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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. Col. Flagg

    Eagle Project

    Sounds like the Eagle Advisor and SM did not work with the candidate to discuss the resource requirements and other planning. While not a requirement of the Eagle Project, resource planning (and estimating) is a necessary part of any project. I get that the project is about demonstrating leadership, but since the successful execution of the project requires all sorts of planning and coordination, such "advice" ahead of time would be helpful. For example, at one of the projects in our area (not my unit), an auger and tiller were required. The candidate did not account for who would operate these devices. No one advised him of the tools use guidelines and he did not account for training (or learning how to use one) or having someone experienced with using one attend or be present. Luckily I had experience, was passing by, and could help. I suspect many units don't advise their scouts fully on planning and execution of projects. I'd love to see BSA re-vamp the workbook to really take this in to account...or better train adults so a more consistent, standard message is given to scouts.
  2. Col. Flagg

    Transgender policy change

    The proper title would be, My Lord Flagg. My rank would only be used in military situations...or at District RT when everyone wears their silver beavers.
  3. Col. Flagg

    Transgender policy change

    Who are we to not honor what people want to be called? Wouldn't want to marginalize anyone. BTW, I feel like royalty, so for now on you can address me as, "My Lord". It's how I feel.
  4. Yup...it is what we call Webelos III. We see this a lot in our area. In fact, our RT had this as a topic this year. I was amazed at the number of troops that use this format. Our kids would go insane if the adults were in their camp site at all, let alone LEADING them. We'd lose 90% of our Scouts.
  5. Depends if the Scouts can demonstrated they have completed anything as pre-requisites. How is an MBC to confirm? They don't. They usually take the Scout at his word and sign anyway. Home cooking will take at least this long. Trail cooking longer because, well, you are on the trail. The trail cooking req is best done on a camp out. Patrol cooking is another one done on a camp out. That's why you cover what you can in a class BUT make it interactive, hands-on. For example, while teaching the various cooking techniques, we actually SHOWED THEM each technique and they got a chance to try them. This is a life skill, so we go deeper than we would, say, for Art or Music or another "softer" MB. Our troop class is 4-6 sessions IN ADDITION to the work they do on their own, with their patrols and at home. At the end of the course we do a Top Chef competition. It is optional (can't add requirements) but no one has ever turned us down. We also show them knife skills in addition to other cooking hacks. This is one of those MBs where, if you design a cool course, could really catch fire with the Scouts. But it HAS to be hands on or you will lose them.
  6. Col. Flagg

    Transgender policy change

    Only because we make it confusing. I thought God had taken care of most of the problem by making two sexes. When @@RememberSchiff said "first female Eagle Scout is transgender" I took that to mean a girl, who wants to be known as a boy, makes Eagle.
  7. Col. Flagg

    Updated Guide to Safe Scouting

    [heavysarcasm] ROFL...I thought it was agreed in the many other threads that BSA never pushes the liability and risk to the local level on purpose. [/heavysarcasm]
  8. ROFL...well BSA will have to rethink that position now. With gay and TG folks joining, there's just as much of an issue (if not more) there than with the 17 and 11 year old. Or are we going to discriminate against the 17 year old and assume things we shouldn't BSA?
  9. Col. Flagg

    "Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

    @@Builder, not sure what to say other than, "wow". I am staggered that you can give such a deep explanation for the decline, and yet ignore the fact that ALL of the reasons you give -- good ones, by the way -- have existed LONG before the decline increased. All of a sudden...for three straight years...all these factors just magically all come together to increase the decline? Talk about happenstance. You say boys join for the program. I agree. But by your logic nearly all the programs nationwide got together since 2013 and started sucking all of a sudden? The irony is that there is more happenstance in your assertion than there is in mine. In mine, there are just three events that take place to cause the decline. In yours, MANY forces have to come together to cause the decline. Now which is more realistic? Rhetorical question. I know your answer as you've already given it. In my district the answer is clear. Units have lost COs because of the membership policy change. My unit has lost members as a result of the change. Sure, these other factors you note do play a part. However, there's no way they all come together magically leading to three straight years of double the average rate of decline. There has to be a catalyst. There always is.
  10. Depends on how you train the adults. We let them know that their help is needed in background. We had a great SPL who was in to theater, so he presented regularly at our new parent meeting. He likened adult help to a play. He'd say, "Parents are like the stage crew. They are in the back working, not out front acting. You may see them between scenes moving stuff around, but the actors are the ones out front when the lights go on." He later revised that analogy to move the parents to the lighting crew only and making the Scouts the stage crew. Yeah, it's called Venturing. I get your point. But realistically no kid is going to run a 70+ Scout troop including all of the background logistics, etc. They can do the planning, execution and such, but payment, adherence to insurance rules, transportation, etc., is coordinated by adults. With a large troop that's where those idle adults during troop meetings come in to play.
  11. My advice would be to: Toss out the worksheets. Develop your own curriculum for the badge based on the MB book. Use the MB book. It is pretty good and allows you to develop your own approach to teaching the course while adhering to the requirements. Meet with the PLC and see how they might be able to work in aspects of the MB in to their monthly program. For example, maybe they are doing a trail hike on an upcoming camp out where the boys can get in groups and cook for each other. Think of fun competitions the boys can do that are cooking related (e.g., TopChef competition, Dutch oven cooking competition, etc.). All too often when the worksheets are used, the boys (and counselors) stick just to the sheets and don't explore beyond them. It becomes like completing homework rather than actually learning something. To answer your questions: 1A and 1B deal with hazards in cooking and applying first aid while cooking. They may be somewhat similar in that the hazard requires first aid, but I would not consider them redundant in any way. The detail of each requirement is in the book. No, it is not laid out in order, though if one uses the index they can find what they are looking for. BSA likely does this so that boys don't race through the book filling out a worksheet like it's some school assignment and BANG they get the MB. BSA wants the boys to take their time, read, learn, show, demonstrate, explain their answers....not just fill out a worksheet.
  12. Col. Flagg

