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t487scouter

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Everything posted by t487scouter

  1. t487scouter

    SPL requirements

    Okay, once again I ask for your knowledge. I began wondering about requirements for SPL. At the moment, my bylaws (I know, nasty word to some)require that the SPL be Star rank or above. I was wondering if this conflicts with any BSA rules? Also, if it is not against the rules, should we have this requirement?
  2. t487scouter

    Cooking in Camp...expectations

    I guess once again I am in the minority. If a scout forgets or fails to put on his raingear, I am not there to supply it unless the weather is such that the scout is in danger of hypothermia. If it is a matter of him just being miserable, consider it a learned lesson. I can't see how supplying a whole patrol with gear or food can teach them anything other than "we will get taken care of no matter what." Schleining, you are from the same climate as I am. I am also sure you know that nobody wears rain gear around here, the boys wait for the bus before school, get wet but soon are in a dry classroom or in the warm bus. Do they wear their rain gear the next day? Nope, same thing. Same with food. How many of these boys complain about what is for dinner? Do they cook the next night....nope, cause they know the food will be there. I do carry some low grade soup for that purpose. Although I have never had to use it, I am sure I will have to some day. I picked a flavor I am sure they will not like (I think it is broccoli) Will they starve, nope. Will they remember their food next trip, yup. A few mos ago, new scouts, rain, they refused to wear rain gear, wind, miserable scouts, one even cried about being cold. I was not about the let them be in danger of hypothermia, nor was I going to put them in a warm car to quiet them up. Guess what, next camp I had all the boys there ready to camp. They got out of the rigs with their rain gear on! Everyone on this thread has a different view how this should be handled. Some say that we will lose scouts. The fact is these things we talk about are small parts of the overall trip. If the boys are having a good time the rest of the trip and there is only one thing to complain about the entire trip, they will stay and they will remember. Some even get used to the misery. I have had camps the the boys are given 2 matches, if they cannot start a fire then they do eat their dinner cold. Is this right? I think it is because should they ever get lost in the woods I feel confident they will be able to start a fire, cook food, make shelter and stay dry. I was told that one of my scouts was asked last BOR what he liked most about camping.......his reply........."the rain"
  3. t487scouter

    SPL requirements

    Thanks everyone. Aw, does your troop pay for this training or do the boys pay for it? I tried to send some boys to a similar type of training that is held in our council. The week long program runs $205/$175(fos). We don't have enough money in the troop funds to pay for the boys. My son is the only scout that is going, the rest of the parents and scouts opted out. It kind of surprised me when I received the paperwork for the camp as well. The council paperwork stated that the camp is usually paid for by the troop.
  4. t487scouter

    The new BSA?

    I have read quite a few posts on the thoughts of the future BSA, where it will be 20, 30 or 40 years from now. Although we of course will never know, I wonder what it would be like if it didn't exist today. What would it be like if LBP began forming BSA tomorrow. Would the same foundation and merits that BSA stands behind hold true if this were formed tomorrow? Would BSA have the same requirements for membership?
  5. t487scouter

    The new BSA?

    Well said FB in fact excellent! Mind if I use that for a SM minute?
  6. t487scouter

    LDS Scouts in mainstream units

    You are right Bob, these are assumptions and probably incorrect. I thought that a certain percentage of scouts were required to attend camp for QU but I am at work and don't have the paperwork with me. It has been my experience (a very limited experience) that more younger boys attend camp than older boys. I just figured by not letting the young scouts attend summer camp that the unit would not be able to reach this goal (I thought it was someting like 80%) You also state that all boys can attend summer camp. I thought I had read in a past post that young scouts were limited to 2 or 3 days. Again, maybe I just imagined this and don't have time to go back and look. As for the no women rule. Is it not a BSA rule that parents cannot be excluded from a BSA activity? Again, this is from memory.
  7. t487scouter

