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Everything posted by WisconsinMomma

  1. It does sound like camp merit badges are of various quality levels. 5 of the boys last year earned Swimming and I heard they worked hard on it, and it's hard to ignore those requirements. My boys have done some easy merit badges -- Mammal Study was finished at camp his first year but he came home with homework for Geocaching and Sculpture, and they didn't get done until February. This year they came home with no partials, and I question the Chess badge my oldest received. We'll have to play some chess over the holidays.
  2. I am a merit badge nerd. There are a couple merit badge universities in our council, and I like the idea. My sons have not been to one and I'm not sure that it fits in our calendar this year. Two technical colleges host them, and I think it's a wonderful way for boys to go out and see a place of higher education and be in an environment that has a lot of the equipment, along with knowledgeable instructors. In our area, the welding workshop is popular and it has a waiting list. What a great way for a kid to see if he has interest in welding, and possibly find a future job. I like all th
  3. Hi Scouters, I'm interested in hearing your perspectives of how Scouts should or should not pursue the rank of Eagle Scout. OK, maybe this is a dumb question, but what are your thoughts and feelings about a boy's journey through Scouting whether he achieves Eagle rank or not? I am observing, through adult discussion, two Eagle candidates who seem to be close to their 18th birthdays, who need to complete one or more merit badges very soon. Like, very soon, as in, they may not make it all the way to Eagle, they may stop short at 90% or thereabouts. Of course, missing a goal i
  4. My husband uses a CPAP machine and has had it now for a little over a year. He takes a battery when he's camping outside. At my Wood Badge, several CPAP users were placed in a cabin with electrical outlets to meet their needs. I think they were grouped into the same patrol? Maybe I have that wrong... I'm not sure but a whole group was in a cabin because of the need. Honestly I don't care for the CPAP machine and would like it if my husband were able to get away from the need for it, which would mostly require weight loss. He's not sure if losing weight will be the cure, but go
  5. When my sons need to call the Scoutmaster, now, this was for their first few times, I would write them a list of the points they needed to make in a conversation. This was something my dad taught me, now to prepare for a phone conversation. Think about what is important to communicate, make some notes, and then make your call. Now they do their calls on the fly, but I will probably still teach them to make their own prep notes before making important phone calls.
  6. Helpful Tracks, yes, I'm being totally honest about what I was like when I was learning about how the Troop works. Now, I am more relaxed, but I think these kinds of concerns are common, and it's part of learning how things work in Troops. ETA: I am hanging around here to learn from you guys, doh!
  7. Thanks to WRW_57 who recetly shared this story about a young Polish scout who survived Auschwitz: And here is an amazing graduation speech from Admiral William H. McRaven that might be wonderful to share with Scouts -- abbreviated? https://news.utexas.edu/2014/05/16/mcraven-urges-graduates-to-find-courage-to-change-the-world Either of these might be good food for thought for a Scoutmaster / Cubmaster Minute.
  8. Would this be interesting story to share for a Scoutmaster minute? Thank you for sharing.
  9. The CO owns the Pack, but they do not own the people in the Pack. I find it unreasonable if a CO attempts to limit whom a free person can communicate and associate with. The boys and families are free to choose. Don't be a jerk about promoting other Troops in front of the CO, but if your den leaders are going out into the community there is nothing wrong with that. They should know that they have options, and it is unreasonable if the CO wants to pretend the boys and families have only one choice. Hope that helps. A song: You don''t own me I'm not one of your many toys
  10. My son picked his troop because they played some ball oriented game in the gym before their meetings and he liked that.
