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About RipVanScouter

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  1. RipVanScouter

    Being asked to step up to CC in a new-to-me Pack

    Clem- Thank you so much for your advice - that is an awesome idea. In fact, it's got me springboarding into looking at how the leadership handles a lot of the responsibility at the Pack level. They've basically made the CC job into "everything and anything that no one else wants to do - and then wonder why they have trouble filling the job. Hopefully I can change things a bit - before they become a victim of their own success (this structure/system is a carry-over from when the Pack was much smaller).
  2. RipVanScouter

    Bear Badge ?

    First of all - Welcome to the Forum. Now - on to your question. I wouldn't do it. And here is why - once your "Doug and Wendy Whiner" parents (the old SNL "couple") get their way once - it will never end (I'm dealing with this with Tiger parents now). They need to understand that the program is supposed to help the boys develop character traits (honesty, perserverence, a work ethic, etc.). Just hanging meaningless badges on them because Mommy and Daddy say so runs counter to this purpose and the boy loses out in the long run. As an aside - parents like that are IMHO "posterchildren" for most of what is wrong with American society today - an overdeveloped sense of self importance and a need for recognition whether deserved or not. With that said - I would make every effort to arrange for them to "make up" the requirements - let them know you will help them, but it will take a commitment on their part, and that THEIR child will be the benefitiary of that commitment. Now if the boys do "catch up" or receive the advancement later - be sure to recognize the achievement and the extra effort it took. This will let them know (as well as their parents) that it did't go unnoticed. Good Luck with your efforts to run a quality program.(This message has been edited by RipVanScouter)
  3. I recently returned to scouting after a 28 year hiatus. I am currently a TDL in medium sized (70 boys) Pack that appears to fairly young (less than 10 years I would guess). While I have been enjoying the Tiger program, it has been a bit frustrating (parents who think I am a free babysitter, etc. and Pack leadership that could use some serious help with organizational skills). Now comes the tricky part - we have a CC who is moving on with his WII son after B&G. No one has stepped up to take over as CC - not the CM or any of the other folks who have been in the Pack for 2-4 yrs. The CM and a couple other leaders have asked me to consider it (mostly because they don't like "dealing with council"), due to my experience (12+ yrs back in the 70's & 80's) and my comfort level with council (most are my OA lodge brothers). Trouble is I'm at my limit of time commitment - so I would have to give up my Tiger den (Tiger parents aren't too happy 'bout that - and would prefer that I eventually became CM). Pack leaders also expect that I take this on as a four-year commitment. While I think I could really help this pack (if the leaders don't fight me about changes), I am very concerned about the Tigers successful transition into Cub Scouts if I step aside as TDL. The Pack had a less than 25% retention of Tigers last year - I'm expecting about 75% based on the progress and enthusiasm so far. So I find myself torn between my commitment to my son and the other Tigers (and obviously the retention issue), and to accept this to help the Pack grow and (hopefully) run smoother. Any words of advice, similar experiences, etc. would be helpful. Thanks for reading. - Rip
  4. RipVanScouter

    Den Leader Report Card

    Just for fun, I'll take this on from another perspective... What has the Pack committee and/or the other den leaders done to offer him program helps and examples of things that have been used in his den's program in the past? I've been getting help/support/suggestions (for my TC program) from Scouters other than my Pack leadership - they're not very proactive when it comes to teaching/training TDLs. So my plan over the course of this year is to document all the games, puzzles and activities that I had to dig up/discover/beg/borrow/steal or outright invent and create a Tiger Cub Den Leader "Cliff's notes" sorta thing. Do you have a "nuts and bolts" resource available for him? It could very well be that he sees his role as trying to get the boys as much advancement as fast as possible to keep "A" personality parents interested in the program. It could also be that he has(or perceives he has) low parent participation and has to 'carry' everything or maybe he's not good at delegating. Perhaps you should casually ask the parents how they feel about the program, and stress to the parents as well as the DL the 'shared leadership role'. ...just some thoughts...to be taken with a truckload of salt.
  5. RipVanScouter

