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Posts posted by numbersnerd

  1. 17 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

    Let's get back to the topic of preparing and welcoming new scouts to Scouting.



    @MattR  @desertrat77  @NJCubScouter  @John-in-KC  @LeCastor

    This post was a warning to all those that disagree with the change that you don't want to hear about it and NOT about best practices. (Besides wouldn't THAT be better off in Program?)

    Since the original post covered avoiding upsetting sensitivities and appears to be in violation of the spirit of many points of the Scout Law, I felt it pertinent to call out the underlying tone of the post and it's impact on me. Appears that I'm not the only one. Or is that not allowed either? (Yes, that's an honest question)

    If you want to be taken seriously, then be open and honest (after all, that's what some of us are doing that you don't agree with) and dispense with the biased and heavy handed moderator actions we've been subjected to in the past. Edit: Such as the deletion of some of my replies already. Way to go guys.

    Not going to be surprised if hit with a suspension over this, seems to be the MO around here.

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  2. On 1/29/2019 at 10:48 PM, jsychk said:

    I totally understand the importance of the family foundation, but what if the dad doesn't lead and is not being proactive? How long should I wait? After a few years, I figured out my husband is not teaching the boys "the guy stuff" along the way, I have to step in one way or the other. 

    First of all, I don't think my husband is against Scouting. He just doesn't seem to care either way. He knows what I choose for our boys is good for them.  Secondly, my son seems to have a good time camping and hanging out with his friends. It is possible that my kids may not reach to the Eagle (two dedicated parents surely help!) but I still appreciate what he learns in the process. 

    Sadly, I see more and more dads are like that now. I don't know why. Almost 10 years, most of our Pack leaders were male/dads. If there's a female/mom, it's ONLY because her husband is in the military overseas or she is a single mom. Now, our Pack has a few moms whose husbands are around but never step up to volunteer or be the leaders. 

    You and your husband obviously had different ideas and expectations of what his role was in regards to Scouting. You assumed he was doing certain things and he wasn't. But something significant in your situation is that you said your son was really enjoying Scouts. So why does that have to change? Maybe the current level of parental involvement is fine.By excel, I meant enjoy the time he spends in Scouting and get as much as he can/wants out of it. Whether that is advancement or not is up to him. Regardless of his desires, if his parents aren't on the same page with each other and with him, it will be less than optimal.

    All of those issues have the same resolution: Communication and common understanding.

    • Talk to the current leaders and they will let you know what they need or expect from you.
    • You and your husband need to discuss and figure out what he is willing and able to do that meshes with what the unit needs and expects of volunteers.
    • Talk to your son to find out if any of these potential changes will impact his enjoyment and experiences in Scouting.

    If you are disappointed in the fact that there aren't more men taking on these roles, then I hope you appreciate (and let them know that you do) those that do. And do what you can to support them in their efforts. Nothing beats hearing from a parent that their son has gotten something from their time in Scouting and is a better person for it. Nothing beats volunteers down more than having to listen to criticism of their efforts and how to fulfill their responsibilities from someone who isn't involved. There are many threads here about difficult/helicopter/demanding parents. And the problem seems to be growing. Small wonder that the number of those willing to subject themselves to that is shrinking.

    The old axiom of "No good deed goes unpunished" becomes truer every day.

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  3. There seems to be a lot of unaddressed gaps in here. I think there needs to be some conversations and common understanding before any progress can be made.


    You said your husband doesn't get involved in meetings or go on campouts. Unlike Cubs, Scouts utilize registered leaders to take on those duties. Scouts are a different level. Not every parent is willing, capable, or needed as an active participant in Troop activities. A conversation with leadership on the boundaries of parental involvement and leadership requirements along with program aims and methods and the current Troop leadership situation seems to be in order so everyone knows what is possible and what is needed.

    @David_CO was right when he said there was a disconnect between you and your husband on Scouting. At some point you are going to have to have that talk and figure out what each of you are able and willing to do in furtherance of your son's involvement in Scouting. Maybe it's as simple as getting him to meetings and events and providing support and encouragement. Maybe it's more. But you have to hash this out, come to an understanding, and work from there. Families that have disparate feelings on Scouting rarely produce the best experience for the Scout.

    The best unit in the world isn't going to be able to help your son if the family foundation in regards to Scouting isn't solid. While this may all sound harsh, it is better to face unpleasant truths and address them if you truly want your son to be involved and excel as much as possible.

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  4. Just musing, not proposing any course of action. And maybe its been addressed in the preceding dozen+ pages.

    What would the district or council reaction to such news be? That a troop essentially adding requirements is turning off boys to the extent that they are opting to quit entirely?

    1. Part of me (the cynical part) would assume that they probably don't care and would rather not ruffle leader feathers.
    2. But the optimistic side would hope that someone sees the problem for what it is.
    3. Then the cynical side pops up again and says, "Yeah, gotta keep those membership numbers up" and that would be the focus of addressing the issue, not the root problem.

    I feel for ya. A lot of internal conflict I'm sure between supporting your son's decision and trying to do the right thing by him and many others.

