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ParkMan

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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Thanks @walk in the woods. You've hit on something I've struggled with. Please let me get your take. I'm a firm believer in the inverted triangle of Scouting. Scouting happens in units and the district is here to support that. My whole Scouting career has been 95% unit level service with the occasional foray into district or council things. Where do you see the balance between district as servent to the units and district as Scouting community leader? For example - if I look around my district today, I guarantee that each units has different goals and objectives. Most, I expect
  2. As we try to compare, I think the other reality is that there really is no equivalent of a pack/troop in the GSUSA system. In essence, I think this is a big part of why the GSUSA has less of a camping & outdoor focus. Many adults gain confidence in camping as part of the pack structure. The pack knows how to camp, newer parents and leaders tag and learn. Since the GSUSA doesn't have that, it's harder for their leaders to develop those skills. I'm guessing this is why two organizations that started out pretty similar are now so different.
  3. For sure - not nationals best idea. Most unit leaders I know are never going to bother to print either. This might as well be the end of each.
  4. Thank you all so much for the feedback. I'm reading it all very carefully and think it's very helpful. From this, I think I'm assembling a picture here. 1. Start with a core goal. In this case - we want to grow Scouting in our district. Use this as the basis for why we're doing things. 2. Rally the district committee around that goal. Next, sit with each member and operating committee and figure out what they are motivated to do to advance it. Work with them to establish their own goals. From the discussions here, I'm walking away with the impression that the best benefits com
  5. Seems like a while back there was lots of discussion and prototypes of new uniforms for Scouts BSA girls. Anyone know of they decided to change them? Any idea of when?
  6. In the spirit of @LeCastor's post on positive thinking, I thought I'd start a discussion on how to grow Scouting in a community. Here's the premise. Say your district is like many districts out there today. Membership slowly declining, the number of units maybe two-thirds what it was 20 years ago, round table participation dropping, volunteers helping organize things outside of the units are decreasing (camporee, day camp, etc). Let's further assume that the community itself is doing well - population is growing, people are generally well employed, etc. You have some units that are
  7. Time to make this a problem for a bigger audience. Bring this to the DC and district key three. If you don't want to lose the unit, time to escalate.
  8. Thank you @Cambridgeskip - you're description is intriguing. I can see how that would work. I do think Scouting in the US would look different here in the US if we did that. Not neccessarily a bad thing, but it would be different. I'm kinda imagineing that we'd see fewer, stronger units. in my Scout district here, we've probably got something like 30 Chartering organizations. Some of those Chartering Organizations have very strong units with well developed leadership teams and lots of Scouts. Others are just a few Scouts that meet infrequently. I'm thinking that something like
  9. In both the pack and troop, leaders pay their own dues. I think we'd like to pay them for folks, but we've always tried to keep dues low for the boys. I've never had a leader balk at it. *EDIT - sorry, didn't catch that this was an old thread*
  10. I wonder how that would work in practice. How do you find meeting space, etc? I think @Cambridgeskip said they owned their meeting space. I'm trying to envision how even our biggest troops around here would do that.
  11. That's reasonable. I don't really need to know why someone failed - just that they failed. I'd be happy with a description of what the BSA background check process is with an affirmative or negative result. i.e., The BSA background checks look for the following things: - prior criminal record - a check against a national BSA database for removed leaders Recent applications you submitted resulted as: Joe Smith - FAILED Bob Jones - PASSED
  12. This is the weak link the system now. The BSA really should: 1) Not consider a leader registered until after the check is done 2) Provide details on the results of the background check to the CC & COR.
  13. Perhaps, but I think it's addressable. These lawsuits are from events of 30 years ago. The BSA has significantly stronger YPT training today The BSA has significantly more stringent YPT rules today The BSA has a much more thorough adult vetting process today.
  14. Lots of good advice in this thread. @Eagle94-A1 Since you're the UC, I think you have an important role here. The problem I see in this troop is that the SM & CC are allowing families to run amuk. They need to understand that they are empowered to take the actions necessary to keep the program functioning correctly. This statement is crazy: What? This drama is destroying that troop. The CC may feel that he can't do anything about it. But - frankly - he's not doing his job if he doesn't. After all this, I think the CC ought to just ask them to leave now. Time to set
  15. Out of some fairness to the BSA here. This seems to be a generic problem facing any youth serving organization. How do you make sure that your adult volunteers do not abuse youth? The BSA's error was that they had a list of known offenders yet were loose enough in vetting the new volunteers that they didn't catch the problems.
  16. I wouldn't be surprised to see some additional transparency around volunteer background checks. Today we fill out an application and send it in. We really don't get feedback on that application. I could see something where national will have to process the application and acknowledge the volunteer passes before they become an officially registered adult.
  17. Makes me wonder... Where does a Scoutmaster need to jump in inject some bigger thinking? At some point don't you have to jump in and get them out of their rut?
  18. An unfortunate reality I learned about Scouting is that lots of stuff falls through the cracks. The BSA systems for stuff like this are all paperwork driven. The folks who submit the forms are volunteers, the folks who sign them are volunteers, the folks who send them to the council are volunteers, and the folks who process them are ridiculously underpaid staff. I think many of the folks with rows of them have simply learned the system. They walk the paperwork through the signatures and drop it off personally. They make sure it gets done. It's unfortunate that this is what it tak
  19. Sorry - was away for a few hours. This topic is moving fast. There are so many ways to handle this one. Here's a few: be up front with the Scout. Tell him/her that this requirement is coming and that they will not be able to advance past it. His/her choice if they still want to join. be ridiculously literal. recognize that in the Scouts mind there is no god and so that he has completed his duty to god by doing nothing. Focus on the remaining parts of the Scout law. project a bit. Discuss the concept of God and what it means to do your duty to God. Have a discussi
  20. Gotta admit - this has been exactly my experience too. Respect and embrace their experience and they are wonderful additions to your program.
  21. Whoa. I didn't see anything here that said the old guard members in this instance did not allow in new blood. Perhaps I should have inferred that, but I didn't. Scouting experience is a wonderful thing. It provide continuity and experience to the leadership team. Our troop has a very rich mix of parents and experienced Scouters whose kids have long since left the program. I cannot begin to tell you how much we've benefited from having those 10+ year veterans in our leadership team. We have one leader who has been taking the Scouts to summer camp for over 20 years. That leader is fa
  22. Understood - but my point holds. For the sake of discussion, say our troop is very devout. If a Scout who does not believe wants to join us and participate fully in our troop, why not? He can stand there and absorb all kinds of religious goodness. He may even convert in the process. Wouldn't we want that? If it's good enough for my church, why not my troop?
  23. When someone walks into our church on Sunday morning we don't ask if he's a believer, we say "we're glad you're here." When a youth joins our youth group we don't ask if he's a believer, we say "thanks for joining us." I get that we're worried about Scouts and oaths things, but isn't it really about helping youth build character? If we can keep our existing program and open the door so that more Scouts experience our program that's got to be a good thing.
  24. Gotcha. What I think hangs up many, and to be honest myself included, is why we presume the program needs to stop being a character development program and turn into an after school outdoor program if we provide a path for youth who don't believe in God? From replies in this topic, it seems that for many units, faith and religion is already limited to grace before meals and a handful of requirements along the way. So, say we allow some Scouts into the program who don't believe in god. Does that really have to mean we stop being a character development program? Maybe put a li
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