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About ScoutLass

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    Spokane, WA
  1. ScoutLass

    Den funding

    We don't charge dues. We do $15 per month, per 5 boys. So a den with three boys gets $15, while den with eight boys gets $30. Leaders can spend more, but they have to get treasurer approval first. But we don't just turn the cash over to the den leaders. We used to, but then we ended up with lots of doubles in supplies, like 20 lbs. of plaster of Paris, or a leader buying premade birdhouse kits when we had a huge excess of kits our old cubmaster had made. So, after the pack meeting, the den leaders give a run down of what they are planning for the next month and everyone offers their excess supplies when possible. Then the leaders buy what they need, in budget, and turn in the receipts for reimbursement. My after the holidays project is to clean up our CO's Sunday School storage room, which we share but rarely use. There are supplies in there older than me! That way we can have a dedicated shelf or two for leaders to "shop" from, instead of me keeping everything in my basement.
  2. We have den flags. I made them upon the request of the last cubmaster and we use them at every pack meeting. Our flags consists of the 10 or 12 inch square rank patch the scout shop caries, sewn onto the fabric that matches that ranks neckerchief (we currently have one den per rank). We display them at pack meetings, have dens carry in their flag for the super-important events (like Blue and Gold), and we use them to display den awards. The den awards are attached to the top of the den flag, much as pack award ribbons are attached to the top of the pack flag. We give out homemade ribbons and awards for den competitions at pack meetings, winning popcorn sales goals, and other special things. The boys like displaying their den trophies and the flags get pretty colorful with all the tassels and ribbons hanging off the top. The last cubmaster made the poles from long tree branches and the stands from 2-by-4 boards.He drilled holes through the branches to tie the flags to pole. They look impressive framing our "stage" area at pack meetings. I wouldn't say they are necessary to a successful pack or den, but we enjoy having them.
  3. Momof2, Segments are just small curved patches. Our scout shop has them or you can buy them online. They are only 50 to $1 each, which is good for our pack's limited budget. We award belt loops, but rarely actively encourage them due to the cost, so this is a good stand-in for those. You can make a vest for less than $2 and in 15 minutes, even if you have to hand sew it. I disagree with the bits and bobbles things. For one, we don't get a ton of patches beyond rank badges in our neck of the woods unless we have them made up ourselves. No Halloween patch or anything here. We award segments for all those types of events. For the boys I've seen in packs that use segments, their vest is almost like a scrapbook of their scouting years. I've looked at patch vests with boys scouts as they pointed out each little segment and shared little stories and memories that they have from earning each one. My husband's pack back in the 80s awarded segments on a sash, and he does the same thing when showing his sash to our boys.
  4. I did a similar topic at our RT last year. From my notes: 1) Properly trained den leaders that understand program delivery. 2) "Trained" parents. I'm constantly surprised at the number of parents that don't understand they are also Akela and can work on advancement at home with their son. 3) Exciting ceremonies. An exciting ceremony, such as Bobcat facepainting, makes the boys that much more hungry to earn their rank. 4) Provide multiple opportunities to complete rank. I see this a lot. For example, the Tiger den does only the five required go-see-its. A kid misses one and is never given an option to make it up so he never gets rank. Coach leaders to provide options to the parents for completing requirements (like the Tiger doing the go-see-it with his parent instead of his den). 5) Keep in Touch with the boys and families who aren't advancing as quickly as the remainder of the den or who only have a month to finish that last requirement for rank. Giving a parent and cub a list of what is left to do makes it much easier for them, especially in Bears and Webelos where dissecting what is required and what isn't gets more complicated. This last one is a personal pet peeve. I hate, hate, hate the immediate recognition kits for Tigers-Bears. We use them, we give the beads, but I don't think the boys even like them. half quit wearing them within a couple months because the dangling beads get in the way and are too easily lost. We use patch segments heavily though, because the boys are totally into them. We give a segment out at pack meetings for any special pack events the boys attended, and the den has the option of giving one out for any den achievements. We supply patch vests to all cubs for them to display these on. These little segments make the cubs advancement hungry. We have seen 100 percent of our boys who attend at least one meeting a month reach rank in the last two years since we implemented the patch vest and segment awards. A webelos in a vest covered in patches also does more for recruitment than anything else, since even non-cubs are impressed.
