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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. Well it would be nice if they opened their books to see how that money is spent. When the elite from council and districts get a shindig at the council HQ complete with dinner and a speaker (at no cost), but poor low-level volunteers have to pay $40 for a lousy BBQ lunch for an event, exactly how does that work? Rhetorical. I know the answer. It's just not kosher. Volunteers should not have to pay for training BSA or council deems mandatory.
  2. Agree, HOWEVER, I have found many times councils offer things at training that otherwise don't need to be there. For example, they charged for one event $40. The room was at council, so no charge. The hand outs could have easily been sent as pdfs. The lunch, such as it was, was the only real cost. I also notice a great many of other costs council incurs for the "special" volunteers and staff. These events and retreats, often for as many as 100 people, have no cost to the attendee associated with them. That's what rubs most of us the wrong way.
  3. A few do. Many don't. The boys don't pick camp based on how many free leaders we get. They pick them based on location, what they offer, travel costs to get there and cost of the camp. Maybe a last consideration are the free leaders. Point being, volunteer leaders are already paying to go to summer camp (using vacation time from work), then they have to pay the camp cost, then the transportation cost, their annual dues, monthly fees for unit camping (and gas, etc.), do not get reimbursed for wear and tear on their vehicle, pay for uniform, patches, etc. Now someone wants to charge for training BSA requires in order to be a volunteer? There is a bridge too far for some and this would be it. Thankfully this is not an issue for us now.
  4. Yes. The PLC builds skills in to the program, beit meetings, projects or camp outs. Participation in an SMC is also considered being able to discuss the skills you have and demonstrate them. It's not pass/fail, it's participating in the SMC...and no one ever fails. If they are weak in a skill you know they will work on it to make sure they aren't anymore. But to be brutally honest, we just use the skills all the time since we are outdoors a lot. Our tents are modern but still require taught-lines to set up. We don't use pop-up canopies (we use Philmont flies) so the guys still need to know knots to set those up too. We have first aid skills all the time, same with cooking, camping, hiking, orienteering (think: hidden pizzas in a park at night), etc. So these skills are built in to the program. Took a while to set up. Once done it was easy to keep going...just keep the adults away.
  5. All of them in my unit. We continue to train them on the core Scouting skills so they don't forget them. Can an 11th grader forget how to add and subtract even though he learned how in 2nd grade? Nope. So ALL Scouts are required to know and demonstrat their core Scouting skills (for rank) that they learned during their trail to Eagle.
  6. @jjlash, if my district/council charged for training I know many folks here would not take it. Why? Many units already charge adult volunteers and leaders a premium over the $33 adult BSA reg fee...some as high as $100/year. Next, few units locally reimburse for gas for trips and such. More out of pocket. Summer camp? We have to pay to attend that plus the transport fee. Now training that's required for us volunteers? That would be the last straw. Good luck with this approach. It would go down like a lead balloon in my area. Thankfully my unit only charges $33 for dues and pays for leader training. Costs are budgeted by the PLC and the boys raise the funds to cover. Summer camp is covered for the required leaders; extra leaders pay their way. Same with high adventure.
  7. I double down on this statement by saying that the BEST Scouters I have ever met are NOT Eagle Scouts. Many were guys who quit at various points in their Scouting career and came back to Scouting for their sons or daughters (Venturing). For whatever reason -- maybe to make up for what they walked away from, maybe to pay homage to a mentor, maybe they never had the opportunity to be Scouts, etc., -- these men (and women) are some of the best Scouters I know. Not Eagles. Not AOL recipients. No Wood Badge. No OA. Just good, solid leaders who take their role seriously, train hard and work for the boys.
  8. And yet we have a "down arrow" feature and people use it. Some might say that the existence, and use, of the down arrow is equally as Un-scoutlike as anything said or discussed so far.
  9. Sometimes Scouts need to be un-scout-like to defend what is theirs.
  10. As a general rule, no. This was defined by the PLC. That said, we do activities that can count toward rank or MBs but it is up to the Scout to follow-up with their MBC or Instructors. For example, on one camp out we did wilderness survival shelters for fun. Some guys went to their MBCs for credit, some didn't.
  11. Can someone please check in to this setting? I have gotten over 900 emails from the site because this is set to send emails to registered emails by default. No big deal for me because I summarily delete them. However, my ISP is asking if "scouter.com" should be marked as a spammer and sent to the blacklist. I'd hate for that to happen because then ANY emails from scouter.com would get put on the google, yahoo and microsoft blacklist. Can that default be set to X or just allow people to change it themselves? @NJCubScouter, @LeCastor, @RememberSchiff or any of the mods, can you please ask to get this fixed? Thanks!
