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Everything posted by Eagle94-A1

  1. Eagle94-A1

    When are den dues considered excessive?

    Calico, I asked about te weekly dues when I first joined my pack. I was told that some parents complained about the weekly dues, feeling they were "nickeled and dimed." Plus dues varied among the dens. So the pack decided to do lump sum, and the dens responsible for their own supplies.
  2. Eagle94-A1

    When are den dues considered excessive?

    #1 WELCOME TO DA FORUMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #2 In regards to the cost of den supplies. Every pack does things a little differently. Some packs charge a lump fee that covers registration, BOYS' LIFE, awards, and supplies. Some packs charge weekly dues that covers everything. Some charge for registration and awards and nothing else. I know the pack I'm in only covers registration, awards, and a neckerchief at the end of the year. BOYS' LIFE is extra, and any supplies needed by the dens we have to come up with. I try to tell the parents as far in advance as possible what supplies they will need, where to get them, and how much it will cost. Sometimes they actually tell us about sales and additional places to get them. But some kits are hard to find and/or require a special trip to get. When I went looking for tool box kits for my bear den, National Supply no longer sold them, I could only find them through 1 company. I had to order them in bulk, and it was approx $11- $12 per kit. Since we lost our local distrubutor, PWD kits, Raingutter Regatta kits, and other supplies require either a 40-60 minute drive one way to get, or ordering them. So I see $40 as reasonable.
  3. Eagle94-A1

    Transitioning to a Camping Pack

    Daped01, Very glad to hear that! I hope that A) the communication and good relationship continues and B) if you douse their care it is taken care of very well. Damaged gear can cause hard feelings, and with one troop I was with, was the breaking point with the CO (long story short, they destroyed several thousands of dollars of gear that took us almost 20 years to accumulate, another story for another time). May I offer a couple of extra suggestions? 1) if you cannot get Den Chiefs from the troop, see if a couple of scouts would like to camp out with the pack and help out. I know when I did my first Intro to Camping Class 101, I had a Scout help me out. But he was also my DC. 2) Make sure you keep your troop informed of activities and encourage them to invite Webelos. This may sound like common sense, but it is not. Long story short, I know of one troop that's only interaction with the pack is by way of parents who have sons in both units. The Webelos getting ready to Cross Over have already decided to join other troops because, "We've camped with Troop 123 and been invited to their meetings. We haven't heard anything from Troop 456."
  4. Eagle94-A1

    Transitioning to a Camping Pack

    In regards to using troop gear, don't be upset if they say "No" or place conditions on using the gear. Troop gear can get real costly, and can be a really sensitive issue. I know that the troop my son is in has a really good relationship with the pack, CM, WDL, TCDL and a MC are ASMs or MCs of the troop. BUT they do not share any gear UNLESS the Cubs are camping with the troop, and it's usually Webelos. And even then, the pack has its own tent, the troop have theirs. Part of the reason I know is that the troop storage was broken into and a bunch of the stuff was stolen. So the troop is starting off from scratch with gear, and it's taking its time. Also Some tents were damaged by Cubs using the tents. So getting to use the tents MAY be a sensitive matter. You may have some "tailgaters" as parents who have a rig for groups.
  5. Eagle94-A1

    Transitioning to a Camping Pack

    Almost forgot, 6) Make sure you have some way to keep tabs on weather. I saw one major event lose 50%+ of its attendance due to rumors of flooding, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, etc. Slight chance of rain that night was the actual forecast, and the showers lasted about 30 minutes. 7)Tornadoes are not your friend. Plan accordingly.
  6. Eagle94-A1

    Transitioning to a Camping Pack

    Some things that I have found helps with getting folks camping. 1) Tell them they can attend just for the day. While that may seem counterintuitive, sometimes the first step is to get them just to attend the event. I've seen many families do that, and the next campout the are there the entire weekend. 2) Have an "Intro to Camping Class" that not only covers the "cool toys" i.e. stoves, backpacks, etc, but also the "back to basics", i.e. #10 can charcoal stoves, blanket sleeping bags, tarp tents, etc. For the past few years, I've been doing just that 2-3 weeks before our first camp out. In fact, I am doign it again next week. 3) This is one I know works IF done correctly: Pack Cooking. There are challenges that need to be overcome. A. You need a dedicated cook crew. Depending upon folks to help day of the event is challenging. B. You need the money up front to buy the food. I made the mistake of allowing folks to pay me at the event and they do not show. Had a lot of left over food and had about $90 out of pocket. 4) MAKE IT FUN. 5) Make plans for foul weather. In fact plan to do TOO MUCH ( emphasis) in case of rain.
  7. Eagle94-A1

