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scouts4me

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About scouts4me

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    Pennsylvania
  1. scouts4me

    Plain old Apathy

    Yes, it's been some time since any reply, I know. I've been too busy. At any rate; ~ It is, as mentioned at times, too hard to say no and I get into that rut. I guess folks know that. Our pack has no troop to look forward to joining. There are also things like paper people in various places. I have fixed that at the pack level. However, helping them to understand their roles is a little difficult but I'm working on it. The Charter Rep. is basically a non-functioning role. The organization really wants no part in the pack despite repeated requests for help and trying to explain their role in the grand scheme of things. So I guess they are not an option. I have mentioned it at district level and they have other things to think about. I did however, have a telephone call from one of the kids parents. She is interested in helping. So I believe that's a start. I also had another phone call from another parent. He is pulling his son because the den is a combo Wolf/Bear den and there are no other Bears. He feels his son needs to interact with kids his own age. He's moving the boy to another pack with more boys. The parent is a key leader in the pack. The pack is suffering from a lack of boys. The parent had left a message on my machine. Now I guess I need to return the call and say that I will miss the boy (true) and ask if the parent is willing to stay and help the pack overcome the challenges it has. Some of those challenges are; very small numbers and hesitant leaders. I confess I has thought that rather than jumping ship, I had hoped these folks would pull tight and help the pack overcome its problems. Any suggestions there?
  2. scouts4me

    Plain old Apathy

    I am involved with our local scout pack. I have no boys in anymore, they are in boy scouts. I am having trouble handing the reins over, no one will take them. You've heard it before, I'm sure, plain old apathy. How do I get these people to understand that it's THEIR boys not mine they are unwilling to lead. After an hour and a half meeting I did finally get all of the positions needed filled. Trouble is, a den leader quit. No one will step forward to fill his shoes. Naturally I have been doing it. The boys are great kids. In fact I think at the last meeting they did a butter up job. LOL They were all saying "gee, thanks for doing all of this with us, that was really nice, you did SO much". Really laying it on. But it was genuine, I know it was. Even the parents were impressed. Hey that's what happens when you are organized for your meetings. Ultimately, I can't continue to do it, though. I have boys one night and girl scouts the following night. I also have various other meetings throughout the week. More importantly I have a life and kids. The committee meetings are all stare at each other waiting for guidance. I definitely need help in this area. Generally I am the one offering advice, however, I am truly stumped this time. Can you give it?
  3. scouts4me

    Eagle Rank & age

    This is such a debated subject, is it not? I don't think it will ever be satisfactorily solved. Personally I have not yet met the 13 year old Eagle that is mature enough to hold the rank. I am not saying that he isn't out there, I'm simply saying I haven't met him yet. Then again in my council there aren't too many of them. National cannot be held accountable, IMHumbleO, for what some folks call merit badge factory troops. I have seen them myself. I wish there was a way to halt this activity, but I don't know how to do it. Of course it makes the boys who actually earn the badges feel less than satisfied. It was my understanding, and perhaps wrongly so, that new scouts were encouraged to earn First Class by/at about their first "anniversary". Apparently this is not the case as some scouts in my district earn First Class before six months. These are scouts in a "merit badge factory" troop. My son, same age as these boys is still second class and will be in his troop a year quite soon. Naturally he is quite disillusioned. I have probably mentioned this before. These boys will probably be eligible for Eagle sooner than say, my son because of the merit badges. No doubt they have a good deal of the required ones out of the way. I say this without malice. I am simply stating what I know. This leads to younger Eagles by age. They have to pass, as Mike said, excellence stadards, we hope along the way before they get the rank. It is a rank to be proud of and cherish as only two of 100 boys obtain that goal. (I hope I recalled that correctly.) Ultimately the boys have to live with themselves and know in their hearts, if they have done their very best. AFA the Tiger program, I'd like to see it completely redone. As a trainer and pack leader, I've had a good deal of negative feed-back from parents on it. AFA Webelos and two years, it is actually designed to be an 18 month program with the boys graduating in February of their fifth grade year, age permitting, and hopeful AOL. Family camping is the cubbing way. In Webelos, it's parent-son but not lots of extensive camping, overnighters on occasion. Sorry, there is that darn trainer coming out again. ;-)
  4. scouts4me

    webelos leader

    FLA_scouter, just a friendly reminder that family camping is for cubs up through Bears. Once you get to Webelos, that's where the boys get to start the overnight camping with an adult family member. I would hesitate to take even our small pack out to the zoo/camping with just two deep. I'm sure this is not how you meant to word it and we have mentioned this in different forums before. (That being, it's difficult to say and word it as we mean to.) However, you are right, it's good to always have an extra set of eyes available. You also have a great idea with your outings. Our October pack meetings used to be a family campfire with skits, songs, etc. with hot chocolate and doughnuts afterward. It's cooold here! Mike has also pointed out an excellent source of help, the boy scout troop. Unfortunately some packs do not have this option, but for those that do, it's great. The parents see what the boys can look forward to. In scouting.
  5. scouts4me