    Cooking in Camp...expectations

    My first few outings with a brand new troop I noticed quite a bit of top raumin and hotdogs being consumed. I only had two boys with any scouting experience, the boys made their own meals, did their own shopping and this is what they picked. I did not say anything to them about their choice. What I did was hang a DO on a tri pod over a BBQ and lit the coals before a meeting. I had been shopping, prepared all the ingredients and before the troop meeting began, showed what I was dumping into the DO. We then had our regular meeting, after the meeting I dished out what I had made. I started doing this quite often, at times a DO, other times a foil pack or reflector oven. This ended the hot dog and raumin fest without me saying a word. I noticed last camp they were eating pretty good in fact better than the adults were.
  8. t487scouter

    LDS Scouts in mainstream units

    Tortdog, I think I would be better to answer this question since it is happening in my council and I posted the original. It is not that LDS are "clogging" up the camps or that they are not participating. The problem is with the other camp dates. 75% of the other camps were completely full and the LDS Week camp was only 20% full. It has since been filling up but everyone else has to get their reservations in 8 mos in advance to get the spot they want (including the LDS units that can't make their camp date) Also, no, the other units are not shunned from this week of camp. As everyone knows, you can't please everyone. Chapel is supposed to be non-denominational to include the majority of participants. My question is why even label a camp? The camp has been shortened by one day but for what reason? What has been gained by doing this? Why not have all camps run the same time, if a group cannot attend Saturday, no problem, see you Sunday or leave Friday. If a group cannot attend Sunday, no problem, see you Monday.
  9. t487scouter

    LDS Scouts in mainstream units

    "Well, to address this specifically there is no BSA requirement that women (or mothers) be allowed to camp with the Boy Scouts. The BSA ALLOWS it, but does not require it." I could very well be wrong here but I thought the BSA did have a rule that parents will not be denied access to any BSA event. Again this is from a memory which seems to dump more info than it retains. As for the disinterested scouter, I finally convinced him that he needs to become involved or find another person to be CM and he agreed. It was not fair for the boys who worked so hard. No matter what religion, I do not feel it is right to offer a councils property to one specific group. I have talked to the council about this and they tell me that anyone is welcome but I know for a fact that other groups do not know this. I also know in the past chapel has been geared towards LDS which is great for those who are LDS but not non-denominational as the rest of the camps are. Like I said before, my post like all others I see here are not against the LDS religion, instead I feel that all members of BSA should be treated the same and not given specific privileges that others can't receive. The reason I brought up the camp is the fact that camps fill up early in my council. Many reservations have already been made for 2006. If you don't get in early enough, you won't be able to camp and now we have just bottlenecked this process further by labeling one week of camp "LSD Week" Bob, I realize also that BSA has agreed to these rules and accepted them unlike the my rule about bluecards. I appreciate everyone bringing this to my attention and this has been changed. But it is also somewhat contradictory when BSA QU requires x number of boys to attend summer camp yet young LDS boys can't. Here they are saying they want everyone else except LDS to send their boys. I feel if BSA is going to make exceptions to the rules and desires of the organization then they need to weigh those decisions and make them for the whole. For example, if BSA feels women should not camp with their son it needs to be a BSA rule for all troops. If BSA is okay with this then they should request that LDS troops allow moms to camp with their sons. I am particularly bothered by this rule. There are a lot of great women scouters out there and I am sure there are many that would like this opportunity. Same with the requirements of camping for QU. If BSA feels that young boys should attend summer camp, they should request LDS send the boys just like they hound our troop to do. If it is not important, then remove this requirement from QU. Again, this is not meant to be anti LDS, I just feel that everyone that belongs to BSA should be treated the same. If a rule is made by BSA, it should apply to everyone.
  10. t487scouter

