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About SpongeBob

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  1. At least one Cub Scout pack has banned them (other than in this forum): http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070221/NEWS/702210350 ""It's a safety issue." Virtually every school district has banned Heelys, along with grocery stores, Cub Scout packs, churches and any place where kids congregate." I am not aginst Heelys. They have an appropriate time and place where they should be used, and under appropriate conditions, like bikes, skateboards, and knives. I will check with the school to see if they are allowed on school property. If so, we don't need a rule, because Cub Scouts respect school rules (or should). CA_Scouter: You're banking on people (parents) having common sense. You're more optimistic than I am. Last night I spoke with one of the main offender's parents, and he said that they have been yelled at by workers in stores for letting his son roll on them. If that had happened to me, I would have put a stop to them then, but they just let it continue.
  2. You did come off a bit harsh, but I expect that here. I'm going to wait until the next committee-parent meeting, and I'll bring it up there. If they don't want to do do anything about it, I will need to do something else.
  3. I was just wondering if anyone thought that they are like rollerblades and that they fall under the skating section of the G2SS. If they fall under G2SS, then I don't need a policy at all. I'm not sure if the insurance that our council offers would cover any injuries if they are intrepreted to be rollerblades when the rules for skating are not being followed, and I don't want to get sued. To me, they are just as dangerous as rollerblades without brakes. (Just Google Heelys on Google News if you don't believe me.)
  4. Anyone have a unit policy regarding Heelys? (www.heelys.com) After seeing a segment on the news about how docs in emergency rooms were seeing a bunch of injuries from them, I personally think that they should only be worn with proper safety equipment. (My son does not own them.) I have been being very tolerant, but I reached the end of my rope when boys were rolling all over the banquet hall at Blue and Gold. G2SS doesn't explicitly include them, but I would assume that they would be under "Skating Guidelines". I just want to know how other units may be handling them, and what works/doesn't work.
  5. For some reason, that den doesn't go anywhere. Not as a den and not with the pack. The parents see that den as a babysitting service, and is the only den that is like that. I always invite them. I just don't anticipate the parents wanting to go and actually purchase stuff and go somewhere, and then have to set their gear up. I think that if we camped, we need to go it when we know it won't get too cold, and when I can pass my BALOO knowledge on to them. I "trained" the Wolf parents before we camped in tents at Resident Camp. They thought I was a bit nuts when I told them to keep smellables (even toothpaste) outside of the tents in coolers or totes with rocks on them. The first night of resident camp, they just did it to make me happy. The following morning, we found racoon footprints all over the totes. Some other people from another pack had to deal with a racoon scratching on their tents all night. After that night, I never had to say another word about keeping smeallables out of the tents. I stressed to the parents that they bring sweat pants and shirts to sleep in August. Most listened, but those who didn't reluctantly admitted to me that they didn't listen and froze all night. I'd rather have a parent and boy come ill-equipped in the summer than in the fall, winter, or spring. Cheap tents and bags are usually appropriate for short-term summer use (I have them bring an extra blanket as well), so I don't have to ask parents to invest in the expensive items. Maybe once the CC is gone, maybe I can gain the support of the new CC, even if I become the new CC, and we can go camping legally!
  6. I have to aggree to not letting a CC be married to a CM/SM. Not a rule, but good avdice. Short term it may be OK, but long-term it is not. You'll probably lose both of them at the same time when their son transitions out. In addition, the CC and SM/CM also give a very wrong impressions of their duties when they are married to each other. Things get done behind the scenes, and when their replacements come in, they don't understand how much planning has to be done or what they are even responsible for. Also, if one of them tries to do something that is wrong, can you expect the other to step in?
  7. I think what needs to be done is that the parents should be told that upon repeating an elective, the "Do _Your_ Best" bar should be raised. Now if you ride the same bus to school every day, how can you Do Your Best to do it better? In my opinion, you can't. You have to ride a different mode of transportation. As for the book reading, it is still Do Your Best. There isn't any set level of achievement that needs to be obtained. So if a boy can only read two and three letter words, and the parent has to help with anything bigger, then that is fine, because HE is doing HIS best. Then upon redoing the elective, he should be expected to read some bigger words, but this isn't something that would occur every day of the week. Learning to read better than the last time does not happen quite that fast. I never asked for any verbal or written explaination of any elective. That is called adding on the the requirements and that is wrong. I am to take Akleka's sign off as proof, and it is not my job to question it or even question the boy. This is the way it works for Tigers, Wolves, and Bears. I have seen overzealous leaders do this to the boys, and it results in tears. Remember, the purpose of Cub Scouting is to expose boys to new things, not to make them master every single skill. The important thing is to stress the "do it better" bar to the parents. If a boy has 85 sign-offs for reading, then shouldn't he be reading at the college level? There probably isn't a definite right or wrong answer to this. All you can really do is to explain to the parents how boys are to do a better job than last time when they repeat electives. Most parents I know won't put in the effort to do one elective better 84 more times. Honesty is also one of the Cub Scout core values. How can a boy honestly do one elective better 85 times? Parents need to set a good, honest example for their son by only signing off electives when they are done better.
