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Everything posted by oddball

  1. Focus less on what people tell you, and more on what is written in stone. Use the same link I posted earlier, and read: One-on-one contact between adults and Scouts prohibited. One-on-one contact between adults and youth members is not permitted. In situations that require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster’s conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths. So, yes, you would need a meeting to have more than one adult. With a single adult at a meeting, one-on-one contact is inevitable.
  2. The Guide to Safe Scouting (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GSS/gss01.aspx#f) would require male and female leaders since a female leader camping out would make the event a co-ed activity. Appropriate adult leadership must be present for all overnight Scouting activities; coed overnight activities even those including parent and childâ€â€require male and female adult leaders, both of whom must be 21 years of age or older, and one of whom must be a registered member of the BSA.
  3. Cub/Boy Scouts should help prepare boys for life. You will not always be there to help your son, so preparing and enabling him to adapt are very important. And he'll do it better than you might predict. He'll have to at some point. Within scouting, there are boys with a variety of conditions. Some are physical, some psychological. Some are as simple as food allergies, some are much more critical. Your son, like many of the boys, simply will not be able to participate in everything. Your son, like many of the boys, may be able to participate in some activities with a reasonable amount of modification to the activity. The responsibility for knowing how to modify an activity is yours primarily. You must communicate to the den leaders and scoutmaster how his experience could be enhanced. And bear in mind, your son's scout leadership are volunteers, and did not wake up this morning and start their day by jogging across the lake, on top of the water. Back when I taught motorcycle safety, I had a deaf teenager take the course. It was a surprise to me as the night of class was the night we learned of it. When I told his mom that it would have been nice to know in advance, she felt she had the right to read me the riot act (much to her son's embarrassment). I explained to her, that with advance notice, I might have been able to contact the MSF to see if there were closed captioned versions of the videos, or that I might have been able to find an instructor who signed. If she felt dumb for going off on me, well, she certainly deserved it. Her son turned out to be very easy to instruct, as he paid close attention, read my lips as well as his student guide and could "hear" me over the motorcycle engines when we were on the range. Your son will surprise you.
  4. I'm guessing I'm not the only guy over 50 on here... Yes, you (or our boys, right?) can plan outside of a designated HA base, but will it really happen? Or do we start downplaying the importance of HA bases? I work with a 40 year old Eagle who, until I mentioned it, had never heard of Philmont. His boyhood troop had camped at one of two local BSA camps, and hiked a local National Forest as a HA type adventure.
  5. Why there's the Summit also! Yes, these camps are really pricey. But they cost a lot to maintain and operate. Try planning a week long trip for your crew which will give them ALL of the options provided by a high adventure camp, whether or not they use them all, and you may begin to understand.
  6. It's the quality of counselors and chow which make or break a camp, though facilities do play a part. Counselors and chow can change significantly from year to year. That said, we do tend to rotate between a few. The older boys get bored with the same old place every year.
  7. Where are you guys who were having problems located? Summer camp, last year for us, included a large number of female Venture Crew counselors. All the young ladies were in proper uniform around camp, and wore pretty modest 1 piece bathing suits at the pool and lake. I was impressed by the professionalism of all of the counselors. It was actually one of the 50+ y/o ASMs, not any of the boys, who commented on "the little blonde with the nice rack". Having a similarly equipped 14 y/o daughter, I found this particularly creepy. What I did observe was that even my 16 year old boys seemed oblivious to the girls - they were there to do scout stuff. I realize it's in the nature of both girls and boys to explore these feelings generated by their newly active hormones, but a mature, educated teen can easily control their urges. It's up to the adults to teach the youth to be mature. If there were any inappropriate activities after lights out, we didn't hear of them. Whatever went on in counselor camp, I couldn't tell you, but I would assume there was adult oversight there. Perhaps it was the bears talking to each other at night that kept everyone in their own campsite after lights out. In all, I have to say that camp last year was improved by having the Venture Crews there. Now if one of you will please com get this annoying mother who throws a fit because she can't sleep in until 8:00 a.m on campouts due to us men being up at 4:30 making coffee... As an aside, it is the 21st century. Why is race or ethnicity even mentioned here? I realize scouts and churches are the two most segregated organizations in the country, but if we don't actively tear down that wall, it will stand forever.
