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jjlash last won the day on November 22 2018

jjlash had the most liked content!

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About jjlash

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    Eastern Iowa

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  1. jjlash

    Changing BSA's Image

    THis has been an interesting discussion. There are some well-articulated thoughts on the challenges and ideas on how to overcome them. What dkurtenbach suggests is a very local approach - brainstorming with district folks, surveying unit leaders, working with training chairs. I would take the idea and make it more crowdsourced....Part of creating a movement is gathering like-minded people and creating momentum. I suggest that we already have like-minded people and the start of momentum. We, in this forum, are already thinking about these things. We have already identified challenges that are quite universal. And we certainly have the depth and breadth of experience to tackle the issues as well as any district team. So - my proposal is that we brainstorm to pick an issue or two, and create some training or an awareness presentation or whatever, that we can all take home and use. We wont need to recruit local folks to help us make progress - no matter how important the issue is nobody wants to take on another project. Instead, if we approach them with a solution - or better yet with a success (because you already gave the presentation and it was well received) it doesnt cost them any time/effort to support us. There are many venues where a short session on a scouting-relevant topic can be presented. Our roundtable commissioners are always looking for "other people" to present at the break out sessions. We have several annual Merit Badge Workshops in my area that offer sessions for adults - they are always looking for people to present. As council training chair, I work with our summer camp director to offer adult training sessions during resident camp. Lets actually do something rather than just talk about it....
  2. jjlash

    Cut, split and deliver firewood

    My Troop did this for several years - it can be very profitable. Naturally, adults did the chain saw work. Scouts loaded the logs into the trucks and unloaded at home. Adults ran the splitter but Scouts moved the logs to/from. When someone would email/voicemail to request a delivery, Scouts would call back to schedule. Scouts would load the truck and ride along to unload and stack at the customer house. Interesting that the Scouts never minded the physical labor of loading/splitting/delivering the wood. We stopped doing it because we couldnt get a Scout who would make the phone calls to schedule the deliveries ! Our camp also sells firewood. It is collected from around camp as part of the timber / conservation plan. There is always a crew on the log splitter at OA / Camp Work Day.
  3. jjlash

    NYLT staffing question

    Thanks for the great input, please keep adding thoughts. Sure @Sentinel947, if your QM is willing to share that would at least give me some other ideas to consider. Regardless how we arrange the patrols and how we arrange the schedule, managing food for that many people out of the space we have will be a challenge. Maybe we can move the dry goods out of the kitchen and use one of the other buildings to pack/portion them, hm... And that is our challenge in general - with this increase in size we are at the limits of the space we use. The next step will be to move to the other camp, but since we hold the course during staff week of summer camp, we'll also have to change when we hold the course. Ah - good problems to have.
  4. jjlash

    NYLT staffing question

    Interesting - at our last meeting we discussed running them one day apart to help with the program materials issue. The hurdle that we were not able to work through in a way that we liked was food. We will operate out of one kitchen. The meals are "pack out" - that is, the kitchen puts together a box+cooler and the patrols prepare meals in their campsites. The meals are designed to have increasingly more preparation and cooking so rearranging them is not practical. This means that the kitchen would be preparing different meals for each Troop. Probably this could be worked out if needed - may have to revisit this option. You have youth QMs do the food prep. Hm....Does your staff eat with the patrols for every meal? We eat with patrols for breakfast and dinner but the kitchen prepares our lunch and we eat in NYLT hall. Youth could definitely prep and portion the patrol site meals that we do. Something to look into.... I overlooked backups on the youth side. ASPL-TG would be backup for TGs (need to figure out if there is more than 1 TG that needs backedup). I would not have ASPL-Program be backup for anyone, ASPL-Program will have more than enough to do preparing for and cleaning up after activities. AV/Tech will also be completely busy running presentations. Need to give this part more thought....
  5. jjlash