    LDS Scouts in mainstream units

    Okay, it has been some time so I figured I might as well chime in and get slapped around a little. After reading all the posts I do not understand the difference between one CO being able to "adjust" rules and other CO's or troops being chastised for it. An example of this is a recent post to a thread I made indicating I had a set of troop bylaws (which some agreed with, some didn't) and in those bylaws I had a statement that only 5 bluecards could be out at one time. Many people disagreed with this rule because it was not allowing the scouts to have as many bluecards out as desired and was against BSA policy. After reading the responses to the post I agree that the scouts should not be limited to the number of bluecards, revisited the bylaws with the committee and changed this rule. The rest of the bylaws were all statements taken from the SM handbook and G2SS so they remained. Now I read statements like "just because a program is different it isn't bad, just different" by the same people that state you should not defer from the BSA program at all. How does denying a scout the opportunity to camp differ from denying a scout the opportunity to work on 50 merit badges? How does denying women to camp with their son differ from recent posts stating that BSA rules are such that no parent will be denyed the opportunity to camp with their child? I was unaware that scout leaders were asked to be leaders instead of volunteering but it now makes sense. One of my workmates is a CM for a LDS pack. In recent discussions I ahve noticed that he really doesn't have his heart in this position. One example was the talk we had the other day about cross over and he told me that he didn't have time to do anything for the boys who earned arrow of light which were crossing over. I told him I thought it pretty important to recognize these boys and even offered to have some arrows made up for the boys but he refused. It seemed he just didn't care about the position he was in. I would site this as an example of "filling the empty seat." On the the other hand, another person that I work with was an ASM and CC for a LDS troop. Talking to him about scouting I see he has the desire and knowledge to perform both tasks well. Our council has implemented a LDS week for summer camp. I feel this is wrong because it limits the number of selections for scouts of other religious backgrounds as the other camps fill up rapidly. I realize the LDS community in scouting is very strong but do not believe that rules should be changed or summer camps set aside for one particular religion no matter what that religion is. On the positive side. I think it is great that the church is so involved in scouting and they really support their scouts. I truly wish other religions backed scouting like the LDS do. Okay, I am now braced, fire away.
  11. t487scouter

    Atheist leader

    Actually for the 1st question, I believe that EL stated that her children did not believe in God. She stated that she has no desire to attend a church so it was an assumption on my part that she has not let her son try either. As for the second question, a great question I might add, I truly do not have an answer. Actually I have never heard of this organization. Had I known about it, I can answer truthfully that I would not have. After giving it more thought, would I be wrong to let them? I would not let them do this without first checking it out to make sure it was child friendly but that is a great question. What is right, what is wrong? I feel they should be able to pick a religion or none at all as well as vote democrat even if I may be republican. Ahhhhh yes, the two topics that will create more controversy than any
  12. t487scouter

    "You seem to not have any written rules"

    I guess I am confused, which happens quite often. So what I am reading is follow the BSA rules to the letter. I totally agree with this statement. But I also read that in the grey areas, there really are no rules. So, uniforms for example although recommended are not required so the boys can wear whatever they would like, whenever they would like. Drinking alcohol, which is not tollerated by BSA (BSA rules do not spell out what a troop is to do with a boy caught drinking) can be a minor offense to one scout resulting in a "johnny don't do that again" to an expulsion to another boy depending on who's son he is. Another part of my bylaws deal with troop book keeping. An example, each scout has an individual account. If a scout chooses to quit, the money earned from fundraisers is kept by the troop. I am sure that at least one of you has had a parent who feels Johnny should be able to take the $35 cash with him when he quits because he earned it. Although I do respect everyone's input on this site I do disagree that a troop should not have bylaws. There are too many grey areas in scouting and the rules provided by BSA, heck just look at the conversations sparked by these on this forum. To fill in these grey areas, why not have rules in writing. No, you may not agree with mine, I may not agree with yours but they belong to your troop. Why not have them in writing as long as they do not conflict with BSA? BTW Eamonn, I truly do respect all you contribute, this is in no way meant to be a slam to you.
  13. t487scouter

    Troop Contextualism, or Individualism?

    Eammon, thank you for your comments. I am always looking for ways to improve "our" troop. The reason I referred to it as "my" troop is because I did everything to start it. I started it as a sister troop to "our" cub pack. All adult leaders that I had to choose from had never even been to a pack committee meeting. My CO, a school PTO, wanted a troop from their school but had no idea what BS do. This is why I referred to "my bylaws", because I am the one who created them. As time passes and I gain a larger adult leader base, I welcome any changes to the bylaws. You seem to not have any written rules from your statements, would you also start a business without a business plan? Why are you against rules in writing? I think it advantageous, this way a potential recruit can know exactly what to expect when joining and can see the difference between troops instead of basing a decision on one visit. Also, parents will have read that they must pick up their child from camp who was caught drinking, etc, etc, etc. Again, I am a new SM and must confess have not been fully trained. Trust me, I have tried but in 1 1/2 years of begging the council I have not been able to find any district that will take me on my overnight to complete the training. It took close to a year to find the first 3 sessions that I could attend. Because I do not have scout specific, I have not yet attended wood badge. I was able to attend committee training however. I have also read all the information I could find on scouting and consider this forum a very valuable tool. This said, I did not realize that a limit on bluecards was against the rules. I do not remember reading this anywhere and the reason it was put into place was to keep the boys from having 30 MB's started and not finishing any of them. As bylaws can be made, they can also be changed and I will change this one (with the committees blessing of course.) I am one who truly believes in living by the scout rules. If any of you long time scouters are willing, I would be grateful if you could look over my bylaws to determine if there are other violations as well.
  14. t487scouter

