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Posts posted by 5scoutmom

  1. My crew is charging $35 for the first member in a family with a $5 reduction for each subsequent member. The youth members themselves came up with the schedule. We also charge a per person fee for certain activities like camping trips. Fundraising monies go to the group as a whole and are used for things like renting camping spots for the crew and purchasing crew equipment. Adult members other than the committee pay the same rates.

  2. Oh, and you should have a word with the bed wetter's parents. My oldest wet the bed till just about the time he had his first girlfriend We sent him to camp with a medication that suppressed urine output over night. At home, we'd wake him twice a night to go but we didn't want to broadcast his issues or, more importantly, put a burden like that on a volunteer, so our pediatrician prescribed a med. The camp nurse gave it to him at my request so that the SM and other adult leaders didn't know what he was taking. He just thought it was a med to help him sleep. He never had an accident at scout camp or on a sleepover.

  3. Our troop had one boy who was so homesick that his mom had to come get him on day 3. Ironically, his dad had actually been at camp and stayed after the boy left! The kid couldn't be apart from his electronics without withdrawal symptoms. He went to camp every year with his dad and every year went home early while the dad stayed. The day he turned 18, he left scouting without having advanced beyond first class or earning any merit badges. He didn't want to be in scouts, but his dad sure did. OTOH, my son went to scout camp having never been away more than one night in his life. After one week, they called and asked if he could stay a second week. When he came home, his first words were "When can I go back to camp?"

    • Upvote 1
  4. David CO -


    Our CO is a church and it has a pack and a troop. There's another troop in town as well. Our COR, a friend of mine for many years, sent his only son to the other troop. When I asked him about it, he said he wanted to avoid any appearance of favoritism towards his son, especially since his family belonged to the CO church. His son knows he earned his eagle and wasn't just pushed along because of who his dad is. The dad is still our COR even though his son is now out of college.

  5. Given that the boys involved were cubs, I think the pack did the right thing. Small children don't grasp the issues and wouldn't understand why they were good enough to pick up garbage but their water wasn't good enough to sell. I would not have given it away for free because that's rewarding the bad behavior of the organizers and the bullies. I would have either stored the water for the next event or donated it to a worthy cause.


    I am an adult leader of a crew and, if my unit had been involved in this incident, I would have given the group a chance to vote on what they wanted to do to handle it. They're older and this would have been a good learning experience in many ways - how do you react to hostility from people who don't know you personally, discussing the issues as a group and reaching a consensus, responding to the hostility (or not)...


    One thing for sure, I would never expose my unit to that particular activity again.


    As for community service, etc.: when my scouts were younger, they volunteered at blood drives. Now, as each turns 16, it's a right of passage for them to begin donating. Several of my boys even do the big machine, which can take up to an hour. They get fed and once they even got tickets to a sports event. They don't do it for that, they do it because they understand that donating blood is an important thing to do and an easy way to contribute to your community. They go as a group and wear uniforms... Ditto for our food drives, where they only get the fun of trying to win the "strangest food" donated contest. The prize is a picture of the child holding up the item. However, they can also get community service hours towards scouting advancement. Does that lessen the value of their activity? Not in my mind.


    I think that these cub scouts in Vermont are owed an apology, but I doubt one will be forthcoming.

  6. Congratulations on your son's achievement. My son's COH was one of the proudest days of my life as a mom.


    As for scout music, I have no suggestions. For my son's processional I selected the theme from "Dr. Who" because my son and all of his friends are big fans but I didn't tell anyone what the music was until it began to play. The smile on the faces of my son and his friends and the laughter of the audience was a great start to the ceremony. I also had my daughter sing the National Anthem; she's a vocal music minor.


    Whatever you choose music wise, the day will be wonderful and memorable.

  7. SSScout -


    The organizers didn't pay for the drinks. The attendees paid for the open bar and tickets cost a great deal of money. There was a discounted price for current unit members, everyone else paid much more. It cost me close to $400 to bring part of my family to this party. There was no choice given as to whether you wanted to pay extra for an open bar as is done at my company holiday party (I would have declined). It was a scout event honoring the unit, not any individual members. It was billed as a celebration of the unit, there was a glossy magazine with the history of the unit and advertisements. People were expecting a scout event.


