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Everything posted by Longhaired_Mac

  1. I currently am serving my second consecutive year as Lodge Advisor so I'm speaking from my personal experience and big mouth. Many have heard that most youth programs are struggling. Sports, Scouts, Art & Music programs. Recruitment is where the money and attention go but retention is more, "We'll get to it next year." OA National believes, and I'm certain they wasted lots of funds to research it, that if Ordeal Members are encouraged to seek Brotherhood or that if they can have Members attend 2 consecutive OA events within a 6 month period, then they are more likely to remain active. In fact they sometimes refer to Brotherhood as "Activation." They are attempting to build in a more proactive approach of membership retention. This is a good thing so far as that idea goes. How Lodges implement that idea, or even individuals...well that will require finesse and needs plenty of grace for error in application as it were. So yes it's appropriate for OA Rep's and other OA members to ask/encourage Ordeal members to grow in the organization. I see a lot of nagging by SM's and parents in scouting. No one enjoys hearing it but the repetition factor does eventually help some things sink in. Hurry up and get Eagle before you age out. Where's your blue card? You should help with service projects for other Unit members. Where's your blue card? the OA..etc. Where's your blue card?! You get my meaning. Teenagers are not the most motivated people the majority of the time no matter how good of a scout they are. If the SM and his son are laying the pressure on thick they probably need to hear it so they at least understand how it's being perceived. The Scout in question was voted into the OA by his peers ideally to recognize his Scouting spirit and camping know-how. That is really awesome. But he didn't have to participate and still doesn't. Because like so many things in Scouting, You get out of it what you put in to it, no organization of Cheerful service wants a member working double hard to avoid work and have pity parties that drag others down. He can always change his mind later but the Arrowman needs to stop making excuses and hurry up and get Brotherhood or state plainly that he isn't interested, then deal with what follows either way. Time to nag Dad and get him off the fence.
  2. Just back from Wood badge. W1-604-19 100th anniversary. Bobwhite Patrol. My friend got his Silver Beaver this year and landed in the beaver Patrol. And He is working on a scout camp's pond for me during an OA weekend. Seems he's stuck with the Beaver as a personal scouting totem lol.

  3. I attend NOAC when I was a rather scrawny introverted 15 year old, solo of sorts. No one else from my lodge was headed there but I was able to travel with a Lodge 3 hours from me. The other Arrowmen went out of their way to include me and I had a blast. I even joined them on a basketball team and we came in second place for our region. OA is kind of like the magic school bus, you won't always know what you are going to be doing, but you know you will probably get dirty, and probably have tons of fun. And the key to that is to communicate. With OA members in your unit, or chapter, or lodge. Your solo plunge may turn you into the spearhead leading the charge.
  4. I'm Attending the ALS/DYLC training this weekend. I've heard that it's similar to Wood Badge, But I haven't taken Wood Badge yet. I'm happy to report back what I learn but was wondering what to expect. Has anyone else already taken the seminar?
  5. I don't have the years of experience or training others may have so may lack the finer points on elections and my Guide to Unit Election's was handed down to me so it may be out of date. And I'm not trying to antagonize anyone. That said, the first part of point 6 in the Unit election rules, ( 6. A voter may list on his ballot any combination of names, including all eligible candidates he believes are worthy to become members of the Order of the Arrow.) allows for possibility of write-ins without stating it outright. I understand it may not be the intent but a perturbed Scout or parent will shade-tree-lawyer the words "may list," to mean write-in in a heart beat. I do not have a copy of the Guide for Officers and Advisers but have been told the same point is in it. As to nullification of candidates, Voiding may be a better word. The SM cannot adjust the results but can let the Election team know of circumstances that may require the vote to be void. In the case of first-years not being allowed by the SM, if they were added to the ballot, such as a write-in, the SM's "ok" was not given so the candidates election would not have been valid. Other voiding of elections or candidates where they might not have been valid can look like... the SM confuses the boys names and the wrong person was voted in, or they expected requirements to be met and so the SM provides a Scouts name for a ballot but that Scout doesn't meet requirements by election time. It shouldn't happen but it does, and voiding the vote can occur. In your case it sounds like the SM's "ok" was given in good faith to the election team previous to the vote so their results should stand. But I don't know that it's mentioned in the guide specifically either.
