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Posts posted by scoutmom2

  1. Wow! Thanks for all the response. In spite of my stress level, it is taking me awhile to get back to the forum (that and a message that keeps popping up that opening this web page will harm my computer). Anyway, the issue has to do with our SM. Our Field Director and the Unit Commissioner want the committee members to meet and decide if we are going to relieve him of his duties now or wait until we recharter. Their position is that the sooner we do it, the better for the boys. That is my feeling too, but there are some parents that want to wait it out. In the past year, we have lost boys, and they state it is because of the SM. They are unhappy with the way he treats them (we are not cub scouts is a phrase we hear on a regular basis), one scout states "he sucks the fun out of every outing", he is very inconsistent with them, and the list could go on and on. Some of the "older parents" are tired of this and the newer parents haven't had the full experience yet. The SM sent all of the parents in the troop a letter last week outlining what he sees wrong with the troop and if we "don't change our ways the troop will be dissolving". In his letter he states that he is willing to step down from his position in Nov. after COH. I have tried talking to him, the ASM's (at least 3 of them) have talked to him over the last year, our previous SM has talked to him, the SE and Field Director have talked to him about his interactions (or lack of interactions) with the scouts and several other issues that we have had and he doesn't get it. If he is listening, then he isn't hearing any of it. He goes right back to the behavior we have asked him to stop or correct. Extremely frustrating!!! And then he says if you have a problem with me or if there is something I can do differently let me know. Well, buddy, we have and it's still happening. Okay, I need to stop this now or I'll be eating tums all night. Thanks for letting me vent!

  2. This might seem like a strange question, but I'd like to know. I am waiting for a response from our council as well. But, being a weekend, and my stress level, I'd like to know how other Troops handle this. We have an issue our committee has to vote on and there is some confusion as to who can actually vote on it. Our Field Director (we don't have an SE right now) said only committee members and when I look at the charter, I know who those folks are, but now some of them are questioning if the ASM's should vote too. Thanks for any help!

  3. I checked out your web page sweetspiritpamh--very cool! I'm going to pass that along to our advancement chairperson who is trying to get a page going for us. Thanks for the history on the Jamboree, Scoutldr. It's fun for the boys to read about other Troops and gather new ideas for campouts and activities!

  4. Today I was talking to an Eagle Scout from our Troop. He earned his Eagle in 1937 and told me about taking the train to Arlington to attend what he believed was the first Jamboree. He had some fun and interesting stories about scouting in the 30's and during WW2. Any way, after our visit, I got to thinking that it would be fun to have some of the scouts interview him and some of the older Eagle scouts and start a history of the troop. I can't find such a thing in our archives that we currently have. Our Troop's first recorded Eagle in from 1934 and if our records are correct, the Troop started in 1929. It would be nice to have an 80th anniversary history ready in 2 years! Has any other Troop taken on this endeavor? How did you do it--individual interviews or mailed out questionaires? Our Troop has moved Councils at least twice from what I can gather, so I'm not sure all our records are correct. We are having an Eagle float in our 4th of July parade and are currently in the process of contacting all the Eagles we can find. If any Troop has done a history, we'd love to hear how you did it!




  5. My son has finally finished up his last required merit badge! His project was done in Sept and his final BOR is coming up. We are planning his ceremony for July when most of the family will be around. He is adamant that he does not want a ceremony filled with poems, songs, and candle lighting. This has been the pattern in our troop. He wants something fun and light and a celebration of his scouting career. We are desperately searching for new ideas to make this work. I still will incorporate an Eagle charge and some of the other traditional aspects of the ceremony. Right now we are considering something similar to a roast, where his patrol members talk about the fun and silly things that have happened along the trail (like being to lazy to stake the tent and having it blow over, the dutch oven oops, etc.) Anybody ever see anything along this line? How did it work and did it go over okay? If anyone has ideas or knows of resources we could check out, we'd appreciate it! Thanks for your help!!

  6. The ceremony was yesterday afternoon and was wonderful! It was outside and inspite of the wind blowing out the candles, everything went without a hitch according to the Mom. The Scouts all performed their duties well and a good time was had by all. The mom stuck to her guns and did it the way she and her son planned. We are proud to add another Eagle Scout to our ranks. The new Eagle was very proud to see his name on the Scout trailer with the rest of the Eagles from our Troop as well. Thanks again for all the advice and support!

  7. Thank you all for your input. I directed the Mom to this website so she could read what you all said. The gentleman who wanted all the changes in the Eagle Board Chair and not a part of our Troop (part of the Council instead). It has been past practice to invite the board to the ceremonies so they could see all of the Scouts accomplishments. For this boy, it's been a long road and we almost lost him a few times. It took being a CIT at summer camp that brought him around and gave him the desire to continue. His patrol, along with the rest of the Troop, are very excited about him completing this stage in scouting. Because of past behavior issues that the family was willing to work on and not give up on, we hold him as an example to other boys who are having a hard time getting along with others. That if this Scout could do it, they can too! His mom is very vocal with parents about their struggles and how the scouting program helped them. This will be an awesome ceremony! Your congratulations will be passed along! Thanks.

