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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. If I recall correctly Australia has a more elaborate development process for adults. I don't know the details or if it matches this. But, I would fully welcome a process in which adults could develop skills mastery. And as some business guy said once "measure what matters." In the BSA we measure through recognition. So, I'd be all for some system where leaders could work through the rank process too. Would be interesting if we had a rule that to be a Scoutmaster you had to have completed First Class.
  2. Thanks @qwazse! I'd support all of what you write here. Were we discussing this live and trying to figure out what to do locally here in my area, I'd say - we should embrace this. A few specific comments. Understood - To get a venture Crew going, you need to get it to critical mass quickly. With a sustained push, I could imagine a 30 person crew in 2 years. Perhaps I should have used the word anticipate, not expect. Two comments around that: 1) I firmly believe that a unit (troop or crew) should never expect to get members from another unit. My thinking though l
  3. As a volunteer it's utterly disheartening to see the disappearance of the abililty for Scouts to meet together without adults. It seems so contrary to what we're trying to accomplish here as Scouters. "Scouts, we want you to develop the skills to lead youselves and accomplish great things. But, we can't leave you alone to work independently." Someday I'd love to hear the internal story here. I'm guessing that this really wasn't a decision of the BSA, but instead it was driven by the insurers. I can completly envision a decision by some insurance company that said "we're going to raise
  4. Our pack suggested that people not buy the official BSA Cub Scout slides. They fall off constantly. Even with that, as Cubmastet I ended up with a few unclaimed ones. We used to have a tradition in our pack that every den made a new slide every year. It was a fun way to personalize the uniform. In fact, your daughter losing hers might be a very good reason for her to bring a project to the den to make some. I agree with the earlier suggestions of what to use. We used to have a leader at Roundtable that did a slide of the month. We had lots of silly things - but something glued on so
  5. Hi @ncscouterz, Some great advice above. Just a couple of things to add: 1) I've found that one of the best ways to make your unit's organization thrive is to decentralize responsibilities. Start looking out for an advancement coordinator, membership coordiantor, activities coordinator, etc. First, it helps in these transitions. Second, it helps prevent individual leader burnout. Third, you end up with better results than one overstressed person doing it all. Unless you're a master adult recruiter it won't happen instantaniously - but over a year or two it's very achievable. I
  6. Well made point - and I can definitly see why you'd draw that conclusion from my earlier post. I'm not thinking that the Troop to Crew transition should be mandate. Likewise, I'm not expecting that a Crew CO should be aligned with a Troop CO. As I coalesce around an idea, it's something like: When a new Crew forms, it should establish a 5 year goal of reaching 30 scouts. Since joining a Crew is a complementary activity to being in a troop, a Crew should expect to get members from more than one troop. Four troops to one Crew could be a good number. The District's Commiss
  7. Interesting observation on the GSUSA similarity @Treflienne! In my experience, one of the key benefits of the BSA system is that the Chartered Organization concept gives packs & troops the ability to develop some permanence. Yet, in the case of Crews it doesn't seem to be working out that the same way. So, perhaps one of the tricks for Crews is to grow them larger. Create some permanence in them. Make the strength of the Crew tied less to a specific adult or two and more to the strength of the "Crew" as a organization. Kinda like we see in the bigger packs & troops.
  8. Maybe it's my own bias here, but my observations from this conversation with the Crew leader is: 1) Successful crews need to have a team of adults to make them successful. In BSA terminology a Crew Committee. That team of adults needs to have a plan for getting to a sustainable membership level. It also needs to have a solid program plan. 2) Crews tend to form around a small number of older boys & girls. The Crew is active for a few years while those scouts are around. However, with a small number of Scouts the Crew doesn't get to the point of having a sustainable support
  9. I would be interested to get some instruction on what following HIPAA rules would mean here. Though we are not bound by those rules, we certainly could voluntarily follow them in our units and tell people that week are doing so.
  10. My interpretation was that in that GSUSA case, the adults didn't mind having a form handy in case one was needed. That's probably more palatable than every parent having to provide their health background just to attend a pack camping trip. My guess is that most units don't bother with the parent forms for a short term trip. Summer Camp or Philmont sure. But, your average parent is just as likely to have a health problem in line at the grocery store than at a weekend camping trip. In that case you're going to call EMS anyways.
  11. I'm thinking this essentially comes back to program. Is the problem that people are not implementing the Venturing program correctly?
