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Everything posted by Sentinel947

  1. Sentinel947

    A Scouters Motto

    Agreed. I think it depends how we define "big brotherly." Baden Powell has a similar quote that I think is easier to understand. “To get a hold on boys you must be their friend.” The YPT rules have definitely made communications between adults and youth restricted. We cannot communicate or interact with our Scouts like they do their peers in the troop or school. The YPT rules have made it impossible for adults to have "private" relationship with a Scout that nobody else is aware of, and that's a necessary safeguard. As @DuctTape said, "in the spirit of." I believe very strongly that how the YPT rules are written gives me the necessary operating room to ""Guide the boy in the spirit of an older brother" or “be their friend” while still observing YPT. More or less, what I think BP means by both quotes is a Scoutmaster shouldn't be a drill sergeant, strict teacher, or stern parental figure. Part of the challenge is that it's challenging to define some of these terms in a scouting context: "Personal" "Private" "1 on 1." I also think it's very possible to have "personal" relationships with Scouts. I don't have "secret" relationships with them. I talk to my Scouts, I get to know them. They get to know me, my experience in Scouts, and some details about my life and profession. There are certainly some topics that are off limits for me and for them. There's definitely some jokes and good natured teasing that goes on between them and I. I know their goals in Scouts, and their interests outside of Scouts. Sometimes they come to me with very personal things or they want my opinion on something. As much as possible, and depending on the nature of their request, we'll discuss those things out of the earshot of others, but in view and knowledge of other Scouts and Scouters. I grant that this could be because I'm closer in age to my Scouts and I have an easy time relating to them. I follow all the YPT rules exactly as they are written. If anybody is confused how that works, and why I feel like I'm within the rules, I'll explain, but I feel like we've beaten to death the YPT rules on this forum. Many of my former Scouts stay in touch when they age out of Scouts. If that's not the result of guidance in the spirit of an older brother; then I'm not sure what is. I feel like this is likely true for most of us here. As for the Scouters Motto I like: "Train 'em, Trust 'em, Let 'em lead."
  2. Sentinel947

    Any tips for conducting an ILST?

    Like @qwazse said, please no powerpoints. If you feel like they are necessary keep them minimal. My opinion is it's best to have your Scouts be the facilitators, or team up with a more experienced troop for your first time through it. Focus on the games and activities, and have the "lecture" portions be more of a group discussion facilitated by the Scout lecturer. In my Troop, we turn ILST into a weekend patrol method outing. The patrols play patrol games and have competitions. They also go through the ILST activities by patrol. We do ILST every other year, and have our SPL and ASPL's run it.
  3. Sentinel947

    Unlikely beginnings of Boy Scouting...

    When I wrote my comment about rushing to print the first thing I thought of was the Covington Catholic situation from earlier this year. Here's how to find the original article. The article is a "retro podcast". It was reposted on June 13th. Clicking the link that I drew an arrow to takes you to the next page. Which I have also screens shotted and has the date from May 9th 2018. I also don't have a subscription to the Post, so I can't read the whole article, and I'm too busy at the moment to listen to the podcast ( and too cheap thrifty to buy access.) I hope readers of the Post saw the article or listened to the podcast. Scouting sure needs positive press these days. And lets not get to our own BSA's publishing accuracy ineptitude...
  4. Sentinel947

    Unlikely beginnings of Boy Scouting...

