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Second Class

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  1. I'm sorry, too.

    One of my scouts was the first scout in our Council to be awarded this grant. We were informed of it in early summer. So far, I have had three scouts apply and get these grants.

    I should have made note of this. I was unaware it was a national program.

  2. Barry,

    I'm reminded by your question about the psychological study that allowed a group to electrically shock other people. They found that when anonymity was in place, some were willing to administer lethal amounts of electricity.


    I think there are some on boards such as this that have that trait; willing and able to lash out because they know there are no repercussions.


    If we all posted our real name, position, troop or pack number, and then CC'd our wife, pastor, Committee chairman, XO, ASM, etc., 99.9% of the backbiting would stop.


    To answer your question then, yes, true character comes out when no one is watching, and here, with the veil of anonymity, no one is watching.(This message has been edited by second class)

  3. "From working at National Camp School, I know a lot of folks on the regional camping committee. When you can cut them away from the heard, they'll tell you there are some councils which don't have any business running camps. The don't have the program staff or maintenance budgets. Consequently, they'll run two weeks of camp at 40% capacity and do a half-assed job of that. I'll grant you the solution there should be to kick some butts, not sell the camps, but after years and years of kicking, it may be time for a new strategy."


    Perhaps the "new strategy" would be to hire SE's that can get the job done. For hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary, they dog gone well OUGHT to be able to run a program. If not, can them and find someone who will.


  4. Eamonn, it is really hard to read a long post with no white space. I'll give it a go now.

    All the best.


    Eamonn's post with spaces.




    Yesterday I presented a lesson on Dealing With Stress.

    Working in a jail is very stressful and the stresses take their toll on the people who work within the razor topped fences.


    Part of the lesson plan deals with bad ways of dealing with stress.

    On my way home I got to thinking about how I deal with my own stress.


    I'm not an expert in this kind of thing but even still I think that I know me better than anyone else.


    I'm very aware that there are stress-ors out there and from the time the electronic gate clangs shut, early in the morning till I get to get out I'm under stress.


    Jails are not as a rule very quite places. Inmates tend to want to be heard and will increase the volume until someone, even the person standing right next to them seems to be listening and getting something from what is being yelled. The truth is that he isn't listening and in not getting anything, all he is doing is working on what he is going to yell back.


    The radio strapped to my hip never shuts up and the announcements over head just keep coming.

    I think that I'm not taking that much notice but for my own safety and well being I don't dare block any of it out. For the safety and well being of others I need to be ready to respond.


    I really don't say much at home about what goes on at work.

    Days are planned to be very much the same, it's only when things go wrong that there's anything to talk about and I don't want my wife to spend her day worrying over me.


    The guys at work never want to come off seeming soft so as a way of defense things become a joke. -Until someone gets hurt.


    I'm a very sociable type of person. I like people and a lot of people seem to like and be able to get along with me.


    Still I very much like my time alone away from everyone.


    I enjoy my drives to and from work. Just me and NPR on the radio. Reports of whats happening in places in the world that I very often have never heard of before and know I'll never visit.


    As I was thinking of how I dealt with my own stress it came to me that maybe unknowingly? I have built my life around dealing with it.


    While I'm from a big city. (London.) And I still enjoy visiting big cities full of people and the action that can be found there.


    I chose to live out in the sticks. -I don't miss the hustle and bustle of the big city at all.


    About a month back I had my GPS set wrongly and rather than quickest time I had shortest distance. The darn thing brought me through every back road in Toronto. Taxis pulled out from no where, pedestrians seemed not to know that walking out in front of lost Englishmen can be hazardous to their health and Toronto is loaded full of Kamikaze bicyclists. It was like driving down the Kings Road, Chelsea after a Chelsea Soccer home game.


    For me it was 90 minutes of sheer hell. - I swore that I'd never live in a big city ever, for as long as I might live.

    A couple of years back, I took up gardening.


    I have no idea what the heck I'm doing. Only that I get to play in the dirt. Look at some wonderful magazines and enjoy bring in bunches of cut flowers for my wife or just like the hunter home from the hunt I come in basking with pride because I've just reaped yet another zucchini or can boast that I grew the herbs in the sauce.


    I have a big yard. I mow about seven acres. This year I went wild and bought myself a John Deere 72 inch zero-turn mower. - I have some really nice cars, but this mower is my pride and joy. A top speed of 15 MPH.


    The yard takes about three hours to mow. Three hours of me being alone with no interruptions, just me, the mower and the smell of cut grass.


    Everyday I take my three dogs out for their hike, we cover about 3 -5 miles depending on my mood and what the weather is like.


