in the BSA can serve another beneficial purpose. 

    In the GSUSA, the rules about male involvement have all but removed fathers from the equation.  My two daughters are Girl Scouts and I have never been welcomed in their Scouting experience.  It so saddens me that even my wonderful, progressive wife who is a Girl Scout leader has so totally embraced the concept that Girl Scouting is about women guiding girls through Scouting.

    Yet, my son's Cub Scout Pack & Scouts BSA Troop for boys have an adult leadership team that is about 40% female.  It has created a wonderful environment where countless mothers, fathers, and their sons can enjoy Scouting together.  It's been such a wonderfully welcoming environment that we've often had female siblings tag along.  So, because of how inclusive the BSA has been, I totally get why we now have girls in the program. 

    I also understand why the GSUSA never will have boys in their program.

    Now that we have introduced female Scouts, the BSA has a wonderful opportunity to provide the same welcoming environment for female youth.  I will admit that I do not know numbers - but I have to imagine that a group of adult males will be just as trustworthy taking a group of girls camping as they would with female adults present.  Whether it's groups of boys or girls, most Scouting units are composed of parents.  Yes, at the Scouts BSA level, there are more volunteers who are either young adults or adults who's parents have aged out.  But, for the most part it's parents like me who want to Scout with their children.  I would love to have the opportunity to Scout with my 10 year old daughter.

    So, when I saw the BSA rules that required female leaders, I was very disappointed.  Because I've been a Cub Scout leader, I know that the Cub program is very family involved.  You absolutely have lots of both mothers & fathers present.  In Scouts BSA it will be the same thing.  Just as we have 40% female adults in the troop leadership team today, so too would I expect that we'll have 40% males in a troop for girls without any new BSA rules

    So, I see these rules a something of the BSA falling into the same trap as the GSUSA.  That men are dangerous and we need women there to keep girls safe.  This is an unfortunate social construct that we keep teaching generation after generation.  Here the BSA can leverage all the YPT training, backgrounds checks, COR oversight, and benefit of troops with established track records to let girls and their parents know that they will be just fine with adult men taking girls camping.

    I feel for you @Sentinel947.  Breaks my heart too to see your post.  

    For my part, I accept the YPT rules and do embrace them to the fullest.  But, I really do wish the BSA would sit down with some experts and rethink this message that they are sending to girls, mothers, and their fathers. 

  4. 2 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    You tell me.

    BSA decided to reinstate a policy limiting Webelos to visiting camporees. My council promoted Webelos camping with troops at camporees while they were allowed. And i am told some councils are ignoring this rule, and still allow Webelos to camp at camporees because it is an effective recruiting tool.

    BSA has decide to up the registration fee AFTER Round Up season started. They did this before, and caused membership numbers to drop in my area, and didn't learn from the mistake. AND to make it worse, won't tell us what the price will be at the most 7 days before rechartering with the new cost will go into effect.

    Gotta admit - I'm usually the one sticking up for National too.  Yeah - pretty sad when I'm asking that question.  I missed that policy change on Webelos and camporees - ugh.

    Again - I respect what the professionals are being asked to do.  But, really - one night Cub Scout campouts?  

    But really - ponder the thought...


    The Boy Scouts of America has decided that Scouts aged 5 to 9 should only go camping one night at a time.


  5. On 10/9/2019 at 4:58 PM, qwazse said:

    It's a big country. So yes, there are troops of boys with two female adult leaders. One could argue that allowing that was a step on the way to how we got to where we are today.

    I doubt that the criminology of predation has clearly shown that that a girl in a troop with two male leaders is at greater risk for abuse than a boy in a troop with two female leaders.

    Rather, I bet the damages that BSA would incur from abuse perpetuated by a male leader on a female scout while dodging his male co-leader will be far greater than from abuse perpetuated by a female leader on a male scout while dodging her female co-leader.

    This isn't about how safe our scouts are. It's about how deeply the organization's pockets can be gouged.

    I expect you're right.

    However, that's the wrong way for the BSA to react.  I can understand if the BSA is responding to requests of underwriters.  Buy, then the BSA needs to apply the rules equally.  If the underwriters decide that the BSA needs 10 deep leadership in a troop for girls, then by golly make it 10 deep leadership for everyone.  

