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Posts posted by ScoutNut

  1. "I rest more easily knowing there are not all sorts of parents that have not had background checks running around my son's camp while he's sleeping at night."


    Hey everyone -


    How many of your Troops out there do background checks? How many do ANY kind of screening at all?


    I know neither my Troop or my Pack does. I also know that at least 2 other Troops in my area do not. Running a complete background check on a perspective leader can be VERY expensive. Usually a parent, a former scout, or an interested member of the community, says they want to help and the CM, CC, or SM says great, get trained and buy a uniform!


    One more thought - If your Troop camps in a National, State, or County park, then there ARE unscreened people around camp at all hours of the day and night. Even if you camp only on BSA properties, unless you are the ONLY people there, odds are pretty good that there will be people there from other Troops who have never gone thru ANY type of background check.

  2. Our Scoutmaster actively discourages parents (and will NEVER consider siblings) from attending all but one outing. That outing is lodge camping in January with the Webelos and he makes it very clear he wants only Dads (& not to many of those). For regular camping trips he asks for drivers but they are not allowed to stay. They drive (sometimes as much as 1.5 hrs) unload and drive (another 1.5 hrs) back home. Then when it is time to come home they are expected to drive out and back again. Then he yells at the parents at COA because he has to cancel camping trips due to lack of drivers! Well DUH!

  3. Like just about everything in Scouts there should be a progression involved. They should start out in Kindergarten doing day trips only, go on to overniters in a GS lodge or cabin, move up to adarondacks then platform tents, and finally end up tent camping and backpacking. A group of 10 year olds (5th/6th grade?) should be doing at least some kind of cabin camping by now. Of course these things all depend on the interests of the group. If the majority of the girls hate the thought of camping this could put a damper on things!


    Also - the biggest question that comes to mind - has anyone in the troop taken camping training or first aid training? Your Council probably requires both a camping and first aid person (sometimes more than 1 depending on the # of girls) in order to be able to go camping, even at a GS lodge. If the problem is no trained people, then maybe you could volunteer to take the camping and/or first aid training!


    Good luck! My girls (11th grade) LOVE camping!!

  4. Did you ask your former CM why he wanted you and the other leader to step down? Did he give any reason at all? You said that there are no replacement leaders for your 2 dens. How does your current CM expect to have dens for these boys with no one to lead them?




    Your Charter Organization owns your Pack. Contact your Charter Organization Representative. It is his job (and the job of the Charter Org) to provide leadership to the unit. Your Council has very little to do with this issue.

  5. My son just got back yesterday from Camp Freeland Leslie in Oxford, WI.


    They had a great time! Went over to Devil's Lake WI State Park for a day to hike the bluffs, went canoeing and had a "battle" on the lake, worked on his Camping and First Aid badges. His favorite meal was "Zippy Beef" (macaroni beef slop), after his partol finished the batch they had made they went around and cleaned up everyone else's leftovers! He was also impressed by the whole pig that the staff roasted one night!

  6. The themes are great and give you something to "hang your hat on" when planning your Den and Pack meetings. The program helps are a great "help" too. But, remind your leaders that using the Helps as a bible will NOT automatically cover every achievement the boys need to advance. They should be utilizing area resources also. Home Depot woodworking workshops, Com Ed "Power Houses", scout programs offered at nature centers/museums/zoos/aquariums/botanic gardens, tours at stores/factories/businesses/utilities, etc. Not to mention FAMILIES! District Roundtables are a great place to find activities and ceremonies that tie into the themes.


    One last thought, you might find that a theme works best for your Pack on a different month. Do not be afraid to reshuffle months as necessary to make it work for you. Just remember to get a calendar of the themes laid out in advance so everyone is on the same page!

  7. My husband and I have also done popcorn for our Pack for the last 4-5 years and both the Troop and Pack last year.


    Our council also takes back unsold popcorn so you are not "stuck"(unlike GS cookies!). We get 30% and prizes. Like acco40, we have popcorn from the end of September until mid-December in our house! We have a spare room that is filled to the brim! Boy, the smell of that butter can sure get real old after a while! We base our order on what we sold last year and order enough up front to cover both booth sales (show/sell) and take-orders. That way the boys can get their take-order popcorn right away and have more time to get the money.


    All of the Troop profit goes into individual Boy accounts. The Pack profit goes to the Pack operating budget. We are thinking of instituting a minimum popcorn sale amount this year because our major sellers will be going up to BS and we need to get the other boys and their families to help share the cost of Scouting, one way or another! With us fundraising is a bit more of a pain because we belong to a Catholic Church/School. The families are CONSTANTLY fundraising for one thing or another. At least popcorn is not sold by any other organization! But we found out last year that our popcorn sale is at the same time as the Girl Scout Fall Product Sale! Well, they do say that competition is what makes the world go round!

