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Posts posted by dedkad

  1. Camp is supposed to be fun. National standards require a camp to leave time available for patrols or troops to have independent program in their campsite. Sadly, the majority of the leaders and parnets attending summer camp with a troop probably don't possess the skills needed to have separate programs. The troops tend to rely on the camp and staff to offer program for them.
    You have an animated avatar! Trippy!

  2. Eliminating the discrimination against gay youth was a baby-step. The next step is to stop discriminating against gay adult volunteers. Then corporations and the public can once again start supporting the BSA without controversy.
    Next it will be BSA's discriminatory policy against girls. It is never-ending.

  3. So out of all the Walt Disney employees in the U.S., $4.8 million was raised for numerous charities through this Voluntears program in 2010. How much of that actually went to BSA? I bet the number is insignificant. The negative publicity will cost us more than any loss in donations from Disney.

  4. My councils scout camps are expensive... I know some councils let troops camp for free. Not mine a night in the camp with the troop will cost $80 for a tent site.


    I am one that thinks maybe it is time for the scout owned camps should go away. It would end the merit badge frenzy and poor quality that folks complain about.


    It costs our pack $200 to $300 a night to camp at the council camp. However, the scout camps have their benefits, like a shooting range.

  5. Huzzah!:D I can only hope that Venturing's precipitous decline will cease so that in 4 years and there'll be a crew waiting for him!
    I hope so too because the troop he is joining are mostly younger scouts, and I would like for him to stay in the program longer.

  6. So I was following the various threads on the IRS stance on ISA's, and was wondering about the possibility of having some kind of a point system to earn "awards" for selling "x" amount of items or working "x" amount of hours at a fundraiser. Our Council has offered gift card incentives for selling popcorn, and the Girl Scouts offer incentives for selling cookies, like even an iPad, and that seems to have passed muster so far. As an example, the point incentive system would work as follows: The boys sell an item where the net profit is $4 per item. They earn 2 points for every item sold, and when they reach 50 points, they can choose from a reward such as a $50 camp credit or $50 dues credit. Their reward would equal half of what they netted, and the other half would go to the troop as a whole. A similar point system could be applied for number of hours worked at a fundraiser.

  7. I don't think there is any set number on how big or small a den should be. Factors that would govern it are the ability of the den leader to manage a large group, the amount of parent helpers, and the behavior of the boys. Even if your DL is capable of taking on the new boys, I'm not sure that is such a good idea. Depending on the boys, it could totally change the dynamics of your den, and not always for the positive. Is it worth 3 new boys when it could result in a possible meltdown of your DL and the existing den? If it were me, I would welcome the 3 boys and their parents into the pack and tell them you will offer them support to form their own den and make one of the new parents be a DL. We have had to turn boys away from our pack because a den was too full and no one wanted to split up an existing den and the new boys' parents didn't want to step up and become a DL. A strong program is not measured by how many boys you have in your pack or den, it is measured by the experiences you provide for the boys. If that level of service decreases by adding more boys, then I wouldn't do it.

  8. So I talked to a friend whose son Eagled with the troop my son will be joining. She said her son and his friends do not like this leader, and it's part of the reason they don't attend the meetings. She said this guy has only been with the troop for 3 years. Might have been involved previously, but just 3 years on this latest go-around. Knowing these details makes me definitely want to talk to the CC about this problem. My son officially joins the troop in 2 weeks. I'll be talking to the CC shortly thereafter. I think I'll take the Boy Scout leader training online before then so I can be armed with knowledge on how things are actually supposed to be run.

    • Upvote 1

  9. My son and I have visited the troop he will be joining about 4 times now. Each time, I have noticed that there is one adult, I think he is the chaplain, who spends way too much time up in front. He doesn't just do a prayer, he calls up kids to do the Scout Oath and makes them do push-ups if they don't get it right. He corrects boys' behavior constantly (no talking, no slouching, no eating, etc.), by making them do more push-ups, and he always has a comment about something that someone is saying. The other night one boy decided it would be good to practice a fire drill. The boy was explaining how he thought the fire drill should go, how they exit, where to meet, and so on, and the chaplain kept interrupting him to ask questions about how this or that is going to work and can you please provide more detail. It's like he wanted to make sure it was all done perfect the first time, without letting the boys just try it and make a mistake and learn from it.


    I finally said something to the SM that night, asking him if he thought the chaplain was spending a little too much time running the show. The SM said he has noticed it and said it seems to have gotten worse over the past month. However, being that BS is supposed to be boy-led, the SM has been reluctant to say anything because none of the boys have approached him to complain about it. This troop is a young troop, so my bet is that most of the boys just don't know any better. They are used to being told what to do by adults. Plus, I think they think the whole push-up thing is kind of funny. So as a new parent coming in to the troop, should I try to do something about this situation and, if so, what? I already mentioned something to my son about it, trying to put a bug in his ear, hoping that maybe a little grassroots effort with the boys might prompt them to say something to the SM. I know a few other parents in the troop, and I would be comfortable at least asking their opinion on this. Should I say something to these other parents, so maybe they can talk to their sons too, or would I just end up being the most-hated parent who is sticking my nose where it doesn't belong?

