Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by dedkad

  1. Yea Do away with Everything that A Scouter can do Outside scouting...Oh Wait, There would be No Scouting Left..Outside of Earning Ranks What is there Unique About Scouting...Community Service, Nope Now days your Required to have so Many Hours To Graduate from High School...Camping..Nope there Are Now Clubs that promote Camping at all ages...Not just to Boy Scout Age or Venture Aged Scouters..


    Name one single Merit Badge that is so Unique to Boy Scout Activity It is Not Taught somewhere or learned outside Boy Scouts..Yea I know No one can Award a "Merit Badge" because BSA Lawyers will chase you down like a Fox..But You can teach someone Computer Science, Metalsmithing, Cooking, Fishing, Archery, and every other so called Merit Badge Activity also.


    Do Away with Physical Activities Because they should be Having Recess and Physical Education in School everyday..So No Need for those in Scouting


    Citizenship...Nope got those Classes in Schools also no need for Redundancey..


    Only thing Unique In Scouting is the Manner it is Presented and Taught..


    For Cubbies, yes almost all want some sort of Patch or award...As they age out, they lose importance

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. I use the Den Cheer as the closing ceremony for our Den Meetings. Our Pack Meetings start with a flag ceremony, promise, and law, and then goes to the "Den Role Call" where the Cubmaster asks if a certain den is here, and they respond with their cheer. And right before the closing flags, we do our "Pack Cheer" (which was Cubmaster shouting "Who's great?", and the boys screaming "Pack 38!", repeated 3 times getting louder.) Not much call for cheers/applause during the meetings themselves, unless we have a speaker/presentation, or when a Den does a skit.
    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.

  4. Ya know these discussions bring up a key part that really frustrates me.


    Stop asking what Troops can do for your pack. Boy Scouts do not exist to serve packs. Boy Scouts want to camp, hike, canoe, throw a football around and socialize with their friends. Asking them to go out of their way to help packs do things is very noble, but it's also fighting an upward battle.


    Run some events for the packs? I run away from troops that do too many pack / troop events. Those troops usually have adults assigned to market the troops to the packs and have a heavy adult overhead on the scouts. IMHO, I do not think it is an indicator of a good troop at all. If anything, it concerns me about how much the adults are running things.


    Den chiefs? Many scouts want to be den chiefs but it rarely works because of #1 scheduling conflicts (need to virtually double your scouting time because of separate meetings, separate place, separate days, etc) and #2 how to get there, coordinate and plan (non-leader parents don't want more driving / tracking especially for something that doesn't advance their son). In my experience, den chiefs only work when there is a yonger brother involved in the den ... AND the parent strongly encourages it.


    If your cubs want to choose a good troop, stop looking asking what troops can do for your Webelos. Ask more about what have they done this last year and what are they doing the next year. Watch a troop meeting from the back of the room.


    And ya know, if you are in a good pack with strong relationships with other adults that are in the associated troop, don't discount that. Your happiness with the adults leading the troop will greatly influence the success of your scout. IMHO and avoiding extremes, I think it is far more important than choosing the right troop.



    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.

  5. Just so Cub leaders understand, "Den Chief" is not a SM assigned youth job, it is a youth position for a Boy Scout he needs to want to do, with SM support. It's considered a Position of Responsibility within the Troop, like Patrol Leader or Librarian. The Scout will get term credit for the job in the Troop. It may or may not get filled. Even if it's filled, the Boy Scout does not have to serve the entire Cub Calender year, "(it's encouraged if they want to earn the Den Chief Award)". The Troop does not just "make a Boy Scout" be the "Den Chief" for a Pack. If a CM/WDL/DL is lucky enough to get a Den chief, they need to understand how to work with the Scout to make his participation worth-wile. They are more than "just gofers". If you review the Den Chief Award sheet, you can see how if they knock those items out that can really enrich your den meetings and help him start on the path to becoming a leader. The CM/WDL/DL needs to come to the Troop meetings to recruit. http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/award/den_chief_service-645.asp
    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.

