Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by sst3rd

  1. sst3rd

    As we approach 1 Feb 19...

    Oldscout448, Our lodge shut down all chapter ceremony teams last year. We barely have a lodge ceremony team. OA has now become nothing but a service group. The mystique of the native American culture used in the OA was the pull. It's gone. To this day, one of my favorite scouts still refers to the OA as free labor. He's since joined the Air Force, got married, become a dad, and retired from the Air Force. His mom was my long serving committee chair. He loved scouting with his friends, and although he had fun in the OA too (as a chapter ceremonialist), "free labor" was what he remembers most of the OA. Call this service group anything but the OA. That's gone. Just like the Boy Scouts are gone. The spirit has left. sst3rd
  2. sst3rd

    Time to Go.

    It's time. Find a troop, if possible, that runs the very best scout program possible, and support them. They will be most appreciative. It may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but the stress level will go down, and the fun will go up, for you and your scout (I can't remember if you have more than one). I bet a few scouts will follow. I also think that some of those graduating webelos will follow eventually. But make the change for you and your family now. I want there to be good memories of scouting in your future. sst3rd
  3. sst3rd

    New girls in Scouting

    Packsaddle, Getting left behind is one thing, changing for the sake of change is another. Adapting is something else entirely. We disagree. I think boys ought to have their own program. I think the BSA has lost its soul for the sake of pleasing certain folks and the almighty dollar. With all of that said, as I mentioned earlier, all scouting is local. Scout troops are becoming family camping clubs, and the OA is becoming a service organization (can't wait to hear the new name). There's no brotherhood, or cheerfulness, just the service. I truly and sincerely wish everyone the best. "Softly falls the light of day...…………" sst3rd
  4. sst3rd

    New girls in Scouting

    I'm not going to rehash anything but to say, this is where all scouting is local. I firmly believe that the scoutmaster I've mentoring is growing in the right direction. I'm very proud of her accomplishments. Of course she doesn't need my approval for any decision she has made or will make. This troop's families know what they want for their sons, and that's a boys scout troop. The pressure will happen when a bunch of these girls are ready for the troop, and expect to graduate there. The pack and troop meet on the same night, different time and rooms (at the church). The preacher is female, and her husband is the COR and an Eagle. They fully support scouting, but only have been at this church for a few years. They'd love to see everything grow of course. I'm not sure if they are aware of what's happening, if they even care, or if they would demand that girls be allowed in the troop (not understanding that there needs to be a separate troop for the girls. I have told the scoutmaster that I would always be available to discuss anything, anytime, or refer her in the right direction. I admit that I am old, and like the way it used to be. Take that anyway you like. I think boys deserve their own exclusive program. Add to this the OA removing the Native American motif, and has now become just a service club, I'm pretty much done with the scout program. I'm not alone. I will continue to participate on a maintenance committee that serves one of our local camps, as I have many friends there. A scout is friendly, sst3rd
  5. sst3rd

    New girls in Scouting

    I've just finished a year of mentorship with a new(er) scoutmaster of a recharged troop (asked to assist by the council). Their associated pack always has successful "school nights for scouting) recruitment programs. They are assigned two elementary schools exclusively. The last weekly pack meeting (where all dens meet, but separately), there are now lots of girls. They mix them in with the boys in the same dens. They know it's not correct, but they simply don't have enough leaders, and the new parents aren't volunteering. And they don't want to turn the new cubs away. I asked the scoutmaster what are the plans for when the girl scouts are ready for the troop. She says there are no plans she's aware of. She wants the troop to remain boys only as does the other troop leaders and parents. I suggested strongly that they have a plan. If anything, know of the nearest girl scouts bsa troop to point them to. But the other problem is that they also have brotherss in the pack, and they expect everyone will be graduating to the troop when the time comes. Yeah, right. Oh well. My mentorship has come to a close. Until next time America. sst3rd
  6. sst3rd

    New girls in Scouting

    Those are good thoughts, thanks both Eagle1993 and qwazse. We should be having our "school night for scouting" (cub scouts only) in the next week or two, so decisions need to be made soon. This new scoutmaster is doing a great job, but she was under the mistaken impression that co-ed boy scout troops started this fall. I showed her the program for separate troops and she understood. She and the parents want to keep a boys scout troop. I told them that they can, but what to do with upcoming girls from the pack?????? I would not recommend "linked" troops as this group is already stretched too thin. We're working on recruiting more adult leaders for both the pack and troop. thanks again, sst3rd
  7. sst3rd

    some people have some nerve

    mash, Agree kismif sst3rd
  8. sst3rd

    New girls in Scouting

    I would expect good fall numbers for girls joining Packs from our school night recruitment programs. My concern is if a bunch of girls join our pack that become AOL scouts and then expect to join the associated troop next winter/spring/summer. There is currently a boy Scout, BSA troop. As I've been mentoring/training the new SM, we can barely staff the adult positions. If the church wishes to have girls in the scout troop, I'll explain the new BSA program offering. Unless the church can find all new leadership for the new girl Scout, BSA troop, it ain't going to happen. The current pack/troop adult leadership are the parents who are there to support their sons. Once I've explained the separate girls Scout, BSA troop, they understood. They get to keep their pack/troop just for their boys. If, however, the church demands a program for girls, there's going to be a problem. There are no other troops nearby. Sounds like fun????? sst3rd
  9. sst3rd


