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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. While it may be possible for a council to "take over" a fundraiser as described ...

    But that's just the thing - it isn't possible. At least, not without the consent of the Unit, which hopefully they would never offer. They don't have the authority to do so, and I have read the entirety of the BSA policies and guidelines looking for such a caveat. As far as I can find, there isn't one, so keep your fund-raiser, and don't give an inch if your district or council tries to force your hand. Official policy is on your side.

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  2. I concur. The Journey to Excellence program gives good insight into the administrative workings of a given unit - but not much clue as to whether or not true Scouting is taking place within them. There should be a way to measure that, but quantifying it would be more difficult to ascertain than their easy tallies and percentages I'm afraid. :-(

  3. Actually, I'm two steps ahead of you there. First off, to keep things from getting boring I have a million and one different games and activities and exercises to help the boys remember the oath/law/code/etc. and we integrate them into the regular activities to keep them on their toes - that and I am a pretty energetic little guy, so I can keep things relatively fun (I teach preschool a lot, lol). But when the Scouting Adventure adventure (haha) requires them to practice the Patrol Method for a month, we practice the patrol method. Which means I teach them what it means and then let them go for it!


    Secondly, I know for a fact that the ASM over the 11-year-old patrol is unproductive as a leader, and that there are scouts that he has had for a YEAR that still haven't reached the rank of Scout yet. So to prepare my boys for his lack of initiative, I am training them how to read and use the book to learn what they need while practicing the skills with each other - fortunately they will all stay in the same group when they cross over, so they already have an internal support network, and I am teaching them how to approach a leader to get things passed off and signed since he is definitely not the type that will stay on top of things - let alone the fact that that is the way things should be done anyway.


    Basically, I want them to know how to be Boy Scouts before they become such - that way the idea of a boy-led organization will give them the drive to keep moving forward even if the adults in their unit don't lift a finger to help them. It's not ideal but they know what's ahead and they love Scouting, and I think they will succeed. Besides, their weekly meetings are in the classroom next to mine every week, so if worst comes to worst, they already know I am right next door and that they can come to me for anything, any time, for whatever reason, and I will be there to help them move forward. There will always be at least ONE leader who has got their backs. :-)

  4. Many of these answers have been very helpful, thank you. I am a Webelos den leader, but my boys all have the oath and law memorized, along with the code, the slogan, and the motto. But that's because we talk about them at every meeting, and I want them prepared so that as soon as they graduate to the Troop, they can pass of their Scout rank at their first meeting. And they are so responsive! We have had some really meaningful discussions about living the principles we recite every week, and I am pretty stern about the fact that I don't want these codes and oaths to be things that we say, but things that we do. So I think I will keep having them make the sign when they recite it, since it adds to the sense of the importance of the code.


    A few weeks back, I asked the boys "what is one reason you might want to live the Outdoor Code in your own life?" One boy answered "when I see how much you love the world and want to take care of it, it makes me want to be the same way." And then something wet got in my eyes and I had to take a minute to take care of it.   :rolleyes:

  5. Hey everybody, I just had a quick question that has caught me off guard, since I have read almost every piece of literature and I have not found an official position (but lots of opinions).


    Does one make the Scout sign when repeating the Outdoor Code?


    I feel odd when the boys are just standing around mumbling it through, so I have my Webelos Scouts make the sign when they recite it. But when we visited the Troop last week, I was told by another leader that it was an inappropriate use of the sign. I am not inclined to agree with him on a number of matters, so I found his objection rather dubious, but still, if it's wrong it's wrong. I thought I would check here since there are Scouters here whose opinions and thoughts I respect far more than his. What do you say people? Can you help me out? 

  6. Methinks I have stumbled upon some controversy here, tee hee.  ;)


    However, my question was not about requirement 2a., but rather this one:


    4b. Write or visit the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas. Obtain information about this facility. Give a short report on what you think the role of this museum is in the Scouting program


    At the present, a letter or e-mail to the Museum is reciprocated with a letter, patch, brochure, etc. But suppose a Scout is earning the badge during the move from Irving to Philmont. To which does he write, and until when? I assume they will change the requirement when the transition is completed? Alas, I know not.


    I'm afraid I don't quite know what the deal is with all this discussion about good ol' Green Bar Bill, though I think I can piece it together from what I have read so far. I won't ask though, since something tells me that would only ignite some heated debate, and Smokey always warned me about starting wildfires.    :rolleyes:

  7. I was told that 2016 ribbons ARE NOT available, and that they won't be making them. Hence my confusion, since after all, they were on the order form. The order form on the link you post is the one we used, but we were told they don't have 2016 ribbons. On ScoutStuff.org, they have 2016 patches, but no ribbons - the last ones they have are for 2015. Has anybody here received them for 2016? And if so, do you have a Gold-Level ribbon to spare?


