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True Believer

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About True Believer

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  1. I know that leaders must take Youth Protection Training every two years. Later, I was told that the same is true for Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. Now, I am being asked to retake This is Scouting, Leader Specific and Outdoor Leaders Skills...... While I can understand Youth Protection, I don't understand the need to retake the latter. What's the definitive word?
  2. True Believer

    Giving Up on Recruting Webelos

    There are two issues which occur when recruiting from Cub Packs: One is the parent issue thoroughly discussed above. The Second is the Webelos program itself. Just as the Cub Scout program is very different from the Boy Scout program, the Cub Scout program is very different from the Webelos program. We have three packs in our area. One does the Webelos program correctly: no more arts and crafts, more outdoor activities, joint events with local troops, use of a "patrol" instead of a "den", etc. One does not do the program correctly, outright refuses, and they lose most of their members after Webelos one. the other waivers from year to year. If the Cub Leadership fails to prep the boys for Boy Scouts and follow the program, all is for naught.
  3. True Believer

    Whats the job of your Troops ASMs

    Our Troop used to suggest that every family have one adult sign up as an ASM; I could never understand this and ended it. Most didn't sign up, anyway. If someone wants to be an ASM in our troop, we ask them to come camping with us a few times, and complete Scoutmaster training. We had too many guys who refused to do the training, and this ended that problem. We also had a number of helicopter moms wanting to be ASMs, so they could go caping with their boys (!). This ended those aspirations. ASMs are given assignments: one for each patrol, one to work with the quartermaster, one to work on high adventure with the older scouts. Others who want to help as needed. Seems to work well.
  4. Every once in a while, I have a Scout whose family is moving out of the area. We say "goodbye" during circle up at the end of the meeting. I was wondering if any troops out there have a ceremony to wish the Scout well and to encourage him to find a new troop?
  5. True Believer

    Unit Bylaws

    Beevah is absolutely right in advising that you draft bylaws before any issues arise. Once you start drafting while an issue is sitting out there, everyone will focus on drafting rules that they think will fix the problem, or exact punishment on whom they perceive to be the enemy. Just as legislation drafted to remedy one event or problem, becomes poor law, so it will be with your set of bylaws. As an attorney who helps create partnerships, small corporations and non-profit groups, I always implore the individuals to draft bylaws prior to beginning any work. Once work begins, issues and fears begin to arise and it becomes impossible to draft a good set of procedures and goals. When you write, focus on procedures. How is the group to run? The list of points, posted above, is a very good place to start. What is the chain of command? Who runs the group? I suggest that you always put in the following clause: "The rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order, newly revised, shall govern the proceedings of the Troop Committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws" This is important for two reasons: 1) you may miss something in your draft. If you do, get a copy of Robert's Rules and it will tell you how to proceed; 2) If there is anything, in drafting your bylaws, which cannot be resolved or you find too charged to discuss, let Robert's Rules decide (I find this particularly helpful in determining how to discipline wayward members). The Bylaws are intended to be a skeleton, stating who the officers are, how they are chosen, and how they are going to get things done together. Bylaws should not get too specific on micro issues...the detail of how things are done beyond basic procedure.
  6. No, not exactly. While we are asking for the $85 up front (and I don't like that we are doing it), it's a far cry from $350 up front PLUS several fund raisers. But, more to my point, from what I have been reading, above, I get the impression that these charges and set asides for equipment, etc, are being developed and implemented by adults. There is no Scout discussion of a program, how much it will cost (budget) and how are they are going to raise the money...annually. The budget (income) has already been set for them. No need to learn about how to budget and spend. We've taken that away from them. That's my point.
  7. This is very interesting stuff. Each year, our PLC develops its yearly plan, determines its likely cost, and plans how it is going to pay for it. Traditionally, the Troop has made ends meet through dues and a few fundraisers. Dues were paid by the Scout, each meeting, at $2.00. It was suggested that parents NOT just hand the Scout their $2.00, but make them earn it (Troop policy since 1938). The problem is, present attitudes. Parents just can't be bothered paying two dollars a week, let alone making their children responsible for earning it, thus dues were coming up short, and it created a problem. No amount of reminders, discussion as to the intent, created a fix to the problem. We literally had to require that the yearly dues be paid up front. I see this as another loss to the Scout program; another area where personal responsibility is being lost to convenience. Recently, I have learned that a local troop requires hundreds of dollars, annually, to be paid up-front by parents. They have great equipment, including large dining tents and stoves. Lots a great stuff. But, what are we teaching our Scouts? By doing this, aren't we just passing this generations preoccupation with "stuff", and how things look, as opposed to substance and the aims of the program? I don't think it's a coincidence that these high priced troops are all adult led.
  8. True Believer

    thoughts on a "1st year" patrol

    We tried doing a first year patrol, and it failed for a variety of reasons. Now, we have a new scout patrol, composed of incoming former Webelos, until about May, and well before summer camp. We ask each new scout to write down one or two buddies that they would like to be with in a patrol. Then the Senior Patrol leader and the Scoutmaster assign these pairs to an existing patrol. These seems to work very well.
  9. True Believer

