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  1. substring

    Group Text

    Thanks 5yearscouter! That should work. I am going to use it for information dissemination only. It is not for conversation. I will give it a try. Thank you so much for your help.
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    Group Text

    Hi Everyone! I am an OA Chapter Advisor and I am looking for a way to send out text messages to the entire chapter. Due to the large number of members, it is not realistic to enter the phone numbers manually. Does anyone know a freeware that allows me to send out group text feeding off a CSV file? Any help will be very much appreciated. simon
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    handling of medical forms

    Thank you everyone! Yes, there should only be one set of medical forms for the troop's records and the access should be limited to one or two people only. I will need to talk to the troop leaderships and reiterate that they need to keep track of how many copies are made for the Summer Camp. And the person who made the copies will also be responsible for collecting and shredding them immediately after the Camp.
  4. Fellow Scouters: This year our troop is going to Camp Hale for Summer Camp. The adult leaders are planning to make photocopies of all adult and scout medical forms, and put them in binders for all drivers. The intention is good because if somehow we get separated and there is a medical emergency, the driver has all the information. However, I worry about the handling of sensitive information and the potential liability to the troop. For example, I noticed some binders that were used in Summer Camp last year still contain the medical forms from last year. I believe they should have been shredded immediately after the Summer Camp. But apparently, people are not taking it seriously. Therefore, it leads to the following questions: 1. Does HIPAA law and regulation apply to a scout unit? 2. How does your unit handle such situation ... to provide valuable services to your members while maintaining their privacy? Thank you very much.
  5. My situation is different than yours. I have a choice to do my bead ceremony at either the District level event or Troop level event. But I picked our Troop's COH to have the ceremony. It is because our Troop has been around for 9 years and I am the very first person from this Troop to earn Wood Badge. It is not acceptable in my humble opinion. Many of our adult volunteers are Eagle Scouts and they thought they know it all. I want to promote Wood Badge and other training to the adults in our Troop. After all, every scout deserves a trained leader.
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    Debating on Woodbadge

    I took Wood Badge last year and I am so glad that I did. It is a course that every adult volunteer should take! I took the one with two 3-day weekends. It allowed me to take only 2 days off from work instead of 5 days. Also, I got training reimbursement from my employer because Wood Badge is based on Dr. Ken Blanchard's leadership training materials. And I know many people in my area got reimbursement from their employers as well. So you might want to consider that if money is an issue. Hope this helps.
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    E-Prep prerequisite

    Thanks for the response. In August of each year (basically the beginning of a school year), our troop likes to plan and set up the calendar for the entire year. It includes the different campouts for each month and the Merit Badge classes to be taught throughout the year. Somehow our PLC has planned for E-Prep classes in May (next month), but we only have a couple scouts who have "earned" First Aid. And there is no plan for First Aid class in this school year. Apparently, it is a planning error on the PLC side (I hope they learn from it which will be great). That's why I am hoping we can go ahead and start the E-Prep classes, but hold off those sections that require First Aid knowledge, advise the scouts to take First Aid MB at Summer Camp, then complete the E-Prep afterward. But our SM believes "earn First Aid" = prerequisite, and the scouts cannot even start. What do you think?(This message has been edited by substring)(This message has been edited by substring)
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    Official Boy Scout Uniform

    In my humble opinion, uniform is part of the PRIDE of who we are. And the word "uniform" means "the same across the board". That means when you go to Camporee, you should not see one troop wearing blue jeans and another troop wearing khaki cargo pants. If the troops can pick and choose whatever they want to wear, why do we even bother to have official uniform then? Why don't we just be "free for all"? Think about this. Have you ever seen a high school football team that allows their players to wear different pants other than their standard issues? Can a Quarterback requests "I want to wear kilt" or "it is more comfortable for me to wear shorts"? What do you think the coach and the school will tell him? Isn't playing varsity sports is about fun too (in addition to the pride)? So why do we tolerate "creative" uniform when it comes to Scouting but we can't tolerate the same on other team activities? In my humble opinion, Scouting is really no different than many of the team sports where certain rules have to be maintained.
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    Women and siblings on campouts

    If those SMs and ASMs have taken "Wood Badge for the 21st Century" training, they would have understood that Boy Scout is NOT a "men's club". And many women are fantastic SMs and ASMs. I agree with other posters that it all boils down to whether the moms are competent enough for campout. If they are, and they have taken the Youth Protection Training (which is a MUST), they should be allowed to participate. The "mothering" thing is really not an excuse. I personally witnessed many dads were "spoon-feeding" their sons at campouts, and some of these dads are actually ASMs (yes, they should know better). So the Scoutmaster and fellow ASMs just looked the other way. These sort of things are more common than you think. p.s. regarding the comment on no part of scouting is secret, I thought the OA is a secret organization...ha ha
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    Immature Scouts or parents who wont let go?

