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Tampa Turtle

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Posts posted by Tampa Turtle

  1. 16 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

    I personally do not like the ASPL -> SPL. What if he doesn’t want to be ASPL and then SPL? I mean, that’s how it usually works but still. The way my troop and every Troop around us do it is the SPL is elected first, then SPL chooses ASPL, then PLs are elected.

    The SPL should get to pick his #2 guy. A smart SPL picks a guy who complements his strengths/weaknesses. We tried elections where the guy coming in #2 in votes was ASPL and they did not get along well. Though I have seen a SPL pick the runner up in a 'National Unity Party' kind of scheme.

    • Upvote 2
  2. 20 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    Well..then the Russians would have to get involved and nobody has time for that

    Well no doubt Russian Helicopter PARENTS! :mad: I can here it now "Well it worked very well when I was in the Vladimir Lenin All-Union Pioneer Organization. All our boy leadership was selected then...or purged as the case may be"

  3. Our SPL plays on the High School football team (and a pretty good one) and has a 1 year term. ASPL fills in as needed and he manages. Scouts know he is committed because he comes out early Saturday morning after a game. 

    Yeah I know about partial POR's but it falls into weird partial terms and is hard to get boys to fill.

    As for just because it works in other organizations (many boosters and PTA's do the VP becomes the President) doesn't mean it is a good idea for scouts. Too many people want to be innovative instead of working the kinks out of the program. Why not add an electoral college system to the SPL election? That works (sometimes). :rolleyes:

    What do I know? I had to passionately fight off a proposal to let the scouts, scouters, and parents all get a vote to elect the SPL...just hearing it as an adult proposal caused two boys to quit the PLC as a fraud.

  4. Maybe I am stupid but 4 month terms? How will boys meet their 6 month requirement? Will you have guys dropping required POR#2 half way through or be doing a whole lotta "Scoutmaster Specials"?

    We tried the vote for ASPL and SPL and ASPL trained (and really did the SPL's job for a year) and was supposed to automatically move up to SPL. ASPL had to be the 'bad cop' to the SPL 'good cop'. Then we got a new SM and CC who changed the policy at election time because "every SPL should be elected by the boys he serves" (Many of the young scouts were not around when the ASPL got elected the first time). The new SM then hand picked a new candidate to run against the ASPL. ASPL lost.

    That ASPL did run again as SPL a year later but he never recovered from a sense of betrayal from adults who make jump the hoops and change the rules. He was mad at the 1st SM who made up the scheme and the 2nd one who switched it. We almost lost that scout who was a really good one.

    I guess my point is you should not be making promises to that scout if you cannot have enough control to keep that promise. I think this is an adult driven decision that will lose some but in from the boys even if they never say anything...it SMELLS like adults manipulating things.

    I predict in two years the 4 month terms and the ASPL->SPL policies will have changed back to more BSA norms. 

  5. 19 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    You wanna make sure you hold out for signing bonus and good incentives.  Make sure the incentives are paid out early in the contract.  One can never tell what the future may hold.  Also make sure the incentives are guaranteed in case he gets traded to another troop or venture post.  

    If dad is going to be an ASM make sure he gets the Cost of Living adjustment and cast iron cookware subsidy. Tell him to read carefully for the contract insert "per boy" after "only an hour a week". 

    Also ask about the Troop uniforming policy (BSA is surprisingly not uniform in uniforming) variants include: full uniform with smokey bear hat, full uniform, uniform from waist up, uniform optional, clothing optional. 

  6. I would say half-that is right-half of the new boys coming in the last few years in our Troop are coming in because their parents want that Eagle--primarily for the college application. At least what a lot of the parents say.

  7. 14 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

    But there are other things named Spirit of Adventure.  I also don't think my council could simply drop "Council."  If you google "Patriots Path" the majority of hits on the first page are about the hiking trail (which existed before the council did.)  "Patriots Path Scouting"?  I don't know.  I don't see any benefit to it.  Maybe they should just focus on the program and making this transition a smooth one, rather than the branding, but I guess that's just me.

    I hear "Spirit of Adventure' I also think the following things as well:

    - Some Ad mounted on the gas pump for an oil company credit card I see as I am filling up the Turtle Mobile. Kind of a competing version of 'lure of the open road'.

    - The name of a fake steamboat at Disney World that takes you to Tom Sawyer island or something.

    - A tagline on a  jacket Ad from REI that looks good and I can never afford. 

    Seems kind of generic corporate inspirational...see it everywhere. 

  8. Thankfully, in the pre-Social Media days there is plausible deniability. That said there are things scouts used to do that are best not mentioned around scouts at a campfire lest they think you are giving a wink-wink nudge-nudge encouragement. That said, I assumed that this was more of an adult virtual campfire and I did edit out a few bits.

  9. 26 minutes ago, qwazse said:

    Wendy Shaw, National's Membership Growth Group Director gave the keynote speech and taught a seminar at our UoS this weekend. The keynote was the usual "rah-rah" stuff: Positive media attention (which means little in region where for forty years, press releases usually came in advance of pink slips), Girls dens were growing, some additional boys joined because their sisters were having fun in a den, some dads participated more since the kids shared the activity, ... the usual rose-colored anecdotes.