    I guess I just find it hypocritical.



  8. There isn't a copyright on how to start a fire per se but the precepts of, for instance, Leave No Trace, were designed by BSA as are the merit badges, etc. The impression that I got is that TL is cannibalizing those parts of BSA material that they want. They want Christian religious recognitions, that's fine, but making a similar number of ranks and almost equivalent requirements to BSA is cheating. A conversion chart implies that they are not using original concepts but are copying Scout concepts. Although imitation is supposedly the sincerest form of flattery, this isn't imitation, it's theft of ideas. I don't know if BSA has copyrighted or trademarked any of its merit badge books or the names it uses but...


    Let TL come up with a completely different program that doesn't just steal BSA ideas and put them in a fundamentalist right wing context and I'll be fine.

  9. Thank you all for your thoughts.


    Packsaddle, I am familiar with the rules you mention and I have feasted my eyes on them. That is partly where my inquiry comes up. The unit involved is NOT my unit and I had no input into the planning of this event. My family left this unit a number of years ago because we didn't like how it was run but we attended this celebration to mark the time we had spent in it and to honor those who came before the current adult leadership. In my current unit, adults do not drink in front of scouts at any type of scouting related function and we emphasize that scouting and drinking do not mix. My husband's father died of alcoholism related illnesses and we are, therefore, incredibly diligent with our children and those we are responsible for in scouting about how we treat alcohol and drinking. I did have a drink at the function but only because there was an open bar; I would not have complained had there not been one. To that end, I was modeling responsible drinking for my own children but I told them that I was shocked that there was a bar at the event.


    I will state that I did not see any adult uniformed leader drinking but I wasn't watching all the time and I wasn't sitting at the same table.


    Someone at the party who was also upset about it told me that I should contact the DE but then I saw him at the party. I didn't see him drinking but he wasn't in uniform. Again, I wasn't paying that much attention to him.


    After reading these responses, I think that I am not going to do anything other than make sure that my own scout functions, to which the other unit will be invited because we share a CO and some overlapping members, are properly run. We are planning a party for an upcoming unit anniversary and are going to hold it at our CO (a religious facility) which will doubly ensure that no alcohol is served.


    I guess I was just surprised and wondered if there had been any changes in the rules that I was unaware of.


  10. /when you say district recognition dinners, do you mean adult only? I have no problem with alcohol at that type of function. This was a family event, though, with cub scout aged children in attendance as well. There was one adult leader in uniform, and many boys in uniform.

  11. Your son is a Webelos I and will be 10.5 in April? Is this typical for where you live? My son turned 10.5 in Webelos 2 in March of 5th grade and bridged the same month with his W2 den members. My school district has a December cutoff so he was one of the younger boys in his grade. However, he did fine and made Eagle - he is 20 now. I think that 10.5 is old enough to be in scouts but if your son moves up without his friends, he'll not only be the youngest but he'll be without his support group of friends. That's the main reason I would hold him back. My son wasn't the only 10 year old there, there was enough of them to form 2 patrols that year and many of them wound up remaining in scouts through HS. If your son doesn't have friends to tent with or work with in a patrol, he may not want to be in scouts anymore. Perhaps you can think about having him volunteer with a den or to help out at pack meetings so he doesn't feel bored.

  12. It was not a spontaneous gathering, it was apparently planned for quite some time and it was organized by the scouting unit. There were more than 50 people in attendance.


    Why do you say someone goofed and what might the repercussions be?

  13. I read about Trail Life and my first thought was the BSA should go to court and get injunctions against this group. How DARE they just change the names of things and think they have a "new" program. They even have a conversion (ha ha, not!) chart for changing BSA ranks, etc. to Trail Life equivalents. It's a copy cat program and National should sue them. It's fine to have your own group if you have sincere differences of opinion, but have some originality. Don't copy because you don't have enough creativity to come up with your own ranks and badges.

