Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by T2Eagle

  1. T2Eagle

    Difficult Parent Interraction

    I disagree a little bit on this. The fact is that for however much we may want scouts to work through us and be independent of their parents, their parents remain THE most important fact in their lives. If you have a conversation with this scout and not the parent you're just going to end up frustrating the scout, probably yourself, and the dad. You're going to put the scout in the middle of a disagreement between two adults; it shouldn't be that way but it is. Talk to the father face to face, explain your position, explain your reasoning, and then talk to the scout to be sure that he understands the expectations. You're not going to be able to avoid this conversation.
  2. T2Eagle

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    That's fascinating. Just to clarify, up until and including now, if a patrol of LDS scouts wanted to say go for a five mile hike, they would have had to have two adults with them? If so, then either we have to conclude that for a large part of the scouting movement the sky fell a long time ago, or we can conclude that maybe the sky isn't falling all that hard for the rest of scouting today. ETA, I don't particularly care for the new rule, but I think it matters a lot more what an adult does than whether an adult is there.
  3. T2Eagle

    Adult led and youth led

    I don't know that we're all in disagreement here, but I think it is worth clarifying what is meant by "adults have the over all responsibility for something such as an event." This is probably the biggest challenge I face as a concept with adult leadership in my unit. There are very few things where the adults have over all responsibility for an event; they are generally where the effect of having the event go poorly will fall not on the scouts but on folks outside of the troop. We adults always have some very specific responsibilities for an event: health and safety, and adherence to BSA and CO policies, but as long as no one is getting unnecessarily hurt, endangered, or misbehaving, neither the success nor the failure of an event is the adults' responsibility. Let's look at an example. On a campout, the PLC has as its goal that in the morning each patrol will set up a station of basic T21 skills like lashings, knife and axe safety, and fire building so that newer scouts get a chance to learn and all scouts get a chance to practice. Come that day the plan falls apart; some patrols don't have the supplies they need, the PLs aren't effectively leading, the scouts within the patrols aren't working as a team, and it just sort of breaks down. The adults can provide some coaching along the process, but they shouldn't step in and take over just to make sure that the program is a "success". It's OK if it's a complete failure, the adults' role at that point is to work to help the boys later analyze what went wrong and how they can perform better in the future. This is one of the hardest parts of being a scout leader --- watching the boys fail when you know how easy it would be to step in and make something a success. Adult leaders may get some criticism from other adults when they get back, "why didn't X happen, I thought the guys were going to accomplish Y" and the adult leaders have to be able to defend the program: "X and Y didn't happen because the scouts weren't able to make them happen, and they're going to learn from this, but it wasn't our job to step in and make sure X and Y happened."
  4. T2Eagle

    Adult led and youth led

    A bit off topic, but this was on its way to being one of my favorite sessions at Woodbadge, but it instead became a symbol of what I came to really dislike about Wb. Just as we were in the midst of a great discussion it was cut short because we had run behind on time and needed to move on to the next activity. What was so urgent that we had to cut the discussion short --- a make-believe PLC where the main topic of discussion was what percentage of uniform inspection we should adopt that day to constitute a passing score.
  5. If your CO is a Catholic Church dual background and YPT is just about universal.
  6. T2Eagle

    Have you done the new Youth Protection Training?

    My troop has been looking for some material on bullying to show to the scouts. For folks have taken the new training, do you think the bullying component would be appropriate for scouts or is it too much? Does anyone have any other anti-bullying material they would recommend.
  7. T2Eagle

