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Everything posted by curious_scouter

  1. update: Our council is now charging $25 for MBC registration. To cover the CBC. It's understandable, but will def impact our MBC roster council-wide. I guess the "good news" is that it seems to be ensuring the people who are left are really motivated counselors. My recent experience is when a scout uses SB to "connect to" a MB counselor - they get rapid contact back. So, that's pretty awesome and possibly a silver lining.
  2. My unit was at one time 75 scouts strong. I absolutely see the wisdom in BP's suggestion of 32 max. We are at around 40 active scouts right now and I feel 100% there is no way I'm able to adequately get time with each. The saving grace is we have a strong Scoutmaster Corp and really well trained youth leaders (NYLT for the win) and so it works. Our unit has been "top heavy" - many years ago we received mega crossover groups from a pack. Those mega groups will all age out together, just as they came in together. We had 6 last year, we will have 5 this year. Next year we have 8 I think.
  3. In our unit we treat Eagle COH as if a wedding reception. The Eagle and their family do the planning. From guest list to the ceremony. The family is welcome to use our meeting place (the church) for the ceremony but very often secure their own venue. Sometimes another church, rec hall or in the past they have even done it at the site of the Eagle Project itself. We have a COH outline, but the Scout and family can "make it their own". They key is making it special for the Scout(s) and their family/families.
  4. this is what we do. We have 50 active scouts. They use their books to track advancement and honestly it's good because we allow any ASM to sign off requirements and we also allow Star Scouts who have been trained by the SM to sign off for First Class and under. No way with that number of scouts and that number of authorized signers that we'd get everything via online SB anyway. Keeping SB updated from their paper books would be a full time job. I have considered finding a volunteer to do it though - it would be amazing to have data to give to the PLC that X Scouts need a certain set of re
  5. Ours is not, but I know of a council in Ohio that is. I expect ours will follow suit. It's also possible they are doing this already but I am not aware as I hold a fee-paid position already.
  6. @Brannigan - I know you're getting a lot of shade implying you created the situation with this person with your email or comment. I have been in your shoes with people like "Mr. Monster". I re-entered Scouting 8 years ago as an adult (all prior experience was as a youth) thinking it would be very much a "we're all on the same team, we all want a good program, a Scout is friendly, rah-rah" atmosphere among the adult leaders. Not exactly. Many were welcoming, helpful and patient with my "dumb ideas" and rose colored glasses. Some were deeply insecure and responded to any comment, idea o
  7. What are some "leading questions" you keep in your mind to help point the SPL in the right direction and get them digging in on leading the Scouts at summer camp? Some that I've been noodling: Gear check at arrival, any initial concerns about what you have seen? Review of cabin/tent mates, any personalities to be aware of? Any concerns? Any goals for the Troop this week? Spirit award? Campsite inspection goals? RE: those goals, do you have a plan and people lined up in your head to lead tasks (share the load) How do you want to organize the move-in?
  8. EVENT NAME Location(s) For Outing TBD Challenge Tier Essential / Challenging / Advanced Departure Time & Location TBD Adult Coordinator TBD Return Time & Location TBD Scout In Charge TBD Duration
  9. Example of what our weekly newsletter looks like leading up to an outing. This is last year ahead of a canoe trip. I put the template together and have it on Google Drive. During PLC, the SPL and Scribe make a copy of the template and fill it out in Google Docs in real time. After the Webmaster can literally copy/paste this into our calendar. It makes the PLC go quickly, gives structure but the Scouts still do all the "grunt work" and it ensures we capture all the detail for both Scouts/Parents but for us as leaders to ensure we've checked all the planning boxes. He
  10. We do annual planning the weekend or two after school ends for the summer/following year. We send this tentative plan to all families as soon as the PLC confirms it and Committee Chair reviews it (they are often at planning conference) This sets the dates and tentative theme for all our outings. We leave the meeting specifics for later monthly PLCs. PLC meets first Thursday of the month and sets detailed meeting plans for any meeting that will happen before the next scheduled PLC. After the PLC, the webmaster updates our troop website calendar with detailed meeting plans. We
  11. $140 per youth / $100 per adult in our council this year. Not a rumor. Also moving to an annual renewal vs. everyone renewing at one time. I presume to avoid the "crush" that comes from every unit in council submitting paperwork at one time. Also, I have come to 100% rely on the roster at my.scouting.org - I think this will be the norm. Just as you use it to manage training expiration (which have all been different for a long time) you will now use it to manage membership expiration.
