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Posts posted by Jackdaws

  1. We started the year with the everyone has their ranks by February goal.   We realized in December that wasn't really going to happen.   December is pretty much a wash for our pack.  We meet once for a regular den meeting and then another time for our Christmas party and then won't meet back up until after the new year.  


    We just had our rank ceremony last Tuesday.  We still have a few stragglers who still need to earn theirs due to still needing to camp or they started late in the year.   Had 2 join in late February alone.   They are working hard to catch up. 


    February is also a big wash for our pack as we focus on pinewood derby and blue and gold.   We usually spend at least 2 den meetings working on cars.  We borrow a bunch of tools so everyone who may not have tools at home has an opportunity to work on their cars.


    My son(Bear) along with some of the other boys in his den who went to day camp this past summer were about 2 steps ahead of everyone else as they worked/completed on requirements at camp.    


    If you want to get a head, encourage the boys to attend camp so they can work on some of the requirements.   This will free up some time later in the year to work on the electives.   Also encourage everyone in your pack to camp early.  Nothing like being the only one in your den who hasn't camped yet(for whatever reason) to not get your rank with everyone else who you have been with all year long.  Several sad faces last week.  But requirements are requirements.  We offer up about 6 opportunities a year to camp.    


    I hate to say it but I kind of liked the freedom that the old program had with being able to complete a rank requirement in one or two meetings and then you had more time to plan in some electives thru ought the year.  Instead of hammering away at the rank requirements.   I saw this coming down the line so I transitioned from a den leader to the pack committee and also the district committee. 


    Also for next year, now you know what to expect and how long each requirement may take so you can plan now and try to have a better eta on when everyone may finish.   Planning is key.



  2. I am the sign up night/recruiting chair for my district membership team.  Is your unit attached to a particular school? I would get in contact with your D.E. before you do any boys talks at schools.  There is usually a plan in place with the district membership team that coordinates with the D.E. to handle those.   You have to be careful of going to more than one school as some units may be upset that you are encroaching their territory.  Our pack has 2 other packs w/in a 5 mile radius of us.  In that radius there is a library and a large outdoor shopping center I stuck a sign up night sign out near the shopping center that also happens to be across the street from one of those said neighboring units and lord have mercy they had a conniption fit.  Contacted our D.E. about it.   I said "Hey that is a high traffic area, if they want to recruit they can get their own signs...".   But anyway lesson learned(that was before I joined the membership team).  Little do they know that down the line "territories" really wont matter. Its probably going to be a free for all.    Please make sure your Beascout.org unit pin is updated.  This is a crucial tool when its time for recruiting.  I am finding out that a large # of units do not know that it even exists.  :blink:   I got a bunch of blank stares at round table and at Wood Badge when I mentioned it.  Also make sure that you have someone watching the beascout page for any leads and to make sure you respond to a lead as soon as possible.  


    Another idea that I am trying to push is to have parents in your unit go and volunteer at your schools "play day".   This gets you visibility with the other parents who might be there and to get the word out about your unit.  If you plan on having any kind of spring talks make sure you have a strong summertime program in place.   We are asking that units who are requesting a "spring talk" have a strong summertime program in place, not just meet once a month to earn the award. 


    Also plan on having a "Back to the Pack" event either before or just after your sign up night.  We had a fishing event where we invited the boys who dropped out during the previous year and asked that existing boys bring a friend.  Our council advertised it for us.  You just have to provide the information and they sent out the mailers. 


    Sounds like you are doing great and have a good plan in place.  Word of caution, don't over extend yourself especially if you plan on attending Wood Badge.  I was on the district training team along with my pack responsibilities and decided to go to WB this year (this is my 3rd year in scouting) it all can be overwhelming especially when you start thinking about your tickets.  I have had to step back from the training team since I joined the membership team.  2 of my tickets are membership related and the others are events at the district and council levels.   Each person is different but don't say yes to everything that comes along as you could get overwhelmed. 


