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Everything posted by blw2

  1. no question really, just getting philosophical My son is just under 1 year in with the troop and I am finding it interesting that he's not really energized at all about doing anything towards suggesting activities or camps, patrol outings or activities, or anything really. He's just happy going along with whatever "they" plan.... He's never been what I would describe as "gung ho" really.... about advancement, awards, etc.... he's really just going along with the fun, even going back to cubs. So this isn't really a surprise He did surprise me early on when he volunteered to take the youth leader training, which the troop requires for any scout elected or appointed to a position... and this was before his patrol of new scouts was fully formed and they had not yet elected their PL. He WANTED to be PL. I can't see he knew what that even was, but he WANTED it. Anyway, his friend was elected PL, and so my son was appointed APL. I have really stayed hands off, except on occasion I have tried to coach and encourage him just a little. he really has done nothing. The PL even less. My son won't do anything because he is not the patrol leader and so it's not his job. I've tried to encourage him that if he wants PL he needs to show his scouts that he is there supporting them. Anyway, I'm just thinking how much more fun he might have if he and the other scouts would jump in, do some research, come up with and suggest the fun things that THEY WANT to do and make it happen.... bring it to the PLC, and do it.... and I know he has ideas.... there have been several times when he's asked, why don't we do X, Y, or Z? and I'll suggest that maybe "they" would if he suggested it.... but he never does. and I think it's a combination of things. 1) he knows the adults are planning and driving things, so why bother? 2) he really doesn't feel like part of the leadership. He's new, he's young, and he knows it. 3) he realizes that the APL really isn't the PL 4) he doesn't have a take charge nature, and is more of a follower in many ways.... I see this same thing out of all the scouts really.... BUT OH how much more fun they would have if they would get on board with the idea!
  2. blw2

