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Proud Eagle

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  1. How do you do these teaching requirements in a troop that is homogeneous with regards to age/rank/skill level?


    I know of a local troop that has about half a dozen Scouts currently, all crossed over at once, and that is the sum total membership of the troop.


    I know back when I was a Scout there was difficulty with one of the requirements that involved teaching another Scout, because everyone in the troop knew the skill involved.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

  2. So what happens when a government is overthrown based on bad intel? After all, we overthrew a government based on bad intel, so we know our intel is not always correct. What happens when WikiLeaks leaks something that turns out not to be fact, and people act on that incorrect information, assuming it to be truth? It may not have happened yet, but given enough time it is bound to happen sooner or later.


    Also, in poli sci circles we speak of both procedural and substantive liberty and democracy. Countries can in fact have democracti processes for making laws, and yet the substance of those laws could be authoritarian. Just because people are casting votes or there are mobs in the streets doesn't mean the actual will of the peopel is at work, and even if the will of the people is behind something that doesn't make the thing good or the people more free.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

  3. I think including teaching requirements in Star, Life, and Eagle is a good idea. Scouts at that level should be masters of Scouting skills and knowledge to the point of being able to pass on that knowledge.


    However, I do have a few issues. First, is the EDGE method really the best method for teaching all things to all people? Who actuallly checks to make sure that EDGE is held to so long as the thing is taught?


    Further, while it is great that we are asking our senior Scouts to teach the younger ones, is "teaching" the requirments for a Merit Badge reasonable for a youth? Youth are not allowed to sign off on Merit Badge requirements. Nor are most merit badge requirements of a nature that "teaching" it makes much sense. If a requirement says "do" or "show" or "explain" or "tell" those would require rather different levels of teaching. Any three random requirements doesn't make much sense.


    I also second the issue of requirements changes without changes in the Handbook. Rank requirements should have some stability, and ideally the book a Scout starts with he should be able to finish with, barring major revisions requiring new editions (which happened while I was a Scout).


    You can bet many troops will be slow to learn of this change and even slower to make it. You can safely say that plenty of Scouts will still be advancing on the 2010 requirements for years to come. I say that from much experience in the field. Many SMs seem to reason that if it was in the handbook when they started Scouting it is good enough.




    I think the EDGE teaching requirement for Second Class is a farce. I have yet to find a 2nd Class Scout that knows what the EDGE method even is, let alone how to properly use it. The point of T, 2nd, 1st is learning all the critical skills of Scouting. The EDGE method is not such a skill. In my opinion these requirements (in fact stronger version of them) would make much more sense as part of all three of the higher ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle.

  4. Taking something off the table, that sort of expression, at least as it is used in these parts, has a rather permanent and final ring to it. Once something is off the table, it does not go back on it later, it is an option that is gone, full stop.


    So in our way of speaking in these parts, if you took Eagle off the table, then put it back on the table, that would be looked at rather strangely around here.


    (I suspect in Beavah's story the mention of taking Eagle off the table has slightly different meaning compared to how that would be understood in this area, probably a meaning that was understood to leave open revising that decision under new circumstances.)


    Also, I don't think there is any provision in BSA for someone being permanetly barred from trying to earn something in the future based on what they did in the past. Thus to suggest such to a Scout is not particularly honest. If any scout in my troop did something that fully disqualified him from future advancement or awards, I would also ask him to depart from the troop and have the council strike him from our roster. Either you are in the program (even if under probation or conditions) or you are out.


    Now I suspect in this case the Scout still had some hope that maybe, just maybe, he could prove himself and turn things around. He knew he wasn't entitled to it, but he still had hope. On the other hand, when you close a door, lock it, and throw away the key there is no room for hope.


    I would agree that a Scout that does not think he has a clear path to Eagle, and yet continues on making the best of his time in Scouting, and even contributes back to the organization, would make a great candidate for Eagle. I also agree that this did show you what this Scout was really made of.

  5. I suspect 16 hours was chosen because that can be covered in a single weekend if need be, any longer and you are looking at multiple sessions (scheduling problems) or more days (time off work problems).


    Plus purely book or lecture type training isn't much help to those who have no hands on experience, at least in my opinion. Walking through some hands on scenarios can give them a hint of the real world. Its the same reason for CPR you have to do all that stuff with the training dummies, not just watch a video and take a test.


