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NDW5332

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About NDW5332

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  1. Sometimes it depends on who's doing the asking. I was CC for the better part of 4 years for our Pack before taking over as CM for most of our final year until my son earned his AOL and crossed over. One of the hardest jobs I had as CC was to fill the open committee positions, and I had a lot more say "No" than say "Yes", but what really bugged me after the fact was that many of the parents that said no to me, said yes to my replacement. It turns out that they were all very close friends outside of Scouts, and I was an outsider to them, so it became more of a club for them and an excuse to hang out more.
  2. Was the committee member the letter was shared with the Committee Chair or just another member? If it was Council that removed the ASM, then at the very least the Troop's Key 3 needed to be advised, along with the IH (if the COR was not the IH). Depending on what the accusation was that resulted in the ASM's removal, it may be prudent to advise select committee members of the situation - such as if it was financial impropriety or theft, the Treasurer may need to audit the books. If the accusation was abuse, then necessary YPT and G2SS precautions will need to be enacted.
  3. My son is kind of in the same boat, but he's got the triple whammy of trying to finish off his hours for Citizenship in the Community, plus the hours for his rank advancement, plus hours he needs for his Confirmation (non-Scout, but still...). His issue was that he had already started his hours at the local charity for Cit. in the Comm. MB and was half way done when COVID hit. The charity has reopened, but in light of COVID and a scandal involving a director there and an underage volunteer, the volunteer program is on hold and is being re-evaluated. His choice was to wait out the charity, or to re-do his hours elsewhere. Not normally a problem, considering the other hours he still needs to fill. The challenge he's seeing in our area is that, in light of COVID, youth volunteers are getting sidelined, either for safety reasons because he's a minor, or because there are actually qualified adults the charity would rather take over the inexperienced youth. (The animal shelter he looked into as part of his MB, for example, has an influx of former professional pet groomers and veterinary college students that were sent home.) There's an increase in Scouts and students looking for a dwindling number of service hour opportunities and the only thing he can do is keep plugging away.
  4. Or you'll have a symphony of ripping Velcro during your meeting as all Scouts realize they have something extra to fidget with.
  5. In any of the Merit Badges you listed, I don't see anything that seems too superfluous. Yes, some of the requirements parallel some found in Cit. in the Community, Cit. in the Nation, and Cit. in the World. I liken it to being in college and having to take a general US history class to meet a graduation requirement, and then finding it interesting, taking a separate class on the Civil War or the Industrial Revolution as an elective. An interested and invested Scout will see the differences and nuances in each Merit Badge and learn from them accordingly, especially with an invested MB counselor, Troop leader, or parent to assist. As I recall from the press release, the proposed new Merit Badge is Diversity and Inclusion. Emphasis mine. Everyone seems to forget that part. I never thought that Diversity and Inclusion was something necessary for instruction because it seems a no-brainer, but having gone through some mandatory D&I training at work, I do see the value of it. While the Merit Badges you mention give examples of diversity, they don't necessary explain why it's important. Likewise, I don't feel they don't cover inclusion and its importance much. It was explained to me as such: Diversity is being invited to the party; Inclusion is being asked to dance. Diversity and Inclusion is not political, it's an act of kindness.
  6. But the problem for my kids right now is that their pediatrician has cancelled all of the scheduled physicals, this includes all camp and sports physicals, along with the annual "wellness" visits to limit possible exposure. He said he's not planning on resuming those until some time in the summer. When he does resume, it'll probably be long after any camp forms would have been due. Also, at this point, I'm not looking to start doctor shopping either to find someone that would do that work. I don't need the headache of filling out extra paperwork both with any new doctor or with the insurance.
  7. The one big drawback to the PTAC merger, I think, was poor communication about the benefits of the changes to the proverbial "rank and file" and it ticked off a lot of people, particularly parents and other Pack/Troop volunteer leaders that weren't as involved on a district level. Changing day camp locations, cutting back on offerings, and centralizing popcorn distribution definitely have major financial and organizational benefits to the merged council. But talking up all of these benefits while minimizing the inconveniences came across as hypocritical and patronizing. Parents were upset over the new availability of day camp or STEM opportunities and some outright left the program over it. Our Pack's Popcorn Colonel complained to everyone she could about issues she had with Council's new coordinator she had to deal with over missing orders and missing prizes and our DE's reply was "Take it to Chicago". That with the extra driving she had to do was her last straw and she quit. It seemed after the merger, we were being introduced to new Council Key 3 every month at Roundtable. This made it especially difficult to plan district events with input from Council, and again more hurt feelings.
