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Cleveland Rocks

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About Cleveland Rocks

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  • Birthday 10/25/1970

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    IT Manager

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  1. Our council still awards them. We got JTE and 100% Boys' Life ribbons from them this year. Our troop has so many ribbons we have to periodically offload them because there are so many on the flagpole it gets hard to attach new ones at times. We get them at camporees, klondikes, summer camp, FoS, and more. I can't speak for the rest of the country, but our council and districts still use them and units still fly them from their flagpoles.
  2. The BSA's guidance on whether you should or shouldn't store the AHMR electronically (you shouldn't): The forms should be maintained by a designated leader. To assure privacy, the forms should be carefully stored and used only as needed to provide for planning and rendering care. The AHMR should not be scanned, stored, or sent electronically except as specifically directed for a BSA national event such as the national jamboree or NOAC.
  3. The 2021 NSJ has been postponed. https://jamboree.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2020/07/NSJ21_Postponement_FAQ_FINAL.pdf
  4. As the training chair for my troop, not only would it not be inappropriate, I do it in my committee meetings all the time when someone's YPT or Hazardous Weather training is about to expire and they have not responded to individual direct messages. My council and district's training people contact me all the time whenever someone's training is about to expire, so I think it's only fair that I pass that information on to the person, and if they don't respond in a timely manner, I will absolutely bring it up at a committee meeting. If the person allows the training to expire, I get a message from the council and/or district letting me know that that person is not permitted to participate in Scouting activities until that training is brought up-to-date. My predecessor did it, and I continue it.
  5. I'm surprised they were allowed to recharter? A valid YPT is required to recharter for all registered members. Our council and district training people begin hounding you 90 days before your YPT is going to expire to make sure you get it renewed. They're quite explicit with us in their reminders--if you allow your YPT to expire in the middle of the year, you are not permitted to participate in Scouting activities until you get it renewed. They also copy the unit's training person as well as the unit Key 3 (although in this case, the CC is one of the Key 3).
  6. Lots of Webelos Scouts earn all 27 Webelos and Arrow of Light adventures. There's even a Webelos Super Achiever award to commemorate it: https://www.scoutshop.org/cub-scout-webelos-super-achiever-emblem-648454.html https://www.scoutshop.org/webelos-super-achiever-wall-certificate-621112.html Let your son's Webelos Den Leader know (when he becomes a Webelos in June) and they can work on helping him and others in the den work towards these adventures.
  7. There is no difference. You register on the national Jamboree site to register your Scout as a participant to the Jamboree. He/she will be part of your council's contingent. There are no "regular registrants" or "lone scouts" participating in the Jamboree; they're all part of a council contingent. The $1,175 cost you see quoted is the national fee to participate in the Jamboree. That's the portion that everyone pays. Unit gear is provided as part of that fee: tents, cots, picnic tables, dining flys, cooking equipment, meals, and paying for the expense of putting on the Jamboree (all the activities, etc.). The only gear the participants have to bring is their own personal gear: clothing, swim gear, uniforms, toiletries, patches for trading, money for souvenirs, etc. Your council, as part of the contingent they will be sending, will add extra fees to that $1,175, and that extra amount is different for every council. It costs money to send the contingent to the Jamboree, be it airplane, bus, etc., so the costs for that will be charged to each recipient. Then, there are all the extras that will get added on, and they're council-dependent, too: Council Jamboree Shoulder Patches (JSPs), t-shirts, patches for trading, a duffel bag for all their personal gear, a day pack, possibly a side trip to somewhere, etc. Depending on all those factors, as well as how far away the council is from The Summit, it can be an extra $500-1,500 above and beyond the national $1,175 cost. All Scouts participate as a member of their council's contingent. Each council has been allocated a number of units depending on their size. Our council, for example, has been allocated 3 male Scouts BSA troops, one female Scouts BSA troop, and a Venture patrol. They will all travel together and will consist of Scouts from all over your council. They'll travel together. Even though The Summit may only be 4 hours away for you (we're only 5 hours away), they'll all travel together, likely by bus. No individual drop-offs are permitted. There will be a couple of shakedown camps in the months leading up to the Jamboree, where the participants and adult leadership can get to know each other, get grouped into patrols, select their leadership, do swim tests, and learn how things will work at the Jamboree, which is likely a different experience than they are used to with their home unit.
