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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. To your first point (first paragraph), my point there is that the material covered is adequate enough, the materials BSA provides are extremely lacking and the training they give to trainers below sub-standard. My best example comes from one of the ILST training docs. They discuss "best practices in leadership", but rather than giving SPECIFIC examples of leadership and discussing their merits/detractions, they simply say "Lead a discussion in leadership best practices." Really? If these folks know zero about leadership how is this discussion going to take place. You need to give the trainer specific examples to teach or else you end up with training that is non-standard, not repeatable and inadequate unless the trainer himself does the required research. To your second point (next paragraph), by out of date I mean the training does not jive with the outdoor nature of our program. Removing first aid, for example, is a real mistake but was done simply because the lawyers got involved. Not focusing on the patrol method is another point. Not working in decent leadership training is another. To your last point (last paragraph), my point is two-fold. First, if more attention was given to training curriculum AND the content (both method and documentation) then the quality of training would increase. Second, if a decent training program (and T3 program with good materials and focused delivery methods) were in place, in the long run training would become easier and faster. At a tech professional I has seen this happen when organization streamline their training and focus on content delivery and quality; what was a 40 hour course can be taught in 20 without any degradation. But it takes time, money and effort. If BSA took the time to do all of this, rather than focusing on less important matters, they might see adult retention drop and an increase in overall program delivery.
  2. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Only that it is not the same program that we've been running here.
  3. Depends on each person. Usually where guys need help is on the project plan, especially in figuring out their resource planning or developing their phases. Also, the fundraising form tends to throw guys for a loop. The biggest problems are 1) not reading things fully, and 2) not asking questions. That's where a good advisor comes in and makes the Scout think. It doesn't (and shouldn't) feel like they've had a big impact, but you can bet an outsider might see it differently.
  4. Hmmm. Not sure I agree. Most units have ASMs, former Eagles or other volunteers. Good units have folks they train on the GTA and the Eagle process. The effective coaches really help the Scouts navigate issues such as this, as well as helping them to think through their projects and developing effective project plans...something the BSA documentation is sorely lacking. Lastly, it's been at least a decade since I have seen Eagle advisors/coaches in regular use, so I am not sure I would call them fairly new to the process. Again, maybe that's just my area.
  5. I have never found BSA training to be wanting in time consumption. That's one of their biggest problems is the length of time they take. They take 6 hours to teach 2 hours worth of material. Material is their next problem. It is inadequate and out-dated. Training the trainer is the next deficiency. Their materials for teaching delivery -- and actual course content -- have few good examples and don't teach trainers how to teach well.
  6. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Your training in Wisconsin has a bit of a reputation in my neck of the woods. See how that works? For the record, if you trimmed off the coastline of CA and let it fall into the ocean all that "specialness" in CA would magically go away.
  7. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    The only difference I see is that men have experience in being boys and women don't. That can be both a positive thing and a negative thing, but there is a difference. It is through training that we can help both experienced and inexperienced adults of both sexes deliver the program. Even training is no guarantee of good leadership. We have all seen lousy "experienced" leaders and great "inexperienced" leaders. There is certainly a spectrum. I will argue that in my experience the vast majority of helicopter parents are female. Maybe that's just in my local area, but I'd wager it is close to 70% easily. That's not saying that 70% of women are that way, just that of those folks deemed helicopter-ish 70% of them tend to be female.
  8. I am really glad you are reading the documentation as close as you are. That says a lot for you. As an Eagle Coach (and former SM), I always advise my Scouts to make sure they get their Eagle Coach AND their SM (or when needed, the district advancement rep) feedback on any and all questions? Why? Simply put, it covers your rear in case some adult somewhere decides they want to read more in to the rules than is there. Your questions is valid: If the Beneficiary is providing the funds/materials, is the Fundraising Application even needed? Below is taken from the first paragraph of the application. It would seem, depending on how the funds/materials are being raise, that you may not need the form. HOWEVER, cover yourself by contacting the folks note above and get them to weigh in.
  9. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Just came from a PLC last night where the PLC passed a "rule" that said only registered Scouts and adults could camp with the troop, and that only perspective Webelos looking to join could camp with the unit.
  10. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Not the "Family Scouting" argument again. I thought we resolved that BSA had not yet defined what it meant by Family Scouting. Or as some like to say "we agree to disagree". The official position, such that it is, is here. It is clear what they mean as it applies to Cubs. It is unclear what this means for Boy Scouts and Venturing.
  11. @Mattosaurus, whatever you do you need to be honest. You skipped a step. No biggie but you do need to own up to it as other people have advised. The Guide to Advancement (the book Scouters are supposed to consult when they have advancement questions) allows for instances such as yours. Contact your Eagle Coach today, as well as the district rep. Let them know your issue and your project timeline. In most instances they will be happy to approve your completed form, but they will advise you on your next steps. Document your interaction with them via email and confirm both in writing and verbally. This may help you later. Above all DO NOT go forward without contacting them...and most certainly do not "back date" or "fudge" anything. Not only is that dishonest and against the Scout Law, it is not worthy of an Eagle Scout. Yes, it is a big deal. It is called integrity. Make sure your parents are in the know on this issue too. While you are the one responsible, it usually make sense to have your parents up to speed on your status. Also your unit lead (Scoutmaster). Good luck!!!
  12. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    As to your comment in red, I think that's an odd statement. *I* am a long-time Scouting volunteer AND the father of a daughter, so I make your statement true. But that's not what we are talking about. We are saying that NEW volunteers are allegedly going to come from 1) parents of only girls who are new joiners to the program, b) parents of boys in the program who will now have girls in the program and all of sudden will now want to volunteer, or c) people who have never volunteered who will miraculously all of a sudden want to volunteer. I think the most likely pool is either a or c, but I wouldn't bet on it. As to your second comment in purple, you are assuming people who didn't volunteer with just their son in the program will now all of a sudden volunteer? Why? Today when we have a Scout who has brothers in the program, when the other brothers join it does not necessarily mean the parents are going to volunteer. In my experience the adding of a sibling has little, if any, impact on whether parents will volunteer. Why do we think adding daughters in the mix will change that?
  13. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Sorry, but why should he step down to avoid spreading his ideas, and yet others here with different ideas are not offered the same option to step away to avoid spreading their ideas?
  14. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    We are talking about starting a second unit. Whether 10 or 50 girls, you are talking about a second organization. This second organization will require leadership and adult support. It will require logistical and operational support, among other things. BSA is assuming two things: 1) Either current volunteers and COs will take on these units and provide the services they do today, or 2) A new set of volunteers will spring up and help roll this out. Both of these assumptions are short-sighted on BSA's part. Experience with the current program shows that new volunteers are very hard to come by. We get new parents joining Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturing all the time, but I can tell you the number of new adult volunteers is not increasing at all. It is quite laborious to recruit, train and manage volunteers in the current program. BSA is assuming that adding girls will somehow create a new pool of applicants. This is no more true than recruiting boys will get more adults to volunteer. Adults volunteering in the BSA has gone DOWN year-on-year. The decline has DOUBLED since 2013!! What amazing program has BSA developed that is miraculously going to get the parents of girls to all of a sudden volunteer??
  15. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Adding a second boys unit to an already large Boy Scout unit would be a significant issue in and of itself. But adding a new girls program, with 20-40 new girls who don't know how Boy Scouts works, would be like taking on a new Scout class of 20-40...and their families. And it wouldn't stop at the end of Year 1 like it does now. It would continue for a few years until you get a full crop of girls through the program. You'd have to train Scouts and parents alike. You can make light of the excuses that might be used, but you cannot dismiss the fact that these are very real issues. Issues that impact the already over-strained volunteers. Issues national has not even looked at fully. They are too busy counting the yet-to-be-spent money they think they're going to get.
  16. Col. Flagg

