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Shell in WA- USA

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Posts posted by Shell in WA- USA

  1. Boy, FOG, you're story sounds so familiar to mine! When my first son crossed over, it looked like a great troop. Both my son and I were inpressed with the boys of the troop and thought we'd "get alot" out of belonging to it. But as time went time, I soon realized that the SM wasn't so pleasant to deal with. He "rewrote" BSA policies to fit what he wanted to do. For example, no MB earned until you are star scout. Coupled with other things, it squanched my son's idea of becoming a Eagle Scout. To which I didn't really realize until my second son came into the troop (My second son is more of the leader quality, he questions things and knew what he was being told was wrong because I've got my kids as involved with the district and council people almost as much as myself. Hey, I bring a work force of three when I sign on! ;) ). It was then I realized that the problems weren't in my first son's motivation (like I thought) but because of these SM's new rules to the program.


    (Which I was able to get straightened fairly fast because what he didn't realize is how heavily involved I was at the District and Council level, and that I also had been to training and knew the program. The other troop committee members had not been trained and had no idea they were agreeing to things against BSA policies. I took it straight to the DE that I already knew well. He, the field director, and the UC at the time had a lengthy talk to the SM. Then they came to the Troop Committee meeting and let everyone know the "proper way" to run the program and insisted on training for the members. It was also about that time the SM announced his retirement, not sure if it's related but it looks like it.)


    I also would have moved my sons from the troop except the SM talked about retiring "soon." So we hung in there, a year later, when my third son joined, we had a new SM and now things are changing around. It's no longer run as "SM way or the highway" but rather it's a committee decision for the adult end of things.


    Meanwhile, as a group of boys, they are a great troop and in the last year or so, things are changing around and the boys are "in charge" again and the adults are filling their roles as needed. So the troop is healthy again. But you're right, FOG, it took about three years to get there.


    And in my case, even with athe problems I mention, it was mostly on the adult side of things. The boys were still getting mostly what they needed and learning that leadership. Except now it's even better!

  2. Hey, Mrs, Smith, one thing good about being in Scouting is that if you burn your bridges....you'll know how to build new ones! ;)


    Just kidding, of course you'll want to mend bridges before burning them. And if you are asking legitimate questions, anyone should understand that. I would much rather have a leader who wants to understand the program than one who wants to "do it their way" or just start trouble. ;)


    And this is one place to ask. But you can also ask your Unit Commissioner(UC) or District Executive(DE) or even your district trainer for help if you're not finding it within your son's troop. Their "jobs" rest on the success of your troop too. ;)


    YIS, Shell

  3. You know, Mrs Smith, generally I'm not one to "jump ship." I usually will try to get things working and make the best of it. But judging form your last post, it might be better for you to find a better troop for your son. For if the adult "committee" is not working right, I can only imagine what the boy "committee" is doing.


    Being a single Mom I also have faced that "good ol boy" attitude. I know how you feel. I faced that in this troop my boys are in. But I liked the troop on the boy side too well to change troops for my involvement. But after four years of always "being there" to help,and not being the "Mom" they assumed I'd be, but a trained boy scout leader, the men of the troop are finally more comfortable with me around. I truely want my boys to grow, I've never been one to coddle my boys. AND now they are even letting new women leaders into the fold.


    So just be patient, they will come around when they understand that you are just being a leader and not the "mom" they are expecting.



  4. Maybe if you did speak more specifically, you'd get a more specific answer. It's not "whining" if you truely need help with a situation. Aand from the people I've seen in here, although not "official" BSA policy, have years of experience to draw from. I already have learned much here!

  5. No, Dan, what I'm saying is that yes, I would work with my CO, work with the DE, do whatever I could to improve the program and the running of it. But ultimately I also have several boys counting on the program to run. So, WHILE I'm doing all the admin stuff, it stays int he background, so to speak. I'm also doing what it takes to keep the boys moving and encouraged. And if that means not taking the time to "whine" about it and just "do it," I do. In other words, I make lemonade out of lemons, mole hills out of mountains, put the best foot forward, march onward, chin up, tally-ho! and whatever other expression you can think of! ;)


    As a volunteer, I have to do it all. Make the program move for the boys and work the admin stuff with the adults! ;)

  6. Aren't you free to choose your assistants? I was, but maybe it's different in other packs. If he's not working out for you, replace him. Next step could be the CM or CC.


