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Everything posted by scamp

  1. Our Wood Badge SM has declared that all staff will wear campaign hats, including the female staffers (currently I am the only female Scouter on staff). I always thought the campaign hat was NOT authorized for women, but I've been mistaken once or twice in the past :-). Does anyone have any thoughts on this. Is there a definitive resource, such as the Insignia Control Guide, Uniform Inspection Sheet, Scoutmaster's Manual, etc. that states one way or the other whether or not female Scouters wear the campaign hat? Should I contact National? As you may have gathered, I am not real happy with the idea of wearing the campaign hat.
  2. I support Barry's assessment of Wood Badge for the 21st Century. As one of the early posters on this thread almost a year ago, and as a staff member on the first "new" course offered in our council, Wood Badge now offers advanced leadership skill training to all Scout positions. The techniques taught in 21st Century Wood Badge mirror exactly those used in the business world for the past several years. Its great to see Scouting move in that direction too! Although I felt our particular course had a little trouble integrating the Cub Scouters, I think that challenge will be overcome in time. All the experienced staff on our course were experienced Boy Scout Wood Badgers, so they were having a some difficulty fitting the new syllabus into their Wood Badge experience. It sounds like many other councils are not having that trouble.
  3. scamp

    Lewis and Clark

    Our Cub Scout Adventureland hopes to build a replica of Lewis and Clark's Ft. Clatsop by next summer. When not being used for summer camp, the facility will hopefully be used for several community events relating to the Expedition, such as demonstrations of cooking and other activities of that time period, presentations on animals and plants in our area and native american populations of that time. Since we are far from the original trail, all activities will be geared for our location (southwest Michigan) but to the time period of the Lewis and Clark expedition. You can check out the Ft. Clatsop website and also the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission website for more information and ideas. Good luck!
  4. scamp

    Square Knot Earned?

    I think "by the book," the District Training Chair had no choice but to deny the Tiger Cub award. I was in the position of having to deny awards because the leaders only put down that they had served in the position from September through the following year (the school year, which is when the program ended from their point of view), and not the full 12 month tenure. However, I think the CC should appeal to the Council Training Committee and see what happens. I really like NJCubScouter's suggestion that some Cub Scout leader awards should be modified to recognize service at different levels of the pack at the same time. I know when the award requirements were modified a few years back to clarify the "registered in the position" requirement, the intent was to get more people involved and recognize their commitment to one position at a time. But I'll bet many packs have to deal with this same frustrating situation and a good leader is being denied recognition he truly deserves.
  5. scamp

    Do Packs have meeting during the summer?

    Scouting at all program levels is a 12 month program. Parents pay annual dues and families deserve a 12 month program. Therefore, it is not wrong, and it is encouraged to have a year-round program. If that is to include den meetings and pack meetings, good for you! Most packs do not because they can't get the leaders to commit to continuing through the summer. Everyone wants a break. That is why many packs offer several summer activities that are not den or pack meetings, so they can offer a program and to earn the Pack Summertime award. Check out the requirements for the Den Award in your Cub Scout Leader Book. It's been awhile since I read it, but this award is to encourage dens to maintain a 12 month program, I think. If you have the energy, time, leadership support, and interested families to hold den and pack meetings throughout the year, go for it! You just may want to be flexible about attendance in the summer.
  6. scamp


