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Everything posted by Krampus

  1. @@Stosh, you are still giving credit for the APL doing his job. That's not a project, that's a role...and a role defined by BSA as not being worthy of a POR. You slice it pretty finely, but in the end you are giving the APL POR credit for doing nothing more than his job. That's not a project. EDIT: Now if the kid does something like build an Instructor's Manual, creates a new service project (or leads one) or something substantially outside the role of an APL, then heck yeah, give him credit.
  2. Actually, not really. You get feedback from your Scouts using those methods. But successful units have done quite well using feedback surveys to query their parents, MBCs and other folks to get program ideas that might not otherwise filter up through the boy ranks. The ideas are then filtered back through the PLs and PLC as input from the adults. This is no different than sending Timmy home to get ideas on where to camp based on family camp outs or vacations. And since different people communicate differently, this is yet another means of collecting data, just like a parent meeting or paper survey. I've seen units doing surveys all the time since I was a kid. They would poll parents and families on all sorts of issues (fund raising, dues increases, family camp out dates/locations, etc.). TC's do it all the time. This is a modern update to something that's been going on for decades.
  3. Sorry, @@Beavah, it is not always a symptom either. What did Mama Beavah teach you about absolutes like "always"? I will disagree with you on your two conditions. There are times that you have to remove a kid because of his potential to cause issues too. Part of making things safe for everyone is avoid issues before they happen. I am not about to take Powderkeg Jr., to Philmont and get in the back country with him. If he's poison at troop meetings, service projects and camp outs, imagine what he will do on a 75 mile trek in the back country. One of the toughest things we as Scouters will ever have to do is give up on a kid for the good of the unit. It is a bad feeling knowing you have a kid that has a poor family life, no role models and a not-so-bright future, and you have to let him go because he's not able to be corralled. Everyone has a breaking point and for a Scouter to know when to give up on a Scout is one of the hardest things they will have to do...but it does happen even though we may not want to admit it to others...or ourselves.
  4. Smell trumps sight and sound for many game too. They will smell you (if down wind) faster than hear you, hear you faster than see you and see you faster than you can react. Unless, of course, you are driving in West Virginia on Route 33 at 2am and the deer are on the side of the road....then those little buggers just jump at your car!! Deer whistles anyone?
  5. A project is usually something that has a timeline, set of expectations and objectives with a defined outcome which is usually a tangible asset. It is meant to be something a Scout can do that otherwise would not be able to hold a POR. It is not meant to be a POR work around. By giving project credit for what is essentially the APL's role anyway, you are just playing nuances with the whole project concept. I always applaud when someone can fill in the grey BSA likes to create with creative problem solving, but this is hard to overlook even by my liberal reading of certain standards.
  6. It is believed that deer can distinguish blue from red, but not green from red, or orange from red.
  7. @@Stosh, from the sounds of things this kid has been a pain of many years. The Patrol Method may not be the answer.
  8. We use Google Forms. Very easy to set up, tracks your data and you can import in to a spreadsheet. It is online so people can even go back and edit their responses if you like. It is better than SurveyMonkey because you can literally do whatever you want. In regard to questions, check out what others have done in this area.
  9. That's a pretty liberal reading of the leadership project's intent. I'm pretty certain they meant to award POR credit for an actual project with a defined role, objective and deliverable...and not give it to a kid exercising the patrol method.
  10. Worse than that....because of Obamacare, youth 13 and over are now responsible for their medications under their insurance provider. At age 13 they must give their parents permission to see their records and order medication on their behalf.
  11. Yes. We have them earn an amount of money (Second Class) and then request they open a savings account. We review how to open bank accounts, how to write checks and how to use debit cards. It is voluntary to actually open and use these accounts because that would be adding to the requirements. The boys can pay online or being a check or cash. Making payment is up to the Scout how he does it. We do not accept payments from parents in person. Can't. Requires a co-signer at our bank and since it is a business and not a personal account you must be 18 to be a signatory with purchasing rights. Yes, but we limit to PayPal via our SOAR/MyTroop website. Square and other such POS services usually take way too much of a commission on the sale. PayPal has been the lowest. The QM makes a purchase list and goes with the adult QM (who has the card) to make troop purchases. We don't buy new gear every year....where's the thriftiness in that? We do replace gear but only after the Scouts have repaired it too many times to make it useful.
