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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. ParkMan

    Starting a new troop: Budget items

    Our troop is the same. Our Scouts all own their own tents. When Scouts cross over from Webelos, they work as a group to see who has tents. Generally there are enough tents amongst them that we get 2 or 3 scouts in a tent. Over the first year or two in the troop most scouts acquire their own and then we have plenty. Occasionally we have to scare up a tent or two - but not that often. I like this model as troop tents are expensive and high maintenance. Scouts also tend to take better care of things they own and tents are fragile. Unless you come from an economically disadvantaged area, I'd see if you'd get enough families willing to buy their scouts a tent in order to make it work. I'd stay away from tarps.
  2. ParkMan

    Starting a new troop: Budget items

    Hi @shortridge, I've not been through this with a new unit, but have spent quite a bit of time watching unit budgeting and how we spend. For what it's worth, here's my thoughts. 1) your budget needs to cover awards, meeting supplies, training. If you need to rent a space, it would need to cover that. 2) ideally your budget would have enough extra money to allow you to cover campsite reservations 3) For the first year or two, I think you could forego equipment expenses. However, you need to assess if your troop families can provide the equipment. In our troop, many scouts and families have accumulated equipment and so we could do this. If your families can not provide equipment, I think you'd want to cover basic camp gear too. My basic financial model would be: - dues to cover operating expenses for the year. Collect these upfront. - charge up front per event. Do signups early and ask families to pay in advance. - I'd plan to run a surplus. i.e., you want to have $500 in the bank at the end of the year to build up reserves. - conduct fundraisers of some sort to raise capital for big ticket expenses. if you find your families cannot supply equipment then set a goal to fundraise to acquire it.
  3. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    Okay - uncle. I'm not looking to criticize or stir the pot. In threads like this, it just strikes me how negative they get. That national is trying to ruin the BSA through [choose one: girls, family scouting, YPT]. Yet, when I go look I just don't see it. I push back because it saddens me for all the Scouts, Scouters, and parents who come to this forum and read post after post about how awful the BSA is. Guess I just see the future of Scouting with a more positive outlook. I guess I'll just leave it alone and go back to avoiding Issues & Politics topics.
  4. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    This forum has defined family Scouting as Dad, Mom, and siblings camping with the troop. Where do they describe that?
  5. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    I'd disagree slightly that national is pushing family scouting. Other than this forum, I almost never hear about it. But other than that - you and I agree here. I'd love to help you on that - but don't know how from here. What is it about youth led, patrol method they don't want to implement? @JoeBob I'm curious what you disagree with here.
  6. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    Family Scouting is nothing more than a marketing concept designed to attract membership. I've yet to see a single BSA guidebook or training updated to reflect any change in program or program mechanics. No offense meant, but I'd argue that a troop that hears "Family Scouting" and then throws patrol method out the window is a troop that doesn't really understand what it is doing. If a troop was correctly implementing the program, they'd figure out how to leverage Family Scouting in delivering the program - not change their program to fit Family Scouting. Nothing in the new YPT rules is preventing these troops from continuing to do the service projects. Yes, it means that these troops now have to line up two adults to be there. It's a pain and a challenge sure. But the BSA isn't preventing them from participating. This is why I describe it as a curve ball. A curve ball makes it harder. A curve ball also hurts when you get hit by it. Don't get me wrong - I have plenty of push back for the BSA on this. 1) our training program clearly needs work, 2) we're throwing too many mixed messages at units and not preparing them, and 3) we're creating rules that make it harder for units to operate. The BSA is certainly not making it any easier to implement the Scouting program by doing stuff like this. But, it also doesn't mean they've changed the goals or program and preventing us from deploying it. This is why I continue to be positive and optimistic. We're still delivering the same program we were 5 years ago based on the same aims and methods.
  7. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    Hah! That's funny. Actually I'm an engineer too. Perhaps because of that, I see Scouting from the BSA as both a set of goals and also a program for individuals to deliver. In the work that I do as an engineer I'm constantly solving problems. If one way doesn't work, I try another. I look at Scouting much the same way. I look at the goals and figure out what we're trying to accomplish in Scouting. I look at the program provided by the BSA and figure out how best use it to accomplish those goals. If the BSA changes the mechanics of the program and throws me a curve ball, I go back to the goals and I figure out how best to accomplish them. I think that's why I'm not so disillusioned by the recent changes - the fundamental goals really haven't changed. We now have girls - this is a fundamental change to the mechanics of the program, but the goals and program are still the same. We have new YPT rules and changes to the OA. These are significant changes to the mechanics of the program - not at the level of adding girls - but still significant. These changes may make it harder to implement the program and goals, but it is certainly still possible to achieve them. We now have family Scouting - this is simply a marketing statement in an attempt to broaden the membership base. It's neither a change to the program or it's mechanics. In our troop, we look at the goals and program of the BSA and figure out how best to implement them. When the BSA comes along and changes something - we note it, adjust, and move on. But, we don't fundamentally change what we're trying to do. My personal goals pretty well line up with the aims and methods of the BSA. If I had to summarize, it would be something like: "strengthening the character, confidence, leadership skills, and self reliance of youth through the aims and methods of Scouting."
  8. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    Goodness - this got negative today. I'm sorry to see that we've gotten to the point where you all are so disillusioned. Myself, I choose to keep looking for positives here. At it's core - scouting is still a great, unmatched program. It's still a great way to help our youth grow. I was out socially tonight. One of the troop parents recognized me and shared just how much her son has benefited from Scouting. As long as there are more boys and girls out there like this one - I sure think it's worth finding the good.
  9. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    I get that you don't like the new rule - but that's pretty melodramatic. Countless troops all over the country implement patrol method fine with some adults hanging around. Sure national threw us a curveball - but it's up to folks like us to make it work.
  10. ParkMan