    I respect our professionals - but think they need to be thinking about the messages they are sending.  

    BTW - there is no discussion about 10 deep leadership.  Just using a ridiculous idea to make the point

    • Upvote 1

  6. 2 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    Thank them very much for their input and then camp two nights.

    There's no such rule.


    There's no such difference defined anywhere.  "family" and "pack" are simply common terms.  The only rules that apply are the Cub Scout camping rules where there are no such rules on duration.

    Ok - sorry, I posted too quickly as I was so sure this was the sort of bad rumor that floats around and is simply not true.  

    My son's pack always had two night pack campouts.  We attended cuborees that were two nights as well.  Two night campouts in Cub Scouts are so common around here to the point where one night cub scout camping is the exception.

    I cannot fathom what this section in the G2SS is even attempting to say.  That Lions through Bears should only camp one night at a time?  Is the BSA crazy?  

  7. 6 hours ago, Scouter_Chris said:

    I've now heard from two people, one being my DE, that cub scouts are not to camp more than one night. I would think it would be in the GSS, but can't find it (thought it would be on page 22). Anyone know for sure? Our pack likes to do two-night trips (since we bring so much stuff).

    Thank them very much for their input and then camp two nights.

    There's no such rule.


    31 minutes ago, Liz said:

    My understanding is that the difference between "pack" camping and "family" camping is that in "family" camping each cub scout has at least one parent or guardian present. 

    And family camping does't have any such one-night limits, does it?

    There's no such difference defined anywhere.  "family" and "pack" are simply common terms.  The only rules that apply are the Cub Scout camping rules where there are no such rules on duration.

  8. 3 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

    If you can't trust trained adults, regardless of age, then it should not matter the gender of the scouts they are supervising. There are enough lawsuits currently that illustrate that point.


    This is where I'm at too.  Parents in a pack or troop need to be able to trust the adult leaders to take their kids camping.  Gender is secondary here.

    However, if the BSA really believes they need this rule, then I'd rather it simply say:



    All activities require two deep registered adult leadership.  At least one adult must be of the same gender as any Scout in attendance.  if there is a male youth in attendance, at least one adult must be male.  If there is a female youth in attendance, at leas one adult my be female. 

    A youth's parent of either gender can attend in lieu of requiring an adult of the same gender to attend for that individual Scout.  For example, if a unit has all female youth attending an event and one male youth attends, the male youth's mother can attend in lieu of requiring an adult male to attend.  



    • Upvote 4

  9. Why not just tell them that the boys will start as a group and it will be up to them if they want it to stay that way.

    Explain that the boys choose their own patrols - so if they want to remain as a group, just choose to stay together as a patrol.  Explain that advancement is at their own pace and you'd be happy if the boys all helped each other and advanced at a similar pace.

    Of course, we all know that once in the troop, friendships will change and interest levels will vary.  But, as parents of a den that's been together for years, they don't see that yet.  They are more worried that you're going to force the group to split up.  Explain that this isn't the case and that as a Scout led troop you'll do no such thing.

    • Like 1

  10. On 10/2/2019 at 11:25 AM, Eagledad said:

    I wonder what the committee understands about the program that they can even review. I'm big in the CC being the boss, and the gatekeeper of program vision, but I've never seen it. Not that I haven't tried, at the district level, I pushed all 21 troops to send their CC to my Scoutmaster Specific course. Only one ever showed up and he was from a different council.  I do a biannual review after each SPL election to explain to the PLC and all our registered adults as to how our program is dictated by the BSA Mission, Vision, Aims and Methods. I learned to do it inside a minute, because to many people were getting hurt falling out of their chairs asleep. You want to hear it. In the beginning, there was Badon Powel,..............................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


    As CC I approached it as "CC as boss".  In my implementation, the CC effectively served as president of the troop.  Treasurer as VP finance, Scoutmaster as VP program, etc. I approached the committee as part executive staff and part board of directors.  All in all, I think this worked pretty well.