  5. We have pack and den meetings on Wednesdays. The schools around here primarily schedule their events on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Mondays and Fridays get looped into too many 3-day weekends plus people seem to not want to fill the whole days schedule with school/work and scouts at the beginning and end of the week.
  6. Out of curiosity, what advantages do you have in mind? The primary purpose of the pack meeting is to celebrate the boys' and the dens' achievements from the past month with each other and with their families, not plan the program. Planning meetings occur with the leadership team and the parents, but these are separate events from the actual pack meeting. I'm not sure I understand what the point would be for the dens to have a 20 minute meeting in the middle of a pack meeting, I guess.
  7. Committee: Committee chair Treasurer Assistant treasurer Advancement coordinator Event chair Popcorn kernel Communications coordinator Program: Cubmaster Tiger leader Wolf leader Bear leader Asst. Bear leader Webelos leader We recently went under some leadership changes as families crossed over, so a few of us are wearing more hats than usual. For example, I am cubmaster, tiger leader, awards chair, asst. treasurer and communications coordinator. We have filled most of the seats, but some people are still getting their stride, so except for the leaders a couple of leaders most of us are working in two capacities, even if one is just as an assistant to a new volunteer to help them. In our pack, the cubmaster has traditionally been the assistant treasurer and handled membership paperwork. I'm doing advancement temporarily because I am cleaning up some messy record-keeping from the past but plan on turning it over to a new volunteer soon. I'll be the communications chair for awhile, because I am the only one who knows how to work the pack website right now and I am picky about the newsletters. Just recruited an event chair, but not sure how that is going to work out since the person is flaking a bit, so myself or another current position holder may need to take it over temporarily. Seems every time we get a full committee and all the positions filled, boys cross over and we are left with a bunch of empty spaces. Those of us with multiple boys who stay in the pack for years just adjust to wearing multiple, constantly changing hats as we retrain and recruit more volunteers.
  8. Please do not take my words out of context. I wrote "willing sacrifice" is one you make because you enjoy it or find it worthwhile. It is not the same as a forced sacrifice you would rather not make. But I believe you already know that and are familiar with this common phrasing.
  9. Blade, Character is also what you do when others are watching. Right now, others are watching you verbally attack volunteers who willingly sacrifice their free time and money to work with and help youth. I understand that you feel very passionate about uniforming, but that is never a reason to resort to insults and rudeness. That is not modeling scout-like behavior or even mature behavior in any environment. Sometimes, we must agree to disagree. THAT is showing good character.
  10. So what happened to a scout is kind? Friendly? Didn't realize calling people fat and lazy fit into the scout law. How is calling people fat and lazy helping other people? When you have a female body, with female curves, you can call me lazy for my uniform choice (and it is a choice. The uniform isn't a requirement for scouts or volunteer scouters). Instead of spending hard earned money on a tailor, I am going to spend it on my scouts -- where it really matters. Methinks some of the posters in this thread need to review scout spirit a little bit.
  11. Well, I'm not much for believing that the point of education is to feed the factory. Our youth need an education so they can create meaningful jobs, not become the cogs in a corporate dinosaur. Of course, I am an anthro major, so what do I know The issue, in my sincere opinion, isn't wasted liberal arts degrees. It's too many kids going to college when college is of no benefit to them. It's kids not growing up until they are in their 30s. It's the basic unsustainability of an outdated educational system that's the problem. Well, those things and the fact politicians really shouldn't be deciding what our youth should and should not know and learn. Of course, some of the most successful and well-educated people I've had the pleasure of knowing never went to college.