    As for the unit/patrol/den issue: yes, the ribbon should go on the unit flag. But we don't have one, and the committee isn't interested in getting one, nor are the other den leaders interested in either a flag or the ribbon. So, since mine is the only den that really cares about it, we get whatever ribbons our unit earns, such as the National Summertime Pack Award. We already got the National Den Award, which is according to our records the first time a den in our Pack has done so in at least a decade.


    I am trying to improve things in my unit and we have made a lot of progress! But then there are other areas where we are still just as backwards as when I started, lol. 

  8. I figured the program wouldn't end so abruptly, but they did tell me at the Scout Store that they have no ribbons this year, which is sad because my boys were looking forward to adding it to our den flag. The lady at the SS told me that the discontinuance of the ribbons was likely due to the fact that so few patrols and dens use the flags, which I though was even sadder. Alas.


    I will try asking Bryan about it though. I would rather know the rule and follow it than hope that I am following it and end up getting into trouble later on, lol.

  9. Well, I am pretty sure that the Troop did not meet their goals, and even if they did, I would be shocked if they reached the gold level like our Pack did. But I agree, if they did not, it might not be fitting for him to continue wearing it. One of the precious few downsides of graduating from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts I guess, lol. But at least he can keep it and it will hopefully motivate him to help the Troop reach the same level of quality our Pack has been enjoying these past few months. 


    Still, I hope I can find out the official policy on this. Does anybody know where I can find out for sure? His birthday isn't until the last week of January, so at least he can wear it until we hopefully find out the answer. Otherwise we'll have to trust our instincts I suppose. 

  10. I just hope this doesn't cause any problems with the Scouting Heritage merit badge, where one of the requirement options is to write to the Irving museum for information, in return for which they receive a patch, a pamphlet, and a few other goodies. During the transition, I hope there aren't any troublesome delays in that process. I would hate to be a scout waiting 3 - 4 months for that packet to arrive so I could complete the requirement, and as a counsellor, I don't want to see any boys frustrated by the possibility.


    That said, it should make the old patch a fun item for the collectors. I am sure the will have a fancy new one after the move is completed.

  11. Hey guys, will one of our resident experts help me out with a question one of my boys brought up? We just received our 2016 Journey to Excellence patches (Gold Level, woot!), but one of my Webelos scouts is turning 11 and moving on to the Troop at the end up next month, and he wants to know if he can still wear the patch once he crosses over. He is a fine young man, and since he deserves to wear the thing, I feel inclined to tell him he can, since it would only be for the year anyway, AND both the pack and the troop share the same unit number as we are chartered through the same congregation. However, since it is technically a different unit he is graduating to (troop 608 as opposed to pack 608), I wanted to make sure we did the right thing, regardless of personal preference. He agrees that it is better to do what is right than to do what we want, but there isn't a lot of information in the official literature about the JTE patch in particular, so I figured this would be the best place to find out what official BSA policy is regarding this particular situation. Can a boy wear his JTE emblem for the whole year if he moves up from a pack to a troop?


    Also, I was told at the Scout Store that the JTE program is ending this year - has anybody else heard about this? I assume they will just replace it with something similar, but it was the first I heard about it. Sad, because we won't even get a 2016 ribbon to put on our den flag.  :(

  12. 1983? That's the year I was born! (A few weeks later and it would have been 1984, lol)


    Anyway, in regards to your questions, I believe there was at the time a generic "Cub Scout" hat that was blue and yellow with a red logo on the front. I am not sure if I am thinking of the right period (I don't remember those days very well), but I am inclined to believe that may have been the correct headgear at any rate. I am sure others here will know better.

  13. Boys of Scouting age will mirror the excitement their leader shows for an activity, especially Cub Scouts; if their Den Leader makes the project sound fun, and if he shows that he is having fun, then the boys will almost always become pick up on that excitement and start having fun.


    I took two weeks before we got to our den flag project to talk about a few of the patrol names I had as a youth, some of the better or more ridiculous patrol names I have encountered, and about how thrilling it is to walk into pack meetings or camp adventures with a unique, brilliant banner flying high above us. I showed them pictures from books and online, and told them to get ready for the "big day" when we would choose our patch and name, and design our very own den flag. When the day of that den meeting finally arrived, I had a laptop with me and showed them dozens of different patches from scoutstuff.org and classb.com (seeing as Cub Scouting is still an adult-led program, I took the liberty of omitting many of the more absurd or questionable patches from the slide show :rolleyes:). By this point it was all I could do to contain their excitement, and by the end of the meeting, they were singing our den song and shouting our den yell - "We are the Merry Archers - aim high, BULL'S EYE!!!"


