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Sentinel947

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Everything posted by Sentinel947

  1. I don't think these will catch on with Scouts themselves. As @Eagledad notes, Scouts don't use trekking poles well, and typically don't like them. Another reason is that tents like this are difficult to pitch without practice, because they are not freestanding. Last, these tents can be delicate, and as @Eagledad said, youth tents need to have some strength. These tents have likely very thin nylon to achieve those weights. I used to recommend Kelty's Salida 2, which is a two person tent. It worked well for all but the biggest Scouts, and it had a very reasonable price tag at around $150-$180. It seems that they have discontinued that model. The design is very similar to Tarptents Notch (1 man) or Saddle 2 (2 man) https://www.tarptent.com/product/notch/ . https://www.tarptent.com/product/saddle-2/. I own a Saddle two, and I like the design. If my Saddle two ends up damaged beyond repair, I'd probably buy another tarptent, but that REI is a solid tent, and for tents for ultralight backpacking, that's not a terrible price.
  2. Sentinel947

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    I'll happily take a few more down votes from you, they are just internet points. You didn't answer my question. Do you care to address it? Let's first establish that as a registered leader, if the Scout's parents are not present, I am responsible for the Scout's safety and wellbeing when they are at a Scouting event. I can't compel any adult to do anything, but if I think there is a risk to a youth, I'll call out any adult out on their behavior, and I can verbally compel a Scout to do things if I think they are in danger. I'm obligated to. A couple scenarios, each of which you would say that as an adult I should do nothing, since it's not BSA property or registered volunteers. Note that many of these issues go away requiring the Scouts to use the buddy system. This is another pillar of BSA YPT training, on top of 2 registered adults, no 1 on 1 contact between youth and adults. A scout is on a camping trip with the troop at a State Park, where there are registered leaders and non-registered parents attending. The Scout mentions his cell phone died (this troop allows cell phones.) One of the unregistered parents mentions that they have a charger for that type of phone in their car. The Scout asks if he can borrow it, the parent agrees, and the two of them start to walk to the car, which is not far away, but is not visible to other Scouts and adults. I've been in this situation as a third party. I intervened, explained the rule, and went with them to the car. The parent was a bit embarrassed, but understood. It was just as much for protecting that parent's reputation as it was protecting the Scout. Bonus points because it covers the Troop and CO as well. The Troop is at a Troop meeting at the Charter Organization, a Church, so not BSA property. The meeting begins; one of the Scouts asks to borrow the keys to storage shed to get supplies for the meeting. You noticed on your way to the meeting that the facilities manager of the church, a non-registered adult was outside working at the shed. Been there, done that. Made sure the Scout took a buddy. Told them to not get in the away of the facilities manager.If they had taken an unusual amount of time to get supplies, I would have checked up on them. The BSA YPT rules do not have force of law, but they are not meant just to protect Scouts from registered leaders, but from an adult that may want to harm them or groom them during Scout events. The BSA or I cannot control what happens to those youth outside of Scouting, but while they are at BSA events, under my supervision, where their parents have entrusted them into my care, I am going to follow the rules, and if that means I have to instruct non-registered adults on the rules and interrupt things they might be doing, I've done it, and I'll do it again. These rules have really taken on new meaning to me after last year. Last year my former parish Priest was arrested by police after he had been having unwanted text message conversations with teenager parishioners, and being overly touchy and grabby in person. He was instructed several times by the auxiliary bishop to stop his behavior after parents complained several times over a few years, but he couldn't. Each accusation was forwarded to the county police, but there were no charges filed because nothing illegal had happened. After he moved to a new parish and had another complaint filed, The Archbishop finally got involved and put him on indefinite leave to get counseling. When that news broke and went public, an adult victim came forward with an accusation, saying that my former priest had raped him in the 1990s before he was a priest. The Catholic Church has very similar policies to the BSA, and they work when they are followed, when people are vigilant. Parents who had not taken Virtus training had enough exposure to its concepts to take their children's concerns seriously. Lay leadership of the parish who had noticed concerning behavior had also reported it. Thankfully enough eyes were on him that he didn't do anything.
  3. Sentinel947

