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silver-shark

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Everything posted by silver-shark

  1. silver-shark

    Is wine tasting an appropriate fundraiser?

    Bob My latest querries were directed at the original question that pertained to this type fundraiser being done at the unit level. With that being said, the BSA isn't condoning this type of activity at any level just because they do not have a specific policy denouncing it. We, at least at the unit level, are still trying to run a values based program. There are PLENTY of fundraising ideas out there that are still in line with these values for councils, districts, and units. The perception of the activity by the boys is the name of the game. What do they think goes on at this type activity? Don't think they won't find out about it and start to speculate. This is the kind of stuff they live for around a campfire.
  2. silver-shark

    Is wine tasting an appropriate fundraiser?

    "or at any activity involving participation of youth members". I am confused about something here. What would your boys be doing during this wine tasting fundraiser? Our boys run our fundraisers. It's their troop. They're the ones that need the money, not me. Aren't they supposed to be earning their own way? We make suggestions, but the PLC votes on which ones they will do, what they will serve, and who will work when. Are you really helping the boys by running ANY fundraiser without them, especially one that includes alcohol?
  3. silver-shark

    Fund Raising Question

    Bob I couldn't find the section in the Scoutmaster Handbook or the Troop Committee Guidebook that says that the BSA doesn't care how you get legally earned donations. Is this an opinion? What does "free from the stigma of gambling" mean to you? If the BSA doesn't want the stigma of gambling touching them at one finance level, it seems rather presumptuous to assume that it is OK at another, since there does not appear to be any policy printed in the Scoutmaster Handbook or the Troop Committee Guidebook what-so-ever that covers how to handle donations. According to them, money is either to be collected by dues or Troop Money Earning Projects. As in other subjects, the BSA intentionally leaves many things vague, but gives us the course to take with things like the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Also with our Aims and Methods, Ideals being the first of these Methods. When all else fails, these are what we have to fall back on and measure ourselves against.
  4. silver-shark

    Fund Raising Question

    Thanks Ed. Bob, the point is that this unit wants to know if it's OK to circumvent the BSA's established system of values, by utilizing a third party. I believe that it would be naive to think that the boys won't know where this money came from if their chartering organization sells $10,000.00 worth of raffle tickets, then gives them a $10,000.00 donation. Nor do I think they won't hear what their CO wants to do to set up an entire system of raffles/gambling. I don't know what the United Way or most other large (or formerly large) contributors are up to. I doubt the boys do either. The perception of the boys is the paramount issue. I went to Nevada twice last year to gamble, but feel it would inappropriate to let the boys know that I endorse personal gambling, therefore I have not spoken about it in their presence. I also feel it would be inappropriate to endorse the use of alcohol by wearing a beer tee shirt to a campout, even though I'm not drinking on the campout. It also seems that cleaning up at a dog track sends a message that this vice is OK for them to try when they get older. A scout is clean, is the 11th point of the Scout Law. This means in thought and deed. Endorcing or encouraging known vices, whether legal or not, is not in the boy's best interest. They get enough other temptation in their lives. We are supposed to be a safe haven for what is right, and positive values. Who are we doing this for anyway?
  5. silver-shark

    Is wine tasting an appropriate fundraiser?

    Selling booze as a fundraiser, whether as a fundraiser or not, is inconsistent with what the BSA is all about. I like a delicious-icey-cold-adult-beverage as much as the next guy, but not in the name of kids. If your council is doing this in the name of the BSA, shame on them.
  6. silver-shark

    Fund Raising Question

    Gentlemen BSA has stood up and said that, gambling, of any type is inconsistent with the Aims and Methods of Scouting, whether it is legal or not in the area that it is done, and is therefore unacceptable. Accepting money from an activity that is inconsistant with OUR ideals is inappropriate whether the deed is done by the unit or someone else. This is no different than accepting a donation from the Drug Lord of a country where drugs are legal. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and gambling is a vice that is justly illegal in most areas whether we like it or not. Gambling is quite different than endorcing a political candidate. BSA is not saying that politics or elections are unacceptable, but merely that taking sides in such an event could be controvercial, thus possibly causing hard feelings and damaging the integrity of the BSA. All in all, I don't think this is an issue of "image", but of the ethical values we are trying to instill.
  7. silver-shark

