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Posts posted by Krampus

  1. I am going to encourage my nephew to take a one day at a time view of his scouting experience.  I think part of the problem is that he has so little in his life, that he feels that he has to "milk" every experience for all he can get. 


    If that's the case he might need something more than just Scouting. Making Eagle will not fill that hole. Scouting can help, but sounds like he needs support from school, friends, his faith and family. Counseling might help too. I know Scouts that sound like they came from similar situations. Counseling helped a great deal.

    • Upvote 1

  2. We will no longer have membership declines but "membership churn". Expect lots of tricks such as Early Scout Termination Fees, 2 year contracts, MB Caps and camping overage fees.


    The rumor is they are instituting a new policy that if you "identify" as an Eagle Scout you will be awarded the rank. That way BSA won't be accused of denying anyone the rank with which they most identify.  ;)

    • Upvote 3

  3. OMG (Oh, my goodness!) Having to do a second or third carnival of fun for the boys is probably going to cause irreparable harm to their psyche. 


    Seriously people, you're over thinking this.


    But @@Stosh, it is hard to plan around all the stuff the boys are doing. It is easier to say they "tried" and just check the box, isn't it?


    My biggest issue is that many folks wouldn't want to miss a soccer or baseball practice if it meant playing in the "big game", but they don't think twice about missing something important for a scout rank advancement.


    Sick and they miss? Different story. Picks sports over Scouts, we know where the priorities lie.

    • Upvote 1

  4. I have to agree with @@Stosh, @@UncleP. If he truly wants to be an Eagle Scout, let him make his own plan and path. Having a plan that someone else has created does nothing for the learning and growing a boy should do on the trail to Eagle. Your first instinct to "relax and have fun" was correct.


    That said, there's nothing wrong with talking about how to approach his rank advancement. Parents are encouraged to do that. Troops will help first year Scouts make First Class in 12-18 months. After that it is all about merit badges, leadership, service projects and enjoying the outdoor program that Scouting has to offer.


    Rough plans are fine and they will always change. Cruise ship-like itineraries on how make Eagle rarely work and often simply create what we call "paper Eagles"; young men who have completed the minimum requirements but learned and grew little along the way.


    My two cents.

  5. I'm just gonna say, please don't buy your sons huge backpacks! The Alps Redtail 4900 is 80 liters. I have no idea why anyone would need or want an 80L pack unless maybe they were doing winter mountaineering and had to carry ropes, crampons, ice axe, etc. That Osprey was 75 liters. Again, that's huge! Those packs weigh a heck of a lot too. Would you really want to weigh your 12 year old son down with a 5+ pound pack?


    There really isn't much of a reason to ever need more than 60L. Needing large, heavy packs is pure myth and should be avoided. REI really is doing a disservice selling these packs to the unknowing public. It's really sad. The pack manufacturers too.


    Another thing, large packs tend to get filled up with more stuff which just means more weight to carry.


    Here's something, I sewed my own backpack. It weighs only 9.5 oz. I've taken it on a five day backpack with all the food and gear I needed fitting in it just fine. Total weight at the start was maybe 27 lb. and that was with group gear I normally wouldn't carry.


    If you want to enjoy backpacking with your family, then go light and avoid all this heavy stuff that will just turn them off from the activity.

    My 85l pack weighs less than comparable lesser packs. When packed properly I have a full weight of 40# including food for a week. The extra space is nice to have just in case. Great for bulkier winter gear.

  6. Simple.. you build a robot and send that robot out to enjoy the outdoors on your behalf, while you sit in the A/C drinking root beer and watching it on a TV monitor.


    LOL...you laugh, but my MIT graduate brother does just that. ;)

  7. Most patrols seem to work i out once they get their hearts right. Boys learn what is kosher and not. With allergies what things cannot touch certain foods and which the offended scout can just pick out. Usually reasonable compromises and accommodations are made. The biggest problem I have seem is the boy who can't eat the patrol food and his parents raise hell about it while the solution is 3 bags of Doritos for the weekend.


    We have a Scout like that too. Not allergic, just has "issues" with certain foods. We asked the parents to supply a list of approved foods, also requested the Scout advocate on his own behalf during meal planning.


