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penst8

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About penst8

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  1. This topic has been touched on in some threads but I didn't find one devoted to it. What is considered routine maintenance? In the Eagle Service Project Workbook it notes routine maintenance as weeding, etc. But is there a better definition of "routine maintenance?" About 7 months ago I took over the advancement position in our Troop. Since then I've been invited by our District Adv. Chair to sit in on about 8 EBOR. One candidate's service project was painting a church. At a round table meeting a year or so ago I saw an approved project book for oddly enough, painting a church. Last spring I took a group of Scout's on a backpacking trip on the AT. One night we stayed by a shelter that needed some repairs and paint. The painting would require the most time and materials. The scout mentioned it to one of our ASMs who said it wasn't a good project because painting is maintenance. He was a former Dist Adv. Chair in another council. Obviously painting projects are being approved in our District. My question is should they be and just what exactly is routine maintenance? In my opinion weeding and painting aren't the same. One is done often and truly is routine, the other is done every 10 years and doesn't meet Webster's definition of routine. I hate to see good projects by our scouts never get out of our Troop because of one person's opinion of what routine means. Thanks.
  2. penst8

    Jamborree Council Costs

    The total cost is going to be $1,850. I could stomach $150 for transportation but not $1,000.
  3. Having never been to a Jamboree I was wondering what the Council fee covers. I want to sign my son up and possibly go myself but the council fees may make the trip too expensive for me to attend. If I go to the Jamboree the family may need to forgo a traditional family vacation. My son will work to earn his way but that really isn't possible for me. National fee is $850. Our council fee could be up to $1,000. It hasn't been announced. With National providing almost everything I'm wondering what the money that I'm paying to Council will cover. Beckley is a 6 hour drive so I know there's bus transportation but that can't possibly be $1,000.00
  4. penst8

    OA Popularity Contest

    There is a problem in this Troop which is slowly being worked on. Our current SPL under the tutelage of his father (ASM and Eagle Scout) is finally turning our Troop into a true boy led program. I hope that we are able to keep the ball rolling when his term expires. The issues with the Leaders and their uninterested kids has yet be resolved or really taken seriously by the SM and CC. That issue hopefully will be dealt with in the next 60 days. I am an ASM and a parent. I worked with 5 of the 6 boys since Tigers so I know them fairly well. One of them is my son. It really got to me when the one Scout crossed over to the other group. I spoke to his father (ASM) and I spoke to the Scout to no avail. The older Scouts take advantage of him but he doesn't see it. The Scout just wants to fit in with this new group and the father doesn't want to do anything to push the Scout out of Scouting. I've spoken to upset Scouts (mine and others) after they didn't make SPL, ASPL or Patrol Leader. I know elections aren't perfect but it was easy to see how this one was going down. They didn't really make an effort to hide what they were doing. All elections are truly popularity contests but it's the influence that this one group was able to exercise over the process that has me concerned. There's always next year, hopefully without the issues. Maybe the two that were elected will surprise me. Maybe if they get involved with OA their attitude in the Troop will improve. I would have really liked to see all of them make it but obviously some of the Scouts didn't vote for everyone. For now the boys will have to learn from the experience and go on. They have a goal to make Eagle and I doubt this little bump in the road will divert them off course.
  5. penst8