    Yet another Paper Eagle

    I don't really think that the rank of Eagle has been cheapened, particularly by National. I think perhaps the perception of it has become that way for the following reason. For instance, I believe many of us have mentioned here the "Eagle factories" or those that are the opposite, making them wait until they are much older, despite their abilities. To see troops time and again rolling out Eagles at a young age, makes a person wonder if the boy has earned it or if the committee earned it for the boy. On the other hand, I live in a community that has respect for the Eagle scout. Many businesses realize the value of the rank. As a member of the District committee I have heard a few business men, also members of the DC, mention that they will hire Eagles any day over a person equally qualified for a job. The reason for this being that the Eagle scout has shown that he has "stick-to-it" in his blood and committment. The military also recognizes this and Eagles go in at a higher rank. If/when my sons get Eagle, you can bet I will be "pleased as punch". I know they worked hard and did not slack off or get an easy ride.
  6. scouts4me

    Eagle Rank & age

    As you saw in the prior posts there is no minimum age for Eagle but there is a maximum of before the 18th birthday. So saying, you will find many boys becoming Eagle at 14. This was discussed in another forum as to the maturity of the age for an Eagle. But as discussed also, that is not for us to decide. Wwakemen, as the parent of a future Eagle, if he gets his rear in gear darn soon, I'm not sure that I agree that this generation is smarter than "yours". I think perhaps they have just swayed the vote. :-) It seems that there is a certain age where they lose interest. Perhaps, there needs to be an added challange of some sort. Not necessarily added to the Eagle requirements, but perhaps to the program, to keep the boys hyped and excited.
  7. scouts4me

    webelos leader

    SMK, you are correct in that this is a transition time for the boys. It's also a transition time for the parents. They may be unsure of their roles. You yourself have a large den. Ten boys is borderline for two dens. Add an extra boy or two and I would think of adding an extra den. But that isn't what you asked about. So, keeping parents excited is one of the difficult parts of scouting. That's how we lose many of the boys, because they rely on their folks to get them to the meetings. I would suggest you plan some parent-son overnighters. As you know a parent must accompany their son on an overnight. Plan a day hike with the parents to earn Forester, things of that 'nature'. Send home news letters. You may want to have a parent meeting to ask them what they expect of their son's time in Webelos. You may also want to let them know that this is an exciting time for their boys. Encourage them to help their sons along the way toward AOL and then into a boy scout troop. In a way, you are doing more in the den, so the parents are doing less. Also, by providing a great program, the boys are going to spill that enthusiasm over to their parents. But remember whatever you do, there will always be that parent who is unreachable.
  8. scouts4me

    Need Help Finding a Booklet

    Schroeder, I don't have a copy of the current Webelos book with me. My son was in the "transition year" for the new book. I checked with the Webelos leader in my pack and another Webeblos leader to double check, particularly since I am the cub trainer for my district. (After my training session this Saturday, I am purchasing the new Webelos book, compliments of the training session!) They mentioned that there are seven listed requirements, and that the boys need only do six. I suggest you do the other six and not do this one. If you choose to do this one, your council service center should be able to get any scouting literature you need. They are there as a resource to you (and they won't make you buy 100). Give them a call. Many times, particularly in the Webelos program, the requirements are difficult to understand. I have to applaud you for spelling "Webelos" correctly. Many folks do not. I once heard someone comment that a boy receives his Arrow of Light after he earns the 20th activity pin. Obviously this person was sleeping through training. (-: Please let me know if this helped you in some way and if I can help further.
  9. scouts4me

    Need Help Finding a Booklet

    Schroeder, I'm sorry can you tell me where in the Webelos book it says they have to read this booklet. I have been out of the Webelos program for just a few months but I don't recall them having to do that. Enlighten me and I will try to help you.
  10. scouts4me

    the elusive scouts-L

    Thanks Mike. Kind of frightening, you know, when I came here tonight and saw it right on the menu bar. LOL I appreciate the web addy, though. Happy Scouting. :-)
  11. I have been referred to scoutsL for suggestions on different things. Thing is, I can't locate it. Finally Scouting mag did mention that it is hidden here in www.scouter.com. Someone want to enlighten me as to where, please? Thanks. :-)
  12. scouts4me

