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Everything posted by RememberSchiff

  1. Roots of the Cub Scout Program

    The "Story of Akela and Mowgli" is in the Cub Scout Wolf Handbook (at least the edition I used a couple of years ago). Pages 8-13 in the Parent Guide after Youth Protection. Parents are suppose to read and sign.
  2. National Website

    The National website scouting.org appears updated, though Search still does not work for me. Nice to see a "Guideline for using Cannons", as I have sensed a less-than-manly artillery gap between my troop and other troops with a full field artillery unit. Remember we are not a military unit nor are we to wear military-like uniforms unless we are, of course, Sea Scouts. http://scouting.org/HealthandSafety/Alerts/cannons.aspx
  3. Scouting`s merits from the L.A. Times

    The sixties - equal but separate, benign neglect, civil rights movement,... Was there a National/Council/Troop segregation or integration policy? Segregation existed. There were Negro troops (the term "black" was not used yet). I was a young teenager in Jersey. Negro or black boys, some who were members of our CO church, would visit our troop meetings. They received a friendly greeting from us scouts, after all, they were our friends from school and we needed membership. None joined. Their families were strongly discouraged by our adult leaders. Blatant racism? I doubt it, maybe the more subtle, practical kind that produces the same results. I recall these reasons why blacks were turned away - the troop goes places that were not open or "safe" for blacks, e.g., swimming pools and the Y ; the troop was very concerned about attacks (from outsiders?)if it integrated. Parents certainly had fears '...Look at the Phillies, which white player did Richie Allen punch this week?' If integration wasn't working for the Phillies..., not that it mattered whether a white player started the fight. I came across this: "Black Boy Scouts" the Frederick Douglas District, Here's the link http://www.amrain.com/boy_pages/1.htm Scroll down the left column and look at Post-war era and Integration. Interesting reading - separate scout camps, black scouts being told not to wear the uniform, fights over council patches with Confederate themes.
  4. The Uniform Method...

    As to the original questions, if I may paraphrase: 1. I agree there is often an over-emphasis on uniform and advancement methods and an under-emphasis on leadership and patrol method. Guess which methods are harder to teach. 2. Easiest judge of our success? Well, just look at your scouts how are they doing? (trick question, even experienced leaders have a hard time evaluating this). If you want a metric, try a competitive scout activity like a Klondike Derby look at how they scored for scout spirit, skills, teamwork, did they have fun,... 3. Neither a sharply full uniformed troop nor a troop with high advancement rate is necessarily doing a better job than anyone else. 4. For me, the uniform is not needed for character and leadership development as we don't wear the Class A uniform during outdoor activities. Identity is not an issue as we know who and what we are. Identifying us to others is an issue which leads to your next question. 5. Is the uniform more important for the development of the scout or for advertising scouting? Hmmm, you can be a great scout without the uniform so I would say the uniform is more important in advertising scouting. Is that bad? I don't think so. Scouting is too invisible these days.
  5. Communication and Delegation skills.

    Gotta agree. Planning, communication, and delegation are difficult skills for scouts to acquire. If you are not short-handed and the activity is in a fixed area, say meal preparation at a campsite, try this 1) SPL picks a standing (not sitting) spot from where he can see and direct. 2) draw a 3' circle about that spot. Not too large, not too small. 3) He can't leave the circle. He can call people to him but he cannot leave the circle unless it is an emergency or it is now time to eat. 4) No one can be in the circle with him for more than 30 seconds. So no hanging with the SPL, everyone works.
  6. How to deal with nut allergies & parent

    In Boy Scouts, we want a boy-run troop where the boys take on this responsibility. You want Option #2. When a patrol is meal planning, the question should be asked upfront "Do we have any diet restrictions?" - be they allergy, religious, medical, or "I just won't eat broccoli". Note my son has a nut allergy and carries an epipen just in case. So far, he has three incidents with the troop - all due to adult supplied food - brownies, cookies, and moose-something ice cream, i.e. "snacks I made for the boys...oh I didn't know". Yeah, real fun going to the ER. At the Cub Scouts, this is an adult responsibility, but now at Boy Scouts, I have told my son that he has to take responsibility for himself and his patrol. He should be asking questions and checking the ingredients. "You mean I can't trust adults to do this?" Wow, talking about the facts of life already. As a troop, get trained in first aid response for allergic reactions in particular anaphylatic shock. Consider carrying epi-pens and Benadryl (antihistamine) in first aid kit. And of course, you should have current Class 3 medical forms for all scouts. Nuts and "traces of nuts" are in just about everything. On a Maine trip, we found out the hard-way that hot dogs are commonly grilled in peanut oil. No warning sign and I didn't "think" to ask. Yeah you can't trust adults. For summer camp, inquire ahead of time if there is a nut-free table(s) in the mess hall. At summer camp, my son eats at the other end of the hall while I enjoy my only PB&J of the year. Be aware there are other food allergies, I had one scout who was allergic to watermelon! I would add to the Scout Law, that a Scout is "observant" or "watchful", and follow the Scout Motto "Be Prepared". Hope this helps.
  7. Boy Scout Video Game--An Excercise

