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Everything posted by ParkMan

  1. This all seems like a very natural development step to me. - you're son decided to split his backpacking load. Seems reasonable to me. - you're son and this other scout were not responsible enough to follow up - you're son realizes his mistake many months later - you're son has to bear the consequences of this mistake - i.e., having to search all over for it, fund a replacement, etc... But also you're displeasure too. So next time he is in a similar position again, hopefully he'll remember the mistake and hopefully not repeat it. Sure, it stinks that you have to handle t
  2. Yes, I just tried it and saw an error too. My browser gave me: Forbidden You don't have permission to access /courses/cslpsb/course.cgi on this server. BTW - it's just the Bear course - all the others appeared to start up just fine(This message has been edited by parkman)
  3. Hi Bear Dad! Yes - welcome to the herd! I enjoyed it, and then realized how much when I started describing it to my wife. The stories just kept coming. BTW - I find myself humming the song quite a bit too... Enjoy your second weekend!
  4. I used to be an Antelope and a good old Antelope too, But now I've finished Anteloping I don't know what to do, I'm growing old and feeble And I can Antelope no more, So I'm going to work my ticket if I can. Back to Gilwell, Happy Land! I'm going to work my ticket if I can. After singing it all weekend, I can't get it out of my head either
  5. In my mind the question is one of whether pack leadership sanctions and supervises the campout. Since the explanation from national is that it's an insurance issue, I read it that their concern is that proper leadership and due diligence is provided for the campout by the pack. Once you open it up to more than one den and have it supervised by Pack leadership, it becomes a defacto pack campout - even if only a subset of the den's attend. Scoutfish - I'd turn the question around and ask if you'd be willing to attend this campout and provide pack level supervision. If no, then it's a
  6. Hi Stosh! So true. In my unit, there are a few guys who do it all. New leaders breaking in is very difficult. Some just give up and stop trying.
  7. I find that having the belt loops built into the dues/budget allows the boys to just focus on earning the recognition. They don't have to think "if I earn this, then my parents will have to pay". That said, in the case these number earned gets too significant, I thought about having some kind of limit after which an extra assessment would kick in if the boy wanted to earn more. Something like, once the boy earned 10 in an a program year, there's an additional $10 assessment before earning any additional loops/pins.
  8. Another angle of this whole discussion is the message smoking sends to the families. When my son joined cub scouts, one of his leaders was/is a smoker. I didn't think too much of it - leaders smoked when I was both a Cub & Boy Scout. I have friends that smoke too. However, my wife was very surprised. Not so much that this fellow smoked, but that he'd smelled very strongly of smoke and that he'd sneak off from time to time for a "break". She also couldn't believe that the BSA hadn't banned it by now. Her impression was something like "I thought Scouting was supposed to guid
  9. Generally, I'm with shortridge on this. I'd not only look for adults to help out with events, but also try and develop some additional adult leadership help. Build up a team of some ACMs & develop a stronger pack committe. And then instead of delegating activities, give these folks some long term jobs. Maybe one person organizes logistics for pack meetings and coordinates which dens do what. Perhaps someone else organizes events and another person handles join scouting & recruiting. My experience has been that when folks realize who's calling the shots on an activity, the
  10. It might also be worth a friendly CM to DL question about whether the DL should outline some guidelines for parents here. As CM, you're thinking about this question. I bet many parents assume that their boys can't do any work outside the dens. Perhaps the DL thinks it's a great idea for the boys to do some of these at home if they follow a few basic guidelines. The DL may just never have thought about it. Or perhaps the DL did think about it and just assumes that all the parents know it's OK. Who knows, it could even be a good lesson in honesty & trust for the boys. W
  11. Since they only happen every four years, that means most boys will only get one shot. I that case, I'd be inclined to not screen them. Sometimes going on a journey is more important than being completely prepared for it. Instead, I'd focus on preparation for those who do attend. Perhaps even holding out the possibility that you'll scrub those who do not demonstrate they are up to it. This discussion reminds me of an experience from my youth. When I was a boy scout I took JLT as a very young age. I was an aggressive scout and my SM thought I was up for it. However, it rained al
  12. I watched a den earn this belt loop. We had a physically handicapped person attend a den meeting and give a talk. The boys were all very respectful - there was not really a freak show feeling at all. The boys were mostly just curious and asked lots of questions like "how do you ride a bus" or "how do you get dressed" kinds of questions. It helped that our visitor first gave a short talk about his life and how his disability has impacted him. You'll get some off the wall questions from the boys. In our case, the boys were very nice, they just ask some questions that adults w
  13. Hi Trainerlady - Were they just setting expectations lower for the next Jamboree (due to the time they have to prepare) or are they going in a new direction with the Jamborees? Perhaps with all future Jamborees being smaller than they've been recently. Thanks!
