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dedkad

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Posts posted by dedkad


  1. I am on the fence on whether I want it to change. While it's nice that it will be the same for all scouts. I also think that it's one of the things that sets Webelos apart to know they they are graduatiing to being a boy scout.
    I wonder if they'll change the two finger salute to three fingers to be consistent also.

  2. I try not to count one activity for two requirements, but I think the floor plan is fine for both Engineer and Readyman because there are two distinct activities you are doing with that plan. In Engineer you are drawing a floor plan of your house. Period. In Readyman, you are evaluating that floor plan and deciding which is the best escape route. The boys will decide if it is best to make their way through their house or just head out the window.


  3. Sorry, I am going to rain on this parade. Yes, you should be concerned. You need Tigers. They also bring parents who will be Den Leaders, CC, MC, CM and such. They can help out with Pack Events and Outings.

     

    It is understandable about the Tiger Parents not understanding the program. It's not the Baby Sitters of America. So, they do need to be there. You should find a couple of 1st Graders and ask them what seven friends would they want to have in their Den. Call the Parents and invite them to the Pack Meeting and get them signed up.

     

    I had one Den that went through with 2-3 Scouts. In the end it was only one that crossed over. It was an odd Den for that whole cycle. But before and after it there was 8-12 kids in each Den.

    We did have five 1st graders who came to our recruitment meeting, which is plenty for a den. Unfortunately, they go to two different schools and since our dens meet right after school, it doesn't work too well to have a combined den. None of the parents volunteered to be a leader either. I already did what you suggested, telling them to find some more schoolmates to join Cub Scouts with them. Not a single one responded. Don't know if they don't have any friends, don't care, or just aren't willing to make the effort. I figure if the boys and parents aren't willing to make the effort to recruit a few friends, then how can I expect them to make the effort to complete the requirements or even to get a parent to step up to be leader. I told them all to meet with me after our pack meeting next week, and we'll see what they all want to do, but I am not optimistic.

  4. We are meeting immediately after school on premises. We can make some field trips work' date=' but the bike stuff would be a logistical mess. Bear at least offers a lot more flexibility, so if we do the bike thing on a Saturday and some cubs don't show they can do it own their own or pick another one to do.[/quote']

     

    It sounds like having it on school property is easier, but that may also make it seem more like school.

    Being able to do things on the school grounds that they can't normally do at school is exciting for the kids.

  5. I don't have a problem at all with the book stuff you refer to. We do present and talk about them in different ways than what is in the book. I do den leader training and instruct the new leaders to drop the den leader resource guide in the trash.

     

    For example, the food pyramid or "myplate" stuff goes much better when you have two bagged lunches, one happy meal and one brown bag healthy lunch. Then explain that the happy meal has been on the counter for a week. The boys really react well to that.

    I gave the boys a bunch of food magazines and grocery ads and had them cut out pictures of food that went into each food group and have them put those on their plate or pyramid. Not super exciting, but any hands-on activity is better than just talking about it.

  6. Some parents don't go for Tigers because they have to be there with the kids. I also think there is a lot of uncertainty this year with the economy and stuff. Those would have been tigers will probably join as wolves and bears soon.
    That's what I'm hoping. And I'm also thinking that maybe not doing Tigers will help prevent burnout in the later years. It's just that the Tiger Cub year is so fun, I hate for boys to miss out.

  7. I don't like it. I think that it is trying to force cub scouters to become boy scouts. I like have separate programs. just my opinion. AFAIK the entire program is changing soon too for cubs. I'm not sure exactly how. How often has the cub program changed before.
    I know they are starting to push Lions for kindergartners. What else have you heard they are changing? I think the Wolf level could use some improvement to make it a better transition from Tiger to Bear. Make it a little more fun and less book work.

  8. We are having some trouble recruiting Tigers this year. I've always felt that if we don't get a Tiger den each year, then not only do we have a gap in rank, but we could also be considered a dying pack. We had a huge recruitment in the upper grades this year and are adding a brand new Bear den of 8 boys, so I guess we are not really "dying," but should I be concerned if we don't have a Tiger den this year?


  9. I'm a little behind in my reading, so not sure which issue of Scouting magazine I was reading, but I just read that in 2015 the Cub Scout Promise and Law are going away and will be replaced with the Scout Oath and Law. No more learning two different oaths/laws as the boys progress in scouting from Cub to Webelos to Boy Scout. As a Webelos den leader who is trying to teach my boys the Boy Scout Oath and Law even though they are still part of the Cub Scout pack, I think this is a good thing.

    • Upvote 1

  10. I ask because it is a $ thing in my area. Add the increase in fees by national, packs that used to provide them now have less $$ to work with since more $$ gets to national. The other reason is why are the older scouts - Boy Scouts allowed to do this but younger scouts not? We have parents that really struggle to come up with the $65 in yearly dues then to have to buy a new book, necker, and hat every year it makes it hard. We have a council that has said no den dues allowed too. So that $65 has to cover all awards, boys life, national's money, council money and a pinewood car. This didn't come up until the fee increases.
    I can't imagine purchasing a custom neckerchief is going to be cheaper than just buying the proper rank necker off the rack at the Scout store. Also, our pack has decided this year to not automatically buy the Boys Life subscription for every boy. We are going to ask families to seriously think about whether or not their son actually reads the magazine, and only then check the box if they do. We are also going to put up a magazine table at the pack meeting check-in table to pass on magazines to those who don't have the subscription.

