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About Tatung42

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  1. I can't give you any advice on the right way, but I can unequivocally tell you the wrong way. In my troop, if the scoutmaster has a service project that he is personally in favor of, he will just schedule it, without consulting the SPL or PLC. He then will "require" everyone to be there by threatening to not advance them in rank if they don't show up. Also the service project will be on a day that already has another troop activity scheduled, and that activity was planned by the PLC and has been on the troop calendar for the past 6 months. Yeah...my Troop is a 9 on the 1 to 8 ladder of youth leadership!
  2. I have always discretely tipped my ranger/island mate/interpreter/etc. However, last year at Northern Tier, they specifically said no monetary tips in the introduction presentation. Instead we bought him gear at the trading post.
  3. We are getting to the point where the motivated girls who joined in February 1st are starting to earn first class and need leadership for star and beyond. Has it been answered how the 18 year olds with the with the Eagle Scout extension can earn their leadership requirements? Scoutmaster-approved leadership project could work for star and life but are not allowed for eagle. Possibilities I see: Allow them to serve in a youth leadership role even though they are no longer youth. Count adult leadership positions like ASM towards their rank advancement even though they are not on the list of positions of responsibility required for rank advancement. Force the scouts to join a Venture Crew and serve in leadership there. 1 and 2 are clearly bending the rules. And 3 maybe not be practical if there are no crews nearby. Also we need to sort this out within the next 5-weeks because these 18-year olds are on the clock (need to start star leadership before Oct1).
  4. Sometimes parents are the worst part of scouting. When dealing with problem parents, you have to decide if it is affecting just their Scout or the entire Pack. If it is just hurting their Scout, I try to work with the parent and "do my best" to help the parent understand how their behavior is negatively affecting their Scout’s experiences. When having discussions with the parent, have face to face meetings as email messages tend to have their intentions distorted. Often Scouts with parents like these are the ones that need scouting the most, and it is in the best interest of their Scout if we can somehow fix the problem(s). So if through a respectful conversation, I can get the parents to back off and stop interfering with the scouting program, that is a huge win for me and for their Scout. However, if the parent's behavior is creating a toxic environment that harms the entire Pack, I would dismiss them and their Scout from the Pack. Unfortunately, you loose a Scout who really needs the scouting program, but it isn't worth negative effects on the entire unit. As Spock said "Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
  5. My troop uses them. On paper they are supposed to serve as an advisor for the patrol leader, provide the adult 2-deep leadership required for patrol meetings and outings, and make sure that all scouts stay safe on patrol outings. Unfortunately, In practice, they end up as serving as the de-facto patrol leader because the youth in my troop are conditioned that if they don't do something, an adult will always bail them out and do it for them. (yes that is a bitter tone that you detect 😞)
  6. It is hard to judge without being familiar with the local area. I would suggest calling the local land manager (looks like Washington State Parks?), and ask for some advice on what conditions to expect out on the lake. Or try to find a local paddling group and ask some paddlers there for their expert insight. Wind, tides, and bad weather are all things that can determine if an extended distract canoe trip is easy or super challenging. And just remember that there is nothing wrong with first having a "training" canoe outing on calm water that covers a limited distance to develop skills before trying to tackle something like your trip. I should mention too that in challenging conditions gear may play a big factor as well. Like a low quality leaky canoe that doesn't track straight and $15.99 Walmart paddle (I am describing my council camp's aquatics equipment) makes it much harder than if you have good quality boats and paddles.
  7. I had to submit proof of insurance from my Council for an event a few years ago. You are looking for a standard letter confirming insurance coverage called a "Description of Coverage". After much perseverance, I finally got a copy of the letter from my council's Volunteer Services Coordinator.
  8. My district holds them on the same weekend at the same location, but the courses are run totally separately. The advantage of this method is that we have a lot of specialized instructors (like our games guy, song guy, cooking guy, outdoor ethics guy, flag etiquette guy, etc. We plan and stagger the two training schedules so that each trainer teaches the BALOO group and then immediately teaches the IOLS group. That way each instructor only needs to show up for one weekend for a few hours rather than on two separate weekends.
  9. No, we have aquatics day on the lake. The district uses boats from the council camps, which would otherwise just be sitting in storage.
  10. A bit of a bragging post here, but I just reviewed my son's scout calendar for the past 3 months. Feb 9: Helped run ex-pack's pinewood derby with other members of his troop (Outdoors) Feb 10: Patrol day hike (Outdoors and Overnight) Feb 22-24: Troop snow campout (Outdoors) Mar 2: Scouting for food service project (fliering) (Outdoors) Mar 3: District aquatics day (Outdoors) Mar 9 morning: Scouting for food service project (food pickup) Mar 9 evening: Troop fundraising project (setting up, serving food, and cleanup for retired teacher's dinner) Mar 16: 8-hour Red Cross FA/CPR training (technically not a troop/patrol event - but was done in preparation for high adventure trek this summer) Mar 17: Attended ex-pack's blue and gold ceremony (did crossover ceremony for new scouts) (Outdoors and Overnight) Mar 22-24: Troop new scout campout (Outdoors) Mar 31: Troop day hike (Outdoors and Overnight) April 5-7: District camporee April 13: Staff meeting for Troop ILST April 14: Troop ILST April 20: Attended Eagle court of honor (Outdoors and Overnight) May 4-5: Troop campout These activities were all in addition to regularly scheduled troop or patrol meetings. And he was not even trying to rush to first class. He actually missed one troop activity in February when he attended a church event instead.
