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Everything posted by numbersnerd

  1. Some things we don't have to deal with currently are going to become an issue. The lack of gender sensitivities and politics are why I want my boys in the program. Let them be themselves and figure THAT out and deal with the advanced stuff later when they have a foundation to build on. Thanks to the BSA for creating a minefield out of a safety zone.
  2. You can always refer them to another unit that is willing to implement mixed sex scouts in their program.
  3. Same problem here. Can't even get help to run the existing program, much less additional ones. Any idea if the local option will be available for this change as it was for previous ones? Give them the option of units that want to retain the status quo. That's the only hope of retaining enough volunteers that don't want to get entangled in the the morass of mixed sex required leadership elements. Ugh.
  4. numbersnerd

    The issue with girls in Scouting

  5. numbersnerd

    New BALOO Training curriculum?

    This is a good point. How are people going to prepare for overnight camping to learn about overnight camping? All for the limited amount of Pack-level overnight camping allowed by National. The ROI just isn't there for most people, even without the chicken-or-the-egg ridiculousness.
  6. numbersnerd

    New Requirement Question

    Heavy handed moderators back at it again.
  7. numbersnerd

    Secret ingredient noncompetition

    I snag the packets of crushed pepper from pizza deliveries and use it to kick up dishes on short notice. Works especially well with dehydrated meals.
  8. numbersnerd

    New BALOO Training curriculum?

    The one I went through was 7-8 hours with lunch done by participants (foil packets) and lots of interactive portions. It was fun, covered the basics and then some. Best of all was that it generated quite a bit of conversation among participants. Quite a few nuggets we still reference humorously today, one being, "Cub Scouts do family camping. However, this does not necessarily mean YOUR family's idea of camping" (as in, leave the booze, etc at home) From gear, to safety, to food, to program, to outdoor ethics. While nothing new to many, it was illuminating to others. And all in a day. I can't help feeling that the extra time commitment is going to keep away many who could benefit from it simply due to the time required for a twice-annual opportunity of Cub camping. It appears more and more that those in charge of designing the program continue to drift further away from the reality of the volunteer experience.
  9. numbersnerd

    New BALOO Training curriculum?

    When this was announced at our last roundtable, everyone in the room rolled their eyes. Then we realized that the last old-style BALOO course was in 3 days and the opportunity to offer an easy to schedule and digest course to newer leaders would be gone. Nobody there thought the prospect of an overnight obligation for this type of training was going to enjoy high participation. It's hard enough to get volunteers without these types of obligations and requirements. It's almost as if they are trying to eliminate the ability to have trained leaders on site, and thus lessen the opportunities for Cub camping which are (understandably) minimal to begin with. I have a question that touches on the fallout: Are units required to have BALOO trained leaders on site for district- or council-sponsored camping events? Because if not, that might end up being the only time some Cubs experience camping. Which would also have the effect of pumping up district and council attendance at these events. Yes, I'm a cynic.
  10. numbersnerd

    Webelos backpacking?

    If your decision really just boils down to CYA and liability, I guess you interpret those guidelines as hard and fast rules, don't ask any questions and just do what you can. But what about those situations that fall in between? Webelos backcountry backpacking - I get that, it's a no-no. And not something I would choose to do anyway. But it says nothing about backpacking in other situations. What if, instead of dropping gear at a campsite and taking the vehicle back to the park parking lot, you carry it in a mile or so? We encourage our Scouts to stretch their minds as well as their bodies, yet here we have adults discouraging that. And my earlier asked but as yet unanswered question is still out there. Winter camping. Against the guideline, but supported, encouraged, and rewarded across the country by districts and councils. Where does that fall? And why? Enquiring minds want to know.
  11. numbersnerd

    Webelos backpacking?

    OK, you got me on that one! So, if the OP's intent is to have their Webelos pack their camping gear a mile or two to their campsite in a non-backcountry location, is it OK? Personally, I would have no problem with it. With my group. Other leaders with other groups? Who knows. Use common sense to assess whether they're ready for it. I'm fairly certain the OP is confident in their group being up to the task, they are only asking if it's taboo by the rules. If the goal of Webelos is to prepare boys for Scouts, is it unreasonable to assume that an activity such as this is allowable? I'm not advocating every camping event be like this, but I'm thinking an intro like this would be useful and fun. I'll say that by Webelos, even though hiking can be fun, it starts to be much of the same ol same ol unless you keep it growing. If the only new experience included is packing your gear in and out, that can be used as a teaching opportunity. We don't stop where the book ends, do we? Or should we not teach sheepshanks, figure-eights, and clove hitches because those knots aren't required for Webelos or AOL?
  12. numbersnerd

    Webelos backpacking?

