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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. In both my Cub Scout & Boy Scout volunteer experiences, I joined troops with established leadership groups. We had leaders who had been around for a while. The leadership team in the pack is about 10 people. In the troop about 20. There is a defined pack/troop culture that was established by the "senior" leaders. New leaders certainly take on positions of responsibilty, but there is always someone who can point them in the right direction. Someone new shows up and starts making waves, someone pulls them aside and points them in the right direction. It's all very positive as everyone is pulling in the same direction trying to have the best troop possible. In my humble opinion, I think this kind of culture would be useful in more packs and troops.
  2. In our troop we seem to have a paradox new leaders expect to get their guidance from more experienced leaders. They don't got to training because they know the experienced adults will show them the ropes once untrained leaders get some experience they decide that they know the basics already and it's pointless to go spend a day taking training. So, after a while you see a whole bunch on untrained, experienced leaders.
  3. That's what I meant. Same age patrols can have growth through shared comraderie. A group of mates working together to solve challenges that they run into. I'm not arguing that same age patrols are better. Most point is really just - if leaders understand the purpose and goals of patrol method then could they accomplish the same with mixed age patrols? Could you develop a strong program for older youth by leveraging roles like Troop Guide? I could envision a model where Scouts work together in their same age patrol. They grow together as they mature and their patrol strengthens. As their learning opportunities begin to run out at the patrol level, they then take on roles like Troop Guide, SPL, ASPL, Quarter Master, etc. The Scouts grow in responsibilty and challenge as they mature. I think you make a very compelling argument that an older youth program is the key to a strong troop. MIxed age patrols are one path to providing meaning for older Scouts. But, I wonder if it's the only path. Couldn't you accomplish much the same by utilzing same age patrols as I decribe above?
  4. Isn't it the job of the Scoutmaster to lead the program? Presumably he/she has a pretty good understanding of what patrol method is and how to utilize it in a program. Other leaders should look to the SM for guidance. If the Scoutmaster doesn't understand patrol method, that's a bigger issue. Presumably you've chosen the Scoutmaster based on their understanding of the program and their demonstrated desire to run a good program. I wonder if this has something to do with how people learn today. I get the sense that many people are ignoring the training. Trained leader percentages are well below 50%. The BSA materials are fully of information on patrol method, but people tend to ignore it. So, I wonder if the BSA materials are trying counter that by focusing more on the theory thinking "if we explain it, then people will find more value in the training materials and attempt to learn them."
  5. This was my struggle as a Cubmaster. I had every book and went to every class. I knew the the "what" really well. Yet, the BSA materials and training don't cover the "how". Later I saw the same thing in the troop. I knew we wanted the eigth methods, but "how" was not terribly well defiend. As they said in school - the "how" was an exercise left to the reader. So, as a result, we spent countless amounts of energy trying to figure it out. Yet, there's a part of me that wonders if the BSA should really try to define patrols to this level of detail. What matters more - exactly how patrols are structured, or that patrol method is being leveraged in a way that maximizes it's benefits. For example, there are various ways to accomplish @Eagledad's recommendation of developing a strong program by focusing on the quality of the older Scout program. If we leverage that fact that there is shared comraderie in solving problems together, there is value in putting Scouts in patrols of the same age. Scouts grow together and develop bonds together. It can lead to a model where a patrol is strong buddy group - perhaps even one where Scouts become life long friends.
  6. ParkMan

