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About Sprite

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  1. GS Camp-- I can tell you about the good old days before cell phones. We sat down the first couple of evenings to write post cards home. Those were great keep sakes, even if I hated doing them. I don't think the Trading post even sells post cards anymore. The BS camp we attended is 3+ hours away and the parents could send e-mails through the camp e-mail system. So I didn't carry personal messages unless I felt it was a need to know thing. I did the e-mails while charging my (UGGH) cell phone. And I'd much rather communicate via e-mail than cell. What shocked me about the experience
  2. What methods do you use to help scouts overcome the fear of bugs?
  3. We went to summer camp this year with a lot of new scouts. The first few days I sent e-mails to the parents with a summary of what went on. I also sent individual e-mails on scouts that were having issues. This week 4 scouts died at another summer camp and we had a thunderstorm while we were at camp. Parents thanked me by e-mail and when we returned. They said they knew they would be contacted if their scout was in danger and it relieved their anxiety. Some of the parents of our older scouts thanked me too. They said they ask their son what happened at camp and never hear anything. This g
  4. Our patrols had tents together, were assigned duties by patrol and when moving as a troop moved together. Each patrol leader was also tasked with making sure all members of his patrol were present or to know the whereabouts of the member. We were using the "traditional" style of patrol rather than NSP. It worked really well.
  5. Also it is beneficial for the boys to make a decision and see the consequences of it. If they decide to forego the TAE, it will be the first year they didn't earn it in a long time. Sure, their choice. I recall making a similar decision once when I backed out of something because I wasn't confident enough to try. I made sure that never happened again. I like to give the boys as much rope as possible, help them see the parameters involved, and see what they do. If it is in keeping with scouting basics and doesn't harm them, they will grow in the process. Examples: Many of our bo
  6. We used our redesigned patrols (4) at summer camp. Our 6 Philmont bound scouts took on leadership with some relunctance but were willing. The 11 first year scouts had a few bumps in learning buddy system and patrol, but they got it!! And I saw gains in the leaders as well. Boys who previously ignored younger scouts, engaged them and exhibited responsibility. I am very proud of them all. The Scouts gelled in their patrols and WANT to continue them. Using the postings I previously read and the patrol leaders guidebook, I gave each leader a spiral memo book. Had the patrols ride up t
  7. Just met a really nice GS unit at our Church this last Sunday. They were on a Summer trip and chose our city. The leader said she had girls 13-18 in her troop. Grew up GS, now a BS leader. Seems a world of difference between the programs greatest of which is separation by ages. BS has separate units per grade until Webelo (4th& 5th grade)then the boys cross over into Boy Scouts, ages 12-17 (18 becomes a leader) are in the same troop. It is difficult for the pre-adolescent boys and interesting to watch and mentor the interchange. The GS divisions seemed to be more based on School div
  8. Your ASM reminds me of one ours, a former Marine. It seems that sometimes he forgets about the differences between Marines and scouts. Sounds like the scout may be taking pride in his headgear and could probably tell more of the history behind it and scouting at the time. Also it does give him an opportunity to be little bit different. However--all scouts are a little bit different from the general population. Vive le difference!!
  9. What should be the guidelines for determining districts? Number of Scouts Number of Units Economics Experienced and availability of volunteers Are there any guidelines on this? Our experience--There were 2 long established, self sustaining troops in our District when I started. That were expected to provide all the volunteers. Our DE was horrible at organizing encampments/jamborees, training, etc. I know we complained about him for at least 4 years--but he brought in the money. Our district had a lot of new, low economic area troops in it and needed the help. Finally we a
  10. Hey Scoutmomma, I thought Aluminum was linked to Alsheimers. But of course our boys won't be worried about that... Come to think of it my father-in-law was a scout from the 20's. With over 50 years in scouting, he died with his mind still sharp as a tack and walking 3 miles a week in his 90's. Now that is something to aspire to. Dang nice guy too.
  11. I met a Troop from Texas at Kia Kima last year. They decided to come there because of the Adventure offerings, then when they signed up every one of the boys signed up for the Merit badges... Go figure Expectations are to give the boys an easy access to the Merit Badges--particularly the Eagle required ones. The troops that go to Kia Kima debate every year on which is better the cook your own or dining hall. Out of 6 merit badge slots, scouts can choose to do non-badge or adventure badge work. COPE for example is 3 slots. Swimming is 2 slots. Whitewater is offered too and yes there are ex
  12. While I've become a convert to training, I've a number of concerns. 1) Concentrating training via District works well when you have a functioning district but until recently our DE was not a troop builder which left some strong scouters out of the loop. 2) Some of the training for new leaders was repetitive and more geared to "Join Scouting." If they are leaders--drop the sales pitch and focus on the needs of leaders. 3) The rewrite of training and "requirement" for fresh training is IMO for the lawyers and a method to raise money. (cynical I know) which is why I suspect they chose not to do "
  13. My excitement dimmed when I read FScouters reply. Our SM took over our troop in this last year and is working to instill the boy led troop and patrol method. It is a long road. Currently our patrols are just what FScouter identified as standing on the lines. Our experience with Patrol Guides have been less than spectacular over the years to the point that we incorporated the newer scouts into our existing patrols. In my son's patrol, the PL rarely came to meetings or PLC meetings. As a result the new scouts (mostly from 2 packs) don't feel a particular affiliation with the patrols.
  14. I read this thinking it was about Scouting. Am female, with lots of Girl Scouting experience. When my son joined the Boy Scouts, I'd attend the parent meetings to hear "Any Dads who would like to help..." I even wrote up areas I could help and submitted them to the SM without much response. Finally the troop was desparate for an adult to go on a campout and I went. Granted being female in a BS camp isn't easy--but I had a great time and the SM respected me afterwards. My son has been in the troop for 5 years now--I'm still learning the Boy Scout way and finally wanting to do more of the
  15. Our troop is very excited to have 17 first year scouts giving us 36 boys. Traditionally Summer Camp is where the boys really start fitting in with the troop. This year is also a Philmont year for us. So 2 of our senior leaders (SM,ASM) will not be attending the full summer camp. Our former SM will come, but he doesn't know our first year scouts. I am former ASM, now CC and going to camp for full week, previously did 1/2. SM is trying to recruit more than 3 adults we have now to go. Our troop has been slowly, excruciatingly learning about the Patrol Method. What do you guys think a
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