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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. What?  There's bureaucracy in the BSA?  I'm shocked, I tell you!  Shocked!


    You know, I get that they don't want to be just handing out rank advancements that no one's earned, but why don't the Council's treat the volunteers as though they believe in the Scout Oath and Law?  They act like they think we're all trying to pull a fast one until we prove we aren't.

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  2. We have the peanut allergy I mentioned in the other thread.  I paid close attention to this early on as he had a very bad experience at Camporee one year while in Cub Scouts.  Luckily, the Scout is older now, and is well capable of knowing what he can and can't eat.  He's also a PL :D so he's keeping a double eye on that.


    We have also picked up a gluten allergy in a young Scout, who unfortunately loves gluten and has to be watched.   We have another Scout for whom the "no gluten" thing appears to be a choice only.


    We have just also picked up a vegetarian in the NSP.  Good training for that group to plan around everyone's needs.

  3. We have a Scout with a serious peanut allergy, so they're out.


    I don't "ban" anything else, but efforts to claim Pop Tarts or Energy Bars are a "meal" are met with pretty stern disapproval should the subject come up.  I encourage the kids to cook at least one thing for every meal.


    We had a couple of newer Scouts bring canned soup and 2-liter pops to a camp that included a 3-mile hike to the campsite.  Once.

  4. I simply told him he would have to learn this stuff or accept the possibility of standing around watching a loved one die because the ambulance took too long getting there.  Some of the adults and parents felt that was a bit harsh to tell an 11 year old.


    As a Scouter (and Parent) who is frequently accused of using over-the-top hyperbole to make a point, this made me laugh.

  5. 1.  Yes.

    2. Usually charcoal with a starter chimney.  Other accessories include either a pan or platform to protect the ground (LNT)

    3. Patrol (we don't do any Troop cooking)

    4.  12", 16" - also one dad has an 8" which opens up using it on backpacks at least for the truly committed

    5. Everything - full dinners to desserts

    6. Yes, just one but it's the last choice

    7. Troop meetings, community events

    8. Mostly clean, but aluminum foil on occasion

    9. Oil

    10. Skillets

  6. Our Patrol Leaders have responsibility for sign-offs (although the individual Scouts can decide whether to talk with their Patrol Leader or an Adult for the sign-off).  I use PL sign-offs as a chance to evaluate how the PL did by asking the Scout about it.  I try and impress upon the PL's that it does them no credit if they sign off that a Scout can save me from a heart attack and then it turns out he can't. ;)

  7. There was a hilarious moment a couple of years ago where a Scoutmaster accused our Troop of poaching "his" Cub Scouts. He made the mistake of saying this at a Roundtable to one of our ASM's who is not a shrinking violet and had been the Den Leader of a Den of 10 boys, 9 of which came to our Troop a year prior. He explained what the Den's experience was like, and how it made the boys feel, when they went to Camporee as this other Troop's guests and were completely ignored by the Boy Scouts the entire weekend.


    We decided years ago that the only important thing was that Webelos join a Boy Scout Troop. If it's ours, that's great, but if someone else is a better fit, so be it. Even though the "feeder Pack" concept would have benefited my Troop at the time (we were on the verge of folding), I rejected the idea at a District meeting for precisely this reason. I believe it would cause some boys who would otherwise have good Scouting careers to drop out instead of going to a Troop that didn't fit them.


    As above, I utterly reject the idea that a Troop somehow deserves or owns certain Cub Scouts.

  8. Ok' date=' what do we do then? How do we get the word out in the media about the positive side of Scouting? Is it just grassroots/guerrilla marketing?[/quote']


    This is, in part, what I do for a living. Building a successful PR/marketing campaign is a long-term process. It takes time and money and vision. No question that grassroots/guerrilla marketing is also part of it, in Scouting's case it's ideal because it can be pretty inexpensive.


    Because I know neither National nor the Councils have the money or expertise to pull something like what's necessary off, I advise local Units to take things into their own hands in the way you've suggested. Opportunities for "earned media" (i.e. doing something that the local media covers without your having to buy ad space) are abundant (the Troop's ended up in two different newspaper stories in the past 3 months). Other opportunities for community visibility (without media coverage) are even more common. We've discussed this in the "invisible Scout" thread. Being visible doing something good for the community in uniform is something every Unit can do on a regular basis. I would NOT advise a concentration on trying to get media attention solely for Eagle Projects.