  6. As Chapter Advisor and having just finished our chapter elections last month and having had a few exciting conversations with unit CC's and SM's over election outcomes, I'd like to put a few points out there. Are there mature 11 year olds, experienced in outdoor activities and capable of induction weekend? Undoubtedly. But if your child isn't SurvivorMan at 11 he probably isn't going to enjoy induction weekend anyway or participate later on. Just another Sash-N-Dash. So why press it? While the SM may not have had first year Scouts names on the ballot, the election team should have made the rules of the voting clear. Including Scouts being able to vote for themselves, AND to write in someone they feel should be on the ballot. Even if the election team or SM had to nullify it later. If parents didn't know of the SM's decision before hand then it's highly unlikely that any of the Scouts knew either and as such were free to write in worthy candidates. Either individuals didn't feel they were ready or their peers didn't. The Order of the Arrow is not a popularity contest it is an Honor Society, not everyone gets in...period. Scouts need to have invested time and energy in camping to have earned that respect among their peers. It is not the same thing as advancement and it surely isn't about just fulfilling requirements. Unless it's a small Lodge the election team should have been Youth lead. The Scouts voted not the parents or leadership. The OA has many adult Advisors who get to talk all they want but the Youth make the decisions. Sounds like your Unit made theirs.
  7. Our patch is rather thoughtful in it's way. The constellations represent different Lodges. The Black Bear represents Moskwa 301 and the Salmon Represents Ump Quah 335. Both merged in 1992 to form Tataliya 614, the Big-Foot. Observe and preserve the Traditions. We currently also have 3 chevrons that go with our Lodge flap. Each one representing a camp within our Council.
  8. Just my 2 cents. As Liz says above, it will always be his first time until it isn't. And the anxiety may grow each year it's not faced. So off to Camp he should go. Should Mom go along? Leadership usually is thin on outings and chaperoning parents have almost always been welcome. So go and learn more for yourself. You being there won't actually allow him to deal with his anxiety though. You might be able to remind him of self-soothing techniques his therapist has given him but any of the adult leadership can be prepped and ready to do the same thing. What will help most with his anxiety is familiarity in tasks. Knowing all the steps to each task he will be expected to perform while at camp. Now obviously he can't know the info to be taught in Merit badge classes, that would defeat their purpose. But you can find out from the SM what daily chores are required by the Scouts and then practice them with your son. Will he be sleeping in a cabin, Adirondack tent, or a troop tent? Find out which and teach him the skills to setting them up and taking them down. Packing and unpacking his personal supplies so he understands how his pack works. As a boy my troop would have races to see who could get their tents up in 5 minutes or less at each of the weekly meeting for the month before camp. The repetition made it less work at camp and served us better when setting up in the rain or dark on other camp-outs. The repetition for your son will create order and focus in his thoughts, pressing his anxiety to the back for awhile. Also prep for the social anxiety aspect. Have play-dates with other scouts his age that you know are going to camp. Have them bonding with each other so they act as a support system for each other while away. And if you include the other scouts in your camping prep, well the repetition wont hurt them either. Do verbal quizzes on the info while in the car or shopping. Don't let him focus on the anxiety, only on the tasks he needs to do and how to do them. Side note: work on his swimming skills. While all water craft require life jackets, most camps won't allow water craft use if you can't pass the swim test. Camp sucks if your swim tote stays hanging in the non-swimmer section. It may be embarrassing which can lead to stronger anxiety.
