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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. I'm on board with the general tenor regarding Districts.  My DE cannot answer the simplest question - "what are you doing for the units?"  His answer was "what do they want me to do?"  After decades in Scouting, he should be able to answer that question.  But that's how it operates - if I need something, I can ask for it and probably get it.  But that puts the onus on me.  There's no "servant leadership" at the District level.


    I volunteer with District on the Cub Scout Membership side because I consider it a survival issue.  Some Packs are great at recruiting, some are terrible.  They need backup on recruiting.  The DE talks a lot about starting Packs, but doesn't take any action to make it happen.  Boy Scouts, by and large, were Cub Scouts.  If we don't start generating a growing Cub Scout Program, we're going to continue to have a shrinking Boy Scout Program.

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  2. I appreciate your perspective.  I've found that hard feelings simply can't be avoided if we're going to grow this program.  I've been accused of "stealing" another Troop's Webelos when all we did was recruit better and offer a better program then they had.  Same with starting a new Pack at an elementary school across the street from a church that already has a Pack.


    Nobody "owns" Scouting.  Nobody owns Scouts or Webelos.  As I'm fond of telling families that complain about the way we're doing things, Scouting is a voluntary association - they're free to find a different Troop that fits their family's vision any time.  There's nothing I can do to make them be part of our Troop.  People can, should and do vote with their feet.  I much prefer they walk to a different Troop than out of the program entirely.  If some Adult gets his or her feelings hurt in the process, that's just tough.

  3. My PLC recently decided they are going to limit who gets to vote in Troop-wide elections (SPL, OA) to boys they deem active enough to actually know what's going on.  To be honest, when it was mentioned, it did seem a little crazy to me that the vote of a Scout who shows up for one or two campouts a year and Summer Camp has the same weight as a Scout who attends everything.  I'll be interested to see how they define "active enough."


    Imagine the outrage such a standard applied to American society in general would generate!

  4. In our neighborhood he's started what seems to me like what Baden-Powell was talking about originally a group of boys doing stuff together. They get together after school and on the weekends and go play for hours in the woods behind the house, and yes they all have Xboxes to play on. He's teaching the other 3 boys how to lash and tie knots so they can build a fort out there.

    I'd suggest you try and interest this Patrol into forming a new, boy-led Troop.  I suspect you will find many families in your area that are dissatisfied with their current choices.  Working to deliver a "real" Scouting experience will re-energize you. 

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  5. I suppose in a perfect world, you would have older Scouts who would be called upon to help/teach the younger Scouts in this instance.  Stosh doesn't and maybe you don't - I don't see much alternative then to watch, and offer counsel and teach where appropriate.  I don't see where you did anything wrong.

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  6. I recruit at school events all the time.  You do need something to attract attention.  We recently did an elementary school carnival and had a room with a "campout" set-up (tent, stove, fake fire, etc) and a pinewood derby track in the gym.  Got 6 sign-ups.


    I've also done Farmers Markets which are less successful, but I think because it was a table with a couple of guys in uniform and no real "attractant" for the kids.

  7. I know of a troop that finished construction on a new $300,000 scout cabin. Lofts, climbing walls, etc. It's become the defacto meeting place for district events and roundtables.


    Yeah, that seems excessive.

  8. My most vivid memory was at a Summer Camp BSA swim test.  The water was so cold, it completely took my breath away when I "jumped feet first into water over my head."  I think I may have completed two or three strokes before I had to get out.


    My Boy Scout experience is so long ago, we used to go on Patrol campouts with no adults.  My Patrol Leader's house backed up on an undeveloped area (what we used to call a "forest") and we'd hike back in there and camp for the weekend.  I remember struggling to learn Morse Code.

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  9. When my daughter was in grade school, she wore a uniform.  When she went to middle school, there was no uniform.  The explosion of ridiculously expensive and revealing clothing worn by the girls was incredible.  She wishes they'd stayed with the uniforms.  The uniform removed any temptation to show off by buying expensive clothing - it made all the girls look equal.

  10. We keep a Library of various things, including MB booklets.  Ours are mostly the newest version, especially the Eagle required.  We allocate a certain amount in a budget item each year for the Librarian to use at his discretion. If a Scout requests a booklet that is out-of-date, the Librarian buys a new one.  If we don't have one, we encourage the Scout to go get one and donate it to the Troop.

  11. I've never understood the prohibition on items like this (or paintball, or laser tag, etc).  There's no evidence that spraying another kid with a water pistol makes you more likely to pick up a real pistol and shoot someone.


    As one of my ASM's noted recently, he's more into the "Guide to Fun Scouting."

  12. I don't imagine there's much question that there are Scouts who find even positive recognition (such as being called up front to have "happy birthday" sung to them) embarrassing.  Some kids are shy and never want attention called to them, even if it's for a good reason.  Even though the intent is positive, the result is not. 


    Although I don't think embarassment is humiliation (I reserve humiliation as a feeling of having done something wrong), others - including the Scouts - may not agree with my interpretation.

  13. This is a very interesting discussion and I appreciate the views all around.


    We don't have any singing or push-ups or anything in the Troop.  If we did that just for left-behind items at Troop Meetings, we'd never do anything but listen to boys sing to get their stuff back.  Last week a boy left his backpacking toilet paper (unused so far, happily) at the Troop Meeting.  His toilet paper.  There was no reason for him to even bring it to the Meeting.

  14. Look, I'm all for having some money in the bank as a hedge against hard times, or the addition to the Pack or Troop of families who cannot afford the costs and need help.  But how much is reasonable is a good conversation for your Pack Committee to have.  That money is there to support the boys having a good Cub Scout program.  A large amount just sitting in a savings account doesn't accomplish that.

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  15. Our EBOR's - about as far from the Bible Belt as one can get - always ask if a Scout believes in a "Higher Power."  A Scout who says "no" will not be passed.  A Scout who says "yes" is likely to be, whether he means God, Buddha, Zeus or the Power Rangers, assuming he's met all the other requirements.


    Taking a "more religious" line in the Bible Belt is more likely to increase the number of Scouts, not hurt the program.

  16. I find it exceedingly weird that people get involved in an organization that has had a Duty to God as one of its central tenets for 100 years and then get all upset about it.  It's human nature, I suppose, to try and demand that everything adhere to your view of how things should be and that anything that doesn't is somehow "wrong."  If this miniscule change causes some of the complainers to leave the program, I don't see how Scouting won't be better off.

  17. We primarily leave it up to the Patrol Leaders.  It's not completely unheard of for an ASM to ask a few leading questions of a Scout who has not advanced in a while, but that's mostly to find out if there's some problem we don't know about.  We put no pressure on the Scouts to advance.  Advancement's great and all, but it's not the most important thing happening in the Troop by a long shot.

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