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Everything posted by dedkad

  1. There was an ad in the back of Scouting magazine for a Florida company that offers sailing trips for Boy Scouts.
  2. dedkad


    Many Webelos activities I have treated with more of a checklist attitude. You heard it, did it, saw it? Then good, you're done. I have been taking a different approach with Readyman because I think it is so important to reinforce it over and over, so the boys will be able to act calmly and correctly in a real emergency. For this reason, I have been dedicating many many meetings to doing the Readyman requirements, and am trying a different approach at each meeting. For the first meeting, I had the boys read the Readyman section ahead of time, then we played Readyman basketball where I would ask questions and for each correct answer, the boy got to step closer to the basket. When all the questions were done, they would shoot baskets. They got points for correct answers and baskets, so whoever had the most points at the end was the winner. For another meeting, I put the boys on the spot with "real-life" scenarios. I cut out pictures of bloody noses, cuts, scrapes, frostbite, burns, ticks, etc.. The boys took turns being a "victim" or a "responder". The responder would step outside while I prepped the victim. Then the responder would have to come in, evaluate the injury based on what he saw and what little the victim told him, and then would have to demonstrate how to treat it. I had first-aid supplies on hand so they could do a "real" treatment, not just tell me about it. I even had a picture of a garter snake to try to fool them into treating a snakebite that wasn't poisonous. For another meeting, I assigned each boy a particular injury, and they had to make a presentation to the den on how to recognize the injury and how to treat it. I gave them free reign on how to do their presentation and encouraged them to make it informative, while still holding the boys' interests. Most importantly, it had to be accurate. For another meeting, we had an EMT come speak to the boys about the "hurry" cases. Then we practiced making stretchers out of a sheet and two long sticks and did stretcher races. The stretchers were not a Readyman requirement, but fun. For another meeting, we did a bike ride and made several stops along the way to talk about bicycle safety. At another meeting, I handed out a drawing where the boys needed to find and circle the things that were unsafe in the kitchen, in order to talk about where accidents are most likely to happen in the home. They also took a brief written true/false first-aid quiz at that meeting. We haven't talked about safe swim yet. Would have liked to have done that with an actual den meeting at a public pool, but I don't think we will have time to get that field trip together in time for our AOL ceremony. We'll just have to talk about it instead. So you can see that it has been a long drawn-out process for me to teach the boys Readyman. How much they are actually learning and retaining is still questionable, but at least we are having fun doing it.
  3. When our pack lost its CO, the District Executive found us a new CO. Does the DE or the Council have the authority to discontinue their relationship with a CO and move the troop to a new CO?
  4. dedkad

    Hello to all!!

    You might want to contact the District and find out who charters the various Scout troops in your area. Then you could consider becoming active in those charter organizations and get your foot in the door that way.
  5. I'm curious to know if you are in favor of families being able to transfer schools if their neighborhood school is an underperforming school, or if you think the families should just tough it out and attend their neighborhood school.
  6. We encourage families to look at other packs if ours doesn't fit their needs. In our case, all the packs in our town are pretty good, so the pack shopping consists mainly of just finding out what days and times the pack and dens meet, so they can choose one that best fits the family schedule. Personally, I think when families are looking at packs, they should be taking a closer look at the dens. You can have an awesome pack, but there may be a weak den leader at your son's grade level. If the pack structure is that the den leader progresses through the ranks with their son, then you could be stuck with that weak den leader for your son's entire CS career. New CS families don't really know about how the packs and dens are operated, so they are not savvy enough to ask those kinds of questions.
  7. dedkad

    Combining packs/dens different ways of doing things

    Because Webelos is supposed to be the transition from adult-led Cubs to boy-led Scouts, the two of you should really be sitting down with the boys asking them which badges they want to work on, and then the two of you work together to facilitate that. In several instances, what I thought the boys would want to do was not what they chose.
  8. I kept all of my opinions to myself, which is why I posted here so I could vent a little. I did not put any pressure on my son one way or the other. I didn't want him to doubt his choice and end up being not fully committed to the troop that he did end up choosing, whichever that would be. As to your other comment about loyalty. When a troop does not provide a Webelos outdoor activity for your boys to earn their AOL, you have no choice but to reach out to a troop that does. You may call that troop shopping, but I call it doing what is best and necessary for the boys to finish and enjoy their Cub Scouting experience. If it had been my choice, I would have chosen the CO troop out of loyalty because the leaders did a good job of building a relationship with me. However, the CO troop leaders and their Scouts did not develop a relationship with my boys, so there was no loyalty there.
  9. dedkad

    The End of Belt Loops

    I hear similar things about Boy Scouts "earning" Merit badges at camp.
  10. dedkad

    Den Chief Advice

    If the DC and the DL are happy with the arrangement and things are working good, then that's a positive for everyone. But if you've had a history with this boy and have some concerns, you should let the DL know that he is not required to keep the DC if it is not working out.
  11. I get plenty of camping, backpacking and outdoor adventures on my own time with adults and/or family. I don't need Boy Scouts to do that. What I was trying to say is that I am disappointed over the lost opportunity for this troop to stop it's dwindling numbers and get it turned around with a new influx of boys.
  12. dedkad

    The End of Belt Loops

    And now kids can learn and see most everything on the internet, so the only thing that Scouting can really offer is actually going out and doing what you learned or saw on YouTube.
  13. dedkad

    Tiger Cubs: To recite or not to recite...