    Committee Meetings

    well said @ParkMan. Very well said. the meeting is only reporting situations and status, brainstorming, hearing from the program side scouters (scoutmaster or cubmaster), and a forum for for the committee to give input or information to the program side scouters. 100% of that can be done outside of a meeting Honestly, I often felt that in this day and age, with all of our options for immediate digital communications.....on both the individual and on the group levels...that the meetings are almost a waste of time...certainly not necessary. About the only good from them is the benefits of face to face time....and even that can be done digitally if your really wanted to
  3. ....or sitting on the roof of my RV with my coffee watching the sunrise hot air balloon launch drift over the campground.... or later in the day sitting in that same spot with my favorite beverage and a snack, watching the Blue Angles pull a 6-8G turn just a few hundred feet directly over my head those were both memories from my trip to Sun n Fun earlier this year, not Air Venture but close..... and would be even sweeter sitting around a camp site with friends ...now that I'm thinking about it, I've seen a few troops camping at Sun n Fun. One was near to my RV spot this year...but I didn't take note of if they were getting around this issue... oh wait, never mind...that one was a cub pack / family camping.... but there was a troop there too someplace... I saw the scouts roaming about.
  4. Hi, sorry...I'm not overly familiar with the area's camping. I've camped at air venture, and understand that problem now that you mention it. I'd suggest contacting the EAA and asking if they have any way to help you. I say this because if you can stay on site the experience is almost infinitely better. the night programs, shows... being able to walk the grounds with no clouds and see the planes....the vintage area at dawn was striking to me... the yodeling wake up call (if they still do it)...it's just the whole experience.. they have a large youth program called young eagles, and they also run a lodge there...like a summer camp...so no doubt they understand the issue. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have an area carved out someplace for scouts and such... That said, the only area I'm a little familiar with is Green Lake. My brother in law's brother has a house there and we've stayed there a few times and attended air venture multiple days in a row, driving back and forth. It's a nice little town. Several evening activities through the summer...concerts in the park sorata thing, water ski shows, family oriented...grab an ice cream kind of things. There's a little campground within walking distance of town...might be hard to get that weekend though... I don't really know anything about the layout though... Also a big conference center campus there like a huge park...something Christian I believe. Have no idea if they offer camping or anything, but they might be a resource. Good luck finding a place. Hope it works out because it's a fun experience.
  5. completely different topic than the issue in this thread..... BUT my son was on this track at first. He just had no interest in the rank or the patch. He was having a great time and doing much of the work with enthusiasm...until something changed and he got bored and lost interest...ultimately quit scouts at the rank of Tenderfoot. I was personally hoping for First Class (both rank and spirit), and would have called it a success, even at 17
  6. also agreed but this is correct. A while back, when I was frustrated about some things in our troop not being what I considered to be "creating the ideal experience for the scouts", I was advised something by Clarke Green at scoutmastercg. I think it's something that applies very often in lots of scenarios...and this is one I think. If you are not the SM, or the CC (or some might also argue the Chart Org Rep too), then you going in and trying to solve a problem is kinda like you showing up at your neighbor's front door with a gallon of green paint, and telling him that his beige living room wall is the wrong color and you are here to help him fix that problem. ....When looked at in this way, it's helpful for your sanity, IMO, because it helps a person to let it go. About the only things you can really do if a problem is identified, is to point it out, suggest some solutions...and then let it go..... if you're not happy...resign...and if a scout isn't happy, well that's a real shame because he may not benefit from what scouting could give him. (I'm reluctant to say they can move troops, because I think more often than not this may sound good and look good on paper, it is not at all realistic in many cases and not possible in others)... ....or I suppose another option for a scouter would be to gain the trust of the CC and CO Rep, and then volunteer to take a key 3 role
  7. I went back and re-read my post to clarify what I meant, I think a lot of folks just don't know about this EIN requirement and this whole grey area. Generally it would only be new units that would have to wade through it. In our case, our stuff was a mess... and that's the only reason I got into it. the bank we used was a small local place and they were hard to work with much of our stuff (banking, paypal account, trailer registrations, etc...) was set up under the old SM's name & SSN. SM's son was acting treasurer...SM passed away making transferring difficult & son left the picture leaving it to the CC to run for a while till I took the job. and prob a few other things, but you get the picture... So, me taking the treasurer job was the perfect time to do a clean hand-off. We set up the new bank account and such and closed out the old before I officially took it. Through the process we realized why the previous folks had it set up that way... it was the path of least resistance. Otherwise nothing would have ever gotten done. The CO is somewhat easy to work with...but the authority is trumped by diocese... and really neither they or the parish want anything to do with 'ownership' so in the end, I think a good way to look at it all is summed up well when you look at how transfer of assets would happen if the unit closes shop...it's the unit's responsibility to manage the assets while in operation. When a unit closes down, they are responsible for paying off outstanding debts with any assets. Then after that, any remaining assets transfer to the CO. EIN is sorta the same. CO is responsible party, but it's allowing the unit's representative (like a CFO) to manage things autonomously.
  8. not exactly true, based on my research a couple years ago. The EIN has nothing really to do with being a legal entity. they didn't want the units to incorporate, or anything like that....but getting an EIN is really not that big of a deal...maybe What I learned is that the majority of troops and units are operating in bank accounts taht were established long ago, so a lot of folks don't know about it.... basically it was a big grey muddy mess as I was looking through it all. The real sticky issue is the non-profit. Basically you need to be really sure if the CO is ok with your using their status. Anyway, what I did as I was going through all of this... our CO is a church I set up a new EIN for the troop. The CO is listed as the responsible party . I was listed as the "primary contact" can't remember the exact term... I had a letter from the pastor allowing us to use their info, the bank wanted a copy of this. and the bank wanted something on troop letter head outlining things like the name of the "business", the listed signers, and probably a couple other things. So we had an EIN but were not incorporated or in any way an entity. The church was the responsible party, but from their perspective they did not "own" the troop and wanted nothing to do with it.
  9. blw2