  9. I have a few points and they don't necessarily correspond with one another: What your son, and husband, are doing to me is the equivalent to being offered the option of a free gold brick ($521,644.05) or a new cell phone. And they choose the phone over a gold brick that would buy a house, a car, an even better phone, and still have money to spend.....because the gold is heavier. A rather frustrating process to watch. The opportunities and benefits are many as previous posters have supplied. One that hasn't been mentioned is as an OA member your son can hold a 6 month position in the Chapter or Lodge that would meet his requirement for Star/Life. If you have a smaller Troop it can be difficult to hold those positions within a patrol, they just don't cycle around quickly sometimes. Those timelines can add pressure to earning his Eagle. Large Troops can have similar problems as Scouts can get lost in the shuffle. When I hear parents and Scouts complain about the work involved I have to remind them that it will all add up to a great young adult, and that is worth the work. I think it is important to recognize that as many Scouts near mid-teens they really start to push back. And generally demonstrate a "lazy" attitude towards work. Because they can. Truly they are just being selective of what they do and don't do following their own priorities, which unfortunately does not always align with our parental expectations. Asserting their independence so to speak. Scouting in general and the OA specifically can help stimulate more productive selection or choice making. Working with peers, leading others...even adults, can be very motivating and empowering. It can create a positive hard-wiring effect towards good work ethic and practices. At the end of the day it's his choice and if he doesn't want to do it he shouldn't be pushed into a Sash-N-Dash situation. It does nothing for the Scout and wastes sorely needed effort and energy of the Lodge.
  10. In the late nineteen eighties my Scoutmaster was a rather jolly fat man with a curly beard and a chew-can ring in all his back pockets. He found laughter in most everything as I recall, appropriate or not. When I hear things at Scouting U like, "if you can't act like a 10 year-old, then you shouldn't be in scouting," well he comes right to mind.

    He had a brown with tan stripe truck that hauled scouts and equipment every direction for a few years. Inside that 80's Chevy Scottsdale of his at all times was a cassette tape of Chuck Berry's greatest hits. The last song on the B side was My ding-a-ling (2 bells on a string). There wasn't a hike, camp-out, camparee, or outing where he didn't manage to squeeze in at least one play. And if one of the boys riding with him was quick enough to hit the repeat button on the tapedeck before his hand got smacked, we might hear it an extra time or two. It always started us off with a laugh or lolled us to sleep smiling on the drive home. I still sing it now and again when camping or flirting. Or showing off for my son.

    Now the Scoutmaster was far from Santa and the song is equally distant from anything that could be called a carol, yet as the end of the year draws near and the holiday cheer comes around...some of the coincidental similarities have my brain humming that old Chuck Berry tune. Any time I hear a Salvation Army station outside store fronts ringing thier bells, or clanky bells on doors. Happy Holidays to all my friends in scouting, new and old.


  11. "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."  

  12. Baden-Powell understood some Scouts did not learn well from simple verbal instruction or even from demonstration. And hands on repetition practices do not always teach skills enough for it to "stick." Early on B-P had Scouts doing skits as another way of learning skills and communications. Skits might be "campy" or "corny" but when everyone is laughing at everyone it takes a lot of anxiety out of the situation for many of the cubs and some of the adults as well. If you and your son have a different sense of humor that's ok, much humor comes from "tribal knowledge" or environment. But you shouldn't exclude yourself from the camp. Plan for it next time, there are so many skits online and in books, find a teaching skit or something more involved for your group and practice it, be prepared for the next campfire. Maybe your example will raise the bar for the others, or at least add some contrast to the others types of skits. Just remember to keep it entertaining somehow or it's just going to be a chit -chat session in the seats.
