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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. There are others. But, even if there was just one this sure seems like something the BSA/WOSM, airport mgmt, and TSA could have worked out. I do wonder what the best way to get 50,000 people to an airport after the event ends would be. That's what - 1,000 bus trips? If everyone flew out of Charleston which is 64 miles away, that means a round trip is probably 3 hours. So, you then rent 250 buses and run 4 shifts the next day?
  2. Somewhere along the way I learned that it takes 10 good experiences to offset one bad experience. With that said, I am sure this was an amazing event that will long be remembered very positively. @Setonfan - I get your point. It sure does feel like we spend a lot of time hashing out the negative things that happen. I'm sure if it hadn't been the busing or food, something else would have gone wrong and we'd be analyzing that. I wasn't there, but from what I can piece together, it sure sounds like a great many things went well. Specifically, on the points listed so far, I don't g
  3. I understand the idea that or four more rows invokes the meme. But, really is it that big a deal? When I was a kid, my dad had two knots. A religious award knot and an Eagle knot. I always that was pretty cool as a Cub Scout. later I earned my AOL & religious award and was pretty proud as a Scout that I was a little more like my dad. So some person that's been volunteering for 20 years has a bunch of rows - so what? Why do we really care? By way of disclosure I have two rows of knots - so my comment about knots is not one that applies to me.
  4. Welcome @Barkley421! I loved that you devised a system for choosing! That's awesome. Myself, I think that knots accomplish a few things: provide some quick visual clues about a Scouter's background. You can tell if someone has been a den leader, unit leader, commissioner, etc. serve as a conversation starter with Scouts. Scouts, particularly younger ones, ask - hey, what it that patch on your shirt? serve as a subtle example to Scouts. In a time in their lives when youth are often self conscious about appearance, knots provide an example of how adults display "a
  5. I guess my thought process would be: - Would I like to take Wood Badge? - Would I like to take a version targeted around linked troops? - Would I like to take that course in a place like the Summit as opposed to my local camp? - Am I willing to spend $500? If I were in the market for a Wood Badge course and I was involved with a linked troop, I think I'd consider it. At this point in my Scouting career this isn't for me, but at a different time maybe. From an earlier post, sounds like they've got a wait list so it sounds like there's some interest.
  6. @RichardB I see the value proposition of the BSA centered around youth fun & development. My son joined the BSA because it was fun, he got to expand his horizons with unique adventures, and as a young adult he developed and grew. That those activities are done within a safe framework is important - certainly. My son will be 17 next month. As a parent, I gradually give my son more and more responsibility with the realization that in a year or two he will be off to college and will essentially be living on his own. His 18th birthday will not be a magical event where suddenly he is c
  7. This is precisely what I mean. The people you list are the ones out there ahead of our policies and laws. If they are successful, they will influence how our nation approaches this question. We need more of that. The BSA could be part of this process, but we don't have the leadership in the BSA today in either a volunteer or a professional role that have shown interest in engaging on this topic. BSA leadership today seems to be more focused on expanding access to and fixing the legal problems facing Scouting than on trying to redefine the boundaries of the program. That may or may
  8. Good for you - though you're not my point. As a Scouting program - we have an opportunity to learn from what the folks in the Netherlands are doing. What they do is very cool and a great idea for developing Scouts. But, as a nation, we're not in a place where we can suggest that troops can start dropping Scouts off on the side of the road and saying "good luck getting home. See you tomorrow morning." If you've got a troop where your families trust you to do this - fantastic. But, as a country we can't start doing this in the same way. I wish we could, but we can't. It's not f
  9. I would tend to agree. I can't imagine our CO getting involved in a bullying case. However, I don't see why this is anything more than a unit leader & parent issue. Say a Scout is bullied by another Scout. The Scout and/or his/her parents let the SM know. The SM talks to all the youth involved and does some correcting. If the bullying persists, the SM tells the bullying Scout he/she is no longer welcome in the troop. If for whatever reason, the SM isn't handling the bullying correctly, the CC steps in and sorts it out. If this is anything more than an isolated event, the SM i
  10. Which in my mind is the challenge we face. Our society today does't believe in taking risk. If there is any risk associated with an activity that is beyond an "act of god" and the leaders did not take steps to avoid the risk, then the leader and BSA is liable. The BSA could perhaps have an impact on that, but only in so far as it has any influence on public opinion. It's not the BSA who is making these choices, but instead it's the framework of our legal system. You want to fix this, it's in the purview of our elected officials.
  11. Of course we do. But that means having deep pockets to fight the inevitable legal battles the ensue. It saddens me to no end to write the above, but in our country today I have to imagine that this is what would be the result.
  12. Yep - so the question is really one of how do we balance the risk here? You drop enough groups of 12 year olds off alone in the woods and something will happen. It might be 1 in 100,000, but it will eventually happen. Our society just isn't prepared for that. While I love the idea of this and really would like for the BSA to encourage something like this, I just don't see how it works in our risk-adverse country.