  14. Recently, my family and I attended a party celebrating a milestone for a scouting unit. It was held at a local catering hall. The boys in the troop and adult leadership wore uniforms; other guests dressed for an occasion. There was an open bar. I was surprised but admit that I had a drink since I wasn't driving. My adult children also had a drink; obviously, my minor children did not. The question came up at the party as many people were curious and most thought that no alcohol could be served at a function where scouts were in uniform. Is there such a rule and would it apply to a situation like this?

  15. We have a mix of members: some are cross-registered, some are scouting dropouts (primarily because of the leadership of the local troop), some are female and some are boys who've never been involved in scouting ever or were cubs for a year or two. My son was our first Eagle but 5 of our cross-registered boys are already eagles and 4 or 5 are still planning to work on it. After a year or so of no interest in earning Venturing awards, the kids have decided to work on obtaining ranger awards. They want EVERYONE, from the 14 year olds to the 20 year olds, to earn it and are going to set up a program. Obviously, some of the kids have more skills and experience than others, but they are great peer leaders and mentors to each other. I've never seen a group of kids so wide in age range that is so close. My youngest son and his friends said they didn't fear Freshman hazing this year because they knew their crew buddies in older grades would watch out for them - and they did. We've had only one issue with awards - a young lady joined and wanted to get a ranger award IMMEDIATELY - in time to put it on her college apps. Her brother advanced more quickly and she quit - she was angry that the crew advisor made her demonstrate knowledge of skills and didn't require her brother to do it, She didn't get that her brother's status as a Life Scout (since made Eagle) meant that he had already shown he knew many of the skills.


    I personally could care less about the awards. I was the Tiger den mom whose kids had no beads but had done all of the achievements. To me, the essence of scouting is camaraderie and learning leadership and peer skills. One of the best young men I know went all the way through scouting and left at 18 having earned not one merit badge. He never hesitated to help another scout study or practice a skill, is one of the kindest children I have ever encountered. loved camping and scouting but had zero interest in advancement for its own sake. And, no, he's not my child though I would be proud if he were.


    On the plus side of the awards, my second son was a mediocre college candidate. He was a national merit commended student but had only a C+ average because homework bored him. He was accepted into a college and given a small scholarship because he is an Eagle scout - I know because my daughter attends the same school and works in admissions and the director told her that.

  16. Some years ago, there was an older boy in my son's troop who wound up going to a juvy like alternative school. His next step was prison. I think it was drugs, not violence. There was a scout troop at the school and this boy joined it. He became a leader and when he left the school, he returned to our troop and made Eagle. I saw his dad recently and learned that he was so inspired by the second chance he'd been given in scouting that he went to college AND grad school, became a social worker and is an ASM for a troop for troubled kids. Sometimes, a kid takes a bad turn but keeping him on a good path can turn him back on the right path. Scouting didn't give up on him and he realized he could do it the right way. Note that my feelings differ about violence - I don't think kids who hurt other kids belong in scouting at all.

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  17. Thank you to all who wrote. My son's COH was last weekend and it turned out well. We did a breakfast cooked by his fellow scouts at the church which is our meeting place. My son's project was done in the parish reception hall so we had the ceremony and the party there to show it off. We had a color guard and then an honor guard of 4 friends led him in. 1 was already an eagle scout and the other 3 are all set to be. Then the scouts recited the pledge of allegiance. My daughter sang the National Anthem. Then we had a few speakers, all from our political party because my son did not want anyone from the other. Our local representative made a lovely speech about my son and his project, 3 other politicos spoke and gave awards. Then we got our parent pins, I gave him his eagle pin, he made his speech and gave out 2 mentor pins. We then invited all of the eagle scouts present up to recite the scout oath. At a recent COH we attended, the MC asked all Eagles to stand and identify themselves by name, troop and date of Eagle, which my son really liked. . We asked them all to come up front and surround my son before giving their dates. They went back to 1953!


