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About TAMScout

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  1. TAMScout

    OA let my son down

    I got a call Saturday Night (2 weeks after last ordeal of the year) from a scoutmaster asking for an election. I'm happy to set up and bring an election team. His troop hasn't had an arrowman in 5 years. 9 out of 10 troops in our District / chapter don't do enough camping to qualify candidates. If there is a candidate in this district we will be there. Now the SM failed to call Sunday to confirm date and failed to reply to my call Monday morning, So the Chief and I will be going to their Troop meeting this week to get paperwork started and set a date. Especially after reading this thread. TAM
  2. TAMScout

    OA Anniversary Service Award

    Maybe I'm stupid but I'm not putting a patch on my sash.
  3. TAMScout

    Vote by peers the only way in?

    There certainly is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I'm a Chapter adviser, An arrow man from youth. A veteran Scoutmaster and now working with the district committee. If a willing scout is not elected there is a problem. A few years back a certain scout was not elected in our district. After a chat with the scoutmaster the reason was apparent. The Scout in question had introduces a smoke bomb into a snow cave rendering it uninhabitable. Now my question is this: "is this a popularity issue? or just a sign that this is not a good scout?" Both could be acceptable answers. Another Troop recently elected half of their members. Something that was impossible under the old percentage rules. Precisely one of those boys made it to Ordeal. It wasn't the popular one. It wasn't the one with the pushiest parents. It wasn't the one who barely scraped 50% of the vote. It was the quiet kid from the struggling family. He has remained active up until this year. Not sure If I'll get him back until the end of soccer season. I just hope he limits it to one sport. By the way the popular kid with the pushy parents asked for a reelection this year but declined last week to attend ordeal. Now back into the dusty history. I was that kid who moved into the troop and didn't make friends. How did I get elected. Organized hazing! it's the only way I can justify it in my mind. The fellow scouts must have thought it would be pretty funny to see me get tapped out. I don't care now nor did I then, I wanted in and I took whatever it took to get in. Ordeal was without a doubt the most influential scouting experiencing of my youth. What I really think happened to this scout back in March was Organized hazing. The fellow scouts saw that this was what he wanted and conspired to deny it to him. For whatever reason. Perhaps the equivalent of a smoke bomb, or maybe just rank jealousy. If in deed there is hazing in the troop the scoutmaster is responsible to end it. I had to do it as a scoutmaster, it did not make me popular. Now I don't think the scoutmaster should tell then how to vote, I do think the scoutmaster should enforce the Scout law regarding kindness and courtesy. As to what can be done about this. I don't like the idea of subverting the ASM. That leaves the option of finding a troop that does respect achievement. My son has been dual enrolled for 2 years as a camp staffer. He wears the numbers of the crew that supports him. I dislike this approach as well but it is a way around that is legitimate. I wonder if taking away an eagle scout from them would motivate the leaders to solve the problem. One thing is certain once he is elected and has earned his eagle he should move to a venturing crew. Sorry for the long read -- Tam
  4. TAMScout

    The order of things....

    not sure that's all accurate
  5. TAMScout

    Cell Phone at Summer Camp

    I wanted to add some follow up. The last night under the stars was a limited success. The boys who slept out enjoyed it. But the tent was not cleaned and down on Friday. So we really didn't have any time savings. The more I think of it Friday is full of fun stuff to do and If they will go participate in it that is the better course. I was at another event where scouts were ordered to sleep without tents. They did not have pads or tarps . It was a bad decision on the part of the semi adult who decided. So if you want to try it plan for it. As to home sickness and wanting to leave early we had no trouble. TAM
  6. TAMScout

    Velcro Rank?

    OK now that I know I can post something. I have had two reactions to the patch thing lately. First have uniform inspections. Second do it for them. And the do it for them guy sews the pockets shut. In my Opinion, Velcro for ranks is ok you should be earning those sub star ranks pretty fast and you only have to do that tricky pocket sew once. Position patches. In most cases this one should be velcro because positions are temporary, and many of us adults need it just because we have so many hats. Council patches and order of the arrow pocket flap patches. If your council makes a lot of cool parches for fundraisers you are going to want to Velcro so you can show off the cool stuff you have. And last but not least if your troop has a uniform bank and you loan out uniforms then Velcro everything so some parent doesn't ruin a good shirt by melting the plastic backing into the shirt sleeve, Frankly I think the patches would get on the shirt a lot quicker if we presented them with the hook already on. TAM
  7. TAMScout

    Velcro Rank?

    I had never thought to attach sewing through the edging. I'll have to try that soon.
  8. TAMScout

    OA Election Question

    I've also had scouts drop their names because they are too busy. I agree with that, when a scout makes a promise he should be prepared to keep it. One of my saddest experiences since returning to scouting was when a kid dropped off his ordeal sash to me when he turned 18. No emotional connection at all, just something to wear to courts of honor. My take as a scoutmaster is that if the kid doesn't have a serious problem, I'll sign them off. Most kids have good intentions. Most scouts try to live the scout law. I figure that the experience will help them be better.
  9. TAMScout