    The crossing over ceremony or bridging ceremony is a sore spot for me, since it appears many packs mis-use it. The crossing over ceremony is to recognize only those boys who have committed to joining a troop and they are "crossing over" the bridge to Boy Scouting. The Arrow of Light ceremony is obviously for Webelos who have earned the AOL. So, in my opinion, if it is done correctly, a pack may have up to 3 ceremonies. First an AOL for those who have earned it. Secondly, a pack may want to have some kind of graduation ceremony to recognize those who have completed Cub Scouting. Finally, a crossing over ceremony, with representatives of the troop(s) present to greet their new members as they cross-over to Boy Scouting. I frankly think that boys (and their families) who have made the commitment to continue Scouting deserve special recognition. However, many packs are reluctant to just ignore all the other Webelos (I guess that is part of our society's current initiative to ensure that everyone is treated equally and made to feel good about themselves, no matter what they did or did not do, but that is a different "soap box." :-)). My solution is the pack graduation ceremony. It may not be possible, practical or necessary to hold so many different ceremonies at one pack meeting. Pack leaders may have to carefully discuss how to proceed. Cross-over ceremonies, to be most effective, need coordination with the receiving troops. I believe it should be impressive and in front of the whole pack, so the Cubs get the impression that becoming a Boy Scout and joining a troop IS something special and deserving of special recognition. Thank you for listening and I apologize to those who have heard this from me before.
  7. scamp

    elaine whalley

    Do Tiger Cubs still have a separate promise and motto, or do they now start learning the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack right away, since we now have Tiger Cub dens and den leaders?
  8. scamp

    New Academic & Sport Awards?

    LauraMO-- The rumor you heard may be partially correct, depending on what it said. I attended the BSA National Conference in early June and attended a workshop led by two members of the National Cub Scout Committee on Outdoor Activities. Based on my notes: The following have now been added to the list of approved activities for Cub Scouts: skateboarding, snowboarding, snorkeling, hockey, flag football, and pack overnighters. This information will appear in the new editions of the Wolf, Bear, and Webelos handbooks which should be out during 2003. New sport belt loops and pins have been approved for ice skating, roller skating (roller blading, inline skating), snow ski and board sports and flag football. The new requirements will be out soon, but ONLY after the Scout Supply Center is equipped to provide the belt loops and pins. Requirements for the shooting belt loops and pins have been modified. The new requirements will be published during this fall to enable groups to be ready for summer camp 2003. A new revision of the Leaders book for Academics and Sports is due out in a year or so. So stayed tuned. Keep checking with your district and council trainers and your council program person for current information. We were told in no uncertain terms that the requirements for the new loops will not be available until BSA can supply the belt loops and pins to go along with them. Good luck!
  9. scamp

    Coed Scouting in USA?

    When we really got into Scouting in 1988 we were stationed at NAS Signella, Sicily. We had the opportunity to interact with the Italian Scouts at several activities. Italian Scouting is generally co-ed from the beginning. One event we visited was a camp-out with Scouts and Scouters, male and female, all together at one place, from the youngest to the teenagers. There are several subtle differences in the Italian structure (they have almost no paid staff, everything is run by volunteers), but overall, it worked. I think it can work here too. While BSA and GSUSA have long had a good relationship, the bottom line is that the Girl Scouts do not offer the same kind of program that the BSA does, and some girls want that. Secondly, without trying to get on the homosexuality/duty to God issues (that's another discussion thread!), the GSUSA have NOT taken the stance that BSA has, and that makes a difference to some people!! My Scout Executive (whom I trust to be mostly in the know) has indicated that there is a new all-girls organization forming that follows more of the BSA line and that it could become quite popular. My personal opinion is that we will see more and more co-ed programing, but that it will be very gradual. But I also agree with the many posters who state that girls and boys do act differently in co-ed vs. single-sex situations and that there are pros and cons to both.
  10. scamp

    Scout "trivia"