    Atheist leader

    Wow, miss a few weeks on this forum and it takes hours of reading to catch up. I may be too late since I have not read a post from EL, are you just reading and not posting or did you give up? My post is in no way meant to slam you or try to make you change your beliefs. Only you know what you should do. I have to agree with others that I do not believe that you joined scouts completely blind. I would assume that you at least opened the scout book and by reading the first few pages it is clear that this organization is based on many religions and God. I would like to add to the other posts though. Our children mimic what we do, I am sure you can attest to that. You may have your mind made up that there is not a God and unbeknownst to you, you are also instilling this fact in your childrens minds. You may not want to explore different religions but why not allow your children to? Encourage them to attend church with a friend or even attend an evening church group. We should not steer our children in a certain direction but let them explore and take their own direction (unless of course danger is involved.) Now, for the flip side. I am assuming that most on here, have, or at one time had, boys that belonged to this organization. I am sure that you believe in BS as much as I do and want to see your boys go as far as they can and learn as much as they can. Answering truthfully, what would you do if your own son confessed to you that he was an atheist? Would you try to talk him back into religion as we are trying to do with EL? If he refused, would you demand he quit?
  15. t487scouter

    Troop Contextualism, or Individualism?

    Great question but a little difficult to answer. I started my troop a little over a year ago. After looking at 100's of troop websites for any information I could glean as well as asking other scouter questions I tailored my bylaws to incorporate specific rules and give it individualism. Examples of these are disciplinary actions for scouts that break rules, uniform rules (ex, I allow class b during summer months) etc. For your examples: #1 - Personally I would not adopt this rule but if it was in writing and the scouts were aware of it I would not have a problem with another troop enforcing it. #2 - This rule I feel is a violation of scouting rules. As with Merit badges, a troop is not able to add criteria for rank advancement which is how I view this. #3 - Again, as long as it is in writing I do not see a violation of rules here. In fact my bylaws state that in addition to camping, a scout may only have 5 blue cards out at a time. If they have 5, they must finish one before I will issued another.
  16. t487scouter

