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CA Scout Mom

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About CA Scout Mom

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Southern California
  • Occupation
    Marketing
  1. CA Scout Mom

    Water Carnival Ideas

    Sounds like a great camp, BTW? Where is it?
  2. CA Scout Mom

    Interesting discussion last night

    That's what our troop does too. We hold them before troop meetings so those who have done them already/not interested don't need to participate. Sometimes we hold sessions during weekends or breaks. We run about 4-6 per year. Some kids are really into doing MB's but most aren't. However, most are used to the grind so they'll do it if they're pushed. But, there's enough fun stuff to balance it out.
  3. CA Scout Mom

    Does your Troop have dues?

    Our troop charges $120 per Scout for dues. That covers registration, replacement costs for troop and patrol equipment, patches/awards and helps to pay for adult participation in campouts and submissions for reimbursement for gas. Additionally, Scouts pay for their campouts which vary from $15-$35 per outing and summer camp which runs about $400-$700. The troop also does fundraising including popcorn in the Fall and Camp Cards in the Spring. The fundraisers help fund Individual Scout Accounts as well as troop accounts--usually 50% goes to troop account and the other 50% is divided among participating Scouts. We have about 20-25 Scouts.
  4. CA Scout Mom

    Small Troops Combining Resources

    I understand your dilemma--our troop is in the suburbs of LA and our troop has been in existence for 40 years but as the population has aged, the numbers have declined. So, on each end of the valley where we are, there are two mega troops with about 75-100 Scouts in each. We're in the middle with about 25 Scouts but there are a bunch of other smaller troops in our neighborhood--about 4 actually. We reached out to one of the other troops, also with about 25 Scouts to do an activity with them and it didn't work out so well since we notice their Scouts were not as physically active as our Scouts. So, there was a cultural difference. But, I still think that we could work toward doing some more activities together but it might need some more planning. We left it to the Scouts to lead the activity and being boy-led, it wasn't that smooth and some of the parents didn't feel it was worthwhile. Anyway, I'd say see if you can get the buy-in first from the other troop and then if so, brainstorm some ideas on how it might work. I agree that maybe each patrol could have their troop #. Maybe rotate responsibility of each weekly troop meeting between the four Scoutmasters. It's good for Scouts to have choices. Not every Scout wants/should be in the mega-troop. Since our troop is smaller, we have more flexibility to do different activities so right now we're doing some more with STEM which is sort of unique. Don't see that happening with the mega troops.
  5. CA Scout Mom

    How to market for the BSA

    This is probably going to sound like heresy but our troop is beginning to incorporate more STEM into our troop activities and it seems to be attracting new Scouts and their families. By marketing "outdoor adventure", I don't think there's a huge amount of interest in that in our area, frankly. A lot of dads of the Scouts aren't involved for whatever reason (demanding jobs, out of town work travel, general disinterest in Scouts, stated dislike of the outdoors) and therefore it's the moms who tend to bring their sons to troop meetings. They and their sons are comfortable with STEM and then once they feel comfortable and trust us, then introducing the outdoors becomes more viable. Out troop actually does a lot of outdoor activities--rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking in the Sierras, hiking, etc.) but it just doesn't seem to be a compelling draw. The STEM stuff, though, seems to pique their interest.
  6. CA Scout Mom

    Merit Badge Workshop Website?

    The City of Arcadia runs Merit Badges at Wilderness Park, mostly Eagle-required ones. There happens to be an Emergency Preparedness one on September 30 from 9 am to 1 pm. I wouldn't have known about this except for an extremely astute parent in our troop who managed to ferret this out--and our troop is located in the City of Thousand Oaks! Here's the link to their site and scroll to the bottom: https://www.arcadiaca.gov/government/city-departments/recreation-and-community-services/parks-and-facilities/wilderness-park On the note of having Scouts find out all this information on their own and to show the initiative to do everything themselves...yes, I agree the Scouts should do as much as they possibly can and should take appropriate responsibility. But, sometimes the Scoutmaster/ASM doesn't have all the answers either, or is busy, or forgets, etc. I've seen that happen again and again...
  7. CA Scout Mom

    What makes them stay with Scouting?

    Great analysis...I just posted a reply (well, rant really...) on how our older and small Scout cohort disappeared to the Venture crew and left the younger Scouts (ages 12 and below primarily) high and dry and then one of them came back to get his Eagle at age 17 3/4 and accused the troop of being too adult-led! Anyway, our troop is maintaining--not growing, not decreasing. We're sandwiched between two super-troops of about 100 Scouts each in our area so they tend to attract most Scouts into their orbits.
  8. CA Scout Mom

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    To add on to this, when my oldest son entered his current troop at age 10, there were 9 high schoolers who all Eagled out the year he was there and that left 4-5 older boys (8th/9th grade) who then joined a Venture Crew around age 14 and disappeared for the next two-three years to do Venture Crew activities. My husband, myself and another three other parents pretty much built up the troop during that time by doing recruiting, training, planning, etc. with the younger Scouts since we had no older boys there to help. As they've gotten older, my son's cohort has taken on more leadership and decision-making so that it's more truly boy-led. One of the four older Venture Crew members who just decided at 17 1/2 that he wanted to become an Eagle but who had been gone for the past two years doing Venture Crew stuff had the temerity to come back to the troop and deliver a soliloquy on how the troop has been too much adult-led! It took all my emotional wherewithal not to lose it! I have literally shed tears over this troop and its very existence and it is pretty darn frustrating to hear that kind of criticism from a Scout who should have stayed in the troop and led it instead of laying blame! Just had to get that off my chest...
  9. CA Scout Mom

    Troop Leader Dismissed

    Wow, so sorry this has been happening! This is such a betrayal to your pack. If I were you, I'd definitely consider moving to another pack if there's one nearby. However, the woman who's been in charge or had access to money should no longer have access, for sure! Was she the Committee Chair or Cubmaster? This should be reported to your Council immediately. Just call the # on your council website and ask to speak to the person in charge of your district--the District Executive. Even though you are trying to work this out, again, this woman shouldn't be involved but someone needs to step in as a leader.
  10. CA Scout Mom

    Speak to me of this STEM Scouts program...