    As far as training goes, if you have the time and the patience take all of the courses offered on my.scouting(I really hate the new website.  It takes ages to do the training but I believe that is another thread ;) ).  Especially take the planning course on the committee side. 



  3. Not much advice but man oh man I wish our council still did these.  They called it Scout/Cub World here.  With membership numbers way down I really think this is something to jump start people's interest in scouting.   I was told by the council that they stopped having them due to insurance reasons and lack of volunteers.  :(


    I suggested that our district run one for the troops for boys crossing over to see what all is out there so they don't feel they have to go into the feeder troop.  Got a couple blank stares.  Oh well. 

  4. Increasing rates of membership losses at both the youth and adult levels means two things: 1) Fewer Scouts  and 2) Fewer adults.


    Since this trend has increased since 2013 (by nearly doubling, check the threads with these facts noted), why should we not be concerned? There are fewer adults, ergo a smaller volunteer pool.


    I'd love to see stats on the average age of volunteers by unit, district and council over the last ten years. That data would tell a great deal.


    I am on the district committee and at 36, I am the youngest person on the committee.  The average age on the committee is at least 65.   I think its great that people whose children are long gone from scouting still want to volunteer but we need to realize that a 65-70 year old person is not going to be able to relate that well with someone who is 25-28 years old.   I keep hearing in those meetings "It used to be" or  "long time ago" and that I believe that is the crux of the current scouters to potential volunteers.  Granted there are some current scouters who can adapt and work with the younger people,  I have a feeling that the majority can't/won't. 

  5. No need to go all the way to Philmont and cough up $500.00 when if you Google "Millennial's Boy Scouts of America" the BSA already has several pdf's and power point presentations with information on the millennial demographic and what they supposedly are into. 


    According to their studies, these parents "want to be involved and want to volunteer".  I personally would love to know where to find these people because if you look around at our den meetings, the parents are not really involved and are off somewhere in the sanctuary or outside on their phones or pads.  I almost want to see if we can initiate in our pack something like what is happening at Chick Fil-A.  http://inside.chick-fil-a.com/all-cooped-up-how-one-chick-fil-a-operator-is-redefining-the-phrase/.  


    Maybe if these parents can get the screen out of their face and actually see what all happens during meetings and camping they can see that help is needed.  We have the same 5 or 6 people doing almost everything.  Its ridiculous when we have a pack of over 40 boys.  I have a crazy work schedule( like have to be at work everyday at 3am) just like everyone else yet I am doing way more than my "one hour a week".   You are bringing your child for that one hour a week, why not actually get involved?  Then there will be no one to b*tch about how slowly the pinewood derby is going or that its taking so long for meals to come out when we are camping.   Or complaining about how much various activities cost for camping or other events.  They fail to do any of the fundraisers.  


    These millennial's need a swift kick in the pants if you ask me.  I almost have to wonder if the disconnect with them is the whole "vote" issue and they think that scouting is outdated and that they think that scouting will not have an impact on their child's life and they won't learn anything useful. 

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  6. Thanks everyone for the replies.  I know we will probably never go paperless but I need something/somewhere as the awards chair to see everything as a whole.   I am the one who goes and buys the awards and makes out the cards to award them.  We are backwards in our pack as we don't really do immediate recognition.  I can't/don't want to have to carry around a massive bag of awards each week to the den meetings so we just award them at the pack meeting.   So far I haven't anyone say anything or notice that we don't do the immediate recognition. 


    Each month I am still relying on the den leader to email me a list of what each boy has earned.   We still have a die-hard who refuse to use Scout Manager.  Luckily that den is not very big and the boys all earn the same award each month.  So I just have to go and boy 10 of this and 10 of that.  


