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Everything posted by scoutergipper

  1. This is probably too pessimistic a view. While it's true that "bad" stories damage Scouting and undermine any positive effort to some degree, the truth is that most people don't really know anything about Scouting, either positive or negative. The ones who are not now and never have been involved in Scouting are much more likely to remember the last thing they heard, good or bad. It's easy, when you're involved in something that you care about, to assume that everyone at least knows about this great thing you're involved with, even if they don't directly participate. It also provides
  2. To be honest, I've driven vehicles much larger and heavier than a 30-passenger vehicle, including some very large, long, ornate and very, very expensive motor coaches ($500 k) without any special driving endorsement. The extra weight and length do take some getting used to, but it comes quickly. Keep the speed down and the following distance up and problems magically melt away.
  3. I don't disagree. Every time I think I have things idiot proofed, they create a better idiot. The world we live in seems to require that even the most obvious thing which only the stupidest humans could fail to understand must be explicitly spelled out.
  4. I've spent the last couple of years on my District's Recruitment and Retention Committee. Spring recruitment is tough, tough, tough there's just not enough of the year left. If you're going to focus on next year's Tigers, I would suggest an effort to introduce Kindergartners (assuming your school has them) to Cub Scouting. At a minimum, I would have some kind of display table/game at any School event where such things are allowed year round. I think a special event or two at the School or a local Park where you could set up a tent and a campfire might be effective. How visible i
  5. "Any and all" seems pretty self-explanatory. I would be interested in the thinking behind describing something that isn't part of "all." No one should question whether a Troop Meeting is a "Scout activity." Any time Scouts get together for a meeting that is "official" it's a Scout activity. Lawyerly parsing of word definitions is not going to save anyone once we get into Court. You might have better luck with "participant," but not much. I would also be interested to know why there is a "desperate" need to have a definition of this simple paragraph. If someone is refusing to submit
  6. Given the social dynamics of elementary school boys and girls, I would be surprised if such a thing could be successful.
  7. As I've posted here before, I was in almost exactly your shoes 4 years ago. Eleven Scouts, mostly high school age, with one boy in middle school. New families were scared off because there weren't any other young boys (I used to rail against this thinking - it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If your boy joins, then we WILL have boys your son's age!). It took a lot of hard work to luck out and get 3 boys one year two of whom wanted a smaller Troop anyway, and one that lived close. After that, I re-doubled the recruiting work I was doing and now we're at 35. I say all that only to show it
  8. I appreciate your effort to defend your statement that there couldn't possibly be a Youth Protection issue anywhere in the original scenario that was posted. You leapt to precisely the other end of the YP scale that I did, on precisely the same information. One of the ways we can get into trouble is to convince ourselves that there couldn't possibly be anything bad going on or to not bother to think through possibilities. It seems highly unlikely to me that a Scout or Scouts would get together and say, "Hey, let's go raid Troop so-and-so and get some of their Scouts to join our Troop."
  9. I've done a little work in my State's Legislative Assembly to try and bring some common sense to exclusions for previous crimes, although specifically in the area of caring for the elderly. A person who had a run-in with the law 15 years ago, but has kept his or her nose clean since deserves some leeway. Some things are lifetime bans, others not so much. There are some who believe "once a criminal, always a criminal" and would not trust somebody with any kind of record. Redemption is possible, but it does require the kind of commitment to staying out of trouble, as paemt notes above.
  10. Here's an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor wherein a man with zero Scouting experience volunteers to become a Den Leader, and discovers that "Leadership" can mean you're really good at asking for help. http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2015/0211/A-Boy-Scout-he-is-not-The-unlikely-den-parent
  11. As a general rule, 10 percent of the people in any volunteer organization/effort do 90 percent of the work. Finding that 10 percent is the real challenge of volunteer leadership.
  12. Yeah, that's ridiculous. I wonder how much that Unit contributes to Friends of Scouting It's very unfortunate that our world seems inundated with unreasonable people and those that want everything handed to them. You would hope a program that has the set of values Scouting enjoys would not attract so many of them. In my Unit, Adults understand that our expectation is that they WILL be trained. Out-of-Council, too busy, and other excuses are simply not accepted. I hope your Units will get their acts together.
  13. I think yours is a "horse to water" question. Units are independent entities - it's hard to "make" them do anything. About all a District or Council can do is put on good events and make sure everyone gets plenty of notice about them. It's to be hoped that Unit Adults will understand that a good District or Council program/training/etc can help make their jobs easier. Once, however, you have a reputation as not providing good programs, that's hard to overcome.
  14. Yeah, Cherokee, unfortunately, I think you're way, way off here. The "extra" 6 Scouts did the right thing just as much as the 12 Scouts who attended the service at your Chartering Organization. It's your Scouts who couldn't be bothered that deserve some scrutiny.
  15. Our annual Holiday Wreath sale is all pre-paid. Orders are taken 5-6 weeks before delivery. We won't accept an order that isn't pre-paid. Scouts who sell the most go well beyond their friends and family - we go out door-to-door in neighborhoods well outside where our Scouts live. Did about $25,000 in orders this year. We did have two bad checks out of about 650 individual orders for 1000 items.
  16. At the Boy Scout level in my area, I would guess that interest in District or Council issues or programs varies pretty widely. For example, Camporee, Training and Top Team are pretty well attended in my experience. Roundtable is perennially poorly attended, particularly on the Cub Scout side of the house. An effort to start up a Klondike Derby last winter failed spectacularly. Webelos Woods does pretty well although it's up and down - some years it's tough to get the Troops involved. The District Committee has been essentially the same 10 people for 20 years. Lots of "we've always done it tha
  17. As Scoutmaster, I make myself available for any questions about paperwork/bureaucracy. We have a number of Adults with a variety of professional skills that fit nicely with many different Eagle projects - the Scouts are free to go to anyone (including existing Eagles) for help as they believe necessary.
  18. If high winds aren't expected, I don't bother staking my tent. Usually the stuff in there (myself included) will hold it down in moderate wind. For the rain fly, I find heavy branches and tie off the rainfly to those around the tent.
  19. I wouldn't spend any time re-organizing medical forms before each monthly campout. They're good for a year, so you should have a separate list of when those expire so you can get on Scouts or Adults as necessary. But one binder or accordion folder or whatever containing all the medical forms should go on every campout regardless of which Scouts or Adults are attending.
  20. Nothing like violating the Oath and Law right out of the gate to show what a great program Scouting is. I don't suggest "stooping to their level" but I would start talking to everyone I meet about how great your Troop is.
  21. The "hazing" should be reported to your District Executive. Not too long ago, our Troop had an offer to perform an opening flag for a public meeting with a US Senator. I asked our SPL to choose Scouts he believed would best represent the Troop. I would never consider inviting all 30 of our Scouts to participate in something like that, or even to attend an event that only lasted about 10 minutes. I can't speak for your Troop, but one man's "clique" is another's "best Scouts we have."
  22. Yes, TV and radio stations are typically happy to host Cub Scout groups. I'd just call them and explain to the receptionist what you're up to. Have any Native American or Cowboy Poet storytellers in the area? Although you wouldn't "go" anywhere, you could also set up an on-line opportunity (FaceTime, Skype, etc) for the Cubs to talk with a newspaper reporter or blogger in another area of the state or nation.
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