    Updated Guide to Safe Scouting

    Thanks for this. I read it and was having the same thoughts. It seems more vague than the previous version.
  13. Col. Flagg

    "Boy Scouts thrive after lifting of gay ban."

    As I recall, the average rate of decline since the late 90s was 2-3% each year. Since 2013 the rate has increased to 6-7%. The gay issue was announced in 2013. Then the adult gay issue in 2015. Happenstance that the decline accelerated since 2013?
  14. Col. Flagg

    Religious groups and individual beliefs

    Well, since Scientologists are accepted I suspect your question might be answered.
  15. @@Stosh, not sure this works entirely well in larger units. For example, that 10-boy group I know we will now be getting, I cannot put all 10 in one patrol. I need to break them up a bit. That said, we let those new boys decide who wants to stay together. Usually that means 2-3 groupings. Moms and dads usually weigh in too. Then we try to align them with existing patrols where there might be guys they know. If not they still get to choose. If things don't work they can move.
  16. He posted the detail in another thread. It was the SM. He (the SM) seems to be a bit heavy-handed from some of the descriptions...or maybe that's just my read...and @@blw2 is struggling with how to help his son cope with these issues.
  17. Hmmm. Not sure how the boys running everything and somewhat idle adults leads to "adult heavy". The one challenge when things are going well in the boy-lead department, is challenging the adults to do stuff at all. All too often they see stuff getting done by the boys and wonder why they need to be there at all. When we on-board the adults we are very clear on their role and the necessity of being their but not affecting things too much. We are like police: When things are going good you don't see us, may not even know we are there. If you do see us and are inclined to act up you may think twice. But if something goes wrong, we are there in full force, executing our training and capabilities.
  18. Col. Flagg

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    I am moving to a Crew Advisor role later this year for a start-up Crew. I am learning a lot about the differences between what worked in Scouts and what works in Venturing. I learned pretty fast that the organizational capabilities of a 15 year-old girl outpace those of a 17 year-old Rockwellesque Eagle Scout given the right conditions.
  19. Our units sees it this way: Traditional Patrols (Mixed) Boys get a chance to learn for the experienced Scouts. New Scouts get a chance at leadership (scribe, QM) early. They learn to rely on the boys, not adults. Character development starts earlier. Scouts rely on the older Scouts and the older Scouts learn they can rely on the new Scouts. Hits on the "methods" of patrol, outdoor program, advancement, personal growth, leadership development. Troop Guides are still used as counselors, but help the PL deal with any "new Scout issues". Adults are involved as always...from a distance. Keeps adults from becoming a Webelos III leader. In short: In our experience, having traditional patrols accomplishes the integration, development, growth and character development of our Scouts faster. We typically get 6-8 transfers in every year. A good 80% are from NSP troops where the incoming Scout was leaving because it was like Webelos III -- an adult was leading everything. Who wants that?
  20. @@blw2, this is where I would have a short chat with the SM and ask him why he does not have that same conversation (the one he gave to the PLC) with his SPL, then let his SPL deliver the news and manage the PLC. It seems to me the SM likes doing what he is doing. He may not feel he's being an SM when he sits on his hands and let's the boys do things. We had a meeting Monday night. Had 10 Webelos visiting, of which we hoped to get maybe 2-3. My job was to meet with the parents while the Webelos attended the meeting. I spent an hour with the parents simply answering their questions. I invited them to go watch the troop do its thing. Nearly every parent was concerned that I was not running the meeting; that the adults were simply either running SMCs or standing around quietly assisting when needed. I reminded them that's how Scouts works. At the end of the meeting all ten wanted to sign up. Their sons insisted and the parents obliged. Any chance your SM can be brought to see the light that is boy-led? Or is he just an existence justification freak?
  21. There's the Hiking MB and 50 Miler. The requirements are pretty straight forward. For TFC you need a five mile hike while using map and compass. Not AT, but there are Historic Trails which have their own requirements. Don't think they are BSA required but there are awards you can get. BSA does recognize if you hike a few of these trails as long as they meet the BSA historic trails requirements. So you can get the third party historical trail award BUT you may not qualify for the BSA Historic Trail award unless you meet both groups' requirements. The link to the Carolina Trader site is one of the better ones with lists of such trails. Others may have a better site. Happy trails!
  22. Col. Flagg