    I can't vouch for the quality of either the BSA standards or the ARC classes. In my experience ARC has the same weaknesses regarding training we have. They are mostly a volunteer organization, and the quality of training varries widely. We have in the past asked an ARC instructor to do CPR/AED/First Aid for our camp staff and in half a day 30 or so people are often certified. Am I fully confident in the quality of that, particulary the First Aid part? Not exactly 100%.


    The in -house instructor pool is a critical element in making this sort of thing possible, for actual run of the mill volunteers in the field. Most unit volunteers are not going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and First Aid, taking days off work, traveling long distances, and hunting down classes taught be obscure organizations they have never heard of.


    In my own council's case the ARC/BSA agreement is not in operation. No one seems to know which ARC chapter was supposed to have taken point on this (we have many, very geographically spread out council) with us, so we don't even get the price breaks on certification for our camp staff. Our council has no in-house instructors for ARC classes, with perhaps one exception. None of our ARC chapters offer WRFA or even own the materials for it, nor do those ARC chapters that border our council so far as anyone can find out. None of the other WFA programs are active in our state so far as I have ever heard. So we have a serious up hill climb just to make this available at all.


    We did have one adult leader prepping for Philmont contact his local chapter and they ordered all the instructor materials and got him certified (he never had to attend any class, just read the book and took some sort of test) as an instructor. He then taught it to a few others, but that was the old version. I don't know what others taking high adventure treks have been doing, I suspect someone some where along the lines has been fudging something or people have found some shady on-line only source for this stuff.

  6. There will never be enough First Aid training. No matter how much you have you are one extra variable or symptom from being out of your depth, and I hate to say it, but the situations where people most often die are the ones where a whole lot of the variables went the wrong way. First Aid exists only for those marginal cases where just a little extra help keeps the person alive long enough for someone else to have a chance to carry them through to the next stage. CPR has conversion rates that make it seem nearly hopeless, but again there are a few cases on the margins where it can make the difference.


    The real question with First Aid knoweldge is not how much is enough? But rather what can we teach to a large enough group to be of worth? After all, if First Aid training is going to become as involved as EMT training, you will never have any more First Aid trained people than there currently are EMTs. You see this in play with the reviesed CPR instructions for 911 over the phone advising chest compressions only.


    It is only practical to set a standard that can actually be achieved widely. Further, it is better to teach a small set of skills well, than a medical encyclopedia they will quickly forget.


    I am all in favor of increasing standards and raising the bar. But if that means fewere people ever aquire any of the useful knowledge or skills, or fewere retain it and are willing to use it, then the higher standard defeats itself.


    This is why medical training and first aid training both require various levels, each progressively more advanced. Far better for more to have the most basic certification than none at all, which if we are realistic is often the real world choice.

  7. As a youth I passed up going on three trips, two with the troop and one with another troop because I wasn't sure if I was up to it. I think I probably made the right call about one of those, and the wrong one about the other two, but it was my choice to make.


    When I first joined my troop a long trip to Wyoming was planned for that summmer in addition to summer camp. I went to camp, but I wasn't sure I was ready to take a trip half way across the continent with a bunch of people I had just met. I wish I had, but I have always been the rather reluctant sort that has plenty of doubts all of my own making.

    The next was a troop trip to Philmont a couple years later. I would have just barely met the minimum requirements to attend, but as I did not have any backpacking experience I thought that Philmont was probably too much, and I was probably right on that one. The next was about a year later, a troop from the next town was trying to fill a group to Boundary Waters and somehow got my name and invited me to come. I wish I had gone, and I knew at that point I could handle the trip, but I wasn't so sure about signing on with a bunch of people I had never set eyes on.


    Today if any of those three came up I would do all of them except Philmont, and if I had about a year of prep time I would do Philmont again, too. (I had a chance to take a last minute spot this past summer, but after a mile on the trail at the local park with a 50 lb pack I knew that wasn't a realistic option).


    So sometimes Scouts do know something about their own limits, and sometimes the Scout will even limit themself more than needed. See I well understood the limits of my conditioning, skills, maturity, etc. What I didn't rightly understand back then was that some opportunities only ever come once in a lifetime, and once missed, are gone forever.

  8. As a youth I passed up going on three trips, two with the troop and one with another troop because I wasn't sure if I was up to it. I think I probably made the right call about one of those, and the wrong one about the other two, but it was my choice to make.


