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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. Trail life is misguided. Instead of an original program around Christian values, they copy the BSA program and modify the names and terms. The families that have issues with BSA should join their church youth group and be happy.
    So how would you reconcile being "morally straight" with a practicing, unmarried gay Scout or Adult Leader?
  2. As a Jew married to a Christian, I am sure I have a different perspective than most Christians here. Living in the south I am reminded daily that I live in the bible belt. Groups like Trail Life and AHG that are "christian based" don't make sense to me. We live in a multi-cultural society and it is important that our boys are brought up in an inclusive environment with people that are actually different from them. I have not had any complaints from anyone in our unit about our interfaith services because it is a learning experience for them.


    I we lock ourselves in a room with only people like us that believe in the same things, the boys will be in a big shock when they grow into young men to be our leaders.

    Girl Scout councils across the country are selling off their camps and membership has dropped precipitously in many areas.
  3. We just did this - opening opportunities for our older Scouts so they don't feel they're are stuck as "babysitters" or kept from doing fun things by a younger Troop. Also going co-ed as we will be the only one in the District. Recruitment's slow, but we'll get there.


    It's funny how people have such different DE experiences. Ours was over the moon about the new Crew and attended a couple of meetings in a single week getting all the paperwork filled out.


    Oh, and we signed up a female adult who's not part of the Troop and won't have a Scout or daughter in the Crew so we're covered from that angle.

    I hope you're not teaching your Scouts to be so cynical :)
  4. Well my son finally received an e-mail from the scoutmaster. He said he wants my son to do three more overnight campouts to fulfill his "active in the troop" requirement. He also copied all the assistant scoutmasters on this e-mail. Is this reasonable? That would mean my son would have to do weekend campouts in April, May, and June. (there is no campout in March). My son completed all his requirements in October, and he won't have his scoutmaster conference until June. This seems unreasonable. I read on the BSA website that doing a percentage of outings is NOT a requirement for being "active in the troop".

    He participates in all activity in the troop including helping younger scouts, fund raising, service projects, community service, etc. The scoutmaster doesn't see this, as the only activity the scoutmaster attends is weekend campouts. I have never seen the scoutmaster at a service project, or fundraiser. In fact, in all the time I have been at the troop, I have never seen the scoutmaster help at any eagle project or even attend Scout-o-Rama.

    Has the "be active in your Troop" requirement been signed off? We encourage our Scouts to come to an Adult leader as soon as this part is complete for sign-off. I very, very rarely sign off anything at the SM Conference for any rank advancement other than Scout Spirit and once is a while if they've finished the last Merit Badge they need for it recently.
  5. Okay. I just read what "MyBoy" wrote on Sunday 9:02pm. ... "He said in a meeting a few weeks ago to all the scouts 'no camp out, no rank advancement'. I'm pretty sure that's his beef."


    Yeah, that's an SM trying to solve a perceived problem using authority he does NOT have. You want scouts to camp. Make it interesting. Make it new and exciting. Make it well organized.


    Scoutmasters can NOT use their advancement as a tool to manipulate.


    Please note that there are zero camping requirements for Star, Life and Eagle. Potentially, you can complete all camping related activity BEFORE earning Tenderfoot. Requirements for 2nd class and 1st class say "since joining the troop....". Star, Life and Eagle have no such requirements. Merit badges can be completed at any time.


    As posted, your situation is addressed in section 4.2.3 of http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33088.pdf. Troops can require a level of participation BUT there are limits.


    - Is it written down? Was it written down and communicated BEFORE you son earned his Life rank. Advancement requirements apply based on the start of the next rank. So those expectations written down and communicated on or before your son had his Life rank board of review (not court of honor).


    - If it was documented, but had changed since he joined the troop, you might be able to challenge that troop expectations have shifted and it was not a commitment he agreed to when he joined the troop. Was he supposed to quit the troop and his friends because the troop leadership had a new plan?


    - Is it reasonable? 100% is absolute and by definition not reasonable. Period.