    Gender Identity Issue

    My advice would be to talk to the scout first about talking to the parents, and if the scout gives you reason to think his parents reaction would be bad then I believe you're obligated to not tell the parents. The ugly truth is that not all parents are good, not all parents are nice, and sexual orientation and gender issues are forseeably an area that can trigger terrible behavior from a parent towards a child. Putting a child at risk that way would be morally wrong. If the scout can't talk to their parents then yes you need some higher level expert help. Getting the scout to talk to a counselor at school would probably be a good alternative to talking to their parents. If you're at the point where you have reason not to talk to the parents, then you definitely need to get some guidance from higher up, either your DE/SE or someone in your CO. Calling the school counselor yourself is also a possibility: "I have a scout, unnamed, who is one of your students has told me X, what can you the school counselor do, what do you a professional who also has a responsibility towards this child recommend that I do?" But the best and most likely course is that your scout can talk to their parents, and then you can talk to their parents and move on from there. Within the troop call the scout whatever they want to be called, it's not our job to decide what their name is.
  8. This policy is going to cause trouble in your troop, if not with your son than with some other scout. Scout pushing to make Life before 17.5 years old finishes last mb for the rank, needs the SM conference, but is scheduled to take SATs during next campout, misses deadline --- trouble ensues. Polite conversation with SM about why this is being done, explain it poses problem, try to get compromise.
  9. Very nice. The key I think is in the leading not just doing component of any project. You can build some benches and a walking trail in your local park by going out by yourself for a few days and doing the work, or you can do it by organizing and directing others to do the work alongside you. The same certainly applies to a building a web site: do all the work yourself or gather a group of people and lead them through the component steps to getting the website built.
  10. So this is the part I'm trying to understand, not criticize, just understand. As a Catholic, serving in a Catholic unit, Scouting is a youth ministry for our parish, but not THE youth ministry. In terms of faith development there are more important ministries for the proper formation of our youth, either direct Catholic education within a Catholic school, or Catholic education through the parish for those students who attend public schools. This is an inchoate description, but I'm really just trying to get at the point that scouting is a sort of secondary youth ministry and not, as I understand it is with the LDS today, the primary youth ministry. So, after 2019, youth in the LDS will have a new primary program. As the video above says and hopes, some LDS will continue in scouting and it will be for them much closer to the thing it is for my scouts. Under those circumstances, will there be a Church defined discouragement for girls to join the program? And as a secondary question, what is it about the Scouts BSA model as its supposed to be run: a single gender, outdoor based, character and citizenship development program, that would make it inappropriate for young women to participate in?
  11. I find it interesting that he speaks about a desire to have his grandsons become Eagle Scouts, but seems to preclude the possibility of his granddaughters following that trail. For the LDS members on the forum. When scouting is no longer the Church's youth program for young men and recedes to the same position in an LDS family that say a sports team, 4H, or similar extracurricular activity would occupy, would there be a church prohibition against a young female member of the LDS joining scouting? If so what would be the reasoning?
  12. T2Eagle

    REI weighs in

    I thought I'd know the answer, but I didn't want to guess so I asked Mrs. T2 (we'd had a somewhat related conversation recently). She said if someone opens the door for me because they got there first and are being courteous that's nice, when I get to a door first I hold it open for people. If someone thinks they need to hold a door for me because they're a man and I'm a woman, that's silly mostly, with enough condescension based on the history of the practice to annoy me if they make a point of it. Let ladies eat first, she said, " that's definitely condescending; the reason to do that would be a sense that women need to be protected by the men, or the women are weaker than the men and therefore couldn't stand the privation, or both, either way it's based on a sense of being superior/stronger because you're a man, and I have no patience for that **** any more."
  13. T2Eagle

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    I've been doing this stuff for a long time. I've been called a softy, but never soft.
  14. T2Eagle

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    I think we're within the guidelines set out in the GTA. " Meeting Unit Expectations. If a unit has established expectations for positions of responsibility, and if, within reason (see the note under “Rank Requirements Overview,”, based on his personal skill set, the Scout meets them, he fulfills the requirement." Here's the note referred to: "The concepts of “reasonable” and “within reason” will help unit leadership and boards of review gauge the fairness of expectations for considering whether a Scout is “active” or has fulfilled positions of responsibility. A unit is allowed, of course, to establish expectations acceptable to its chartered organization and unit committee. But for advancement purposes, Scouts must not be held to those which are so demanding as to be impractical for today’s youth (and families) to achieve. Ultimately, a board of review shall decide what is reasonable and what is not. In doing so, the board members must use common sense and must take into account that youth should be allowed to balance their lives with positive activities outside of Scouting." We're crystal clear up front, with both scouts and parents, that you have to make half, and we're not fanatic about it if there really are offsetting circumstances. When we first established this several years ago there was a fair amount of grumbling, among some adults, that 50% wasn't high enough. But I gathered some records and showed that 50% is rare. Most scouts either make it easily, or really easily aren't making it, and that's what we want --- that it's clear either way --- what we really want to avoid is having to make judgment calls and exceptions, and that's what we would end up doing if we set things higher. We've had a handful of scouts over the years that we had to tell them they didn't get credit and they were all OK with it. One scout, ASM's son, was really on the bubble and approaching 18; he was looking at having to skip something really fun but not really a requirement at school to make the number of campouts. His solution, "hey, if I can organize an additional campout this month and get a bunch of guys to go would that count? " Worked out just fine.
  15. T2Eagle

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    Way too few facts to answer as a hypothetical. If a scout counted the days, hit 120 and said "that's it, time card punched, job done" we'd be having a pretty serious conversation. On the other hand, the world turns: what looked like in mid August would be a great thing for everybody, might look very different in mid December as finals approach, other activities make their own demands, schedules change, etc.
  16. T2Eagle

    "Serve actively in your troop"

