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Everything posted by sst3rd

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Proud of our ceremonies team

    At our chapter meeting last night, the ceremony committee/team was getting ready to practice for the upcoming camporee call-out. I am/was the advisor. Our chapter advisor told me I may want to hold off as he had attended the lodge/chapter advisor's (lec) meeting over the weekend (at our annual fall service weekend), and was told that national oa had made the decision to change the call-out tradition (as everyone does something a bit different) no longer using the Native American theme. The implementation will be soon, but the decision has been made. As far as I know, this only affects the non official but traditional call-out ceremonies that chapters have done since the beginning of time, but not the pre-ordeal, ordeal, brotherhood, and vigil ceremonies. And since I advised the chapter ceremony team, it affected us. We're no longer needed. One other motive was mentioned, and that was that our long suffering lodge ceremony team has been trying to force all chapter ceremony teams to merge with them, as their once proud team has dwindled down to just a few scouts. And since our chapter team no longer exists (we disbanded last night), I'm guessing our lodge ceremony team can take care of the 20 or so annual AOL ceremony requests we usually get. Our chapter advisor also mentioned that, what used to be the call-out, will now be a simple announcement program using a required script from the national oa, so every chapter does it the same way. sst3rd
  9. Proud of our ceremonies team

    I was informed tonight at our chapter meeting, that the national OA has made a decision to remove all native american themes from all call-out ceremonies. So, no matter your chapter's traditions for call-out ceremonies, they will cease. We all know that so called "call-out/tap-out" ceremonies were never "official." Right??????? Call-Out ceremonies will be renamed to something generic, and will be a simple induction program. There will be the use of a required national script so all programs are the same nationally, so as not to offend anyone. BSA uniforms will be the only attire. What if I'm offended? Oh well, nothing to see here. Move along. This saturday, I will have the biggest bonfire legally allowed on my proprerty, and will give back to the sky, over 35 years of ceremonial outfits and props (I was an assistant advisor and then became the advisor) . I'm so sorry for my over 35 years of offending everyone. sst3rd p.s. I'm dun.
  10. Starting a New Troop

    hemispheres, One thing I'll say about how "not" to start a new troop: don't become inactive during the summer. Continue to meet every week. A small local troop I helped resurrect several years ago, got all new adult leaders this past winter, as well as 10 AOL graduates. I got things going for the COR (a friend of mine) with a defined time limit. All was well and this past winter these new leaders showed up from the Pack. All very enthusiastic. My COR friend said they got their training, and there was an Eagle Scout among them. The new SM was retired military and knew everything about scouts, etc.. And she was going to ride herd on them. I was to turn over the troop's camping equipment when they were ready for their first camping trip (which I encouraged to be as soon as possible). Summer is almost gone. I've attended a few meetings to move gear to them. No camping trips lined up yet. They've spent the summer piggy backing on the Cub Scout meetings which happen just before the troop's meetings. The SM would still be working with the Cubs (he's the CM, I don't know why) well into the troop's meetings. His leaders have not been trained to execute their program, etc.. All I can do is stand by. My COR and now troop CC friend, thinks everything is great! In June, they decided to go to a modified meeting schedule for the summer. They decided to meet the second and fourth Monday of each month. I told them it was a bad idea, but the Cubs were going to that meeting schedule, and since there were a lot of brothers and parents with boys in both units...........................................it made sense to them. Now August, the next meeting will have been three weeks from the last meeting in July. This is a deal breaker for me. They might as well start completely over, as the scouts have completely forgotten about boy scout meetings??????? When?????? I don't want to go, I'm bored. I feel much better now. Thank you. sst3rd
  11. tharrell12976, Sounds like this has been the culture of this troop for a while. SM is a dictator and bully, and the troop committee is okay with that. They don't want confrontation, so they do nothing. All of the previously suggested procedures are fine, but your two scouts should not have to wait forever for the resolution. Find that other troop. Get involved improving that program. Your two scouts can help jump start this slower program. Other scouts and their families may follow you, but this change is for your two sons. Any SM worth his salt would welcome the help and support. The new SM can help get all advancement from the old troop. I've done that many times. The old troop can't hold back advancement. Change troops now. Don't look back. Life's too short. Your sons are watching. Make it happen. Again, you probably won't be alone. sst3rd
  12. Outside Magazine: Boy Scouts Should Allow Girls