    That's an ad hominem attack. Unless you think that the typical journalist is a specialist of all knowledge or never make mistakes. I'd expect most forum members here to be more knowledgeable about Scouting than the average Journalist. Good on the post for writing about Scouts, but details matter. If a journalist makes a claim and get it wrong, it does cast some doubt on the quality of their journalism. Especially in today's mad scramble to be first to publish, issue retractions or corrections later... maybe. I don't have time to listen to the whole podcast right now while at work, but the summary states 110 years ago. However ,the publishing date was May 2018. There are two generally accepted dates of the birth of the Scouting Movement. 1907 the year BP first did his Brownsea camp, or 1908, when he published Scouting for Boys. Given that the article was published 110 years after 1908, I'll grant it as correct, and kudos to the Post for writing about it.) Tahawk, in his rush to jab the Post, didn't look at what year the article was written, merely the year it was posted here. 😋
  5. Sentinel947

    Guidance on Discipline

    This isn't something you are going to get answered from a web forum. You'll want to engage your District Executive and a Unit Commissioner if you have one. I'm not sure what you were told when you took on your role as Committee Chair, but here is the job description from the BSA. https://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Troop_Committee_Chair. While not a BSA publication, it cites the Troop Committee Guidebook, which is an official publication of the BSA. My own thoughts: I'm a big proponent of Scouts being in charge and leading themselves. Still, the role of adults is to establish what the rules are and to define proper conduct. Bullying, hazing, or substance use isn't something where "the Scouts get to lead." I'll often allow my senior Scouts to resolve low grade bullying issues, but I'll be present and consulted. More serious bullying issues, hazing or substance use issues are going to be handled by adults. What's the point of all this if we don't hold Scouts to acting like Scouts outside of the troop meetings and outings? Isn't the whole point of this to help them develop into better adults for their whole lives? If we're ignoring Scouts conduct outside of Scouts, why are we going through this whole process? The point of all this isn't just that we teach them to be good Scouts while at Scouting events, but that we support all the other positive influences in their lives to help them be better individuals in their whole lives. If a Scout is having run in with authority figures, whether school, parents or the legal system, if I'm a SM or CC I would want to know. The adult leadership of the troop should advise what they believe the troop's responsibility is to it's members regarding that Scout. There are varying levels of grey zone here. Ultimately the Scoutmaster and Committee Chair need to decide what they want to do, and the chartering organization through it's Chartered Organization Representative might have an opinion. I don't like to speculate about these specific situations, because I don't know enough about the situation to be helpful, but I'll outline a few more thoughts: The Committee Chair is the ultimate volunteer in a Scout Troop. They are responsible for the entire Troop. The Scoutmaster is responsible for supervision of the youth and program, but the Committee Chair is supposed to oversee the Scoutmaster. Typically this is a less formal and more cooperative relationship. If other Scouts feel threatened by this Scout, combined with the drug usage, that's a serious problem. Most Scouts don't want to rock the boat and go to adults, so if you're hearing this, you should take it seriously. This isn't something you have the Committee vote on. This is something where you as the Committee Chair gather facts from all the relevant parties, and present your plan to the Committee. They can give their two cents if they'd like, but you aren't under any obligation to follow anybody's opinion's. As Committee Chair, you are responsible for the welfare of your Scouts, the future of your Troop, and the reputation of your Chartered Organization. The Committee is there to advise you and handle duties you've delegated to them. It's nice and beneficial to have consensus on tough decisions, but good leadership does what is right for the group, not blow around fecklessly to the winds of popular opinion. Trouble Scout is still one of your Scout's, so you should try to partner with his family to support what efforts they are making to correct his behavior. If they are not willing or unable to correct his behavior you are faced with suspending him until they figure it out. Sounds like your unit has a lot of folks trying to be in charge of this situation. As I and others have said, you'll want to engage your District Executive and Unit Commissioner for support, and potentially your unit's Chartered Organization Representative.
  6. Sentinel947