    When I first joined my troop a long trip to Wyoming was planned for that summmer in addition to summer camp. I went to camp, but I wasn't sure I was ready to take a trip half way across the continent with a bunch of people I had just met. I wish I had, but I have always been the rather reluctant sort that has plenty of doubts all of my own making.

    The next was a troop trip to Philmont a couple years later. I would have just barely met the minimum requirements to attend, but as I did not have any backpacking experience I thought that Philmont was probably too much, and I was probably right on that one. The next was about a year later, a troop from the next town was trying to fill a group to Boundary Waters and somehow got my name and invited me to come. I wish I had gone, and I knew at that point I could handle the trip, but I wasn't so sure about signing on with a bunch of people I had never set eyes on.


    Today if any of those three came up I would do all of them except Philmont, and if I had about a year of prep time I would do Philmont again, too. (I had a chance to take a last minute spot this past summer, but after a mile on the trail at the local park with a 50 lb pack I knew that wasn't a realistic option).


    So sometimes Scouts do know something about their own limits, and sometimes the Scout will even limit themself more than needed. See I well understood the limits of my conditioning, skills, maturity, etc. What I didn't rightly understand back then was that some opportunities only ever come once in a lifetime, and once missed, are gone forever.

  9. The line between drinking and drunk isn't very well defined, but it is there and everyone who has experience with this knows it. At some point if you keep drinking you arrive at drunk. Even the adult DUI laws seem to acknowledge such a distinction due to legal limits being involved rather than simply any trace being enough. At my age college life is still a relatively recent memory, and college students certainly know the difference between drinking in moderation and drinking to get drunk. Many choose, from the start, to drink without moderation with the objective of getting drunk. Thus the objective was to impare their reasoning and senses from the start, many knew this and openly admitted it.


    To give up your ability to engage in right reasoning for trivial reasons is not a good thing. If you need medical care, that is a serious reason. If you just want to get totally wasted with all your friends at a party, that is not at all a good reason.

  10. p.s.


    About the child spanking/discipline brought up earlier in the thread:

    If you are going to discipline your child in such a way, please have the courtesy toward others to do so with some discretion, do it in private unless it is an emergency. If you make a scene in public with spanking your child, it really does become something of a public matter. Do it at home, or in the care, or in the public restroom. If you plop your kid down on the check-out counter and belt him then and there, don't be suprised if someone takes notice. On the other hand, I am all in favor of parents doing as they see fit to discipline their kids. It isn't my place to get involved. Yet, every time I see a parent lay into their kid in public, I just wonder how long it will be before someone calls social services with a child abuse allegation (unjustified in my opinion, but rather likely these days).

  11. As a Scout, there were two brothers, one about a year older, the other about a year younger than I am. For most of the time we were in the troop together their father was out of the picture, he was in prison. He was driving under the influence and was in a serious accident, and at least one of the people in the other vehicle died. He was himself a second generation Eagle and vice principal of a school. Everyone that knew him always said he was a great, stand up sort of fellow. He had no other criminal history, and was considered a model citizen, leader of the community, and model family man up until that night.


    Eventually he got out, and he was always there to support his sons when he was able. If not for his criminal record he would have been signed on as an assistant scoutmaster, but under the circumstances he just tried to keep a low profile and be a supportive father. So far as I know he is what would appear to be a model citizen to this day, and I think he was deeply aware, and contrite, for what he had done.


    In any case, his mistake cost someone their life (depriving that person's family of them forever), cost his sons their father for a number of years, ended his career, broke up his marriage, and makes him inelligible to be a Scouter.


    I for my part think that getting drunk or high are some of the most irresponsible things a person can do, because by doing so you voluntarily give up your ability to engage in right reasoning. By drinking and driving this compounds the mistake, though the getting drunk and being in a position to drive at all was the real mistake, it seems to me.


    On the other hand, social drinking in moderation is something I think is perfectly fine in the right circumstances. Clearly when you need to be driving without time to work it out of your system is not such a time. The key is moderation and safe conditions. Drinking, by itself, is no sin in my book, but drunkenness most certainly is.


    We can reasonably guess that this kids driving was showing some sign of imparement or he was doing something suspicious to get pulled over at all. Random stops are rather unusual.


    In my own state, anyone under 18 with any trace of alcohol in their system is cited for a DUI automatically on the first offense. There is no provision for a warning nor is their any legal limit for those under 18. One beer is a full DUI case in this state for minors, though not for adults.


