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Tami the Mom

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Everything posted by Tami the Mom

  1. Thought I would come back and update, since this thread has gotten so much attention this week. My son went to DC training. His troop refused to acknowledge it, and gave him no credit or appreciation for his efforts. He continued to help at pack meetings for another year or so. We finally gave up on that troop and started going to a troop about 45 minutes from home, but getting him there every week proved to be too difficult, and when he missed a meeting he felt like he didn't know what was going on. After about 4 months of that, he stopped going to meetings and didn't recharter with any troops by 7th grade. He has continued to be a valuable member of my Daycamp staff. In his time he has run program areas, organized the other Youth Staffers in getting garbage picked up, program materials distributed, run the hazard walks on Mondays, and pretty much anything asked of him by anyone on the property, from the District Director to the youngest pre-Tiger camper. He arrives with me an hour before the campers and stays two hours after they leave, and always with a smile. He hasn't been a Boy Scout in more than 2 years, but he lives every day of his life by the Boy Scout Law. Any SM would be proud to have him in their troop, except the ones who did. That might account for why that troop has gone from 45 members to 12 in the past 5 years. Oh, and the troop still refuses to send any scouts to the pack as den chiefs.
  2. Our pack always loved The Moose Song. Some people change the end (when the moose dies from drinking his juice in bed) but I never change it. In fact, I ramp up the sadness of it by howling and wailing until the kids can't breathe they are laughing so hard. It's always a favorite at pack meetings and at daycamp.
  3. The Bobwhite patrol patch. Is there really nowhere it goes?
  4. Where does it go on my shirt? I just got this crazy Bobwhite and I want to show it off!
  5. Bobwhite! NE-III-183, one weekend down, one to go!
  6. I think it would be helpful to you to sit in on any BSA training you can find. Extra training always helps. Is there a Venturing Crew you are joining into or are you looking to start your own? If you're starting your own, definitely get the training now and also seek the guidance of your local BSA and district advisors. You'll need a chartering organization and trained leadership/advisors for the kids.
  7. I went to Northeast Regional in 2006 for daycamp director. It was fantastic! We learned a lot, but mostly had the most fun ever. It was from early Friday morning until Sunday afternoon, so we went down on Thursday evening. My certification is good for 5 years. My council paid the whole deal. I had so much fun, I jokingly asked the DE if I could go every year. He said sure, if I wanted to pay the $350 out of my own pocket. Um, no. It was fun, but I can wait 4 more years to go back!
  8. Terrific! I was awarded the DAM last year, after being submitted by a fellow who won it himself at the same time. It was indeed an amazing and humbling honor. I think I hugged 45-50 people that night! I find that now, I watch fellow Scouters and think to myself, could I make a good speech about their stuff, enough to nominate them? Of course, the best story that goes along with this event was how I was notified. Our district commissioner, a very nice man who is NOT known for his sense of humor, called me one day. He said, "Hi Tami, hey - I have some great news for you. I just saved a bunch of money by switching to Geico insurance!" I laughed so hard I had tears running down my cheeks! When I composed myself, he told me about my nomination and selection. *YAY*
  9. I don't think you can expect anything productive to come out of *forcing* someone to volunteer. The trick is to get them to *want* to help out. We have more camp staff than we know what to do with - several who don't even have kids in Scouting anymore/yet. Why? Because we have so much fun, everyone wants to be part of it. And camp staff isn't just the 2 weeks we're at camp - it's monthly meetings from October to June, writing program plans, coming up with supply needs, sometimes hunting down those supplies themselves, setting up and tearing down camp. It's a lot of work, and they know it. Yet still- we have no problem getting people to help out. We have the same thing in my pack. We make helping out feel like a perk, not work. Help set up the Pinewood - get lunch free. Help set up the Blue & Gold - your name is listed on the program and I will make a big deal about your efforts. I tell prospective parents that their sons will get from Scouting exactly what the parents put into it. If the parents don't want to be any part of Scouting, maybe they'd be happier signing up for a sport that will allow them to tuck & roll their kid in the parkinglot. Boys are happier in Scouting if their parents are involved. That doesn't mean every parent has to step up to my level of insanity, I mean commitment. Sometimes all we need from them is stay at an outing to be a human guard from the parkinglot. Any Mom or Gramma can help with snacks. Dads and Grampas are good at cheering for anything, and knowing that some parents will never be able to stay, if you can get someone to cheer for some spare kids, that keeps the happy going. I tell parents that everyone has a talent or a skill, no matter what they think. It's my job to find that special something. I don't need 50 rocket scientists. Sometimes what I need the most is a Mommy who can handle a dozen kids and a bucket of crayons so we can run a leaders meeting without the kids underfoot.
