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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. Hey Smmortgat - Yes - sorry if I went a bit off the path from your earlier comments. I definitly remember you started this looking for a new troop. I think we're on pretty much the same page - you basically have a choice - stay & see if you can "fix it" or go find a new troop. I won't try to convince you to stay - sometimes it's better just to find a new home with folks who may be thinking similar things. Sorry if you've already mentioned this... Have you had a one-on-one coffee with the primary leader. Maybe she has similar goals to yours, but isn't sure where to start. Or m
  2. Seems someone's fixed the problem. Interesting though that now there is a duplicate of a topic. Wonder if that was the issue.
  3. Isn't there an old rule that says "never do for a DE what a DE wants to do himself"
  4. I see this a bit differently. My son is in a large CS pack. My daughter in a large multi-level GS Troop. In both units, you see some families into camping, but many others that are not. For many families in the pack, CS might as well be a arts & crafts/field trip/fun activity. There are many for whom CS is not a "lets all get out in the woods" program. In my daughter's GS troop, you see exactly the same thing. smoortgat's posts sound like there is a little bit of "look, I know how scouting should work - you all just need to do what I say". You may be 100% correct technically -
  5. I'm noticing that I can't see anything in the Cub Scout forum now. If I look at page 1, I get "Invalid data requested". If I look at page 2, there are entries. Almost seems to me as if there was something in a record on page 1 that is causing a problem. BTW - I notice if I reverse the sort order, the problem now occurs on the last page, not the first page.
  6. I'd recommend making slides. It's great fun, they're memorable, and the boys like them more anyways.
  7. The GS program has the flexibility to allow for what you are describing you want. I've seen it in action. In fact, I think the GS program done well can challenge young girls as much as, if not more, than the CS program can. My suggestion, find a couple of female adults and start a troop together. In the GS system, you need at least a female co-leader. Once you get that Troop running, follow the GS program, just operate it similar to a CS pack or BS troop. You'll wear different uniforms, have different badges, etc..., but the fundamental goals can be pretty much the same. The interact
  8. As I wrote that, I had that thought too. Perhaps I'm thinking about all this too hard and trying to solve issues one-by-one instead of just dealing with a bunch at once. I don't know.
  9. If you haven't already, talk with the CM more one-on-one. Perhaps buy him/her an adult beverage and have a chat. Make a few specific recommendations. If those recommendations require more effort, be prepared to help. Were I the CM of your pack, I'd welcome it.
  10. My son's the same way. He grumbles about putting his uniform on (though less now with the tan uniform), he grumbles about having to go to meetings, he grumbles about having to eat dinner too In my house, scouting is important and my son sees that. So, as he's matured, he's taking more and more pride in scouting. When he needs a nudge to get active in Scouting, I give it to him and over time that's worked. In a lot of houses, that's not the case though. I know many parents who don't see the bigger picture and for whom scouting is just another activity. When their son grumbles a few times a
  11. This is us a year ago. The only difference is that we had some activity in there as well - some activities were better than others. I tried the sit on the floor in a circle thing and it sorta worked, but it can get chaotic. As a CM, one suggestion. Pick an area of the pack meeting you'd like to see improved and volunteer to the CM to take that on. If I had a leader that came to me and said, "I'd like to make awards" more meaningful, I'd be most appreciative! What interested me in the den activities is that I have a gut feel we need to move beyond the pack meeting as entertainment +
  12. Our pack wears uniforms, but we're not terribly strong in our uniform ethic. There's a sort of we'd like you to wear it, but if not, no big deal. It's rare that we ask for them to be in uniform. Neckerchiefs are almost always optional. We also have a pack t-shirt, which is always an option. This seems to work well enough. Boys that don't want to wear the uniform don't, and because there are options and no-pressure the uniform is never really an issue. I do wish we had a bit more energy behind wearing the uniform, but it's not a battle that's on my radar right now One o
  13. I'm really interested in the idea of den activities at a pack meeting. In my time, we've never organized a pack meeting that way, so I'm curious how you'd do it. Would your pumpkin carving by an example of a den activity, or are you thinking of something different?
  14. I'm a cub leader, and so I tend to have a different perspective on this than many. At the Cub level, it's rare to get a long time leader with lots of bling, knots, etc. More of the long timers I meet tend to go the opposite direction - they shun knots, rarely wear WB beads, etc. A temporary patch - what's that? So, the new Cub leaders that I know pick up on that and don't bother either. In my 4 years with my son's pack, I am the only person to ever earn a knot out of probably 30 different leaders. As such, I get questions all the time from the boys - Hey, what's that on your uniform?
  15. My son's den had that same challenge. We had two den leaders ready to take on dens, but the parents couldn't figure out a split, so we kept it as one large den. With a large den like that, several boys became unhappy with the chaos and decided to leave on their own. Add a little natural attrition to that and by the end of the year, it was 10. A year later, that same group was 8. We ended up starting a second den in the Bear year and guided new boys to that new den instead. My recommendation. Find two good leaders and split the den along some natural lines. i.e., who can make a
  16. I have the same question. This year we tried to improve pack meetings. Some are better, some are not. One piece of advice I received early on was to make the meetings more "fun". Some folks want this to mean, make the pack meeting "entertainment". They'd like to have the pack meeting be a show, presentation, or game with the bare minimum of time for awards or announcements. As such, we did away with den skits, cheers, and songs. Pack meetings start at 6:30 and run for about an hour. Right now our meetings go something like: 6:20 - gathering game 6:35 - opening flag ceremony
  17. ParkMan


