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Posts posted by Jackdaws

  1. 25 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

    I agree with the 'don't wait until the last minute' thing, and what it does to those of us who have to stand in front of a room full of parents and or Scouters and explain that we are not the ones to be throwing stones at when these things are announced just before taking effect.  My DC and I were on the way to a meeting at the council office this past Sunday, and were in agreement that if there absolutely has to be a fee increase, it should wait until re-charter time NEXT year.

    I do at times wish there was something better than popcorn to raise funding that helps both the troop and the council.  I know how tough it is to ask someone to throw down $30 for a bag of popcorn, and still keep a straight face.  I also do see the direct results that some of that money that makes it to the council, in the form of camp improvements, scholarships, etc; so I and my Scout get out there and sell as much as possible.

    I have been to many camps that need to do better with restrooms/showers, not just for female Scouts, but just in general.  This summer's out of state camp had shower rooms that were a considerable walk from the campsite, and nothing designating male/female usage, despite several girl troops being in camp that week.  Last summer, we were in a camp that also had very large shower blocks shared by several campsites.  They had put up signs on the row of adult only showers designating them as for both adults and female youth.

    Our local council camp (and based on some of your posts, @Jackdaws, I believe we are in the same council) has restroom/shower facilities in each campsite, so if we have a female unit in camp, they already have their own showers.  Granted, it is limited to 2 showers, 2 toilets, and 2 urinals in each site, but most other camps I have been to, troops would love to have that available.

    As to anyone reading the surveys, I have to believe that someone does.  I know that I go online and read the comments in surveys submitted by school staff after they attend training.  I want to know if they feel my instructors are doing a good job, and if they feel that there are any changes we need to look at before the next session.

    Camp Shands is much nicer than it used to be.   Echockotee still has light years to go on getting enough restrooms.   One campsite has a bathroom that hasn't worked in years.  So it means that multiple campsites are using 1 women's restroom and if someone is taking a shower in there, you can forget it.   For some events they bring in porta potty's.  In Florida, you want to avoid those as much as possible.    ;)

    Its interesting to see from council to council how the restrooms are.    2 summers ago we went to Rainey Mountain and to me the bathrooms were not that great.  My son complained that in the boys shower that several times, someone had pooped in the shower and there were other "bodily fluids" in there also.    We went to Woodruff this past summer and it was so much nicer and a lot more private bathrooms and showers.  Very clean.

    I just feel like the BSA isn't remembering the scout law in some of their decisions.  How are we supposed to be thrifty when given very little notice about a rate increase?   How is that courteous and trustworthy to families?  It hurts potential loyalty also.  Why should we trust that it wont just go up every year? 



  2. No SE, national or council wide should see a raise or bonus for this  year or the next till everyone sees how it all plays out.   Its reminiscent of the government bailout of 2008 where we footed the bill but the big wig CEO's of those companies still got bonuses and came out smelling like a rose but their company and employees took the brunt of the mess. 

    If our troop camps every month next year and my son and I both go it would cost me about $600 for just for the food costs.   Depending on where we camp if there are fees.  It will be more.  Then you have our current monthly dues of $10 so that makes it $720.    Add another $600+ for summer camp and transportation costs we are at over $1300.  If we go to a district camporee or University of Scouting, that's another $100+.  Factor in a few other events and maybe a uniform part and we are at minimum $2,000 a year and that is not including the current membership fee.  That's a lot of money just for 2 people to participate in something if you ask me.  

    I agree with the "we should not have to  pay for past sins" of abuse.  I am very sorry and appalled it happened for those involved. But the BSA should have been saving their pennies over the years for payouts instead of churning out stuff like Scouter magazine.  I enjoy reading it but it takes maybe 20 min. at most to read and I could do so online for free.  God only knows how much it costs to produce it and mail it out. 

    • Upvote 3

  3. 15 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

    Only if it fits the already decided upon agenda

    I agree with this.   I think they sent out the most recent one to test the waters before this rate increase hits.   I wonder if we will see another one afterwards or at the beginning of the year?

    These are the 3 areas I said could use improvement and my responses.  I saw it as an opportunity for a couple rants.  :D:




    • Upvote 2

  4. I can't promote Country Meats enough.  I love them.   Like others say, they practically sell themselves.   Yes, in theory you have to move more product but you stand a better chance of people wanting to get $5-$10 worth of sticks as you will with popcorn or nuts. 

    I also like to support them as they are what I consider a local company for us as they are in our council area.    Excellent customer service also. 

    Plus as a parent I can use one of the promotional items they send you(for free) and just sit a box of them on the corner of my desk and as people walk by they see them and buy them.   I work for a trucking company so items like this are popular with the drivers.

    Image result for country meats

    • Upvote 1

  5. I was hoping to see a couple tips in the article.

    I am sure living in a rich area and having peers' parents who can afford the $21,820-$26,630 tuition for the school he goes to doesn't hurt him at all...

    Now  you show me a kid who lives in downtown Detroit and sells this much popcorn I will be very impressed.   