    OK, you got me on a bunch of these. I read that Boyce was travelling THROUGH London on his way to Africa, when he was helped by the unknown Scout. He met with Baden-Powell on his way back through London to the U.S. In other words, he did not go to London to meet B-P. He didn't know anything about Scouting until the legendary fateful night in the fog. One source I read suggested that Boyce had an ulterior motive for promoting Scouting in the U.S. -- a ready-made corps of newspaper delivery boys for his newspaper! I thought the plaid on the Woodbadge neckercheif was connected to the gentleman who donated Gilwell Park to the Scouts? I didn't think it had anything to do with B-P's plaid, if he even had one. I thought the original Woodbadge beads were from a huge necklace GIVEN to B-P by an African chieftain (not taken from a deceased one) as a sign of respect for B-P. Wish I had my official BSA History of Woodbadge book here at work with me to see what it says about these things! I believe the book is out of print now, but has some good stuff in it.
  11. I have to agree with andrews. In my experience, the success of the troop usually started with an individual willing to be SM and the rest went from there, but I know it doesn't always work that way. In an ideal situation, the CO would seek out Scouting for its youth and build the unit from there. I have never yet been involved in a unit where the CO is actively involved in recruiting adult volunteers. Most say, we are OK with you here, but we can't provide leaders. So far, every unit I have been with, the leaders are recruited from the parents. And, surprisingly, in most of the units I have had experience with, very, very few of the families in the unit are associated with the CO. Strange, uh? I certainly wish it wasn't that way!
  12. scamp

    Donations the way it SHOULD be

    I agree with those posters who recommend giving their gift directly to their council and not through the United Way. In our area one United Way said they would not accept donations for Boy Scouts because the council refused to sign the non-discrimination agreement. So, lo and behold, that United Way's total donations DROPPED because people reacted by donating directly to the council. I also heard that even if you designate your United Way donation to Boy Scouts, all monies will be put in one big pot and distributed. So keep giving to United Way if you want to support a broad range of organizations, but if you want to make sure that BSA gets your gift, give it directly to them (or do both -- some to United Way and some to BSA -- in amounts that are comfortable for you).
  13. scamp

    New Merit Badges - Again

    Great ideas to keep the merit badge program interesting and relevant. I think working new technology into an existing merit badge is good. I also think we should try to incorporate the teaching of Morse Code and other signalling methods into the program again, maybe as part of the Communications merit badge. Movies like "Independence Day" point out the foolishness of relying on our technology too much. Part of survival is not having electricity and technological gadgets.
  14. scamp

    Professional Scouting

    Go for it! I have heard of many others that were volunteers and then got into the professional scouting end. It can be done. I also recommend that you speak to some trusted members of your current professional staff. The hours are long. As a professional you must mostly make yourself available when your volunteers and the Scouting activities are scheduled -- that means weekends and evenings. As pointed out, moving up the career ladder means relocating, so your family needs to be good with this. Finally, make sure you understand how your performance will be judged. A professional has to be the consummate people person. You have to sell Scouting to potential charter partners (for new units), donors (to meet fund-raising goals) and volunteers (to meet membership goals. Good luck!!
  15. scamp

    Young Adult Leaders

    When my son turned 18, he became an ASM and went to summer camp with the troop that summer. Since then, his interest has waned because he is away at college and feels he doesn't have a connection with the newer scouts. I continue to hope that he will want to get involved again sometime. I believe the 18 year olds who are not interested in participating in a Venture Crew can serve as effective ASMs if they worked well with the younger boys previously. They can be a big help as role models and mentors.
  16. I'm afraid I don't totally agree with eisley on this one. My purpose for suggesting ScouterPaul contact the DE or Council office was to get confirmation of the BSA policy on fund-raising. However, eisley's suggestion of contacting the unit commissioner to ask questions and clarify the situation is the first person to contact. The unit committe does not have the authority to circumvent or change BSA policies, just as they do not have the authority to change advancement requirements. Therefore, this is an issue that goes beyond the committee if there is some confusion. In other words, if the committe does not know or understand BSA policies/rules, then someone better find out! BSA has clear policies describing money-earning activities, when it is appropriate to wear the uniform, advancement requirements, membership requirements and others. I also agree with eisley that this particular situation may go beyond just money-earning issues, but programming issues. Why should one den need to earn more money than the rest of the pack? These are issues that should start at the committee level, but if there is a question of what is the correct policy, there are resources beyond the committee.
  17. I agree with shemgren that fundraising activities are authorized for the troop or pack ONLY. The sources listed are clear. An annual program plan and/or monthly planning meetings would ensure that one den does not plan activities so different from the others that it requires additional funds of that amount. I was taught and have taught new den leaders that dues (however, they may be collected, weekly, monthly or annually) are intended to be the primary source of funds to reimburse den leaders for out of pocket expenses for den materials. My personal opinion is that the den program should not be and is not intended to be so expensive that a special den fund-raising activity is required. At the risk of pissing everyone else off, I strongly suggest ScouterPaul turn to his DE or Council Office for guidance on this because I believe there are some pretty clear policies on fund-raising and they do not include den/patrol fund-raising activities.
  18. scamp

    Spring Cub Roundup?