    Dealing with grubmaster issues

    This happened to a troop in my district. Because they were going to do individual cooking that weekend, grubmaster thought that everyone was going to bring their own food, despite a menu being made and being told that the patrol still needs to buy the food to be cooked. Funny thing is, the grubmaster didn't even bring his own food, planning on mooching off his patrol mates. Long story short, one the patrol finished work they need to get done, they went fishing all afternoon. They literally caught their lunch, and dinner, and breakfast.
  8. Eagle94-A1

    cub scout pants too big :(

    My oldest bought a pair of pants that were too big in both waist and legs. Hemmed them up without cutting the legs so that was fixed. Wife took in the waist, but the pants have barely noticeable pleats in them now. Then as he grows, he can let them out.
  9. Eagle94-A1

    Transferring Troops

    Smurfica, I. WELCOME TO DA FORUMS! (And yes, I'm shouting at you in a friendly, welcoming manner ) II. As others have stated, this is really you son's decision. If he is happy with the situation, then he needs to stay. If he is not, then he needs to look around. III. Here are some questions my son asked when looking for a troop. A. How often does the troop camp? (Son wanted monthly camp outs. I personally would look for 10-11 camp outs per year with 1-2 "other" activities (lock in, overnighter on a ship, hikes, etc.) in a camp out's place.) B. What type of camp outs do you do? (Son wanted a variety of different camp outs. EXCEPT he didn't want family camp out ones ( don't ask). C. Do you go to summer camp and which one? (there was a troop that would skip a year of summer camp every now and then) D. Who runs the troop, the SPL or adults? (SPL!!!) IV. Now I did ask a few questions mostly for my benefit, but some did relate my son. Does the troop have a problem with me being a committee member and helping out when I can since I am primarily a CS leader for the younger two sons? What type of fundraising is done? These questions were specific to one troop my son visited and I got a heads up to one of the troop’s goals, Philmont in 2016, prior to the visit. If you win the : â€ÂPhilmont Lottery†for 2016, will those Scouts not able to go to Philmont still be able to do the prep trips? If you do not win the “Philmont Lottery,†what is the troop’s “Plan B†and will the younger Scouts be able to go on those prep trips?
  10. Eagle94-A1

    Whittling Chip Project & Pocketknives

    We did this around Christmas and used Ivory Soap. Made bell decorations for the Christmas tree. If you use Ivory Soap, key is to let it dry out some. Just don't put it in the microwave or you'll create a "soap monster" and have the smell, and taste, of Ivory Soap for a while. The day camp does Whittling Chip with the boys, and they do have the carving knives.
  11. Eagle94-A1

    Venturing Rank

    Quazse, I'm talking about the national Venturing director in 1998, sorry can't remember his name but it was the one before Holmes. Again in May 1998 at PDL-1, and again in August at the All Hands Conference, the director, as well as various other presenters at the conference, said the "recognitions" were an option for those Venturers interested in working on them. The focus of Venturing was to keep youth in the movement by using the 5 specialties and creating specialty crews. I do agree with you on "The notion that dozens of youth would gather together, plan adventures, serve the community, etc ... not one of them wanting to bother with being recognized for it ... that is completely foreign to the great minds in the BSA." I really do think the further you are away from the field, the less in touch you are with the folks that matter: the youth. And having worked for national at one point, I can tell you that some folks do not have a clue how things work.
  12. Eagle94-A1

    Venturing Rank

    Qwazse, I must respectfully disagree with you on the expectation with Venturing awards. When the then Venturing director came to my PDL-1 class to talk about the "new" program coming out, as well as at the "All Hands Conference" that unveiled Venturing, the "recognitions" were never suppsoed to besomething optional that the youth could focus on IF they desired. Again, in everything I heard and read at that time, advancment was not the focus, but an opportunity. The focus was to keep older youth involved in the Scouting program using the 5 focus areas.
  13. Eagle94-A1

