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Everything posted by curious_scouter

  1. That's actually the policy. Within boating for those not classified as swimmers there are two tiers: Fixed seat rowboat or pedal boat: Those not classified as swimmers can operate "fixed-seat rowboat or pedal boat accompanied by a buddy who is a swimmer". Because these vessels are far less likely to capsize, an adult buddy is not a requirement. Canoe or other paddle craft: Those not classified as swimmers can go canoeing if they share a canoe with a Swimmer Adult. Additionally, these policies only apply "on calm water with little likelihood of capsizing or falling overboar
  2. I would not call my personal uniform "minimal" in the sense nothing but default is on it, but I also prefer a simple uniform and do not put on every single thing I could. I want to be recognizable as a leader to Scouts (in and out of unit) and parents. I want some things like AOL/Religious Emblem/Eagle knots to show the Scouts "these things mean something and follow you through life" as a means to encourage them to achieve and respect those things. But otherwise, I want all the "showing off" to be the youth. I think that's a good practice when you're actively involved in unit leadershi
  3. I love that there is no set "order" for Scout-->First Class rank requirement completion. And there is some wisdom to connecting Scout-->First Class advancement with what fits for older scouts into a win-win to maximize results in meetings and outings. What is ultimately most important is what is the goal for that Scout and do they feel empowered to achieve it? If not, they should talk to their PL/SPL/SM to get help and advice. That might not come in the form of "let's change our meeting plans" so be prepared for some homework or outside of the box options. Have your scout start
  4. I think we have a spare and a jack. Our leaders are great, but with few exceptions any kind of mechanical issue beyond a flat is going to require outside help anyway. I actually think the concepts of proper loading, appropriate cars, etc. could use a bit more focus. Most adults in our troop are trailer rookies. Some guidelines / preflight checklist would be good.
  5. I was typing something almost identical to this So I will just quote and add: Avoid assumptions as well. Just because a Scout is at an "expensive event" does not mean they paid to be there. There are plenty of Camperships, Sponsorships, Volunteer chances to attend these larger spendy events with no or low cost. This does not mean that Scout and their family have the means to be fully kitted for whatever reason.
  6. Will cheat and include last year's also. Philmont is obvious probably, but we had a group go in 2021 and hope to send another in 2024. Great time had by all. Sea Base first time I know of was this summer, hearing incredible stories although I was not there in person. Main "downside" is cost and logistics... which as you would expect no Scout is commenting on But parents said that was the main challenge for them. Raven's Knob in North Carolina was awesome. Us flatlanders from Florida were wowed by the terrain and the hike to the top of the knob was a legendary moment for our
  7. I also had a small troop growing up of about 15 and loved it. Does not have to be 100 scouts to be a great troop. But, in Scouts BSA in general I don't see the same kind of council-sponsored in-school recruiting in middle and high school that they do for Cubs. Without that, it does unfortunately leave actual recruiting up to the unit and their ambitions with as you are pointing out are subject to the energies and resources of the unit and its leaders and scouts. First class requirement 10a is designed to get the recruitment discussion going I think. I try to make it part of any sc
  8. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/33066/33066_Official_Policy_WEB.pdf Official policy even states wearing the uniform is not mandatory and to "promote the wearing of the correct complete uniform on all suitable occasions." I think this is intentional and works. At least in our troop we expect for meetings shirts, jeans, or scout pants/shorts. For Court of Honor and Board of Review full uniform to the extent you own (even BoR rules state something about only having to wear the parts you own). Etc. Our troop has policies on what to wear when, the Scouts follow it, we hav
  9. Troops I know of rely 98% on cub crossovers, 2% on scout-friend recruitment for building a troop. Most don't "need" to market and sometimes individual troops don't want to market. Our troop is at 75 scouts. That will drop to 50-60 in the next two years due to the double whammy of boys hitting 18 and the pack we work with having only a handful of crossovers to feed the troop. I floated the idea of having a recruiting campout this year since we know our feed-in from packs will be light the next two years and it was received well. We'll see if we do it. When I was a youth we did that on
  10. Thanks, good clarification. Anyone know if Scouts BSA has ever achieved that kind of membership gain in a 3 year period in its history? Anyone with involvement / knowledge of the strategy at national to achieve such an aggressive goal?
  11. Does this mean their business plan currently relies on nearly doubling membership over the next 3 years? I'd love to see that, any one have insight on how they expect to hit that goal?
  12. I feel like we might be in the same council. Either that or this is a VERY familiar story. Last year my scouts got ONE lunch at a Camporee free for this fee. A single turkey and cheese sandwich and a small box of milk. No joke.
