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Posts posted by mashmaster

  1. 15 hours ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    First, be kind.  Every person you know is fighting a great battle. Including you.  What is their battle?

    Present them with facts and ask them to follow through.  Offer to help only if you can (don't put another rock in your own rucksack).  Focus on behavior, not the individual.

    "You said you would do X by the end of March.  It isn't done.  How can I help you complete the task?"

    A word of caution...make sure your own house is in order first...

    I am constantly managing our Committee Chair, but events in his personal life are understandably distracting him.  We have no functioning COR.  So, I am de facto COR and CC while being SM.  Ain't nobody got time for that ;)


    I am kind, trust me.  My experiences were all before this.  When I had to be Cubmaster, Den Leader, and Committee chair because they couldn't or wouldn't do their job.  So that is my experience.  I was kind by helping carry their load.  

    When I have committee members sign up to do things and not follow through which lets the youth down, I am there to pick up the pieces.  Because I am hear for the youth.  I am not doing this for the adults.

    So let me know how I am not being kind?

  2. Scout leaders friends and family-

    We are Just Leaders . We are not experts. We're your next door neighbours. We're not perfect; we are just parents like you.
    We don't have anymore spare time or energy than you do, we all work full time and juggle our families and our schedules and try to keep it all together as best we can.

    The only difference between us is that we believe in what Scouting has to offer. So much so, that we contribute our time, our miles, and our talents to
    help our children and your children grow in Scouting.

    We complete authorization forms, budgets, and registrations, and fill our homes with boxes of paperwork that you will never see.

    We are required to take 13-20 hours of training the first year, as well as attend Group and District meetings every month, so that we can meet our greatest challenge- providing a variety of programs which meet the needs and interests of very individual youth members.

    We try to involve parents who want us to understand that they don't have the time to drive on outings or help at meetings. We rejoice at the generosity of others.

    Sometimes we find ourselves going in too many directions. We run out of steam. We have memory lapses. Communication lines break down. Time slips by. But that doesn't mean we don't care.

    So many evenings we spend on the phone, seeking advice and support from other Leaders when disappointments or problems occur. "How do I keep my youth member’s attention?" "What are your ideas for the ceremony?" "How do you work with youth members in three different badge levels?"

    Our dining tables are covered with bits of rope, menus, overnight activity forms, and badge cards for each and every youth in the section. A couple of them won't show up, and don't think to call and let us know. Sometimes we feel unappreciated.

    Yet, these youth members can fill us with pride at their determination and accomplishments. Their smiles light up a room; and when they say "Thank You" it makes it all worth it.

    We help these youth members build relationships. Some struggle more than others. Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly... is encouraged by the Scout Oath and Law. And sometimes we too must learn these lessons over and over again with the youth members. But we are willing to keep learning.

    Please be patient if we appear distracted or frustrated or overwhelmed at times. Forgive us if we are not the kind of Scout Leader you would be if you had the time. Instead, provide us with encouragement or offer your help. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

    We are, after all, only mentors...role models...Leaders. Volunteers who have taken an oath to give these youth members, your Youth Members, the most precious gift we have to offer- the gift of time.

    * author unknown(but obviously an experienced Scout Leader)

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    • Upvote 1
  3. Personally, I think these go too far.  Unless real hardship is shown, advancement can wait for thing that require actually doing.  I am fine for doing requirements virtually that make sense, but replacing talking about it vs. doing are not the same.  A family is not a patrol, a family campout is not the same as a troop campout.  They are doing a disservice to the kids by making everything virtual.

    This is like passing the kids onto the next grade level because they got older vs. demonstrating skill, knowledge, or even being brave and doing it away from mom or dad.


  4. Our ship has been very active over video conferences since this stuff started.  Yesterday was pretty cool. We invited all the Sea Scout Ships across the nation to a presentation from an expert on invasive aquatic species.  We had scouts from seven states in attendance and were able to make a recording of the presenter so it can be used by over ships in the future.  Kinda fun to do.

    Tonight we are video conferencing with Sea Scouts from Australia to learn how scouting works there.  

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 2
  5. I don't agree that we should suspend or remove service requirements.  It is time to either postpone doing service for safety reasons or adapt to other kinds of service.  My scouts are making masks at home.  There are the designs my wife put together that they use or others that are online with different materials.

    There is a lot of need for the masks, we can't keep up with the need currently, and it allows the scouts and families an outlet to feel like they can do something to help in this helpless time.