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    If you are on a troop camping trip at a non BSA property like a state park, and a parent who is non registered is walking off somewhere alone with a scout that is not their child, you propose doing nothing, because the YPT rules don't apply to them? They haven't broken any laws (yet.) Do they mean any harm? No probably not. Is it worth doing nothing and hoping for the best? No. We can't forcibly apply YPT to every situation and place, outside of BSA events. (Nor do I want to even try) At BSA events, I'm going to follow YPT and insist others do the same. Meetings, Courts of Honor, Camping trips service projects. Registered or not, I'm making sure all adults involved are following YPT.
  4. Sentinel947

    Parents, Non-registered and YP awareness

    If they are on a BSA outing, with kids that aren't theirs, YPT absolutely applies for parents that aren't volunteers, but are at BSA events.
  5. Sentinel947

    Standing up to adults

    Then there is the class clown or know it all kid that will challenge everybody for the sake of making a scene or arguing with others. Those obviously exist, but my experience with my Scouts has been more of the opposite.
  6. Sentinel947

    Standing up to adults

    Old to take and follow YPT training, but not old enough to supervise youth or count as a second adult. Craziness. That had to be a lawyers decision for liability purposes. I've noticed the same with my Scouts. They are often unwilling to make decisions that are well within their positions to make without clearing it past adults. I'm not sure if it's a lack of confidence, a fear of being overruled, or wanting validation. Being obedient to the proper authority is typically a good thing, but there are times when authority should be challenged, questioned or corrected, and I want my Scouts to be able to learn that. Not everybody with authority is right 100% of the time.
  7. Wrong comment to read while eating lunch...🙄
  8. Only pro job I'd do is camp director and only once I'm just about done career wise.
  9. As I've started grad school, I don't camp much with the Troop. I need weekends to complete homework since I work and take classes during the week. I'm just not willing to put aside my pretty limited free time to Scouting commitments for other peoples kids anymore. As we all know, the "Hour a week" is substantially more when you factor in the good practices that need to be done outside of meetings. Most of my tasks with the Troop have become corralling/advising adults. I've reached an experience level with the program, where I get easily frustrated because the solutions and steps forward to me are fairly obvious, but I don't have the time or energy to execute myself. I think my "retirement" from the Troop would be good for the Scoutmaster, because it would get me out of his hair for better or for worse. I'm back on NYLT staff in 2020 but I'm not sure beyond that. I definitely enjoy that program, and it's a more manageable commitment than the Troop. That might scratch the itch for working with youth over the next few years.
  10. Hey all, I haven't been as active here over the last year or so, but have done my best to keep up. When I first joined the forum I posted quite a bit for advice, and got some great help from some folks like @Eagledad and @LeCastor. I forgot who it was, but I remember there being a topic a few years ago about when it was time to hang it up. I attempted to search to for it, but couldn't find it. This is mostly me just having a sympathetic group to post to, so feel free to skip over this post if you don't like long stories that don't really lead anywhere. 😂 More or less, the poster at the time said "When it's become another job, or a chore you don't want, it's time to be done." I hit that point this year. I became an adult volunteer (Unit reserve) in 2011, and an ASM in 2012. 2020 will be my last year involved in my Troop week to week. The last few months have made me realize that while I still have a passion for Scouting, I've become stagnant in my Troop, I've become a crutch for the other adults, and as an ASM, I don't have the time, energy or authority to implement the organizational structure or procedures I feel are necessary. Other adults tend to defer to me because I've been around for 15 years now and will happily share my opinions, and that's not always healthy. When I first became an ASM, I realized that my experience as a youth in my Troop had been good, but had really missed some great opportunities for me and my friends to take ownership of our Troop and work the patrol method. We had a Scoutmaster who was new, inexperienced and open to change. He bought into the vision I had, we both attended Wood Badge together, and he built a great team of ASM's. The Troop grew quite a bit, we were able to get the patrol method back into place and mostly functional. (We never quite solved the ad hoc on outings aspect of the running the patrol method.) It was the experiences of many of the posters here, far too many to name, and the resources suggested that helped me grow as a Scout leader, and helped my troop grow through that. My role in my troop has changed multiple times over the years, but mostly what I've settled into was coaching one of our ASPL's who has the Instructors and guides report to him. Basically an ASM of weekly program. In 2018, the Scoutmaster handed off to a new guy (The previous Scoutmaster and I discussed me taking it, and determined it wasn't a good idea.) He's still learning, but I think he's moving in the right direction. I get frustrated sometimes, but I have to hold him to realistic expectations, and not what I expect the old Scoutmaster to do, or what I would do. He's entering his third year on the job, and is starting to build his own team. In 2019, I started graduate school while continuing to work full time. I took about 5 months out off from the Troop. I missed it sometimes, but I was busy and NYLT staff scratched the Scouting itch just fine. Late in the spring, I attended a few meetings, and the Scoutmaster seemed like he was pretty alone on the island trying to hold things together, so I stepped back in. Over the rest of the year things improved. Towards the end of the year the new(ish) Scoutmaster traveled regularly for business, and I covered for him for about two months. While I think it went well, and proved to myself I would have been fine as Scoutmaster, it's not my gig and I'm not going to make decisions that are up to the Scoutmaster to make. Then the holidays came, and I felt relief at not having Troop meetings to go to. I realized being involved in the Troop meetings has become a chore and an obligation, instead of something I was really looking forward to. I was separately offered the join the district Eagle advancement team as well as take over the district training committee. I declined both jobs. Late 2019 was when I finally learned to flex my "no" muscle and turn down volunteer roles that aren't the right fit or time for me. Tonight our SM and our ASM's got together and discussed our responsibilities and roles for 2020. I will continue in my ASM role this year, but I'm having another ASM split my assignments with me, so by the end of the year it'll be entirely handed off to him. I've also committed to compiling documents and resources I've collected from the previous 3 Scoutmasters into a google drive for future use. There are two new ASM's identified who have committed to joining the Troop, and they are excellent Scouters. Hopefully I put my mild savior complex to rest and go off to other things. They'll be fine without me. It's not a decision driven by politics or changes in the BSA, but my life situation. I hope with the politics, the changes and the lawsuits, that someday there will be a BSA for me to put my own kids into. Beyond a few small once a month/quarter Scouting commitments, I don't have anything on my plate for 2021. It's a weird space for me to be in and I'm looking forward to it. So here's to 2020 and new things in 2021!
  11. Sentinel947