    Committee Meetings

    you know, this really isn't such a problem. A lot of what she "knows" sounds like it might not be the best way to go anyway. and, none of it is all that hard and not a big deal to figure out solutions, in the big scheme of things and, a fresh reboot with "new blood" probably wouldn't be a bad thing anyway...
  10. So my son is reluctantly attending a YMCA camp with a friend. My son quit scouts a while back because it was "boring". Now I'm looking forward to hearing about the camp, and his opinion comparing it tho his BSA summer camp experience. I've got to say, that talking with our friends (parents of the friend he's at camp with), that it sounds like it might be pretty good in comparison. Back when they were in college, they were counselors at the camp. he was describing the camp the other day as the kids were leaving to go. It seemed like mostly the same sorts of activities (swimming, skiing, paddling, eating, zip line, climbing, ropes course, etc..) but it sounds like it will be much more free form.... like if the kids get up and feel like going swimming that day...then they go swimming. They get tired of that and decide to go try their hand at archery....then that's what they can do. Now I have my doubts that it's quite that open and free, but even if that's only half right, it still seems like it'll be pretty good. Minimal "classrooms", nobody reading a handbook endlessly to them. Anyway, I'm not expecting that he'll come back beaming happiness about it, but I am hopeful. More likely, he'll come back saying "it as boring", or "it was weird", and the dance at the end... that should spur on some interesting comments.
  11. OP here.. follow-up report.... He had a pretty good time at YMCA camp... good enough to say he'd definitely go back next year if his friends go too. From my perspective, the camp wasn't as good as I was led to believe...but I'm not really surprised by that. The freedom to do what they wanted in the way of organized activities sorta ended the 1st day. they had to sign up for activities....I think it was 2 morning periods and 1 afternoon period. By the time son and friend could sign up, the really "good" activities were full. They got arts and crafts (which was probably what friend wanted, BB guns, and ultimate Frisbee. Neither or sporty at all so Frisbee wasn't good. Think he said he only threw it one time the whole week. Sounded like the bb guns were junk... but it sounds like they had fun anyway and made the most of it. I think they were able to do that because there were lots of free periods...I think one was a cabin activity where the whole cabin as a group rotated around somehow to different stuff. Also a good bit of time for them to swim or do whatever they wanted. couple other cons (my perspective)...but didn't seem to bother him too much.... he and friend were put in an older age group cabin. All good kids form the sound of it, and they were included..playing cards and stuff, but mostly the older guys talked about "girls and stuff". They aren't quite there yet... The other thing was at trading post time it seems that they would be out of the good snacks by the time he got to choose...but again, he wasn't very upset about it. Overall, it was a win.
  12. I know a couple kids like this. Sometimes it's mom that makes dad go on every trip, sometimes it's not mom'd directive. Regardless, I agree with eagledad about parents not understanding the program....or in this case even what I would argue one of the aims of scouts... to foster self confidence and just plain ole growing up. It could also be some bullying or something happening, but more likely it's parents never letting their hatchling fly. I've forgotten what your position is with the troop, but I'd say regardless of what it is, about the only thing I can think of is to find a way to discuss your concern with dad in a very questioning and friendly manner, I'm fairly sure that most dads would agree that they don't want their son's to be this way..... try to steer his line of thought towards purposely staying away from the camp outs for a while....in a way so that's it's kinda his idea if you know what I mean. It might be a bit of a process because I think you'd have to fix it so that the SPL or one of the older scouts puts extra effort into secretly coddling the scout in question...making him feel welcome, not letting him have an opportunity to get lonely or bored, etc... and to be really inviting to the scout to camp with his patrol. I think a key in some of these cases is to get the kid to sleep before he's over tired. I've seen this in one of my daughter's friends during sleepovers that never happen... all that being considered, if the other scouters aren't supporting...or the dad isn't open to the idea... then move on, pick another battle, and just pray that the problem works itself out eventually.... but don't worry about it. You can only do what you can do....
  13. blw2

    Badge Magic is THE DEVIL!!!

    I have found that if you iron them on hard and long...longer than I think it should be, more than the directions say....then they have a very firm hold...but then I haven't had a long haul test....so far they've only had each a couple years before they get the next color....(daisy, Brownie, junior,...)
  14. blw2

    Committee Meetings

    That is a very common issue I think...the folks, I used to call them 'old guard', that just can't let go. They are stuck doing things a certain way... I'd guess in some cases they really don't even know the "correct" way.... if she was doing it all out of necessity, then the whole operation is an ad hoc thing.... probably somewhat of a mess but it's the best she could do and it works... and because it worked for her, and because she probably feels some ownership in the unit...doesn't want to let it down, and all sorts of things like that.... so she can't let go. and I don't take it that way at all.... when I wrote that about being rogue, it was more like mocking humor about how the chairperson might see it... Personally i see it as quite the opposite... and I'll reiterate.... even if it's not a meeting in name or formality, concerned and active scouters can get together on their own and 'take care of a lot of the business'...and beyond that, for the things they can't take care of...well, all you can do is to do the best at what you can do. After that, not your problem.
  15. Thanks for a good discussion so far. Yes very little time indeed. I never even got in the lake all week to do the big air bag launcher thing during open swim. Worse than that I don't think some of the scouts had a chance either! It was such a short free time window before dinner, right when the troops had their own chores to attend to... and I think Fred is right about "troop time"... I think it safe to say that most troop adults would fill that time with more stuff the boys don't want to do really.... yes, the Y camp was expensive, but it's also all inclusive. no volunteers needed, the store for buying snacks and such was like an open bar at a wedding (i'm sure with a daily limit). No uniform required, lots of other gear and manuals not required, air conditioned cabins.... All things considered it doesn't seem all that much more. (and yes, I know cabins aint "camping" but in my view this thing is almost more about the experience than the material the shelter is made out of... a sheet of plywood or a sheet of canvas.... different sure, but not that much.)
  16. That is a great analogy of what I understand most camps' primary focus is...MB Colleges.
  17. Thanks. I still check in quite often, but don't post quite as much. I like this scout stuff and sometimes is just good parenting discussion too..
  18. blw2

