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About ddubois

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  1. My wife finally got a reply from the council's Program Director: Xxxxxx, Thank you for your e-mail. I was out at Camp Xxxxxx when you sent the e-mail and did not have a chance to reply back to you timely as there is no service there. We have investigated the incident, and we cannot determine the cause of the window being broken in the parking lot. I have spoken to both the Camp Director from camp and the Range Officer whom worked at camp at length, whom each indicate that they were present that day and that they could not determine how it occurred or what had caused the window to be damaged. I also spoke to you onsite at camp on June 13, when I visited there and I could not determine the possible source. You indicated you were having your window replaced under your insurance. Xxxxxx Xxxxxx who was the RSO for camp, is currently heading out of town to his Troops Summer Camp and said he will contact me when he returns. He stated to me earlier today when we spoke via phone that he was the person in charge of the Ranges at all times during camp, and that at no time did any incident(s) occur where any unsafe activity took place that could have caused damage to a vehicle as a result of the range operation. I can forward a copy of the report once received. Thank you, Xxxxxx Xxxxxx I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I think it really short-sighted to play the "you can't prove it was our fault" game. Were I in their shoes, I would hope that I would see it's so much easier to pay the $300 and keep the good will of someone who volunteers as much as I do. Our last Troop sold over $4000 worth of popcorn, and that was entirely my doing; they would not have partaken had I not convinced them and organized everything, and I've already volunteered to be Popcorn Kernel and Membership Chair for my district, within months of my move within this council from one district to another. The comment about "replaced under your insurance" bothers me too. They're weasel words designed to weaken our position, as if insurance makes up for our harm. We paid for it out of pocket, because driving around for days or weeks with a missing window is obviously not an option - it rains a lot here. I'm sure going to Geico about this would be a waste of time, with deductibles and the ensuing rate hike. This is a picture of the damage: For what it's worth, the "hole" area of the glass didn't fall in at the time of the initial damage, it collapsed later, when my unobservant children closed the door after retrieving something from the car. Initially, I had some doubt about the ability of a BB to damage a car window, and wondered where the range was. But when I went on site and saw where the range was located - it was diagonally adjacent to the parking lot, with "down range" running parallel to the parking lot - all my doubt was removed. I think it fair to say 90% odds the initial shattering was from a BB gun. Tempered glass like this is much more likely to break from pinpoint pressure, than from a blunt hit from something like a hammer or a fist. Also, I've talked to the RSO, and "at no time did any incident(s) occur where any unsafe activity took place that could have caused damage to a vehicle" is over-stating his position. He told me he saw nothing unusual or suspicious or indicative; but I'm sure he wouldn't go out on that logical limb and say unequivocally that certainly nothing happened; that would be like proving a negative. It bothers me the program director used such absolute language. So... if you were me, would you give up at this point, or should l pressure council harder to make this right?
  2. No comment My wife is composing an email, although we're not sure how to word it. Yes The Camp Director, also a volunteer, saw the damage and quickly concluded it was a BB pellet hole in the middle of the shattered window. Our District is currently between DEs, and so, for most of the event so far this week, there has not been any BSA staff on site, and there was none on site when the window was discovered at end of day.
  3. Hi Scouters, I'm not sure what forum to put this in, but here goes. My wife and my older Boy Scout sons are volunteering all week as Staff for the annual Cub Scout Day Camp for our District. This event includes shooting sports. Today, apparently some unknown Cub Scout aimed very poorly, or in some other way discharged a BB gun, into a nearby parking lot, hitting our rear passenger window, breaking it. The bill is going to be nearly $300 for replacement. We give a great deal time of our time to Scouting, but are thrifty with our money, and I'm not comfortable "donating" this cost. I feel like council should kick in here. These events are insured, right? We do not know who the shooter was. Notably, the event is NOT taking place on BSA property this year. If you were in my shoes, how would you approach this situation? YIS, -Dan
  4. When I was in Aloha Council, it seemed pretty standard to get access to some room after school hours, usually the cafeteria, where we could put on our dog and pony show for maybe half a dozen families, after having had fliers passed out to the students, or maybe announcements made over the PA. This was all arranged, AFAIK, by someone on the professional staff, who secured volunteers at Roundtable to do the actual presentations. In South Florida Council, I've seen a much wider variety of access. One woman has been committee chair for a local Pack for decades, and has a relation with a few schools where she, or one of her minions (including me), had the opportunity to actually enter each classroom of 1st to 5th graders and give a little 5-10 minute sales pitch / show'n'tell. It was awesome! Much more common is a table at an Open House, but even that level of access seems to be based on "who you know", for instance, the President of the PTA would be a good friend to have.. By contrast, at most of the other schools I've tried to approach, I can't even get anyone on the phone, or to return my calls, or to email me back. the exception being my son's school, when I had to see an AP for a familial reason, she permitted me to sales pitch their after-school program. So, it seems to vary greatly "what is possible", given the right people and the right relationships.
