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About silver-shark

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    Indiana, USA
  1. "All the BSA suggests is 'this is the program and it works'. 'Do this and you will have a scouting program'. Why would you expend the time and energy to change what works, and what Scouting says is Scouting? Hi Bob, You seem to be saying that ALL troops were experienceing the problems that led to the creation of New Scout Patrols, and First Class/First Year Program. I don't beleive this is an accurate interpretation. I'm sure there were MANY troops out there, that through a quality program, were not experiencing the dropout rates that the others, with weaker overall programs were. These troops that did maintain membership are also saying, "Why would you expend the time and energy to change what works". You go on to state, "Why risk doing something that might not work? Has changing it worked for your troop Ed?" This has been a common theme in many of your statements both to, and about Ed recently. Are you certain that Ed changed to mixed aged patrols? It seems possible that he never changed away from them. Many troops haven't. As far as I can tell, Ed stepped down from the SM position a little over a year ago, based on the way he signed his posts prior to that time, and the fact that his Member Profile page lists him as an ASM currently. I can see MANY reasons that a scout might have to leave a troop, other than the mere lack of a NSP program, particularly in an area hit with economic misfortune in the way that the Pittsburg area was after 9/11/2004. Without knowing ALL of the facts regarding the loss of members in that particular troop, nor the level of involvement that Ed maintains within the troop, it seems highly unfair to characterize the loss as being caused by any particular thing. For all any of us know, Ed may have experienced tremendous success with mixed aged patrols for many years prior to stepping down. You go on to state, "I am not the expert, the BSA is, I did nothing more than what thousands have done and continue to do...follow the program. I just don't understand your resentment about that, or your determination to continue to do things differently when it has obviously not worked." The only thing that is obvious, is that there is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat. Every Troop Program is different to a degree within the BSA. Every troop does not have the same successes, problems, failures, resources, or even boy personalities. I can see that; in rural areas where boys of varying age groups are placed together in school or athletics quite often, it would be more suitable to utilize mixed aged patrols, as opposed to larger urban areas, where they are continually with boys either their own age or within a year of their age, might be better suited to the NSP system. No system is perfect in all situations, ncluding the BSA. P.S. Our troop is experiencing tremendous success with 3 mixed aged patrols and 1 Venture Patrol, where we define success as high percentages of happy boys in all age groups staying in the troop while advancing, leading, and grasping the Ideals we are trying to impart.
  2. Here's a pretty extensive one for you to look over. http://www.troop55.org/documents/campmaster/Campmaster%20Handbook.htm This came from a Google Search using "campmaster".
  3. "Yes, we have had a parent conference where we indicated what was, and what was not acceptable behavior, and we indicated that he would not advance until it improved." Hi CA_Scouter, Without specific expectations written out, in stages, I'm afraid you are setting yourself and this boy up for continued disappointment. He did not become this way overnight, and will not be able to rectify all aspects of his behavioral issues overnight either. For example, pick one or two points to be acheived for a period of time prior to Star Rank. Then a couple more prior to Life Rank, etc... No backsliding allowed once they have been met. Praise EVERY TIME something positive happens. Criticize privately EVERY TIME something negative happens. Look for the small things continually that lead to the bigger issues. If you do this, you won't just be helping this boy, but all of them. Hope this helps.
  4. If I remember correctly, there is a separate set of Program Features that provide plans in 3 month increments for Venture Patrols/Varsity Teams, just like the regular Troop Program Features. It lumps the Varsity Pins and Venture Pins all together and lets you wear the pins of either on a large "V" on your M.B. Sash. I think I saw this in the Scout Stuff Catalog that comes in the mail each year. Our Venture Patrol boys haven't run out of their own ideas yet, so they haven't looked into these. We adults put one restriction on this group. That is, "with priviledge comes responsibility". For instance, "Oh, you guys want to take your own hike, camp overnight, and meet back with us tomorrow afternoon? Great! We need to see a detailed plan to approve. Oh, and by the way, what teaching will you guys be doing for the younger boys in the meetings leading up to this campout? They get the priveledge of their own fun and adventure, when they meet their responsibility of helping with the younger boys. This was NOT and overnight transformation. It took about 2 years to get it to this point. We had the same problems with older boys not wanting to participate. It only takes 2 or 3 enthusiastic older boys to turn this into a reality. The more excited they get about it, the more excited the younger boys get about their future in this patrol. It is driving adventure and advancement far better than anything thwat was going on before. Hope this helps.