    What I noticed in this process is that it helped to regularly revisit our goals - just what were we trying to accomplish as an adult team.  Membership, program, finance, etc.  While it sounds a little corporate - it was actually pretty helpful as it provided the Scoutmaster the ability to talk about what he wanted to accomplish.  We didn't talk about the aims specifically, but we effectively covered them.  The Scoutmaster could say "what we're really trying to do here is grow these kids into strong leaders.  You all need to stop worrying about the mechanics of the SPL election or patrol structure.  We're making the choices that we are because we're trying to accomplish ...."  This was a very good way for the Scoutmaster to educate other adults on just what it is  that we're trying to accomplish in the program.  

    My recommendation would be to focus on your goals as a troop.  Discuss that regularly with the committee.  Through regular discussions, they will begin to see just what it is that the Scoutmaster is trying to do.  A big part of that of course is that the Scoutmaster has to have the ability to talk about program in terms of goals.  Yaking on about operational details isn't the point - the committee doesn't need to hear about what game you played at the last troop meeting.  But, talk about the progress of the troop in terms of your big goals.  In the process, bring the committee alongside those goals and help them be parters in their own area of focus.

    • Upvote 2

  11. The good thing is that this is usually when organizations start to get nimble.  When faced with do or die moments, they start to recognize what they really need to do.

    I see it starting to happen where I am.  The current attempts at being nimble are still bogged down with the institutional baggage - but they are at least starting to try harder.

  12. We've had a role like this in our adult team at the troop level.  In our version, the role is not just about being a welcoming committee when a visitor stops by.  In fact, one of the things our NMC did was to talk with the Scouts about being a welcoming committee when visitors do attend.

    For example - we see that parents of newly joined Scouts often have lots of questions.  Yes, we have a new parent packet.  Yes, we have a new parent orientation.  But, there are also lots of stream of consciousness questions.  i.e., the Scout comes home from the Troop meeting, mentions summer camp, and the parent says - how do I pay for that.  So, the parent stops by the troop meeting and asks when payment is due.  I suppose we could have a Scout field all those kind of questions - but we don't.  So, we have a person who is known to that new parent as a "go-to" for questions like that.

    Similarly, when we have scouts cross over - there's a certain amount of logistics that occur: the crossover ceremony, when new scouts should start, welcome message to Scouts & families, new parent orientation, etc.  Someone needs to organize all of that.  We could have the scouts do it - but we've chosen to have adults take care of that stuff.  

    Like with anything in Scouting, it's all a question of how much effort you want to put into something.  We could let much of this happen naturally or we could be more planned about it.  We're a 75+ scout troop, so it benefits us to be more prepared in how we work with new families.  We had a role like this well before there was the NMC position.  So, creating the role wasn't a big deal to us.  One of our leaders just said - "hey, I get a new title."

  13. A little sarcasm here I see...

    I've seen enough new Scouts join packs & troops to know that getting them engaged is a good thing.  I've seen enough new parents with questions to know that having a defined person to answer them is a useful idea.  I've been around adult recruiting long enough to know that engaging with parents is the first step in getting them to volunteer.

    Yes - you could do all of these things with a position called Committee Member and the New Member Coordinator title isn't necessary at all.  I know it's sport to poke fun at national.  But so what if they decided to try something different in an attempt to encourage activities that benefit membership?

  14. 2 hours ago, Cburkhardt said:

    None of you took up the substantive overall point of my posting.  We would not be in the position we are in right now if certain parties had not allowed or arranged-for the BSA to adopt and enforce positions of social policy that were not central to Scouting -- and which were not agreed-to among our membership.  As a result of those catastrophic decisions we are now exhausted from 25 years of having voluntarily served as a cultural punching bag.  We put ourselves into a no-win situation and are now navigating out of that circumstance.  Yes … we are very much headed in the right direction.  I want to read the book that will be written about this in about 5 years.  It will conclude that the BSA (as it exists at that future moment) was able to make clear-eyed and effective decisions that were able to pull it out of its existential crisis.  

    This is the rub - right?  Look at topic after topic on this forum about how Scouting would be better if only we ran it like we used to.  Look at how many people think that the BSA will be destroyed if they take just one more step away from our current values.

