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Everything posted by SlowDerbyRacer

  1. I'm finding this thread a little disheartening because it's a shame this is even an issue. By "this" I mean a discussion/debate about who is in charge, reports to who, etc. Perhaps I have my head in the clouds because power plays and chain of command problems are just not an issue for our large pack (~65 kids). As I mentioned above our CC is the guy keeps us running smoothly. The CM is public face of the pack but there are no battling egos. To address @@blw2 's comment, there's little issue with parents or kids not knowing who the top guy is. Frankly the parents probably all understand the CC is the heavy lifter because communications generally come from him. And for the kids, the CM is a great public face because he's good with the kids, is an Eagle Scout, has great scout knowledge and can work the room. I liken our situation to a football team where there's a head coach, but the offensive coordinator has full reign to call plays. In both cases (scouts or football) the leaders know their roles and perform them without conflict. @@Stosh made an ivory tower comment about some units. That's just a shame some units have to deal with that. That tells me the leadership has too much focus on things that don't directly benefit the kids.
  2. You might be on to something here. Scouting needs to pokefy itself. BP becomes Lord Baden Bowell, an earth type. His special power is poop missiles.
  3. In practice for our pack the CC is the top guy. He coordinates everything on a pack-wide basis. The den leaders do all the heavy lifting with the scouts. Our cubmaster is ceremonial more than anything. He basically just emcees the monthly pack meeting and sits in on the committee and provides input on par with others around the table. I'm not sure how that all relates to what it should be, but it works well for us.
  4. In the States you'd possibly get as good a result with a random number generator. But in defense of those who don't/didn't know the answers, I'm not sure how important those pieces of trivia* are to new scouts. I work at the cub level in the US and I know none of that info is ever reviewed or presented. And I occasionally skim through the BSA handbook, and I don't believe the majority of those answers are addressed. *I intentionally used the word trivia because I don't think any of those pieces of information are core to what being a scout is.
  5. I assume you recharter sometime over the summer? IMO you should recharter because you don't want to completely cut off the options for the boys. I might be the outlier, but why are you so strongly for the Feb crossover date as your last day? I get that you probably got into scouting because of your son (we almost all do), but once you do sign up in a leadership role, you effectively need to put the group above the individual. I think it sends the wrong message to walk out on a pack midyear (and I completely get that's not your desire and you want to make the switch sooner). However I think you need to either walk now or commit to finishing out the next scout year. Otherwise it would be akin to Little League dad/coach splitting midseason because his kid got a season ending injury mid year. IMO you gotta be willing to make the full commitment or don't make one at all.
  6. I'll partially agree with you. Yes, the belt loops and pins continue to be a component of the Supernova program through December. There's a slight grandfathering of requirements for STEM. But I would argue the traditional academic and sports program is done. Packs should not be encouraging scouts to work on belt loops and pins. That program technically ended May 15 (or May 31 - I've seen both dates published), though I'm sure some packs and camps will continue to award them as soon as a supply remains. But I'd caution those who try to keep the program alive a few months longer because there will issues with supply. As of a few weeks ago, multiple local scout shops were already out of supply on a number of items. I'd hate to have a kid earn something but not be able to get the award.
  7. So we're now officially into the new program. I'm interested to see how it plays out in this forum in the coming months. I expect there will be a mix of those hating and loving it. And I'm sure there will be examples of cases where word of the new program didn't reach everyone and there will be issues with some sticking with the old program. I'd also bet money there will be mini-uproars because many have probably not grasped the old belt loop program is gone. Interesting times ahead!
  8. Here's an interesting piece that showed up in my Facebook feed today related to an overweight scouter. http://www.forksoverknives.com/fok-helped-me-lose-100-pounds-and-enjoy-85-mile-hike-with-my-son/
  9. The original question is an interesting one. Upon my initial read I went back and forth a few times. I can see both perspectives. However, in this case I would be ok with the swimming MB as a prereq. Technically it is a prereq to take the course and is not a prereq to earn the badge and therefore isn't adding to the requirements. In a camp setting there is certainly a mass element to the badges and it's reasonable to expect for some objective criteria to be in place as an initial screen. In a traditional setting, if a scout went to a MBC and asked to work on the lifesaving MB, it would be reasonable for the counselor to ask if the scout was a strong swimmer. If the answer was no, there would be nothing out of line if the MBC turned the scout away. Because in a camp there are so many more scouts, that initial screen needs to be a little more formal and asking for a swimming MB sounds like a reasonable approach to me.
  10. You raise many issues here, but as it's late where I am I'm only going to comment on a couple. First, a month and a half is incredibly fast to go through the old wolf program. That should not be the standard to judge. In our large pack, rank advancement (with some electives & other activities) is a 7-8 month timeline. And regarding the ending of the academic and sports programs, it was not ended because of time constraints. Many elements of it were shifted to the rank requirements and electives and in essence the program was combined with the regular scout program in a move to simplify, streamline, and create a consistent program structure across ranks,
  11. I was going to comment on that too, but figured it meant bath literally and did not include the latrine!
  12. Has the look of Yosemite to me. Also I noticed there is no kitchen labeled - would have expected a fire in that picture.
  13. I've used it, but only individually and not for pack or den purposes. Been trialing it in case we consider moving to it. I like it a lot.
