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About ReneScout

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  1. Aye, you're right -- I apologize for overlooking that rather vital component. Back on the issue at hand, though, the national JTE guide says the following on this requirement: "In this requirement, lodges are asked to show positive growth in their annual membership records, which are traditionally perceived as members who have paid their dues. Therefore the successful collection of dues is essential to making a successful count of all active members. The only plausible way a lodge would fail to meet this expectation would be if more members failed to pay their dues than candidates inducted in a years time." It's required because it's rather hard to fail it to begin with, though I still agree that sometimes there's just a sudden on membership. But there are things the lodge can do to try and contain the damage and come out on top. Unless there's just a sore loss of members as a result of people moving out of he area, dying or leaving Scouting, a lodge can still launch campaigns to bring already inducted members back. By promoting the payment of dues, the decline can be reversed. My lodge has done it before, and it's a completely legitimate (in fact encouraged) means for achieving this requirement. Source: http://www.oa-bsa.org/resources/pubs/jteguide-2012.pdf
  2. rismith, I'm not sure what you mean by saying they do not qualify for JTE Gold; did I miss something that Chief40 said that means they did not do well in other categories? JTE is a point-based system, and from what I understand, Chief40's lodge has earned more than enough points for the Gold level. What I said was in reference to Chief40's nervousness that his lodge would not earn the JTE award and that he would get that legacy. My answer is simple: His lodge will get the JTE award, and by my math they will get the Gold level. The JTE program is intended to reward lodges that do well on certain things and identify areas that need improvement. A lodge does not have to earn points for every requirement, they just have to keep track of their progress on things that they do. Yes, you and several others have a valid point about that requirement; the outcome of it can be as temperamental as the weather. But you're wrong by assuming that a lodge that does not do well on membership is not a great lodge. It is completely possible for a lodge to attain Gold status without having positive membership growth or any other requirement. They can have stellar service hours or solid budgets, great inter-council relations or fantastic training. All these things add up, and like a school grade, messing up on one thing (or having fate look the other way, as is the case in some places) will not severely mess up the grade. This isn't Quality Lodge where a lodge either made the cut or it didn't, this is a much softer approach tailored towards mentoring and helping lodges. Does this answer your question?
  3. To qualify myself, I am a current section chief and am on my regional JTE committee and worked on the JTE handbook. The JTE system is tiered with bronze, silver and gold levels, each representing a specific number of points earned by a lodge accomplishing different tasks. The levels are earned not by accomplishing every objective as if it were a requirement but rather by earning points where a lodge is able to. The JTE system differs from the Quality Lodge system by this very groundbreaking principle: It's intention is to recognize lodges for how they perform on what they perform best at and still give them incentives to improve other aspects rather than having requirements that must be met in order to receive the award at year's end. You said your lodge qualifies for the top level of everything but a single requirement of the JTE criterion, number 3: Membership Impact. Assuming you were unable to reach any levels of this requirement, your lodge would have still earned an impressive 2,200 points, more than enough to qualify for the Gold JTE award which has a limbo stick of just 1,400 points. Your lodge isn't failing a test, it's going to reach a JTE award of some level and your legacyisn't going to be the lodge chief who didn't get the lodge the inaugural JTE award. Instead, focus your concentration on the aspect that caused the lodge to lose a few points: Membership Impact. How you can do this, I don't know but ideas have already been presented by a few people above.
  4. Orange (blaze) loops are for Varsity scouts, which is an LDS program. Unless the scout is a part of that organization, he should not be wearing it. Despite the prevalence of it, NYLT is /not/ permitted or enabled to create its own shoulder loops. I've rolled my eyes and shaken my head at kids wearing camo loops with sergeant stripes, citing their NYLT job as "trailblazer" as permission enough to use them, which is total BS. Loops are an official part of the BSA uniforming policy and is not a subject that can be changed by anyone less than the powers that be in Irving. And since loops are intended to show the /primary registration/ of the Scouting member, he should always have only one color of loops on. In this case, the scout should wear -only- the green unit level loops. Despite being a member of the district committee, I would heavily discourage his use of the DC shoulder patch for a number of reasons. He's a youth member and should show his unit position as a result. Despite being a member of the committee, he is not primarily registered to the district. Furthermore, if someone wears the committee patch, they should wear silver shoulder loops. (And I would hate to add another color of loops to this young man's assortment for fear of confusing him further. Man, the sight of THREE loop colors would be a trippy sight.) This policy goes along the same reason that chapter and lodge chiefs in the Order of the Arrow have no official position patches because they are youth and should still be devoting their time and energy towards their units and show their support to that group. I have my opinions on that policy, but that's for another day. As for your last question, the district committee and troop committees can totally have youth members. In my troop, the SPL is a nonvoting member if invited, as are lodge and chapter chiefs in the OA in their respective council and district committees (again, if invited). However, and this is just an afterthought opinion, I would not say that members of these committees should wear the official committee member patches if they are under the age of 18, including this lad. Sorry I wasn't able to finger out any official publication or policy numbers, but I hope someone else can ratify my thoughts with something more concrete.