  8. I have a question regarding Eagle ceremonies and the Eagle Boards role. Last night at a meeting, we had an upset parent. Her son's Eagle ceremony is this weekend and the chair of the Eagle board had requested a copy of the program. Well, he called her yesterday afternoon and told her that she couldn't use the music "On Eagle's Wings" because it was a (his words) "a funeral song." He also told her that the Eagle Scout her son had chosen to give the Eagle Charge couldn't do it, only a board member could. He made other changes in the program and told her what the Eagle board members would be doing for the ceremony. The programs have been printed and she was really stressing out. Two of the parents at the meeting told her that it was her son's Eagle Ceremony and he could have whatever he wanted. They used the same music in the past and there wasn't a problem with it. The chairman has rearranged ceremonies in the past (usually at the last minute) and isn't always consistent in what he has told parents. So, what is the Eagle Board role in the ceremonies? Do they even need to be involved (one parent said they weren't in her sons)? My son's ceremony will be in the Spring and I don't want this kind of conflict! He wants a real low key ceremony (his words).


    Anyone have any experience in this area?





  9. Our troop fund raises regularly, for high adventure as well as traditional camp and other camp/troop/patrol outings. Our Scouts attend a high adventure type program every other year. This year they went to Sea Base and it was a 2 year fund raising committment with each Scout needing $1200 for the trip. We have 8 fund raisers each year and we had 2 special fund raisers just for this trip (a brat sale on fishing opener weekend at a local bait shop and a taco feed at a hosptial function). All the Scouts try to keep a cushion in their accounts for upcoming high adventure and other trips. We have only 15 active boys in our Troop so it is a big committment from each Scout and their parent(s) to make this work. The Scouts pick their locations and activities that they want to do. The parents and leaders do help with cost containment and the details (mostly just a lot of follow up on who is doing what and are they meeting their schedule). We keep track of the money and make sure the bills are paid! Not every Scout wants to do a big high adventure, like Philmont or Sea Base. We have had boys just go sailing or rock climbing or rafting with organizations we have found through camps, coleges and on line resources. Because of the fund raising we do, I have never paid more than the initial deposit for my sons to participate in a high adventure trip, camp or outing (our Troop requires a $25 deposit on summer camp and $100 on high adventure trip to hold a spot and this is non-refundable. This is to insure no one backs out once a reservation is made because we all know we can't get our deposit back and we have to pay for everyone we initially registered). This system has worked for our Troop for years.

  10. Thank you all very much for your input. It gives me a better persepctive! I like the idea of having an OA Troop Representative to make sure information is shared with all the boys involved. Communications with our Council as a whole has been an ongoing issue with us. We are on our third DE in 18 months. The latest seems more interested in getting things back on track and making sure information is shared in a timely fashion. His main focus has been on Cub Scouts but he is trying to get on board with the Boy Scouts too. I wish we had a better website for Council and OA, it is "under construction" a lot. We can't rely on it for up to date information all the time. Roundtable is our best source.


    Anyway, I had 2 calls from parents this morning upset that the SM told them who was going to be nominated for OA at our next meeting. They were quite upset about this because they were under the impression that the boys would be doing the nominations and elections. So more fires to put out. I will be sharing the information you have all provided me with the parents and the committee later this month. Hopefully we can make this a good experience for the boys!

  11. I'm sure someone else has posted on this in the past, but I can't find the info I need. Our SM is really pushing OA with our older Scouts (he is new and doesn't know much about OA either). He wants to do an election next week and our boys are pretty confused. Let me give you the history.


    We have had Scouts join OA in the past and the haven't had the best experience with our Council's Lodge. Once they've been to the call out and done the initial weekend, there hasn't been much contact. The Scouts complain that they don't get information on outings, gatherings, etc. until the day of the activity or after the fact. They have been real unhappy with this and so we haven't had an election in 2 years. We have asked for information and some support from the OA people at our Council and have had either no response (even after I cc'd my emails to the CE) or they say it's because the boys didn't pay their dues so they are on an inactive list. The boys didn't know anything about dues at the time. We are on the outer edge of our Council and most activities are at least 2 hours away. They are generally at the Cub Scout camp (our Council doesn't have a Boy Scout camp). Most of our Scouts haven't attended camp at this Cub Scout camp and feel no connection to it. Now another Council has a Boy Scout camp 15 miles from us. This is where we attend summer camp and most of the boys attended Cub Scout camp here. They are very attached to this camp and Council. We even built a new BB gun/ archery shelter there this Spring as part of work weekend. The Scouts that are eligible for OA would like to have their call out there and do the ordeal and brotherhood experiences there. This Council would be happy to have us.


    So this is my question. Can we join an OA Lodge out of our Council? If we have to join the Lodge in our Council, can we do the call out and other activities with the other Council? What are our options (if any). Any suggestions?