  14. I don't disagree but I find it interesting you say districts are a value to start up units. My frame of reference is mostly at the cub level so I can't speak as well for troops, but I've seen a number of pleas on here from small and/or new packs claiming no support from the district. In such cases I always wonder "why is it an issue?" I think for small/new packs you can get a great foundation built if you just focus on the scout books and rank activities. Perhaps I'm wrong? I also think many local unit leaders struggle because they look around and expect someone to tell them what to do and wait for someone else to take charge and responsibility. That's probably natural, but the reality is those local leaders just need to take the initiative and realize they are the ones to lead themselves. I'd venture many complaints with the district come from local leaders seeing the district as a crutch and then they have issues when that crutch isn't there. Many problems would be avoided if the locals realized a crutch isn't needed.
  15. I'm going to disagree with with this assertion. In my opinion, the most important thing in Scouting is the Scout. And that is the reason I can appreciate those who have issues with councils and districts. Those bodies are generally removed from direct interaction with the scouts and thus I would define as less important. We keep hearing about recruitment and retention challenges but districts and councils can only impact things so much. A great pack and dens can survive bad councils/districts, but great councils/districts can't overcome weak dens and packs. Scouting is about the scouts and the most important level is that which interacts the most with them. Other levels are needed to act as support, but are frankly nothing more than administration. Granted it could be valuable administration, but often not necessary.
  16. Welcome. I'm commenting mostly because the term Illowa jumped out at me. Hadn't heard that one before. Is that just the name of your council, or is it a term used by the general population of the region? I liken it to Michiana - the area near South Bend, Indiana extending into Michigan.
  17. I'm curious how others out there treat/encourage scouts who pursue badge and elective requirements on their own. For example the plan for the year might have some things planned for den meetings in the spring, but scouts want to do the activities on their own in the fall. Another example is a scout who wants to get started on his new rank in the summer when formal den meetings might not start until September. As many requirements are "with your den or family..." I don't see it as an issue and I definitely wouldn't want to discourage a motivated scout. But on the other hand I could appreciate the argument that it could be seen as the scouting setting himself apart from the den community.
  18. The following stuck out to me from the article you posted: “Why the rule? A Scouter once told me this explanation I liked quite a bit: A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?†said Bryan Wendell on the scouting website. That is just BS (and a few other stronger words). If you want to argue water guns encourage the use of weapons, fine. I won't agree with you, but you can argue it and maybe make some valid points. But don't hide behind Kind from the Scout Law. Doing so implies playing with water guns is inherently unkind. That's crap. Kids who play with water guns do so willingly, eagerly, and with much amusement. Even when getting waterlogged they are laughing and having a grand old time. You want to know what's more unkind than a water gun? Telling a bunch of 6 -18 year olds that they can't cool off in the hot summer while having some fun.
  19. Take this constructively because that is how it's intended. On my first read through the above are the statements that stuck with me. You claim to not remember making the statement, but never actually denied it. That tells me you actually don't like the person. Perhaps you are so clouded you can't remember the statement and/or you are giving off clear vibes of negativity. Further you decline the opportunity for discussion? Regardless of what you think the tone or message will be, that tells me you aren't open to anything beyond your own point of view. Again, please take this constructively, but try to look at your actions, words, and behaviors as others would see them. Then try to take an honest assessment of how you could have approached this situation differently.
  20. I haven't gone through the detail yet, but I see they have monthly meeting plans for September through the following August. I'm curious what percentage of packs have formal pack meetings in the summer? We generally take the summer off from formal organized meetings.
  21. This part I agree with. The new Tiger program is definitely beefed up, at least in terms of volume. It's much less of an intro program and more akin to the Wolf and Bear models. I predict this message board will be plastered in the coming year with issues packs are facing with the new Tiger program. However I see it less as a result of the program content/structure and more because of the learning curve for what are usually new leaders. Under the old program, new Tiger den leaders (dads/moms) could ease into it and learn as they go. With the amount of content in the new program, Tiger dens need to hit the ground running. I think packs will need to do a better job supporting these dens and the den leaders from day 1. There will also be a steep learning curve for new scout families who might not realize all they could and should be doing on their own. Quality orientation for leaders and families will be critical.
  22. Please enlighten me. What can go wrong? I'm not familiar with the 1970s issues you're referring to. If we're talking just about the physical loops, they're not a bad idea - especially when compared with the existing beads. Today those beads all too often fall off, get lost, are a jangly distraction, etc. I'll miss the elective arrow points, but the loops are at least an acceptable replacement in my mind.
  23. Fully agree. A 1 foot hike might sound incredibly boring and useless to an adult, but to a first grader it's a great way to both open their minds to the world of the outdoors (when all too many have their lives revolve around the indoors and electronics) and to trigger their imaginations. Say that 1 foot hike reveals... -A feather: that leads to speculating about the life and experiences of the bird it came from. -A pointy rock: Is it an old Indian arrowhead? -A white rock: dinosaur bone? -And so on... Have you ever seen a young kid find a bug or worm? If so, then you've seen the places such a find can lead them - real or imaginary. The minds of young kids are so much more creative than adults because they are not yet bound by preconceived notions and norms. They see things adults can't even fathom. Who cares if 90% of what they come up with is not realistic or plausible. The remaining 10% is pure magic...
  24. I'm sorry but I don't get the criticism of any environmentalist influence on scouting. (Nor do I even see it.) And I especially don't see it as conflicting with camping, hiking, or other outdoor activities. Do I need to remind you of Leave No Trace? That is the definition of environmentalism.
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