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Everything posted by T2Eagle

  1. T2Eagle

    Troop Meeting Spaces

    There's no way to sustain that level of cash payment, and you probably shouldn't even if you could. Reach out to your council, they might not be useful, but this is the type of thing (relationships with community organizations) that they're supposed to help with.
  2. We're almost certainly going to add girls to the Pack this fall. I don't think our CO will have a female troop yet, but the council is making sure that each district has at least one female troop ready to go in February --- our district definitely has a CO and the necessary leadership for at least one troop. I had one sister of a current scout ask me when she can sign up, she says she has at least one friend maybe two who also want to join. I'll make sure she and the new troop are in contact.
  3. When discussions like this about starting a MB before you have a signed blue card come up, my favorite illustration for why the idea tat you can't start or complete requirements before that is Camping MB. Virtually every scout begins working on this mb on their first tent camping trip. There are 30 requirements/sub requirements for the mb; if you accept that requirements that say explain can be satisfied by a written explanation, then there are only six of the 30 requirements, those that specify "show" or "discuss", which you would not be able to complete before ever meeting a counselor. The discussion about merit badges between a scout and his SM should be easy, informal, and useful to both of them. If it's not all three of those things but instead is used as some kind of control or road block then something is wrong. In Thrifty's case, it sounds like the SM has a bee in his bnnet about something, but the scout should just go ahead and find a counselor and move on. He just learned, probably not for the first or last time, that adults are not perfect.
  4. The language NJ quoted pretty clearly states the SM can't deny a blue card, or more particularly his signature on a blue card, or in any way prevent a scout from working on a merit badge with a counselor of his choice when he wants to work on it. The SM can/should have a discussion with the scout, but after that discussion proceeding with the mb and the counselor is left up to the scout. Want to enlighten us as to what may be going on in your unit? ETA If we are really talking about not being able to get a physical blue card, they are available for sale from scoutstuff and probably at the council office.
  5. T2Eagle

    Who is minding the Baltimore Area Council office?

    Weird. A woman chatting on a cell phone, having no idea what might be going on inside an office calmly walks in and for no discernible reason trashes some offices and walks out with a cupcake --- there's something more to this.
  6. This does seem like a strange hill to die on, and it seems like it has become a test of will for the troop. Clearly there is some issue the scout has about not being able to sleep in a tent with someone other than his parent. It doesn't really matter where that issue came, childhhood trauma, fault of the parents or something else that no one is aware --- to the scout it is a real and meaningful thing. Hopefully he'll overcome this, but simply dictating to him that he must overcome right now is clearly not working, so why keep doing it? Most kids overcome challenges like this over time, but that time can be longer or shorter in individuals, you can't force it. As to the problems with advancement and him leaving a buddy in a tent, frankly that seems to be the result of stubbornness on the part of the troop leadership. It is perfectly predictable that this kid is not going to spend the night in a tent with his fellow scouts, any scout leader not seeing that is being willfully ignorant, after all whatever the scout may say or be told, a responsible adult can easily predict what's actually going to happen. And if the troop has known or should have known that he wasn't going to able to stay in a particular tent they could have easily let him help pitch the tent he was going to stay in. If you think that being able to sleep in a tent without his parent is so singularly important a thing that he should either do it or be thrown out of the troop then tell him so and be done with it. But I always ask myself in this situation, what's better for the kid, that he participate in some scouting and get its benefits or that he participate in no scouting and get no benefit from the program I dedicate myself to.
  7. T2Eagle

    NATIONAL POLICY: AOL and Crossover Ceremonies

    The AOL is a Cub Scout award; our Pack, and the Packs in the area present the award with an appropriate ceremony. Crossover is considered a troop function and performed by the troops. Our troop conducts the crossover at a troop meeting. Some Packs have multiple troops attend a Pack meeting to have the cubs crossover to the respective troop they're joning.
  8. T2Eagle