  11. I went to Woodbadge after having almost 20 years in scouts, and after taking JLT (what is now NYLT) and staffing it for many years after that as a youth. Maybe the fact that I already had more experienced in scouts than everyone on the Woodbadge staff somewhat jaded me, but I have to agree with many of the more recent posts that that course was not that impressive. I certainly didn't get the world-altering experience that I was promised after "drinking the Woodbadge kool-ade." I really thought that the course was way too much lecture on topics that anyone who works a white-collar job is already thoroughly familiar with. I much preferred the “old” JLT/Woodbadge format that went over specific leadership skills as that course seemed way more focused on teaching the skills that are needed to effectively lead a patrol and troop. That all being said, I did find parts of Woodbadge very useful, specifically networking with other leaders and also learning about different council programs that I was not familiar with like STEM. I also initially hated the ticket concept since I was already a very active leader, and it didn't seem "fair" that other people got away with doing "easy" tickets. People were basically writing tickets proposing what I saw as routine stuff that I had been doing with my Pack, Troop, and Crew for the past 10 years. However, after finishing my tickets, I must admit that they pushed me to become even further involved in scouts, especially at the district and council level. At the same time, I now realize that other leaders who were just starting out likely felt equally pushed by their tickets and became more involved in scouts (even if from my point of view they were too "easy"). So the fact that everyone has to do tickets that are personalized for them is a very good concept. Overall, it was a satisfactory experience, but just like I said above and as other have said, nowhere close to what I expected based on how much it over hyped. Even now when the Woodbadge thumpers run around trying to get new leaders to go, I take these new leaders aside and tell them that it is a decent course, but no rush, and take it when you are ready.
  12. Thank you for the quick reply. Yes I was looking at the age-appropriate guidelines, but you are right that the G2SS says no. I guess that answers my question, and we will wait until scouts BSA. And yes I know that just because my 9 year old daughter can do it, that doesn't mean that the cub scouts should be allowed to do it. I was just using that as an example to illustrate how "easy" the river is. My family does a ton of stuff that any reasonable person would consider totally safe, but that is not allowed in cub scouts (and sometimes even not allowed in scouts BSA). Interesting perspective on peer pressure. We already did our swim checks, and we made it abundantly clear that anyone (both scouts and adults) who do not pass the test as a "swimmer" will not be allowed to operation a boat (except where allowed in the G2SS). We also did the swim tests early enough to give time for people with marginal swimming abilities to practice and improve so that they can try the test again before our summer aquatics activities. Also, we are well aware of what appropriate flow rates for rafting the river are and where to check online for the current and foretasted flows.
  13. I am seeking some clarification if we are allowed to take Cubscouts on a Rafting trip down a river. According to the age-appropriate guidelines, it is ok to take them rafting on "gently flowing water". I guess that it all comes down to: what is the BSA definition of "gently flowing water"? The river that we are planning to run is mostly Class I with half a dozen class II- features that can be easily avoided by running river right or river left. The overall gradient is 4 fpm. Other details that are important: Safety Afloat guidelines will be strictly followed All participants are classified as swimmers (have passed the BSA swimmer test). The trip is self guided, but each raft is guided by an adult with experience guiding rafts as well as other boats on much more difficult rivers. Rafts/PDFs/Paddles are rented from a commercial rafting company. The river is near an urban area, cell phone coverage is excellent, and the river is frequently patrolled by the Ranger (If needed, EMT services would be there in 5 minutes). All adults have taken Safety Afloat training. Several leaders have taken more advanced BSA aquatics training such as Paddle Craft Safety and/or Swimming & Water Rescue. Several leaders have taken First Aid and CPR training. One leader is a YMCA lifeguard. To me it seems like our plan for this trip is already total overkill as far as safety is concerned. Outside of scouts, my 9 year old Webelo Scout runs the river in a solo kayak all the time. And I frequently see people on the river in an inner tube without even a paddle or a PFD (I know not a good idea...but just to illustrate how "easy" the river is).
  14. Ya I am sure that giving the money directly to the food bank is way more efficient. But for us, it is more a way to show support for the store that lets us take up part of their parking lot for free (even if it is a Walmart).
  15. Out local Walmart lets us setup our homebase in their parking lot. So if we get any money donations, we buy caned food from the Walmart and then add those to the food that we collected.
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