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Everything posted by WisconsinMomma

  1. WisconsinMomma

    GSUSA Near Drowning

    I was talking with some friends last night and one recounted a story of a near drowning on a Girl Scout outing. I am sharing this only to emphasize why the BSA's (is that still the right abbreviation?) Safe Swim Defense guidelines are important and useful. Girl Scout overnighter at a campground, note, not a scout camp Most parents not on trip Pool with no lifeguards No one really supervising No swim test Do you see where this is going? My friend who is a lifeguard and swim instructor decided to rent a cabin at the campground and take the rest of her family. Her daughter in GSUSA tent camped with her troop. My friend was hanging out and drinking / relaxing. My friend was not in charge of this trip, not the leader, not the planner, just a parent who decided to come along for the ride. She was a little inebriated and talking to another adult when she noticed "grabby hands" in the pool and went over to tell the girls it's not safe, when she saw the terror in the girls' eyes. About 4 kids in the fray. One not a strong swimmer, pulling on the other kids. My friend tried a reach but could not reach, entered the pool, holding one side of the pool, grabbed two kids and got them out of the pool, the other adult helped pull the two girls out of the pool. I was kind of shocked hearing how this event was (not) planned, knowing at least some of the conditions for a BSA safe swim area. I am thankful for BSA's safety rules. Note -- Parents should ask questions about swimming safety, lifeguards and conditions on outings. Leaders, don't roll your eyes at that one.
  2. WisconsinMomma

    Would you say anything

    I am so happy to hear that you got a very clear response and support. That's excellent.
  3. We are running a brat stand all day today with Cubs and parents.  Wish me luck! 

  4. WisconsinMomma

    Only six months till girls in Scouts BSA.

    I have mixed feelings about bringing in girls early and going coed. I think that following the rules of separate troops and dens is good. I think giving girls experiences is also good. When you decide to skip the rules it gets a little confusing to go on your own. I think it's interesting that this CO said, "push the boundaries". I wonder what kind of CO would do that? I guessed this was in California, but it's in Minnesota, which is too close to home for me! If I had daughters, I think I would want my daughters in a troop that follows the program. Because if a CO is winging it, do they lack discipline across the entire program? Do they follow YPT and the guide to safe scouting? How do you know what program you are getting if the organization is making stuff up as they go?
  5. WisconsinMomma

    Would you say anything

    Barry, really. This thread is about a male ASM losing it on kids in the Troop. There are high-strung men and women who are a problem for the program. Don't bash the moms.
  6. WisconsinMomma

    Would you say anything

    Oh Gawd, a SuperScout. I feel bad for you. But, hey, a guy doesn't get a pass on crap behavior towards kids just because he got an Eagle. He doesn't have special privileges, he's supposed to be giving service, doh! Have you had a talk with him directly and let him know you don't appreciate his behavior? Maybe a little momma bear will help him wake up. I don't mean an angry momma bear, but you can look him in the eye and tell him that his behavior is a problem and you need him to calm down. The best way he can serve your son and the Troop is to give the kids some space to learn on their own. It depends, some Scouters hate women and won't respect a mom. I hope he's not that kind.
  7. WisconsinMomma

    Would you say anything

    Yes, but, this adult is not teaching the Scout Oath and Law. He does not belong in uniform, and Bearess should bring out the nukes, i.e. inform the Scout Executive and ask for help to resolve the situation so no other kids are harmed. Tell me, why should this adult stay in a leadership position? Give me a few good reasons. The kid appears resilient, but that does not excuse the adult's behavior.
  8. WisconsinMomma

    Would you say anything

    Ugh, I am so sorry Bearess. Your son does not need to leave. This adult needs to step down. Screaming at a boy until they cry is not appropriate. I think you should call the Scout Executive and have a conversation, so this is documented very specifically. Get it on the record. Then the Council can decide whether their volunteer deserves another chance to humiliate and bully children or not. The kids need to see consequences for bad behavior.
  9. WisconsinMomma

