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Everything posted by Twocubdad

  1. Not necessarily confused, just trying to apply a bunch of policy to a situation for which we have little information, half the story and that coming second or third hand. If we dig far enough, we'll find some other policy this SM violated. Perhaps he wasn't wearing official scout socks at the time of the conversation. Actually, the whole process of asking the troop advancement coordinator for a SMC/BOR is contrary to advancement policy. Having the Scout ask for a conference or review is adding to the requirements. The SM is supposed to "know" when a Scout is ready to advance and approach
  2. Once again, this group demonstrates it's bias in assuming the Scoutmaster's sole reason for volunteering is to torment teenagers, bash their fragile egos and deny them the rightful fruits of their efforts. Please re-read griffsmom's explanation. All the SM is saying is the kid needs to have all the requirements signed-off before scheduling a SMC. Granted, it seems to me to be a better use of time to do that sign-off DURING the SMC, but if the SM wants to break it into two meetings, that's his prerogative. But maybe the SM is trying to buy himself some time for some reason. This cou
  3. Jeez! Try to get away to the beach for a couple days and everything goes to hell around here. Sorry you're checking out Base. Varying points of view is a good thing. As someone here is fond of noting, "all Scouting is local." We're all in different localities. I happen to be in one where paying for stuff isn't an issue, but that doesn't mean we don't have challenges. But we all deal with our Scouts as they come to us. Best wishes to you and your troop.
  4. You should learn to view ambiguity or even gaping holes in BSA policy and requirements as an opportunity to fill in the blanks to your own best advantage. There are many, many opportunities. In our troop, if you are an Eagle Scout you are 17 years old (or rapidly approaching it) and a junior or senior in high school. You have had ample opportunities to develop and demonstrate leadership over the previous six years or so. You've both talked the talk and walked the walk. As such, if you show up regularly, help with the program and set a good example, I would say you've met the leadership
  5. Ummm, probably not a good way to win friends and influence people. In my years here on these forums, I've learned far more about real Scouting than in all the BSA courses I've taken or taught. And I can honestly say I've taken every Cub Scout or Boy Scout course offered and taught the majority of them. This is my roundtable. I enjoy it because, unlike official district roundtables, there is an open exchange of ideas not just a recitation of the company line. What d-rat said. I'm self-employed so not only is my time my own but so is my office. If I bop in or out a couple times a day I may
  6. The new administration at the troop I served is currently looking at restarting a Venturing crew, too. They're in an odd place in that over the next couple years they will have 5-6 scouts turning 18 prior to their senior year in high school. In this situation, Venturing isn't a reaction to a failed older scout program, but to a very successful one. We've got a bunch of 18y.o.s who want to stick with the program. Problem is, there is NO enthusiasm for a real crew, meaning girls, separate meetings, separate leaders and a committee. Everyone -- Scouts and adults -- would be perfectly hap
  7. Yes. The local YMCA agreed to have a Scout build a bus shelter for the Y's activities bus. In order to pull a building permit for the shelter, the Y had to provide proof of insurance. They knew that going in. But between they agree to the project and when it began, some new administrator type came in and decided they didn't want to risk their premiums increasing. Right. A major, metropolitan YMCA group with tens of millions of dollars in assets is going to have their insurance increased or dropped over a 8x8 shelter. Bottom line: they didn't keep their commitment. Unfortunately, a
  8. Take the time to watch this ad from Scouts South Africa It's amazing: http://www.littlethings.com/scouts-ad-life-saver/?utm_source=loud&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=misc This relates to a couple current threads, including the "Where Have We Failed?" We've failed by not communicating our purpose as clearly and effectively as this ad does. Take this same message and apply a thousand others ideals and skills we teach -- leadership, citizenship, fitness, service. We need to be targeting families and parents who imagine their son saving their daughter from drowning. Or sta
  9. You're right. The letters are far more of a PIA than any illumination they bring to the board of review. In my opinion, the real answer to your question is prior to 2011, the year the major overhaul of the advancement policies were released, there were no standards a all for handling letters. Apparently it was common to require the Scout to manage collecting the letters and to hold up his Eagle until they were all submitted. That was the case in our council. My opinion is that national "declined" (a polite way of saying "lacked the cajones") to implement a standard policy. They left
  10. I may be alone here, but that would strike me as an odd request and would raise a number of red flags. We've certainly had visitors on campouts, generally friends of current members or occasionally Scouts looking to transfer. But a wanting to camp with us because you're unsatisfied with your existing troop, but not unwilling to make a change is a bit odd. In addition to having a discussion with the Scout and parent, I'd be making a call to the other SM, too. Frankly, I'd want to know what the heck is going on, but also as a courtesy to him. How is that going to work anyway? Is you son
  11. Fred, from the G2A: " It is acceptable to send or deliver to the references an addressed envelope with instructions, and perhaps a form to complete. The Scout may assist with this, but that is the limit of his participation. He is not to be responsible for follow-through or any other aspect of the process." And, "Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them." It is emphasized to us by the council advancement committee that the candidate may
  12. This is one area BSA has made WAY too complicated. Our council has pushed the responsibility off onto the troops. Hmmm. What if we don't accept the responsibility? I'm always amazed at how difficult it is to get letters from references. You would think most folks would be very happy to provide a letter and would mail it in short order. But it's usually a huge PIA. Far more trouble that any value the always-positive letters add to the process. The process here is the Scout asks the reference for a letter. We provide the Scouts template for an envelope so they are identifiable whe
  13. I wear them -- 3, 7, 1 (explorer) and 10+8. I put them on my uniform and forget them, wash and all. Every once in a while one goes missing. No biggie. Like square knots, I find them to be good conversation starters especially with curious younger boys. It's a good opportunity to talk about different levels of Scouting and the opportunities which lie ahead.
