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Tokala

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Posts posted by Tokala


  1. The threat from National was to pull the Council charter or reduce it's geography to an unsustainable level. My comments were that they would be stupid to do that because it would just inflame and cause a mutiny with volunteers and parents. Unfortunately not having the benefit of a Council website or email system, the opposition was squelched. Honestly, the available volunteer pool has been shrinking making it more difficult to recruit and then offer program. The Region wanted a merger done a few years ago and when WCFC rejected it we were given conditional charters for 2 years as punishment.


  2. You can add Gulf Ridge Council based in Tampa, FL and West Central Florida Council based in Seminole, FL to the list of mergers. Neither is in debt or crisis. Both are stable with sizable endowments. A vieled threat from National has been persistent and WCFC being smaller geographically and membership has capitulated. Final vote by the CORs will be in March with corporate paperwork done by June. Hopefully the result is better and more program. Too bad we dpn't have a plan other than "this will be great and our volunteers will love it". I say that as a Board member of WCFC.


  3. There are 3 types of charters now: regular, conditional and transitional. My Council was placed on a conditional charter for 2 years for a couple of reasons with one being purely political manipulation by the Region and Area leadership. We were given markers to hit both years and if we missed, we would be given a transitional charter which means we would enter merger discussions. National can already manipulate a Council's charter, now it seems they are changing the rules to manipulate the mere existence and assets of a Council. Now, the region leadership is using the second change that I mentioned above to get us to discuss merging again because if we don't they will just do it when they change the rules.


  4. National has by-laws that all Councils agree to operate by in order to receive a charter. I have heard that two changes are coming in May 2016 that affect Council business decisions:

    First is one removing CORs from a vote determining merging or selling property. I hear that one is a definite change. The second one, is that National can override Council Boards and force mergers and selling properties.

     

    Anyone gere serving on that National committee? Anyone hear anything in your area?


  5. My Council has about 1200 Boy Scouts and 1000 Cub Scouts. Total membership is less than 3800. We have a great program and two well-run camps (by volunteers). Our school system gave us the boot a long time ago which seriously impacted our abilities to recruit. Until a few years ago, the Executive Board and untis continued to beat their heads against the wall of the school board and did not look at new ways to recruit. We have made a lot of progress working around the school board and doing more non-traditional recruiting efforts. Other than small membership, our JTE scores were better than most of the Councils in our area which include Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and Tampa.

    • Upvote 1

  6. Tokala, can you please explain to me why you need to copy the driver's license? I've run into that before at other places and have never understood the logic. Verify the id, sure, but not make a copy, especially if it is the parent.

     

    A parent should never be hassled when picking up their own child, barring any custody issues. Check ID, check of the scout's file, sure, a call to the scout leader, no problem. Log sheet signature and out the door.

    Because people are not honest. Usually copying the ID happens when they did not give us a form before camp and show up at the office wanting to take a child somewhere. At that point we don't even know if they have legal custody. Since as a camp director, you can be held liable (without BSA legal to back you up), I prefer to cover my butt.


  7. We use a separate form that a parent completes prior to camp if a Scout has to leave property without his unit. We also copy the driver's license of the person that picks the Scout up. Two simple procedures could make the difference in a risky situation. Would you be happy if a parent that did not have custody showed up at camp and took a child? I bet the parent that did have custody would be grateful. We do not let the person into camp that is picking them up. We send a staff member to meet th unit leader and bring the Scout to the camp office. Better safe than sorry. There are creepy, desperate people out there.


  8. I see a drastic drop off in people willing to volunteer at the District and Council level locally. Not sure about the unit level. It's going to get worse in Florida. A new law that becomes effective July 1 will require all of our volunteers to submit to fingerprinting background checks. Not many people will want to pay $50-75 to "volunteer".