    Eagle Scout Shown Leniency

    Absolutely agree @David CO that the accused is an Eagle Scout should not be a condition for receiving a lighter sentence. I doubt anybody on this forum would disagree with us. I won't say that the law should judge him more harshly for the crime because he's an Eagle, but I certainly view him more harshly because of it. Certainly if your follow up post detailing his emails are correct, I can't see how the judge came to the conclusion to be lenient. As @SSScout said, there are figures in society we hold up as role models for others, and Scouts, Eagle Scouts and Scout leaders are typically in that category. It's cases that remind me that Eagle Scout is not a Sainthood or a Knighthood, but rather a set of requirements. The meaning of Eagle Scout is what the Scout does to earn Eagle, and who he becomes while earning it and what he does afterward. Certainly there can be other influences in a young person's life that can override the moral and ethical training they receive from their parents, religion, school or Scouts. Even within those aforementioned groups, sometimes those influences can be harmful (not all parents are good, not all Scout Troops have a healthy culture.)
  7. Great article! Baden Powell would be proud!
  8. Sentinel947

    Differences in Scoutmaster leadership styles

    I agree, keep the requirements to a minimum, or a troop may end up eating crow when they have to bend the requirements in order to find anybody to take on a POR. ILST and NYLT are a great start to expose your Scouts to some leadership concepts, spread the seeds of a servant leadership culture and model the patrol method. NYLT has been the source of some of my most cherished Scouting experiences as a youth and adult. However: Leadership development of youth (or adults!) doesn't start or end with the BSA's formalized courses. The training from a senior youth to a junior one, or the mentoring of a wise and patient Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster to a Scout is just as much, or even more important than ILST or NYLT. These are the more every day learning experiences that can slip past us if we aren't looking for them. They don't tend to show up as big announcements or Scoutmaster's minutes, but in little conversations after a meeting, on the ride back from a camp out, or sitting around a dying campfire. My senior scouts in my troop and NYLT have come to both love and hate my most common question, because I deploy it in most situations. "What do you think?" It (and all it's various neutral and non-aggressive forms) are my favorite question. I've mostly been blown away by many of my Scout's ability to analyze themselves and the group, and reason through the choices that they make. Often they come to me with questions, and walk away with an answer they already had. Plenty of times I've been surprised by the perfectly acceptable and workable solutions to problems and challenges that I hadn't even thought of. Sometimes their ideas are better than mine. Sure there are some times, where they are running afoul of the rules, but even then, when the guidelines are laid out and explained, they are pretty good at figuring out what they should be doing. This kind of guided self learning is something I've grown fond of, but it does take some practice to not come off as condescending. (Which I'm unfortunately very good at coming off condescending.) It's not the right approach for every situation, but it sure does work for a lot of them. @SSScout mentioned the Socratic method, which I believe is somewhat what I described.
  9. Sentinel947

    Safety vs. Inclusion ??

    Thanks! If he didn't have his leader, it would have been considerably more challenging. My staff member or I would have had to sit with him the entire session, which would take us away from other kids. Whether he was safe or not at the range was definitely a decision I had to make. Thankfully I had a wonderful RSO/Shooting Sports Director to help with that. The first session his Scout leader came with him, introduced himself and explained the Scouts limitations. Unfortunately, the Scout, his family and Troop hadn't talked to the council about alternative or disability adjusted requirements, so I couldn't pass him on requirement L. Shoot 5 groups in the space of a quarter. It was a struggle for him to hit the paper, let alone a target. My assistant and I would take turns "testing" rifles at the far end of the firing line, which we would actually be shooting a few shots at his target so regardless of how he shot, he'd have a few hits on the paper. By the end of the week he could at least hit the paper on his own without my assistant or I gifting him hits. I've never seen a scout happier to not pass a badge.
  10. Sentinel947

    Safety vs. Inclusion ??