    I actually had rotating Assistants when I did cubs. I had the parents fill out a talent sheet and I let them know by schedule when I'd be using them for my meetings. They would then share their talents with the den.

  7. We truely have a boy led troop, so the adult are there to support the boys only. We don't step in as much as a post before this. The ASM's we have however, are assigned to each patrol but not as a "den Leader." They are only as a resource for the patrol leader to use if needed. They also work witht he assigned Troop guide for the patrol and help them out.


    We also have a couple ASMs assigned for New Scouts. They run special "sessions" prior to the meeting to help newly joined scouts earn their tenderfoot before attending summer camp.


    We also have one ASM assigned as Quartermaster and to closely work with the troop Quartermaster.


    Yet another is assigned as Outdoor Coordinator, he makes sure that tour permits, parent support, transportation, etc is ready to go for the boys choosen outings.


    Some of our ASM's (And other parents of the troop for that matter) have special interests they like to share with the troop (boating, fishing, high adventure hikes, climbs, railroading, model building, etc.) The SM gives the "talent" list to the SPL. And when he wishes to work it into the program, the SPL will sometimes work in a demo or talk about the subject and asking the adult to share their knowledge.


    Of course, I as advancement chair, also grab the list and get people signed on a MBC's as well! ;)

  8. Sorry, alter boy is something the catheolic church does. The troop my boys have joined are mostly Catheolic, we go to a different church ourselves. So in our case, when my boys volunteer to work in the sunday classes or for Communion servers, etc, these are duties of the church.


    And yes the SM in this troop also struggles with the problem of being told after the fact. And I've heard him tell the boys "I'll count it this time (if it did qualify) but you need to get it approved next time. And I've heard him deny to boys that have repeatly "lust done it" without prior approval.


    ............And they said one hour a week! ;)

  9. I struggle with this very thing as I run the Merit Badge Jumboree for our District. Yes, a Scout should be the one to take responsibility to make contact with a MBC. And the Merit Badges are mostly designed for indiviual.


    Before you all jump on me about the district level MBs, I have take great care in how this is handled. I'm sure I can find more improvements but what I do is contact all the MBC and get committments from them as to what there will be. Then I send out a list to each Scout including a list of requirements that will be covered at the Jumboree and unless they wokr on their own, they won't necessarily walk away with a completed Blue Card that day. Then as kids start signing up I put themin contact with the MBC for them to talk things over before the day. And I've created a midway where for other MB they come explore to decide later if they wish to do it on their own. It actually works pretty good. I think this day is best for new scouts that are still shy about approaching new adults. This breaks the ice then they feel more comfortable to do it on their own.


    Hunt, the boys should call the MBC on their own. What I do as AC, is the boys know I keep a record of all MBC. They will usually come up to me and ask about "X" MB. I will give them two or three numbers for them to call and tell them if they have trouble, I'll get some more names for them. All legitimate MBC are registered with BSA and have the approval from the district/council to work with the boys. You shouldn't have a problem there. For the Adults I have signed up in my troop, I've made sure they are registered as well as turn in the MB Application. But I've also got a sheet I give them giving them guidelines as to how to be a MBC. (You can see something similiar by visiting Meritbadge,co.)


    Our Troop will do a "group MB" every once in awhile. They will devote an entire month or two of troop meeting for whatever they are working on. Usually something leading up to an outing they will be doing. But any MBC worth their weight, will do the right thing.



  10. Our Troop has also struggled with this question. But this is how we decided to define a service project or hours. It is any volunteer hours that would not be considered of a regular duty of that scout because of their membrship for that group.


    For instance, if you are a member of the Church and you serve as Alter boy, this is your duty to your church and not necessarily a volunteered service(spliting hairs, I know). If they have an assigned duty in their classroom like collect books or erase boards, etc, this also does not count as a volunteered service project.


