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Everything posted by ScoutPerson

  1. The key to remember, or at least in our unit, is it is a boy run program. Therefore, we ask the youths, the PLC in particular, to help approve leaders and work with the committee chairman on insuring the SM has the proper adults on outings. With that said, we work hard at enforcing the rules of the BSA and ensuring adults are trained. Ive found that adults need to get trained as soon as possible. There are several reasons, from Youth Protection to just knowing the rules. If adults attend the training they often see and learn what they are to do. In my experience, adults are more diff
  2. I would have to agree with Bob. I would just say that some are more important than others while all are important these are the ones that I feel are fatal. The number one reason is 1 and 2 on my list. The others are just listed in the order I cut and pasted them. 1. Leaders NOT TRAINED 2. Adults hollering at boys 3. Leaders do not follow the policies of the Guide to safe scouting, Advancement or Uniforming 4. Scoutmaster runs the committee 5. Troop meetings are merit badge classes 6. They don't get outside once a month 7. greater than 10% drop off rate 8. Poor troop
  3. We all need to take note of this and be aware that boys that approach 18 years of age may run into a problem that just may prevent them from getting Eagle; yep and my son was one just under the wire. I had a young man a few years back that submitted his Eagle paperwork and there was a mix-up on his Life rank and merit badges similar to the one mentioned here. Luckily, the boy was only 16 years old so he went back and did the requirements and we made him do another Eagle Project. If he was approaching 18, we wouldnt have had the time to redo it. Im not sure if it would have been refused
  4. I got one for you. Sit down with your troop and ask the kids if they should be allowed to wear the earrings. In my last troop, we had a scoutmaster that said no way, or thatll be the day etc. In our new unit, I just asked the kids. I said I dont think loops and dangling earrings would be very smart and you know what they agreed with me. Haircuts the same way, you just cannot have any unnatural colors (no kids showing up in purple/green hair unless it something special like a school event). This is the list of restrictions that came from the kids: 1. Shirts, which can be considered a
  5. Bobs correct on this one; the CO has the ultimate say. If the CO and committee disagree then council will help mediate it to resolve the issue and they will even make a recommendation to the CO as to what should be done. But, if the CO drops the axe youre done. Either way you may want to consider another unit as politics like this maybe more than your son can handle. Whatever you do, do not allow him to dropout especially since Eagle is on the horizon. You may find another unit more to your liking. Kids relate to athletes, so I use professional players that change teams as an examp
  6. I wasnt comparing the cost of the uniform to other expenditures, nor was I making a reference to spending money on other items. Yes, some do just that, but many of my youths are not driving Lexus, nor wearing $120 sneakers. Everything cost money and so does the uniform. In my unit it takes $25.00 to join. We spend more than that on each scout as we provide troop numbers, books, class-b shirt, and registration, etc. Roughly its $30 average as the registration is prorated throughout the year (so the troop looses $5 on each kid that joins roughly). If I insisted on a full uniform youd h
  7. We allow earrings as long as theyre not obstructing and causing a potential risk like those that hang down. Personally, I dont like boys in earrings but thats the fad. Showing up to a weekly meeting with an earring doesnt cause a health risk, it maybe a little hard to get use to but thats the fashion. As far as wearing all the uniform or nothing at all then give me a uniform that cost less. The uniform should be half of what it cost and maintaining a full uniform is financially tough on many including adults. Just my 2 cents
  8. However you resolve it is fine but going forward, make a rule NO equipment other than troop equipment period. Next time it will be a $200 tent or a $900 camera or who knows what. In our troop only your personal items are allowed and a wagon doesnt make that list. Ive seen this same thing before with a canoe on a canoe trip. A word to the wise, for those of you reading this, make strict troop policies on non-troop equipment and get an equipment permission slip (or something) before you use it even if the adult that owns it is on the trip. Youd be surprised what Ive had adults ask for when
  9. Wow, hate to tell you this but you maybe out looking in. The key to your organization is the Chartering Organization which appoints the Charter Rep. If they are the ones indorsing this then youre done. Technically, the scoutmaster has no say in the matter but this is of little value if the Chartering Organization and the Charter Rep. agree with him. If the Chartering Organization has a different opinion then your council will (or should) help you resolve it along with your commissioner etc. But, bottom-line the CO has that right and Ive never seen any council ever tell or try to tell a CO
  10. Remember, I never said we restrict the number of activities ONLY the number of adults that can attend on the activity roster. We often have two activities going on per month and sometimes more. The more adults, the more activities we can hold and offer. Why take one camping trip when you can offer two or more?
  11. My troop and crew numbers are up but at every national meeting I attend or council meeting etc.; the focus is on declining numbers in membership or the high dropout or at least thats my impression of the message. Numbers are funny and you can play games with them (as were seeing in the stock market), so Im just interested in others opinion regarding it. The kids do refer to the uniform as being dorky but I like it and so do some of the others (or should I say its not as dorky as other uniforms Ive seen).
  12. eagle90, Start a Crew for your 18+ youths and expand your program. If you have more adults than hold 2 campouts a month, or more. Seek high adventure, start a varsity program, etc. Everyone has said they don't want to loose adults when they ask to go. So, if you have 10 adults have 5 this weekend and 5 the following weekend. Too many focus on the program for adults, whereas it should be focused on youths. I'm perfectly fine with having 40+ ASM but having them on one campout defeats what our program is trying to do. But, instead I would have 10 events scheduled with each event having
  13. We started a Crew and not a Patrol because it allowed co-ed which has been great. Even though the Venturing Crew is a standalone program it does not mean that you cannot hold the meetings at the same time. Our Crew and Troop meet once a week and this synergy is great. Many others, in our council, have tried crews but theyve struggled and/or failed (patrols have been more successful) and I believe holding weekly meetings is a key. We keep the Crew and Troop tightly knit so the troop sees what scouting has to offer. In my opinion I would do both. Assign the older boys to a Venture Pa
  14. Why is scouting membership down or maybe in your area it isnt? Keeping kids in scouting seems to be more and more difficult any thoughts on the idea? This is often the voice heard at our roundtables. Many offer things such as sports, electronic devices to games, and a failure for scouting to keep current, the uniform, lack of money and the need to do fundraisers etc. Ive asked my youths this very same question and received their opinion as to why and what would improve it. If anyone else has done the same I would like to hear your thoughts on it.