    At 16, he shouldn't have been drinking in the first place by the law. I can guess he was not just having a glass of wine at a family dinner party since he was out driving, we can guess he may have been partying with other under-age friends. If he was drinking enough to be seriously impared (and 16 y/o new drivers are near enough to that to begin with) he might as well have been shooting a gun randomly in his neighborhood, because he could have killed someone else or himself. If on the other hand this was one of those rare cases where he showed no signs of impared driving and only a trace amount was detected, then perhaps he wasn't being quite so irresponsible.


    Chances are this is a pretty good kid, but chances are he is doing more that is irresponsible than what you know. Maybe his parents look the other way, maybe they don't know either, that would be a big concern.


    By the way, the two scouts I mentioned from my troop, both of them went on to become 3rd generation Eagle Scouts. They turned out OK, but they never got back that lost time with their father, and they had to overcome having a rather difficult childhood.


    Would I vote yes on an Eagle BOR for the Scout with the DUI? I don't know. I would need to know the circumstances, I would need to know how he reacted, what he thought, etc. I would also be worried he was just telling everyone what they wanted to hear and what he needed to say to get through the system. Maybe, I just might be able to be convinced to vote yes, but it would be an up hill climb, and my predisposition would be toward a "no" vote, he would have to really prove himself and have some great character references to back him.

  12. The objective outcome from Scouting, as regards outings, would create a group of Scouts with the Scoutcraft/Outdoor skills to do their own camping/hiking/etc and create Patrol Leaders with the leadership skills to plan and lead such things. This is not the objective for new Scouts or new Scout patrols. Once Scouts are First Class they should have the basic skills, once a Scout has been a PL for a while and gotten trained he should have the leadership ability, and once these Scouts have worked together and matured a bit it should be possible. Obviously they should run their ideas past the PLC and the SM for approval, but that should be all a patrol needs for basic independent operations such as a trip to the movies, the local museum, camping in Grandpa Bob's field, hiking in the local park, etc. Certainly a "Venture Scout Patrol" should be both capable and authorized to do these things with PLC and SM approval. Patrol size groups out of a Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship should also have similar options for doing all the basics of Scouting once they have the training, experience, and maturity.


    As to aquatics, I would trust a first year life guard on my aquatics staff at camp far more than most adult leaders for supervising a swim at Uncle Joes above ground pool in the back yard. Quite frankly BSA needs to look at Safe Swim with regards to both commercial and private pools, such as small home pools, pools at hotels and campgrounds, YMCA pools and city pools. The Safe Swim rules are very much non-optimal for these conditions and need to be looked at again. Really Safe Swim needs to be looked at from two different angles, one being the controlled, closed water pool, (both those with life guards and safety protocols of their own, and also for pools without life guards on duty), second you need to look at from the point of view of areas like lake fronts or ponds and other open water or non-controlled environments.


    For my part I would certainly trust the patrol to go to city pool with its professional lifeguards and safety policies, provided the patrol members were all Swimmers and knew the basic points of Safe Swim Defense. (The rules don't approve of this, but probably should.)




    Now for something very important:


    Almost every troop has Scouts conducting Patrol Outings. The thing is, they just aren't official anymore because in many cases the Scouts have given up on the idea of this being their program to plan and do what they want. Instead they are planning these things outside teh official scouting context, often with their non-Scouting friends too, and just avoiding being told "no" by the adults or having to navigate the BSA rules minefield. This is not at all OK by me. The Scouts should be able to do these things as part of Scouting, not forced to huddle up during the patrol games and quietly exchange weekend plans out of ear shot of the adults. Plus, in most units the adults are going with something like a "I see nothing..." attitude. Wich is safer, may I ask: a patrol of Scouts doing an activity on their own that has been reviewed by the PLC and SM? or a mixed patrol of Scouts doing the same activity without any review or input by adults? I think we all know the answer, and we all know that in this case actual safety of the youth, and legal liability make contrary arguments. It would be much safer for the activity to be reviewed and approved, but instead for fear of liablity we refuse to review and approve, and thus they do it anyway but without any over site or help. This also hurts recruiting. If they can go have more independent, self lead, fun activity outside of Scouting than in it, how do they ever convince their friends to join?





    For any of this to work we have got to get more serious about the selection, recruitment, and training of competent and capable adult leaders. The rules are mostly because we seem to think that there is no adult so incompetent, ignorant, immature, or idiotic so as to be told he should not be a leader, or certainly not a primary leader, of a BSA unit.