    Taz, Although I don't have the book in front of me, the SM gets to okay anyone working with him as an assistant ( or one of his). I guess technically the CC could demand and force the SM to accept someone as an ASM, but I would tender my resignation immediately if that was the case (I was a SM for many years). The SM has a vision and direction for the troop (based on many inputs from the scouts, and so many more sources). If any of his assistants want to go in a different direction, they need to find another troop to join. I've dropped a few assistants over the years for this same problem. Some of them found a better fit on the troop committee. sst3rd
  10. sst3rd

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    Oh for crying out loud, the patrol method is workable even under these circumstances. You've just got to want it to happen. Keep throwing up excuses and you'll get your wish I'm mentoring a new scoutmaster of a small urban troop that's reorganizing. This will be their relaunch from the summer. She's trained and gaining experience continuously. She wants a successful troop program for her son and all of his friends. She has several adults getting trained as we speak, but I always tell her to give the program to the patrol. They've responded well over the last year and had a great summer camp. I'll support this adult staff through the end of the year and call it a day. Once the boys realize that it really is their program, they'll continue to grow. Yes, they've discussed the church having the troop go co-ed. I've explained the correct process of having a separate troop for girls, and their eyes got all glassy and teary. These adults (parents and leaders) and their sons want a boy only troop. The problem is the Pack is going co-ed. Yeah...………………………... Take care, sst3rd
  11. Our chapter ceremonial team performed the Call-Out Ceremony for the last week of summer camp this past Friday night. I had been the advisor for many years. I had already informed our chapter and lodge advisors that this would be it for me because of all of the changes. Our team performed a great ceremony that night. I was very proud, and I told them so. I appropriately disposed of all of our regalia the following day, Saturday, in a private gathering at our other council camp. It all now belongs to the sky. Congratulations on the OA for becoming a service group with no direction or spirit. It won't last long no matter how low your membership qualifications go. Congratulations on the Boy Scouts for becoming Scouts, BSA, another fine family camping club. Great memories. Wonderful fellowship. Some things don't have to change just to please the loud minority. Oh well, I have pictures. sst3rd
  12. sst3rd

    Regalia outlawed at Arrow of Light

    My lodge advisor said it was going to happen soon. I've been waiting for just over a year. I won't wait until they remove regalia from all ceremonies. But he still wants the chapter teams to do their Friday night summer camp Call-Out Ceremonies we've prepared for this year, as our lodge ceremony team is in disarray. This Friday night, one last time as their advisor, our chapter ceremony team will perform the call-out ceremony at camp. I've already informed all those needed, that I will then be done with the OA. I wish all the best, sst3rd
  13. sst3rd

    Top 10 Reasons for Summer Camp

    I brought this thread back, as another thread was going a bit off topic concerning what summer camp programs have evolved into. Relating to the title of "this" topic: the troop, of which I have been mentoring their new scoutmaster, is going to our local camp next week. I suggested months ago to continue to build up this reorganized troop for one more year, and then go to summer camp. I was ignored by the CC who was already making plans for these new scouts to go. She wanted all of them to max out on merit badges, as three classes were available in the morning and two in the afternoon. The parents supported this too, although I tried to explain how summer camp can certainly include advancement but should also be FUN! This camp offers all merit badges. When I read the leader's package, I couldn't believe it. They were doing everything they could to draw scouts from where ever they could. Needless to say, you can guess the quality of the courses. This camp hasn't had a good reputation for years. Staff turnover is big every year. They operate with very young staffers who simply can't teach and get no respect from the scouts for obvious reasons. But this camp has air conditioned the dining hall, and opened a new facility to teach all STEM merit badges (air conditioned of course). It's hot and humid in this area of the country. I'm afraid these scouts are going to come back from camp wishing they'd never gone. They've done none of the pre-requisites, and I would not be surprised if all of their merit badge classes come back as incompletes. But I forgot that this camp gives merit badges away. There's so much more to summer camp then advancement. I have my memories, sst3rd
  14. sst3rd

    Last Meeting As SPL

    Brian, The SPL doesn't have anything to do with this decision. sst3rd
  15. sst3rd