  12. Ah yes, another uniform police thread. Well TT, if those moms had said that to me, it would have been their problem when they had to find a new Cubmaster, den leader, event organizer, awards chair, webmistress, assistant treasurer and district roundtable commissioner. (Yes, I know I do too much and I am actively recruiting more adult volunteers) Thankfully, Scouts isn't a military organization and we aren't forced into unforgiving uniforming standards. One issue with the women's shirts for a long torso, busty woman such as myself is that they do not stay tucked in. If I raise my arms above the shoulders, the shirt pops out of my waistband. The shirt just isn't long enough and it has nothing to do with my weight. Plus, tucked in shirts in general cause an uncomfortable blooming effect around my chest that makes me a bit self conscious about my top-heaviness. Yes it's my problem, but leaving my shirt untucked is my solution. My eldest son is very into the uniform and wears it tucked in. My youngest, a first grader, actually bawls if I try to tuck in his shirt. He finds it uncomfortable. This kid doesn't like anything tight around his waist, at all. He won't wear belts or non-elastic pants, either. It isn't worth the battle, and personally if an untucked shirt allows him to enjoy and benefit from scouting, then I'm fine with it because the benefits far outweigh a couple of hyper-critical adults. The same goes for adult scouters. When the uniform police give as much of their time and resources to the youth as I do, then I'll consider caring about how they judge me.
  13. Here we go, from a woman's perspective... I prefer the little folding shovels, the ones that go in a pouch you can wear on your belt. No digging in the pack for a shovel when the urge strikes. Preferred methodology, which I taught both my boys when they were little on camping trips, is to squat down, pants below the knees. Stick the blade of the unfolded shovel behind the pants with the shovel point in the ground. That way the shovel handle is pulling your pants forward and away from any fall-out. You can put your hand on the shovel handle to steady yourself and feel more grounded as you do your business, too. My family camped and hiked from the time I was an infant, so I've never given it much thought. Just something you do. My husband on the other hand "camped" in cabins all his life. He is quite uptight about the whole pooping in the woods thing and isn't one for long trips away from modern toilets.
  14. I can think of several reasons I have seen personally. When my family joined our pack five years ago, it wasn't a uniformed pack. Less than half the boys and maybe one leader ever wore a uniform. Our pack is now at near 100 percent uniformed and all leaders wear one. I've seen the difference. Boys in uniform have a greater sense teamwork, a sense of pride (in themselves, in their pack and in scouting in general), and commitment. The boys can also easily recognize each other and be recognized when out in the community. For leaders, a uniform first provides recognition to the scouts and parents (especially important with new families), while eliciting respect from the boys. I think most former scouts have nostalgia about the uniform, so it does impact them. We have been stopped countless times when running errands before a meeting when one of my sons is in uniform. I've had old men and young men flash me their Eagle card, or share a story from their years in cub scouting or boy scouting. We've heard a grandfather talk with pride about his Arrow of Light, and listened to a firefighter bemoan the fact he dropped out right before he earned life scout. The boys listen to these stories and it makes an impact on them. Most of these brief encounters end with a pat on the boy's shoulder or a scout handshake, but they are left with the impression that they belong to a community of good people as well as a sense of awe for being part of something bigger than themselves. They never would have heard the stories or had these encounters if they hadn't been in uniform.
  15. I believe in uniforming, but it is only one of the methods of scouting and not the be-all, end-all. Personally I'd feel uncomfortable and unkind sending home a boy because he wasn't in uniform, especially since in your example the fault seems to primarily lay with mom and not Billy. As I said before, I'd have a long conversation with mom. The extent of punishment in our pack is that boys that don't wear uniforms can't participate in bearing a flag during the pack's flag ceremony and they won't be chosen as Denner. You could also resort to outright bribery, with prizes such as small candies and such for boys who show up to meetings in uniform. No uniforms on a sports field means no one knows who is on who's team. No uniforms at a den meeting just means that the boys are wearing different clothing. It's not quite the same thing.
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