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Everything posted by SM_Travis

  1. This got put off because of holidays and illness at the Treasurer's house, but is being readdressed. We have a committee meeting this evening. That is when the Treasurer and CC are going to explain the situation to the parents. I'm sure that will go well, especially since the CC is the one who allowed this to happen when he was Treasurer. It looks like an even bigger problem than I thought, probably $5,000 after we account for a few "negative" scout accounts from boys that have quit and who have parents whom I am guessing will not pay. On the other side, there is over $1,000 in a scout
  2. Thanks for the tip, I am guilty of sometimes pushing the envelope on leftovers. However, with this cobbler it was probably colder than my fridge by the time it was finished, and it was a bit frosty in the morning. So I think we were ok.
  3. Update: Made a pork loin roast with rice/vegetable mix for lunch. Dinner was beef stew and biscuits. Cobblers for desert/left over cobbler for breakfast, along with quiche. Spent less than $8 per Scout. Boys all were impressed. Hopefully we will see the food improve at campouts. Also we are going to try the "pick an item to make" idea from above. Also going to try a "mystery ingredient" that each patrol gets a few weeks before the campout that has to be incorporated into the menu. Maybe give some special prize or privilege to the winner of the best dish using the ingredient (as judged
  4. More information: I just spoke with the treasurer. I don't think this accounts for everything, but there are numerous scout accounts that are negative. Some should be easy to collect (my boys are down about $70, I think that is because they didn't get credited for a couple of fundraisers last year, but I'm just letting it go at this point and will make them current). Others will be difficult, like one scout who quit owing $400 and another that transferred Troops owing $350. Why those were allowed to happen I have no idea. I think with the current Treasurer Scouts won't be allowed to run
  5. We don't pay for summer camp. But I am guessing that at least $2000 of the $3000 in scout accounts will need to be paid out for summer camp. And right now we can't cover it.
  6. Clarification - I know the scouts can't "cash out", but they can draw down for summer camp, etc. Last year we spent over $5,000 on summer camps, so I can see us needing to fund some of the $2300 "moral debt" that exceeds our funds in the next several months. Another question. I am Scoutmaster, as of a week ago. The old treasurer is now committee chair, and a new treasurer has just come on. How do I handle this without overstepping my bounds? The old SM pretty much left this to the committee, I'm not sure if he is even aware of the situation. I think it needs fixed, I just want to do it
  7. Thanks for the replies. I have not inserted myself into the situation yet, so I can't say with 100% certainty, but my understanding based on talks with the new and outgoing treasurer is that we are in the red about $2300 if we were to need to pay out all the scout accounts. We give the boys 90% of their popcorn money, and there are a few Troop level incentives on top of that, so the Troop ends up making not much off of that. We have a soup supper where the boys keep 75% of the ticket price, after we buy soup I don't know if the Troop has enough to break even. Other fundraisers the boys
  8. We have what I think us a pretty normal system for keeping track of fundraising done by the boys. When we do fundraising, the money goes into their account, with a small amount going to the Troop for general expenses. I just found out we have $700 in the Troop checking account, but collectively the boys should have $3000 in their accounts (this is pre popcorn numbers). I have a couple of couple of questions: Is this deficit normal? How much does your Troop keep when the boys do fundraising? FYI - I don't think the money has been taken. I just think we have been running at a defici
  9. I've had a couple of other posts about this. I'm having a campout for the PLC -- SPL, 2 ASPL's and 5 PL's. I'm not sure exactly I should be doing with them (Troop hasn't done this before). What I really want them to do is to take more ownership of the program. In the past it has been more the SPL working with the SM, with not much input from the PLC. My ultimate goal is for them to embrace taking control of the Troop. We have a very sketchy annual calendar, so that is going to get addressed. Also, the meetings have been planned last minute. I'm going to have them look at the progra
  10. We are having a PLC campout this weekend, at our regular campground. Some of the things I want them to do are plan the annual calendar (what we have currently is a joke) and plan the next 2 months of meetings. What I really want them to do is to take ownership of the program. We have not had a PLC that did much for a while. It has been an SPL run Troop, with quite a bit of involvement from the SM and ASMs. There are some tasks I want them to accomplish, but this is the real purpose. To let them know that they have the reins. I am encouraged by the fact that my new SPL asked if we co
  11. When I said low quality I was thinking about the tortilla pizzas they always seem to make. Tortilla, dump on pizza sauce, precooked sausage and cheese, warm up and eat. They also almost always do breakfast burritos. That's not bad, but I think some of those patrols have had breakfast burritos on their menu for every campout this year. They need some imagination. We don't normally allow hot dogs or poptarts. You aren't learning anything by eating something already precooked. Depending on what we are doing, sometimes we allow for cold sandwiches based on time constraints. So it's not
  12. This next weekend I am taking the PLC on a planning retreat campout. One ASM and I will be with them, and will be doing all of the cooking. I would like to give them some good ideas of fairly easy to prepare food that would step up what they are eating when they cook. They seem to do the same low quality meals every month. I am a reasonably good cook, but not very experienced with camp cooking. I also tend to use ingredients that would not appeal to the boys and may be out of their price range. We will have access to propane stoves and fires for dutch ovens. Any ideas for some easy
  13. I would be afraid the debate could run negative pretty easily. We have the boys address the Troop. Last time we asked them to discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and tell the guys why they thought they should be SPL. I was impressed with how insightful some of them were about strengths and weaknesses and how they affect the troop. The boy who won was the only one who had well prepared with a 60 second speech about what he planned on doing for the troop. I think the speech helps weed out the guys who want the resume entry but haven't thought about the responsibility.
