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About Sprocket

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  1. John-in-KC, the council number (on your membership card) doesn't have anything to do with the size class your council is in. For example, the Greater St. Louis Area council is a Class 200 council, but it is council #312.
  2. Just got back Saturday from our council's first weeklong course in over 10 years. I used to be a fox. Now it's time to work my ticket...
  3. Stosh, The cannons and large-bore artillery restriction is supposedly due to accidents at a few scout camps where cannons used to fire blanks during flag ceremonies exploded and injured scouts. I can recall one of my council's camps using a cannon back when I went to Webelos camp as a scout--the cannon is no longer there.
  4. The flags you can get from your US Senator or Congressman are not free, and really aren't that cheap. I looked into it last fall. I then contacted my state rep, and he sent me a U.S. Flag and State Flag for free. Your mileage may vary...
  5. In my council, every adult leader wears a district patch on their right sleeve. It's been that way for well over 20 years (they were doing it when I was a scout). It's an approved council variation that has withstood several SE changes. The scouts don't wear district patches. I've yet to be in a situation where I was in uniform around folks from other councils, so I haven't had to deal with people questioning our district patches. But in our big council, it does help us to know what general part of the area people are from when you are at camp or some other council event.
  6. I recall reading somewhere that there is a provision for boys being registered in two troops. This most commonly happens when a boy's parents are divorced and he splits time living with parents in different cities or different parts of the country. He can then participate in scouting no matter which parent he is currently living with. It takes extra coordination between the parents & units, though.
  7. The scoutmaster doesn't even need to be there (although he/she should). Between my Eagle BOR and my ECOH, my SM got a new job in another city and moved 800 miles away. I didn't even have an address for him to send him an invitation. We didn't have a new SM and the troop basically folded for a few years after that. I had a UC from my former troop present my Eagle.
  8. Class of '93. Now a Tiger Den Leader for the pack & ASM for the troop.
  9. When I wanted to get back into scouting at age 22 or 23, I was encouraged to sign up as an ASM to help my then-church's troop. I went through SM Fundamentals training, and was incredibly enthusiastic. But the SM would cancel or reschedule meetings, letting the word go to the boys at school, and not bother to call me. So I'd show up for troop meetings and no one would be there. It was a small troop, and the SM didn't know what to do with an ASM. It began to feel like a waste of my time, and I stopped helping, despite the SM's wife apologizing and making excuses for him nearly every time she ran into me. Had I instead known more about volunteering at the district level, it would've been a much better use of my experience and youthful enthusiasm. I wouldn't have had such a break in my scouting service, and might have been able to help out. Getting to know people at the district level would've helped me (and my pack) quite a bit now that I have sons and am a unit-level scouter, too. I would encourage you to volunteer at the district level. I wish I had. It's very hard for young men to volunteer at the unit level if you weren't a scout in the unit and don't have a son involved. I would think that as a UC, you could schedule your unit service around your work schedule. -Todd Tiger Cub Den Leader Eagle Scout
  10. There was a lot of discussion here and elsewhere several months back, but it really died down. Supposedly, it was going to be piloted in a few councils. Maybe somebody on the forum from one of those councils can let us know how it's going...
  11. Were our pack chartered to a non-religious organization, I would agree with all of John-in-KC's comments, however I will continue to disagree with some of them. The Rosary patch program does not require the boys to profess Roman Catholic beliefs; it educates them about the Rosary. The Rosary is not actually specific to Roman Catholicism. Some of the most prolific Marian scholars have not even been Catholic (one was a Lutheran pastor and seminary professor). At any rate, my wife and I are neither the CC nor the CM. The patch is something the pack has done for the past year or two, and doing the activity at a pack meeting was a done deal before we joined up. My wife was just tapped to run it this year. I'm a lowly tiger den leader. I don't expect any parent complaints, but if there are, the CC and CM will handle them, as the activity was their call, and our IH/priest, a longtime scouter (silver beaver, etc., etc.) will be happy to chat with the parent about the differences between packs chartered to Catholic churches vs. those chartered to public school organizations. (knowing him, that's the approach he would take) I doubt we'd feel heat from the council. Our membership and popcorn numbers are good...
