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Everything posted by qwazse

  1. I'm gonna tweak 'schiff's observation a little because folks these days equate adventure with "big ticket" scouting. Great units find great adventure. This the "magic" of my SM growing up. He was amazed by local history, so we went on a lot of town hikes. Even in our country hikes, if someone let us take a water break on our lawn, he'd welcome them to share what they knew about local native lore. If a scout overheard some debate about which side of the state line a local landmark was, he picked up the USGS map from the Agricultural Office and arranged to take us there to see for ours
  2. I’m sorry, you didn’t mention what game your scouts play before the opening our closing meeting.
  3. Lots of great units around here. What they need … Youth willing to hold themselves to the Scout Oath and Law and Outdoor code. Rest assured, that everything else will collapse if enough youth in your unit let this slip. A sponsor with space for meeting and storage who is in it for the long run. A community enthused about scouts to the point that they provide use of some property, opportunities for service, opportunities to fundraise, and the occasional cash donation. Teachable adults who enjoy each other’s company, and have time and talent to spare for scouting. A
  4. Thanks for getting the quote. There are two tragedies. The victim and his family, and the youth who has to live with his decision to handle a weapon, the net effect being another boy's death. I agree that an adult leaving a weapon armed would be negligence. But, lacking proceedings, we are only speculating on the sequence of events. We aren't told who armed the weapon. An "unsupervised" older scout may have had the combination to the gun safe, known how to load a magazine, and how to fire the weapon. Or, he may not have known how to properly disarm the weapon, and the next youth could han
  5. @malraux, it's not clear to me what the event was. Larger bores are permitted for older scouts and venturers. An older scout or adult may have been using the rifle when the youth was downrange. IMHO the make of the firearm is immaterial. The fundamental question is how a 12 year old scout found himself in the line of fire. Maybe being able to understand this is most pressing to me because 11-12 year olds are now the majority of our troop. Keeping them out of harms way is a formidable challenge. Once a year, we hold a demonstration of a variety of firearms that a couple of our troop'
  6. I don’t see anything particularly surprising about an AK-47. Any firearm left loaded is problematic.
  7. this. We scouters miss a lot. You can find lots of topics on this forum about how we're trying to sort out some behavior or another that's way above our pay grade. Many times, the only reason we know how bad things became was when parents let us know. And, mine is not the most boy-led troop out there, so it's not necessarily because of any physical distance from the adults. Parents have helped us suss out problems from uncouth speech to contraband. Yes, parents are concerned that they are making their sons to be the "snitch." They really aren't. Yes, parents feel like their son
  8. Oh, I’m dealing with a dozen articulate 12 year olds these days. Some of them are very witty, and I see the exhaustion on the older boys’ faces as they try to keep up with their conversation. Well, in our troop tents are sacrosanct. Foul language is also treated seriously. Unkind, discourteous, and unclean. These things can be really discouraging to younger scouts. The net effect in our troop is that older scouts who behave like these don’t get elected into O/A. It sometimes takes a few election cycles for them to elevate their behavior. But, young scouts might not have the p
  9. Oh, for the love of all that is right and holy ... Let the kid take a break from troop life! I've seen so many "wrecked" teens who were in this for their dads or grandpas. Maybe you have an exit plan, but I've seen plenty of dads who don't, here are some steps: Thank him for telling you this early rather than holding it in. Invite him to keep doing that going forward. Make it clear that if he wants to limit his scouting activities, he can. If he wants to resign from the troop, this is the perfect time to do it before they recharter him for the coming year. Tell him he
  10. Welcome to the forum, and thanks in advance for all you’ll do for the boys!
  11. If I had a choice between a mini medal and a plaque, I’d take the mini medal. But, how about an electronic medal in the form of a screen that scrolls all of your awards. Make it solar powered so that the wearer had to spend time outdoors to keep it blinging,
  12. @Jmatt0613, yep. your in the big leagues. Like I said earlier, don’t treat your proposal as an end in itself. Treat it as a way to say there’s a problem. This is an opportunity for you to listen to other scouters in your troop and get the idea mill going. You’re scared because you think you have something important and you are uncertain if it will be accepted. In those situations I remove all doubt by assuming that my idea will be rejected outright. That way I have nothing to worry about. Don’t expect your idea to pass instantly. Don’t take it personally. In fact, I always wor
  13. Hi @tc79. Welcome to the forums. Contact your district executive regarding this. Other packs must have encountered the same problem, and it would be a good round table topic.