  6. I think that the current Pack/Troop model is fundamentally broken. The administrative separation causes a problem where the parents have to choose which one to support, and if they have two sons, it's always the troop since "he'll be in the troop soon."


    But, the Troops never feel the need to help the Pack, and all BSA recruiting is falling on the shoulders of Cub Parents, and that's pretty lame.


    GSUSA mostly does single-level troops, but you can do a multi-level troop, which lets you run from age 5-12 under one number. You can operate age based patrols under one banner, and mix the levels up as appropriate. Now, they have a "girls choose" model that is different than "girl led," the GSUSA adults are always completely in charge in a was BSA Troop adults are not.


    But administratively, you can break up your groups as makes sense for programming, while administering them together, providing multi-level leadership, etc.


    In years past, our Pack/Troop met same time, different places, and no cross-overs for a few years. The Webelos dropped out as they were outgrowing Cub Scouts. This year, same place, different times (with some overlap). I've "borrowed" a Boy Scout for 10-15 minutes to teach Fire Safety, etc., to the Cubs... when that happens, the boys are SO focused and intent.


    I'm hoping with the 2015 changes, we'll retire the dated Jungle Book Mythology, and focus Cub Scouts more on going back to being Junior Boy Scouts.


    If everyone at a CO was in a single Unit, you could float your Webelos Den as a better transitionary program. They should do Webelos "getting ready" activities in Den Meetings, participate in Boy Scout Outings with a Webelos Patrol (with Den Leaders actively involved), and Pack meetings as leadership. They need guidance.

    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.

  7. Dedkad, maybe paperwork doesn't thrill you at the moment, but that might be what it takes to "pay your dues". I would take a committee position, and as a registered leader you can take YPT, MBC, and all the training you want including WB. Once trained, and as a registered leader, it opens the possibility of breaking some ice. As MBC, you will have an opportunity to work with the boys and if good reports filter back to the SM, there might be some "rethinking" of the current policy. You may even trailblaze an opportunity for other moms getting involved down the road.



    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.

  8. 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.
    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.

  9. 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.

  10. boys first. i let my son pick the troop that he wanted to go to. only two of his webelos den mates came to this troop. i volunteer for the ASM and been very happy with everything. doesn't your son's troop allow you to volunteer?
    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.

  11. My son is bridging over to Boy Scouts in February, and he is looking at going to camp with the troop. I had a bit of sticker shock. I'm used to the $100 Cub Scout Day Camp cost. The camp his troop is going to is $700 for the week. Is that typical for Boy Scout camps?

  12. My son is bridging to Boy Scouts in February. We visited several troops and they are all good choices for different reasons, but I was really hoping my son would choose a different troop. Our pack recently lost our Charter organization, so one of the local troops lobbied to have their Charter organization pick us up. The Charter troop was looking for a feeder pack to help with membership. As Committee Chair and Webelos den leader, I started working hard to develop a relationship with this troop. My work wasn't really successful because the troop didn't reciprocate in terms of reaching out to the boys in my den and building relationships with them. I tried to get the troop to offer an outdoor activity for my Webelos to attend. No luck. I tried to get them to give us a den chief. No luck. I knew my Webelos were leaning toward the other troop, and I tried to warn the Charter troop that we needed to work on getting their boys to connect with my boys, but still no luck. I saw a huge need and envisioned this great opportunity for myself as a scouter to improve this relationship between the pack and Charter troop once my son bridged over. I had grand plans to encourage the troop to offer joint outdoor activities with the pack, provide den chiefs, and even stop by and visit at the pack meetings since the pack and troop meet on the same night at the same location. However, now that my son (and his entire den) have decided to join a different troop, I think my scouter career is over. The troop my son is joining is not very welcoming to women in leadership roles or on outings. I can't see how I can implement my grand ideas of developing a better relationship between the pack and Charter troop when I am dealing with competing troops. Although my son will be happy in his new troop, it is my own disappointment over a failed opportunity for myself and the Charter troop that I am trying to deal with.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Interesting comment Basement, about finding someone to talk with NOT a UC.