    The patrol is very good about accommodating him. Parents still yet to supply that list. One would think with the amount of complaining they do they would have given the list on Day 1. ;)

  8. Ok, so long as we are clearing things up, what are the options for Cub Scouts that miss activities completed by the rest of their den?  As far as I can see, we can either repeat the activities in the Den setting (which will discourage/bore other boys), hold a "make up" Den meeting/activity, which can be fun for the camping/cooking/hiking requirements, but not necessarily workable for all the trips required for Bear.  Or you can assign it as "homework".


    You answered your own question. There are options.


    And you can split your meeting so that the boys who DID do the work maybe get a special treat or something, while the boys who are there to make up the work have to do the work.

  9. The rule at some camps that only adults or camp staff carry prescription meds has a couple of problems.  1) When meds are needed in seconds, adult or staff may be minutes away.  2) It's against federal law for anyone other than the patient to possess prescription meds prescribed to that patient.  Parents get a pass under an unwritten exception because it has to work that way for young children.  We are not parents or in loco parentis, unlike the schools.  


    BSA forms giving camp staff or adults the supposed right to possess prescription meds are void  - dead on arrival.  Parents cannot change federal law.


    Even more reason to have the Scout carry the medication.

  10. Krampus, do you know whether the numbers either previously or in 2015 reflect multiply registered individuals?  My own observation is that almost every male registered as a Venturer is also registered with a troop, either as a scout or as an under 21 scouter.


    I can only tell you what they report in their annual report. I suspect there might be duplications in some memberships but doubt that number is very high. They usually publish adjusted numbers each August but they don't do it with much fanfare. Those revised numbers are usually lower than the ones published in the annual report but not by much.


    The folks I know who work with membership numbers at council and national will admit there is some double counting in membership, but they put that number as quite low. 

  11. Krampus, I understand we disagree on this topic. Nothing I say will change your mind, and you aren't going to change mine, so there isn't anything left. In my view, a Cub Scout who does their best to complete their Tiger/Wolf/Bear rank should receive it at the end of the year with their Den, regardless if they've completed every step for every Adventure Loop. And I want to make sure anyone who reads this topic knows there are valid reasons for that, even if there are other Scouters here who will mock and ridicule people who think differently.


    I think people who read what you've written understand that you will award a rank even if a Scout did 70% of the requirements. 


    I think people will understand where those who disagree with you stand, that -- as long as you complete ALL of the requirements, and not just 70% and do your best -- they would award the Scout the rank.


    I think everyone knows that other activities get in the way sometimes, but where we differ is in awarding something to someone who didn't complete all the requirements versus compelling them to complete the requirements.


    Don't worry, I think your position is pretty clear. What wasn't clear was you ascribing to those who disagree with you the notion that we require 100% attendance. That was not true and needed clarification. 

  12. There is much speculation he will be on the short lists for VP. The question is which one?


    Well, according to their published annual reports, this is how the numbers stack up. Numbers for the year are reported in March of the following year for the year just ended.

    • 2012:
      • Cubs= 1,528,673
      • Boy Scouts= 848,236
      • Venture/Varsity= 219,453
      • Total= 2,596,362
    • 2013
      • Cubs= 1,417,034
      • Boy Scouts= 828,947
      • Venture/Varsity= 192,080
      • Total= 2,438,061
    • 2014
      • Cubs= 1,293,564
      • Boy Scouts= 789,934
      • Venture/Varsity= 188,672
      • Total= 2,272,170
    • 2015
      • Cubs= 1,261,340
      • Boy Scouts/Venture/Varsity= 840,654
      • Total= 2,101,994
      • Note: They combined reporting on Boy Scouts, Venture and Varsity to hide the decline in these groups. Combined in 2014 they had 978,606 and in 2013 they had 1,021,027. In 2012 they had 1,067,689.

    So a 4% decline in 2014 was actually a 6.8% decline across all Scouting programs. The decline in 2015 is actually closer to 7.5%.

    • Upvote 2

  13. Hard to say "both sides do it" when one side is arguing about whether or not a chair was raised by a supporter in Nevada, while the other side's candidates are directly comparing "hand size" and offering to cover the legal fees of supporters who punch protesters in the face. For all the heatedness on the Democratic side, I never heard either candidate encourage violence from their supporters. This is not a "both sides do it" race.


    ROFL...whatever you say.