    Can we point to where the BSA has limited their definition of "guidelines" to "absolute rules"? Winter camping is also against these guidelines yet there are councils award badges for camping in winter conditions. To Cub Scouts. Are they in violation? So let's take the content of the original question into consideration. Can you seriously argue against Webelos doing some light backpacking in conjunction with an overnighter? What is the objection other than it's not allowed by these guidelines? Like I previously said, apply some common sense to the situation and don't take the document as the final arbiter of aloowable activities.
  13. Anyone take the survey? Some of the questions seemed very nonsensical to me. I can't recall them being this bad before. Are things really that bad at National, or is it another example of the un-involved running things?
  14. numbersnerd

    Webelos backpacking?

    That pdf says 'guideline', not rules. Common sense should win over 'guidelines' drafted by some unknowm committee. My take: if you want to hike a mile or two to a campsite one day, camp overnight or two, then pack it back out, go for it. The excitement and bragging rights (or complaining about it!) will give them far more than the effort involved. This IS supposed to be fun, right? You're trying to make it just that, fun. Good on you.
  15. numbersnerd

    Ditch the Neckerchief

    My my, so much touchiness here. Especially from some who get some pushback on their thoughts. And to what end? This thread typifies what turns so many off from Scouting once exposed to Scouters. To be honest, if I had to listen to some of this in person, my consideration of Scouting for my boys would drop. So I guess I should be thankful it's vented here instead of in a truly public forum.
  16. numbersnerd

    Boys and Girls (Co-Ed) Cub and Boy Scouts Are Coming

    Anyone who has ever studied and worked with customer and client retention, product development, and marketing will understand and agree with this. Hoping/wishing/dreaming that that a nirvana of societal cooperation and coexistance will be the solution is ignoring reality and merely a path of appeasement that will only exacerbate an already concerning problem and trend. Which is why I doubt it was even 'businessmen' (or at the very least, savvy ones) that cooked up this plan. There are some dreamy-eyed idealists hoping that the PR goodwill and corporate fundng will pick up and carry the org through if these changes are put in place. How's that been working out? Alter your product and significantly changing it to appeal to a population smaller than the one it dissatisfies is plainly and simply stupid continuity planning.
  17. numbersnerd

    What to do with that Eaglet?

    Way back when, I joined as soon as I was eligible, 3rd grade. Did it all, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and AOL. Then we moved. Since I thought it was so cool I could wear AOL on my Scout uniform, I HAD to join a troop. So I joined a troop in the new town and went crazy with it, OA Ordeal, etc and finished Eagle while 14, ECOH just after my 15th birthday. Then we moved. As in the next week. I could have left Scouting behind, I had all the excuses I would have needed. But I had been having so much fun, doing so much, and learning a lot. Plus, to be honest, it didn't hurt having the cachet of Eagle to get some attention in a new town. So I joined the Explorer Post at our church, was a JASM for the troop, found a new mentor who was fantastic, went to Philmont solo, and did camp staff for three summers in a different council. I worked my last summer on staff and was in college a few weeks later. The "second" half of my Scouting career was different, but no less fun than the first half. Now that I'm in my "third" half of Scouting and on the opposite side of the fence, I look back and realize that those responsible for keeping up an engaging program helped me experience a great number of things that without, I might very well have lost interest after moving that second time. And staying in provided even more than what I had experienced before. While I do remember loving it before Eagle, it was the times after that I remember with the most affection and were the most memorable and impactful. Maybe it was age/maturity. Maybe it was the opportunities open to older/experienced Scouts. Maybe it was the lack of pressure or not worrying about obtaining a POR, MB's, advancement and the rest. Whatever it was, it was just FUN. Not that it wasn't before, it just felt different. Would it have been as fun without earning Eagle? I don't know that some of those opportunities would have even been available without it. It's possible that it could have been just as great. But it's also possible that I would not have been afforded as much as I was with it. What's my point? Getting Eagle at a "young" age can allow boys more time to give back and participate in a completely different way and attitude than before while still having fun themselves. But that is also dependent on adults allowing them to do just that. A condescending attitude towards younger Eagles doesn't create that type of atmosphere.
  18. numbersnerd

    Cub Scout LNT class

    A good place for resources: https://lnt.org/shop/educational-materials
  19. numbersnerd

    Cub Scout Recruitment Night Ideas

    One key thing to do is to communicate early and fully with the school staff. We also help out through the school year. One of our service projects is to to a cleanup the day after the school carnival. We work on maintaining good relations, practicing LNT when using school facilities, helping out when appropriate and making a positive appearance and impact through the year. Getting on the good side of the staff and PTA never hurts! It's worked quite well once we followed up with those families interested enough to give us contact info. I'd say about 85% of those on the list from those nights end up joining if they attend the actual rally. The key is to follow up with enough info to inform, but not be bothersome. Using a text message service with timed releases, etc really helps to ensure everyone is aware. It also helps build confidence with parents that we are on top of things.
  20. numbersnerd