    I am calling our SM and asking him to postpone the election next week until we have more information. By the way, I am the CC and he hasn't brought any of this to the committee. He just did this on his own and sprung it on the Scouts last night while we were at a fundraiser.


    I'd appreciate any information I can get!

  12. I posted back in January when our Crew was preparing for the trip. Well, they went and now they are back! They all had a great time--even got some sunburn on that virgin Minnesota skin. All the tips we got were great and very helpful. Last night the boys told the rest of the Troop about their adventures and shared pictures (and songs). The younger boys are pumped up about trying this in a few years. My son said he'd go again (he got sunburn and blisters on his feet) in a heart beat. He wants to go as an adult leader when his younger brother is old enough to attend. The boys got some awesome photos with their underwater cameras when snorkling and caught plenty of dolphin fish on the fishing trip. The heat and humidity got to them all at some time but they had a great adventure!


    Thanks again to all who provided insight on this trip!



  13. Thanks for the pirate flag idea! That would be cool and the boys can work on one together before they leave. They all are excited about doing some snorkeling and I'll make sure they have the information on earning the award. 5 of the boys are really into fishing and earned their fly fishing badge in WY this past summer. Living in Minnesota, they don't have the opportunity to do any salt water fishing but they did learn the salt water fishing knots a few years ago. We had a troop meeting tonight and they were all talking about the trip and counting down the weeks. All the travel arrangements have been made and tickets booked. It's really nice to see the excitement level!

  14. My son and 5 others from our troop will be off to Sea Base in Florida this June for the Island Adventure. We have all the lists of what to bring, but aren't quite sure how to physically prepare them for this adventure. Any suggestions? They have been swimming and working on conditioning however they haven't hit it real hard yet (only once or twice a month). We will be working on kyaking skills once the lakes are open again but may only have about a 6 week window of time for that.


    Also, what is the one item you or your troop brought that was the most usefull? What do you wish you brought or left home?


    We'd appreciate any input! Thanks!

  15. Thank you all for your input! As unfortunate as it is, I'm glad I'm not the only person who has encountered less than acceptable scout behavior.


    The adult leaders on our trip did use our travel time home to talk to the boys about behavior expectations and scouting expectations. The SPL and ASPL as well as some of our older boys made sure the first year boys knew that this would not be tolerated by them or anyone else in the troop. They were able to share "horror" stories from other events with the first years. We have some boys who are easily led and want them to be led in the right direction. We also are experiencing for the first time, a large influx of new scouts with ADD/ADHD issues that impact their behavior. We are findng that we are needing to be extra viligent and there have been a lot of those teachable moments.


    Thanks again!

  16. I've come across this site a few times this past year and have "lurked" a bit on topics that have come up in our troop. We just returned from Scout camp this week and the other adult leaders and I witnessed behavior by another Scout troop that was less than what would be expected from a Scout. I have been debating if I should contact this Troop's council and let them know about it or just suck it up and make sure it never happens in our Troop. I'd appreciate some input from other Scouters.


    The most alarming incident occurred during a Flag/opening the day ceremony. Each Troop was to come up with a yell (not unusual for any camp I've been to). This Troop used foul language and a sexual reference in their yell. Their adult leadership did nothing in response. The women leaders who were along looked shocked but no one, not one leader said anything to the Scouts about it. The older scouts were not reprimanded in anyway. When our leaders and the other scout leaders expressed concern to the camp director and program director, we were told that they would "look into it". Our SPL even brought it up at the next SPL meeting and was told that they would "check it out." For the remaineder of our time at camp, there appeared to be no consequence to this behavior. In fact, our Scouts said the other boys in that Troop thought it was funny and that they had gotten away with it.


    Not as alarming but irritating, this same Troop would not wear their Class A/Field uniforms to morning flags. Even though this was a camp requirement. They didn't want their younger scouts to get them dirty. Well, then teach them some table manners! They also did not remove their hats during flags or meal time prayer (the scouts and the leaders). The camp director allowed them to get away with this because he didn't want to make waves with such a large troop. Our leadership expressed our dismay with this in our final evaluation.


    The other leaders in our troop and I took turns visiting the merit badge classes our scouts were taking. We repeatedly saw members of this other troop being verbally disrespectful to merit badge counselors and becoming upset when they realized they might be getting partials on some badges. Temper tantrums are not a part of scouting behavior at any age. At first I thought maybe we were being overly sensitive to what was going on. However, as the week went on, other troop leaders began asking if anyone else noticed this behavior and if they had to step in and support the merit badge counselors.


    I know that my scouts are not perfect and do some less than steller things. We take the time to review with them behavior expectations, whether we are present or not. And if they are doing or saying anything inappropriate, it is addressed as soon as possible.


    So, am I being cranky from 10 days away from home? Or do I have legitimate concerns? I'd like to point out this camp was not in our Council or even in our state. Any suggestions?


    Thanks for any input!

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