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sst3rd

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sst3rd last won the day on September 2 2019

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  1. 69RoadRunner, I really hope your scouts have a great time. Even though I've never liked "merit badge" themed programs, I've had to learn to get over it. There sounds like lots of opportunity for fun at this camp as well. You mention Camp Powhatan. I have many memories of that camp, as well as Camp Ottari. I'm from elsewhere in Virginia, but as a long time scoutmaster (now former), these programs always excelled way beyond our local camp, and we considered them our home camps.. That, and the fact that my parents are from that area and I got to visit a bit during the camp week. Somewhere along the line, units will be able to start meeting and going on camping trips again. I'm concerned that in my area, many units will not start up again. They'll say they want to wait until the fall and gather themselves. That ain't going to happen. If the troop that I support starts meeting again, I see many challenges to getting its program back to where it was. I also will be surprised if half the scouts show back up. That prior statement is based on my experiences as a scout leader, and the fragile economic state we are in. Power on 68RoadRunner. Keep the spirit alive. sst3rd
  2. karunamom3, There is much we simply can't control. I hear a lot of stress in your words. Planning is nearly impossible because of this "event". I think everyone who usually attends summer camp is thinking along these lines. But things you can control even as a new unit: 1) Scratch summer camp. Too much depends on variables you can't control. 2) Planning takes the stress off of your adult leaders as well as the scouts. 3) So, based on the appropriate authorities allowing things to happen. 4) Plan a series of summer weekend camping trips that will cover (as much as possible), what would have been covered at summer camp. 5) You control when and where. 6) Include a few merit badges to be earned over the series of camping trips if desired. 7) The benefits are; you control costs (simpler fundraising), varied required adult leadership (different adults per weekend if needed), locations (possibly with water for aquatic programs), required equipment. Under these circumstances, I truly believe in that old adage: Keep It Simple, Make It Fun. Have fun with your new scouts, and throw away the stress. Start simple, and work your way up from there. There's always next year and the year after that, etc.. See you on the trail...... sst3rd
  3. HashTagScouts, Welcome to the new and improved OA. Anyone at anytime. No batteries required. Just get them in, and then guilt them towards their Brotherhood. Our new lodge advisor is someone I've known for a long time. Has been everywhere, and started as a scoutmaster. Great person. Has also been active in the OA. He has always attended the chapter meetings. Since becoming the lodge advisor, his tune has changed drastically. He personally was handing out lodge provided illegibility (for Brotherhood) lists to our chapter scouts just before our last Service Weekend (Ordeal). He wanted them to call them, e-mail them, text them, whatever works, but do it! Ge them registered. The spirit has changed in our lodge. Elections for all troops are pushed hard. Quantity might be up. But the quality is way down. Lots of scouts joining, but every event I attend, the turnover rate has to be high, because I see all new faces. How young can you be to be nominated for the OA????? I know I'm getting older, but give me a break. Oh well, I have my memories. sst3rd
  4. I agree with Eagle94-A1. Our lodge is pushing hard for Brotherhood conversions. So, our chapter advisor is pushing hard for Brotherhood conversions. These metrics must be met to meet and qualify for several recognitions and/or certifications. Sorry, I've long forgot their names, but these items are incredibly important to the LEC. The chapter advisor was provided with lists of all eligible Ordeal members for the chapter to get in touch with. We had our most recent Service Weekend (formerly the Ordeal Weekend) right after Labor Day weekend. I don't know if goals were met. If unit leaders start pushing Brotherhood this way, there will be backlash. It's human nature. I think scoutmasters should chill and be happy with all of their active scouts. This is the scout's decision sst3rd