  8. There used to be a belief--I don't know if it was ever true--that Scoutmasters were automatically Merit Badge Counselors for every merit badge, just by the fact that they're a Scoutmaster. Many long-time Scoutmasters still hold that belief. I have been to events where I have had Scoutmasters proclaim this, only to be told by practically everyone else in the room, "no you aren't!" That may be where that thinking came from. There are many who believe that Scoutmasters (or Assistant Scoutmasters, or Committee Members, etc.) should not counsel their own child on Merit Badges (or sign off on rank requirements, perform Scoutmaster Conferences, etc.). The GTA does not prohibit this, although I know a number of leaders who do follow that practice so they are not potentially accused of taking it easy on their own kid.
  9. Troop Secretary badge? Do you mean Troop Committee badge? There is no official badge for Troop Secretary.
  10. Our summer camp allows adults to bring bikes to use, provided they wear helmets, and quite a few adults use them. They also allow staff to ride bikes. A neighboring summer camp allows Scouts to bring bikes. I don't know how many take advantage of it, but I believe they allow it due to the distances between program areas, to shorten the travel time between activities.
  11. Merit Badge counselor registrations have always been no charge. There are no fees to pay out of a unit's budget for a Merit Badge Counselor registration, because they are considered district-level positions, not unit-level positions. Merit Badge Counselor (position code 42 on the application), Unit Scouter Reserve (code 91) and College Scouter Reserve (code 92) are all no-fee registrations.
  12. Our Council Scout Executive explained it to us like this at one of our leader breakfasts this past summer at Summer Camp: The national council carries liability insurance for everyone. That's what much of your national fee covers, and that's what most of the fee increase covers. Some councils carry their own liability insurance, that is in addition to the national insurance. Some of those councils that carry their own insurance do not charge their members anything extra for the cost of that additional insurance. They pay for it with things like fundraising and FOS. Other councils charge fees at recharter that are above and beyond what the national fee is. Sometimes, depending on the council and their individual finances, that fee covers the entire cost of the premium, other times it doesn't. As an example, Lake Erie Council (I'm not a member of LEC, they're our neighbors) communicated to its members a few months ago that they carry their own insurance in addition to the national insurance. For years, they've charged $1 per member at recharter time to pay for a portion of that premium. They just announced that they can no longer (or are no longer willing, depending on your perspective, I guess) absorb the additional costs for the premium out of their general fund budget. The annual premium is around $150,000, and they only collect around $14,000 annually from the $1 fee. So, they announced that starting at next recharter that $1/member fee for council insurance will jump to $12/member annually. I'm gonna guess that a significant percentage of the national fee is now going towards the insurance. On some other boards, I've seen people saying they heard that next year, the premium alone for national's insurance will be $50 million. Just for the premium. Now, whether that $50 million number is true or not, I don't know, but even if it's a fraction of that in actuality, it's still a huge number.
  13. It depends on the GSUSA council. Some councils have essentially told their membership to avoid us like the plague, while others don't care. Our troop has done Scouting For Food drives for years on the weekends right after Thanksgiving. Each of the last two years, we've had Girl Scouts join us and haven't had any issues or pushback from the local GSUSA council. We plan on having them join us again this year.
  14. Well, I think there that there's more to it when they talk about "making it hard to go camping". Some leaders just don't want to go camping, period, and it's an easy thing for them to just say, "we don't camp because national makes it too hard for us to camp." I've spoken to many GSUSA troop leaders who do find the rules and regs regarding camping to be onerous, but I don't see them as much different than what we in the BSA have set forth. The minimum number of volunteers rule tends to be a sticky wicket with a lot of troop leaders, and they tell me it's why they keep their troop membership numbers low, so they don't have to worry about having enough registered volunteers with them on activities. If you read their Safety Activity Checkpoints document regarding camping (really, regarding any activity), their safety rules and bullet points are not the much different than the Guide to Safe Scouting. The leaders I've spoken to don't often like the rule that camping for Daisies and Brownies, whom they feel are the ones who are the most excited about the program, is restricted to resident camp only, and that "Travel Camping", which is what they call camping where a campsite is your means of accommodations, is not recommended. The "you must have a trained volunteer who has taken our camping training" rule seems to rub some leaders the wrong way because many of them just don't want to take training. The phrase "Every Scout deserves a trained leader" isn't emphasized in Girl Scouts like it is in the BSA. It's not totally dismissed, just not pushed as hard as we do in the BSA. And I have spoken to leaders who don't want to camp because they are afraid of rules like the trained first-aider rule. And they worry about rules like the "you need council's permission before camping outside of a council-owned camp" or "if you're swimming you need someone with basic lifeguarding skills with you" and the potential consequences that could come with them. From what I have observed, at least in my area, is that Girl Scouts do camp, and their council-owned camps are often full on weekends. The big difference I see, at least in this area, is that the majority of their camping is cabin camping, and cabins are the primary accommodations at the council-owned Girl Scout camps in my area. Troops do tent camp, and camps are trying to accommodate that more and more. One Girl Scout camp near us recently opened a new campsite dedicated exclusively to hammock camping. Tent camping is still, however, the minority. For example, at the "main" Girl Scout camp in our council, of the 21 campsites they have, only 6 are tent, covered wagon, or platform tent sites, none of which are open from October through April. The others are all cabins, or troop houses. Like a lot of things in the Girl Scouts, the level of participation in activities is largely at the whim of your troop leader. If you have a troop leader who doesn't like to camp, well, you're probably not going to camp. That's why you have so many troops that are referred to as "snack and craft troops", because that's all they ever do. Some of that is just because the troop leader doesn't want to camp, and some of it is that they don't want to take the training or be beholden to the rules put forth. My daughter's troop is fortunate in that her troop leader loves to camp and takes them on outdoor activities all the time.