    OA Popularity Contest

    OA elections were held for our Troop last night. There were 6 candidates. Only 2 candidates received 50% of the votes. This was purely a popularity contest. Our Troop is fractured. We have a group of older Scouts (9-11 boys) that are lazy and really look at Scouts as a 90 minute social gathering. Then there is a group (8-10 boys) that are really interested in the program. There's a couple of boys that aren't really in either group. The SM hasn't addressed the "Lazy Bunch" since his son is part of this group. The CC has two boys in this unmotivated group. Because this has never been addressed the group actually grew by 2 Scouts this year. They were previously part of the motivated group but kind of lost their desire over the last year. At the election the 2 new members of "Lazy Bunch" received a vote from everyone of the other scouts in the "Lazy Bunch." They weren't very quiet about their intent. Because of their numbers it meant the other candidates had to be listed on every other ballot to receive 50%. That didn't happen and 2-3 really good candidates for OA didn't get voted in. If I had to rate the 6 candidates based on Living the Law, Promoting Camping, Leadership Qualities the two that were elected would probably have been 4 and 6 (6 being the lowest). Is there anything that can be done to prevent popularity from being the deciding factor in these elections? Two of the Scouts that really wanted to join OA were visibly upset by the outcome. I doubt they looked at the math of the election but the odds of them getting in were heavily against them.
  6. After serving in various leadership positions over the years, I've decided to become a MB counselor. I'm looking at about 5 MB's but I've already applied to be a Personal Management counselor. How do you handle the personal budget for Scouts that don't receive an allowance? The area where I live is not very well off. Some of the boys in my son's Troop are dealing with one or both parents being laid off. Some families have both parents working but are still just getting by. I can foresee some Scouts really having difficulty completing the budget. It could be rather awkward trying to differentiate between the Scouts that are dealing with a financial hardship and those that didn't make an effort. I don't want to embarrass a scout, his family or me while conducting this MB class. I'm sure there are also Scouts that don't receive an allowance or have a job which would limit their ability to fully complete the personal budget. Anyone been through this or have suggestions for handling the no income scouts? Thanks.
  7. Does anyone have any good ideas for placing the Patrol Leader, Asst Patrol Leader patches on the new shirts? Sewing patches on the pocket is difficult as most everyone has found out. I'm not sure I want to ask my wife to sew on the Patrol Leader patch only to remove it in 6 months when his term is done. Is it still acceptable to hang them off the pocket?
  8. penst8

    Summer Camp Woes

    Thanks for all of the quick repsonses. Here's some answers to your questions. Planning for summer camp now, ALRIGHT! Wish most of the units I've visited thought this far ahead.-------I thought we were way behind. If you don't roll over your deposit when are you making your plans? Did the SM have any input into the 7 options?-------All of the options were reviewed at our committee meeting before presenting to the boys. The SM left with a huge pile of information on the camps and he actually thought Blue Ridge looked like a great opportunity for our boys. Why is a commissioner using his status to butt into a unit's program?-----Great Question Talk to the Webelos IIs and their parents NOW about the trip, i.e. costs, programs, etc. that way they can start saving the money now for it, esp. in this economy.-------I already contacted the Webelos leader. His schedule is pretty full but we were looking to do something in early December to go over the camp, review cost and answer questions. Start the crossover process now, i.e. inviting to them to meetings, campout etc. Let them and their parents get as comfortable as possible with you guys NOW so that they entrust little Tommy Tenderfoot with ya.------Weve already had them to a campout this fall and I know most of the parents from my involvement with the Pack. The current Webelos II's accompanied my group on the outings that my boys and I planned when we were Webelos IIs. I think I have a pretty good relationship with those parents. Summer Camp Woes for me would be, do I have enough people to drive the boys to where they have decided they want to go. Other than that, I just sit back and let them work it out. ------We already looked at that too. Actually it was one of the first things we did since some of the leaders will be at the Jamboree when we want to go to summer camp. I was hoping to be able to sit back and watch the kids have a great time. Truth be told, he's probably being badgered by the SE to get all his units to go the local Council camp. Been there, done that.-----You know that thought crosses my mind too.
  9. penst8

