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wdfa89 last won the day on May 26 2015

wdfa89 had the most liked content!

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About wdfa89

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  1. wdfa89

    Required Worksheets?

    Our troop does Scout BoRs. We know and acknowledge it is not a requirement. If any Scout or Parent points that out and says they will not we would not argue the point or hold a grudge. As adv chair I do not hide the fact it is not rqd and tell parents as such. We do it to give the boys additional opportunities to practice a) sched/attending the BoR, coming in full uni w/ their book, speaking w/ the panel and an opportunity to provide the troop feedback on their journey to that point--especially since these are our newest scouts. It also gets our adults a chance to meet our new scouts and it is great way for me to increase my pool of adults and train parents on BoRs. And I explain that to all my new parents, again pointing out while what we are doing is additional/optional--it is not required and their kid is a scout after the SM conf. We have not held up any kid because we couldn't/wouldnt get a scout bor done.
  2. wdfa89

    Tenderfoot and other ranks

    Our CO (a church) has a piece of property on the edge of town they are holding to someday relocate. We meet at the church. once a year we have a campout at the property primarily for the first years to get them acclimated to the patrol method, work on basics, catch up the boys who couldn't get to camp, allow some boys who cant make the whole weekend get at least one night in as they work around school/sports conflicts. aone time we made the weekend a focus on cooking and we set up all different ways of cooking inthe field and basically had different food/meals going non stop. anyway, it provides a good "starter" camp environment. we don't go there often, most the time we are hitting the road to camp but staying local does provide some opportunities. we have found for some of the new boys (and their parents) the idea of them being close by w/ the ability to go home quickly if things go south gives all concerned a comfort level they need to get used to the whole camping thing. rarely does anyone actually avail themselves of going home/picking up their kids early. The new boys realize next time they want to go away to camp and the parent realize their kids will surviv a couple nights in a tent w/o them. It's a nice start in the shallow end sort of deal.
  3. wdfa89

    What to do

    sounds like my son/ 14 yr old Life, busy with Band/soccer/baseball. Troop has a lot of first years and second years who might as well be first years. we focus on what he likes. he goes on campouts, cool day activities, jambo, phi8lmont,nylt but is sort of intermittent at meetings. sort of taking a breather during band/soccer season and then hopefully come back recharged/motivated in the new year when he has a little more time. when he goes to meetings he focuses on what he likes--teaching a single or pair of newbies scout skills to help them advance. it is about balance as well as letting him feel he is in control of his time and fate. and we try and help him prioritize his different events so he doesn't feel like he is letting anybody down and doesnt feel the weight of the world for all the decisions.
  4. wdfa89

    Dealing with Helicopter Parents

    SSF you make good points and obviously every situation is different. For me, I don't want to discourage parental involvement--it is in fact necessary and we take every opportunity that comes to take really involved parents and get them to sign up as leaders or committee members. I am only talking about the parents who try and steamroll thru the procedures (not that we are slaves to a checklist) that the rest of the boys follow or parents who hand carry the blue cards or scout books thru the signature process on behalf of their son for example. Any parent who wants to set up an event is fine by me. But I kind of gotta feel like the kid is actually doing the stuff and the kid is driving the train (factoring in we all, me included, push or have pushed our kids a little bit)
  5. wdfa89

    Dealing with Helicopter Parents

    I don't know of, or we have been lucky to not have the extreme examples but every year we have several orientation meetings for the incoming parents where we clearly spell out how the troop works conducted by the various committee chairs and scoutmasters. we clearly spell out how advancement/scheduling/campouts/meetings/etc are conducted and what we expect of our parents as well as how they can contribute and participate. and in the end, the current adult leadership is very steadfast in how we want the troop (boy led/patrol method) to be. We pushback hard against parents who can't seem to get it. i.e. I am advancement chair and I just ignore or slow roll the couple of hyper aggressive parents when it comes to getting their kid signed off or blue cards completed. I also know I have full support of CC and SM in that. eventually they realize the only way their kid is getting something signed is if he actually did it and goes thru the proper procedure. or they leave the troop. Now as I have gotten older and/or dealt with more and more actually serious issues in my career my tolerance for silly crap has decreased, particularly from other adults and their kids. I really have zero problem telling another adult they are wrong, they are not going to get their way, they don't rate an exception or extraordinary effort from meor any other adult troop leader. Now there is very little I will not do or an effort I will not make for a boy who is polite/respectful and is doing their best, particularly to overcome circumstances outside of their control or obstacles not of their making--regardless of what kind of doofus their parents may be.
  6. wdfa89