    The seminar was more interesting as it focused on the challenges facing troop program rollout on Feb 1. For your edification, I'm sharing my notes, some of which we've hashed out already, but might help us understand what the pros are and are not getting ...

    Advancement challenges

    • Rogue troops (my term, not hers): how to tell a girl "no" when someone told her "yes"?
    • Eagle scout rank being rushed by 16 year-olds. How to keep it "about the journey, not the destination?" This got a lot of scouters in the room talking, because the girls they knew weren't giving two hoots about advancement. Meanwhile, national is getting inquiries from such girls.
    • The current thinking is that local advancement folks need to have this that conversation. I think the hope is that the best policies may trickle up from them.
    • As far as the requirements themselves are concerned, internally the sentiment is unanimous to make no changes. Externally (i.e. In the media) people have no clue about advancement, so they will not understand why a scout may not be approved for rank.

    As far as scrutiny by girls:

    • There is a lot of asking about eligibility for World Scout Jamboree, with blog posts by girls saying they can't wait to come.
    • Packs are concerned, each might have one or two AoLs but in sparse districts, a CO might not get the numbers to field a troop. (At this point, I leaned on our council membership pro about a plan to do "girl talks" in those districts' middle schools.)


    • Besides the common CO, they will share the troop #, and may share COR, MCs, ASMs, but not SMs.
    • I asked, and yes the linked troop will pay a separate rechartering fee. :( 
    • Why this arrangement? The ostensible concern is over youth leadership opportunities. They were very concerned that boys will leave a fully co-Ed unit.
    • However, national won't police troops as to their compliance with "separate but equal" meetings and activities. That will be up to council (I guess through that ubiquitous commissioner corps?).


    • Where a female youth is present, one registered female adult will be required at all activities and meetings of packs, troops, and crews.
    •  I interjected, "You do realize that you just killed Venturing?" She didn't disagree.
    • The real problem (not unlike what some of you experienced in the 90s) is that only 2% of trained ASMs/SMs are female. If growth surpasses training, we will be in the same jam as Scouts UK was.

    Things that aren't changing:

    • The organization remains Boy Scouts of America.
    • The magazine is Boy's Life.
    • Den Chiefs ... actually more venturers have started to fill those positions in the pilot packs.
    • Handbook - girls like the content, The next edition may have more images of girls, but the layout remains the same.
    • O/A will continue to have only one lodge per council.

    As far as the specific name for troops of female youth, she said they are still taking suggestions. I used "BSA4G" and she was taken aback. I explained, and I think she liked the sound of it. But it clearly shows she's not reading this forum. I'll try to send a link her way.

    Those are my notes. Hope they help.

    Good work. Thanks for bringing up (obvious) points. 

  10. Ah yes I believe Whitey got revenge on one of the boys, Donnie,  when they were playing 'tank' in the woods with some old wooden packing crates they would crawl inside. Donnie was  buttoned up inside the 'panzer' so the rest of the scouts put brush and leaves on top ("for atmosphere" my dad would say) and set it on fire. Donnie bailed out of the flaming 'tank' in most realistic fashion. Dad said he was not worried as they all had the "Firemanship" merit badge and an old seltzer fire extinguisher they used to put it out which was fun too.

    I think the Troop was basically my Dad's patrol of friends and hoodlums and going boy scout camping was walking 30 minutes out of town into the woods with cigarettes, canned goods, and the occasional can of beer. Sometimes they would stop by the Scout leaders house on the way out Friday afternoon and he might swing by with a car on Sunday monday  to check on them and drive them back in time for church where my dad was an alter boy (!). Dad ended at Tenderfoot (cars and girls) but I still have his Bugle which my son played and took on campouts. I also have his old handbook, the green 4th edition. I loved reading as a boy because it argued that scouts were encouraged to bath more than once a week and it would not make them sick. 

    • Upvote 1
  11. 11 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

    I once went on a training course at the London Underground, about how to work on the underground safely. Yep, had a few funny and horrible stories in there too, like the driver that decided he needed a whizz, like he often did, so opened the door in the middle of the end of the carriage, and didn't wave it about as much as he normally did, didn't break the stream. Apparently 400v DC through the .... is not good.

    My grandfather was a NYC firefighter who once was carrying a lady down a ladder from a 4th story window. The lady had barricaded the door, put her head in a gas oven, and turned on the gas. Neighbors smelled gas called the FD but they couldn't break down the door. It was the 1940's and apparently grandpa didn't have a breathing device then, got too much a dose of gas, and passed out going down with the lady on his back. Bounced down the ladder all the way and while he was hurt he survived.

    At which point in the story us hero worshiping youngsters asked if he had managed to save the lady. His reply was (edited for spicy language) 'heck no, I fell on top of her and she brook my fall. Doesn't bother me...crazy woman wanted to kill herself anyway." At which point he would start on to 'worst car crash' stories and mom would whisk us away. He didn't seem all that bothered but then again he drank pretty heavily.

