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Everything posted by silver-shark

  1. silver-shark

    NJ - This one is for you. Gay debate rages on...

    "I am not really very concerned with the term "avowed" at the moment. I think the definition of that is clear enough." Hi Proud Eagle, You've peaked my curiosity, because I find the word avowed to be of the utmost importance. I'll pose this question to you and anyone else that would care to enlighten me. When is the best time to avow anything of a sexual nature to 11 to 18 year old boys, be it heterosexual, or homosexual, or a combination of them? Should it be only at campouts? How about only at Troop Meetings... or only at COHs... or only at Patrol Meetings... or only before the Scout Oath and Law are recited at the beginning of a meeting? Is there any time that would be even better or the absolute best time for this? Just curious...
  2. silver-shark


    Hi Charity, I'll start with a tip. Coach the boys through this so that they can keep it going. If you don't already have one, talk to the boys about the Junior Leadership Position of the Troop Librarian. I'd probably hold off on any Merit Badge books until after the beginning of the year, unless someone is getting ready to start one soon. Some of them are revised at the beginning of the year and you don't want to pay good money for an outdated book before it is ever used. As far as Scouting Skills books go, you can't go wrong with the "Fieldbook", or maybe in your neck of the woods, the "Okpik Cold Weather Camping" book. Although you Alaska folks could teach us all a lesson on the subject. "And how do you run your library?" Books are checked out and back in, through the Troop Librarian. (A boy) "Do boys only use the books on the premise or can they check out and take home?" They check them out, take them home, to Merit Badge classes, etc... "What type of a check-out system do you use?" A sheet with categories for the name of the book (I'm not sure if there are book numbers even though there should be for when there are multiple copies of the same one), the date checked out, the date checked back in, and the boy's name. Each year, the Troop Librarian needs to get the latest Requirement book, that lists the most current edition of the Merit Badge books, so that outdated material can be taken out of the library. We use the plastic Rubbermade Totes to store the books since we take them to Summer Camp, etc... That way they won't get wet. YIS Kris
  3. silver-shark

    Alchohol in Cooking

    I had never heard of alcohol-free cooking sherry, although like everything else, I'm sure it exists somewhere. My recollection was that it was just inferior sherry with salt added, so I did a search for "Cooking sherry" and this is the first thing that came up. From cellarnotes.net: "Cooking Sherry Cooking Sherry is just low grade sherry that has salt added to make it undrinkable and useful solely for cooking. You are better off getting a regular bottle of sherry and cooking with it. You have better control of the salt in your dish and you will have a better sherry as well. There are also substitutions you can use in place of Sherry for cooking. A non-alcoholic, sweet white wine would work, as would using a chicken stock instead of Sherry." I also didn't see the words alcohol-free used in Marks original post, so I'm not sure why everyone assumes that it was.
  4. silver-shark

    For OGE, old advancement requirements

    Hi NJ, Actually, the "Skil Award" description on pages 70 and 71 of the 1972 handbook uses the word test, and for this to be done by the PL, or someone else that the PL sends the scout to.
  5. silver-shark

    Jamboree OTI / JOTA

    Hi Guys, Jamboree on the Air is a great event for the boys. Last year was the first year that we participated in it and our boys just loved it. One of our ASMs, who had been a SM for MANY years hooked us up for it last year and brought in 3 ham operators to show the boys how to do it. We'll definitely be doing it again this year !!! For more infom go to http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=by , then clock on the Events icon, then on the Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) icon for all the details. It does run the 3rd full weekend of October, on the 18th and 19th. Hope to hear ya there !!! Kris(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  6. silver-shark


    Hi Anne, 21 scouts will usually give you about 15 on a campout. This feels like a good minimum number for many reasons. If you can get about 1/3 parent involvement like Bob White says, and we usually do, you will normally have at least 4 adults on a campout or other activity. We shoot for 4 so that if there's an incedent, we all don't have to leave. 2 can go and 2 can stay. Den cheifs in the Weblos Dens seems to make a huge difference in how many boys you can recruit, but there have to boys to recruit first. Maintain a healthy relationship with as many packs as possible (we pulled from 3 packs last year), and focus your efforts on AT LEAST one of them. Help them with their recruiting. It's never too early to start recruiting future scouts. We currently have about 50 scouts and EXPECT another 20 or so next year. It is starting to seem too big, but maybe it will be OK. It will all depend on how well we train the next batch of boy leaders. Good Luck, Kris(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  7. silver-shark

