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Posts posted by Phibbles

  1. We do an unstructured version every year too. More like a snowball fight than ancient castle wars. The kids just love to throw things at each other! ;-)


    We do different rounds: Wolves/Bears vs Tigers/Webelos; all scouts versus adults; Jan-Jun birthdays vs Jul-Dec birthdays; etc...


    Just a fun 10-15 minutes of silliness.

  2. Here in my neck of the woods, we have a store that just does video game playing. Our CC spoke with the owner and she arranged for free classes so our scouts could come into her shop, review the belt loop requirements, and then play a new (age appropriate) game on her fancy set-ups. It was a great event. If anyone is in North Jersey, they should look them up. www.powerplaygaming.net


    I love the idea of doing some Mario Kart during the PWD too! I might steal that idea for our Pack. We are always trying to figure out a way to keep scouts not racing occupied.

  3. We have a site on SMDscouts.com. Been using them for over a year now, and it works really well. Cost is very low and the site template is easy for us to update.


    You don't get much design control of the site, but we don't care since we just use the site to communicate meeting and outing information to the pack. We also started to use it for event RSVPs, which has been very good.


    My committee also likes that we had the option to password lock the entire site. Nobody can see any information without entering the login information first. This privacy was important for some folks.

  4. We never had snacks at a pack meeting. When we are done, we want the kids to leave not hang around longer.


    I do like to award my den with lolipops when they have been exceptionally well behaved at den meeting. But that they take home.


    A little dum dum makes them so happy.

  5. Don't worry about it! I can tell you from experience, there is a whole different level of joy that comes from watching your mom or dad be the scout leader. Your son understands and appreciates the time you are giving to him and his peers. He is proud to have a wondeful parent that cares so much, they take time out of their busy lives to make the scouting experience more special.


    Just keep it up, and don't fret if your son ain't complaining...

  6. Has anybody ever been to a camp-in at a local museum? Do they follow these rules and separate the youth/adults and boys/girls too? I haven't done one yet, but I can't imagine the museum going to all this trouble.


    I can understand the root cause to have these rules, but I really think they take it a little too far. If we are all sleeping in one big room, do we really need tarps to separate us all? As long as everyone is in their own sleeping bag, what could go wrong?


    Wouldn't it be better to just setup a private changing corner?


    IDK - I hate when BSA makes things that once seemed simple, so complicated.

  7. I wouldn't call it a raffle either, but if you were worried that it was you could work around it. Instead of putting money in the buckets use beads. One color adds points, one color takes away point.


    Where do the beads come from? Well the troop sells them of course. That's the fundraiser. You sell beads. If people choose, they can use the beads in the game. And since the game has no prize, it shouldn't be a gambling concern.


    That's the long way around the bush...ya know.

  8. Liz - I hope you still plan to respond to the letter from council. Don't waste time pointing out all the errors they made, but instead educate them on where they fell short on providing the minimum service you deserved. You could be doing lots of future scouts a favor by putting up a small fight for the cause.

  9. I can see where the OP is coming from, but I generally do disagree with the statement. One of the things I love best about being a scout, was some of the time I spent with my father. Not as his son, but as his scout. He was very good at keeping distance and letting all of the scouts do their part in camp. I can't think of one time, that I felt like he was hovering over me.


    I think the problem is not parents in general, but a parent in specific. One of the SM's most important roles is to teach parents how to take part in the program, without compromising their son's experience.


    I honestly think a lot of who I am today, comes from watching him be a scouter. While I surely had some good reactions with other SM/ASM through my scout career, there was something special about observing him in action. I would hate to exclude today's scouts from experiencing the same thing.



    I would also like to add, sometimes the adults that came camping with us did do an adult patrol and tend to themselves. But some trips it was not possible for us to have an adult patrol, so instead they were guests at each meal. They worked out a rotating schedule and took turns being a "party guest" at each patrol for meals. This was a lot of fun at summer camp, because it added a bit of competition between the patrols to improve their camp cooking skills to impress their guests. Especially when the adults would remark to each other across the site about how great the food was at their new dining place.



    So don't go putting all the parents in the same box. While it is most important for the program to be scout-focused, there is an important role these parents can play. If they are up to the challenge...

  10. I like the new plans so far, but have also noticed they need quite a bit of juggling to fit my calendar better. Like saving the electives on bird watching till Spring. We won't find many in the winter here, which is where the pre-set order would place the meeting. I haven't found it difficult to juggle though.

  11. NickP412: "also I believe the Arabian country's like America dont allow girls in"


    All I know is, I am not going to follow the Arabian countries' leads on gender equality.


    My local camp is doing one week as a co-ed program, but they aren't calling it a Cub/Boy Scout week. Another organization is coming in to run the camp, and it won't be scouting associated. It is just taking place at the scout camp. Open to anyone to attend. Might even be resident camping...

  12. Basement has the best suggestion. I told my teacher wife to do the same thing not too long ago. She runs one FB account for family and friends, and another FB account just so her former students can keep in touch with her.


