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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. I suspect there's no written "rule" about things like this, so that the District/Council has as much flexibility to control events as possible. I would suggest that any reasonable person would conclude that an event insured by the Council is a Council event. If I were in your shoes, that's what I would hang my hat on, knowing they might pull your insurance coverage in response.


    To go a bit beyond the immediate, but I think not off topic: I am a hater of Scouting bureaucracy, particularly Scouting bureaucracy that prevents kids from having fun and enjoying the program. Membership/Leadership standards aside, this is the one thing that keeps kids out of Scouting, or makes them leave Scouting. Council and District Leadership are incredibly short-sighted in this regard, and it is one of the things that causes our volunteer base to mistrust them so frequently.

  2. Honestly, I don't see this as an issue. We're going to provide opportunities for 24 "camping nights" this Scout Year, not including NYLT or High Adventure. Half of these (12 nights) will be in tents. While every Troop has Scouts who would rather sleep in a Lodge or cabin than a tent, you have to be a real avoider personality to not have 20 nights that qualify for the Camping Merit Badge by the time you're 13 in our Troop.

  3. Like BLW2, we have transitioned from a small (11) Troop to a larger (40) Troop. Four years ago, we had 8 boys 15 and older and three 11-year-olds. Now our oldest Scouts are 15, and are far from the best leaders in the Troop. The smaller Troop was boy-led all the time because 80 percent of the boys had been in Scouts for at least 4 years and "got it." None of the Adults felt the need to be constantly stepping in. That the Troop was boy-led was kind of invisible, in that no one had to go around pointing it out - it just happened.


    As these older boys Eagled & aged out, we have used the opportunity to acquaint our newer Adults with the concept that Scouting is "boy led" and have had one hell of a time convincing these Adults to trust their own kids, whom they seem to want to sell short at every opportunity. "They're too young!" has been a frequently heard refrain. This is said with equal conviction about 11-year-olds and 14-year-olds.


    It most certainly makes a difference if the SPL is 17 vs 13, but only part of that difference is age-related. Boys mature at different speeds. As the entire Troop matures, it is hoped that the boys will make better choices of who will be their leaders and that the natural leaders will want to step into those roles. Younger boys don't always understand the importance of electing good leaders as easily (or how to identify one), and are more likely to vote for a kid they like or end up with the one kid that says he'll take the job. Naturally, they are the ones who end up with a lesser experience because they made these choices. If they notice this and make better choices, that's progress in my mind.


    I hope BLW2's SM will wake up. Scouts need to make decisions and live with the great things that will happen along with the consequences.

  4. I'd never do it, but I'm sympathetic to some who do. As an example, we have a couple of 70-year-olds (including a former Scoutmaster) who, if it's very cold, sleep in their cars. If forced to sleep in a tent, they just would not attend the campout. I think their other influences on the boys outweighs this minor breach of protocol. A Scout is Kind.

    • Upvote 1
  5. Tahawk: Although "they" was not my post, I believe it was referring to 11-year-old Boy Scouts.


    "The entire group" in my post refers to the entire Patrol. In some instances, it bleeds over to the entire Troop. This can be very effective in bringing positive peer pressure to bear in achieving tasks.

  6. If no legal entity was ever created, then no one can claim they "own" the Troop or any of its assets, as it doesn't legally exist. As you go forward with a proper legal filing, be sure and leave anyone who thinks they "own" the Troop and can stay as long as they want off the new entity. You shouldn't have any problem using your current Troop number but should probably go with "Friends of" to avoid any unpleasantness with the current structure.

  7. We try and do a service project on every campout - these are primarily trail clearing or building, invasive plant removal, campsite improvement and the like (state campground, BSA campgrounds, and "other"). We do irregular service projects for our sponsoring organization (primarily setting up and taking down tables & decorations for events). Individual Scouts do other projects for non-profits their parents (usually) are involved with and normally this is for advancement purposes. We relay requests from local non-profits and give Scouts/Adults opportunities to participate. Individual Patrols do service projects at food banks and what-have-you. I would guess it averages 2 opportunities a month.

  8. "​If the 11 year olds can do what they wish then what happens when they don't want to wash dishes?"


    In my Troop, we're more than happy to delay "fun" for the entire group or wait to leave Camp until this job is completed. It's not really optional.

  9. This may not be in the right place on the site and is likely to be moved by an Admin.


    Here's how it works in our Troop: The Committee Chair has nothing to do with the planning of the calendar. That is the job of the Patrol Leaders Council. The Scoutmaster has nothing to do with arranging campsites, special cabins or any of that. That's the job of the Outdoor Chair at the direction of the PLC/SPL. The Committee Chair's job is to run the Adult Committee and to ensure resources that the Scout's require for their program are procured - primarily transportation and funding - along with the paperwork/bureaucracy stuff you've already noted. Others may do things differently.


    I wouldn't put up with the kind of treatment you're being subjected to for a second. SM should be told that the next time, you're reporting him to the District. His behavior has no place in Scouting.

  10. We do not allow Scouts leaving the Troop to take their account with them. The funds usually revert to the Troop general fund, although I can see a situation where a one brother "donates" his Scout Account balance to a younger brother, or donates it to a Scout in the Troop he knows is having financial difficulties.


    If my son received the kind of check you describe, he would be likely to write one back to the unit for the same amount as a donation.

  11. We don't ban soda, but I strongly, strongly discourage it.


    Three years ago, our first backpack with the new Scouts was about 3 miles, relatively flat, but a decent hike for the NSP 11-year-olds. A couple of the boys chose (for the first and last time) to bring canned soup and 2 liter bottles of soda. A learning experience :)

    • Upvote 2
  12. We allow electronics in the car on the way to campouts (although not all driver's do) but absolutely not on the campout. The Scouts understand that I may PERMANENTLY confiscate any electronic device I find on a Scout outing or at a Troop meeting - because I've done it. Use of these devices divide Scouts from each other, preventing them from being a full participant in their Patrol or Troop. They cause many more problems than they could ever hope to solve.


    I find it extremely hard to believe those who claim Scouts take them along, but they aren't ever used. The Scouts are hiding their use from Adults is what's happening.

  13. These surprised reactions are a symptom of one of BSA's problems. We have allowed "others" to define and disparage our program and do so little self-marketing, I'm surprised anyone even knows what Scouting is. I have suggested to all our local Packs that they build a relationship with every local school (public or private or parochial). If a parent went into the office of your son's school and said, "We're interested in Cub Scouts, who do we contact?" would an Assistant or the Principal know the answer? We have a great, great story to tell, and it's time to start telling it more widely and more frequently.

  14. I don't wish them ill will, but I don't expect Trail Life to amount to much. The initial push, fueled by anger over the BSA policy switcheroo, will be as high as the wave gets, I suspect. Membership appears to be solely driven by Adults who believe they are signing their kids up for a "more Christian" organization, which they may be, but in the end - as was mentioned above - it will just be another version of the Church Youth Group.

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