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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Wow - I must have been one of the last participants there. I attended in the summer of 1990 or maybe 1989. I really enjoyed it - too bad it closed. Guess one national canoe base is enough.
  2. I'd suggest one of two things: 1. recruit a staff cook team. You can have staff that supports the other staff. 2. partner up with a really strong unit and see if they'd be willing to host the staff. I like #1 myself. Gives you a good opportunity to build some camaraderie amongst the staff members.
  3. I think you're worrying about this too much. Once the BSA goes co-ed, the rules will need to change. Could you imagine if every den meeting, event, activity, camping trips were to require both male & female adult leaders. It would never happen. Further - one set of rules for a co-ed pack, but another for a single sex pack. Once the BSA goes co-ed, then it will be two deep leadership - regardless of sex of the leader.
  4. Well said. My experience has been similar to this. The OA in my area is far from perfect - but it does function and provides scouts a different area of Scouting to explore. Some like it, some don't.
  5. One of the things we recognized is that the OA provides some of out older boys an new avenue in Scouting. As much as we hate to admit it - some of our scouts tire of going on the same trips multiple times. For them, focusing on the OA is a great way for them to continue to be involved. One challenge we have is finding unit leaders who qualify for the OA. We're fortunate to have a couple of ASMs who go to summer camp year after year. The reduces the need for other adults to attend. It's been a long time since we had an adult join the OA because of the summer camp requirement. Personal
  6. My sense is that the current leadership of the GAS is willing to embrace change. So - when the question of girls came up, I expect they were more willing to look at it. This is why many are scratching their heads sayijng - I don't get it. They are simply used to a BSA that historically always resisted change like this.
  7. I think you could easily cap your pack or troop at half the size. I know my DE would be disappointed, but he'd adjust quickly. I've come to appreciate that while there is a district/council organization - each unit is just about 100% free to make their own choices.
  8. I'm not that opposed to this. That national has felt the need to more than double the fee in recent years is the more worrying part. It would be nice to see the adult fee drop - even if the youth fee had to rise a little more. At some point it will be hard to ask adults for the money to volunteer.
  9. I hear you. As much as I might like the textbook troop, we have to work with the cards we're dealt. Makes sense. I might almost sum it up as - stick with it. Perhaps the SM isn't perfect. Overtime, look for folks who come into the troop and encourage them. Over time, I may find that those people pop up - if I just keep an eye out. I'm also thinking - keep expecting boy led. Where I (as CC) can, reinforce that - even if for small decisions. Over time, more folks may catch on and pick up the mantle. Someday, maybe the SM really embraces it. Or maybe some day he retires. But, ei
  10. I think its pretty clear that Venturing's issues have nothing to do with admitting girls. The problem with the Bot Scout program is that t is so often being applied poorly There are so many bad troops out there. Adding girls will end up not making a difference. To fix the BSA, they need to address quality of program.
  11. My district is good sized - prob. 50 units. However, training and roundtable is a bust. Online training has shrunk the size and quality of courses. Roundtable is below critical mass and no longer a good value. It's too bad. I'd be ok with merging 2 or 3 district's together. But - the whole council- that's too big.
  12. Same here - I only found the podcasts this summer, but have really learned a lot!
  13. We just went through something in the troop where some adults disagreed on a decision. The politicking and back stabbing that ensued reminded me a lot of this game. Very much there was a "I'm right, you're wrong, I'm going to get my way." I so wanted to turn and say "win all you can." People knock the course, but I'm constantly seeing little reminders like this one. Some of my other favorites are around: - active and empathetic listening - generations in Scouting - stages of team development - leading EDGE None of it's rocket science, but boy does it come back to me pretty regu
  14. Sorry you are having to go through this. Hopefully when they are face to face, this goes smoothly. In my own time, the in person meetings often work out the best.
  15. This seems like a good thing to me. It creates a mental association with an outdoor event the pushed participants to extremes and to excel. That feels like a positive association for scouting. I don't mind the alcohol - it's an adult event and there is nothing wrong with adults consuming alcohol. Alcohol usage by youth or during times when adults are responsible for the safety of youth is not an issue here. Seems like it's a fine message for youth to see that the BSA is fine with responsible, adult alcohol usage. That all seems like goodness to me.