    Current Literacy stats for U.S.

    Considering 33% of Americans have a 4 year college degree, the first link claiming that only 2% have college literary levels is pretty difficult to imagine. Must be a pretty hard test.
  12. Sentinel947

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Median income in the US is $56,516 annually. Meaning half of Americans make more, half make less. While 100k doesn't buy what it used to, it's still in the upper averages of pay in the US.
  13. Sentinel947

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Makes sense, gotta wonder what those folks do to be making 100k.
  14. Sentinel947

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Just at National? That sounds like alot of employees. Or does that count the Councils, which too me sounds really low (A council CSE should probably make at least 100k in most American cities.) There is a long age-old argument about getting what you pay for. And non-profits do need solid leadership with strong education and work experience, and that doesn't come cheap. There is a balancing act however, where those expensive salaries can bleed resources away from where they are needed.
  15. Sentinel947

    Setting the tone with a new CSE

    Speak for yourself old man! 😋 I am excited for some fresh perspective in the BSA, but for the pros in National I think this board as it is currently represents a nice cross section of the BSA's more committed volunteers and former volunteers. There's a tremendous value in that perspective, whether anybody from National chooses to participate or not.
  16. I can tell you that in my rather short career thus far in HR, adult job applicants can have poor choices in references, let alone teenagers...
  17. Sentinel947