  15. In many areas, their safety guidelines are similar to what we in the BSA have. But there are some notable differences. One of those areas--and in talking to some GS leaders, this seems to trip them up a lot--is the minimum number of volunteers needed for activities. The ratio varies depending on program level, but it requires a minimum of two unrelated volunteers (note not "adults", but registered volunteers) up to a certain number of Scouts. For Daisies, it's up to 12 Daisies for Troop meetings, and up to 6 Daisies for outings, activities, travel and camping. For Ambassadors, the ratio is higher--up to 30 Ambassadors for Troop Meetings and 24 for outings. Then you need additional volunteers when you have more girls than the minimum. So, for example, if you were doing an outing with, let's say a troop with 27 Juniors, their minimum volunteer levels would require at least 4 volunteers on the outing. As far as prohibited activities, I will say that they do not go to the level that we in the BSA do, but most of the obvious things that you might expect an organization to prohibit, they do, like bungee jumping, hang gliding, parasailing, skydiving, hunting, and outdoor trampolines. The GSUSA, like the BSA, prohibits paintball activities where you are shooting at other people. The GSUSA requires a registered first-aider on all outings. This must be a person who has taken the Red Cross First Aid course. They also require what they call an advanced first-aider, meaning they've taken WFA, if you're further than 30 minutes away from EMS care reaching you. As for specific activities, the GSUSA has a chart like the BSA does listing which program levels can do what. For the most part, girls in all program levels can do all activities but there are exceptions, mostly with Daisies and Brownies. Daisies and Brownies cannot do backpacking (different from just general hiking). Daisies cannot do ziplining, except for playground ziplines. Daisies and Brownies cannot do canopy tours. Daisies and Brownies cannot do recreational tree climbing (using ropes, harnesses and saddles to climb trees). Daisies and Brownies cannot do go-karts. Juniors can't operate self-driving go-karts, but they could be a passenger in a 2-person kart driven by an older person. Daisies can only do horseback riding on ponies or hand-led horseback walks. Daisies cannot do kayaking and can only do rowboats if they're in the boat with an adult. Daisies and Brownies cannot do stand up paddleboarding or whitewater rafting (Brownies and Juniors technically can do rafting, but only on lower-rated rapids) Girls must be at least 12 to participate in gun shooting sports, 14 for pistols. Contrary to popular belief, Girl Scouts in all levels can camp (there are many people who erroneously say that Daisies cannot camp. They can, although there are some limitations). The GSUSA requires that any troop that camps has at least one person at the campout who has taken a council-level training course on camping, similar to the BSA's BALOO training requirement for Pack campouts. For many activities, council approval is required before the troop or individuals can participate. One major difference with Girl Scout Troops from how we do it in the BSA, is that unlike in the BSA, where troops are chartered to a Chartered Organization, and that CO "owns" the unit, all Girl Scout Troops are owned by the local council. They have direct control over the troops, and it is not unheard of for unit leaders to be dismissed, and troops disbanded, for breaking their rules. The GSUSA's version of the Guide to Safe Scouting, what they call "Safety Activity Checkpoints", is nearly twice as long as our Guide to Safe Scouting.
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