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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. We determined in our district that the workbook is optional, but encouraged. We went round and round on it, but in the end no text in hte G2A showed that it had to be completed and so we deemed it optional. On a general Eagle application form - I don't think it's terirble that there is a specific form for this - even if the fields are redundant. There are a ton of times in life that Scouts will have to complete a form. They will also have to document successful completion of projects as well. Given the big deal that is earning Eagle, it doesn't see unreasonable that they have a form fo
  2. I'm very sad for the youth hurt by those 50 adults. I'm also sad for the countless thousands of other youth who will be impacted because of the money and resources the BSA will now need to spend in the aftermath. Who knows - this may even push the BSA into bankruptcy.
  3. Around the country, forms significantly more complex than this are submitted online every day. The only things keeping it from happening are time and money. Someone has to expand the Scoutbook infrastructure and build the forms to make it work. Not an insurmountable task - but like anything it takes time.
  4. It would seem that the philosophical question is - "who is responsible for the sexualitzation of girls bodies?" Is it the girls who wear revealing clothes, or is it the boys who respond to the girls choice of clothing? I imagine that most people would say - both. It probably also leads to a more general discussion of appropriate vs. inappropriate clothing and how the determiniation of what is appropriate is made. You could even then bring in a historical context - i.e., there was a time is was a scandal to see a woman's ankles. Now, no-one thinks twice about it. I'd agree with @qw
  5. We've had a few trailers over the years. Off the top of my head, I can't think of the brands. Looking around online, they look alot like the ones made by Haulmark. The pack had a single axel trailer with a side door. I really liked the side door as it allowed us access to gear without having to open and close the rear door. The troop has two. One is a small single axel - kind of like a small uhaul trailer The other is a larger double axel - again with the side door. We switch back and forth based on need. We utilize trailers more than family cars because we also have access to
  6. Ugh! We want to live the Scout Oath & Law, but we have to trust our scouts to recognize a silly skit from reality. If we can't trust Scouts to make that choice, then I don't think we've accomplished much as a program.
  7. If I were there, I'd use this as a reason to discuss resources. "You're sharing a storage location. You are anticipating acquiring some for the new troop. Since you'll now have two troops sharing similar equipment in the same space, there are bound to be unintended issues. People using the wrong gear, people returning that wrong gear in a less than clean state, etc. You want to respect their equipment and get ahead of any issues here." That sounds like a great premise for a meeting to me. I know I'm answering this backwards. We scouters seem to love to jump through hoops to ge
  8. If the troop committee of both troops is the same (as you say it i here), then the committee is going to have to figure out how to get access to resources for the girls troop. After a little while, they may come around to the idea that sharing is inherently good. Or, they may come around to the idea that they just need to purchase new equipment and acquire new funds. In our case, they have establshed a non-linked troop at our CO. The girls troop has a different committee - but it is composed of several experienced adults from the boys troop. The girls troop has really taken on their
  9. I continue to think this is the key point for the BSA. I think recent changes will help with the first part (parent time) - families will be more invested in the BSA and willing to volunteer because they have both daughters & sons involved. The second (competing activities) I still see as a challenge for the BSA. I still think that to fix that, the BSA needs to focus more on unit program quality. Pushing for higher quality district activities, more an increased focus on unit leader development would be two good steps. That said - I'm optomistic like @Cburkhardt. I see a 200,
  10. Hi @AltadenaCraig, I think one of the areas of disfunction we has as a movement is in how loosely connected the three layers of Scouting are to each other. 1) units 2) districts/councils 3) national. My district team has a hard enough time communicating with the unit leaders in our district. I can only imagine how hard it is for national people to communicate with unit leaders. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. At the national level, I imagine that people think they have more impact than they really do. I'm sure there were meetings where they said "We need to send a message t
  11. I get your point on the patrols. The patrols might be a technically unneccessary grouping, but I think they accomplish a few practical things: they break up the monotony of doing everything as a large group. There are some presentations to the group as a whole, some to a small patrol sized group. Some people like big lectures, some small venues. This lets you experience both they provide a way for there to be a more personal staff/participant interaction. As it is now, it ensures that at least one staff member is spending time with each individual. it may be superficial,
  12. This seems like the right approach to me. What's funny about the skit is the idea that the Scout is left in just his underwear. I'd suggest something similar to @T2Eagle. Have the scout in a white undershirt and funny boxers. Under that have him wearing black or skin colored gym shorts. The Scout doesn't need to be in his underwear to make that point. Doing that, the Scout is in appropriate attire. Also, the Scout is now thinking about showmanship and has gotten people to think he's in his underwear without really being in his underwear.