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    They sure do. Just as much as those of us who think naming buildings, parks and Boy Scout Councils after national traitors is in poor taste.
  18. Sentinel947

    Committee meeting ceremonies

    Not related to committees or gavels, but honoring former Troop leaders who passed away during their time in the Troop. This is how my Troop honors them.
  19. Sentinel947

    Letting them lead

    @Tahawk I like that quote. I often think that failures of our Scouts are learning opportunities for them. Consistent or repeated failures are often failures by the adults to provide the right support to the youth. There is a point I believe gets lost in the conversation about youth leadership in Scouting. I believe there is a spectrum of youth leadership, and adults need to adapt their own styles to meet youth along that spectrum. What a Scoutmaster must do, and the support they should provide to a brand new troop of 11 year old's is different than in a mature troop that has been functioning for many years. In my own troop I've seen the dangers of a Scoutmaster who micromanages scouts that don't need it, but I've also seen some rather experienced youth leaders flounder when they didn't receive any sort of check in from the Scoutmaster. I've always sought to emulate my first Scoutmaster when I was an youth. During the meetings he would sit off to the side, and if a Scout needed something from him, they knew exactly where to find him. Outside of meetings, he would check in with his SPL's and it would be something simple like "Are you happy with your plan, do you need anything from me?"
  20. Sentinel947

    Advice for a new wood badger

    Sounds like a big endorsement that the people around you think quite highly of you and your efforts. Not to be contrarian, but do take care of yourself. Your family and your personal health should always come before Scouting. If our home lives or health are in shambles, we aren't going to be doing our best for our Scouts.
  21. Sentinel947

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    The south left the union because of the threat of slavery ending. They said it as much in the CSA's founding documents. The Civil War was fought over slavery first and foremost. Economics and states rights all come back to slavery. As for former confederates reintegrating, it simply means they were more useful to the Union being reintegrated than being in prison. Former Nazi scientists were scooped up by the US government at the end of WW2, despite their involvement in Nazi Germanys war crimes. Sometimes after a war, pragmatism overrules idealism.
  22. Sentinel947

    Stonewall Jackson Area Council Changes Name

    Why in the United States of America do we have statues and name things after traitors who waged and lost a war against our country?
  23. Sentinel947

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    @Eagle94-A1 maybe this points to my own blind spot. I look at my unit or other units and I see issues with volunteers, because I already have the experience aka "unofficial training" to supplement the BSA official training (required or otherwise.) Perhaps more of the unit issues are on the BSA or a Council leadership than I initially realized. It makes me worry a bit about my impending departure from the my own Troop. As @Eagledad points out, once experience leaves a unit, the BSA resources are not sufficient to replace that lost experience. That makes me worry about my own departure from my Troop and what that will mean long term.
  24. Sentinel947

    BSA Mortgages Philmont Scout Ranch

    The Professionals share a substantial amount of blame for why the BSA as a whole is where it is currently. Respectfully, I have to disagree that volunteers do not have a part of it. Is the official BSA training inadequate? Yes. But I'd wager at least 50% of troops are failing at the basics (Having an outing at least once a month, attending summer camp, youth planning activities and leading the Troop.) At some point, that's on volunteers, many of who should know better. We all know volunteers in other units in our councils who despite taking all the required training and then some, and still do not get it. Even when the training in their council or district is good (typically being supplemented by the additions of experienced and motivated volunteers), there are many units that are not getting their Scouts outdoors, and aren't giving their Scouts opportunities to grow and lead their own troops. When a Troop puts on a lackluster program and bores Scouts out of Scouting, that's not really on Irving or the Council professionals so much as it is on the volunteers. Should Irving put out better materials? Yes. But this forum is full of Scouters who's Troops have succeeded despite what does or does not happen in Irving. Irving may end up successfully dragging the entire organization into the financial abyss soon enough, but we as volunteers ultimately determine whether Scouting continues in our communities.
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