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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
    Aug '18, & Jul '13 Adult Participant, 6-1/2 day, 72mi trek along Southern 1/3 of JMT including 14,505ft 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. AltadenaCraig

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    Thanks to all ... I'm really getting a lot out of this thread. I'm encouraged by my younger patrols - they're exhibiting high enthusiasm for what I'll call "vanilla scouting": Patrol method in the outdoors. They're engaged and reasonably attentive at PLC's, they have fun with one another, and the more advanced of my younger scouts exhibit care and concern for the youngest - taking them under their wings and helping them with skills, advancement, etc. Perfect! My struggle is with my oldest scouts. I hate to "write them off", but I'm just there with them. I've concluded that my predecessor - a truly dedicated scouter and a tireless supporter of mine - unfortunately was also the "world's oldest SPL". He ran everything ... meetings, campouts, the whole bit. And charismatically, too. It was HIS show. As you can guess it hasn't been an easy transition from him to me. I'm not him ... and frankly I don't think such Scoutmasters do much for building sustainable programs, much less sustainable scouts. If my older scouts aren't being entertained, they're out. What I'm learning from this thread is that I should be wary of setting up a "camping club" as a venture crew to placate my oldest scouts. While I haven't given up on the Venture Crew, I'll approach it with my younger scouts in mind and eventually set it up it as it's meant to be - real leadership and ownership. Thanks again!
  2. AltadenaCraig

    Oct 1, 2018 - GSS ends Patrol Method?

    I really like ParkMan's "stages". Parkman may not have served, but I was an active-duty regular US Army officer for several years, and Parkman's model works into my thinking. But I guess that really shouldn't be a surprise given Scouting's development. Arguably it was Baden-Powell's Boer War leadership skills that gave context and structure to the wonderful outdoor experiences which Beard and Seton were introducing to the youth of their day. I gather the "problem" we're trying to solve here is the Patrol Method for "Stage 3" or thereabouts within the upcoming G2SS. I'm envious of those highly developed troops with experienced 15-17 yr old scouts - and I wouldn't want to prescribe anything to derail what's working for them - but for those of us who are still building up the inertia, I'm contemplating adding something compelling for our >15 yr olds. Something to help give a boost to the flywheel that will both keep the Stage-3'rs engaged while also allowing them to serve as "officers" for the rest of the troop. So I've suggested to a few in our Troop Committee that we consider establishing our senior (Stage 3) patrols as Venture Crews. G2SS allows for higher-caliber and pistol shooting in venturing, as well as activities such as search-&-rescue, etc. The upcoming registration changes will soon allow ALL venturers - both boys & girls - to continue pursuing Eagle together, so there would be complete commonality of advancement as well. @Sentinal, what do you think of that idea? My biggest concern is that true Venturing suggests allowing the crews near autonomy - and while I agree that "Scout Lead" is not a license for Scouters to abdicate - can Scouters at least compel the crews to meet on the same night as the troop, and also mentor them to fulfill their "Stage 3" troop officership while also allowing them as Venture crews to pursue extreme-high-adventure activities? Clarke Green over at Scoutmastercg.com has mentioned his troop is running along these lines. Others?
  3. AltadenaCraig

    Patrol Method and new G2SS rules

    I've begun floating to my Troop Committee the idea of establishing one or more Venture Crews for our older scouts. I'd avoided it previously because I foresaw the boys continuing to work toward Eagle while any girls who'd joined didn't have that option. Moreover there didn't seem to be all that much that a venture crew could do that a scout patrol couldn't. Now with girls able to pursue Eagle, as well as the murky G2SS impending requirements, it's dawning on me that Venturing will be my Underground Railroad to freedom for my older scout patrols. Such a transition might be a little more complicated for troops with mixed-age patrols, but as all of my troop's patrols are age-based the Venturing option is pretty straightforward. The risk to my troop, however, is a Venture Crew is supposed to be 100% venturer-lead. While my hope would be that any venture crews we establish would function as senior-scout leaders/trainers (meet on the same night as the troop, split-out during patrol-meeting & game-time but otherwise hang-out with the troop), the truth is that any such lingering troop-affiliation would be at the discretion (mercy?) of the venturers. They might fly the coop entirely. Anyone else seeing Venturing as the answer?
  4. AltadenaCraig

    Jim Turley, new National BSA Chair

    Anything in particular regarding his vision that you're comfortable sharing?
  5. AltadenaCraig

    National Meeting: Affirmation of DRP

    I think they do, too, which is what scares me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a closet atheist - far from it - but I do agree with the earlier posts that Duty to God is redundant given our other values. Moreover, singling that duty out from the others (and without providing additional training or strict limitations on how to discuss that duty), is an invitation to our more fervent scouters to infuse their beliefs into other aspects of the program. My District has already had to remove one Eagle BOR chair for his grilling of candidates' beliefs. With National's doubling-down on the policy I expect other Councils will find themselves wrestling similar problems.
  6. AltadenaCraig

    Transition from Scouter-lead to Scout-lead

    Queue Clarke Green at Scoutmastercg.com https://scoutmastercg.com/category/patrol-method/
  7. AltadenaCraig

    Minimum time to achieve Eagle Scout rank

    I heard it at our last Commissioner's meeting and I about blew a gasket - for all of the reasons stated earlier. Any Council with any sense will try do what the service academies did when they graduated the first females in 1980: They'll bundle all of those with eligibility (based on a range of birthdays) into a "class". There won't be any "first" individuals, just the first class.
  8. AltadenaCraig

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    Bingo. I've enjoyed - and hope to continue to enjoy - the camaraderie of my LDS Scouter friends (they can still enjoy scouting independent of their church - if they can't, that's another problem). But I've long felt the "LDS Scouting" publications and special classes at Commissioner College made me feel not only that the "tail was wagging the dog", but frankly I felt a tad resentful at the apparent exclusivity.
  9. AltadenaCraig

    1971 - "Scouting/USA"....2018 "Scouts USA"

    Well that’s what I get for relying on my memory; nice catch NJCubScouter (I’ll swear that strip read Cub Scouts BSA in my day ... but that was 50 years ago!)
  10. AltadenaCraig

    1971 - "Scouting/USA"....2018 "Scouts USA"

    More likely the ribbon above the uniform right breast pocket, which for Cubs and Venturers says "Cub Scouts BSA" and "Venturing BSA". Seems reasonable that "Scouts BSA" would be a logical fit between the other two programs.
  11. No kidding. Note that nowhere in this thread do we see "Camp Fire Girls" or "Campfire". Mark my words, GSUSA, you're about to become similarly irrelevant ... and you've brought it all on yourselves. My goodness, with the NY chapter of NOW thumping on us on the one hand and apparently genuine appeals from young ladies seeking "Eagle Scout" on the other, the BSA was straining credulity to ignore the situation. Talk about a gift horse. If the GSUSA had promoted their Gold Award half as effectively as they've marketed Thin Mints and Do-Si-Do's we wouldn't be having this conversation.
  12. AltadenaCraig

    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
  13. 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
  14. AltadenaCraig

    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
  15. AltadenaCraig

    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!