    Pedro and Pee Wee Harris Extreme Beach Volleyball?
  8. HIGH cost of official BSA uniform

    The uniform method is a useful tool. But I have successfully delivered the scout program without the uniform method, in fact so stated,'You are expected to be scouts whether you are wearing the uniform or not'. So if the "uniform" is keeping away boys, units should consider alternatives. I have never seen a "fitting in" problem at a scout gathering. Envy of custom t-shirts, ball caps, and those damn sneakers that they should not be wearing - yes, "scout uniform" envy - no. Not like the old days... my scouts are rather indifferent about patches; it is the adults who are collecting them.
  9. HIGH cost of official BSA uniform

    Sounds like our Professional Scouters are experimenting with uniform options like other WOSM's...Canada and UK come to mind. Canada http://www.scouts.ca/inside.asp?cmPageID=365 UK (probably better links out there) http://www.scoutshops.com/ Prep school or business casual? Well at least their scouts are wearing a neckerchief (unless they are wearing a tie). Less expensive, less sewing/gluing of patches too. (Patches go on sash). Hmmm ...wonder if it's helping?
  10. HIGH cost of official BSA uniform

    Why? Scouting has certainly become more invisible.
  11. HIGH cost of official BSA uniform

    I dunno. When I browse various council, even the National website, I see photos of scout execs wearing coat and tie so I guess the uniform must be too expensive or is that the new uniform? Our Council has a staff photo page and only one scouter is wearing the uniform. But, then again, the uniform is optional.
  12. Blue and Gold Scheduling problem

    As I read the initial posting, the AOL Crossover has not happened yet. If you state an option "receive AOL at the next Pack meeting, but probably no ceremony." It informs the parents of the consequences. They may 1) reconsider and join ceremony, which is where we are trying to steer them. 2) or a response - 'WHAT NO CEREMONY, what do you mean no ceremony? My boy deserves no less ... ' Then sternly but courteously say "Many people have worked long and hard to produce this important ceremony for our scouts, their families, and the Pack. Printing, hall rental, food catering, decoration, entertainment, scheduling Troop representatives and other guests, not to mention getting that bridge down from the attic of the police station and setting it up...all of this planned and communicated in advance. We are disappointed that you and your son have decided not to attend. Now if you want a ceremony at your convenience, say the next pack meeting, YOU do all the work. Make sure your ceremony meets your expectations. The only exceptions that Committee will consider are medical or family emergency..." Good luck getting the Web2's to return for a second ceremony. Seems harsh...but this is nonsense we don't need.
  13. Blue and Gold Scheduling problem

    My advice, having been there 1. It is unlikely that any scheduled time will fit all, afterall it is flu season, so you "do your best" (Cub Scout motto). How many can attend the announced date? Seem a good number, then run as scheduled. If the attendance looks slim, then reconsider. 2. Don't question a parent's decision to attend another activity. That's a lose-lose situation. I have had parents opt to attend Ice Capades because they suddenly had tickets, basketball because they were suddenly in the playoffs,...whatever, their choice. May not make any sense to us, but we are not in their shoes. 3. Tell parents they have a choice of plan B's - receive AOL at next pack meeting (probably no ceremony) - attend AOL and crossover with another pack (ceremony) - receive AOL with troop (maybe at Court of Honor, talk with SM) - other ideas? 4. Most important, relax. Don't get stressed over this.
  14. good enough for the Marines...

    Today, I attended Scout Sunday at our CO, a Protestant Church, with two dozen scouts from my unit. Some of our scouts who attended are not Christian and coincidentally none of our scouts are members of that Church. But there we were, all willingly participating in the Sunday program though some were non-believers in Jesus. One Muslim scout read part of the service and a Jewish scout another. The Church welcomed all of us to participate in their program today as we felt comfortable. No one said to a scout well you are "this" so you can't do "that" or be a part of our program. There was no religious auditing. This seemed to me, the is the way it should be. I think we should remove the religion standard from scouts but keep it for the adult scout leaders. Specifically on the the Boy Scout Application, the DRP should be removed and there would be an asterisk next to "duty to God*" and "be reverent*". There would no religion standard applied to youngsters, as they are still forming their religious beliefs or may be simply following family direction. What would the asterisk footnote say? Well, we could follow document tradition and forget to place the explanatory footnote (that's a joke). Maybe the footnote *according to family direction? The Adult Application would remain unchanged. I think this change would welcome some boys who want to join but who have been prohibited. I do not see the BSA program being negatively impacted. Adult leader requirements remain the same.
  15. good enough for the Marines...

