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Posts posted by scoutergipper

  1. I don't know of any policy, but I have never had a problem with siblings - even siblings of a different gender - being along on campouts. Heck, I've had moms bring babies along. With the unfortunate turn we've had in society regarding the prevalence of divorce, I think we have to adopt some flexibility.

  2. I've seen some approved and at Eagle Boards of Review that have egregious spelling' date=' grammatical or punctuation mistakes in them. I talked with a few of the leaders and it sounded like everyone thought it was the other guys role to comment on that. [/quote']


    It's human nature, I suppose, to be lazy and think that "the other guy" will teach the lesson. The truth is that failing to teach when an opportunity presents is a violation of the Oath and the Law. Not only are you not "doing your best," but you're not being trustworthy, kind or loyal to a Scout that you let slide by you.


  3. I consider this another teachable moment, so don't let it just slide by me with grammatical or spelling errors. We have a pretty good system of vetting projects in the Troop before they ever get to me, so they are not likely to be in any kind of gray area/at risk for approval at the District level. I spend some additional time talking over the project with the Scout, especially if I see something in there that might trip him up going forward. I'd never refuse to sign even a project I thought might be deficient because that is also a learning opportunity. I don't have a checklist or anything - if the Scout says it's complete (or will be), I take him at his word. Got in trouble once from the District because the Scout didn't follow through on completing the "life statement" piece he said he would. Received a phone call from a very exercised District volunteer reading me out for signing when the life statement was not included. I explained that she didn't understand Boy Scouting, that her beef was with the Scout and she should feel free to take it up with him. I think I have a "reputation" at District now.

  4. Nice work. One thing I work in is a description of each badge and generally what a Scout has to do to earn it and why. I don't do this at every COH because everyone would eventually get tired of hearing about it. But lots of Adults don't know the "Trail to Eagle" and how the Ranks build on each other. Same on MB's - what's an "Eagle required" MB?? etc

  5. I didn't grow up in Maryland, but I walked to and from school, or rode my bike, sometimes all alone, mostly with only one other kid from across the street. During Summer, I would rarely see my mother between breakfast and dinner. "Be home by dark" was the rule. If I was needed during the day, my dad would whistle loudly, which could be heard all over the neighborhood.


    The world has not changed, but people's perception of it has. Today's parents are not only terrified someone will grab their kid, but they are much more amenable to bowing to the Nanny State's demands. Scouting is one of the few places where a kid can assert his independence - a selling point to boys that is of course ignored by BSA because it will turn off parents who are certainly in a position to serve as a gatekeeper over their own children - provided the government gives them permission.

  6. In my area, Cub Scout Packs are based primarily (but not exclusively) at public elementary schools. This does not mean we don't face hostile individuals who do not like Scouting due to the leadership standards, but the schools are kind of stuck: if they are going to discriminate against Scouting, they will have to charge extra to or kick out all extra-curricular groups. I've been involved in the District with regard to recruitment events at schools that host Packs - and those that don't - to try and start them or funnel kids to other schools for Cub Scouts.


    Boy Scouts, as noted above, is a different animal. It is hard to get in to events where 5th grade boys can be contacted - however, I will tell you that we try and use any event at the school that will be attended by parents and kids to promote Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts. Back-to-School night, carnivals, etc - anything where the entire school/parents are invited. Most schools have no problem with our having a display table.


    I would like to have an actual event at one of our local elementary schools for the 5th grade boys later this spring. We just picked up a kid from there who was not in Cub Scouts and I want to try and use that to get an event. Somebody posted a good 5th grade boy event featuring wood smoke and a campsite, which I really thought could be effective on another thread quite a while ago.

  7. Definitely a "love-hate" relationship between the Council/District and the volunteers. We recently went to re-charter our Crew, which we created new during 2014. Everyone in it is a "transfer" from a Troop and we were told we were not going to be rechartered unless we added two "paying" Members (to Stosh's point about the business side).


    I have yet to talk with anyone on the volunteer side who really understands why the professional side exists and how it's existence might help them deliver Scouting. The professional side doesn't seem to understand why it's important to communicate what benefits it wants to deliver/can deliver to volunteers. (My own DE's response to my question on this was, "What do they want me to do?") In my 14 years in Scouting, we've had one fantastic DE who was promoted up the chain after about 18 months. The others have been on the spectrum somewhere between invisible and incompetent.


    So I feel your pain. I've dramatically curtailed my District involvement due to the numerous instances of disrespect, broken promises, etc. I'm concentrating on delivering program to my units.

  8. My wife sits on EBOR's all the time.


    I agree with the above regarding leading a campout anyway. All you need is two Adults with the right qualifications and you're good to go. Scouts should not have their experience harmed because someone married the wrong person.

  9. The majority of new scout leaders joining today don't have a youth scouting experience or much outdoors camping experience and you guys expect them to trust your fanatical opinions' date=' why?[/quote']


    This is an interesting thought. When I enter a situation in which I have no experience, I tend to seek out those who have been around a while to see what I can learn about how things work. You're saying that today's young dads/moms would be more likely to ignore or mistrust those with experience. I wonder how that attitude is working for them professionally, outside of Scouting.