  13. $33 of the $33 was national. $75 of the $146 was national. My unprofessional, non-forensic opinion is the biggest impact they have seen is camping revenue has tanked. It's down over $500,000 annually. DESPITE this obvious reality - they continue to budget for much higher revenue from camp and consistently fall short. One of the reasons I have such an issue with the assessment of the additional council fee is that it seems obvious a bulk of it is to cover this deficit. HOWEVER, the fee has been assessed to every scout in council. The first year it was in place, Cubs could not eve
  14. Welcome! Boy... this story sounds familiar to me It is basically the path I also took. Hyper involved as a youth, fell off after college and married life, son came home in 1st grade asking if he could join Cub Scouts: Heck yeah you can. Back in the fray! Probably the best thing I can share is be humble. I was amazed at how much I had forgotten. Let the boys in the troop teach you, you'll both benefit from it. If you're ever unsure how something is "supposed" to be done, do what the boys should do: Ask your SPL
  15. Popcorn and FOS are almost exactly today what they were in 2018. It's not for salaries. It's not entirely clear what it is for, that's the issue. Help me understand how in 2018 first year membership was $33 and in 2021 it is $146 in my council. I stand by it. It's ludicrous. The people collecting these fees owe us transparency. They owe us a plan for getting back to an affordable rate. They owe it to scouting NOT to make this a country club activity only accessible to the most wealthy who can afford these huge annual fees which are just the tip of the iceberg in costs for scouting. Th
  16. Our council has a hefty $46 per scout additional fee. Initially they called it an "insurance fee" but after being called out on the fact that insurance costs have gone DOWN for the council in each of the past 5 years, they renamed it "activity fee". You know what my two sons got for that $46 each fee last year? Free lunch one day at a camporee. A turkey sandwich, bag of chips and little carton of milk. I kid you not. I honestly don't know what council needs or uses that money for but from my POV it's just a tax on parents and volunteers to make up shortfalls in their budget. Even volunt
  17. I'm not finding a lot of info about this. I found one mention in a council's FAQ doc indicating that visitors are allowed but constrained to central jamboree and not permitted in subcamps which is understandable and fine. Is it possible to attend as a visitor for a few days? We have some scouts who might like to do that, some of the requirements of being part of the council contingent preclude their involvement (cost to attend / time commit / equipment purchase / etc.) but will be too old next jambo and have an interest to go see it. We'd find suitable accommodations nearby and drive in fo
  18. What plans does your unit have that you are really looking forward to? Any annual traditions that your scouts really look forward to?
  19. It's a good idea not to hold two positions. In fact, it is BSA policy. Unless you are uber strapped for volunteers, having an ASM serve as advancement coordinator / chair is just going to make that person spread thin, likely to be mediocre at both roles, and burn out faster. https://www.scouting.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Registration-Guidebook.pdf Page 14:
  20. We are just back from summer camp. This is my third camp as support leadership, next year I've raised my hand to take the lead so I'm capturing some of the observations, notes, etc. immediately on return while fresh in my mind because my mind is a sieve I thought I'd post some of the general comments here and see also if I can take advantage of the accumulated wisdom and recent summer experiences of those gathered here. We had an AMAZING week. Should note we had over 30 scouts with us, so some of this might be more relevant to a group that size, but still worth sharing. Will encoura
  21. Our SM put this to the PLC, which I thought was a great approach. They did some research and looked into policies from a variety of troops. They ended up taking the approach that electronics are part of our life now, but like Knives they are tools within Scouting and there's a time and place for them and a proper way to use them. So the set up SOPs for use of electronics and required a class to gain a "cyber totin chit" just like a knife. When Scouts aren't using their tools in line with the PLC's established SOP they are warned. If it becomes habitual or there's a severe infraction, they
  22. Councils don't want to do this any more than the units do. If they did, they would have been pushing this for years. It's being done out of necessity and Scouts BSA needs this to work. If there's widespread looting of unit resources by council(s) it will torpedo this and scouting is likely to fail. I'm not worried at all about council chartering and the resources of our unit being protected if we're required to go that route. I'm more worried about having a consistent place to meet and somewhere safe to keep the trailer without having to pay through the nose for storage.
  23. Consistent with the don't overblow, but don't underestimate the risks sentiment (which is a good point) a corporation only provides so much protection. Officers of the corporation are quite often included in lawsuits, especially if there is some presumed negligence. I've run a 501c7 for many, many years and we carry officers and board liability insurance for this very reason. If you elect to explore the formal charity route, invest in professional advice from an attorney and an accountant who have good experience in these matters. They will know all the latest scuttle and they will be
  24. In the Rules and Regulations there is a section about Charters to Groups of Citizens: Establishing a 501c3 doesn't seem to be 100% mandatory then. In the past I shied away from doing 501c3's for several groups I established over the filings and compliance requirements being pretty stiff and either challenging for a "regular person" to navigate or an expense for hiring a professional to maintain. There are probably others who will say it's a piece of cake. Just sharing my experience on establishing a real charity.
  25. Yeah, that's what I was asking. If someone who administrates the forum could look to see if there is an option to enable discussion topic titles in the browser title bar. I went to the invision site to see if I could find info about the setting to suggest. I could not but while there I noticed their forums have this. See screenshots attached for what I mean. ETA: That long text "Option for homepage title..." that's the topic title I was currently viewing. On the Scouter Forum site it's always just "Scouter Forum".
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