    NO Parents on campouts- A recruiting issue

    Thank you for the defense Vicki, that is exactly what I meant but I probably should have stated it differently. I welcome any parent that wants to attend camp but ask them to act as their sons parents when there. If the boys should be doing something different or they are misbehaving, it is up to the PL/SPL to straighten things out. I have also witnessed parents doing things like carry packs or water bottles for new scouts on hikes. This is a disservice to the scout (they must learn to carry what they brought) and not fair for the other scouts without parents attending. To BelieveinScouts, I hope that you will eventually believe in the scouting program and scouters in addition to scouts. I think I can speak for all SM's, ASM's, and anyone involved in scouting when I say that we are all appalled at someone taking advantage of the boys. As OGE posted, some units do screw around with the policies of the scouts. These policies are devised from many years of trial and error and should be adhered to even if not believed in by the individual. For example, a few years ago I was at a 6 day Cub scout camp. One boy did pretty well through the week but on the last day, when all the other parents showed for the BBQ, his mom wasn't there. He lost it big time. I tried everything to calm him down. Finally I asked if he would like me to sit with him out in the parking lot and wait for his mom. He agreed and calmed down (I figured she was just running late.) Now, I have known this boy for many years, he is a great kid, he trusts me and as his parents trust me. I also know that I would never do anything to hurt him so I would feel comfortable sitting with him alone waiting. But, policy is policy, I interrupted another dad having lunch with his son, to sit with us. You state that you would never leave your son alone at camp. This brings up another thought. There have been many stories of teachers molesting children as well. Do you send your son to school or is he home schooled? We do everything in our power to protect our kids but we can't protect them forever, sometimes we just need to trust.
  17. Marge, I have been in the same situation this past year. I feel that by having my wife (a registered adult leader) go to camp was in the best interest of the troop. My options were: 1. Have another parent go .....After asking, begging, bribing (I cook, clean dishes, etc) I could not talk another parent into going 2. Take my wife, a registered adult leader and second adult according to "the guide" 3. Not go camping. So, if she did not go, then the troop did not go. This worked for me on weekend outings because I could find someone to watch my younger son (1st year WEBELO.) For summer camp I had to find 2 friends, submit applications for them and they split the 7 days between them. I would have preferred that my wife attend summer camp but we could not leave my youngest son with a friend for 7 days. The reason I would rather have her along is because she is familiar with scouting and the associated rules, my friends were not. As for the legal issues that were posted. I don't worry about being sued, in fact I think it is sad we live in a world that we need two adults to watch each other. I know that the rules have been developed to protect me as well as the youth and there has been a need for it in the past. I also know (and I am sure most parents would agree) that if I were to do something negligent to harm a child my wife would not protect me from the courts any more than a friend or another scout leader.
  18. t487scouter

    NO Parents on campouts- A recruiting issue

    I truly wish I shared your problem anarchist. Our troop is a little over a year old. The parents of my first 5 scouts have not attended one outing. I had to register friends and family so I had my two deep on our outings. I am now up to 15 boys and it looks promising with quite a few parents on our first camp after x-over and two parents who have been to all outings so far this year. I am giving you this info because I am not sure I am qualified to answer your post but a few ideas did come to mind. I think the parents request is reasonable, why? Looking at things from a non-scouting view, would you feel comfortable handing your 12y/o to people you didn't know and sending them into the woods with a bunch of older boys not knowing if they will have a positive or negative effect on your son? I can understand the parents wanting to go. I had one parent that did not let their son go camping with me a few months ago because the parent could not go (1st camp). After the first camp, and the parents see that things are under control (for the most part) I would guess they would feel at ease letting their child go alone. I did mention to my parents before they joined that there were no parents allowed at meetings or campouts but adult leaders and role models were more than welcome. As parents I won't let them help Johnny in any way during the camp. I will also ask them not to reprimand their child. The parents are more than welcome to attend but interaction between them and their boys is limited. Since I have so few parents this is easy for me, I have them help the patrol that their boy is not a member of. They can keep an eye on their child (if that is why they are there) but not interact directly. I would suggest that in your planning, your first few campouts would be at a place that could accommodate the entire troop and their parents, I would imagine that the numbers would fall after a few camps and you would end up having people there that want to help the troop, not just their child. If that fails, require them to get a uniform, aquire training and sign a leader app, that seems to make most run around here!
  19. t487scouter

    Hello and Goodbye

    I have been sitting here trying to decide if I should write this or not. I am writing it in hopes that another person can use this forum as a great tool and will stay and learn. I have been involved in scouting for 7 years, I am on my 2 group of WEBELOS as well as Scoutmaster for a new troop I started last year. This new troop was composed of my first group of WEBELOS that had crossed over, became bored and dropped out of Scouting. My son was also talking about quitting when I asked if he would give it a try in a new troop, my troop was born. I have very little experience with a troop but poured through the books (training in my area has been very tough to come by.) My troop is less than ideal, I am having trouble with the boys advancing, I am the committee with the exception of a treasurer, my last parent meeting consisted of myself and my wife. As you can see I have problems but I will not give up, I somehow managed to double in size last week and it seems I now have parents willing to help. Like all that use this forum, I am passionate about scouting. I feel that scouting offers more than any other program around. When I first stumbled on this forum you have no idea how glad I was. Even after digesting the first few posts I gained a lot of knowledge, and then it happened, I read on. I remember telling a person in our committee a few years ago, if there is going to be a problem with the pack, the source will more than likely be the parents, not the boys. It seems, in my eyes anyway, that adults have pretty much screwed up this forum.......again, in my eyes. Tonight I picked two posts, one on tobacco and the other on patrol size. After reading through these my stomach churned with the personal attacks and the thought that everyone else is wrong and my way is the only way. What made it worse was the fact it never ended, there were continual digs on the other people posting. One person in particular was defended by another saying he is never wrong, he is always right in his posts, he knows everything. Does it matter? If someone is abrasive as this do you really want to listen to them, not wanting to post because you fear an attack? How can I truly listen to advice by somone who has apparently never followed the scout law or scout oath? It is fine to disagree but not to belittle others because their opinion differs. Again, sorry to post this but it is in hopes these few people won't run off another who seeks advice and wants to be part of a group of people sharing something they love. Now, can someone point me to a forum I can learn and adults act as they should?
  20. t487scouter