  5. I would rather see experienced Scouters associated with high-functioning unit share their wisdom -- as Roundtable Commissioners, or Unit Commissioners, or New Unit Membership Chairs, or in whatever way they can that can reach the most units/boys -- so that other units can be high-functioning too. I don't find complaining about some facet of their district or council on the forums to be productive, unless it's done specifically to somehow promote some improvement. In my limited experience, most faults at the district level seem to be due to a lack of volunteers to staff it, or knowledge how to best serve the units, not due to maliciousness or criminal negligence.
  6. First, let me quote myself from another post, to give some background: So, that said, please advice what I can do to be the most effective Membership Chair I can be? What has worked for you? What do you prioritize? How do you get schools to let you "in", so you sell the program to the kids directly? Specifically, I like actionable items I can tick off and say I've done, or a work product I can demonstrate I have. I would say most of the information I have found in my google searches are either vague job descriptions, or at a bird's eye view level of detail. I do have the Membership Committee Guide: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/commissioner/pdf/33080.pdf and the Marketing and Membership Hub: http://scoutingwire.org/marketing-and-membership-hub/ and I'm going through that slowly; there's a lot to read there. YIS, -Dan
  7. Man, I totally forgot about this thread, and missed most of these replies. FYI, "Have an annual customer satisfaction survey done with current Scout families" is directly from: http://www.scouting.org/Home/Membership/Youth_Recruitment/Membership_Chairman/cubscout.aspx. Granted, that's ostensibly for Cub Scouts, but I find your reply overly dismissive. For the record, all my efforts as membership chair were entirely unsuccessful. I passed out several hundred fliers at 3 different middle schools during their open house. I called and emailed reaching out to three different Packs (with no preexisting proscribed feeding-to-Troop) to attempt to establish a relationship and offer the Troops' services to to their Pack. I met with District Key 3. I passed out fliers during fundraising efforts. I went to an after-school program and gave a speech and threw out candy. We tried to get our Charter Organization to start a new Pack. During my tenure with the Troop, we got zero boys to join, except one sibling who turned 11, and now I'm yoinking my two boys, as we are moving north 2 hours. I'm pretty distraught because with two boys aging out soon, this Troop, that has existed for 80+ years, will be down to 6 boys and this risk losing their charter soon. I now I am volunteering for the vacant District Membership Chair position at my destination! I hope I can be more effective this time.
  8. Does this forum exist for the purpose of airing grievances, or for sharing actionable wisdom usable for the betterment of Scouting?
  9. Yes, I was on reddit. Can someone walk me through the process when a MB camp / MB college is involved? Are blue cards "supposed to" be issued by the Troop and given to boy in advance of merit badges they will be taking at one of those events? In my experience, some Troops do that, some don't. Are the blue cards "supposed to" be written on by the camp's MBC staff? IME, you don't get that service done for the unit; you just get an email or a print out. So, assuming the unit only gets a printout, is the Troop advancement person or SM supposed to fill out the blue card based on the printout? Or is the correct process that the Troop and the Scout work together to track down another official MBC to have them do the signoffs for what was done, then hopefully, subsequently, do the signoffs for the not-yet-completed requirements if it was a partial? In my experience, nothing like this is happening. In fact, IME, the boys don't even have blue cards that are partially filled out, with individual requirements that were done, when they get partials. I didn't intend for this discussion to retread Ye Ole' Boy-Led Versus Adult-Led ground, but rather a discussion on what best practices are for the leaders or the MBC staff, for those things that fall under the adults' purview. Last question: What's the lifetime of the blue card? Is it effectively useless when finished -- i.e. is the boy supposed to retain a copy of the blue card to indicate he has done the MB for his eventual Eagle BOR, or is the awarded white merit badge certificate card sufficient for this purpose?