    AltadenaCraig, I can only speak for myself concerning your thoughts. I'm old and old fashioned. My observations over just the last 10 years let's say concerning our Roundtables for Cubs and Boy Scouts; I've seen approximately half of those participating were old folks who love scouting, but whose sons have long gone on to their future. We're still enthusiastic about our program, but can't seem to get younger parents to step in. We keep it going because we believe in the program. If your scout troop has an exciting and patrol organized program (after 44 years as a SM), your scouts will shout from the roof tops the fun they're having. Your program grows. How national BSA changes things can still be managed on the troop level. Call it the traditional program or what have you. Patrols, patrols, patrols. The program belongs to the scouts. Your statement about option #2 isn't surprising. You were having a discussion about adding girls. You gave them options. They picked one. Adding girls will change the dynamics. Period. I think a majority of the reasons pro and con have been discussed. Keep THIS organization for the boys. sst3rd
  13. Outside Magazine: Boy Scouts Should Allow Girls

    We've always attended mountain camps with cold clear lake water. Yep, go take a swim is the same as a shower. Or maybe a canoe class and accidently fall in. Yep, that counts too. I've learned something new about bacteria and body oil. Go figure. On topic: For all the reasons having been listed, I still want BSA to remain boys only. If it goes co-ed, me and hundreds of volunteers in my area will be gone. That's a fact jack.
  14. Camporee Memories

    At the peak of our district's camporees, I remember as a new SM, seeing troops camped out on both sides of the main dirt road from one end of the camp to the other. Specifically, I remember friday night setting up camp, and then the adult leaders would venture from campsite to campsite (asking permission to enter before hand of course) seeing old friends and sharing cups of coffee. Friday night also allowed the scouts to roam to different troop sites to visit friends, and often hear somebody say "I didn't know you were a scout". Maybe you didn't advertise you were a scout, but to see your friends from school involved was cool. Yeah, this was the 60's and 70's. We have poorly planned and attended camporees now, and I don't hear the excitement in the scout's voices anymore. I guess if your troop runs a great program, camporees don't really matter anymore. Personally, a well planned and exciting camporee has its place even today. sst3rd
  15. Female Sibling on Campout?

    askyourspl, I've been around the BSA for a long time. If they had to create and keep updated documentation about everything we can't do in our troops, we'd run out of paper (yes, I'm that old). A Boy Scout troop is comprised of members that are boy scouts. There are also trained adult leaders. I guess you also have to count parents that aren't registered that are allowed to attend BSA activities. But this troop program is for the boy scouts. Not non registered hangers on girls. She needs to stay home, and the longer this is allowed to happern, the harder it's going to be to fix. All the reasons you've mention in which this girl's presence messes things up are real. You may lose this ASM and his son, but the point needs to be made. Good luck, sst3rd
  16. Trail Life

    Just something that struck me personally. I just received a notification from my lodge that a dear friend and mentor of mine had passed away. Our lodge has a great administrator that stays on top of everything. Anyway, this note also included a copy of his obituary. It mentions the normal stuff, and then notes his over 40 years in the BSA. It also mentions that he recently started a Trail Life troop at his church (as I guess they got rid of the long standing BSA troop). And of course at the end of the obituary it asks that in lieu of flowers, to please make a donation to the Trail Life troop at his church. I had been on many committees and training staffs with Bill. An outstanding Scouter and gentleman, but most importantly to me, a friend. Lots of great memories. So, it just came across a bit weird. But that's just me. Just an observation. sst3rd
  17. Push for Coed Scouting