  14. All this complaining about how sports and band and any other activity requires perfect attendance, yet you insist on perfect attendance to earn the Wolf Rank. If a cub scout does his best to complete the Tiger Rank, even if he's missed a couple months of meetings to play a sport (something we should encourage, not force a choice),then I see no problem awarding him the rank.


    Where to begin:


    First, I don't recall anyone saying you had to have perfect attendance at Scout meetings nor for ranks.


    Second, the discussion around "doing your best" was not to award a rank for simply "trying" some of the requirements, but rather to do your best at ALL of the requirements.

  15. Some people take this "boy lead" thing a step or two beyond where my Chartered Organization would be willing to go.


    In the case of peanut allergies, my CO would expect the adults to inspect the supplies and verify that there is no peanut butter in the chuck box.  If a boy has an allergy to bee stings, and adult would be required to carry an epi-pen.  


    Trust but verify.




    But even in schools the teachers are not required to carry the epipen. Where I live that is up to the student. Of course, the adult (nurse at school, medicine man on the camp out) carries the back up.


    Also, at schools, the kids with the allergies are taught manage their allergies and how to avoid their allergens. You can't inspect every label of every item purchased at a camp out. What we do is work with the Patrols to make sure that the allergies are known in advance so that the grubmaster can read the labels and avoid certain products. The adults helping their grubmaster assist in this effort.

  16. Politics has never been civil, but this election has been noticably more childish and stupid than normal. Feels like a dumb reality tv show.


    Well this one has been vile, to be sure...on both sides.


    When you have Dumb and Dumber running it is hard to have any optimism about the next four years. Which liar lies the least may win.


    I feel like we just hit another dark period in Presidential politics.

  17. Krampus, when you're finished rolling on the floor, I have a question. Just out of curiosity:


    Leaving aside the question of which way the numbers are going: Which way do you WANT them to go?


    Well, there is no question on which way the numbers are going. There is also no question how fast they are going that direction. The BSA re-worked the previously published membership numbers to make the decline look less ominous. We discussed this last year and I posted the actually year on year membership losses as reported by the BSA. It wasn't 4%. It was 6% and higher. Oddly enough, the annual 3% year on year losses INCREASED since the 2013 decision. Yet someone how Gates' decision is being lauded as having reversed the decline. I hate to say it, but that is pure horse pucky!! Their own numbers refute that.


    What I want is for BSA to be honest about their membership numbers and not alter them to make their policy decisions look good.

  18. I disagree. If the main mission of Scouts is to help the boys learn to make moral and ethical decisions, etc... Courtesy in language, dress, and action certainly falls within that mission. One might argue the values espoused within the Scout Law should have been taught earlier, yet we do not claim these values to be akin to Scouters being virtual parents. I see my role as complementing the values taught by the parents and community. The method of adult association allows me to be an example, so the boys see other adults demonstrating these values, and "common courtesies". I see this as part of our mission, as it always has been.


    I think, maybe, @@Stosh is lamenting that these values are less and less obvious among the youth and, therefore, are not being taught by the parents as they once were.


    I often have (some) Scouts come right up to me as start a conversation without saying "Hello" or saying "Mr. Smith, may I ask you a question". They are usually the same Scouts and I always ask them to stop, then start over correctly. Eventually they get the message.

    • Upvote 1

  19. As long as the youth members learn the right lesson ... and I'm sorely afraid this election cycle will not teach those lessons ... I'm all in favor of our youth learning citizenship by doing.


    Sadly, this is the election cycle of the ad hominem attack, and I think we will have to push "A Scout is Friendly" on the youth in discussing how we select who we will vote fore.



    THIS election is the "cycle of the ad hominem attack"?? Did you miss 2012, 2008, 2004 and 2002?

  20. ROFL...those numbers they quote are HEAVILY messaged. Their own published numbers refute those numbers. We already had that discussion citing the BSA published numbers.


    If a Scout is supposed to be "honest", why does BSA message their numbers so much instead of standing behind their previously published membership stats?


    Those deep divisions they cite in the first paragraph are not gone. In fact, they may be worse than when he took office. He's just pleased one group while ticking off the other.

  21. I have many Jewish friends.  Never heard them say "OH MY G-D"


    Jewish stereotype for the NY/NY folks of Jewish persuasion. I have heard it before, just not as often as the stereotype suggests.


    Now "meshuggah"? I hear THAT a great deal. ;) But that's for the same reasons.