    But if the teacher asked for volunteers to clean up the playgound or fix a garden or volunteer to do something for PTA, etc outside of their classroom and for the school in general, we would consider that as service hours. Especially if they are staying after school or weekend hour to do it.



    And yes, working Day Camp does count as service hours for us, Cubs Scouts is different than Boy Scouts. And as we see it, they can earn service hours within boy scouts if it's something outside of the normal realm of what they'd do, like volunteering to clean up a Boy Scout Camp, help with a distrct event like Bike Rodeo, etc. However for the Eagle Project, it does have to be outside Scouting, like it's stated.


    And of course they should always get approve fromt he SM first to avoid any headaches. And each is individually considered.

  11. Say, I'm involved in a troop and am the program Coordinator for a Cub Scout day camp. I'm tired of my same old tried and true recipes. Anyone want to share their favorite camping or campfire recipe whether it be DO, Stick, Foil, or other? I can share some too down the line.

  12. As I said earlier, if your DE is interested in keeping his job, he has to keep his numbers up. Part (a big part) of his pay depends on the number of Packs, Troops and Crews in the district. And unfortunately, your pack won't be the first or last to close down. I'm sure the DE will step in and together with the UC, DC and CR, they will figure something out. And if the other pack parents care about their children, they will also figure something out. Give them your notice and step away.


    I guess we're just beating a dead horse now, aren't we?!? ;)

  13. I mainly asked for my own self to see what other gret projects there have been. And there have been some good ones here.


    If you're interested, my own son right now is strongly considering doing a 6 mo reading program for the Children's Hospital at the moment. But he's got a couple other things in mind too. He's also toying with a Blood Drive or collecting cell phones for the crisis center.


    Whatever he chooses I know it will be good. He's putting alot of thought into it. ;)


    A local Scout just recently did a Sculpture of a German Shephard Dog for his project and it was dedicated for a local Police Academy in honor of the K-9 units and fallen dogs. That's pretty cool too. Although I know the parents and they said they were happy to get their table back after the boy's 6 mos of sculpting!. ;)

  14. FOG,

    What I mean to say is that I don't do the job to get a pat on the back, I get a pat on the back because I did the job. Make sense?


    I'm not in Scouting so that I can say, "Look at me, I'm a good girl, I am." I'm an adult Scouter because I believe in the program and I want to help further it along for the boys. First my own, then the 40+ scouts in the troop, then the 400+ scouts in the district! Not those that are directed on me but when I see the positive influences I've had on the boys (and the Adults for that matter, that's my "pat on the back!" ;)

  15. Blaze,


    No offense, but I'm willing to state that at least 90% of the posters to this forum have similiar stories to their scouting backgrounds. I know mine is at least that longer, probably longer because I'm a single Mom of three boys, all still in Boy Scouting. And I work just as hard, I am no different than you or other scouters who have similiar stories just different circumstances. We all "deserve" a pat on the back. But I don't want one. My only intention is actually a selfish one. To make Scouting a terrific and life altering experience for my three boys Like I and my brother had in Scouting growing up. And whatever other boys also grab on and benefit, I've truely been doing God's calling. Which to me, is even of higher importance to me. And I can't expect other adults to do run a program that I expect for my boys without contributing myself. So I voluntarily step in and do whatever I can at whatever level of Scouting I'm needed. For I, as we all, are in it for the boys not ourselves.


    And I don't mean that what you have done is a small feat and not worth the pat on the back your looking for. For we all know that many parents don't care about what their kids are doing in Scouts like we do. And it takes those of us who do step in "make the pack grow." Make the boy grow.


    But don't look for permission to move on. Yes, you have served your time and beyond and you have done a great job. But yes, move on, follow your heart and do what you need to do, even if it's to get into other areas of Scouting or outside of scouting. You have done well in "serving" the pack. You have definately served your time.


    And no matter when you do move on, there never is a "good" or "better" time to do it. You can't save the world, but the dent you make should be a good one, and you've made a great dent! The boys and parents left will find their way. Either parents will step in..or not. Either the boys will find other packs...or not. If the DE is smart, he'll be stepping in to get the pack going again to kept up his needed numbers for Quality District. But that's not your concern, God will take care of what's left behind.


