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Posts posted by Jackdaws

  1. 7 minutes ago, desertrat77 said:

    Not very scientific on my part, but I just scrolled through 150+ comments regarding this story on the Wall Street Journal website.

    In summary, many commenters that support (or used to support) scouting feel bankruptcy is the death knell of the BSA.  Not a single comment about about sunny skies and clearer sailing in the future.  Even pro-scouting commenters stated in so many words that the BSA was a moribund organization previous to the Chapter 11 announcement.

    No doubt recruiting, fundraising, and public support will be difficult in the future.  Unit level volunteers will carry the water and face the brunt of public opinion, while "commissioned BSA professionals" will conduct meetings and luncheons with attorneys in their headquarters.

    And when times get tough, fellow volunteers, we can continue to be encouraged by the rallying cry that National issued last fall:  "Sell More Popcorn."

    I fully expect to see membership fees either double or triple in the next year or two.  If the BSA can find a way to not hit us with another increase, it would be great otherwise it may really scare off those who are on the fence and pondering the future of the organization.

    My son will be 13 next month and is a First Class currently.  I am going to try and light a fire under him to push forward towards Eagle.  I am hoping we can hang long enough.   Best I can figure with the time requirements for rank, it would be about 18 months till he can earn Eagle.  I feel that is kind of young, but I would like to see him complete it out and earn Eagle before the BSA dies off(hopefully not!).   

    As for the more popcorn speech we will undoubtedly get.   If we are truly to survive, we need another product for fall sales.   I have no problem selling the $5.00 camp cards and we all know the Girl Scouts have no problem selling their $4-5 box of cookies.  We MUST have something that can compete with those price points earlier in the year.  Is the profit margin smaller per sell? Yes.  Do you stand a chance of someone buying 3-4 items for $20 instead of one item for $20?  Yes, I believe so.   I live on a side of town that is considered one of the poorer sides so $20+ popcorn is a very hard sell.   $5-10 for something is much easier.

    Council fees will also increase.  As the Troop CC I am hoping that we can start to fundraise for re-charter next year just after summer camp so whatever announcement they drop in our laps next October won't be such a sticker shock again. 


    • Upvote 1

  2. 19 hours ago, malraux said:

    One recommendation on this is to be clear with parents in advance that if a scout becomes a distraction or problem the parents will be called regardless of time or distance, so do they really want him on a medication holiday?

    This actually something we are working on putting in the Troop handbook.   Asking that the parents continue to medicate the scout so they have the best possible experience.

    • Upvote 1

  3. 23 hours ago, malraux said:

    Thats, obviously, AHDH type behavior, though of course it could be something else that just looks like adhd. Do you know if either of them have a DX, and as importantly are they normally taking medication to help manage such behaviors? There are ways to encourage parents to give a booster dose before scouts if needed.

    This was a very real struggle in our troop till the end of last year.  

    Some parents see the BSA as Baby Sitters of America and would send their son on every possible campout/lock in to get a break.   But they would not medicate their son during the outings thus creating constant chaos in our troop even during the week at troop meetings(no evening booster dose).  If enough boys from each patrol was present for a campout, we would sometimes combine the groups and it would be groans from the others if one of those 2 scouts were in their patrol.   We tried to preach patience and understanding.  We could never put the 2 in the same patrol, it was just too much for everyone involved.   For one scout, on a rough campout, he was arguing with everyone, saying foul words and apparently a racial slur. Scout was warned with each occurrence that it would not be tolerated.  At the racial slur incident, the parents promptly were called to come pick up their son.  Parents were told that they must accompany their child on any future outings to help curb the behavior.  The other scout,  most camp outs were him whining loudly or crying.  Then on campout last February, where there was worrisome behavior witnessed and an almost fight between him and another scout, we then asked that the parent accompany their scout on any future outings.  These were not isolated incidents, it had been a year or more of various issues.  So guess who no longer went on anymore campouts?   Yep.  We were being for lack of better words: used.    It was our only option as we had tried to work with their behavior for quite a while but we could no longer tolerate hateful speech/un-scout like  and violent behavior.  