    If I was a Tiger den leader, I would question whether to even teach the boys the Cub Scout promise and Law of the Pack. I know it is still a requirement, but since they are being discontinued in 2015 and being replaced with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, I would just start teaching them that instead. When they announced the change, they should have given the units authority to change immediately, if they wanted.
  14. dedkad

    How to incorporate the cheers/applauses?

    This sounds fun. We tried den cheers this year for the first time. The boys did it at the first pack meeting, but didn't seem to be too thrilled to do it after that. I like your idea of doing the role call. That encourages them to want to speak up and yell.
  15. The CO troop's SM and CC shared your attitude, and it cost them an entire den of Webelos. It's not about doing things for the pack, it's about making connections with the boys. When you have much stronger troops in the area, the only way you'll be able to compete is if you make that extra effort to recruit and to teach your boys how to build relationships. We did watch troop meetings from the back of the room. It's the troop where the Boy Scouts made an effort to talk personally with the Webelos and include them in that meeting's activities that won over my boys, not the one with Boy Scouts who just sat up at the front and went about their business and expected that our boys would automatically join because their troop does cool stuff. Yeah, well, the other troop does cool stuff too, and their boys made an effort to get to know me, so I'm joining the other troop because that is where I feel more comfortable.
  16. dedkad

    Using your dog as a compass

    No wonder dogs will spin round and round getting ready to poop. They are just trying to orient themselves.
  17. dedkad

    COR is a dictator

    I feel like we are only getting half of the story. Why does the COR want new blood? Maybe he has good reason. Without more specifics on your troop, I wouldn't say one way or the other that what your COR is doing is wrong.
  18. The SM may not assign a den chief, but his attitude toward the position can go a long way toward creating a culture in the troop where boys are wanting to be den chiefs.
  19. Part of the problem is that the CO troop is a high adventure troop, so most of their outings involve lots of driving, hiking, and rugged conditions, which isn't always age/skill appropriate for Webelos. However, if they are serious about wanting to recruit into their troop from our pack, it seems to me that they should be making an effort to provide at least a few activities that the Webelos could attend to get them to know the troop. If it was encouraged at the troop level, they could easily lend us a Boy Scout now and then, which would be helpful to the pack but may only be marginal for troop recruiting unless the boy makes an effort to get to know the Cub Scouts instead of just being a talking head in a uniform. I saw so much room for improvement that would help both the troop and the pack, and was really gung-ho about trying to resolve that. That's why I was kind of bummed that my son wants to join a different troop.
  20. I forgot about MBC! That is a good suggestion. I've been through the list, and there's probably a couple that I could teach if I brush up on my subjects.
  21. dedkad

    Summer camp pricing

    Fred, I can see myself calling the Scoutmaster of the CO troop that my son just decided not to join. Me: "Hey, I know he didn't want to join your troop, but is it OK if my son comes with you guys to summer camp because the troop we are joining is sending them off to rich kid camp and we can't afford to go?" SM: "Your son should have thought of that when he decided not to join our troop. You made your bed, now lie in it." I haven't even told the CO SM yet that none of my son's den are joining his troop because I've been too nervous to break the news to him. But I think one boy in our den is joining a troop from another town, so maybe we could go with them because there shouldn't be any hard feelings there. I will have to inquire about that possibility.
  22. dedkad

    Summer camp pricing

    As I look into this further, it appears the camp they are going to is not a Boy Scout property. It is a private camp that offers Scouting programs. That's probably part of the reason the cost is so high. It's a camp on Catalina Island off the coast of California. The troop alternates between this camp and another camp in the Sierra mountains each year. The other camp is at a Boy Scout property, so hopefully that one will be cheaper. It would be nice if they offered both on the year that they do the expensive camp, so at least a boy who wants to attend camp can go without breaking the bank.
  23. I've spoken with my son's future Scoutmaster on many occasions, and he's made it clear that his philosophy is that it's time for the boys to break away from mom. That's fine as long as his feelings don't impact the ability of the troop to provide a good program for the boys. There appears to be plenty of male ASM's with this troop to help provide a fairly active outdoor program for the boys. The Charter troop is smaller and is a high-adventure troop, so they were in need of any and all adults willing to help, so they were less choosy and were willing to accommodate anyone who wanted to help. My son's future troop has women on their Committees and in positions like Treasurer, so there's probably something I could do if it sparks my interest, but paperwork does not currently spark my interest.