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Everything posted by NDW5332

  1. Just curious, where is the Troop's Advancement Chair in all of this?
  2. I don't know what kind of area you live in, if it's economically disadvantaged, blue collar, or affluent, but it looks like you've possibly set up a haves vs. have-nots type situation, where if you or your Scout don't sell the popcorn your Scout doesn't get the rewards for their achievements. Having served as a Pack Committee Chair and Cubmaster myself, I know the difficulties of dealing with families not paying dues and also not being able to sell popcorn and how it impacts overall Pack finances and relationships with Council. If only 19% of the shifts for selling popcorn were claimed, did y
  3. Are you (OP) the Advancement Chair? Have you brought this up to the Committee or the COR / IH? If it's a matter of the family not having the funds to continue in Scouting, perhaps some sweat equity might help offset some of the costs - helping set up for the derbies or Blue & Gold, flipping pancakes at the pancake breakfast. In our pack, we had left those types of decisions up to the Committee with input from the COR / IH. Sometimes you just can't sell any popcorn no matter how hard you try. But if your dues have no padding to them, that might be something else worth looki
  4. I realize now I should have been more clear. Your Charter Org may require parents be included in any communication between the Scout and any adult. Likewise, some parents may insist on being included in any communication involving their Scout. In both of those instances we have to honor those requests. I've seen it from both sides as Advancement Chair for our Troop, and as a MB Counselor for our Troop and Council.
  5. In some instances there will be four people: you may need to include the Scout's parent, cc'd on e-mails for YPT purposes, if the Scout needs to reach out to you to set up the initial meeting, or for completion of partials afterwards.
  6. As of this morning, I'm still able to mark the Emergency Preparedness Award as complete in Scoutbook despite the notification that the award was discontinued 12/31/2021. I wonder if some of the older Scouts have completed the Merit Badge requirements, and may technically still qualify for the award in the same way a Scout can still earn a discontinued Merit Badge if they had started work (partials) before the official discontinuation.
  7. So how would they handle First Class Requirement 4B if a separate GPS device was not available? "Demonstrate how to use a handheld GPS unit, GPS app on a smartphone, or other electronic navigation system. Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination."
  8. I think this is a very good reason for some Scouts not sticking around. My wife is an educator and she's always commenting about some of the rank and Merit Badge requirements and that there are a lot that are not developmentally appropriate for kids under a certain age. On the other hand, I took on the role of Advancement Chair for our Troop and I get a lot of comments from parents of Scouts that drop that gives the impression that they were expecting Webelos 3. Parent: "Whaddaya mean my son doesn't get things signed off? He was there!" Me: "Well, we've said since he started th
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Or you'll have a symphony of ripping Velcro during your meeting as all Scouts realize they have something extra to fidget with.
  13. 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 counsel
  14. 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 insuran
  15. 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 o
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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 pos
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. If I'm remembering Jaws correctly, there's a brief mention/scene of Scouts doing their Mile Swim. At the end of Dolphin Tale, there are Scouts in uniform acting as crowd control during the dolphin race/fund raiser.
  25. When I was a mere Tiger Den Leader, I took OWL training, and one of the presenters was a 90 year old Scouter and he explained the importance of a good campfire story. Then he proceeded to recite "The Cremation of Sam McGee" from memory. While I found the prose to far over the heads of a group of Tigers, I think that poem's mix of an outdoor tale, humor, and the macabre is perfect for older Scouts.
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