    I will probably get flamed but I was never more relieved to hear that 2 scouts were not re-chartering.  Its been much smoother sailing since.  If they had gone to another unit, I am sure it would have been the same situation for whichever unit they went to.   I do feel bad but these 2 scouts just killed our program for a year.  We couldn't get them to cooperate, work on advancement, earn merit badges or participate in meetings other than distracting the others by running around or laying on the floor while someone else was talking.   Most 13 year olds are impatient at the best of times and to add further friction in a situation, we were lucky to only have some bad language and a shoving match be all that happened. 


  4. Webelos should be creating their own menus.   Its required for Cast Iron Chef.

    You can break down meal planning by the ranks.  That way everyone has a role.   Logistically this may create some issues.  Depends on the size of your pack.   As mentioned above, dietary restrictions are a challenge.  My son has a nut allergy so PB& J are a no no.  But my son knows he must be careful.   We have had youth with dairy issues and families with the religious restrictions.  Baked beans were almost always on the menu, we had a family of Seventh-Day Adventist and could not have pork.   We would make a separate pot of beans to accommodate their needs.   Or they would tell us to not worry about it a head of time. 



    Webelos Adventure: Cast Iron Chef

    Complete Requirements 1 and 2 below. Requirement 3 is optional.

    1. Plan a menu for a balanced meal for your den or family. Determine the budget for the meal. If possible, shop for the items on your menu. Stay within your budget.
    2. Prepare a balanced meal for your den or family. If possible, use one of these methods for preparation of part of the meal: camp stove, Dutch oven, box oven, solar oven, open campfire, or charcoal grill. Demonstrate an understanding of food safety practices while preparing the meal.
    3. Use tinder, kindling, and fuel wood to demonstrate how to build a fire in an appropriate outdoor location. If circumstances permit and there is no local restriction on fires, show how to safely light the fire, under the supervision of an adult. After allowing the fire to burn safely, safely extinguish the flames with minimal impact to the fire site

  5. 3 minutes ago, malraux said:

    Top scout for a pack seems incredibly problematic. At least for a troop, I could see the youth able to have a say.

    Politics is the issue.   You could have a scout who goes above and beyond and earns a lot of merit badges and goes on every campout but if the other youth don't like them they wont award it to them.   Troop elections are a popularity contest at times :(

    • Upvote 2

  6. Yes on having the youth (bears and  up at the least) planning out the meals.   We usually had something around if someone wanted something.  Usually it was left over pancakes from breakfast that we just covered and put on a table incase someone wanted a quick snack.  I know its sometimes frowned upon(for critter purposes) but most families bring their own snacks. 

    Personal pizzas are always a hit.   Just need some loaves of French bread, sauce, whatever toppings you want, some tinfoil and a fire.   Kids get a kick out of getting to make their own.   Trick is trying to get the cheese to melt w/o burning the bottom of the bread.   Just have an adult do the rotating of them. 

    Something like this: https://athriftymom.com/french-bread-pizza-easy-make-ahead-camping-recipe/

    I wouldn't go too elaborate for the younger kids but the Webelos need to work on learning to cook and prepare for Troop camp outs.

  7. 16 hours ago, elitts said:

    Are you actually worried about monitoring scout behavior, or are you just trying to short-stop arguments from paranoid parents?

    I mean, in my linked troops there are perhaps 3 girls (out of 18) and 4-5 guys (out of 45)  who actually think of the opposite sex as anything other than slightly confusing classmates and they are already part of the venturing crew where no such rules apply anyway.  Besides that, any sexual or romantic behavior is already against the rules in scouts entirely.  So if you DO happen to have kids looking to canoodle at summer camp and they are willing the break the rules against such behavior, they are certainly going to be willing to break rules against a guy and a girl going on a hike together.  Not to mention the fact that with the way teens and pre-teens work, if they really want to "arrange things" the girl will just go off with a female friend, the guy will go off with a male friend, and then they'll meet up somewhere and the friends will make themselves scarce.

    In the end, I suppose it's up to your troop, but to me it seems about as useful as banning baseball cleats on camp-outs because "this one time a kid wore his cleats in the tent and put holes in the floor".