    Each dog has his or her own character and watching them do their own thing makes me smile. I also get to be part of the seasons and part of the nature that's all around me. Watching the robins in spring, the groundhogs poke their heads up from their holes in the summer or the snow geese in the corn fields.

    I moan and complain about having to dress for the weather before I take them out, but we never miss a day. We have spots where we can sit down and they can enjoy a pet from me. Along the way they are sometimes treated to an Irish folk song, but they never seem that impressed with my singing, only it beats my off key whistling!


    I do enjoy my friends and spending time with people that I like and care for.


    So when it comes to dealing with my own Stress?


    I think how lucky and blessed I really am.



    admin | IP: Logged

    spin-off new thread

  5. Explain how popcorn sales supports the district and council. Not to mention the scout's family, by helping the scout pay his way.


    Of course, if a unit is disconnected from Council, doesn't participate in Council summer camps,doesn't use council camps for program, or have cordial relations with that staff, this is a harder sell.


    But, if you do, your unit will reap benefits, and in the end, so will the scouts in your unit.

  6. Anyone have a good lead on poly tees that can be silk screened?


    We have an overnight on a battleship, and we'd like to get a gray one, with the scouts name on the back, a silhouette of the ship, and troop number on the front. We need about 60.



  7. Democrats complain when the Texas republicans do it, and Republican's yelp when the Democrats do it. Both sides are dirty in this regard. The Democrats did it first, over 100 years ago. The courts have upheld gerrymandering.


    As to the electoral college; each state has the power to decide how votes are apportioned, all or none, or as Nebraska does it, apportioned by per centage to each candidate.


    The long slide down started with the 17th amendment.

  8. Able, and you all drank his kool-aid? I'd start them back without him, and show him up. That is not right. I am amazed his SE lets that slide.


    Roundtable is, IMO one of the best hour and a half I spend each month. I try to get there early, because it is the conversations with scouters that inspiration comes from. New ideas. New places to go. Yes, sometimes it ends early, mostly because the troops that had been assigned a portion are so rude to not show up or get a replacement, or even a by your leave.


    The cub scout side is very good as well. They do all of the next months program, game, song, etc., so the new guys can get up to speed.


    Yes, there are the self identified Holders of All Knowledge, but I bypass them. I enjoy meeting new people and seek them out. I think most scouters do.


  9. So whose troop is it? What I mean with this question is, are the disgruntled people trying to change the statis quo? Didn't they join the troop knowing how it ran? Are they trying to fulment a coup? If that's the case, they should go their own way and start their own troop. It's much harder than they think.


    As far as the scoutmaster being tight lipped, I see that as a good thing. Less red meat for others to chew on.


    If the noise makers don't want to leave, they should man up and get with the program. It's not about them. It's about putting on a good program for the youth.


    The committee chairman doesn't have to allow votes on any matter. It can be a directive type of management. The CC and committe are there to support the program delivery of the Scoutmaster.


    That said, it works best when the COR, CC and SM all share a common vision. Without that, it can get bumpy. But program should not start with the committee.


    Golden rule rules.

  10. We use Troopmaster, and that's all I know. The cost as I recall isn't near what was listed. A three year with server hosted files was less than $100.00. That's what I recall from a committee meeting when it was approved.


    The web version allows multiple users to load it on their computer, and use the common/cloud database. Only one user at a time.


    It has done everything we have asked it to do, and more. With this and yahoo for group emails, we're covered.


    Some folks complain that we don't have a web site. I offer them that job, and they stop complaining.

  11. We are rapidly moving away from scout accounts, due to what we have recently learned about how they put your CO's tax exemption at risk.


    Our previous treasurer kept a ledger of each scouts' amount, and how and when it was distributed.


    Do you use an envelope system for your scout accounts? You don't have a separate bank account for each scout, do you? I'd expect that all funds were co mingled, and a ledger which accounts for all of it, and to whom it is credited.


    Deficit spending is not normal. It's like a bad case of musical chairs. I wouldn't want to be there when that $1,500 recharter check has to go out, and you're $800 short.


    When the boys fundraise, they are working to pay their dues. They are incentivized to sell more than the minimum by council rewards, and at the $1,000 level, the troop kicks in half of summer camp.


    A good year selling makes for a good next year for the troop families.


    Work a budget, and shoot high, and figure out your minimum fixed costs, and your variable costs with added new scouts. Use this to determine how much money is needed, and you can figure out how to get there.


    Good luck.

    (This message has been edited by Second class)(This message has been edited by Second class)

  12. We had planned on using unsold Show n Sell product to fill regular sales orders.


    Won't have to do that as we sold our entire order of Show n Sell.