  13. We have done basic build activity for reggattas, space, and pinewood derby's during den meetings to help avoid these kind of issues. For the derby cars we will have the cubs design or draw their desired shape on their pine blocks at a den meeting. 1 or two of the dad's will take the stock and cut out the shapes for everyone and then the cubs get their cutouts back the next den meeting. This puts everyone on the same footing as far as access to power tools or parents with woodworking experience. It also makes "competitive" parents happy to have the job of cutting all the cars out. And it keeps them from taking over for their cubs. The committee sets specific rules about axles each race and it goes out in an email from scoutbook. Either all the cars can have straight axles, or sometimes they allow bent axles (rail riders). Paint is done at a den meeting so we know all the cubs have access to painting supplies. Wheels and axles are done at home. None of the car activities take up much time in the den meetings themselves except for the painting. What sanding or fine shaping they do at home with or by dad usually has minimal effect on the outcomes. We have a rule that all weights have to be attached 1 inch in front of the back wheels if it's needed to "make weight." Basicly we incorporate or exclude "tricks" when they are known to help win races so everyone has a fair shake. We have it decided and ready when the cubs get their kits, so well ahead of time. Now no system is perfect, and if a parent really wants to build the car on thier own at home we don't say no. But honestly most super competitive parents that do everything for their kids tend to be target focused and usually miss THE race, and only get to run their cars socially at a rally or recruiting nights. So it all works out. We have had "parent" races. We've had ridiculous fast cars and amazing show cars from those events but they tend to be at blue and gold dinners or for county fair exhibitions. Not at the same time as the cubs.
  14. whining: present participle: complain in a feeble or petulant way That's all I hear out of these conversations about girls in scouts anymore. Whining. Parents and leaders do a lot for scouting but the lack of actual scouts and the funds derived from them dictate the programs and events quality and even longevity more than anything else. So while recruiting may initially go up and give us a lift, it's doubtful Scout retention is going to remain up or down significantly with the adding of girls. Fact is when boys get to a certain age they stop coming to Scouts. The younger ones start "feeling their Oates" and rebel against most anything that resembles responsibility or authority. For older boys it's a job, to earn money to go on dates. Cars, to go on dates. And....Dates. Those aren't the only reasons of course but they probably account for the majority of those who walk away from Scouts. And when the girls are in the same situation they are going to do similarly. Nothing is going to change those social and biological factors. 4% of Scouts make it to Eagle. Girls Scouts equivalent rank to Eagle is the Gold Award and only 5% of the girls earn it. That speaks to the fact that some individuals, boy or girl, will have the drive and desire to set goals and succeed and others won't no matter how much family or SM's push. Period. No amount of scapegoating about possible changes to requirements to placate "female interests" or the ruination of a "boys experience" will change that. National's decision has been made, so accept it and learn how best to move forward. Or quit Scouts and join a different youth group of which there are hundreds if not thousands in the US. Watch out though, most of them are Co-Ed as well.
  15. I'm not in your area or situation and only know/understand what's been recounted here. Your choices and lifestyle are your own. Who you date is entirely your business. But the bottom line is most any CM would be responsible and reasonable to error on the side of safety for all the kids. Whether from their own judgement or Parent complaint or Committee directive the CM made a decision and communicated it to you. Now scouter and leadership role aside, this is my thoughts as a concerned parent and honest reaction. Bearess is pointing out something important here. Your timeline of events for your boyfriend is rather quick paced. There is a lot of personal activity going on in relatively short period there that would have me personally question having my child around your boyfriend regardless of a felony conviction. I'm not saying your life has any, but I see a lot of potential for some Springer style drama that as a parent I wouldn't want my son exposed to. To much seemingly forced family making. Add a recent felony conviction and the eyes in the back of my head usually reserved for my son would be lasered in on your boyfriend any time he was around. It may be judgemental and unfair but it's very appropriate in regards to protecting my son. Maybe over time, working with your boyfriend at different events, gaining first hand knowledge of who he is, and trying to live by the Scout law I'd learn to trust him. Now everyone's "normal" is different and what is normal for you and allows you to build trust is not going to be the same for those who have a differing "normal". Some may trust easier, others not so much. But if he isn't going to comply with the CM request and make himself available at other events with you for Pack Parents or leaders to build any trust with him, nothing will change. If he is holding a grudge and is going to show the Pack whats what when his son is a Lion then he's in scouting for the wrong reason and I still wouldn't want him interacting with my son's den. I have long hair and have had it for 20 years....and every time I walk into a church, or my son's teacher conferences, or scouting events I feel the odd disapproving eyes on me and get the snipey sarcastic comments from people. And I smile, get over it and move on because my hair is none of their business. If you want your boyfriend involved for your son's sake then tell him to get over himself and go to what events he can. It's for your son so I assume you would be there anyway, so it won't be that difficult to keep your boyfriend near. Jump through the hoops. all 1,000 of them if that's what's required. Because it's for your son.