  5. What I think is so silly about the uniforms National's been releasing is that they constantly try to make them look outdoorsy and suitable for trekking. What they forget is that no sane Scout or Scouter would wear their $100 uniform on any trek that would take their car out of their sight. Uniforms are worn at ceremonies, meetings and some events like camporees and jamborees. IMO, National should work on making the uniforms look good, not stress this cheap functionality gimmicks. But oh well, if getting this uniforms means I'll have a cooler back and won't have my uniform reading "Boy S out Of Am rica," sure, I might consider spending my hard earned money on yet another shirt. And I miss the old, first generation Switchbacks. A pity my pair doesn't fit me well anymore, because those were the bomb.
  6. Has its merits and certainly would counter any possible verbal abuse, but also seems to be more a hassle than a boon.
  7. As a 3rd ASM, it's my job to work as the adult laison between the youth (PLC) and the rest of the adult leadership team. And from what I've seen of the boys at our troop meetings, I wouldn't trust them to decide on the issue of cell phones. At one point, when the patrols were getting their names set up, I witnessed two counts of boys using their iPhones to check their Facebook statuses. The ASPL was right there, too, and nobody did anything about it. I had to calmly ask the boy to put his device away. I would be very hesitant to trust such a body of youth to decide on a matter of this importance. As for other devices, they'll all fine. Why? Because you can't use your camera to surf the web, you can't use your MP3 player to send text messages (except for iPod touches), and as such they present less of a problem. Besides, we're not banning anything at all, since we're letting the scouts take their cell phones with them, anyway, just with us watching closely with the right to take them away. (Reading the above post, I realized there are thongs we wouldn't allow: the recreational devices, like PSPs, DSs, laptops, etc. Those are obvious, I'd say, but I did not mention when when I said "They;re all fine.") In any case, my contingent is fairly firm with our decision, and we don't see any reason to let the PLC decide on something we've already come to a consensus on.(This message has been edited by ReneScout)
  8. Having the PLC decide things is fine, but the leaders jobs is to make sure the program is followed and the laws of Scouting are obeyed (correct me if I'm wrong), so I think the use of a controversial tool, such as a cell phone, is well within the boundaries of adult discretion. I'd leave the more routine and easily-tossed-up matters to the PLC.
  9. What we're doing (and I say "we" because I'm the 3RD ASM and have been to the committee meetings to discuss the issue) is allowing cell phones, but with us watching closely. They'll be allowed on the tour, but we'll be watching, making sure they aren't texting while the guide is talking about the sights. They'll be allowed on site, too, but we'll have our designated "cell phone bag" which the phones will be in if we think the kids are making one too many calls to mommy. The parents also know about it, and we'll be having a special troop code of conduct that will require their signatures, also allowing us to do what we think fit. Scouts with cell phones running amok, calling their parents and texting their girls is not pretty at all, but neither is trying the stone age approach of banning them outright. Besides, cell phones have, for better or worse, taken over the lives of many a teenager these days, and while they do have their downsides, they can certainly be used well and effectively at the NSJ. It's all about the memories, and those phones can help keep and spread those memories. I think it's with his is mind that Nationals made it so big and we're trying to work with it.
  10. Back at '07 World, people with Interpreter strips were instantly the most popular people in my troop, and likely others, too. I was the go-to guy for anything Spanish or Romance languag-y. Back at home, a lot of people notice the little badge and are instantly interested, both in the language and myself. It's quite a conversation starter. I haven't put it on my new Centennial uniform yet because it looks terrible due to color matching problems. Anyone know if the newest batch of strips harmonizes with the new tans?
  11. So last Wednesday, I had my interview for 3rd ASM for Jamboree troop 748. I got the position. =D
  12. Not a plan for program, but I'd like to say it would not hurt select, rather than elect, the SPL, ASPLs, QM and Scribe. Use the interview process. My WSJ troop did this and while the first pick for SPL was lazy by the time we got to England, the second SPL worked very well. Besides, for a troop to work well, there should be as little friction between the Green bar patrol and the Geezer patrol, and if the leaders pick the youth leaders, you can reduce the friction risks a lot.
  13. I don't see anything really wrong about this. Don't get me wrong-- I agree that he should have talked to the SPL about it first. But that is related to the headstrong attitude he has and seems to be more of a personality problem that is up to the leaders/parents to try and remedy. Now, since it was the SM who approved this "recon mission" or "espionage extraordinaire" then maybe it should be kept as an adult thing at first. Invite him to make a little talk at your next committee meeting and see what he has to say, then pass it to the SPL/PLC. The boys in the troop will probably not miss the "intel" that the young "secret agent" has raked in (or not, whichever case it may be). Personally, I've advocated the use of troop visiting and watch-and-learn techniques in my own troop, and while it may not have amounted to much, it still helped our green bar patrol a lot.
  14. Most in the troop call him Mr. Leech, but I, and a few others who have been in the troop for a long time, simply call him "Tom." And that's actually what he prefers, too.
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