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About AltadenaCraig

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  • Birthday May 13

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  • Location
    San Gabriel Valley, CA
  • Occupation
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    Continuing to learn about Scouting in general and the Patrol Method in particular.
  • Biography
    Feb '15-present, Scoutmaster, Troop 1, Altadena, CA
    Feb '15, Vigil Honor, Order of the Arrow, Lodge 33
    Jul '13, Adult Participant, 6-1/2 day, 72mi trek along Southern 1/3 of JMT including 14,500ft summit of Mt. Whitney
    Feb '08-'15, ASM, Troop 1, Altadena, CA
    Feb '06-'08, Cubmaster, Pack 1, Altadena, CA
    Feb '04-'06, Den Leader, Pack 1, Altadena, CA
    Life Scout, Troop 401, Claremont, CA
    Arrow of Light, Pack 434, Claremont, CA

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  1. Looking for Advice on Which Bugle Calls to Use

    LOVE this! Dorsey, Miller ... and Slide Hampton!! Our Troop meets near the Rose Bowl and annually attends the parade. Big-10 bands are ALWAYS the best - hands down (something to do with the weather, maybe?) I remember Purdue at the '67 Rose Bowl; later that month your school lost two great alums in Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee. I made a fuss about the beauty of 'To the Color' followed by 'Retreat', IMHO. But Tatoo beats them all. Though not a MB required piece (likely because its too long) it's lovely nevertheless: http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/tattoo.asp
  2. Wonderful stuff, TAHAWK; thank you so much for the scan and the share. I'm reading it carefully and notice that pages 14 & 15 appear to be missing from the scan, above. If you have access to those pages, would you be so kind as to include them as well? Thanks again for your kindness - - Craig
  3. Looking for Advice on Which Bugle Calls to Use

    Wow, congratulations to Bugleson ... and to your Troop for having a Bugler - super! I'll risk being nit-picky (just because I'm bored right now) and suggest a few modifications to SSScout's wonderful post, above. Note, all of the bugle calls in the links below are required per the Bugling Merit Badge: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/Merit_Badge_ReqandRes/Bugling.pdf 1. I like the idea of alerting the Troop with "First Call", but as it's officially a "warning that personnel will prepare to assemble for a formation", perhaps the SPL could announce the call with "Ladies & Gentlemen, please find your seats as we'll be starting in a moment". http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/firstcall.asp 2. I'm not in favor of the bugler blowing "To the Color" as the colors advance, as officially the call is to "render honors to the nation" and "commands all the same courtesies as the National Anthem." Instead, following on the "First Call" warning, I might suggest the SPL invite the audience to "Please rise for the Presentation of the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance" followed immediately by the Bugler blowing "Assembly" http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/assembly.asp 3. Upon the SPL (or Honor Patrol Leader) commanding the colors to "...Advance!" (to the front of the audience), "...Halt!" and finally, "...Present the Colors!" at which point the Honor Patrol either presents the colors at the audience front or goes directly to the flag-stands - your choice - and upon "Scouts, Salute! Guests please honor our flag." the bugler plays "To the Color" in full (the most beautiful call there is, IMHO): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/tothecolor.asp 4. "Ruffles & Flourishes" for the Scoutmaster? - first, that's not a required call; and second, we're supposed to be Scout-lead. Blowing "Attention" for the awarding of ranks might have the scouts jumping to their feet (and confuse the audience as to whether or not to stand). Instead, the SPL might use "Attention" to get everyone on their feet in preparation for Retreat (as noted, it's an exceptionally brief call): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/attention.asp 5. I agree that "Taps" is a tad melancholy and doubly agree "Retreat" is the proper call with which to end the ceremony (the next most beautiful call, after To the Color, IMHO): http://www.music.army.mil/music/buglecalls/retreat.asp Hope this is helpful and once again I'll add my congratulations to Bugleson and the tip of my hat to SSScout's post - - Craig
  4. If you were a committee member,

    I don't suppose you have drafts available that you would be able to share on this thread? Would make a wonderful Christmas present to us!
  5. What is quality control in Scouting

    We're a "Thorns & Roses (& Buds)" Troop as well. Yep, a great way to clear the air around the final-night campfire; each scout gets to contribute and be heard. At the following troop meeting we pull from another old-school (JLT ?) tradition: the "Par-18" evaluation. After the opening ceremony, the SPL calls for a voice-vote on each of the previous weekend's activities, requiring consensus on each question (from one to three ... you know it was really awful if they yell "zero!"): Was the job completed? Was it completed On Time? Was it completed correctly? Did everyone in the group participate? Was everyone in the group pleased with the effort? Is everyone in the group eager for the next job? Activities receiving "all 3's" results in 18 (thus the name). The last question usually results in some scouts shouting "what IS the next job?!"" at which point the Scribe points to the calendar.
  6. What is quality control in Scouting

