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Everything posted by scoutergipper

  1. I have the second one. Don't see any problem with the other two, pending further honest discussion.
  2. I'd start with the Committee Chair. Always remember that a Cub Scout Pack is a voluntary association. If this parent is not happy with the way you're running your Den, perhaps he would be happier in another Pack.
  3. It's unfortunate that the Adults and the other Scouts keep bailing these guys out. The only lesson they've learned is that, if they're the Grubmaster, they don't have to worry about bringing food.
  4. I enjoyed this article, and was surprised by how balanced it was. BSA - especially at the Council level - needs to do much more positive marketing and public relations. Most of the time, all the news is about gay rights or child abuse, and when there's no competing positive messaging, that is going to be all people know about Scouts. "If you don't like what people are saying about you, change the conversation," Don Draper.
  5. Here's something we're trying: one of our Troop families supports a local organization that provides homes for developmentally disabled adults. The Troop has done one service project for this organization, and we are looking to give the Scouts a chance to do more. At some point, we want to tie the Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge into these efforts.
  6. Lots of good thoughts above ^^ We're about a year in to doing what you're thinking about. The Crew is small and consists so far of about 7 Scouts from 3 Troops (primarily boys who went to National Jamboree together). The boys are young - just old enough to qualify for Venturing - and this has made it tough to recruit girls, who probably saw it as a babysitting opportunity. Single biggest challenge is calendaring. They literally have almost no days when more than 3 of the boys can make an event.
  7. There is such a thing - at least they do it in my District. It's not in the subject matter, but more about the "how to be" a Merit Badge Counselor. I don't know for sure if it's "required" or anything like that. You do have to submit a "new" Adult application. The scouting.org page "Guide for Merit Badge Counselors" says "You may wish to seek additional training from your local council/district on local policies and procedures for merit badge counselors." So the inclusion of "may" indicates to me no such "additional training" is required. http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/Gui
  8. You do seem pretty paranoid about it. The paranoia could be justified if you had seen other examples where BSA acted in this manner, but it appears it's a bad personal experience with a religious group that's driving it instead. You seem very fixated on your "non-Christian" status and a little uncomfortable with it as well. These days, one seems more likely to be persecuted if they are Christian than non-Christian.
  9. Our Scouts "officially" reform the Patrols annually in the Fall when we have new Scout Leadership. Most of the Crew members in our Troop are in the same Patrol, but not all of them (because some want to be PL's, etc). It's important that the Scouts decide who is in what Patrol and who will lead them and live with the consequences of those decisions.
  10. I've had a Buddhist Eagle Scout come through my Troop. We discussed his relationship with his religion. No big deal. Anyone who is asking questions about pieces of the Oath or Law without researching additional information about each point - both within BSA guidelines and outside - is doing it wrong. For me, the question is: how seriously will the District Eagle Boards take this? The question about a Scout's relationship to God is always asked at Eagle Boards in my District. The only answer that can currently get you in trouble is "I'm an Atheist. I don't believe in God." Otherwise
  11. I think the second section is a presumption that the "others who can view the interaction" are other Scouters/Scouts. If you met with a Scout at, say, Starbucks, and when he arrived and left you gave him a hug, it's not likely anyone would think twice about it. If it were on a campout or at a Troop meeting, however, everyone would recognize it as odd immediately. It's easier and more fun for the Scout to have a buddy along to work on Merit Badges. Youth Protections guidelines are as much for your protection against false accusation as they are for the Scout.
  12. We had something similar happen to almost an entire Pack here a couple of years ago. Lots of pretty flimsy excuses - we attributed it to the lack of change to the leadership standards based on the school where this Pack was located. Taking your kid out of Scouting is one of the only legal forms of child abuse.
  13. I'd love to see more specific details on the challenges you set, the schedule and so forth. We are pretty aggressively pursuing new leadership training ideas for our Troop.
  14. This is kind of my point, Fred. If you told my Troop, "hey, you're now 'one unit' with the Pack at your Chartering Organization so that you can work together for the good of Scouting, the Pack and the Troop" most of my Adult Leaders would quit. If the one unit concept means less work for the Boy Scout Adults, they might support it. But I have yet to see you detail how it would be less work.
  15. Intellectually, I understand and agree that more mentoring of Cub Scout Packs and their Leaders would be helpful to a better program and especially to growing the program. That's why I do it. However, there are only a handful of Boy Scout Adults (counting all of them, not just the ones who have Troop Leadership positions) who are the least bit interested in giving one minute beyond what they are currently doing in Scouting. Most of these leaders either don't understand why it's important, or just don't care enough about Scouting for it to matter whether it's better after their own son is ou
  16. "I can't get anyone else to help" is probably the number one complaint Cub Scout Adult Leaders have. It's really a shame because volunteering for Scouting is by far the most rewarding volunteer work I've ever done. Lots of parents are missing a great experience with their child - one they can never get back. Every Pack and Troop should have a succession plan, and it should be made clear to families - in person as said above - that the Pack (or Troop) is not a babysitting service. Packs cannot run without quite a number of Adults, and if people want their son in Cub Scouts, they better
  17. Wow, that's a lot of drop-off on campouts. Like Stosh, I've been discouraging mashing up Patrols artificially just to get the number up (although it's not as large a problem as you have). It's the PL's job to encourage his Scouts to attend campouts and to pull their weight in the Patrol.
  18. We're in this process right now, but we were "Troop method" primarily because 3 years ago we had 11 Scouts and 8 of them were 15 or older. Now we have 38 and 3 are 15 and none older than that. We have "eased" into full Patrol Method going whole hog only 18 months ago. We had problems that you won't face because you have older boys. The one we share is the Parents. "They're too young!" was the single greatest objection we faced which caused them to believe they had to helicopter. This was not allowed (one Parent was banned from campouts after washing her son's mess kit and various other t
  19. To me, it's more important that the Scouts create opportunities to use their skills on a regular basis. If each Patrol Leader (for example) asks a different Scout or Scouts to lash up a useful camp gadget each time we're in the field, or assigns a different Scout to keep a Patrol hike on track with a map and compass on each outing, the skills won't degrade over time from lack of use.
  20. We pretty much let 'em come when they want, although the bulk comes in March or April, depending on the Pack's schedule. We normally have a boy or two that comes earlier than his Den and essentially does both Troop and Pack activities for a month. So far as I'm concerned, each Scout/family can call their own tune on this, we don't have any trouble adapting.
  21. I'm sure there's some bureaucratic "not allowed on the uniform" item somewhere in all the BSA rules & regulations, but I like the idea. We give out Patrol awards that can be tied to their flag (as many here do) - I don't see why you shouldn't reward individual accomplishments, even if it's "beyond what BSA does."
  22. It's a good idea, especially with only 2 Webelos II's. Since you're new, you may have a tougher time with "trust" from the parents. You might do well to have a parent-only meeting to discuss what you want to do and why. It might also be worthwhile taking the Cubmaster out to lunch or coffee and getting his/her backing for the plan.
  23. I doubt there's any problem with that, especially in the way you're describing it. BSA's goal is to increase sales so their cut increases.
  24. Wow, really? I wonder what new Leadership lessons he learned in his third year in the same POR?
  25. I don't think this would get approved for the reason you cite: it benefits only a single individual. I'd encourage you to ask your Scouts if they'd like to take this on as a "good turn" project. Maybe there's a Merit Badge angle as well (Disability Awareness, Carpentry?).
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