    Positive Reinforcement

    Hi Folks. We've got some young scouts out there that are having a tough time motivating other scouts in their troops, mostly because they haven't had anyone teach them any techniques of Positive Reinforcement. Let's see how many examples we can give them of ways they can accomplish this. YIS Kris
  8. silver-shark

    A presentation on the 4 Styles of Leadership

    "(Hint: Troop cooking is not a scouting method)" Hi again Bob, I was just trying to stick with the example that was started. Our troop cooks either by patrol, or by 2s or 3s for backpacking or canoeing outings, but not all troops do. Upon returning to the patrol the PL would ask the following questions. Trying to steer them to what has been decided as the 6:00 supper time. 1. Where do you guys think we ought to set up? 2. What time do we want to eat? 3. What do we need to do to make that happen? 4. Who can do that? (As the patrol brings up duties.) 5. (Discus any obstacles, asking for possible solutions as they arise) 5. (Get started)
  9. silver-shark

    A presentation on the 4 Styles of Leadership

    Hi Bob, Step 1: Have a Duty Roster made and distributed well in advance of departure for all to review. (Delegation) Step 2: Gather all PLs and QM together upon arrival. (Directing them into a mini PLC Mtg.) Step 3: Establish the goals. SPL: "O.K. guys, did everybody have a good trip down? Great! It looks like we'll be having supper at 6:00 tonight. What do we need to do to make this happen?" Step 4: Making it happen. John: "Well my patrols got cooking detail tonight." SPL: "Great. What time will you be starting to cook?" John: "Oh... about 5:30." SPL: "Wow! That's pretty fast. What are we having tonight?" John: "Well, we're having shish-ka-bobs, baked potatos and corn on the cob, with cupcakes for desert." SPL: "Boy... that sounds great. How long will it take for your fire to be ready to cook on?" John: "Oh... the fire... I forgot about that. And we've still got to cut up the stuff for the shish-ka-bobs and mix the cupcake batter too. Maybe we better start by 5:00." SPL: "That sounds like a great idea. What do you need from us to make this happen?" John: Well... we'll need our gear unloaded fast so we can get set up while it's still light, before we start cooking." SPL: Billy. You're QM. Can you make that happen?" Billy: "I'll start right now, unless you need me for something else." SPL: "Not right now. We'll get you if we need you. Do you need anything else John?" John: "Well... we'll need some water for prep and cleanup." SPL: "Who's on water detail?" Eddy: "My patrol is. I'll get it now unless you need me for something else." SPL: "Not riight now. Go ahead. Anything else John." John: "No. I think that's it. I'll see you all at 6:00 for a great supper." SPL: "Great! See you then." The whole conversation varied between the coaching and supporting styles of leadership, thus sharing the responsibility of making it happen with all that were present. Nobody was told what to do. They were simply asked or reminded what they were supposed to do in a pre-reflection style that the Troop JLT Program calls "Shared Leadership" to make it happen. How's that? Kris
  10. silver-shark

    CO Happenings - Can they do that?

    Hi Ed, Yes they are supposed to provide a meeting place for the unit, BUT, they don't have to let just anyone into that unit. Unlike the CCD kids, there may be parents and youths that are not parishoners there. It seems that they would be within their rights to ask for this for those non-parishoners. I know that many times I have been at Cub Scout activities even though I am not registered with the Pack or a member of the church that is the CO. YIS Kris(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  11. silver-shark

    Tent Assignment Problems

    Welcome aboard. Ditto to acco! Hi hops, You run into a couple of problems when you do as you suggested. First off, I don't think we have ever had an entire patrol attend the same campout in our troop, So if you combine a person into this patrol, you still will probably end up with an odd number down the road. Second, it is awfully hard to get Patrol Identity or Patrol Spirit when patrols are rearranged regularly fro any reason. Have a great night, Kris
  12. silver-shark