    Hi all, sorry for the double post here. I was editing my post and walked away for 5 minutes. I came back and the post had been done. Not sure why. Here's a revised version. Many thanks all for the most excellent advice! If I pull out some of the common themes, I see: Community - Know familes and greet them by name - Get parents involved. Start with small tasks & build up. Get Parents to Buy In - Need to see value in coming to meetings - Need to overcome "nah, I don't want to go this week" Leader/Committee Meetings/Parent Meetings
  18. ParkMan


    Many thanks all for the most excellent advice! If I pull out some of the common themes, I see: Community - Get parents involved Get Parents to Buy In - Value in Coming to Meetings - How to overcome "nah, I don't want to go this week" Leader/Committee Meetings/Parent Meetings - Invite parents. - How to overcome folks just talking with each other Pack Meetings - make them fun! Have a replacement now
  19. I think BL really needs to be in the same category as Scouting. If you register you get a copy. Most boys (especially Cub Scouts) only exposure to scouting is through their home unit. BL helps the realize they are part of something much, much bigger. We make it optional our pack. When I look at the records of who gets it and who does not, it's interesting that it's usually the most engaged scouts are the ones that get it. I know that they probably get BL because they are already excited. The don't become excited simply from reading BL. However every little bit helps.
  20. ParkMan


    Fellow Scouters - I need some help. I'm the Cubmaster of a good sized pack that normally runs between 60-80 boys. I've been Cubmaster for about a year and a half. I'm really worried that I'm just missing something fundamental here and am just flailing. Let me explain... The boys and families just don't seem all that engaged. We've got a fairly active pack calendar, but attendance is low. Our fall campout got about 30% attendance. Our upcoming spring campout probably won't hit that. The Pinewood Derby this year might have hit 60%. We had two Pinewood Derby workdays, so I know
  21. I feel for Terry, I really do. As a labor of love, he could not have envisioned this. Here's hoping for a change really soon! Good luck Terry!
  22. Hi Joe, That was me for the first year. I was there to help, but never was more than extra pair of hands. Over time, the CM found something that he didn't have the cycles for and gave me responsibility for it. It grew to be a pretty major focus for the pack. Now, as CM myself, I would love for an ACM to come to me looking to own something. Since you're friendly with the CM, my suggestion - grab a friendly beverage and spend some time brainstorming on what your role could be.
  23. If you, your scouts, and parents like the idea - go for it. There will be many reasons not to do this - cost, changes in size, etc... But, at the end of the day, if your group likes the idea and is excited by it, why not? One possible alternative suggestion would be fleece vests. I've seen those a few times and they look pretty cool.
  24. As a CM and former Assistant CM, I give you props for your initiative and energy. I think you're asking great questions. I'd start using all the program elements - such as Progress Towards ranks. If the boys loose the beads, buy more. Or perhaps replace the strings that the uses. If it's out there for our boys, use them. Award the rank awards as soon as they are earned. Personally I think that holding them all until the B&G discourages boys from working on them independently. If all 6 kids in the den earn them at the same time, they seem like participation awards. Grad
  25. BTW - for your other question about the AOL. You should just be able to purchase it. I've never needed any paperwork for it.
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