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DuctTape last won the day on February 9

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About DuctTape

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  1. I would not put it into the by-laws. I would, as the GTA states, designate persons who you know are trained and understand advancement as a method and have embraced your vision of the troop. In other words, no blanket "prohibitions" instead use specific designations. Utilize your ASM corps, and PLC as the field to which you designate. A brand new scout parent who is a first year ASM is likely not to be designated by me as someone who could sign off any scout requirement. It is vital the adult understands the advancement method and knows the expectations of it. IMO, to be designated by the SM : 1. the adult learns, 2. the adult is tested, 3. the adult is designated 4. the adults may sign off.
  2. The exceptions and ignoring of the rules when it comes to advancement has been going on for a long time as has been noted in this thread and others. BSA has zero quality control.
  3. DuctTape

    How to increase usage of Patrol Method

    Start with your other adults. Get them on board with the idea or else they will sabatoge anything you attempt. Get PL handbooks, and SM handbooks and be sure the adults first understand their roles and how they fit in supporting the Patrol Method.
  4. DuctTape

    What constitutes an "Eagle Factory"?

    I think it is based on intent. When the adults have advancement as the goal instead if a method; this is when it changes. Even if the scouts meet the requirements as written, they are denied a true scouting experience because the aims are not likely realized as they are not the desired outcome.
  5. DuctTape

    Northern Tier- Tips and Tricks

    I have not been to BWCA, but I do go to the Quetico to the north. So this may or may not apply. I have noticed that the evening mosquitos run like clockwork, and you can hear them a few minutes before they descend on your campsite. Thus I recommend determining their timing on night 1, and then plan each day so all can be safely in bug proof zones for all subsequent nights.
  6. DuctTape

    troop meeting structure/rules

    While I usually would recommend a deference to the PLC, in this case I think the decision should be based at the Patrol level.
  7. DuctTape

    state flag patches

  8. DuctTape


    I see you have asked a lot if questions regarding uniform and insignia. Please forgive me if you have already read: https://www.scouting.org/resources/insignia-guide/ Beyond the official BSA resource, I think it is a good practice to then defer all other uniforming questions NOT included in the BSA guide to the PLC. I use this approach as it is then directly related to achieving the aims of scouting.
  9. DuctTape


    I would defer to the PLC as to what constitutes the troop uniform.
  10. DuctTape

    A scout learns...

    I agree with qwazse regarding the signing-off. I would like to focus more on best practices prior to the testing and sign-off. Perhaps I should prime the pump. Starting with a counter-example of NOT best practices. A new scout goes on his first campout and is assigned cooking duty with a patrol mate for breakfast. They make breakfast and then he goes and gets signed-off on the tenderfoot requirement. What is missing here almost entirely is the explanation, demonstration and guidance for the scout to understand and perform assistance at any sort of expected level. A better practice: On the first campout the PL or Instructor acts as the cook's assistant and explains his role, and what he is supposed to do. He demonstrates how to assist the cook appropriately. He brings scouts into the camp kitchen and helps them try the various tasks such as cutting up carrots, or peeling potatoes, opening cans, etc... Depending on the scouts, this might repeat itself for every meal on that first campout. During planning for the secind campout a scout may go to his PL and say, "hey, I'd like to be tested on the tenderfoot req 2a, assist in preparing a meal". (PL may need to encourage scouts to ask to be tested, especially the first time). The PL ensures the scout has the opportunity to be tested by having him assigned as the asst cook for a meal. Prior to that meal PL (or instructor) talks to him (best would be while hiking to camp) about what the scout will demonstrate as the cook's assistant. The purpose of this discussion is for the PL to ensure success, or to determine if the scout is really ready to be tested. Then the scout gets tested, the PL (or Instructor) observes to determine whether the scout fulfilled the requirement.
  11. DuctTape