  5. Train-em, trust-em,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Just got back from our Mountain Man Camporee. Saturday morning our patrol was at the opening on time. Got their score card and took off for their first challenge station. Meanwhile, the scoutmaster whom I've been mentoring, had to go in to work for a couple of hours. Myself and a parent went around taking photos of the various troop campsites (checking out tents and cooking set ups for ideas). This was their first camporee. We checked out all of the 10 stations, but couldn't find our patrol. Went back to camp and there they were. Six scouts were sitting around their campsite, and the two youngest were in their tents taking a nap. I said nothing, but the parent (of a scout) strongly suggested they get back out on the trail. Seriously, when I asked the PL why they came back to camp, he said, "I thought the events were optional." Did I say that this was their first camporee? sst3rd
  6. Eagle94-A1, I dropped out several years ago as our chapter ceremony advisor. We still were expected to perform the national OA's approved call out ceremony at one of the Friday night closing campfires for summer camp. Six weeks of summer camp, six ceremonies. Each performed by a different chapter team. I'll admit that I still have possession of all of the regalia, but I can't seem to give it away. I'm still waiting for a new advisor to take over. Anyway, yes, when the AOLs and Crossovers were removed, it took the last wind out of our sails. So, although we keep promoting the need for a ceremony team for troop call outs, we've got nothing. We have good attendance at our chapter meetings, but no scout wants to commit to anything. At the very least, we want the chapter to have an active election committee. We can't get that. Our adult advisors don't know what to do. We can't make them do it. So, the chapter advisor made the mistake of asking my opinion of things, and I said to shut the chapter down, and ditch the OA. I said it loud enough for the scouts at the chapter meeting to hear me. They had no reaction. Everything is done for them, and the adult chapter advisors are always begging them to sign up for service weekends (used to be called Ordeals but everyone became offended), Conclaves, NOAC, Trail Teams, and such. Other than the advisor's sons, no dice. I am old fashioned. Sometimes things don't need to change for the benefit of those wanting a kinder, gentler OA. I say, either do it 100%, or don't do it at all. But whose %100 are we talking about? It's not fun watching a once proud organization fail. sst3rd
  7. SteveMM, I can tell you as a formally active ceremonial team advisor for the chapter who still attends chapter meetings, our lodge is pushing "HARD", Brotherhood conversions. This appears to have happened shortly after the OA made it simpler to become a brotherhood member, mainly shortening the time required from having become an Ordeal member. An active adult member who has been a SM, Unit Commissioner, District Commissioner, and now our new Lodge Advisor (he's earned and deserves all of these positions), said since this rule change, the intent of the national OA, is to push brotherhood conversions. So, scoutmasters have been getting the pressure applied to them from several directions. If I was still a scoutmaster, I would not change how we've applied the OA in our troop. Remember, the last requirement for a scout nominee to the OA, is the scoutmaster's approval. The scoutmaster ought to have an idea of how busy these scouts are, and if this scout can give more to the BSA through the OA. Life is a balance. So, go balance. sst3rd
  8. Off topic a bit, but the scoutmaster I've been mentoring this last year, puts so much emphasis on updating advancement online, she completely forgets to update the scout's handbooks. I guess my "old" is showing, but I thought the idea was for the scouts to read and study their handbooks as they are teaching and/or learning scouting skills pertaining to advancement. EDGE works, but all scouts should be taught to refer to their scout handbooks for ideas and info. I think they should always be able to refer to the back of their handbooks to review their "sign-offs" , and be able to know what their advancement status is, and where they want to go. It's a young troop, so adult leaders and the one older scout (SPL) do the advancement sign-offs. So, I've had to get her to print out each scout's records monthly, so I can update their handbooks. Now scouts, and certainly their parent(s) can visually see how their scouting adventures impact their advancement. I guess the scout and parents could view all of this online...…………………………………………………….but then why have a section for advancement sign-offs in the scout handbook at all. Am I wrong? Go ahead. I can take it. sst3rd