    New girls in Scouting

    Call me a dreamer - but I continue to think the future of patrol method is bright. But, those experienced in it have to teach it to the next generation of leaders.
  11. ParkMan

    Fees? What are packs charging?

    When I was a CM & the CC, we didn't put a lot of energy into popcorn. Our dues were $70 a scout per year. They covered national fees, awards, a new neckerchief for the scouts, meeting supplies, PWD kit, and incidentals. Most of our expenses were passed to parents as the year went on. i.e., if they attend the pack campout it's $25 a person. I'll admit - we never worried much about fundraising. We built our budget assuming we'd get none. I suppose our philosophy was : dues to cover basic expenses & registration pass event fees to families so that they pay for what they attend don't focus on fundraising, but instead put adult energy towards program.
  12. ParkMan

    YPT

    MB counselor registrations are still free. We discussed this in our Troop Committee meeting last week. Among the 20 adults present, I got very different feedback. (BTW - I'm sharing the number of attendees only to convey it wasn't me and two friends). Here's some quick thoughts on the above from our discussion. 1. Folks seemed generally comfortable that the BSA looked at this and the BSA decided that it would be better to have two adults that have taken YPT to one. Of course, in our troop, the adults are all great and we wouldn't need any YPT training - but we could accept that the BSA is making general policy. 2. No one wants to pay more money - but if it's the cost, it's the cost. $33 didn't seem daunting to anyone. 3. No one was too concerned that the 1.5 hours for YPT or filling out an application was a big burden. 4. No one was too concerned about having their privacy violated by a BSA background check. 4a. Our professional parents don't seem to mind taking a MBC class or being registered as a MBC to teach a MB. The class & registration is about knowing that the MBC knows the MB process. It has nothing to do with professional training. 5. I don't get why 9 adults are not enough for 19 scouts either. You only need 2 per the new rule.
  13. ParkMan

    YPT

    Seriously - I don't understand the volume of pushback either. So some more folks have to spend an hour or two taking a class and undergo a background check. That really doesn't seem like a big ask.
  14. ParkMan

    YPT

    But parents don't have to be paid & registered to help. Before we had to have one YPT trained and registered (background checked) adult. Now we have to have two YPT trained and registered (background checked) adults. I just see this as the BSA recognizing that it is better to have two people present at events that know the rules. There's lots of good reasons to have two trained people instead of one. You have a backup, have strength in numbers, have someone who can correct foggy memory, etc... Parents can still help till their hears content and not pay or register. The only exception is trips over three days in length.
  15. ParkMan

