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SMMatthew last won the day on December 22 2014

SMMatthew had the most liked content!

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About SMMatthew

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  1. I just found in the BSA's "Journey to Excellence" FAQs (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/mission/JTE_FAQs-Unit.pdf) that "lock-ins" and other indoor overnights count as short-term camping for JTE purposes... so perhaps they do count as "campouts" for advancement purposes too.
  2. So a Scout who serves as his patrol's cook on a rustic winter cabin weekend (planning the menu, doing the food shopping, tending the fire, prepping the food, cooking the meals outside over the fire, leading grace, and doing clean-up...for breakfast, lunch and dinner) does not get credit for First Class requirement #4e (which specifies "on a campout") because he slept in a cabin that night rather than in a tent?
  3. Ok I think there are two separate (but related) issues here: (1) What should a Scout with a POR do... and (2) What must a Scout with a POR do to get credit for advancement? Every Position of Responsibility (whether it be Quartermaster, Webmaster, Historian, Bugler, Chaplin's Aide, OA Representative, Patrol Leader, or Senior Patrol Leader) has measurable metrics -- specific duties, responsibilities and expectations. There are job descriptions and specific tasks that should be done by a Scout with a specific badge on his sleeve. Are the Dutch Ovens ready for the campout? Is the troop w
  4. There are several requirements on the trail to First Class that reference doing things on a “campout.†But what exactly counts as a “campoutâ€Â? Obviously spending the night sleeping in a tent you have helped pitch is camping (such as for Tenderfoot requirement 2) . Sleeping out under the stars on a ground cloth or a hammock is (in my opinion) camping. Summer camp in canvas wall tents is certainly camping. My interpretation is the event has to be overnight (so day trips into the wilderness don’t count as a “campoutâ€Â) and it has to have an outdoors ele
  5. I'll agree that you shouldn't "fail" a Scout on an advancement requirement for failing to show leadership when the rank requirement only asks that a Scout serves actively in a position of responsibility (it doesn't say "show leadership while serving" or even "effectively serve" or "serve well"... it just says "serve actively"). So if a Quartermaster is active and always makes sure the Dutch ovens are always clean and keeps detailed inventories of the troop gear (even if he's not involving any other people in completing the tasks), he gets credit for serving (but along the way you should b
  6. For most positions of responsibility -- from Quartermaster and Scribe all the way up to SPL and Scoutmaster -- you can have individuals who are truly leaders... and you can also have individuals who are simply good managers or task-masters doing the job. I know there are plenty of examples out there of troops run by Scoutmasters and/or SPLs who are "one-man-shows" and complete all the tasks to put on a "good-looking" program while not giving any actual leadership to anyone. Likewise, you can have Quartermasters, Webmasters, and Historians who are just "task-completers"... or you can have
  7. I think we can all agree that leadership is a responsibility, and so all Positions of Leadership (SPL, PL, ect.) are also certainly Positions of Responsibility. But do all Positions of Responsibility require leadership? Well I think it depends on your definition of "leadership." To me a leader is somebody who organizes a group of people to achieve a common goal. There are face-to-face leaders -- the ones who directly manage, guide and direct other people. The SPL and PLs are these types of leaders. They lead meetings, they directly interact with and manage other members, th
  8. Our troop has had great success working with the Moritz Embroidery Works to have fully custom (and BSA-approved) patrol patches made for some of our more "unique" patrol names. http://moritzscouting.blogspot.com/2014/09/custom-patrol-patches.html http://bsa.moritzembroidery.com
  9. Have an adult filling the role is not the solution. Check out the Youth Leader Organizational Chart and the unit position descriptions in the Patrol Leader Handbook (or the Senior Patrol Leader Handbook). If you don't have a QM (or if you don't have an active QM or if the QM drops the ball), the responsibilities and duties of the QM should fall onto the ASPL (and then the SPL) and/or the individual patrol QMs to pick up. If you don't have a Scribe present at a PLC meeting, an adult shouldn't jump in to take notes... have another youth do it (even if it means the SPL has to take the minute
  10. The troop I serve operates with 5-6 patrols of 7-8 Scouts each. It's rare that we get 100% attendance from any one patrol at an event. So sometimes (ok, most times) a patrol has to function with only 5 or 6 (or even 3 or 4) of its members present. Scout are being pulling in 101 different directions these days with other commitments (school, sports, band, family, religion, etc.). While some Scouts are more active than others, I don't think we have a Scout on our roster that has a 100% attendance record for all troop functions... however no one has a 0% (or even below a 50%) attendance reco
  11. While technically true, do we know of any Scouts from the '70s who earned the rank of Eagle and never spent a night in a tent?
  12. Firstly, I disagree with you that the outdoor program has been systematically de-emphasized from the Boy Scout program. The outdoors is still a strong part of the Boy Scout program. Sure, some troops out there may be missing the mark and running merit badge mills in a church basement rather than going camping or hiking (troops like this even existed in the 1970s when I was a youth). But on a national-level the outdoors is still a central and strong part of Boy Scout program (heck, it's still one of the 8 methods of the Boy Scout program, isn't it?). But how does the outdoors being emphasi
  13. That's a pretty cynical and pessimistic view of the BSA's motives. Perhaps STEM Scouts is a way to provide a program that builds character, citizenship and fitness to youth who are not interested in the outdoors. Teaching camping skills, going hiking, knot-tying, and other outdoor skills are not the aim or objective of the BSA; an outdoor program is just one of the 8 methods of the Boy Scout program but it is not the end-goal...and an outdoor program is not one of the methods of the STEM Scout program (nor is it a method of the Cub Scout program, the Venturing program, or other BSA p
  14. A few years back my council went on a big Venturing kick. The program was newer and not very big or popular in the council. So they hired a professional to focus solely on Venturing; there were tons of meetings and committees formed; troops were coerced into creating crews and getting the "older boy" patrols and ASMs to populate them, they existed mainly on paper and only did one or two activities before slowly slipping back into the troops and dying out after a few months; the council and districts orchestrated all sorts of special Venturing events (many of which were called off at the last m
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