  9. My lodge had 35 deposits paid and ended up with only 23 slots. We picked up additional youth slots, but as Lodge Adviser, I had to refund deposits to 16 adults. They never anticipated the participation when registration opened. Thankfully, I have my staff position that about guarantees me a spot. My responsibilities have me involved in just about every aspect of NOAC and yet I usually do not get to participate or see any of the events. I enjoy the job and the people that I have worked with since ArrowCorps5 in 2008. We are probably th smallest staff and go unnoticed. We run the trucks that haul all of the gear for the program starting days in advance of even the staff reporting.


  10. It's a shame the 100th anniversary NOAC couldn't be at UI Bloomington. My son's going, but I remain on the fence. Like so much OA, NOAC has began to loose touch with both it's purpose, and that of the OA, substituting goofy games, and fun activities for OA program with a purpose.

    I've been a member, and adamant supporter, of the OA for thirty four years, but the program is loosing its focus. NOAC would be the perfect place to begin putting the program back on track ... but I fear it's becoming a huge frat party, without the liquor.

     

    I was at the planning meeting in Dallas when the bids were presented by MSU and IU. The economics drove the decision to hold it at MSU. The scope of the OA has increased drastically since I joined in 1977. The OA is now involved in OA High Adventure (service to the national high adventure bases), Cub Scout service, community service, camp service, and many other things. In 1977 it was pretty much limited to camp service. I don't see the expansion of areas to provide service as"losing focus".

     


  11. Camp is supposed to be fun. National standards require a camp to leave time available for patrols or troops to have independent program in their campsite. Sadly, the majority of the leaders and parnets attending summer camp with a troop probably don't possess the skills needed to have separate programs. The troops tend to rely on the camp and staff to offer program for them.
    Twocubdad, you misunderstand me. I don't think the camp should offer programming all the time. I said that the Troops and parents expect it. We add lots of open program in the late afternoon and evening. It's available and we don't force them to do anything. They can choose to nap, go on a hike, hit the trading post, free swim, whatever they darn well please. We offer it because the Troops expect it and want it. We don't make them participate.

  12. Camp is supposed to be fun. National standards require a camp to leave time available for patrols or troops to have independent program in their campsite. Sadly, the majority of the leaders and parnets attending summer camp with a troop probably don't possess the skills needed to have separate programs. The troops tend to rely on the camp and staff to offer program for them.


  13. I took 2 troops to Buffalo Bill back in 2001. Our 40 people were more than they could handle for the high adventure program that they offered. I constantly reminded them in all my communication that all 40 people were coming specifically for that program. They ended up dividing the group in half and running half through the program in the reverse schedule.


  14. We run a half week of camp for Webelos. We let them sign up by a den with enough adult leadership or as a parent-son team. Camp opens on Sunday July 6 and ends Wednesday July 9. We have 8 opportunities to work on activity pins and belt loops on Monday and Tuesday with lots of open/free time for things like climbing, rappelling, slacklines, BB guns, etc. Our camp is Sand Hill Scout Reservation near Brooksville, FL. You can check out the parent/leaders guide at www.wcfcbsa.org.


  15. There is nothing that says ceremonies must be held in the dark, after sunset, or after dinner. If you look at the Ordeal and it's tests, the ceremony really should be conducted before dinner. Either that or figure out a way to handle the 2 tests that would be violated by the leadership if dinner is held before the ceremony. My lodge has scheduled it both ways over the years.


  16. My camp has excellent shooting sports facitlities. I've discussed the idea of adding the NRA/Winchester Marksmanship program this summer. Seems a "no-brainer" since we have the facilities, equipment and instructors. We're going to make having the merit badge a prerequisite. This program should draw some older Scouts that really want to develop their shooting skills to camp.


  17. Oldscout448, the new Brotherhood ceremony is a completely different script. The tests remain the same, but how they are explained and presented to the candidates is new. I saw the proposed ceremony at the 2012 Planning Meeting and again at our Section meet. I do know that the folks involved took input seriously. I'm just not sure how much will be changed by the time it is released. Lodges have the option to continue with the current cermony through 2014. In 2015, Lodges will be required to use the new ceremony. I'm not sure how they can enforce that without having ceremonial police attend Lodge functions.

     

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