  10. My boys wanted to wear their CS uniforms over their BS uniforms and when they went across the bridge they would rip off the CS uniform like superman. I told them that was a "no". I honestly don't care what uniform they wear, as long as it is tucked in. I don't even think we will swap out shoulder loops at the crossover. Takes up too much time with an already packed agenda.

  11. They ask for e-mails on the app and council/national never use it to confirm registration, send out a member number, or anything else that I can tell. Why ask for information you aren't going to ever use? Cause it's fun? Everyone else does it?


    Every time I get an e-mail from BSA or TAC or our district it's because I asked to be on a list.

    I get emails from our Council, and I didn't ask to be on any list. I also got the email from National when they were polling members about the possible changes to the gay member policy. So the emails are used. At least mine was.

  12. $60 for a Tiger den expense for one meeting sounds a bit excessive to me, especially for a project that doesn't specifically meet a certain requirement to earn their Tiger Cub badge. That's the type of expense I would expect to see for a wood-working project at the Bear or Webelos level where it is a requirement. I'd eat the cost and learn from the mistake and find out from your CC if den expenses are reimbursable and what your budget is for the year.

  13. I understand your concern because I am having the same issue with our CO troop. You want the CO troop to succeed, but unless they want to change their ways and are willing to listen to constructive input, then it is not going to happen. Our CO SM has not contacted me to ask why none of my Webelos are joining his troop. I don't think he wants to hear the truth. While we were visiting their troop, they told me that if a boy doesn't want to join their troop, then it's a problem with the boy, not with the troop. That could be the case if that happened sporadically, but when you continue to have decreasing membership, you need to look inward as to the cause of the problem. It is tough being in this situation you are in because you feel stuck in the middle between the CO troop and pack. I kind of agree with some of the others that you need to separate yourself from this situation out of fairness to the troop. Even if you aren't actively promoting the other troop, it is hard to stay neutral if everyone knows your son has joined a different troop and they come to you for honest reasons why. Let these boys visit the troops and make their own decisions, just like your son did. Sadly, some of them may make the wrong decision, but that is their decision to make, and it is their problem to deal with. You can't save the world and you can't save every boy from making a wrong decision. Focus on what you do have control over, your Wolf den, and make the best of that.

  14. When I did the Pack budget, I put subsidies in the events out of the Pack Budget. Our fundraising goes towards capital needs, and $150-$200 per event, so essentially we undercharge for food/registration and eat it from the Pack Budget. The Pack Budget comes 50%-50% from dues and fundraising (up from 100% dues two years ago).


    One of the leaders asked me about this, didn't understand why we were subsidizing the campouts from the fundraising. I told him that the people working the fundraisers, serving as leaders, and attending the campouts is largely the same people. The boys that go camping are gung-ho for the program. The boys that show up for a weekly meeting are having fun, but it's not a core focus of their week.


    When I keep the costs down, we have better attendance. More attendance means more Scouts retain. Are there families that camp and don't fundraise... I guess, one or two. Are there families that fundraise and don't camp? Yeah, one or two. But in general, it's the same group.


    We have some families that can't pay dues, we ask that they participate in fundraisers and we'll take care of them via campership. We don't use Scout Accounts, we tried, it was a tracking nightmare and didn't seem to serve much purpose.


    But I have a weird demographic. 80% of my kids are upper-middle class, a good chunk are in private religious schooling. Our food costs have to be managed VERY carefully (kosher food gets expensive REAL fast if you don't economize). It's easier to carry the families that can't pay than to do complicated Scout Accounts.


    Also, the boys seem gung ho for prizes. They aren't gung ho to save their parents $50 on dues or summer camp.

    I like this idea. When reading the BSA rules, it looks like there is nothing preventing you from holding a specific fundraiser to reduce camp registration fees. Those boys who are going to camp participate, the ones who aren't going can choose to participate to help their fellow scouts or not.

  15. I frankly find the idea that these and other topics are disappearing by accident highly suspect.


    I'm not typing my full response a third time for Smoking Man to delete again. So, in 5 words: The problem is selfish adults.


    Archive this forum and install SMF. It's free, it works, maintenance is done by a development team.

    Honestly, there are many more controversial topics that are discussed on this forum. I find it hard to believe that this one would be targeted for removal.

  16. My guess is that if you do charge them a late fee' date=' you might as well just go ahead and take them off the roster because that late fee is just even more incentive not to pay. Just a thought.[/quote']




    Follow BSA literature and charge weekly or monthly dues that a thrifty boy can pay himself rather than a large annual fee. Boys whose dues are not current cannot advance, voila.

    The headache comes from those families who are more than able to pay, but are just too lazy to do it. Someone has to keep track of their continually late payments. 100 years ago people carried cash with them so weekly dues probably weren't a problem. Now, unless your unit is set up to take a credit or debit card, there's a good chance that at least several boys or their parents won't have any cash on hand to pay their dues at any given meeting. But for those families who can't afford to pay it all up front, it does make sense to allow for a monthly or weekly payment option.

  17. My guess is that if you do charge them a late fee' date=' you might as well just go ahead and take them off the roster because that late fee is just even more incentive not to pay. Just a thought.[/quote']




    Follow BSA literature and charge weekly or monthly dues that a thrifty boy can pay himself rather than a large annual fee. Boys whose dues are not current cannot advance, voila.

    Can you imagine going through the headache of collecting fees not just once a year, but every week or month? No way.