    Also, on the same note as the "unofficial" patrol outings, there are a lot of leaders who take the attitude that the rules are more of "guidelines", wich is in part out of frustration with the rules, and in part due to selecting leaders who aren't willing or able to navigate teh BSA policies and proceedures.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

  13. I think there is a place called Ute Medow at Philmont.


    I don't even think the $1 transfer should be charged, because he is not transferring from one unit to another, he is staying in the exact same unit, but I suspect the tranfer fee will be asked for.


    In truth I suspect those who will turn 18 during the charter year should only be charged the registration fee for a partial year in the first place, because until they pass the background check and do YPT training they can't be an adult member. However, I doubt this will fly with BSA.


    The pro-rated fees are on the registration form and are set by national. Your council can add other fees as part of the recharter/registration process such as extra insurance, but the basic BSA registration fee is set by national and is printed on the form, as is the subscription fee for Boy's Life which may also be pro-rated.


    Please note these new adults will need the background checks and must take YPT before an adult application can be processed.


    Please note also that an 18 year old may serve as an Assistant Scoutmaster, but not a Troop Committee Member, which requires being 21. I think SA is the only adult position open to an 18 y/o, and if memory serves me, back in the dark ages this was a special provision for Eagles only.

  14. Could the doctor strike out the part about meeting height and weight and then go ahead and sign it?


    I know of several adult scouters who have run up against the height/weight rules and made very serious changes in their life to be able to meet those requirements. One of them had surgery so he could lose the weight needed to staff 2010 Jambo (and he needed to lose it any way), another I know went on a strict diet and exercise program to go from over 300lbs to under 200lbs to do cavalcade at Philmont. I know I could stand to lose a few pounds myself even though I am not what most people would call overweight, and I certainly need to be in better condition (too much time sitting at a desk or on the couch, I hate to say).


    There does need to be some alternate method of qualifying based on BMI or some such since there are outliers who are in great health and condition but don't meet the weight requirements.


    However, an awful lot of us need to start taking this physically fit stuff more seriously.



  15. I sit on Eagle BOR for my district from time to time.


    About half of these statements are reasonably good and tell us something. The other half are meaningless fluff and gobbly-gook that someone thought sounded good.


    I hate the meaningless fluff ones.


    Many Scouts don't know what their ambitions and life purpose are, at least not in any concrete sense. That is OK, tell us what you do know, tell us what you do want, give us what you can and be willing to admit what your limits are at this phase in life.


    On the other hand, adults mentoring Eagle candidates should really try to get them thinking on this. There is no one size fits all way to approach this, but please send us candidates that wrote something they actually mean and stand by. I don't care if the statement gives us a detailed time line of achievements they hope to make in life or if it says "I don't know what I want to do with my life exactly but I want to live it by the principles of Scouting and my faith and family and I hope I live it such that when I die I go to heaven".


    Just please don't send us someone who is going to tell us what they think we want to hear, because that is the last thing we want to read about.

  16. The low dollar pay being reported for some camps offends me.


    Our own council pays what we feel is a terribly low wage, but it is the best we can do. We did make a major effort to increase the pay for all members of our staff several years ago during a leadership change. Basically we tought it was unethical to pay the rate that had been going, and further we figured if someone wasn't going to give us at least our new minimum

    plus room and board worth of value we shouldn't have them on staff in the first place. At the time we selected $100 per week plus room and board and free program experiences as a base for even our most junior staff members. Before that some made much less than that. Now we have managed to have that continue upward a bit. The next big pay challenge is compensating senior supervisors and special skills adult staffers at an appropriate level since those have largely been stagnant for several years.


    I should not we are a council with very limited resources. We are in an area where Scouting is often a signficatn expense for families, camperships are frequent, teens working summers is common, etc. We wish we could provide a scholarship fund for our staffers, but the truth is our council struggles just to keep the lights on and make payroll, and the camp is lucky to be able to afford to keep up on minimal maintanence. Yet we considered it a matter of values and honor to do our best to improve staff pay across the board.

  17. drmbear,


    You seem to get just what I was meaning. You know and understand the patrol method and the different types of adult involvement.



    Too many start out as Tiger leaders and never learn what the Patrol Method is until they and their sons have been in a Boy Scout troop for a while. This is one of the reasons I think the patrol method is necessary knowledge for every type of Scout leader. You can't very well gradually transition your Cubs and Webelos into something you don't know about.


