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Posts posted by pchadbo

  1. I will preface this by stating I speak for me and me alone.


    When I speak of "making men" or being "manly" I am generally looking toward the idyllic icon of the WWII vets that came home, got down to work, worked hard, did not complain and did what needed to be done.


    That being said, hand in hand with this conversation is the "feminization" of young men. Men were the bread winners, did not openly whine about problems, rather sought a solution to the problem.  Men were about doing not talking. Many feel that the "cult of manlyness" has been assaulted and degraded to the point that many look for women with male genitalia rather than "men". Men are no longer encouraged by society to be aggressive, to be physical, to be strong in their opinions, to shoot, to hunt, to fish, to camp to be outdoors, to chop wood, to build fires, to build anything.


    I am not sure if this change is good or bad, but it has certainly brought about a different "breed" of man than was prevalent 60 years ago.  Some still long for the "good old days".


    I hope my muddled meanderings help.

    • Upvote 1
  2. Follow up note:


    Apparently procrastination and delay are valuable tools.  While we were debating this topic, the SPL and the SM sat down at a PLC meeting that was called at the alst minute, where they were the only ones to show, and had an hour and a half long discussion. .

    so those who voted for the SPL and SM to talk (me included) were right

    and those who voted leave it alone were right!

    I love this Scouting stuff

  3. So, one question: how did the SPL come to discuss this with you?  Did he seek you out based on your role as UC?  Did you know each other through prior Scouting contact?  I think that's an important to establish which "hat" you're wearing in this situation - a Unit Commissioner, or a Scouter counseling a Scout.  


    If the SPL sought you out as a sounding board, or simply looking for advice from an experienced Scouter, then I think your role should be limited to allowing the SPL to talk through his concerns, and provide some suggestions and guidance.  And, I think your guidance should be in the form of helping the young man learn how to work effectively with his Scoutmaster - not how to work around him.


    If in your role as Unit Commissioner, you think its appropriate to have a discussion with the Scoutmaster, then your point of contact with the troop should be the Scoutmaster.  Not the SPL.  And I'll reiterate previous reminders about your roll being to support the Scoutmaster, and help him be successful.


    Your job is not to be a middle man between the SPL and SM.  It is not to "run interference" or undermine the Scoutmaster.  It is not to give the SPL implicit or explicit permission to run things in a way his Scoutmaster hasn't approved.  No matter which hat you're wearing, your role is to be a mentor, a sounding board, an adviser.  That may mean that you need to explain those boundaries to the SPL if he is hoping for you to go beyond what is appropriate for your position.

    So first, the topic came up sitting around with a group of Scouts and Scouters which included the SPL, and during the conversation, he brought up to the group his concerns, he asked me some specific questions, which I answered, but the tone and tack of his questions had me raising an eyebrow.


    Second, I know my role as UC, hence the reason for me being here seeking advice, and I know I cannot, and will not "get between" the SPL and Scoutmaster.  However, that being said, my role as UC is to see if the Troop is healthy and offer suggestions and guidance if it is not.  This is what I am seeing the beginnings of, with a looming membership explosion on the horizon.


    lastly, a question for you:


    In your experience going through what you did, what would you have liked to have seen done, or could anything have been done by a (mostly) neutral third party to help your situation?

  4. Yes, you are treading in very dangerous waters here. My advice is to stop doing it. It is not just a bad choice of words. It is a bad choice of actions.

    Yeah, I understand what you are saying, but to "stop doing it" means to say no to the SPL who asked for help and advice. Not a good option either. I am caught is territory that I should not be in, I did direct the SPL to speak to the SM, but he also asked for help. I am just trying to figure out how to do that without upsetting the apple cart.

  5. @@jwest09 -- yes bad choice of words. perhaps, "help the SPL to get more breathing room to run the program with less SM control" would have been a better phrasing. I know I am treading in very dangerous waters here, which is why I came here for advice on the next steps. Yes, I am planning on having the conversation with the SM about the SPL's concerns, I am just looking for the advice of how to walk into this minefield without blowing everything up.