  14. Thanks Packsaddle. I agree that it's pretty hard to have a meaningful conversation without more info. Maybe I am giving BSA too much credit, but if this is Eagle required (at least as an alternate) I would think they are going to make this a real merit badge somewhat equivalent to Environmental Science. I would be surprised if it becomes fluff or political like some people are afraid of.(This message has been edited by SM_Travis)
  15. Seriously, take it somewhere else. The Internet is full of places for you to compare me to a North Korean dictator. This isn't supposed to be one of them.
  16. CC -- Not to sound like a jerk, but take your propaganda to the issues forum. I avoid it for a reason, and this is why. Please keep the rest of this scouting related. And btw, TR may have been a republican, but he was a progressive, not a conservative (his words, not mine). He would not find a welcome home in the current Republican Party.
  17. I get what you are saying and agree to a point. But another 6 months as we were going probably would have cost us 1/2 the Troop. We had to do something that worked with the resources we had. It was decided by a vote of the boys to try this for 1 year and to reevaluate. I am usually the adult advocating for us to do the program as intended. Now that I am SM, I should prevail more frequently. However, I don't necessarily think the BSA program is infallible, and there are times when if you refuse to be flexible you can run the program into the ground.
  18. Lol Seattle. The election was a bit over a week ago, these boys haven't even officially taken over their positions. They were functioning in them at the campout this past weekend because the SPL was not there. So I we have 6 months and one week before their 6 month term ends. I'm sure that there will be more drama to unfold. Hopefully they will both learn to tone it down and work for the betterment of the Troop. They ran the meeting two nights ago (again SPL not there) together without major drama. Either way both boys should emerge better for it. Just driving me nuts!
  19. I'm guessing that this "rule" transferred from Cubs. I would doubt that the CO would have set the rule. The consensus of the adults (including the outgoing SM) was that this was a BSA rule. If it is not, then I am more comfortable letting in slide and if someone wants to challenge me on it then I can give them the task of finding out whose rule it is. I would guess it is "unwritten", or in other words, not really a rule at all. Compared to where they were 4 years ago, this is a very boy led Troop. Compared to where I want to take them, there is still a long road ahead. Getting rid o
  20. Our Troop seems to think there is a rule like I stated, no more than 1:5. I have just always accepted it. But when I mentioned that I couldn't find it anywhere in writing, everyone looked at me like I was on crack. Good to hear that it isn't necessary. Not that we don't usually hit it, but there are times (the local summer camp, in particular) where we struggled to have our necessary 3 or 4 leaders there at all times. Now I'm not going to worry about it. We more commonly have the problem of too many adults. Never 1:1, but 1:3 is normal. Last weekend I had 5 adults and 13 Scouts. T
  21. I know we need at least 2 leaders regardless of the number of youth. My question is whether we need more with a larger group. I have always believed that we needed a maximum of 5 youth per adult. So 1-10 Scouts need 2 adults, 11-15 Scouts need 3 adults, 16-20 Scouts we need 4, and so on. I can't seem to find this in writing, although I haven't looked that hard. Is this right or am I adding a requirement?
  22. I know we need at least 2 leaders regardless of the number of youth. My question is whether we need more with a larger group. I have always believed that we needed a maximum of 5 youth per adult. So 1-10 Scouts need 2 adults, 11-15 Scouts need 3 adults, 16-20 Scouts we need 4, and so on. I can't seem to find this in writing, although I haven't looked that hard. Is this right or am I adding a requirement?
  23. Stosh - I agree with everything you said. But at the time I didn't know enough (or have the standing) to do it. That is how either problem would be handled if it came up in the Troop now. Was - I disagree on 2 levels. First, As SM it's my job to give guidance but not to tell which Scouts to run or not run. FWIW, my boy would have been my 2nd choice to win. However, I think once he realizes he has to be ASPL first before he is SPL he will be fine. Second, maybe you have had an easier time than me, but I've spent quite a bit of time working for bosses that I had trouble respecti
  24. The outgoing SM and I discussed this situation and agreed that it would be better for him to handle it. Not really from the point of view of my son, more to avoid the other Scout's parents telling the Scout to ignore me because I am favoring my son. I overheard about 1/2 of the conversation, and it seemed like it was pretty balanced towards teaching both boys to get along. Show respect for leader, don't just make arbitrary decisions and expect everyone to follow, etc. Actually used some of the things you guys said above. Later in the evening I told my boy that by disrespecting the SPL
  25. Thanks for all the advice. Well, a couple of days to cool down before I had a chance to meet with the boys was probably a good thing. We had more of a conversation than a butt chewing. It started with letting them dig a bit of a hole on how much it stinks when they are let down by someone they look up to. Then they realized that we were really talking about them. I think that at least on some level they didn't realize how much they were hurting the Troop, and how they made the boy who did show up feel stupid for caring. I think they see the harm they caused, and they did seek out the
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