    Committee Meetings

    What is your job on the committee? That kinda drives the perspective a bit. There are lots of assumptions made by almost everyone with regards to these sorts of "rules", policies, practices... What constitutes a quarum"? What is the (insert adult position here) positions responsibility.... etc... I'll admit to not remembering what the requirement on all this was when i was active, but I'd say it really doesn't matter much. If any 2 members of the committee want to get together to "take care of business", just do it. It doesn't have to be an official meeting really.... granted it's a lot stickier because often it's dealing with decisions such as spending money, and that's not good for a 'rogue' group to do... In such a case as this, I personally would loop the appropriate folks in (CC and/or whover else was needed but was AWOL), Summarize the discussions, the decisions, whatever in an email or whatever, and ask for a decision from the one with the authority to make it. If a decision is not made, it's not your problem. You did all you can do. Personally, i think a scouter has to eventually take that sort of an attitude, otherwise you'll drive yourself nuts! When I was Cubmaster, our CC did not have a kid in the pack any longer, and therefore was not really active in the pack. He never came to any meetings or activities, and didn't call very many meetings. In his defense on this matter, when he did we could rarely get hardly any of the DL's to show, and we didn't have a full staff on the committee anyway. There were many times when a meeting was called and it was only 2 or 3 of us that showed up....so he quit trying even as in often as he was doing... I have long said that just becasue of bad luck, I ended up wearing most of the CC hat, in addition to cubmaster, and several of the committee jobs too.
  19. blw2

    Badge Magic is THE DEVIL!!!