  5. It's easier with separate uniforms for each role. It's more of a hassle than you realize to switch stuff around. And they wear faster doing double duty. Extra shirts can be found on the cheap fairly easy. EBay can be your friend in this.

    I actually use two uniforms for each role. One "dress" poplin and one "field" microfiber. The dress one has all the fun stuff or sentimental items on it for indoor meetings, ceremonies, etc. The field one has the bare minimum and that's what is worn  to camp and other active  events.

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  6. Is it really a den without a leader?

    I mean, at some point you're going to have to be pretty blatant about it.: Either someone steps up and into the DL role or there isn't a den.

    It isn't fair to the leaders attempting to help out in the interim nor to the boys/roles they are supposed to be attending to. Let's face it, it's pretty obvious by now that as long as they don't NEED to, nobody will volunteer to be DL. Unfortunately you have to force their hand. Will it get you the optimum, an enthusiastic and committed leader? Probably not, but you don't have that currently, either.

    If nobody does, disband the den and devote your resources to those that are willing to provide their time and effort. Maybe they'll come to their sense for the next year. Or better, before you have to dissolve their den.

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  7. Webelos are getting to the age where they should and need to be able to plan, write, and do some simple documenting. It's preparing them for Scouts, middle school level work, and life in general. If a kids bucks at doing this type of stuff, it says more about him than a DL using this to keep a handle on things. 

    To be honest, it's just a larger format of what's in the book. I'd rather use these than haul the book everywhere. I do these kind of sheets with ours as a review, they can fill in the answers as they discuss as a group. It helps to have this stuff on hand as we sign off in the book later.

  8. We raised dues for the first time in YEARS due to the latest fee increases. Used to be $100, now it is $115/yr.

    This covers all national/council/insurance fees and all other activities the Pack does as a whole. This includes

    • A fund that is reimbursable to the den leader of any expenses incurred for activities up to $10 year per boy (craft supplies, materials, etc). 
    • Advancements and other recognition items 
    • Class B t-shirts, custom unit number
    • All fees for campsites for the two Pack-wide camping events,
    • Maintenance and upkeep of Pack assets (PWD track, water jugs, tables, etc),
    • Materials for other events (regatta, PWD kits)
    • Blue & Gold catering and decorations
    • Recruiting (fliers, e-fliers, materials)

    If we do well in popcorn sales, we do an end-of-year event for the boys. In other words, pay that one fee and there is no nickle-and-diming throughout the year.

    There have been a few that pause when hearing the number, but after explaining the numbers behind it there has been no problem. We have absorbed the previous couple rounds of increases, but the latest one was too much if we wanted to keep providing the same level of program. We also added a service fee ($3) if paying by CC via Square to cover service charges and we had an even greater percentage than before pay via that method. I guess points/miles are worth it.


  9. 3 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

    Key is to do stuff they may not do with their friends and families...backpacking because it's there, hiking back country rugged trails into a gorge because it's fun, getting hauled around the lake on a tube...well because, canoeing in a swamp because seeing alligators maybe 10' away is wicked fun.  That is how you get older scouts to attend, not only doing SM conferences there.

    Yeah, that was my point. I think the thought was it would keep older boys coming to campouts. But forcing teenagers into something like this only breeds resentment and lower participation. You might get them out there, but not for the right reasons. Band aids, not solutions. 

  10. This policy could likely have the unintended effect of older boys only attending a campout for the purpose of a SMC. Then they disappear until they need another one. Force a teenager into a contrived activity? Not really a recipe for trust, cooperation, and success. That could then spawn a "needs too attend consecutive campouts" policy to secure a SMC. That might be an avenue of discussion to take to helping them see their choices are band aids, not solutions.

    I feel for you. Not a comfortable situation.

  11. 4 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

    Possibly, but not really.  I was a DE for a while.  Key thing was membership numbers and money.  Quality program never enters the conversation

    So true. The only time we hear from our DE is when he's trying to drum up registrations or rather, trying to get US to drum up more registrations. Sure, what volunteer doesn't want to do FOUR rounds of membership rallies every year? 🙄  Dude can't even get flyers printed properly for us. Go away.

    It's that or to schedule a FOS presentation.

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  12. 6 minutes ago, carebear3895 said:

    Yea because the whole point of the Boy Scouts of America is to make Scout Executives rich. DE's are slaves to SE's, we don't care about the volunteers we work alongside. Packs and Troops are just thorns in our sides in our goal to make as much money as possible.


    Maybe some deeper self-examination is necessary. You may be joking, but that IS the impression made by the 'professionals' time and time again. WE can't help it that quite often the only ones signing up to be paid Scouters are a bunch of bumbling fools. Is that a fair assessment of all of them? Hardly, but you form your opinions based on what you have experienced.

    What we volunteers can do is often ignore the interference and idiocy and deliver quality as opposed to bureaucracy.

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  13. 14 minutes ago, Cambridgeskip said:

    Not among the scout fratternity because the laws that govern this didn't just come out the blue. There had been increasing restrictions on the use and ownership of knives over many years so it was a bit of a salami slice effect. Besides for the most part it's common sense. In the same way I don't carry my torch or my first aid kit or mess tins around with me all the time I don't have my knife about me all the time on camp and neither would I expect the scouts to. It's a case of you get it when you need it.