    Virtual Campfire

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_rabbit_rabbit
  17. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    It is a nice idea but I can hear I can hear the complaining now. Why do girls only get one week? Why can't we get x week instead of y week? Not just from the girls but I imagine the boys as well. We hear it already when camps have partition weeks. This also assumes units are all one sex.
  18. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    In my area 70 Scouts is considered a "medium-sized" troop. When we go to summer camp with 40-45 Scouts people think we are large, then I tell them that's 60% of our unit and they gasp. We've been as high as 80. Our biggest "problem" is retention...we just seem to keep guys in an active status until they age out. Nice problem to have. Personally I would want the girls too, BUT I would want them for the Venturing Crew. Our meetings are activities unless we are planning a Tier II or III activity. It's more like a high adventure club, so we really don't need an active meeting location. We have 20 kids (12 girls, 8 guys). Getting gear is not a problem for a group that small. We average around 10-14 give or take. Been as high as 26. We manage incoming Scout against attrition from aging out. We'd never turn a boy away who is interested in joining. I could not imagine our CO taking on a girl's unit. They have a troop, pack and crew and that's enough. I could not imagine our Boy Scout leaders doubling down and leading a girls unit as well. Even if it were just 20-30 girls, that's still a whole lot of time needed to spin things up, train folks and help identify leaders, etc. I keep thinking how much time we spend each year just getting 10-15 new families up and running each year. With a new girls unit that would continue for at least a two year period if not longer. Like I said, I have started units before and that's a TON of time to invest which, after the years I have put in, just won't happen.
  19. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    According to the YPT rules being discussed here, the girl would not be able to do that in the US unless there was at least another female leader along on that trip.
  20. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    The shower times are the easy part. But with our local camps having showers and laterines in the same area (literally sharing the same common area), what happens with the opposite sex needs to go urgently? The easiest way to handle that is having male facilities and female facilities, that way you only need to separate adults from youth and not add in separating by sex too. So using my example above, there are four facilities in camp. Council would need to make two male and two female (or devise some ratio based on registration by week). My point being that in either case it will be much more time consuming that simply going to the facility closest to you. At least 50% of participants will have to trek to their nearest male or female facility. Like it or not, that adds time for these things which will now need to baked in to your program and logistics time.
  21. Col. Flagg