  5. Great insight here. I've recently been struggling with the same situation between my 13 (almost 14 year old) and my (just turned) 12 year old. Our troop has several brother pairs that we have intentionally separated in the past, but my 12 year old REALLY wants to be inb the same patrol as my 13 year old. I asked the older one what he thought about it and he says that he doesn't have a problem with it. They do fight quite a bit amongst themselves, but not anymore than other brothers do. I'd looking forward to hearing about more experiences in this thread.
  6. What is this young mans actual leadership position in the troop? Is he the Troop Guide, a Patrol Leader, or an Instructor? If not, it sounds like you may be adding to the requirements for his rank. Asking a First Class Scout to be more involved in the First Class trail of other boys sounds like it might be a little premature.
  7. "Trash Can Turkey" for the November campout each year. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
  8. "I have said before that I think he's wasting his time here. Finding one or two examples of the behavior he objects to across the many thousands of Scout units just isn't very persuasive--and he's talking here to people who aren't that receptive to his message in the first place." Hi Hunt, John 10:10 tells us, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Persuasion isn't always the intent. Often times fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, etc... are the intent. Regardless, I'll continue to pray that Merlyn will find the truth with the peace and joy that accompany it. I hope that others will join me in this. Don't allow ANYONE to steal your peace and joy. Additionally, Merlyn asks if we would be offended by a group sponsored by a public school, that didn't allow Jews into it. As long as a group of Jewish students have the ability to have a group that excludes Christians, if they so desire, why would it matter to me at all. We won't have TRUE religious freedom until all groups are allowed to practice their faith anytime and anywhere.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  9. GREAT JOB GUYS ! (Don't forget the praise for the SPL for a job well done after the situation is under control.)
  10. "The Handbook does NOT say The uniform is optional, Wear whatever uniform parts you like, or The PLC or Scoutmaster or Committee shall decide what constitutes a uniform. The Handbook correctly describes what the uniform is, and when it is appropriate to wear it." Hi FScouter, Take a look at Page 13 of the Boy's Handbook. I don't have it with me today to cite it word for word, but read the part starting with "Wear the Field Uniform"... past the part obout the Activity Uniform... and through the remaining thought that it presents.
  11. If prayer is us talking to God... Why is it so difficult to imagine that intuition is God's way of talking back, for so many people? You're on the right path KS! Stay on it and keep those great stories coming!
  12. "They don't understand that I'm there to support the will of the boys." Hi EagleInKY, Unfortunately, your committee doesn't realize that they are also there to "support the will of the boys." In fact, supporting the Troop Program is THE PRIMARY function of the Troop Committee. I have to agree with Eamonn. It sounds like the you are very rich in committee. Dare I say to the point of it being diffucult to arrive at decisions of any kind in a voting "School Board" type atmosphere or mentality as BW has suggested. The Troop Committee is there as a "Checks and Balances" for your Troop Program to make sure that there are not any potential violations of BSA Policy or safety concerns on the way to their support, but they are really not there to decide what that program will be, as long as the Aims and Methods are being utilized properly. If you decide to give this another shot with the committee, I'd have your PLC or at the very least your SPL along at that next meeting to plead the case for the boys. In the mean time, I'd make sure that the PLs are accurately representing their patrols, in their desire to make this event a reality. Hope this helps some. (This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  13. Hi EagleIn KY, I've got to ask you a few questions. 1. How many boys are in the troop? 2. How many committee members do you have? 3. Who presents the plan to the committee? (Is it the boys, or the SM?) 4. Either way, does the committee know that the plan has the backing of the PLC, the SM, and the ASMs, and that they have already reviewed it and approve of it?
  14. "The best leaders are those the people hardly know exist. The next best is a leader who is loved and praised. Next comes the one who is feared. The worst one is the leader that is despised. If you don't trust the people, they will become untrustworthy. The best leaders value their words, and use them sparingly. When she has accomplished her task, the people say, "Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!"" LAO TZU "TAO TE CHING" Which kind of leader uses push ups as a motivator? What kind of leader do you really want to be?
  15. ",,,and a 40 minute program takes an hour and a half." Hi Boleta, This is a problem we are having lately as well, and meeting content seems to be the major cause. The boys should have about 2 hours worth of meeting planned, to leave them wanting more, and with a level of excitement towards next weeks program. Another problem we are having is the same old opening week in and week out. Mix it up to eliminate boredom. Boredom at any stage of the meeting, brings out inappropriate behavior in boys. Having the boys remain at attention following the opening can bring a level of formality to their receiving the instructions needed for the meeting. These instructions should be quick and to the point. Finally, your SPL needs to remember, it is not his responsibility to make sure that all of the boys are behaving themselves. It is the responsibility of the Patrol Leaders. The SPL is responsible for the behavior of the PLs, assisting the PLs with problems AFTER they ask, and running a timely, exciting meeting.
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