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Everything posted by scoutergipper

  1. It is a fairly common problem on interweb boards to have posters respond (seemingly negatively) to something that wasn't said. It would be helpful to have some kind of phrase indicating one is simply expanding the discussion, not accusing a previous poster of having said something they didn't.
  2. We've had to use boys under First Class for a lot of PORs the last few years - it was that or not have boys in PORs. We got chewed out for this at a PLC by our Unit Commissioner, for which I had him removed as our Unit Commissioner. Just because a Scout is 11 or 12 years old doesn't mean he can't learn anything about leadership. Not all are ready, but every one learned something that will be useful to him when he is older and uses another POR for advancement.
  3. Something like this probably has to be done. Will it limit participation? Yes, higher fees always do. Will it help protect the resource? Yes, and that's an important priority.
  4. I suspect it was donated that way so BSA would have a chance to actually negotiate a "real" usage agreement before the donation is actually made. The donor probably wouldn't want to do this on behalf of BSA, but rather chose to set out the general idea to see if the school district would agree in principle.
  5. Hey Mac, could you post a link for this item from ScoutStuff? I looked on there and can't find it, but would like to order some.
  6. While a Scout's opinion on his performance in a POR may be no less valid than an SM's, there's nothing to indicate he can advance based on his opinion alone or even that his opinion is to be taken into consideration. From the GTA, under "Meeting Unit Expectations": "When a Scout assumes a position, something related to the desired results must happen. It is a disservice to the Scout and to the unit to reward work that he has not done. Holding a position and doing nothing, producing no results, is unacceptable." [Note there is no mention of "in the Scout's opinion" here - it is "Unit Expectatio
  7. We pretty much open our entire schedule to any Webelos family that wants to attend. When we get one or two on a campout, we pair them with a Patrol. The specific event for Webelos we do is in January at a State Park Lodge that's very rustic, with lots of great outdoor activities available - nature walks, hikes through waterfalls, service projects, etc. If the weather is foul, we can move inside part of the time and work on Scout skills. Some of it's scheduled, other parts not. Emphasis on working with the Webelos to finish up anything they need for AOL or other advancements, campfire
  8. We used large tree rounds for a tomahawk throwing range at Camporee - however for knives we would have needed some kind of background like a large canvas or something to catch misses. Wouldn't want to look for those knives in the high weeds! You could pin playing cards to the rounds for targets if the goal is to hit something specific.
  9. If this is true, you either have a very unusual group of Scouts who are not like 99 percent of the boys in Scouting (or elsewhere) or you're pre-screening them somehow to weed out those who refuse to lead no matter what, have behavioral problems, etc. Either way, congratulations.
  10. "So I instituted a nomination process to pick the scouts that were even eligible for being a PL." The Scoutmasters have had conversations about similar ideas. A couple of years ago, we couldn't put too many restrictions on it because we only had a handful of First Class Scouts and a couple of them would have never been nominated. We could do it now, although I'm not convinced the boys who deserve it would get nominated. We're also not a Troop where the Adults "institute" anything. If the boys want to change their process for selecting PLs or the SPL (which they did change at Summer C
  11. I can see how the Troop management methods being discussed could be a huge success or spectacular failure. The idea that "natural leaders" will emerge and that the boys will elect them PLs is a fallacy. In my experience this works slightly less than half the time. Probably 80 percent of the Scouts don't want anything to do with leadership. Some of the rest who do aren't actually capable of leading but think they're better than everyone else if they can get elected. There are five competent, capable boys in my Troop - the boys just won't elect them even when they run for PL. The past
  12. ^^ This is how our camps run. I completely agree with as much Staff time off as possible - our camps usually hold a flag and awards Saturday morning, which the entire Staff has to attend. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if most of the Staff was not in attendance at that closing flag and ceremony.