    Summer Camp Merit Badge Questions

    In answer to your main question: what to do, the best answer is the one given a few times already, talk to the scout. The scouts know what they did and did not do; they do not know what the poor, sleep deprived, camp staff member filled out at 4pm on a sweltering Friday afternoon. It's rare that the scout will be upset by the conversation. On the specific requirements, for 4b that requirement doesn't have to have been done at camp in order for it to have been fulfilled or for the MBC to legitimately sign off on it. When I'm counseling this mb I'll ask the scout if they've done it, and if they can describe a time when they have that fulfills it for me. Most of my mb mentees are in my own troop so I know what opportunities there have been to do this sort of thing and know when they're describing something that wold have taken place. On the camping nights, it's a straightforward question, has the scout camped the 20 nights or not. Check his records, if he has the nights then his mb is good; if you're concerned about the father signing the sheet that might be a nice friendly conversation to have if you would rather he didn't do it. On the other hand, if someone signs off on a straightforward objective question that he knows to be true that seems kosher. After all, it's not a hard or complicated question, how would I not know whether or not my kid slept in a tent 20 times?
  9. T2Eagle

    No Life Jackets for Sea Base Sailing?

    I was involved in a tragic boating accident when I was a young adult. I learned my lesson the hard way, and now view PFDs like I view seat belts, when you need one it better already be on you or it's probably useless. So I wear a pfd whenever I'm on a boat, and if you're on my boat, or on a boat which I'm captaining, you wear a pfd if we're under way. I invested in expensive, comfortable jackets so comfort isn't an issue.
  10. T2Eagle

    Summer camp hacks/gear suggestions

    Gold Bond Friction Defense Stick --- use it as a preventive measure and you don't have to worry about either of the above. And as many have said, high quality socks and underwear, and make sure your scouts change both every day.
  11. T2Eagle

    potentially the stupidest GTSS rule?

    Requirement: A Scout is Thrifty. In most circumstances, a wagon is a thriftier way to transport material than picking it up and carrying it. Dangers from wagons, none that I can think of. I defy you to list any that are meaningful that are not two standard deviations away from the mean in likelihood.
  12. T2Eagle

    Winter Gear Up

    Everything is 3 layers. Your lent is your shell, it needs to keep out the wind and water, you're never going to warm the inside of the tent up, but you need a good bag that's rated to about 10 degrees colder than you expect it to be. The ratings on bags describe what will prevent hypothermia, comfort depends on more insulation than that. For boots I recommend pac boots with removable liners, if you can carry the weight two sets of liners are good, but either way put the liners in your bag with you at night and you're closer towards warm feet in the morning.
  13. T2Eagle

    Tent Numbering - Help

    I think thrifty is a member of my troop, but won't admit it.🙂
  14. T2Eagle

    Tent Numbering - Help

    15 year olds working on their own intiative are going to do things a 15 year old's way and to a 15 year old's standard. if they got it "right enough" then you have a win. If they didn't get it right, you have a chance to have them correct it. If you want it done to an adult's standard then you need to do something different. After some years of frustration we started numbering our tents. We send our tents home to dry if they're wet when we come back from a trip, and the only way we can make sure we get them all back is by knowing who took which tent so we know which one is missing. We also use it to promote responsibility, if you open a tent and it's a mess, you can look back and see who had the tent last and take steps to get the tent cleaned then and avoid having that happen in the future. Like jjash we incorporate a year in the number so that we know how well they're wearing. We found that paint pens and stencils work better and are easier to read over time than just sharpies.
  15. Of the answers I've seen here, I like a lot of things about Parkman's, but E1993's answer made me pause. If I wanted to start a girl's troop I think the more successful model would be to find an existing CO and troop and start a linked troop. If there's something about the linked troop model that gives you pause, then my next best bet would be to find an existing CO and start a non linked troop. Have a separate committee, have separate equipment, work entirely independently from the existing troop, but take advantage of the CO's current support and enthusiasm for the program. After you have a CO, and I think that's the most important step, you need two things at the same time: some enthusiastic girls and an enthusiastic SM. I'd look to the local co-ed Venture crews for both, but that's not the only place. A likely model for me would be an Eagle Scout father who has daughters instead of sons. I have three different friends of mine who, if this change had come when our kids were 11 instead of 20 would have been perfect candidates. Their first two kids were daughters while mine were sons. I think to find these folks you could use some help from council, ask them for access to eagle scout roles from both the council and NESA members with local addresses, and start asking if they have daughters who might be interested in the program. Beyond that, like Parkman said, it's market, market, market.
  16. T2Eagle