    The teacher account she rarely checks, and only does so if someone has direct messaged her or if friend requests are pending for her approval.


    I will do the same when my young Cubs become old enough to have FB accounts and want to be my "friend".

  13. I have used the online Tour Permit application a few times without any issues. It is not a PDF form though. It is a bit more complicated.


    Go to www.myscouting.org and log in.


    On the new page, click on "Tour Permits" under the Unit Tools menu. Should be in a grey box on the left side of the screen.


    When you do this, a new window should pop open. (You may need to turn your pop-up blocker off). this is the online form for tour permits.


    To start a new tour permit, click on "Create" in the top left corner.

    Before you do though, it is easier to start entering vehicle and training information to the tabs on the center of the page. Then this information will be accessible to the tour permit when you are creating it.


    The thing I like best is I only need to enter my den's vehible and training information once. The new online form creates a database you can manage from permit to permit. Each time I submit a new tour permit, it is just a couple clicks to attach the information.

  14. Many of you speak from a very intellectual POV, that is nice to see.


    Nick: "Can a woman teach a boy to be a man? I would argue not. Just as I cannot teach a girl to be a woman. I believe people need both male and female role models"


    Boy to Man. Girl to Woman. That will happen no matter how you are raised. Your gender is your gender. You were given specific "parts" at birth and that identifies your gender without question. I don't believe one needs any modeling to age and change from youth to adult.



    Resqman: "There is a male culture just as their is a female culture. Men have a different way of interacting..."


    I can't argue that this does not appear to be true. But I suggest it is not a mutually exclusive situation. If it is not true for all men, than it is not a trait than can only be taught by men. What you are talking about are personality traits that anyone can have, regardless of gender. It is social and learned, not decided by gender. Boys are taught they should act more like Dad and girls like Mom. But what if we didn't teach it this way?



    Jblake: "generally speaking, the group preservation dynamics/risk taking dynamics will hold true. The female protects the young and the male is expected to venture and risk to provide for the young."


    While may be true for most people, it is not a given. These are roles that our society passes down from generation to generation. Again...what if didn't? What if instead, we taught our children how to both protect and venture?



    Eamon: Some great thoughts in your reply. But I don't read any of your samples and say "that is something a woman could not teach my son".



    Kahuna: I have same response as above. Big Brother/Sisters does same gender match-ups because they don't try to do it any other way. (As far as I know at least) I suggest it would be very possible that a woman could partner with a Little Brother and be just as good an influence on him as a man can be. If it is the right woman.






    I hate the idea that young boys need MALE role models. What is a man going to teach a scout, that a woman can't teach them? What is this male-trait that is so important for every young man to learn by observing and practicing with older men?


    I just don't get it, and would love to see an example of a characteristic, skill, or trait that it is impossible for a woman to teach.


    And don't get me wrong. I understand that sterotypically, there are some things that men are usually better at than women (and vice-versa). But these stereotypes are not 100% true.


    A good scout leader, is a good scout leader, regardless of gender. I argue that a trained and motivated female leader is just as capable of being the needed "role model".

  16. I have no problem with siblings tagging along at meetings or on trips. But I make it clear to the parents ahead of time that these meetings and trips are for the den's members. It is their year, their program, and I will not allow a sibling to steal any of that thunder from the scouts. It is not fair to them.


    Having said that, I have never had a problem with a sibling. At meetings they do their own thing in the back of the room. If I need assistance with a game, I might ask one if they would like to help out. But overall they understand they are there to observe only.


    You need to tell this dad it is not acceptable. As other's have mentioned he is stealing from both his son's their opportunity to socialize and grow with their peer group. That is the foundational reason for doing age specific dens.


    I would also warn him, he risks buring the younger son out. Our new CM had this problem. Took his younger son to all the older son's events. And just as we asked him to become the CM, his younger son was ready to drop out of scouting all together. He had to put a lot of work into getting the boy to stay in the program.

  17. Risk Zone is a course that some councils conduct for insurance reasons. Now that national requires "Hazardous Weather" training for tour permits, many councils have stopped requiring RZ and only require the national course.


    Of course, they may still offer the RZ courses even if it isn't required.

  18. They did the hat thing at the dinig hall of our BS summer camp too. They would hang them on a moose in the dining hall, and the offenders could retrieve them later in the week by singing a song or something.


    Fortunately, we never ate in the dining hall. Our troop always camped in the "Dan Beard" section, so we cooked for ourselves in the campsite.

  19. I will never understand when it became acceptable to wear flip-flops anywhere but the beach. I grew up 10 minutes from the shore and you would never have found me or my friends wearing flip-flops on a camp out.


    Besides all the mentioned possible problems, I have noticed people who walk in these devices are a little more clumsy than they would be in regular shoes. Can make someone more prone to injury beyond just the foot.


    Yet, I have never noticed shorts to make a boy stumble or walk goofy.

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