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Posts 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 a self-filling prophecy - if all our efforts will go to waste with bad publicity, then why make the effort? I can guarantee (because they've told me this themselves) that Scouting's enemies in our society are absolutely counting on enough people involved in Scouting to think this way so the organization cannot survive.


    My recruiting experiences have all been positive. I have never had an angry Adult come up to me at a school or community event and chew me out for my support of homophobia, or patriotism or paedophilia or whatever disinformation they happen to be operating on.


    I would encourage everybody to focus their efforts on Cub Scout recruiting. It is probably a million times easier to get a first grader to become a Tiger than an 8th grader to become a Boy Scout. I've posted several things that have worked for me in various threads so won't repeat them. But the main thing is in the opening part of the OP's post - it's not just for September. Recruiting, whether Boy Scout or Cub Scout, is a year-round effort.

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  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'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 is the Pack at the School? Due to the inevitable attrition, Packs should be recruiting year-round in one way or another.

  4. "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 a simple medical form, they are trouble and not the kind of people you want in your Pack/Troop/Crew.

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  5. We want the community to support scouting' date=' but scouting does not seem to support the community as much except through Eagle projects. [/quote']


    I agree with your premise, but I don't think it was stated as clearly as it could have been - hence the responses.


    Scouting is invisible, almost exclusively except for Eagle Projects, kids that get every Merit Badge, paedophilia or homophobia. Scouts and Scouters act like they're embarrassed to be part of it. When I was in Cub Scouts (for instance), I wore my uniform to school for picture day and for Pack meeting days. That almost never happens today.


    Our Troop is very active in service for our CO - a Church. I do what I can to involve my Troop in local community service projects, in uniform when appropriate, and try and get media attention. We did a local City clean-up and Meals on Wheels this winter. Last Spring, our Troop partnered with a local Pack to put on a "field day" at the Pack's school because the teacher who usually did it was sick and couldn't. Most Packs in my area are chartered by schools, and I've made it a point to talk with the school administrative assistants and leave a calling card in case a parent asks them about Scouting. I try and have a display table at every event where they're allowed in the local grade schools. The Troop volunteers at a local public concert and serves free Dutch Oven cobblers to all comers. It's all I can do to keep myself from setting up a recruitment table at Home Depot on weekends.


    Not every Adult Leader wants to do this kind of thing, knows how to do this kind of thing, has the time to do this kind of thing. If only there were a paid, "professional" Scouter who would think in terms of marketing the program in the community, and do some of this work for Units that can't/won't. But if we're going to save Scouting, I think yours is the critical question.

  6. 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 "can be done," and it hurts me to see units fold. That's not what Scouting needs. BUT, I wouldn't blame you if you moved Troops. There's even a limit on the time you're supposed to give CPR. Wish I lived close so I could help with your recruiting. :)

  7. 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." The original scenario sounds like Adult thinking to me.

  8. Please explain how YP is even an issue? A Scout is being asked to participate in Scout functions with a different unit. Ethics maybe' date=' inter- unit relations probably, but there is no YP issue.[/quote']


    So if an Adult your son didn't know was calling your house and asking your son to attend Scout functions with a different Troop, you wouldn't see a Youth Protection issue there?

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  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. Sometimes trouble comes because you invite it over, but sometimes it shows up by accident. We should strive to recognize the difference.

  10. 'Gripper,


    One of the comments by the SM that chapped my hide related to training. He said that a leaders shouldn't have to leave the district to get the training when they want it. And if there isn't enough staff to provide training when leaders want it, we should hire trainers to come in and do it for the district.


    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.


  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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  13. 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 that way" types.


    I think there's a large disconnect between the District and the Units. It is not completely clear how exactly the Units benefit by having a District Staff person. Lots of money flowing from Units to District, not much obvious benefit flowing back.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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."

  17. 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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