  14. Scouts can register in multiple troops as long as they are in different councils. We a Scout who moved out of state, joined a troop there but maintained his registrations. He was a couple MBs and a project short of Eagle and wanted to earn it with our troop. He earned the MBs through the other troop. His project was approved through our troop and council but the project was conducted through the new troop. His EBOR was through our troop and council -- we even did the BOR via Skype.
  15. You're darn tootin' we do. Look, Bugler is a bit of a different POR. Most PORs can be attempted by a scout with absolutely no experience at the task. Being a "leader" is a rather ethereal thing. With absolutely no experience, training or understanding, a newly-minted patrol leader can show up and say, okay guys, put your backpacks on and follow me. VOILA! He's leading the patrol. But a bugler needs to be able to play a reasonable rendition of assembly (same tune they play to bring the horses to the starting gate at a race) in order to get the troops to assembly. I played trumpet f
  16. I loved the old TM desktop/ftp version. It was infinitely flexible. If it didn't include a report I wanted, it was fairly easy to create my own. A couple years ago, all the IT geniuses on the troop committee decided ftp is an antiquated technology and we needed a mobile format. So we upgraded to TMmobile. It sucks. It has a fraction of the reports I use and very difficult for me to get into. Worst of all, the old desktop version doesn't work right. One of the geniuses is the admin and only they can get into the data the way I used to be able to. And I have never, not once, found the nee
  17. I've only sent one kid home from summer camp in 12 years (extreme behavioral melt down and assaulting another scouts). But if I were in a situation where a camp director over ruled my decision to send a kid home, the CD would suddenly find himself with a new roommate. Boys don't go to summer camp, troops do. The Scouts in our troop are there under our supervision. Frankly, of all the CD's I've worked with, I can't imagine any of them not deferring to the SMs. However, if a CD and SM disagree on sending a kid home, I think the kid goes. If the troop doesn't like it, the whole troop ca
  18. My biggest year was over 350 campers, 125 staff and over 100 siblings. All in one week.
  19. I have no interest in playing bureaucratic BSA games anymore. File all the reports you want. Here's how we handle it. When the sign up sheets for summer camp come out in late winter, I take the list of MBs offered and sit down with a big bottle of Witeout. The scouts never see the MBs they don't see -- citizenships, personal fitness, communication. Why the hell do you want to spend the afternoon sitting on your bunk writing an essay on your rights and responsibilities while your buddies are at the shotgun range? Our philosophy is summer camp is a time for the Scouts to bond, have
  20. You're probably right. Anytime I've had a difficult boss or client I've always found it better to just move on rather than try to work things out. Bail and shop for a better venue is the life lesson I'd want my son to take from the situation.
  21. I don't disagree with what you guys are saying. One of my pet peeves which I'll add to the list of complaints is that the people in orange jumpsuits picking up trash on the roadside have been sentenced to "community service." Our troop does a huge food drive every winter. We collect ballpark 15,000 pounds of food. It is a huge undertaking which we spend months organizing. Running it is considered a position of responsibility for the fellow who takes it on (as a SM-approved leadership project). It sounds to me that you ran into a perfect storm of summer doldrums. Folks out of town
  22. Always amazed at how fast this group is to throw a fellow Scouter under the bus based on one side of the story. Consider this: Read together, the intent of requirements 6. 7 and 8 is to show the Scouts how to develop an exercise program which focuses on strengthening their weaknesses. It's not just go out and exercise, its test yourself, develop a plan based on the test, work the plan, test again, modify the plan, work the modified plan and then see where you end up. While I understand that by the book you can do the 12 weeks at age 11 and take the final test seven years later, t
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