    Edited to add:

    I have also noticed the slow ebb of boy leadership since the SM has taken over, just did not realize until the conversation with the SPL how far the pendulum had swung

  6. Hi all!

    I am coming to the virtual campfire for some advice with a "good" Problem.


    I am Unit Commissioner for a Troop that currently has 40-45 boys.  The Troop is strong in most areas, camps 11-12 months a year, has 1-2 eagles per year on average, we send 5-7 boys to our Council camps as staff each summer, one of our past SPLs is the Current OA Lodge Chief with our immediate past SPL serving as Chapter Chief. All of the boys take what the learn outside the Troop and bring it back.  The Troop is reasonably boy-led, but more as one big Patrol with SPL running everything not individual Patrols..


    The Players:


    Me: Unit Commissioner, District Training Chair, past Wood Badge Staffer

    SPL: NYLT trained, motivated 16 year old

    SM: Position trained, 2 years removed from accelerated transition from Cub Master to Scout Master due to SM leaving sooner than expected

    ASMs: motivated group less than 3 years removed form Cub Scouts


    The issue:


    Our sister Pack has blossomed into a Pack with 90+ plus boys of which 40 or so are bear and above.  Meaning, if they sy=a=tay in and cross over, we are looking at doubling the size of the Troop in the next 3 years. This is a "good" problem to have. 


    Why I am writing for advice:


    Our SM is very well intentioned and trying hard but cannot seem to let go of control to the boys.  It is little things: he has told the PLC that they cannot meet without him, the agenda for PLC needs to run through him, he "approves" their decisions, He has also,at the request of Past SPLs ( I spoke with them and they did ask) taken a more active role in program planning. It is these little things that are concerning me.  I see the boys' leadership being slowly undermined and if the Troop explodes I can see the Troop becoming adult-led very easily.


    I had the opprtunity over the weekend at our camporee to have a nice conversation with the SPL who would really like to run his Troop without the training wheels or brakes.


    How can I support the SPL who wants to run the program the way it should be run without overstepping my role as UC or ticking off the SM.


    FWIW the COR is on the side of the SPL (gottal love CORs who show up to help at Camporees)


    Thank you in advance for the advice and ideas.



  7. Welcome to the Campfire!  I too hail from the northeastern part of our beautiful country, in the Daniel Webster Council.

    Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and enjoy the glow and conversation around the virtual campfire!

  8. If they are mirroring our Council which was  one of the Pilot Councils, this will be only for Youth applications.  The adult apps still need the signatures for background checks and the SSN.


    in fact from your post:

    "This system is not designed to register non-paying adult positions, position changes in the same unit, or youth or adult renewals."

  9. My Rule of thumb when I handled the finances (days thankfully left behind) was at the end of the year, I wanted $0 + the MINIMUM cost to operate for one year, ranks, awards, books and other predictable expenses. This allowed for a year to recover if a fundraiser fell flat on its face without having to stop program due to lack of funding, but it also made sure that when we had a great fundraiser, the great fundraisers benefited from the work they put in.The boys that earn it should reap the benefit.

    Long term capital investments, trailers etc, are separate issues handles outside of the "normal" budget.

  10. I Understand this issue, I both staffed Wood Badge, for the second time, as a Scribe, and got married last year. Both were incredibly rewarding experiences. The best advice I can give is some I got years ago: Sometimes, you have to be selfish in order to be a giving person. I f you are not taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally, and psychologically, you are  not going to be willing or able to be the person that your family needs you to be.  If that means missing an admittedly big deal in your niece's life, then you have that choice to make, I bet she will remember a day that you take her to the zoo, concert, lunch and a movie. . .you get the idea, way more than if you were among the crowd at the Bat Mitzvah.

  11. And here's my rub with the program.  As touted in red it's a LEADERSHIP program (red)  and then the conversation continues with all attributes and dynamics that indicate it is a MANAGEMENT program (green).  So which is it?  If the people teaching it don't know and the people receiving it don't know, there's  a lot of "don't know" going around.  So what is it really?