    I had a similar experience. One year our Troop sent a critical mass of scouts to NYLT who came back all fired-up, etc. That was the last time our troop sent any scouts to NYLT until I took over as Scoutmaster four years later. Thus the need to promote attendance and in include that as part of the "grade". Potential "gaming"? No doubt. I expect that happens across all organizations and industries. But it shouldn't stop us from trying.
  7. What is quality control in Scouting

    I'm actually rather fond of the JTE as a balanced scorecard. At a high level it emphasizes a sustainable, fiscally responsible organization with a program providing overnight camping and service projects. All good metrics at the organizational level. But an organizational scorecard provides only one view. Nearly all of the concerns expressed in this thread are with operations (Scout-lead vs. Adult-lead) ... for which the JTE can't measure, nor was it designed to measure. I strongly agree the BSA should take longer strides at QA of the operational component, along the lines of "the view of the scout". As a strawman, I propose the following: a) Infuse NYLT with a stronger dose of the Patrol Method. Run scenarios with scouts & staff role-playing the right-way vs. wrong-way to run Patrol meetings, Troop meetings, PLC's, Campouts, Day-outings, Service Projects, and Annual Planning. Emphasize that Scout-lead is the only way to run these activities and "a troop is posing if it's not being run accordingly". Next b) measure Districts by percentage of 1st Class scouts who attend the bolstered NYLT. Really push attendance. After all, Sec. Robert Gates claims NYLT (or JLT, whatever back in the day) was "the only formal management training [he] ever had." Finally c) subsequently eMail each attendee an online survey against which he compares the operations of his troop with what he'd learned in NYLT. The questionnaire should measure all of the scout-lead suggestions provided by TAHAWK and others herein on this thread - grade the actions of Scoutmasters, PLC's, ASM's, meetings, outings; etc.. Provide Districts with feedback on each of their Troops. If anonymity is compromised because enough of a Troop's scouts didn't attend NYLT, return some kind of "no grade" until they do. Publicize/Promote those troops with high grades and I'll bet not only will the strong survive and flourish, the weak organizations will either improve or perish. Perhaps provide such a questionnaire to ASM's for a 360 view of each Troop. As Scouts & Scouters are expected to be Trustworthy, etc., I'd expect legitimate responses - else some kind of link allowing whistle-blowing of any manipulation etc. Expensive? Probably. Worthwhile? Absolutely. My $.02
  8. POR review

    I'm more sympathetic to mentorship. I agree we should avoid "checklists" and "policies", etc., which in my experience result in tying my hands as Scoutmaster more than they compel performance in a POR. On the other hand I do see value in the mentor idea in order to "set a scout up for success" when refocusing or starting a troop anew. At the risk of taking some quotes on this thread out of context, here are a couple of examples: In providing logistical and administrative support, a fully staffed Troop Committee typically has an Equipment Coordinator and a Chaplain. Isn't it reasonable to expect these adults to have some interaction - mentor, if you will - the scout Quartermaster and Chaplain's Aide? I agree in a fully operational troop the prior holders of POR's would guide and mentor the incumbents. But for those troops just starting out, or for established units undergoing a major shift (I can't imagine how a major equipment purchase, e.g., wouldn't require coordination between the adult Equipment Coordinator and the scout Quartermaster) I think temporary mentorship is a worthwhile idea. With a little creativity, I would expect other adult and scout roles could be lined up as well. Not for evaluation, simply for guidance. Respectfully - Craig
  9. ... And could the GSUSA have promoted their Gold Award as effectively as they do their Thin Mints and Doe-si-Doe's to bring it on par with our Eagle (as it should be), and worked with the NYC chapter of NOW to retain their support of single-gender programs instead of badgering the BSA to open its ranks to both? Yes. They didn't. So here we are ...
  10. No doubt there's truth in your argument, Jameson76, the BSA & GSUSA are each facing a Donner-Party crises (and we know what happened to them). Nevertheless, you can't deny the media drumbeats the BSA has heard from organizations such as NOW http://nownyc.org/press-releases/national-organization-women-calls-boy-scouts-america-end-discriminatory-policies-let-girls-join/ and from compelling individuals such as Sydney Ireland http://www.npr.org/2017/04/29/526021195/meet-the-teenage-girl-who-wants-to-be-a-boy-scout. MattR and mds3d, above, perfectly articulate the flaw with the GSUSA model relative to the outdoor program. Coupled with the GSUSA's inept marketing of their Gold Award (I have a Gold Award recipient daughter as well as an Eagle Scout son and I know she put every bit as much into her achievement as he did his), I'm surprised the clamor to join the rest of the First World in providing a co-ed program hasn't been louder. I would, however, like to see more media focus on the GSUSA and how they brought this on themselves. The BSA may be playing a numbers game, but between the media drumbeats on the one hand, and the GSUSA's indolence on the other, they would have rightly been accused of looking a gift-horse in the mouth had they not taken steps to go co-ed.
  11. What do you mean by "men" and "manly"?

