Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. I'm pretty sure that when a minor Scout is attending a Scouting event, he and his parents have effectively enetered into an agreement to allow the Scout Leader to provide reasonsable oversight for the duration of the event. If the leader or camp had a published policy, then this is easy. By publishing the policy ahead of time and sharing it was families, the act of the parents sending the child to the camp allows the Scout camp or leader to enforce the policy. If the leader or camp does not have a published policy, then it's probably a little murkier. But, to have a leader who is provi
  2. Thanks - this helps to understand. I fully understand his perspective here. I'd like to think that were I a leader in that pack, I'd be looking for activities that transcend some of this. Pinewood Derby - make it less about the competition and more about building a car Camping - the camping program has to be more than family camping with Scouts. We'd attend Camporees, had a freezing weather camping trip once, would sleep on a Battleship, sleep at the acquarium, would hold Webelos camping events focused on sklls development (called "Camping Like a Boy Scout"), would hold fi
  3. That seems a very reaonsable analysis to me. An 80-85% retention rate seems pretty normal. A pack would see on average 1-2 scouts leave each year per den of 8 (or so) scouts. Up through Bears we'd generally replace those Scouts through recruiting. Dens in the wolf year tended to get bigger. Dens in the bear year were stable in size. The Webelos dens tended to drop by 1 or 2. Typically Scouts didn't start as Webelos but seemed to wait another year and start as Boy Scouts. Again, we saw a similar 80-85% continue on to Boy Scouts. Two thoughts: 60-85 cubs seems like a lot,
  4. Hi @BlueTrails_Vet, Pardon in advnace the long winded reply... Working with the Scoutmaster When I've been in similar situations, I find I have the most success by recognizing that the current SCoutmaster is going to do what he/she is going to do. I've been able to make the most change by figuring out what the Scoutmaster cares about and what he/she doesn't. I'm generally able to get most of what I want accomplished done by letting him/her do his thing but getting his blessing for me to work on things he/sje doesn't care about. An example. In our troop, I often felt that
  5. This is essentially what we do. Every year each den make some sort of neckerchief slide. BSA ones get lost on the first wearing and are a waste of money. Belt buckle - I don't think anyone really cares what is one the Scout wears. Hat - completly up to the Scout. We don't encourage them. Socks - the BSA sells Cub Scout socks? I don't think I've ever seen a pair Pants - Unless the BSA is now selling Levi's, I don't think I've seen any BSA Cub Scout pants. So, in our pack, the only update items are the neckerchief & handbook. In our system the pack provi
  6. What could your pack have done differently that woudl have piqued his interest during those years?
  7. Very well made point and I follow what you're saying here. The question that this begs to me is what kind of pack should the BSA anticipate - the small pack struggling for leaders or the larger pack with structure. According to my math, the ideal pack size is at least 30-48 Scouts. That's a den of 5-8 scouts per age range. Our disrict has 15 packs. 7 (46%) of those packs are over 30 scouts. Those 7 packs account for 78% of the Cub Scouts in the district. If I round a little, about half of our packs account for about 80% of our Cub Scouts. So, if you are the BSA who do you tai
  8. This line of thought has always intreguied me. If this was the GSUSA, where a troop is a collection of 8-10 girls and that's it, I can see this happening. A couple of leaders start, get a few years in, get tired of it and get burned out. In a Cub Scout pack you've got 30, 40 scouts? Is there no support organziation for the den leaders? Is there no prospect for replacement leaders so that those original Lion leaders can pass the reigns? Our pack saw leader turnover in about 50% of the dens - it seemed to usually happen around the bear year. Further, den leadership was typicall
  9. Always seems to me like the program should go: Cub Scouts: Lion through Wolf ranks Webelos: Bear through earning AOL "Early" Scouts: 5th grade through middle school "Older" Scouts: High school At each "level", the program needs to shift a bit and introduce new challenges. Cub Scouts need not be 6 years of the same thing. Lions and Webelos age kids are vastly different and the program can adjust accordingly. For my son, Tigers & Wolves was about crafts and fun. Bears to Webelos was about learning rudimentary outdoor skils. My son was fortunate that we had a
  10. Hi @5thGenTexan, That sounds great. These topics it's often tough to know the other person, so I wasn't familair with your experience here. Really glad to hear you put program first - not everyone does! My main point is really the second one. As Cubmaster, you have ownership for the success or failure of the pack's program. The CC may have overall responsibilty for the pack, but you, as Cubmaster, have responsibilty for the pack's program. The Cubmaster is the heart and soul of the pack. You most certainly have the right to establish standards for leaders. In fact, you have the
  11. You could make the BSA training one hour of jam packed info and you'd get about the same attendance. The simple reality is that the basic mechanics of Scouting are pretty straight forward and can easily be learned on the job. A significant percentage of Scouters realize this and don't bother to get trained. Most packs and troops don't bother to push the issue. In the process, we have whole generations of leaders who's training amounts to whatever they saw the leaders before them do. The sad reality is that we as Scouters bear much more responsibilty for the lack of trained leaders th
  12. 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 everyon
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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 pat
  17. 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 th
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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 qua
  21. 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."
  22. 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 t
  23. 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?
  24. 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
  25. 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 leadersh
  • Create New...