    Cub Leader who pays for Woodbadge

    I took Wood Badge when my two older boys were just starting Boy Scouts. I am still involved with my youngest in the Cub pack, but if we all stick with Scouting, I'm going to be in the program for the next 10 years. Might as well get trained. BALOO is important for Cub Scouting. I recommend Wood Badge to people who expect to be active in Scouting for many years, and for people who did not grow up in Scouting and would like to experience the patrol method firsthand. My involvement in Scouting is increasing a lot through the Wood Badge ticket work... which is likely a lifelong commitment to Scouting.
  10. WisconsinMomma

    Denied a court of honor.

    If any of my sons earn Eagle, it will be interesting to see what they want for Court of Honor. I can see my oldest wanting something short, short, short and sweet. The other two might like the pomp and circumstance. As I progress towards Wood Badge completion and hopefully, beading, I have to decide if I want something short and small, or invite a lot of people from WB class. It's nearly the same thing as COH and I can see pros and cons of going bigger or smaller.
  11. WisconsinMomma

    Denied a court of honor.

    Just 2 cents - you can handle another post, right? Our troop once had a committee chair who was difficult to work with and antagonistic towards my son with ADHD. I know there are some Scouters out there who do not do well with kids with differences, and who put know-it-all-ness, power trips and ego into their volunteer jobs. It's disgusting. You are not alone in that kind of experience and I'm sorry that your family had to struggle through it. I hope you and the Elks throw your son a fantastic court of honor! Congrats to your son!
  12. WisconsinMomma

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    Hi Scouters, My family returned from summer camp and last night I was chatting with my husband. He asked me how I would handle a bullying situation. I said, the Scoutmaster needs to deal with it and you need to let the Scoutmaster and the CC know. He said, I'm an ASM, I'm responsible too. I said, yes, make sure the SM and CC are on it. Anyway, we talked about it a little more and here is the situation as I understand it. An older scout in leadership may be bulling younger scouts. But there is very little to no evidence. My husband said he had another kid in a headlock in a summer camp in years past. The situation seems to be one where, the older Scout is smart and only bullies when there are no adults present, and no one is seeing anything. Also the scout's father is in Troop leadership. My husband thinks we may have lost a few younger scouts if they were bullied in years past, but again there is no real evidence. I encouraged my husband to work with the CC. Our SM position is in transition. I also told my husband that I feel that this older Scout cannot be left alone in the future. As much as we say we don't want helicopter parents, if there is suspected bullying then I think that the adults must ensure that there is no opportunity for a kid to get away with harassing another kid. If there is bullying, it is certain that other Scouts witnessed it, but nothing has been said about this scout (in leadership, and his Dad is in leadership too, so who are they going to talk to?) So this situation needs to be monitored for a while. The kid is innocent unless there is evidence but it is a challenging situation. Apparently one of the parents of a new scout has sent an email with a concern re: bullying. I also let my husband know that the Scout Executive was a resource. I am sure you have better advice because it is hard when you are close to a situation and the people. What do you recommend? Thank you!!
  13. WisconsinMomma

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    Thanks for the replies everyone, the guys have a plan to talk with both families. Just keep them in your prayers, hopefully it will all resolve well.
  14. WisconsinMomma

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    Hi Eagledad, it's fresh news, like in the last 24 hours, so yes, they need to get on it.
  15. WisconsinMomma

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    Yes, but we can't let an 11 or 12 year old fend for himself against a 16 o 17 year old, either. The kid's dad is the retiring Scoutmaster and the kid will be going for Eagle scout probably within the year, very smart, athletic kid, ambitious. It is a bit delicate. But there is a complaint from the parent of a young scout so that's a legitimate starting point for investigating the issue. I imagine that if bullying is happening, it's a bit of alpha male pecking order type posturing, who's strong, who's on top and who's not strong and not on top.
  16. WisconsinMomma

    Suspected Bullying, wwyd?