    Off-Site Patrols

    As long as you have the "Minimum 2 Deep Leadership", etc... per the Guide to Safe Scouting present, this sounds like a great way to go. Other than that, this sounds like the way scouting used to be commonly run aroud here (Central Indiana), when I was a boy.
  8. silver-shark

    Leadership

    To CubsRgr8 Junior Leader Training (JLT) is something that is run at the unit level in our council. Our troop runs this twice a year, prior to elections for PL, and SPL. We offer this program ro ANYONE, regardless or rank or ambition, who even remotely thinks they would eventually, or currently like to hold these offices in addition to APL's and ASPL's. To Korea Scouter. I'm not sure what the former PL boy should be following from a different new PL that doesn't understand what he is leading. Followership is something that I can teach, (or have taught by my Junior Leaders) in one JLT course. in one day. If you look closely, the program teaches both. That is why we are not very hard and fast about who takes it. We welcome boys of ANY age or rank that show interest. I still contend that even with JLT and a Troop Guide, (who'd agenda could be very different than the NSP's needs) unless there's a THOROUGH understanding of the Patrol Method we are not setting the PL's of a NSP up for success, but to flounder aimlessly. This is why I believe they need to be led by the ewxample of mature / experienced PL's, in a patrol that they are actually a part of until they get it. This can take 6 months, a year, or even more for some boys.
  9. silver-shark

    Leadership

    OGE, either name is just dandy. First off, I understand that new scouts need time during the troop meeting to work on the basic skills needed to get up to First Class. And that the skills they need are different than the ones that the Regular Patrol boys need. My problem with New Scout Patrols is that I don't have any older scouts that are willing to be a full time baby sitting service for 11 year old boys at every meeting, and every campout, and every PLC Meeting. If we had more older scouts there might be a better pool to choose from, but that might not even matter. When I was 15 to 18 years old I wouldn't have wanted to do this, nor was it expected back then. We recently started a Venture Patrol for the older boys to try to give them more adventure and incentive to stay in scouts. This might give us a better pool to draw from. We are encouraging them to take 4 local high adventure trips this year. In addition we have reserved time for Sea Base next summer, and plan to go to Philmont the following summer and Boundary Waters the year after that. (We have a lot of very successful fundraisers) We are currently running a modified version of the New Scout Patrol, where the Venture Patrol boys rotate through teaching the skills during that portion of the Troop Meeting. This keeps them from feeling they are always stuck with the new kids. Then, for the Patrol Meeting and competition parts of the Troop Meeting, and at campouts, the new kids switch over to being a part of the Regular Patrols. This way they can see first hand what a "Real" PL does, and how to interact as a patrol. We feel that seeing and doing makes the Patrol Method much easier for them to grasp. I have also seen where tha New Scout PL's have a very difficult time learning what they are supposed to do and how to do it, even with constant supervision. They are still trying to understand what their patrol's place is in the big picture, and to a certain extent what a patrol even is. This is where maturity comes into play. By maturity I mean experience, expertise, patience, and time to have SEEN how problems are handled by the other boy leaders. We still let them elect a different PL for each month, as a point of contact more than anything else. Junior Leader Training is a big help too. This is something else that our troop has recently started doing twice a year. We now explain to the boys prior to an election the importance of choosing a boy with this traing. It's not a rule but their told to give it weighted concideration.
  10. silver-shark

    Leadership

    I haven't seen any requirements listed in the standard literature. In fact the new SPL Handbook says it's up to the individual troops to decide. This is probably so that a brand new troop doesn't have unrealistic limitations. The old unofficial rule of thumb for a PL was being First Class. This goes back to "Green Bar Bill" days. They really need this level of maturity and drive to have a sense of what a leader is and what they are supposed to do. Unfortunately, with the creation of the "New Scout Patrol", which I don't personally care much for, they don't have anyone of that rank, so this is even a problem. For SPL our troop uses a minimum of 13 years old and at least Star rank. The know-how is there for these boys, but unfortunately the maturity level for this position isn't always there. If we had enough older boys I'm sure we would make this a tougher position to gain but like many troops, we seem to lose a lot of boys around 15 or 16 to girls and cars.
  11. silver-shark

    Fund Raising Question

    Several of the responses here list solicitation of monetary donations as a no no. Our troop has asked businesses for food donations in the past, specifically for a spaghetti dinner that we held. The parents and boys cooked the food and bussed the tables, etc... We ended up making 100% profit on the event due to these food donations. Did we break a rule here, or is this O K since we still performed all of the work?
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