    Linked troops won't work

    I think it's worth noting that some COs already have two troops under one CO. Does anyone on the forum have experience with that. how does it work both in theory and in practice? Is the difference in that model and linked troops two committees instead of just one?
  17. T2Eagle


    "Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings." "One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting. In situations requiring a personal conference, the meeting is to be conducted with the knowledge and in view of other adults and/or youth. It's worth looking at the history of this requirement and what is being changed. You may be conflating several different things into one. It has long been the case (patrol outings a separate issue) that all "trips and outing" required two adults. But that meant that you had to have two adults to go ahead with the trip, it never meant that the two adults had to be joined at the hip and go everywhere together, and it never meant that one adult couldn't during the course of the trip be the only adult with a group of scouts. It did always say and mean that you could not be alone with a scout --- no one on one contact. So you could then and can now have one adult in a car as long as there is more than one scout there. You can be the only leader in a camp site whie the other leader is off at a meeting or the latrine or shower house as long as there are other scouts there. If you need to have a private conversation with a scout you need to have that in public where other folks can see you. The change here is that it used to be permissible that you could have a meeting where there is only one adult. The most common occurrence for this would have been a den meeting, but especially with smaller troops this would conceivably happen with a PLC where the only adult present was the SM, or even the occasional troop meeting where only one adult was able to show. They have now changed this to mean that you can't go ahead with any of these meetings without two adults present. The key here is that "meeting" is used as a formal term, den meeting, pack meeting, troop meeting, PLC meeting, not that anytime there are scouts or scouters together in the same place that that constitutes a "meeting" where you have to have two adults. The no one on one contact is still the key. So a merit badge class at camp is OK as long as there are two or more scouts and one adult, the program area is OK as long as there are either all adults or an adult of more than two people. The "activity" at a mb roundup is the round up, the class room is not the meeting or activity, it's just the part of it where the protection comes from the no one on one contact rule. Scouting is not unique in wrestling with this issue. Virtually the same rules apply to almost any youth activity today that you volunteer to be a part of.
  18. T2Eagle

    Linked troops won't work

    There's no reason to think of this or speak of this as "separate but equal". "Separate but equal" was, as the SC noted, inherently unequal, and it was always intended to be so. If you intend in fact to not provide both your troops with the full resources that they need than you shouldn't have a separate troop. But how many people advocate against having boys' basketball and girls' basketball? I'll grant you there a re a few, but clearly not enough for that not to be the very successful model. The problem comes when you say the boys get the best gym times or better equipment or better coaches or even the better name.
  19. T2Eagle

    Linked troops won't work

    So here's how I see a linked troop model working in my CO. The boys meet every Wednesday night, the girls will meet every week, some night night that's not Wednesday. Let's call that night Tuesday. Why would we want both troops meeting on the same night since they're not the same troop? The boys' PLC meets the second Tuesday of every month. The girls' PLC, when they're large enough to need one, will meet monthly on some other night. Currently, the boys meet annually and decide what trips and outings they want to conduct for the year. Working with the families, adults, and troop committee we put dates to those outings about 3-4 months ahead of time. Going forward the girls will also do an annual plan, and now we will work together to put dates out 3-4 months ahead. Except for summer camp it is rare that we are fully utilizing all our equipment on a campout, so it probably won't even be much of an issue for both troops to decide they want to camp the same weekend. Our troop committee meets formally every quarter and we do a lot by email. There's no reason for this to change. Our SM and all except for one of our ASMs are parents of current scouts. There's no reason for me to think that won't hold true for a troop for girls, after all they have parents too, there might be some overlap of siblings between the two troops, but juggling parental involvement across siblings and their activities is already the reality for families, they'll figure it out.
  20. T2Eagle