    I just hope you aren't presenting it as a Boy Scouts of America rule, since there's already WAY to much misinformation out there about "rules".

    Really its a little of both.   We are just now starting to have interaction with other units that have girls in them so we are trying to make sure we have our bases covered.  

  8. 1 hour ago, skeptic said:

    "We want to make sure they know the boundaries."   Basically, this is what I hoped we could share about.  How do we "Do our best" to assure this?  We will never get all, or for that matter, many adults to take the time or to pay attention.  But, at the same time, by having a broad enough group of adults, leaders with actual YP or not, will enhance our chances for issue NOT occurring.  Nothing is foolproof; we all know that.  On the other hand, we need to keep the parameters of protection in view as well as possible.  This is as much for the adults as it is for the youth.  Those of us old enough remember the life-altering fiasco that was "McMartin".  

    Be prepared; work the program.   

    Sorry we keep getting off your question.

    We want our boy scouts to know that they cannot be one on one with a female scout.   It maybe innocent but the other parent may not view this as that.   We are going to tell our boy scouts that another female cannot be your buddy when we do joint ventures.  

    I got onto my son when he was a wolf for being in our tent with a female sibling tagging along.   They went to the tent to get my phone and play games on it.  The flap was open.    I sent her back over to her family and told my son that is not to happen again.   No one other he and I should enter our tent nor should he enter anyone else's tent.  I told him, he can't go off alone like that.   And he was not to be on my phone during a scouting event.  I left it in the tent for a reason.    I tried to instill this into him young.   We talked about not going off with anyone alone or how no one is allowed to see him undressed.   Its a sad state when you have to press this into a child but its better safe than sorry. 

    I don't know if there were really any issues at this past years summer camp that we attended.  I specifically tried to watch the girl troops to see how they did while in the big crowds like at the dining hall and flag ceremonies.   They did very well.   One troop was taking a breather up at the dining hall porch in between sessions.  One girl did say that a couple boys said a crude remarks.   She said she set them straight and walked off.  :D  

    As for parents, if they will not get registered or do not need to and are attending an event, I would have a meeting before the event began or at Friday nights cracker barrel.   Give them a run down of what YPT is and the no no's and let them know, that if observed violating the policies they will be promptly asked to leave for everyone's safety. 


  9. 10 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

    With all due respect, while the training may be only 90 minutes, depending upon geographical location, it may take over 4 hours to download the materials to do the training. I am fortunate in that I have high speed internet at home. But other folks in my district, which is extremely rural, do not have access top high speed internet.  One reason why we begged the SE to be allowed in person YP training, and had a group of about 12 from all over attend.

    I totally get that. I live in a metropolitan city that does have some very rural areas w/in our city limits.   Our own district is quite a mixture of country and metro areas & 2 counties.   I just kept telling those people who fought me on it and who I know live here in the city to go to the library to try and complete it.   Some of our libraries  have meeting rooms you can reserve that have computers in them for more private use.  

    We gave people 8 months to complete it and each month at roundtable and district meetings I caught crap from people complaining.   I had one person complain to me that I had put on a bulletin board at roundtable that their current YPT expires on 9/30/18 at 2359.  She said I thought it was 10/1/18? I just rolled my eyes and walked away.   Some people just like to complain and make waves.  The "we used to do it this way"  & the  "well 25 years ago we did this" people just killed me so instead running the risk of being really rude and un-scout like I chose to step away from the role and them beat up on someone else.  I doubt they will get very far as the current person is a former WB course director and has staffed several courses.   :D 


  10. 57 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    The BSA allows for in-person YPT courses.  Our council does them.  There is a printed syllabus, trainers are certified, and they are required to teach the curriculum "as is".  The presentation has to be up to the level of the online training.  Since you're the district training chair I'd encourage a conversation with the council training chair and YPT champion.  