  16. My thoughts are that someone along the way made a knee-jerk reply to a Scout to get them to go do more outings, and on second thought believed it was a very good idea after all. Idea became policy, policy becomes tradition, tradition becomes law. Now the current SM may or may not know where and when it started but believes it's how to meet his responsibilities. Armchair psychology says if you press the SM on it he will definitely go on the defensive because, as happens with many of us, he's locked in to a single way of doing things because it has worked so far. If thinking differently about it or some kind of action is required then people can get in a huff. So it comes down to how do you approach the SM on the subject. Honestly I don't think it's your turn to do that just yet unless you really really feel something sketchy is going on. Instead have your son go over his requirements to ensure they are done, then have him approach the subject with the SM. Let him make his own case, explaining he's met the requirements, that he can't attend the next few camp-outs, and if he really needs to press it...that he's read that SM conferences aren't required to be at camp-outs. Hopefully the SM will move forward with the conference or explain himself better. BUT if he doesn't do either then he has at least heard it more than once before you approach him about it. It's not going to be a surprise to him and hopefully he can account for his choice better to you without being defensive. Hopefully. SMC's are some of the first time when Scouts speak to adults as relatively equals. Your son standing up for himself could be as telling as the SMC anyway.
  17. Our District is doing a membership drive in Sept where multiple Units will be displaying crafts and skills. Our area has a great turnout for the youth building at our County Fair each year as well. Think my son made $18 last year for blue ribbon premiums. Our Blue and Gold is another good time to show off whats been made over the year. Don't have any pics as I stay pretty busy during events.
  18. Tataliya Lodge 614, Grand Columbia Council, Washington
  19. I don't know the details as I haven't seen the article, but...get ready for it...When I was in Scouts I constantly heard the SM and ASM reminding, warning, and generally nagging the older Scouts to get to work, to pay attention to their time qualifications. I was a fairly timid kid and this stressed me out. I was always looking ahead...admittedly I was not the most organized person but I tried to stay on top of things as best I could. Eventually I got my Eagle at 16 and was pretty proud of myself. Having low self-esteem most of those teen years, I felt if I could do it then surely anyone else could. And I had little patience for the older boys whining about how they didn't know what to do or they weren't going to make it. At summer camp when I met my first LDS troop they had a 14 and a 15 year old Eagle. Took me down a peg and really just blew me away. Sometimes it's the individual, sometimes it's the family or troop, but somewhere in the mix you have to have some drive to push past "good enough" and to soar. Cubs have a new book for each rank, Scouts only 1 and all the requirements are in it. Nothing hidden from lower ranks. Disappointment sucks. Rules are rules. He did the work, National made a decision, he is copacetic about it. I'm certain time-management will be at the front of his mind for awhile. But from here out, if he can get that much work done in such a short time I'd want him in OA. That kind of work ethic he could do a lot for the Lodge, maybe earn Vigil before he aged out. Or even after serving as an adviser.
  20. I apologize for suggesting a course of action that circumvents appropriate protocol. Obviously I'm ignorant of the Committee side of things and therefore shouldn't have put those 2 cents worth out there.