    I remember similar arguments against allowing women to be scoutmasters. I stand for the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution and pledged allegiance long before I said the Scout Oath and Law. Let's discuss John's proposal. This topic will be heavy on my mind at Scout Sunday tomorrow. A point about Marines...I was not a Marine nor do I know any personally, but whenever I have asked for their help with scouts, I always get a "will do". No can't do, won't try. "Will do". I would like to see Scouting adopt that attitude.
  16. good enough for the Marines...

    Well the family decided to be atheists and the BSA decided to ban atheists from membership and then there was the troop policy of Scout Sunday attendance. I wasn't part of any of those decisions. Look at the Boy Scout Application that I handed them, page 1 "As a Boy Scout, I will meet the obligations of living the Scout Oath or Promise"... in the right margin is the Scout Oath and Promise. sign __________________ From their perspective, they walked away. From my perspective, I followed the BSA and troop policy and turned them away. Yeah, I thought then and still do that their son would have been a great scout and natural leader.(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)
  17. good enough for the Marines...

    "Who gave you the impression that being in one organization would automatically qualify someone to be in the other?" His father. It was his impression that a young man who joined the Marines should have been allowed to join scouts. So you don't agree. Thank his son for the privilege.
  18. good enough for the Marines...

    Sorry I was unclear. They did not believe in God. I mentioned other units but he wanted to join his buddies in my unit. His buddies were a bunch of devils, Christian though. Another aspect, for me anyway, I think 11-18 year old is too young to apply a religion standard. The boy likely follows his parents.
  19. good enough for the Marines...

    They were honest, hard-working people. For that family, belief in God was not a part of their life nor would they "bluff" it for the sake of appearances as some do. They had no problem with others believing or not. Their son would not attend Scout Sunday or be reverent,...I said that was contrary to the Scout Oath and Law and troop policy (Scout Sunday) so I had to turn them away. I remember the dad lecturing me on freedom of religion. Well that's the USA not the BSA. Good people. His son would have been a great SPL.
  20. What does Honor mean to you?

    Agree with GW. I also tell my scouts "that your word is your honor", consider your words carefully and be true to them.

    No hops_scout. Today, we are reaching fewer families with the Boy Scout program. Less than half as many as when I was as a scout. And ironically, I am turning away great families because they have no religious affiliation or interest. What can you say to a dad who years later says "My son served two tours as a Marine in Iraq but he wasn't good enough for the Boy Scouts?". Something is wrong, his son would have been great scout. What do you think the chances are that this Marine's newborn son will be a scout? 0.

    We are bringing the BSA program to fewer families. Now we can ignore that fact and make up excuses, say what a shame we sold off another camp, lost another troop, consolidated another council... that's the way it is, its sports, its video games, its the internet...there is no problem where I'm at. Or we can can try to turn it around. Look at what others have done successfully and unsuccessfully. Why did Canada have a membership downturn but the United Kingdom an upturn? What are our competitors doing right (hint: after school program at the school - parents really like that plus ease and flexibility in participating)? Consider ideas that are new and old. Stay the course? I worry that my grandchildren will only be able to participate in Scouting as an online course from their MyScouting account, as camps will be gone, liability insurance too high, volunteers too few.
  23. Does anyone have old training videos?

    Good observations. Contact other councils, see if they still have it in their library. They may be willing to sell it to you. Google AV-02V013 and track down the hits.
  24. Veteran Unit

    Call your council office and ask. I needed to create a unit history for a pack website but past members had scattered. Called council and they pulled out a folder for my unit with first charter, list of past cubmasters, date first chartered, etc. I was lucky that my unit was in the same council from day one, if your council has merged it might be harder obtaining info. Hope this helps.

    BW: Thanks I stand corrected, for 2006, 2.8 million members (down 2.4% from 2005) with 1.19 million adults (down 1.5% from 2005) BSA membership 1960: 5,160,958 1967: 6,058,508 1968: 6,247,160 (late sixties) 1969: 6,183,086 Pappy: Thanks for link. I read it and found myself wanting more info. For example, in my limited experience with the mentioned groups, I have found a frequent misconception that a boy could not join scouting if he did not have health insurance. (This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)