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Cleveland Rocks

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Everything posted by Cleveland Rocks

  1. Who discussed BSA branding at Hong Kong conference?

    The BSA has over 120 licensees, everything from the embroidered emblems, logos, and activity shirt (I refuse to call them class B uniforms) vendors, to other areas, like knives, model trains, coins, cookware, scrapbooking supplies, jewelry, even licensed cremation urns. A person from National I spoke to at the last Jamboree said the licensing division takes in a couple million a year in licensing fees.
  2. Ireland seeks Eagle now before she ages out

    The World Jamboree does not have a rank requirement to attend, only age. WOSM calls the shots on eligibility requirements for participants, not the BSA.
  3. Merit Badge Class . My Thoughts

    I think there are a number of reasons for the Merit Badge program the way it is today. The first is the expectations of today's parents--whether it's right or wrong--that when their son goes to Summer Camp, it's now expected that they come back having earned something. It's no longer enough that they got to go swimming, take hikes, shoot guns, climb rocks, spend time with their friends, etc. You have to have EARNED something. I have had many parents show disappointment if their son comes back from camp and he's only earned one or two merit badges, or he only got a couple of requirements towards ranks completed. If you explain that advancement is only part of the reason you do what you do at camp, they just respond that for all the money they're paying, "he'd better have something to show for it!" I know it's misguided, but that's how today's parents think. Camps themselves play a part of it. The council-run camps near me almost have a competition to see which camp offers the most merit badges. One camp advertises that they offer over 100 merit badges. Another offers 75. Our camp, responding to criticism that many older Scouts are opting to not attend after 4+ years (because they've earned all the merit badges they offer), are upping their game and offering new badges to keep up with the Joneses. Some camps are also putting on "Pre-requisite sessions" in the months and weeks leading up to Summer Camp, to allow Scouts to earn merit badges with time requirements, many of them Eagle-required (Cooking, Personal Management, Personal Fitness, to name a few). You also get merit badge sessions being offered because it's good PR for companies and organizations to offer these badges. Science centers across the country offer science-related merit badge sessions on weekends. The metroparks near me offer the nature-related badges at various times throughout the year. Museums will offer merit badges that pertain to the type of museum they are. The zoo near me offers Veterinary Science as part of an overnight session. And they all offer sessions for Cub Scouts to earn rank requirements. In all of these examples, they work with the local councils to get staff members certified as MB counselors. Some programs are better than others, but the ones I have attended with my son have generally been good. The counselors have made sure the Scouts did the work. If there were prerequisites, they Scouts knew what to do ahead of time. If it wasn't done, they got a partial, where they could make an appointment with the counselor to come back at a later time and complete the missing requirements, or schedule with another counselor to finish up what's missing. Years ago, the local plumber's union offered Plumbing Merit Badge to Scouts from our troop. I think it was the best one I've ever been to. The Scouts had a ball. They got to meet at the union hall which is the training center for new plumbers to learn the craft. The Scouts did all of the requirements and then some, and to top it all, each came away with about $100 in free stuff from the plumber's union, including first aid kits, safety glasses, safety gloves, etc. In all the cases, those organizations do it because it's good PR, but let's not forget that it's also a easy revenue stream for them. 10-20 Scouts paying $15 to do a merit badge at a science center, museum, park, or zoo is easy money for that organization, and word of mouth helps spread the word if it was a good session. But I think one of the big reasons that merit badge universities and Troop counselors have become so popular is the dismal state of the merit badge counselor program in many councils and districts. We are fortunate in my council to have a very vigilant program, where our council registrar does an excellent job maintaining the program for our council. Counselors must register annually by the specified date; miss it, and you're off the list and have to do the whole application process over if you want to get back on the list. Those MBs that require additional certification (scuba, shooting sports, etc.) must turn in that paperwork annually. The list is distributed 4 times a year to Scoutmasters and Committee Chairmen, password-protected on the council's website. When we turn in advancement reports we also have to turn in a list with the names of the counselors used for the merit badges we're recording (I know that's not required but no one has ever questioned it in our council). I know that in many councils and districts, they could only hope for such diligence, and I think that's why a lot of troops just begin using their own lists and only sharing that list with their Scouts. If you can't easily find counselors they way you're supposed to, troops will do what they need to do to get counselors. And let's be honest--if you're a Scout and you have the choice of calling up a stranger to ask them to work on a merit badge with you, or just showing up for a day at a merit badge university session, which are you going to choose? Until there is a concerted push to get the program brought back to what it used to be, I think things like this will continue.
  4. Issues that come up inside the Program

