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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. 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.
  2. . 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
  3. Thanks - sounds like a fantastic course. I enjoyed mine, but it does make me wish I could attend such a high caliber course!
  4. ParkMan

    Committee Meetings

    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.
  5. ParkMan

    10,000 Girl Cub Scouts

    Must be 9,995 of the outside my district. Of course, that's 200 per state - so maybe that matches what I'm seeing.
  6. 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.
  7. ParkMan

    Troop Meeting Spaces

    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!
  8. 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.
  9. Just curious what you mean here. What are you doing to get ready for family scouting? Thanks!
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. Now you're getting silly. I'm not advocating family camping. I'm just saying sometimes you have to compromise.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. ParkMan

    NATIONAL POLICY: AOL and Crossover Ceremonies

    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.
  19. ParkMan

    Cub Leader who pays for Woodbadge

    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.
  20. ParkMan

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    FWIW We see all kinds of mistakes in Scouting - that's part of why we have Scouting. Usually we're seeing mistakes being a Scout, or being a Camper, or whatever outdoor skill is involved. Sometimes kids make mistakes at being a person. For whatever reason, a Scout starts going off the rails in terms of how he treats others. These kind of things can end up being really positive for the bully too. So, while it's human nature to be apprehensive about dealing with these kinds of issues, I'd be less confrontational and look at is as teaching yet another lesson to the Scout involved. This might be a lesson that the Scout carries with him for years, if not the rest of his life.
  21. ParkMan

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    The first thing I'd do is have a discussion about the concerns among the core leadership team - CC, SM (I think you said the position is in transition), key ASMs, etc. Everyone should get on the same page that there is a concern and should share what they know. After that, I'd do 3 three things: 1) talk with the scout(s) who may have been bullied. As what happened and listen. 2) talk with the scout that has been accused. Talk about bullying and that some people think he's being a bully. Discuss what has happened to date and what he thinks he has done. See if he thinks he's a bully. But, make clear that under no circumstances is bullying condoned.. 3) talk with the Scout's parents. They are your partners in this, talk to them that way. Let them know that concerns have been raised and that you're digging into them. As I see it, our job as Scout leaders is to create an environment where bullying does not occur. But, when it does occur, then we need to figure out what happened and work with the kids involved so that it stops. So, I think that how one handles bullying is just as important as trying to prevent it in the first place. I'm inclined to treat a first offense as a learning process for the scout involved. Of course, if the bullying was particularly awful or was harmful, there are limits to treating it as a learning experience. But the scout needs to know - there is no second conversation.
  22. ParkMan

    Denied a court of honor.

    I looked around your troop website and cannot seem to find a time for the meeting. Often they list this on the troop website, but they didn't here. Sorry.
  23. ParkMan

    Denied a court of honor.

    Good. However, from what you just described sounds like district level meetings. A roundtable is a training meeting for district leaders. They fellows you mention are district level people. A district is the city/county level organizational grouping within Scouting. There's usually about 50 troops and packs in a single district. You need to find the Troop Committee meeting. This is the leadership meeting for just your troop. It's different. Feel free to PM me your troop number and I'll see if I can find it for you. It seems counter-intuitive, but individual troops do not report to the district level people. The way the BSA is setup, a single troop is an autonomous entity. District staff are usually quite well connected in Scouting, but they don't hold much too sway over a given troop.
  24. ParkMan

    Denied a court of honor.

    Hi @Mich08212, I'm a Troop Committee Chair and have been for a while. Why not just go to the next committee meeting and ask what's up? They are all generally public meetings. If someone came to ours and had a question like this, we'd take the time to answer.
  25. ParkMan

    New and comprehensive Family scouting FAQs issued:

    I'm terribly sorry to hear about the frustration this has brought yoh. You've brought a lot to this forum. If this ends up being it - I wish you the very best.
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