    Age requirement guidelines

    @GoingTheDistance there is good advice above. As a unit leader in Cubs, Boy Scouts and Venturing, I would never have just let a group of Cubs go off on their own without a qualified Den Chief and at least two adults in tow. Safety and my own liability are the primary reasons. The Scouts are in my care as a unit (or Den) leader, so it is my responsibility to bring them home safely. But this is also Cub Scouts, so the parents (Akela) should be active in their Scout's activities. I get the idea of wanting to trust the boys and let them go out and have fun, but there is the reality that if someone gets injured the legal ax will fall on my neck...and the necks of any other adults around. There's a good example with this old case where an adult leader allowed his Boy Scouts to go off exploring and a Scout was injured. It just shows that even allowing Boy Scouts to go off on their own can land a leader in legal trouble. All of this may have been simply solved by having two trained adults with the group. In my opinion BSA rules for Cub Scouts require the Scouts' parents and/or two trained leaders be around for all activities. It also requires someone trained in Cub camping, so I am hoping that at least one adult was BALOO trained. I would have a talk with the Cubmaster and the Committee Chair. If they shrug off your concern I would find another pack. There's a difference between letting boys be boys and providing supervision for potentially dangerous situations.
  22. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Having a handful of women attend a summer camp and having several hundred women attend a summer camp are not the same thing. Any given summer our local camp has maybe 25-30 women in camp. The highest number of female staff we'd ever had was 15, so that's less than 50 women. Male Scouts and adults were around 500+. The difficulty even in this environment were the shower and toilet facilities. The camp's shower/latrine facilities contain both the latrines and the showers in the same common access area, thus making it impossible for adults to share a facility with the youth so adults were on one side (with their latrines and showers) and youth were on the other (with their latrines and showers). Of course, adults had to share the facilities with the opposite sex. The youth didn't. Since there were so few women in camp it was easy to share those facilities. Now imagine if there are female units and male units. That would make things a bit more difficult because this camp will now want to put female units in one area and male units in the other in order to make sharing the facilities less time-consuming. Female units would be sharing the facilities with other female units (and I imagine a few male adult leaders if they are allowed to even be around female units). Same with male units; they would share with other male units and adults would share with the opposite sex. Now imagine there are coed units. Both youth and adults would have to share facilities. I have seen this attempted and it does not work on a large scale. I *do* believe many camps are entirely unprepared for women depending on how such issues are addressed.
  23. Col. Flagg

    Concerns with coed rules, leadership, liability

    Gear and logistics is not an inconsequential issue in a 70+ Scout unit. The amount of effort to put out a call for gear for a second unit is a substantial effort. I was SM when our unit did a gear drive for a local unit that had its gear and trailer stolen, and it was a monumental effort for the boys to handle alone. Even with adults assisting it was a rough go. Another good point is sharing leaders. I don't know about you lot, but when I was SM I was already ploughing in a good 20+ hours a week in to our troop. I have started up units before and I know what the time commitment is for that too. If I was asked to also head up another unit I'd pass. If it was "required" of me I'd step down from my post. Why? When I took this role it was to run a Boy Scout unit and not two Scout units. For those who can do that successfully -- and keep the quality of their program up AND adhere to the patrol method, delivery exacting leadership training, etc., -- more power to you. That's a bridge too far for me.
  24. Col. Flagg

    Remind - A Messaging App

    Agree. But the irony here was that Remind was suggested by the PLC because they didn't want to use email. The adults had been complaining that they never checked it. The boys made a big deal about how they check texts messages "nearly instantaneously" but only rarely email, so Remind was suggested as a way to get in touch with them faster. The reality was that teenagers don't check (or at least don't bother to respond to) texts either. I suspect if we used Snapchat they'd eventually find a way to ignore that too.
  25. Col. Flagg

    Girl Scout sold cookies outside Medical Marijuana Dispensary

    What was so disrespectful in my response? Really?
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