  13. As a former CC of a large troop, my opinion has evolved on this. When I started in the role, I would have said that bylaws are a useful way to make sure that everyone has the same sets of expectations. I realized that while what we do as a Scout unit is has a lot of details, it really is about Scouts interacting with people and be consitent in your dealings. If your leaders are generally pretty consistent in their approach, are open with communications, are empowered to make decisions that are appropriate for their role, and work collaboratively to solve problems, then bylaws are
  14. THanks @SeanK! I think those are all great suggestions and worth reading for any trainer - not just those invovled with Wood Badge. By way of full disclosure, occassionally I serve as a Wood Badge staffer. I would share that our team really tries to do several of the things you write (staying on schedule, being interactive, being a rehearsed trainer). Seeing that you felt the opposite in your course suggests to me that not all Wood Badge teams have those same goals. That's really too bad and your experience shows me why it is so important. That said - I know our team isn't perfec
  15. I fully agree that more frankness from the BSA would help. Some of these recent decisions are pretty contrary to the principles we all understand that Scouting is about. But, I feel like the "inconsistencies" that often get discussed are overblown. I suspect that authors of the G2SS know that Scouters pour over the G2SS looking for loop holes for the rules. I think a good example is the recent topic about how a parent serving as the second adult for their child's merit badge counseling session turned into a discussion about how that rule could be extended to parents at a patrol me
  16. Thanks to the Scouters on this forum, I've come to realize that there are councils out there that do a pretty poor job in recruiting leaders to attend. Your points are all well taken. Wood Badge is not an outdoor skills course. It's not a secret group with a secret curriculum. A good Wood Badge "recruiter" should be very clear about what it is and it is not. Slogans, arm twisting, etc. do no one any good. A strong course will be filled with participants that know what they are there for and interested in that learning experience. I went into the course familiar with management theor
  17. Thanks for the candor @SeanK. You make the comment: Now that you are familiar with the course, what specifically would you do differently?
  18. We've been doing this for years to good success. Every year we ask the scouts to re-up with the troop. At this time we collect dues and new health forms (parts A&B). We ask parents to come along at that time and check over paperwork and forms. Forgot your health form - no problem, here's a blank one. Not everyone shows, but over the next few weeks things trickle in. Since we tie all this to continuing as a member in the troop, we'll get to 100%. Part C health forms are needed mostly for summer camp, so we don't require them at that time and do let them trickle in. But, sinc
  19. There's really two seperate issues here. First - does the BSA even need anything more than a assessment of "fit to participate" or not? Second - if the BSA requires health forms for participation - should troop adults review them? If the BSA is going to require health forms for participation, then unit leaders ought to review them before an event. It's not HIPAA case because the forms are provided voluntarilty and for the purpose of participation in that activity. Really, the whole thing with privacy of health forms has more to do with people seening that that you don't expe
  20. I hear you. I think our DE is great. Yet, as I've gotten to know him I've come to appreciate that for years the expectation has been on him to do all kinds of jobs that volunteers should do. The expectation to do that has been there because it's pretty well unclear who does what at the district or council level anymore. Further, like in many troops and packs, a small number of people end up doing it all. It's no different in the district or council. I think this is part of the failing of the BSA model. National & the Council leadership should be working to strengthen the distric
  21. This simply sounds like a stupid decision by a very short sighted local professional. To me one of the biggest failings of the BSA in the last 40 years is the withering of the district and council volunteer teams. We expect too much from professionals today. A decision about Scouts in the paper ought to be made by a pretty senior volunteer. Perhaps your ASM who works in marketing. Isn't that the whole volunteer led, prfessionally guided idea?
  22. Sometimes when I read these topics I feel utterly demoralized about Scouting. The program has changed, patrol method is dead, etc. I'll be the first to grant that the BSA has made a slew of more restrictive YPT changes. Yes - they protect the Scouts, volunteers, and even the BSA from injury and lawsuits: End of youth activities without adult supervision More and more restrictions on what activities units can do. (i.e. pionering structure rules) I'll grant that the BSA has made changes to membership and the OA to adapt to changes in cultural norms. Gender identicia
  23. As a district volunteer, I'd be floored if the council key three had an inkling of how Camporee planners were scoring events. The council key three should have significantly bigger fish to fry. In fact, I doubt our district key three know how Camporee events are scored. My recommendation is to ask some of the planners how they decided on the format. Explore it with them. Then, I'd recruit a couple of experienced troop adults to join the Camporee committee.
  24. What an awful disgrace from the adult organizers here. I would have some blunt feedback for the District Chair after this. The people organizing this Camporee need some better guidance going forward. One thing that particularly saddens me is that this kind of behavior always backfires. There are lots of Scouters out there who are apprehensive about the impact of girls entering the program. We've seen several instances of that in just this topic alone. It only serves to further feed that apprehension when nonsense like this occurs. Volunteers have to approach troops for girls and tro
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