  8. It may seem strange that only one den would want to go camping as a pack, but the leadership in the pack is changing. The wolves are the first of the new blood. They don't sit back like the older dens and just say, "we've never done that before" or "that's the way we've always done it". (If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that....) If I can't get the bears to go to day camp or resident camp, I don't think they'd want to go to pack camping where they would have help out in the setting up and tearing down. The first-year Webelos's don't have a leader (long story) so no parent is interested in organizing anything. Second year Webelos' are the old blood, and the parents/leaders just don't want to change. I think the parents just don't want to spend time with their kids. Tigers may go either way, but since this is Michigan, May camping can be still cold. I remember freezing as a kid when we went camping on Memorial Day weekend. If we went camping, it may be June at the soonest. (And the old blood will be gone!) I just want the weather to be nice so I can get the inexperienced camping parents with some experience under their belts before we do anything "cold". But the wolves have been wanting to camp for a while. I wanted to do it legally and not as a "hint-hint" non-Scouting function. I never pursued it becuase I knew even if I begged and pleaded, the pack would not want to go. But maybe the wolves can still camp if we invite everyone! I am CM, we don't have an ACM, but one of the wolf parents is the treasurer.
  9. I wore mine at the 2nd weekend of WB last Sept. Most of the participants wearing them had the same complaint: The shorts are too short. As for the ladies, the inseam comes in only two sizes. For me, they are too long and too short. I wish I had purchased a pair of men's, since I have a hole on one leg hem seam now from it dragging on the ground. The belt did not survive even one day. The end of the nylon belt started unraveling. I tried to melt the end but, it didn't work. I ended up duct taping it. Don't sit too close to the fire. A fellow scouter did so, and the bottoms of the legs were singed and some parts of the zippers melted. Temperature-wise they were warmer than I expected. My legs didn't get cold even last Nov. when I wore a winter coat during a parade. I have not worn them in very hot weather yet. I did manage to spill water on them, and even in cool temperatures, they dried very fast. I only like them better because of the pockets. I wish the grey Venturing pants were made in olive!
  10. The parents of the Wolves want to camp very badly. They have approached me and I tell them that is has to be done at a Pack level. I have BALOO and CPR/First Aid, so that isn't a concern. The problem is that as I understand it, these boys can only do it if it is sponsered on the district/council level or if the entire pack was invited. 1)Now if we get that far to plan the event, and no one else is interested, even after repeated phone calls, and the Wolf families are the only ones going, is this considered pack camping? (Which is very likely to happen if we did this.) 2)The boys in the wolf den are very close, as some of the parents are very close as well. They boys play sports together. They stay at each other's houses. Would I be out of line to suggest that if the parents really want to go camping do it as friends only and without help from any of the pack leaders? (Or as I think about it - let someone else lead!) Infact, one of the parents planned her son's b-day party just over the state line (overnight thing), and the boys who happen to be in the Wolf den are going next weekend, plus another non CS friend. 3)Can someone tell me where the distinction is between a scout event and a gathering of friends? I all I see is a very huge gray area, and I can't forbid parents to not let their boys spend time toghther outside of Cub Scouting.
  11. At resident camp last summer, I talked with the Wolf parents about earning it then and there. I suggested that I would give my son another year to mature, and maybe we'd do it at resident camp next summer. Surprisingly, all the parents agreed with me. I would suggest having a meeting with the parents, and see if they can come to a consensus about it. Maybe their points of view will influence the parent that wants their kid with a knife.
