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StillLoomans

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About StillLoomans

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  1. StillLoomans

    GTSS, leadership for fundraising

    Thanks! Appreciate your response.
  2. StillLoomans

    GTSS, leadership for fundraising

    Our crew works with a local bookstore for fundraising, accepting donations in return for giftwrapping items purchased at the bookstore. There are usually one or two parents working with two or three youth for a shift in a small area next to the check out lane in full view of the store employees and customers. Am I reading the new GTSS rules correctly, that now two registered adult leaders must attend the fundraising activity as well? Thanks for your assistance!
  3. StillLoomans

    Merit Badge Counselors

    This is a recent change. When my eldest son first joined a troop, the list was outdated, difficult to navigate and held behind a password. Users were told that the list was not to be shared with scouts, but MBCs could be selected by the SM or Advancement chair and given to the scout. Then the password-protection was dropped but the list was not updated. I actively recruited MBCs from our troop, acquaintances, anyone who I thought would work well with youth and had the background to mentor a merit badge. Most applications were not approved. Not rejected, either, they disappeared into the black hole. My MBC app took my DE personally walking it through the process for me to gain approval the third time I tried. Council finally has its act together and the list is as you described, and a joy to use. I have long suspected that the difficulty in getting MBC information led to troops creating their own corp of counselors and relying heavily on summer camp and merit badge challenges to help their scouts earn merit badges. Now that understandable response is undermining the process itself. It's a shame, really.
  4. StillLoomans

    Unit Funds

    Our troop of 18-20 boys generally ends the summer with $2000, enough to camp through fall and serve as seed money for our primary fundraiser, Christmas trees. We do not carry individual accounts of any kind, though that may change in the future. The pack (about 30 boys) carries $1500 from year to year in a reserve fund and generally spends every penny that comes in otherwise. The reserve fund was created several dynasties ago to add stability to the pack, given that the leadership changes frequently and the leaders are often new to scouting. If new leadership has a bad recruitment year or poor popcorn sales, the reserve fund sees the unit through and is then replenished as the new leaders gain confidence and experience.
  5. StillLoomans

    Pickup (During Camp) Authorization Form

    Right. I understand that people are not honest. I don't understand the need to copy their driver's license. I don't understand how a copy of a driver's license will help you cover your butt or do anything to protect the scout you are releasing. It doesn't give you any information on custody arrangements. If a child should not have been released to a particular person, having a copy of a DL doesn't change that. It seems better to confirm the release by calling the parent who signed the consent form and medical form, if that is not the person doing the pick up. Or contact the scoutmaster who is likely to be aware of any custody issues with his scout. I say likely, because I am constantly amazed at the information parents withhold from the people to whom they entrust their children, but that is a whole other topic. Cross verify identity with the scout. I am not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand. While some may not find it a problem to hand over their DL for copying, I am reluctant as I have been through the hassle of identity theft and would strongly prefer to not have unnecessary copies around.
  6. StillLoomans

    Limit Merit Badges At Summer Camp?

    I read this with a bit of amusement as my 16 yo spent the summer teaching and signing off on Basketry and Leatherwork at a local summer camp. Clearly not old enough to be a MBC. Easy enough for anyone to tell if the work for the merit badge was actually completed, sure. The problem our troop has with scouts completing partial merit badges is finding counselors to work with on MBs, especially non-Eagle required MBs. Larger troops in the area handle it by assigning MBs to parents to counsel. We are a smaller troop and don't have those resources, and I'm not a fan of keeping it all in-house either.
  7. StillLoomans

    Pickup (During Camp) Authorization Form

    Tokala, can you please explain to me why you need to copy the driver's license? I've run into that before at other places and have never understood the logic. Verify the id, sure, but not make a copy, especially if it is the parent. A parent should never be hassled when picking up their own child, barring any custody issues. Check ID, check of the scout's file, sure, a call to the scout leader, no problem. Log sheet signature and out the door.
  8. StillLoomans

    Neckerchief Other Than With The Uniform

    Why I did meet one of my Cub Scouts at the park wearing his Wolf necker without the rest of his uniform. He said it worked fine as a do-rag under his bike helmet to soak up any sweat. I was glad to see his enthusiasm for scouting. Our troop members are very fond of rubber wheels from Lego kits as a slide. Doesn't slip at all, and if they lose it, they can look on their bedroom floor for another.
  9. StillLoomans