  12. We recently did a Saturday badge session. We had 25 Scouts attend. The conversations were real, compelling, and friendly. I think a key was setting ground rules that including this is serious, no teasing, and what gets discussed in the room stays in the room. Everyone got the badge and said they had fun and learned something. I think it all comes down to how it's presented. I will admit when the badge was released I was pretty cynical about it, but having seen it delivered and the way the Scouts responded to it - I'm quite in favor of it. I do share the wish we could compress some of th
  13. Same as above. We stockpile some patches. SM gives them to SPL to give out at conclusion of elections or at the end of the meeting if the SPL makes any POR appointments mid-cycle (QM, scribe, etc.) SPL/ASPLs are expected to hound the PORs to get patched up. I've thought for a while that a "uniform maintenance night" would be a good meeting theme now and again. Might suggest that at our annual planning. Scouts really ought to be able to sew on any patch with a merrow border.
  14. Sounds fun to me... I guess it depends on how it's done. I can also make a hike regimented if I really try.
  15. Start attending roundtable. Meet the district committee. In my experience - they will definitely have a way to use your energy. It could be commissioner life. It could be helping to plan a district event. I kind of "get" that local units are going to be a harder sell for a "stranger" off the street without a Scout of their own as at least an initial foot in the door. But show up to district roundtable a couple times and you'll find yourself well employed soon. You can bring value over a wider area in that kind of role (many units benefit from your energy vs. one) and you'll sti
  16. These fees are out of control. There's no transparency or justification. They bring no value to units or Scouts/Scouters. In an age where Scouts BSA is purportedly emphasizing DEI these fees put Scouting out of reach for many. It boils my blood.
  17. This all comes down to your local units and their established policies. Issue with Scouting is it is generational. Leaders and scouts come, engage for a time, and move on. If a policy was not written down and passed on, it's often lost. My advice is don't be afraid to rethink anything that's not specifically documented. Even so, some of my least favorite words to hear are "That's what we've always done." So? Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it right for right now. I don't think you need to reinvent the wheel for the sake of it, but I do think the generational rollover of Scouting l
  18. When you load an event in TWH, you can set a cutoff date for signup. We normally make it the last meeting before the outing, mainly so the grubmaster(s) know who to shop for. Nice thing is RSVPs are visible to everyone on the website. I would say 95% of Scouts regularly use this. Grubmaster SOP includes a final check of registrations for the Patrol right before the shop to account for late adds/drops. When someone does not sign up and still intends to come, the Scouts seem to know. I am 100% fine with last minute adds, I always prefer a Scout to come out with us than not over a "dead
  19. All, looking ahead to next year we're beginning the uh... plan ... for the annual plan. I found this Wikipedia article that lists all summer camps... found it useful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_council_camps_(Boy_Scouts_of_America) BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF THIS POST I would like feedback, particularly (selfishly) for FL/GA/NC/SC/AL camps you definitely recommend and why. But I thought this could be a refresh of generally useful feedback on camp destinations to put on our collective bucket list for next year or beyond. So by all means, recommend any camp but
  20. It's a good tool to frame up your thoughts and prep for the conversation but if advising a Scout on this I'd hold firm that This section is specifically noted as not required. Be prepared to talk about your experience. I think the format of the section is great, worth using honestly. But if you did not or decided not to, you cannot be required because... Noone can add new requirements for Rank, including requiring you to provide a specifically unrequired part of this document and... Though one reason for a board of review is to help ensure the Scout did what was supposed t
  21. we use troop web host. I post the outings in the calendar, scouts can sign up. Usually after the event, the CC tallies up the receipts and uses the scout accounts feature of TWH to assess actual cost to the Scouts. This varies a bit. Pretty much everyone pays a split of the campsite fee if any, but then the food is done by patrol. That way if Patrol A spends $15 per person and Patrol B spends $9 per person for food, the actual costs are passed along. I like TWH. In addition to just being able to post it, there are quick buttons for sending reminders to people who HAVE signed up and thos
  22. have only used it for one unit, but Troop Web Host seems to have features in it for multi unit management. Worth a look.
  23. This is likely. Fair is fair though, if by this rule the # of paid leaders increases notably - the fees should decrease similarly. They won't.
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