    We are also needing something online as we have cycled thru 3 Tiger Den leaders this year.  1st one got deployed and is now being transferred.  The other 2 guys who "stepped up" have been sporadic in attendance.  And one of them is no longer allowed to be in the pack due to a domestic violence incident at our cuboree(yeah that was awesome to find out, I had already left the camp out) and now is under a restraining order.  The other comes when he can but he has long days traveling for work.   So now the Cubmaster and I are going to try and step up in the interim until we can get another "volunteer" to be the den leader.  So we need a place that the leaders can keep up with the boys' progress.

  7. I realize this should be in the internet section but since I am looking for input from fellow Cub Scouters, I am posting it here. 


    What online tracking software/websites do you use? Our pack has used Scout Manager for the past 2 years.   I personally don't have a problem with it other than the way it configures some of the awards reports.  As the awards chair its kind of frustrating. I also still rely on the den leaders to send me an actual list of what they show each boy has earned to double check against what Scout Manager shows.


    One of the main complaints we have received is the time that reminder notifications go out.  They consistently get sent out about 2am each time.  Personally I am up at 2 because I have to be at work at 3am so its not the end all be all for me.   However some parents have an "on call" phone and each email dings them in the middle of the night.  I contacted Scout Manager and they said it is a company wide thing.  I am afraid that most parents are blocking these emails and then are not getting the info we are trying to send them.  


    So please sell me on your software.  :)




  8. Do you think it is something that you can help organize and help run remotely?  See if you can recruit a person to be the actual director and to be there on site and you help organize the activities and recruit volunteers.  This way it doesn't die completely and you do not have to take off any time from work. 

    My first experience with day camp wasn't that great.   My son went 2 years ago and the person who was supposed to run it (DE) got transferred up to Ohio right before it started so another lady took over and did the best she could.   She only had about 3 other full time volunteers other than herself to help.  I helped out part time but it was so organized all I ended up doing was stand around watching the kids just sit around and help clean up at the end of the day. It was held at an elementary school so they had only an little playground to play on.  No organized sports arranged.  I know a couple of kids from our pack went the 1st two days and promptly left since it was so disorganized.  The only two positive things my son got out of that 1st year was he learned how to play chess and they had a blacksmithing demonstration that I thought was very cool. 


    This past summer, I sent my son to another district's camp.  Since ours was in mid July and here in Florida its just too hot.   So he went to the neighboring district in early June.  He had so much more fun since it was organized.  It was held at one of our two local council's camps.  So he got to shoot BB Guns and do archery along with swim in the pool there.  


    Depending on when our district's camp is scheduled I may still send him to the neighboring district again since it is at the council camp and this year he should be able to participate on the climbing wall. 


    Sorry I got off subject but I think you can still try to be an integral part of getting a camp off the ground.  Not sure how many camps are offered by your council.  Ours has like 10 different camps the boys can go to.  So the competition here for attendance is fierce.

  9. Well I have been waiting several days to be able to respond I saved what I typed up the other day :)



    As a female I will chime in.


    I don't think girls should be allowed into Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts.    If the girls are so dissatisfied with what the GS offers then they should push to make the change.  Obviously some girls now days are more outgoing and adventure seeking and are not content making pottery, learning to cook and making jewelry.  That's great.  I was a GS for over 3 years and never once went camping, went on a hike once.  We even had a lock in one time, it was pretty lame. So do I feel there was a distinct lack of activities offered as pottery and jewelry were things I was never crazy about. I had to join the BSA with my son to go camping.  To me the BSA does emphasize the physical outdoors more than the GS do. 


    I quickly did a search to see exactly what the GS do these days.  Looks like they offer a STEM program, archery, horseback riding, robotics, hiking and camping.  So to me it looks a lot like various activities that are offered by CS/BS.  http://forgirls.girlscouts.org/home/badgeexplorer/


    If these girls are not getting these activities then they need to push their local councils and at the national level. 


    Also one of the girls in the article was 13.  She can join a venturing crew if she really wants to be in the BSA. 