    Scout Leader Knots

    List of training award requirements can be found on this link towards the bottom. http://www.scouting.org/training/adult.aspx
  14. Fred, In regards to BS leaders mentoring CS leaders, when it does happen, I admit it is awesome. I know of three situations where, mostly because younger sons were involved, you do have that mentoring. But it is more work. The mentor, in addition to his BS duties, has to have some involvement with the CS pack, will have to do additional meetings to mentor, etc, etc. And all of that IS (emphasis) time consuming. Trust me, I’ve tried the mentoring bit as you well know, and I can tell you it is time consuming. At least in my experience, there is a reason why CS leaders are not exposed to the BS program right away. 99% of the time, Cub Scout leaders are drawn from parents bringing their kids to a round up. They may have been Scouts as a youth, but nowadays probably were not. They are more concerned with creating the program that is expected of them and need to focus on that. Currently, the Webelos-to- Scout transition is suppose to be the time when folks learn and understand the BS program. It is definitely a shock if not done correctly. But I will admit, even those of us who know better still have challenges with the change. For some, it’s not wanting to see their kids fail. For others, and I include myself in this, after 3-5 years (or in my case 6 years) the challenge is overcoming the training and conditioning of the CS program. And even in a Group unit set up, where the parents and CS leaders know the BS leaders very well, heck the CS leaders may very well be serving with the troop,you still have parents interfering, or worse, preventing their kids from enjoying all the benefits of the program by not allowing them to camp (that’s one problem I see right now with one of the scouts in my son’s patrol, Scout attends meetings, but does not camp b/c parents are worried about son). In regards to group unit concept avoiding burn out, from my experiences I must respectfully disagree. In the current situation I know of, the ASM very reluctantly took over CM duties after several attempts to get a new CM. Hopefully this situation will resolve itself within the next 9 months as he was slated to take over as SM. And with this unit, with the exceptions of a few parents involved only in either the pack or troop, the bulk of the committee is for both units (I’m on the troop’s committee but not their pack’s, and there are a few pack parents who are not on the troop’s charter) . Now I do like what that CO’s WDL/ASM is doing: scheduling part of his den meetings to include activities with the troop. That was done deliberately to A) to get them acclimated to the troop before Cross Over in December and B) to help reduce his stress at being a leader with both the pack and troop. And I do see the above as one way the group unit is a benefit. In regards to program, in a group unit concept, there is an expectation of the Cub automatically moving to the troop, and not realizing other units are out there. I’ve seen instances where scouts are dissatisfied with a troop because it is not meeting their needs, and are shocked when I tell them they can look around at other troops as each is different. They are so use to Cub Scouts where the program is pretty standard and 90% of the packs follow. They do not realize that each troop plans their own events. And while I agree, some troops do repeat the same activities over and over, I know in the cases I’ve been involved it’s because A) scheduling , B) troop resources and C) the PLC wants it that way. Troop growing up had to deal with 14+ different school calendars, and one SPL realized that those school calendars were basically the same year after year, so that the troop decided which weekends each month were best for the most number of people to camp. As to resources, only 5 Scouts in my son’s troop have true, I can carry on my back all day, backpacks. So obviously we had to make changes and use what was available: the troops has canoes so we did a canoe trip. And one thing the troop loves is fishing. So they have decided to do a fishing trip, and it’s turned into an annual event. Quite different when you have CS books telling you Meeting 1, Meeting 2, Meeting 3 etc
  15. While I know the group concept that some propose and is in use in the UK will work, I know at least in my locality there are issues. #1 Most, stress most, Boy Scout leaders do not want to deal with Cub Scouting as it it a lot more leader intensive than Cub Scouts. Trust me, the only position IMHO tougher than being a Cub Scout den leader is being a DE. I know many Boy Scout leaders are former Cub Leaders, and are now enjoying their well earned rest. And I know many Cub Scout leaders who are tired, exhausted, etc, including yours truly, who cannot wait for their son(s) to Cross Over abe become Boy Scouts so they can get a break (4 years 3 months until youngest crosses over, but who's counting ) #2 Because of the vast program differences between Cub Scout and Boy Scouts, Cub Scout leaders may not fully understand the Boy Scout Program to be of assistance on a group committee, and Boy Scout leaders, including the youth leaders I might add, are afraid that if Cub Scout leaders get involved, it will devolve the Boy Scout program. I know I hated when Cub Scout leaders visiting, and then becoming Boy Scout leaders a few month later, interfered with the PLC's program and the patrols' activities when camping. And unfortunately i know of one troop that has been taken over by former Cub Scout leaders who refuse to change how they have always run things despite being trained. No more comment on that as I will rant. #3 Some folks will be wearing multiple hats in the group, and it will get overwhelming. My son's troop has a very close relationship with the pack, and comes the closest to the group model that I've seen on this side of the pond. But I see challenges where folks are wearing multiple hats with both units, ASM and CM, TCDL and ASM, DL and Committee, etc, and it can get interesting. Especially since we have a number of district and council activities in the fall, scheduling is a P.I.T.A. (i.e. someone scheduled a CS even the same weekend as the district camporee, which Webelos are invited to attend and conflicts with those of use in both CS and BS duties. CM/ASM, who is also an Arrowman, has 4 weekends in a row he is doing Scouting: troop fundraiser, OA Fellowship, district camporee, and council CS family camp out) Burn out is a problem. #4 While Cub Scout packs are generally the same due to the nature of the CS Program, troops set their own programs based upon the interests and resources of the youth, and yes adults as well. So each troop is different. Heck I know of three scouts who are in the process of finding a new troop after their original troop went to Trail's Life, and the current troop they are in has some challenges for the three Scouts.
  16. Eagle94-A1

