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Everything posted by StillLoomans

  1. 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!
  2. 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 When my eldest son first joined a troop, the list was outdated, difficult to navigate and held behind a password.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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Good for him! Hopefully he has adults around him that can handle the tax implications. Also, it sounds like summer camp is cheaper in the west which helps. My two older sons pay for summer camp, monthly camping fees and personal spending money from their paper routes. My youngest son who just crossed over was worried about paying his own way. He was relieved to hear that his parents would support his first year, but he is working on ways to earn the money for next year.
  16. Not unless your son is traveling to the midwest for summer camp this year. Someone else I talked to said that swimming used to be required, but isn't anymore. I don't think he will know for sure that he is taking Lifesaving until he arrives at camp in a few weeks. I remember reading about your son's blue card problems. That is a tough one. Perhaps he will meet a sympathetic counselor.
  17. Follow-up to the question that initiated my request for a discussion. The camp, when queried, said that the requirement for Swimming MB prior to taking the Lifesaving MB was an error.
  18. Success in handing out little pieces of paper doesn't begin to make up for all the other screwed up systems we endure...
  19. I generally receive all of my membership cards in a timely fashion from council. District and merit badge counselor cards are mailed directly to me, pack and troop cards are handed over by the unit leaders. Unit cards may not be as timely, actually, but I don't worry about it much. I put all of them in the same pocket of my scout bag. Our council used to have similar issues with outdated rosters and corrections not posting but in the last few years, they have fixed whatever process it was that screwed it up. Makes re-charter and internet advancement much simpler when you don't have to re-invent the list every time.
  20. Thanks to all that posted to the discussion. I've got a much better idea of all the ins and outs of this issue, which was my point in posting here in the first place. Your help is appreciated.
  21. Let me clarify, again. I don't think the prerequisite is out of line. I am not interested in fighting the prerequisite. I want to understand why such a prerequisite is not adding to the requirements for the merit badge for my own understanding. I'm looking more at the general issue than the situation with just this scout. JoeBob, I agree except the Lifesaving MB requirements already seem to consider your points. Not quite the same as the Swimming MB, but the first requirement weeds out poor swimmers. 1. Before doing requirements 2 through 15 a. Complete Second Class requirements 7a through 7c and First Class requirements 9a through 9c. Second Class requirements 7a through 7c 7.a. Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim. 7.b. Demonstrate your ability to jump feet first into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place. 7.c. Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects. Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible, and explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim. First Class requirements 9a through 9c 9.a. Tell what precautions should be taken for a safe trip afloat. 9.b. Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. 9.c. With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water). b. Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
  22. Trying to figure this out. A scout wants to take the Lifesaving MB. The camp prerequisite says he needs the Swimming MB first. The Swimming MB is not a requirement for the Lifesaving MB. Parent says it's adding to the requirements and not allowed, and wants me (Advancement Chair) to push it with the camp. While I don't feel the need to jump just because a parent says to, I'd like to get this squared away in my own mind. The situation seems similar to pre-requisites at MB colleges and the like that call for scouts to be a certain age, for example, 14 years old, to do more complex merit badges like Personal Management. It's a way to make sure the scout is ready for the work. My thought has been that merit badge counselors have discretion on who they chose to work with, and that applies here. What say you?
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