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Posts posted by ParkMan

  1. 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.


    Graduate the boys on June 1.


  2. Not sure I'd use the phrase "only an assistant den leader and assistant cubmaster" - They're both important jobs!


    The award for either role is the Scout Leader's Training Award. If you've been in the role for a couple of years now, you might be retroactively eligible for the Cub Scouter Award.

  3. There's a discussion going on in my son's Troop about adult leaders doing light hearted teasing of scouts.


    On the surface, it doesn't appear malicious. Mostly it seems fairly benign, but it can drift into areas like hight, size (i.e. refering to someone as a small guy) or stuff like being a geek. Most people laugh it off as nothing more than just harmless teasing from the leaders. The leaders are all deicated folks who devote a lot of time and energy to scouting. It really doesn't appear to be leader's favoring certain kids, picking favorites, or picking on certain boys. It seems to just be a style thing.


    Most families are quite happy with the leaders, but there are a few that are concerned.


    Anyone been down this path before? I did a Guide to Safe Scouting search, but the closest I find is:

    "Physical violence, hazing, bullying, theft, verbal insults, and drugs and alcohol have no place in the Scouting program and may result in the revocation of a Scout’s membership in the unit."

    This seems a bit harsher than what I've seen going on.

  4. I see many boys who really enjoy it. There are just so many more options now for boys outside of scouting. It's natural fewer will be involved.


    Somewhere in the past 50 years, adults got the impression that they can and should try to manage/fix everything. It's undoubtedly made it harder for some boys to develop responsibility. All the more reason for scouting to exist.

  5. I imagine this is a very small percentage of the Eagle Scouts in your area. When you get enough folks doing anything, including become Eagle Scouts, things are going to happen. Does it make it right, no, but it's going to happen. I suspect the things you list happen are done much less frequently by Eagle Scouts than by non Eagle Scouts, or even non Scouts in general.


    If these things are all happening in one Troop, perhaps it's just a bad Troop.


    Since I don't know your specific cases, I can't hazard a guess as to whether there is something more going on.




  6. No one says that because National makes this policy change your Pack/Troop/Crew needs to make any kind of statement. If you're CO makes a policy change, then fine. I'd just do what you're doing until someone pushes the issue and you need a decision.


    No one says that all of a sudden all packs/troops/crews need to become either pro-gay or anti-gay.

  7. If they pass this and many CO's bolt, good for the BSA. Every year anti-gay policies are getting to be further recognized as discrimination. To me, this says the BSA is now recognizing that and standing up against discrimination. This seems like a is a good thing. If a bunch of COs bolt as a result, then at least the BSA looks like it's standing up against discrimination. That seems like a good morality lesson for our youth.


    However, I suspect they floated this out there because the BSA fully expects it to pass. I imagine that they've already gotten nods from the major religious groups that they are comfortable with this policy.


    As this decision will allow the COs to enforce whatever rules that they want, I don't see how any CO could now withdraw without looking pretty bad.

  8. My .02...


    As an ASM, I think you should have a private discussion with the SM & CC. Ask them to set some guidelines for contact in front of the boys. This doesn't need to by anything formal, but instead a few choice statements from the SM and/or CC to say - "This is a youth organization. Adults should act professionally in front of the scouts." Once that is done, the SM and/or CC needs to give them the opportunity to conform. If then they do not, then the SM/CC has a decision to make.


    Other than a friendly comment in private, I don't think you should be assembling a group of other leaders to talk to these two ASMs. That's the responsibility of the SM or CC. If a group feels a need to do something, then have them each individually approach the SM/CC so that they recognize how widespread the concern is.

  9. ... I'm a big beliver in "all things in moderation" and I think a bit of goofyness now and then, especially with boys and especially with Cub Scout aged boys, is good. But there's also the idea of modelling adult behavior for the scouts.


    ... Which is where the Announcement song really falls on its face. It tries to make life into a living, breathing, Monty Python skit


    I'm on the same page with you here. All things in moderation. I think it's hard for many new Scout leaders, especially Cub Scout leaders, to find their identity as a leader. There's a time for seriousness, there's a time for fun, there's even a time for goofy.


    I think any light element (the announcement song being an example) itself is not necessarily bad, it's how it is used that's the question. You can make your whole pack meeting a Monty Python skit, or use it judiciously to add some brevity on occasion. Know how & when is though and is different based on the person. Some (many perhaps?) are not good at finding the balance and as a result go too far one way or the other.