    Summer Camp Woes

    Hopefully I'll get as many useful suggestions on this topic as I did on the Traveling to Camp thread I posted earlier. Please bear with me this maybe long...... We were under the gun to make a camp decision since nothing was done over the summer. When the topic of summer camp came up at a recent committee meeting I suggested that we try to find a camp that offered a good merit badge program for the younger scouts and some high adventure for the older scouts. The committee agreed and I researched the camps and found several. We presented seven camp options to the boys and they selected Blue Ridge which is about 5 1/2 hours from home. After the meeting we asked the boys to review all of the information about the camp and select one of the high adventure programs and get back to us on Sunday evening so we could contact the camp to reserve our spot. They could also choose to do merit badges, with the younger scouts, if that's what interested them. On Sunday evening after a less than stellar response from the boys I decided to make follow up phone calls to see what was up. The second call I made was to one of our boys whose father happens to be a district commissioner(he has silver shoulder loops). The father proceeded to ream me out about the lack of planning, lack of parental involvement, etc. etc. when "we" meaning the leaders selected this camp. This was a little disturbing considering the amount of thought that I had actually put into this in a short period of time. I'm a detail guy and I usually have all my ducks in a row and while there was still work to be done I was confident that our decision was sound. Some people might consider me anal about my attention to detail but I tend to plan my work and work my plan and it saves a lot of grief and heartache. Traveling to this summer camp shouldn't have been any different. Handle the details so everyone can have a great time at camp. One of the irate parents concerns was that we didn't consider the crossover scouts. When the Troop came to talk to my Web II den last year they told us how much it cost, when it was and what they would be doing. They never asked for our input nor did did I expect them to. The camp the Troop went to last summer was 3 hours away. Would the extra 2 hours of travel time be that big of a concern that we should have consulted with the Webelos II parents???? The irate parent also claimed that we'd need a plan for homesick boys. That was my son last year. I didn't attend camp last summer because I wanted him to grow a little. As a leader from Tigers thru today I've been on every trip with him. I wanted to see how he'd react without dad there to lean on. He got homesick and the leaders worked with him to tough it out and work through it. They didn't allow him to call home because they felt it might make it worse. They did call me several times to report on him and in the end he did great. So my question is why should our plan for homesick boys be much different than it was in years past? Is it harder for the boys to tough it out in VA versus PA? Yeah it would be a long drive if someone had to go home but isn't that the very last resort???? Finally and this is what I need the most help with. The parent/commissioner and the SM spoke and the SM is now wanting to pull Blue Ridge off the table and attend a local camp. While the boys didn't research these camps they were presented with 7 options and chose (almost unanimously) to attend Blue Ridge in VA. If we bow to this commissioner who doesn't attend our meetings or many of the committee meetings what message does that send to the boys? If its a boy lead troop (not in the truest sense of the BSA) and the boys make a decision and we blow it off because of one parent, then I think we're heading down a dangerous path. Incidentally, one of the other ASM's and I continued to make phone calls to the boys and so far, only the commissioner isn't in favor of leaving our backyard to go to what looks like a great camp. I'm a firm believer that you have to offer a top notch program to keep the boys interested. I had a blast with the boys I lead through Cub Scouts and we did a ton of really cool things. Shouldn't the older boys be offered an opportunity to experience something they've never done and may not do again. Some of our boys may not go to camp because they have all the badges they need for Eagle. If all we offer the older boys is a Merit Badge camp then I don't think we're doing our jobs as leaders. Shouldn't camp be about more than just earning merit badges. Our Troop has some work to do to get to be more boy lead and I think the SM knows that and is taking steps to improve the program but until the boys are truly making the decisions someone needs to make sure that we're offering more than summer camp for merit badges and monthly camping trips. Am I off base here? What are your thoughts about this summer camp debacle? I'm concerned about the message to the boys and that we'll be cheating them out of a great opportunity to participate in some really cool activities if we buckle under and give in. Thanks- sorry about the length.
  10. penst8

    Traveling to Summer Camp

    Thanks for all of the great responses. I think I've got some work to do at our next committee meeting and with all of the replies I think I should be able to show that its time for our committee to institute a similar policy followed by most of you.
  11. penst8

    Traveling to Summer Camp

    We typically have the same crew of drivers that drive to every outdoor function. It's all of our leaders and a few parents that chip in. I was with a new ASM last weekend at the Outdoor Leader Training and he mentioned that he's spent $200 on gas driving to our campouts since his son crossed over in April. For some that may not be a big deal but his wife is laid off and he just went to one week on and one week off so I understand his concern. We're signed up to go to Blue Ridge Scout Reservation next summer. Roundtrip mileage will be close to 700 miles or in the average pickup about 35-40 gallons of gas. Do any of you add a small fee to the camp cost to help pay reimburse the drivers? They're already giving a week of their time, do they have to pay for all of the gas too? I'm also concerned about having enough drivers to get 35 people to the camp. We're borderline on the transportation right now. All I need is for one of the committed leaders to back out and we're in serious trouble. Last year camp was 2 1/2 hours away and some parents did help out. They drove out with a full car and then came back at the end of camp to bring kids home. I doubt I'll get too many offers like that this year. I looked at 12-15 passenger vans but that will likely run around $600 for the week which would have to be paid for somehow. Any suggestions would be apprecited. Thanks
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