    Working With Others

    You could write it down, but I think it would be more effective to discuss it face to face at a leader's meeting. Once you communicate your expectations, then continue to live them. If someone is chronically disgegarding them, then ask them to move on. But, reading the earlier replies, three things I've picked up in my Scouting travels as a unit leader (CM & CC) Put program first. Scouts, parents, other volunteers respond when it's about making sure the Scouts are active and having fun. Raise the bar. As Cubmaster, you need to challenege the other leaders to deliver the best program in your district. That you had a Tiger den leader who did nothing is inexcusable. Half hearted uniforming - same thing. Vaping in front of Scouts - same thing. Everyone needs to be looking for ways to make this the absolute best program they can. Grow your pack. The phrase "solo TIger Scout" is a red flag. You should have 8+ TIger Scouts. When you start to have a small group, you are stuck with whatever leaders show up. WHen you have a big group, stronger leaders emerge. Focus on program and actively look to grow. Active, fun, well run packs turn into big, active, fun, well run packs. Best of luck!!!
  7. While I got his point, his argument as to why seemed a bit anicdotal. My take away from the whole article was - people who follow their true passions tend to be more successful. If you figure out what you passion is early in life and follow it, you do well. if you take some time to find your passion, you do well. If you get forced into picking something too soon and guess wrong - you don't do as well. The learning here that I think one could extract is - as an adult, don't feel that you have to pressure a youth to figure out their passion too soon. If you do, then the youth may very well pick wrong. I would agree with @Eagledad here, Scouting is a great place where a youth can live their dreams. The program is so varied - from advancement, to activities, to leadership. It's like a microcosm of life where youth can explore and develop. That's a pretty cool thing. If leveraged well, Scouting can help a youth explore their interests and maybe understsand their passion in life better. But, we as parents and Scouters need to be careful not to try and force Scouts to fit a certain mold. If we try to make Scouts all do the same things, then individual youth suffer because they don't get to follow and develop those things that really interest them and ultimately could make them happier in life.
  8. ParkMan

    Adult led and youth led

    I'm sure that both nature & nurture play a role. However, I tihnk that in even more cases it simply comes seeing countless examples of leadership by their parents. That's why often the children of good leaders themselves become good leaders. Kids see their parents doing it an just do the same.
  9. ParkMan

    Flat Council Support fee coming to your unit?

    I really like our local DE - but have come to the realization that we don't really need as many of them as we have. In our area, our DEs largely offset the fact that our district volunteer teams have dwindled. Our district and councils could opreate at about a third the staff. So, rather than drive down membership by increasing costs to Scouts, I think it's time for councils to revisit the DE model. Let districts either shrink or deal with finding volunteers to make them successful.
  10. ParkMan

    Merit badge sash

    I don't really care if a Scout wears one sash or two. They could wear an orange uniform for all I care. What's important is the big picture. However, as we get into these topics, as a community we seem to take a wierd stance on these things. In the past week, I've commented on two topics. This one and the one on female scouts getting credit for past work. In the other topic, there was a decided group of Scouters who thought less of a teenager because she wanted to get credit for her Scouting experience as an "unofficial scout". She was deemed to not be Eagle worthy because Eagle quality people would never put their own needs ahead of others. Yet, in this topic, we seem to have no problem saying - feel free to break the uniform rules and show off your 100+ merit badges. As Scouters, I simply think we need to be consistent. If you've got an Eagle with 100+ merit badges that wants to run around with two sashes, shouldn't a friendly Scouter take him aside and say "you're blantatnly showing off here - as an Eagle Scout you ought to set a better example." If we want to respect that each Scout's journey is different and that they are welcome to some moments of personal pride, I've got no problem. Just seems that we as Scouters ought to be consistent.
  11. ParkMan