  10. There's nothing wrong with singing announcements at WB or NYLT.


    When I attended WB, I was a pretty green Cub Leader. The idea of signing announcements or being goofy in front of the boys in my pack was pretty uncomfortable. During the course, I watched a bunch of pretty experienced Scouters doing some goofy things. In it's own way, it helped me to understand that being goofy with kids is really OK. If all we'd done was had a bunch of serious meetings, then I'd have missed that example.



  11. I'd be worried about a few things:


    1 - introducing young kids into the Troop meeting. I'm not sure the BS want younger kids there. I'm not sure I want my younger kids around the older boys yet.

    2 - accelerating Boy Scout burnout. We talk about how the CS program is too long. Now you're in a way adding 18 months on to the BS program.


    I'm sure you could make it work, but should you? Personally, I'm a big fan of the Webelos being Webelos - an almost separate program from the Cubs or the Boy Scouts.

  12. Thanks!


    I had the case come up where we had a several kids do two events in June and then miss July. We'll have two events in August, so it's possible we could get some kids that do 3 or 4 events, but just miss the one in July. I want to recognize the kids who are active, but also did announce to parents at the start of the summer that they boys needed to attend an event each month.


    I'm just thinking through the right approach here.




  13. They still do wear the vests.


    The funny thing is that the GS bling puts my son's CS bling to shame. The GS get more patches, often filling up the back of their vest. While my CS looks like a mini-general, his sister's blink even surpasses it!

  14. I'd love them to have a more visible uniform too.


    However, when I think of the cub scouts so often we end up in our "class B" uniforms - a pack t-shirt and whatever shorts you want. I like that the girls start off with their class b's all the time and then have a vest they put on over that. So as much as I like uniforms, I have to admit I find merit in what the GS do.


  15. My daughter is a Brownie right now (GS equivalent of Wolf/Bear).


    She routinely wears some kind of GS t-shirt or in more formal settings the tan pants/white shirt. On top of that is usually her Brownie vest.


    I find that the GS clothes + vest are not quite a obvious as the CS uniform. Yet, my daughter's Brownie vest has the same number, if not more, patches than my son's CS uniform.

  16. Since you can never have too much free advice...


    As CC, you should explain the role to the guy:

    - what an ASM does

    - what they troop's expectations are (taking on a role, attendance at meetings, uniforming, etc...)


    If the guy balks at some of this, invite him to be a committee member instead. You can always say - "an ASM is a more active position with higher levels of involvement, but a MC is a great way to get yourself involved and work into the ASM role at the right time"


    But, if the guy looks OK to you, you tell him that him "an ASM is part of the SM's team. Before we get you signed up, we need to have you guys chat and see if there is a good role for you on the team that you'd like to do." Then the SM can have the ultimate say.

  17. Hey FScouter,


    Not sure if your post was in response to mine, but if so - I think we're on the same page.


    In my unit, all the adults are friends, so having one adult say to another "Hey Bob - did you know that technically you shouldn't be wearing a patrol patch?" is certainly a fine thing to do. But, in a more formal sense, I think the COR (and as you say, other adult members) shouldn't take it upon themselves to be directly policing the actions of the adult leaders. Yet, it is entirely appropriate for the COR to mention to the SM, "I notice your leaders are not wearing the uniform correctly", or perhaps "our chartered organization believes wearing the uniform correctly is pretty important, can you mind working with the leaders to take the non-official patches off?"


  18. I love the analogies!


    As a CM, I think dg98adams AF analogy is pretty close to my world.


    However, the one caution I have with the military analogies is that it implies a reporting order or chain of command.


    I don't feel that I report to the CC - but instead that the CC is my partner in the operation of the pack. Sure, the CM technically reports to the Pack Committe and the CC is that chair of the committee, but I don't see it as the CC is the CM's "boss". I see so many posts on the forum suggesting this reporting structure, but I think it's really unnecessary.


    I liked the AF analogy because as a passenger (aka cub scout), I see the CM as the guy running the show - he sets the tone, the plans the calender, he sets the goals. The CC has the role of making sure the operational side of the pack works.


    So basically, a CM without a CC is thinking up fun stuff to do, but has no support to get it done. A CC without a CM has a whole bunch of folks with nothing to do.


    Lastly, the CC needs to become the "best friend" of the CM. I can call our pack's CC anytime and we're constantly working to make sure we're on the same page.


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