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Everything posted by SlowDerbyRacer

  1. The other STEM related thread has devolved into a debate about the merits of a STEM program. It also centered on a pilot program run in Tennessee which is very different than the national program (www.scouting.org/stem). Hopefully this one can be a little more value added, focusing on how to make the most of the program as opposed to bashing it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our pack just decided to embrace the STEM/Nova program and I’m the guy who gets to figure out how to integrate it into the group. My question for those who already do the program is what do you do that works well (or even poor) for the kids? And for those who don’t do STEM, or might still be thinking about it, what ideas might you have? Thought starter questions running through my head include: -Do we try to integrate at the pack or den level (or both)? Maybe find a way to fit a STEM theme or take away into every pack meeting? -Do we make it a pack/den thing or just allow the boys to pursue the awards in their own? -When and how should the counselor/mentor meetings be held? -How many counselors/mentors are in your pack? -What STEM related projects, activities, or similar do you do at pack/den meetings?
  2. I stand corrected about stemscouts.org not being affiliated with BSA. However it appears that pilot program is still different than what BSA is rolling out nationwide. The national program (STEM/nova) is much more integrated into the pack/troop structure.
  3. I searched out a STEM thread to get some background on the program as our our pack is going to support it. Wow, I'm shocked at the negativity towards the program. Where do I start with what seem to be some ridiculous biases against the program? I see the STEM program as a supplement to the base program. I don't think anyone is arguing for it to become the program. At least in our pack it will be an extra something for the boys to achieve. I liken it to the belt loop/pin program on steroids. I suppose those speaking against STEM felt the Academic portion of the Academics & Sports program had no value because it wasn't outdoorsy? Frankly the unspoken fear here is that some feel this will attract nerds and not campers. To the guy who expressed concern about this being an opening to allowing girls, in what decade are you still living? And let's be very clear about something, the stemscouts.org site that keeps getting referenced above is not affiliated with BSA in any way. The BSA program can be found at http://www.scouting.org/stem.aspx. The BSA STEM program has all the normal protections and guidelines in place. I'll also direct everyone to the BSA Mission and Vision Statements. They talk about values, not activities. Scouting is not all about hiking and camping. For years proponents of scouting have pointed to certain famous ex-scouts as examples of what scouting has produced, possibly no person more so than Neil Armstrong. I don't know about you, but it may not get any more STEMy than him or any of the dozens or more scouts who became astronauts. Or what about the at least 5 Eagle Scouts who won Nobel Prizes in Science?
  4. I just assumed he's using "segment" for things like belt loops and other merit badge or patch type things.
  5. This is an example of how there are many different pack/den approaches out there. I'm with you, but unfortunately many leaders are very black and white and don't like the idea of "double credit." Minimally I suggest you allow the Tiger Leader to recognize his kids and hope it creates some peer pressure on the other DLs.
  6. Re: the Facebook, text, or email question - why does it matter for people what they receive? Virtually everyone has a smartphone these days so regardless of how someone sends something, the recipient should be getting a similar type of alert. I've been fortunate, save for one example, my exclusive email method has never been an issue for parents I've had to reach. And the one exception is actually a bit of a funny story... The parents would never get anything in a timely manner and I often had to follow up by phone. Finally i asked the dad about it. His response, "we both work for the post office..."
  7. Fundraising (like popcorn sale) will eventually alleviate much of the financial burden. Unfortunately as with most things, there are struggles in the beginning. Year 1 will be tough, but focus on good, low cost (free) experiences for the kids. year 2 will be better as you get more kids.
  8. Keep in mind what the question was. It was for a cub scout Facebook page. The policy is for all scouts including teen boy scouts and doesn't necessary relate to the OP's question. The policy makes many mentions of two deep leadership, scout safety, etc. I believe the intent of the policy is to protect the scouts who may be on Facebook (remember Facebook is for age 13+). I take the OP's question to be about a communication forum for cub scout PARENTS. As such I see no issue for a private pack group as it does appear to be intended for the scouts themselves. Heck, think about the purpose of the policy is for scout safety. It is far safer for the boys if their photos, schedules, and other info is protected in a NON-PUBLIC forum.
  9. Count me as majorly disappointed the Belt Loop program is going away. This new Adventure Loop program doesn't seem as good. It appears the new loops are earned for doing requirements and electives withing the ranks. My question that I haven't seen answered in the new program materials is: Since adventure loops are now earned for doing electives within the ranks, does that mean arrow points are also going away?
  10. I'm curious to hear how other dens/packs balance kids would have other activities which conflict with scout events. I'm thinking specifically about things like sports, religious ed, etc. Some of those things just can't be missed. For example I'd never tell a Wolf Scout he shouldn't go to his religious ed classes in his First Communion year when they conflict with regularly scheduled scout meetings. But he also needs to be there a certain minimum amount to be a scout. How have you all handled situations like this? And is there a point where you draw the line?
  11. This is the year our group is doing the whittling chip. I suspect most scouts will have some type of traditional pocketknife, be it a Swiss Army type or single blade locking type. However when I see what types of projects are commonly done as part of this achievement, I can't help but think a regular pocketknife is all wrong. To me a pocket knife it great if you want to make a spear and/or just create shavings, but if you want to do anything with any degree of detail you really need an actual carving blade or tool. Am I wrong here? How did some of you reconcile the projects some kids may have wanted with the tools they had? For example, I think even some basic neckerchief slides could be tough with a regular knife. Thanks in advance for any guidance or best practices.
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