  13. That's what we do as well. We make popcorn optional for those Scouts that want to sell it to help offset the price of big ticket trips. We fund normal troop activities through annual dues and trip fees. However, I've come to appreciate that when we don't sell popcorn we're also removing a source of funding for Council level efforts. While I wish there was another way for Councils to get money (without passing on fees to Scouts), I've accepted the current model for what it is. As a result, we do thy to hit the FOS goals from the council. The model here of course is Girl Scout c
  14. I think the key here is to develop a program that is rewarding to Scouts regardless of the level of involvement. From occasionally active Scouts to the super committed ones, they all need to find challenge and reward. I like to think about how to increase participation through challenge to and involvement of the Scouts - not structural things like patrols or meetings. For exmple - grouping Scouts into patrols and giving them a name isn't important. Patrols are a way for Scouts to share experiences together. It leads to friendships and camaraderie. It is also a way to increase the chal
  15. You do remind me though. I was curious and did look up those BSA ties on the website. I don't see them there. Is that something presented to professionals and maybe some select volunteers? Or maybe because I was new there I mistook what the volunteers were wearing. It's a different Scouting world than I normally travel in and was curious.
  16. I remember going to a council meeting not long ago and seeing those in spades. I had no idea the professionals really wore them. I was quite surprised. What surprised me also was the number of volunteers wearing the tie or one very similar to it. I didn't know that council volunteers bought them too.
  17. Patrol method is only a dead as we let it be. The members of this forum represent Scouters all over the country. The forum talks about patrol method constantly. It is within all our ability to have amazing, patrol method based troops if we so choose. If the patrols in a troop are not utilizing patrol method as well as you'd like, then we as individual unit leaders can change that. If the patrols in your district are not that strong, then there is an opportunity to lead by example and to get involved at a local level strengthening local unit leader's knowledge of how to implement patro
  18. Full agree and well said. In an organization aimed at helping youth to develop, having personal relationships with the Scouts is important. Some of the adults with the biggest impact on my kids were people who showed and interest and got to know them. Those conversations don't need to be secret or private.
  19. I have to chuckle here. Often we knock the BSA for it's lack of consistency. Yet, here they've been pretty consistent on this one for many years. So, because people are used to saying "Class A" or "Class B", we want the BSA to relax and go with those terms. Why don't we all just go with the terms the BSA prefers and call it a day?
  20. I find value in this section from the Guide to Advancement My take is that a board of review is a discussion between adults & the Scout about what was done to earn the rank. The board's job isn't to grill the scout and double check knowledge. Instead, it's an opportunity to explore what the Scout did for the rank. If in the context of that discussion, it becomes apparent that the requirement really wasn't done then the Board can decide to not approve the Scout. If the Scout needed to know the Scout Law for that rank and never really learned it - then yes, you could fail the
  21. I'd concur. I routinely wear Keens for general time around camp. If I were backpacking - that would be different. But, around a summer camp they work great. Yes, they are more expensive - but in my opinion worth it.
  22. At the root here is how the Scoutmaster develops leaders. Just as there are many styles of successful coaches, so too are there many styles of successful Scoutmasters. I would think that regardless of style, the SM needs to be focused on how leaders develop within troop. how individual scouts develop their own leadership potential It could be a more active, hands on approach, or it could be one where the SM has develops a structure in the troop where that leadership development happens within the Scouts themselves. The second sounds preferrable to me - but it's also muc
  23. Agreed. I can't fathom why the DE would have any involvement here at all to be honest. It's a SM decision. If not, then it's the OA chapter advisor. if not, then maybe the Lodge advisor. I can't see that the DE has any role here at all. I like my DE very much, but this is a volunteer decision.
  24. I suspect that what they observed is that Scouts who become engaged in the program tend to stay and scouts who do not tend to leave. Too much inaction leads to boredom and loss of interest. At a national level, they saw that emerge as trends such as First Class First Year. We see that in our troop. Scouts we get started and get engaged stay. Those who get started but never really get going leave. In our world, an active Scout tends to advance. I translate all of this as: getting a scout to first class in 12-18 months isn't the goal. having a program in which Scouts
  25. I agree with your son. We get lots of feedback in life that being goal oriented is a good thing. Setting targets and achieving them is a good skill and trait. Here's a timeline I've used in the past: Scout - Start of Summer/End of 5th grade Tenderfoot - Fall Court of Honor (COH) - 6th grade (about 6 months after Scout) Second Class - Spring COH - 6th grade (about 6 months after Tenderfoot) 1st Class - Fall COH - 7th grade (about 6 months after Second Class) Star - Fall COH - 8th grade (about 1 year after First Class) Life - Fall COH - 9th grade (abou
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