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About Bearclaw

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  • Birthday 08/01/1969

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    Civil Engineer
  1. LHScoutmaster, In my opinion, what you are doing right now is THE most difficult and challenging part of a Boy Scout Program. My pet peeve with BSA material is that it describes what an ideal boy-led troop is. However, they do not tell you how to get there from here. A fully functioning boy-led troop has a tremendous asset: the older scouts teach/show the newer scouts how it’s done. Likewise, the experienced adult leaders teach/show the new parents assuming leadership roles. There is a structure to the unit's program that is learned by living it. For the most part, the pa
  2. Basementdweller, It sounds like you are pointing me toward my gut feel - that tenting should only be by patrols. Regarding your questions: We've been doing menu selection and cooking per patrol for over a year now - this is working well. We have only recently had the patrols create flags and yells. Patrol competitions are still having a tough time getting going - but we are progressing. Getting the older boys motivated is the hardest part. Regarding the unpopular scout - my guess is he is just a socially awkward fella (also like this in school I hear).
  3. Here is some background: I am Scoutmaster of a troop - we are in the midst of transitioning from adult led to boy led – about half way there. The majority of my knowledge is BSA training, what I’ve read on this forum, and what we’ve tried (successes and failures). I’ve been convinced that one of our next important steps in the transition to a more boy-led troop is to transition away from age-based patrols to age-diverse patrols. Age diverse-patrols have many many advantages – most notably, it gives a natural teaching hierarchy for which the older bo
  4. Thanks for the additional ideas. I know that motivating the older boys is difficult – but I have not given up hope yet. Their bad attitudes show up most when the meeting is dull. I will double my efforts to give them more control over the meeting but also give them additional ideas to draw upon. Inspired from many of your suggestions, I plan to, at the next PLC, provide the youth leaders the following ideas for Troop Meetings: 1) Use troop meetings from Troop Program Features or create your own using it as a guide 2) Patrols take turns selecting and running patrol competitio
  5. Eagledad, you offer great wisdom. I see your point that a program not fully under the boys’ control can be a primary reason for the low interest of older scouts. I am working on having the scouts take over even more of the program. Unfortunately the current youth leadership, made up mostly of the oldest boys, is a bit unenthusiastic (bordering on having bad attitudes). Giving them the reins doesn’t mean they will take the reins. I don’t want to give up on them yet (although the next generation of youth seem pretty darn sharp). I’d like to be able to propose at the next PLC so
  6. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas. Some of these are general ideas that I’ve heard before (and some we’ve tried to varying degrees of success). But the detailed suggestions you all provided are very helpful – some of these I will suggest for the boys to try. The problem with assigning everyone a POR is that not every one of these scouts needs a POR all the time – leaving some idle during troop meetings. And Den Chiefs, QM and History POR scouts don’t usually have a lot to do for their duties during troop meetings. I guess what I think would help me most is if you could p
  7. I am SM for a troop that is about half way through the transition from adult led to boy led. (We are about a year into the transition.) I feel I understand how a boy-led troop is supposed to be run according to BSA (I read a lot and have taken training). Unfortunately, nowhere does BSA tell you how to transition from adult-led to boy-led. You can’t just proclaim that, starting at the next troop meeting, we are going to go by the book. Existing boy-led troops have a huge asset that they may not recognize they have. They have a natural way to teach incoming youth (and adult leaders)
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