    Unit Commissioners

    Unfortunately, UC comes in all shapes and sizes. Some do the job by visiting periodically, and helping where needed. Some are just a name. And I've known one who was extremely active with his units. He visited at least twice a month, and only got involved when problems arose by offering advice, counseling, and mentoring. Unfortunately the unit leaders have ignored his advice. While technology is a useful tool, heck I used a unit's Facebook page to keep up with them and tried to help them out, sometimes the problems are too much for simple email, and a sit down meeting is needed. But as I have learned the hard way, sometimes folks do not want to change.
  17. Eagle94-A1

    Webelos transition to boy scouts

    Sprout, As others have said, there is no one way of doing things. Back in the dark ages when I was a Cub, Tigers were a separate program, and Cub Scouts was only three years: 3rd grade was when you joined as a Wolf, 4th was when you were a Bear, and 5th grade was when you became a Webelos. And it usually took the 9 months of the school year to get AOL, hence when most Cross Overs occured. And there are still a few packs that do it that way. When Cub Scouts expanded to a 4.5 - 5 year program, Most packs used the Blue and Gold in February/March as the Cross Over Night for the reasons you have stated. A few years back, my pack decided to do Cross Overs in December. Reason for that was A) it was the earliest they can earn the AOL and Cross Over, B) Our Cubs were getting restless and jumping at the bit to become Boy Scouts, C) Since I charter end in January, we didn't have to deal with any of the recharter paperwork on them for only 1-2 months, and D) Gives them a chance to get to know the troop and get ready for summer camp. For me that last reason, getting to know the troop and preparing for summer camp, is the most important. I know that when I crossed over in May, I really didn't know the troop, nor was I financially prepared to go to summer camp in 3-4 weeks after joining the troop. So I misssed out.
  18. To get somewhat back to the original poster's question. You need to establish a relationship with your pack. I can tell you some ways NOT to establish a healthy relationship. 1) You do not communicate with the pack's leadership. How can a pack know about you when you do not communicate with them? Facebook is a good tool, but face to face contact via visits and roundtables are best way to communicate. 2) You do not skip events or activities that Webelos will be at. If you do not go to district or council camporees where Webelos are invited to attend, are announced in advance, and many Webelos dens place into their yearly schedule, do not be surprised if they decide to go to another troop that they met at such an event. 2A) You do not need to make your pack's leader BEG (emphasis) you to invite the Webelos to camp with you IF you do go to such an eventa event. You would think a troop would be happy to get a Webelos den to go camping with them, especially when the patrols get bonus points in the competition for having Webelos present. But on 2 occasions that has happened. One time the Webelos did camp with them, the second time, the WDL got tired of begging and waiting for a response, and accepted another troop's invitation to camp with them. Then the SM was surprised when the WDL said he had already made arrangements when the SM returned the phone call 2 days before the event. 3) You do not give a week and a half to two weeks advance notice for your Webelos Overnighter. With folks' busy schedules, you need to invite folks to an overnighter at least a month, if not more, to an overnight campout. 4) You do not provide Scouts as Den Chiefs or day camp staff that are immature, irresponsible, and cause enough problems that you send the scouts home. 5) You do not invite Webelos to a troop meeting a month before they Cross Over and pressure them into joining your troop. Unfortunately I didn't attend that event due to scheduling conflicts, but several parents, and one Cub, told me they felt pressured into joining them. 6) You do not take over a pack's Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremonies and turn the event into a last minute troop Court of Honor without telling the pack's leadership well in advance. It ticked off folks who were told the ceremonies would last a certain time, and then find out they are expected to stay longer than they were told due to the troop putting on a COH that none of the Cub leaders or parent were told about until that day. Unfortunately we did have several families pick up and leave after the pack was finished because of other commitments. 6A) Having someone drive to the Scout office before they close on a Saturday to pick up the troop's advancements for a COH that night does not give a good impression of the troop's organization to prospective new Scouts and their parents.