    Sort of off topic, but not really... I have been struggling lately, with exactly your recommendation. I'd like to know a little more about how other units operate, since all of my experiences as an adult scouter are with only this one unit. I know that in some ways we have 'evolved' into doing certain things in a certain way. I don't want to fix what works, but at the same time it could be good to step back and breathe in some fresh ideas now and then.

    I see a little here and there at round table, on this forum, etc.... but I still really don't have a feel for what other units do. Not what the books say, but what they really do. Nothing specific either, that can be asked.... just general stuff. This is where I figured a good UC could be handy. They are supposed to get around and see other units....

    But I do recognize that this is very hit or miss. I've seen our a few times, but not much and when he does visit, it's in and out. So really, I can't say with good confidence that he knows how our unit works.

    I have a tentative mtg set with our UC soon. Can't hurt (I hope)


    Looping back to the original post and your response.... finding a SM in and area with a program you like could be difficult for sure. How are you supposed to know if you like their program, unless you visit them multiple times in different settings OR spend a whole lot of time with the SM and the folks from the unit? Anyway, I'm not being critical.... just troubled I guess on how to apply the advice.

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. I have a boy 11 years old that has been AOL for a number of months now. He is being held back from going into Boy Scouts because his pack refuses to do a cross-over until the Blue-Gold banquet. This boy is in the sixth grade and won't "cross-over" until he is almost finished with the grade. I suspect this "tradition" is so that the boys will "stay together" when they go into a Boy Scout troop. It is unique this year because the Webelos II's are divided between a traditional troop they have been feeding and a new local one just starting up. The Webelos leader wants all the boys to go to the traditional troop and the boys and their parents want to go with the new local troop.


    But all this got me thinking... Since when is the cross-over a Cub Scout ceremony? I have never viewed cross-over as a Cub Scout exit ceremony, but led by Boy Scouts (i.e. OA teams) as the Boy Scout welcome ceremony. And how can packs hold such boys back from Boy Scouts just so their Webelos II boys keep their den together throughout the year, even when the boys qualify for Boy Scouts and want to go into the program? As a matter of fact, our council always holds a cross-over ceremony at the spring camporee for all boys that didn't get a ceremony, but still need to be welcomed by the Boy Scout program.


    I told the parents of this and offered the boy, at his discretion, a Boy Scout cross-over any time he wants it. Hopefully this will end the political ping-pong game going on, or at least direct the political rhetoric at me instead of the boys.



    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.

  18. Brewmeister wrote: "GM, It says right in the document that you posted that units do not need to file a tax return."


    Yes, I know. I posted the BSA financial guidelines to show the OP that his DE isn't even quoting his own organization's two page rulebook correctly, which puts the DE's competence in serious question.


    I have stated previously that much of the BSA's advice to units and volunteers about federal taxes is wrong. Some of the BSA's advice agrees with federal tax law (like the part about not using a volunteer's SS# for pack finances). Some BSA advice goes directly against federal tax law, like what I was told by the BSA and our pack leaders about how it was ok for our pack income to not be included in any tax filings at all.


    At least I knew from my previous experience with the IRS that the BSA and my pack leaders were telling me wrong. If that makes me "paranoid", fine. At least I have sense enough to learn after being burned once.


    I have previously posted the links to the IRS documentation that anyone who can sign a check for the pack is a "responsible party", and personally liable for unfiled and unpaid taxes. It is true that the charter organization is supposed to file them on behalf of the pack, and most do. Packs generally do not file taxes because they are a part of the charter org, and the charter org includes the pack's finances in the CO"s 990 return.


