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Everything posted by dedkad

  1. dedkad

    The End of Belt Loops

    I hear similar things about Boy Scouts "earning" Merit badges at camp.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. There's lots of information here: http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/01/01/better-activities-simplified-advancement-coming-to-cub-scouting-in-2015/ It doesn't take effect until the 2015-16 program year, so August or September of 2015. Not sure how the LDS programs will be run, but for the rest, it looks like they are completely separating out the Webelos I and Webelos II programs. You will be able to earn AOL without earning Webelos. The link doesn't give a lot of details, but it sure looks like earning AOL won't be the big deal that it is now, which is disappointing.
  17. dedkad

    Lockheed-Martin cuts ties to Boy Scouts

    I like this comment someone posted to the news article: "Perhaps Lockheed should stop selling their planes to Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi, Oman, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, etc. because of there religious bias. Let's at least be consistent."
  18. dedkad

    Need fun things to do or make

    Not sure where you live and what the weather is like this time of year for you, but if I had only one meeting left and didn't have any requirements to do, I would use that meeting to do a cool field trip, a hike, or play some fun games. My Webs just did a night hike and they loved it. This time of year is perfect for night hikes because it gets dark so early. If you are stuck indoors, you could do a paper airplane contest or an egg drop contest. Someone mentioned duct tape wallets. You could also do duct tape water bottle holders for the boy who needs to do craftsman, then go on a hike and use the water bottle holders.
  19. dedkad

    Too harsh???

    With all the extra time I'm sure you have on your hands, you could always become a Webelos den leader. Then you can spy on the other troops under the guise of troop visits for the Webelos boys. I've learned a lot about how the different troops operate in our area by attending these visits and asking lots of questions.
  20. My Webelos II den wanted to play Capture the Flag at our next den meeting, but we are missing one boy, so there will only be 5 boys there. Too few for a game of Capture the Flag. What other outdoor activity games would be fun for five 5th graders? We have access to a grassy playing field, blacktop, and playground equipment. And I should probably note that one of the boys is on the Spectrum, so games with grey areas like Red Light Green Light don't go over too well.
  21. dedkad

    Modern v Old School

    I'd go for the modern gear, but still have a few campouts where you break out the primitive gear for fun.
  22. dedkad

    Arrow of Light and Bridging

    An 11-year old 6th grader? I don't think he's even allowed to be in Cub Scouts anymore, regardless of whether or not he's done a cross-over ceremony.
  23. Club sports are getting more popular around here. Because it is so time-consuming, boys who normally would be participating in multiple sports or dabble in other non-curricular activities can no longer do that. Kids' football leagues also seem to be taking off again, which could account for the loss of soccer players, since it is the same season.
  24. dedkad

    Bank Account

    GeorgiaMom says: "The entire charter system is designed to shift legal responsibility to the CO's and the units. The BSA goes to great lengths to make sure they are not responsible for anything. So, when things go wrong, who gets left holding the bag? Sometimes, the individual volunteer. I doubt many BSA volunteers realize that." Please provide an actual example of when a BSA volunteer was found liable.
  25. We are registering our treasurer too to make sure there isn't any embezzlement history.