  8. Prior to this year we would hold a Tiger graduation ceremony at our last formal Pack meeting of the school, in May. This was when all ranks would graduate to the next level of Scouting. The Tigers would receive their "Tiger Cub" bar to be worn on their blue Cub Scout shirt and the "Tiger Graduate" patch for their red patch vest.


    This year the the Tigers had rank advancement ceremonies just like the other levels. At our first Pack meeting in September, the boys demonstrated their knowledge of the Tiger Cub Motto, Cub Scout Sign and Cub Scout Salute to earn their Tiger Totem. As the months went on they earned their achievement beads (3 in each of 5 areas) and then their Tiger Rank. Their rank badge (which now goes on the blue Cub Scout shirt where the Webelos rank badge used to go) was presented at a Pack Meeting with a very nice advancement ceremony where we made a big point of telling everyone that this was the first time EVER this badge had been awarded! The boys were VERY proud!! For our May Graduation Pack meeting this year, the Tigers (new Wolves!) received their Wolf scarf, Wolf book and a wood scarf slide with their initials woodburned in. They had been practicing the Cub Scout Promise at each den meeting the last few months and had started on the Law also. By our September Pack meeting they should all be ready to receive their Bobcat Rank! I have a real cool ceremony using light sticks powered by Cub Scout spirit that I want to try! Maybe we can call it "Cub Scout Fuel" and have them Blasting off to Bobcats!!

  9. Yarrow - Bravo to your son! Webelos can actually be more of a challenge than the younger ages! Maybe your son can talk up the benefits of being a Den Chief to the other boys in his troop. That is one of the ways to get more boys interested!


    We stayed with the Pack when my son went up to BS. He really liked working with the younger boys and would often come to Pack meetings to help out. When Den Chief training came up I told him about it, he talked to his SM and the CM, and he was in! One of the other boys in his troop usually helped his Mom with his brother's Cub Scout Den. My son told him about Den Chief, he took training also and now the Pack has 2 Den Chief's!


    It IS hard to get the boys interested in Den Chief. Especially if the SM does not work closely with the Pack. If the Boy Scouts feel no connection to the Cub Scouts they are not inclined to "waste" their time with them.

  10. Dan W -


    You say you are working towards completing the requirements for the Totin' Chip award. I do not understand why the question about the Cub Scout Whittling Chip. Are you trying to use the fact that your Scouts earned the Whittling Chip in 3rd grade to avoid completing the knife requirements (or all of the requirements) for the Boy Scout Totin' Chip?


    If that is the case then I would have to strenously disagree with you! First, not all boys complete this award. It is only 1 of 11 activities available to earn a portion of their requirements towards their Cub Scout Bear rank. The Whittling Chip is VERY basic. It pretty much just introduces a boy to what a pocketknife is, how to care for it, and some VERY simple whittling. It is geared towards a THIRD GRADER! It gives the CUB SCOUT who earns it the privilege of carrying a pocketknife at CUB SCOUT functions. NOT at BOY SCOUT functions.


    The Totin' Chip (which is geared towards a SIXTH GRADER or up) is much more involved. It is intended to teach BOY SCOUTS the use of tools for camping and outdoor activities.


    Please do NOT shortcut requirements. The Cub Scout Whittling Chip can NOT be used towards Boy Scout advancement!

  11. LauraMO - For the Cub Scout uniform you should check out area garage sales. You might find that some people will put their son's old uniform on sale after he has graduated out of Cubs. Also check your area Parocial schools. Navy blue pants are usually part of the school uniform and they might sell used uniform pieces. Last, if you wait until closer to August, National usually has a coupon for a reduced cost if you buy a complete uniform.


    For your uniform, I would go with a men's tan shirt. They are roomier, seem to be studier, and the tan looks MUCH better than the yellow!


    BTW - Congratulations on joining the ranks of crazy leaders!!

  12. Bob -


    You stated - "The dress Uniform is for some troop meetings and for formal situations such as parades and Courts of Honor.


    No piece of clothing is designed or constructed to fit all activities in all weather all the time. It sounds like you expect the uniform to do far more things than it is designed for or required for."


    I agree with you, however, our SM is one of those that require a full uniform (less MB sash which is just worn at COA) for almost all activities, including camping. The boys are allowed to bring scout T-Shirts & jeans camping as extras but are required to wear the full uniform. There are also only a very few (1-2) troop meetings where they are allowed to wear "class B" uniforms. This sure does tend to wear them out fast!