    It's clear you have made up your mind to move on, as well as you should. Find another nitch in the world that you can serve and that you will feel renewed in doing. It doesn't even have to be Scouting. If you believe in God, then now is a time to pray for direction. Trust me, He will direct your new path.


    The original question you had on your first post was to "Forward or Fold?" I believe you have gotten great advise by fellow Scouters here for both ways. You should now know which way to go.


    God Bless!


  16. Our troop has a CO. Do they openly support our troop? No. Do they help us resolve every scouting issue? No. Do they come to every meeting, outing, function? No. Do they really have a full understanding of our troop? No.


    But Do they provide a "Free" place for us to meet? YES A storage area for our "stuff?" YES Use of other areas in the church as we need (like our Fish Fry Fundraiser, we use the kitchen and large hall for 400 dinners). YES Do the Patrons of the church come to our fundraisers, let us hold Scout Sunday, use their parking lot for functions like Bike Rodeo, etc. YES


    KEY QUESTION; Do the CO and CR know that they are always welcome to come see our group even if they choose not to? YES!

  17. Our last pack didn't have a CO, we were "A group of Concerned Parents." The first pack my boys were in had a disinterested CO also.


    Bob's right, ideally, you should be able to go to your CO for help. But that doesn't always work. Many CO jsut provide the place, the group has to run it. However, if you really need help, contact your UC or DE, they may help you go the right direction also.


    And don't take defense at what I'm going to say, it's only meant as constructive critism and for things to think about.............


    Maybe the current way the pack is run needs some reconstruction also. After reading your second and third posts, with all the volunteers dropping like flies and the current workforce around for years and years; Maybe there's something that needs to change to encourage new members, more adult involvement and make it a fun learning experience for the boys. It might be time for the pack to do some sooul searching of their own and figure out a new appraoch tot he waythe pack it run. Maybe the parents aren't comfortable about stepping forward because they don't feel welcome, trained, included. Maybe when they do step forward they arent' getting a clear picture as to what to do, where to go for support, etc.


    Maybe the boys are dropping because the activities and rank advancements are "fun" for them anymore. I really hate the agrument about Sports vs. Scouts. Barring the parents influence, the kids are going to gravitate to what's fun for them. Make the pack and den meeting mean something to them and they will come...in droves! And if sports is heavy in your group, perhaps an adjustment during the season is in order? ie. change pack meeting from Thursday nights to Weds Nights?


    You will NEVER get all the parentd to volunteer, but there's bound to be someone in the crowd that's just waiting to be asked or encouraged to step up.


    In our old pack the small job was appreciated just as much as the big ones! HAve you tried a talent sheet to the parents? And volunteer list consisting of big and small (ie CM, DL, phone calls, rides, asst leader, printing, newletter, etc.)


    Just some things for you to think about. Hope it helps


    As always, FOR THE BOYS!



  18. I don't think you're overstepping. If they aren't doin the job give it to someone else. If they aren't doing the job, let them know, they won't get the "credit." But you should work witht eh SPL also, afterall, he's boss! ;)


    Let me tell you what we do in our troop and maybe it will help you. We just had a major change in our Adult leadership. Before our new group, the adults did not do a "boy led" troop. therefore, leadership roles other than PL and SPL were not filled. So we are basically trying to get it back to where it should be, leadership roles being a part of it.


    I've been working with the new SM (I'm the new AC) into introducing these leadership roles at a slow pace. First I talked with each of the adult Leadership and STRONGLY encouraged them to Mentor their counterpart. (ie, SM(A - Adult) with SPL(B-Boy), AC(A) with Sect(B), Equipment Chair(A) with Quartermaster(B), etc)


    Then we talked about all the leadership roles available in the troop, what "counts," what's involved, etc. Explained that Adult Counterpart would be a mentor for them, and that they weren't alone. But also if every effort wasn't made to fill the position, they wouldn't get the "Credit" for it and could be replaced.


    Then at a meeting the SPL presented the list of possibles to the troop and held an election. At first we didn't fill ALL the roles, but some were filled. and 1 and a half years later, our last election last month, all positions are filled with scout members including the Chaplain's Aide! ;)



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