    • Upvote 1
  6. 41 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

    Early on, but before the stay at home order, our local hospital asked for community volunteers to set up a large tent (an outdoor event-type tent like those used for weddings, about 72' long) outside the hospital so they could screen patients there before concentrating them in the building.  We put together two teams of ten, mixed Scouts and adults.  We told the hospital we would work shifts of four hours, and that we wanted to adhere to CDC guidelines of groups no larger than ten, we would stay outside the hospital the whole time, bring our own food/water,  use port-a-john, etc.  The hospital said they thought it would require more than ten at a time to set it up, and they could not support our stipulations.  So, we declined the opportunity.  A few days later, our governor issued the stay at home order.

    Frankly, I am happy it didn't work out.  This is pretty scary stuff.

    • Upvote 1
  7. FYI, they made it easier for merit badge counselors to connect to a scouts record in scoutbook.  This was always very difficult in the past so I think this is helpful.  I believe once connected it sends a notification to the scoutmaster or committee chair. 

    Before it was almost impossible to get connected to a merit badge councilor in Scoutbook this seems to resolve that issue. The merit badge councilor needs the scouts last name and BSA ID #.
  8. 1 minute ago, qwazse said:

    Not an MB, but I did 4th+5th grade Sunday School class via Google Hangouts, arranged with parents' assistance it. The only problem was that I stubbed my toe in a game of "fetch." It was fun. We'd call out an object, and everyone would have to run off camera, find it, and return with it to show. I'll repeat it next week.

    I'm putting my hat in the ring for Public Health MB. (How I'll get the paperwork to HQ is another issue.)

    My buddy consults for the CDC, his whole job is online (with the occasional visit to Atlanta). He's swamped at the moment. Just like our mutual Korean friend was a few weeks ago. It's been like having friends with an extra season ticket to a slow motion train wreck. When the dust settles, I'm dragging him to a meeting and giving the scouts a sense of what it was like from the inside.


    I heard from a friend that a troop in Wyoming is looking for one for Public Health MB.  If you are cool with that, let's connect privately and see if you can help them out.

    The biggest issue with that one is requirement #5.  I don't see how that can be done virtually.

  9. I think Zoom works but the class can't be too big and there has to be interaction to ensure they understand the information.  Not all requirements can be completed virtually.

    I am helping a girl about 3 hours away from me for the camping merit badge.  I will only sign off on what I see or discuss.  So her scoutmaster will have to valid some things.

  10. I am building a list of merit badge counselors that are in my area that are willing to do online merit badge counseling .   That way our scouts that can earn merit badges and want to can do so during quarantine.  Anyone else doing the same thing?  

    I am looking for someone who is a Public Health merit badge counselor that would be willing to do it.

    For those that have taught one online, how did you do it?  Was it open forum like, slide show based?  How do you test their knowledge and retention of the material?  I am not a fan of just being present.  I would think that someone presenting could do it prerecorded with a followup of the material but that doesn't seem as good as a live video forum.


    • Upvote 2
  11. I thought you might be interested to see my message to our Ship.  Our Ship name is Response.  Sea Scout Ships have names in addition to numbers


    We are Sea Scout Ship Response, we will respond and adapt.  

    This is a crazy time in our lives that we will overcome.  We won't panic but we are prepared to adjust.  Based on recommendations from the church, local government, and scouting we are making adjustments as necessary.  We will continue to provide the scout in the best way possible and not throw in the towel.
    Here is a list of current adjustments
    • We will convert in person meetings in the short term to be conducted over Zoom video conferencing.
    • Spring-O is rescheduled 
    • We are evaluating what to do about the April sailing date.
    • We will evaluate the topics of the meetings so they can be virtual.
    • Scouts will be given opportunities and topics to do at home.  
      • For example
        • Boater education course
        • Sailing education videos
    • I will make myself available as will other mates to meet with scouts view video conference for advancement review.
    This time will not define us, we shall overcome and Respond!
    If you have any questions, please let me know.
    Sea Scout Ship 911
    P.S.  A Scout is Brave But Not Foolhardy

    What's the 10th point of the Scout Law? A Scout is brave. It means that a Scout is courageous enough to do what needs to be done when someone is in danger or when other guys laugh at him because he won't do something he knows is wrong.

    Everybody admires a brave person, even the guy who might laugh at him for not going along with a rip-off. But you know, there's sometimes a fine line between being brave and being foolhardy or stupid by taking chances that aren't necessary.

    Think of the danger when we're in the water. Danger you say, what danger? I'm a champion swimmer.

    Maybe so, but the water is dangerous all the same. All it would take is a bad cramp or a blow on the head when you're roughhousing in the water, and you could be an Olympic gold-winner for all the good it would do you. The cemeteries are full of strong swimmers who swam alone into deep water. That's why we have the Safe Swim Defense plan and particularly the buddy system when we are in the water. And we will insist on using the buddy system every time - no matter whether you can't swim a stroke or are the best swimmer in town. "Yes, it's great to be brave - and I hope you all are - but around water, we'll be cautious, too."

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