  10. Has your District Executive been helping with anything? I know mine would bend over backward to help a brand new pack get up and running. The biggest part of his job is building membership numbers, and new packs and troops are the fastest way to do that. Get him on your side and he can help you figure everything out. As for deciding whether to be ACM or CC, the thing to think about is, do you want to spend more time focusing on the kid-meetings or do you have more interest in the business side of running a pack? ACM or CM puts you in a position of spending lots of time with the boys - pack meetings, service projects, fundraisers, pretty much whenever the boys are gathered up, the Cubmaster/ACM is there to help, herd, teach them. But when it comes to organizing dens, handling money brought in and being spent, setting up the annual calendar, that's all stuff the committee chair orchestrates. So you need to think about which position suits your talents and desires the best.
  11. I don't think I know anybody here IRL. If anyone is ever in upstate New York and you find yourself at a Twin Rivers Council or Wakpominee District event, ask if someone named Tami is there. I'm usually at all the Cub Scout events, even though my sons are all Boy Scouts. I love the Cubbies!
  12. I agree - making one seems like a lot of work and expense, and very difficult to maintain straight tracks. We've loaned our track to an LDS troop who only has 8 boys, no money to purchase their own track. They sent us a folder of lovely thank-you cards from their boys and parents. When the time comes for us to upgrade to an aluminum track, we'll be looking to donate the one we have. I'd ask around and see if anyone could loan you theirs, or maybe even let you piggyback their day. Come in after their pack races, run yours.
  13. This is something we always struggle with. One of the first thing I tell parents on sign up night is that their son will get from scouting exactly what they, the parents, put into it. I tell them up front, if you plan to drop your son in the parkinglot and come back an hour later, not work at home with him, and sit in the very back at pack meetings, scouting is not for you, sign up for soccer. So we get at least some participation. We're always looking to step it up, though. This year we are coming at it a little differently. We know that parents will never head up a committee or event. So instead, we're going to give denleaders those jobs, voluntarily at first, by demand if needed. We will then give them all the guidance and help we can, and let them recruit their own committees for their events. As cubmaster, I expect to sit on every committee, but I won't have to preside over each and every one of them.
  14. Where's the AWESOME part..... We had 225 kids over two weeks, and only a few with discipline issues. Even the kid who kicked bruises on my leg and ripped a significant amount of hair out of my head came in and sat with me and talked afterwards, apologizing for his meltdown and gave me a note thanking me for helping him out. He's bipolar, goes to a special ed school for kids with severe emotional disturbances, and yet he managed 5 days of camp with only 1 outburst. His father told me he has to be physically restrained in school every day. I call that a huge success story. Everywhere I went at any time, I saw kids laughing and playing and learning by surprise. Our Nature staff slid in subjects like life cycles of plants and animals and weather experiments. Scout Skills had them all learning square knots under the promise they could take turns tying up the teacher - nobody could tie one faster than him, so he got lucky. They could tie those knots fast, though! We had a brand new program area - Webelos Wilderness - where the older boys learned about safety in the woods, respecting nature, fire safety, and rope-bridge building. On their tour of the Bou Scout camp, they swept their path clean of even the tiniest piece of litter - leaving no trace. Mostly, I just saw kids having fun. Playing flag football, shooting arrows and scoring bulls-eyes or missing the target completely, they still had fun. Painting t-shirts and making gecko's and paper lanterns, singing songs and dancing the Mexican Hat Dance and the chicken dance, and singing my all-time favorite, Moose Song. A year of bringing together two complete staffs, one each week, of finalizing program plans and buying everything we needed. Prepwork and paperwork, meetings with the council staff and my local staff. Goofing in the office with the nurse and program director, crawling under my desk to hide, or singing into my walkie-talkie Happy Birthday to one of the archery teachers. Handing out chili-pepper bead necklaces to kids who did something extra cool and initiating them into the Royal Order of the Chilis. Then watching everyone else's eyes light up at the prospect of getting a chili necklace. And then handing out 2 or 3 more. I love Cub Scouts, and camp most of all. All those smily kids, all the chaos and energy of it all. I will see these kids around different places for the rest of the year - at the mall, at a playground here or there, and another Scout function, and they will run up to me and tell me how much fun they had a camp, and what was the best part. How can you not count that as awesome?
