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About Sdriddle

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  1. I would be very interested in any copies of lease agreements units have with cities in regard to use of city property for scout huts. Thanks for any help. sdriddle2@hotmail.com
  2. I received a letter from our Council regarding United Way funding in our county. They have reduced our funding by 63% with no real reason given except that donations are down. They will give us 25,000 instead of 68,839. Obviously this is a major hit to our district, and they are asking us to call UW and let them know how we feel about it and also for us to help them reduce cost or help make up the difference. If you would like to help us encourage UW to increase the funding their email is www.unitedwaygrayson.org and phone 903-893-1920. Thanks
  3. Boys plan the calendar. We have regular PLC's led by the SPL. Opportunities for advancement are presented and try to include in meetings and campouts. Biggest problem with advancement is getting them to bring their book and get it signed off. I have concerns about some of the scouts having the scout spirit signed off when they don't show it at the meetings. We have elections every 4 months because 6 months was too long. They seem to lose interest and get burned out after about 4 months. I think a real committee would be helpful, since we all have combination responsibilities it makes it hard for anyone to be impartial in decisions involving leadership and boy behavior. Most of the boy problems I think are behavioral due to poor home lives. I really think a degree in child psychology could be helpful to deal with the special needs of some of the boys in the troop. Unfortunatly, nothing in any of the BSA training I have had has given much help in how to deal with kids from alcoholic familes, broken families, and other family issues. One parent has had to deal with her son hitting her and having suicidal thoughts. The reputation some of these kids have in town is keeping some people from considering us as a troop for their kids. How do you get past that? New blood is exactly what we need. Bob, I am not ignoring you, you have a valid point. I have known most of these kids through cub scouts and seen them shine at many things. It is very sad to watch some them stumble around so much and lose sight of their goals in the pursuit to be "cool". Why is having a big attitude so important to so many teenagers?
  4. We are having a calendar planning meeting this weekend. It starts tonight with a sleep in at the church with movies, snacks and games and Sat. morning we will plan the next year activities followed by a dip in the pool. They have always had the biggest say in campouts themes and locations. They have the opportunity to go sailing at a local lake in 3 weeks if they can get the menus and such completed in time. Bottom line is, they get to choose what they do, but most don't want to put in the time to plan it. They are told that it is their troop and it is not the adults job to do all of the planning for them and they just show up and have fun. All of the boys have something to offer the troop, and we try to put these to use at campouts and meetings. Unfortunatly, they do not respect each others strong points. A big part of this probably their age and maturity. I know I am overinvolved and am trying to find ways to get the few parents we have involved. They keep telling me no and it gets very frustrating. Would love to have a new SM. I think more male leadership would be a boon but short of advertising in the local monthly paper, I don't see a lot of options within the troop. The Chartering Organization is not interested in being more involved. I have been told that everyone is too busy to help with the troop.
  5. First, a troop profile: 10 boys from a small town 30 minutes from anywhere. SPL- 13 yrs old and Homeschooled with dad who tries to camp when he can and finally got a job that unfortunatly will keep him from attending meetings and campouts. Has 4 other younger siblings and only have one vehicle due to recent auto accident. Good dedicated kid. ASPL- 12 year old with completely uninvolved parents. Bit of a smart mouth and annoys most all the other boys. Likes Scouting. PL- 13 year old (my son) used to really care, but has lost most of his drive due to other boys not caring about the program. I am active leader (committee acting like an ASM). Father travels and is uninvolved. PL- 12 year old son of Committee Chairman (trained) and stepson of SM (trained). Has older brother who causes a lot of problems. Fairly bad attitude. Tell him not to do something, says O.K. Then does it again 10 min. later. Scout 14 y.o. single parent family. Tough life. Uninvolved Mom. See's scouts as a way to get more out life. Holds grudges forever. Scout 13 y.o. son of CC and stepson of SM. Real bad attitude toward authority adult and boy. Does not want leadership. Will get a car when he gets eagle. Doesn't like to wear uniform. Scout 13 y.o Mom always busy. Dad works in another part of the state and only comes home 1 or 2 times a month. Bad attitude. Can't keep his mouth shut. Best friend of Scout above. Doesn't like to camp or wear the uniform. Scout 11 years old brother of scout above. Likes attention. Likes camping. Best fried of first PL. Doesn't like the uniform but will conform to go camping and have fun. Scout 12 year old home schooled. Dad goes camping and attends most meetings. Mom attends some meetings. Dad will probably be the Webelos leader for the pack. Good Guy, does not want more leadership resposibities. Does not like to discipline. Scout 14. Hispanic. Good Kid. Parents don't speak English and put everything above scouting Recently CC son and brother and best friend and his brother have been harrassing my son at school because I have been coming down on them at meetings for not being prepared, asking repetitive stupid questions and popping off with negitive comments about everything. Generally disrupting every meeting. CC comes to every meeting, camps, handles district and council paperwork. Gets on to her boys some, but wants someone else to correct them at the meetings. SM does not attend meetings anymore due to disrespect of the boys and has health problems that will keep him from participating in anything for a while. I (trained)am at every meeting and PLC, handle JLT, program planning oversight, and advancement. There is no respect for boy leaders and little for the adults. My son does not want to return to former troop in neighboring city. If the biggest troublemakers are removed from the troop, there goes what little leadership we have with no prospects from the pack for a couple of years. I am also a den leader. I am at a loss as what to to. The troop has only been active for 1 and half years. The District is very good at handing out little platitudes like "More Training", "Get more Parents involved", and "You need to recruit". All things which are very hard to do in an all sports oriented town and not a lot of scouting history. I do not know how to turn this mess around. The meetings are marginal to bad, we do try to camp every month with us trying to get the boys to do as much of the planning as possible. They have to be told every month though what they need to do and when to do it. No enthusiam is left in this bunch it seems. Any ideas? Is this salvagable? Being in a small town and we all know everyone and everyone knows everyone else's business.