    In our troop, if you want credit towards advancement for a POR, there is a minimum attendance requirement of 50% for each type of activity. Minimum, half of all troop meetings, half of all PLCs, half of all campouts. For the Den Chief we would extend that to half of all pack meetings and half of all den meetings. From there, managing the qualitative performance is left up to whoever the scout reports to. For Den Chiefs, clearly the den or other pack leader determines what they want from the scout, some adults are very good at this, some less so, but beyond the scout being a good example it's really up to those adults how to utilize his talents. We find the attendance requirements really weed out the scouts who just aren't doing the job, and very few scouts actually ht the 50% mark, they generally are either substantially above or substantially below. If a scout is there but just not doing the job well than that's treated as a learning experience for both the scout and whoever they report to. We virtually never deny advancement credit based on a retrospective performance review. If a scout was there but doing the job so poorly that he shouldn't get credit than that means other folks also weren't doing their job in either helping him correct the problem or recognize that he should not be doing that job at that time. We have on a couple occasions had a scout step down from a POR before the standard term was over because it was recognized he just couldn't do it well enough; in those rare occasions he gets credit for the time he did serve. Besides performance, the other example for this is when a new extra curricular meant a scout just wasn't going to be able to be at meetings and events from that point forward, in those cases we also give the scout credit for time served before he had to step aside.
  17. T2Eagle

    Regulating Fall Risks and Nature

    Humans can be terrible at properly assigning risks. The reasons for this are diverse and one of the more fascinating areas of psychology and human cognitive behavior. What we have here is an example of people assessing risk based on the behavior they see in others. If a person sees lots of other people doing something they then assume it's safe, if they see fewer people doing something they then assume it's risky --- even though both assessments are made in the absence of quantitative data. This is how you get foolish ideas like "lots of people climbing on slippery rocks on a cliff means its safe for me to do it" and the equally foolish " lots of people have become reluctant to let their adolescent offspring go unsupervised by adults, so we need a rule that says a patrol of scouts can no longer go anywhere unsupervised by adults." Our proper response as a society is to build institutions that can overcome these instinctual assessments. When it's clear that something is riskier than the group behavior would indicate, we need to put up signs and fences so that we use different cues to assess risk. When a behavior is safe even though undertaken by a few our institutions SHOULD act to overcome our fears not to reinforce them.
  18. I have to think that somewhere along the line this scout received some bad information or very bad advice from some adults in his troop. I suspect the fact that the local council supported his appeal shows some indication of that. Unless no one was paying attention, he should have been well aware of the Life scout due date and that having missed that there was little or no chance of getting it waived to become Eagle. But as I tell every scout, and especially every parent, becoming an Eagle scout is a nice accomplishment, but not becoming an Eagle scout is not a sign of lack of accomplishment. ETA, he looks sharp in the uniform, everything where it should be.
  19. I have to strongly disagree with this assessment RS. He broke no rules and missed no deadlines. You imply he did something wrong or did something late that he committed to doing sooner. But neither of those are the case. Sounds to me like he conducted a good service project for his community and achieved a notable rank in scouting. He then apparently followed all the rules in appealing the decision, and in fact the local Council supported his appeal. And in the end he seems to have accepted the final decision with maturity and magnanimity.
  20. T2Eagle

    Religous observeance

    I think it's rare these days to arrange for Mass at scout camps. It was the norm when I was a kid. Frankly there just aren't enough priests available to do it as often. I think it is something that should be taken into consideration for something like Woodbadge. The leaders should at least find out local Mass (and Synagogue) times and make them available and make sure that attendance can be accommodated. I'm not a fan of scout's own services partly because I find them almost inevitably not non-denominational enough, and partly because they don't fulfill my obligation to attend Mass so they don't meet my religious needs. For my own troop, we're sponsored by a Catholic parish, if we're not going to be back home before the last Mass of the day, we find a parish near where we're camping and attend Mass there. We've learned to give the locals a heads up because we're usually talking about really small parishes where we may double the congregation and we want to be sure there's enough communion wafers available. One time we didn't and the priest asked us to let the regular parishioners go first; we were getting 1/4 servings by the end.
  21. T2Eagle

    Eagle Reference Letters

    This is one of those areas where as soon as a scouter finds themselves caught up in this level of minutia they should probably take a step back and realize they're concerned about the wrong types of things and missing the reason they're doing what they're doing. IIRC, our district gets the scout to submit the Eagle application as written, and then the DAC contacts the references and asks for feedback. A stamped self addressed envelope may be a part of that process, but I'm pretty certain that I send them back electronically because I'm more likely to do that in a timely manner than I am to send it back snail mail. I've also had someone from the DAC call me to get a response, I think that was because there were some timing issues on their part; that is, the DAC either got behind in getting the requests out, or was trying to schedule the EBOR very quickly for his own convenience.
  22. I was looking for some supplemental materials for helping to teach basic compass skills and came across this video. It's hilarious while also covering some good basic information. Enjoy!
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.