    Would somebody please reference the BSA source material for "manly" or "turning boys into men"? I've read and re-read the "Aims and Methods of Scouting" and the word "man" doesn't appear and the only derivative that does is "humankind". Just as the Guide to Advancement delineates the requirement as written - no more and no less - as the standard by which a Scout's merit badge or an advancement is attained, I believe Scouters are bound to the Aims and Methods - no more and no less - as our purpose. We get ourselves into trouble when we invent our own aims & methods. We're much better off when we stick to the book.
  12. Here's a link to a rather interesting article which "Kim" posted over on Scoutmastercg.com: http://www.scoutcollecting.co.uk/post-girls_in_scouting___when_did_it_all_begin.html This UK article is dated 2013 and chronicles Robert Baden Powell's early thoughts on girls in scouting. It features a 1908 letter (5 years before Girl Guides) from Baden Powell replying to a girl who wished to become a Scout: I am glad to hear you are taking up scouting. I think there can be girl scouts just as well as boy scouts, and hope you will form a patrol, and let us know as yours will be the first girl scout patrol. Most surprising (to me) is the picture from the 1909 "Scouting for Boys" which details uniform requirements ... for girls!
  13. How to market for the BSA

    Jean Twenge is also quoted in this Time.com article from yesterday: http://time.com/4974863/kids-smartphones-depression/ Additionally the article highlights "the latest statistics on teen mental health": Between 2010 and 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode leapt by 60%, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 2016 survey of 17,000 kids found that about 13% of them had a major depressive episode, compared to 8% of the kids surveyed in 2010. Suicide deaths among people age 10 to 19 have also risen sharply, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... All this followed a period during the late-1990s and early 2000s when rates of adolescent depression and suicide mostly held steady or declined. Elsewhere though, the article makes an observation which should be a caution to all of us (and work to avoid being "one more thing" in busy parents' lives): There are doubtless many factors contributing to teen depression. Parents say kids today are busier than ever before—their lives increasingly crammed with the extracurriculars required to gain admission to a good college.
  14. It also gives the GSUSA some breathing space to make some decisions. The tone of the announcement suggests the BSA agrees there's value in preserving single-gender programs, which has been the GSUSA's primary objection to the BSA's forays. With this announcement the GSUSA should think seriously about the BSA's offer to partner. Their days are numbered.
  15. Outstanding Annual Planning meeting

    I'm throwing-in my $.02 here as we just completed a planning exercise that appears to work for us. Up until a few years ago our annual planning was a marathon event held on our Scoutmaster's backyard deck. The Scoutmaster reigned over the process (as he kept the planning calendar in front of himself). Enthusiastic Scouts and their parents would arrive and begin the process in earnest planning for the following January. By mid-day they'd completed planning up to Spring but energy was flagging so pizzas were ordered. With goodwill still strong and after a second wind the session continued. We eventually managed to get through the Summer planning but by then energy was completely depleted and the Scouts were out horsing around and the thing devolved into chaos. The Scoutmaster wound up planning for Sep through Dec. And every year it was the same. When I took over as Scoutmaster I was determined to make the process more Scout-lead and less grueling. As our tradition is to elect SPL's twice per year - thus two PLC administrations for 6mos, each - my plan was to give each PLC administration an equal bite at the planning "apple" by splitting the annual planning into two sessions and each PLC administration gets to plan a six-month bloc. It has since proved to be not only more equitable, but also more manageable as the Scouts only have to focus on half a year at a time instead of a twelve month marathon. For the past few years now we've set each of the planning sessions on a weekend afternoon, inviting the PLC as well as the Staff (Quartermaster, Chaplain's Aide, etc.) as well as the Scoutmaster Corps and Troop Committee Chair. We start at 3:30pm and incorporate a Bar-b-Que. I purchase a desktop calendar from an office-supply store, as well as several bright post-it colors (representing Overnighters, Service Projects, Meetings, Hikes & Outings, & District Events) and Sharpies. The other adults and I sit back while the Scouts have at-it with the Sharpies and post-its. Along with the Bar-b-que it seems to have met my goal of being more Scout-lead and less grueling. Nevertheless I'm always looking for ways to improve and finding a way to reinforce the Patrol Method is now a key focus of mine. Consequently I'm intrigued by @Stosh/@Lurking's method, above, and I'm running it through my head to try it on and see what fits. Meantime, for those of you who are planning at the Troop-level, but are frustrated by marathon annual planning sessions you might consider aligning your planning horizon with your PLC administrations and break-up the marathon accordingly. YIS - - Craig