    New Cubmaster

    I would agreed with all of the information provided here, I would inform your District folks (DE & DRC) of exactly the position you are in and ask for help and specific names of resources. Get contact info for your local Boy Scout troops. They have a vested interest in helping you - you are training their future Boy Scouts. Ask for Den Chiefs - useful help for your DLs and may help to ease the chaos (just by setting a good example). For "other" help such as ceremonies as well as a pool of service oriented youth among the local Boy Scout troops - try to get in contact with your district's OA lodge (if you have one), your district leaders will have that info. Ask their chapter chief or chapter advisor for help.
  6. RipVanScouter

    First Merit Badge

    First Aid - we practically made it a first merit badge requirement in my troop - because we took the local first-aid-o-ree VERY seriously (one of the few things where my small troop excelled). We had an EMT and a longtime Red Cross reg. "first-aider" as MBC's. Favorite - had to be lifesaving, and only one (I earned) that required real physical challenge (self-rescue in about 50 degree water - at least it felt that way). I can still remember it 34 years later.
  7. RipVanScouter

    Den Going Rogue

    I feel your pain, Eagle92. I was starting to think I was a "wierd" case of a TCDL feeling like I was the only organized person in a sea of chaos. I'm the "rogue" because I'm the only one following the new TC den meeting plan. I agree with the other posters - take care of your den first (that's what I'm doing). Second help other DL's as you can (if they want your help - my case isn't always that way). Thirdly try to help the Pack leadership get it together. The boys always come first.
  8. RipVanScouter

    Noac as a Adult

    Ken ... LOL! I will be 49, I'm definately going, and I'm absolutely certain that I'll have flashbacks...I might even start signing "MSU Shadows" (remember that?) so you've all been warned! The icing on the cake would be visiting my Fraternity house (afterwards, of course), gotta check up on my 'other' brothers.
  9. RipVanScouter

    Tiger Cubs parent participation

    Thank you all so much for your replies, your advice and your reassurance that my experience is common (I suspected as much). Your advice has convinced me that I should sign up for the upcoming University of Scouting that I was considering (there's still more to learn - WAY COOL!). Just had our first Pack leadership meeting - about halfway through I was feeling like Clint Eastwood's character Gunnery Sgt. Tom Highway in "Heartbreak Ridge" - the old grisled veteran that was a bit "out of step" with things "today" and way too gung-ho. But since then I 'quietly' got e-mail from another den leader asking me how to set up a field trip - so maybe my 'scary', 'hyper-organized' 2-4 month lookahead scheduling style wasn't lost on all of them (even though the 30 something DL's rolled their eyes :-). I'm trying to engage the parents as I get to know them. Of course with just learning the program myself - it may take a month or so. But as interests and skills/talents are revealed, I try to capitalize on them as quickly as possible. I've had a couple of parents notice this (the gung-ho ones), so it's becoming a Tiger den parent joke about how fast I draft/volunteer people. Again, thank you one and all. John (This message has been edited by RipVanScouter)
  10. RipVanScouter

    Tiger Cubs parent participation

    I have a great bunch of boys that are really getting into the Tiger Cub program and I am blessed with a few parents that are diving in and helping and selling popcorn like they were born to do it! Then I have the other end of the spectrum - the parents who are very low participation (as I'm sure everyone does). I'm talking don't think their child can learn the requirements for Bobcat, when I know the kids can do it (5 minutes twice a day is how I taught my son). As a veteran Scouter (and newbie CS DL), I may be a little too enthusiastic for them to handle. I am following the new 2010-2011 (2 meeting a month) den meeting schedule. My Pack leadership has expressed concern over scaring parents off (they had very low Tiger Cub retention last year) by giving them "too much too fast". The trouble is half the parents (in my den) are thrilled with the well-planned activites and scheduled advancement and work with their sons at home (and are loving it). The issue in my mind is that the boys with low parent involvement are the ones who (IMHO) will benefit the most from Scouting (thats why we do it, right?). So without boring the hard chargers, I need to help the other boys (I guess I'm looking for the "middle ground" here). So how do den leaders deal with the challenge of low parent participation? Especially in Tiger Cubs where it is a requirement right up front? I'm just fine with putting my shoulder against the grindstone, I'm just not sure about where (and when) to push. Any help on how to have this talk without totally ticking off parents would help.(This message has been edited by RipVanScouter)
  11. RipVanScouter