    All of this makes for interesting reading. I truly respect everyone's views. For me, if BSA can remain for just boys as members until after I die, that would be great. If it changes before then, I'll resign. After 38 years as a SM (for three different troops including my home troop), I've had a great and challenging trip. I've spent the last three years doing maintenance at a very special council camp with a bunch of mostly retired unit leaders. We are a very dedicated group of folks. Our fellowship is strong for the Boy Scouts. I hope to keep "working" out there for many years to come. I really don't know if my friends would leave the BSA if this change occurs. It just wouldn't be the same. I don't mind the occasional tweak, but some things don't have to change. sst3rd
  18. blw2, I don't know by whose authority your son's PLC dismantled the patrols. Was an adult leader pushing this? Was it the PLC itself? Either way, if the scouts of the troop are not allowed to form natural patrols with their friends, etc., this reorganization might "work", but won't be successful. By forcing the creation of "balanced" patrols, without the direct input of the scouts themselves, it's just not fair. A scout asks a friend to join him in his patrol (naturally), and then they get split up to balance things out? If there is a problem with the patrols, ask the scouts of these patrols how to fix them. sst3rd
  19. Drama and the Cross Over

    Sorry about the drama. As our OA chapter's ceremony committee advisor, we put our services out for all to see. We do Call-Outs for troops, and AOL's for packs. When a request is made from the pack , usually CM or WDL our Ceremony Committee Chair (a Scout), assembles a team. If one can't be assembled quickly, we call the pack back in plenty of time for the pack to make other plans. Yes, that's me the adult advisor making sure this happens that way. I apologize to no one. We don't do Crossovers. As a former SM, I feel that the pack/Webelos leaders and receiving troops, either have their own ceremony or should put one together to meet their expectations. We will support the Crossover, stand around. look good, be props, but the Crossover belongs to the packs/troops. We do everything possible to keep our promise of being there. We are, however, dealing with young men and their ever increasing responsibilities at home, school, and other outside activities. Sometimes they simply forget a prior gig. That's why I get paid the big bucks. Again, it's about the scouts. sst3rd
  20. Although I was a Cub Scout, I never was a Cub Scout leader. So the many varied thoughts and opinions are very interesting. My many years as a Boy Scout leader, I'm thinking how I would approach this situation if the boy was a 10 year old (AOL) or just turning 11. Having been away from the SM position for a couple of years, I clearly remember the complexity of the position, and how all of the other leaders and parents leaned on you to do what's right, and complain when things aren't always "peachy." The last thing I would want to have to worry about is having a transgendered boy join the troop. The parents know this organization is for boys. It's not for girls who think they're boys. Period. Even if everybody but me knew he was really a girl, why do I have to be put in this position. There's too much to deal with already. Give me a break!!!!! Oh yeah, now I remember (after 36 years) why I retired as a SM. Mostly great times, but seriously; can't we just keep it simple? And this is the perfect time for me to tell these parents if they want their transgendered child to have a scouting experience, then start a scouting type program for transgendered children.
  21. Journey to ? 2017

    Stosh, Once again you have given us a logical breakdown of the patrol method as it pertains to leadership and teamwork. Your example is clear and makes perfect sense. And then you mentioned elsewhere about your "bummer" process and how it challenges the patrol as a team. I just don't know how much more of this I can take. Merry Christmas all, sst3rd
  22. Can a Council take over a tree stand?

    No they can't.
  23. The current SM, and any future SM currently involved with the program, should discuss with this new young ASM his role in advance. The SM has a valuable new resource. Use it wisely, but give him appropriate time to fellowship with his friends. I would not force him to always work with the youngest scouts. Negotiate a balanced role. And most of all, recognize him for a job well done, and how valued he is to the troop's program. Do not allow any adults (leaders or not) to make him feel less than who he is (Eagle or not by the way), an important new adult leader. I had many scouts to scouters transition successfully over 33 years. I had one who didn't get it. Fired him. sst3rd
  24. Do we really need summer camps?

    Summer camp was never an activity we were aware of. We always remained very active during the summer months however, and every other year or so, we would camp for a week on Bugg's Island Lake (between North Carolina and Virginia), at Eagle Point (council leased property from the Corp of Engineers). Some of my and my brother's best scouting memories were there. We always had plenty of opportunities for advancement, if anyone was wondering. And when I took over this very troop a few years later, I got our scouts involved in choosing and attending traditional summer camps (anywhere but "our" camp, as it was lousy, but it's a bit better now).