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Woodsmith

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About Woodsmith

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    Junior Member
  1. Woodsmith

    A Broken hearted cub scout needs your help!

    Kristi -- Have you heard anything new regarding the missing cars? I am still hoping this sad tale has a happy ending...
  2. Woodsmith

    National Pinewood Derby Race?

    I have heard that there is a "National" Pinewood Derby Race to be held in May -- but don't know any details beyond that. Does anyone know any more about this race?
  3. Woodsmith

    Very Short Scoutmaster Minutes.

    "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo,Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr., writer (not the singer)
  4. Woodsmith

    How many pups in a tent?

    I knew you guys were going to jump all over me about "the tent not being the main problem" -- but I already recognized that and alluded as much in my initial post. I am taking over as SM in a couple weeks and training the leaders is my primary goal (naturally) -- but I wondered if I was out of line in limiting the size of tents... Thanks for all the feedback!
  5. Quick question -- Do any of you have any troop policies regarding the size of, or number of Scouts sleeping in one tent? We've had a problem with one of the older boys bringing an 8-man tent -- and then packing it with at least that many boys. This becomes a big hangout for the "boy leaders" and they invariably spend most of the night hootin and hollerin... My thought -- other than making sure the boy leaders have better things to do (like leading!), is to set a maximum tent size -- or at least limit the number of occupants. Anybody else have any experience with this kind of situation? Thanks!
  6. Woodsmith

    How many terms in the PLC?

    UncleGuinea: "Just a couple of rhetorical questions to get your minds working. Do you consider your position (s) in Scouting to be as important to you as the boy's positions in Scouting are, or should be, to them? What is your term limit? How would you feel if someone told you, 'you can do this job for six months and then never again?'" UncleG -- I know you said they were rhetorical questions -- but you bring up some interesting points, so I'd like to answer anyway. Yes, I consider my position very important -- yes, I would hope that the boys take their position seriously too (some do, others ... not so much) -- no, I have no specific term limit (other than sticking it out for as long as my sanity or wife will let me) -- and, of course, I would not appreciate being told I could only hold the position for six months. Now -- reality -- 1) A Scoutmaster position is in no way comparable to that of a Patrol Leader -- other than they both are part of the BSA program. Hopefully I don't have to list the differences I see. 2) If there were a line of qualified adults waiting to take over as Scoutmaster (oops, we were talking reality here...), I might be happy to step aside and give others their shot. But, 3) a Scoutmaster could not hope to accomplish a tremendous amount within just six months -- and neither can a first-time Patrol Leader be fully trained and acclimated to his position within that time. And, 4) I never suggested six months -- or even one year -- as an ideal term limit for a Scout in a "leadership" position.
  7. Woodsmith

    How many terms in the PLC?

    Dan:"Before I could give anymore suggestions, I need to know. Are YOU going to let them vote for SPL and PLS? At the next election?" Absolutely! Actually, I am to address the PLC within the hour -- this is how I intend to begin: "I dont want to scare you, thinking that I am going to make a lot of changes and shake things up with a lot of new ideas because I do intend to make a lot of changes and shake things up but with a lot of old ideas. Those ideas that have been part of the Scouting program for almost 100 years. Much of the Boy Scout program has been tweaked and modified hopefully improved -- over the decades, but fundamentally it is the same. This program has been carefully prepared and it is my charge as Scoutmaster to see the Eight Methods of Scouting delivered to every boy in the Troop not just my version of Scouting. Do any of you guys have a problem with me running the Troop? No? Well, I do! A Boy Scout Troop is intended to be Boy Run. (blah blah blah here)"
  8. Woodsmith

    How many terms in the PLC?

    Bob and Dan -- I really don't want to create any more rules -- just an effective argument against having the same person hold a leadership position for too extended a period (whatever that is). Our Scribe has been the same for 3 years. The Historian and Quartermaster about the same. Now the Patrol Leaders are into their second year (at least, heck --they may have been a PL before I became involved with the Troop) in that position. I guess this is a situation where I should just butt out, huh? I suppose I should be happy that I have such strong and willing Patrol Leaders -- and be wary what I could get if they stepped down -- but I'd just like to see the others get a chance to see what they can do. Another question -- Scouts are all about developing leadership qualities, character and good citizenship -- but many of the boys are quite content to let the other boys take the leadership positions. I know roles like Scribe and Historian are considered "leadership" positions sufficient to satisfy rank requirements -- but what's the best way to encourage the guys to step forward and test their mettle?
  9. Woodsmith

    How many terms in the PLC?

