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Everything posted by bs1964

  1. 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 firs
  3. 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 expe
  4. 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
  5. I am always amazed at what some leaders (ususally CMs) "find" in the G2SS.
  6. 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. 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 wa
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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. 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
  16. Wow - lots of good ideas. I'd lower the age for Eagle from 18 to 17 and then eventually to 16. I know in my area we spend a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to engage 16-17 year-old scouts. Not to mention the grinping and moaning we hear when one of these guys comes back to the troop at age 17 to earn Eagle. Eagle by 16 and then on to venturing your go ...
  17. I have a question about counting service hours. From time to time our troop has a "work day" where we clean-up our building, our storage shed, re-stack our firewood, or burn the yard trash and other rubbish that seems to accumulate behind our shed. I don't consider this as "service" for purposes of rank requirements because we are really only seriving ourselves. The language used in the scout HB stresses service to "others", which I have always taken to mean the community at-large or specific groups, non-profits, ministries, etc. Sometimes, I take a little heat for this hard-line.
  18. In our troop, the patrol grubmaster will rotate for each trip. For younger scouts they need to do this for rank advancement purposes. The boys on the trip either bring money to the meeting before the trip or, more typically, settle up by the end of the camp out. One weakness to this system is that often it is the parent of the grubmaster that does all the planning and shopping. We use a grubmaster form that they are supposed to complete and get approved by the SPL the meeting before but soetimes this step is lost. If someone syas they are on the trip and food is purchased for them, th
  19. In my troop, approximately 40 scouts, we have typically used NSP and a loose FCFY program. The FCFY is more of a goal where we provide the opportunity to accomplish this. Not all scouts are that motivated and some take their time. My thoughts are that a rigid FCFY program where all new scouts advance in lock-step together is really more like cub scouts than boy scouts. This year we will have 12-15 new scouts and will likely integrate the new scouts into 2-3 existing patrols while provided the FCFY "break out" activities in addition to the troop's normal outdoor program. In my ex
  20. Our troop, 35-45 scouts at any given time, does not have any official attendance requirements. I've thought about it but I just haven't seen a way to make it really work. So many boys get so tied up with sports, band, ROTC, school, etc. that there is always a good reason why attendance is irregular. That said I have applied a participation requirement on our older scout patrol when they were being particularly inactive by refusing to sign off on anything Eagle related until they got their activity level up. It worked but it was a hollow victory because I know there heart wasn't in it.
  21. Don't really like the "scouting activity" change for the 20 nights. I've always viewed the MB program as something that should happen primarily outside of troop activities.
  22. Long-time reader, first-time poster. Our troop as traditionally used the new scout patrol (NSP) method and has basically aged-based patrols. I am considering transitioning to a mixed-age, permanent patrol system. Any tips or best-practices in making this transition?
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