    You might face arguments that POR was not completed because he did not camp. If that is the case, it is the responsibility of the scoutmaster to communicate that early and during the POR. Otherwise, the scout has completed his POR time requirement.


    GTA section 4.2.3 is so so so written for this type of situation.

    "Please note that there are zero camping requirements for Star, Life and Eagle."


    This is a bit of a mis-statement. While there are no direct camping requirements, there are implied ones in the POR and "Scout Spirit" requirements. If you have a POR that you are using for one of these rank advancements, you CANNOT demonstrate leadership on a campout or at a Troop meeting you do not attend. A Scout who does not camp, or who infrequently camps, is not showing proper Scout Spirit.


    While it does not seem to me this particular Scoutmaster has a leg to stand on in this situation, a Scout must be active in his Troop - including going on campouts - to advance in rank.

  6. I emphathize, and wish I lived in your area, as I'd show up to help you out. What you're doing is really important, and it is appreciated even though it probably seems otherwise a lot of the time.


    Your Troop seems to me to have wayyyy too much Adult involvement in the wrong areas. The Scouts should be deciding where and when they camp. If the Adults can't pay the freight, and the Scouts won't raise the money, guess what? Everyone stays home. I don't suspect it would take too many "getting really excited followed by complete failure/disappointment" for them to get the message.


    I agree with qwazse - you need to find "helpers" that can deal with the logistical issues you're facing. Another local Troop or Crew may be able to assign an older Scout as a Troop Guide or ASM. Normally a Troop will have a few Adults (about 10 percent) who will do something. Sounds like you're on the low end of that average. If there are any Adults that you've found will do something, have lunch or coffee with them and see if they'll come on board.

  7. We just did this - opening opportunities for our older Scouts so they don't feel they're are stuck as "babysitters" or kept from doing fun things by a younger Troop. Also going co-ed as we will be the only one in the District. Recruitment's slow, but we'll get there.


    It's funny how people have such different DE experiences. Ours was over the moon about the new Crew and attended a couple of meetings in a single week getting all the paperwork filled out.


    Oh, and we signed up a female adult who's not part of the Troop and won't have a Scout or daughter in the Crew so we're covered from that angle.

  8. I'm interested in following this conversation. I'm thinking forward that it might be in my future to spin off a crew for my CO..... just maybe.

    I like the high adventure idea.... seems like it would be a lot more fun for the kids.

    and as the father of two girls I'm intrigued at the idea of letting girls in. My middle daughter is starting with GS this year, but I'm just not seeing that pan out in the long run. She's sporty, and I think down the road she might get something out of an outdoor program.

    Can't do that if you have a co-ed Crew. Have to have both genders of Adults along if both are along in the Crew.
  9. Did you guys all flunk Wood Badge?


    Delway's Scout understands the true meaning of "inclusiveness." Ask any Den Leader with a plush toy critter!


    The whole point of Camping Merit Badge requirement 9b is to get parlor boys to Eagle without ever walking into the woods with packs on their backs.


    If a Scout hates camping (as it is defined by Baden-Powell), then he can ride his bike around a parking lot for four hours, rappel at the mall, or float downstream for four hours. That's what camping is!


    Watch any Wood Badger explain our Congressional Charter and you will see that Delway's Scout understands "innovation:" The ability to break the spirit of the law by playing word games with the letter of the law (which is only six words to define the backpack option). I know one adult Eagle who has his Scouts walk around a family campground with empty packs and a pedometer to log the four mile "backpack" for option #2. Another adult Eagle Camping Merit Badge counselor has Scouts walk with empty packs around the block at Scout meetings to accomplish the same end.


    Now really, why is it that Camping Merit Badge is the only badge with an option for Scouts who hate the subject of the badge?


    In a perfect world, every indoor Merit Badge would have the same option we give boys who hate camping:


    "Explain to your merit badge counselor the concepts of simple interest and compound interest, OR float downstream eating cupcakes."