    Southpole Scout, -- how do you get "tons of interest" in that? How do you get that interest? Do you have a big troop already? We're in an area that has been aging so the demographic tends to be older empty-nesters because housing prices are so high young families can't afford to move in. And, we're not getting a lot of new Scouts, even from our feeder pack, which is pretty healthy. There seems to be a concern that when my husband and I move on, that they feel the troop will lose its rudder and implode. I don't think that will happen but parents don't want to step up. They want to go to troops where they can drop off or participate in a limited fashion but not lead.
  11. CA Scout Mom

    I'm so tired

    I am curious about how large some of your troops are. Our troop is on the small side with about 20-25 Scouts in it and it's almost a given that our Scouts can become an Eagle Scout if they want that to happen. Not all do but when you have a smaller troop, everyone has a fair chance to get all the rank requirements done because when you go on outings, there are ample opportunities. And, there are plenty of opportunities for leadership too. We also happen to have parents who are happy to run Merit Badges during the year (it's a very well-educated bunch) so we have 4-6 per year. Plus, most Scouts go to summer camp at least 3-4 times during their Scouting career and they usually managed to pick up about 18-20 MBs that way. We have a nice variety of outings including backpacks, campouts, rock climbing, kayaking, fundraising, flag ceremonies, and other community service. I'll never forget a Dad who came up to me (his son is 2nd Class) after attending an Eagle COH for first time and asked me "Is it true that just 4-6% of Scouts make Eagle? I thought everyone did!" That's because more often than not, in our troop, if a Scout stays for 4-5 years, they have a fair chance of becoming one. Most parents in our area are on board with their kids becoming Eagle--they realize the benefits so why not? They have enough issues of being in school districts where kids routinely are getting 4.0s and above. Anyway, the Scouts still have a great time doing the activities. Meetings are not always their favorite thing but the PLC has been trying to get more creative. They're having a pool party and a cook-off in May. We have other problems like Dads not participating because they don't like camping, or because they are traveling for work to [fill in the blank: London, NY, Australia, Chicago, San Francisco...] but I'd say overall we run a balanced program that the kids enjoy.
  12. CA Scout Mom

    what do your scouts pay?

    We too have a rather large bank balance that causes Committee Members some dis-ease. We are in need of a troop trailer as the one we currently have is about 40 years old and shows it. Even if we buy a used one, we'd still be in good shape. But our troop is also facing a membership retention/growth issue. We have a Cub Scout feeder pack and usually the Webelo dens head off to the same troop and it seems that they are often heading to the big troops of 80-100 Scouts where it's a drop-off/BabySitters of America approach. Parents even say that they don't have time to participate and that they're burned out from Cub Scouts and don't want to do it anymore. And, we compete with the high level of club sports in the area. I was just talking to my son's friend yesterday who said he wants to get a water polo scholarship to college and he practices M, T and Thu 6-8 pm plus usually has 2 meets per weekend. This is year-round. He's 12 years old. So, with just 20 Scouts in our troop and some uncertainty about continued growth, we're undecided as to whether to invest in a troop trailer. Otherwise, here's what we charge: $140 registration/dues/renewal $15-$35 per campout depending where we go. We are in California and the campsites can get pricey--at some places it's $45/night. In November when we went to a park that was $45/night, we just ended up subsidizing it and charged everyone $25 for two nights plus food. Scouts pay for summer camp which varies in cost from $300-$700. We are going to do some more fundraisers this year than usual (beyond popcorn) to cover the cost of summer camp at Emerald Bay (Catalina Island) which is $679/Scout. We also pay for 50% of Adult costs for summer camp. We're planning to do a chocolate bar/candy sale, a Spaghetti Dinner and a Rummage Sale.
  13. So, what kind of profit do you make on each plant? Do you sell them door to door, in front of retail outlets? Thanks in advance!
  14. CA Scout Mom

    What are y'all doing this fall?

    Southern California Troop for Fall/Winter: October - Backpack in Ojai November - Campout and Webelo Overnight at Malibu Creek State Park December - Rock Climbing and Campout at Joshua Tree National Park January - Rocket Launch in Mojave Desert February - Winter Camp
  15. CA Scout Mom

    Questions to ask a prospective Troop

    I like the idea of a "Meet the Boy Scout Troops" night--I don't think our District does that. Where is do they meet? Are there any special activities? I'd like to propose that idea to our DE. Getting a flavor of the troop might be best represented by the kinds of activities a troop does. Our troop tends to do a medium (maybe high?) amount of outdoor activities--3-5 backpacks per year, a kayak overnight, 2 rock climbing trips, 1 rocket launch plus camporee, scout camp, etc. Our Venture Crew takes older Scouts plus Venture Crew members on high adventure trips. Two nearby troops to us do very few backpacks--just one a year for one and none for the other. But our troop and the other two troops I mentioned are about 20-30 Scouts each. And you might want to find out the # of Scouts in a troop. There are pros and cons for big troops versus smaller ones. A nearby troop of 100+ Scouts often runs 2 trips per month but it is run by an iron-fisted Committee Chair of 30 years so there's very little flexibility in program. Boy-led that troop is not, but parents like it because they can drop off kids and don't have to participate much and they're promised that their Scouts can get Eagle in 5 years. So, that might help your son decide which one he joins if he can get an idea of typical activities and number of kids.
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