  19. To add, the reason for my friend's silence to the Cubs and parents are for the same reasons I asked my son not to discuss which troop he was joining until the very last possible moment: to not create any problems and not destroy any units. I've seen what can happen when there is bad blood between a CO's pack and troop leaders. I've seen a troop fold, and eventually the pack as well. I do not ever want to be accused of subverting a unit, and I think I have shown that with everything I have done to try and help the CO's troop out over the past 3 years. I have scheduled IOLS training around their schedule so that their leaders could get the training they need, only to be told "It's too cold to camp," and only 1 person showing up. And then later I get lectured on how IOLS should be offered all the time in our district, that folks should not have to drive and hour or more away to another district to get the training. And that if we do not have enough staff to offer IOLS all the time, we need to hire folks to teach it. I have recruited for the troop, only to see those new scouts dropp out after 3 months. I have listened to the scouts complain about how the program is running, and being told once they get Eagle, they are gone. I have talked to scouts who transferred to another troop, and my own, complain about the troops MB and Eagle focused program and lack of camping. I have had parents contacting me privately asking if my son was joining the troop and I was becoming an ASM, only to transfer out when I responded in the negative. I have asked my son not to mention ALL of the reasons HE (emphasis) decided not to join the troop ("adults do too much", SM's son "is a bully and causes too much trouble", "they keep cancelling camp outs, I want a troop that goes camping") and instead state the scheduling conflict and that he has freinds in his current unit (which are true BTW). I have tried to counsel and mentor the SM on why folks are leaving, only to be told I need to adapt Scouting to modern times. Heck, I've gone so far as to stay overnight with the troop, when everyone in the unit left the camp Saturday night,except the SM's son and 1 scout so that there would be 2 deep leadership. I was planning on going home with my family when I discovered that situation.
  20. Fred, When I said he kept it quiet, I meant to the parents and Cubs of the pack, not the CM and CC. Shortly after he made the decision, he informed the CM and CC that he was apporached by the pastor and several church members to restart the pack and troop at his church. He told them that he will be starting from scratch, and not trying to "steal" anyone from the pack. He did not try to recruit anyone from the pack to join his.That was in May/June, with enough time to get a replacement leader for him. Initially only him and his son left. The new pack became known in September. My pack was having some issues (the CM at the time is the current SM of the troop I've discussed), and when folks got frustrated, they looked to his pack since A) they knew him and B) His pack was doing things and was organized. So by December, 1/2 the folks left. With last minute cancellations of pack meetings, no awards to hand out, etc, I was even tempted to leave. Reason they were angry was again they viewed the pack as "competition" when in all honesty there was none.
  21. Forgot to add, that is how Scouting is suppose to be.
  22. Fred, Agree with you 100% on units helping each other. And as I have stated elsewhere I do not care what uniot a person joins or transfer too, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IN A UNIT (emphasis, not shouting). Either we can work on the unit meeting your needs, or we can help find another unit that will meet your needs. I've found that most times its the adults getting the "us versus them" attitude. A friend of mine left my pack to start one at his church because his pastor and others asked him to. He kept it quiet that he was leaving because he didn't to destroy the existing pack. Unfortunately when word did get around, about 1/2 the existing pack decided to follow him. It was the CM and CC that had the hard feeling and developed the "us vs. them" attitude, and it took several years for the CC and my friend to be on a speaking basis. Another example of adults having the "us vs. them" attitude was at one RU, we had every pack's dream leader show up: fully trained leader in both DL and CM positions who has just moved to the area and is lookign for a pack for his sons to join. After talking to him, I found out A) he's fully trained and B) he goes to the church where my friend started the new pack which needed experienced leaders. So I introduced him to my friend across the room, and he joins that pack. My CM was ticked because I sent him to the other pack. Now what's funny is this: now that the folks with the "us vs. them" attitude are no longer involved, both packs have a great relationship. They have actually sent Cubs to us who were not happy with them for whatever reason, and vice-versa. At district and council events where campsites are assigned and crowded, we generally end up together and have some joint campfires.
  23. Eagle94-A1