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    Nitpicking your answer just a but, but no disrespect intended. Stewardship as a concept needs to be taught by the adults to the Scouts. The "opportunities" for stewardship exist regardless of if one is trained or not to manage and address them. So the concept and opportunities exist, but the importance of one person addressing them is what the adults are for. We help the boys realize the importance of stewardship by illustrating what the LACK of stewardship can do (e.g., narcissistic culture develops, troop fails, etc.). Stewardship of the UNIT is what I believe an Eagle owes back. It's fine he helps his youth group, does outstanding stuff for his band, helps organize food drives for his school. Great!! Anyone THAT driven can find some time to help his unit. No one is advocating he's chained to the oar ("What service have you seen, 41?") for three years to pay back the troop. But cutting and running after his ECOH without so much as a month's help afterwards is not right either. I had to laugh about not expending too much effort after FC for an Eagle. Of course the unit does MB classes...at least we do. Why? Because the "colleges" simply hand out blue cards with patches attached it's that easy. We want our kids to actually learn Radio MB, not watch someone do it and get an MB at the end of a 4 hour session. MB classes, TLT, wilderness first aid training, Eprep activities, CPR/AED every two years, PLC advising, service project advising, counseling, additional leadership training, SMCs, BORs, recruiting, fund-raising administration, etc. All those things from which he benefits which fall outside of the Patrol Method, Boy-Led program he benefits -- arguably -- even more from AFTER First Class. Not to mention the counsel he gets during Life on his Eagle project. I won't even go in to the rides to/from meetings every week and to each event. Even with the boys leading, planning and doing nearly everything, there's enough going on behind the curtain that supports each Scout. No, there's plenty spent on the Star-Eagle crowd. Less observation perhaps, but an equal amount of effort nonetheless from which he benefits. HOWEVER, I am NOT advocating he pay THIS back. I am advocating that the concept of Stewardship helps to keep the boy side AND adult side of things flowing. Otherwise you end up with fewer and fewer people getting involved, fewer service projects, few fund-raisers, etc., because no one can be bothered. They think someone else always will do it. Our point is simply this: YOU be that someone else. YOU lead. YOU make the example and others will follow. This is up to the PLC and the troop as a whole. But since this is boy-led it requires the older boys to have some skin in the game. One cannot complain about the lack of high adventure opportunities when they don't participate in program planning, PLC and event planning and execution. To (grotesquely) paraphrase Col. Jessep, We have neither the time nor the inclination to put up with Scouts that complain about the activities that we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide them. We would rather they just said "thank you", and next time help plan them,"
  23. Col. Flagg

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    Respectfully, I know it is not required, nor do we make it so. That's not my point. My point was teaching stewardship, obligation and self-sacrifice which is all part of character development. Giving back to the unit is how that is demonstrated IMHO, so we teach them early and often this concept so we don't get the Eagle-out syndrome.
  24. Col. Flagg

    Boys "Eagle Out" of troop

    It's been my experience that the kids who get Eagle before 16 usually fall in to that latter category (highlighted). They check the box and move on. Certainly generalizations are be drawn anywhere. My point is that we need to be teaching servant leadership, stewardship and obligation to these kids. If they can make Eagle at 16 and demonstrate these traits, then great. My experience has been that they usually don't show these traits until there has been some sacrifice on their part. This usually comes after 16 when they mature enough to know what self-sacrifice is.
  25. Col. Flagg

    Boys and Girls (Co-Ed) Cub and Boy Scouts Are Coming

    Boy that didn't take long.... https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/10/03/teenage-girl-fighting-to-become-a-boy-scout/21485308/