    Merit Badge Class . My Thoughts

    I taught a badge at the last couple Council organized and executed U of Scouting events. I always ask the boys (usually a class of around 20) before we start why are they there. Some have a genuine interest in the topic. Some are chasing a MB that isnt offered a lot or that they don't have. some signed up late and this was all that was left. and finally we get the my parent signed me up and sometimes that comes with the additional I don't want to be here. I just run my badge and those that want to learn an earn do it enthusiastically. Others just do it and then others just sit there and do nothing. If you do the stuff I sign the card. If not, good day to you. I had one of those signed up their kid parents call me about completing the partial and what did she need to do to get the MB completed. I told her I told her son what he needed to do and how to get ahold of me if he cared. never heard from her again. last time the ratio of kids who truly wanted to be there vs those who ended up there was just too far out of whack for me to sign up again.
  7. wdfa89

    New rule for Eagle palms

    My point was not that the award is meaningless, or that one just go to the Scout shop buy one and hand it out but that all the discussion and hand wringing seems a little silly to me. Interpret the guidance from National, discuss among Troop leadership, and press on. If the boy, in your Troop's opinion met the criteria as they understand it in good faith then that ought to be enough. I have seen actual combat decorations awarded (deservedly) with less scrutiny than some Boy Scout awards receive and I guess I find it funny.
  8. wdfa89

    New rule for Eagle palms

    we are not awarding the Medal of Honor for pete's sake. It's a bronze palm. let the boy have it.
  9. wdfa89

    President Trump to visit 2017 Jamboree

    not unglued. you seem a bit worked up. I don't recall any info that any of HRC's emails involved the BSA or her having any involvement at all with BSA so her honesty or lack thereof isn't particularly relevant to DT's jambo speech . Don't see how her lies excuses/justifies his.
  10. wdfa89

    What makes them stay with Scouting?

    #1 has to be parent support. If they believe in the program they will get their kids there, volunteer, etc. A close #2 has to be the fellowship--if a kid's buddies aren't there they won't be either. So intertwined #3 is the program. If you have a great program the kids (and their buds) will want to participate and the parents will have the belief in the value of Scouts. And then #4 the adult leaders who help the boys develop and execute #2, All are interelated and one could argue my ordering---a whole lot of chicken and the egg. There are obviously more specifics w/ respect to 2 and 3 as it relates to age of the scouter (first year vx older boys) so it takes different things to reach different ages on those areas.
  11. wdfa89

    New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

    OK. So the blog confirmed the blog. So now after the Handbook, the GTA, I will be sure to check the blog when I need advancement guidance. In fairness, I guess not much different then calling National/Council/etc. I think, and would hope, all SM/Committee/Adv Chair are familliar w/ the first two. I will have to admit until this thread on this forum I wasn't familiar w/ Bryan's Blog. Not sure that is a good/standardized way to disseminate information. but I digress. w/ ya on it should take 3 months and not a fan of the change
  12. wdfa89

    President Trump to visit 2017 Jamboree

    the good news is soon the Jambo crowd will be estimated at 150K, the largest Jambo crowd ever in the history of Jambos
  13. obnoxious parents...well we try
  14. wdfa89

    New Eagle Palm Policy, August 2017

    again, w/ no axe to grind, no horse in the race and just because debating on the internet with anonymous strangers is fun (or more fun than doing actual work) are responses to FAQ's in Bryan's Blog now official policy statements and binding guidance? I absolutely follow the logic and don't disagree with it but that isn't what is in the actual guidance put forth and one could read/interpret it differently and if they haven't checked with the FAQ section of Bryan's Blog, well... But yes I see the answer the National Boy Scout Subcommittee provided to the FAQ section of Bryan's Blog and it is clear. I am not arguing against it, probably agreeing this was done in a bit of a ham handed manner.
  15. wdfa89

    Youth Behavior at 2017 Jamboree

    slightly off topic, but related, how does Jambo environment (obviously not activities) compare with NOAC (w/in the context we have been discussing) if anyone has some insight? my limited anecdotal evidence is there is patch trading but much less cutthroat and emphasized for example.