    I realize this is minor in the grand scheme of this discussion, but that "price is dependent on the number of letters" is a thing of the past. The new unit flags are nylon and screened with everything printed right on it. No longer do they sew individual letters and numbers on unit flags. The size of the flag determines its price. They'll even add the unit veteran emblem for no extra charge. When we ordered our Jamboree flags it was the same way--they all cost the same not matter how much or little detail we put on it.
  5. Council Pressure

    My daughter's GS troop earns 69 cents on a $4 box of cookies. For those "special" ones that they sell for $4.50 or $5.00 (because, as they say, the production costs are higher, despite the fact the neighboring councils sell the same cookie for no additional cost), they still make 69 cents on those boxes. The council pockets the additional profit. $1.20 goes to the cookie maker. So, the council pockets the remaining $2.11 on that $4 box. So my daughter's troop makes 17.25% profit on the $4 box, and only 13.8% on the $5 box. When the prices went up a few years ago from $3.50 a box to $4.00, the profit to troops only went from 63 cents/box to 69 cents. You could earn an additional 3 cents profit per box for your troop if you chose (as a troop) to not take the tchochkie prizes. The annual reports for my daughter's council show that, depending on the year, 70-75% of the council's annual income comes from cookie sales. Things like corporate donations and Friends of Scouting are foreign concepts to them. Not to mention, you're not allowed to do your own fundraisers if you don't participate in the cookie sales and the fall program sale (magazines, candy & nuts).
  6. So I got a new computer last week, and of course you have to remember all the passwords that used to be saved on the old computer to log onto websites. I trying to log onto here with the new computer, I put in a username and password, and get the following error message: An extension required to process this request is missing. Please notify the administrator. So, I notified the administrator. No reply yet. I tried resetting my password. It said that it can't find the member account for the name or email address I supplied (even though I can see my username and email address logged in on my old computer). So, I contacted the community administrator asking for help. No reply yet. I also tried all of this using Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. Same results. Anyone else ever had difficulty like this?
  7. New computer, can't log in to Forum

    Agreed. I work in IT, so I've seen my fair share of cryptic error messages, but that was a new one on me.
  8. New computer, can't log in to Forum

    Well, after all that, I was able to get in. It had another, unrelated, email address associated to my username. Once I switched it to what my email address actually is, I was able to get in (I'm writing this on the new computer).
  9. Adult Uniform Shirts in Tall sizes?

    I'm not sure. I've never had to take advantage of this service, so I'm not familiar with their pricing. I'm sure it would be customized depending on the amount of work needed to be done.
  10. Boy Dens - Girl Dens

    There's no rule that says that dens have to all meet together. The Pack that's part of our Troop's CO has their dens all meeting on different days, times and places.
  11. The program year runs June 1 - May 31.
  12. ?? about insurance for Troop trailer

    I was asking in the context of whether the CO had any liability or ownership stake in the case that something happened (it hasn't). My Troop's trailer was purchased by an individual that used to be a Scouter in the troop. It is registered (the license plate) to him, and the insurance policy is in his name. Yet, the trailer has the troop name, CO's name, BSA, council, etc., on the trailer. I was wondering if in the discussion of true ownership of troop assets, if this falls in with the tents, cooking gear, etc., that the troop owns (and is really owned ultimately by the CO). It sounds like from a liability standpoint if something were to happen that would invoke a claim, whether the troop and CO would be off the hook, so to speak, for liability, since the trailer is not in the CO's name.
  13. ?? about insurance for Troop trailer

    What if someone else buys a trailer, it's titled to them, they pay the registration and insurance on it, but it's used by the Troop and has the Troop name and BSA insignia on it. Is it still the CO's trailer, even if it's titled to an individual?
  14. Not Enough Room for POR Patch on Uniform

    If it sits on the cuff, it sits on the cuff. On some of the smaller-sized short sleeve shirts, it's inevitable. We have some Scouts in my troop where this same thing happens. You won't get hauled off to Uniform Jail by the Patch Police if it's on the cuff. As mentioned above. The CSP should touch the top of the shoulder seam. The Troop numbers should be right below that, touching the bottom of the CSP. And then, the POR patch should be just below that, touching the bottom of the troop numbers. The "Trained" or "NYLT" patch would go just below that, touching the bottom of the POR patch. If it's a short-sleeved shirt with the pocket, then the POR patch is centered on the pocket, and the "Trained"/"NYLT" patch would go on the pocket flap. With the advent of the custom troop numbers patches which are typically larger than the unit numerals sold at the Scout Store, it's led to the pushing down of the POR patch, sometimes onto the cuff.
  15. Council Records Screw ups