  15. It was two crazy weeks! No, we were Fiesta this year. Next year we're going with the National theme, so we'll be "Knights of the Roundtable" and in 2009 we are back to Space Camp. Well, where to start. The ambulance - ok, we started a new program for Webelos, which meant they were out a little further in the woods. So twice we had twisted ankles. Once, the boy said his pain, on a 1-10 scale was "15", until we made him lay down and raised his leg. Then his pain went to zero and he hopped up and back to the activity. The second boy walked himself up to the office, but after sitting for a few minutes, decided his ankle was too sore to bear weight, even telling us he couldn't feel his toes. So our next step is to call across the street to the Boy Scout health office, which we do, and their medic comes over and we decide we have to call the ambulance. So of course, all of this is happening as we are heading to closing ceremonies, which now means we have to decide - scoot them NOW or hold them back until after the ambulance comes, as we are located 4 miles in on a very rural road, and with 135 kids, we will flood it when we let them out. So we held them back with a sing-along and letting the kids show off their chants and such. The ambulance finally showed up, and after going to the ER and a trip to an ortho for more x-rays, they tell him it's a sprain and he can wear the stabilizer if he wants, but he is ok to bear weight on it. Much panic about nothing. That was Tuesday. The next day was the Family Night Picnic for the Boy Scout camp. They fill their available parking pretty quickly, and then they start putting people in our lot. No sweat for us, as they start loading in right around the time we are clearing out. But that means 135 kids leaving at the same time 200 families are arriving. So we posted traffic guards out in the road, trying to keep people from hitting each other and making sure they park in the lot and not on the road. This road is just barely wide enough for 2 cars to pass each other, and the speed limit is 40. SO my own husband is down at the street in an orange vest, and a car comes at him speeding like he's at the Brickyard. Husband tries waving him to slow down, he stays at speed. Husband tries to flag him to stop, as people are trying to cross the street carrying coolers and lawn chairs, and cars are waiting in line to park, and pulling out slowly into a congested road. Nope, the guy flies past my husband, hitting his hand (outstretched to try to get the guy to slow), and NOW he screeches to a stop. He got out of his car and started screaming obsceneties at husband, stomping around and waving his arms, we were afraid he was going to start swinging right there in front of the kids. By the time I got to the office and found all this out, he was gone and two minutes later the CD from the Boy Scout camp calls me to tell me someone just called him and said our crossing guard was kicking his car and threatening him. So, we had to call the police to make sure we were on record with what happened. Good thing it wasn't an emergency, it took almost 2 hours for the sheriff to arrive. The outcome, there is nothing they can do. He doesn't have to stop for anyone in an orange vest, unless they are a police officer.
  16. I would caution against making your bank balance too openly public. Or at least do it in a controlled way. Not that you should keep it secret - never keep it secret. Just when you do disclose what your financial situation is, make sure parents know where the "extra" money will be going. We've had issues in our pack with parents who learn we have $300 in our account and wonder why we are selling pizza kits. Hmmmm.... could it be that we spent nearly $200 every time we do awards, and her den earns a lot of awards every month? Or maybe charter is due in 2 months and it will cost us $1000. Unless parents know why you have to build some bank, they see a dollar figure and decide they don't need to contribute any more.
  17. My first official season as Camp Director at Wakpominee Cub Camp, and it was super! Over our two-week season we had 225 kids, plus all of their parents and a handfull of siblings. Here are a few of the highlights, I'll expand on them if anyone is interested. Physical assault by 10yo Police visit Ambulance visit Rabid Raccoon Projectile Vomiter Car Accident Thunder and Lightning Sing-along The Cherub Latrine Laundry Five Hours of Agony with the DOH (might have told this already) Why it was all worth it
  18. We never sang as much as we do now. I love to sing. I do it badly, but I enjoy it immensely. So we sing. Repeat-after-me songs, especially gross ones, get everyone going. It's ok if some don't sing. The kids will. And the more you do it, the more they will participate. The biggest thing I can suggest is for YOU to learn the song completely, so you don't have to rely on songsheets. It can really kill the flow if you misread a word or lose your place and have to restart.