    Tiger Den Leader

    Welcome! I'm a new Tiger Cub den leader as well. You'll find folks here that will lend a lot of helpful advice. My first would be to spend some (okay, a lot of) time on the Scouting.org website. After I completed all of my required training, I downloaded the Tiger Cub den meeting plans and a lot of useful info. I also spent some time "tweaking" the schedule and plans to suit my den's plans and I put together a schedule for the first 8-10 meetings. I handed it out to all the parents at our first den meeting. With families scheduling around Girl Scouts, dance classes, cheerleading cateciszm (sp?), and the adult's stuff (hunting seasons, K of C, civic orgs, etc.) everyone needs about a 2-3 month "heads up" to avoid conflicts. Make sure you verbally reinforce the "shared leadership" aspect of Tiger Cubs. I let them know we will rotate "hosting" duties (I personally include teaching a new song and a snack as part of this duty - completes two electives for the host team). Try to make at least half the den meeting activities a parent/cub activity (mostly the crafts and games). I only give parents half a chance to sit on the sidelines - the rest is required participation. I also send out a weekly e-mail with reminders of the "#F" requirements they should be working on (also on the schedule) that correspond to the den activities and "Go see its". My parents said they love the structure and they know exactly what they need to be doing and when the badge requirements will be completed. Again, welcome aboard and thanks for giving your time to Scouting.
  12. RipVanScouter

    Hello, back into scouting after 28 years.

    Thanks for the welcome. I'm actually LOVING the Tiger Cub Program - especially the new "delivery" method. I vaguely remember a disconnect between outings and advancement requirements in Cubs. With outings as such an itegral part of the program, I'm thinking it will keep all my Scouts and parents engaged and enthused about continuing. We discussed this and we're going to try for one outing per month. Of course this means a little "homework" (i.e. all the "#F" requirements) but they seem to be keeping up so far (weekly "update" e-mails are helping). As far as new school vs. old, I'm a believer in teaching both. Like knot tying; I think it's very important - but maybe that's because I've used it in hunting, camping and years of yacht racing (a foredecker has to tie bowlines constantly). I view the basics as life skills (like First Aid, Home Repair, etc.) not just Scouting skills. Now if I can just find a "real" tent...I love the smell of canvas in the morning ;-). Alamance - maybe you can appreciate this; I took my old patch vest from Boy Scouts (my mother kept ALL of that stuff packed away) to a meeting to show the boys (get them interested, etc.). The moms used it to play a cute little game - they pointed to which one of my patches corresponded to the year they were born. My wife asked me later if I enjoyed my "Geritol moment" (yup, she's just hilarious ).
  13. Hello, all. I'm a return scout (seem to be a lot of "us" here) after a break of 28 years. My last post was as an ASM to my original Troop. My son is a new Tiger Cub (isn't that what brings most of us back?) and I'm a new Tiger Cub DL. My head is still kinda spinning - Cubs have changed a bit since 1970 (when I was a new Wolf). Family camping - good thing (I think). What is this Webelos/Arrow of Light 2 year program? We earned the AOL while we were Webelos (2 years of Cubs, one year Webelos, then into Boy Scouts, and camping at 11yo) or am I remembering it wrong? I'm trying to get acclimated but as my username suggests, I'm feeling as though I've just awoke from a very long sleep - in a Voyager tent (sigh). Council has a new name (no biggie), my OA Lodge still exists (thanks to brothers who kept their Oath better than I did) and they are helping as OA Brothers do. So hopefully I can give something back to Scouting for the next generation (I just gotta get past the 10-15 year age difference between me and my cubs' parents ;-). Looking forward to learning and exchanging ideas here - Thanks so much for the opportunity.