    Here's another idea. If your pack does any summertime activities (other than camp), you could use those activities as a recruiting opportunity. For instance, if your pack works on earning the National Summertime Award, you must hold 3 pack level activities during the summer. Many packs count summer camp as one of these activities. I have been with units that had a pool party and a family cook-out. Other ideas include a day hike, conservation project, trip to a farm, and many others. With proper publicity and planning, these activities could also be used to invite new families and let them know a little about what Cub Scouting is all about.
  19. scamp

    Spring Cub Roundup?

    A spring round-up is a great idea, because the boys who register can attend day camp or resident camp for their program level. What a great way to get them hooked on Scouting! Plus you can start getting adult leaders recruited over the summer and the program planned, so that you are ready to go with your program in September. Don't have to waste the whole month trying to get an annual plan together and getting dens and leaders set-up. Kindergarteners could be recruited and head to summer day camp as Tiger Cubs. Kids ending first grade could be recruited and attend camp as Wolves, etc. Talk to your district and/or council membership chairman about spring round-up. It's been done before and there's no reason why it couldn't work for you. Good luck!!
  20. scamp

    Adult Leader Training

    Chippewa29: I think your group will be lucky to have you to help the "newbies" with your experience and academic work. One thing I have noticed as a trainer for many years is that long-time Scouters get in a rut with their units -- "this is the way we've alway done it." But as was pointed out, the program is always changing and just because you've been sucessful doesn't mean that it is the "official" BSA way. So you may learn something and at the very least pick up a tip or two, maybe from other experienced Scouters like yourself, just sharing success stories.
  21. scamp