    I was a Rifle Instructor at a Council camp. We had a scout who was autistic. He had a leader from his troop that came with him and helped him shoot. He didn't get the badge because his accuracy wasn't enough to complete the badge, but his leader and I made sure he had fun and the other Scouts were safe.
  11. Sentinel947

    Differences in Scoutmaster leadership styles

    I've noticed that with my NYLT staff. I can think of a few staff members that love staffing NYLT because it's the leadership challenge they don't get in their adult run units back home. This hurts me. They're great Scouts, strong leaders that could greatly impact a troop, but they aren't allowed to spread their wings in their troops. I'd kill (hyperbolically) to have these guys/gals in my troop. I wish I could say Wood Badge is the answer, but I know plenty of Wood Badge graduates and even staff that don't "get it." I also wish there were easy answers.
  12. Sentinel947

    Differences in Scoutmaster leadership styles

    @MattR you've confused two figures. Lao Tzu is the founder of Taoism. He's famous for having written Tae Te Ching. I'd argue a Scout has much to gain about leadership and life by studying Lao Tzu. Sun Tzu was the general who wrote The Art of War. The Art of War has a few "updated" versions where the translations to English are simplified, and famous examples throughout history are inserted to illustrate the principle outlined by Sun Tzu. The copy I have of The Art of War actually cites Robert Baden Powell two or three times. There are actually some great nuggets about leadership throughout the book that aren't just useful in a military context. I agree, much of it is not Scout appropriate stuff. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi https://www.amazon.com/9781593080174-Books/s?k=9781593080174&rh=n%3A283155
  13. Sentinel947

    ECOH Complete!

    Congratulations Brian! It's been great to hear from you throughout your Scouting journey!
  14. Sentinel947

    Differences in Scoutmaster leadership styles

    This question is tough, because it's multifaceted. As far as the Scoutmasters conduct, I've seen a variety of these situations, so I'll refrain from commenting without more direct knowledge. Scoutmaster transitions are always hard, especially on older Scouts. I've been through 3 changeovers within my own unit in the last 15 years. Some of my NYLT staff have approached me for advice on new Scoutmasters they are having trouble with back in their home units. Managing these transitions is typically sloppy and the Scouts suffer for it. The culture is going to change, sometimes subtlety and sometimes overtly. Sometimes for the better, and just as often not. A whole topic could be made on this subject alone, so I digress. My preferred method of Scoutmastership is similar to @fred8033's comment. When it comes to working with youth, A Scoutmaster or Assistant Scoutmaster should be behind the scenes with a few exceptions. The Scouts are the leaders, and we are there to support them and their development. My own philosophy is that Scout age youth are up to the task of leading and developing themselves and each other, and my role is as a facilitator, mentor and friend. I don't play the role of cop, teacher, principal, or coach unless rules are being broken that effect health, safety or is violating the Scout Oath and Law. I try to use soft power approaches and conversations with my Scouts vs asserting my authority over them. I do the best I can to get to know my Scout’s personally, at the very least the senior scouts and their families as much as I can. It's a partnership between them and I, and we're all on the same team. Baden Powell put it well: "To get a hold on boys you must be their friend." My own strategy is actually not really about me, but about the Scouts I'm working with. I adapt the level and delivery of oversight and advice I give to my Scouts based on their age, experience, maturity and situation. I don't work with a group of 11 year old crossovers the same way I do my NYLT staff. Even within a group, like my NYLT staff, my approach changes over time as they develop and grow as a group. I try to adjust to what the goals of the Scout are. The way I work with a Scout who is "all in" on Scouts will vary from the one who plays 3 different sports and Scouts is one of just many things for him. In High School, if my Scoutmaster had been foolish enough to make me choose between SPL and Band when I was a Scout, I would have chose band, and that would have been a terrible choice for me long term knowing what I know now. In short, I’m in no way capable of passing any sort of conclusive judgment for your situation, nor would it do much good. I think the path forward for you, your Scout and your Scoutmaster is challenging. Depending on how new this Scoutmaster is, your Scout should consider bringing his concerns to the Scoutmaster, and try to talk through how they can work together on making the Troop better. That’s a seriously tall task for a 15 year old, and much of it depends on the maturity and wisdom of the Scoutmaster. In most Troops across America, the imperfect man or woman is Scoutmaster, because the work is done by those willing to do it, and we take what we can get. None of us are perfect, especially not me. We’re all still learning and growing, even as adults. Your role in this also matters, as an ASM or Committee Member, you have a bit more weight than if you're a parent that is mostly un-involved. Either way, good luck to you, your Son, your Scoutmaster and your Troop.
  15. Sentinel947