    • Upvote 1

  6. Um if they already have my application from a couple years current, why the need to do it again?   My social security # hasn't changed and I make sure my council has the most current info on me address wise.    Sounds like something for another data breach to happen.   I know council runs background checks on volunteers.  They disqualified our assistant cubmaster a couple years ago due to a domestic violence arrest and they told him he was on the banned list...:(

    • Upvote 1

  7. 4 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

    Last fee increase was $9.  Not that we allow gambling, but if we did, I’d place a large wager on the over.   

    Delaying an announcement of a fee increase until Nov makes no sense.  Pull the board together tonight and vote on it.  If the internal debate is between a massive fee increase and bankruptcy then declare bankruptcy.  No fee increases will cover the massive lawsuits on top of our current tenuous financial situation.  Laying the financial burden of the failures of the past on the backs of parents of your current membership is wrong.  Fees are a small part of the total cost of the program... I know there are fundraisers, but there are limits.

    Now, if this is a small increase, get over with it and let us know now.  



    I agree.  They have already had their national meeting in Texas so what's the delay? We knew last year LDS was leaving.  Hitting units to tell parents that Scouting will now cost more than they were originally told looks pretty crappy and breeds distrust and for those families who maybe waffling on whether to stay at the end of the year, just go ahead and leave and don't re-charter unlikely to ever return because we didn't tell them the right fee amounts.

    When I was a membership chair, it drove me nuts that council would always be like  "Whoo hoo!  Look at our fantastic membership #'s!"  but the reality was that those #'s you have in September/October are no where near there come February/March when all of the re-charters are in and then the hand slapping begins about needing to get #'s up.  Those #'s are never reliable.   Maybe we should have 6 month charters. :unsure:Then we know where we stand more than once a year.   It would be a nightmare at the council registrars office but hey then you know what you really are working with.

    Councils keep seemingly pumping out more and more exciting things at camps like ATV & Zip line programs that cost a lot of money & higher insurance costs.   Pretty sure boys were signing up for scouting years and years before the ATV's and zip lines came along.   Lets get back to basics and provide the program that was working.   If your council finds our that they have the money for those programs without having to pass on those costs to the parents, then fantastic but the one up manship amongst camps is almost hurting all of us as whole.  

  8. I find it hard to believe that with 3 months left  in the year, National doesn't have a cost.  They need to set it out there soon.   A Scout is supposed to be thrifty and springing a cost increase on people during what is sometimes the worst time of the year financially for families.  Some families have multiple children in Scouting and it could be a bit hit to them and we subsequently lose them.   :(


  9. 16 hours ago, Scoutmom1989 said:


    I am coming into this as a assistant cubmaster my pack is brand new and my cubmaster who is my best friend encouraged me to go because he went this year also im not new to scouting but im new to the training ideas its interesting to see how how different counsils do things but the ideas are the same from my understanding til next year when the course changes how ever u are right u get out of what u put into it.. that i totally get im just nervous being the only one from my counsil going to the course i know its gonna be great and life changing and im gonna make tons of friends and connections... the problem i have is im an overthinker and i keep trying to picture this perfect idea of what its going to be like in my head and im driving myself nuts as well as everyone else

    Our council was one of the few allowed to do the new course this past February.   I went in 2016 so I did the old course.

  10. I tell people about Woodbadge as what I tell everyone about Scouting:  You get out of it what you put in to it. 

    Go in with an open mind.   Depending what you do in Scouting now also will shape your journey.  I was only a Cub Scout leader when I went.  I had no idea on the patrol method and other things that were for the troops.  It taught me a lot. 

    You will see that the bond between some patrols is stronger than others and that could be due to a variety of reasons.   Sometimes life gets in the way.  But its fun to see each person in your patrol complete their tickets and support them in their efforts. 

    I found Woodbadge fun and a good way of networking with other Scouters.   It gave me people for training courses when I was the District Training Chair.   I have also made a lot of friends along the way. 

    As for the Kool Aid/Bug Juice line, my husband who is not involved in Scouting, came to my beading and they served bug juice with dinner and once the beading was over the fun started (song) and he wanted to know what was in the juice.   He thought we were all nuts. LOL

    I used to be an owl...  :D

  11. In my experience with "seasoned" Scouters, they refuse to acknowledge that we live in a different age and its harder to get some of these kids to engage.   We live an a vastly different world than 100 years ago when scouting began.  I have been a scouter for about 5 years so I am somewhat new to the game.   I do think the Boy Scout program as its made is still something that youth need to have available to them and they will learn life long lessons that could/should serve them well one day.    But kids now days are not interested in outdoor stuff.  Its sad.   I will admit my 12 year old son doesn't know how to ride a bike.  Its due to a combo of factors, not living near any other kids his age, lack of interest from him and road conditions.  Mainly lack of interest on his part due to not living near other kids.  We recently got a bike and have plans of him learning to ride as some troop activities and merit badges can be done thru biking.    

    I have grown tired of going to district committee meetings and roundtables as its an old guard vs. new guard battle each month.  Lots of "used to be" or "used to could".   When I was District Training chair I got so many complaints about YPT not being offered in person anymore and that it had to be done online when they rolled out the new YPT.   I finally had to tell them its "2018 and there are computers almost everywhere.   If you need a ride to the library to do it there, please let me know."    I didn't have as much gray hair before that.  