    YPT

    In the GSUSA all adults present on camping trips have to be registered members. It has been that way for at least the 8 years my family has been involved.
  16. I share your sentiment and agree. The BSA is doing this things because it's the obvious path given the rest of our society. As a Scout leader, what I've seen is that relatively few folks actually want us to coddle their kids. It's just it's what parents think is the right way to do things because it's what they see everywhere else. However, when we present them with another way and explain why, they generally agree. Setting up a tent is the classic, albeit simplistic, example. Parents will often go on the first campout with their son after crossing over. They'll see their son struggle to setup a tent and start to go help. I'll pull them aside and explain that he will learn more and have a stronger sense of accomplishment by going through the steps to learn how to solve the problem himself. They'll think about it for a minute and may agree or not. But in almost all cases they'll come back later and say "you're right". I just think the BSA needs to take this principle and apply it in a more structured way across the program. In the process, they need to train the local troop leader to really understand and be able to explain why. This is important so that when adults who don't understand start showing up at Troop Committee meetings pushing for family campouts - the troop leaders are equipped to deal with it. The same is true with the silly G2SS rules. We can train scouts responsible use of knives, guns, and fire but we cannot teach how to use a wheel barrow? We're a values based organizatoin, but yet we can't have squirt guns because we can't figure out how to teach Scouts they shouldn't shoot at people? These things seem contradictory. To me it feels like the BSA has one heck of an opportunity here to be a leading voice in youth development. I don't know why we're not doing that.
  17. ParkMan