    Yet another Paper Eagle

    RE: Mike Long & etal, scrolling to the bottom of this is quite difficult to reply properly, isn't it? lol But to be sure, we all need realize that these written words are just that. While we may think we have thought them through, like I did, they may not be as clear as we thought. Take mine. I am a trainer. The first thing I teach new leaders is, you guessed it, two deep. And better yet, if they can - three deep. My spouse and I are both registered BSA leaders, also merit badge counselors, so technically we could do merit badges with our sons. This would not be something I would want to do, however unless I had to. And then as I said earlier, I would ask him to have another scout take it, this other scout is witness to the fact that they both have earned the badge. Naturally the two-deep adults are there, I would never do it alone. I would not use my spouse as the second for two deep. I too have seen troops where I know that time after time the merit badges are coming right off the assembly line, so to speak. They are still here in the area. It cheapens the effect of the whole system. My youngest son is upset that he is "only" Second Class while boys who graduated from our pack at the same time to this other troop are already First Class. I am trying to help him uderstand that he is learning life-long skills, genuinely, are these other boys? You are right there. Point three... A challenging project is what it's about. Our school system feels that the Eagle project is not challenging enough. They are using the outdated "outbased education" system. Each senior has to complete a project to graduate. They are disuading scouts from using their Eagle projects because they are not challenging enough. Get real. A kid last year built a gun for his senior, now that is a challenge (right) and what a blessing to know this kid can build a gun. I mean no disrespect to gun enthusiasts. What riles me... I have to argee with you there. And it's a case by case thing. I am much rougher on my children than any other leaders, IMHO. But we (I) will always here the "your his parent thing". But what suits one child will obviously not suit another and that's what BSA is all about, meeting each boy's needs so he can be prepared for the future. IMHumbleO In dealing with my troop, also my sons troop, I have the unique position of being a female Unit Commissioner. Here where I am from that is not quite as popular as in some more populated areas. So I have a difficult role to fill. I have done my job well, I think. I am eligible for my square knot, now to let the District Commissioner know this. Another... well conservative. I visit my unit monthly, they may think as a parent, and perhaps that's true but I have a keen eye and also am doing my job. I have many scouting jobs and like to think I do them all well. The boys work well with me and I have a good repor (sp) with them. And there is always three deep there you can believe that. lol Happy scouting.
  13. scouts4me

    Yet another Paper Eagle

    As a Unit Commissioner for a boy scout troop I have to disagree with slontwovvy in his troop's way of doing the Eagle "thing". I have to wonder if his troop is a boy run organization or is it leader run? The standards for Eagle are set by National NOT by the unit. To "shout" that no one gets Eagle before 16 is perhaps something that the advancement chairperson for your District should be wondering about and looking into. I wholeheartedly agree that 13 is far too young to get Eagle, whether the boy has done the requirements or not. I, in my experience as a scouter have not seen a scout yet show me that at 13 he is capable of displaying the qualities of an Eagle scout. Perhaps they are out there and I have not met them yet. Maybe there is a middle ground somewhere. I have seen like some, the boys lose interest after a certain age. This is unfortunate because scouting is such a fantastic experience and is something they will take with them wherever they go. I suggest that slontwovvy re-evaluate his troop program and re-adjust it before someone on a higher level does. IMHumbleO. For kevieemeal, it sounds like you have gone from one side of the troop to the other. Good for you. You will find it challenging but rewarding. AFA merit badges goes, if my son needed me to be his merit badge counselor (and he might) I would request that he have a fellow scout take the merit badge at the same time. Often times we leaders get the "blame" for signing off badges and awards for our kids, and perhaps some do. I know that my kids earn everything they do under my eye! My oldest is currently working on his Eagle. He is astounded at the amount of time involved in it. Your physical part of the project took a day, perhaps you had a lot of help. As you mentioned, they are a learning experience also. We cannot be judgemental. Certainly every project was and is worthy, I hope, or they would not pass muster. These projects must pass the troop committee, the district advancement chair, the council and national. If they were not of value and worthy they wold not pass, I am sure.
  14. scouts4me

    Scoutmaster problems

    The Webelos Den and the Troop are run differently. Very much so. You need to get trained for both positions as soon as it becomes available. Your Scoutmaster is long overdue for training. I agree that perhaps you should take training together, however there may be some animosity there. As the Committee Chairperson, you are in charge of the governing body of the troop. You and the committee may ultimately "fire" this Scoutmaster if he does not come up to par. Are the other committee people equally unsatisfied with the quality of program he and his assistants are helping the boys provide? Perhaps you should take a step backwards and look at the situation objectively. Certainly the boys will be the losers if the solution to whatever the problem is cannot be mended soon. Also you will find that while family support is strong in Cub Scouting, it "drops" off in Boy Scouting. By that I mean that in a sense the boys have cut the apron strings and are learning to function as young men and do things as a team/patrol and not rely so much on the family as the "doer". Of course the family is always there, providing behind the scenes support. The boys don't see it so much but we're there. :-)
  15. scouts4me

    Need advice on discipline

    Tired Cubmaster, if the situation was handled properly at camp, let it go. Knife safety is dealt with in the Webelos book and perhaps should be gone over in the den. Don't make the boy feel like he has committed a "crime" twice. Don't punish the boy but make it a positive thing in some way. Boy scouting and cub scouting build character, not tear it down. Next time there is a camp, be sure the boys know that no knives go to camp.
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