    Now there are some older scouters who are embracing way youth are these day and rolling with it.   That's great and what we should all do.   In my Woodbadge course one of the main lessons for one segment was "Change happens!".



  12. If it were me, I would run far far away from that circus!  Sounds like there is some fundamental issues with the scouts and more importantly with the parents.  These are going to be the parents who do everything for their scout including the Eagle project.  You know the everyone gets a trophy mindset.

    If the Committee Chair is vacant, can the committee actually make a vote for this?   Where is the COR?   I would at the least have a conversation with that person prior to leaving.  Taking over the CC spot will only further fuel the flames that that committee and parent core has.  

    Its a shame, sound like you had a good solid plan in place and was implementing it and the scouts and their parents failed you. 

    #9 needs to be addressed whether you stay or go.   Bullying is not acceptable.   

    Also for those parents who squawked at the # of activities, they should be aware that the goal should be at least one activity or outing a month for a troop right?   Sounds like they never transitioned over very well from Cub Scouts. 

    Also, I used to be an owl... :)

    • Like 1

  13. I actually proposed something like this to some other parents on 7/20 and it was a resounding no.  Only one parent wasn't appalled by the idea.  The one parent was in the 4H as a youth he said they did something like this where they rode them around blind folded and dropped them off in a valley and the adults went up on top of the mountain and observed them from there.    The youth didn't know they were up there.    I proposed that we reserve 2 campsites in our council camp about 2 sites away from each other ( no mountains in Florida :()  We could be close enough to hear if something went wrong but out of eyesight.   Just proposed that they knew we were at the camp but not sure where.   But we would leave them a walkie talkie if needed and hopefully get the campsite nearest the open area where the first aid is and camp master.     Other parents were worried how the boys would do.  Said they were too young for it and would freak out.  I sort of see it as most of our troop is 12 year old's.     Maybe we can try something like this in a couple years when the troop is a little older and more sure of their skills.   But I almost want to force them to use the patrol method and not be reliant on adults being around to help or defuse a situation.   They will need to navigate an orienteering course to retrieve their food and work together to prepare the meals in a true patrol method.  

  14. Our pack crosses over in February-March.   In doing anything later, its doing a disservice to those crossing over.  They wont have an idea on how the patrol method works and wont know what's going on for summer camp.   Also it provides those 5th graders a chance to learn what its like in being around older kids so its sort of preparing them for junior high school.  

  15. Its no secret in my district that I am not a fan of popcorn.   This year our council added selling nuts.  My son has a nut allergy so its a definite "NO!" for us.    Our troop doesn't sell popcorn anymore.  Just for giggles I opened up the order form that the council mailed to me.  Holy moly!  :eek:  We live in what could be called one of the poorer sides of town so finding someone to be willing to drop $60 for a can of nuts and popcorn probably isn't going to happen.    Now  for camp cards I am your girl.   Love those things.  They just sell themselves.  Our council says you have to sell so much popcorn or camp cards to qualify to camp at council camps for free for the year.  Our small troop sold enough camp cards last  year to cover that.   I don't think they actually enforce it but its not that hard to sell 100 cards.

    • Upvote 1

  16. On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 2:57 PM, mrkstvns said:

    Thieves just can't seem to get enough of stealing troop trailers!

    This week another tale of a missing trailer....this time in sunny Florida...


    Yes we have had at least 2 possibly 3 trailers stolen recently here in the N. Florida Council.   Its sad.   When we kept our pack and troop trailers at our Chartered Org. it kept getting broken into.   Cut big locks and mangled the boots on them.    Now I believe they are parked at the SM's Dads house on his land and his Dad is apparently ready to shoot anyone coming onto his property.  So best of luck to whomever tries them.  LOL 


    I think the main problem is that these trailers are easily identified as scout trailers due to the decals on them.   We have removed ours.   Someone suggested painting the unit # on the roof so the thieves cant see it but you have an ID on it when possibly found or looked for. 

  17. 25 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    There have been some good discussions of ILST lately, I'm not sure the best way to find those discussions (mods?). They are pretty good, but with a lot of content, so starting the discussion over is difficult. I'll just say (repeat in short) that I think ILST is a good way to start team development for a new program, but looses it's effectiveness quickly because the syllabus content does not mature with the troops program growth. 

    Youth this age don't enjoy training, especially when they have seen it before. They learn best by watching their older scout role models repeating the lessons learned. If you feel ILST is needed to improve the program, then why didn't the older scouts learn it last year? A habit is developed in practice, not training. 

    I'm not saying don't do it, use it if you can see value in it. But, don't just do it because it's there to do or something to keep scouts busy. Instead, work your program for continued growth in the troop and patrol activities. 


    I definitely see what you are saying in reading thru the syllabus.   We are essentially going to be like a new troop.   If we can get the boys to start running the troop and progressing, they should be able to naturally incorporate their own experiences and ideas into future trainings for the new boys.