    That's one of the two great struggles in our movement.  progressive change in the program vs. traditional values

  15. 2 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    Soooo....all the people at Council who were already promoting membership or handling training are getting replaced by someone with a new job title?  If not, I still fail to see what value a "New Member Coordinator" brings TO DISTRICT OR COUNCIL.

    I still see no point in having this job title outside of a unit.

    Think of them as a specialist - we have them all over in my professional world.  The district person would be the wizard at getting new families integrated into pack or troop life.  They would know the tricks and tips.  They would then have a network where they co-ordinate with the unit level NMC for the purpose of making their unit counterparts even more successful.  I'd expect them to be a member of the district membership team.  So, while others on the team are focused on recruiting, AOL to Scout transition, etc.  This person would be the one focused on making the NMC successful.

    The council version is working among the district NMC so that they in turn know the best practices for being a district NMC.  

    Do we need a new title for this - no, our course not.  I'm sure that someone at national has this as a pet project and so is trying some different things to make the program successful.  Again - my company does stuff like this to get desired results from a certain segment of the staff.  I imagine there's a Harvard Business Review article somewhere that suggests this is a good thing.

  16. The NMC position for units is trying to address thr issues of retention and adult involvement.  By having someone focus of new families, it is likly those families will stay engaged.

    A similar district or council position would probably be more about coordinating, encouraging, and training their unit counterparts.  I.e. let's increase the success of the program by having a volunteer who focuses on the success of the program at a local level.  

  17. 1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

      Sadly I feel he is way out of touch with what successful units are doing to be successful, and is trying to be the socially aware organization that literally will not satisfy anyone.  We have lost focus of the outdoor classroom concept, let youth work as a group and explore how to succeed, and possibly fail in relatively safe environment

    In my backyard this transition has been happening for at least 10 years now.  Our biggest packs and troops are those who'd quietly moved past the political questions of the last 5 years.  They are welcoming to all, now are finding space for girls, and don't worry too much about the religious component.  They have great outdoor programs entirely in the spirit of patrol and scout led programs.  They have no problems getting scouts to join.

    Where we are shrinking is in the small units who just don't try anymore.  They all have less than 20 scouts, leaders are overwhelmed and burned out.  Say what you will - but membership in these small units is crucial.  The national BSA making the choices that creates an environment for them to grow helps.  Local councils having support and encouragement for these units to grow is important.

    • Upvote 1

  18. 5 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Actually the primary event was district camporee. IOLS was done in conjunction. At the time,  as well as today, we don't have fully functional district committee. No program or training chairs, and no district chair. Just the RT commissioner trying to put on camporee, and the council training chair doing IOLS. She was filling in since we did not have a district training chair either. We also don't have a full time DE, but instead are sharing one with another district.

    We were given the option of allowing the 3rd activity or stepping down. And we were given this option 2 days before the event. I stayed to finish the camporee for the scouts,an announced a new camporee chief would be needed the next year. The event was pushed onto the DE by either the SE or DFS.

    Ouch!  Sounds like your district volunteer leadership team is essentially non-existent.  It sounds like your DE has assumed much of the operational work of volunteers as a result.  That's not good.

    That's not the correct model at all - but sounds like you're stuck until a volunteer function is re-established.

  19. 11 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    Sadly it is not only different from council to council, but also Scout Exec to Scout Exec. While the volunteers are suppose to be in charge, I have seen the nomination process rigged first hand at the council level, and was encouraged to do the same at the district level when I was a DE. Last district event I ran, the DE overruled myself and the volunteer in charge of the IOLS training that weekend. We had been working on the events for over a year, and at the last minute the DE  added a 3rd event the same weekend at the same time. We had to scramble to get additional supplies and I had to redo several locations, and the orientation course to get to the events as a result. 

    And I have seen a volunteer get their membership revoked because they discovered something a SE did that was not kosher. So yes the Pros do call the shots.

    I'm really sorry to hear about that. 

    Guess I'd ask the question - why did you listen to that DE? As this was IOLS, the couse director reports to the district training chair who reports to the district program chair who reports to the district chair who reports to the council president.  Nowhere in that org structure is the DE.  In turn, you've got 3 people who can sort out this nonsense action by the DE.