    Your responses helped me to calm down and plan this properly. My son was happy with the ceremony and so were my husband and I. My next son is now inspired to work towards his eagle because he had seen the positive impact his brother and the half dozen friends who've recently made eagle have made.

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  18. My son's COH is coming up. My husband, who is the advisor of son's Venture Crew, wants the ceremony to be as short as possible. So does my son. I am willing to dispense with the candle lighting ceremony, the Voice of the Eagle speech, the reading of the Scout mom poem and 100 Scouts. I am also willing to dispense with the explanations of the 12 points (I'm moving them to the program). However, my husband has planned to have the Scout Oath and Law recited by the other scouts who are present and not by my son alone. I believe that he has to recite the scout oath and law, as well as the 12 points, for his eagle to be legal. My husband and I have been hanging up on each other all week over this. I haven't found anything on the net that answers the question one way or the other. Please help.

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  19. Tampa Turtle -


    What kind of knife did you get for your lefty? My 13 year old is my only lefty and he's about ready for a good knife.


    As for other gifts, depending on your climate -


    fingerless gloves

    scout belt

    homemade fire starter kit

    cook kit

    headlight lantern

    hanging lantern for tent

    attachable reading light (my youngest even reads in his sleeping bag)



  20. To answer the second part of the question, my son socializes with youth members, including my 16 and 18 year sons and the other boys. I expect him to act maturely and set a good example. These are kids who, for the most part, have been his younger brothers' friends for years and who know him.


    I think the two young men who are best friends are fine. The older one should not show favoritism towards the younger at crew activities but clearly they are friends and the crew is another fun activity for them.


    As I said before, the purpose of the rule is to prevent abuse of a younger person by an older person. I don't believe the purpose is to stifle or destroy normal and healthy relationships between people who are a few years apart in age. When I was 18, I met a co-worker who became my lifelong best friend. At the time she was 23. Should I not have become friends with her at the camp we worked at because she was over 21?

  21. My son is 22 and his girlfriend of 5 years is 20. He is now adult leadership and she is youth. They do not bunk or tent together on camping trips and neither would dream of doing so, although they are sexually active. My understanding is that married couples can bunk or tent together. My H tents, I do not so we don't share a sleeping space on trips. I bunk in a cabin with the female members and he camps out with the boys.


    In this case, since their relationship is of longstanding nature and began when he was a youth member, I see no reason to end it or put it under deep cover. I believe that the rule was instituted to prevent older adult leaders from pursuing youth members, not to derail relationships that began when both parties were youths.


    My son and his gf do not engage in PDAs. All of the members and their parents know they are a couple. Fortunately, in my opinion, marriage is at least another 5 years away and parenthood even farther.

  22. I am boggled by this thread.


    I know many gay men and women and not one of them is a pedophile. I am sure that there are gays who molest children, but the vast majority of men who molest and abuse children self-identify as straight. Many scouters who were outed as abusers were married men with families so that's not even a guarantee of safety for your children. I believe that there is one morality and that gayness, in and of itself, is not immoral. Child molestation on the other hand is not only immoral but illegal and child molesters should be locked away for life. That said, I do not believe that being gay should disqualify someone from being a scouter.


    The town I live in is very diverse, socio-economically, religously, racially, ethnically and in many other ways. I have been involved in scouting for 15 years. We lost families when the Dale decision came down and my husband and I agonized over whether we should stay in. We decided that scouting was good for our sons and that we would not knowingly discriminate against anyone just because they were gay. Over the years, people have told the boys that they won't buy popcorn or contribute because of the gay issue. I always tell them that if they feel that way, they should write to BSA National but that the money or food we are collecting is going to stay in our town to help our residents and we don't discriminate. Many times, the person reconsiders and donates to our troop, in our town. Scouting is local.


    This is the forum where we can express our opinions. I see from prior posts that others don't share my opinion but we are all adults and can agree to disagree. However, I think and hope that the one thing we all have in common is that we care for and about scouting and want it to thrive...



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