    ILST is a training activity, not advancement, so it wouldn't get recorded in Internet Advancement. It might get recorded in ScoutNET in a person's training record by the council registrar, although I don't know if ScoutNET keeps track of youth training like it does for us adults.
  16. Resistance to OA

    ??? I haven't posted any replies on this topic, at least until now.
  17. My son and I visited the 2013 Jamboree on the Saturday of the event, and like most everyone there, got tons of packs of Jamboree trading cards. While we have lots of duplicates of cards, we amazingly are a few cards short of complete sets, one for him and one for me. I'd be willing to trade with anyone who has extra cards in order to complete our sets. The cards we're looking for are: William Dickson Boyce Carroll A. Edson Ernest Thompson Seton (2) James E. West J. Brett Harvey James C. "Jim" Justice II Philip Condit (2) Douglas H. Dittrick John E. Gottschalk Drayton McLane John Clendenin John W. Creighton, Jr. John C. Cushman III Milton Alexander McRae Charles M. Pigott John Mortimer Schiff Rex W. Tillerson (Past Presidents card) (2) Thomas John Watson, Jr. Alden G. Barber Joseph A. Brunton, Jr. Robert J. Mazzuca Dr. Arthur A. Schuck James L. Tarr Gold Standard Neil Armstrong Gerald R. Ford Jon Heder John F. Kennedy Jimmy Stewart Percy Sutton Sam Walton (2) Checklist
  18. Membership fees increasing again

    Many councils have insurance in addition to National's that they charge extra for. On another forum I read someone say that their council charges an additional $25/year for their insurance.
  19. Membership fees increasing again

    The BSA is self-insured. That's the reason for this proposed increase: the insurance fund is depleting. Here is the text of what our council sent out regarding this proposed increase: This increase is due to the number and the size of claims made against the General Liability Insurance Plan (GLIP). As a movement we are self-insured, so every time there is claim or litigation the GLIP takes a hit.
  20. More BSA changes before World Jambo 2019

    They have the choice (usually done at the troop level--the entire troop wears the same) of either a vest or a sash. In my daughter's area, most opt for the vest because there's more space to put more badges, particularly the activity/participation ones that go on the back. I'd just be happy to see Girl Scouts actually wearing their uniform. It astounds me how few Girl Scouts wear their uniform. Our troop participates in a flag-placement at the National Cemetery near us every Memorial Day. The Cub and Boy Scouts are all dressed in uniform quite nicely, and it amazes me how many Girl Scout troops come to the event and aren't even wearing their vest/sash. I think GSUSA made a mistake when they basically made their uniform be "wear your vest or sash over whatever else you're wearing at the time".
  21. BSA 2017 Solar Eclipse patch

    Our Scout store has a sign that says preorders for the patch need to do so by the 24th. They're not a national scout store, so I don't know if that makes a difference.
  22. What are your Eagle Scout Traditions?

    Our troop provides the Eagle Kit, an embroidered Eagle square knot (for them to wear later when they turn 18, or to wear now, if they've already turned 18), and a special CSP our council makes and sells that says "Eagle Scout". The council provides an "I'm Proud Of My Eagle Scout" bumper sticker. Parents pay for the necker and slide, although we often pick it up for them when we pick up the Eagle Kit at the Scout Shop.
  23. GoFundMe for Eagle Projects

    You'd have to ask them. We all received notices last year stating that using online fundraising for Eagle projects was not permitted in our council. I thought it odd, too, but our council has a few things odd that are Eagle-related that no one has really challenged them on.
  24. GoFundMe for Eagle Projects

    Our council prohibits using things like GoFundMe for Eagle project fundraising. Other fundraising sources are permitted, just not online crowdsourcing.
  25. Eagle Project / Incomplete MB

    Ask the Counselor for official documentation to back up his/her statement. The project could begin as soon as he gets approval after becoming a Life Scout. I have Scouts in my troop right now that have their Eagle project completed but still have merit badges to complete.
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