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Everything posted by 1tree

  1. That would be nice. While I am concerned about Scout safety, some of the rules are getting out of hand. I have given up trying to get scouts excited about lashing since we can't make much that is exciting. When I was 10 I went to camp and helped make a 40 foot signal tower. It captured my imagination and drove me to learn knots which I had previously struggled with. I learned to deal with water because I had so much fun canoeing. They need to look at the hard reality that scouting is NOT seen as relevant to more and more youth and parents. The fact is that the world doesn't care what us cheerleaders say. They evaluate based on their criteria.
  2. Here is a thought - have HIM lead a discussion with the scouts and get their thoughts. Even younger scouts can be quite insightful. And thy will then know why the leader is doing the sign differently.
  3. I am with MikeS72 on the issue. While there could be issues with arranging meetings with girls, outright refusal is counter to the values of the organization.
  4. Yea, some of us don't live in the pristine world you believe in. Here is the thing - a new troop likely doesn't know what scouts is about. They don't know what program they want. They don't know how to begin to assemble it. Follow the standard shrink wrapped advice and you end up the norm: new troop dead in under three years. For all the posturing there are a number of realities that keep getting glossed over. First is the Baden Powell came to a movement which was already happening without him and happened to use his book. Second, kids are different now then they were then. The world has changed drastically over the years. My dad went hunting with his patrol after school one day. They all took their guns to school in the morning and headed out looking for rabbits at the end of the day. Imagine your scouts doing that today. Also, what is the age group of your scouts? Chances are we are talking about an average age of about 10.9 years old. Do you really believe that a newly minted AOL is ready to lead a troop and run a program with minimal adult intervention? And just how is the PL going to teach scouts to start a fire? or tie the knot they don't remember? Oh yea, they will simply read the book. Because oh yea, nothing spells adventure like studying from the book. Now as to why have an SPL when you have one patrol? It divides the amount of work an 11 year old needs to do. It helps set the knowledge of what is troop and what is patrol. My scouts responded quite well to having the positions there. Sorry for the delay in response. I stand by my presentations. I don't consider myself an expert, but unlike some I have actually gone from nothing to a troop making it past the three year mark.
  5. Some observations here: YPT is a huge concern and often not well understood. The being said, my take is that for a MB session you must have two adults over 21. One of them must be a registered adult, the other can either be registered or the parent/guardian. Review the one on one requirements regularly. But really I don't see a reason for this to happen in a MB session. I would encourage having a discussion with the SM. But limit said discussion to something that is meaningful and constructive. Unless you live in an area where the next troop is a long distance away, fighting with the SM is likely not worth it. Find another troop where your scout can grow and you can help and be happy. Now specifically with your questions on the two merit badges. See if the sailing club has a MB counselor. If not, they may be willing to invest the couple hours it would take to become one. If not, then see if you can find a counselor who will work with you. For hiking, it depends on the counselor. Personally, I would allow such a hike assuming the scout meets all requirements in the process. After the hike, I would want the scout to tell me about the hike and be convincing that he/she did the requirement. A scout is trustworthy, and mom and dad saying so isn't the way of this scouter. It is have a discussion and the scout normally finds the right path without parental help.
  6. Well to be blunt if I were the SM and heard a breath of this discussion the US would NEVER be at another meeting of my troop. End of story. I would first speak to my COR, then to my DE and make it clear. I would call and have said person removed for trespassing if he/she showed up at another unit event. But also for a more complete discussion lets take a moment and see the requirement as written: 4b - Show the proper care of a rope by learning how to whip and fuse the ends of different kinds of rope. Now which words state that the scout must put flame to the rope? We can argue all day long about what it means to learn to do this skill. And yes, my scouts torch the rope. Typically they create a quite ugly end. But the words demonstrate simply do NOT appear above. To be clear, the job of the UC is not defender of the ranks. And quite frankly I believe the only real concern here is that some people are trying to make sure those girls don't get off easy. I think the UC and the poster should both go back and spend some time studying the Scout Oath and Law. They should take to heart "Help other people" and "Friendly, Courteous, Kind." They should spend some time encouraging the girls who are clearly motivated instead of getting hung up on technicalities they clearly don't understand. For the record, I look at the book repeatedly. I just don't trust that I know what the words actually say. My troop has been in operation a little more than three years and the requirements have been tweaked at least four times. And above all else, I remind myself regularly what the aims of scouting are.