  13. Yes, get your DE involved. We did this in the neighborhood last Fall. Essentially you need five Adult Leaders to register in the various leadership positions (I think it's Cubmaster, Committee Chair, Treasurer, Den Leader and one other Committee Member). Have all of them fill out Adult Apps (which the DE has to sign, I believe) indicating their positions. Then collect all the Youth Apps you can! and turn those in as well. The actual "approval" of your new Pack can take a while, like two or three months to become "official." You can start meeting in the meantime. Good luck and thank
  14. Actually, I'm more surprised the construction trades unions didn't complain.
  15. Boy, you guys work with a tough crowd. 52 weekends in a year, and people complain about giving up one day in each of two of them? We travel quite a distance to a couple of camps, trips of 4 or 5 hours. It's not all that practical for us to arrive home at 10 or 11 o'clock at night, which means the kids aren't home and in bed until after midnight. Leaving Friday would also blow a lot of that afternoon getting our campsite ship-shape for inspection, so we'd lose all the fun and games as well as the final shot at Merit Badge requirements. I'd also expect the price to be reduced by the equ
  16. If you haven't already, visit http://www.BeAScout.org, click on "Cub Scouts" and enter the zip codes for Hendersonville & Gallatin. This will give you a list of Packs in those towns, and most should have a contact at the Pack (note some are located at Churches that are of different faiths so you may not consider those suitable). They may not start meeting until September, but I agree with qwasze that visits are important. Does your son have friends that want to join Scouts? Sometimes it makes it easier to have a friend along for the ride if you're not joining a school-based Pack.
  17. I wouldn't have a problem with it, but you've been through a few SM Conferences already so you know what they're like - at least in your Troop. In our Troop ASM's generally only do SM Conferences when a Scout goes through a couple of ranks in a short time. I do one, one of them does one. Good training for them, and the Scout gets a different perspective.
  18. I can't believe there's someone on here arguing against competition. [and apologies in advance to the mods as I'm about to go even farther afield from the thread starters questions] A few years ago, my former CC and I had a mutual epiphany. We attended a District-sponsored meeting about membership, the focus of which was the fact that in our area there are 3 very, very large Troops and about 15 very small Troops. At the time, our Troop was one of the small ones - I think we had 9 Scouts, all but two of whom were 16 or older. We were headed for extinction. So the discussion was ha
  19. I think it would be pretty hard for a boy who's been in a Troop for a couple of years to claim he "didn't know anything about" any of the POR's. At a minimum he's watched the Scouts who have held these positions, and what they've done (or not done). We were just talking the other night about how the schools around here don't even bother to teach kids how to take notes any more. The answer to the larger question is "all of the above." I've seen fully trained, 17-year-old Scouts who simply wouldn't do anything. I've seen gung-ho 12-year-olds who didn't know anything, but had the cap
  20. Haven't done it with popcorn, but have with our fundraiser, holiday wreaths. We've had Scouts take the initiative and go door-to-door down business blocks with tremendous success. We've also had Troop Adults who work in an appropriate type of business post flyers for the sale and in one case, the owner asks everyone who comes in if they'd like to buy (note: a Scout makes the request to do these things, typically - in some circumstances, the "profit" goes to the Troop to help backfill our costs). We also have a strong link to our Alumni, many of whom really enjoy having a Scout stop by to ma
  21. I was right where you are now a couple of years ago. Due to very poor recruiting for several years, we had almost precisely the demographic age-wise you have now. This problem resolves itself over time. 11 and 12-year-olds for the most part do not want to lead. Most of them don't have a clue what to do or how to do it. Most are "avoider" personalities. They will elect anyone who raises his hand. Just because someone is elected Patrol Leader does not mean he knows anything. We are just now - with three 15-year-olds and a handful of 14- and 13-year-olds who have their brains engaged, get
  22. While I appreciate that the local climate can shut down or make difficult winter outings that you'd want to take a Webelos group on, we use that to our advantage. We rent a large lodge (sleeps 80) at a very nice State Park for a long weekend in December or January. We invite all the local Webelos II's to join us. If the weather is fine, we do an outside service project, the Patrols take the Webelos on hikes through the Park, we play games outside, work on Webelos advancement, etc. If it snows, we play in the snow. If it's rainy and cold, we hike anyway, and work on Advancement and play bo
  23. Take a step back. Have you asked your Den Leaders why they aren't attending these meetings? Are you holding too many meetings they need to attend? Do the meetings run long? Does someone take time to find out a convenient meeting date/time that works for everyone?
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