  12. My friends have a different story to tell. Their training is bad and no where near what we get (IOLS, WRFA, National Camping School, PTC, etc.). They have training, but from what I am told it is so basic that common sense covers it in two minutes.
  13. Talk to a GSUSA leader some time. They can do tons of things without the policies, procedures and such we have to go through in Boy Scouts. However, they'd be jealous of the training we get. Appears they get little to none.
  14. There has to be a standard or else you have no uniformity. It's unfair to American Eagle Scouts who have gone through the whole program, as written, if even ONE person gets Eagle from outside of Boy Scouts using some contrived, non-standard evaluation process. A standard can be developed *if* there's effort put forth. Otherwise, they should abide by the same rules any US kid has to abide by when he joins Scouts. Our unit has had several "late bloomers" join as Scouts and work to Eagle before 18. It can be done and they worked their butts off. They didn't get any "carry over" experience despite their very strong outdoor skills. They just worked hard.
  15. Given the second bit of detail, I'd agree. Well done.
  16. Our PLC uses the tools guide and GTA, as well as the age matrix, all the time. Copies are brought to the PLC meetings by the Librarian and they actually use them. It is funny to see the kids referring to the rules to make sure stuff they are considering can be done. We had one well-meaning dad try to take that responsibility away from the PLC, basically saying they should be focusing on "fun" and not "rules". The SPL basically said, "This is like planning a hike or anything else. We need to apply the rules and guidelines for our safety." I just smiled. The dad got the message. The boys continued.
  17. Good ideas but wrong magazine. Boys already know how to do all that, it's the adults getting in their way that's more of a problem IMHO. Put the column in Scouting magazine. I suspect you'd reach the adults that are keeping the patrol method from truly taking off in their units there rather than BL.
  18. You have to live the teaser line, "Meet the 16-year-old working to end discrimination in the nation's largest youth outdoors program". How can discrimination exist in an organization meant for boys? That's like saying the NAACP discriminates because they advocate for "colored people" or that the Airline Pilots Association discriminates against non-pilots. @an_old_DC, thanks for posting these facts. This is what many of us have been saying for a while now. I wish folks would just follow the rules. That's what Scouting is about.
  19. This is why training parents and leaders is so important. A trained leader should know better, as there are always other options (car, grabbing another leader and BOTH sleeping in the main hall in a corner near the adult room, etc.). Truly a tough question. It could be an honest mistake where nothing happened. But as the events of the last month or so are showing us, what if something did happen and it comes out later? @T2Eagle, not sure you can convey enough information for any of us to really get a sense for how innocent of a mistake (or how bad it may really look) this really is. I agree with @Stosh to be cautious because this is a BIG issue. But I would seek advice from those other leaders who were around to see what they think.
  20. Something for your Eagle project. Here's the list. If you were in my troop our SPL would have handed you this when you got your Life patch, reminding you to use it for your Eagle project. Our PLC uses it to plan all service projects so that guys are working in the right service groups. Hint: Put that in your Eagle Project Plan and reference it as part of your planning for safety. Most adults don't know it exists, so you will earn some street "cred" with them. Re: Transfer Eagle Credit: Unless BSA has documented and specific rules for such a thing, no one should be given any credit toward ANY rank or badge unless they were in the proper Scouting program AND the rules allow for it. Do do otherwise is violating the GTA.
  21. As with ANY course or program, much depends on the instructor, the curriculum, student participation/attention, the class size, how confirming prerequisites are completed, and many other factors. We have all seen well-run courses and some real howlers. The important thing, as an individual, is to do your own research, read and practice. This can make up for a lousy course, instructor or otherwise. As for reality TV, do yourself a favor and don't watch it. Your IQ will drop 10 points with each one you watch. Read a good book or watch something about science or history. If not available, stream Dr. Who on Prime.
  22. All the major Scout software have this feature. It has indeed helped keep the Scouts informed, although they hold the answer in their hand all the time: Their Scout Handbook and their blue cards (hopefully at home under lock and key).
  23. At a recent UofScouting event a rep from National said that fewer than 2% of all registered Venturing Scouts were engaged in earning Venturing awards/recognitions/ranks. I can't help but feel that such facts may be another reason BSA may abandon Venturing when girls are allowed in Boy Scouts.
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