    That's an interesting take. So once a boy has completed all the requirements, he can't do "Scouting" anymore. We should come up with some other name, I guess.
  10. One mom who happens to be CM said "I am not fundraising so Johnny scout who didn't sell any popcorn can go to camp or enjoy scouting free".


    Now there's a lesson in parental support for team development and leadership. Such selfishness has no place in Scouting.



    Anyone who criticizes this mom's perspective would do well to study how well the philosophy of "from each according to his ability to each according to his need" has worked in the real world. Three years ago I instituted a shift away from a plan where the handful of willing Scouts raised all the money while the lazy majority waited for their goodies to be delivered because the willing Scouts were quitting over the issue.


    Unless you're going to provide some consequences for those who won't either pay up or fundraise, they will sponge off you as long as possible.

  11. I am more concerned with adults being friends with 12yo on Facebook.
    There's also a Youth Protection component of Adults being Facebook friends with youth. The Youth Protection guidelines protect not only the youth, but Adults as well. It is not very easy to make a false accusation of abuse against an Adult who has another Adult with him or her at all times. It is a short-sighted decision to friend a youth as that gives an Adult access (through Private Messaging) allows contact with the youth without "two-deep" and makes it easier for a false accusation to "stick."


    We also have a policy that no Adult should email a youth without also copying either that youth's parent(s) or at least one of the Adult Leaders.

  12. Ahhhhhhh The Discussion about Youth Protection transgresses into a Homophobic discussion instead of The Program itself.


    Of all the Child Molesters I have encountered over the Last 10 Years 10 Months in as a Correctional Officer for Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division in a Maximum Security Prison, I have yet to encounter 1 that was involved with Boy Scouts of America...They have been Teachers, Policemen, Firemen, Doctors, Lawyers, Sport Coaches....Very Very Few have been unrelated to the Victim. 99% are Heterosexual and Usually Married..


    Awake up and pay attention of whats going on around ya. Take the Blinders off, view the Whole picture not just what ya want to see.

    I don't think you understand the meaning of the term "heterosexual."
  13. I'm pleased to see this discussion, because my Troop has had a similar trajectory to Basement's, growing from 11 to 33 in 2 years. Our internal discussion has revolved around similar issues - how big do we want to be? My personal view is that I don't want to be walking around at Summer Camp, see a Scout and not be sure if he's one of mine. I can see the Troop at 50 before that happens (and I think recruiting this spring will take us over 40).


    However, I really struggle with my primary issue, which is this: what is my moral responsibility to boys in Scouting in general? It seems to me the most likely result of locking down your numbers and turning boys away is that boys who otherwise would get the benefit of Scouting will either never join the program or will quit after only a short time. As mentioned just above, boys choose a Troop based on a variety of reasons. Your Troop may be perfect for a boy, and none other will do. You have failed any boy you turn away who never joins a Troop.

  14. Only a small handful of people you will meet understand that value of the program the way you do. This is because they have no personal or direct experience with Scouting. What they do know or have probably only heard about is Eagle Scouts. It's an incredible brand. Eagles are still held in great respect, even by people who don't really know anything else about Scouting, certainly far beyond those actually involved in the program.

  15. What an interesting idea! BD is right in that your boys are unlikely to be asked to do much meeting planning for at least a couple of years once they reach Boy Scouts. But once they actually become Patrol Leaders or APL's in their Troop, they will need to be able to put together an agenda for a Patrol Meeting and then lead that meeting. Gaining more understanding of their responsibilities once they reach the Troop would think would also be very helpful. These boys are used to just showing up and doing what they're told with no real input to the process. Getting some sense of how things work (that all this activity doesn't just happen like "magic") would help them next spring. We encourage all our Scouts to develop good communications skills so that they can be fully functioning Patrol Members.


    Start small! Divide up the activities for your Den meetings and then assign out one activity to each Webelos to plan and lead. You or another Adult will need to help a lot, I should think, until they get the hang of it.

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