  11. OK guys, so now I have to decide how much of a rabble rouser to be at tonight's committee meeting. Do I... a) suggest the candy fundraiser as something for the PLC/Troop to consider (I would offer to coordinate if the Troop wants to pursue it). b) suggest that the boys pick their own summer camp destination and have choices, although there is already a deposit on the 2018 summer camp venue? c) smile and nod d) look for opportunities to ask - what do the boys think of that? e) ask what the PLC has been working on lately Thanks for your help! Honestly I am
  12. Scouts can choose their own troops, and your district should back you up on that. Have fun!
  13. Yes, I think there is a disconnect between AOL and Boy Scouts. My den of AOL Scouts did all the Boy Scout Adventure requirements last year. We basically did the book. Throughout Cub Scouting we worked through the handbooks, and honestly I was not thinking at all about Boy Scout preparation until the AOL year, or 7 months, as it really is. The boys in my den went through the Boy Scout prep but the parents weren't all there, it wasn't a parents intro to the BSA course. My main motivation was to encourage interest in the boys crossing over and for the boys to pick a troop. Their troop pick
  14. If the young lady comes from a well-connected family, I'd think she hardly needs Eagle Scout on her pre-college resume to achieve her life goals. Women have been achieving great accomplishments sans Eagle Scout designations... for all of history. I hope the effort to join early is not political, and really just a true desire to have the full experience. Anyway, it's not my circus or clowns.
  15. I don't understand why you feel personally insulted because a parent with little camping experience is concerned about their child's safety. It's natural for a parent to worry over their kids as they try new things. When my oldest first joined Boy Scouts I worried every time he was away from home, not so much for safety but for getting along with others and having a good time, staying involved, etc.etc. It takes some time to switch from Cub to Boy Scout mode, it's not automatic. If in Cubs kids are getting things checked off every meeting, then it's very different to switch over to Bo
  16. You can also have the Tigers lead grace to contribute to a shared meal experience. Duty to God, oh my! Keep it simple, make it fun! Rub a dub, dub, thanks for the grub!
  17. Don't call it a Tiger den campout, call it a Father-son weekend, leave the uniforms at home, be safe and have a great time. Not every camp experience has to be an official BSA camping experience. (Had to look up apostate, good vocab!)
  18. Setting up tents is a great idea. Finding sticks for kindling is another good one.
  19. I'll add that the girl and family seem to be asking politely for what they want. If you want something, it's OK to ask. They might get permission, they might not. As long as they are gracious about asking and about receiving an answer, I don't see a problem. I have no idea who this family is, btw.
  20. In my experience as a female Den Leader working with boys, I have never really been alone with boys. There are always parents around, and that's a good thing -- I welcome an extra set of adult hands and eyes. Our CC's son was in my den so she was also around a lot of the time. I am allowed to be alone with the boys but that's never how it worked out, and IMO, that's good! Should a man be allowed to work alone with a group of girls? In theory yes, In practice, that's not how it's going to work out anyway, the girls will have parents sitting in the back of the meeting room, etc. Cam
  21. Are you having a Pack overnighter? Den-only camping is not recommended by the BSA: https://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss03.aspx Sky is the Limit and Tiger Tag sound appropriate for your Pack camping trip. Tiger Tales and tall tales is also a fun one. You can do other activities of course, and if you want you can have them make trail mix or something like that if you want them to have "cooking" experience. Learning a magic trick can help a kid focus. And they are not easy at all! Otherwise Google and Pinterest can give you tons of ideas for fun
  22. Of course that is baloney, but... let's talk about society in general. According to this -- Child sex abusers are "overwhelmingly male, ranging from adolescents to the elderly." http://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/statistics-on-perpetrators-of-csa So, if the goal is risk mitigation, I can understand it.
  23. I'll describe how Cub Scouting is working in our Pack / dens and perhaps we can figure out how it might work with girl dens. Our Pack has one Pack overnighter, a Friday - Sunday, with two nights sleeping in cabins. Tigers stay home. Wolves - Arrow of Light can come, parents are invited, but not required. We get a lot of parents, which is understandable because for many of the newer scouts its their first time away from home at this kind of thing. All the den leaders go, male and female, and no unregistered youth go along, it's Scouts only. The leaders who attended are -- Committee
  24. OK, I just have to say that your work to get to Eagle is obviously not meaningless and no one can take that experience or honor away from you. Also, there have likely been boys who have skirted the rules and been awarded Eagles in less than sterling fashion. I'm not saying it's common, but in the numbers of people in Scouting and the, er, variations in local Scouting, some people here and there probably have been given exceptions and lax standards, etc. Just because someone else had the rules bent does not diminish your accomplishment. I understand it will feel like that, but don't se
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