  14. Every adult in the troop should look in the mirror together. This is not necessarily about an intimidating adult. The MC and others in the board could be on even terms with the scout. But, in a formal process designed to get feedback on troop life, when a scout knows that two of the adults in the room don’t trust the SM … a “standard BoR question” can leave a scout thinking about how much his/her response will be used to indict the leader who is not in the room. When a brain starts running in that direction, it gives the mouth nothing to say. In a troop where the SM trusts the CC and MC,
  15. “Trust issues” was repeated enough times to make it the real bottom line here. It’s astounding how quickly a teen will catch on to that stuff. It may even be why the scout was intimidated at this BoR. Youth who are trying to be loyal to every adult in their troop … their response when they perceive a loaded question is to freeze. And if you don’t think “What makes a good leader?” isn’t a loaded question in an environment where scouters have been at odds, it’s time to polish the mirror. Whatever ails your scouters needs to be fixed. In the meantime, I’d cut the SM a little slack.
  16. @mtgavin, welcome to the forums! Fred answered your two questions (in four parts). His and other replies were making assumptions in the negative. I’d like to frame things positively. As a crew advisor I had been put in similar situations. So, to help bring clarity for scouts, scouters and parents, this is how I describe how to proceed … A BoR can be suspended to give a scout time to rectify deficiencies. In this case, the board should promptly write a letter regarding the perceived deficiencies (i.e., reticence in answering questions) and give the scout an opportunity to complete t
  17. @Jmatt0613, I hope the code of conduct that you propose passes muster. But, the important thing for you to communicate is that beyond oath and law, you shouldn’t need a code of conduct but scouts’ and scouters’ recent behavior betrays that need. Even if the committee doesn’t pass it, you want them to understand that you’re seeing courteous, kind, and cheerful being left behind in the trail. That’s not a recipe for growth.
  18. A flawed assumption goes off the rails … Aiming a weapon at another person hastens death. Aiming at an effigy gives a false sense of superiority and dehumanizes the other. Simulating the consequences of battle (i.e., sports, games, etc … followed by chats and fellowship) teaches to love opponents, eschew war, and forestall death. We need to learn the difference. And, we need online simulators of every scout camp … possibly every merit badge.
  19. … and I thought I was being rebellious swiping left on the announcement in my inbox … you all are intense!
  20. I’m doing my part. Two more applications will be dropped at council HQ next week. Y’all better start lifting. (Full disclosure, I have no clue why these boys are flocking to our troop.)
  21. For the record, I was speculating that the parent wanted the scout to be isolated. From what in particular? We have no idea. I’ve had more than a few parents who became increasingly worried about who their child was befriending as he/she moved into adolescence. As a parent I’ve had the opposite experience in that kids from outside our local circle actually were the best people I could ever wish to have in my children’s life. The requirement as worded gives a tremendous amount of latitude. Maybe it does subvert the objective of the lesson. But, maybe for some scouts, a little step can be a
  22. @Eagle94-A1, the forces that motivate the MB are controversial. But, my first round of scouts who completed the requirements they found it to be an enjoyable opportunity. So, the challenge for us all is to focus on the youth. I'm pretty sure the parental permission clause has more to do with protection from abuse than honoring a parent's preference for isolation. But, let's just read the requirement as if it doesn't want us running afoul of parents' social strictures ... In this particular case, if nothing has transpired to change the opinion of the parents, the youth is in a catch 22 bec
  23. @IronicallyNamed, welcome to the forums. There are multiple possibilities: The counselor glossed over the “parent permission” part. The father actually relented in this case, perhaps through the intervention of the counselor. The scout fooled someone either by claiming to have a conversation that didn’t transpire or claiming to have permission when none was given. (Yes, I’ve known 17 year olds to try this.) If this is nagging you, you need to get clarity from parent, counselor, and scout. That would be my first step. If indeed the scout succumbed to breaking trust
  24. Keep an open mind and see if you’d be useful on the Crew committee … especially if you are a good instructor. When I was an advisor, I leaned on my committee a lot, but one person at a time, because they had non-overlapping skills that together made for a solid general interest program.
  25. @nolesrule, I am truly sorry. I've hated the multiple occasions when I've personally seen strong and good leaders clash over various parts of the program - especially advancement. IMHO, it's a complete waste of time, and your scout's troop is now down one capable and passionate leader. But, we (not just you and me, but all scouters who may in the future read this) must not back down from the truth written in the skies. The GTA is a well thought-out document covering most of the problems we scouters have had with this method, but man-hours hours spent parsing it could be better spent openi
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