  14. I think I'm on the same page w/ Vicki here. Sure, when you have a child, you do need to take that responsibility serious. But, to say that Scouting is just a child's activity does a disservice to the value Scouting provides. If it's just something for kids to do then why bother teaching life skills to them? I'd argue that a youth that has a child may need Scouting even more.
  15. I think a Chaplin POR would be great. I'd say a unit could also have as many as they want. i.e., why not have a Jewish Chaplin, Catholic Chaplin, Muslim Chaplin, etc... You could make it a district or council position to allow the Chaplin to serve multiple units like a commissioner does. Not sure about organizing it past that. I'm not sure how much hierarchy we'd need in Scouting outside the unit level. I think it would be helpful to have a sort of Chaplin's Roundtable/support group/committee in a District. It could meet regularly, focus on how to be a great Chaplin, common issu
  16. Good question - I think the answer would be different based upon the message that different units would want to send. In my unit, the concept that I'd go for is that in areas where the uniform is specified, we should indeed be uniform. i.e., we should all wear the shirt, the pants, etc... In areas that are not specified, I think it permits the leaders to show creativity to the boys. i.e, I'm wearing a homemade slide, the Bear DL is wearing the official Bear slide, and the Webolos leader is wearing a bolo. The same thing is true for hats and the temporary patches. To me, the m
  17. I wonder if you'd want to break it up into a couple of different tracks. Building off the existing lists... Tracks would be something like: A. animals & nature - would focus on understanding nature & the world around us. Plant ID track ID animal ID reptile ID Sounds of the wild B. warm season camping - would focus on camping when weather is not an issue and the camping is easier. Allows you to focus on taking your IOLS training to the next level. For example, cooking Cooking over an open fire Gear selection, type and quality Campsite selection and setti
  18. On a related note - if you have a unit that ceased to exist, but then started up again years later, will they generally let you use the old unit numbers or give you new ones. Specially, there's a church I know that had a Troop years back. At the time it was quite old for our area and had two digit troop number (15, 17, or something like that). Somewhere along the way, the Troop folded. I'm not sure when, but my guess is more than ten years ago. There's been one or two loose discussions about starting the Troop back up. If it started back up, I wondered if they'd let them use
  19. In addition, I'd share the basic concern with the boys. Have a brainstorming session with them on how to reduce costs for the camping aspect of the program. They may come up with some great ideas on their own and be inspired to implement them. It's also a good real world learning experience. On the food side, a couple of ideas: 1) give your scouts a food budget and then cutting it back say 15% - 20%. It still lets them make the decisions and plan the meals, but now they need to work within real world constraints. 2) provide each patrol a set of camp sized staples (condiments
  20. Pardon the unsolicited advice... I wonder if the formal nature of the request caused an over reaction on the part of the IH. Now that the decision has been made, it may be more difficult to "unmake it". Especially since you refer to waiting for "their response". Sounds like you needed to submit a request for permission in writing to the IH. Perhaps next time you could have a verbal discussion with the IH about the request. You could discuss concerns, do additional research (such as you are doing on your #2 question), and make additional preparations before making a formal request.
  21. Ken makes the point that I keep reminding myself about: "As I age, my Scouting game becomes more and more about the boys than about me. " When I think about putting anything on my uniform, I ask myself that question. Is it for me or for the boys? Generally, I think the scouts understand what the eagle knot looks like so I don't personally see a need for the rank badge. For those making the transition from Scout to Scouter, I think this kind of issue helps reinforce that being a Scouter is about the boys we serve, not about us personally.
  22. Just curious - what does a boy get for $220? The list you provided seems like it should come in at much, much less than that.
  23. Like others, I doubt this will be an issues later on. When I was a Cub & later Boy Scout, I have almost no memory of religion coming into my Scouting youth career. In Cubs, the only place religion ever entered was when my parents & I chose to earn a religious award. There was never any other mention of religion I can think of. When I was a Boy Scout, the only place religion ever came in is when I attended Scout Sunday to show support for my CO. That attendance was optional. My recommendation, shop around for both a pack and a troop that fits your needs. I'd be very h
  24. Looking at it general leadership perspective. If you did something like that you'd be essentially asking that Scout to take on the responsibility of being SPL, but without the authority of being SPL. I think that it could actually make it harder for him. How does he resolve issues when a decision is required? Is he empowered to make the decision, does he need the approval of someone else? If he can't make the decision, do the others respect him in the role? I guessing the issue you're trying to avoid is putting someone chronologically "junior" in a leadership position over som
  25. Sure, there's the national political bias against the BSA. I just think we live in a time where there is a segment of our population that doesn't like institutions such as the BSA, organized religion, the military, etc... Personally I think it's got something to do with folks who grew up in the 60s and 70s being in charge today. A lot of those people in turn passed their feelings along to their kids. At the local level, I can't say I see a lot of discrimination against the BSA. Generally everyone I meet is pretty OK with the BSA. Sure there have been some policy decisions that affect
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