  13. GSUSA is NOT releasing a new older girl program. The program is not changing. There will NOT be new IPA's or new books.


    In October, at the National Convention, they will be introducing "New Directions" for girls 11-17. This, from what I understand from various e-mails to National, will be a series of pamphlets/booklets about different ways that older girls can experience Girl Scouts. They have had various different polls and questioneers on the national website aimed at trying to find out what older girls like/want. IMHO this does not sound like it will be anything very revolutionary, or helpful. But, we shall see in October!


    ALKI -


    If you are interested in helping your daughters troop to experience high adventure type activities - GO FOR IT! Get registered with GS, take the level appropriate training, take camping training. Then talk to the troop's leader and offer your services to organize high adventure trips. Go to a troop meeting and find out what kind of activities the girls are interested in doing.


    We are finding that once they get in High School their schedule is just SO busy that it is REALLY hard to get them to concentrate on GS. We have a meeting this weekend and all of the girls should be done with finals so maybe I can get them to deceide where they want to go camping on our July 1st trip (or it will end up in someone's back yard)! I will be pushing for something new and different for them, like caving (Mammoth Cave), primitive (Apostle Islands), canoeing/rafting (anywhere near a river! But they should start kind of wimpy!). But it will come down to what the GIRLS want to do (1 of them considers a hotel with no pool primitive!). Also, it will depend on what my other leader is up for, she is deathly afraid of heights!

  14. WOW SUZDVM -


    I sounds like what you really have is a combined Pack/Troop with little help and less training. With only 15 Cubs and 7 Boy Scouts you do not have much diversity. Are you the ONLY adult who works with the Boy Scouts? What does your Troop do except help run your Pack? Does your Troop get out camping any more often then your Pack? You need to have a BIG time parent meeting and explain to them that in order for you to give their children a quality program you need HELP and COOPERATION!


    It seems like time and distances are a real problem for you. But, I think that in order for you to get a better idea of how other Packs and Troops are run, and to give your boys more experiences, you need to contact the Pack that is 60 miles away from you. See if you can attend more events with this Pack. Maybe even some Pack meetings. What is their local Troop like? Maybe you can get your BS and Webelos together with them. Even if you do have to travel 1 hour away to visit another Troop I think it would be worth it to both you and your boys.


    BTW, SCTMOM is quite correct. A burn ban should NOT stop you from camping! It gives you the perfect chance to put into practice BSA's "Leave No Trace" principals. Use a campstove for cooking. If the night is very clear, and the moon is close to full, you do not need a fire. Your eyes will quickly adjust to darkness. Perfect time to work on Constellations and Astronomy! Go to bed early and get up early!


    Nut :)

  15. Alki-

    Girl Scouts can do high adventure activities, and some do. There are what are called "Wider Opps" which can include high adventure, and some GS Councils offer summer camps that might include some high adventure type activities. The problem with these is that very few girls get selected to attend a Wider Opp, they must apply in some instances a year in advance with forms, essays, interviews, and recomendations. If and when they do get selected the trips are usually VERY expensive. High adventure type summer camps are also VERY expensive.


    Your average GS Troop leader is not trained in high adventure and so can not take their troop on their own. You would have to end up paying for a trained guide. Many Venturing Crews specialize in high adventure. Their leaders are trained and they have Crew resources available to them.


    Also, you do not often find a GS Troop whose girls ALL are interested in high adventure. As the girls all have to deceide together what they will spend their money on it is sometimes hard to convince them to try something new, and sometimes scary, like high adventure.


    In my opinion, the best option is to double register in both a GS Troop and a Venture Crew. That way the older GS has more options available to her and is more likely to find something she is really interested in and therefore stay in scouting!

  16. Different Troops focus on different things. They do NOT have to be all campers! That is the point behind visiting different Troops before you join one. Also, you do NOT have to attend one of your council's camps. If you have been disapointed in them previous years then by all means look elsewhere! Camps (like Troops) are not all alike! Check out other area BS councils. Ask about their camps, look at flyers, check out websites. Our Troop has not attended our councils summer camp in the last 3-4 years. They found a neighbouring councils camp that they like much better!


    I really can think of no valid reason for your council's ED to be threatening you at your area's Roundtable. Any questions about the way you are running your Troop should rightly be comming from your Charter Organization thru your Charter Organization Representative. They technically "own" your Troop and part of their responsibility is to provide leaders. They are the ones who can "hire" or "fire". I have very, very, very, seldom heard of a council interfering with a troops leaders. Are you on good terms with your CO? Does your COR attend your Committee meetings? I would start there with your questions. Something sounds deceidedly fishy!!