    Definition of leadership
    1. 1 :  the office or position of a leader recently assumed the leadership of the company

    2. 2 :  capacity to lead a politician who lacks leadership

    3. 3 :  the act or an instance of leading leadership molds individuals into a team — Harold Koontz & Cyril O'Donnell

    4. 4 :  leaders the party leadership

    Definition of management
    1. 1 :  the act or art of managing :  the conducting or supervising of something (as a business) Business improved under the management of new owners.

    2. 2 :  judicious use of means to accomplish an end is extremely cautious when it comes to money management

    3. 3 :  the collective body of those who manage or direct an enterprise Management decided to hire more workers.

    The above thanks to www.merriam-webster.com



    So the leadership course (the course for the leadership in BSA) teaches management skills; which a good leader (or manager) needs.  Hopefully by giving tools, examples, and content, including Servant Leadership, those that take the course can take the SKILLS learned and develop the ATTITUDE of a leader.


    Skills can be taught, attitudes have to be created, mostly from within the individual with guidance and mentoring from a good coach and/or mentor.


  12. Why are you so baffled? Ever been to a movie where you expected it to be good (Star Wars VII) and it turned out to be a complete disappointment and waste of time?


    My frustration is the course content and curriculum. It does not speak to what units really need. It does not discuss how to avoid the pitfalls that kill most programs. It does not address conflict resolution effectively. The course is not designed to be taught uniformly, so it is rarely taught the same way twice.

    OK, Now I see the issue.  It is a matter of expectations. 


    Wood Badge is NOT a program training course. It is NOT designed (anymore) to teach Scout Craft.  It is NOT a course on conflict resolution.


    It IS a leadership course that will give you tools that you can use and hone in your home unit to make you a better leader, and allow you to see where you see yourself and your unit going in the next year to 18 months, a reflection most of us do not do.


    Goal setting, communication, time management, project management, team work, remembering to have fun and yes, some conflict resolution are all topics covered, and yes with any live training the quality will vary with the presenters.

  13. I am always intrigued by those wo "get nothing" from a specific training. If you go in with an open mind, there is something to learn from every trainer you encounter, regardless of how competent (or incompetent) they are.


    The course content absolutely has been covered for decades in other formats and classroom.  


    As one of the members of "my" patrol when I was a Troop Guide told me, he did not think that this course would be able to teach a retired Brigadier General with more than 30 years of military leadership training anything new. Truthfully, he did not learn anything new,   but he learned it in a new way and made connections to Scouting that he had not seen before.


    That and the connections to the people that are made are some the biggest reasons to take Wood Badge.

  14. I think it would have been far more courteous if the SE hadn't lied to the United Way chairperson (from my town) in the first place.  I was ticked off that he involved my unit in his lie.


    They couldn't use anyone else.  After the SE stated that the council subsidized handicapped scouts from my unit, the United Way wanted to hear from me specifically.    


    The council doesn't provide any real program and/or services.  We would be better off without them.

    I am sorry to hear that your council does not provide any real programs or services, that you have to register all yuor boys directly with Irving yourself and arrange the liability insurance, that you have to develop, print and distribute all of your own applications and recruiting materials, that you have no camps or staff at the camps, that you have no camporees or jamborees in your district/council.

    You get the point, Council is often doing that stuff that no one sees the work but screams if it is not done.

  15. OK, I have a friend who is running a STEM Lab here in the Beautiful Daniel Webster Council in NH. 


    Couple of clarifications:

    This is NOT a traditional Scouting program.

    This is not designed for the traditionally "scouting kids"

    This is a co-ed program for grades 5-12

    This is all STEM based

    this is more for the kids that say "camping? ewwwww"

    It is a program for those kids who are STEM inclined already and to use the Scout Oath and Law to instill values in them while doing STEM stuff.

  16. While cleaning out out storage locker at the meeting place, an older, green Scout uniform was found in good condition with the First Class Rank Badge sewn on.  The Quartermaster and SPL thought that my son would enjoy that as he is a very active (albeit slow advancing) Scout who just achieved First Class.


    The boys were talking about this shirt becoming a tradition in the troop, handed from one FC to another based on Scout spirit and their embracing the "old ways" camping, hiking, helping, and being all around "FC" (ideal not rank) Scouts.


    They asked me for input on the name for this "award". 




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