    In addition to what's being said, I always recommend the Webelos scouts to attend the week-long Webelos Resident Camp. It will prepare them for the camping in Boy Scouts. After the Crossover, it is good to encourage the new scouts to attend as many campouts as possible, before the Summer Camp. It helps the new scouts to get used to campouts. And it also helps the new scouts to get to know the existing scouts and the adult leaders. Having friends around will overcome homesickness. In our troop, the monthly campout is from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. So basically, the scouts will not see their parents (and vice versa) for almost the entire weekend. Usually, the scouts and their parents will get used to that after a few months.(This message has been edited by substring)
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    E-Prep prerequisite

    Sorry if this has been discussed before because the Search function is not working right now (I got "page not found" error message). As far as I can remember, First Aid has always been the prerequisite of E-Prep. And the E-Prep booklet that I bought from the Scout Shop also stated that. However, I downloaded the E-Prep worksheet from Boy Scout Trail and it stated that "Other requirements may be completed before you earn First Aid merit badge". So I wonder if it is possible to do them concurrently...sort of. But of course, the sections that require First Aid knowledge cannot be done before earning the First Aid MB. Can someone please confirm if it is fine to do some of the E-Prep requirements before earning the First Aid MB? Has someone taught the E-Prep MB in such fashion before? Any advice or idea will be very much appreciated.
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    Unit Tax ID number

    In my humble opinion, it is a bad idea to set up anything using an adult leader's personal information. Keep in mind that it is beneficial to the unit if the unit leader rolls off every two years or so. Change is good. It brings new idea and fresh air to the unit. It is not healthy if the Scoutmaster sticks around for 7, 8 years.... long after his son has archived Eagle. You can register the unit as a non-profit organization and you can get a tax id. Some places, like the Army/Navy stores or some local merchants, will give discounts to Boy Scouts with or without a tax id.
  13. About half do and half don't. Those who understand usually have gone through the Scouting program when they were young and/or they are quite active with the Troop. The committee can never be "fully" staffed because you can always use more help. But we have enough parents to step up. We are a firm believer of "Every Scout Deserves a Trained Leader." =) As I have said before, every time you attend a training class, even for those you have taken in the past, you might learn something new. All of our ASMs have their sons in the Troop which is pretty much a norm (although it is not required). When the boys leave the Troop, their ASM dads will naturally roll off as well (again, it is not required, but it is a norm). We are losing some ASMs this year. Fortunately, several of the dads of our new boys are Eagle Scouts. They are willing to take on the responsibility as ASMs. We never have problem getting parents to go campout. And most of them are registered adult volunteers. For example, for our Summer Camp in June, we have already had 25 boys and over 10 adults signed up. We emphasize the importance for our boys to have FUN. The Scouts (not the adults) decide on what they want to do on each month's campout, then the adults will find the campground accordingly. At every BOR, the Scout always tell us he likes the way the Troop is being run and he likes all the campouts because they are FUN. We need a bigger meeting place for our Troop Meeting. To recap, if the boys are not having FUN, nothing else matters. Just my $0.02.
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    Why do we cross over boys in March?

    Thank you Bob White and Calico for the detailed explanation and advices. Don't worry, no offense is taken. =) That's the reason why I signed up for this forum.... to learn from each others. There is a lot of things that I don't know. That's why every time when I go to a training class, even on those that I have already taken before, I learn something new. It is a never-ending learning process. =) I understand that there is no requirement from BSA for a Scout to be in First Class in the first year. But many Troops, like ours, have adopted such advancement schedule. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it is advantageous for the boys to work on something together as a team (in this case, a Patrol). Based on my past experience, it is part of the motivation factor. It is not like we are forcing the boys to do something they don't want to do. But boys will be boys and there is always a slacker demon in each of them. If they have a choice to procrastinate, they WILL procrastinate. It is usually not a good thing if a boy is falling behind and he sees his friends in the same Patrol are working on different requirements for a higher rank. The hardest part is that we are competing with sports, homeworks, marching band, and many other activities. The older the boy is, the harder it is for Scouting to compete. It is very sad for me to see some Scouts who remain as Life on their 18th birthday, not because they don't want to be Eagle Scouts but because they did not spend their time wisely or being coached accordingly. But of course, if they can't, they can't. We have one Scout who has never attended any Summer Camp. It is because his family sends him back to Italy every summer. He just have to work hard to catch up with his friends. And we, the adult volunteers, are there to help him. He will succeed one way or another. And it is all good. =)
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    Why do we cross over boys in March?

    I am new here and I have found this forum very helpful. I want to be your friend and the last thing I want is to get off with the wrong foot. Therefore, I don't want to get into any argument with anyone. I am merely stating the facts in our Troop. =)
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