    Merit badge sash

    Just thinking out load here, but wouldn't it be better for a Scout to wear the uniform as proscribed and simply wear as many merit badges as possible on it? I mean no disrespect, but isn't vioating the uniform rules to wear two sashes (whether double wide, one on top of each other, or bandolier) an example of a Scout breaking the rules for their own self interest? i.e., "I know that the unform rule says one sash, but I earned these awards and so I think I'm entitled to do it."
  12. Thanks for the pointer about her father's website. I read the text there and it sounds like he's taking credit for it. Seems to be positioning himself as a advocate for civil rights. I imagine you can do that through influence and activism and avoid lawsuits. I don't recall hearing that in the case of the BSA that change happened because of lawsuits - but again, if someone can point to a reference, I'm happy to learn here. On Sydney - I understand what you're saying. If I have this correctly, you dislike that she pursued finding a way to get credit for her Scouting activities prior to becoming an "officially registered" member of Scouts BSA. It was one thing to ask for gender equality - another thing to push for a special exception for girls now joining. Fair point. I guess I don't mind so much that she lobbied and eventually found a way to get some back credit. Yeah, it's probably unfair to the legions of girls who won't be able to do the same. But, I'm sympathetic to the argument that "Hey, in a time where I was an unofficial member, I did all this stuff. Why do I need to do it all over again, and in the process, delay achieving the rank of Eagle?" If it were my daughter, I can imagine a similar conversation. In my family, we'd have accepted the results and moved on. But, he family is more familar with advocating for stuff like this and so they pursued it. Again, unfair? Sure, probably. But, she does have enough of a point that I'm not going to criticize her from pursuing it. Instead I'd tell her - go for it, maybe you'll win, maybe you won't, but it's a fair arugment to make.
  13. I cannot seem to find a reference where she filed any lawsuits to become an Eagle Scout. I cannot even seem to find a reference that she filed a lawsuit ot become a member of the Boy Scouts. Best I can find is that she started a change.org petition and was the subject of several articles. Further, I can't seem to see anything where she's prioritized herself over the needs of others. I'm happy to be provided some sources that show this. But, let's say she did file a lawsuit. How is pushing for Scouting credit that she honestly believes she earned prioritizing herself over others? Again, isn't fighting for something you believe is right a sign of a strong leader? Why would we want any Scout to just sit down and be quiet in a situation like that?
  14. Myself, I'd prefer that the BSA not make a big deal out of the first female Eagle, setting dates and processes to prevent the first, or anthing related that. I tihnk doing so puts Eagle in the wrong light. I would really prefer a statement that the BSA will not track, report, or acknowledge who the first female is to earn the rank of Eagle. When I think of being an Eagle Scout, I think the honor come from the process of becoming an Eagle - not the act of completing the requirements. That any Scout completes the requirements and then waits a year or two seems rather sill to me. But, if this is what the BSA wants to do then fine. I don't mind that she has expressed interest in being the first one. It just says to me that she's ambitious. I think you've got to be a little ambitious to want to earn Eagle in the first place, so I don't mind that she's got a little extra ambition there. We're not raising monks - we're helping to develop leaders. A little ambition in a leader is a good thing.
  15. I think I'm sticking up for her a little here because I think that is what is largely going on here. People dislike that she was challenging the status quo and that she had some role in co-ed Scouting. Food for thought - but your question is telling her that her Scouting experience is less meaningful than that of other scouts. Why do you think this? The council advancement committee signed off on her advancement from work in Canada as being equivalent. Second, she completed many (all?) of the requirements unofficially as a tag along member. Third, she demonstrated clear leadership in her involvement as part of the process to bring the BSA programs to girls. It strikes me that there's an argument here that she is more qualified to be an Eagle than the majority of boys who are earning the rank. I would suggest that posing this question feeds into the kind of nonsense around Eagle that many here decry. The first female Eagle Scout is no more special than the hundredth, thousandath, or millionth. I keep coming back to the same thought. Why on earth would she waste all this energy - being a tagalong, joining Scouts Canada, lobbying for grls in the BSA, just so that she could become the first female Eagle Scout. Achieving that gets her a cloth patch and maybe 15 minutes of fame. Whatever benefit she derives from being the first Eagle Scout is completly eclipsed by her actions in helping to bring about Scouts BSA for girls.
  16. She spent summers in Canada. My understanding is that this is where she did Canadian scout stuff - not the Manhattan troop.
  17. You don't need to be a citizen of a country to be from there. Notice that the specifically don't say "youth who are citizens of another country and move to the United States." If you have a house in Canada, live there for several months, and then move back to the USA, then you'd be moving back to the US from Canada. There's nothing that says how long you have to reside ther to be cosidered "from" there. Just a broad "youth from other countries" who are a member of that country's Scouting association and who can show evidence of advancement in that Scouting association. In addition, the full quote is: The BSA recognizes youth who temporarily move to the USA as being able to join, so it certainly would suggest the opposite were true. Further, she wasn't even a member of the BSA, so it's not like she was transferring stuff back and forth. She was a member of Scouts Canada who accumulated enough advancement over the course of her time there that when she moved back to the US and was able to join she had enough of a body of work to transfer. Acutally, that she couldn't join the Boy Scouts probably works in her favor here. She wasn't trying to game the system be advancement back and forth. She wasn't allowed the join the Boy Scouts here and so her only offical Scouting experience was with Scouts Canada. She basically wanted to transfer her advancement from Scouts Canada to Scouts BSA after moving back here from Canada.