    I left being the training chair about the end of 2018 mainly due to frustration on trying to get it thru peoples heads that it was not ME implementing these rules, its coming from lots of other people before it gets to little peons like me.  If they want to complain, start in Irving TX and work their way down but let me know how it goes.  :laugh:

    At the time of the new YPT roll out and for several months after they (council) said that no in person trainings for YPT could be held w/o the SE and other key people's approval.   Everyone kept saying it was like a 3-4 hour training when the online version would take 1.5 hours so just do it at home.   Council did hold a couple in person trainings but I don't believe the turn out was very good. 

  11. Prior to the new YPT rule coming into effect in 2018, our pack would hold several group Youth Protection trainings for all parents/guardians.  We would do a parent orientation right after round up and then a couple more before we went camping for the first time.    We filled out training rosters and I submitted them to council for them to hold.   Then they came out with the new training and no one could get an in person copy to do  a group training.  It had to be cleared by the Scout Executive and several others at council.   Jeepers.   We had to drop committee members because for whatever reason, couldn't seem to find that 90 or so min. to take it at home(really lame excuses).   It was a huge pain in the rear end.   I was the district training chair at the time and I was ready to pull out my quickly graying hair.  I caught so much crap from the 60-80 year old leaders who tried to say they didn't have a computer.  I said you can go to the library and use one there for free.  Even offered them a ride if that was really the case.   They got it done but sheesh it killed me and soured me on being the training person. 

    By not allowing in person group trainings, I feel like the safety levels have gone down.   Those who would have been informed previously now  are unaware of all of the new protections in place.   

    We have asked that parents of boys in our troop sit with their son and do the YPT.  We had some issues with bullying last year so we asked it so the boys are aware of their actions and behaviors.  We are thinking of asking it again as the boys are now starting to notice girls and will be interacting with them at certain events and at summer camp.    We want to make sure they know the boundaries.   

    I think where the main issue maybe is the 72 hour rule and requiring the adults to be trained.   If you go on 2 camp outs that makes for over 72 hours.   In Cub Scouts that is going to make for a lot of irritated parents if packs stick to their guns on that rule.  



  12. 6 hours ago, Midwest Scouter said:

    Major Changes For Our Council - District, Venturing, Troops, Cubs, and etc.
    As of Feb. 2020.

    1) No More Roundtables
    2) Merit Badge Counselors will be now be picked by a select council panel and Merit Badge Counselors will now be available to every scout/scout troop in the entire council area instead of just a local district option..
    3) All committees within the district are to be dissolved and taken over by just one committee at the council.  Example; District Committee, District Activities, District Membership, District Webmaster <<< All dissolved.
    3) Only one requirement/point will be left from the original Wood Badge Training Course. Everything else, will be brand new.
    4) Districts can no longer have slogan/chant names. They will be known by Alphabetical Letters ONLY.

    Huge power grab by the Councils.  Is this all coming from the Executive Board? Because of Lawsuits/Payouts?

    My take on all of these.  I don't think this has to much to do with lawsuits and all that hullabaloo.  My guess is membership #'s down with new rate increase and losing LDS.

    1) Round tables is usually the same old faces month in month out.   I haven't been in several months due to taking a breather from my husband's health issues but am wanting to get back in the fold now that I am CC for the troop.   I gleam a little bit of info from each one I go to but like another said its a chance to see friends and network on some levels.   They need some way to get the info out to more units and entice people to come.   I have suggested raffles or a points system to where at the end of the year, an auction for goods is had. 

    2) oh man I see this being an issue.   Yesterday on Scoutbook I ran a MB counselor list for counselors w/in 50 miles and it was 28 people(1 of whom I know just passed away).  The beauty of the MBC application is being able to control at what level you can commit to.   For certain badges that are rather involved or can be somewhat difficult to achieve you may want to limit how many youth you actually take on.  If council keeps throwing youth at you and you can't help, you will get kicked to the curb pretty quickly.   Our council is 1/4 of Florida and serves over 17K youth.  I am a Truck Transportation counselor, there are not too many of us in the council.  Can I handle working with potentially over 100 or more youth?  Heck no.  Scouting is not my full time job.  

    3)this will in turn take ages to actually get an answer on an issue or question.  Plus certain issues pertain to your particular area of the council geographically.