    The catch with my pack is that the charter org had *no treasurer at all* during the year I served. The treasurer moved out of state unexpectedly and it took them months to replace her. No one was in the chair to file the taxes at all. No one could sign checks either. Our CO (PTA) was a complete royal mess. The entire PTA board quit in a snit and just left the school hanging with programs unfunded. Our school's fall festival had to be called off this fall, to the great disappointment of the kids, due to the total mismanagement of last year's board.


    Maybe all of you are dealing with responsible CO's that file taxes and take care of finances in a sane way. I was not that lucky.


    So, knowing that there was no one at all at the PTA signing checks or filing taxes last spring, and knowing that I was personally liable if the pack's taxes were not filed (having been told to my face by an IRS agent) -- I checked to find out if anyone upstream at the PTA was filing taxes on behalf of the nonexistent treasurer and the board members who all resigned. Not only had last year's taxes not been filed, no one at the PTA had filed taxes on behalf of the pack all the way back to 2006, when it was founded.


    So, I showed all this, including the IRS documentation to the pack leaders, and was again told to shut up.


    So, I went to a qualified and licensed tax advisor (CPA) on my own time and my own dime to get real advice. I was told that I should send the correct figures in writing to all parties (PTA, BSA, and pack) and ask them to file the taxes, which I did. This got me an angry call from the BSA letting me know they were very angry all the way up to the state level.


    Now, if the CO is supposed to file the taxes for the pack, I find it really hard to understand why it would be a bad thing to send the final year's income and expense numbers to the CO for them to file the taxes for the pack as they are supposed to do, but anyhoo....


    "The CO is supposed to file the taxes for the pack, but you can't send them the numbers to file the taxes with...." ???


    So, hey, no matter how ugly things get, I will go right on telling people to get a CPA to advise them on how to file the taxes and protect themselves personally if they choose to be BSA treasurers. If y'all want to poke the hive because you haven't been stung yet, y'all go right ahead. I have been pounded by the IRS once, for no other reason than the people who gave birth to me cheated the government. I have no need to be pounded again.


    The people at the BSA council are not educated to tell me about my personal tax liability, nor are they licensed in my state to give me tax advice. Most of them can't even quote their own two page, error filled document correctly. I don't give a crap what they say.



    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.

  19. Mr. Texas,


    Not sure why you're having an issue with this. Volunteers don't get paid. Correct. PLUS even more so, volunteers often pay to go on camp outs and also cover many incidental expenses. How about gas money and their car use for a multi-hour drive.


    But to then go and ask them to pay BSA dues is beyond basic courtesy. For I bet 90+ percent of the troops and packs, the scouts and the unit fundraisers pay for the adult registrations.


    The real issue is when does someone become a committee member? Every parent that shows up? Only if you help? Help at how many events? What type of event? i.e. If you have a parent pickup the pizza for a Christmas party, does he have to register?


    IMHO, committee members are the people you choose to call committee members.


    The real big trouble is small mindedness that blows off this issue. The dues increase is a huge issue and messes up our finances. In my two units, we are dropping 6+ adults at least if not more.


    Remember --- Individuals do not recharter themselves. The unit recharters them and the unit writes the check.


    In the last 10 or 12 years, it has gone from $9 per person to $24. That is a big increase. A 50 member unit was rechartering for $500. Now they need to spend $1200. That is a new trailer every four years. That is all the advancements plus some for a year.


    We are dropping as many adult volunteers as possible to save funds too. They are still there, but we will keep the funds. They key is we are registering direct contact leaders (SM, ASM). Non-direct are not registered if possible.

    We are registering our treasurer too to make sure there isn't any embezzlement history.

  20. If and when we do uniform inspections, which isn't very often BTW, I would have all boys wearing a Cub Scout uniform stand up. Then I would start going down the list of required things one by one and ask all the boys to sit down who didn't meet that particular requirement. I would keep going until only 1 or 2 boys were left standing and those boys would get a prize. Even those boys weren't usually in full perfect uniform, but I figured they tried the best out of all of the others, so they deserved a prize.