  10. I would have imposed a year long suspension following the Council suspension.


    You don't say for sure, but have they all completed their 6 months of being active in the Troop (whatever your Troop's interpretation of "active" might be?).


    I will say that none of these Scouts would receive a signature from me. The Scoutmaster Conference would be damn uncomfortable (assuming I was even willing to hold one, which is questionable) and afterward they would be free to try to get an Eagle Board of Review at which I would be happy to appear to give the Board a piece of my mind.

  11. Your concerns are certainly valid. We have a number of families who are simply not in a position to lay out hundreds of dollars a year for Scouting. A few clearly have an entitlement mentality, where the other families are somehow expected to pony up so their kid can be in Scouts. Their Scout doesn't work hard at fundraising, which I think we are starting to recognize needs to be a prerequisite for receiving Troop aid. We encourage families to pay what they can - I'm not anxious to put additional financial stress on a single mom who is on the edge. The kids in these circumstances are the ones that need Scouting the most. I may not make it easy, but I'm not abandoning them.


    I think that by requiring Scouts who want aid to be active, to attend service opportunities, to work hard on fundraising opportunities, etc is a reasonable way to make them understand there's no free lunch in Scouting, even if there is one in society at large.

  12. One of the most important things about Scouting is this idea of "reflection" on our actions and how we might improve. Nobody is going to handle every situation as they would if they had known beforehand what was going to happen. That you care about, and are thinking about, whether and how you could have handled this better tells me your heart's in the right place and you're the kind of Adult Leader Scouts will benefit from having around.


    This would make a spectacular Scoutmaster Minute.

  13. BSA should be running "image" ads - right now the only thing the public ever sees about Scouting are stories about child abuse and homophobia. There are thousands of inspirational, personal stories from Scouts and Scouters that would make tremendous TV, radio or on-line ads. If you never give people something positive to hang their hat on, they'll just go with the negatives.


    I've found recruitment success to be directly correlated with elbow grease. "Success" is definitely defined differently in different kinds of communities, but whatever the definition, BSA needs to be striving to meet it in each community. Community visibility is a huge problem - if a mom at your local grade school asks the school secretary who to talk to about joining Cub Scouts, will the secretary have an answer? Do units attend every church or school event where Adult Leaders can talk with parents and Scouts can talk with kids?


    There are certainly special challenges with the Hispanic community, including some cultural hurdles. We've had some success by first recruiting Spanish-speaking Adult Leaders in units where we want to recruit Hispanic families. It's a work in progress.


    It's "root, hog, or die" for BSA. Everyone better start rooting.

  14. Generally speaking, the older a boy gets, the more broad-based his learning will be from any one experience, and the more deeply he will learn whatever the lesson happens to be. I encourage my Scouts to advance at whatever rate is comfortable for them, to work on their own timetable - not mine and not their parents. This means I have 13-year-old Star Scouts and 13-year-old Tenderfoot Scouts. All of the Eagles in the Troop the past 10 years have been 16 or 17 when they finished, mostly 17. One of them is an Adult Leader for our Philmont trip next Summer.


    I'll bet LeCastor's Scout is going to remember that SM conference and he'll "be prepared" if the same kind of questions are asked at future opportunities.

  15. Our fundraising Chair experimented with these in 2013. Only a handful of boys were interested and only a couple really worked at it. The two that worked at it killed it. The only criticism we got was that people didn't like the vendors.. We've discussed creating our own "camp card" with vendors we recruit that people will like.

  16. Anything that does not fit "A Scout is Thrifty - he pays his own way" is a violation of the Scout Law. If you have a Troop where each Scout is not pulling his own weight, you do not have a Boy Scout Troop. It is up to the Committee to ensure that each Scout who needs it has opportunities to fundraise or otherwise "pay his own way."

  17. You obviously can't credit the Scout for sales if he doesn't turn in the money. I'd ask the mom for a copy of the police report - she's obviously reported it if someone stole $400 in cash (plus other items, no doubt) from her home. In any case, if the Troop/Pack paid for the popcorn, the mom's going to owe you for that cost.

    • Upvote 1
  18. Very interesting discussion.


    The handling of the bowling/pizza event was right on the money. It would be one thing if a parent came to me beforehand to ask for assistance, but just doing the "drop and scoot" is completely unacceptable (as I'm sure everyone would recognize). I do admit to having spent a lot of money on various Scouts over the years. I don't regret any of it.


    Dropping the Scout based on the actions of the parent(s) is a tougher call in my book. I wouldn't do it based on the information provided, but that doesn't make it the wrong decision. There's more to the story and a history I don't know.


    There's no indication of even so much as a conversation with the mom in this matter, although I'm sure she knows the rules (even if she doesn't appear to understand what's right). It's possible that getting dumped out of Scouts will be just the tonic the kid needs - I've had Scouts like that - the hope is that a "fresh start" gives them a chance to re-make themselves and seek a different outcome.

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