    Did it take a big push on my part? Sure. But after that push came the ride, and the boys have made their patrol name a part of their identity, both as individuals and as a group. They ARE the Merry Archers! We use it as a theme in our meetings and activities; I tell stories of famous archers like Robin Hood and William Tell to inspire them, I use arrows as a metaphor to teach things like setting goals and aiming high, we discuss the "Arrows of Scouting," such as the Arrow of Light and the Order of the Arrow. All of this is represented in our flag and in our den name. 


    Now, sure, some people might make a flag and come up with a name, and then it kind of dies there. But it can be so much more! Scouting is supposed to be a dynamic and imaginative program, isn't it? This kind of activity, of creating a sense of identity with all the trappings and ephemera that come with it, appeals to the very core of what it is to be a boy of that age, whether in 1916 or 2016. As leaders, we have to bring that out in them. And if some boys are harder to work with than others, well then, I welcome the challenge. We're Scouters, aren't we? We are prepared for the effort to yield the results.  ;)


    The difference it makes is the difference you make of it. 

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  14. The books I found are from my own library; they are very old and some are out of print, but a great source is The World Encyclopedia of Flags, which has a lot of great images within it, along with The World Encyclopedia of Flags and Heraldry. However, the best source is not a book on flags, but a book on heraldry (of which I am an ardent enthusiast) called The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, which has hundreds of illustrations that give an excellent sense of medieval style and design. Obviously our den ensigns use the same image as the patch itself, but the shape and style of both the flag and banner are pure Middle-Age stuff. As we are "Ye Merry Archers," it seems fitting. :-)


    Also here are some of my FAVORITE vintage images of patrol flags from LONG before I was born. They are clever, imaginative, and not too hard for boys to put together - I have a large store of vintage scouting images saved up, and these remain some of my absolute favorites:









  15. I will be sure to pass that on to the boys in the den! After all, they created the flags, so they deserve to know what nice things others are saying about it. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

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  16. We are three neighboring congregations of the same church, which is organized geographically, so each congregation has its own units registered at all times, even when they don't have the best numbers to support them. That way, as the numbers fluctuate from year to year, we still can maintain our charter and all our information. But in lean times like these, it becomes easy to combine with the neighboring congregations so that we can maintain the numbers to run pack activities. So with our arrangements, one unit contributes the cubmaster, another the advancement chair, etc., along with all the other committee positions. The committee is thus composed of all the parents and leaders of the combined pack. These arrangements obviously change as boys come and go and the numbers rise and fall, but it somehow works pretty well, and it lets the boys work with kids from other neighborhoods during the times that we are combined. Especially since our unit is over 50 years old; it would be a shame to erase it just because our numbers are low for a few years. They always go back up after a little while. :-)

  17. I hope I am not too late for this discussion, but at Target right now there are olive cargo pants that are EXACTLY the same shade as the boy scout pants, for half the price! I got two pairs, and they are a perfect fit. They look great with just about everything in my wardrobe too. If you want an alternative, I highly recommend them. They are a cotton blend however, but as I live in Southern California where it never dips below 50 degrees, that's never a problem. ;-)



  18. Our pack is combined from 3 small units; we maintain our own unit numbers but have all pack activities as a combined group. Units 1 and 2 have combined dens (Wolf - Webelos), while unit 3 has its own set of dens (Wolf - Webelos); we don't run a Tiger program:


    Unit 1: 5 boys, 3 den leaders, 2 committee members

    Unit 2: 4 boys, 1 committee leader

    Unit 3: 11 boys, 4 den leaders, 1 committee member, 1 cubmaster

    Total: 20 boys, 12 leaders


    The troop has its own unusual arrangement. It has taken in a few boys from a struggling unit that meets in the same building; they are still registered with that unit's number, but for all intents and purposes, they work with our troop. They only go through their own unit for rechartering and the official paperwork 


    11-year-old patrol: 4 boys with 3 from the auxiliary unit, 2 ASMs

    Core patrol: 7 boys with 4 from the auxiliary unit, 1 SM, 3 ASMs, 7 committee members

    Total: 18 boys, 13 leaders

  19. Here we go! As you can see, our "field flag" is much easier to carry and can take a good beating in the outdoors (that's a coarse linen we made it out of). It still has our den emblem and the Arrow of Light on it - that's the yellow blur on the bottom -  but it isn't covered in all the doo-dads and ribbons which bedeck our ceremonial flag. The most important thing to the boys was that they both look "medieval," and I think they succeeded! 


    The boys have their own names for each flag. The primary ensign is our "Parade Flag," while the smaller banner is our "Battle Flag." They definitely grasp the purposes of each one. ;-)