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Everything posted by Tatung42

  1. This is a good change with Packs bridging earlier and earlier. We had a 5th grader join us in December, and he enjoyed his few months with his Den, but then all of his Den-mates bridged to scouts BSA in February. He was not able to go with them since he had not earned his AOL and his 11th birthday is not until Aug.
  2. Not my troop, but I just heard this bizarre story from a Scoutmaster (lets call him Dave) asking for advice. I am not really sure what to tell him. Here is the back story, the past Scoutmaster of the troop (lets call him Bob) stepped down around 5 years ago when his son aged out. Dave took over as scoutmaster and ran things a little bit differently (or maybe a lot differently) than Bob. This disconnect caused some bad blood between Bob and Dave; however, eventually Bob went away, and Dave has been running a successful Troop since then. One other thing to note is that Dave's troop
  3. My understanding is that in the past, we had neighboring Packs all trying to recruit from the same elementary schools while at the same time totally ignoring some schools, so Council decided to intervene and tell Packs that they were only supposed to recruit from specific schools. And now Council is changing up all the schools to try to get more numbers in the struggling Packs.
  4. My big concern: Many Packs in our area basically went inactive during COVID and now are emerging with only a handful of families left. At the same time, we had some Packs “do their best” to keeping scouting going virtually, and they still have healthy numbers. Council says that they need to boost the number of scouts in the struggling Packs, so they decided to redraw the recruitment boundaries. Now, the struggling Packs are supposed to be recruiting from elementary schools that have historically been easier to recruit from and produced many new scouts, and the successful Packs are
  5. In my district, we only have one pure girl troop left. From what I know, they are struggling (granted that with COVID, I would guess that it would be hard for ANY new troop to get established in these times). Even with great adult leaders, the youth leaderships are inexperienced and still developing, so the program is a bit rocky. It makes it hard to keep scouts in the troop interested and engaged and makes it even harder to recruit new scouts. Many of the girls that initially joined have either quit or have moved to a “linked troop”. Now onto linked troops… Our four large boy tr
  6. All good information from others in this post. One "conditioning" item that I would recommend is that you have to get in and out of the war canoes very often. Having all the scouts and especially adults being able to get themselves into the canoe on their own without needing someone to help pull them in is really helpful. Picture three 120 pound scouts trying to pull their 250 pound scoutmaster out of the water over the gunwale into the canoe... A good way to practice would be to find a swimming pool where there is about a 2 foot distance between the pool water level and the deck.
  7. A scout in my troop came up with one of the more interesting eagle project ideas that I have seen in a while. Our district advancement chair rejected the idea saying that it is not appropriate for an Eagle project. I guess he will just end up building a bench like everyone else... His Eagle project plan is to hold a live esports tournament for the community playing a game called Fortnite. He put together one of the best project plans that I have seen for an Eagle project, taking into account all aspects of holding the tournament including physical arrangements, marketing, schedule, rul
  8. 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 ladd
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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 😞)
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. No, we have aquatics day on the lake. The district uses boats from the council camps, which would otherwise just be sitting in storage.
  17. 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
  18. 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 alr
  19. 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
  20. 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 stric
  21. 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).
  22. 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.
  23. Thank you for the replies. I like the merit badge counselor idea. This brings me another question. What about a Lion Den? Every scout is there with their adult partner (most of whom have taken YP), and there is one fully trained Den Leader. This setup is clearly a violation because "A Lion or Tiger adult partner is not considered a registered leader for meeting two-deep leadership requirements". We could get one of the adult partners to register as a merit badge counselor to fulfill youth protection requirements?
  24. Lets say a patrol leader wants to have a patrol meeting at his house. The patrol's fully trained ASM adviser will be there as well as the patrol leader's mother. The patrol leader's mother has taken youth protection, but she is not a registered member of the BSA. This is a youth protection violation right? Now lets say that nothing changes, expect that the patrol leader's mother pays national $33 to become a committee member. Now this is perfectly ok? I just want to insure that I am understanding how the rules work correctly. (yes that is a snarky tone that you detect in my ques
  25. Yes, we hold a council event once a year at the local community college where offer scouts the chances to work on Nova awards or STEM related merit badges. Also what really helped to promote the program was just having STEM committee members visit packs and troops in their local area. They bring all sorts of fun STEM gadgets and demonstrations with them. The packs especially really love this.
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