    3/2) So are you saying that all MBC's and other "trained" adults must be Wood Badge trained?  Sounds like a money grab to charge for trainings and will quickly wear people thin.  Its like pulling teeth to get people to do the required training now as it is (speaking as a former Dist. Training chair)

    4) "So where are you from?"  "Oh we are from B."  Talk about confusion.  10 Districts alone in my council.   I live in the largest city by area in the continental united states.   

    Sounds like a bunch of cut backs about to happen at councils starting at the D.E. levels and working upwards.    Not sure about other councils, we have D.E.'s and Field Directors and others upwards. 

    Burn out galore will hit councils along with frustrated volunteers leaving. 

  13. On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 6:50 AM, Eagle94-A1 said:

    One parent was so made that the son was enlisting in the USAF that not only did they refuse to write the letter, but also kicked him out of the house. He was delayed entry, and spent his senior year living with the SM and his family. It was a mess.


    Wow that's sad.   Certainly a lot worse things that a young man can do with his future than enlist in the military.  Seems like they would be proud...

  14. 2 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

    I can vouch that not all reference letters are positive.  I have NEVER seen them returned to the Scout.  They are read by the BOR members prior to inviting the Scout in the room and then retained and destroyed by the BOR chairman.

    Yes, one letter did say something not totally horrible but wasn't overly glowing.  The way I interpreted it was that with some prodding, the scout is helpful.  It made me kind of smirk when I read it.  Like "yeah I can see that"...

  15. 7 minutes ago, NealOnWheels said:

    From the Guide To Advancement:

    "Completed reference responses of any kind are the property of the council and are confidential, and only review-board members and those officials with a specific need may see them. The responses are not to be viewed by or returned to the Scout. Doing so could discourage the submission of negative information. For the same reason, those providing references do not have the option of giving the reference directly to the Scout and shall not be given the option of waiving confidentiality. Once a review has been held, or an appeal process conducted, responses shall be returned to the council, where they will be destroyed after the Eagle Scout credentials are released or the appeal is concluded."


    I tried to do a quick search in the GTA and it failed to bring up a result.  I think my computer is scouted out.  LOL.



  16. I have a scout who was recently awarded the rank of Eagle.   He is asking for his letters of recommendation back for his Eagle memory book and possibly to have displayed at his ceremony.    The advancement chair said he is not allowed to have those letters back.  Why is this?  Once the scout has been awarded Eagle, what is the harm in returning the letters to the scout?  FTR I read the letters as I sat in on his Eagle BOR. 

    His older brother received his letters back after obtaining Eagle.  We have a different chair from when his brother went thru the process. 


  17. Great story.   I am hoping for our troop to start working on E-prep prior to June 1st (Hurricane season starts).  Many people here in Florida are not very well prepared for a disaster.  I have supplies but not everything we should have.   But being a scouter has given me a lot of supplies needed.  :)

    • Like 1

  18. Sorry to sound stupid here but what is a BB device?  Tried to google it and it only came up as Blackberry devices.  

    Just now, Jackdaws said:

    Sorry to sound stupid here but what is a BB device?  Tried to google it and it only came up as Blackberry devices.  

    never mind. I re-read it and saw it was a gun.   Sheesh. More coffee!!!!!

  19. Wanted to follow up.

    I sat in on one of our scouts Eagle BOR last night and while there, I asked the District Advancement Chair about the not needing to find another counselor. I told him I already knew the answer as I have read the GTA and other materials but I wanted to hear it straight from the horses mouth.  He confirmed that any youth needs to seek out another counselor to finish up a partial from summer camp.  

    Can't wait for the drama to ensue from scout and his parents on this.   I will simply hand them the MB section of the GTA and said let me know when you need to find some counselors for the remaining badges and walk away.

  20. 45 minutes ago, dkurtenbach said:

    @DuctTape made another important point:  youth need to be able to imagine themselves as heroes because of what they will learn in Scouts.

    I always liked the "Don't judge the hero by the size of his cape" picture as a marketing tool.

    Maybe do another marketing campaign similar the one they did a few years ago, with the cape and dirty scout etc. I thought it to be really clever and pardon the term "cute". 


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