  11. As for tracking their achievements /pins - I used a spreadsheet I found online. Webelos tracks. It was free and I would update it at home on my computer after each meeting and then pass out the printed sheet every month or so as we completed things -still signed the book. Out troop uses a similar advancement sheet system so it was art of the getting ready to cross over preps. Prizes for uniform are fun, but be careful because you might have boys that come to the meeting right from a sport. And while it doesn't ake long to change a shirt, it might be the one thing the parent can't tackle. For me it was better to have the kid there in a sweaty sport uniform tan not have the kid there at all and miss the opportunity to earn pins. Usually the peer pressure of everyone else being dressed correctly was enough for the kid. You want it to be inclusive & fun.
    Have you seen these Webelos Activity Badge worksheets? http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Webelos_Activity_Badge_Worksheets

    They tend to lean too much toward homework for my taste, but they are useful for sending home to a boy who misses a meeting, or for things that have to be done at home anyway like tracking your meals for the Fitness badge.


  12. Yes, we have a sign in sheet at the door, they get a door prize ticket when signing in, for things like cookies, or a different necker slide, or whatever freebies or cheap but not cheaply made things we can find. Also someone welcomes the family at that table, tells them what the gathering activity is, and if there are any handouts about upcoming council, district or pack events or a pack newsletter or anything like that.

     

    We give a den attendance ribbon to the den with the highest attendance % wise every 3 mos. they hang it on their den flags.

     

    we also try to give out the cubbie teddy bear in a scout uniform to the den with the highest attendance, or the den who made the biggest gains in how many scouts are in attendance.

    We already do a check-in table and door prizes, so should be an easy transition to having a sign-in sheet. I was thinking about doing some kind of reward for the den with best attendance too, but I figured it would be for the whole year's attendance. I like your 3-month idea instead.

  13. Our RT meetings last an hour. Cub Scout leaders sit at one table, Boy Scout leaders at another. We start with introductions (sometimes) and announcements, which never last very long. Then the Cub Scout leaders and Boy Scout leaders have their own breakout session with a topic to discuss. The topic is usually led by an assigned person and then discussion ensues. The RTC asks for ideas for upcoming topics from the leaders. This is only my 2nd year of attending RT's regularly. The topics are usually of interest to me, and I like finding out what other packs are up to, so I enjoy going. The information and ideas that come out at the meetings have made me a better leader.


  14. We have around 50 boys in our pack, but it seems like only about 60% show up on a regular basis. Since I don't know all of the boys personally, I leave it up to the den leaders to keep track of the boys in attendance. I think we have some boys who didn't attend a single pack meeting all year. I'd like to get a better handle on who's coming and who's not coming because the den leaders don't seem to be stressing the importance of attendance at pack meetings. Does your pack take attendance at your meetings?


  15. Knots have a long history in scouting. I understand that. Learning how to tie some good knots is a useful skill to learn and retain. I get that too. But it seems like many people on this board measure the worth of a scout by his ability to tie knots. Things like' date=' "If I went to an Eagle Court of Honor and took out some rope, the boys would break out into a sweat because they can't tie a knot." Scouts have to earn lots of Merit Badges to earn Eagle. I doubt they retain 100% of what they learned on all those Merit Badges. Why is it so important that they retain 100% knowledge of knots? Scouts have many characteristics that define them as being a good scout, like being a good citizen, helping others, etc. Why does tying knots seem to be the skill/characteristic that outweighs all and makes them a lesser scout if they didn't retain that info?[/quote']

     

    Knots are important outdoors. They are easy indicators of what a scout has earned. DIfferent knots are required for First Class. Also, in the old days, it was practically impossible to camp without knowledge of the 6 knots. I use 5 of the 6 in my outdoor life outside of scouts (don't have much use for the timber hitch, but use the rest). I, personally, think first aid is the best indicator of scout quality.

    I was kind of leaning toward first aid too. If you're out backpacking in the wilderness, would you rather be with a scout who can tie 10 different knots or one who knows how to treat 10 different injuries.

  16. Knots have a long history in scouting. I understand that. Learning how to tie some good knots is a useful skill to learn and retain. I get that too. But it seems like many people on this board measure the worth of a scout by his ability to tie knots. Things like, "If I went to an Eagle Court of Honor and took out some rope, the boys would break out into a sweat because they can't tie a knot." Scouts have to earn lots of Merit Badges to earn Eagle. I doubt they retain 100% of what they learned on all those Merit Badges. Why is it so important that they retain 100% knowledge of knots? Scouts have many characteristics that define them as being a good scout, like being a good citizen, helping others, etc. Why does tying knots seem to be the skill/characteristic that outweighs all and makes them a lesser scout if they didn't retain that info?


