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Everything posted by SpecialScouting

  1. I was always taught that the definition of hazing was forcing someone to do something that YOU would not be willing to do yourself in front of your grandparents.
  2. There is a lead that he took a Greyhound to Denver and was seen walking his bike in Colorado.
  3. Any scouters that may be out hiking/biking this weekend (in Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado especially) please keep your eyes open for Chris. His parents think he is trying to bike from Illinois to Colorado. Please contact your local authorities if you see him or call the number in the article. Thanks. http://triblocal.com/naperville/2011/08/25/family-seeks-safe-return-of-missing-naperville-central-student/
  4. We had a great time I kept reminding them to think about what they liked and didn't like about what we (the adults) chose to have for them to do because they are in charge of next month's campout. That lead to a huge debate among the boys on the merits of peanut butter and jelly vs. grilled cheese Our 3 boys that wanted to earn "stuff" (activity badges and rank advancements) were able to get a lot done. But my favorite part is one Webelo, who prior to this really struggled with friendships and any physical activity. He actually told his mom "Hurry up, I need to see my boy scout fri
  5. This is a mix of Webelos and young scouts (all with moderate disabilities) so developmentally they are younger. We aren't specifically trying to complete any activity badges or T-2-1 requirements but I will record what they do get done. We have 1 Web and 1 scout who love the feeling of accomplishment from learning all the skills so they are pretty far along their trails but most of the boys are happy just to be there and need multiple exposures to the skills before they will be able to start to get them. (Knot tying for a kid with fine motor issues and 'identifing' for a blind child are uniqu
  6. We had a small campout in my backyard just to introduce the boys to the concept and this weekend is our first 'big' campout. We are camping in the local county forest preserve. We don't have a strict schedule. Mostly just optional activites for the boys to choose if they want. I have "challenge hike" cards where 2 or more boys can pick one, choose a trail and go do the challenge (challenges are "find and examine a tree stump" "identify poison ivy along the trail and as a vine on a tree", "identify 6 different trees" etc.) We have a forest preserve environmentalist taking us on
  7. I think it depends on the "culture" of Boy Scouts in your area. Our troops are designed to bridge the Webelos into their troop in Feb/March. We had one Webelo den leader push very hard for "her" Webs to be allowed to bridge over 5 months early because she felt they were "special" and more ready that the rest of the 5th graders in town. It created alot of resentment among the SMs because they had designed their programs to bring in the Webs from all the different packs at the same time for a new scout patrol. I believe she finally convince 1 SM to take them all as a NSP in October.
  8. I'd thank the scout for trusting me enough to share his personal thoughts. I'd then ask him if he needed me to help him tell his parents. Pretty much deal with it the same way you did.
  9. Two questions... 1. Who qualifies as a "trained instructor"? The local high school's swimming director has offered to help with whatever we need. She is certified in all of the Red Cross swimming/lifeguarding areas as well as a certified PE teacher. Would she be considered appropriate? 2. How long does it take to swim a mile? I imagine it varies from a slow 11 year old to a varsity record holding 18 year old. What is the general range? (just curious) We have 1 boy in our troop who hates all things athletic, except swimming which he loves, I'm going to tell his parents about thi
  10. May God grant Pat's family and friends the peace of knowing his life was well lived; that he made a difference in the lives of many children and that he is now in a place of eternal joy. May the good memories you share with each other provide comfort in the days ahead.
  11. Wow, it has gone up a lot since the last time I checked. For organizations under $10K, it is $400. Look here: http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96210,00.html
  12. As long as your budget is under $10K/year it isn't that expensive. Your council should be able to help. Just get a copy of another "Friends of Scouting" group's 501c3 application and copy it (using your troops contact info). It's a pretty basic thing, it should take 4-5 hours to deal with it. Now, if you are bigger than $10K/year, it gets more complicated.
  13. This is really 100% the parents call. Having held back two of my children in 1st grade, I would have had my son repeat Tigers had he been in it at the time. That way he is on track with the kids that he will be going to school with for the next 12 years. Now, my daughter's Girl Scout Troop of 12 girls had five held back in either kindergarten or 1st grade so everyone just decided we'd be a 2-grade troop and they stuck together. IMHO, no one from the Pack should offer an opinion. Let the family do what is best for their boy.
  14. "Successive Approximations" is a great way to do this. We have a Web with Autism who almost melted down at the idea of doing sit-ups or push-ups. His mom was in tears and the child was rapidly heading into full panic at the idea. First I told him that no one was going to force him to do the exercises (stop the panic). Once he was calm, I asked if he thought he could do 1 of each. He thought that was possible as long as no one but me and his mom looked at him when he did it, and he was able to do 1 of each. Now at future meetings when we do our 'fitness time', he will be in charge of the timer
  15. Thanks John. Our council doesn't have a special needs committee yet but I am meeting with our advancement chair next month to touch base on how our boys are doing and get advice on planning the rest of the year. We are definitely going through our Merit Badge Counselor list with a cautious eye. We need creative people who understand that they may need to spend double the time they normally would with the boy(s) in addition to the support we will give them. We have two outstanding MBCs already onboard. Neither of them have boys in our troop but both have experience with a moderately disabled fa
  16. Basement -- you'd be wrong. All of the boys in my troop have moderate to severe special needs. Currently, our oldest boys are 12. At the parent meeting we were looking through the merit badges trying to find 2-3 that all of our boys were capable of accomplishing as we want them to feel that pride in their efforts. We noticed that some of them had overlap and wondered how that was handled. Ideally, we'd like to have each boy earn a merit badge and a participation badge (from council event, etc) for each court of honor (every 3-4 months). Our boys don't typically earn awards (outside
  17. I agree that a scout should be able to demonstrate a learned skill to a new merit badge counselor. These were the ones where the questions came up: Athletics & Sports: Athletics requires participation in 1 season of a sport. Sports requires participation in 1 season of 2 different sports. Can the sport season used for Athletics count as one of the 2 for Sports? Dog Care & Pets: Dog Care requires taking care of a dog for 2 months, and Pets for four months...so do they have to do 6 months? Most of the water-related badges say to pass the BSA swimmers test. Once it is
  18. Several merit badges have overlapping requirements. Once they are done, do they count as done for each merit badge that requires it?
  19. Nope, I am a mom of 2 special needs boys and my younger one did Cub Scouts in a regular troop but despite a great Scoutmaster, he wasn't able to really be a part of a regular troop. His old Scoutmaster is our first Merit Badge Counselor (Camping). I taught special ed for 5 years and helped with his Webelo den.
  20. Hello all, I've been reading over many of the posts and I have learned alot already from your collective wisdom. Thank you. I am the Scoutmaster/Packmaster to a new special needs program in Illinois. We have started with a scout troop and a webelo den. We have over 2,000 moderately to severely special needs boys in our 5 town area so we are planning on growing to eventually (3-5 years) have a full Tiger to Adult program. (plus we already have a scout commuting to us from over an hour away!) None of our troop/pack volunteers have much experience with Boy Scouts but we have some
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