  7. Which brings back memories of my being a scout. I recall my SM asking me first to teach another scout various skills. Then after teaching them send them to another scout to verify. Later I was to teach and sign off without anyone verifying. I realized the program when the time came for me to stop teaching and start verifying some of those I had taught. My troop is just three years old so we don't yet have a full compliment of older boys. But we are moving the right direction and scouts teach while a leader sits off and observes. Then the scout teaching lets us know when he believes the work is completed. It is working well. If you want a scout to know the material have said scout teach. The whole idea of adults signing everything off is not a good one in my opinion.
  8. And... you may have the reason your pack is so small. Few parents want their children exposed to such behaviors.
  9. While it doesn't go into the part you are looking for here I would encourage you to look through my presentations from UoS on starting a new troop. Perhaps cover some of the things you haven't considered. http://t243sachse.org/index.php/university-of-scouting/2019
  10. I am completely in favor of scouts learning to handle firearms because it teaches responsibility. Most will step up to the added responsibility that a firearm represents. My experience is that younger scouts are safer after time on the rifle range. It can also teach them concentration and focus. Unfortunately while the BSA has started promoting the idea of shooting teams inside the BSA program (great idea), they have the typical blinders on when it comes to their rules for implementation. In short, while I love the idea I would skip the BSA if starting a shooting team in favor of Civilian Marksmanship Program.
  11. At our council's University of Scouting I have had a class on stating a new troop the last two years. (I signed up to teach before the announcement was made.) And... predictably a large percentage of the participants have been looking at female troops. I have also spoken with a good number of leaders in my area. Most will start their female units out meeting at the same time and place. Going to the same campouts. And one said he told his committee that they should specifically look at me and the troubles I have had getting my troop off the ground. Here is the thing: some of those troops will drift apart. Some will never drift apart because the adults pull the correct strings to keep them that way. Some won't because the youth want it that way. The thing is that I am VERY excited. You see, last night I saw again how females hold their own in Venturing as I attended our Wood Badge/NYLT Reunion. And who led the NYLT section? Two girls did. Two girls leading a mixed group and it was great. You see my daughter is a Girl Scout. And I support Girl Scouts. But most those girls learn to stand in a very protected girl only environment. I see a higher percentage of young ladies in the BSA programs standing up and leading without fear than I do in the Girl Scouts. This is NOT a rage against Girl Scouts. I think they have a great program. My excitement is that we are moving toward equality for my daughter. And no, I am not tired of the marketing hype. I am excited because last night I met a young lady who was a fresh member into Scouts BSA. And with the name change my daughter is interested in joining. (She was NOT keen on the Boy label. Such is life.)
  12. What a laughable lie. Why not just admit that they feel guilty for those who are old enough but couldn't previously join? If it was so new troops could have trained leaders, then they would make exceptions for new troops. The simple fact is that few new troops have scouts who have attended NYLT. And now troops will have to make it out of the three year death zone before sending their first leaders. But hey - lets all congratulate ourselves for a job well done.
  13. From the sound of it, they weren't yelling at the kids, but about them. Which is probably worse. Something I would expect to correct a scout for not an adult. But as the op has pointed out there might be something missing. But really, with 38 scouts working how hard could it be to have setup the bon fire? If the work was so short that there wasn't time for a scout to turn in their homework and get over to help, then how big a project is it anyway? I think the scout leadership should have dealt with the issue. And with 40 scouts, that works out to at least 5 youth. (4 patrol leaders and the aspl.) For that matter, the adults shouldn't have obligated the troop without the input of the youth leadership. The interesting thing is that I find my youth leaders make the helpful choice on their own very consistently. Perhaps it has something to do with them agreeing the the principles they recite at the start of every meeting. I won't claim that I have never yelled at a scout. But I can tell you it wasn't in front of the troop and it was when I found said scout on my way to report a missing scout to the camp director. Even at that, I publicly apologized to him later. Yelling is simply not the best choice of action.
  14. This is a bit late, but... I think a lot could be accomplished by pushing camps to make classes longer and set maximum student-instructor ratios. For that matter, they should also remove all endorsement of camps offering completion of badges a scout simply can't complete. For instance, Cooking MB simply can't be completed in a summer camp experience. Unfortunately there are too many who put too much emphasis on advancement. The ideal is that advancement occurs as a side effect of the experiance.
  15. I don't think you will find a rule prohibiting the Webelos from using sheath knives. But here are the concerns that come to mines. Some troops prohibit sheath knives. Most scout camps prohibit them (at least at summer camp). There are no requirements for the Castaway Adventure which would call for a sheath knife So my opinion is that your better off leaving out sheath knives for the Webelos outing. For all the reasons above I would highly recommend any scout start with a good folding knife. If they own one knife then I highly recommend a quality folding knife. As a second knife I would certainly go with a sheath knife. But I would leave that adventure for when they have earned their tot-n chip. All that said - this is one person's opinion.
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