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Everything posted by AltadenaCraig

  1. I'll mention I don't think the two traits are mutually exclusive. To be sure, the Lao Tzu quote isn't a license for Scoutmasters to abdicate their responsibilities to guide & mentor ... for me the quote is a reminder to work with the SPL in the background and not hog her spotlight (I'm now the Scoutmaster of our girls' troop). If there's an issue with a scout beyond the scope of the PL/SPL I'll try to work with that scout more directly, but even less obtrusively. Safety issues aside, of course, which require immediate intervention. YIS - - Craig
  2. I'm inclined toward Lao Tzu's quote in the Troop Leader Guidebook: A leader is most effective when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: "we did it ourselves"
  3. Highly astute observation, @fred8033. As BSA uniforms through the years have mirrored service fatigues, headgear, etc., I'm surprised BSA has allowed the uniform to drift toward "dress" and away from "functional" (shoulder loops?). All the more surprising what with the availability of technical fabrics. And the Army's recent field uniforms (BDU/ACU) have been designed toward functional, with liberal use of Velcro. Highly agree @Jameson76. Here're my suggestions for getting back to functional: Cut should be straight (without tail), and insist it NOT be tucked-in (imitat
  4. Fellow Scouters: As it's been ~ 3-1/2 years since the last reply to this excellent question and thread, I thought I'd resurrect it in case some blessed Scouter has found the right recipe for intra-patrol, SPL, & intra-PLC, and intra-troop communications. INTRA-TROOP: For me, intra-troop communications is synonymous with "parental" communications, and eMail is satisfactory. We have five patrols; accordingly I've established five patrol aliases with as many parent & scout eMail accounts as possible. Proven advantages & disadvantages include: Advantages: Patrol-spe
  5. I remember when Tiger Cubs was initiated. I saw it as a response to Y-Guides (then “Indian Guides”) which began in 1st grade and threatened to capture dads & their boys before they became eligible for cubs. I see Lions as a similar response to youth soccer, which a few years ago began capturing families at Kindergarten. My son & I enjoyed Tigers - and I’ve been involved ever since even though my son is now 23 - but I can see Barry’s point that for most parents, this race-to-the-bottom just invites early burnout.
  6. By my reading of https://troopleader.scouting.org/scoutings-aims-and-methods/ it's now BOTH an aim and a method (?!?). If anyone on this channel can point to who within the BSA is responsible for integrity among its publications (including websites), please let me know as I'd be happy to volunteer to help where I can. My experience was with TRADOC (Training & Doctrine Command) which performs this function for the US Army. I don't know that BSA needs an entire bureaucracy (none of the other uniformed services has a TRADOC), but BSA obviously need some help. Nowadays such a functi
  7. At first blush I agree. When I followed my son into our troop a dozen years ago I was mentored by our SM and ASM's and allowed to grow into an ASM role at my own pace. These GSUSA mothers, on the other hand, are sensing they'll be thrown right into the deep-end (to mix metaphors) if they're to provide a meaningful experience to their girls as Cadettes. Nevertheless, back in the day, before the GSUSA allowed their program to ignore the outdoor component, somehow their structural model DID work. I'd be curious to your thoughts about what might have made up for the lack of institutional k
  8. Tonight my small linked-troop of five registered scouts will be visited-upon by a GSUSA troop of TEN junior girl-scouts. Why the interest? Among the several BSA advantages discussed elsewhere in Scouter.com (greater outdoor challenges, perceived prestige of Eagle vs. Gold Award, etc.), two stand out as fatal impediments to this troop of Juniors moving on to Cadettes: Their leadership, primarily mothers, are resistant to the perceived expenditures in tents, stoves, cook-sets, etc. required to support outdoor overnighters; and These same leaders are at best reluctant and at worst f
  9. Caltopo.com is fabulous. And for way more than an orienteering course: How many times have we scouters emphasized "a compass isn't much good without a map - and vice versa" when referencing the 10 essentials, only to accompany scouts on a campout or hike where at best only a few carry both? Good topographic maps are expensive, not to mention bulky & unwieldy for younger scouts, so until now it's been easy to justify slighting this "essential". But with caltopo.com no more excuses! We've saved .pdf's of caltopo.com maps we've created of our usual hangouts and distributed links as @
  10. This. Heaven help me I wish I had the gaming talent. Some kind of small-group competition combining geocaching, Fortnite, and Pokemon-go would be a winner and right up our alley. Alas, my crystal ball goes dark beyond that.
  11. Well, I'm happy to strongly agree with you on that. I've been thinking hard about why I'm so worked-up about this. @qwazse pointed out the Mission of the BSA hasn't changed, so what's the big deal? That reminded me of what set me off in the first place: The 2019 Guide to Advancement. On the facing page to page one, in large bold print, are two statements: the Mission and the (now four) Aims. Both printed in the same large-bold font, and only these two statements so featured, tells me the BSA places the same value on both. Well then, either the Aims should't be proclaimed so prominen
  12. @qwazse: I'm in agreement with many of your positions on scouter.com, but on this I'm afraid we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm encouraged that several others apparently agree with me that National's words are important, that we're attentive, and most of all that we're disappointed when guiding principles are capriciously and deceptively changed.