    Parent Raging At A Scout

    I feel for the scout, I feel for the dad. Imagine living with this all the time. I agree that it is reasonable to ask the mother to not attend scout events for a while. I also agree that doing so will likely result in the loss of the scout and his dad. It's a shame, but every scout has the right to feel safe at scouting events and this should be a primary goal for every leader. I do think that the troop leaders have the authority to make this condition, it is basically a YPT situation and not to be repeated. Our troop had a similar situation except the parent was also an ASM. He was not allowed to attend troop meetings after he blew up at two scouts, brothers. He was allowed to attend COHs, no uniform, but could not talk to any scout but his own. The family didn't last, but they did stick around until the wife was given a firm deadline to pay back the unauthorized loan she gave herself and her sons for summer camp.
  10. StillLoomans

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    This is true. We have had scouts apply this way. Paper copies are printed and sent around for signatures, at least in my council. So not really much of an improvement over the multipart forms except that the printed online forms are recyclable.
  11. StillLoomans

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    Yes, this is true. The list was protected behind a login and password that was available from the DE. Since the login and password never changed, in practice it was shared from leader to leader. Still not a great practice, but it kept out nosy parents. And of course abandoning a system and not indicating this for two years is not efficient in any way. The MBC list provided by my DE has its own problems. I've opened the file through Excel and Google docs and from both have a document that is barely usable. And I don't think that the DE sharing copies that can be in turn sent out to the masses is any more discreet than putting it on the website.
  12. StillLoomans

    Do You Really Need The Book ?

    Just had a pack leadership meeting last night. The den leaders are excited about the new program and love the changes! Well, except for the AOL leader who has been doing CS for 12 years. He doesn't get too excited anymore about programs. As a pack advisor, I am looking forward to seeing how the year rolls out and if enthusiasm remains high for the new format.
  13. StillLoomans

    Cub Scout Day Camp Vs Resident Camp

    Our council went to paid Cub Scout Day camp directors this year for a 'more uniform experience' across the council. Fine, but they are still sending out desperate calls for volunteers to staff the events. And the cost went up, which isn't inspiring parents to volunteer. Resident camp is simpler for the pack to attend, fewer parents needed.
  14. StillLoomans

    Scouting's Administrative Burden On Volunteers

    Completely agree. I have a rant in Council Relations about this. Too much paperwork, ineffective online solutions, little upkeep of online resources, lack of good morale at council office. Examples: Lost merit badge counselor application, 3 times for the same person. Impeccably completed as verified by the copies she kept after the first one was lost. Online registration that doesn't check the age of the scout registered, though birth date is required for registration. Scout too young for activity and has to be rescheduled or refunded. Merit badge college registrations that can be made online, but modified by only two people in the council and one of which goes on vacation the week before MBC begins. Check-in at MBC was chaotic, to say the least. The only way to know that the MBC registrations, above, could be modified only by two people in the council was to call the council office and talk to the right person. Attempts to do it online by using indicated links led to an error page. At re-charter, training had to be verified for the unit through myDOTscouting.org, not myscouting.org. OK, fine, but myDOTscouting.org only updated every two weeks or so, misleading unit leaders who thought they were not using the site correctly to enter in the same info over and over again. The list of available merit badge counselors has been on our council website for years. Years. I just discovered that two years ago, the decision was made to no longer use that format to maintain the list. This is NOT indicated ANYWHERE on the web page which should no longer exist. Merit badge counselor lists are available only through the DE now. So tired of having my volunteer time wasted this way.
  15. StillLoomans

    Unit Tech Tools

    Most of our troop organization seems to be through Google products. Gmail for email communication. Love the ability to easily create and assign sub-groups. Google Drive for sharing documents, templates. Google Calendar for event notification by email and shared calendars. It's easy to find and include other calendars, like the school district schedule. Google slides for COH presentations. Chromecast for video clips (like Philmont presentation) and movies for lock-ins. Mint for treasury management, budget tracking. Scout Track for advancement tracking and syncing to Internet Advancement, tracking service hours, PORs, training. Facebook to share photos with each other and photos/events from other scout organizations like summer camp, district shares, etc. Parents communicate primarily by email. Scouts communicate primarily by phone. Because I think troop size plays a part in tech decisions, I will also share that we have 19 scouts registered to our unit.
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