  21. My 2¢ and nothing more. That is a list of the Chairs responsibilities or "Job description" which is not the same as "Administrative Powers or Rights." That said, the simplest way to deal with the problem is to call a committee/parent meeting and vote for a new Chair person, with an explanation why it's needed, and at least 1 person that is for sure willing to take on the work load. Have the vote and see if the grass is greener however it ends up. Your Council might act as a diplomatic go-between if a problem can be pinned down and addressed but more likely will leave the Packs Business to the Pack to deal with. UNLESS it becomes really disruptive and more adults are "Butt-Hurt" than the kids are benefiting from the program.
  22. Just a quick note on a conservation idea that's super easy. Mason Bees are very important pollinators and making little houses or Bee Hotels can be quick, easy, and fun even for Lion Dens. You can make them out of old bird houses falling apart, scrap lumbar, or a cleaned up tin can, some rolled up scrap paper, or old garden bamboo canes. The links below give good basic info on why and on how to do it but there are many more ideas on Pinterest. Painting is always the funnest part for the kids. https://baynature.org/article/backyard-boarding-house/ https://www.turningclockback.com/diy-mason-bee-house /
  23. I don't know the particulars but your Council may be limiting you because they can't afford it anymore than your Pack can. Our pack is spearheading a committee for a membership drive in Sept, "Rally in the Valley". We asked Scouters and parents to send in pics from different events and used them to develop our own personalized flier. A parent from our Pack is also translating a Spanish copy for a second flier. We were able to find a local company to donate the paper and printing. Have you asked your committee members or current scout parents what help they might be able to provide? If a business won't cover your printing then perhaps a couple of parents work in places where they are allowed to print for personal use as well as work. With 600 you want to make sure to split that up so it doesn't become a burden to one person. You may want to investigate to see if there is a process you need to follow to get into your schools. Our local Exec had to go before at least 2 school boards to get permission to have our fliers distributed to kids in class. And even with that permission the individual Principals of the various schools can still veto or "lose" fliers. So we are making appointments to visit with the principals to discuss the event and if they won't help we thank them for their time and save the fliers for elsewhere. The generic posters and fliers the council has for us are being saved for Library's and other public spaces as semi-permanent advertising. That might be the best use of yours as well. Class B uniforms in the class on Den meeting or Pack meeting days are great ways to get kids involved too. We actually discussed making some "craft/work" shirts to wear over the uniforms to keep them clean during the meetings but in the end we found our local Scout Office's "trading Post" had many t-shirts on sale from past summer camps or other events. For a $1 a piece the pack bought each of the scouts a Scouting t-shirt to change in to or wear over uniform shirts to stay clean AND can be worn to school without risking Class A uniforms to recces adventures. You might want to check with your local Trading Post or Scout store if you have one and see if you can't do something similar. If all your kids are matching at school it's going to create questions in the other kids which leads to questions about joining up. And then there is always public announcements on radio stations and local TV. Even if the ads aren't during "Prime time" the information will still go out, and on their websites. And Facebook pages, which can then be shared outrageously by Pack members so friends and family see it. A $5 a month paid advert on Facebook for your Pack FB Page (which is as much a recruiting tool as a way to share Pack events & calendar) is well spent priming parents and kids before school even starts. A little Googling of "Advertising for Small Non-Profits" will probably bring up some great tips for you as well.
  24. Was scouting some OA lodge patches before Fall Fellowship and found this gem...in case anyone is looking at the moment. 1970's BSA Scout "Boys' Life Pedro" Plaid Jac-Shirt, 85% wool 15% nylon, in a Large...which I think is a men's 42" chest. Says it's a vintage Woolrich https://www.ebay.com/itm/Boy-Scouts-Pedro-Executive-Jac-Shirt-Scouting-Tartan-Large-1970s/163173544392
  25. My old scout book might have had a bent corner or 2 but basically it was a fresh and clean, rarely cracked open...door stop or bookshelf end. My Field Guide was another matter. I think I had three copies before I was 15. I read and reread it at various stages of my scouting experience. Still have the last one I bought but it needs some serious help.
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