  15. Ill take women leaders in a minute; love to have them. Two of our ASM are women and some of the best campouts have been with 2 male and 2 female leaders. Again, were focused on trained leaders regardless of gender and age (assumes at least 21). We just cannot have them all going at the same time, sorry but the adult roster is full for this trip. One of our thoughts is to expand the program beyond monthly camping trips to camping trips every two weeks. So, instead of 8 adults attending each monthly camping trip, were focusing on have 4 adults taking camping trips twice a month. We c
  16. Other thoughts: Often, at roundtable, the question arises as to adults not wanting to attend training but are willing to do outings (have fun). Often, and in my opinion too often, these units are also those that are having problems which are often related to not being trained. By making the training mandatory you get only adults that are trained and having trained leaders and committee members is by far better than having nobody trained. How many restrict the number of adults on their committee? Would a troop be best served by lets say a committee of 5 trained adults or 15 adults t
  17. Wow, lots of slamming going on here. In my opinion over 90% percent of our council complaints deal with parents or problem with parents and that they are not trained (today when Im at the office Ill see if we can actually put a number to this because I think its even higher). No place does it say that parents have a right to attend outings (sorry but its true). Taking that and saying youth protection is violated and were running a closed organization is not what was said. I have a responsibility to all participants on an outing. This includes adults. If you want to participate then
  18. I think Supermom hits the nail on the head. It seems to be a matter of adult leadership and if you need someone you take anyone even if they take the sibling. Youre better off providing scouting with siblings instead of no scouting. In our troop we can take 30 kids before we need to have more than two adults. It seems others need many adults to drive therefore anyone willing to go is appreciated. In the age of the minivan, it probably turns into 1 adult to 7 kids as thats what a minivan seats.
  19. We have, usually every year sometime every two years, a family campout that allows family members to attend. We follow the guidelines of BSA etc. and what Mike Long suggests. We do NOT allow siblings because they detract from the program unless theyre eligible to join scouting; if they are then they can go on one trip and then they must join in which case they are covered under BSA policy and insurance during their test trip. Ive never had a problem with a sibling of scouting age, other than the usually stuff which is with all scouts. But, I have had times when a little brother or siste
  20. Wow, good points, like I said each troop is faced with different issues. But, I have to disagree with the issue that we have a closed program. Any adult can stop by and see their kid, participate in meetings, etc. Camping trips are structured and organized and are for the purpose of the youths. In all my training from Wood Badge to years of experience and sitting on counsel, Ive never seen anything that says you cannot restrict adults; matter of fact that often is the reply to problems within our counsel. Maybe not so much as saying restrictions per say, but instead saying get your adults
  21. Well, as you can tell by my original post, I limit the adults. But thats our program. I like Bobs comments about the Family Program. Ive never, in over ten years, had to cancel an outing because of lack of adults. So limiting the adults is not an issue. But, what I have found is that adults listen less than the kids and Im running a youth program therefore limiting adults is how we achieve that. Now we do ask adults to be guest, once or twice, then they have to be trained leaders. I have no problem with a large group of adults being trained and willing to go, but from that group I would
  22. Im wondering how many adults do troops take on camping trips? In my case I try to only have 4 adults maximum, 2 male and 2 females. Often I prefer to have myself with just one additional adult (female) if the crew is involved. The SPL etc. are in charge and using them doesnt leave much room for adults. Ive noticed that as parents come in from the cub pack they think they should be camping and going on trips when in fact theyre not invited. They work with the committee or advancements etc. but only leaders are allowed on camping trips (our troop). Leaders have to be trained so that
  23. Like I said, some did not like it (like my wife), but in my opinion along with the PLC it cannot be controlled. If a kid becomes homesick, by all means, I would try to work it out and if calling home helped then thats fine and in the past thats what weve done. Sometimes calling helps sometimes it doesnt, but I think when this happens it needs to be monitored appropriately. But, once you give a kid a calling card, he can call anyone and say anything and you do not even know it is going on. Hence my SPL calling his girlfriend and getting the dear john call. Yep, Im sure many people will say
  24. 3 yrs ago I would have said no. But we started a coed crew and its been great. Ive seen the light (or a least a better way). I do like the GSA and BSA programs being separate, but I also like the coed. For me, the BSA should make it optional for the Chartering Organization. They should be able to charter it coed if they want. That way you could have troops male only or coed. My Crew is coed and Ive had a few parents that dont like the idea. My crew also works with my troop and pack too which has raised a few eyebrows over the past couple of years, I just say theres two other troops and
  25. One bad apple will spoil the rest and I would say youre at that point. I would tell them nicely to seek scouting elsewhere and I would use this opportunity to show your committee the need for training and why parents need to be trained if theyre going to participate (assuming shes not trained). Kicking a kid out isnt the easiest thing to do and too often adults try to keep kids in. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesnt. Nobody likes to loose a boy from scouting, but sometimes it has to happen. I had a boy caught shoplifting a few years back, at the local supermarket. A
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