    Cell Phone at Summer Camp

    This topic caught my attention. After the new youth protection video showing cell phone camera abuse, I pretty much assumed that cell phones were out. Our council camps have had a long history of banning personal electronics so I didn't worry about developing a troop policy. So just today I reviewed the leader guides for this year. There is no cell phone rule. Only one camp retained the music machine ban. Cameras have always been OK. Now I have to rethink my policy. Two things are at odds. As a parent I was very upset when our local Junior High school refused to allow students access to any phone. The logic went something like this. The office phone is for us so students can't use it. We turn the pay phone off in the first 2 months of school every year after 2 idiots call 911 for no reason. So as a parent, I think kids should have access to communication with their parents. As a Scout Master, I don't want parents calling every day, homesickness is only half the story. Last year I had 3 kids who were so home sick on Friday afternoon that they just had to call home. Arrangements were made. 3 sets of parents showed up and three kids went home. To this day I believe that the whole point of that exercise was to get out of helping take down camp. Officially I can't say that. I have planed two changes this year to prevent a replay. First tent inspections will be double checked by an adult. Second we will be under the stars Friday night, with most of the packing done. This years camp has great cell coverage. I like the idea of using the Scoutmasters phone as the contact. Things get broken at camp, I'll probably use that as the basis of my strong recommendation against phones and electronics.
  10. TAMScout

    First Year Camper Program

    I didn't say that. I checked. The key to learning tenderfoot, second class, and first class skills, is using those skills. I don't know how any scout learns knots when they don't have to use one to set up a tent.
  11. TAMScout

    First Year Camper Program

    Actually commenting on Krampus' excellent answers. Our first year programs have actually been pretty week. Part of the problem is many of the troops in our council don't take 11 year olds to long term camp. Instead the districts provide much of that in smaller overnight camps. Still there are holes in the program. So #6 Document it! Most important from the scoutmasters point of view. The boys also hate it when thay have to do something over. #7 Fun! For some reason my boys always end up in a class that looked fun but the instructor is boring. I understood it when it was a nature merit badge, but last year it wes woodcarving. Pick your counselors carefully. Yes to games! #8 As a Scout Master I would be very happy to help teach / supervise. I am often hanging out at merit badge classes working on my projects anyway. And one addition. The camp I am attending this year is holding the first year stuff during free time in the afternoon so anyone can drop in at any time and pass stuff off. I thought it was a great plan.
  12. TAMScout

    OA Election Question

    Not by popularity here. I'm interested in the idea of redoing the ordeal. I think that participation as an arrow man would be more appropriate. You are right if adults maintained their ties to the order then there would be adequate supervision. Fortunately for those adults who were not youth arrowmen there will be plenty of need for them as far as we can see into the future. Our Chapter Adviser is one ov those who was nominated as an adult. You won't find a finer Arrowman.
  13. TAMScout

    OA Election Question

    If I could only get the adult leaders in my district who went through ordeal as youth to pay their lodge dues, there would be no need to elect / nominate adults. Of course then they would need to be faithful active arrowmen. The last time I thought I should nominate an adult, I found out he was a member.
  14. TAMScout

    When did brotherhood become a "give-me."

    I think there is a wildly different experience when an arrowman experiences this as a youth, as opposed to completing it it as an adult. I'm a father son order of the arrow team. I was tapped out over 30 years ago. My son is approaching his 2 year anniversary. I did my ordeal, which I still see as a life changing event. Staffed at my Brother's ordeal. Went to a section conclave. Then, just as I was eligible for brotherhood (I think it was 2 years in the 80's) I faded out of scouting got heavily involved in sports and never finished anything. As a side note If I had dropped one sport a year I could have been an eagle with the time I wasted. Now I regret it. As my son became a scout I got re involved. When I signed up as an adult leader, I asked the council office what I needed to do to get a lodge patch for my uniform. As soon as my membership hit the computer my local chapter adviser contacted me and asked about brotherhood. It took me a year to feel that I was ready. Some of that was learning what Brotherhood meant. I actually did the ceremony at a last chance event that was designed, no doubt to help bring the percentage up. The candidates were all adults. I had the longest time at the ordeal level being around 30 years. The class was informative rather than testing, I think like tgrim I gained more by my own study. I also pre printed my letter. That helped me to understand that I had done much to help the lodge and my local units. The ceremony was beautiful, rich with symbols, and once again was a life changing experience for me. My son was a different story. At the completion of his Ordeal mere weeks from his call out, the chapter anviser and I insured that he was active in the chapter. He attended lodge events and 2 weeks after passing the 10 mont waiting time he attended his brotherhood ceremony at the first possible opportunity. It was no gimme for him. He had become a full and active member of the OA. I see it like this. Many who are called out never attend ordeal. They are exceptional scouts who for one reason or another never make the commitment to a life of service in the brotherhood of the OA. Many who attend Ordeal, fade away, or in the case of many scouters I personally know, get offended and never return. These are great Scouts who have what it takes to be Arrowmen, but get lost. If an arrowman is active enough to be remembered 10 months later and if he is willing to get to a brotherhood ceremony, then it is no giveaway to get him through the ceremony. And we certainly hope he will continue to be active in the lodge. We have one exception in our chapter. We have an active arrowman who just can't seem to get to a ceremony. He is in my mind only, brotherhood. As to preserving the traditions. I would rather see my brotherhood candidates serving as elangomat at Ordeal ceremonies than memorizing. My point is that as an adult I would have been disappointed. Maybe as a youth it is age appropriate. TAM