  10. I'd like to have a discussions about Merit Badge partials (and maybe blue cards). What has been your and your units experience with boys who get partials? What are best practices for handling them? I understand, in theory, a boy can contact a Scoutmaster and ask for a MBC contact, then arrange for a MBC to help him finish up the incomplete requirements and acquire the MB. From what I have seen in practice, partials never get completed; it's more likely the boy takes the class again a few years down the road and get the MB at that time. My boys have accumulated a large catalog of partials from multiple summer camp / winter camp/ MBC events over the years, while in different Troops. Also, the Scouts getting copies of blue cards for events where MB completion has occurred a MB event, either for completions or for partials, has been very hit or miss. I haven't seen Troops be very diligent about about the process, in fact, so much so, that I'm not 100% sure what the process is supposed to be. Thoughts? Comments?
  11. My son's are joining a very small troop, and I've just stepped up to be the Troop Membership Chair. One of my prescribed functions is to "Have an annual customer satisfaction survey done with current Scout families". I am unable to find an existing survey to distribute, and would prefer not reinventing the wheel. Plus, I'm not sure what I would ask. Also, I wonder how useful a survey would really be. I'm thinking maybe this sort of thing might be better done as phone conversations, particularly to reach out to no-longer-active members, to get feedback about what would have kept them in the program. YIS, -Dan
  12. I am aware of the policy within Guide to Safe Scouting regarding shower usage that states: "Separate accommodations for adults and Scouts required. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. Likewise, youth and adults must shower at different times." At a Boy Scout camp, this is staightforward enough. My problem is that almost universally, during family camps with Cub Scouts, our parents choose to escort their boys, and, presuambly (since I'm not watching!), shower with them. It doesn't feel appropriate for me as Cubmaster to interfere with or discourage them from doing that. Heck, I even take my boys to the shower. (The alternative is sending them down there unsupervised and praying they don't do anything to embarrass me, lol!) I think most people, like me, usually just take turns if the shower area of the site doesn't afford privacy between stalls, and wait for the former occupant to be finished before entering and potentially invading their personal space. I've never heard of there being any incidents whre it was awkward, with someone pulling up right next to a currently showering kid to use an adjecent shower head, or anything like that. Is our Pack atypical in this regard? Am I really "breaking the rules" by not trying to put down my foot here? Should we try to institute "youth-only shower time", "adult-only shower time" and "family shower time"?!? PS: A separate issue is that some of the mothers of the younger boys, generally the one's that do not have a husband present, take them into the women's restroom with them (maybe even for showers, I'm not sure, since I don't go in the ladies room). I wouldn't mind intiating some discouragement of that practice, but that's probably another post.
  13. http://www.city-data.com/articles/Goat-Island-Mokuauia-Honolulu-Hawaii-Day.html
  14. Hi Scouters, First time poster here, thanks for the forum to air my questions. I'm a new Cubmaster for a Pack in Hawaii, and this Pack often has camping events at the Malaekahana State Recreation Area. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ma...db0c463c7fb9cf). Nearby there is a very lovely federal bird sanctuary on it's own private island with gorgeous views, called Goat Island. (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Go...75e2eb7e0e3f56) On a couple of occasions in the past we have held closing ceremony for our Pack event, and then some adventerous "interested families" would get together afterwards, and wade out into the ocean to go visit Goat Island. The reason we explicitly did this "off the books", is because there is a contingent of our leadership that believes going into the ocean here is either 1) totally verboten , and/or 2) fails to conform to some of the criteria for safe swim defense in a manner that cannot be overcome. I would like to make this activity "above board", and invite the entire pack to attend without the "wink, wink"-ing that has historically been involved. I'm read the Guide to Safe Scouting and the Safe Swim Defense rules, and I do not share the conviction that some of the other leadership possesses that this activity is verboten. The portions of the Guide to Safe Scouting that seem most relevant are: The area is question involves water that either entirely or almost entirely 2-3 feet deep when you wisely choose to traverse it at low tide. (I've never tried at high tide, and wouldn't with the pack anyway.) We have had little kids, "old ladies", and mothers with babies in a papoose ford this water out to the island, so I feel comfortable claiming that it is not a dangerous trip. That said, it is the ocean, so there are currents, and everyone who lives in Hawaii should have an appropriate respect for the hazards of the ocean. We have had people lose their footing (but obviously everyone has been able to regain it), and the flooring is bumpy, slippery, and uneven. But I feel it to be safe, and moreover, I feel the view on the other side is something really majestic, that everyone should have the chance to see. I am willing to jump through whatever hoops necessary in terms of assigning people to the role of lookouts/lifeguards, getting the correct headcount of people to take the correct amount of training, etc., to make this happen. Is this something I can and should push back on with the committee, or should I concede my understanding of all the various rules involved is too "loose" and this isn't something our Pack can do? Thanks, -Dan
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