    Positive Reinforcement

    Great thoughts guys. Keep 'em comin'! "- Don't add more work. We often fall into this trap - you did a great job so I think I'll pile on more work. We have a tendency to keep piling more work on top of competent people - so much so that we eventually burn them out." We've got a couple of SPLs out there in the forum that I think are going through this right now. I've fallen into this "keep piling" trap myself. The other problem with this is that we enable less competent scouts to remain that way.
  13. Great thoughts and questions guys. It seems to me that the Scout Oath was jeopardised as much or more than the Scout Law in this case. There was a great deal of thought that went into the order of the 3 parts of the Oath, and they are how our lives should be prioritised. 1. Duty to God and country. 2. Duty to others. 3. THEN, Duty to self. This was an act of selfishness on the part of all concerned.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  14. silver-shark

    How many troops have patrol outings?

    Our boys plan Patrol Outings quite often, but every one to this point has turned into a Troop Outing. They all jump on the bandwagon of whoever starts it out.
  15. silver-shark

    Positive Reinforcement

    Hi Anne There are a lot of troops out there that are more interested in punishing scouts for bad or questionable behavior, than they are about trying to find positive ways of motivating people into good behavioral situations. This is called Negative Reinforcement. What these boy leaders need is a way or ways of introducing Positive Reinforcement into their programs. Some examples of this Positive Reinforcement would include using the Coaching or Supportive Styles of Leadership that Bob and others wrote about a while back. Others would be through Teamwork Exercises or competitions. Another would be to immediately praise or reward good behavior publicly, possibly with a long term cumulative goal attached to it. How are you other troops accomplishing this?(This message has been edited by silver-shark)
  16. silver-shark

    Really annoyed with our Adv Coord.

    Ditto to everything that eisley just said. There is a form that I beleive is called a "Troop Resource Survey". It can be found in the "Troop Program Resources" book and I beleive on-line at USSSP. When you make your suggestion to the CC about this parent meeting, make sure that he/she knows about this form that lists out the MANY different ways that parents may become involved. YIS Kris
  17. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    Bob I agree that we disagree. Have a great night! Kris
  18. silver-shark

    should I be SPL again?

    Ryon I thought I remembered some posts from you that sounded like you weren't having a very good time being the SPL, so I went back and read through all of your posts. I was right. It seems that there is a lot of negative reinforcement going on in your troop, particularly from one of the ASMs. This is truly sad to me. I don't know how many terms you've served, if there is anyone else that can do the job or anything else about your situation with this position, but I do know one thing. Even if you don't end up with this position you will likely be at least a PL, and one that needs to find positive ways of motivating people. Therefore, I'm going to start a new Thread for you to seek out ways of Positive Reinforcement. Good luck with your decision. Kris
  19. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    Bob When I see words like "fully mastered", and "at the level expected." in the same sentence, I find them to be somewhat related and dependent on one another. Especially since "fully" and "mastered" have such strong definitions. I for one don't see that "level expected" to be tying a knot while looking at the book. I don't see this to be any level of mastery, let alone a level of full mastery. Either they know the skill or they don't. If they only know the skill by doing it with the book, they're no better off than not knowing how to do it at all. Time can be very precious when it comes to some of these skills, particularly the First Aid ones or the bowline knot. They may not have the time to use the book in these cases. I used to have an history teacher that always let us use our books on tests. The problem was that there would never be enough time to use it for all of them.
  20. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    "Silvershark, no scout is required to "master the skill" before he passes a requirement." Good evening Bob, "Fully mastered a skill" was not created by me, but by the people responsible for writing "The Scoutmaster Handbook". I'm not in the business of looking for ways to punish a scout, but I'm also not willing to reward them for clear violations of the Scout Law or Scout Oath until a situation has been fully remedied. YIS Kris
  21. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    "Be that as it may, according to Mr. White there is no recourse once that pen has scribbled a signature in the handbook. The requirement is signed off and nothing can undo that." Good morning fat Old Guy What has been stated is that a requirement can't be taken away once marked off. There are however other ways to block further advancement of either scout until the situation has been remedied. The whole Scout Spirit thing is the first that comes to mind in a case like this. As long as the skill is not "fully mastered", they are both continuing to live the same lie.
  22. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    "Even if we don't use the extreme example of bribery there are other situations where less than ethical people could do less than ethical things and set boys up for promotion that they don't deserve." Hi Fat Old Guy Although I haven't heard of bribery to get a scout signed off, I have heard of other reasons like parent pressure, and friend or peer pressure. This is more common than any of us probably know. There was an entire thread recently about parent pressure over a swimming test. Accountability is the key. If the skill isn't mastered the one who signed it off irresponsibly needs to be held accounbable for making sure that the skill BECOMES "fully mastered." No matter how much time and effort it takes. Not all people are worthy, for various reasons, of the responsibility of signing off on advancement requirements. This is not a right, but a priviledge with tremendous responsibility, that should never be taken lightly. BOTH offenders should be treated in the manner that any other scout that has broken multiple points of the Scout Law is treated, including adults that lack the backbone to say no, when no needs to be said. If they can't, they have no business signing off any advancement requirements. Bravery is a point of the Scout Law too.
  23. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    Requirement 7b for 1st class Demonstrate tying the timber hitch and clove hitch. Hi Dan Yes its true that the book merely says to demonstrate, but "The Scoutmasters Handbook", page 120 also tells us, Step 3--A Scout Is Tested A Scout wanting to complete an advancement requirement must demonstrate to his leader that he has fully mastered a skill at the level expected. Fully mastered is a very strong statement. True, it is not memorize them, but is much closer to that than this could be done with the book open and the scout tying the knot while reading the handbook", or even being on the road to mastering a skill. It is the job of the troop to make sure the scouts have the chance to use the knots through out the scouting program to learn them and memorize them. This is very true, but the time to learn and fully master them is prior to having them signed off as complete. YIS Kris
  24. silver-shark