    The Daily Mail though.... when it found this out when into an editorial hissy fit. But as Ian mentioned, that's what the Daily Mail does. Think Fox News on steroids.

    I've lost count of the number of times I've assisted someone in random situations. Out shopping, in the office, etc. All because I always carry a pocketknife. Always. And it's usually the BSA camping knife given to me over 40 years ago. Quite often the response when seeing the logo on the knife is along the lines of, "Well of course you're ready to help, you're a Scout aren't you?"

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  14. 39 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    When I was a Cubmaster I'd have said much the same.  My pack never camped at Council camps, never participated in District or Council activities, never took advantage of any support from a DE on membership or anything else.  We were the big, successful pack that did it all our self.  For our part, the only relationship we had with the BSA was:
    - purchase badges and other items from the store
    - turn in recharter packets & applications
    - the occasional training

    So, in a real way, we'd have said much the same.

    When I joined the troop, I saw that things were different - but only because we wanted it to be so.  We go to camporees, council events, council camps, make better use of training, etc.  We're better off for it, but I do still remember those days in Cub Scouts when we operated completely independently.



    I think we're going to see a lot of troops go to that mode of operation with the recent changes (if they aren't already doing it.) Both Pack and Troop I'm involved with largely do this now and will likely scale back any district/council participation back to the minimum required.

    Why? Membership changes and policies are one element. Another is that there is very little value-add involving them in the program we offer. It works, boys are learning and having fun. As a unit, we're increasing our numbers because of what WE do, in spite of the noise and interference from above.


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  15. 10 minutes ago, Eagledad said:

    The scouts are responsible for finding their activities in our troop. If the adults want to see the lay of the land, we do it without the scouts. Summer camp is really good place for scouts to learn  practice navigating strange camps to find their courses and activities. It's a very growing experience for new scouts. The SPL goes to most of the logistics meetings also. We may send an adult with him the camp requires it. Our SPLs work so hard at summer camp that we pay his camp fees. It's benefit, but they earn it. 


    I guess I should have clarified. I meant OUR (adult) schedule and where everything was located for our own reference. Something that I don't recall from my time as a Scout that we have to consider as adults is medications. Depending on the camp, either we can do it or it has to be administered by the camp staff. Another wrinkle to iron out.

    Although I can foresee some first-year campers needing some guidance if they are having to go solo to their first activity site. They will be coached on asking who's going to the ABC Area next and partnering up with others for those walks. You never know who you're going to meet at camp!

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  16. Luckily we have the opposite problem. Well, maybe TOO minimal adult coverage. Only 2 for 18. And I say possibly too minimal in case of an emergency where two-deep would be impossible. I guess if it comes down to it, our senior Scouts will get some OTJ training on how to handle the logistics of an emergency situation.

    Actually, we are looking forward to it as somewhat of a vacation after the Monday rush to activities and figuring out the schedule and lay of the land. The acting SPL will get a good taste of the role as he's wanting to run for the position the next rotation and his experience and performance should prove his worth. We'll have a backup framework of course, but it's his show to run this year. I'm looking forward to seeing how ALL of them do!

  17. 2 hours ago, FireStone said:

    He told me I hate God. That's pretty direct and personal, and I don't think there are many people of faith who would take that lightly. 

    I would go back and re-read what he wrote then. Nowhere did he say "Firestone hates god" or anything like that. Fighting irrational with irrational doesn't really work.

  18. 56 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    That's silly.  There is a ton of things that were different in 1907 and not used in the BSA.  We use them all the time now.

    To follow a strict interpretation of only what was done then doesn't make sense.

    Facts are just that and I said they should take precedence (ie, back seat) over opinion. Interpretation is influenced by the opinion of the interpreter. A very subjective outcome. I notice throughout this thread lots of mention of 'interpreting' things. Is there something offensive about facts and objective statements that makes them so discountable?

  19. 5 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    Everyone's actions are influenced by the norms and culture of the day.  BP is no different.  What's important is to understand the aims he had and to interpret them correctly so we can implement his program correctly. 

    Revisionist musings will, and should, always take a back seat to facts. Anything ascribed to B-P with a leading, "I think" is meaningless.

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  20. 6 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    The difference is in how you refer to people and the institution.

    You can explain in lots of ways why the BSA decision is wrong without rooting for it's demise or calling it's leaders morally corrupt.

    So if someone can't express themselves in a manner that conforms to your style or sensibilities they shouldn't be allowed to do so. Doesn't sound very inclusive.

  21. 20 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

    It's not just that he insulted forum members - it's the blatant attacks on the BSA, it's leadership, and by inference those that support it.  Calling the BSA and its leaders immoral and wishing it's demise is a problem.

    There are many more ways to make your point without having to revert to that.

    What's the difference between criticism and insult? The element of personal perception. You saw it one way, I saw it another. 

    You can express your dissatisfaction with his behavior, yet you would restrict the manner in which he expresses his? Honestly, it only ratcheted up once he began to get flak for his stance. The escalation was not entirely upon him.

    How do those that require objective compliance reconcile that with their own subjective behavior?

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