  12. Not always. There's a distinct difference between someone with learning or social disabilities and kids that are just off the rails. To those trained in working with such kids it is easy to spot.
  13. @@Stosh, where my cousin lives it's 1) Make noise to let the bears know where you are and risk the ire of the hunters, or 2) Not make noise and risk being a snack for the bears. As for colors, one could be said that any loud color ANYTIME could be offensive, so we as Scouts should not wear them. I refuse to think that we need to let a thing like colors bother us. If I'm sitting on the Tooth of Time and I see a trek in orange neon below, it does not degrade from my enjoyment of the view or experience being there. If they are in the photo I either wait for them to leave or us PhotoShop to "shop" them out. I can even change their shirt color later if I want. No bother.
  14. Well, as my old friend Spock used to say... Seems like it is either this kid leaving or MANY kids leaving. As an SM that's a no brainer. We'd be sitting down with mom, dad and Scout to discuss his behavior and this probation. If he goes on a camp out, mom or dad have to go to....mostly to witness that we've dealt with him fairly. Give him six months. No foul language, no trouble, no bullying. One instance of any of those he's banned from the next outing and must demonstrate his changed nature during meetings and service projects. Second strike and he only allowed to attend meetings. Third strike, we have a meeting with district to discuss his disciplinary issues. He will get the message before it comes to the second strike and leave.
  15. Isn't green or brown a bright color for Brits? Seems all you lot ever wear is black or shades of black.
  16. Who is to say these adults would give credit though? They'd likely argue it was not a troop activity.
  17. I'd prefer excellent leave not trace skills. Follow the 7 principles of LNT and wear what you want. The color of your shirt is the last thing I care about. I teach LNT and can say this is the first time this debate has ever come up.
  18. Actually, the preface is pretty clear...it is the rule book of safe scouting, as well as a citation noting that leaders must know, review and/or be aware of all other BSA rules, policies or local/national laws and policies. "Guide" is merely a word to connote a compendium of the rules and/or where to look.
  19. Has been our troop's custom until we started to have so many during the year that, when you include all other troop events, the leaders literally had 8-10 weekends a year left that DIDN'T have a Scout event. So we went to having them co-mingled with the regular COHs. MUCH better format for a number of reasons. Guys can still have the "coronation" by themselves if they want, BUT the troop leaders' availability may not be guaranteed.
  20. I've seen several units in this situation. When I became SM I swore to myself I would make the unit my priority, so that its health (and mine) were the priority. In my area when the long-serving SM or CC don't know when to step down, step aside or change how things are done, that hurts the unit. For some, their entire reason for being is the unit. That's not healthy in the long run....not for the leader or the unit.
  21. Agree 100%. Not something you wait to see what happens. Someone could get hurt. Address quickly, calmly, rationally and discretely (but not in clandestine manner).
  22. Yeah, that's a red flag statement for me too. That is usually code for no/bad father, no/bad mother, family issues (divorce, abuse, etc), poor (can't afford to do yxz) or something else going on in the kid's life where Boy Scouts would help him escape, learn or grow. But there's usually a double-edged sword that goes along with a kid in these circumstances. In my experience, about half have turned out to be productive Scouts. The other half have become issues for us. While you're right that Scouters are volunteers and may not have the training or time or energy to help such kids, we at least owe them one swing at the plate before we toss up our hands. It's a very difficult call for a Scouter to make. I've found that kids like this, once "called out" (nicely, of course) and put on a behavior plan, usually either calm down or leave.
  23. Have one of those now. He's a gem of a kid. Will never make Eagle but is still in the program. Only had one 15 year old Eagle take the bling and run. To this day he is my biggest regret in 15 years.
  24. I'm at the other end of the spectrum. I like to know what people's first impressions are because they are usually spot on. I like to know what good ideas people have to change things, or keep doing things. I have found that, if left too long, those good ideas that people initially have go away and never get implemented. That initial reaction and suggestion can sometimes be MORE helpful than one left to simmer for two years. Of course, you get the other end of the spectrum where people make suggestions that obviously won't work. Would two years of waiting to offer that advice has helped them understand? Sure. But why wait? They are adult enough to learn fast that their idea wouldn't work and why. Saves them two years of watching and the learn faster.
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