    I do not favor these, or any other process which takes the scout out of the equation. One of the great opportunities for scouts' personal growth is being denied when they have little to no part in the financial aspect of their program. Weekly dues collected at every meeting, and bringing cash for the upcoming camping trip to give to the patrol mate buying the food are all opportunities to grow in responsibility, and independence. Sure it is easier to have the adults do it all, but that is the case with most everything. So how do the adults help ensure a scout is not excluded from a trip by "forgetting" while still fostering patrol and individual independence, and financial responsibility? Like all questions of this matter it comes down to communication: adults communicate with adults, and scouts with scouts. Let's take an upcoming campout as an example. Evergreen Patrol has an upcoming campout. Without goung through the entirety of the logistics and communications, lets look at one single scout. Timmy tells his PL he is going. The cost for each patrol member is $12. The PL tells the whole patrol the $ is needed next week. The PL gives the list of attendees to the SPL (if exists) or to the SM. Here is where the communication splits but reunites. The SM arranges transportation and more importantly (using ASMs) contact the parents of the attendees directly about the logistics and their scouts responsibilities. The parent, knowing their child best will either help them remember to bring the $ to next meeting, or have it with them so the "forgetful scout" can quickly get the $ at the meeting. So the next meeting comes around and the Patrol treasurer/scribe/etc... is collecting the $ from those attending. Timmy "forgot". The PL could say, "hey is your mom still here, go see if she has it. We will wait for you." Timmy goes to mom to get the $ and returns. If a lot of scouts "forgot" then the SM minute at the end of the meeting ( or better some near future meeting) could be a yarn about responsibility and its impacts on others. They key is to balance the goal of the scouts personal growth and involve the parents in that journey. The SM should explain the purpose of the program and all aspects, including financial are opportunities for personal growth.
  12. DuctTape

    Tenting: 2 years apart

    keep it simple, imo. No fractional ages. 14 y/o and 12 y/o ok 14 y/o and 11 y/o not.
  13. DuctTape

    A scout learns...

    Over the years much has been discussed regarding "completing the requirements". Most of these discussions will focus on the the last 3 steps of the process, "the scout is tested, etc..." Sometimes, often in passing, a reference will be made to the first step in the process, "a scout learns". Also often ignored is the purpose of Advancement as a Method, and not the aim. Thus, I think it might be a good idea, especially for new Scouters to hear (read) about best practices for the "A scout learns" step. Also in the GTA is a fifth step, often not very well utilized except by the best patrols. I think it would be good to start by linking the appropriate language from the GTA. https://www.scouting.org/resources/guide-to-advancement/ The Scout Learns With learning, a Scout grows in the ability to contribute to the patrol and troop. As Scouts develop knowledge and skills, they are asked to teach others and, in this way, they learn and develop leadership. After the Scout Is Tested and Recognized After the Scout is tested and recognized, a well-organized unit program will help the Scout practice newly learned skills in different settings and methods: at unit meetings, through various activities and outings, by teaching other Scouts, while enjoying games and leading projects, and so forth. These activities reinforce the learning, show how Scout skills and knowledge are applied, and build confidence. Repetition is the key; this is how retention is achieved. The Scout fulfills a requirement and then is placed in a situation to put the skills to work. Scouts who have forgotten any skills or information might seek out a friend, leader, or other resource to help refresh their memory. In so doing, these Scouts will continue to grow.
  14. DuctTape

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Another thing about "obstacles" in the training to do the requirement (ie being tested) is to ensure the scouts know/understand/and can avoid obstacles by modifying the route; not just following a straight bearing. It is a good idea during the learning, to have them practice taking a bearing between controls which has a "water" obstacle in which they must deviate by either going around, or using a bridge.
  15. DuctTape

    Merit Badge Workshops and Universities

    I was asked to be the mB counselor at a MBU for Camping mB at a neighboring district. They wanted it to be an introduction to camping for the new scouts. A group of 20. They asked if two hours was enough. I said 2 hours is perfwct for me to do an intro, but I would not be signing any blue cards. She asked if 3 hours was enough. When I went through the reqs with the MBU director, and showed her it would not be possible, but I was happy to do an intro to camping class and give the scouts my contact info to do the mB. They found someone else to do the class and sign off. While I think it is possible for MBUs to be done well, I agree with the OP that for the majority it seems to be a show up and get the blue card signed.