    NYLT staffing question

    Short answer - there are logistic and political reasons to go with two Troops rather than bigger patrols or more patrols. We had not considered 8 patrols of 8, but I do not think that will work in the space we have. We have considered going to 10 patrols of 6 - we think we can make this work in the space but it will be very tight. In either case, this is not scalable - even if we make 8 patrols of 8, or 10 patrols of 6 work we could not go bigger than those. We just do not have spaces big enough to fit that many people. Yeah - the 10 TGs number does not include a couple of extras in case of drops. That is always a challenge - it is great to have them if you need them, but what to do with them if you dont need them? I agree the interaction of 6-8 patrols is better, but by the same token I think the dynamics and learning is better by keeping patrols at 6 people or even 5 if necessary.
  6. Our NYLT program is only a few years old but has grown steadily. For the past two years we have run one course with one Troop of 48. This year we are going to increase our registration limits a bit, push for 60+ participants and run two Troops during the same course. Im looking for lessons learned about making the jump to two Troops and in particular about sharing staff between the Troops. The plan is to do staff development together, at least until the end when we are at camp walking through things on location. Here is what Im thinking for staff positions. Director - one per Troop SPL - one per Troop Backup Director - one per Troop ASPL-TG - one shared between Troops ASM Program - one shared between Troops ASPL-Program - one per Troop Adult Admin - one shared between Troops Youth AV/Tech - one per Troop Adult Quartermaster - One shared between Troops Youth QM - one shared between Troops Troop Guide - 10 total. If we have fewer than 10 patrols we would pair up some of the guides to help raise the quality where someone is not as strong in a particular area. The adult positions are what we usually run. We add a second director and second backup but the other positions are shared between the Troops. This seems reasonable for the work load and for the proximity of locations will be using. Last year we had an ASPL-TG and ASPL-Program youth but their responsibilities were not well defined up front and they were not well coached so they were really more of a "general use" ASPL. Is one effective ASPL-TG sufficient to coach and mentor 10 TGs? About half of the 10 will be first time staff. We have not had a youth QM in the past. Im not sure there is enough work to justify both an adult and a youth QM. I think the youth QM could do most things during the course, particularly the staging of materials for the program team. But, the adult will still be needed to do things like ordering and purchasing especially for the kitchen. The Tech youth position is an attempt to turn over more responsibility of executing the course to the youth. The challenge will be to find a youth who has the tech skills and is responsible enough to be in such a critical role. Most of the youth we believe to be responsible enough are already in other senior staff positions. Thanks in advance for any input.
  7. jjlash

    New Calendar Year Party

    I have never heard of the packs around here doing anything like that. I like the idea of something memorable that they will look forward to each year - but I tend more toward experiences over "things". Maybe you could come up with a ceremony and activity for the start of the year - similar in idea and significance to the bridging (graduation) ceremony at the end of the year.
  8. This came up as an aside in a thread a couple of months ago, here are the last couple of comments in that discussion:
  9. jjlash

    What to wear?

    I wore my uniform. Partly because I wanted a nice photo of me and him in our "formal" uniform (necker & beads for me, MB sash for him). Most other folks in my Troop have kind of followed the "how active are you" thought process. If they regularly attend Troop functions in uniform then they wore their uniform for their son's ECOH. Even if they are very active, if they do not usually wear the uniform then they have not worn it for the ECOH.
  10. jjlash

    To have an ECOH or not

    Once in a while we have one. It is not so much that they dont want a ceremony, more that life is busy and they dont care enough about the ceremony to plan a big thing (a venue, invitations, food etc). We talk to them about doing something so family and friends get a chance to recognize their efforts. We offer a simple ceremony as part of our normal court of honor - this usually works out to be 10ish minutes for inspirational words (usually an "Eagle Charge") and presentation of the award (including mothers, fathers and mentor pins). Our COH is pot luck so that covers food. We already have the location and send invites so those are covered too. All the Scout has to plan is choosing who he wants to do each of the speaking parts.
  11. jjlash

    Tent set up question

    Looks to me like some Scouts who have learned how to make their home-away-from-home more comfortable. Isnt this what we want - for Scouts to be resourceful and go beyond the bare minimum? For them to be comfortable in the outdoors rather than "just survive"? Isn't it like the Scouts who make a "4 star" meal instead of hot dogs?
  12. All of them.... You are put into a "crew" and given activities to complete so everything about communication and stages of team development applies. All of the activities require some amount of planning to complete. And the skills needed for the activities vary widely so using your team's diversity is critical to success. The vision, mission and legacy pieces are tied in both from a historical perspective (Waite Phillips vision and legacy re: donating the land) and from a personal perspective (your vision and legacy re: using what you have learned at the course). Being a week-long format in the back country, you are forced to come together as a team more so than with most WB courses. You share tents, you prepare meals, you do everything together and there are very few "outside distractions". You support your team and your team supports you. The biggest surprise when I took the course is how much debrief and reflection there is. Every session has some kind of short discussion so that the activity is not taken at face value - to ensure people understand the deeper lessons related to leadership and see how those can apply to their unit/job/family/church/community.... back home. I'm not sure what you mean by "Scouter course for adult troop leaders". Other than the Philmont/Waite Phillips history stuff, this would be totally appropriate as outdoor-based leadership development for any organization (church, school, business).
  13. WB practical portion is pre-requisite, but you do not need to have completed your ticket yet.
  14. THe official description is My description is: It is what comes after WB on the training continuum (yes, there is something after WB!). It is a 6 day leadership experience in the Philmont backcountry. The course uses activities such as search and rescue, geocaching and wilderness first aid to provide the real-world context for practicing your WB skills. There are no lectures, it is completely hands-on - each skill session incorporates and/or is followed by an activity to use the skills. There is lots of Philmont and Waite Phillips history woven in (including a Villa tour). Most of the week is spent at Rayado Ridge Leadership Camp with an overnight backpacking trek to Zastrow camp. The equivalent course for youth is called National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience (NAYLE).
  15. Summer PLC course is in the books. Got to meet some truly passionate Scouters who worked to take their leadership up a notch. For some it was a fairly natural continuation of their existing style, for others it was more challenging. I think everyone had fun and learned something - I certainly did. There are still spots available for the fall course. If you have never been - Philmont is even more beautiful in the fall than in the summer.