    Great feedback, keep it coming. Dad is Scoutmaster who is finishing up his term and he's a good Scoutmaster. Incoming Scoutmaster is good, too we have a lot of really good adults in the troop. I am not sure if kid is SPL now, he was SPL earlier, and they just had elections (I would have a hard time imagining bad behavior getting voted in, but, it's very possible). I will share all your great feedback with my husband later today. Hopefully they'll have an easy time working through it all.
  17. WisconsinMomma

    Parent Wars: The Helicopter Strikes Back

    OK, personally, I don't think this is your problem. I know it is frustrating. You are not the Scoutmaster, right? This is not your problem. This scout will have to start tenting if he cares about advancement. I hope your sons had fun at camp. Try not to stress over stuff that is not your problem. I am sorry but it's not worth your time. If you are advancement chair, make sure you push back on advancement if stuff is getting overlooked.
  18. My husband and 2 older boys are home from camp!  Whew, another year in the books!  Very proud of the boys -- my oldest did Wilderness Survival! 

  19. It's easier to work the scout program than to fix the schools.
  20. I also think with boys, you don't know what they are absorbing. Exposure is good. If they don't look like they are paying attention, they might still be paying attention, you know? And it can take a lot of repetition for boys to get the hang of things.
  21. I'm jumping in without reading the whole thing. I like some of the bookish Eagle merit badges. Communication is an important skill, so is personal finance. I think Family life is very good. If Scouting teaches Citizenship, I think a Citizenship merit badge is good, but maybe it could be condensed? I don't know though, Cit in the Nation was extremely thorough and would be great at helping a kid in school, and probably covers *more* than school does. And that is good. We don't want to lose education in citizenship. I think these life skills, like Cooking, are a big part of "adulting" that seems to be getting lost. I like those merit badges. Just have to mix that with some real fun and goofy stuff and keep it balanced. I do think troops should be separate gender and that summer camps should offer a girls week or a boys week, so that there are opportunities to be single gender. Some of the merit badges are more for younger scouts. Sculpture is easy,, Leatherwork, there's something for everybody. I wouldn't give more restriction. I think that middle school scouts have more time on their hands than the high school kids who have jobs and college applications and honors classes and more intense sports, etc.
  22. I don't have daughters, and am committed to helping our all-boy Troop, but if a girls' Troop needs a female to go along on a campout, I would volunteer to do that or other small tasks if I had the time available to help and all they need is a female to tag along.
  23. WisconsinMomma

    Austistic Scout being bullied

    @TheFlyingMum The head of your Troop is the Charter Organization will be someone called the COR, or Chartered Organization Representative. The head of your troop's Chartered Organization will be someone like the PTO president, or head of the Rotary, or head of the church, depending on what your chartered organization is. You also must contact your Council's Scout Executive asap, and if needed, the national hotline as RememberSchiff detailed above. The info. he linked to is great and I hope it is helpful. Best wishes and thank you for helping Scouting.
  24. I have attended exactly one district meeting, and to be honest, it wasn't that useful. Now as an interim Cubmaster, I should go to district meetings --but tell me, Scouters, what is the point of a district meeting, and what makes a good district meeting vs.. a meeting that could be -- a newsletter? What are the high and low points of district meetings you attend? Personally I wonder if they're mostly a waste of a lot of people's time.
  25. WisconsinMomma

    As an adult, what do you REALLY wear?

    I'm a female cubmaster. I wear my tan shirt, blue loops, Cubmaster patch, trained patch, fleur de lis with centennial ring, a 4 year service star, a wood badge patch in the temporary patch position above the pocket. I have a Wood badge custom jacket and sweatshirt that I sometimes wear. I also have a red patagonia zip up better sweater that I sometimes wear with the uniform. I have green uniform pants, a belt, and nice hiking shoes. I would like to get a name tag. Oh, I have scout socks too! I should add that I walk around with terrific posture when in uniform (although sometimes I have seen myself hunching when talking to small boys, must fix that), and I hope that my great posture is a signal to other Scouters that I'm totally awesome and a confident female leader.