  12. She is not the one deciding when her son crosses, although she may have a large part of the decision. Her and the WDL want to make to boys wait. Maybe February is a bit early, but I think that end of May is really too late. I was actually a bit shocked when the WDL told me that the Webelos II's were getting their Webelos Badge at B&G next month. It seemed very odd to me that they didn't earn it last year. She seems to run her den to cover every aspect of most of the pins, but my belief was that the Webelos rank is a transitional rank where boys are expectd to show a little independence by doing some pin requirements on their own, and getting WDL's sign off, much like how a Boy Scout does merit badges. The WDL and CC say that the advancement has always been done that way, which is not true. The two years before my son was even in the pack, the CM did not do any ceremonies for badges of rank. The den leader just passed them out at den meetings. But the CC neglected to tell me this until last month. The way I see it, "we've always done it this way" doesn't make it right. Maybe if we had committee by-laws, I'd consider it, but we don't. I only consider it from the boy's perspective, not what makes it easy for the adults. Last year, I did an advancement ceremony as a TDL for my Tigers at B&G. I knew I could not rely on the CM to do it, so I did it myself. The same with the "graduation" ceremony in May, but this time, we had a dinner and cake and I ceremoniously changed their neckerchief infront of the Tiger familes (with their adult partner behind them). This year every boy who earned their Bobcat has had a ceremony infront of the pack. The parents are a part of the ceremony, because it's their fault their son earned it! I don't know if anyone in the pack has objection to the ceremonies, as no one has said ANYTHING. I am desperatly trying to get acquainted with the four troops in our city. I have been bugging the WDL to get these boys to visit some troops, but my requests are falling on deaf ears. I even had one troop come to a pack meeting, and show the boys how to do things (first aid, camping, knots, etc). The boys loved it! The parents were amazed at how quiet and interested the boys were in listening to Boy Scouts. Once CC is gone, I hope to establish a better relationship with our chartered org. I feel that with her out of the way, I can get things done (meaning the responsibilites outlines in the CS Leader Book) without stepping on her toes, and show my new CC the right way according to the book. The relationship between a chartered org and the unit should be a mutaully beneficial relationship. Not a "see you at recharter and B&G time". Our pack is loosely run, and I don't have a problem with that until it affects the boys, and we are on that edge. The Wolf den maintains advancement records, and I have been training the TDL to do so as well, the problem is with the Bears and Webelos boys (from their Tiger/Bobcat rank on up). They do not maintain records on these boys, nor have they filed any advancement reports at council. I have asked several times for the leaders to submit them or just give me the names and dates and I will do it, and they just don't see the point. I gave them a memo from SE about it, and they don't want to do it. I feel bad for any of those boys who ends up making Eagle Scout. The leaders are short-changing them. At a district meeting last night, I talked to someone and she suggested a great idea. Rather than finding a new CC, I should take it and find a CM instead. The big roadblock in that is the perception that the CM runs the pack and has the busiest job, which is not true. Den leaders are the busiest.
  13. She is leaving in May. I am a firm beliver that Webelos II's should crossover in February (unless there is an unusal circumstance), but her son is a Webelos II and she wants all of them to wait. Two UC's even confirmed that B&G time is a better time to do this. So if he crosses over in late May, joins a troop in June, he goes to camp for a week with people he barely knows, or more importanly a troop that barely knows him. Some days I question her training, but I have seen the pack's adult leader training report, and yes, she is. The CC and CM before her were married to each other, so I am assuming that some "planning" was done behind the backs of the committee and leaders, and she just isn't aware of the committee's and leader's full responsibilities. Which now makes me a believer that the CC should not be married to the CM or SM because those replacing them don't have a full understanding of the committee process. Another huge drawback on withholding advancement is that you eliminate the peer pressure for the others to want to finish their requirements, and it also makes the parents unaware that their son is behind. Can you imagine a May pack meeting where 7 of 8 boys get to advance, but the last one is in tears because he doesn't have anytime left to finish? To me that is a completely backwards ideal of the whole CS program. It hurts all of the boys.