  17. Can you offer something other than a treat as a reward to the best-dressed scout? Something fun from the Dollar Store, Michaels or from a garage sale? One year I decided to make it my goal to have all my scouts in full uniform. When they arrived at the meeting, I would have them all stand up. Then I would start asking a series of questions and the boys had to sit down if they didn't meet that uniform requirement. I'd ask things like "If your shirt is buttoned up, remaining standing, otherwise sit down." "If you're wearing your necker..." "If you have a hat on, is it the correct Cub Scout hat..." and so on until only one boy was standing. That boy would get a reward. The boys got so serious about it, that I had to have multiple rewards because several starting passing the whole uniform requirement. Some didn't care and ended up sitting down on the first question every time. Reward those who meet your expectations and don't stress over the ones who don't. If a reward won't motivate them, or their parents, then there is probably nothing you can do to get them to wear their uniform properly.

     

    One other thing just came to mind. Maybe you can have a fully-dressed police officer or military person come in to speak to the boys about the importance of being in uniform and what it represents.


  18. What is their argument for having the pack spend the money for dinner and childcare? If I had to guess, I would say that the pack has a lot of money and they feel that they can afford this luxury.

     

    Our pack financial philosophy is to spend as much money on the kids as the budget allows and leave around $1500 in the account by the end of the year as a cushion for the following year (we have about 35 scouts). When you have a large bank balance, that's when trouble occurs: people get tempted to steal or someone decides to go after the deep pockets.

    We also keep about $1000 to $1500 in the bank each year as reserves. We spend 100% of what we earn on the boys every year. That reserve money has been hanging around for years and years. We have a fundraiser in the spring where we have to front the costs to buy some tickets, then we turn around and sell them at a profit. Without the reserves, we would not have enough money to cover the tickets we need to buy. It would seem silly to hold a fundraiser just to have a fundraiser.

  19. thank you very much boomerscout: yes indeed a visit to a local library can never replace 1,000 online searches!

    Ask the librarian by all means.

     

    -Check your records if before your time your pack/troop already apllied to something somewhere (treasurer/historian)

     

    -Gambling Trusts

    A lot of grants in NZ are given by Trusts run by the big gambling companies (casino/lotto). There is local licensed places that do smaller grants as well.

    #4 on the Unit Fundraising application rules. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34427.pdf

     

    I wonder what your Council will think about receiving revenue from a gambling operation. Our Council rejected a request from our Charter Organization to give their proceeds from one night of bingo to Boy Scouts. We managed to make it work by earmarking the money towards one of the Boy Scout camps instead, which was marketed as a "youth camp" with no mention of Boy Scouts. I'm sure with a little creative thought, you could wash the money clean and get it to your unit, but it is not as straightforward as just "here you go".


  20. Volunteers give their time, and those who can't volunteer give money. Asking volunteers to give both time and money by incurring out-of-pocket expenses for the privilege of being a volunteer is a little hard to swallow. But rather than having the pack pay for their meals and babysitting, I would look at alternatives you could do to avoid that expense. Why do the meetings have to include dinner? Can't they be short meetings that occur after the dinner hour, like from 7:00 to 8:00? Why do the parents need babysitters? I can't imagine every parent volunteer is a single parent that needs a sitter. Can you work your meeting schedule around those who have childcare needs to avoid the sitter issue? Can you meet somewhere where kids are welcome to play and can entertain themselves like a member's house with lots of toys? Can you teleconference or meet less often? There are so many ways to avoid this big expense to the pack, I'm not sure why they'd even consider it.
    BD, we both agree that they shouldn't be spending pack money for these meeting expenses. I gave some good suggestions on how they might be able to avoid those expenses, you on the other hand just like to argue. You choose to spend your own money to help the boys. Good for you! That is your choice and you apparently have the means to do so. For someone whose troop serves low-income boys, I am surprised that you are so cavalier about spending $10 here for babysitting and $9 there for increased national dues. These expenses add up for those who are just getting by. Sounds to me like you are saying that poor people don't deserve to be leaders because they can't afford to spend that little extra here and there. I am appreciative of anyone who is willing to volunteer, whether they can afford to spend extra money or not.

  21. Volunteers give their time, and those who can't volunteer give money. Asking volunteers to give both time and money by incurring out-of-pocket expenses for the privilege of being a volunteer is a little hard to swallow. But rather than having the pack pay for their meals and babysitting, I would look at alternatives you could do to avoid that expense. Why do the meetings have to include dinner? Can't they be short meetings that occur after the dinner hour, like from 7:00 to 8:00? Why do the parents need babysitters? I can't imagine every parent volunteer is a single parent that needs a sitter. Can you work your meeting schedule around those who have childcare needs to avoid the sitter issue? Can you meet somewhere where kids are welcome to play and can entertain themselves like a member's house with lots of toys? Can you teleconference or meet less often? There are so many ways to avoid this big expense to the pack, I'm not sure why they'd even consider it.

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