    Breaking Point

    SouthScout, I personally don't like the changes made over the last few years. After 38 years as a SM I retired a while back. I work on a maintenance committee at one of the two scout reservations in our council, and I'm currently the OA Chapter advisor with the ceremony committee. Yes, the national OA is terminating our chapter ceremony teams. Our lodge advisor says the national committee is just waiting for the right time to make the announcement, any second now. In the mean time, my chapter advisor told me our lodge advisor says our lodge ceremony team can no longer meet its obligation to perform Call-Out Ceremonies at each summer camp session (at the closing Friday night campfire) and the chapter teams must do it. Get that???? Must do it???? I'm also still mentoring a new scoutmaster for maybe another month or so. She doesn't want girls in the boy scouts. I explained that they would be in separate troops, but she's still not happy. She wants the boy scouts to remain only boy scouts. So yeah, I'm winding it down slowly and carefully, kinda like being addicted a bit. But I can stop anytime I want! REALLY! sst3rd
  16. sst3rd

    Increasing adult participation

    Parkman, The SM handles the program side of things, not the Committee. The Committee (under your leadership) supports the scout's program (advancement recording, transportation, fundraising, weekend camp and summer camp registrations, and the list goes on and on). When the SM sees a need (like maybe more active ASMs) he needs to evaluate all of these inactive ASMs, and recruit one for a specific needed purpose. Like an ASM advising the scouts on teaching the totin' chit skills, and maybe an ASM advising the scouts on teaching the varied cooking skills needed for advancement. Maybe an ASM advising the scouts on teaching camping skills and so on. Scouts need to teach each other these skills, but can use an adviser for encouragement and support. As far as any other inactive ASM, get them off your roster, or change them to the Committee with a responsibility. Sounds like too much dead weight. The rule has always been, don't recruit and adult leader (Committee or ASM) if you don't have a specific need for them. Whose rule you may ask? Mine of course. sst3rd
  17. sst3rd

    How will you talk about girls troops and packs?

    Our pack and troop have talked about this. Unfortunately we've just lost our very involved CC (both pack and troop) to a stroke. Both pack and troop leadership are in it for their sons and simply will continue as is. Although it would be easier to accommodate girls in the pack, I don't know what they would do. I'm currently mentoring the SM of the troop. She and her leadership have no desire to start a girl's troop. I don't see the church demanding a girl's troop as it takes a completely different leadership team. We wouldn't care if a completely separate leadership team started a girls troop, but this current troop would not be involved. Our priority is the current boy's troop. Nothing more. Our plate is full, and yes we have a growing program. And I have talked with our scouts about girl members. They do NOT want them involved. All of the guys are friends from two schools and like it just the way it is. We assured them that it will stay that way, as it is their program. No surprises. sst3rd
  18. sst3rd

    Virtual Campfire

    WisconsinMomma, Much to be proud about. I guess I thought the sashes were the other way around, but it's all good. It's tough not to compare, but as long as there're having fun, that's what matters. Each at their own pace. Congratulations to them both, they've earned it. sst3rd
  19. sst3rd

    What Do You Look For In A Summer Camp?

    qwazse, They have an active UC. This troop and pack recently changed sponsors. Actually going back to the one they had years ago. Great church with lots of support. The CC for both the pack and troop is a good friend of mine, and when they had to remove the loud mouth, they asked me to mentor. She's got her training and all, but needs support with using this knowledge in a practical way. She'll be fine if she doesn't overload herself. She's got a new assistant from the Webelos group. I'll be talking to them over the weekend at the camping trip. I'll fade away soon. I just hate that she's got to put up with a bunch of crap from that over zealous dad. The scout is fine. But dad will NOT be denied. This new SM knows she can call me anytime for anything. Thanks for your comment. sst3rd
  20. sst3rd

    What Do You Look For In A Summer Camp?

