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Everything posted by shortridge

  1. shortridge

    Blue & Gold cost

    I’d never heard of charging to attend a B&G, to be honest. My experience has always been a giant potluck in a donated hall with donated placemats; dens do centerpieces and nut/mint cups; pack covers plates, cups, utensils, and napkins. Making it a moneymaker would leave a bad taste in my mouth, frankly. If you need to charge, cover your costs and leave it at that.
  2. The ACTIVITY is the event itself - the summer camp, the camporee, the backpacking trip, the merit badge “college.” The activity is not the program session, the day hike, or the class. As long as we avoid one-on-one contact, we’re fine. We do not need need a female registered leader 21+ sitting in every summer camp program session with a female Scout. Think of it this way: We don’t need a male registered leader 21+ present, so why should female Scouts require special babysitting and chaperoning? If that were the case, every female troop would have to have one female leader for every Scout attend camp just to make sure they can attend sessions. That is patently ridiculous. EDIT: So very sorry about the giant font! I’m really not trying to yell!
  3. shortridge

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    Especially since both use a decentralized organizational structure, you’d think they would have thought more about how going after local unit and volunteer actions could come back to bite them. Frankly baffling.
  4. shortridge

    Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

    A shirtless skinny pale geek type would be OK? Steve Rogers pre-serum?
  5. shortridge

    Merit Badges must be earned in groups of 2?

    Nope. It’s for the prohibition on 1-on-1 contact, different from 2-deep.
  6. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    Sorry that you don’t like the answers you’re getting. It actually is helpful to reiterate the name of the program, considering that we’re being sued by another organization that used local volunteers’ incorrect language as evidence that the national organization was in the wrong. Do you know if the UC contacted his boss, the district commissioner, and asked for feedback and advice? That would have been the most proper route.
  7. Hiking — not every troop is located conveniently near longish trails. In my state, the longest trail is 8.1 miles, and most are 2-3 miles. A Scout has to stack multiple short trails in close proximity or do a loop multiple times, and that can get old and boring real darn fast. Livesaving - I earned this one as a younger Scout, and it dissuaded me from getting my lifeguard certification. Fighting off-slash-rescuing the burly 6’3” “drowning” aquatics director was enough for me. It was a tough badge to earn and that put many people off it.
  8. shortridge

    First Year Scouts Should Parents Attend

    My dad was an ASM and went to summer camp my first two years. I saw him at mealtimes and sometimes not even then. He had to have been anxious as heck when skinny shrimpy me did the mile swim and the Wilderness Survival overnight, but never showed it!
  9. shortridge

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    You mean like saying things like: Who in this group is a friend to all and a brother to every other Scout? Who is pleasant and easy to get along with? Is he kind and helpful? In all, if you were a Tenderfoot Scout, would you like to hike and camp with him? Who is cheerful, even when he has many tiresome jobs to do? Who smiles whenever he can? Who obeys promptly and cheerfully? Does he control his temper? If you were at camp with him for several weeks, do you think you would enjoy it? Who is always ready to give unselfish and wholehearted service to others? Who, in serving others, can forget his own desires and interests? Who has served your unit all year round, faithfully attending your meetings and helping with your service projects? Do you think he will continue his service in the future? If you were his patrol leader, could you depend on him? In all, ask yourselves: Who in this group, by living up to the Scout Oath, serves your fellow Scouts with such an example of brotherhood and cheerfulness that you look up to him with deep respect and admiration? and Scouts, on the ballot you will be given, print the first and last names of the candidates who, in your opinion, have set the best examples of brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. Vote only for those you believe will continue in unselfish service to your troop. If you feel that no one is worthy, turn in an unmarked ballot. If you are new in the troop or team and do not know the candidates well enough to vote wisely, you may abstain by not turning in a ballot at all, and this will not affect the final result. That’s from the current election script, by the way. How exactly would you change the objective criteria to accomplish what you want?
  10. shortridge

    Camporee idea?

    I was just reminded of a game my Cub den used to play. We called it “Refuel the Spaceship”; it’s probably known by other names. My memory may be a little leaky, and Googling only turned up stuff about real spaceships, but this is what I recall: The game is played at night outdoors, suitable for a camp “wide game.” The team/patrol/den is a group of astronauts whose spaceship has crashed on a planet and run out of fuel. They need to bring fuel from a storage depot or natural fuel source at Point A (a full bucket of water) to the spaceship (an empty bucket of water) at Point B, using only the emergency containers that come with their spacesuits (small cups). They will have to make many trips to bring enough fuel to fill their tank (a predesignated amount of water). There are aliens roaming the planet surface, and if they encounter a group of astronauts, the latter have to dump out their fuel. The alien was played by our den leader, who dressed in dark clothing and had great fun jumping out of shadows and scaring the bejeezus out of us (often causing us to spill). You could have multiple aliens as well. You could have multiple spacecraft being refueled at once, or have everyone working together against the clock to fill an especially large spaceship fuel tank.
  11. shortridge