    We have had our best year ever, more than double our previous high. Of course, our troop has 15 more scouts, this year, too.


    Next year will be much less expensive for our scouts because of this. We'll have five go to summer camp totally free because of the sales levels they hit. 15 or more others earned $70.00 in gift cards.


    High intensity, short duration. We are done fund raising for the year. Woot! What's not to like?


    A few ways to project sales have been given. One other way to do it is to project what you need for the year, awards, banquets, overnights at the museum, etc., then set a sales level per scout to get you there.

    Assume that 25% won't participate.


    Our popcorn Kemal this year did a great job. She rolled out a new (for us) sales method. We're not selling popcorn, we're selling support for the BSA, the council, our District, and our unit. They are buying support of scouting, and they get a small token of our thanks with popcorn.


    It worked well for us.

    (This message has been edited by Second class)

  13. Yea, gotta keep those red wagons away from 13 year olds. Looks bad. And risky.


    Fire has kept more than one boy interested in scouting.


    I bet the overnight in the lean too was harder for the parents than the boys!

  14. Twocub, those were Fred's questions, not mine. I was answering his.


    It may sound complicated, but it really is not. We pay for those that drive scouts, with the minimum safe number of vehicles. Simple. And avoids resentment five years from now, and countless miles of wear and tear, cut seats and spilled cokes. At least they get paid back for gas. It's the least that we can do.

  15. Sounds pretty normal if you ask me.


    My troop of 52 has 35+ eligible to attend Philmont (sign ups next week), and we just barely scraped a crew together. Your results seem right in line. Scouts are soft and don't know what fun backpacking and hiking is. We're moving toward 3-4 backpacking trips per year, and this seems to be having good results.


    When we had 28 scouts, we had well over 70% attendance. Now, at 52, we have the same number, but lower percentage, attending monthly camp outs. Too many competing activities. And, truth be told, they are used as an excuse to not attend scouts some times.


    Your PL's can't mandate meeting attendance. If there isn't a real NEED for the meeting, they won't attend. Most camping trip planning happens at troop meetings anyway.

  16. "Do do you make it by who drove or who committed to drive?"


    We reimburse drivers that carried scouts. If you drive for your convenience and don't carry scouts, we don't reimburse.



    - Do you compensate by actual number scouts driven or the number of seats committed for scouts?


    We reimburse each driver the amount they claim. We don't have six mini vans carrying two scouts. Doesn't happen.



    - How do you adjust for changing plans?


    Like less scouts showing up? We combine cars/trucks to lower the vehicles driven to the minimum plus one. (in case of emergency run to hospital, we need to get everyone else back)

    We never have more scouts show up than planned.


    - Do you control who rides in what car?

    No. It's usually a scrum to ride with friends.



    - Do you control the list of cars and tell them you don't need them to drive?


    Control is too stong a word. The drivers talk it out and figure out who would rather not drive.



    The troop pays for charcoal and propane. Camping fees charged are actual. Food cost is paid to their grubmaster. The troop/SM/ASM's never see grub money. The scouts handle all that.


    Adults attending form an adhoc patrol and each take a meal, or if a grubmaster steps up, he'll take the whole weekend. Everyone ponies up and is made whole. Sometimes it's a math problem, but it works out well. Adults usually eat better than the scouts. :)


    We charge a flat $10 for gas, regardless of distance. It covers about half the cost, the troop makes up the difference. If it's really close, drivers are reimbursed and we don't charge the scouts.


    Non perishable left over food goes in the patrol box; perishables go home with the grubmaster.


    They charge $3.00 per meal, and they eat pretty well with that.


    We tried the "collect $$ and split shares" for gas, and that didn't work very well. Going with actual costs works better for us.


    Our outings, including 5 meals, are usually $30.00 a weekend, with gas, $6.00 camping fee/parking/access charges.


    I'm hoping we make our popcorn goal this year, and we'll waive gas charges for scouts as we did a few years ago.

  17. RE: Driver reimbursement. Yes, the troop reimburses drivers for gas. We use the honor system. They know how many MPG they get, and the distance. We accept a hand written receipt for their gas.


    Some don't put in for it, but we encourage them to. Prevents resentment 2-3 years down the road. (like all the nickle and dime stuff leaders are always hit with).


    We looked into a bus, briefly. One big negative for me is it gives adults and "out" for not helping with the troop.

  18. Hmmm... That debate format could prove interesting. Might have some grit rise to the surface!


    I think at a minimum they should make a statement in front of the troop, and tell them what they are going to do in their term. How many PLC's they will be at, how many campouts they will lead.

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