    I realize this is an old thread, but I wanted to mention a few things. I have been mentoring a new SM and a rebuilding troop, for a few months. Their CC desperately wants these new scouts to go to summer camp this year. This SM is already overburdened. I'm trying to help her recruit more adult leaders to take appropriate pieces of the work she does, and take some pressure off of her. With many years as a SM myself, this troop is already behind in summer camp payments and merit badge registrations. Catch up all the way around. Also, money is tight, but the CC feels with council scholarships and last second fundraising, things can happen. Our summer camp is always short on staff (they don't pay enough) and the program is thin. If you look at their brochure, they offer every available merit badge. That of course, is impossible to do, but to this council, it's a selling point, and that's all that matters. I will say over the last 5 years or so, the overall program has gotten better (info from friends of mind). My point is, over my over 40 odd years as a SM, we never attended our own camp. Neighboring council camps always had a better program and choices. So off subject a bit; at our parent's summer camp meeting last night where the SM is throwing all of this last minute info at the parents, merit badge choices came up. Earlier in the evening I had suggested to this SM that each scout (there all new and first year summer camp) choose 4 merit badges max. Two required and two non required (fun things). She felt that was a good starting point. All the parents agreed, except one. This dad wanted his son to take 6 merit badges (there are 6 merit badge classes per day scheduled) and all required for Eagle. He said that this is the best opportunity for his son to get merit badges. Notice he said "get" not "earn." I explained to him the benefits of a balanced schedule for his new scout( 10 years old), but he would have none of it. I mentioned the benefits of some "down" time and some fun. Nope, he said. that's not what summer camp was about. My many years in scouting told me to back off, and turn things back over to the new SM and let her deal with him. Oh, and did I mention he was the prior short term SM who was removed by the IH, COR, and CC, for yelling and screaming at his scouts (both Pack and Troop as his son graduated a month ago) at meetings and camping trips. Yes, several scouts quit because of this. This is why I was brought in to mentor this new SM. This dad moved his son to two other packs to get him his AOL, but his son wanted to be with his friends, so they came back. This new SM assures me she can take care of this bully. She shouldn't have to deal with him. Anyway, sorry for going off topic. My mentorship ends next month. I've been reminded why I retired as SM a few years ago. When the bad outweighs the good, it's time to go. I plan on staying in touch with the new SM, and guide her scouts to a better summer camp experience in 2019. sst3rd
  21. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    We've had troops in our chapter and lodge that long since had their own ceremony teams. They also performed AOL ceremonies for their associated pack. They wore their sashes of course, but did not coordinate with the lodge or chapter. There sole purpose was to serve their own troop and associated pack with their own call-out and aol ceremonies. "Who" is going to STOP them, well, obviously no one. No one has stopped them before, and when the national oa makes the decision to not have chapter ceremony teams, I'm assuming that the national, lodge, and chapter oa folks will not do anything to shut these renegade ceremony teams done. Everyone wins. Legit chapter teams become history, and the renegade teams get to keep on performing. After several e-mails with our lodge advisor, he verified to me the decision has been made by national oa, but executing the change simply hasn't happened yet. He said if we wanted to keep going with a chapter team, feel free, but it will go away soon. Be ready. Call-outs will be done in uniforms even at summer camps, and aol ceremonies simply go away. Lodge oa ceremonies will remain the same at service weekends (used to be called Ordeal Weekends). That's all folks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, sst3rd
  22. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    The latest I've gotten from my chapter advisor and lodge advisor is, that all chapter ceremony committees will cease using regalia now. My chapter advisor attended an LEC meeting last Sunday where it was reaffirmed, HOWEVER, it was on hold waiting for clearer instructions from national OA. In the mean time, we can perform no call-outs, but can perform Arrow of Light and Pack graduation ceremonies in scout uniforms only, NO REGALIA. Again, has any other chapter ceremony team advisor received this instructions from their LEC? Just asking. Take care, sst3rd
  23. sst3rd

    Dealing with Helicopter Parents

    Eagle94-A1, You're not needed at your current babysitting program. You know they won't change, EVER. You're needed at that smaller unit. Take all of the older scouts with you. You'll start having fun again, and the Scoutmaster at the smaller unit will be blessed by your help, experience, and fellowship. Don't look back. sst3rd
  24. sst3rd

    Proud of our ceremonies team

    Folks, As the former chapter ceremony committee advisor, our lodge has decommisioned all 9 of our chapter ceremony teams. Since I was never in the clique, I never saw documentation from the national oa concerning this edict. Our lodge informed the LEC that this was to be executed immediately. And so it was done, and I resigned. I enjoyed teaching the chapter ceremony team. That's over and I wish not to do anything else. All of our ceremony stuff no longer exists. Our lodge's ceremony committee is desperately trying to force the chapters to send our former ceremony team members their way. None wish to go. The lodge ceremony team has a reputation for being a bunch of bullies. That's why they have so few members. Oh well, you get what you pay for. My BSA responsibility now is to support a new SM with a local troop that's trying to reorganize. She's taken all of her training, and I'm assisting her with applying her training in the real world. She'll do great and I'll be done by the end of the year. I will always have my memories, sst3rd
  25. sst3rd

    When To Not Be Calm?

    ItsBrian, Assuming these were your scouts, yes they should have been with you and the other scouts working on the catapult. Yes, they represent your/their troop. Sounds like you said what needed to be said. Your "simple" way was received by these wayward scouts as threatening, and they obviously told their parents who went and told the troop adult leaders, who evidently were the folks that told you to "be calm, and relax." Yeah right, when was the last time they were SPL and leading. They should be supporting you. Where was the PL? So, my many years as a SM tell me you did it right. Continue to be confident in your leadership, and don't second guess yourself. sst3rd