    New Merit Badges

    This thread is a great idea. New merit badges are best initiated from us, Scouters in the field working with the boys. A leader in our council, who happens to be an avid hunter and outdoorsman, is submitting a Hunting merit badge to national, which should be happening very soon. He has some great ideas and has worked closely with the council advancement committee. Even though I personally do like hunting, I think his merit badge has a lot of, well, merit, and it will be embraced by many. ScoutMom, I think your idea of a social graces-type merit badge is great! I, too, tried to initiate the idea of a troop meeting focused on good table manners and etiquette, but didn't get very far. I'm glad to see others are doing it. Our local paper recently ran an article about a college level business class being exposed to the same thing -- how to conduct yourself in an up-scale restaurant, at a meeting, etc. I like to call these things "life skills." How to write a check, how to cook a meal, how to iron a shirt or sew on a button. Let's face it, mom isn't always going to be around to do it. How to treat a girl, how to meet new people and make small talk at a party, these are the things our boys need to know to succeed after high school. Unfortunately, many of them don't seem to be getting this instruction in the home anymore. A psychologist whose name has just escaped me, recenty published a book about "life skills" in different social classes (i.e., income levels). She believes that the reason many people have difficulty getting off welfare is that basically, the business world is "middle-class" and some people just don't have the social skills necessary to succeed in that world (but they may have good survival skills for their world). If you are interested in her work, I will look it up. Anyway, thanks for listening. Great merit badge ideas: Competitive Swimming, Gourmet Cooking, Life Skills, Hunting, what else? Let's make sure we take the steps to make our ideas known to the "powers that be."
  22. OGE, Wood Badge for the 21st Century is an entirely new leadership development course, just introduced this past fall after test courses in some councils over the past two years. This Wood Badge is one course open to all Scouters (our course included one career Scouter). There is no longer a separate Boy Scout Wood Badge and Cub Scout Trainers Wood Badge course. Participants are divided into patrols, and team building through various exercises is part of the tradition. Participants sit through a classroom-type series of sessions covering such topics as managing conflict, developing listening skills, the six steps of effective planning, leading change, and diversity. There are also some outdoor activities, including a conservation project. All the topics are intended to help the participant build a tool kit of skills to help them develop as effective leaders, no matter what their scouting job. The new course does not emphasize outdoor skills, but participants do some patrol camping. Each council or region that sponsors a course has some latitude concerning the extent of the camping experience and how to structure the course. The course staff and participants are organized to represent an idealized troop, with various staff members serving as Scoutmaster, SPL, Troop Committee Chairman, etc., and the participants in patrols. There are many traditions associated with Wood Badge including songs, totems, and the regalia you earn once your ticket is completed. The 21st Century Wood Badge ticket is made up of several goals which you establish for yourself, which the approval of your ticket counselor, to help you develop in the areas of Scout leadership, community involvement and self-development. I guess that's it in a nutshell. There used to be a certain "mystery" involved with Wood Badge. You didn't talk about it, so that participants would discover what Wood Badge is all about when they do it. Frankly, I find this to be "old thinking" and have heard several negative stories from people who really disliked their old Wood Badge experience. Today's Wood Badge emphasizes the sharing of information and, as I said earlier, leadership skills. So I hope this helps you. It's usually a fun experience, a great way to meet new people and share Scouting tales, and, yeah, it's kinda neat to earn your beads and wear them to appropriate occasions.
  23. from Dedicated Dad in a previous post on this thread: Mitchell Barnes-Wallace cannot join because his parents are lesbians, whom the Scouts consider morally unclean. Is this true? I believe Mitchell can register, but his parents cannot register as leaders because of their openly homosexual relationship. That is not to say there would not be some backlash against Mitchell by his fellow scouts because of his unorthodox parental situation, and there would probably be some rudeness or open hostility against the parents in most communities.
  24. scamp

    uniforms in public

    Our troop generally travels in Class As, especially if they will be stopping for a meal in a public place along the way. While at the campsite, they generally wear Class B, which for us is our troop t-shirt (with our troop number and charter organization) and the pants/shorts of their choice. Of course, during summer camp or some other official gathering, such as camporee, Class As are required more frequently. Also, being from Michigan, there are many campouts where it doesn't matter what shirt you wear, because it is covered with a sweatshirt or jacket. It is not uncommon for the guys to be camping in snow or near freezing temperatures from November through April.
  25. scamp

    Who makes up a pack committee?

    scoutmom: I'm glad you finally brought up the point -- In order to be a chartered Cub Scout Pack there must be at least three registered committee members -- one of whom is registered as Comm Chair (one of the others typically functions as treasurer, but there is no requirement for this). There must be at least one CM and appropriate den leaders. I was always told that at an absolute minimum, five individual adults must be registered with the Pack in order for the Pack to exist. Notice that this list does not include the Chartered Organization Rep. TigerMom: I'm surprised nobody mentioned this yet, so I will :-). You need to get to your local Scout Shop or go online to ScoutStuff (the online Scout Shop from National) and purchase a copy of the Cub Scout Leaders Book. I believe this costs about $7 or $8. This book will tell you everything you need to know about pack leadership and the roles of each registered adult. It talks about finances, safety, program planning, etc. I strongly urge you to get a copy FAST and share your new found information with your fellow leaders. Your Cubmaster sounds pretty confused. Maybe he just shoots from the hip when he doesn't know an answer. By the way, our Council Executive, a wise and experienced Scout professional, urges us to have "Parent" committees, as opposed to "pack" or "troop" committees. Why? Because it is a great way to point out that parent involvement is critical for a successful unit. Wouldn't it be a little easier to recruit members to a Parent Committee than to a Pack Committee, which may sound a little intimidating to newcomers?