    another BOR question

    "The problem is that there seems to be no final check or balance. What if the person doing the signing off is one of those "well, he tried really hard so let's give it to him types"? What if the BOR knows that the Scout's dad did 99% of the Scout's job as QM?" I agree Fat Old Guy. This is a problem in many troops, but the time for checks and balances is BEFORE the requirement is signed off. I am in the process of making a proposal to our troop that we start a training program for anyone that wants to be able to sign off on requirements, whether they be adult or boy. This training program would clearly define the process of training and testing, as opposed to the large group training and signing off that happens all too often. It would end with the person that will be signing off, acknowledging that not only are they responsible for ensuring that the requirement is fully understood upon signing, but that the person signing is accountable for making certain. In regards to the purpose of a BOR. It seems to me that this is the committees version of the SM Conference, and their opportunity to see the overall program, including the performance of the SM and supporting role of the committee, in the eyes of the scouts, thus creating a checks and balances of the overall program.
  25. silver-shark

    Why Venturing?

    "Maybe most people are like Silver-Shark and CubRGr8 and they didn't even know that real Exploring posts existed. Maybe that's why the name went away. I just know that it is a pain to have to continually explain what Venturing Crews are." I agree.. It is a pain with the Venturing Crew and Venture Patrol similarity., and with the Explorer/Exploring similarity. The basis of the name didn't go away though. Explorer Posts do still exist FOG, but they're called LFL/Exploring Posts now. They took the majority of what the Career Awareness Explorer program did in the BSA, and moved it to LFL. "The thing is that Exploring in its many guises (Explorer Scouts, Explorers, Exploring) existed for many years before the creation of career Explorer Posts. Venturing is what Exploring started out as and what it came to be without the career posts." I agree. but since there still are Explorer Posts like the latest LFL/Exploring, that are still basically still doing the same thing, even though they have switched organizations and the name slightly, it only makes sense that they would keep the similar name to what they have been known as since 1982. Although there are a FEW similarities between the Career Explorers and the Venturing Crews, the Venturing Crews are much more like the Explorer/Senior Scout programs of the 30s, 40s and 50s. For more information go to http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/8826/overview.html . It has many details and links to some of the official sites in question along with a pretty complete history of each program.(This message has been edited by silver-shark)