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Col. Flagg

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Everything posted by Col. Flagg

  1. I agree. To me charitable giving of any kind should come without (tangible) recognition. Maybe that's just me.
  2. I can't recall if you said the SM was complicit in this or if he just didn't care that he (and his youth leaders) kept getting mowed over by this ASM. But as a former SM I would want to know this situation AND how my youth leaders felt. It sounds like these adults are not likely to step aside and let the boys lead, so taking this head-on as a youth leader is tilting at a windmill IMHO. Looking for a new troop is totally up to the individual because only they will know their mind. If my son were in this situation, I would encourage him (and his friends who feel the same way) to have a heart-to-heart with the SM and really lay out their issues. I would advise them to link their grievances to the Aims and Methods of Scouting and the BSA Mission Statement. It may not change any minds and it may cause waves, but they will have the satisfaction of petitioning their unit leader with their grievances and learn a lesson on standing up for themselves.
  3. One should ask the question why good Scouters would seek recognition for charitable giving. Scouts only get service hours for their charitable work. Many volunteer Scouters and parents give generously of their time and money regularly and get nothing but a thank you in return. I would really like to see less adult recognition in the form of knots, trophies and such UNLESS it is for something very significant (e.g., retiring unit leader, cherished volunteer, etc.). This "do this and get that" culture BSA has for adults only reinforces that same notion with the youth. Talk about (purchased) participation trophies. (Note: @MattR, this is nothing against your gesture. It is more against BSA even having this in the first place.)
  4. For this very reason we required a parent or legal guardian to be present on all overnight trips for Cubs to manage/saveguard their Scout.
  5. Totally agree. I wish that was the case. It might make many of our current problems easier to deal with.
  6. I think "Catholic units" have it a bit harder in this regard. For Protestants, my Scouter friends seem to be more successful in selling the inclusion of non-church members joining the unit. The thought is that maybe they will join the church anyway...assuming they are Christians and Protestants. Most Catholic units I know want the members to be Catholic. A few have it as Catholic only whereas with others it is just a suggestion. Ironically our strongest advocate for the unit is Jewish. Loves the troop, the church, the CO and is always volunteering to help. The COR said, "If only several of our Catholic members were that energetic."
  7. Read the thread about BSA and their love of poor process and paperwork to keep council and district staff busy. That's why they do it. Right hand, meet left hand.
  8. No you won't get dropped mid-year, but many of our local units being prepping for recharter in October so that we can wrap up paperwork in November. We don't like to ruin our holidays with paperwork and process. I just assumed all units got stuff done in October or early November just to avoid the hassle. At any rate. Maybe BSA picked October to allow a few months for stragglers before they get heavy-handed at said, no cert no recharter.
  9. I suspect you won't be allowed to recharter with your unit(s).
  10. I think many can get behind all of this. The reality -- and I think the point of the OP -- is that culturally, BSA at the national and local levels, have created such a problem for themselves that they cannot possibly reach your excellent vision of what is needed. Why? They are too busy doing their usual stuff -- stuff needed to keep the juggernaut afloat -- that they don't have time to stop bailing to work on the ideas you suggest. I suspect this is the very reason why many of us have decided to focus on our units and not do anything with council and national.
  11. Yup. This mirrors what we seen locally. Our RTs are boring and the waste of paper on the announcements table would make a recyclist have a seizure. When it was suggested that all of that paper could be sent via pdf or posted easily online, the DC said, "Then what would our DE do?". Someone quipped, "Train UCs or visit units in trouble to actually help them?". That unit was given the graveyard location for popcorn sales and the "rough neighborhood" for SFF. They stopped participating in SFF, popcorn and FOS as a result.
  12. I am not sure how this would work. You've just created a new product that has the goal of getting Scouting's highest award which typically takes boys from 11-15 (or longer). So I am not confident girls are going to jump to Venturing, but rather spend their 14-16 year old years working toward Eagle. Not to mention older girls who may want to get Eagle and will forego Venturing. Maybe long term -- and we are talking several years -- you might see some older girls wanting to join Venturing much like older boys join it now. But the big appeal of Venturing was that it offered stuff GSUSA didn't, so they joined us to get that "Boy Scout" experience. You've now given them all that at an earlier age, so what's the draw of Venturing?