  20. 9 hours ago, malraux said:

    HAHAHAHAHA. I mean, yeah I'll probably end up donating a hefty amount by the end, but if that were expected, they can take this job and shove it. But given that the line of people showing up to do stuff is me and two or three other cub scouters I don't think they'll happen.


    7 hours ago, Saltface said:

    I wouldn’t do it either, but there were enough suckers/knot seekers in my last district to maintain a $500 per year pay-to-play culture. 

    There's been an ask from our district FoS team that we all donate something so that we can say that 100% of our district committee has contributed.  But, they've never set an amount and suggest that $5 would be fine.


  21. 58 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    But, make no mistake - volunteers and senior paid staff largely make the big decisions in a council.  

    Fixed your last part


    I fully acknowledge I'm getting pretty far off the original topic.  But, since the comment is out there in response to mine, permit me to add my perspective here.

    I know this is a common perception out there.  Perhaps this is different council to council. 

    I should probably have defined "big decisions" a bit more.  If I look at programming, I find that almost all decisions are made by senior volunteers.  These are your event chairs, council VPs, district program chairs, etc.  Most of these positions have a professional advisor who do impose some rules on money and facilities.  But, beyond that, most of the big decisions in events come from those senior program volunteers.

    The really big decisions come from the council's executive board.  This is a group of volunteers who really lead the council.  They set budget, control policy, hire and fire the Scout Executive, etc.  Sure the Scout Executive provides a lot of guidance here and has tremendous influence. But, ultimately the executive board makes the decisions.

    There's a bunch of operational stuff in the middle. What goes on the website, when are payments due, etc.  They seem like big decisions - and maybe they are.  But, I find they are really just more of the day to day stuff that has to get done.  In many of those instances the professionals due tend to dictate terms.  For example, the professionals are going to have to handle all the money and are held accountable for tracking money.  So, they get to set some rules about how money is turned in and handled.

    There are lots of places where the two groups overlap.  Membership is a great example.  DEs are expected to drive membership - so too are volunteers. A professional's job rating is often measured by their results on membership.  So, it's not uncommon to see a greater sense of urgency from a professional than a volunteer.  This in turn results in professionals working in parallel to volunteers, which in turn leads unit volunteers that think that the DEs are in charge of membership.  But, in actuality, they are not.

    Finally - many volunteers think that professionals are in charge.  That in turn creates a self fulfilling prophecy.  I see countless volunteers in positions of authority who are fully empowered to make decisions who think that they need to call their DE to get approval.  But, they really don't.  

    Thanks for indulging my comment here.  We should probably get back to discussing the fee increase :)

    • Upvote 1

  22. 2 minutes ago, PACAN said:

    @ParkMan and @carebear3895    If DEs have no influence at the council level why do we need them?

    DEs effectively serve as the glue that keeps Scouting moving at a local level.  They help units solve problems, they encourage membership growth, they help the district volunteers to grow and expand local program support for units.  They serve as task do-er at the local level for whatever tasks the larger council needs done - fundraising, new unit development, whatever.

    We "need" these positions because we need districts/councils to exist to provide program support to units.  We "need" these positions because we need to keep trying to grow Scouting.  We "need" these positions to help prevent small to mid sized units from shrinking.

    Unfortunately - today much of the DEs time is spent on FOS presentations.  Most councils need those FOS presentations to keep the lights on. So, DEs get tasked with making those happen.  Would it be preferable for the money needed by the council to magically appear?  Sure - but it doesn't.  So, DE'sp get pushed to make it happen.

    Big units don't "need" DEs in an immediate sense.  They can typically solve most of their own internal issues.  But, they need the district & council to continue to exist so that they provide programming (campree for example).  Today "DEs" are the glue that keeps small units solvent and prevents the local district from shrinking.

    The big decisions in the council as made by the council executive board.  This is a group composed of volunteers.  They establish council goals and policies.  The council's senior paid professionals then interpret those decisions and usually task them to the local DEs.  The DEs in turn provide feedback to the senior paid professionals.  But, make no mistake - volunteers and senior paid staff largely make the big decisions in a council.  


    • Upvote 1