    I view this question the same way I view merit badge classes at summer camp. We don’t need a female registered leader 21+ sitting in every session with a female Scout, so we don’t need one riding along in every car. As long as there is no 1-on-1 contact, you’re fine. My personal policy when driving my daughter and her friends is that either my daughter rides in the front passenger seat or no one rides in the front passenger seat. But that’s just me.
  12. This update was shared on Facebook by the Great Salt Lake Council (as of Friday, 2/8). Many new units are still having their paperwork processed and are not showing up in this first week total: ——————— Today, councils received the first ever Scouts BSA membership report. Nationwide, since February 1: 56 new Scouts BSA boy troops 608 new Scouts BSA girl troops 4,353 new Scouts BSA youth members (boys and girls) Many more new troops chartering every day! #scoutmein
  13. Not to be brusque, but the parents don’t have a say in that decision. The Chartered Organization owns the troop. Not the Scoutmaster, not the committee, not the parents. It’s entirely the CO’s decision whether to start another unit - whether that be pack, girls’ troop, another boys’ troop, or a crew. If it wants to shut down a unit, it can. If it wants to merge a unit with another of the same type, it can. Scouting at this level isn’t a democracy. If you dislike the CO’s path forward, you are entirely free to vote with your feet and leave.
  14. FYI, there is a lot of practical advice being shared in two private Facebook groups: - Scouts BSA Female Troops Volunteers is more free-form and loose. Lots of entry-level questions plus experienced information-sharing. - BSA Family Packs / Girl Troops includes some National staff members, covers Cubs, and is stricter - posts require approval and admins have a heavier hand in closing threads that get off topic.
  15. shortridge

    One week. Six hundred new girls’ troops.

    Thanks! Can you share a little more about the welcome parties and community meetings? How did you promote, what did you do?
  16. shortridge

    One week. Six hundred new girls’ troops.

    Can you describe your approach and what worked best (and what didn’t)? We have five and are working on SM recruitment, but are pulling out all the stops to get more.
  17. shortridge

    Lot's of questions

    You shouldn’t expect them to know it cold (ie, with no instruction), but it doesn’t seem reasonable to force a Scout to wait for instruction if he or she has already learned it. The method of learning doesn’t matter. I was a voracious reader as a kid, and devoured the Handbook backwards and forwards. Plus I darn sure knew those knots we’d been tying since Bears. If anyone had told 10.5-year-old me to come back and wait for a senior Scout or ASM to “teach me” how to tie the basic knots, fold a flag, identify poison ivy, or treat for shock, I’d probably have walked out in disgust. Kids learn in vastly different ways. Some learn largely on their own. If they can do the skill, they can do the skill.
  18. shortridge

    New Troop Open House

    You only need an SPL when the PLC says it needs one. The PLs can jointly manage things until that point. Then the SPL leads the PLs, and the PLs lead their patrols. IMO, Patrol Leader is the most important job in any troop.
  19. shortridge

    Suggestions for a new commissioner?

    Don’t forget Cub day camp and resident camps. Be a presence there at least visiting, and try to get as many Cubs there as possible.
  20. shortridge


    Holy cow, H&S has a sense of humor!
  21. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    Because that’s the subject of this thread?
  22. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    No, we’re talking about all the new troops for girls who are motivated to move quickly through the advancement process and whom you are trying to gatekeep by raising questions about their leaders’ experience. You have no idea what any of these new troops is doing. You have no idea about the experience of their leaders. You have no idea about the experience of their Scouts. Many of these girls are new Scouts but not new to Scouting or the outdoors or adventure. A Venturer and camp staff member who has run a first-year camper program at Boy Scout resident camp doesn’t need to learn how to set up a tent or start a fire or fish or make a duty roster. They will be racing through the requirements because they can do them with both hands tying one-handed bowlines behind their back.
  23. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    Thanks for your concern, but every new adult leader of a new Scouts BSA troop for girls has the same experience that every new adult leader of a Scouts BSA troop for boys had at one point. If they have none, they have access to the same resources and will learn. Many units are also being led by highly experienced Scouters who have been SMs and ASMs with boys’ troops, taken all the training, gone to Wood Badge, etc. Let’s not start gatekeeping here for these Scouts based on their leaders’ experience. It’s been demonstrated that they can fulfill the requirements in a minimal amount of time by doing a maximum amount of preparation and work.
  24. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    Lawsuit aside, also just because we want to give these Scouts the respect they’re due by referring to their program properly. It would be like calling an American Legion post the VFW. Or the Democrats the Republicans.
  25. shortridge

    "Pencil Whipping" Requirements

    You hold the first meeting, take care of everything else, have closing, then have the SM and ASM stay after to sign off on those requirements.