  8. qwazse, the project was a fund raiser, and those have to be approved at the district level (at least during popcorn season). Clown Boy has a backup plan though - a modified scouting for food type project which will provide ongoing support to our CO's food pantry and provide a venue for his fellow scouts to perform community service throughout the year. I have a few views on advancements. 1. If a boy participates, learns something, stays out of trouble, and is a 2nd class on his 18th birthday, part of me says good on him. Scouting has done something for him. Part of me says scouting has failed him. The patrol method requires that his fellow patrol member should have cared enough about him to ensure he was learning and documenting new skills so that he could be a contributing member of the patrol. 2. Eagle really isn't that hard if a boy keeps even a moderate head of steam up. I've seen Eagle projects approved which I would never approve, were it my decision, but it is what it is. Eagle by 14 boy might be pushing a little hard, but Eagle by 15 is pretty attainable. Why not shoot for Eagle early, and wear it for a few years? Beats the heck out of being 17-1/2 years old and needing 4 MBs and an Eagle project. 3. It is in the nature of boys to compete. This is why we have a sash for all the cool MBs. This is why we put rank on the shirt pocket. They do brag with each other who made what when. In this respect, they do NEED the opportunity to advance. They NEED merit badge counselors, they NEED the ability to develop leadership skills by competing for PORs. Recognition is necessary in any activity.
  9. Thanks to all who replied with constructive advice. It's interesting to hear how you do it in the UK, Cambridgeskip, A lot of our PLs are even younger. KenDavis500, by fairness, I meant giving the hard working, regularly attending boys the opportunity to develop by having PORs. As you surmise, we do have semi-annual elections to ensure boys have the opportunity to develop the leadership skills they need to advance. Our troop's patrols are pretty much arranged by age, then rank. Right now, we have 14 year, Star scout, church boy, as PL. Church boy's family's #1 priority is church, and that is fine. It has him missing a lot of meetings and campouts, yet he is there regularly enough the other boys have a rapport with him. Churchboy's dad is also an ASM who is very active, and will often drive other scouts to campouts even if church boy is tied up with his church youth group. Church boy's other commitments have allowed his APL, attitude boy, to develop some responsibility, come out of his shell, and have a whole lot less attitude. Then there are Aspergers boy and clown boy. These two are regular tent mates, and boys who generally just "git-r-done". They are the ones posting and retiring all the flags at troop meetings, even though no one told them to. Theirs is the first tent up on Friday night, and the first tent down on Sunday morning. When they're on the duty roster for such, meals are cooked, or dishes washed, without being told to. Clown boy blasted his way to 1st Class in well less than a year, while participating on a swim team 4-5 nights per week. Apsergers boy had a devil of a time learning to swim, but made 1st class well ahead of others in his year group. Clown boy is a clown because he doesn't really fit in (different school, different neighborhood, different religion, different financial class) and being a clown is the only way he gets any attention. Aspergers boy's "condition" is rapidly improving. A POR would help him. Same with clown boy - having to be serious and be responsible would have him gaining the respect of others. Clown boy has had all the Star requirements except for a POR done for about 7 months now, (and lacks just two merit badges for Life). He tried to do a scoutmaster approved service project, but it wasn't approved by district. Clown boy and Aspergers boy have been really good influences on each other, but need the opportunity to advance before they get stagnant. BTW, they are only 12 years old. We have Eagle by 14 boy. His dad is a heavily involved ASM and Eagle Scout, and is probably the #2 or #3 MVP (most valuable parent) in the troop. Eagle by 14 boy has done a wonderful job with his merit badges, and is looking for a POR. Eagle by 14 boy is a regular, and is a pleasure to have on outings. It does concern me he may be too advancements focused. Of course we have babysit me boy - isn't there on in every troop? He has no clue why he's there, what rank he is, or what he's supposed to be doing. Rather than write him off as worthless as some might, I've made him a pet project. He'll either start moving himself forward, or will announce to his parents that he has no interest in scouting. So where should football boy play into all this? He's coming up on 2 years in the troop, and might make first class at the winter COH. Are his needs superior to the rest of the boys in the patrol? Is he truly ready to lead?