    If you're a member of your local Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, etc, can you get a speaking slot at one of their meetings? Are all your local Chartering Organizations spreading the word about the Units? Does your Unit have a "display booth" or other presence at all the local events where people gather?


  9. The challenge I run into with scouts is getting the scouts to be willing to have an impact on other scouts. Most 13 year olds are trapped by peer pressure to never rock the boat.


    Wow - in my opinion, this is a really important point. It's like they're in a trench in World War I - the first guy to poke his head up is likely to get it handed to him.


    I have heard boys who are born leaders called "bossy" and so forth, mostly by other parents, who also don't appreciate leadership. Some of them may have deserved it, but learning to be a servant leader is a process, and a "bossy" kid is more likely to be able to morph into a servant leader than a kid who is an introvert or completely uninterested. [i dodged a bullet this spring when a dad who called another kid in his son's Den "bossy" went to another Troop. Whew!]


    Boys have to be made to feel as though they can "impact" other boys without seeming "bossy" or "mean" etc. Parents need to understand that this process takes time, mistakes will be made and that boys are never too young to start learning it.


  10. This is a little off topic, but your mention of the "immaturity" of the Scout in question is key. There's a point, different for each boy, where they go from "just showing up and hoping something good happens" to understanding they can actually do something before the activity to make something good happen. Sometimes this moment happens when they are 19 or 20, but it does happen.

  11. Good news that you found someone. I would have let the Troop try and operate without gear for a while until someone stepped up. Too bad those Life Scouts will never make Eagle, but it's their choice.


    The Scout should be the one responsible for all the jobs you mentioned in the other thread, with supervision from an ASM or other Adult. No reason the Scout can't go along when the propane tanks were filled.

  12. So people who are without religion add nothing to our society?


    I will say that's a fascinating - and revealing - mis-reading of what I wrote. Sort of typical of what one reads on the internet.


    In case you've forgotten your High School English, a new paragraph does not necessarily refer directly to every aspect of previous paragraphs.


    And while I respect what people around the world may be doing - and believe they can do whatever they want - the fact that they aren't here does not necessarily mean they are doing anything "better." The vast majority of Americans still identify themselves as religious. If a person doesn't want a program with any religion in it, there are plenty of choices other than Scouting. Change for change's sake is rarely a good idea.

  13. I'm in my 10th year as SM - my son has been gone for 3 years. I think the Adults who even think of such things are damn grateful I'm there. Sort of a "there but for the Grace of God go I" attitude. I have made it clear that I have no ego involved and am willing to step down any time there's someone who wants the job. I'm not holding my breath. I only do it because I love it.


    I would strongly encourage you to step back in. It's about the boys.

  14. In recent months, we have by some miracle managed to slough off to other Troops all of our problem Adults. There is some evidence that - eventually - even problem Adults come to realize that everyone else isn't going to conform to their viewpoints no matter how much they might badger someone and/or that their son will have to follow the BSA program if they stay in our Troop.


    We had 3 new Scouts for the last Campout, and are expecting at least 3 and perhaps 4 more next week. We have also had a little success with recruiting older boys (12-13) in recent months. Remember, your best recruiters are your current Scouts!

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  15. The ASM was the Troops Quartermaster....


    I think you may have less of a Patrol Method Troop than you think. A Scout, not an ASM, is the Troop Quartermaster.


    Nevertheless, I agree with both posts above. The Troop's in trouble. Your choice is between doing what's necessary to save it, leaving, or just staying and letting your son get whatever he can from it.


  16. Parts of this discussion remind me of people who move in close to an existing airport, and then complain about how noisy it is when the planes fly over.


    Boy Scouts has a religious component. It also has a patriotism component in which the Pledge of Allegiance is frequently recited and the US Flag is honored. If you don't like those things, don't join. Once you do join, don't try and change these things just because you don't like them.


    We spend entirely too much time in this country catering to and trying to satisfy tiny groups of people who add nothing to our society and do almost nothing but complain.

  17. Lest we forget, an Eagle Project is supposed to benefit a non-profit or some other appropriate entity. I sincerely doubt that the beneficiaries of these projects are not asking for specifics when they agree to partner with the Scout on the project. If Scouts are going out and promising - as in the example above - 1000 gravestones and delivering only 10, Scouting is going to have another detractor in the community, which is the last thing we need.

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