    Linked troops won't work

    I have to disagree that the linked troops model won't work. There are lots of examples already, maybe even some in your COs, where there are distinctly separate parallel programs being run for boys and girls. In my CO, a Catholic parish, we have girls basket ball and boys basketball, we have both boys baseball and girls softball, we have boys track teams and girls track teams, etc. We find enough volunteers for all of these from amongst the parents and other interested parishioners. We find enough financial resources for all these programs. All of these programs operate under the umbrella of our CYO committee, which manages to allocate resources, like gym times, and costs, etc. in a way that leaves everyone more or less satisfied. If our CO decides to go for a linked troop model, likely though maybe not this year, then I don't see any reason that we can't do the same. Will there be things we have to work out, like making sure that both troops aren't trying to use the equipment at the same time? Sure, but that's what already happens in those other programs, it's clearly a relatively easily surmountable problem. And let's be realistic, our troop for girls probably isn't going to be the same size as our troop for boys any time soon. So no, we won't have to have double everything. If we are ever fortunate enough to have double the number of young people in our CO who are reaping the benefits of scouting then that means that many more families working that much more to provide the resources necessary. What is unique about scouting that renders us incapable of running a parallel program when other programs manage to do just that?
  21. T2Eagle

    New troop, big problems

    I echo what everyone else has said, leave the troop. As to this week, you should also call and have a talk with the camp director, it is very possible that your son could spend the rest of the week with a different troop. Usually the camp directors have a good feel for the troops in camp,, often having known the leaders for years. At our camp, if we were there that week the director would know that we were capable of taking in a lost sheep and shepherding him through the rest of the week with out really blinking. And most weeks there would be a troop or two like ours who are experienced enough and understanding enough to take a kid in and help him have a good experience without all the drama.
  22. Wait a year at least, and then go to WB. Much of WB is about participating as a scout in a troop as it goes about its business --- going to pretend PLCs, holding different positions like Patrol Leader, Scribe, etc. Wait to go to Woodbadge until you fully understand how your troop operates now, and then you can compare that to what you see in WB --- which although it's supposed to be ideal sometimes is not.
  23. T2Eagle

    Summer Camp First Year Scouts

    In the other current summer camp thread the OP and some others make reference to Brownsea Island and similar programs for first year scouts, and I wanted to have a discussion about their pros and cons. Our camp calls it T21 -- The Starting Place, and although it is well run I'm not a big fan. Rather than concentrating on learning basic scout skills in that kind of a classroom or structured setting, I advise my newest scouts to do things at summer camp that they're not going to get to do on other campouts. I tell them to take at least one boating program: canoeing, row boat small sail, etc., something at the nature lodge, something at handicrafts, something at the shooting ranges, etc. I do this because I think the best way to learn the basic skills is organically through doing them and by observing and being taught them by our older scouts. If you camp with us through your first year you'll have a chance to cover all the skills these programs cover, and you'll do it by whatever fun activities we're doing on those trips. Some of my fellow leaders feel differently and give different advice, and so it is left up to the individual. How do the rest of you feel about these types of first year programs?
  24. T2Eagle

    Welcome new moderators!

    New Sheriffs in town.
  25. T2Eagle

    2 scouts, 2 scouters rescued Mt. Baker (WA)

    Fascinating, I've never seen or heard of these, and I try hard to keep up with available materials. Where would someone be told about or shown these if they didn't have RS to point them out? I will go through them, at first glance there definitely is some good stuff in them, but they would be a lot more useful if they looked at the decisions leading up to the incident. For instance, under boating-river paddling there is a drowning in cold fast water, if we knew why and how the decision was made --- or not made --- to check conditions before the trip we could then apply that to our own decision making process.