  18. I read this and reached excatly the same conclusion. There is nothing in the G2A the prevents or discourages what Ms. Ireland did in any way. It may be a very unique, and I'm sure unimagined, applciation of the rule - but it's quite legit. What I also find somewhat hard to believe is that she joined Scouts Canada so that she could "game" the BSA advancement system down the road. It really seems to me like she's a kid that really just wanted to be a member of a Scouting program like we have in the BSA. I can't help but feel if she were a boy and was this passionate about Scouting we'd all be putting her up for awards and accolades.
  19. Sure - of course. Don't encourage a fools errand. But, I don't think that happened here. She had an idea to get some advancement credit for her invovlement in Scouts Canada and it worked. Clearly someone in addition to me thought it was a good idea. While we want to be as fair as possible, we can get ourselves hung up on "being fair." Is it fair that this one scout was so engaged in Scouting "unofficially" that she became a vocal proponent for a BSA program for girls? Was it fair that she was so invovled that when admission of girls to the BSA happened that she had all kinds of transferrable skills and advancement completed? Would it be fair to ignore that work? Would it be fair to provide credit for that work? Is it fair to girls that the BSA hasn't been co-ed for the past 100+ years? is it fair to boys that it is now? Is it fair the a 16 year old girl cannot test out? Is it fair to that same 16 year old girl that she couldn't join 4 years ago? Is it fair that one scout is stronger, smarter, or has more financial resources than another? Is it fair that one scout has parents who can bring him to every event when another has parents who both work constantly? Is it fair that one scout lives in a neighborhood with a great troop? Is it fair that another lives in a neighborhood with a weak troop? The answer to all of these is that of course it's not fair. I don't know how you look at any of this and think it's fair. So, I think you make the best, most equitable rules you can and follow them. I think that's what the BSA is trying to do. So, we stick to those rules as best we can. She found a way to use the rules to her advantage. I don't fault her for that.
  20. To extend my prior comment: - The BSA has already said that tag along work doesn't count. So whie she and others may want it to, it doesn't. So, while I don't fault a Scout for asking, I'd have to simply that no, it doens't count. If enough people petition BSA national leadership, perhaps that will change. But, petitioning national leadership is the way to follow the rules & process. Not following the rules would have been to simply buy that patch and wear it - she's not doing that. - The BSA does allow for international experience to transfer. This seems to be a legitimate argument and within the rules.
  21. I think there's times in life to look at the big picture. The girl wanted to be a Scout her whole life. She couldn't do it offically, so she tagged along. She joined Scouts Canada. She did lots of learning and advancement work as a tagalong and as a member of Scouts Canada. I see her case is very different from a typical youth who shows up and says "Hey, I think I ought to be First Class." As a Scouter, I'd always listen to an argument like this from a Scout. I wouldn't fault any for trying to be ambitious. I think that's part of learning to be a good leader.
  22. I guess at this point I just prepared to take it at face value - she just wants to be a member of the BSA and participate in the program. The media spotlight so distorts things that I'm not going to form an opinion of a youth's character by what I see there. Maybe she's aggressive and wants to advance quickly too - and maybe even be the fist female Eagle. Even if all that's true, I'm OK by that. She's got some dreams and the pushes to make them happen. Not such an awful trait for someone to have. I get that we want her to go through the same exact process as others - but this is an exceptional point in the history of Scouting. If she had a valid argument for why she should immediatley be awarded Eagle - I'd listen. Again - I don't fault her for being ambitious. I doubt I'd just grant an Eagle except in some kind of really egregious exception (i.e. a youth who did every requirement by the book, but for some reason was prevented from officially being a member). This is where I think Life is fair.
  23. Yes - this would seem correct to me. Asking a Scout to wait 2 years to officially become an Eagle Scout just because of some silly "first female Eagle" designation seems to feed into unneccessary hysteria around the rank. Just award the girl the rank when she turns in the application and move on.
  24. My first reaction upon reading this was - huh? She's an American citizen. But, on reading a little more about her background and reflecting... Here we have a Scout who so loves Scouting so much that when she spent summers in Canada she joined their Scouting association. It reminded me of kids who transfer overseas and then join the local Scouting program. We had a Scout in our troop do that. We also have had a Scout from another country join our troop while living in the US. As I see it, at the end of the day, this is a program about helping youth to develop. Advancement is one method to help these young adults develop. For years, she wanted to join the BSA, but could not. So, she joined Scouts Canada when she could. Later, when she finally was able to join, people found a way for her prior Scouting experience In Canada to reflect her appropriate point in the advancement process in the Scouts BSA program. Maybe I've got a soft spot for those people with heart and spirit, but this seems like a pretty fair & creative solution.
  25. Ahh - if that's the reason I'd very gladly welcome her to wearing it. That she was a Scout in Canada, earned such a recognition, and wears it with her Scouts BSA uniform is pretty cool