  12. Since this thread has some life again, let me clarify for ScoutNut & John-in-KC. All of the boys in our pack are Roman Catholic. If any aren't that I'm not aware of, their parents have already chosen to send them to a Catholic grade school where they sign an agreement about the Catholic religious education that will be provided for their child. I'm not worried about getting written permission for the boys to participate. They were all informed in our pack newsletter that the boys would be working on the Rosary patch at the pack meeting. Besides, it's a pack meeting--the parents are *supposed* to be there anyway... John-in-KC, I understand your point about scouting being non-sectarian, but a religious organization CO can use scouting programs as part of its youth ministry (as do many Catholic scout units and seemingly all of the LDS). Instead of high adventure, our parish's Venturing crew is organized as a religious activities crew, and is used as the parish youth group for high-school aged youth. As an fyi, The Glorious mysteries have to do with the resurrection, the ascension, Pentecost, and the assumption and coronation of Mary. What we'll be doing for the pack meeting tomorrow night are skits for each of the Glorious mysteries, acted predominantly by leaders with each den taking a part in one of the skits. The boys will then do a round-robin session to go around to adults in different parts of the gym to answer 5 questions of their choosing out of the 10 questions provided to complete the requirements for the patch. Should be fun--we have makeshift costumes & everything!
  13. In another thread, the abuse of repeating Tiger electives was brought up, such as Elective 14, which involves reading a short story or magazine article with your parent or adult partner (what about kids who read every night?) or Elective 48, taking a ride on public transportation (a parent who wanted to count the scout riding the bus to and from school each day?) The responses I usually see when this is brought up involve scouters saying that they only count each elective once, or they'll let a scout count each twice, or some limitation like that. The Tiger electives are going to be a conundrum for me, too. It makes no sense to count so many repetitions of an elective (like the examples above), but the instructions in the Tiger handbook specifically state that electives may be completed more than once. If we place restrictions on repeating electives, are we adding to the requirements?
  14. Hi all, My wife has been tapped to coordinate our pack's participation in the rosary patch program for this year. For the past couple of years, the pack has had the boys earn that year's rosary patch at the Jan. pack meeting (our CO is a Catholic church). She's hoping people might have ideas for doing the rosary patch as a big group. Last year, the CM read a story/explanation to the boys followed by a round-robin format where different adults each had a question, and the boys would go around and get a sign-off on a card when they answered a question correctly. The wife is thinking of doing something different, but she's used to working with jr. high/high school age kids, rather than 1st-5th graders, so she's having trouble thinking up new ideas.
  15. f2c, I understand some of your frustration. As a former scout, I wanted to start volunteering with scouting as soon as I finished college. I didn't have any children yet, but signed up as an ASM with the troop at our church (Catholic parish). I got fully trained, and was ready to go. But there was no communication from the SM. I'd show up for a troop meeting and no one would be there, because it had been cancelled for some reason. The SM had made sure all the scouts were told at school that day, but didn't bother to call and tell me. I eventually gave up and stopped showing up, despite the SM's wife's excuses and urging me to continue to help. In retrospect, I wished I'd have become a UC or done some other district role. I think I'd have had more fun, and wouldn't have had the problems I'd have had. Plus, now that my oldest is a Tiger cub now, I would have already become familiar with the district leadership, which would be helpful for our pack. But hindsight is 20/20. Good luck, and I hope you find a way to volunteer. I'd echo the suggestion to contact the district chairman or district commissioner for the district where you live. Even if you don't want to volunteer at the district level, these two volunteer scouters might respond better to your wish to help than the professional scouter (DE) did. They're likely to also know of units in need of additional volunteers.
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