    In any case, I think you have the right attitude. If you want to play over grown patrol leader, Cubs is a great place to do that.

  18. The directory is not the same as the list of all Eagles. The directory only includes those they had some sort of current records on, and a lot of people were missed in the search. Even some who responded were not included. Many never got the mailings or phone calls asking for their info.




    Awards can be revoked, it is possible. It is also virtually unheard of, but the corporation does have the ability to revoke an award, and can in fact prohibit someone from wearing or displaying it. There is no common procedure for this, thus you can assume it is not intended to happen.


    Two possible reasons exist that could be grounds for this, so far as I am aware:

    Activities that are against the nature of the organization.

    Fraud in obtaining the award.


    If you think a case is serious enough to require revoking an award, you should contact your Scout Executive, but most likely nothing will come of it.

  19. This level 6 Tiger Cub program sounds like a bad place to be.


    I would say make decision to do one of three things:



    Move on to another unit.



    Suck it up and live it as is, making the best of it.



    Try to change it, but if change doesn't work, move on elsewhere.


    Scouts in this situation should look at all available options, find out about other troops, consider where their friends are, what the programs are like, then make a choice and do it.





    I know the situation. My current troop folded and then was restarted with new members and leaders with a few "legacy" people as names for the committee roster.

  20. Not exactly on the original topic, but something that needs to be thought about:


    Two troops can not survive, let alone thrive, on the cross overs from one Pack.


    You are going to need to make a larger recruiting pool/stream somehow. That may mean getting very active with school, church, and community based recruiting of those not involved in Scouting. Yes, it is possible to recruit directly into Boy Scouts. It may also mean that your town needs a second pack.


    This really can't be a back burner matter for long, though. You need to start working on a realistic recruiting plan that will keep your troop viable.

  21. If you have an active and involved female youth Venturer or Sea Scout, and who can make a real contribution to the camp, and you have the facilities and adult leadership to handle housing and supervision of female youth, then go ahaed, but keep in mind that neither Venturing nor Sea Scouting is the same as Boy Scouts and thus there will be a learning curve.


    We have had good results with a few female youth who were very active Venturers in a crew that was very high adventure and aquatics oriented. The two I am thinking of both went on to earn the Quartermaster and I think also the Silver Award. Also both were at least 16 when we signed them on, so they were experienced in a similar setting by that age, knew the skills we needed them to teach, and had a level of maturity that prevented any problems.


    However, when we have hired female youth who were not active in Scouting for something even as seemingly mundane as the camp store, that has brought very bad results. I would not at all be in favor of hiring female youth off the street.


    (Daughters in very Scouting oriented familes can work out OK sometimes, too, but not always.)


    Also, while I am will to make exceptions, if your camp is running a Boy Scout resident program, you should think about what the guidelines and age limits are in that particular program for both membership and leadership. As a general matter a camp that only runs a Boy Scout program (no Venturing, Sea Scouting, or Cub Scout programs) should mostly target either youth members of the Boy Scout program, adult leaders in the Boy Scout program, and such other individuals as would be suitable adults for a Boy Scout program to be your staff. (We have had rather mixed results with male youth not involved in Scouting, some good, some bad, and we have found that while exceptions may be justified, it is generally a bad idea to have any non Scouting youth as staff.)


    I should note I would not be in favor of hiring any first or second year Scout as staff even if they were old enough, nor would I be in favor of hiring a first year Venturer on staff. It takes time to get this Scouting stuff figured out.

  22. If you wan and to improve things on the Boy Scout side of things, you need to take a long hard look at the patrol and all aspects of the program.


    The patrol needs to become the essential and fundamental unit of Scouting. Not the troop.


    The entire advancement system, the guide to safe scouting, everything needs to be looked at anew with the idea of the patrol.


    For example, if a patrol is the main unit for doing Scouting, particularly outings, perhaps we need to enable Scout leaders to better prepare their patrols to go and do Scouting as a patrol. We need safety ideas not based on always having well trained adults with a library of rule books ready to spring in at a moments notice, rather we need to train and prepare the youth to do for themselves much better than we can do for them.