    Linked Troop Mission Statement

    I agree with @Eagledad. I've seen a variety of terms used in planning like this. But, they generally break down into "goals" and "steps you'll take". When folks add a Mission Statement, it's usually a little more general. Most of the rest of what you wrote sound like the short term steps you'll take to get going. What I feel like is missing here is details about where you want to get to and some times and durations. The question I normally get with this is - "this seems to formal for a Scout troop - isn't it obvious we want to do these things? I've found that even in Scouting, having defined dates & goals helps focus all scouts & adults on the team. When our troop has left these kinds of goals blank, then folks start inserting their own beliefs. All of a sudden you find out that the SM thinks you'll need to have equipment in 6 months, but the Adult Quartermaster is thinking 3 years. Next thing you know you spend a Committee meeting discussing it anyways. Were I writing the same, I might do something like the below. Mission Statement: Troop 123 will be an independent Scouts BSA troop for girls, led by the Scouts, and following the Aims and Methods of the BSA. We will serve the five towns of: <insert towns> Goals: - Have a fully filled, independent Troop committee consisting of (CC, Advancement Chair, ???) by <insert date> - Have a SM and enough trained ASMs to support the program by <insert date> - Have an independent program planned & run by the PLC by <insert date>. - Acquire our enough of our own Troop equipment by <insert date> Actions to achieve goals: -Meeting place sharing (Troop uses the fellowship hall at the church, the Girls unit will go into the Chorus room) -Sharing Opening, Game, and Closing (I feel this is only if the Boys PLC agree to this) - over time, this will be moved to our space and done by our girls -Sharing equipment. We are going to recruit and pull from 5 surrounding towns, and plan to approach all 5 troops with an Equipment usage waiver in hopes they will assist as needed. At least until we start to grow our own. -Sharing Committee. We have some ideas on CC, Advancement and Treasurer, but would like them to shadow the troops members. The troop has been around for 85 years, and the current CC and Advancement Chair are probably the best in the area to model after. -Female Troop leadership with sit on Board of Reviews and Scoutmaster conferences to learn first hand experience on how to do their own. Once the girls are ready for advancement themselves, the Boys Troop SM and CC with assist the new Female leadership to conduct their own. -Sharing COH. Until we grow in size, this might be suggested. Or still to small COH to celebrate separately. -We plan to have 2 registered females at all Troop meetings, therefore not pulling any extra requirements from the Boy troop leadership. -We will not push for jointed camp-outs, however, we would appreciate Older boy support on our first couple shakedown runs. We will reach out to all 5 troops on this one. -If both Troop PLCs decided to have a jointed camp-out, that will ok, with the correct YPT rules. 
  18. I just hope they're beta testing the rules and supporting language with real units. I can deal with rules like "have adults copied". It's just when the rules try to get specific but end up being vague that we seem to run into issues. Stuff like "is email a form of social media?" and "what does public mean?" . These issues seem easily avoidable if they were to roll the rules out for comments and then incorporated comments into the final version. Beyond that though, this all just saddens me for the BSA and the scouts. I'm 100% behind protecting youth - but there has to be another way. The premier youth development organization in the USA is seems headed down this increasingly protective path. The BSA has lots of high power people on the board and must have lots of friends in Washington. Seems that more could be done such that we didn't have to keep adding more and more restrictions.
  19. Exactly - which is why I figure we have to apply some common sense here. I'd rather they just write down what they are trying to achieve and let us sort it out. Now, if I was being pedantic I'd argue that email is no more a form of social media than a telephone call. I think most of this boils down to: no one-on-one adult youth interaction. for adult/youth communication - two adults must be present (two way communication like chat or phone) or copied (one way communication like email/facebook/etc.). in a group communication setting (such as email list or facebook), two adults must be present
  20. The policy as written certainly has quite a few holes. For example - if we cannot have a closed group what about things like email distribution lists which by design are closed systems. We, as adults just have to use common sense as we apply it. My interpretation is that the BSA is trying to 1) avoid small group environments where it is possible to issues to occur and 2) have sufficient adult oversight so that the safety of Scouts is maintained. That's the interpretation I go with. I get the desire to give the Scouts more freedom from adults. I wish the BSA could get ahead of this stuff enough to do that. Given all the youth abuse concerns these days, I don't see how the BSA can without inviting criticism and lawsuits. Perhaps the BSA could find a way to steer the national conversation towards youth independence and away from more and more safety rules. However, I suspect it's a topic much bigger than the BSA.
  21. Please don't shoot the messenger, but I think this is the section that requires adults to monitor it. From: https://www.scouting.org/health-and-safety/gss/gss01/#a To help ensure that all communication on social media channels remains positive and safe, these channels must be public, and all communication on or through them must be public. This enables administrators to monitor all communication and help ensure there is no inappropriate communication between adult leaders and Scouts or between Scouts themselves. Therefore, no private channels (e.g., private Facebook groups or invite-only YouTube channels) are acceptable in helping to administer the Scouting program. Private channels and private communication put both the youth and you at risk. If you feel the information you seek to share via social media channels should not be shared in public, you should not share that information via social media.
  22. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    @Eagle94-A1 I'm sorry to hear about your ongoing frustrations with your troop. I think of you and your troop often when people start to talk about Family Scouting. I wish I had some wisdom from my travels - but do not. I fully understand that unless you are the Scoutmaster or Committee Chair, your hands are tied to the extent upon which you can change the culture. In the absence of this, we get to try to encourage folks to share our views - but it is tough. All my best.
  23. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    I'm following your point. I do think it would be good for a Troop to apply the same standard to any member. But, I do think folks would look at behavior problems warranting a parent and physically or mentally disabled scout requiring specially trained individuals as unique cases. I don't think being a girl is an exception case like these. A "boys only" troop asking any invited, co-ed dens to provide proper supervision seems like the right way to go. So, in cases like the one in this topic - there is an easy solution with no impact on the troop. I do understand that this specific case is unique. My fundamental point is that a Scout pack or troop consists of Scouts. When we do events, we do events as a Troop. If you're a pack or troop that has both male and female members - I think you operate as one troop. It just doesn't feel right to say - "ok boys, we have enough adults for you. sorry girls, we don't have enough adults for you". You operate as a single unit. I understand that a single troop with boys & girls is not allowed yet - but some troops will act that way. I fully appreciate how difficult it is for units to find enough adults to go camping as it is now. I know that suggesting that we make it harder seems crazy. I just think that it's the job of the Troop Committee to think through the impact of operating an co-ed program. But, when those situations happen, a troop or pack should do what we normally do when we have insufficient adult YPT coverage - we cancel the event. It's disappointing to the Scouts - but it also reminds adults that their involvement is needed to operate the program. I cannot count how many times in our troop the threat of a canceled campout gets parents to sign up to attend.
  24. ParkMan

    I HATE the new YPT rules

    Ok - then how about we only let scouts who's parents go attend? Since when has it ever been a requirement that your parents attend? I was never advocated that the BSA had to admit girls. But now that it's happened, we've got to be fair. If a troop invites a den with girls, the troop has to make sure it has the staff to support it. If it doesn't that's the troops fault - don't blame the girl you invited. What kind of example is that?
  25. ParkMan

    Boys-only weeks at camp

    if the schedule were something like: week 1: co-ed week 2: boys only week 3: girls only week 4: co-ed week 5: co-ed It would seem fair. But, something like: week 1: boys only week 2: boys only week 3: ce-ed week 4: co-ed week 5: boys only Does not.
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