  13. @qwazse: I'm not trying to be quixotic about this. Like you I'm trying to be realistic. Perhaps some, including National, see Aims & Methods only as a marketing pitch, but in all of my professional training when the vision, mission, and values of an organization are firm and resolute, the better the organization. I'd even go farther to say that if BSA reconciled the principles embodied in the Aims and Methods (Leadership, Leadership Development? Aim? Method? huh?), we could resolve many of the quality issues we debate in this forum. I don't disagree with your observation that "We
  14. Amen @ParkMan. The Scout Oath & Law are the only policies & procedures we need. Clarke Green, nailed it for me on a ScoutmasterCG post from 10 years ago: https://scoutmastercg.com/troop-rules-or-resolutions/
  15. @RichardB - Thank you for taking time to respond. I've seen other posts of yours and I gather you're either a professional scouter or closely-tied, so I want to also thank you for standing-up to my plaintive request for someone accountable to reply. Nevertheless, your reply really frosts me, it is so condescending. I've been a subscriber of Scouting Wire since its inception on March 5, 2015. I'm also a lazy manager of my gmail account and am in possession of all 215 eMails I've received from "ScoutingWire" since. I was able to perform a simple search and I'm sorry to say NONE of them
  16. Just to put my money where my mouth is, here are three actions which I hope National would take regarding any changes to Aims & Methods: Immediate notification to all scouters of the added Aim upon adoption of the bylaws by the Executive Committee (while I wouldn't expect everything the ExComm does to be so advertised, the Aims & Methods are foundational lists which are emphasized during initial training across the org - Scoutmaster Corps, Troop Committee, and Charter Org.). Commented by Michael Surbaugh in an end-of-year video or memo to all Scouters Two or three Pow
  17. Thank you, @RememberSchiff. Both of the references you cite clearly identify four, not three, Aims. But am I off the mark in feeling that these references only underscore my point? These references make it absolutely clear the change was intentional, and identifies it as "significant"! So why make such a significant and intentional change without championing it across the organization? Again, either they mean something or they don't.
  18. "Leadership" is now included among four Aims of Scouting (up from the previously clearly understood three), which are prominently displayed in boldface on the face-page, along with the BSA Mission Statement, in the 2019 Guide to Advancement. The eight Methods of Scouting, though they remain unchanged, are not so highlighted and practically buried on page 11 of the GTA. Perhaps someone on the blog, preferably a professional Scouter can speak to this? I saw where some of this was discussed elsewhere in the topic "Whats in a Name"; however, the root of this change was never discussed nor w
  19. @qwazse & @Cburkhardt : regarding the GS Troop's decision to enter Scouts BSA rather than Venturing, I expect it's because BSA policy requires them to do so (at least until they achieve First Class) in order to eventually attain Eagle: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/Implementation-Details-for-Scouts-BSA-Final.pdf It will be interesting whether they eventually become Venturers after they earn First Class.
  20. I'm now the girl's Scoutmaster of a linked-troop. With the boy's troop (for which I was Scoutmaster the past 4 years) we share resources as well as the Troop Committee and meet on the same night. The SPL's of both troops have agreed to hold combined opening and closing ceremonies while the program and game are regularly separated. All this to say we (the Scouters) are making a good faith effort to abide by both 1) the letter of the BSA policy as well as 2) the implied spirit of guaranteeing the boys their scouting journey and the girls theirs. Our arrangement frequently requires identi
  21. Very impressive, @MikeS72; thanks! I've googled dozens of Camporee Guides, but they've all been District- or Council-produced documents and only underscore the disparity among programs. Your link is to an apparently official BSA guide - dated 2009 so relatively recent. For me the most valuable blurb is "The camporee involves the type of equipment that can be carried in a pack by [scouts] and can be set up entirely by [scouts], allowing them to be completely self-sufficient for a self-reliant experience over a period of two or three days." Our district's Camporees have featured nothing l
  22. Agreed. My troop prefers the single-serve PB cups (Jif or Skippy). I'll risk hijacking this "breakfast" thread by noting the single-serve PB cups, along with restaurant-type jellies and a tortilla (or the mini-rolls of ritz crackers) make for great PBJ lunch. Safety tip: When taking PB cups to altitude, be sure to pack them in a ziplock and consider puncturing the lids with a pin-prick. We didn't and found a mess upon arriving to basecamp in the Sierras.
  23. I think we can start with some guidance & standards. I don't disagree and several previous posts in this thread underscore your point. Some Camporees (such as our District's) are 100% adult-run. Appears @cocomax is as well: While @qwazse recalls 100% scout-lead: Not to mention @Jameson76 point that points for subjective criteria such as "scout spirit" or enthusiasm and such are inviting trouble. Bottom Line: Has anyone seen "Best Practices" for Camporees published by any Area, or National? Seems like all of us on this thread, including me, are winging it.
  24. I wonder if any Districts are holding separate boys' and girls' Camporees? Some Districts won't yet have critical mass of girl patrols, I get that, but for those Districts that do have ample girl patrols has anyone heard of separate Camporees? Venturing has been coed for years (and btw if shenanigans are the worry such would occur in Venturing, not in Scouts BSA, so that's not the issue), but I gather in Scouts BSA the thinking is the boys need their scouting experience and the girls need theirs. Consequently Scouts BSA isn't organized like Little League - with girls & boys intermin
  25. Yeah, this nonsense was called-out in our District Comm meetings after last year's Camporee. We (adults) are taking steps at this year's Camporee in two weeks to separate adults who are "just trailing" and get them well away from the patrols in general and the competitions in particular. We'll see.
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