    Cub Scout Recruitment Night Ideas

    We serve three schools in our area now, so we get three cracks at it every fall. We perfected this over the last couple of years and it seems to be successful for us. But it's also time to create something new to keep things from getting stale. We have a presence at the "Meet the Teacher" night at each school with tri-fold boards full of photos, derby cars, trophies, Scoutcraft items and our life-size replica of Minecraft Steve in Cub Scout attire to be the initial draw to the table. We collect names of boys and parents, mobile numbers/email addresses. We buy a gross of Cub Scout pencils and give them to every boy who is on our prospect list. Uisng email and text campiagns, we update parents on upcoming rally nights as appropriate. "Friday folder" flyers go out to each school after securing approval from the district and dates/facilties at each school. Rally location, dates, and times are on the flyers. We do each on a different weeknight to give everyone three chances to make one of them depending on their other activity schedules. Sign boards along the dropoff lanes the week before and week of the rally, switching out from he dated version, to TOMORROW and TONIGHT versions. Older scouts and parents are on hand to help out and show others some familiar faces. Families tend to show up at their school, so it all works out to spread the load. We start with a quick slide show containing standard BSA program info and goals, pics from past events, some trivia and interesting items. Then I get up front with the campaign hat on, the whole nine yards, and make my 3 minute recruiting pitch, explaining why I volunteer (CM), and how much richer my life as a parent has become since becoming a leader. Then I pump up the potential new Scouts by asking about rockets and who likes them and who wants to make some and shoot them off. Parents stay inside and do a Q&A with the CC, get the particulars, applications, etc. I do the pied piper routine and get the boys outside. Once outside, along with our current parents and older scouts, we guide them in assembling paper rockets. Our Webelos are in charge of running the launchers (2), which I made from PVC and wooden crates. All supplies are contained inside the crates, so it's reallly a recruiting kit in a box. Colored copy paper, packing and duct tape, playing cards, scissors. That's all that's needed. Everything is already hooked up and the pancake compressor has everything charged. Webelos maintain order and keep the line moving and help out with any difficulties in loading the rockets. They are well versed in the safety procedures and have control of the stations, kill switches and launch buttons. Boys get to see their rockets sail gloriously, fail spectacularly or they toss their dud in the trash and start over. I've never seen failure handled by young boys so well. Prospects parents see how our boys have progressed to the point they can be be trusted with the responsibilty of running the operation. They see parents offering logistical support. They see their sons interacting with others, cheering and/or being cheered on, learning something new, experimenting, and having fun. It's three busy, exhausting nights, but worth it. Current Scouts help recruit and lead, current parents lend a hand, new parents see some of what is in store for their sons. We bring the launchers to one of our two yearly campouts because I am asked at every Pack meeting when are rockets going to happen again. Wheels are turning in their heads, they want another shot at building the perfect rocket. We have been getting recruits well after the typical recruting season due to word of mouth about the rockets or new Scouts and parents talking to other families. It's been gratifying being able to reach so many people and serve so many boys. But now we've out paced our volunteer staff and are in desperate need of more help, but haven't been nearly as successful in that. I wish it was as easy to get volunteers as it is to get new Scouts.
  21. numbersnerd

    Transgender policy change

    Wow. Just wow. If you are sure that's not what he meant and you aren't going to comment on it further, why bother with the post? What I am pretty sure he meant was he was challenging the asserton that we should embrace all that God creates. Does that make sense? But maybe since you don't believe in the concept of God and Satan, it's beyond comprehension. Or maybe it's just pot stirring.
  22. numbersnerd

    Transgender policy change

    Yet the stats I quoted point to a majority not supporting a change. So which way should things go? The point is the polling and summary produced contradictory results. IOW, it's inconclusive. I find it hard to believe either side of the debate using this data. Basing major decisons on those results is reprehensible.. This just points to a larger problem with National management making decisons based on such data. While National may be avoiding some uncomfortable pressure and publicity, it's the locals that feel the repercussions. National making decisions to the detriment of the locals is going to hurt them much more in the long run. Without them, youth, and willing families, there is no program and organization to manage.
  23. numbersnerd

    Transgender policy change

    pfffft...polls also said Hillary was going to win by a landslide. Statistics and polls can be bent and cherry-picked any way you want. From that same page: 50.5 percent of councils recommend no change. 38.5 percent of councils recommend a change. 11 percent take a neutral position. That looks like less than substantial support.
  24. numbersnerd

    Transgender policy change

    You're pivoting away from the original issue I had, that being it was a bad idea as it affected membership rolls negatively. And you proved my point by saying even though you approve, it wasn't a compelling reason to leave even though they had not yet changed the policy to your preference. Yet now that it's happened, others are. Your assertion that it has significant support within the membership is unfounded and merely a reflection of your view.
  25. numbersnerd

    Transgender policy change

    Oh, OK, so this and other similar decisions aren't contributing towards the decline in membership and particiation. Got it.