  6. I saw the first half of the show and they did zoom on the Scoutmaster patch. She even commented that is was hard not to act like the SM. It was funny when whe said the the troop back home was going to rib her good for not having on a neat uniform, tucked in and buttoned to the top. I am sure she did not intend on spending the whole time in her uniform, but they tricked them and took away all of their things except what they were wearing and told them to jump ship and swim to shore. Most of the clothes the people were in were inappropriate... Armani suit, strapless sundresses, heavy jeans, etc. They said it was to make it seem more like a shipwreak situation.....
  7. Depending on the size of your pack, giving all of the awards out at a pack meeting will take way too long. We are still small enough to do that, but as you get larger, the pack meeting will need to be reserved for only badges. Are your dens performing at every pack meeting? The skits and songs are the heart of your pack meeting planning. The parents are not interested in coming just watch somebody else's kid get alot of awards while theirs never leaves their chair. You have to do what works for your pack. We generally do not have any boy earn his rank badge (bobcat exception) until close to the Blue and Gold, so that has been a time for us to have really good ceremonies for everyone who has earned their badge. We really stress that the badge work needs to be completed by the B and G because as soon as spring sports start up, Cub Scout work hits the back burner around here. Pack meetings should be fun, last about an hour or so, and reward those who have put out extra effort. Save the belt loops, extra patches, beads and Webelos pins for a ceremony within the dens if you are running out of time for fun at the pack meetings.Get everyone trained, attend your Council Pow Wow, and use the pack meeting planning sheet in the leader guide. If yours is an older version, you might need to upgrade to a new one.
  8. Sorry, we did that last year too during open house. We didn't have much of a display table, just the cubmaster and cc in uniform and a smile. I think they had some handouts and maybe some pictures. They answered peoples questions and let them know about school night coming up. They kept track of what den the kids would be in so we could be prepared for school night. Sure took a load off to know that we would have a tiger den! We will probably do it again this year. We had a lot of success with pitching a tent on the playground during recess and talking to the kids about camping, and placing arm bands on them with a reminder the day before school night for scouting. Sheila
  9. One table at the open house with various items made by scouts, pictures taken at cool events, etc should be good enough. In my experience, the people that show up are usually already committed to joining and don't spend a lot of time at the display table. Being a rather small town, we try to encourage the current pack members to attend school night as well to receive their year pins. This way the prospective members get to see who is in their den (everyone knows somebody here!) and if the parents of the whole den are there, they can decide on leadership and meeting times that night instead of it taking a month to get organized. We try to have some parents in charge of games and/or other activity (our cafeteria has a divider, but you could use the gym or the playground) during the second half of the meeting so the leaders can speak to the new parents without the kids being such a distraction. Hope this helps, just remember, cub scouts at its best is organized chaos. The kids have a great time and the parents see how much noise 30 boys can really make! Sheila
  10. How do you know what the suggested order for the Troop Program Resources is? Scouter magazine referred to Emergency Prep as the next theme but I haven't seen any "list". The boys are picking the ones they want to do, but it would be nice to know what is "supposed" to happen next month to encourage the boys to try a new theme idea. Sheila
  11. At Pow Wow last fall the council had what they called a "Fireside Chat". Units submitted questions prior to lunch and the Council Exec. answered as many as possible. There was no "fire", "side" or "chat". It was informative and you could have asked a question about finance, but most questions were program related. I recently read that they are going to do it again at Pow Wow this year. I don't see how the Boy Scout units have any input in this though as it was strictly Cub Scout Units present. Hope this provides you with any insight... Sheila
  12. Webelos wear the blue loops to signify cub scouts, just as the leaders. Some troop incorporate the loop color change into the crossover ceremony. Red is only for Boy Scouts. Sheila
  13. Here is an example for you: CC/COR is responsible (volunteered) for letting brand new troop know about merit badge college. I call her the evening of the last day to sign up to see if everything was handled as I had not heard anything. She says she signed up her boys but did not have time to call everyone else (appox. 8 families). After several calls to district and other parents, we are allowed to turn in forms first thing the next morning which she graciously does since it is her resposibility. She always makes sure her boys are taken care of, and shows little concern for the others. Whenever we ask if the CO will let us have more space or even put in a refrigerator (we meet in a house), we are immediatly told no with no discussion with the IH. Sheila
  14. I can almost guarantee that the IH doesn't want to get involved and will leave all decisions to the CC/COR. This is unfortunate. The CC/COR takes everything personally and thinks we are all out to get her. The worst thing I can think of that has happened is that when she doesn't followup and take care of Committee business, we step in and do it for her so the boys don't miss out on anything. Sometimes she gets offended if you call and remind her of something that needs to be dealt with and then accuse you later of trying to take over. It's a huge mess and I am working on it. Small town politics, long term dislikes and hurt feelings never help a unit to get going. Sheila
  15. No serious offense, the CC/COR has personal issues with a married couple who provide a lot of support. The district is aware. I was wondering if it was as easy as "see ya later" or if they had to go through some kind of procedure. Sheila
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