  10. Just filled out my 2017 volunteer application, THEN I read this thread end to end. Sorry for dragging up a year plus old thread, but it does give me a lot of intel for the trip. Thank you all for taking the time to post your observations, both good and bad. As for the volunteer fee... I have not read anything in BSA rules and regulations prohibiting a scouter from using a site like gofundme.com to raise funds to offset the volunteer fee. It seems to me if someone can raise $18,000 to rescue foo-foo dogs (http://www.gofundme.com/hazelbakerpaps), a fellow with NRA RSO, Rifle, and Shotgun instructor credentials ought to be able to find a few hundred folks to give up a couple of bucks to enable him to donate a week's vacation time to support the scouts.
  11. Everything should be just fine. Something new to get kids more interested in the scout program. How can that be a bad thing? Cub packs are folding left and right around my area. Thanks to the "decision", my son and other boys are called gay, or faggots at school if they discuss scouting openly. Without cubs to refresh the troops, the troops will likely follow. We need something to put a more modern face on the organization.
  12. Jews and Christians recognize the subject line as the first commandment, written in stone. Many parents of high-schoolers also recognize the subject line as the summary of the athletic director's "welcome to High School sports" speech. Scouting in my observation, takes a back seat to sports. It takes a back seat to studies (which I understand and support). It takes a back seat to church activities. In my area, it takes a back seat to hunting season. It takes a back seat to pretty much everything else a boy has going on it seems. So what is fair and reasonable? How much time should a boy put into scouting? Where should it rank in the priority list? One of my scouts recently showed up at his first troop meeting since football season started in August. Just before troop elections. He wanted to run for a leadership position because he needs it for rank advancement, and if the other boys help him get it now, it won't interfere with his middle school football career come next fall. Presumably, his patrol won't see him for a few months again next year. My observations also tell me that 5 years from now, a bunch of first and second year scouts will meet this guy for the first time when he shows up being 17 years and 6 months old, needing to do an Eagle project and be elected SPL so he can Eagle and age out. My son meets one of these guys about every 3 or 4 months. In my reality, this just isn't fair to the boys who are attending week to week. I understand coaches, teachers, ministers, leaders of various organizations believing their activity is the most important thing in anyone's life. The realist in me demands a need for balance. An hour per week (hour and a half if there is a PLC), and a weekend per month (or every other month) seems to be a perfectly reasonable minimum amount of involvement for a boy to succeed at scouting. Regarding my high school aged daughter's sports, she and I have discussed balance. Her first season team had the girls practicing all day, nearly every day during the summer, and 3 hours per day during the school year, with fund raisers both days of nearly every weekend. She and I agreed the coach was overdoing it, and the teams' performance, in the words of my daughter, "sucked". Additionally, my daughter was perpetually frustrated trying to maintain her grades and follow the "commandments". Her second season sport has a coach who works them about an hour and a half per day so their study time is not really impacted, and has told the parents up front of the costs, so we can write the checks and have our weekends back. The net result of high school sports was about 4 out of 2,000 students at her school receiving sports scholarships. The schools don't have a metric for how many Eagle Scouts got scholarships, but I would imagine it was somewhat higher. My question is, should troops have minimum participation standards for a boy to be eligible for an elected troop position? Wouldn't that be the fairest to the boys who are putting in the time? Wouldn't it get boys more involved?
  13. Yes, getting parents or scouts to read emails, texts, or review a website is challenging. My question is whether you consider, in having a website, that many of us parents do not want their children's pictures and personal data plastered all over the internet? How do you plan to accommodate those wishes?
  14. Easy. I told my cub from a non-religious family that his parents were then the higher power and his spiritual guides. Worked for me, and actually got his dad a little more involved in the pack.
  15. oddball


    Hi all, So I was a Bear and Webelos 40 something years ago, and my son wanted to join up with scouting, so hear I am as an ASM now. I've been lurking around the site looking for information and opinions, but found a few topics I wanted to get involved in, so I registered.
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