  12. I don't think this is a new thing. I'm going to guess it's a subtlty that most packs & troops haven't realized.
  13. That's very similar to what I see too. We had a couple of conversations about the new rules when they came out. Most of the Scouters in our midst just wanted to know what they needed to do. One adult, two adults, whatever - they really didn't care. They just want to know the rules so that they can get to Scouting.
  14. Depends... If we go with the OA as a the Society of Honor Campers, then I think there is a place for the OA to take a role here. Theoretically, OA members are some of the absolute best examples of Scouts in the district. Who better to inspire new Scouts than our best examples of what it means to be a Scout? Further, in theory, the OA has practiced the new script and can perform it in an inspriational way. Yes, your point is well taken. There is no reason why a troop cannot serve much the same role. There are also very good reaons for a troop to do this. As you mention, the S
  15. Very good point @Sentinel947. I have to imagine I'd find a lot in common with anyone who spends 40+ hours a week invested in Scouting. Locally I cherish the friendships I have with the dedicated unit, district, and council Scouters and professionals in my community. While I may not always agree with each decision, I do see that everyone is doing their best to make Scouting the best program that they can. I fully expect that that I would find the same in the National level professionals and volunteers. I fully expect that people involved at National have different challenges and proble
  16. When I first volunteered, the pack would say "we only need 5 registered adults, so let's not register any of the other adults." When I did finally get them to register me, they reigstered me for one of the required 5 spots - pack trainer I think it was. We fixed that problem when those folks rotated out.
  17. Sounds like a good next step @karunamom3. I look forward to hearing how it goes.
  18. For adults: 1. I find the current trainings too basic. That coupled with the lack of decent continuing education has resulted in too much "learning on the job" 2. The expectation to get trained is too weak in the BSA. This has resulted in generally poor training percentages. 3. With the advent of online training, face to face training is dwindling. District and council training teams are not prepared for how to leverage this to improve leader training.
  19. I am always very flexible with things like this. I figure that our troop is essentially a big Scouting family and that eventually it will sort itself out. I'm always more concerned that there is some sort of family issue that they need some help with. But, If I eventually came to the conclusion that the family was taking advantage of us, I'd send them a quick email them that for liability reasons the BSA requires their youth to be a registered member of the pack or troop. I'd also tell them that we cannot process any awards for their scout until they were registered. Then I'd ask
  20. I'm trying to figure out what's going on in Venturing that we're seeing such big drops. We're down 41% this year and 36% last year? I'm gathering that nationally Venturing was kinda like Varsity - most of those involved are LDS. We've never seen strong Venturing participation in our district. Our Venturing number is something like 3% of our total Scouts. But, I also don't see that we lost 75% of the Venturers in our district in the last two years. If anything our Venturing problem has more to do with not having adults to champion Venturing programs than it does youth not interested.
  21. Though I think the same principle could apply, at some point we're taking the comment about merit badge and fundraising a little far. I think it works in the patrol case because it's a similar scenario. A meetnig of Scouts with an adult outside the normal meeting structure. Could you have a den meeting with one adult where every parent attended? I suppose yes, but I don't think that's the original intent. An official Lion den meeting is dis-similar enough that I don't think I'd recommend applying it there. I would suggest the if you've got a Lion den with a bunch of parents, you
  22. I understand the point. I'm inferring that the Scout was blindsided during the voting or just before. If the Scout did know and didn't ask - then yes, the scout really should have asked. If the Scout didn't know, then I think it's a different case. Is it really fair to a Scout to be blindsided by a general decision like this? Doesn't that simply demoralize the scout? I ask the question not to criticize the Scoutmaster here. Instead, I'm much more interested in what coaching we provide to Scoutmasters who may find themselves with a similar decision. Wouldn't it generally be best
  23. I thought it was a great segment. I particularly enjoyed the anchor conversation at the end and thought it was exactly the message the BSA was hoping for.
  24. We don't see that much burn out in our pack. We generally see about 85% of the Webelos join a troop. Similarly, we see lots of leaders make the transition too. For scouts, I think the key is to keep it challenging - not just fun. Every year has to involve new things and scouts need to get significant new challenges. You need to have differentiated activities just for the Webelos. For adults, the key is support. I've found that most of our burn out occurred when we overworked sole den leaders. So, we made sure we always had a den leader and assistants. We made sure we have
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