    I agree with The Latin Scot. I used that stuff for a bit when son first started cubs, but not for long. I used it as an opportunity to show my kids how to do basic rudimentary sewing. Through the years, I saw so many patches half hanging on with the other half a sticky black mess caked with sand and the Lord only knows what else! Side note comment...with two girls in Girl Scouts, I find it funny in a way that most of their patches are iron on. I want to say it's ironic even, given the stereotypical notion that sewing is something that women like to do, or at least do even if they may not particularly enjoy it, but saying this I'm sure will raise ire in some.... Anyway, since DW isn't a sewer I've done I think 100% (at least 99.9992%) of the sewing and ironing on of my daughter's patches too...or at least oversaw the operation showing and helping them to do it. (thanks to my mom, who used to do a lot of mending and even sewing new curtains and such, and a lot of clothes for her and my sister). I used to sew my daughters' patches on too, even the iron on ones, because they will always pull up on the edges and give that same dirty gooey mess. I've come around to just ironing them on now...and the ones that are not iron on, I glue on with shoe goo (or whichever of the Goop glue varieties I have on hand, they are all the same stuff by the way). My reasoning is that these uniforms are worn so infrequently, and in the big scheme of things they are not used for all that long before they get a new sash or uniform of a different color, so I figure what's the point of all that work. They aren't likely to be donated either, so...
  20. I think that I generally lean towards agreement with Latin Scots Point. If you were asking me this question, I'd agree with qwazse about the uniform. The program format, being originally based as an outdoor program using things like patrols, uniforms, rank advancement are all rooted in military focus....more naturally boy focused. Stereotype? sure it is.... are there exceptions? you bet! But I feel like it's a safe bet that more boys than girls are typically drawn or are inclined to play "army", spy, indian tracker, woodcraft skills, getting dirty, and the like. This is all the root of how it started based on what I've read. BP wrote a book for military scouts, then somehow discovered that groups of boys were playing in the woods using some of it...so he wrote another book aimed more to a boy...using the natural draw of a boy to do these things. At least that has been my understadning after having read some of BP's writings On the other hand, girls generally (or stereo typically) aren't so into wearing military uniforms, caring about rank, and such...which is kinda the core of the primary method...and as they get older... the age of scouting's focus.... they are much more getting into 'looks' and style, keeping clean. What is the method of scouting? I look at the overall method of scouting is "The Patrol Method". All those other things you mentioned aren't really the method so much, or at least not the primary one in my thinking. I think some of those are more like tools to use in working toward the aims of scouting (adult association, uniform, advancement maybe), or some such as ideals and personal growth fall more in line as parts of the aim of scouting...building character and all of that.
  21. this is a sidebar.... I didn't mean Eagledad. Your username RememberSchiff made me wonder, since you were pointing out things aviation, if you might be either him or somehow related to Barry Schiff...a rather famous pilot/author.
  22. I agree with the ideas of looking for ways to make them laugh and keep drawing them in. When they start to drift off...I've heard it termed "going away" because their mind is going someplace else... then be ready with a joke, or without warning change the character from Gordon Ramsey to Guy Fieri to bring them back to the kitchen. Resist the temptation to read out of the book, or anything like that. I'd try to make everything hands on...which may be near impossible if the group is big, but still...its a good goal and remember that 99% of them probably have already heard most of the material before. They've had it read to them in cub scout den meetings, they've also attended CubORee and things like that where they've had 1st aid courses and had the books read to them. And probably again in some of their early troop meetings before this camp. They have most likely already tried to make a splint or a stretcher, or maybe wrap a sprained ankle in a necker.... maybe even done all these things multiple times, and some even outside of scouting. But what they most likely haven't done is to do any of those things for 'real', or be held to a standard to actually get that wrapped ankle properly tight enough to do anything. Instead they have wrapped the ankle kinda-sorta like it should be, and then the instructor said, "oh that's good enough, you get the idea. Now let's move on to..." I love the idea of the Ketchup bottle...but if you can, hide it in some way so the scouts don't see it coming...maybe put the ketchup in a water bottle that can't be seen through... and do it without warning I would try to not have defined sessions either... for instance "we are meeting after lunch at Pavilion A, where we will sit around and work through first aid for two hours...". Don't do that. Instead, while on the required hike (I forget, is it 3 miles or 5?), maybe at some strategic point such as maybe when furthest from the trailhead, fake a sprained ankle on one of the scouts. Boom, instant class on how to wrap an ankle...then while that's happening, it might be a good time with a shoe and sock off so as not to stain clothing.... act like you are going to take a drink out of that water bottle.... squirt... "OMG, this scout is bleeding! What do we do?"....Bam, class on bleeding... this could then lead to stretcher making, or improvised crutches.... then split the group so that everyone is either a patient or a first responder and then they actually use the stretchers to carry the patients to the trailhead. I mean really do it. "what should we do? Do we continue on the trail, backtrack the way we came, or look at the map, is there an alternate trail that may be shorter than the one we were 'planning' to take?" Boom, could be an instant course on decision making and navigation... That reroute might have been your secret plan all along because you are of course prepared, but they didn't know it... Try to actually let them make the decisions and let them make mistakes. It's a whole lot more fun and better at keeping a person engaged and present in the moment. Continue on like that....So in one afternoon when the scouts came into it thinking they were only going for a hike, it magically worked out that they did the hike, but also fulfilled some or all of the requirements for 1st aid, navigation, or whatever you dream up... the whole course doesn't have to be like that, and logistically it may be impossible to do it all like that anyway, but the more of this sort of thing that you sprinkle in, the better the course will be, in my opinion.
  23. I'd be all over trying to get in on that camp if I were still a kid! I'm a huge aviation buff. The EAA (Experimental Aviation Association) has a Lodge up in Wisconsin and they have some sort of youth summer camp program they put on. they call it Air Academy. I'm not aware of them doing anything approaching the scale of what they are doing up in Maine, but it still looks way better to me than a typical BSA summer camp experience. I offered it up to my son (when he gets old enough) a few times but he so far hasn't expressed much interest. Surprises me really...I can't even imagine having opportunities like these when I was a kid....but I suppose we all have our interests and passions, and one of mine has almost always been aviation....his are different, and that's ok. I just wish he'd find what it is. So far it's only to become the world's greatest x-box player I suppose.... Well this year I think he's old enough for the youngest bracket at that EAA camp, but to me it doesn't look like all that much fun. When he gets a bit older they look better in my eyes anyway. RememberSchiff, are you by chance Barry?
  24. blw2

    Stuffed French Toast

    it's like a breakfast monte christo sandwich! I love it! except I'd replace the raspberries and berry syrup with strawberries and either sweet strawberry juices or just a touch of natural maple...just a personal thing, raspberries are one of very few things I don't care for... I'm gonna try that some day!
  25. blw2

    Breaking Point

    I agree with others, this is well said....on one aspect of scouting.... the surface one. Preparing for life in the tangible sense.... another, more primary point of learning the woodcraft, wasn't the skill itself.... it was more about capitalizing, I think, on something the boys enjoyed doing to gain all sorts of covert opportunities to build positive character, confidence, independence, teamwork, etc... I totally agree with your look on the positive side.