  19. So, kraut-60, would you rather see the boys in their regular clothes than in the BSA shirt, slide, neckerchief and hat, if they choose not to wear the pants? In all the years I have been part of Cub Scouts, I don't think I have ever seen a kid wearing BSA pants or shorts. When asked, we tell folks not to worry about them, kids grow too fast to keep up, and the pants are so expensive. I'd rather see him in an official shirt and all the accessories, plus an activities shirt, than have him scrap it all and go back to his videogames because he doesn't feel like he fits in. I think a uniform bank is an awesome idea. We have a consignment store here, and whenever she gets anything Scout related - Boys, Cubs, Girls, she calls me. She never charges me for it, but since I am a GS leader, my son is a Boy Scout, and I am cubmaster of our pack, she knows I will find a body to fill those clothes.
  20. We've gone thru Classb.com and a local vendor. Our classb designs were SP70 and SP502. Everyone loved them, they were relatively cheap, and the company is fantastic to work with. I called them several times to ask questions and get things straight in my head, and they were all super nice. My Girl Scouts used their sister site getyourshirts.com to order troop shirts for our trip to Hershey. When we went thru the local vendor, nothing but problems. First, we ordered navy, he got us royal. We went over to screenprint our own shirts, so here we are with 50 people who have just travelled 45 minutes, so we were stuck. Fine, royal is nice, except the GS in our town wear royal, so now we look like GS. Plus he shorted us some sizes. We did this all back in March and we are still short 2 sweatshirts.
  21. Every year at daycamp we try to give the staff funny nicknames that relate to our theme. A few years ago we were "Under the Sea" so we were all Spongebob characters. (I was Mrs. Puff! I still get called that sometimes when boys see me at the mall!) Anyway- this year's theme is Fiesta. So last year I was crowned "El Nacho Grande". Now I need to come up with names for the rest of the office staff! Help me! I need 8-10 funny nicknames. I'm going crazy with Babelfish trying to make up things myself, so I am begging!
  22. Fantastic! We're still gearing up for camp. Yes, it is sometimes harder to get the grown-ups to get along than it is the boys! Talk to this year's camp director and program director. In our council, we're the ones who do what we call "travelling roadshows". They are mostly requested for B&G banquets. I am camp director, and this year I took one or two people from my staff with me to every roadshow I did, to help answer questions and for moral support. We got to enjoy about a dozen tasty banquets!
  23. Hello! Well, we only include monthly themes when we are having a celebration type meeting - B&G, crossover, sometimes holiday parties also use the theme. We've also seen some resistance by denleaders to matching their activities to the monthly theme. They plan their meetings around what their boys need to advance. That's ok, I suppose. We ask them to help their boys prepare a show & tell of what they've done this month to present at pack meetings. We decorate the room with theme ideas, serve theme-related snacks.
  24. We march in the parade. This year we made slides from little green army guys to wear! I recall that incident with the boy and the truck. My understanding of the rules, for which I have no source to quote, except my memory of reading it somewhere - is that ther are specific rules about riding on flatbeds. We've done it for other parades with no problems. We have the boys sit at least 3 feet back from the edge, nothing dnagling over the edge, nobody standing. They can wave flags or throw candy (if the event organizers approve candy throwing). When the truck stops - like for a judging stand - the boys can stand and salute or sing or whatever, but they must be seated again before the truck moves.
  25. Well, we went for it! They were a HUGE hit! The boys loved them. Loved loved loved them! And the Veteran's at the American Legion thought they were awesome. I'm so glad for the feedback I got here! Thanks everyone! Oh, and in case anyone wants to make them for Veteran's day, I'll tell you exactly what I did. I got 3/4 inch plastic clear tubing - like fishtank tubing - and cut it into 3/4 inch rings. (It was $1.39 per foot.) Then we used "Shoe Goo" to bond the army guys to the rings. They seem pretty solid to me. My husband glued them Sunday night, we wore them Monday morning, and none of them came apart. We usually use pvc for slidebacks, but the tubing is clear, so it becomes invisible on the neckerchief, and it seems to grip onto the fabric better as well. They are fantastic!
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