  8. We were in Calumet Council when the PTAC merger came about, and I remember a lot of anxiety about what properties would be sold off and which would be retained - the only guaranteed property that would be kept was Owasippe. I was told at one of our roundtables that prior to the merger that Cal Council was going to use their excess capital and "a lot of dedicated volunteers" to upgrade their properties, so they would be less likely to be sold off. As far as I'm aware, it was most of the old Des Plaines Valley Council properties that were the ones to be sold off. Finances aside, as a Cub Scout Committee Chair, there seemed to be an extra layer or two of bureaucracy that came along with the merger, when I needed help with various issues that arose in the Pack. The new "central" location we were told to use for popcorn distribution was an extra hour and a half away for our Popcorn Colonel, which was a major inconvenience. A lot of the traditional Cal Council events that we previously participated in were discontinued in favor of more "central" events.
  9. I do see merit to this project, however, I think it needs to be more clear about the benefits to the beneficiary and why they need it. The positive environmental impact with the ecosystem should be secondary. While I understand that food purchases from the beneficiary would be a secondary financial benefit from the service project, the Scout would probably want to think about getting some food donations for the workers afterward, especially if it's been a long day. Asking people to help, then telling them they'd have to pay for their own food may rub some people the wrong way.
  10. Our Pack worked to involve some of the local Troops to provide volunteers to help run our various derbies. Because our Pack was relatively large (it varied between 40-60 kids), and siblings made things even more crowded, we had some of the Boy Scouts run Scoutcraft stations in the back of the hall where we were running the derby. These were somewhat popular, and typically focused on things like knots or carving. They were especially popular with some of the Cubs that were behind on their advancement because they didn't show up for other meetings. For the Troops, aside from the service hours and some free hot dogs, it served as a great recruiting tool.
  11. Then you are very, very lucky and have done a very good job managing all of the food and utensils to prevent cross contamination. Having lots of experience on both the Pack and Troop level dealing with several food allergies (peanut/tree nut, gluten, dairy) I've seen more often than not it leads to very picky eaters. In my son's case (peanut/tree nut), the Troop we're in now has been exceptionally helpful, and was one of the reasons we chose it. In the Troop, he's been integral to menu planning on the campouts he's participated in and that's been a huge help. It also helps that there's a maturity in the older Scouts that is generally more respectful and understanding of the allergy, and that there are other Scouts that have allergies as well. In Cub Scouts, we had great support from the other leaders in the Pack, and they really did their best to help, but the allergies were looked on as no big deal by the other parents that would "help" from time to time and it became an issue. There was no concern over cross-contamination and meals were a free for all. The "peer pressure" to try new foods often backfired and made kids feel more excluded. The Bear Picnic Basket elective was usually problematic because GORP was almost always made by well-intentioned, but misinformed families because the allergy Cubs couldn't eat it and the Cubs that brought it would get offended they didn't. Day camp wasn't a problem because everyone usually brought their own, but the chow line at family camp was a big issue. They would try to have the Cubs with allergies go first through the line, to minimize cross contamination and to get first shot at the allergy friendly entrees, but this would lead to hard feelings (why do they go first!?!). Then the rest of the kids would eat the rest of the allergy friendly food and someone inevitably got left out. I leave that on the management from Council.
  12. Kids not worrying about it, I can handle. My own son was in this camp until recently. It's some of the parents that are just outright indignant: "My son shouldn't have to ask you to sign off on xxxx! If he was there and did it, you should sign for it." I will say this about our Troop - I believe that we have some of the most flexible adult leadership. Our SM has done Scoutmaster conferences at a McDonald's on a Sunday afternoon because that worked out for a Scout's schedule. I was even able to set up a BOR for one Scout while he was at summer camp because he reached his time in a position of responsibility and we had enough adult leadership ready to make it happen.
  13. As a relatively new Advancement Chair for our Troop, we've had some difficulty with the group of Scouts that crossed-over this past February / March with most not having earned their Scout rank yet. What is particularly frustrating is the fact that most of those that haven't "ranked up" went to summer camp and continue to be active participants in Troop meetings and other activities (camp outs, Scouting for Food, Popcorn, hikes, etc...). The root cause, as I see it, is still the Cub Scout mentality that they should have things signed off simply by participating. They don't seem to grasp the concept that THEY need to approach the SM or ASM (or SPL or Troop Guide) to get tested and signed off. I feel at times I'm talking myself blue explaining this to them. The other leaders explain this to them. I guess you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink...
  14. I think LaSalle Council themselves raise money by selling parking spaces at their council headquarters in South Bend, right across the street from Notre Dame, on football Saturdays.
  15. I wonder if the intent with the Blastcars was to provide a source of parts for someone building their own model: i.e. axles, wheels, eyelets, etc... It might be an easier source of parts if the Scout in question doesn't have access to a fully stocked hobby shop where they could get what they need for their own model.
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