    Grandpa went on partial disability, retired young and became a fire chief in a one-horse New England town. My father liked those years as a boy (and a scout) because he got to live in the 2nd floor of the fire house over the engines. Since the town was so small it didn't even have a theater on Friday nights they backed the equipment out of the garage and showed movies on the wall for 25 cents. My dad would run upstairs and make popcorn on the stove to sell for a dime. He said a lot of folks didn't have the dime and so he gave it away. Occasionally folks would later bring him stuff in exchange which is how he got a live grenade from a returning G.I. And THAT was Dad's good Scout story which included an explosion, what ever happened to Whiteys ear, the police, and a lot of cigarettes.

    I never learned who this Whitey was. He was in another scout story where he shinned 20' up a skinny tree to look for a (supposed) bear and was too scared to come down. His patrol's solution was to chop down the tree with Whitey on top. Occasionally many years later when my dad's old pals would swing by Florida to visit after a few drinks I would hear one of them say "remember when we cut down Whitey's tree?" 

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    • Haha 1
  12. 15 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    We had several doctors in our troop with a lot of stories for the campfire. But I quit listening to the emergency room doctor's stories because they kept me up all night.:o


    I work down the hall from some Fire Inspectors who all have many years working out of the station and as paramedics. Yeah some of those stories are both funny and horrible at the same time. 

  13. 18 minutes ago, ianwilkins said:

    I went on a three day first aid course for work a year or two back. You know when you go on courses and there's that one person that always has a story or anecdote or two. I got about halfway through the course before I suddenly realised...I was the anecdote guy! Nothing too serious, but I'm not sure anyone else on the course will be signing up to be a leader any time soon, as one of them said "Scouts sounds dangerous!" Ooops!

    I love going to summer camp and swapping 'worst stories in our Troop' with other scouters. We one scout accidentally stab another in the thigh with a K-Bar knife. That sometimes won. And the time some of the older scouts took a leaders keys, snuck out of summer camp, and 'borrowed' his car. When at 3am it was discovered they went missing someone 'fessed up that they said they wanted to get something to drink. Since the camp was in the mountains in a 'dry' county they eventually they were found 45 minutes away at a country bar, in uniform, drinking beer. I sometimes win on that one. 

    For some reason they were never kicked out and managed to make Eagle. Stars on the High School football team or something. Right before my time.

    • Haha 1
  14. 18 hours ago, WisconsinMomma said:

    I'm totally just wandering by to show off my boys' updated merit badge sashes, 11 year old's is on the right, 13 year old's is on the left.  

    My 13 y.o.did his family project for Family life and has his chore log done.  It's been months and months but he's getting there.  11 y.o. is/was having difficulty for swimming, getting down to the bottom to pick up an object. He'll get there eventually. 

    Proud  mama!


    merit badges Mar 2017.jpg

    I like how they do not have exactly the same badges like some brothers and there is a good number of non-Eagle required! Good work.

  15. 13 minutes ago, ScottishNaomi said:

    How do I get her to zip it up though Tampa, do I do it myself? 

    Zip ties?

    Actually get another adult to tell her or better yet an older girl. They are always much more likely to follow the directions of any one but a parent.

  16. 58 minutes ago, WisconsinMomma said:

    I like this.  I have never been to Philmont and honestly don't know all that much about it, but I will tell you that my boys' troop is not necessarily into high adventure and the adults in my sons' troop seem unenthused about putting together a big trek.  

    So, perhaps my family, mom, dad, 3 boys wants to go as our own family trip?   That's fine.  It's easier to manage than trying to get it through the troop.  Of course if the troop goes, or if we have a multi-troop thing going, they could join up with that.  But maybe for our family, it would work better to go on the family dates.   At least we have options and it's more accessible to get down there. 



    There have been times in my family scouting career where we deserted Mrs Turtle that a proposed trip like this would have smoothed the waters. So I can see the utility.

    • Upvote 1
  17. 1 hour ago, carebear3895 said:

    That's one thing the old yo1 YPT had over the new one IMO. As cheesy as they were, I liked that they included scouting specific scenarios such as a leader walking off with a scout, or the scout taking pictures by the showerhouse. Plus in the old one they reiterated Two-deep in almost every training module, which I think they only mentioned once in the new YPT2.


    Overall, I think YPT2 looks prettier and has more in depth information about Child Abuse in general, but I think its a less effective training tool for Leaders

    Yeah every-time we got a couple boys walking off to the showerhouse at Camp I get a visual memory of that training. I may have even said "no pictures in the bath house!"

  18. 9 minutes ago, jjlash said:

    I was only half listening but yes - it is through PTC, not through camping HQ, and it sounded like no training course is required.

    And did anyone notice the dates....June 23 - July 7.  Weeks 3 and 4.  The weeks that were traditionally LDS weeks but quite suddenly became empty weeks this year.  No surprise that they are trying something to recoup that lost income.



    The LDS units...did they get to use Donkeys or Hand Carts?

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