    Happy Independence Day

    Emmon, If you study the time period, you will see that much of English society was sympathetic to our Revolution. Certainly, it was understood that the Tory government mishandled the whole thing. As far as those co-workers telling you we Kicked English Butt... First, WE were English citizens at the time; Second, there is a strong likelihood that we won because the Howe brothers were Whigs and kept letting Washington escape annihilation in the early years; Third, English public opinion was with the "rebels". Fourth, it was the principles of the English constitution that began the whole effort. So, Happy Fourth of July!
  10. True Believer

    Happy Independence Day

    That's the spirit! Keep those words alive.
  11. True Believer

    Religious services on overnight trips

    You guys raise a good point about overthinking the 2 deep rule. If one adult leader is present but not alone with the scout(s), there is no YP problem. I can't believe that we all (here) have overlooked such a simple matter. OK. I have more than enough here to go to the Committee and have the policy changed to something more reasonable. Again, thank you all very much.
  12. True Believer

    Religious services on overnight trips

    OK, just to pour some water on the heat I see generating on this thread...... NO ONE is FORCING or Coercing anyone to attend a particular denomination. If a Scout says, I don't want to go, someone will stay outside with him, within the parameters of BSA mandated two deep leadership. So far, no one has taken that position, probably because they are not being forced to do anything but sit and be quiet. Beevah is correct, in my mind: If you have a problem with your son going to a Catholic Church because of the two deep leadership mandate, then step up to the plate and go camping with us. Take your son elsewhere. Otherwise, out of respect, courtesy, kindness and reverence, understand that the Catholic scouts must go to mass, to do their duty to God. If there are not enough Protestant parents on the camping trip, we must all go to the Catholic Church, out of obedience to the BSA youth protection mandate. This is not an easy issue. It is not one that can be wished away by a Scouts Own Service. I appreciate all of your comments which I will take to my Committee, including those posted hereafter. I value all of you, highly. And, yes, our Presbyterian Charter organization knows exactly what the committee rule is (see the first post in this thread), and the church elders have accepted it.
  13. True Believer

    Religious services on overnight trips

    Unfortunately, given our wide range of localities on monthly camp outs, such a person is not available. And then, there is the issue of....Mass attendance for Catholics. Catholics have been taught that if they miss Sunday Mass, it is a mortal sin (a very serious matter). Now, remember that I am a practicing Catholic. I have been advised by clerics that this is not a requirement...missing one mass is not an issue. Nevertheless, as in most matters, what may be so doesn't matter if the belief of a majority is different. And, by far, most believe that the Sunday Mass is a requirement. Thus, a Non-denominational service is ok, but it does not fulfill the Mass obligation. If I can expand on your point though, perhaps I can get a deacon in to express church doctrine and that will calm everyone down. I see what you are saying.
  14. My troop committee has a long standing rule, that if the troop does not make it back from an overnight trip on Sunday, before 10:30 am, the Scoutmaster must take the Scouts to a church on the way home. As Scoutmaster, I have carried out this prudent rule, because, if we did not get back on time, it is unlikely that those who regularly attended church would be able to get the services/mass on time. This year, I have been getting a lot of resistance, not only from the Scouts, but adults on the trip. Half of my troop are Roman Catholics. The other half is composed of various Protestant denominations. The understanding is that our Troop Chaplain's Aide will obtain a Catholic Church and a Presbyterian Church (our chartering organization) in the area, for us to attend. However, we frequently have two deep youth protection issues, in that the leaders tend to be Catholics. So, as per the understanding, we all go to a Catholic Church. For years this has been ok. Now, I am getting a little resistance from non-Catholic parents. Add to this the rules about who can and cannot receive communion, and instead of bringing us together, it makes obvious what separates us. I have therefore asked the Troop Committee to review this situation, and its policy at the next meeting. I have asked it to publicize its policy beyond the troop new parent handout, so that all are informed of it, and know that it's just not me who is insisting on going to church (yes, that's an issue too) and a Roman Catholic one at that (yes, I am a Catholic). This is a long way of asking, is anyone aware of guidelines from National BSA on this topic? Thank you.
  15. True Believer

    Todays helicopter parents??

    Wow...Old Grey Owl....VERY NICE. I will be handing that out at the next meeting. Thank you very much!
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