  14. ScoutNut: Our committee is: CC, Secretary and Treasurer. Yes the CC is trained, but she is also leaving. CC is trying to replace herself. We have approached other parents on doing specific things, but they are not interested. Some are understandably too busy, others just don't want any responsibility. I do make paper copies and email copies to the committee and den leaders. I had the comment that I send out too many emails, and I don't think they even look at the paper copies beyond at the committee meeting. I personally feel that without a chair or parent to organize these events, the the den leader is left to do it on their own, and that's what I did. Next time, I will ask if the committee wants to do it as a pack let them choose someone, and if not, suggest that the den leaders do it as a den if they want to. I think I also need to stress to the committee that I work with them, not make their decisions for them. One thing that I hate that is done to me is that I present something, and I hear "I ALREADY heard about that" and they refuse to discuss it further. Venividi - I have apologized to her. I told her that I am in no way upset with her. We had bad leadership before that instead of moving on, got upset and did nothing. I do not want that at all. I don't want the boys to be affected by any ill feelings. I will give the CC weekly calls, that's a great idea. ------------------- But I do have one question. How much of the pack meeting am I responsible for planning? We do not have enough time to cover the pack meeting from beginning to end in the committee meeeting, nor do we have the meeting like in the Cub Scout Leader's Book page 24-6 (Second 2005 printing). I pulled this book out the other night and I was apparantly the only one who knew the book existed (even though mine is not the current edition). No wonder why people don't know who is responsible for what! One thing that does bother me, is that the CC insists that we give the boys their rank patches and "graduate" the boys in May (even the second year Webelos). IMHO, it is wrong to hold back on advancement when the boy has earned it. Which makes things even more complicated for the Tigers and first year scouts. They have to get their Bobcat BEFORE working on their Tiger/Wolf/Bear etc. It doesn't make sense to me to "hold" their badges. And, we don't maintain advancement records (no chair for it so den leaders do it themselves). I still am getting resistance from them about filling out the Advancement report. I tell them that the badges cannot be purchased without one, but they don't believe me. I guess I will have to let them find out on their own when they drive ALL they way out there. I feel like I do so much suggesting and reccomending that it is intrepreted as commanding and I'm ignored.
  15. I signed my son up for CS a year ago, and was recruited as a TDL. I sure many of you have been there, done that. We had a bad CM. Really bad. Would skip committee meetings, not return phone calls, abuse pack funds, pack meetings were a sea of kids running around without ANY ceremonies, you get the idea. But the biggest problem was with the committee. They wanted his blessing on everything (although they are not required to have it), and if we can't get a hold of him, the boys ended up suffering. We do not have any written by-laws. We have one the expired in 1992. It was then that I refocused myself to give my Tigers what the pack wasn't. Over the summer his job changed, and it interefered with all of the pack and committee meetings. The CC spoke with him, and he aggreed to be ACM so I could be the CM. I talked with DE to see what we had to do. We do not have a UC - and that may be why we have problems. DE said to just submit both of our apps again with the new positions. I submitted mine, and he did not. So council added me as ACM, and kept him as CM. But he NEVER gave anyone their Scout ID cards, or gave the mail that got sent to him to a person to follow up on. I got DE to fix it for me - and we reacharted with out the former CM. I have been trying to empower the committee to do their job, and directing parents to the CC when they ask me something that I don't have the power to decide. When the committe asked for my decison on things, I always told them that it was their decision and 99% of the time I didn't have a problem with what they wanted to do. I have done my best to get people to do their job - but now I have done something wrong, and I feel bad. I stepped on the CC's toes. I am not mad at her (maybe disappointed that she didn't come to me sooner), but I am mad at myself. I have been preparing written agenda for the committee meetings, without asking her. She didn't do it, and we never were able to cover everything because we ended up forgetting things. The meetings are lasting too long. But I really didn not want to start talking about B&G at the February Committee meeting. I invited guests, and she didn't like that. I know it would have been common courtesy for me to do that. I also gave the pack leaders flyers for an event. One den (my son's) had interest, and they bought tickets. The other leaders didn't ask their boys, and they are upset that no one called to follow up. A few parents got upset, and blame is being directed back at me. The CC has the right idea to want to have someone to do this task, maybe a parent. But no one will step up. This leads me to my problem: Do I let the boys suffer and lack in activities because the committe won't take it on themselves to organize it or find someone? Activites are going to have a direct impact on the Centennial Quality Unit Award. I do not want to step on anyone's toes, but what should I do now? I can go to the committee and talk about things, but they seem to be clueless. I always get the deer in headlights look when I talk to them about my WoodBadge ticket, the Centennial Quaility Unit Award, and other awards that the boys are not doing. And I am the only one that has gone to roundtable in the past two and a half. Should I share info on events and how should I do it? I have no problem doing my job by the book, but do I just sit back, and what to see what happens? I feel like I'm driving the car from the backseat. I'm upsetting people, and I feel so bad about it.
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