  16. There's a positive side to why they use the structure they do. If you look at my daughter's group, the friendships are certainly stronger that in my son's troop. Parent involvement is higher too. I'm balance, I think the BSA has the better approach - particularly around ease of joining and continuity of program. I'd wager that's why the BSA is larger.
  17. Got you - I'm following you now. My guess is that your scouts are a lot further along the boy led spectrum. We seem, for whatever reason, to require more adult involvement. I'm trying to break the reliance of scouts on committee adults for that. I've been getting a continual stream of requests from the SM - an adult to advise the scout organizing the backpacking trip, and adult to advise the canoeing trip, etc. Instead of recruiting committee members for that, my push is leverage the 10 ASMs you already have for that. But it sounds like the real goal ought to be to figure out how
  18. I used the phrase "guideing" the scouts in the sense of the EDGE method. On things like setting up tents, making dinner, figuring out how to run the troop election, I'm there with you that ASMs sit in the background. If a committee member is around, they are on the other side of the room carrying on with adults talking about troop finances or something like that. In the case of something like organizing a camping trip, there would be enough of a skill base that the SPL & others could organize that. But, in the case they do not, it would seem to me that a SM/ASM would have some sort
  19. There's a subtle, but important difference between how GSUSA and BSA. In the GSUSA, troops are organized around an adult. The troop continues as long as the adult continues or the leadership transfers to another adult. In the BSA, we have our chartered org. concept. On the outside, this often gets lost - but it's a key reason I believe that GS troops are smaller and harder to join. I think it's also why the GS program is less consistent. My daughter's troop is 10 girls her same age. They started together, they will end together. When they decide they've had enough, her troop
  20. Thanks again for all the thoughts - especially the words of encouragement. It's been a frustration road to say the least. I've got a couple of items I'll follow up on after work. I wanted to jump in quickly on the last two posts as we get hung up on this too. My view is that the committee should limit it's trip planning role to some logistical/equipment support. Seems like trip planning is a scout (or perhaps patrol) function. The SM should explain the process. Maybe he recruits a parent to teach a class on trip planning. But the actual trip planning is the scout's job. The SM asks
  21. Thanks for all the responses here. I was off on a business trip and away for a few days. Back to Scouting! Perhaps a few follow-up thoughts, questions, or points of confusion on my part. I may have mis-used the phrase "manage". I work in a business world, so that's a phrase that comes to mind. But, I do guess the better term might be lead. I'm assuming someone needs to provide leadership and direction to those folks. I suppose with clear roles and responsibilities - then perhaps the SM doesn't need to provide much leadership and direction. But, that's not us. What I see in my t
  22. Hi all, I'm the CC of a troop of about 70 boys. I've been struggling to wrap my head around a problem we've got. Our Scoutmaster has been in his role about 25 years. He's a friendly guy and always willing to go camping. He's generally not terribly interested in developing his ASMs. If a really active ASM shows up and starts filling a role, the SM seems content to let him/her have at it. But, for the majority of ASMs who signed up, but are waiting for something to do - he doesn't seem terribly interested in cultivating that. Most show up for a while, but then stop bothering to c
  23. Agreed. I disagree with coed scouting, but if it comes to pass, I will give it a try. As much as I like Scouting as it issue, it's far from perfect. I've stuck with it so far because of the bigger picture benefits. I don't see those going away because the boys would have to interact with girls.
  24. I'm not suggesting that they'll rush it. I'm suggesting that they'll look at it as a strategic decision based around perceived future health of the movement. As the BSA isn't a for profit organization they're not really looking at profit. They're looking at cash flow. i.e, does the organization bring in enough money every year to enable it to stay solvant, pay the staff, accomplish the tasks it wants to do, . In that, the amount of cash flow becomes important - but only to an extent. I expect that at it's most senior levels, they're looking at 3-5 projections on membership. I am cert
  25. Sort of. It was said in jest - but there is some truth there. Admitting girls to the BSA and making the program coed would be a huge deal. For the BSA to delay a decision of that magnitude because they didn't have the right bathroom facilities would be surprising. If they do this, I expect that the national organization will announce a timeline. i.e. - The BSA will become co-ed on Sept. 1, 2018 - Councils will be expected to have sufficient temporary facilities to support this that that time - Councils will be expected to update their permanent facilities by Jan 1, 2021. Some
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