    I guess my biggest problem stems from the fact that the PLs were selected by the SM and CC (an issue well covered on another thread) -- and I am stepping in as SM just AFTER a the latest round of "elections". The PLs that were chosen were undeniably the most trained, most qualified, most responsible bunch of boys in the Troop -- but I still don't think they should be Patrol Leaders -- AGAIN. The Powers That Be (or at least, the Powers That WERE) felt that the boys next in line are not ready for such a responsible role. It is my feeling that just about any boy can learn to be a quality PL, and as Scoutmaster, it is one of my primary duties to help train these Junior Leaders. Now, I recognize that not every boy will become the ideal PL, and some boys are stubbornly resistant to training, and it may become necessary for the APL, SPL and the SM to take steps to ensure the other Patrol members don't start dropping out because of the "bad apple" PL -- but I still feel it is the right of any qualified Scout that wishes it to be given the opportunity to see what kind of a leader he can be (and likewise, for his Patrol members to see what kind of a leader he is -- perhaps causing them to take the election more seriously the next time). Plus, we have too large a Troop to have the top leadership positions "hogged" by a select (literally) few. I also think that these already-proven leaders, given the chance, will make excellent mentors for their new replacements. Anybody see any flaws or omissions in my thinking before I gird for battle on this issue?
  10. Woodsmith

    How many terms in the PLC?

    I have not found anywhere where BSA states how many terms in succession a Scout may retain the same leadership position -- whether that's SPL, Patrol Leader, Scribe, Historian, etc. Is there a guideline for that? In my opinion, Scouts that have already held the position of Patrol Leader (for example) for one year need to move on. It is my understanding Boy Scouts is designed to develop leadership skills in boys. Boys that have held such a position already know how to lead a Patrol (or whatever duty they're responsible for) and should now be in the position to help teach the next Scout ready to step in to the role. Obviously, my Troop thus far has no limits on the number of times you can be re-elected (or re-chosen, as the case may be) and it irks me a little (a lot).
  11. Woodsmith

    PLC "too busy"

    Thanks guys -- We have our Annual Planning meeting coming up soon -- the first that I will be observing -- and I plan to implement your suggestions and open better lines of communication between SM (soon to be me) and the PLC so we can address any issues and increase participation. Wish me luck!
  12. Woodsmith

    PLC "too busy"

    "17 Scouts out of over 80? This ought to be looked at as a red flag?" Yes, indeed. "Not so long ago you posted that you had 25 new Scouts are you using the NSP? Do you have an annual plan?" Yes and yes. (actually, it is more like 30 New Scouts) "If possible you might want to see if your Council is offering a JLTC course this summer and see if some of your Scouts can attend." All the current PLC members are Green Bar trained -- we have 4 more Scouts attending JLT next week. "There is a very big difference when the PLC plans the event and when the PLC approves the event." I am seeing that -- that is what I hope to address at the next PLC meeting -- it may be that we will have to let go of some "Favorite" annual trips of some of the adults to better address what the boys really want, hopefully increased "ownership" of the schedule will increase participation...
  13. Woodsmith

    PLC "too busy"

    Yes, they plan the events -- for the most part -- some of the events have "fixed" dates, such as the Camp-o-ree. Some are annual/traditional events -- the schedule is planned far in advance, so I doubt the boys really know what conflicts to expect -- except dates that are close to the usual school obligations (exams, sporting events). Some outing locations must be reserved a year in advance, which makes changing things to accomodate schedules tricky.
  14. Woodsmith

    PLC "too busy"

    I apologize if this subject has been addressed before -- I did not see it. I come from a large Troop (over 80 boys) and for 3 out of the last four campouts we have only had ONE or less member of the PLC present. Usually it's a Patrol Leader who has to be temporarily promoted to SPL. This weekend we have 17 boys attending, NO PLC or "Senior" Scouts -- only 3 are 1st Class, 4 are 2nd Class and the rest are New Scouts. The PLC selects, or at least approves, the outings and activities -- and profess enthusiasm -- but at campout the roster is lacking. I intend to address the PLC at their next meeting and see if they have any ideas as to what can be done to increase participation. We've only been trying to really utilize the Patrol Method over the last year -- but it makes it rather difficult if there are no leaders to lead. Any advice/suggestions before I confront the guys?
  15. Woodsmith

    Has the Campfire gone out?

    FOG wrote:"Nothing wrong with shows either. Just a campfire without the fire. The important thing is that people are getting up and performing." Right -- I was less concerned about the actual burning of stuff in the Campfire Program than I was the "Program" element! I don't understand why Scouts would ever need to PAY a performer to entertain the kids -- from my experience, just asking the audience if anyone would like to perform a skit provides ample entertainment -- at least it used to....
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