    Holding two positions at once

    Burn out. At the moment, I'm wearing 5 hats and I would love to narrow it down to 3.
  24. "It needs to be one unit similar to how UK and many other countries run it." Even in the UK, folks switch groups. I met one young lady who started out in one group. When she got her Queen's Scout, the group had a policy of having them look elsewhere to serve as a leader for whatever reason. So she joined as a leader with a second group. Because that group was not as adventurous as the previous group she was in, nor as adventurous as what some of the scouts wanted in the second group, she ended up starting a 3rd group, taking 1/2 the second group and a portion of the original group with her.
  25. I'm going to play Devil's Advocate a bit, so please bear with me. What have you done for the pack lately? Are you sending them Den Chiefs? How about physcially going to a few meetings and inviting them personally instead of flyers? Does your CO have any events that you do that will not only promote the troop, give visibility to the public AND provide service as a thank you to the CO? Are there any public events, especially ones that may get photos in the paper, that can be done Like assisting the American Legion, or whoever in your area does it, put out flags on graves for Memorial Day? Do you do any joint activities? I ask because it can be said by some that I am subverting the troop my pack's CO charters with the one my son belongs to and I am a committee member for. How can I be accused of subverting the troop? Because I am going to invite them to visit my son's troop at the district camporee because the CO's troop is not going again this year. Because after begging the troop to provide den chiefs over several years, I am willing to recommend that when the next offer for DCs comes from one troop with no pack ( and it's not my son's troop either) we take them up on the offer. I am not trying to subvert this troop. As I have posted elsewhere I helped get the troop started, and when the new leadership took over bent over backwards trying to help them out, along with a host of other scouters. I have recruited for the troop, despite my better judgement, and those kids quit within 3 months. Out of the 5 Scouts from my old den who joined them, 1 quit within 3 months, 1 transferred to my son's troop in 5 months, and 1 has not been heard from since May. Only 2 of my guys remain with them. Now for a little history. My son's troop was in a very similar situation about 10 years ago. There was a major disagreement between the Cub Scout leaders and Boy Scout leaders. It destroyed the troop first, and eventually the pack. When both the pack and troop were reformed, the COR/CC wanted to make sure that A) the rift between the pack and troop does not happen again, and B) The troop is never accused of "poaching" other packs. In fact the COR/CC and I had a discussion after one BOR recently about the situation in the other troop, and made darn sure that give the other troop every single opportunity to recruit from my pack. BUT if we are going to lose the scouts altogether, then invite them to visit us and other troops. Now the troop and pack does have "joint" meetings on occassion. Three come immediately to mind. The Christmas party is a joint meeting with both CS and BS awards being given out. Also any Webelos ready to Cross Over do so .Blue and Gold Banquet is a joint activity, specifically birthday party/pack meeting/COH And again if any Webelos is ready to Cross Over, it's done.Finally the pack's last meeting of the school year is also a joint pack meeting/COH. Also when the Pack and troop do the community service projects, specifically Scouting for Food and Memorial Day Flags, they are inseparable, working together to do the same areas as a team. More later