    I do not think girls should be allowed in.  Boys need a place where they can be rough and tumble boys.  I do think allowing boys in will affect their masculinity.  Call me old fashioned I guess.  Yes, I am a female member of the BSA and am a lot more active than your standard female Cub Scout parent.  And I recognize that when my son crosses over that my involvement in his scouting path will be greatly diminished as he is to stand on his own two feet and join a boy led unit.  I doubt my involvement with the BSA will cease though.  I enjoy it.   


    I hope my ramblings make sense. 



  10. I could have written this exact post but I am having a problem with the actual scout registrations.   No one from the council tells you anything.  After last year and discovering that our pack wasn't re-charted when I attempted to complete a tour permit.  I have been watching the council like a hawk.   We only had about a week to resolve it.  Luckily we did.  I don't understand how come the council will not give a courtesy call to a leader of a pack that has been around for 20 years?   This should be forwarded by the register to the DE and then they contact the pack.  Did we get anything?  Nope nada zilch! 


    We have also had to had several leaders fill out their applications multiple times.   And had to pay for their applications multiple times.  Now I am running into them dropping a Webelos 2 scout that has been on the roster since he was a Wolf.  No notice or anything.   


    Our council has like 1 lady for 15,000 scouts and adults.  I really think she could use an assistant or something... 


    I am going to the council  here in a moment to drop off more adult applications.  I almost have to stand there and watch her put them in to confirm its handled.  I am going to ask if there is supposed to be a notification process or something.  If I do not get a satisfactory answer I am going to the DE about it.  There really should be some kind of checks and balances system somewhere. 

  11. I would like to wear fewer hats.  I guess I am wanting to try and whip this pack into shape.  Our previous CC ran it into the ground financially and we are trying to recover from that.  Size is not an issue, we are on of the larger if not the largest in our district just had poor money management.  :(


    The boys were running in the actual campsite.  One boy tripped on a guy line and another actually fell into a tent(presumably he tripped on something)  It was pretty dark out there unless you were in the actual campfire circle. 


    I am all for wearing them down.  The 3 mile hike they did earlier that day certainly wore my son out.  He claimed his feet were going to fall off.  :p

  12. Sorry to post and dash.  Things got busy at work.  


    Thank you all for the replies.  For those wondering I wear many hats w/in the pack.  Not only am I the BALOO I am also the awards chair and pack trainer.  I was a Tiger and Wolf den leader the 1st two years then I stepped down to join the committee.  I also assist with district training so I have my scouting plate full.  Almost too full.


    My child has been reprimanded by other adults and I have not lost my cool.  I know my child doesn't listen all the time.  He is an 8 year old boy so I don't expect others to be perfect but repeated warnings by multiple adults about the platforms is inexcusable. 


    I feel much better about the situation after reading your replies and speaking with our packs other BALOO and future CM (he will take over in February).  He said he also got some flack from other parents when he called lights out early due to the boys running around the campsite (that's rule #1 is no running) at night no less.  He warned them and then after it happened again, he called them all into the campfire circle and said that since they couldn't follow the rules they were going to bed early.  It was only about 15 min. early but they couldn't follow instructions so there were consequences for their actions. My son had been in our tent for about 20 min before that winding down and reading his bible.  I was honesty surprised that the other parents were upset about it.   Really people?  The boys broke the 1st cardinal rule and did it in the dark no less and you are upset?  We have already determined that the rules will be more strictly enforced for next month's campout.  As someone said if they can't follow the rules they will be asked to leave the campsite.  If you wish to go camping and let your child run wild then they should go camping on their own. 


    Part of me wants to make up a list of the camp ground rules and ask that the kids and parents sign it.  That can be their 1st warning.  Of course that would be when my child decides to run in camp and everyone else would jump all over it. KWIM?


    Thanks again!


  13. Just curious to see if you follow the must be 7 or in the 1st grade rule.  We have a new Tiger scout who just turned 6 back in August  yet he is in the 1st grade.  


    Please bear with me as this might be rambling.


    Reason I bring this up is, I had a little run in with his mother this weekend while doing our camping 101 trip.  At our local council camp there are wooden platforms with tubular frames to support the canvas tents they use for Boy Scout summer camp. 