  13. Media sensationalizing the arbitrary or possibly even creating news to make ratings is the way things have worked for well over a decade. This cannot be all that surprising, can it?
  14. I have seen this as well. I would add that the other very successful Venturing Crews I have seen are those that really focus on high adventure-type activities. We have a few locally that do "club stuff" each month, but have 4-6 trips a year for some really cool stuff.
  15. Here's a good tool for anyone who has to share pictures or doc-pics. You can take pictures or "scan" any picture or doc. You can do one or a batch of them. When done just save as a pdf file and send or post. We've used this at the unit level to instantly scan receipts to send to our Treasurer. Sharing docs and pics is a lot faster this way too.
  16. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Venturing. It flounders now. I can only imagine what will happen when we have to contend with girl units recruiting for the same Scouts (14+) we will. It will just be more noise in an already overpopulated pool of activities for kids. IMHO, for girl "boy" Scouts to take off they need to 86 the Venturing program. It is a shadow of its former self now. I don't see it growing after girl boy Scouts come calling.
  17. Yes, and it represents a 3% year on year decline through 2013. After that the decline doubled to 6% or greater since then. I read a thread around here a while back where someone posted the data from 1999 or 2000. Clearly the "we" BSA is supporting is not the "we" in this forum. Whether the skirts are a BSA idea or one from a focus group of early adopters is anyone's guess. But it wouldn't surprise anyone here if it were 1) about money (vis-a-vis increased uniform sales) or 2) poorly planned without consulting anyone who matters.
  18. Way back when, our Pack was hosted by a church that really treated us like a burden too. They never really liked the Pack and treated every request as if we were begging at their doorstep. Then the membership policy changed in 2013 they dropped both the Pack and the Troop that were there. In our area most churches treat BSA units like we are any other group renting their facilities. Only the Catholic units are seen as an extension of the church's ministry.
  19. I recently stepped down after many years as a unit lead. District tried to suck me in. I was warned off by a dozen or so folks (previous district volunteers). I turned them down for my own reasons. My council/district also focuses on the high-revenue events for cubs and families. Also FO$ and recruiting. Sadly all of these things are done quite half-arsed but they still make $$$. You are not alone. I think what you observe is symptomatic of how BSA manages things regionally.
  20. Usually this would have been something you think about before changes are made. Get folks trained. Promote the rules so there's no grey area. This potential problem could have been avoided.
  21. Heard good things about that camp. Nice promo too. Wish our council did something this nice.
  22. Over/under on when the first lawsuit against BSA concerning the mixing of girls and boys on an overnighter? You just know some Pack somewhere is going to have a coed Den and not properly separate the kids.
  23. In our area the concept died on the vine for a few reasons. First, council was really bad at making camp availability easily known. Units had a hard time finding out when they could go to camp to conduct upkeep. You couldn't just show up and start working. The ranger had to know and be willing to allow you on property. Next, with four council camps there was no intelligent distribution of sites for units to serve. We have one camp north of the city, one just south, one two hours west and one two hours south-east. Council would assign a unit in the north a camp site at the western camp, or a southern unit a camp in the northern camp instead of assigning the closest units to their closest camp. Lastly, when units did perform maintenance some did a great job whereas some were so bad that they actually made things worse. Anytime a unit wanted to "upgrade" or really fix something, council would require 10,000 forms and months of waiting only to have them say "no". So it got disheartening to participate. Hope other councils have better luck than we did.
  24. I remember when my kid was just joining Tigers. The Pack leaders cam in and walked everyone through that first rank and the requirements. At the end of the meeting half the parents quit (and took their kids) because it was too much work for them. I can only imagine what some of those types of parents will think about Boy Scout ranks, especially Eagle. How long before even those requirements get watered down.
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