    Dad or Mr?

    I was wondering how the rest of you work formalities in your troops? As I told my parents, there are no dads or moms in the troop. It is hard for most parents to not help their son carry something or stuff sleeping bags, etc. Where I am at a loss is what to have my son refer to me as? Does he continue to call me dad or should he call me Mr. X?
  21. t487scouter

    Ideas?

    How about throwing some ideas out to fun up otherwise mundane tasks. I am looking for things to do at Meetings that the boys will enjoy. Recently I had a knot relay race, the boys ran around to different stations, the knot for that station had to be tied correctly before they could run to the next station. Last camp, I grabbed their stove from their patrol box (before they woke up), left a message in place with coordinates. From one note to another they paced it off until they could find their stove and eat. Amazing how fast it can be done with hungry boys. Since most of you have years and years of experience, there must be some meetings that really stand out that the boys really enjoyed.
  22. t487scouter

    Too lax?

    I have seen many troops that require X-amount of attendance to meetings and camps. I also know that BSA pushes 1st class by the 1st year, but is this right? In MHO, I look at it as boys we are trying to turn in to outstanding, well rounded, young men. Scouting teaches them more than any other program but there are lessons to learn and fun to be had with sports and other activities also. I would like them to attend every meeting and camp but understand when they have other commitments as well. Same with advancement. I offer all they need to advance but I don't push it. Some meetings are designed around advancement (knots, etc.) but it is not something I push. I figure if the boys are having a good time and they stay somewhat involved they are learning the whole time. I would rather the boys be great young men when they turn 18 and don't care if they have earned Eagle or not. Is my thinking off? Am I cheating the boys?
  23. t487scouter

    Dad or Mr?

    Actually I have instructed my son to call me uncle! I can't be old enough to have a son that old.......yes uncle it is.
  24. t487scouter

    Ear Rings

    Troop bylaws, in my opinion, should be written to protect the youth and the troop. To exclude a scout because of a personal choice he, or his parents has made, in my opinion is wrong. From my prospective, there are a few different types of scouts. Of these types are boys who are involved in many other activities (sports, band, etc) and those which scouts is all they have. I am guessing the scout who walked out, although I feel it should have never come to this, was involved in other activities and could do without scouts. If scouting was all the boy had I think he would have been devastated, asking why, and tried to reason with the SM, comittee or BOR. Argentum FOX, sorry to hear about your friend. Again, where do we draw the line here. One could argue that long hair could be a danger, what about baggie clothes? You mentioned that your scouts are not allowed to have ear rings in class A and B but what about the rest of the time? I am more concerned about my boys getting hurt when they are not in uniform, seems in plain clothes on campouts and such, that they are the most rowdy.
  25. t487scouter

    The Right Fit For Your Troop.

    Eamonn, I second, a great post. As for the rest of you posters, equally well done. There is so much more information to be gained in this board, more than any other resource I have found so far. One question I have for mixed patrols. Again, I may be way off base and this is just an assumption since I have never had a mixed patrol but since humans are pretty lazy, is there a large burden for the senior members of the patrol? I would guess that younger members would rather be taught tasks by the older members rather than learning on their own from their books. In fact I would guess that most if not all they learn would be from senior members. Not that this is a bad thing but is it fair to the senior members? Do they get burned out teaching instead of learning?
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