    We need to move to a system that avoids "though shalt nots" as an extreme and considers legalistic and nannyish attitudes to be disqualifiers from leadership positions in the program. We have an entire culture that thinks it needs and act of congress and signed permisssion slip from mommy before it does something. We need to completely destroy that attitude in Scouting. Quite frankly the rules themselves aren't so bad, the prevailing attitude about rules is terrible.


    We need to be more honest about what we are selling. Don't offer the greatest adventure on earth and then fail to deliver. Realistic expectations for both the youth and the parents are important.


    We need to do a better job selecting and recruiting the right type of leaders. Quite frankly most of the rules we have are because of poor leadership quality not only in the past but in the present. The attitudes about rules and rule making is more evidence of this. Not everyone is qualified to be a Scout leader. We should be far more selective about who we make Scoutmasters and commissioners. On that same note, we need to figure out why we lose all of our young adults. In Europe your normal Scout leader is a young adult not long out of the program themself. Plus in Europe two deep leadership is a strange notion, as is the idea of the Scouts not being able to eventually be trained and earn the right to do all sorts of activities on their own. (The fact that our activities are at the physical level for a bunch of 60 year old office workers to be the leadership for hints at the problem.)


    Those old requirements about taking hikes, journeys, overnights and the like with a buddy, the patrol, or even solo need to be looked at and need to come back. No, we don't want to send 11 year olds on long distance solo hikes without training. On the other hand if two 17 year old Eagles are not capable and qualified of planning and taking a cross country trek together we have goofed up something rather badly. The fact that they can't take such a trek as Scouts indicates rather strongly we don't think our Scouting program does that very well.


    Finally the process of leaders starting out as leaders of Tigers, then Cubs, then Webelos, and eventually Boy Scouts is all wrong. The leaders need to have a base of experience greater and more advanced than the youth they lead. This entire process introduces everything backwards and programs the adults to approach things from a Cub Scout mindset that they later have to be deprogrammed from. Plus, how does a leader prepare the youth for the next step when they themself don't know anything about that next step? Quite frankly we need young, vibrant leaders for the Boy Scout program and as they get too old and too stick in the mud-ish they can be gradually demoted to working with younger and younger youth until eventually we give them a rocking chair and coffee mug and make them senior trainers of other adults or some other harmless thing.





    Part of the above is a bit sarcastic and tongue in cheek, but only to a limited extent.

  23. For several years running my troop as a youth had a mother's day weekend camp out, always back early on Sunday, but it was well liked by all. Got the teen age sons out of the house for a bit better than 24 hours and yet home in time for Sunday dinner.



    My primary calendar is the Scout council calendar.



    So, yep, that puts me on the addict side.


    Our OA section seems to always schedule its CoC meeting the same day as significant events in our council. This year the spring CoC is the same day/time as our University of Scouting, and our first in section NLS in many years is the same weekend as the council banquet.


    Such is life.


    My parents celebrated their 30th anniversary during a troop trip half way across the continent. Yep, they stayed in a tent their anniversary week, and even hiked up to over 10k ft on their anniversary itself. That isn't their usual sort of thing, but they sure have some good memories and pictures from that trip.

  24. The unit I am currently involved with has had both models of committee memberships. When my father was committee chair back in the day, it was developed into a properly functioning troop committee that was more or less by the book and conformed to the ideal rather more closely than is perhaps typical. Then after him it degenerated into a "parents committee" where none of the members had any real responsibilities and it was rather seriously dysfunctional because no one saw themself as a Scout leader, only just a parent. The troop spirraled into being a fine youth club with only a vague gloss of being a Scout troop, plenty of good times were had, and even some Eagles were minted, but it had little to do with anyone at all's ideal notion of Scouting.


    Currently we have no committee at all, if I am honest about it. In theory we have 3 or 4 names on the charter, but the committee does not exist in reality. The Scoutmaster runs the the program and the troop. Maybe down the road some of the parents can be brought in to staff the committee, but at the moment that isn't likely. Truth be told I would rather have only a nominal troop committee than a committee of parental busy bodies unwilling to buy into the program.


    Your SM should always take part in advising the committee and should express his opinions to the extent those are welcome. In point of fact the majority of decisions are either made on the fly by the SM or are made by the SM and then approved by committee in most troops. Yet I can think of no good reason for the SM to be a voting member. That makes as little sense as the SM doing BOR.

  25. hum...


    I don't have much to offer on this one, but the fact tha parents have started to step into this issue has me a bit concerned that it may be or may be at risk of getting out of hand.


    I hope others have some insights on this one.

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