  17. I'm sorry, but as much as I love Scouting and what it can do for kids, schoolwork comes first. We all have to set priorities, and considering that I have been a GS/BS leader for going on 10 years now, scouting is one of my top priorities. But it IS an optional one. Schooling and getting good grades is NOT optional! Yes, they have to learn to schedule their time. If they really want to go to the meeting or on the trip then they sure as heck better get their schoolwork done FIRST. And trust me, if my dd's part time job starts to interfere with her grades the job goes!


    As for grounding, I kept my ds home from a camping trip that he had already paid for. Yes, his SM was not happy and his patrol had to do some re-shufflling of chores, but they all lived. IMO my ds learned more by being grounded from an activity that he really wanted to do (and also losing some of his popcorn $ in the process) than if I had let him go have a fun time and taken away TV when he got home.


    I would NEVER even consider questioning the disipline decisions of any of my boys or girls parents. I may not agree, but I would not question. Conversly, I would be extremely upset if my decisions concerning my family were questioned by another scouting adult!


    Nut -

    GS Leader

    CS Leader

    Wearer of many misc Scouting Volunteer hats

    Mom of 2nd Class Boy Scout and Senior Girl Scout

  18. Oh, I think that they would really like the high adventure side of it. They love camping, hiking, wall climbing, horseback riding, canoeing (just starting LOL !), etc. They also really love GS. My dd and my co-leaders dd both have younger brothers in BS so they have been kind of immersed in the BSA end of things and I think they feel it is kind of disloyal to GS. They are also REAL busy. With honors/AP courses, sports, plays, choir, school newspaper, and jobs on top of GS meetings, trips and working towards their Gold Awards, they do not have a lot of time for MORE meetings!


    Maybe, if I can find an active Crew in the area I can have someone come to a meeting and tell them about Venturing. I think part of the problem for older girls in both programs is the lack of knowledge out there!

  19. Ed - I can understand your concern that the building is going unused when there is a Boy Scout Troop that would like to rent it. I have 2 questions - 1)How big is your Troop? Would you be filling it to capacity? 2)Are the Cub Scout Packs allowed use of the other buildings now that they have their own?


    Our councils camps are not very Cub friendly and as a result are not used by the Cubs that much. You must remember that most troops have their own tents and camping gear. Most Cub packs do not. Most troops have leaders and scouts who are experienced campers. Most Cub packs do not. As a matter of fact, even if the leaders are experienced, I would doubt that many Cubs have ever camped at all (that is one of the reasons they join. LOL). The adults camping with the troops are either experienced leaders or parents who want to be there. The adults camping with the pack are either leaders or parents who HAVE to be there. Cub parents who either hate camping or have zippo experience have no choice. If their son wants to go camping, most councils require a parent to go with him. An extra large facility with lots of comforts would be just the ticket for inexperienced Cub families.


    Perhaps another reason this building is reserved is the size issue. As Bob said most packs would fill it up and be able to fully utilize it's facilities. Most troops would not come close to capacity. At our Girl Scout Council camp you are only able to reserve the cabins if you meet the size requirements. No way would a troop of 20 be allowed to use a cabin ment for 58! It would cost to much for heat, water, and electric. That would explain why it could be used for Boy Scout camporee's. The entire facility could then be used to capacity.


    One more thing to remember while you are bemoaning the lack of Boy Scout facilities at your council camps. Boy Scout troops are NOT restricted to camping in ONLY council camps. I am sure there are many year-round facilities available to you at your state, county and private parks. Many councils strongly request that Cubs use ONLY council managed or approved facilities.



  20. NJ -


    You were probably talking to someone who was in GS as a youth. At one time there were only two levels, Brownies and Girl Scouts. Actually GS levels can be split by either age or grade or both. It depends on the troop and the girl.


    Dan -


    I think you should aim your pitch at the Cadette/Senior levels. Cadettes are ages 11, 12, 13, 14, OR grades 6, 7, 8, 9. Seniors are ages 14, 15, 16, 17, OR grades 9, 10, 11, 12. The younger Cadettes would not be eligble for Venturing yet but it does not hurt to let them know it is available! I would LOVE to get my 10th grade Seniors double registered with a Venturing Crew! But when I mention it they pooh-pooh it as too BSA. *sigh* I will keep subtley putting in my plugs!

  21. It is never "WRONG" to have scout meetings! If it works for you and your den go for it.


    Two of the reasons that many Packs do not run regular den and pack meetings: It is often very hard to get everyone together because of vacations; Pack leadership needs a vacation too to prevent burnout.


    Remember that the boys can, and should be, working in their books with their parents during the summer. Also, activities run by the Pack are still considered Pack meetings. They might be very informal, but they are still meetings!

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