  9. Karunamom3, Big move. Needed to be done. While the adults are setting up adult positions; 1) Form the patrol, have them elect their patrol leader, and then have the new patrol leader select his assistant. 2) Assuming that the adults are getting the adult stuff done, set up the camping trips for the balance of the year. At least set dates for camping trips (avoiding holidays and school dates). 3) Camping equipment: assuming they each have their personal equipment, ask the parents for any extra leftover pots and pans for the patrol to start a patrol cook kit. You can upgrade later if you wish. Seriously, your scouts need to start operating as a patrol from the start, and that means camping trips. Nothing "shows" patrol spirit and teamwork then setting up camp and the kitchen for a weekend of fun activities. I wouldn't put a lot of emphasis on advancement just yet. Just going camping secures many of the requirements for the Scout and Tenderfoot ranks. Flags, patrol patches, and all of that other "stuff" isn't needed just yet. Get these scouts excited about "their" program first. Troop meetings will take care of themselves, when there is always another camping trip on the horizon. Troop meetings are as simple as having an Opening, patrol time, advancement time, game, and a closing, and your meeting is over with. Last thing; promote their new calendar, and have them plan a simple recruitment program (short and long term). They can recruit friends, former scouts, and former pack scouts. All of this certainly applies to the boys scout troop and the girls scout troop. I would keep everything about each separate ( but maybe the committee). Meetings on the same night works if they are in separate meeting areas. If you start having joint meetings, I personally think it weakens the program. Only start the troop (boys and/or girls) when you know you have the resources set. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. sst3rd
  10. DavidCO, The word "empowered" may be over used elsewhere, but it's the word I wanted to use in this response. The SPL knows that his circumstances currently makes him the boss. He likes it and isn't going to change. Sure, he will grow up and be able (hopefully) to control his "empowerment", but in this situation, he knows he's in the "catbird's seat." Unless adult leaders figure it out and present a unified answer and solution to this conflict, the ASPL needs to find another troop. EMPOWERED, EMPOWERED, EMPOWERED. Just what I wanted to say. Take a chill pill. They still make those don't they? sst3rd
  11. Markbrownsky, Sounds like your son is heavily invested in this troop. However, that SPL isn't going to change. He is "impowered" and he knows it. I kept waiting for someone to bring up the option of changing troops, but I'm guessing your son is where he wants to be. So, it looks like avoiding this "scout" will be your son's scouting program, and that's just not right. But it's accurate. Maybe he could resign from ASPL and join a patrol that needs his leadership and experience. That could be as a troop guide, and would extend his leadership requirement needs, if necessary. But that SPL scout ain't going anywhere. I'd find another troop. It's a life lesson to teach your son. Some things just aren't worth the fight. It's not fair, but it's accurate. I wish him the best, sst3rd
  12. So you were finally able to justify the answer you wanted. Does the scout know all of the trouble you are going through just to get him nominated for an OA Election? Does he really care that much? Or is it someone else who cares? Is there any question that this scout will be elected into the Order? Come on, you're working it too hard. sst3rd the OA used to mean something
  13. Yes, like everything else, make it easier. In promoting the OA in our troop for over 38 years, I simply couldn't anymore. Scouts have long sense known that this is all about free labor. Dress it up anyway you like, and they see nothing but giving up their time and working all weekend. I left the Order several years ago when they removed the Native American motif. It should always be about the quality of the members and nothing else. The work always got done. Cheapening the OA makes it nonrelevant. Headed in the wrong direction. sst3rd
  14. Qwazse, I like and agree with your "different ways." Lot's of common sense there. A great way to get to the goal. But I really liked your last statement; " Uniforming ...it's not just about the cloth." Kind of like the old, "orange juice, it's not just for breakfast." sst3rd
  15. KLB, I mean this seriously, go find another Pack. NOW. This will not change, as this person holds all of the cards, and she knows it. When she sees scouts and families leaving, she won't have to wonder why. It's the only way to make the point. And if she says to come back and she'll change, don't buy it. Life's too short to have to deal with this. Find a good Pack for all to enjoy. I'm sure they'll want your help and support. sst3rd
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