    Policy on going through scout totes

    I went to High School in a public suburban high school in the midwest. Graduated in 2012. Never in school, band, soccer or Scouts did I have my locker, gym bag, trunk, tote or vehicle searched. Granted, I never gave the authorities reasonable suspicion. In school we may have had our lockers searched if a drug dog had a scent on a locker, but otherwise our stuff was left alone. My own two cents as a troop leader, unless I think a situation/scout is dangerous to me/others/self.(IE weapons/drugs) I'm going to request access to their stuff with them and a second adult present. Some Scout not turning in meds or having a cell phone is not a great reason to search the Scouts stuff. Maybe I've only worked with upstanding Scouts in the last 8 years, but I can't recall contraband that required a secret search.
  16. Sentinel947

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    "I thought not, it's not a story the helicopter parents would tell you. It's an @Eagle94-A1 legend." 😋
  17. Sentinel947

    Cell Phones at Summer Camp

    Phones die really quick at Philmont. Combination of weak signal, changes in temperature, and roaming. If one of your Scouts can't get off his phone, by about day 2, he won't have that problem anymore.
  18. Sentinel947

    First Class 1a - Troop Activities

    In theory, all of their advancement would be synced with the council if they are using Scoutbook or whatever it is (Can you tell I don't do advancement?) If the Scout has been awarded a rank, then the council would have record of what requirements they completed up to that point and when. It would just be a pain for whatever requirements they had completed on their current rank, but hopefully the Scout or Troop would still have blue card stubs saved, or the counselors. It'd be a pain, but very possible to bounce back from any of those situations. Still, I like being able to look at my old handbook from time to time and reminisce at the signatures in my book.
  19. Sentinel947

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    I should have clarified, my staff had to figure that out. For NYLT last year we made sure that all the members of each patrol were within 2 years of age from the youngest to the oldest. For a typical unit, I don't really think the two years apart in tenting rule has a ton of impact, for exactly the reason you stated.
  20. Sentinel947

    BSA patrol method is lost in the fog

    This isn't strictly true. It is possible, but challenging to have a patrol with a range of age groups beyond two years, and still observe the 2 years in age rule for tenting. My NYLT Scouts just encountered that and dealt with it on one of their training weekends a few weeks ago. However, it does make things harder to manage, and when adults are involved, we tend to make things easier for us to comply with the rules. I imagine that most patrols will only have a -2 year age spread going forward, but that doesn't mean it strictly has to.
  21. Sentinel947

    New NYLT age requirements effective 1 Feb 19

    That's where Wood Badge is supposed to play a roll, giving Scoutmasters the same tools their Scouts received at NYLT. Granted, attending Wood Badge is a commitment of time and money some Scoutmasters can't or don't want to make. My Scoutmaster when I was a youth hadn't gone to Wood Badge, and so he didn't understand what we were taught at NYLT, so I took NYLT, and never really got to use much of what I was taught in my troop until I became an adult.
  22. Sentinel947

    Merit badge sash

    It looks weird, also not to make poke fun a teenager, but what does he have on his right shoulder? They look like like brass stars..
  23. Sentinel947

    Loveland Castle, Chateau Larouche (OH)

    I live in that council, the Castle is fairly close to our council camp. I have never been, I'll see what I can do as far as hunting down more information. Found a bit of info here: http://www.lovelandcastle.com/
  24. Sentinel947

    What can SM do for son's advancement?

    As long as I can remember (admittedly not that long, 2011 or so.) ASM's were not permitted to be on Board of Reviews.
  25. Sentinel947

    Interesting observation - rank advancement

    Hey @Kudu! You should stop by more often! We miss hearing from you. I hope you are doing well!