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bs1964

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About bs1964

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    Georgia
  1. bs1964

    Setting up 501c3

    I'd stick with the church as your CO and, if you need one, set up a friends of troop xxx" as a support mechanism. Some companies will only donate to or award grants to 501©(3)'s so there can be a valid need. You'll want to be careful with by-laws and such to make sure officers and board members qualifications and tenures are laid out in advance and make sure someone can take care of tax filings are taken care of.
  2. There are pros and cons for both methods and netiher is right or wrong. Depends on size of troop, size of X-over group, how well current patrols are functioning, how strong the PLs are etc. I tend towards aged-based patrols because that is what the boys prefer Its a pretty rare 16 or 17 year-old that wants to be in a patrol with an 11 or 12 year-old. If your existing patrols aren't working well, throwing in a batch of new scouts probably won't help and will likely not be a lot of fun for the new scouts either. Our NSP get a troop guide who will essentially act as their PL for the first several month and then will mentor guide the PL for the first year. We do a few targeted activities / outings to "orient" the NSP and get them moving while we get the message out that, unlike webelos, they will be advancing base don their own initiative. I don't think first year scouts can really function as PLs effectively so I like them to rotate PL every 2-3 months for the 1st year while being mentored by a TG or an ASM. By the end of their first year, natural leaders will emerge, boys will advance - or not - based on their ineterest level.
  3. bs1964

    Committee Meetings Open?

    Our CMs are generally open but I have certainly had times when they were closed. We generally Don't have ASMs at CMs. That said, Mark does sound a little helicopter-ish to me. Our troop has similar policies. In our troop the only people signing off on rank requirements are designated senior / experienced scouts or designated ASMs. MBCs can be their scout's MBC in group class situations, or when specifically approved by me in advance. In general I am not a big fan of the group advancement idea so I sympathize with Mark's scout wanting to go at his own pace. It just that - in my experience - sometimes that pace has more to do with Mom or Dad than what the scout really wants.
  4. bs1964

    No Moms Allowed!

    I certainly don't think that this would fly as official policy. We have a new scout "orientation" camp out soon after X-over but I encourage both Moms and Dads to stay home for this one, especially if Mom or Dad was their Web leader. I like to immerse new scouts in being used to youth led early-on. Hard to do when Mom or Dad are there and they don;t have experience in this aspect. As far as Moms in general, I'm glad to have them. Some of my most active hikers / backpackers have been Moms. Was on a BP trip on the AT several years ago when we ran into a oldtimer who scoffed at the idea of a woman out with a BS troop. He was shocked to hear that if I had to rely on just Dads to provide adult leadership on trips our boys would be sittign home most week-ends.
  5. bs1964

    Transporting Scouts

    I am always amazed at what some leaders (ususally CMs) "find" in the G2SS.
  6. bs1964

    With whom does the SPL eat?

    Our SPL and ASPL have the option of eating with the adult patrol or with their "home" patrol. Generally they are more than happy to dine with us adults.
  7. I am contemplating moving into the social networking arena for our troop with a Facebook group, twitter account, some other social networking vehicle or all of the above. I am interested in the pitfalls, do's and don'ts that other troops/crews have encountered. Ultimately, I'd like the youth webmaster (not yet implemented in our troop) to moderate / oversee.
  8. No rule that I am aware of. In my troop I discourage this unless it's part of a MB class. The whoel adult association thing is more effective when the adults aren't your parents.
  9. I wouldn't have a problem letting them "crossover" and would welcome then to give the troop a try. I've had this happen before. Most of the time the boy never really joins and participates but a few have stuck with it and the program. I alway bring some extra swag to the crossovers in case we have any last minute converts... Way bak when I was a Webelos leader, we used to do the crossover separate from the AOL as well. Is it just me or are some of these crossovers coming earlier and earlier. It used to be April or May but we are getting Webelos wanted to join in January now..
  10. bs1964

    New epaulets and numbers on old shirt?

    Thanks OGE. I missed that on the original flyer. Mine has mouse type that requires a magnifying glass.
  11. While transitioning to the new uniform is it "legal" to where the new shoulder tabs and numerals on the old khaki shirt? None of our scouts and none of our new crossovers have the new shirt yet but I imagine next year we will see the new shirts showing up. My inclination is to keep boys in the old uniform in the red epps and red numbers but had considered getting the epps and patches to effect a partial transition. Curious what other are doing. In order to enforce some uniform consistency I don't want to look out and see some green and some red for the next few years and I don't want to tell scouts they have to go out and replace a perfectly good old-style uniform shirt.
  12. bs1964

    Merit badge work at Troop meetings

    Lot's of good advice. MB work during meetings is one of my pet peeves as well. We just don't do it or do it very rarely when it fits into our regular program. I also have a problem with the 'MB Factory" mind-set. scoutldr has the right take on this. Doing all MB work in classes or group sessions like outings undermines the purpose of this scouting method. Where's the pesonal growth in this? Do boys really earn the Geology MB when they listen tot a 1 hour talk at a commercial cave before their tour. I think not! As SM, I have a general policy that a parent can't be the MBC for their son. There are exceptions, such as the rare occasion when the MB is being taught in a group setting or when we don't have alternate MBCs
  13. bs1964

    troop size

    Approximately 45-50 scouts (after this years' crossovers of 8-10) ASMs - 9 (4-5 fairly active) CM - 9 (4-5 active) Since I've been in the troop we've been as large as 70 and as small as 25. I'm pretty comfortable with 40-50 scouts. Our perpetual problems are keeping older scouts engaged and active and recruiting new leaders. On the older scout issue, they tend to be very active for their first 3 years in the troop, then get busy with other activities, and then drift back to finish their Eagle. On the leader front, it is a challenge not to burn people out (it happened to me but now I'm back). I'm lucky to have the leaders I have but it always seems to be the same ones. I think that is one of the challenges of a troop of our size. New parents perceive us to be well staffed with leaders so they hang back.
  14. bs1964

    Troop doing its own new scout program at summer camp

    GWD - our camp as "The New scout Trail" (TNT) program with a different phase for Tenderfoot (3 hours), 2nd Class (2 hours) and 1st Class (1 hour). They do "sign-off" on a requirements sheet (not the book). I've also noted that very little is actually retained. I think this has to do with getting credit for being present while something was talked about or demonstrated but not having to demonstrate the skill. Through a series of special outings, or break out session on outings, I hope to get most of our new scouts well on the way this year before summer camp.
  15. bs1964

    Stone Mountain Georgia

    Stone Mountain is in my backyard but we haven't camped there in years! There used to be 3 great primitive sites for groups but I think they have closed them all. I've never camped in the campground area before. There are some features at the park that are particularly appealing for scouts that are propbably not in the official brochure. A local troop maintains an orienteering course near the nature trail so if any of your scouts need this for FC, there's that. There is also a trail around the mountain (Cherokee Trail) that can take care of the 5-mile hike. This trail leaves the "walk-up" trail about 1/2 way up and then goes off the mountain and loops all the way around back to the walk-up trail (I think it is in the 5-6 mile range if you don't go all the way up and then back down).
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