    Our CM specifically told everyone Friday night that the platforms are strictly off limits.  I had to tell several boys several times to get off the platforms.   The Tiger in question was repeatedly told about 5 times in about a 10-15 min. span to get off the platform and to definitely not swing on the poles.  I warned him that if he does it again, he is done and will have to go sit down.  Well he did it again and so I told him to go and sit at his tent.  Not 5 min. later his mom comes up to me and asks if I made her son go sit down by himself, I said yes I did as he was repeatedly warned to not be on the platforms.  She then starts in with "If you have a problem with my child then you need to come to me!"  I told her that I had asked him several times to follow instructions to not be on it.  She claims that he told her that I made  him go sit down and he was over there for 40 min. I said that was not true as it hadn't been but about 5 min. I had another adult standing there the whole time while I was warning him and when she approached me.  The mom said he shouldn't have been sent to sit by himself as he isn't that old.  She said "he JUST turned 6 and he shouldn't be left alone."  I told her that I thought she would be over near the tent, she actually was in the "kitchen" which is not even 20 yards from their tent.  The said platform he was playing on was a good 40 yards away from the kitchen.  So I naturally got defensive and said he was not following safety instructions and I asked that he sit down.  There are consequences to your actions.   The other adult who was with me started on the mom and said that she was rude to my child (apparently while I was away from the site assisting another district with part of their camporee.)  The other adult said that when the mom said that we were Troop 123(not real#'s) that my son corrected her and said it was Pack 123.  She supposedly said for my son to stop sassing her.  She of course denies this.  The two ladies argue about it for a min. finally I said "Sorry if you feel like you don't like that I made your child sit down but he was asked repeatedly to not swing/play on the platform.  And it looks like you said something to my child and I said something to yours so lets just leave it be and move on.  If you don't like it then you need to speak with the CM"  Well of course she went running to him.  I told him what happened and that I apologized(half heartedly just to get her to go away) but I was not going to take any crap from this lady.  I have invested a lot of time and money volunteering for this pack and that as the BALOO my name was on that tour permit and if something gets damaged I have to answer for it.   If she can't take someone getting on to her child who according to her is young and can't be left alone (even though there were almost 30 people within 30 yards of him) then maybe she isn't ready for Cub Scouts.  She is a elementary school teacher so she should know what her son is and isn't capable of following.  If you feel that your child is too young then he should be at  your hip at all times.  Plus I am sure that she disciplines her students and makes them sit out of activities w/o consulting the child's parents.  So how should this be any different?  She didn't like my son's response, did I tell her that she should have spoken to me about it 1st?  Nope. 


    I feel that he is too young to actually be in scouts.  Yes, he maybe in the 1st grade but just barely.   I spent the rest of my weekend ticked off about it.   I still am somewhat. 


    I am sure some of you will say it was wrong for me to make a child go sit down by himself.  I had no clue that he was THAT young.  I could tell that he was really small.  But I just don't think he is ready to go camping like that.  Maybe my only consolation is that they have now completed the camping requirement and hopefully won't go on anymore.  But I doubt that will be the case.  This mom seems like she would be one to make him go just to spite me.  


    If you made it this far, thanks for letting me vent.  And I appreciate any information on how to handle this situation or to keep it from happening again. 

  14. I just checked ebay and there really isn't any on there.  I am kind of surprised at that.  I would maybe check at roundtables or join a patch trading group on Facebook.  Every once in a while someone will have a stash of Cub Scout patches they offer up. 

  15. Sadly this happens during our pack meetings. It has gotten a little better with us. Being that you have actually handed out a paper saying what the rules are and they still will not follow them, then either you or the Cub Master might have to get up and stop the ceremony and warn the parents about the noise level and ask for some respect for the boys so they can enjoy their moment. Maybe remind them that #11 of the Cub Scout 12 core values is about respect.



    Hope this helps,