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Everything posted by StillLoomans

  1. The other factor that we've run into is declining membership, so the pool of possible volunteers is shrinking. Not all of our leaders come from parents, but most do. Otherwise, I think the reasons posted previously are spot on.
  2. As a parent, I would not be kindly disposed to such a tactic. Perhaps it will work for you. Do you have a plan for the girls who want to participate? After years of unit and district recruitment, I've come to the conclusion that scout recruitment in our area will not improve until BSA improves its reputation among young parents in regards to gay leadership and youth safety.
  3. We've had similar experiences in recruiting at community events. Lots of good feelings and interest, no actual scouts signed up. Last year we ran a raingutter regatta-style activity at a local festival. It was the most popular activity for kids. No cub scouts. We've been asked back but I don't know if it is worth the time investment. Seattle, if you are interested, we had the kids build boats on the spot from sections of pool noodles, sails from foam sheets and masts with bamboo skewers. The pieces were pre-cut and easy enough for 4yos to assemble a simple boat, while older kids could make more complex boats. Cheap, too.
  4. Agreed. Disagreeing with the price tag of a book isn't license to violate copyright law. Another approach would be to re-use them like textbooks (which, in essence, they are) and lend them to the scouts each year. Scouts who want to write in the book or just own a copy could purchase it from the scout shop. Using a visual chart to track advancements during meetings is a good way to keep records and inspire scouts. Personally, I'd rather drop buying Boy's Life or neckers and slides (especially the slides, which aren't required uniforming) than not give handbooks to the cubs.
  5. Publication is not journalism, it's integral in the application of the scientific method. And let me remind you, I certainly did include observation in the process. But I am fine with disagreeing with you as to whether my suggestion is a reasonable approach in awarding a belt loop to a Cub Scout.
  6. It's not the boys refusing to do daily observations. It's the parents who don't support it. So we can modify the requirements so that the scouts can learn about the subject, or we can skip the BL and the scouts learn nothing. I'm not opposed to doing activities without awards, either, but in Cub Scouts it seems silly to come so close and not give the recognition. Please explain to me how there is no scientific integrity in using data collected by other scientists and applying simple statistics to facilitate conclusions? Or are you proposing that scientists are able to use only their own, original data? Because that doesn't jive with my experience as yes, a scientist. I assure you that if the cubs were to publish their conclusions, the National Weather Service would be given due credit.
  7. Agreed. There are a few scouts who do complete homework in our pack IME, and our den leaders are advised to avoid homework if possible or to duplicate it in the den meetings. This is with the caveat that I am no longer an active leader in the pack and am not familiar with the new program beyond the basics, so no idea if homework is going to be the problem it has been in the old program. As an example of how I might adapt the requirement for the weather BL, I'd probably record weather data at weekly den meetings for a month or so, or longer if it fit well and I could. I would also use weather records to look up wind direction for 14 days, and do a bar graph of the data with the scouts. That seems like it would meet the intent of the requirement. What our pack has not condoned is the actions of one of our den leaders in the previous year. Her den did not complete the Wolf requirements but she said they did. I found out when speaking with a leader from another pack, the family transferred last year. The dad told the new pack that my pack was cheating on requirements, citing the awarding of the Wolf rank as an example. Reputations aside, the situation needn't develop in the first place, there was plenty of time, opportunity and support to finish the last requirement.
  8. Hah! My newly 11 year old is wearing size 12 men's shoes. His last pair were 11s. He can look his mom in the eye with a satisfied smile and is likely to lap his older brother in height, at three years younger he is is only 1/2 inch shorter. And those feet! Did I mention the feet? If he were a puppy, I'd be thinking he was a Great Dane...
  9. In a similar situation, we had to register an almost Eagle scout as an adult because of how his birthday fell with recharter and scheduling his EBOR. The scout good-naturedly completed Youth Protection and This is Scouting so his adult app would be accepted. In this case, though, the membership chair for the troop recognized the issue and was proactive in handling it. I agree, the annual membership processing does need an overhaul! Our council averages 4 months for our unit from recharter to receiving acknowledgement of the annual charter. Add it to the list!
  10. Good points. Our scouts do return any monies left unspent after shopping for outings. Since a patrol averages 4-5 scouts per outing, the cost does break down to around $10 for cracker barrel x2, breakfast x2, lunch and dinner. Extra goods stored on the trailer are under the supervision of the quartermaster and regularly gone through and tossed. Occasionally a mom will check on the trailer supplies, get totally grossed out, and have the scouts clean/dispose of items accordingly. I promise that our troop does not have any boxes of 5 year old cake mix or rusting cans of beans.
  11. Our troop does it all in patrols. The PL collects a set amount ($10) before the trip, the patrol writes the menu and the PL asks for volunteers to food shop. The shopper takes the food money with them. The scouts mostly shop at the same store the night before so they can ask for help as needed, but older scouts will shop independently. They stay in budget because that is what they have to spend. The scouts don't like to clean up so for the most part, the food choices are pretty simple. After a campout, shelf stable items are stored on the trailer, like oatmeal and pancake mix. Everything else is divvied up in the patrol. My son always grabs the ketchup. No idea why. We always have 'scout ketchup' in our fridge. We've tried to re-use it from outing to outing, but it was often forgotten and it's cheap so now the scouts just buy a new bottle for a buck. I suppose if we could keep it at our meeting place, it would be easier to not replace it every month.
  12. I am advancement chair for our troop. When I go to the scout shop, every rank badge has two pieces of paper - the advancement report signed at the BOR and the advancement report generated when I enter the advancement into the internet advancement system. I don't want to put the scout in the online system before he has his BOR, what if he doesn't show? But the committee chair plus two needs to sign off after the BOR and there is no online report at that point in the process. So two pieces of paper to do one job. Then to buy the little pieces of cloth, I have to sign two ledgers - once for the scout account at the council and once for free rank advancement (for getting gold JTE). The clerk has to write in both ledgers and a third to track tax exempt status. It's crazy.
  13. Our pack charges $90 per year which covers the books, pack meetings, awards and registration. Fundraising covers campouts and outings. We try to keep enough money in the bank to cover 1 year of expenses for the pack, which gives us a cushion in case we have unexpected expenses like the registration fee hike last year that came through right after recruitment, or an influx of new scouts after the popcorn sale, stuff like that. We actually charge more than most area packs but don't charge a lot of little fees through the year, which parents seem to like.
  14. Hello! I was gone for a bit and when I came back the forum had changed and I could no longer log in. I no longer have the email address I used to register and I didn't have a high post count anyway so it seemed easiest to create a new account. Looking forward to reading all the scout wisdom here!
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